Prior to 2003, Supra had a monopoly on the lockbox market. But NAR membership wanted choice, so the trade association invested in its first outside tech company, SentriLock. Today, a similar market dominance exists in showing service solutions, and SentriLock is stepping in once again to compete with the dominant player in the space.
Scott Fisher and Devin Beck are the CEO and Director of Revenue of SentriLock, the first and only combined lockbox, showing service and experience management solutions for real estate. On this episode of Listing Bits, Scott and Devin explain why SentriLock is expanding into the showing service space and how proptech consolidation accelerated industry interest in their new offering.
Scott and Devin share SentriLock’s approach to entering a new market with a dominant player, describing how their partnership with NAR and commitment to customer service differentiate them from the competition. Listen in for insight around the unique features of the SentriKey Showing Service and learn how you can benefit from their lockbox offering, showing service or combination thereof.
How Scott’s telecom background led him to the lockbox space
Devin’s efforts to diversify SentriLock’s portfolio of offerings
What inspired the partnership between NAR and Scott’s team
Why SentriLock is expanding into the showing service space
SentriLock’s approach to entering a market with a dominant player
How Zillow’s acquisition of ShowingTime accelerated interest in SentriLock’s new offering
How SentriLock’s lockbox and showing solutions are designed to stand alone yet work together
Why consolidation causes uncertainty in the MLS community
Why NAR is unlikely to sell SentriLock
How Scott sees their commitment to take care of the member first as SentriLock’s secret weapon
The features that differentiate SentriLock’s showing solution
How competition among vendors brings value to the industry
Connect with Scott & Devin:
At present, MLS data access is unnecessarily complex. And brokers are calling for a more efficient system with a single set of rules around how the data can be used. In response, the CMLS Data Access Concepts Workgroup drafted the Listing Exchange and Access Policy or LEAP. But does the new policy really solve these problems? Could it be improved in a way that recognizes the changing landscape of the real estate industry?
Sam DeBord is the CEO of the Real Estate Standards Organization, the trade group responsible for developing standards for the industry, and he writes for publications including REALTOR Magazine and Inman News. Michael Wurzer is the CEO of FBS, the leading innovator of MLS technology and one of the most respected real estate software brands, and he covers industry issues on the FBS Company Blog. Both Sam and Michael are active participants in the LEAP debate on Twitter and have written long-form posts on the topic.
On this episode of Listing Bits, Sam shares the goals of the proposed Listing Exchange and Access Policy, describing how it seeks to simplify the rules and make access to MLS data more efficient. Michael discusses his concerns around the draft policy, explaining why licensing should be a part of LEAP and what a usage-based pricing model might look like. Listen in for Sam’s speed limit versus toll road analogy for the issues at play and hear both sides of the debate on whether LEAP solves the fundamental problems brokers face in using MLS data.
LEAP’s goal to simplify the rules and make access to MLS data more efficient
Why Michael sees a problem with how LEAP treats IDX, VOW and Back Office the same
Michael’s argument that the value of aggregated MLS data as a whole is greater than the sum of its parts
Why Michael believes that licensing and pricing should be a part of LEAP
How the definition of a Participant is evolving and why Michael thinks LEAP should address the shift
Sam’s concerns around using policy to penalize companies who are using data well
Sam’s speed limit vs. toll road analogy for the issues at play in LEAP
Michael’s point that portals would be worth dramatically less without MLS data
The potential to charge licensing fees for MLS data based on usage (with free low-usage plans available)
Sam’s view that MLSs should make local decisions about pricing rather than NAR policy
Connect with Sam:
Connect with Michael:
Policy may not be sexy, but without standards around how we format real estate data and build technology systems, we simply can’t share data or integrate the tools we need to do our jobs well.
Sam DeBord serves as CEO of the Real Estate Standards Organization, the trade group responsible for developing the open standards that drive efficiency and streamline technology for the industry. His resume includes a wide range of leadership positions in the real estate space, including President’s Liaison for MLS and Data Management at NAR and VP of Government Affairs with Washington Realtors. Sam is also the VP of Strategic Growth for Coldwell Banker Danforth in Seattle and writes for REALTOR Magazine, Inman News and the Swanepoel Trends Report.
On this episode of Listing Bits, Sam describes RESO’s role in the real estate industry, explaining how the standards set by his organization provide certainty for developers and support data shares and tech integrations. He shares the progress RESO has made in the last year, discussing what they have done to streamline compliance certifications and initiate the proposed Listing Exchange Access Policy. Listen in for Sam’s insight on the constraints of the current market (and the new tech that’s emerged as a result) and find out how he thinks about the kerfuffle surrounding the most recent mergers and acquisitions in the real estate space.
What RESO does to create efficiencies and streamline tech for the real estate industry
RESO’s evolution to an independent trade organization and how it relies on thousands of volunteer SMEs to build its Workgroups
RESO’s recent work to streamline its compliance certifications and create a new development guide for vendors
How RESO standards provide certainty for developers and support data shares and integrations
Why Sam is a proponent of creating a single policy for how data is used and displayed (and how that would help brokers)
RESO’s work with the broker community and CMLS to draft the proposed Listing Exchange Access Policy
The progress RESO has made in just the last year to align industry trade organizations, brokers and MLSs around common goals
How RESO standards helped facilitate the NorCal MLS Alliance
Sam’s take on how the artificial constraints of the current market impact agents and the tech facilitating the trend to buy homes sight unseen
How Sam thinks about the most recent mergers and acquisitions in the real estate space
Why proptech companies need to recognize our cultural preference to work with an agent
The potential problems associated with a broker-member of an MLS being paid by that MLS for a technology service
Connect with Sam:
Video marketing is a powerful way for agents, brokers and real estate companies to reach consumers. But how do we get the most mileage out of our videos? How do we maximize the marketing value of the content we create?
Christian Sterner is the Cofounder and CEO of WellcomeMat, the premier platform for managing your real estate video. Christian’s team facilitates successful video marketing campaigns for agents, brokers and companies who are committed to video as a long-term marketing strategy, helping clients leverage video content to generate traffic and engagement on their domain. Christian has been playing in the technology and marketing space since 2000, and he has led WellcomeMat since its inception in 2006.
On this episode of Listing Bits, Christian explains how WellcomeMat maximizes reach for every video in a user’s library and helps them make educated decisions about what videos to create. He offers insight around what kind of content really moves the needle for real estate professionals, sharing his take on the pros and cons of producing humorous or provocative video content. Listen in to understand how WellcomeMat is working to facilitate visual search for the real estate industry and learn how drone automation can be used to create killer listing videos and accelerate the adoption of video marketing among brokers and agents.
WellcomeMat’s mission to make video the most valuable thing agents and brokers can do to market themselves and their properties
What makes WellcomeMat the best way to maximize reach for every video in your library
How WellcomeMat accepts content from any service (and allows users to switch providers at will)
What WellcomeMat does to help users make educated decisions about what videos to create
How WellcomeMat increases site visits by an order of magnitude over using YouTube alone
Why listing videos are best for pushing top line revenue
The value in producing evergreen content like neighborhood tours, agent profiles, etc.
WellcomeMat’s referral database of 5,000 video production companies
Christian’s take on producing provocative and/or humorous video content
The MLS rules around branded and unbranded content + how WellcomeMat offers tools to remove branding for MLS compliance
WellcomeMat’s work to facilitate visual search for the real estate industry
How drone automation facilitates the production of quality video at scale for the real estate space
Connect with Christian:
What can technology vendors do to better connect with the agents and brokers we hope to serve? And what can we learn from the perspective of a computer engineer turned REALTOR about how to approach real estate professionals and what kind of tech solutions they need?
Georgia Purpura is Managing Broker at Urban Nest Realty, a mid-size independent brokerage out of Las Vegas, Nevada, where she specializes in helping agents grow their business. She is also very involved in the local association, most recently serving as Chair of the MLS. Georgia has been a licensed agent for 12 years, acting as broker for Keller-Williams Southwest before joining Urban Nest in 2018. Prior to real estate, she earned her degree in business and information technology and spent eight years working as a computer engineer.
On this episode of Listing Bits, Georgia discusses how her background in IT has served her well in real estate, explaining how she evaluates technology solutions and what vendors can do to market their software more effectively. She offers advice for vendors and brokers on creating a business model that mitigates agent churn, challenging us to focus on producers rather than subscribers—casting a deeper net as opposed to a wider one. Listen in for Georgia’s insight on how modern agents learn about technology tools (and how that’s evolved over the years) and get her take on the top technology needs in the real estate space.
Georgia’s background in computer engineering and how that tech experience has served her well in real estate
How Georgia learned about tech tools early in her career from sales meetings and through the local association
How modern agents learn about tech tools through word-of-mouth on social media
Georgia’s advice for vendors around marketing to top producers who can create influence for you
Why vendors should lead with the problem they’re solving for in pitching agents and brokers
How Georgia evaluates tech based on its potential to shorten the sales cycle and save time or money
Georgia’s criticism of how brokers have gone about increasing profitability by having the biggest army (rather than the best)
How real estate brokerages and software vendors can build a business model that mitigates agent churn
The top technology needs Georgia sees in the real estate space
--Integration among tech solutions (strategic alliances)
--Agent retention and engagement tool for brokers
Connect with Georgia:
Owning a second home can be an enriching experience, allowing us to make priceless memories with friends and family. But many can’t afford to buy a vacation home, nor does it make much sense to leave a house sitting empty for ten-plus months, even if you can afford it. So, what if you could buy a share of a second home and enjoy true ownership for a fraction of the cost and hassle?
***MAKE SURE YOU CONSULT WITH A CPA. THIS PODCAST AND ITS CONTENT ARE NOT INTENDED TO GIVE TAX/INVESTMENT ADVICE ON LOSS/GAIN OF PASSIVE INCOME*****
Austin Allison is the Cofounder and CEO of Pacaso, a startup designed to make the dream of second homeownership a reality for more people. The platform allows up to eight people to buy a share of a vacation home for much less—in a way that is seamless, hassle-free, and without risk. Austin’s first venture was Dotloop, the real estate transaction management solution he built in 2008 and sold to Zillow in 2015.
On this episode of Listing Bits, Austin introduces us to the benefits of co-owning a second home through Pacaso over the DIY model, explaining what differentiates a Pacaso from a resort or hotel timeshare. He describes how the platform’s scheduling feature works and why it can actually be better to own a property with people you don’t know versus friends and family. Listen in for Austin’s insight on how his company makes money and learn how you might use Pacaso as a second home buyer, seller or real estate agent.
How Austin’s frustration with creating and signing documents as an agent inspired the creation of Dotloop
How Pacaso’s mission around second home ownership inspired the company name
The broad range of people Pacaso serves and the potential market for second homes in the US and Europe
What differentiates a Pacaso from a resort or hotel timeshare
--True ownership vs. rights to use
--Easy to resell
Why Pacaso prohibits short-term rental activity in its properties
How Pacaso’s scheduling feature allows users to reserve dates in a way that corresponds with their ownership level
How Pacaso makes money through a markup on the real estate and asset management fees
What happens if a Pacaso home increases in value
The benefits of owning a home with people you don’t know through Pacaso over the DIY model
The potential tax benefits of owning a second home with Pacaso
How the Pacaso process works for buyers, sellers, and real estate agents
Connect with Austin:
It’s easier to gain a seller’s trust when you have the data to back you up. But where can agents and brokers go for real-time buyer data? And how do we turn those numbers into actionable insights to earn new business?
Ashley Terrell is the Executive Vice President of Partnerships at Buyside, a real estate tech platform that helps real estate professionals leverage intelligent buyer data to capture seller leads, win more listings and close more transaction sides in-house. Prior to joining Buyside, Ashley served as the Director of Account Management and Director of Strategic Growth at Constellation Software and the Director of Account Management and Product Marketing at Real Estate Digital.
On this episode of Listing Bits, Ashley explains how Buyside partners with other vendors to procure data and provide its users with seamless product integration. She offers insight around the current buyer landscape, sharing her take on why there’s such a boom in real estate right now. Listen in for Ashley’s insight on the resources available to help agents use the Buyside tools and learn how to leverage buyer data to win your next listing presentation.
Ashley’s background in tech and how she was introduced to the real estate tech space
How Buyside serves as a seller lead gen tool and helps agents win listing presentations
How Buyside procures data from vendors like Zillow, ShowingTime, etc.
Buyside’s focus on seamless product integration to create the best possible user experience
Ashley’s insight around the current buyer landscape in real estate
Ashley’s take on why there’s such a boom in real estate right now
How agents and brokers can leverage buyer data in a listing presentation
--Help seller price home
--Pool of buyers
How Buyside serves large brokerages vs. small brokerages and large teams
The value proposition for Buyside in a buyer’s market
Ashley’s commitment to building out resources that help agents use the Buyside tools
Connect with Ashley:
The five most stressful life events include the death of a loved one, divorce, major illness or injury, job loss, and moving. But a new proptech platform is working to take relocation off the list with a tool that makes the experience of moving less stressful, less expensive, and more efficient.
John Heithaus is a serial entrepreneur and venture investor with 30-plus years of experience in strategic marketing, corporate strategy, and product development. He has co-founded or served as a founding executive of four real estate startups, generating nearly $100M in successful exits. One of John’s current projects is OK Move Me, a proptech tool that offers consumers a one-stop resource for planning, moving, and settling into a new place.
On this episode of Listing Bits, John explains how OK Move Me works, walking us through the four phases of the moving process and describing the site’s interactive task lists for each. He discusses how the vendors promoted on the platform are vetted and share what the team is doing to provide an outstanding customer experience. Listen in for insight into how OK Move Me generates revenue and find out why the site is looking to partner with traditional real estate agents and brokers.
John’s unique background in real estate, proptech investing and the music business
What inspired John’s return to building an online marketplace for moving + relocation services
OK Move Me’s four phases of the moving process and associated interactive task lists
How OK Move Me serves as a referral organization rather than a direct service provider
OK Move Me’s affiliate agreements with vendors on the site
What makes OK Move Me users a coveted cohort
How OK Move Me vendors are vetted and held to a high standard
The potential for OK Move Me to partner with traditional real estate agents and brokers
How OK Move Me is promoting the site through social media ads and content marketing
OK Move Me’s alliance with moving company brands that focus on customer experience
OK Move Me’s Reddit approach to procuring user feedback
Connect with John:
Who’s ready to get geeky about MLS?
Collaborations among MLS organizations are usually about sharing data. But MLS Aligned takes collaboration to another level, promoting dialogue among their in-house technology teams and putting the tech tools they have developed to work in each other’s markets.
Matt Consalvo is the CEO at Arizona Regional MLS, Chris Carrillo is the CEO of Wisconsin’s Metro MLS, and Brad Bjelke is the CEO at UtahRealEstate.com. Together, with a few other MLS organizations are principles at MLS Aligned, a collaboration of five forward-thinking MLS organizations that are coming together to change the industry.
On this episode of Listing Bits, Matt, Chris, and Brad share the MLS Aligned origin story and discuss how their in-house tech teams benefit from the ability to share best practices. They introduce us to the MLS Aligned API, describing how it is designed to follow RESO standards while providing additional fields and features for vendors, brokers, and other MLSs. Listen in to understand how MLS Aligned might support smaller MLSs with fewer resources and learn about the organization’s mission to provide high-quality products with a local focus.
How MLS Aligned grew out of a conversation among MLS CEOs and CTOs
How the tech teams of MLS Aligned members benefit from the ability to share best practices
Examples of MLS Aligned collaborations where tech has been plugged into other markets
The Market Initiative partnership between ARMLS and Metro MLS
Why the MLS Aligned API is designed to avoid data replication
How the MLS Aligned API follows RESO standards while providing additional fields + features
How vendors are using the MLS Aligned API
How MLSs might collaborate to adapt to moving trends prompted by the pandemic
What differentiates MLS Aligned from other MLS collaborations (e.g.: MLS Grid, MLS Roundtable, etc.)
--Collaboration among MLSs with in-house technology teams
--Mission to deliver a high-quality product with a local focus
How MLS Aligned might serve as a lifeboat for smaller MLSs with fewer resources
The focus on inclusivity at MLS Aligned
Why the principals at MLS Aligned are committed to building success before they start selling
Connect with Matt, Chris & Brad:
Most real estate agents look down on rentals, preferring to work solely with clients looking to buy in the next three to six months. What they don’t realize is that there are $12B in leasing commissions available to those agents who are willing to work with renters. And they’re missing out on the opportunity to build relationships with the homebuyers of tomorrow. But how do you find out what rentals are available in your market—when only a small percentage are listed on the MLS?
Ishay Grinberg [pronounced ee-shy] is the Founder and President of Rental Beast, the MLS for rentals. The platform helps tenants and landlords navigate the rental experience and levels the playing field for agents and brokers, giving them access to a comprehensive database of rental listings. Ishay has 20-plus years of experience in the real estate industry, working as an agent and managing broker for firms in New York City and Boston before creating Rental Beast.
On this episode of Listing Bits, Ishay introduces us to the Rental Beast platform and describes the opportunity available to real estate agents who are open to working with renters. He explains how the platform facilitates a fully virtualized transaction that is driven by the agent, exploring what the sales side of our industry can learn about virtualization from rentals. Listen in for Ishay’s insight on integrating Rental Beast with existing MLSs and learn how the platform helps agents earn more by generating transactions on the rental side.
Why Ishay describes Rental Beast as the MLS for rentals
The 50 unique data points Rental Beast collects for each property
Ishay’s experience in the NYC market where there is no MLS
The $12B in leasing commissions available to agents who are willing to work with renters
How working with renters helps agents build relationships with the homebuyers of tomorrow
What JCHS research reveals about the growing affluence of renters in the US
How Rental Beast facilitates a fully virtualized transaction driven by the agent
How agents can leverage Rental Beast’s AVM for rentals
What the sales side of real estate can learn about virtualization from the rental industry
--Streamline and digitize the closing process
Reading the local market to decide whether to hold or flip an investment property
Rental Beast’s vision for embedding themselves in the MLS universe via integration
The positive results brokers are seeing from the use of Rental Beast
Connect with Ishay:
While we may not be able to predict exactly how the current health crisis will impact organized real estate moving forward, most of us would agree that change is in the air. The kind of change that could transform the way we do business altogether. So, how is the Coronavirus changing the way we think about the spaces where we live and work? And how might this new perspective lead to foundational shifts in our industry?
Jessie Beaudoin is the Founder and CEO of CallAction, a lead engagement automation platform that helps real estate agents capture, track, and respond to leads from online and offline marketing channels. He has 35 years of experience in real estate, working as a mortgage broker for nearly two decades before his interest in efficiency and scale led him to the technology space. Now, Jessie is on a mission to help businesses do more in less time through intelligent sales and marketing automation.
On this episode of Listing Bits, Jessie discusses the foundational shifts in real estate that may come from the Coronavirus pandemic, exploring how the crisis is changing the way we define ‘home’ and why the efficiencies of working remotely might shift the way we do business moving forward. He offers insight into why we lean on technology in moments of crisis and how the virus could impact the housing market in the months ahead. Listen in to understand what mainstream adoption of virtual showings means for real estate agents and get Jessie’s advice on what YOU can do to step up as a leader for your clients and your family in this challenging time.
Jessie’s background in real estate and segue into the technology space
How the Coronavirus is giving us a newfound appreciation of what home means
How the efficiency of working remotely might change commercial real estate
Why we leverage technology in moments of crisis
The positive foundational shifts that may come from the COVID-19 pandemic
- Appreciate being together, hyper-focused during appointments
- Written + verbal communication more clear, poignant and thoughtful
How mainstream adoption of virtual and self-showings could impact agents
Jessie’s insight around how the virus might affect the housing market
The innovations that emerged in the last recession
Jessie’s advice for agents on navigating the current health crisis
- Leverage overcommunication and connection
- Depend on technology to scale efforts
- Step up as a leader for clients and family
How CallAction allows agents to scale their communication via automation
Connect with Jessie:
Call (323) 741-2255
Out of 565 Multiple Listing Services nationwide, 82 serve less than 100 brokers and agents. Unsurprisingly, this means that the nation’s 20 largest Multiple Listing Services serve over 50 percent of the nation’s total MLS subscribers. These statistics didn’t exist a year ago, but thanks to the Real Estate Almanac, the disparity is clear. Now that we understand the scale of the issue, how can we make changes to better serve agents, brokers, and their clients?
Clint Skutchan is the vice president of T3 Sixty’s association and MLS division. T3 Sixty is an industry-leading management consultancy and research company that focuses on residential real estate brokerage. Clint has over a decade of experience in the real estate industry and previously served as CEO of a realtor association in Colorado. He established an independent consulting company in 2014. In 2018, he joined T3 Sixty.
On this episode of Listing Bits, Clint discusses T3 Sixty’s latest undertaking: Real Estate Almanac. He explains where the idea for a comprehensive list of MLSs and associations came from and talks about some of the surprises that came out of that list. Listen in for Clint’s insight on the future of the Real Estate Almanac and how the data it consolidates will impact the industry, and the nation as a whole.
How Clint got involved in T3 Sixty
What the Real Estate Almanac is and what it says about the industry
Why T3 Sixty put the latest MLS and association list together
What issues MLSs and associations are facing nationwide
Whether Clint thinks NAR membership will stagnate, drop, or continue increasing
How the list of MLSs and associations has shrunken in five years
Why MLSs choose not to consolidate
How smaller MLSs might tackle some of the issues they face
What’s next for the Real Estate Almanac
Connect with Clint:
According to research conducted by Freddie Mac, there are 83 million mortgage-ready renters in the US! But most grossly overestimate how much they need for a down payment and very few know about the low down payment programs available to low and moderate-income home buyers. How much could a real estate business grow simply by making down payment assistance part of its business development strategy?
Rob Chrane is the CEO of Down Payment Resource, a platform that aggregates down payment assistance program data and connects homebuyers with down payment assistance. Rob has more than 30 years of experience as a top-producing Realtor and mortgage broker, and he has been recognized as a HousingWire Vanguard for his leadership in the housing economy.
On this episode of Listing Bits, Rob discusses who down payment assistance is designed to help and why some agents and lenders are reluctant to incorporate these programs into their workflow. We also discuss the evolution of Proptech as well as the pros and cons of the fractional ownership model. Listen in for insight around how Down Payment Resource shares its data with MLSs, lending companies, and individual agents and LOs—and learn about the massive opportunity available to real estate players with access to down payment assistance tools.
How Rob connects homebuyers with down payment assistance
What inspired Rob to create Down Payment Resource
Who down payment assistance programs are designed to help
Why agents and lenders are reluctant to use these programs
How Down Payment Resource gets its data to industry players
How Down Payment Resource makes money via a subscription model
How Rob thinks about the Proptech fractional ownership model
How DPR’s data shows up for MLS clients vs. individual agents
Connect with Rob:
Many agents might view Opendoor as a competitor, yet another tech platform out to eliminate their jobs. But what if you could leverage the iBuyer as a partner to build your real estate business?
Shannon Fitzpatrick leads a team of 45 agents at Movoto Real Estate in Las Vegas and Henderson, Nevada, and Tyler Hixson serves as the Director of Real Estate Partnerships and Strategy at Opendoor. In this episode of Listing Bits, Tyler and Shannon explain how agents can leverage Opendoor as a tool to grow their business, bringing cash offers to prospects and tying multiple transactions together.
Shannon speaks to the value of going into a listing presentation with an Opendoor offer, describing how it allows him to do what’s best for the seller, and Tyler discusses why agents can get a stronger offer from the platform by articulating the property’s unique features. Listen in for insight into the misconceptions agents have about Opendoor and learn how to work WITH the iBuyer to serve your clients and generate more leads.
How Shannon uses Opendoor to bring a cash offer to prospects
Leveraging Opendoor to tie multiple transactions together
The value of going into a listing presentation with an Opendoor offer
Opendoor’s offer valuation process and associated service fees
How Opendoor passes its vendor discounts on to sellers
How Opendoor can serve as a powerful lead gen tool for agents
Why agents can get a stronger offer from Opendoor than sellers
How Opendoor works directly with agents through closing
How Shannon uses Opendoor as a recruiting tool at his brokerage
The advantage to sellers of working with an agent AND Opendoor
The misconceptions agents have about the Opendoor platform
Opendoor’s plans to expand to serve all customers, home types
Connect with Tyler:
Connect with Shannon:
When you move fast, you break things. Mark and the rest of Remine’s co-founders are definitely shaking things up in the MLS space. This conversation was recorded at the CMLS Conference in Salt Lake City on October 17th before their recent attempt to launch a new listing portal and Zillow’s decision to cut off access to their Zestimate API As Mark says, in this wide ranging conversation, Remine’s attitude is to “go big or go home.”
In February 2019, Remine raised $30M in private equity to grow its real estate data and analytics platform. A month later, the company announced a painful reduction in force as they shifted focus from upselling agents to partnering with the MLS. So, what prompted Remine’s pivot to an enterprise model? And how are they making the transition from predictive analytics to a next-level MLS system?
Mark Schacknies is the Cofounder and CEO of Remine, a software company that delivers real estate intelligence to more than 825,000 realtors in 40-plus MLS markets. On this episode of Listing Bits, Mark shares the Remine origin story, discussing how the founders started out as competing agents but came together around a shared fondness for data-driven strategies.
Mark speaks to Remine’s pivot from predictive analytics tool to full MLS system, describing what inspired their transition to an enterprise model and how they are addressing their lack of experience in the realm of MLS conversion. Listen in for insight around how Remine’s philosophy differs from legacy incumbents like CoreLogic and learn what success looks like for Mark’s team on their journey to an IPO.
How the founders of Remine started out as competitors
Leveraging tech to transform real estate from within
How the MLS governs the world’s most important asset class
Why Redfin is at the top of Mark’s list of consumer portals
Balancing privacy with data to empower decision-making
What inspired Remine’s pivot to a full MLS platform
What a day-in-the-life of Mark Schacknies looks like
How Remine is addressing a lack of experience in MLS conversion
The difference in philosophy between Remine and CoreLogic
How Remine’s UI gives control to MLSs re: business rules
What success looks like for Remine + the IPO timeline
Connect with Mark:
You can ask Alexa to turn on the lights, show you the forecast, remind you what’s on your calendar today, or give you the score of the Astros game. And now, voice assistants are expanding to the real estate industry, allowing agents to open their business information and even access the MLS—with the sound of their voice alone!
Miguel and Ami Berger are the creators of Voiceter Pro, the conversational search platform that brings real estate and consumers together via conversations with voice assistants like Amazon’s Alexa and Google Home. On this episode of Listing Bits, brought to you live from the 2019 RESO Fall Conference, Miguel and Ami share their mission to provide customized voice technology to the real estate space, affording voice access to websites, MLSs and associations.
Miguel and Ami explain how they came to create the company and describe their vision for Voiceter 2.0, offering insight around potential features and applications that could be added to the platform. Listen in to understand why the Voiceter technology is system agnostic, how industry standards make it easier for small teams to innovate, and what applications Voiceter might facilitate beyond the real estate vertical.
Voiceter’s mission to provide voice to the real estate industry
How Voiceter affords voice access to MLSs and associations
The potential for Voiceter customization by MLS and agent
How Miguel and Ami came to create Voiceter Pro
Miguel’s vision around potential features for Voiceter Pro
Why the Voiceter Pro team has decided to be system agnostic
How the consumer search works and what info it provides
Voiceter Pro’s intention to integrate with other vendors, APIs
How industry standards support developers like Voiceter Pro
Potential voice applications beyond the real estate vertical
How Voiceter Pro brands to the agent, broker or association
Connect with Miguel & Ami:
Michael Wurzer is 100% confident of one thing: The MLS creates value in the real estate market that doesn’t exist in any other way. No one else has created enough trust to generate that same level of cooperation among competitors. And rather than being a scourge to brokers, Michael argues that the MLS powers the market. That unique value prop is the reason why he believes current trends will prove the value of the MLS—not kill it.
Michael is the CEO of FBS, the leading innovator of MLS technology. He has 22 years at the helm of this highly-respected real estate software brand which was named one of Forbes2019 Small Giant companies. On this episode of Listing Bits, Michael addresses the trend toward off-market listings, sharing his take on why it’s not a threat to the MLS. He weighs in on the potential creation of a ‘vendors association’ that would afford prescreened developers access to real estate data.
Michael also discusses the likelihood of consolidation in the MLS vendor space, tech adoption in the employee versus independent contractor models, and the importance of data in light of high agent churn. Listen in for insight around the value of integration among real estate tech vendors and learn Michael’s take on the role of the MLS in creating choice for its members.
How standards are key in making software easier to build
The trend toward off-market listings and its impact on the MLS
The idea that pocket listings are a kind of DIY-Upstream
The resilience of the MLS community and its unique value prop
The creation of a ‘vendor’s association’ to prescreen developers
Why ShowingTime’s acquisitions of CSS is a holy shit moment
The likelihood of consolidation in the MLS vendor space
Tech adoption in employee vs. independent contractor models
The importance of data in light of high agent churn
Why SaaS marketing techniques don’t work in real estate
The value of integration among vendors and with the MLS
The role the MLS plays in creating choice for its members
Connect with Michael:
“These combinations are fragile. You’re pulling 43 associations together. You’re pulling all these different boards together. You’re pulling all these different things together … so, I suppose you could look at blowing it up and go, ‘Why the hell did you do that?’ [The consolidation of MLSs] was a big deal and was very, very expensive. It really was, both in time and energy and everything involved. But you could also look at it this way: It’s something that had to be done. It really, really did. So, you can take your pain now or later.”
Brian Donnellan is the interim CEO of Bright MLS, a consolidation of nine forward-thinking MLSs in the Mid-Atlantic region that serves 85K real estate professionals and facilitates approximately 250K annual transactions valued at more than $70B. Brian has 13 years of industry experience, serving as CFO and COO of MRIS prior to the merger. On this episode of Listing Bits, Brian shares the challenges of merging different personalities and cultures and explains how the Bright consolidation gave others the courage to follow suit.
Brian also offers insight around the power of relationships in the real estate industry, the factors that influence growing agent attrition, and the value of building a product that helps brokers and agents make better decisions. Listen in to understand why Bright MLS is bringing on new staff from outside the industry and learn how the team’s commitment allowed them to endure criticism during the consolidation and get to a place they can be proud of!
**A quick note, due to a microphone issue the sound quality of this isn't that great.**
Brian’s background in information systems and public policy
How we underestimate the relationship aspect of real estate
Brian’s insight on the factors that influence agent attrition
How building a better product supports agent production
The challenge of merging the cultures of MRIS + TREND MLS
The distinction among members, customers and subscribers
The rocky start to the process of consolidating Bright MLS
How the Bright team endured the criticism on social media
The value of bringing in new staff from outside the industry
Brian’s pride in Bright’s progress and vision of the future
Connect with Brian:
Ever wonder what happened to all the business cards you’ve handed out over the years? Wish there was a better way to engage with prospects beyond simply giving them your contact information and hoping for the best? The SavvyCard platform affords real estate professionals the opportunity to provide immediate value to new leads, sharing information relevant to their initial conversation with the prospect. And most importantly, SavvyCard gives the agent control of the follow-up!
David Etheredge is the cofounder and CEO of SavvyCard, a lead development platform designed to facilitate proactive, tech-enabled follow-up with prospects. David and his team are committed to helping real estate agents, brokers, associations and affiliates build a direct relationship with buyers and sellers through technology and networking tools that put the customer experience first. Prior to SavvyCard, David managed software development teams for Disney Interactive, Microprose and Hasbro Interactive and cofounded a boutique digital marketing agency.
Today, David shares the origin story behind SavvyCard, explaining the platform’s intent to facilitate proactive follow-up by way of a digital business card. He discusses the SellerShare feature, describing how it can be used to engage sellers in promoting their own listing on social media. David also walks us through best practices for following up with prospects, addressing the data around how quickly agents should follow up and offering ideas for how to provide value. Listen in for David’s insight around the role of advertising in growing a business and learn why real estate professionals should take advantage of social platforms to promote new property listings!
David’s background managing software development teams
How SavvyCard originated as a better way to engage prospects
How progressive web apps will change the way content is distributed
How SavvyCard facilitates tech-enabled, proactive follow-up
Engaging sellers in promoting their listing on social via SellerShare
The data around following up within 10 minutes of meeting a lead
Following up with a relevant article or service recommendation
Why it’s valuable to post new property listings on Facebook
David’s insight around the role of advertising in growing a business
SavvyCard’s intent to become a part of the real estate toolkit
Connect with David:
“We will never sacrifice service to our existing customers to growth. We just won’t.
Our first priority is taking care of our customers.”
Merri Jo Cowen is the CEO of Stellar MLS, the third-largest regional MLS in the US with nearly 60K members in 16 REALTOR Associations throughout Central and Southwest Florida and Puerto Rico. Formerly known as My Florida Regional MLS, the organization’s recent rebrand is inspired by its reputation as the country’s most customer-focused MLS and intention to design a curated experience for each subscriber. Merri Jo’s resume also includes a 6-year run as CEO of Northern Nevada Regional MLS, and in her 35-plus years in the industry, she served as president of CMLSand played an integral role in the development of the CMLXprofessional accreditation program.
Today, Merri Jo shares her journey from entering listing input at the Reno Board of Realtors to CEO of Stellar, offering insight around the challenges she faced in moving from NNRMLS to MFRMLS in 2008. She discusses her commitment to foster future industry leaders, her involvement in the MLS Grid, and her proactive approach to solving for front-end of choice. Listen in to understand how MFRMLS has grown under Merri Jo’s leadership—without sacrificing service—and learn how the organization is working to create a ‘curated customer journey’ for each of its members.
Merri Jo’s journey from entering listing input to MLS CEO
Merri Jo’s commitment to foster future industry leaders
Merri Jo’s leadership in developing the CMLX program
The challenges of moving from NNRMLS to MFRMLS
The experience of expanding Stellar to include Puerto Rico
What inspired the rebranding of MFRMLS to Stellar MLS
Stellar’s emphasis on creating a curated customer journey
Why Merri Jo sees value in being part of the MLS Grid
Merri Jo’s proactive approach to solving front-end of choice
Connect with Merri Jo:
Email: ceo [at] stellarmls [dot] com
Rather than trying to predict the future of real estate and act accordingly, Gene Millman is working to collaborate with brokerages to create the future together. He comes to MLS leadership from a unique perspective, leveraging his experience running a brokerage to find ways to say YES to his members and champion the industry as a whole.
Gene is the CEO of Northern Nevada Regional MLS. With 32 years of experience in the real estate industry, he served as an agent, broker-manager and broker-owner before making the transition to MLS executive. Greg has held key leadership roles with various local, regional and state associations, and his recognitions and honors include Realtor of the Year for the Delaware Association of Realtors and Hall of Fame Inductee at the New Castle County Board of Realtors.
Today, Gene explains how serving on the board at TRENDintroduced him to the MLS world and how working on consolidation ignited his passion for the space. He introduces us to his mission to partner with brokers and create a future together. Gene also offers his predictions around the potential iBuyer market share and shares his take on portals as a broker versus MLS exec. Listen in for insight on creating culture within a team and securing buy-in for your vision—and learn how Gene’s background as a broker influences his approach to running an MLS.
How serving at TREND introduced Gene to the MLS world
How MLS consolidation ignited Gene’s passion for the space
The differences among governance models from MLS to MLS
Gene’s approach to running the MLS to serve the brokers
Why Gene doesn’t believe that the MLS is under threat
The MLS’s responsibility to secure data, give brokers control
Gene’s aim to partner with brokers + create a future together
How a market correction may impact views toward the MLS
Gene’s take on portals as a broker-owner vs. MLS executive
Gene’s predictions around the potential iBuyer market share
The value in creating culture + getting buy-in for your vision
Connect with Gene:
Glenn Kelman has always had the ambition to make real estate better for consumers. But it took him a while to realize that he wasn’t the only one who wanted to do that. He came into the game with an US vs. THEM mentality, assuming that all of Redfin’s competitors were villains and snake oil salesmen. To his relief, it turned out that his industry rivals were actually good people. And while that doesn’t make him any less driven, he does concede that this shift in perspective has made him ‘not quite so insufferable.’
Glenn Kelman is the President and CEO of Redfin, a technology-powered brokerage designed to redefine real estate in the customer’s favor. Prior to Redfin, Glenn cofounded the startup Plumtree Software and served as its VP of Marketing & Product Management until its acquisition in 2005. Glenn has been the CEO of Redfin for the past 13 years, and under his leadership, the company was twice named Innovator of the Year by Inman News. Redfin went public in July of 2017, and today, its market cap is $1.82B.
Today, Glenn explains why he still feels like an underdog, despite Redfin’s success. He weighs in on running a mission-driven company, discussing his aim to ‘do something good for real estate consumers’ whether Redfin makes money or not. Glenn also covers the civil nature of the relationship between Redfin and Zillow, Redfin’s new partnership with Re/Max, and the impetus behind Redfin’s ‘buy without an agent’ feature. Listen in for Glenn’s insight on cultivating agent professionalism and learn how his perception of the competition has changed over time.
Why Glenn still feels like an underdog despite Redfin’s success
Glenn’s aim to ‘do something good for real estate consumers’
Glenn’s take on the tribal nature of American politics
How becoming a father has made Glenn a better leader
The learning culture Glenn works to cultivate at Redfin
How Glenn’s perspective of his competitors has changed
Glenn’s solutions-based approach to candor with employees
How Glenn is driven by the desire to live up to his potential
The civil nature of the relationship between Redfin and Zillow
How Redfin addresses the idea of agent professionalism
The impetus behind Redfin’s new partnership with Re/Max
What inspired Redfin’s new ‘buy without an agent’ feature
Connect with Glenn:
“A phone call is worth a thousand emails, and a Slack channel is worth a million conversations.”
RESO’s push for an industry shift from RETS to Web API makes a lot of developers nervous. You can spin your wheels for days trying to figure out how to make the new way to consume MLS data work with your application. But here’s the thing: Somebody else has probably already solved that problem. So, how do we create a platform where developers can team up to move adoption forward? How much does accessibility to the experts serve as a game-changer in the switch to Web API?
Jon Druse is a Senior Developer at W+R Studios, a software company dedicated to building tools for the real estate industry. Prior to W+R, he served as a Software Engineer and Interaction Designer with Socialcast, Sleepy Giant, and Central Desktop and cut his teeth as a Senior Developer at PhishMe, Inc. Jon has 11-plus years of experience in the industry, and he was recently responsible for leading Cloud Agent Suite’s shift away from RETS, making W+R the first vendor to put Web API into production.
Today, Jon explains why direct access to ‘people with answers’ was critical to his success on the project. He describes how Web API is less error-prone and requires fewer requests than RETS yet displays in the same format. Jon also discusses the minimal differences among Bridge, Trestle and Spark when it comes to replication of a data set. Listen in to understand why collaboration among developers is key in moving Web API adoption forward and learn how Jon was able to make the transition happen at W+R in just 6 months!
How John set up the Web API feed in W+R’s Cloud Agent Suite
Why accessibility to ‘people with answers’ was crucial to Jon’s success
RESO’s push for an industry shift from RETS to Web API
The intention behind RESO’s Replication Workgroup
How Web API outperforms RETS in terms of time and accuracy
How a common schema will solve for maintenance in Web API
The 3 vendor-MLS partnerships delivering data through Web API
The minimal differences among Bridge, Trestle and Spark for replication
Jon’s insight around how to move Web API adoption forward
How Jon taught himself to program working tech support at a high school
Connect with Jon:
In a world where national brands like Zillow and Realtor.com dominate search results, how can individual brokerage websites compete? And how do real estate brokerages stay relevant as the iBuyer market continues to grow? Eric Stegemann believes the firms that adapt and take on alternative options for transacting will be well-placed for the future—and adopting the right real estate tech is a big part of that solution.
Eric is the founder and CEO of TRIBUS, a custom brokerage platform vendor tasked with providing medium and large real estate firms with made-to-order websites, intranet, email marketing, transaction management and CRM systems. Eric became a licensed agent at the age of 18 and started his own tech-oriented brokerage, River City Real Estate, at 21. In short order, River City became the largest independent brokerage in St. Louis due in large part to its real estate tech innovations, which became the framework for TRIBUS. Eric is often called upon to speak at industry events, including Inman Connect and the NAR Annual Conference.
Today, Eric explains why brokerage websites still matter in the age of Zillow and Trulia, discussing what differentiates a TRIBUS site from the national brands. He shares his conservative approach to growth for TRIBUS and offers advice for aspiring vendors in terms of building trust and fixing your mistakes. Listen in for Eric’s insight around the challenges facing brokerages today and get his industry predictions on MLS consolidation, the changing role of the agent, and potential winners in the iBuyer market.
How Eric started selling real estate to pay for college
What inspired Eric’s shift from broker to software vendor
The meaning behind the company name, TRIBUS
TRIBUS’ aspiration to be a zebra rather than a unicorn
Eric’s take on the challenges facing brokerages today
Eric’s insight on why brokerage websites still matter
How TRIBUS customer sites rank in Google search results
How local content differentiates a TRIBUS site from Zillow
TRIBUS’ pioneering collaborative search mechanism
How brokers can build their own iBuyer programs
Eric’s top advice for vendors on persistence and presence
Eric’s predictions on MLS consolidation + iBuyer success
Connect with Eric:
The Clash. The Police. Journey. Talking Heads. Some of the most well-known bands in recent history also happen to have some of the most powerful names. Names that describe their music and articulate what separates them from everyone else. Just like those bands, the name of your real estate brand has a job to do. So, why are so many of us afraid to break traditional paradigms? Why is every brokerage Insert-Last-Name Realty? And why are so many logos a roofline? What if you liberated yourself from what everybody else is doing and made your own kind of music?
We recorded this podcast live after Marc spoke at the MLS Summit, an event hosted by Annie Ives of The MLS™/CLAW.
Marc Davison is the cofounder of 1000watt, an agency dedicated to helping real estate brokerages, tech vendors, mortgage and title companies, MLSs and associations build better brands through marketing and design. Prior to 1000watt, he served as the Vice President of OnBoard Informatics and founded Access Media. Marc’s resume also includes a long stint in the music business as a musician and manager, and he is the author of All Area Access: Personal Management for Unsigned Musicians.
Today, Marc shares the parallels between building a band and building a company, discussing how his background in music informs his work at 1000watt. He offers insight around the dynamics of the team at 1000watt, describing the unique voice of the company and how its name serves as a differentiator. Listen in for Marc’s challenge around breaking paradigms in branding your real estate organization and learn how your name, logo and messaging can work together (in harmony, of course) to articulate what’s important to you as a company.
How Marc’s background music relates to his work at 1000watt
The parallels between building a band and building a company
How 1000watt’s unique voice differs from its team members
Marc’s take on real estate as an intoxicating, aspirational business
The significance of thinking of your company as a product
Marc’s insight on the charisma of the name W+R Studios
How names serve as vehicles to create differentiation
Why 1000watt chose to brand itself as an agency vs. consultancy
Marc’s challenge around real estate terminology (i.e.: Team, Realty)
The necessity of alignment among names, logos and messaging
Connect with Marc: