Ask the average consumer what they know about the MLS, and you’re likely to hear about their favorite Major League Soccer team. But CMLS wants to change that, and the organization is on a mission to educate the general public around the benefits of working with a real estate professional and listing a home on the MLS.
Katie Smithson is the Director of Enterprise Sales at Lone Wolf Technologies, and she serves on the Board of Directors for both the Council of Multiple Listing Services and Real Estate Standards Organization. On this episode of Listing Bits, Katie shares CMLS’s new In the Know Campaign, describing how the initiative seeks to convey the importance of the MLS to consumers.
Katie explains why CMLS partnered with 1000watt to develop assets for In the Know and how agents and brokers can use the campaign’s digital content to share the CMLS message with consumers. Listen in to understand how Lone Wolf is integrating In the Know content into Cloud CMA and find out how other vendors can get involved in educating consumers on the value of the MLS.
How CMLS’s Making the Market Work Campaign communicated the value of the MLS to its members
CMLS’s partnership with 1000watt to develop assets for the new In the Know Campaign
How the In the Know Campaign conveys the importance of the MLS to consumers
Why In the Know is not specific to a particular MLS system but advocates for the industry as a whole
CMLS’s hope that brokers and agents will share the campaign’s message with consumers
Why exclusive listings are not a good look for organized real estate in light of Fair Housing legislation
How listing on the MLS gives sellers the best exposure in a given market
How In the Know assets are designed for brokers, agents and vendors to put to use
How the Lone Wolf Technologies team is integrating In the Know content into Cloud CMA Live
Katie’s insight around how other vendors might get involved with the In the Know Campaign
Connect with Katie:
Email ksmithson [at] lwolf [dot] com
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: