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Listing Bits

Greg Robertson, co-founder of W+R Studios and publisher of Vendor Alley, talks real estate technology with the people who are shaping it.
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Now displaying: 2021
Apr 21, 2021

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.

 

What’s Discussed: 

 

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:

SentriLock

Scott on LinkedIn

Devin on LinkedIn

Resources:

The Story Behind SentriKey Showing Service

Supra

CoStar’s Acquisition of Homes.com

REALTORS Relief Foundation

REALTORS Political Action Committee

 

Our Sponsor:

Cloud CMA for Brokers

 

Apr 7, 2021

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.

 

What’s Discussed: 

 

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:

 

Real Estate Standards Organization

Sam’s Website

Sam on Twitter

 

Connect with Michael:

 

Michael’s Blog on FBS

Michael on Twitter

 

Resources:

 

Michael’s First LEAP Post: Look Before You LEAP

Michael’s Second LEAP Post: MLS Content Is Uniquely Valuable, License It Accordingly

Michael’s Third LEAP Post: A Picture Is Worth More Than…

Sam’s Post: LEAP Forward -- Six Questions to Answer on Broker’s MLS Data

Rob Hahn’s Blog on LEAP

Vendor Alley

LeadingRE

The Realty Alliance

CMLS

Draft of the Listing Exchange and Access Policy (LEAP)

Victor Lund on Twitter

FloPlan by FBS

 

Our Sponsor:

 

Cloud CMA for Brokers

Mar 9, 2021

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’s Discussed: 

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:

Real Estate Standards Organization

Email sam[at]reso[dot]org

Sam on Twitter

 

Resources:

 

RESO Workgroups

RESO Web API Tools & Software

RESO’s Broker Advisory Workgroup

RESO Certification

2020 RESO Certification Updates

Andy Woolley

CMLS

NAR

NAR’s MLS Technology & Emerging Issues Advisory Board

Summary of NAR’s 2021 MLS Policy Changes

CMLS’s Participant Data Access Policy

LeadingRE

The Realty Alliance

CMLS’s CCP Implementation Guide

RESO Compliance Guide

NorCal MLS Alliance

Zillow Economist Jeff Tucker on Industry Relations EP059

CoStar

Zillow’s Acquisition of ShowingTime

Greg on Twitter

RESO’s Unique Organizational Identifier (UOI)

Victor Lund at WAV Group

RESO Remix

RESO’s 2021 Fall Conference

Our Sponsor:

Cloud CMA

Feb 16, 2021

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.

 

What’s Discussed: 

 

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:

 

WellcomeMat

Christian on Twitter

christian [at] wellcomemat [dot] com

 

Resources:

 

RE/MAX

Trulia

8z

Booj

CBRE

Revaluate

Homebot

ZAVI Homes

TED

For Sale by Owner

LeadingRE

Luxury Portfolio

Halstead

Semonin Realtors

Wistia

Tim Smith Group on YouTube

Smith Group’s ‘Teach Me How to Duffy’ Marketing Video

Gracenote

Shazam

Cole’s Drone Video

Amazon’s Ring Always Home Cam

Skydio

eWebinar

Jan 18, 2021

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. 

What’s Discussed: 

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:

 

Urban Nest Realty 

Resources:

David J. Tina

Top Producer

Inman News

Realtor.com

Realtor Magazine

Vendor Alley

Rob Hahn

Joe Versus the Volcano

 

Our Sponsor: 

 

Cloud CMA

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