The Future is Now: Insights from 3 of Real Estate's Top Influencers
By Kelly J. Phelan, RET Content Editor
Posted by: RET Staff
Regular readers of RE Technology will no doubt recognize the name "WAV Group." The partners of consulting firm WAV Group are not only the founders of RE Technology, but also the dominant voice on our MLS and broker channels. You've no doubt read many of their insightful articles before.
Every year, founding WAV Group partners Marilyn Wilson and Victor Lund appear on lists of the industry's most powerful and influential--and this year is already shaping up to be no different. Just today, the husband and wife team of Wilson and Lund were named to the 2017 Swanepoel
Power 200, a list of "the 200 most powerful leaders in the residential real estate brokerage industry."
And last week, Kevin Hawkins, President of WAV Group Communications--WAV Group's public relations division--appeared on a major industry list for the first time. Both he and Victor Lund were named to Inman News' Real Estate Influencers list.
These accolades come as no surprise to anyone who pays close attention to the industry--WAV Group consults on major projects that impact the future of real estate, like the Broker Public Portal, Upstream, RESO, and more. The company has been a driving force in pushing the industry to adapt to changing consumer expectations spurred by technology.
To give you a better idea of WAV Group's influential thought leadership, we've rounded up a sampling of their best articles from 2016.
1. Backed by Google, Zillow Set to Become Online Brokerage
Why would Zillow become an online brokerage? The company has capped out on advertising revenue. In January of this year, they applied significant pressure to their broker advertising products in a calculated move to switch their revenue stream to agents. Brokers were really not that interested in the leads anyway – they just passed them along to the listing agent. But listing agents and buyers agents are starved for leads and were not total un-happy-ish about the price increase. The price increase weeded the garden of agents who were casual advertisers and paved the way for serious online real estate agents to get the customer flow they need.
Zillow can continue to move forward with their mortgage programs. They appear to be RESPA compliant. Zillow can continue to work with owners and renters to satisfy the property management business. Zillow can continue to work with developers with their New Home marketplace. Heck, Zillow can even continue to support FSBOs.
2. Mastering Market Literacy
Agents who demonstrate a fundamental understanding of local market trends win more business and become trusted advisors because of their knowledge. Market "smarts" have become an important marketing strategy. You do not need a degree in economics to become market literate, just an understanding of how local real estate economies work, fluency with the terminology and good sources for local data on sales, prices, values, and inventories. Add your professional expertise and your skilled observations of the latest trends in the charts and numbers and you have a winning formula.
3. Brokers and MLSs Misunderstand RESO
Today, the Real Estate Standards Organization has blossomed into one of the most collaborative industry-wide efforts we have ever seen, with funding from vendors, brokers, associations, and MLSs. This group is funding and directing a massive overhaul of how information (data) is used today, and laying a strong foundation for the future. It has inspired transformation. Like anything new, different and technical, there is also a massive level of misunderstanding that is frustrating the efforts. In some small way, my hope is to clarify some things to set people straight.