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Big Announcements Kick Off NAR Midyear Trade Expo

nar midyear day 1Day one of the National Association of REALTORS® Midyear Legislative Meetings & Trade Expo saw major news break in the real estate technology space.

The biggest announcement of the day came this morning, when DocuSign announced its acquisition of transaction management platform Cartavi. Reactions to the deal were more delighted than surprised. The two companies have been partners for 16 months, with DocuSign providing eSignature capability to Cartavi users (see our recent webinar for more on how this works). That integration has proven so successful, that today's marriage of the two solutions seems inevitable in retrospect and, well, just right.

Cartavi co-founder Glenn Shimkus said as much in a blog postblog post earlier today. In it, he looks back to the early days of the partnership, where he previewed the integration for the first time at Inman Connect NY 2012:

The reception for [the integration] was even better than what we had hoped. In fact, it was at that show that I met Krisstina Wise and Jack Miller from The GoodLife Team for the first time. [By the way, that one interaction led to The GoodLife Team becoming a customer of Cartavi and what has turned out to be an AMAZING partnership!]. I'll never forget Jack Miller's words after I showed him a demo of our integration with DocuSign. He said, and I quote "Wow. Amazing. DocuSign is going to buy you guys!" [Jack, you nailed that one!].

The deal, plus a deeper integration with leading forms provider zipLogix, creates a 'one stop shop' for real estate agents that encompasses forms, transaction/document management, and eSignatures within a single collaborative environment. It will be exciting to watch how this partnership evolves.

Manage Your Relationships by Playing Games

Tribus' new CRM is the other big real estate tech headline of the day. The company has put gamification at the heart of its new solution, awarding users with badges, awards, and prizes for completing tasks like following up or entering notes into the system.

Eric Stegemann, Tribus' Director of Business Development, explained the gamification strategy behind their new solution. "While many of these real estate tasks should be completed each and every day, it's easy to understand why they could be viewed as mundane or tedious. That's why our main goal was to integrate a fun element into things that really are what create a successful real estate agent."

More News from Day One

Big announcements were far from the only thing going on during the trade expo's first day. The seven startups comprising REach's class of 2013 were officially introduced to the broader real estate community, completing their first round of demos. NAR ran an encore presentation of REThink Data Revealed, a session that revealed REThink workshop insights and let attendees give their input to the Strategic Planning Committee. And RE Technology held a rockin' (if we do say so ourselves) party at the Hamilton Lounge, complete with musical accompaniment from MRIS CMO John Heithaus.

As in previous conferences, we took to social media for real time updates on the day's events. Here's a selection of our favorite tweets from hashtag #NARMidyear:

Matt Case - Biggest impact of rising student loan debt is inhibition of new household formation. #livinginyourparentsbasement #narmidyear

Betty KincaidBetty Kincaid - "When you rent a home you maintain it. When you own a home you improve it." @RepJoeHeck #NARMidyear

Kristen ShortKristen Short - "We don't own the data. We own our relationships with our clients." #rethinkfuture #narmidyear

Chris NicholsChris Nichols - Talking about the recap of #REthink at NAR 360. Here's the data... #NARmidyear http://rethinkfuture.com/...

Pamela KabatiPamela Kabati - From rethink data: Sacred cows dropping like flies. Members say we need greater professionalism; national MLS. #rethink #narmidyear

Cartavi - Thanks @retechnology for putting our name in lights! Great party! #narmidyear http://instagram.com/p/ZW5aG3nrs3/

midyear2013 day1 party