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Office Safety: Dealing with Angry Visitors
For weeks, we've been sharing strategies that agents can use when faced with an agitated squatter. But what happens when the agitated person is a member of the public--and they're in your office? In this week's episode of Real Answers, brokerages, MLSs and associations will learn what NOT to do when an upset individual enters their office and makes a scene or starts a confrontation. This episode is the first in a series of four that looks at how to handle this potentially dangerous scenario. Tune in next week to learn what TO DO when confronted by an angry person in your office!    
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NAR Moves to Dismiss Moehrl Lawsuit
The National Association of REALTORS (NAR) moved to dismiss the Moehrl v. NAR lawsuit on the basis that the complaint misrepresents NAR rules for the operation of Multiple Listing Services (MLSs), which have long been recognized by courts across the country as protecting consumers and creating competitive, efficient markets that benefit home buyers and sellers. The filing was made in federal court in Chicago.
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Finding Your Inner Entrepreneur and Launching Your Own Start-up
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Realtors Discuss Benefits, Advancements in New Real Estate Technology
Automation is very much a part of the real estate industry and should be embraced by Realtors and other industry leaders, panelists said at Thursday's Emerging Business Issues and Technology Forum during the 2019 REALTORS Legislative Meetings & Trade Expo. The session, "Automation and Sharing Economy: How it will Affect the Way We Work and Live," discussed artificial intelligence or AI components, including Alexa, bots and OJO labs, and explained how each tool could be used by Realtors in various home sale transactions.
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Introduction to RPR's AVM Widget
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Where Is the Real Estate App Store?
For mobile apps, it's the Apple App Store or the Google Play Store. But where is the app store for everything else? Where is Amazon for real estate tech? There are many oars in the water, but there is no clear leader in the race.
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BoxMLS Announces New Open Source Initiative
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Are Hybrid Appraisals Becoming the New Normal In Real Estate Transactions?
Appraisals, a critical part of real estate transactions, have customarily been done in-person by an experienced appraiser. However, with advancements in technology and the rise of big data, alternatives to the traditional appraisal field are beginning to become more prevalent in the U.S.
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Referrals as an SEO Strategy: Backlinks
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Why Real Estate Video Is Vital in 2019
According to research by Cisco, one of the world leaders in the technologies that make the web go, 75% of web traffic will be video by 2020. Video is now accessed by millions of Americans daily, including those who make up your future clients. That's not surprising considering 95% of Americans own a cell phone and about 77% of Americans own a smartphone capable of watching a video. The video revolution was a long time in coming. That's because it took quite a while for technology to catch up to the audience's insatiable hunger for video. Today, more people have data plans that allow them to watch as much video as they want. And it's not just for Netflix—consumers use video to make their buying decision. The more research they need, the more video they use. There are several reasons: Video can cover a lot more material in a much faster time than written work. It's easy for people to consume video "on the go," such as during commutes. Some people engage with material better when video is used. Why You Can't Do Without Real Estate Video Marketing As a real estate professional, much of what you do is visual. Real estate has always relied on beautiful photographs to convey the potential of any property. Those photos have moved online, but they are still essential. Now, they are being joined by video presentations modern customers find compelling and trustworthy. However, video is not limited to listings. You can use video as a core part of your effort to brand yourself. Video marketing is one way to build trust and rapport using web content future customers find valuable—so they will bring their eventual transaction to you. Video can be used for: 1. Video Testimonials from Customers Testimonials are the fundamental type of social proof—that is, evidence that shows future customers others just like them have succeeded with your service. This helps people overcome the mental objections that arise any time they make a purchase. A video testimonial adds a live and lively touch that even the best static graphic cannot match. 2. Standing Out from the Crowd When a prospective buyer is touring numerous listings, it's easy to get "MLS Blindness." Video content allows you to offer something fundamentally different. Plus, if you are comfortable getting in front of the camera, viewers who've seen your videos will have the sense that they already know you. That makes it easier to build a working partnership fast. 3. Better Search Engine Rankings When it comes to digital marketing, search engine visibility is the undisputed king. When your site is attracting relevant traffic from search terms related to your business, you can strike up a relationship with others at the very moment they need you most. From there, you have an advantage in cultivating a bond that ultimately results in a sale—and another happy customer. 4. Higher Conversion Rates No matter whether you're dealing principally with buyers or with sellers, video leads to a higher conversion rate overall. A typical video on a service landing page increases sales by 10-20% or more. Customers who are directed to a landing page with video are much more likely to buy, even if they do not actually stop to watch the whole video. That's how influential it is! The lesson is simple—don't sleep on video marketing. It makes you more memorable, trusted, and effective at attracting your ideal customers. To view the original article, visit the Delta Media Group blog.
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Brokers: Demand Standards
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Getting Started with Your ListHub Basic Account
Thursday, May 23, 2019 at 11:00 AM PDT This short training webinar is for ListHub Basic users (free account) and is your first step in learning how to create and manage an effective online marketing strategy using ListHub. You will learn how to access over 80 national publishers through our easy to use platform. You will also learn how to manage yours leads, redirect traffic to your website, and much more, including how you can ensure the accuracy of your online data. Register now!
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Complete Back Office Management with brokerWOLF
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What Real Estate Brokerages Can Learn from 'The Avengers'
Movies based on superhero comics are a serious staple of nerd culture, but believe it or not, they have a big potential impact for businesses like real estate brokerages, too. And it isn't just tied to selling comic books. Now, with the recent release of Avengers: Endgame, we thought it would be fun to take a look at what's made these movies so popular over the years—and what real-life lessons brokerages can learn from them.
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Buyers are Wages; Listings are Money in the Bank
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Help Me, Don't Sell Me: The Future of IDX
One of my favorite pastimes is to read the reviews that consumers leave for Homesnap, the technology partner of the Broker Public Portal. As a consultant to the Broker Public Portal, reading the reviews informs my awareness of the best and worst features of the app. The funny part is that even the complaints are positive. The favorite feature of the app is that consumers are connected directly with the listing agent.
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Apple Camera Reads QR Codes: Changes Everything for Marketing
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Creating SEO-Friendly Content for Real Estate
Once you've put in the time to assess and update your website with SEO in mind, the second piece of the puzzle is creating content that can drive traffic to your site. One of the best ways to do this is to have a blog component built into your site, with plugins, such as Yoast, that make posting SEO-friendly content easy. Once you've got the capability on your site for blogging, the key is to regularly post content that people want to read and see. Luckily, most real estate pros are neighborhood experts and creating local content is one of the best ways to reinforce your knowledge and credibility while also cornering the market on your chosen keywords.
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Broker Public Portal with Homesnap Hits Milestone: 1 Million Agents
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NAR Midyear Trade Show: Top Tech to Check Out
While you could get overwhelmed trying to wade through a now remarkably massive trade expo at the NATIONAL ASSOCIATION OF REALTORS (NAR) Annual Convention, NAR Midyear in DC is a much different story. Navigating next week's Midyear Trade Expo in Washington, DC at the Marriott Wardman is downright manageable, and much more intimate than its big sister. It's not only smaller – about 140 exhibitors – but it lasts just two days: Wednesday, May 15 and Thursday, May 16, from 10am - 6pm. Best of all, there are several tech firms with exhibits worth visiting, whether you want to see what's new or what may be new to you. Here's a quick preview:
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Why Would I Want to Host My Brokerage's Data?
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Why Your Real Estate Brokerage Should Be on Instagram
Over 80 percent of users follow a brand account on Instagram--a high rate compared to other social sites. Instagram has made themselves a very friendly place for businesses. They encourage promoted posts, influencer engagement, and other marketing methods that work well on their always on-the-go platform. This is great for agents. It means you can advertise to the people who need your services with local hashtags and targeted campaigns while also gaining more followers through promoted posts and broader hashtags. Here are five reasons why your real estate brokerage should be on Instagram:
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First-time Home Buyers Need More Tutorials
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Preach to the Converted
The real estate industry has been led astray by advertising portals. Today, there seems to be a shift happening in syndication strategy, MLS strategy, advertising strategy, and CRM strategy that puts brokers and agents back on course--and it's about time. Let me share this perspective with you. To follow this perspective, you need to consider these three statements: Just about every home ever traded in America has been with the help of a Realtor or two. The National Association of REALTORS® reports a market share of over 90 percent. Over 80 percent of all transactions are with a repeat or referral customer of a Realtor. The no. 1 reason why a customer does not use the same Realtor is their Realtor did not stay in touch. (I think that the no. 2 reason is that their Realtor retired.) Strategically, the very first dollar invested in supporting your business should be spent fixing the leak of repeat and referral customers lost due to a failure to stay in touch. Somehow, that focus on customers is not happening in our industry today, hence the claim that the real estate industry has been led astray. I blame the advertising portals for this. They have done an excellent job of selling agents on how to drive online leads so convincingly that agents forgot to spend money on maintaining the business relationships with their current customers. I am not suggesting that investing in online lead generation is bad, but you are a fool if you invest more in that than you do on supporting 80 percent of your existing business. Take care of the relationships with current customers first, invest in new customers second. I remember my first conversation with Jed Carlson of Adwerx. His company started out helping music bands connect with their fans—websites, newsletters, social media, pimp your Myspace page, whatever. He knew then, as he knows today, that the social capital, er, "relationship" between a band and their fans is everything. If a fan downloads your song, likes your Facebook page, goes to your concert, or sees your video, you want to make them a fan for life. His company specializes in advertising to your customer base. When Jed told me that he was bringing this sauce to real estate to help agents and brokers stay connected to their clients, I knew that he would be successful immediately. The real estate industry has been out there spending their entire wallet on trying to find new customers or taking customers away from someone else, and doing little to shore up the relationship with their existing customers. The Shift A shift is visible in our industry as brokerages and agents come out of the proverbial fog. Adwerx is growing remarkably because they help brokers and agents stay in touch with their fans (Facebook custom audience advertising). This consumer-agent connection is what companies selling Facebook Boost Ads are missing. CRMs such as Commissions Inc, Inside Real Estate, Contactually, Boomtown, and IXACT Contact are experiencing widespread adoption because they organize the customer record for agents to prevent them from losing addresses, phone numbers, and email addresses. Syndication is viewed through the lens of the Fair Display Guidelines, whereby an online listing is treated as a yard sign. Only the listing broker and agent are displayed. MLSs are being recognized for their value in this regard, leading the way with data licensing agreements that follow better principles. The Broker Public Portal with Homesnap is a perfect example of this improvement, although there are several others. The takeaway is simple: preach first to the converted. Make sure that you are staying connected to your existing customers first. Worry about new customers after you have done that job to your satisfaction. To view the original article, visit the WAV Group blog.
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CENTURY 21 Launches Podcast Series to Inspire Salespeople to 'Defy Mediocrity'
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SEO for Real Estate: Does It Still Matter?
Real estate is a competitive business, but no matter how many word of mouth referrals you pride yourself on getting each month, the most consistent top producers are those who understand the importance of having an effective online presence--in addition to impeccable people skills. So, what does it mean to have an effective online presence?
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[Podcast] Tech Redefining the Closing Experience? Just Ask Qualia!
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5 Things Brokerages Need to Know about Data Hosting
Data hosting is more and more common these days, especially with the rise of the super-mobile real estate workforce. But data hosting isn't just a convenience—it can have a major impact on both the security and the efficiency of your entire brokerage. So what is data hosting? How does it work? Is it secure? Keep reading to get the answers to these questions and more!
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Top 10 Most Popular Articles of April
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Google Signal: Consumer Device Behavior Info from Your Website
Marketing, in general, is a tough business. There are so many tools to use and data to scrounge through; it is impressive that marketers have time to be creative. With Google Signal launched into beta last August, maybe marketers will have a little a bit more time on their hands. One feature Google Signal brings to the table is an insight into cross-device conversion with a website. This new feature exposes consumer conversion behavior from multiple devices. It's a metric that identifies consumers who view your ad on their mobile device and then, later in the day, submit a property inquiry form while on a laptop. When I discussed this feature with several of my marketing director and CMO friends, they were surprised to learn they could have this type of information.
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Zillow 3D Home Tour Is Really Property Panorama
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Real Estate Buyers Want More Process Content
Real estate buyers come from various financial situations and with widely different ideas of what makes a great home for their needs. They also arrive with very different levels of knowledge of the process, from a first purchase to a seasoned investor. So, what's a common characteristic of real estate buyers that can work for us in marketing to them? No matter how many properties they've purchased, every real estate buyer is always open to learning more about the transaction process or particular niche information that applies to their deal. You may be covering most of the major phases of a common transaction, but more information is always a plus for site visitors, and even for the search engines.
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Mission Focused: Behind the Scenes of a Top Team
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Boise Insider Tips for RESO Tech Summit Attendees
Perhaps the greatest unsung feature of a RESO conference are the cool cities the RESO board selects. Places most real estate conference don't (or can't because of size) schedule. RESO conferences have made me a fan of Kansas City and Milwaukee – who knew? The Boise RESO Tech Summit starts next week, and St. Louis is in the fall. This year, I know both cities pretty well.
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Friday Freebie: The Only Guide You'll Ever Need on Agent Safety
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The Power of the Power Broker Report from RISMedia
It seems that the number of top brokerage lists is getting cluttered. REAL Trends has its perennial 500 Top Brokerage list, and they have always been the gold standard of top brokerage and agent lists with the most reliable data. Then last year and again this year, T3 Sixty came out with its Mega 1000 list, which they recently released their second one. But as a business consultant, to me, the clear winner in terms of practical value is the work that RISMedia does with its annual Power Broker Report. Let's face it: the RISMedia Power Broker Report is the industry's favorite. And with good reason.
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3 Uses for Microsoft Teams in Picking Up the Slack
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WATCH: Broker Public Portal with Homesnap - Take Charge of Your Listings
Paying too much for your leads? How does a price tag of $0 sound? That's how much agents and brokers across the country are paying, thanks to the Broker Public Portal with Homesnap. Available to over 1,000,000 agents, the Broker Public Portal is an industry-lead initiative that's upending the dominance of portals like Zillow--and ending the need for agents to pay for leads generated from their own listings. In a webinar last week, we learned all about the Broker Public Portal with Homesnap and what it can do for brokerages and their agents. Watch the recording below to hear from David Howell of McEnearny Associates and see a demo of Homesnap Pro and all its best features. Then, be sure to claim your share of the 1,000,000 free leads generated by Homesnap each year!
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Does Your Website Work for the Visually Impaired?
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How RESO Is Helping Brokers Define the Future of Real Estate Technology
By Sam DeBord, CEO of RESO Broker involvement in the Real Estate Standards Organization is reaching unprecedented levels. Today, the leading brokerage brands in real estate are heavily involved in creating and utilizing new technology standards. RESO members include over 100 brokerage brands and the vast majority of brokerage networks and conglomerates. A growing number of brokerage leaders serve on our Board of Directors, and our Broker Advisory Group is attracting feedback on the day-to-day needs of professionals. We continue to grow our membership by reminding the industry that RESO exists to benefit your organization. RESO isn't just a thinktank of data geeks—it's an organization intently focused on providing technology standards solutions that allow real estate professionals to provide more value to their customers every day. The RESO mission The mission of RESO is to create and promote standards that drive efficiency throughout the real estate industry. These efforts provide direct value to brokers' businesses, so engaged broker members are critical to RESO's success. In just the last two years, RESO workgroups have been hard at work developing many new broker benefits, including: Greater quality and broader data in broker and agent websites and apps: The rollout of a new IDX data standard for broker reciprocity and Spanish language capabilities is included in the latest version of the Data Dictionary, version 1.7. The Data Dictionary is the universal language that allows technology systems across the industry to understand and work with one another. Easier ways for brokerages to share their data with their technology partners: Agent rosters, open house information, property history, saved searches, showing events, and more are included in the latest Data Dictionary update. More seamless integrations between broker technology tools: RESO created the Organizational Unique Identifier to give each organization within the real estate industry a unique ID. The RESO OUID is the industry's most comprehensive and current list of REALTOR® associations and MLSs, as well as technology partners, affiliated businesses, and data providers. Broker and MLS tools can provide more accurate and timely data by accessing these IDs through RESO's free OUID API. Innovation in data delivery is the motivation behind the RESO Web API standard. The Web API is the modern way of transporting data. It supports both traditional technology vendors and new uses for technology such as agile real-time data delivery and updates to mobile web applications. REALTOR® MLS organizations are required to provide their members with access to data that complies with RESO Data Dictionary and RESO Web API standards. The development work that technology vendors undertake to make these standards upgrades will help fuel broker technology innovation and give brokerages better access to information and technology tools across markets. Looking ahead to what's next Where RESO can be most valuable to brokerages is providing a seat at the table to help decide the future of standards. If your franchise is a member, that means as an individual broker, you are as well. You are encouraged to participate in our discussions in the RESO online collaboration system. Membership also affords you one of the exclusive benefits of RESO membership: you're eligible and invited to be a part of any Workgroup meetings that you choose. Here are a few ways brokers can shape what's next for real estate through their RESO membership: Broker Advisory Group The RESO Broker Advisory Group identifies issues facing brokers of all sizes, provides specific recommendations to the Board of Directors, and promotes RESO as a driving force for the collective future of the industry. The group is currently generating feedback on broker data needs in their direct relationships with consumer customers. More information about the Broker Advisory Group can be found here. Cross-Platform Interoperability Workgroup The RESO Cross-Platform Interoperability Workgroup's purpose is to identify solutions that will bring together disparate systems to better serve the real estate industry, particularly the practitioners and brokerages. The group's initial focus: Transaction Management Systems. The real estate industry needs a standard for the discovery and description of transaction documents. The Workgroup will look to creating a standard that can: Easily share documents across TMS platforms. Easily add additional people to a transaction from the MLS roster. Retain the participants in the transaction, their roles and permissions, and other document metadata when documents are shared between platforms. More information about this Workgroup can be found here. Distributed Ledger Workgroup You've probably heard a lot of buzz about blockchain and real estate. How about a seat at the table where practical applications are being discussed? The purpose of the RESO Distributed Ledger Workgroup is to identify and document property lifecycle events. These events could be recorded in a distributed ledger by the industry participants to support accountability, provide instant notifications and identify rules/patterns that are valuable to real estate professionals. The workgroup will work closely with other RESO workgroups to maintain alignment with their work. The implications for brokerages are enormous. More information about the Distributed Ledger Workgroup can be found here. Internet Tracking Workgroup Internet Tracking data is a crucial component of business intelligence. This workgroup creates and maintains the recommended industry-wide standard for tracking all internet, product and service activity surrounding real estate listing data, brokers, agents, consumers, and utilized technology solutions. Learn more about the Internet Tracking Workgroup here. Research and Development Workgroup This is where great ideas start at RESO. The R&D Workgroup is the top of the funnel for data standards and the place where new ideas are discussed, and business cases are formulated and finalized to justify the involvement of RESO and the creation of standards. The R&D Workgroup serves as the entry point for information intake and task decision-making. Learn more about the R&D Workgroup here. All of RESO's workgroups, including the previously mentioned Data Dictionary, Universal Property Identification (UPI), Web API, and Payloads provide brokers valuable opportunities to shape the future of standards. That's why brokerages need to have both technology and business representatives involved in RESO Workgroups. RESO conferences are key One of the most important places a broker can have an immediate impact on helping to shape the future of technology standards is at a RESO conference. RESO conferences provide a unique opportunity for in-person workgroup meetings, in addition to the monthly scheduled conference calls. The RESO conferences offer exceptional networking opportunities for face-to-face meetings with some of our industry's brightest minds. Space is always limited and these conferences have a history of selling out early. The RESO Spring Technology Summit in Boise, Idaho, April 29 to May 2, is already sold out. It features a lineup of speakers and topics that will give brokers insight into what's coming next. A RESO conference is different: presenters roll up their sleeves, show what's under the hood, take all the hard questions and share solutions. Initial details about the RESO Fall Conference, scheduled for September 9-12, 2019 in St. Louis, can be found at reso.org/fall-conference. To join RESO, or for more information, go online to our website at www.reso.org or email us at [email protected] Sam DeBord is the CEO of Real Estate Standards Organization, or RESO, the organization responsible for the creation, promotion, adoption, and utilization of standards to drive efficiency throughout the real estate industry.    
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Why Lone Wolf Acquired zipLogix and What it Means for the Real Estate Industry
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Why Isn't Redfin Bigger?
In the Beginning... Ten years ago, if pitched you a company that is building a fully integrated technology platform in the real estate sector and would soon have hundreds of millions of visitors to its website annually with so many leads it passes them off to agents at other brokerages, you'd probably open your wallet to invest. If today I told you that company has a less than one percent market share (0.81 percent by value of homes sold per Redfin), you'd likely be disappointed. Why? Because with all the tech, capital, leadership, and traffic, Redfin has been unable to meaningfully take market share across the country.
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Follow the Leader: Max Henderson, Compass
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Esri Refreshed with New Trade Area Data and Site Selection Options
This year's Esri refresh brought two new options for site selection along with the annual refresh of economic, demographic and tapestry segment data, available to REALTORS® nationwide! The most exciting addition is found in your attribute based site selection tool. The update now shows spending behavior at brick and mortar stores for multiple retail types.
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Natural Language Processing for Real Estate
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How iBuyers Die
iBuyers are all the rage in the investment community. Given the enormously challenging economics of the iBuyer business model, I'm not yet sold that these companies will come to take a large bite out of the real estate pie. What clues can we take from Zillow's traditional and new iBuyer model to peek into the future of the real estate industry inclusive of iBuyers? What can ultimately kill iBuyers?
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Is It Time for a National IDX?
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Century 21 Launches ListTrac for Analytics on Portal Marketing
In an email blast to Century 21 brokers and agents last week, Century 21 released the Golden Ruler powered by ListTrac, a reporting tool that allows sellers, agents, and brokers to see the engagement that a property is getting across the Internet. Portals like Zillow, Realtor.com, Trulia, and Homes.com are shown side by side with Century 21's family of sites and partner sites along with MLS systems, consumer sites and HomeSnap. In fact, any real estate website can easily have ListTrac monitoring configured.
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A Broker's Guide to Cybersecurity: Part 3
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When Hackers Attack: The Broker's Guide to DDoS
Any company that operates online can run into cybersecurity issues--and a particularly nasty tactic that hackers sometimes use is DDoS. These attacks are a lot like hurricanes; we can predict that they'll happen, but we never actually know when they'll happen or how powerful they'll be when they do. A DDoS attack can quickly take out websites and servers of any size, even if they're properly equipped to handle it. So today, let's take a quick look at what a DDoS attack is, why they're hard to defend against, and what you can do to safeguard against them.
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Trends in Online Marketing and Lead Generation
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Marketing Tip: Pay More Attention to Gen Xers
The National Association of REALTORS research experts continuously share housing data with insights that sometimes surprise or delight. Their recent look into Gen Xers did both – for me at least. Here are some terrific nuggets that I believe has one major takeaway. It seems all the attention has been on Millennials (or Gen Y), when perhaps we should be spending more time focusing on this ready-to-buy market, the Gen Xers. "Defined as buyers between 39 and 54 years old, they now make up the SECOND largest share of home buyers by generation, at 24 percent of all home buyers in 2018," NAR says. Some of the stats make this market a super target: The median age is 45 years old They were born between 1965 and 1979 56 percent have one or more child under 18 living at home 23 percent have two children under 18 living at home 65 percent are married Why do they buy? The American dream (desire to own a home or a larger one) and life happens: job relocation. The surprise and delightful part? The NAR says, "Gen Xers surpassed Younger Boomers this year and purchased the greatest share of multi-generational homes at 16 percent." That tells you a lot about this generation. Want some more reasons to focus your marketing on Gen Xers? Try these statistics: 88 percent buy DETACHED single-family homes, not condos or townhomes. Gen Xers make up the largest demographic group that purchases detached single-family homes. They have the highest median household income at $111,100. The reasons for the higher income: More double income couples. They purchased homes commensurate with their incomes. They bought the largest homes in square footage with a median of 2100 square feet. Ready for the drumroll? They bought the most expensive homes among all generations. Some more fresh data if you need extra motivation: Gen Xers are the most racially and ethnically diverse group of home buyers One in four identified as a race other than White/Caucasian This group has the highest percentage of home buyers that speak another language besides English Gen Xers also are very home-buying savvy. They purchased new homes, thus avoiding renovations and major repairs and replacements, and previously owned homes for a better overall value. They don't move far – can you say loyal repeat customer? The median distance from their previous home is 11 miles Gen Xers are the second most likely to buy in neighborhoods that are convenient to schools They are highly systematic, searching for a median of 10 weeks, viewing an average of 10 homes How do they buy? Most Gen Xers used savings and proceeds from a previous home sale for their down payment. Here's another fact most people missed. Many Gen Xers had to wait to buy due to too much debt. In fact, 24 percent of Gen Xers were delayed five years, and 30 percent were delayed more than five years from buying a home. When you look at just the buyers who said that saving for the down payment was the most challenging step in the buying process, 46 percent had credit card debt, and 21 percent had childcare expenses. "That's important," NAR says, "because it is more than other generations." And what about student debt? NAR found Gen Xers also averaged $30,000 in student debt, the highest median amount and equal to that of Older Millennials. But guess which group represents the largest number of home SELLERS? Gen Xers at 25 percent. And Gen X sellers are even better positioned financially: They had the highest median household income among sellers at $123,600. "Once again, Gen X sellers were the most racially and ethnically diverse of the generations," says NAR. Why do Gen Xers sell? No surprises in the list here: their homes were too small, a job relocation, a change in family situation, and they wanted to move to a better neighborhood. Here's one final reason to enjoy marketing to this group: Gen Xers canceled vacations more than other age groups to save for a home. They clearly are passionate and motivate to be homeowners. What's not to like about that? To view the original article, visit the WAV Group blog.
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DocuSign Deepens G Suite Integration
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Is Your Real Estate Seller Content Hitting the Mark?
The real estate seller is a prime prospect, as listings are known to be the best business building tool for real estate professionals. They also can feel like they're the targets of tons of marketing, emails, and repetitive advice. When you're pursued by a throng of real estate agents, it feels like a pack, and your attention is mostly in getting away; nobody stands out.
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GDPR and Its Effect on the US Real Estate Industry
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Who Is the End User of Real Estate Tech?
Are the tools you're offering to clients beneficial to you or to them? Are the frictions in the home buying and selling process a result of technology developed with the wrong end-user in mind? It's All About the Experience Why do people pay for fine dining? What about first class seats? A luxury car? It's about the experience. It is easy to see how Michelin star restaurants, airlines, and Italian car manufacturers understand that the ultimate customer is the diner, traveler and driver, respectively, of their business. Can we say the same for the most common real estate tools?
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eXp Realty Trains Its Agents on RPR
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Top Takeaways from U.S. Migration and Housing Analysis
A look at mover motivations and how to market properties accordingly Wouldn't it be nice to know exactly when and where homeowners were moving to and from? While the human race doesn't migrate the same way or with the same predictability as they used to (and for good reason), there are still tens of millions of Americans every year that pick up their lives and head for greener pastures.
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T3 Sixty Releases Their Industry Rankings
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Can't Miss Spring and Summer REALTOR Conferences and Expos for 2019
The best way to further your education and develop new real estate knowledge and skills is by attending local and national conferences. Ranging from $10 to few hundred dollars, chances are a real estate convention is happening near you in 2019. Here is a list of favorite events happening this spring and summer.
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Reflecting on the REAL Trends 500 Report
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How Brokerages Currently Structure Their Tech Is Limited
Technology inside the real estate space is finally catching up to address the complete needs of how the modern brokerage operates, allowing solutions and tools from broker-specific, team-specific and agent-specific perspectives all under one umbrella inside of a single solution. An insurgence of companies are laying claim to be an "all in one solution" or "complete broker platform" but what does it take to actually be one?
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On G-Suite: Google Data Studio Continues to Improve
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Upping Your Game with Real Estate Investor Content
What is so different about real estate investor website content? It's not as much about different topics as it is about a higher level of content treatment. Don't get offended, but some real estate investors are spending more hours in educating themselves each year than your Continuing Education requirements. They're using their money for courses and taking on risk, and the successful investors are constantly bulking up their knowledge base to reduce risk and increase profits. Do you really want to work with real estate investors? Perhaps you're busy enough that you don't have to. However, if you would like to build a client base of buyers and sellers who need very little hand-holding and bring you repeat business, then investors are desirable. Here are real estate website content hints to help you build an investor client niche.
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Why zavvie’s Offer Optimizer Is an iBuyer Game Changer
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How Do We Use Insights to Drive Action?
In today's data-rich and data-hungry world, we often get the message that data equals value. But does it? If the answer to my question is 42, well then—what should I go do with that information? Often, it's only after we've put in immense effort to arrive at the answer, "42," that we realize we didn't get the value we were looking for. What if, instead, we focused on insights—and the value of being able to act on those insights?
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Top 10 Most Popular Articles of March
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Let's Start Tipping Brokers
In the past, we've talked about the compensation model for brokers (here and here). As Redfin continues to grow, the fixed-fee/discount model is continually positioned as a superior one. There's REX and its $2,000 fee, Homie and its $1500 fee, and a slew of others who are hitching their wagon to the trend that fixed-fee aligns best with the incentives of the client: why pay more simply because you spend more? The issue, as is well documented, is that there is often a stigma with 'discount' that implies lack of quality services provided when compared to the traditional brokerage model. What drives consumers crazy with the latter is the fact the agent gets paid more the more you spend, not necessarily due to better service. Is there a third structure that would optimize the alignment of incentives? Yes: tipping.
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The Key to Real Estate Lead Generation: Custom Landing Pages
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eXp Realty Launches Safety Check for Workplace by Facebook
eXp Realty has announced its implementation of Safety Check for Workplace by Facebook. With this tool, eXp Realty now can better confirm who is safe or might need assistance in the event of a natural disaster or crisis. Now the company's more than 18,000 agents, brokers and staff across North America can more easily connect with eXp Realty staff who can provide help and valuable resources.
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REAL Trends 500 Report Ranks Nation's Largest Real Estate Firms
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Facebook Ad Changes for Real Estate: What Agents and Brokers Need to Know
Facebook is removing age, gender and ZIP Code targeting for housing, employment, and credit-related ads. It will also impose a 15-mile minimum radius for geographic ad targeting for housing ads. The Facebook ad platform offers an unrivaled rich, diverse, and deep level of ad targeting options no other advertising platform can provide. These changes will not impact those agents and brokers that have been effectively using them to date and may reduce blatant discrimination.
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Is It Time to Modernize YOUR Brand?
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Are You Asking for Website Feedback and Are You Getting It?
What resources do you have on your real estate website to solicit feedback from your site visitors? We're not talking about feedback to get positive comments to post for testimonials. The feedback we want here is specific information as to visitor experiences on the site and how it meets their needs.
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What's Wrong With Real Estate Tech?
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EXIT Realty Launches 'Real Leadership' Podcast
EXIT Realty Corp. International last week announced the launch of "Real Leadership: Ideas for the real estate professional," a podcast hosted by real estate industry veteran Bob McKinnon. Real Leadership provides a gathering place and forum for some of the top minds in the real estate industry to discuss all things leadership.
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What Real Estate Brokerages Need to Know about Gen Z
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Realogy Unveils New Real Estate Products, Programs and Tools During First-Ever Realogy Global Exchange
Realogy Holdings Corp. on Thursday concluded its first-ever Realogy Global Exchange (RGX), a weeklong gathering of more than 10,000 affiliated real estate professionals across the company's Better Homes and Gardens Real Estate, Century 21, Coldwell Banker, Coldwell Banker Commercial and ERA brands. The first-of-its-kind multi-brand real estate conference was held at the MGM Grand Las Vegas and featured a jampacked week of learning, networking, and celebrity guests and performances, as well as industry leading announcements, including new products, programs and tools.
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Tech Helpline Video Earns National Nomination
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Virtual Staging Service RealEZPhotoFix Announces Preferred Vendor Status with Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices
RealEZPhotoFix by VirtualTourCafe, an online virtual staging service, is now a preferred vendor of the Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices real estate brokerage network. RealEZPhotoFix helps real estate agents convert cold, empty, uninviting homes into beautifully staged, warm and inviting spaces using modern technology and skilled designers to create virtually staged digital media.
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CoreLogic and Homesnap Join Forces on Integrations to Matrix
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ERA Real Estate Launches IVR Enhancement to TextERA Platform
ERA Real Estate announced the addition of an IVR (interactive voice response) feature to the TextERA platform. TextERA, already hugely successful among ERA® affiliated brokers and agents, allows potential clients to immediately access the listing agent, pricing, video and details about the property within seconds by following prompts from their yard signs. TextERA's new IVR feature ensures that potential clients who still opt to make phone calls will also receive an immediate response.
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BHGRE Launches Social Media, Content Management and Publishing Platform
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This Website Is Not Secure!
Over the last few weeks, we have been researching web traffic for 177 of the most productive brokerages in sales volume and sides. While we are still diving deep into the study, there was one stat that gave me grave concern--the number of broker websites that are not secure for a customer to login or to complete a form. Securing information between a person who completes a registration or property inquiry form and then sends it to a website's server is achieved when you see the HTTPS before the web address. Example: https://www.WAVGroup.com – Communication between person browsing and the website server is secure http://www.WAVGroup.com – Communication between person browsing and the website server is NOT secure. Today, we do not even consider launching a website—with or without forms—without applying HTTPS website security. For years, Google has been pushing webmasters to apply HTTPS to secure websites. While this method has been a longtime practice, most companies were not adhering to it if their site did not have an e-commerce payment feature. That is, until Google started to highlight non-secure websites as "Not Secure" in Chrome back in July of 2018. Nowadays, the majority of web browsers display non-secure websites to people. During our research, we exposed that almost 25 percent of the 177 websites in the study were non-secured websites. These are websites from brokerages who are productivity leaders in sales volume, or sides, or both. Websites that included features like subscribing to a newsletter, submitting a property inquiry with a showing request, or a site registration and login form. Scary! Non-secure websites are open A simple scenario of creating a new username and password on a non-secure website makes it easy for others to see it. When the submit button is pushed, the browser sends the information to the website's hosting server in a form that is as readable as this article. There are plenty of tools to capture the communication into a file and query it to find the information. Unsecured Wi-Fi hotspots like in airports, restaurants, and public places make it easier for the bad guys to capture non-secured communication with these tools. Open hot spots make it imperative to secure websites to protect the consumer's privacy and security, leverage search engine optimization, and preserve the company's brand image. Consumers Privacy and Security The EU's General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR), California Consumer Privacy Act of 2018 (CCPA), and the discussions in the U.S. Congress on new federal regulation policy state that any compromise of a person's personal or private information must be disclosed. It will be difficult to remediate any violations of these laws when a company maintains non-secured websites. An item to note: While CCPA's accountability to the law is limited to only big companies, the U.S. House and Senate hearing was inclusive for every company and preemptive to state law. The federal government is reviewing how to align data security with a privacy policy. Search Engine Optimization (SEO) Search engines have been saying since 2014 that one signal they use for ranking websites is if they are using HTTPS. Google previously stated usage of HTTPS as a ranking signal is part of their algorithm. For these reasons, over the past few months, we've been running tests taking into account whether sites use secure, encrypted connections as a signal in our search ranking algorithms. We've seen positive results, so we're starting to use HTTPS as a ranking signal. Should we be concerned about this since Zillow, Realtor.com, and Trulia are winning this war? I absolutely think it makes a difference for longtail searches. These sometimes include typing in a property address or performing a search for "home for sale in X neighborhood for $250k." Company's brand image This one upsets me. Brand is extremely important to a company, and having a web browser say "Not Secure" is making a negative brand impression on the consumer. Let's take a look. Chrome: Here is an example when accessing a non-secure website in Chrome. When the consumer clicks on the information circle next to Not Secure, the following message is delivered. Brand message: We want your business, but we don't care enough to protect you from the bad guys! The next example shows how a secured website is treated by Chrome. The consumer is presented with a lock icon next to the URL address. All is okay with this company! Firefox: When accessing a non-secure website, Firefox only displays the information circle. But, look at what is displayed when the consumer clicks on the site. I like how Firefox displays a secured website. They present a bold green lock next to the web address. This aligns and signals the dedication of a brand that is concerned about my security and privacy. Safari: Apple's treatment of a secured website only displays a little lock next to the web address. It is okay, but nothing really bold. Apple's lack of treat treatment on non-secure websites is a little disheartening. As a consumer, you only know when the website is secured. I guess Apple thinks people are more aware of their browsing habits. Brave Browser: If you like a browser to test for SEO and easily select ad and tracking blockers, try Brave Browser. It has become a go-to for surfing the web. Brave treats non-secured websites similar to Firefox. A big red "Not Secure." Click on the Not Secure and the message is loud and clear: Summary All your website assets need to be set up with HTTPS. The cost to implement is minimal compared with not having the proper security in place to protect people, losing out on longtail SEO, and jeopardizing the company's brand with consumers. It all matters in today's business world. There really isn't any excuse for having a non-secure website. If your team is too busy, call us. We'll handle this for you and make the necessary phones calls to get the job done. One more item to check off your "to-do" list. To view the original article, visit the WAV Group blog.
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Brokers Need to Weaponize to Combat iBuyer
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Do You Know Your New vs. Returning Visitor Ratio?
Poring over real estate website analytics isn't usually that exciting. When we talk about website analytics, it should be important to a specific benefit for your site. What can we gain from understanding our new versus returning visitor ratio?
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RE/MAX and Redfin Announce Exclusive Referral Relationship in U.S. and Canada
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3 Tips to Help Your Agents Work Effectively from Home
Modern technology makes it easier than ever for employees to work from home—and that's especially true for already-mobile workforces like real estate agents. For many, that's a good thing. It isn't exactly unheard of for agents to find themselves too busy to head into the office on a daily basis. And that's exactly why home offices have become so popular. Especially for newer agents, it can be hard to make the mental shift to working from home. So how can you help them become as productive as possible outside of an office environment? Here are a few tips to get them started.
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RPR Expands Commercial Focus in 2019
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Zillow Is Already the Google of Real Estate
Zillow continues to make waves in the real estate industry as the company has recently: Acquired a mortgage lender Expanded its Homes division and iBuyer presence Continued its foray into the rental market The company that was once feared as disrupting the entire industry got off to a slower than anticipated start, but is now putting together the pieces to bump up the blood pressure and heart-rates of industry incumbents.
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12 Ways to Increase Your Real Estate Agency's Efficiency
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Crye-Leike Website Continues to Garner Top of the Line Industry Awards
Crye-Leike Real Estate Services' website has received the 2019 Website Quality Certification and Best Internet Lead Management and Response Time award from Leading Real Estate Companies of the World, a selective global community of more than 565 independent real estate firms. The award can be added to an abundant list of the website's achievements, including recently receiving the Top 20 Websites and Top 10 Listing Services in the Country awards from Real Trends, a Trusted Source of news, analysis, and information on the residential brokerage industry since 1987. The Crye-Leike website was noted for having the best practices related to customer service and client respect and internet lead management. Under the leadership of Gurtej Sodhi, Chief Information and Operations Officer and Angie Vandenbergh, Director of Software Development, the Crye-Leike website has won awards for design and performance year-after-year for the past decade. "Winning the award this year for the best customer service and internet lead management crowns the previous award for the most effective SEO strategy that makes it easy for consumers to find the website, with competitive positioning on popular search engines, unique content focusing on key markets, effective incorporation of social media and other tactics. It underscores our commitment to ensuring that we are providing our customers with the quality of service they expect and deserve," said Sodhi. The Crye-Leike Information Technology team spent countless hours during 2018 working to make the website the best it can be. Even after the website was honored in the Top 10 and 20 lists from Real Trends, the Crye-Leike team continued to make improvements to the website, leading to a nomination for the Website Quality Certification. The hard work put forth by Sodhi's team resulted in Crye-Leike's website to be set at a higher standard than the 120 other companies that were nominated. CEO and Co-Founder Harold Crye takes pride in the advancement of the website and its offerings, stating that, "With over 500,000 listings of homes that are updated every 12 minutes to ensure that the most comprehensive, current, and accurate information is provided to the millions of visitors to the Crye-Leike website, our online presence is an extremely important channel for us to deliver exceptional and unmatched value to our customers." For more information about Crye-Leike Real Estate Services, please visit the award-winning website at www.crye-leike.com.
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The Concierge Approach to Home Buyer Services
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Boise RESO Spring Tech Summit Is Headed for a Sellout
Over 225 attendees have already registered for the RESO Spring Technology Summit, "From Broker Innovation to Web APIs: Blue Chip Tech in Boise," set for April 29 to May 2. We're fast closing in on a sellout six weeks before the event, so if you are thinking about attending – or bringing someone with you – now is the time to act! RESO conferences have a well-earned reputation for offering exceptional content and incomparable networking opportunities. They not only attract some of the industry's top decision makers and brightest tech minds, but our Summit schedule allows for people to spend time together, meeting face-to-face. RESO summits like this one are also are unique because space is limited: it's another reason why we keep selling out. The "Blue Chip" Tech Summit Boise is well-known internationally for its blue football field — a.k.a. "Smurf Turf" — and home of the Boise State University Broncos. But Boise is also a home for major operations of leading blue chip technology firms, including HP and Micron. In November, USA Today reported Boise as a "Top 25 Most Innovative City in the US." The lineup of topics and speakers for our RESO Summit are equally stellar. Among the Spring Technology Summit highlights: Auto-Populating Green Data Into Listings: The Regional Multiple Listing Service (RMLS™) was the first MLS in the US to add green fields in the spring of 2007. In the fall of 2017, RMLS became the first MLS to auto-populate Home Energy Scores from a real-time data service, Earth Advantage's Green Building Registry API. Hear how the City of Portland's Home Energy Score program jump-started the effort and got data flowing in a way that is easy for listing agents and energy assessors. Speakers: David Heslam, Executive Director at Earth Advantage Institute and Greg Moore, Chief Technology Officer at RMLS, who also Chairs the RESO Research & Development Workgroup. Sí, Hablamos Espanol: A discussion on implementing the Data Dictionary in Spanish: The latest version of the RESO Data Dictionary 1.7 provides Spanish-language capabilities. Moderator: Amy Gorce, Principal, Business Development at CoreLogic. Panelists: Jonelle Simmons, Team Lead Product Management Group at My Florida Regional MLS (MFRMLS); Michael Mckay, MLS IT Coordinator at Greater El Paso Association of REALTORS® and Greg Moore, Chief Technology Officer at RMLS™. Mapping MISMO to RESO Data Dictionary: MISMO® is the standards development body for the mortgage industry. MISMO and RESO are both making strides for standards development in the mortgage and real estate industries. Dr. Harigopal has mapped the RESO Data Dictionary to MISMO and will share his work with the audience in this exciting development. Speaker: Dr. Umesh Harigopal, Co-Founder & CEO, PropMix.io LLC Everything You Need to Know to Succeed with Web APIs: Learn why APIs are the way forward for real estate, the problems they solve, opportunities they create and how to implement them today. Speakers: Developers and API experts from the Zillow Group. The Unstoppable Power of Blockchain: Making Data Transparent, Provable and Immutable: A dive into the impact of blockchain on real estate and what is happening today. ULedger Inc is a local Boise company. Speaker: Peter Anewalt, Co-Founder / Chief Operating Officer at ULedger Inc. Decide the future of real estate, in person Another huge highlight in Boise will be the in-person RESO Workgroup meetings. This is where volunteers can meet face-to-face and put in the hard work it takes to get standards in place to advance the future of our business. During the three days of the Spring Tech Summit, the Broker Advisory Group, along with seven of the eight RESO Workgroups (which meet monthly by conference call), will meet in person. These Workgroups include Cross-Platform Interoperability, Data Dictionary, Distributed Ledger, Internet Tracking, Research and Development, Universal Property Identification and Web API (formerly Transport). The preliminary conference agenda schedule of Workgroup meeting times is online here. Great value, good times Finally, RESO Conferences also are known for their affordability. RESO is an independent, not-for-profit trade organization with limited staff and primarily depends on volunteer support. That's why we rely on sponsors to help us keep our conferences both affordable and fun! For this year's Technology Summit, our local host, Intermountain MLS, is a Platinum Sponsor, along with realtor.com and Zillow Group. FBS, CoreLogic, Centralized Showing Service, Inc. and Auth0 are all Gold Sponsors. DynaConnections Corporation, Lone Wolf and ShowingTime are Silver Sponsors. CRS Data, remine, RPR | Realtor Property Resource, RE/MAX and Austin Board of REALTORS® are all Bronze Sponsors. All of this incredible support allows us not only to host amazing after-hours receptions, but your low-cost Summit registration fee includes a full breakfast for three days of the event, two days of lunches, and evening receptions that include food and drinks, hosted by our top Sponsors. If you are not a RESO member, there's no better place to understand the value of a RESO membership than to join us in Boise. If you are a RESO member and haven't yet registered, it's time to go online now and reserve your space before we are all filled up. It looks to be a blue chip event in every sense in Boise! To register online go to https://www.reso.org/spring-mtg.    
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Acquisition Hell: The Tech Investment
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The Big Data Picture: The Bird's Eye View of Your Market
The Buck Doesn't Stop There You likely understand that Big Data is really a very (VERY) large collection of data points surrounding all sorts of world events. Mostly, we consider these to be consumer actions such as purchases or even sales inquiries, which nearly every product or service provider can use to better target their end consumers with offers or other pertinent opportunities. But all too often, we stop here when describing Big Data. Why? Well, for the most part, people see that alone as an immediate value proposition and consider that the end of the conversation. But are what the other advantages surrounding the sorts of business insight that Big Data can provide? If you're intrigued, then you might be interested in learning more about the Big Data picture.
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Thoughts on the Incoming Class Action Lawsuit Filed Against Realtors
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On Brokerage Profitability and Sustainability: Where Does Technology Fit In?
Recently, I was reading an article from REM that discussed the change in real estate that seems to come with its own Fight Club clause: the declining profitability of the real estate brokerage. Essentially, the article (titled "Brokerage profitability and sustainability," if you wanted to read it) posits that while we tend to discuss the paradigm shifts that have happened in the industry over the last few decades—from a brokerage focus, to an agent focus, to a tech and consumer focus—we never seem to talk about how the net-to-office revenue share for brokerages has taken a hit each time. So why does the real estate industry never talk about it?
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Stop Focusing on GCI and Start Focusing on Success-Driven Activities
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Instagram TV: Should You Jump In?
Social platforms for content creators are constantly changing. With so many options coming and going, it can be difficult to know if you should jump on board with a particular new offering, such as IGTV. We'll help break down a few positives and negatives to help you determine if IGTV is right for you.
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