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CoreLogic and Homesnap Join Forces on Integrations to Matrix
CoreLogic announced that it has entered into an agreement with Homesnap, provider of the top-rated agent mobile productivity platform, to offer their mutual CoreLogic and Homesnap customers advanced integrations. These integrations between Matrix, CoreLogic's multiple listing software system, and Homesnap Pro will include full synchronization of contacts, prospects, saved searches and favorites between the two platforms, edit listing functionality, and ultimately, the ability to add a new listing.
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Brokers Need to Maintain Branding in the MLS Systems
MLSs solved a long-term problem for brokers and agents many years ago. Given that they had the property data in the MLS already, they enabled brokers and agents to create property flyers and other marketing materials from the MLS system. These systems are becoming more powerful tools that support the needs of most agents and brokers for flyer marketing or the like. There are literally hundreds of report layouts in an MLS system. At NAR Midyear, Rapattoni launched a new version of their custom report writer.
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CoreLogic Enhances Trestle for Brokers and Matrix Clients
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Changes to Flexmls Listing Syndication Options Coming This Week
Attention, brokers in markets that use Flexmls: your listing syndication options are about to change. FBS, the creators of Flexmls, are rolling out an update to the program's syndication options on Jan. 31. But don't worry—the update only changes language, not functionality. Starting Wednesday, references to syndication as "listing export" will be relabeled as "listing distribution." So where exactly will these new changes appear in the Flexmls system? Here are three major places within Flexmls that will be impacted by the update.
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Upstream: First Impressions from the Field
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What's ahead for Trestle in 2017?
Trestle Subscriptions Trestle continues to pick up steam, and CoreLogic reports that 90 MLSs, representing over a half-million members, have subscribed to Trestle. If your organization has not subscribed to Trestle yet, please consider doing so today. There is no cost or ongoing obligation to sign up and review Trestle in detail. This is a great time to achieve RESO certification and position your organization to benefit from the opportunity Trestle represents. What exactly can Trestle do for you? The initial benefits of subscribing are outlined below. Data Dictionary Certification CoreLogic® helps maintain RESO Data Dictionary Certification for Trestle subscribers that are members of RESO. If you are an existing subscriber, CoreLogic has been working with RESO to re-certify the data dictionary on your behalf. Re-certification is processed automatically as each anniversary approaches, and this year resulted in an upgrade to 1.4 Silver designation. This is provided to RESO members with a Trestle subscription at no additional cost and without any intervention on your part. To check your certification status, please visit reso.org. If you are a new Trestle subscriber and a member of RESO, CoreLogic will help to secure Data Dictionary Certification on your behalf.
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Black Knight Launches Paragon MLS for Brokers
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How Employee-Owned FBS Became a '35-Year Old Startup'
In our "Moving the Needle" series (see our previous article), RE Technology goes behind the scenes for a closer look at the companies and people in the MLS world that are using innovative approaches to help change the future of real estate. We went to Fargo, North Dakota to see what how FBS (creators of the Flexmls system) and its leader, Michael Wurzer, are "Moving the Needle." In the world of MLS system providers, there is almost a complete bifurcation of two camps: one group of companies that are family-owned and operated, and one group of companies that are owned by shareholders, operated by managers and are publicly traded in the stock market. One MLS systems provider that doesn't fit into either camp is FBS, inventor of Flexmls. FBS is 100% owned by its employees. Michael Wurzer, CEO of FBS, who is well known for his business acumen, says that the FBS his father founded was once family owned like many of the smaller MLS system firms, until it made its strategic pivot to become an ESOP (Employee Stock Ownership Plan). That's when the fortunes of FBS would change forever. Rapid Growth secured by stability In just the last three years, Flexmls by FBS has catapulted its way into becoming one of real estate's "Top 3" MLS systems. FBS has nearly tripled in size to serve over 150 MLSs and 190,000 agents. What's truly remarkable is the fact that FBS has been around for more than 35 years. According to Wurzer, FBS is poised to be around for another 35+ years, and he attributes his confidence in FBS's continued longevity to employee ownership.
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A Look at Clareity's New Broker Dashboard
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Why Brokers Get Upset With Their MLS
Some of our time at WAV Group involves supporting brokers and their technology vendors at problem solving. Yesterday we encountered an issue with the data feed to a vendor. The vendor claimed that everything was working. The broker knew this was not the case. So we got on a call and did a screen share to match the listings in their system to the listings in the MLS. The marketing staff member for the broker is not a savvy expert of using the MLS. But the broker does pay associate fees every month, so she has access and she goes to training. In reality, she only logs in a few times a year to handle situations like this. The vendor had no clue how to search in the MLS as they never see inside. They can look at the data feed, but they cannot match that up with the MLS. WAV Group's experiences helping MLSs choose their vendors and years of helping MLS vendors with their technology road map enable us to span the bridge. But what struck me in that moment is how overly complicated the MLS has become. And I don't know why. Any competent business professional should be able to look at the MLS system and operate it with the skills carried from using other software applications and online applications. Our task yesterday involved pulling up all of the broker listings and sorting them in order based upon the last time they were updated. It took about five minutes, and we pulled it off. The brokerage has multiple offices so it involved delving into office ID lookups, writing each ID down, and creating a string search. It is the best way to do it in this particular system. (I will send a bottle of wine to the first person who sends me an email with the correct name of the MLS system).
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Midyear Wrap-up: Portal War?
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Is the MLS In Danger?
I do not really know Alain Pinel as well as I would like to. He sold the company that bears his name and pursued other interests. He is back now and runs the Luxury division of Intero Real Estate, one of Alain Pinel Real Estate's chief competitors in San Jose, along with Coldwell Banker and others. What I do know of Alain Pinel I like and respect a lot. I have a similar level of respect for the maverick efforts of Intero, who used passion combined with technology (AgentAchieve) to launch a powerful brokerage in a very competitive marketplace. In a blog post today, Alain Pinel asked – Is the MLS in Danger? He says: There are signs suggesting that the MLS is going through some mid-life crisis. [Non MLS transactions are] depriving most local REALTORS® of the ability to objectively judge values and trends. Listing agents who bring only a few of their peers in the loop, can nevertheless achieve the objective: the sale. They may even argue that the fact that they cooperate with only a few creates some urgency among the select group. We must respect the seller's decision to withhold a listing from the MLS. [The MLS] has its own agenda. You may wonder if the tail (the MLS) is not wagging the dog (the Broker). One thing is sure; the tail (The MLS) is now bigger than the dog (the Broker). Many brokers think that the MLS is now eating their soup, somewhat competing with their business, and too zealous regarding new constraining rules. MLSs which offer all their members a vast menu of state-of-the-art apps which compete with similar services that the finest companies created, at great cost, to differentiate themselves from other brokers. More and more syndicated sites and real estate related service providers, which feed off of the MLS, progressively divert the consumer from our sites to theirs and capture value-pieces of our business.
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Putting the Broker in Charge of the MLS Service Offerings
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Listing Input Forms Rise Again
If you are like me, you recognize that it was not very many years ago that agents relied on completing a listing input form as a primary method to submit a listing to the MLS. Indeed, in many markets today, MLSs still allow agents to fax in their listing, or broker administrators enter the listing for the agent. This is all happening at a time when many agents are clamoring for MLS listing input using their mobile device or tablet. In a tale of new school meets old school, Instanet is providing a new listing input service; the very service many MLS system developers have failed to deliver – a dynamic, mobile, listing input sheet. Instanet is an online forms company, so for them, capturing data on a form is an easy routine. Moreover, the listing input form is only an extension of other forms that agents already use in daily practice, so the learning curve is shallow.
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iPad Is What Agents Want For Christmas
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How MLSs and MLS Vendors are Failing Brokers
Let me begin by saying that the remarks that follow do not apply to all MLSs. There are many that do an excellent job at servicing the data needs of brokers. The focus of this article is to talk about some of the common failures seen by WAV Group consultants trying to help brokers fix complex data problems. There is a fundamental understanding of the MLS that has been lost. Although MLS systems provide excellent services through the MLS software, many are failing at providing data services to the brokers and agents to power the many applications that live outside the MLS system. This failure needs to be addressed across the industry. At the heart of the failure is the resistance to adopt the most current version of RETS. The systems that power a brokerage probably will work fine with whatever RETS standard or FTP standard you offer if that brokerage is only in one MLS. If the brokerage belongs to more than one MLS, chaos ensues. Enterprise brokerages will be defined by brokerages that participate in more than one MLS. Most enterprise brokerages have a laundry list of technology applications that rely on MLS data from a variety of technology vendors. The brokerage goal is to apply a layer of consumer, agent, and business services that rides on top of multiple MLSs. The current broker technology ecosystem was outlined perfectly by WAV Group partner Michael Audet in a paper he authored called "The Shift in Real Estate Technology." (Review the webinar on this topic and download slides here.) View a diagram of the architecure of an enterprise brokerage on the next page.
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Follow the Leader: Shelley Specchio
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Conversations About the MLS Industry, Creating Software, and Employee Ownership
I'm at the MLS Cloud conference in Houston, where Bob Hale did not propose creation of a National Association of MLSs, but I think the idea is pretty interesting. The topic has been raised because the NAR has been creating some pretty crazy policies related to MLS lately, leaving many to wonder if MLSs themselves should be more in charge of their own destiny.  
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