Long Island Board of REALTORS and MLSLI

Buildings of the Day
Long Island Board of REALTORS and MLSLI. Best bagels in the world!
I hear Joe Mottola, long time CEO of the Long Island Board is retiring.
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Building of the Day

Buildings are part of the culture of our REALTOR Organizations, which is only right, since we are all about the real estate 

Brunswick – Glynn County Board of REALTORS (GA)

The last time I was at this Board of REALTORS was in April of 2004.

Notice too that some of our local REALTOR organizations refer to themselves as “Boards.” Many changed to “Associations” over the last 30 years or so, but I often still refer to my local association as “the Board.”

Do you own your REALTOR Building, or is your Association leasing?

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Education & Training Sales and Selling

Real Estate Professionals – Estimating Expenses

Awhile back, Kathleen Allardyce, a member of our RealTalk Community asked:
“I’m wondering if anyone has a formula they use for estimating expenses or overhead to calculate:
Gross Annual Commissions – Expenses = Net Annual Commission. Is there a percent of commissions you can use for estimating?
A dollar figure per side? Can you use an estimating figure, or do you need to use hard dollars for desk fees, etc, then add a dollar figure for selling a listing and working with a buyer?”
Ardell DellaLoggia, a successful real estate veteran from the Northwest responded:
“I use an estimate based on my own reality. I take all of last year’s “Buyer Agent” fees actually received, deducting expenses directly related to that sale. An example would be if you paid for a home warranty or gave them a closing gift. Add up the total “net” commission and divide by the number of
Buyer Agent Transactions. Do the same on the listing side deducting that house’s specific expenses. Example would be sign up/sign down fees, advertising costs, not the lockox as that is an overhead/inventory item.
Only deduct the specific cost of advertising this house, not personal promotion advertising or other houses grouped into the ad. Take the total net commission and divide by the number of listings.
I do my plan based on half of my transactions/sides being Buyer Agent and the other half being Listings Sold. YMMV I round down the final number to account for buyers who don’t buy and listings that don’t sell. If my buyer agent $ is $4,450 I count that as $4,000 for planning. If the listing side is $3,450, I count that as $3,000 for planning.
Then I take the total number of sides from last year and up it to wherever I want it to be next year. Say that is 40 total transactions. 20 X $3,000 plus 20 X $4,000 equals my annual goal.
Then I do the plan, strategy, action list to meet the goals, etc into two separate plans. One, for achieving the listing goals; and then a second for achieving the buyer agent goals. They overlap a bit where I count on meeting buyers from my listings.
General overhead like buying enough lockboxes to keep a stocked inventory, I do not count at all when doing my business plan as eventually that becomes a constant. If you are a newer agent, these things are one time “start up”
I have taken some classes lately on planning, but the “new ideas” didn’t fit my business model. This one still works for me.”
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This might be helpful to new agents…anything you can add?

Since the average term of homeownership can be somewhere between 5 to 8 years, realize that everyday is a marketing day and the easiest people to reach (and those most inclined to listen to your message) are those you already know.

Go through your personal address book. Call, mail, or e-mail everyone in your personal address book to let them know that you are now in the real estate business and that you would love to hear their advice and of course, if they know anyone who is interested in buying or selling, that you would appreciate if they mention your name. Don’t be shy about this. Don’t feel like you can’t “impose” on your friends. If your friends won’t help you, who will? Ask if it is ok for you to give them an update on your progress after your first year.
Learn the art and science of sales. There have been many good books written on the subject.
Understand persuasion and how it fits into your business.
Think of yourself as a “helper” (no one wants to be “sold” something). After all, you are helping people with what is usually their most valuable asset, their home.
To be effective in sales, you need the following:
Product Knowledge
Sales and Communication Skills
Access to Potential Clients
Perseverance and Commitment
And let’s not forget….
Enough money (capital) to get you through start up and the lean times.
Pay attention to the future…as someone once told me…”that is where you will spend the rest of your life.”
And keep the flyer box full 🙂
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MLS (Multiple Listing Service) Online Sales Paradigm Shift

How Listings on the Internet All Began

If you are interested in the true story from someone who was there and part of the conversation and the execution…

The REAL Realtor Dot Com and Rin Story…

From the beginning…before listing appeared on the Internet in any quantity.

It was June of 1995 and there was no REALTOR Dot com and REALTORS were the first industry to place their inventory online for public display. It didn’t happen all by itself…there was an “Advance Team.”

There is a long story behind the makings of REALTOR DOt Com and all of the money, politics, and even some wrong doing. I had a front row seat to the entire affair as the only REALTOR Consultant on the RIN Team.

This is a “Marketing Thoughts” piece I wrote to the RIN Team for placing Listings on The Internet in June of 1995. I called it National Advertising and this was the first document created for NAR on this subject.

I don’t think that Bob Goldberg had yet joined the RIN Team. When he arrived, he was my responsibility to train.


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MLS (Multiple Listing Service)

Glide Partners with the Oakland Berkeley Association of REALTORS® to Provide Their Members with Free Access to Glide’s Innovative System for Completing the TDS, SPQ, AVID and other Disclosure Forms Securely Online

San Francisco, CA – July 17, 2018 – Glide, a provider of real estate software solutions that empowers agents with easy-to-use, secure, and convenient new ways to complete real estate transactions online, today announced a partnership with the Oakland Berkeley Association of REALTORS® that immediately enables Association members to use the company’s popular Glide Forms application. Glide Forms is distributed through a partnership with zipLogix and is embedded within the zipForm® Plus transaction management system. Beginning today, agents who are Oakland Berkeley Association of REALTORS® members can access Glide Forms free of charge via zipForm Plus.


When a real estate agent’s client sells their home, the owner is required to accurately complete and submit a number of deal-critical disclosure forms. As agents know, this means that sellers are presented with forms containing complex legal language that often proves confusing and challenging to complete. As a result, these documents are commonly submitted with incomplete or inaccurate information, causing frustration and needless delays in the transaction process.


Glide Forms addresses these legacy issues through its TurboTax-style wizard that home sellers can use to accurately, quickly, and painlessly complete required paperwork – such as the

Transfer Disclosure Statement and other California disclosure forms – through an intuitive all-digital interface. The wizard asks home sellers questions about their properties in plain language, making it clear how to disclose important details through user-friendly, conversational interactions. In addition to eliminating the frustration of often-confusing forms and delays due to missed questions, unreadable handwriting, and other common issues, Glide Forms allows agents to track their clients’ progress and digitally receive the finished forms as soon as they are completed. The purpose-built solution is also optimized for mobile use.


Our members lives are in constant motion from the moment their feet hit the ground and as their Association it’s important that we continually strive to bring them tools that will help them be more efficient. Glide is a tool that will do just that for our members and with no additional cost. Our members will be able to save time which in turn will benefit their business.” said DaVina Lara, CEO, Oakland Berkeley Association of REALTORS®.


“We are thrilled to have the opportunity to partner with OBAR to offer Glide Forms free of charge to its more than 2,200 members.” said Sebastian Tonkin, CEO, Glide. “The East Bay is already a complex market for residential transactions, and so we’re excited to simplify this critical step of disclosure preparation for OBAR members.”


About Glide

Glide provides software solutions that helps real estate agents simplify their transaction process, reduce risk, and close more deals with less effort. The company’s first release, Glide Forms, is integrated into zipForm® Plus and allows California home sellers to complete required disclosure forms electronically for the first time ever.

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Update on The Jim Harrison Op-Ed published May 9, 2018

For those of us who know Jim Harrison, the Op Ed that ran on Inman was a very odd piece.


The sequence of events:

Op-Ed piece critical of NAR published on Inman

NAR response

Jim Harrison Retraction

Below reposted from FaceBook, response from a broker leader in California, Jeff Barnett.

(I am curious to know who the consultant was, so I know never to hire him/her).

Good morning. Sharing this message from Jeff Barnett with his permission and at his request:

“You may have seen an Op Ed piece this week on Inman News from Jim Harrison of MLSListings regarding NAR. It was not written by Jim or approved by Jim. It was written by an outside consultant hired to write an issues paper for our visit to NAR next week.

“Obviously this outside consultant expressed his own vindictive views of NAR. It was leaked to Inman News and Inman News is aware of this.You will soon see retractions coming out across the blogosphere.

“We are Embarrassed for all the trouble this has caused Bob Goldberg and our great leadership team and we apologize. Please Share this message!”


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Artificial Intelligence Bots Data Licensing Major Real Estate Portals MLS (Multiple Listing Service) Risk Management

Is Data Scraping Legal?

Is Data Scraping Legal?

The question of Data Scraping has been a controversial issue for a long time. The year 2017 witnessed several important developments focused on interpretations of the Computer Fraud and Abuse Act (CFAA) in separate cases involving Craigslist and Linkedin.

What is Data Scraping? Also known as Web Scraping, it is the automated method for extracting large amounts of data from a website, often through the use of Bots.

One of the weapons used against Data Scraping is the Computer Fraud and Abuse Act (CFAA), a federal cybersecurity law enacted in 1986 as an amendment to existing computer fraud law (18 U.S.C. Sec. 1030) which had been included in the Comprehensive Crime Control Act of 1984. The CFAA prohibits accessing a computer without authorization, or in excess of authorization if any. It is designed to protect private password mainframe computers.

In Craigslist, Inc v. Instamotor, Inc, Craigslist claimed that Instamotor scraped Craigslist content to create listings on its own service and sent unsolicited emails to Craigslist users for promotional purposes to sell used cars. Craigslist has become very aggressive in pursuing claims against hackers based on breach of contract (terms of service TOS), violation of the CFAA, and the CAN-SPAM Act (disguised emails).

The case settled in favor of Craigslist for $31 million in a Stipulated Judgment and Permanent Injunction Aug. 3, 2017.

The next case involved a start up company named hiQ, a member of Linkedin (and subject to Linkedin’s TOS). What hiQ did was to scrape information from Linkedin user profiles and use the scraped data to create workforce data products that it sells to employers. Actually, hiQ tracks user generated changes to profiles in areas like work history and skills, and then uses the data to offer two products, one that helps companies identify employees who are at risk of being recruited away, and another product that helps companies map the skillsets of their employees.

The California U.S. District Court held that hiQ can use web scapers to collect information from PUBLIC Linkedin data. The Key factor in the Linkedin case was that hiQ could access and scrape only public data that was not protected by any authorization technique (such as password protected).  Interestingly, the Court granted a preliminary injunction to prohibit Linkedin from employing electronic blocking techniques designed to prevent hiQ from scraping information from public linkedin profiles.

Linkedin has appealed to the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals. So we need to wait and see whether data scraping of public data is legal. Still, there is a change in the legal landscape with respect to Data Scraping. Website owners will need to examine how they control or limit access to content they collect from users.

Source: Webinar from https://www.ftcguardian.com/ – I am a charter member

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Copyright Data Licensing IDX (Internet Data Exchange) MLS (Multiple Listing Service) NAR

Competition in Residential Real Estate

In  2018 the Information Technology and Innovation Foundation (ITIF) organized a panel discussion about the challenges and opportunities to increase competition in the real estate industry through technological innovation.

Participating in the panel were lawyers from NAR, the FTC, and the DOJ, as well as Brian Larson counsel for CMLS. The only non-lawyer in the group was Ben Clark, former broker for eRealty and noted data expert in the real estate industry. It is interesting to hear the broker’s perspective, so we will highlight some of those discussions.

Video of the 90 minute session is available here.  

One of the key points  from Ben Clark was the need for MLSs to remove any barriers to MLS participants and subscribers receiving access to relevant MLS listing data. This is based on the fact that real estate professionals have the following fiduciary duty under the NAR Code of Ethics Standard of Practice 11-1,  “When REALTORS® prepare opinions of real property value or price they must

  • be knowledgeable about the type of property being valued;
  • have access to the information and resources necessary to formulate an accurate opinion, and
  • be familiar with the area where the subject property is located UNLESS lack of any of these is disclosed to the party requesting the opinion in advance.”

You can find some of Ben Clark’s remarks at the following times of the video:

  • 5:55 to 8:08;
  • 35:40 to 39:50;
  • 46:30 to 49:42;
  • 1:03:40 to 1:06:50.
    There is also a discussion on MLS Copyright at 1:11:25 to 1:14:05, with a supplemental blog post by Mitch Skinner Click Here

Finally, for an excellent summary of the history of MLS from Brian Larson, go to the video at 27:00 to 32:30

This November marks the expiry date of  the Consent Decree in the NAR/DOJ lawsuit 10 years ago. Mark your calendar for June 5, 2018 when the FTC and DOJ will hold a relevant joint Workshop to discuss “What’s New in Residential Real Estate Brokerage Competition” – Click Here

Here is the entire panel discussion from the June 5, 2018 Workshop:

Part 1 — https://www.ftc.gov/news-events/audio-video/video/whats-new-residential-real-estate-brokerage-competition-part-1


Part 2 – https://www.ftc.gov/news-events/audio-video/video/whats-new-residential-real-estate-brokerage-competition-part-2


Part 3 – https://www.ftc.gov/news-events/audio-video/video/whats-new-residential-real-estate-brokerage-competition-part-3

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Domain Names Dot REALTOR NAR Uncategorized

Dot Brands hit the market

Several recent articles have focused on the increase use of the new Top-level Domains by brands, referred to as Dot Brands.

A multi-million dollar brand name that should be noted is the Dot REALTOR Top-Level Domain. Last month NAR made the switch to www.nar.realtor away from www.realtor.org   Check it out.

Tony Kirsch, head of professional services at Neustar, in an article discussing the progress of Dot Brands, “2016: The Year That Was in .brands TLDs”, wrote:

“While some astonishing progress has been made in 2016, the .brand movement is by no means complete. I personally am thrilled to be heading into 2017 with such momentum behind us and I’m optimistic about the continued growth of the .brands space in the New Year.

Already this year we’ve been surprised by the creative approaches many brands have taken and we’re looking forward to seeing which companies will use 2017 to take .brands to places we haven’t considered before.

Perhaps 2017 will be the year in which mainstream advertising strategies adopt .brands as a unique, memorable call-to-action and the marketers of the world find significant value in creating more direct, meaningful customer relationships through smarter digital marketing.

With almost all .brands now added to the Internet, the game is on. Which brands will emerge as frontrunners and truly revolutionize the way we look at digital?

I don’t know the answer, but I sure am excited to find out.”

Some major launches noted were:

Google – consolidating news and updates from over 19 of Google’s corporate and product blogs, ‘The Keyword’ was launched at www.blog.google  in October, joining the internet giant’s retail domain name sales play at www.domains.google

Canon – one of a handful of ‘full transitions’ to .brands, the company’s global site is now at www.global.canon , with the existing canon.com domain redirecting to this awesome new site.

As well as: Dell, Deloitte, Chanel, Microsoft, Audi, Cisco, Fage, Orange, Komatsu, Shell, Mini, Lidl, Linde, Bradesco, Hotmail, NTT, UOL, Pictet, Windows, Bloomberg, Sky, Fox, Emerck, Weir and BNP Paribas are just a handful of the other organizations with live .brand websites. http://www.circleid.com/posts/20161219_2016_the_year_that_was_in_brands_tlds/

According to another article  “Brand Top-Level Domain and Brand Value” by Guiillaume Pahud,

“Brands are an asset and have a value for organizations, as they generate revenue: Customers are happy to pay a premium for a brand they love. They will show a preference and be loyal to a brand they trust.

Some brands have decided, in 2012, that their name should actually also become the global name for all of the digital assets, and registered their brand name as a Top-Level Domain. Google, for instance, located their new blog platform, where they post news and information, on the domain blog.google. That is a typical example of a branded top-level domain.”


Realtors can acquire their own Dot Realtor TLD by going online to www.claim.realtor — the first year is free. If ordering multiple domains or years, use the word discount as the promo code for a 10% saving.

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