Category : REALTOR.COM


Zillow, Move, Curt and Errol – More

Zillow, Errol, Curt_Page_1 Zillow, Errol, Curt_Page_2 Zillow, Errol, Curt_Page_3 Zillow, Errol, Curt_Page_5 Zillow, Errol, Curt_Page_6


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Data Licensing MLS (Multiple Listing Service) REALTOR.COM

Brad Inman says, and we concur.

I posted the following on March 18, which eludes to Brad’s quote on March 19.

I posted:

Talk of APIs and providing MLS data to vendors through APIs is something that has been in discussion for about 8 years, and may be on the horizon. Watch for some major changes that no one expects…creating an “ecosystem of innovation” may be closer than we think.

To which Brad elaborated:

“Speaking of RPR, the big data venture that has been costing NAR about $20 million a year is cooking up a new business model. RPR’s current mission: “The sole purpose is providing Realtors with the data they need to meet the demands of their clients. There are no third-party investors or silent partners.” Admirable.

But RPR’s revenue projections are not working out according to plan, say some insiders. So it is being forced to a make a pivot in its business model, which is common in the startup world. This is the alleged pivot: Encourage young, smart software developers to create lightweight front-end MLS tools to hook into the RPR data set and deliver a competitive alternative to the handful of MLS vendors who (some observers say) still operate with clunky 1990s software.

Now, like any worthwhile pivot, you must go back to your investors (in this case, NAR) and ask for another $6 million to make the switcheroo. Everyone could save face with this scenario, and NAR indirectly helps News Corp. fend off Zillow as the Seattle firm further sloshes around in the MLS pond.

Why is this important? If you are an agent or broker, you are paying the bills for all of these ventures one way or another.”

I was trying to be more discreet.

Inman News

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Listing Syndication Major Real Estate Portals REALTOR.COM

Listhub ending data feed to both Zilllow and Trulia

Zillow and Trulia both knew that this would take place at some point. If people want to lay the blame on realtor Dot com, they should spread it equally to Trulia and Zillow.

I was having conversations about this inevitability with both Trulia and Zillow in August of last year…and here we are today.

Pretty smart move by Realtor Dot com.

Oh yea, remember Errol Samuelson and Curt Beardsley?

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Listing Syndication Major Real Estate Portals MLS (Multiple Listing Service) Public Portals REALTOR.COM

The Future Of Listings Online – It May Not What You Have Been Conditioned To Believe

With all of the Hoopla and the surprises at Inman this week between MOVE/REALTOR.COM/Newscorp and Zillow/Trulia, the New York Times, etc, there is another possibility that will be spoken little of, if at all…and that is talk of a Broker MLS portal as part of a consortium with local MLS and Association public portals…for lack of a better term, the Network.

John and I have been considering and socializing various aspects of a network or consortium, with interesting result. There is much flesh to be put on the bones of this outline. Something that would enhance this concept is the sun setting of syndication by MLSs, leaving it the responsibility of brokers.

So, as with any onion, there are many layers, the future could resemble:

Broker/MLS National Public Portal Joined in a Consortium with Association/MLS Public Portals, AKA The Network

What’s at Stake

  • The current real estate sales model

The Opportunity

  • Position as the authoritative source of real estate information to the public, becoming a competitor for the public eyeballs at a greatly reduced capital cost…you own the data everyone wants
  • Listhub, Zillow Trulia Data Battle will be expensive for both sides, and create an opening for an Industry entry.
  • Creating the revenue from the data search, display, and other acceptable uses to pay for all of the costs of MLS services to real
  • Synergies of this Consortium.


  • Consumers
  • Agents
  • Brokers
  • Associations/MLSs
  • Franchisors
  • Vendors
  • Consultants
  • Portals


  • Broker/MLS National Public Portal
  • Association/MLS Public Portals
  • Contract Alignment – LRM (Listing Rights Management) – Data contracts with specific data rights. This is critical. Exclusivity of data is a driver of value, and attainable.

Strategy – P C M

  • Protect – Contract Alignment
  • Control – LRM
  • Monetize – Industry Public Portals

Major Portal Competition

  • Zillow
  • Trulia

Portals are “Games”

  • Traffic count indications
  • 60 Million Uniques per month
  • 5 Million Annual Transactions
  • Changing rules of data display will not affect serious buyers, only gamers.
  • Portals at vulnerable and at multiple risk
  • Relationships with MLSs are weak
  • Data Source from Point2 short term contracts
  • Data Source from Listhub tentative – owned by Move
  • Reliant upon MLS (free) data to build commerce

The Network is a Player

  • The Network uses its data resources to propel it forward. All indications is that The Network must move now, to maximize the current landscape
  • Third-party Portals pose a threat to brokers as the portals move upstream, creating relationships with consumers early in the home buying process, and cultivate consumers in a far more effective way than is possible for most practitioners. MLSs are at risk
  • The Network is the alternative
  • Network of Portals with combined traffic better than the Top Three
  • Positioned to help Brokers and MLSs control and monetize their data (API Strategies) – LRM
  • MLS Fees become a thing of the past for real estate professionals

Portals Are Vulnerable

  • Be a competitive alternative to the top 3 in the real estate portal space
  • Compete for the current dollars
  • Find ways to monetize or benefit
  • Position for future opportunities (dollars)
  • MLS Public Portals
  • Providing relevant search results to consumers, not hampered by revenue models of most portals
  • Bringing Realtor® and consumers together online through the most dynamic and prolific Online Real Estate Communities on the Internet
  • Data – Quantity and quality, the best of any portal
  • Offering training and education resources to agents and consumers
  • Sold data eventually – “that was then, this is now.” Sold data provided by forward thinking MLSs. Put the Zestimate to bed once and for all.
  • Develop a public portal solution that is a WIN – WIN – WIN (Consumers/Practitioners/Organized Real Estate)
  • A new online consumer experience
  • Syndication Network – MLSs and Association Public portals
  • Harnessing the power of the data, creating data products and revenue for the benefit of consumers and the industry
  • Bringing REALTORS and Consumers together in a conversation
  • Capitalizing on the community and organizing power of our MLSs and Associations to generate community created, hyper-local content

How? Create a “New Model”

  • Key: “Industry Friendly” with Integrity
  • Old Model – Single giant portals competing
  • New Model – Create a network of MLS/Association portals and use the power of the organizations and brokers to help propel the “New Model” to the top, organize and share in revenue. Gain recognition and brand exposure in the marketplace to assist in the sale of other products

Industry Friendly

  • Other MLS/Association Portals
  • Broker Portals
  • Agent Portals
  • Franchisors
  • Anyone who wants the data, under the provisions to be determined
  • More Power Growing demand for data products….the MLS is data rich and can be used to construct many data products that have not yet been thought of.

MLS/Association Portals Will Come From:

  • Public Portal
  • Ad Networks
  • Ads to local vendors
  • Member Involvement
  • Online Community
  • Education
  • Bringing the consumer and the REALTOR® together

Member Benefit

Sending leads back to members In a REALTOR® Friendly way

Emphasis on:

  • Mobile
  • Millennial
  • Social
  • Gaming
  • Learning
  • Community
  • Content
  • Search
  • Display
  • BI/Big Data

The Revenue Opportunities

People keep talking about “data,” but what is it that they are talking about?

  • Information is the currency of the Twenty First Century – Toffler
  • MLS Data – Availability, status, size, on market,
  • Property Data
  • Local Data added by associations and MLSs
  • Community Data
  • Behavioral Data


  • Vision
  • Organizational structure
  • Resources
  • Budget
  • New Hires – a few
  • Responsibility
  • Authority
  • Accountability

MLS Portals

  • Socialize MLS public portal acceptance to MLSs, Associations, Brokers, Agents
  • Strive for as many public portals in the next two years as possible, by all competitors





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Major Real Estate Portals MLS (Multiple Listing Service) Organization Of the Real Estate Industry REALTOR.COM

Where Does the Data Come From? Primarily from Members of an Association of REALTORS

“For Sale” Data, is the “Oxygen” of real estate portals such as Zillow, Trulia, and

The deepest, richest, most accurate and timely comes from Multiple Listing Services (MLS).

MLSs are typically owned by an association of REALTORS, or a group of Associations of REALTORS. A group of Associations owning an MLS would probably be considered a Regional MLS.

An MLS is either a separate corporate entity of an owner Association(s), or a Committee of an Association.

The data in an MLS data base is acquired through the hard wok of real estate professionals, in most cases, REALTORS, who belong to an Association of REALTORS, and its MLS.

These associations are housed in unique building across North America…there are over 1300 Associations of REALTORS, and about 850 Multiple Listing Services.

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Listing Syndication REALTOR.COM

Save Listhub??? Then get Ready to Save Zillow and Trulia

In reading Curt Beardsley’s letter, and Andrea’s article in Inman, I couldn’t help but take note of the “Internal Project” known as “Save Listhub.”

Save Listhub from who, or what?

Why does Listhub need to be “saved?”

Zillow and Trulia receive a good bit of their listing content from Listhub so if Listhub goes away, how long will it take the major portals to replenish their supply of active listings?

My experience is that securing data contracts from MLSs takes a little time. Zillow knows this as well, based on Bob Bemis’s experience over the last few years.

So what will it take for Listhub to be saved, and what will Zillow and Trulia do to save it?



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Realtor Information Network (RIN) REALTOR.COM

NAR Supports New Changes To

On July 24, 2013,  625 (out of 756)  NAR Directors met in Chicago and approved recommendations from the RIN Board to amend the lengthy Operating Agreement between NAR and Move/Real Select. The amendment allows the leeway to expand its base of aggregated listings beyond those supplied by REALTOR-owned and controlled sources. Questions still abound as to the impact of the NAR decision, although news articles over the last week shed more light on the decision and what to expect in coming months.

An article in NAR’s REALTOR Magazine noted that 1999 NAR President Sharon Millett, who was “there at the creation” of, spoke persuasively in favor of all the requested changes. “There was a time when restricting the site to only REALTOR® listings was appropriate,” she said, “but that time has passed.” Now, it’s time to compete head-to-head and give consumers what they clearly want: an accurate, comprehensive site, she said.

NAR President Gary Thomas stated that expanding’s base of listings is critical to maintaining its competitiveness in the world of listing aggregation. And the REALTOR® brand will continue to be preeminent, not just in the domain name but in every aspect of the site, its mobile apps, and its public relations.

“When the changes are implemented, the site will continue to clearly distinguish REALTOR®-represented listings and will use language that more prominently emphasizes the difference between REALTORS® and non-REALTORS®,” said RIN President and CEO Bob Goldberg.

With respect to the number of negative comments about the NAR Director action, editor-in-chief Stacey Moncrieff said  “The concerns and protests expressed here are easily understood. However, I think this change will be an opportunity to make the REALTOR brand even more distinctive – because every property that is listed by a REALTOR will be identified as such – and the Code of Ethics will be reinforced every time someone views a REALTOR listing.”

NAR published in Question and Answer format a number of issues and concerns that have surfaced over the new freedom offered to remain competitive in the online real estate space. The article points out that some REALTOR® MLSs already accept listings from practitioners who are not REALTORS®. As a result, since its inception,® has displayed listings from non-members who were participants in REALTOR® MLSs that chose to include those listings in their data feeds.

As for the operating agreement, “Among the other provisions, the agreement prohibits certain advertising, such as liquor ads and political ads. There is also an exclusivity clause: RIN and NAR can’t have a consumer property-listing site without RealSelect and Move, and RealSelect/Move can’t have one without RIN/NAR.

Addressing the issue of benefit to REALTORS, “When® has the resources and flexibility to give consumers what they want—an accurate, credible, and comprehensive source of market data—that helps create a strong tie between consumers and REALTORS® as the source of that data. The other huge benefit: A competitive® attracts more consumers to the site and therefore more traffic to REALTORS®’ listings and helps consumers understand the value of working with a REALTOR® and the work that NAR does on their behalf to protect homeownership.”

An article on NAR’s member site, revealed some of the discussions that took place shortly before the vote of the Directors. There was an opening video montage on the early days of RIN – one of the clips featured comments by Saul Klein, the first Evangelist, 1993 NAR President Bill Chee, and San Francisco Association CEO, Walt Baczkowski.

Speaking on the importance of the REALTOR brand (valued at $4.5 Billion by NAR’s CEO Dale Stinton) was 1000 Watt’s Brian Boero, well-respected industry consultant. According to Brian, “ is more than a technology partner. It is a brand partner. It is an instrument of the REALTOR® brand, generating 450 million brand impressions every month through its website, mobile apps, and social media. Brand equals meaning, and real estate today equals REALTORS®. It’s in consumers’ minds. What’s happening here today is deepening that.”

Curt Beardsley, vice president of business development for, then showed practices that demonstrate Zillow’s attitude toward the industry. The site, he said, leaves the real estate practitioner out of its advertising; puts inaccurate Zestimates next to list prices; encourages consumers to sell without an agent; posts inaccurate, out-of-date information; and buries basic listings behind pages of “featured” (paid) listings.

“REALTORS® have invested a lot of time and millions of dollars in building information technology to give consumers online access to real estate information, and we know that consumer demand for all things ‘home’ has never been greater,” said NAR President Gary Thomas, broker-owner of Evergreen Realty in Villa Park, Calif. “We want to have the resources and flexibility it needs to give consumers what they want while ensuring that today’s buyers and sellers can continue to rely on REALTORS® for the most accurate, credible market data. We think the proposed changes achieve both goals.”

Before the proposal was put before the board,® President Errol Samuelson took the stage to show how® is incorporating the brand into its listings, mobile apps, and advertising, and he shared some of the innovation that’s underway. Following the near unanimous vote, Samuelson said:  “Today’s historic and collaborative recommendation by the NAR board empowers us to further expand and enrich the consumer experience on and its mobile applications with greater breadth of content, and to do so with our continuing commitment to the highest level of quality and accuracy for both the real estate community and consumers.” Samuelson said changes will happen at “Internet speed.”

The last series of quotes comes from an article by Andrea Brambila, Associate Editor at Inman News. Andrea, as well as staff writer Paul Hagey for Inman News, consistently report quality pieces on current happenings in the real estate industry.  Andrea solicited a number of pertinent statements from  Move CEO Steve Berkowitz as to the new direction for and its impact on NAR members and non-members.

Move CEO Steve Berkowitz sought to allay Realtors’ concerns about maintaining’s accuracy. “Comprehensiveness does not come at the cost of accuracy. What our goal in this process and in everything we’re trying to do is to allow the consumer to not only see a comprehensive set of data but also identify the difference between the data that has been delivered with authority (by) Realtors,” he told Inman News. “We don’t take the ‘what’s for sale’ listings from just anybody,” he added. Listing information will be sourced from “authoritative sources.”

For-sale homes data will continue to be sourced primarily from brokers and multiple listing services, Realtor-affiliated or not, he said, and new-homes data will come from BDX, a consortium of top homebuilders that also powers New Home Source, of which Move owns 51 percent. Consumers will not be allowed to upload listings. “The focus on accuracy is absolutely core to everything that we do. (Sourcing from MLSs is) almost a guarantee of accuracy because listings are required by their MLSs to be accurate,” Berkowitz said.

“We believe the MLSs are the best source of information about homes for sale and that’s why we’ve spent 14 years building those relationships. The MLSs are very important to the process,” he added. He said the changes would actually bring more accuracy to the site by identifying the source of a listing and designating when it has been provided by a Realtor.

“The definition of data accuracy is not only that the data is accurate but that the consumer knows where the data comes from,” Berkowitz said. Identifying Realtor-represented listings as such amid those from other sources will actually strengthen the Realtor brand, he said. “It’s best to have a home listed with a Realtor and buy a home with a Realtor but not every home is listed with a Realtor and it’s important to know that to have your Realtor ask the questions they need to ask,” he said. will inform consumers that the best professional to work with is a Realtor, Berkowitz said. This will include outlining the advantages of working with a Realtor, the Realtor code of ethics, and what Realtors do to support homeownership.

“Our job as a business is to build the brand and to build the consumers’ relationship with that brand, and that’s a foundation built on trust, which is built around education, awareness and accuracy,” he said. “If we walk out of this with one thing we’re going to accomplish, it’s we’ve built the trust in the Realtor brand,” he added.

Move said it was still evaluating its content sources “within the accuracy proposition” and would include criteria regarding how often a source updates its content. The site will continue to show the last time a listing was updated. While 90 percent of’s listings are currently updated every 15 minutes, Berkowitz said he was unsure whether Move would require sources of new homes and rental listings to update that often. “I know we have the single most accurate source of new-homes data. We already have the spec homes where builders built it and put it in the MLS — this (change) is about new-home communities where the inventory is about how many lots are available,” he said.


Will be able to regain its No. 1 position? More important, will they be able to rally the support of REALTORS behind NAR efforts to make more competitive, the goal being to attract more consumer traffic to REALTORS listings and helping consumers understand the value of working with a REALTOR.

Time will tell.


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Realtor Information Network (RIN) REALTOR.COM

Brad Inman's Take on RIN/

If you haven’t read Brad Inman’s perspective on the creation of RIN and, he adds a great amount to the narrative. RIN/ was an incredible opportunity for Inman News, and Brad knew how to maximize the opportunity.

He wrote almost daily about RIN and back in the mid-nineties. He was a journalist and his job was to unveil and expose the dark side, and yes, there was a dark side. We mentioned it in a few of our previous posts. Brad was a busy guy.

Every day Bob Goldberg, Perry Morton, Roy Rainey, Carl DeMuz, Walt Backowski, Jack Harper, John Reilly, and to a lesser degree Richard Janssen, and I would discuss what we read on Inman that day and how it compared to reality from our perspective in the trenches.

Everybody was reading Inman back then!


Here is my take. In the mid-1990s, NAR formed the Realtor Information Network as a major technology initiative to win the minds of the Internet consumer. When all but RIN’s home listing piece fell into financial disarray, a brash, young and smart entrepreneur, Stuart Wolff, took it off the NAR leadership’s hands at a bargain price. But he left NAR with a good chunk of equity and, through a tight operating agreement, some control of the company’s fate. – See more at:


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Realtor Information Network (RIN) REALTOR.COM

Changes for and NAR as a Result of Special Meeting

The RIN board (a wholly owned subsidiary of NAR) has approved amending the operating agreement with RealSelect (a wholly owned subsidiary of MOVE) in three fundamental ways:
1. Amending the restriction that says Move may display only listings that have been sourced from REALTOR®-owned and controlled MLSs or from REALTORS®. Under the revised agreement, Move will be able to obtain listings from entities that are not REALTOR®- owned and controlled and from brokers who are not REALTORS®.

2.Amending the restriction on unlisted properties. The revised agreement will allow the display of unlisted new homes and new home communities and will allow the display of unlisted properties that are for rent. Individual consumer FSBOs remain precluded from the site.

3. Amending the requirement for listing broker’s consent for the foreclosure status of a listing to be displayed. Under the revised agreement, unless the listing broker objects, Move/RealSelect will have the ability to identify:
• Properties where notice of default has been recorded
• Auctions of distressed properties
• Short sales
• Foreclosures
• Bank-owned properties

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Realtor Information Network (RIN) REALTOR.COM

FLASH — Realtors® Reaffirm Commitment to®

CHICAGO (July 24, 2013) – The National Association of Realtors® Board of Directors today reaffirmed NAR’s commitment to making® the first, best online destination for home buyers and sellers. The board voted in favor of recommendations to modify an existing operating agreement that will help the site compete more effectively in an evolving online marketplace.
“Over the years, Realtors® have invested a lot of time and millions of dollars in building information technology to give consumers online access to real estate information, and we know that consumer demand for all things ‘home’ has never been greater,” said NAR President Gary Thomas, broker-owner of Evergreen Realty in Villa Park, Calif. “As the most trusted resources for real estate information, Realtors® want® to have the resources and flexibility it needs to give consumers what they want while ensuring that today’s buyers and sellers can continue to rely on Realtors® for the most accurate, credible market data. We think the proposed changes achieve both goals.”
The operating agreement is between NAR subsidiary Realtors® Information Network and Move, Inc. subsidiary RealSelect, Inc. The RIN board sought advice from NAR’s BOD because any changes to could have a substantial impact on NAR’s members. The RIN board met immediately after the NAR BOD meeting, and approved the final recommendations.
“When today’s consumer is searching for their dream home, they are utilizing more tools and information than ever before,” said® President Errol Samuelson, Chief Strategy Officer for Move, Inc. “Today’s historic and collaborative recommendation from the NAR board members empowers us to further expand and enrich the consumer experience on and its mobile applications with greater breadth of content, and to do so with our continuing commitment to the highest level of quality and accuracy for both the real estate community and consumers.”
The proposal recommended by NAR’s BOD gives® more flexibility to identify listings from sources beyond those provided by Realtors®. That includes additional new homes and rental properties. At the same time, the site will reinforce the value of using a Realtor® when buying, selling or investing in real estate, and will give consumers tools to differentiate between Realtors® and real estate agents who are not Realtors®.
“We want consumers to be able to envision their American dreams of homeownership online and then make those dreams a reality in the offline world,” said Thomas. “Working together,® and Realtors® are making home happen.”
Move is hosting their Q2 earnings call on August 1 at 2 p.m. Pacific Daylight Time and will discuss the outcomes of the NAR meeting in more detail on this call. To access the call, please dial 866-652-5200, or outside the U.S. 412-317-6060, five minutes before 2:00 p.m. Pacific Daylight Time. A live webcast of the call will also be available at under the Events & Presentations menu.
About NAR
The National Association of Realtors®, “The Voice for Real Estate,” is America’s largest trade association, representing 1 million members involved in all aspects of the residential and commercial real estate industries.

Operated by Move, Inc., (NASDAQ: MOVE),® helps connect people with the content, tools and expertise they need to find their perfect home. As the official website of the National Association of Realtors®,® empowers consumers to make the smartest decisions when it comes to finding a home by leveraging direct connections with more than 800 MLSs to deliver the most accurate and up-to-date listing information in neighborhoods across the country, and by making timely and meaningful connections between consumers and Realtors®. Whether through it desktop, mobile, or tablet version,® is where home happens.
About Move, Inc.
Move, Inc. (MOVE) the leader in online real estate and operator of®, the official website of the National Association of Realtors®;, a leading destination for new homes and rental listings, moving, home and garden, and home finance; ListHub™, the leading syndicator of real estate listings;™; SeniorHousingNet; SocialBios; TigerLead®; and TOP PRODUCER® Systems. Move, Inc. is based in San Jose, Calif.
Forward-Looking Statements
This press release may contain forward-looking statements, including information about management’s view of Move’s future expectations, plans and prospects, within the safe harbor provisions under The Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995. These statements involve known and unknown risks, uncertainties and other factors which may cause the results of Move, its subsidiaries, divisions and concepts to be materially different than those expressed or implied in such statements. These risk factors and others are included from time to time in documents Move files with the Securities and Exchange Commission, including but not limited to, its Form 10-Ks, Form 10-Qs and Form 8-Ks. Other unknown or unpredictable factors also could have material adverse effects on Move’s future results. The forward-looking statements included in this press release are made only as of the date hereof. Move cannot guarantee future results, levels of activity, performance or achievements. Accordingly, you should not place undue reliance on these forward-looking statements. Finally, Move expressly disclaims any intent or obligation to update any forward-looking statements to reflect subsequent events or circumstances.
Information about NAR is available at This and other news releases are posted in the “News, Blogs and Video” tab on the website.

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