Author Archives: Saul Klein

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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Cognition, Nuance, and Data Points…

Don’t let anyone kid you, they don’t know the value of your data. Don’t give it away before you know what it is worth.
“A new IBM global study of cognitive early adopters reveals nearly six in ten view cognitive computing as a “must have” for organizations to remain competitive within the next few years.
Digital businesses have been disrupting virtually every industry in the past several years, fundamentally transforming how they engage with customers and markets. Data is both the fuel and the product of digital transformation. By 2020, about 1.7 megabytes of information will be created every second for every person on Earth. While digital data represents a vast opportunity, its velocity, diversity, and complexity presents a major challenge. In fact, an estimated 99.5 percent of that digital data is never analyzed.
To keep a competitive edge, organizations will need to maximize the insights — the “digital intelligence” — they create from the vast data flows being generated by the digital revolution.
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April 1

First Quarter Report – April 1, 2016

Once again the first quarter of the year has passed, and as we have done for the past 10 years or so, John and I will summarize events of note, April1, 2016. This is an election year and we have breaking political news, as well as THE major stories in the real estate industry, which is where we will start…

The Perfect Storm:

In a blow to the real estate industry, President Obama issued an Executive Order today, effective immediately, eliminating the employment status of independent contractor in a number of industries, including the real estate industry. This represents a paradigm shift to the current model of real estate sales. All real estate licensees will become employees of their broker, have the right to organize and collective bargain, receive health care coverage, retirement plans, and be paid minimum wage.

In another major blow to the Real Estate Industry, the U.S. Department of Justice, today filed a complaint in federal court, naming every MLS in the U.S. as Respondents. The complaint alleges, among other things, actions involving conspiracy, accusing the MLSs of per se violations of the Sherman Anti Trust Act, as facilitators of illegal collaboration between competitors. “New online technologies, companies, and innovation make the structure and purpose of MLS obsolete” stated a DOJ representative, who agreed to speak with us with assurances of anonymity.

And for the Hat Trick, Google announced that it is returning to real estate in a big way, opening its “National Listing Service” to the public, and purchasing Move, Inc (the operator of from Rupert Murdock.


But that’s not all, keep reading!

If you ever wondered what Google planned to do with all of that “white space” on the search page, now you know, they are offering a free listing service, allowing real estate offered for sale to be advertised on the Google Real Estate Site, for free, launched off of the Goggle Search Page. Consumers are waking up to Google Real Estate…It will offer disrupting tools and applications to change the way real estate is bought and sold, virtually eliminating fees to buyers and sellers. This will redefine the role of the real estate professional, and fill the gap should the DOJ take out MLSs, as mentioned in an earlier story.


And, the world of politics leaves nothing to the imagination.

Our inside source has informed us that at 3:00 PM, EDT, Donald Trump will end his campaign and quest for the presidency of the United States. It is rumored, amongst those in the know, that Trump and Ted Cruz have struck a deal. In return for Trump resigning from the race, Ted Cruz, if elected, will build that wall Trump has been promising, along the border with Mexico. Ted Cruz, in turn, promised Donald Trump that he would deliver him the contract to build the wall, and Trump will be allowed to put the Trump brand on the wall, which will be able to be viewed from space. Masterful positioning, negotiating and branding by The Donald.

Also at 3:00 PM, EDT, we are told, the Department of Justice will issue indictments against Hillary Clinton, 27 different Causes of Action. Hillary could not be reached, but President Bill Clinton responded: “What difference does it make? She is the only one of the four remaining candidates prepared for the job of President. Are you going to let trust get in the way?”

Bernie Sanders was asked for his comments, but he could not be reached, taking the week off to celebrate Purim with his family.

And lastly, Jesse Ventura, and Arnold Schwarzenegger announced that they are running as President and Vice President respectively on the Peace and Freedom Party ticket. When asked why they decided to run, they responded that this is the year for outsiders. Hulk Hogan will serve as Secretary of Defense.

It is an amazing world and an amazing time, and once again we are happy to bring you the news, April 1, 2016.

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What would it be worth to be able to predict the future…with accuracy?

This is about the data, not the politics. Why all of the fuss over data? With data, you can accurately predict the future. Being able to tell the future could be a great, competitive advantage.

Don’t be so quick to give your MLS data away to outsiders.

Google calls it in New Hampshire.


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Design Lab

RealTown Labs Accelerated Design Lab

 What is RealTown Labs Accelerated DesignLab 

RealTown Labs Accelerated DesignLab is a joint venture with PredictionWorks, Inc. The laboratory is an environment with tools, models and processes that accelerate for start-up and emerging companies’ product invention, market adoption, financing and business building challenges 50% to 300% faster than conventional means.

On the Cutting Edge

RealTown Labs Accelerated DesignLab partner, PredictionWorks, Inc., is the second licensee of the GroupGenius™ suite of human performance technologies with the license covering start-up and emerging growth companies.  This GroupGenius™ human performance platform has been implemented since 1998 with Fortune 500 companies by the first licensee, Cap Gemini, in 24 Accelerated Solutions Environments (ASE) worldwide.  Over 1,000 events have been conducted with over 50% of the clients being repeat customers.  54 of Fortunes Top 100 companies are now using Cap Gemini’s ASE environment. The proven tradition of GroupGenius™ makes it possible for months of work to be reduced to just hours or days.

What Goes on in the Accelerated DesignLab 

            Assessments.  Realtown Labs offers a powerful due diligence tool for assessing a technology company and its market.  This tool is called the New Venture Accessor and was developed by our partner, PredictionWorks, Inc. It covers the seven most critical areas of investor inquiry.  Each critical area has over 15 levels of inquiry.  The tool has over 1,000 best practice indices that are measured.  The process results in a index rating for each of the critical areas of inquiry.  This tool was tested as 100 percent reliable in 10 double blind backdated manual-based validation tests in Silicon Valley by Wilson Sonsini, Hitachi Consulting and FSX.

DesignLab. A powerful and integrated application of GroupGenius™ and the New Venture Assessor is DesignLab. Through DesignLab, the invention process increases in acceleration and accuracy 4x our conventional methods. Currently RealTown Labs is serving as “home base” for RealTown Labs invention work for build-to-flip technologies.

group                                                                    group3

Build-to-Flip Inventions. One significant application of DesignLab is called the “Build-to-Flip” application (“B2F”). In this B2F model, DesignLab is used to invent a technology component that incumbent companies “got-to-have” for their core systems and these incumbent have neither the “time” or “talent” to invent themselves-so they will pay millions to own outright the B2F technology RealTown Labs has invented.

What Stakeholders Should Expect From A Realtown Labs Accelerated DesignLab Event 

  • What if…
    • You could get all of a project’s stakeholders to not only talk about inventing a breakthrough technology, but to actually develop it together?
    • You could unleash the full potential and creativity of a team, key suppliers, customers, and subject matter specialists all at once?
    • You could accelerate all phases of discovering, designing and developing a build-to-flip technology reducing months to weeks to days?

You can do this and more. At Realtown Labs Accelerated DesignLab, we combine our world-class and patented decision-making process, innovative workspaces and unique best practices models to enable a team of innovators to discover, design and develop a build-to-flip technology.

  • Participants can expect that event sponsors and facilitators are on the “same page” about goals, tactics and timelines.
  • Participants can expect read-ahead materials. These materials are important. They ensure everyone has adequate context before going into a DesignLab event.
  • Participants can expect professional and experienced Group Genius® facilitation on DesignLab days.
  • Participants can expect the unexpected once DesignLab starts.
  • Participants can expect the finest models, processes and tools for maximum creativity.
  • Participants can expect that proper discovery and design constraints have been thought-out in advance by facilitators.
  • Participants can expect that the best practices of Group Genius® will be followed.
  • Participants can expect that there will probably be breakdowns during DesignLab before there are any breakthroughs.
  • Participants can expect that there will be first-class capture of information and ideas generated during DesignLab.
  • Participants can expect that DesignLab will move all the stakeholders in the right direction for accomplishing the goal of DesignLab, namely

Inventing for an incumbent provider/supplier a technology component that the provider/supplier considers a “got-to-have” core part of provider’s/supplier’s product or production systems and the provider/supplier has neither the time or talent to invent the technology component themselves.


Methodology Flyer – click this link


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Organization Of the Real Estate Industry

How Many local REALTOR Associations are there? And how many members at each Association?

Here is a list from which covered 1246 Associations – as of summer 2015 (before Core Standards went into effect Nov 2015, shaking out a lot of the smaller ones and consolidating others).
Interestingly, less than 90 Associations have 3,000 or more members.
Less than 240 have 1,000 or more members
Here’s a manual count of members from largest to smallest:
37, 453 to 10,000 members = 14 Associations
7,000 to 10,000 = 15
5,000 to 7,000 = 22
4,000 to 5,000 = 13
3,000 to 4,000 = 23
2,000 to 3,000 = 38
1,000 to 2,000 = 115
600 to 1,000 = 112
500 to 600 = 23
400 to 500 = 68
300 to 400 = 84
200 to 300 = 137
100 to 200 = 255
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Inman Connect New York City – January 2016

Connect NYC was preceded by Snomaggeden this year, but by the time I arrived at LaGuardia, the snow was all but gone. Inman Connect is one of the best events in the real estate industry and it is repeated in San Francisco in the summer. My recommendation is to buy your tickets now, make your plans, and be there. There are many events to attend in the real estate industry, many not worth the time or the money…Connect is one of the exceptions.

It all began 20 years ago at the first Inman Connect amongst the Redwoods in Northern California. There were about 50 in attendance, and I was one of the lucky ones. The Internet was first being commercialized and real estate listings were yet to be found in any numbers on the web. One of the biggest issues facing the Internet and its progress was bandwidth.

Twenty years later the attendance is in the 3,000 range. The technology vendors, industry experts, and speakers gives one an idea of how fast things are changing. As always, there were lots of new technology vendors, as well as many recognizable industry players.

The excitement grew prior to the opening, with the help of a live band.

Music to raise the energy level with a live band

Brad’s opening remarks are always a highlight of the event…here is how he opened this year…

Brads opening

The first speaker was author and marketer, Seth Godin…his message has changed little over the years and is excellent, as well as entertaining. “Be different, or charge less…and charging less is a race to the bottom you cannot win.”

Seth Godin

The agenda includes panel after panel in many segments of the real estate industry, and some of the technologies being brought to the marketplace. Many of these technologies are adaptable to other verticals.

Major Challenges Facing MLSs Segment

A three hour session around MLS, consisting of a series of panel discussions, was enlightening.

David Charron, and a team of known MLS industry experts delivered.

Does the MLS Limit Progress?

How Many MLSs does the country need?

Today – 826

Tomorrow – 30 by 2030?

What Do Next Generation Real Estate Professionals Expect from Their MLS?

(Personally) I think what needs to be asked here is what percentage of the subscribers and participants of your MLS are NextGen…before rediging the future for a handful of the customers.


And concluding with:

Upstream from the Source

UpStream – What is it, what isn’t it?


upstream is a journey






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Data Licensing

What do free real estate forms have to do with data?

What is the value of online forms to the owners of the online form companies in real estate transactions? Plenty. John and I have been singing the song of the value of data for years now.

Forms are where the most authoritative data resides pertaining to a buyer or a seller’s progress and seriousness of buying or selling a propery. When someone buys a property, all sorts of things occur, other purchases occur.

Underlying an offer of free forms, is the question of what will the forms provider do with the data. It is a potential goldmine…but no one talks about it.

>>After vigorous debate, the board of directors of the National Association of Realtors approved a proposal Monday to provide the trade group’s 1 million-plus members transaction management software from Realtor-owned firm zipLogix at no cost to members.

NAR’s three-year agreement with zipLogix charges the trade group $10 per member for the first two years and increases the rate by no more than the increase in the federal Consumer Price Index in the third year, according to NAR CEO Dale Stinton.

The deal is estimated to cost between $11 million and $12 million per year from NAR’s reserves. NAR’s membership count stood at just under 1.17 million at the end of October.

Starting in the first quarter, agents and brokers will have free access to the firm’s zipForm Plus software, transaction forms specific to their area, document storage through zipVault, and zipLogix’ transaction management system, zipTMS (formerly known as relay).

ZipLogix is a joint venture between the National Association of Realtors and California Association of Realtors subsidiary Real Estate Business Services Inc. (REBS). As of the end of 2013, NAR owned an approximately 30 percent interest in zipLogix, carrying a value of $4 million.

The proposal was approved by a vote of 455 to 217, but not until after a spirited debate ensued among board members. Several dissenting members — though not all — were from Florida, where the state association has its own forms company, Form Simplicity.

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Data Licensing

How Is Zillow Using IDX Listing Data?

John and I have seen lots of different abuses of the MLS data over the years, in our various rolls in the Industry. Many entities receive the MLS data for specific purposes…and sometimes that mLS data is redistributed to entities that use the data, in ways not agreed to or anticipated by the owner of the data. “Gray Market” Data.

How Is Zillow Using Listing Data?


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