Industry Relations with Rob Hahn and Greg Robertson

The Notorious R.O.B. and Greg Robertson discuss organized real estate in a disorganized manner.
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Industry Relations with Rob Hahn and Greg Robertson




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Now displaying: February, 2017
Feb 27, 2017

Rob and Greg return with some news from north of the border and a discussion regarding what the real estate industry in the states might learn from recent regulations imposed in British Columbia.

Rob explains the dysfunction in the Vancouver housing market that led to disreputable behavior on the part of some realtors and the public outcry that followed. He and Greg also debate the likelihood of something similar happening here in the US. Listen in to understand the parallels between the systems in Canada and the US and how leadership in the industry could prevent an analogous government intervention here.

What’s Discussed: 

The similarities between the Canadian and US systems

The Trump administration’s position on regulation

Why regulations are more likely to be imposed on a state (rather than federal) level

The impetus behind the public outcry in British Columbia

  • Simmering resentment over a high price-to-income ratio in Vancouver
  • The rampant practice of shadow flipping

Why the standard form contract clause allowing a buyer to assign the contract to someone else without seller approval was added initially

How price fluctuations in the Vancouver market led to the practice of shadow flipping

Why government intervention is rarely precision reform

How British Columbia changed the way the regulatory body works

  • The Real Estate Council had been comprised mostly of realtors appointed by local realtor associations
  • Industry representatives can only account for 50% of the council membership now
  • A newly appointed Superintendent of Real Estate has been given much power

The steep fines agents and brokerages face if found in violation

The likelihood of a similar phenomenon happening in the US

  • Six of the top ten most dysfunctional markets in the world are in California
  • Though the practice of shadow flipping is unlikely here, other dysfunctional business behavior (i.e.: pocket listing) is probable

How the real estate industry could maintain its privilege to self-regulate

  • Include non-industry representatives on real estate commissions
  • Improve the process of enforcing the code of ethics
  • Make an effort to protect the consumer



2017 Trends Report

The Globe and Mail Expose


Connect with Rob and Greg:

Rob’s Website

Greg’s Website



Feb 23, 2017

Rob and Greg return with reinforcements this episode for a round table discussion regarding the

#NARGirlBoss movement and its implications about the necessity of a culture change in the industry. They are joined by Sunny Lake, David Charron and Andrea Bushnell, each of whom have a unique take on the NAR CEO selection process.


Lake is the founder of the #NARGirlBoss Movement, a campaign aimed to help realtors choose the NAR’s next CEO in a transparent, collaborative process by raising awareness of accomplished women leaders in the industry. She has 13 years of experience in real estate, most recently serving as Principal Managing Broker of Coldwell Banker Bain|Seal in Bellingham, Washington. Lake is currently Managing Broker of eXp Realty.


David Charron is the Chief Strategy Officer of Bright MLS, Inc. and President at MRIS Investors in the Washington DC Metro Area. He has an extensive background in real estate, information systems and internet business solutions. Charron has been an industry leader for many years and was the first recipient of the Peter Shuttleworth MLS Executive Award of Excellence. In 2016, he was named by Inman News to the Inman 101 for driving industry change. He has been a key voice in the conversation around the evolving role of the MLS and a proponent of innovative tools, partnerships and business practices.


Andrea Bushnell is the CEO of the North Carolina Association of Realtors, where she has served since 2010. After earning a degree in law from Lewis & Clark Law School in 1988, she was a partner with the firm Burt, Vetterlein and Bushnell for several years before becoming the Director of Business and Legal Affairs for Rentrak. Bushnell spent 13-plus years at the helm of the Oregon Association of Realtors before making the move to North Carolina. In 2016, she received the prestigious William R. Magel Award of Excellence, awarded annually by the NAR to an association executive who has truly excelled.


Listen in as these industry leaders discuss the intentions of the #NARGirlBoss movement, the nominating committee’s approach to hiring a new CEO and the need for a culture change in the real estate industry.



What’s Discussed: 


The intention of the #NARGirlBoss movement

  • 800-1,000 people got involved in just one week
  • Several participants hold NAR leadership positions (including members of the CEO selection committee)

Women in NAR leadership roles

The nominating committee’s approach to hiring a new CEO

  • Seems to be an open, transparent process
  • Soliciting input from membership re: the CEO position description

The pressure on NAR to consider capable, competent women for the CEO position

The general sense of distrust of the NAR and resulting grass roots movement

Why a culture change is necessary in the industry

  • Decisions made by older white men in leadership don’t always resonate with diverse workforce

Bushnell’s experience as first female CEO of the North Carolina Association of Realtors

  • Members felt disenfranchised from the organization
  • She spent a year on a listening tour to build relationships and change the culture to make people feel valued

Lake’s effort to shine a light on up-and-coming female leaders who aren’t acknowledged





NARGirlBoss Website

NARGirlBoss Twitter

NARGirlBoss Facebook Group


Connect with Lake, Charron & Bushnell:


Lake on LinkedIn


Charron on LinkedIn


Charron MRIS Website


Bushnell on LinkedIn


Bushnell NCAR Website


Connect with Rob and Greg:


Rob’s Website

Greg’s Website

Feb 18, 2017

Rob and Greg are back with another outspoken discussion about current real estate industry topics. This time on the podcast they attempt to predict how the new POTUS might affect the state of real estate – and how difficult it is to predict what Trump and his administration might do. They cover the evolution of HUD under Ben Carson and his promise to cap or eliminate the mortgage-interest deduction.


Rob and Greg also address the powerful lobby that is the NAR and who might fill the shoes of CEO. Listen in to understand how the ‘Trumpening’ presents a particular challenge for the new leadership of NAR as organized real estate approaches a crossroads.



What’s Discussed: 


The choice of Ben Carson as Secretary of Housing and Urban Development

How a real estate developer in the Oval Office might be good for housing

The affordability crisis in the housing market

  • The Trump administration may work to reduce regulations and boost development

The unpredictability of Trump and his cabinet

The lobbying muscle of the NAR

The best argument Greg has heard for getting rid of Fannie Mae, Freddie Mac and the mortgage-interest deduction

  • A fractional equity ownership model would spread out the risk

Who might succeed Dale Stinton as CEO of NAR

  • The perception of Bob Goldberg as Dale Stinton 2.0
  • The argument for #NARGirlBoss

The big challenges of organized real estate that the new NAR CEO must address

The role of personal relationships between the lobby and career bureaucrats

  • Many of those career government officials will leave to avoid being a part of the Trump ecosystem




Andreesen Horowitz’s Fintech Podcast 

Connect with Rob and Greg:

Rob’s Website

Greg’s Website

Feb 9, 2017

Welcome to the inaugural episode of Industry Relations, recorded live from Inman Connect NYC. Join Robert Hahn, Managing Partner of real estate consulting firm 7DS Associates, and Greg Robertson, Co-Founder of real estate software company W+R Studios, as they engage in frank discussions about current real estate industry topics.

This time on the podcast, Rob and Greg debate the state of the MLS, the problematic relationship between the MLS and associations, and potential systemic changes. Listen in as these industry insiders argue the critical obstacles facing the MLS – unfiltered.

What’s Discussed: 

Rob and Greg’s take on the problems with the current MLS system

The dichotomy between low fees and great products and services

The need to identify and address the MLS’s that don’t follow the rules

  • Big brokers don’t have enough power in local communities to affect change

Why MLS execs deserve much credit for the tough work they do in furthering cooperation and compensation

How associations might evolve if divorced from governance of the MLS

The role of politics in local MLS boards

  • Making the MLS for-profit would eliminate those conflicts of interest

Upstream’s potential to create chaos in the real estate data marketplace

How emerging leaders in MLS might feel about changing to a for-profit model

The broker narrative regarding the role of the MLS





Connect with Rob and Greg:

Rob’s Website

Greg’s Website