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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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Sep 25, 2017

Stakeholders from every facet of the real estate industry are calling for change. Problem is, that’s about the only thing they can agree on. So what happens when you put a broker, a vendor, a consultant, and NAR leadership in the same room to talk about all things MLS? A sometimes uncomfortable, yet revealing discussion around consolidation, data standardization, MLS fees, and the policymaking process.

Stakeholders from every facet of the real estate industry are calling for change. Problem is, that’s about the only thing they can agree on. So what happens when you put a broker, a vendor, a consultant, and NAR leadership in the same room to talk about all things MLS? A sometimes uncomfortable, yet revealing discussion around consolidation, data standardization, MLS fees, and the policymaking process.


Live from CMLS2017 in Austin, Rob and Greg are joined by James Dwiggins and Sam DeBord. James is the CEO of NextHome, a progressive real estate franchise with consumer-focused branding, technology and marketing. Prior to founding NextHome, James served as Chief Strategy Officer and VP of Realty World Northern California & Nevada. Based in the San Francisco Bay Area, James’ impressive resume also includes VREO, a groundbreaking company he co-founded in 2000 to develop web applications for agents and brokers.
Sam is both the managing broker for Seattle Homes Group and VP of Strategic Growth for Coldwell Banker Danforth. In addition, he is a member of the MLS Technology and Emerging Issues Advisory Board, and he will serve as the Vice-Chairman of MLS Policy for NAR next year. Sam writes for a number of real estate news outlets, and he was named to SP200’s Top 20 Social Influencers and Inman’s Top 101 in Real Estate.


Listen in as Greg, Rob, James and Sam search for a little common ground when it comes to the future of the MLS. James shares his concern regarding a lack of non-REALTOR members in NAR decision-making bodies, and Sam offers his take on the future of the industry. They cover the political barriers that prevent true collaboration in the industry, how the not-for-profit mandate hinders MLS progress, and the value of vendor-inclusiveness. 

 

What’s Discussed: 


James’ message at the CMLS event in Austin
The ongoing conversation among NAR, brokers and MLSs
The continued consolidation of MLSs
NAR’s focus on broker co-op
The vast differences in how MLSs are run
The challenges around a lack of data standardizationFactors that prevent a common data share
The brokers’ contribution to the technical barriers 
How a common MLS feed might affect membership
How members of the MLS Technology and Emerging Issues Advisory Board are selected

-Vetted by leadership
-‘Standard of experience’James’ concern regarding a lack of non-

REALTOR members NAR’s effort to bring in advisors/speakers from other industries to inform the advisory board

Why having your heart in the right place doesn’t mean you are a qualified decision-maker
The challenge of overcoming politics to engage in true industry collaborationNAR’s role in fostering cooperation
How CMLS is setting the standard of vendor-inclusiveness
Rob’s argument that the nonprofit mandate is the biggest issue hindering MLS progress
The pros and cons of raising MLS fees
The excessive fees vendors pay for access to IDX feeds
The benefits of MLS consolidation:


-Less overhead, more profitable for MLS
-Broker costs decrease
-Vendors can reinvest money saved


The painful loss of jobs that would result from MLS efficiency
James’ prediction that it will take outside forces to facilitate change
The value generated by a very small number of agents -Zillow market cap at 7.6B -80,000 agents


Sam’s take on the future of the real estate industry

-MLS will be part of equation (dependent on data)
-Fewer MLSs
-Realtor will remain at center of transaction

Greg’s A Few Good Men analogy
Rob’s theory about the future MLS breakdown
The top barriers to change: 

-Politics
-Lack of data standards

Sam and James’ advice to MLS execs moving forward


-Focus on broker priorities
-Be flexible, innovative in delivering
-Discuss pain points with vendors
-Work with other MLSs on same process


Resources:


Seattle Homes Group

NextHome

MLS 2020 Agenda

CMLS 2017

Connect with Rob and Greg:

 

Rob’s Website 

Greg’s Website 

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