When disaster strikes your online software systems

Over Easter weekend, an outage happened to the largest real estate technology company in America. They recovered quickly and elegantly. On another side of life, a broker client of ours with 400 agents was given one-week notice that the company who provided Microsoft Exchange Mail services is going out of business. The realty is that software systems and hardware systems break. And when it happens, it is very disruptive. It is a good idea to think about your disaster plan every year, and review your vendor contracts. You should have a document that outlines everything that happens when systems fail. [...]

Attention Brokers – Learn how to take back the web from third parties!

While brokers have lots of technology tools at their fingertips today, a high impact website is still a critical tool driving success for any size real estate company.  Third parties continue to gain traction and traffic with consumers because they know what consumers are looking for and they deliver on their needs consistently!  If brokers want to become THE source for real estate consumers, they need to find ways to enhance and re-invent their own web presence. Brokers also need to learn about how to use their online presence to nurture new customer relationships for their agents. RED and RE [...]

Your company is a mess and that’s ok

If you look around your business and recognize a mess, everything is probably working a lot more smoothly than you imagine. It sounds counter intuitive, but companies that are progressive and evolutionary are likely to have many things left undone. Here are three things that you are likely to recognize in your company that are unseemly, but good. Wrong People There is no such thing as a perfect business team. When you evaluate your team, you will recognize that they all have strengths and weaknesses. Everyone is always working on improvement in some area of their professional responsibility. In today’s [...]

Great Companies Execute Effectively

Marilyn Wilson's post yesterday set off a storm. The DMV, known for its historically horrid service experience has changed their ways. They do a good job, at least here in San Luis Obsipo, CA. When WAV Group is providing strategic planning support to an MLS, Association, Technology company, or broker - we measure stuff. There is usually a comparison chart created that shows a checklist of features or service offerings that compares company or product A vs. company or product B, C, and D. This is an important exercise and the information drawn from this type of benchmarking is helpful [...]

Strategic Failure

Preparing for a Strategic Planning session involves a process of gaining a holistic view of the organization from every perspective. Understanding your customer’s perspective is always the primary driver that informs everything. But understanding of staff culture and capabilities; system strengths and limitations; financial conditions; and industry trends pave a path to developing a plan that works. At the end of the day, the board of directors and the management team agree to a group of initiatives that will make the business stronger, and the strategic plan is born. Some organizations in real estate take the plan and execute it [...]

MLSs and the Marketing Center

MLSs have long been a marketing center in some small way. Agents working with buyers and sellers create reports that are organized to provide listing information to clients. The reports are very useful, but aside from the ability to insert a broker logo, agent photo, and contact information, the design of these reports often falls short of achieving the goal of a well-branded and unique marketing piece. Some MLSs have begun to partner with providers to enhance or augment this MLS system functionality, and offer marketing systems that have full feature functionality. MRIS, Metrolist Colorado, MLSListings, MLSLI, and a handful [...]

PWR Launches 10K Reports

The Minneapolis Association of REALTORS developed a company called 10K a few years ago. The mission of the company is to offer REALTORS outstanding market analytic reports. They have been canvasing the country offering the product through MLSs and REALTOR Associations. Pacific West Association of REALTORS (PWR) is a large and recent new customer for 10K. WAV Group had a Q&A session with Lalaine Castillo, PWR VP Marketing and Communications to understand the strategy behind their vendor selection. Question:What differentiated 10K from other stats vendors? Answer:10k understands the business of REALTOR associations and our members,  having deployed similar solutions for [...]

RPR “Best Practices” Case Studies – Keys To Adoption

Every MLS and Broker in the country knows how difficult it is to successfully roll out new products to REALTORS®.  There are so many technology options out there and it’s so difficult to get a busy agent’s attention. It’s even more difficult to convince them to try out a new service that may help project a more professional image when they are in the throes of trying to conduct business. WAV Group has watched Realtor Property Resource® (RPR®) with interest as more and more MLSs and Associations have signed up for this service. From its early beginnings, the product has [...]

Attention MLS Boards – Are You Using All of the Services Provided by Your MLS?

At WAV Group, we conduct strategic planning sessions for many of the nation’s largest MLSs. As part of our due diligence we conduct in-depth interviews with many leading brokers and MLS Board members.  During these interviews, many tell us how they appreciate the depth and scope of services offered by their MLS. There’s a problem though…many of those we interview have not used the services offered by their local MLS.  In some cases, they are not even familiar with the services being offered. These board members haven’t taken the time to learn about each of the services offered by their [...]

Explaining an MLS App Store

I am not sure if anyone is allowed to use Apple's famous App Store name, but lets suffice it to say that the term App Store is familiar to most - so lets use that anyway. The key components of an App Store are Instant delivery, Platform Specific, eCommerce enabled. This is really important to understand because FBS truly is launching the first real MLS App Store. This is different from the RE Technology Success Store, which we call an App Store, but it is really an eCommerce solution. Let me explain: Instant Installation The key component of [...]

Are People Really Resistant to Change?

I had the pleasure of speaking at the Broker Summit put on by the Michigan Association of REALTORSâ this week in Detroit, Michigan.  The topic I was asked to speak on was the “Future of Real Estate”, just a small topic right?  But this was really a fun topic because it gave me an opportunity to talk about some significant changes I have witnessed over the years impacting our industry, like the change in the broker/agent relationship, changes in technology and the changing role of the consumer and what these changes mean for our future.  In this post I don’t [...]

AFIRE’s 2012 Conference Heats Up – Marilyn Wilson to speak

We know you’ve been to your share of boring real estate conferences, filled with lackluster speakers tackling the same topics you’ve heard a dozen times before. Breakout sessions, if available, offer the same-old, same-old. That’s not what AFIRE is all about.  We’re just 9 weeks from the opening of our AFIRE conference, Courageous Leadership, in Scottsdale, Arizona...and we can’t wait! As a member of the AFIRE Advisory Board, I can't wait to share all of the exciting news about this year's event! AFIRE is a dynamic event created by women who are leaders in our industry. It's been created for [...]