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Move’s ListHub launches Real Estate Network for listing syndication

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The shifting listing syndication ecosystem

At the NAR Annual Conference in November, the IDX Policy Presidential Advisory Group (PAG) recommended that Franchisors consider syndication as a means to source listings for display on their websites, in line with recommendations emerging from the PAG’s meeting in August to be crafted by a work group to be presented in May to the NAR MLS Policy Committee at the NAR Mid-Year conference.

Move, Inc., operator of ListHub, Realtor.com and TopProducer has been working with the Franchisors to implement the PAG recommendations, today announcing “The Real Estate Network” which will allow MLSs and Brokers (at their option) to syndicate listings to Franchisors and large broker networks (such as The Realty Alliance or Leading-RE).  According to Move, this will, for the first time, enable these industry participants to display listings on their own sites (rather than linking off to third-party sites).  This will also allow these Franchisors and Broker Networks to compete with non-industry sites like Zillow and Trulia.

Move has created a standard set of display rules that all participating Franchisors/Broker Networks have voluntarily agreed to abide by which Move says will ensure that brokers’ interests will be preserved and facilitate a level playing field among the participants. Century 21, Coldwell Banker, RE/MAX and Realty Executives are the charger members of the Real Estate Network and have agreed to a single set of 23 rules that will apply nationwide.

“ListHub’s Real Estate Network answers an industry need to promote listings on high-visibility franchisor and broker network websites in a way that maximizes and ensures broker control,” said Move CEO Steve Berkowitz. “As an organization committed to online property listing integrity and respect for the content owner’s rights, this is an industry-friendly initiative Move is uniquely positioned to lead. We are excited to expand the value we bring to our broker and franchise customers, as well as to our MLS partners.”

Full details

Advance press release from Move:
LISTHUB LAUNCHES REAL ESTATE NETWORK
Real Estate Brokers Extend Reach to Millions of Consumers Through Real Estate Franchisor and Broker Network Websites

Campbell, Calif., – (January 11, 2012) – ListHub, the largest syndicator of real estate listings, today announced the launch of the Real Estate Network (REN) to extend the syndication of property listings to highly trafficked websites operated by real estate franchisors and brokerage networks. ListHub’s Real Estate Network will be available at no charge and as a voluntary syndication option for brokers and Multiple Listing Services (MLSs). ListHub is operated by Move, Inc., (NASDAQ:MOVE), the leader in online real estate.

Century 21, Coldwell Banker, Realty Executives International, and RE/MAX are among the first publishers to join the network at launch. Together, these publisher websites attract 4,331,000 million unique visitors# each month. ListHub expects to add additional franchisor and broker network websites to the Real Estate Network in the near future.

“ListHub’s Real Estate Network answers an industry need to promote listings on high-visibility franchisor and broker network websites in a way that maximizes and ensures broker control,” said Move CEO Steve Berkowitz. “As an organization committed to online property listing integrity and respect for the content owner’s rights, this is an industry-friendly initiative Move is uniquely positioned to lead. We are excited to expand the value we bring to our broker and franchise customers, as well as to our MLS partners”

With the launch of REN, the 376 MLSs and 43,000 brokerage firms currently distributing listings through ListHub may now choose to send their listings to one or more sites within the network with one easy click. Participating brokers and MLSs retain full control over where their listings are and are not syndicated to within the network. One set of standardized, industry-friendly rules will govern the display of listings on publisher websites in the network, and can be found at: https://www.listhub.net/networkrules.html. Franchisors themselves will also participate in the network, displaying each other’s listing inventory on their websites.

Mike Pappas, president and chief executive officer of The Keyes Company, a real estate brokerage based in Miami, Florida said, “We have promoted our listings on competitors’ websites for years through IDX to maximize the marketing value we deliver to our sellers, and we view the Real Estate Network as an extension of that effort. As long as I can control where my listings go, and can rely on clear rules for how they are displayed, I welcome this additional distribution.”

“We are pleased to expand the distribution of our brokers’ listings through the Real Estate Network, and enhance our franchise brands’ online listing distribution strategy,” said Alex Perriello, president and chief executive officer of the Realogy Franchise Group. “We believe our brands’ participation in the Real Estate Network ultimately will result in a better online experience for their customers.”

“ListHub’s Real Estate Network will enable us to offer accurate and timely information for display with a single set of nationwide display rules so we can connect with more consumers and drive more value for our sales associates,” said Margaret Kelly, chief executive officer of RE/MAX. “The Real Estate Network is a welcome opportunity to compete on an equal footing with non-industry sites and provide broad exposure for listings represented by many different brokers.”

Tara Steele is the News Director at The American Genius, covering entrepreneur, real estate, technology news and everything in between. If you'd like to reach Tara with a question, comment, press release or hot news tip, simply click the link below.

Business News

Big retailers are opting for refunds instead of returns

(BUSINESS NEWS) Due to increased shipping costs, big companies like Amazon and Walmart are opting to give out a refund rather than accepting small items returned.

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Package delivery people holding deliveries. Refund instead of returns are common now.

The holidays are over, and now some people are ready to return an item that didn’t quite work out or wasn’t on their Christmas list. Whatever the reason, some retailers are giving customers a refund and letting them keep the product, too.

When Vancouver, Washington resident, Lorie Anderson, tried returning makeup from Target and batteries from Walmart she had purchased online, the retailers told her she could keep or donate the products. “They were inexpensive, and it wouldn’t make much financial sense to return them by mail,” said Ms. Anderson, 38. “It’s a hassle to pack up the box and drop it at the post office or UPS. This was one less thing I had to worry about.”

Amazon.com Inc., Walmart Inc., and other companies are changing the way they handle returns this year, according to a report by The Wall Street Journal (WSJ). The companies are using artificial intelligence (AI) to weigh the costs of processing physical returns versus just issuing a refund and having customers keep the item.

For instance, if it costs more to ship an inexpensive or larger item than it is to refund the purchase price, companies are giving customers a refund and telling them to keep the products also. Due to an increase in online shopping, it makes sense for companies to change how they manage returns.

Locus Robotics chief executive Rick Faulk told the Journal that the biggest expense when it comes to processing returns is shipping costs. “Returning to a store is significantly cheaper because the retailer can save the freight, which can run 15% to 20% of the cost,” Faulk said.

But, returning products to physical stores isn’t something a lot of people are wanting to do. According to the return processing firm Narvar, online returns increased by 70% in 2020. With people still hunkered down because of the pandemic, changing how to handle returns is a good thing for companies to consider to reduce shipping expenses.

While it might be nice to keep the makeup or batteries for free, don’t expect to return that new PS5 and get to keep it for free, too. According to WSJ, a Walmart spokesperson said the company lets someone keep a refunded item only if the company doesn’t plan on reselling it. And, besides taking the economic costs into consideration, the companies look at the customer’s purchase history as well.

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Google workers have formed company’s first labor union

(BUSINESS NEWS) A number of Google employees have agreed to commit 1% of their salary to labor union dues to support employee activism and fight workplace discrimination.

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Google complex with human sized chessboard, where a labor union has been formed.

On Monday morning, Google workers announced that they have formed a union with the support of the Communications Workers of America (CWA), the largest communications and media labor union in the U.S.

The new union, Alphabet Workers Union (AWU) was organized in secret for about a year and formed to support employee activism, and fight discrimination and unfairness in the workplace.

“From fighting the ‘real names’ policy, to opposing Project Maven, to protesting the egregious, multi-million dollar payouts that have been given to executives who’ve committed sexual harassment, we’ve seen first-hand that Alphabet responds when we act collectively. Our new union provides a sustainable structure to ensure that our shared values as Alphabet employees are respected even after the headlines fade,” stated Program Manager Nicki Anselmo in a press release.

AWU is the first union in the company’s history, and it is open to all employees and contractors at any Alphabet company in the United States and Canada. The cost of membership is 1% of an employee’s total compensation, and the money collected will be used to fund the union organization.

In a response to the announcement, Google’s Director of People Operations, Kara Silverstein, said, “We’ve always worked hard to create a supportive and rewarding workplace for our workforce. Of course, our employees have protected labor rights that we support. But as we’ve always done, we’ll continue engaging directly with all our employees.”

Unlike other labor unions, the AWU is considered a “Minority Union”. This means it doesn’t need formal recognition from the National Labor Relations Board. However, it also means Alphabet can’t be forced to meet the union’s demands until a majority of employees support it.

So far, the number of members in the union represents a very small portion of Google’s workforce, but it’s growing every day. When the news of the union was first announced on Monday, roughly 230 employees made up the union. Less than 24 hours later, there were 400 employees in the union, and now that number jumped to over 500 employees.

Unions among Silicon Valley’s tech giants are rare, but labor activism is slowly picking up speed, especially with more workers speaking out and organizing.

“The Alphabet Workers Union will be the structure that ensures Google workers can actively push for real changes at the company, from the kinds of contracts Google accepts to employee classification to wage and compensation issues. All issues relevant to Google as a workplace will be the purview of the union and its members,” stated the AWU in a press release.

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Ticketmaster caught red-handed hacking, hit with major fines

(BUSINESS NEWS) Ticketmaster has agreed to pay $10 million to resolve criminal charges after hacking into a competitor’s network specifically to sabotage.

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Person open on hacking computer screen, typing on keyboard.

Live Nation’s Ticketmaster agreed to pay $10 million to resolve criminal charges after admitting to hacking into a competitor’s network and scheming to “choke off” the ticket seller company and “cut [victim company] off at the knees”.

Ticketmaster admitted hiring former employee, Stephen Mead, from startup rival CrowdSurge (which merged with Songkick) in 2013. In 2012, Mead signed a separation agreement to keep his previous company’s information confidential. When he joined Live Nation, Mead provided that confidential information to the former head of the Artist Services division, Zeeshan Zaidi, and other Ticketmaster employees. The hacking information shared with the company included usernames, passwords, data analytics, and other insider secrets.

“When employees walk out of one company and into another, it’s illegal for them to take proprietary information with them. Ticketmaster used stolen information to gain an advantage over its competition, and then promoted the employees who broke the law. This investigation is a perfect example of why these laws exist – to protect consumers from being cheated in what should be a fair market place,” said FBI Assistant Director-in-Charge Sweeney.

In January 2014, Mead gave a Ticketmaster executive multiple sets of login information to Toolboxes, the competitor’s password-protected app that provides real-time data about tickets sold through the company. Later, at an Artists Services Summit, Mead logged into a Toolbox and demonstrated the product to Live Nation and Ticketmaster employees. Information collected from the Toolboxes were used to “benchmark” Ticketmaster’s offerings against the competitor.

“Ticketmaster employees repeatedly – and illegally – accessed a competitor’s computers without authorization using stolen passwords to unlawfully collect business intelligence,” said Acting U.S. Attorney DuCharme in a statement. “Further, Ticketmaster’s employees brazenly held a division-wide ‘summit’ at which the stolen passwords were used to access the victim company’s computers, as if that were an appropriate business tactic.”

The hacking violations were first reported in 2017 when CrowdSurge sued Live Nation for antitrust violations. A spokesperson told The Verge, “Ticketmaster terminated both Zaidi and Mead in 2017, after their conduct came to light. Their actions violated our corporate policies and were inconsistent with our values. We are pleased that this matter is now resolved.”

To resolve the case, Ticketmaster will pay a $10 million criminal penalty, create a compliance and ethics program, and report to the United States Attorney’s Office annually during a three-year term. If the agreement is breached, Ticketmaster will be charged with: “One count of conspiracy to commit computer intrusions, one count of computer intrusion for commercial advantage, one count of computer intrusion in furtherance of fraud, one count of wire fraud conspiracy and one count of wire fraud.”

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