NAR published it’s findings on how the industry feels about a National MLS, but the question still remains- can all of the local MLS/Boards get on a common page? “Probably not,” a NAR official said recently speaking off the record. “I don’t think they get it,” one local association official says off the record. With dues going up most Realtors are growing frustrated with NAR and it’s lack of leadership as am I. You didn’t need a survey to get this feeling for what we expect, nor do you need a survey to tell you we are less than impressed with the current presentation of the local MLS in most regions of the country. As technology advances it seems NAR and the Boards bicker over a way forward and I for one see no end in sight. I think if something doesn’t change in the very near future we as an association, local and national may need to rethink our leadership. I for one am here to tell you that you work for me, not the other way around.
Realtor® Survey Reveals Increased Demand For MLS Consolidation (Source NAR Website)
WASHINGTON, August 02, 2007 –
Data sharing, security and consolidation of multiple listing services are top concerns for Realtors® and MLS executives, according to the 2007 REALTOR® MLS Technology Survey. The survey describes MLS trends and technology practices and was released today by the National Association of Realtors® Center for REALTOR® Technology.The fifth annual survey showed strong interest in expanding MLS service territories, with nearly one-third of respondents favoring a statewide MLS, up from 19 percent last year. Twenty-seven percent said that a market area or metro statistical area would be ideal, while 21 percent preferred a larger market region within the state.
MLS service regions commonly expand through consolidations, which the survey also shows are on the rise. Thirty percent of those surveyed said their MLS has already consolidated with one or more MLS, up from 15 percent last year, and another 38 percent are considering consolidation.
While the trend of consolidation continues, MLSs are currently working to address the needs of brokers who are operating in multiple MLS regions through increased data sharing. The survey revealed that nearly one-third of respondents have reciprocal data sharing agreements with other MLSs. Another 23 percent have considered data sharing.
“Realtors® have invested a lot of time and millions of dollars in building and advancing real estate technology,” said NAR President Pat V. Combs, of Grand Rapids, Mich., and vice president of Coldwell Banker-AJS-Schmidt. “Improvements in technology have made it easier for Realtors® to expand their geographic territories, which often results in greater demand for data sharing and integration among MLSs. Consolidation among MLSs will most likely continue in overlapping markets and where it’s most appropriate. This will help bring down costs and enhance service for many Realtors®.”
The survey also revealed the growing use of technology among MLSs for sharing data. Nearly two-thirds of MLS respondents said their MLS makes use of a RETS interface, which allows brokers, third-party software vendors, Realtor® associations and MLSs to share real-time data, regardless of the type of software they use; this figure is up nearly 47 percent since 2005.
The most popular places for MLSs to place listings are REALTOR.com, their local public MLS site, and the local Realtor® association Web site; Realtors® identified the same three sites as the best places to send their property listings. The most commonly shared property information that MLSs send to third parties are photos, amenities, address and tax information.
As data sharing continues to rise among MLSs, more can be done to help protect content. Only a third of MLS respondents watermark their property photos and six out of 10 said they do not make use of data tagging or seeding, a process that helps MLSs identify themselves as the original source of listing information. Three-fourths of respondents believe their MLS has taken security issues more seriously this year than in the past, but only 42 percent said their organization has a written security policy.
“For several years we’ve continued to see a wide gap between awareness of information security issues and the implementation of practices to address those concerns,” said Mark Lesswing, NAR senior vice president and chief technology officer. “NAR continues to develop software applications and certification programs to ensure the continued quality and security of the data contained within the nation’s MLS systems.”
The survey also revealed an increase in security to protect unauthorized access to MLS systems. Twenty-seven percent of MLS respondents said they are currently using two-factor authentications, such as a key FOB or USB device, which are more secure methods for users to access MLS systems than the traditional user ID and password combination. This is up from 2 percent last year. Most MLSs implement two-factor authentications to stop account sharing (47 percent) and increase data security (45 percent).
The level of data integration is also improving. More than half of MLS respondents can integrate tax data into MLS listings, and many now have the option of entering and attaching documents to records on the MLS system, storing contact data and integrating maps with tax and public record data.
Polling for the survey was conducted using LimeSurvey, www.limesurvey.com, a leading open-source tool for online surveys. NAR is a strong supporter of open source software and will make a donation to LimeSurvey to help upgrade and enhance their development and testing equipment. The survey is online at www.realtors.org/crt/2007mlssurvey.
CC Licensed image courtesy of dannyfowler via Flickr.com.
Austin tops the list of best places to buy a home
When looking to buy a home, taking the long view is important before making such a huge investment – where are the best places to make that commitment?
Looking at the bigger picture
(REALUOSO.COM) – Let us first express that although we are completely biased about Texas (we’re headquartered here, I personally grew up here), the data is not – Texas is the best. That’s a scientific fact. There’s a running joke in Austin that if there is a list of “best places to [anything],” we’re on it, and the joke causes eye rolls instead of humility (we’re sore winners and sore losers in this town).
That said, SelfStorage.com dug into the data and determined that the top 12 places to buy a home are currently Texas and North Carolina (and Portland, I guess you’re okay too or whatever).
They examined the nerdiest of numbers from the compound annual growth rate in inflation-adjusted GDP to cost premium, affordability, taxes, job growth, and housing availability.
“Buying a house is a big decision and a big commitment,” the company notes. “Although U.S. home prices have risen in the long term, the last decade has shown that path is sometimes full of twists, turns, dizzying heights and steep, abrupt falls. Today, home prices are stabilizing and increasing in most areas of the U.S.”
Average age of houses on the rise, so is it now better or worse to buy new?
With aging housing in America, are first-time buyers better off buying new or existing homes? The average age of a home is rising, as is the price of new housing, so a shift could be upon us.
The average home age is higher than ever
(REALUOSO.COM) – In a survey from the Department of Housing and Urban Development American Housing Survey (AHS), the median age of homes in the United States was 35 years old. In Texas, homes are a bit younger with the median age between 19 – 29 years. The northeast has the oldest homes, with the median age between 50 – 61 years. In 1985, the median age of a home was only 23 years.
With more houses around 40 years old, the National Association of Realtors asserts that homeowners will have to undertake remodeling and renovation projects before selling unless the home is sold as-is, in which case the buyer will be responsible to update their new residence. Even homeowners who aren’t selling will need to consider remodeling for structural and aesthetic reasons.
Prices of new homes on the rise
Newer homes cost more than they used to. The price differential between new homes and older homes has increased from 10 percent traditionally to around 37 percent in 2014. This is due to rising construction costs, scarcity of lots, and a low inventory of new homes that doesn’t meet the demand.
Are Realtors the real loser in the fight between Zillow Group and Move, Inc.?
The last year has been one of dramatic and rapid change in the real estate tech sector, but Realtors are vulnerable, and we’re worried.
Why Realtors are vulnerable to these rapid changes
(REALUOSO.COM) – Corporate warfare demands headlines in every industry, but in the real estate tech sector, a storm has been brewing for years, which in the last year has come to a head. Zillow Group and Move, Inc. (which is owned by News Corp. and operates ListHub, Realtor.com, TopProducer, and other brands) have been competing for a decade now, and the race has appeared to be an aggressive yet polite boxing match. Last year, the gloves came off, and now, they’ve drawn swords and appear to want blood.
Note: We’ll let you decide which company plays which role in the image above.
So how then, does any of this make Realtors the victims of this sword fight? Let’s get everyone up to speed, and then we’ll discuss.
1. Zillow poaches top talent, Move/NAR sues
It all started last year when the gloves came off – Move’s Chief Strategy Officer (who was also Realtor.com’s President), Errol Samuelson jumped ship and joined Zillow on the same day he phoned in his resignation without notice. He left under questionable circumstances, which has led to a lengthy legal battle (wherein Move and NAR have sued Zillow and Samuelson over allegations of breach of contract, breach of fiduciary duty, and misappropriation of trade secrets), with the most recent motion being for contempt, which a judge granted to Move/NAR after the mysterious “Samuelson Memo” surfaced.
Salt was added to the wound when Move awarded Samuelson’s job to Move veteran, Curt Beardsley, who days after Samuelson left, also defected to Zillow. This too led to a lawsuit, with allegations including breach of contract, violation of corporations code, illegal dumping of stocks, and Move has sought restitution. These charges are extremely serious, but demanded slightly less attention than the ongoing lawsuit against Samuelson.
2. Two major media brands emerge
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