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Social Media Seeks to be National MLS Built by Independent Brokers




Independent Brokers, take a look

Want to compete with the big boys? PropertyMaps is by and for independent Brokers across the country seeking to be America’s most complete property search portal- a National MLS.

Their goals are to pull together Independent Brokers and network them, giving Independents the opportunity to compete on a national scale.  Unlike MLS Circumventors, brokers are partners and capture and manage their own leads in house, there is no middle man- PropertyMaps is simply your outsourced front and back end developer, and because the feed is Broker direct, they’re using ILD feeds rather than IDX allowing consumers to see the most complete listing possible.

PropertyMaps seeks to be the one stop shop for the Independent as they’re your CRM, IDX, mini-maps, media, consumer to agent chat, community data, and Lead Generation all in one saving you money.

If you’re currently a member of PropertyMaps, let us know what you think! | PropertyMaps on Twitter

Agent Genius is not affiliated with

Benn Rosales is the Founder and CEO of The American Genius (AG), national news network for tech and entrepreneurs, proudly celebrating 10 years in publishing, recently ranked as the #5 startup in Austin. Before founding AG, he founded one of the first digital media strategy firms in the nation and also acquired several other firms. His resume prior includes roles at Apple and Kroger Foods, specializing in marketing, communications, and technology integration. He is a recipient of the Statesman Texas Social Media Award and is an Inman Innovator Award winner. He has consulted for numerous startups (both early- and late-stage), has built partnerships and bridges between tech recruiters and the best tech talent in the industry, and is well known for organizing the digital community through popular monthly networking events. Benn does not venture into the spotlight often, rather believes his biggest accomplishments are the talent he recruits, develops, and gives all credit to those he's empowered.

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  1. Ben Miller

    July 9, 2009 at 12:21 pm

    Good thought but I don’t see these guys surviving a Google onslaught. Their best bet is to get as many people registered as possible and cross their fingers for a Google acquisition. I do agree with them that the MLS model is on the way out and they will be forced to change or die on the vine.

  2. Benn Rosales

    July 9, 2009 at 1:01 pm

    Hey Ben, I know what you’re saying, but when we’re talking about ILD versus IDX the real beauty comes- it’s the entire listing in most cases, complete data with combined community data, and a strength in numbers goal, it’s leaps ahead of anything you’ll get with a g-map if independent brokers were to really get behind it.

  3. Ben Miller

    July 9, 2009 at 4:12 pm

    I agree with everything you are saying, but I believe that this strength in numbers will take place for free on Google and not with a cost on PropertyMap.

    To be honest I am not too familiar with ILD. Can you provide any examples of ILD versus IDX to educate me? What percentage of residential buyers do you think dial down into that much detail?

  4. Benn Rosales

    July 9, 2009 at 4:18 pm

    Hey Ben, I’m certainly not trying to sell this to anyone, but so you know exactly what I know, they speak to exactly what ILD is and show a comparative chart for traffic results:

  5. Benn Rosales

    July 9, 2009 at 4:18 pm

    oops hit submit to quickly, there’s a vid at the bottom, I think its around minute 5 or 6

  6. M Realty

    July 9, 2009 at 6:58 pm

    Very interesting idea, though it would not be very useful unless lots of people signed up. I wonder if it integrates with anyone or any software at this point in time. When are we going to get a unified MLS standard that someone actually sticks to?

  7. Fred Romano

    July 9, 2009 at 7:45 pm

    Isn’t this the same thing Realseekr tried to do and has yet to accomplish? They can’t get their act together.

    Do we really need a national MLS? We already have right. That’s a close as it’s gotten, but we need to take it back and stop charging agents to get their own leads for their own listings!!! We need to improve that site and take it into the social future (like Trulia is doing).

    It costs from $32 to $55 per listing to showcase… Just disgusting. Let’s take back!!!!

  8. Ben Miller

    July 10, 2009 at 10:02 am

    Thanks for the link, Benn. I think this is a very interesting and almost inevitable development, and I was just trying to further the discussion (not refute anything you wrote). PropertyMaps is certainly a big player in this and it will be interesting to see how it all plays out.

  9. Joe Loomer

    July 10, 2009 at 1:27 pm

    Don’t think they stand a chance. If you compare and on – you’re looking at over seven million visitors last month vs. just over nineteen thousand. How are they going to climb that mountain?

    Navy Chief, Navy Pride

  10. Joe Loomer

    July 10, 2009 at 1:29 pm

    Ben & Benn,

    I think this is a novel idea that does not stand a chance of succeeding.

    If you plug both domain names in to to see how they match up, you’re looking at getting over seven million visitors per month vs. propertymaps’ nineteen thousand. That’s a huge mountain to climb.

    Navy Chief, Navy Pride

  11. Peter Greer

    July 12, 2009 at 1:31 pm

    They are missing the point of an MLS. MLSs provide agents with a medium for which to market thier properties and also to find properties for buyers. It has nothing to do with large and small brokerage. Most MLSs have provitions for IDX and now with the DOJ and NAR agreement VOWs (virtual web sites) are starting to open up. There is no advantage to the average agent in this concept with the exception of giving them one more web site to increase exposure. My independent compamny already exposes listings to over a hundred sites.

  12. Ben Miller

    July 13, 2009 at 12:17 pm

    Hi Peter,
    You are starting to get at the heart of what I was saying. MLS provides agents with a medium… for a fee. Google can come in and provide a unified, national medium for FREE, and more importantly, they have the brand and market share to make it work. At least that is where the signs are pointing at this point. My point was that it will be hard for someone like PropertyMaps to compete with that let alone MLS. Joe’s point reinforces that. This won’t affect someone like They can just port the listings hosted by Google along with MLS until the winner emerges. I’m putting my money on Google.

  13. Ryan

    July 14, 2009 at 5:05 pm

    Upon reading this I grew interested in PropertyMaps – which I’d never heard of. Went to their site to check them out. They boast a really bitching (sounding) CRM product.

    I called to learn more and the company phone number has been disconnected. Further digging …. I went to their Press Release section – and their most recent was June 2008-ish – whoa. So I call the PR contact but her number has been ‘changed’. I call the new number and someone promptly disconnects the call immediately after answering! I call back and suddenly I’m talking to the PR person. Yippee! Happy ending? Not really. I’m very curtly informed there has been a change in ownership. I need to email my request to her – at her Gmail account!

    “But,” I protest. “I don’t really have a request. I want to learn more about your CRM product.”

    🙂 Just thought I’d share my funny story!


  14. Ben Miller

    July 17, 2009 at 4:18 pm

    Can I double down my Google bet??? Thanks for sharing Ryan

  15. Ryan

    July 21, 2009 at 6:00 pm

    Still waiting for a PropertyMaps callback, sigh. Assuming they are toast.

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Social Media

Facebook releases Hotline as yet another Clubhouse competitor

(SOCIAL MEDIA) As yet another app emerges to try and take some of Clubhouse’s success, Facebook Hotline adds a slightly more formal video chat component to the game.



Woman forming hands into heart shape at laptop hosting live video chat, similar to Facebook's new app Hotline

Facebook is at it again and launching its own version of another app. This time, the company has launched Hotline, which looks like a cross between Instagram Live and Clubhouse.

Facebook’s Hotline is the company’s attempt at competing with Clubhouse, the audio-based social media app, which was released on iOS in March 2020. Earlier this year, The New York Times reported Facebook had already begun working on building its own version of the app. Erik Hazzard, who joined Facebook in 2017 after the company acquired his tbh app, is leading the project.

The app was created by the New Product Experimentation (NPE) Team, Facebook’s experimental development division, and it’s already in beta testing online. To access it, you can use the web-based application through the platform’s website to join the waitlist and “Host a Show”. However, you will need to sign in using your Twitter account to do so.

Unlike Clubhouse, Hotline lets users also chat through video and not just audio alone. The product is more like a formal Q&A and recording platform. Its features allow people to live stream and hold Q&A sessions with their audiences similar to Instagram Live. And, audience members can ask questions by using text or audio.

Also, what makes Hotline a little more formal than Clubhouse is that it automatically records conversations. According to TechCrunch, hosts receive both a video and audio recording of the event. With a guaranteed recording feature, the Q&A sessions will stray away from the casual vibes of Clubhouse.

The first person to host a Q&A live stream on Hotline is real-estate investor Nick Huber, who is the type of “expert” Facebook is hoping to attract to its platform.

“With Hotline, we’re hoping to understand how interactive, live multimedia Q&As can help people learn from experts in areas like professional skills, just as it helps those experts build their businesses,” a Facebook spokesperson told TechCrunch. “New Product Experimentation has been testing multimedia products like CatchUp, Venue, Collab, and BARS, and we’re encouraged to see the formats continue to help people connect and build community,” the spokesperson added.

According to a Reuters article, the app doesn’t have any audience size limits, hosts can remove questions they don’t want to answer, and Facebook is moderating inappropriate content during its early days.

An app for mobile devices isn’t available yet, but if you want to check it out, you can visit Hotline’s website.

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Social Media

Brace yourselves: Facebook has re-opened political advertising space

(SOCIAL MEDIA) After a break due to misinformation in the past election, Facebook is once again allowing political advertising slots on their platform – with some caveats.



Facebook open on phone in a wallet case, open for political advertising again.

After a months-long ban on political ads due to misinformation and other inappropriate behavior following the election in November, Facebook is planning to resume providing space for political advertising.

Starting on Thursday, March 4th, advertisers were able to buy spots for ads that comprise politics, what Facebook categorizes as “social issues”, and other potentially charged topics previously prohibited by the social media platform.

The history of the ban is complicated, and its existence was predicated on a profound distrust between political parties and mainstream news. In the wake of the 2016 election and illicit advertising activity that muddied the proverbial waters, Facebook had what some would view as a clear moral obligation to prevent similar sediment from clouding future elections.

Facebook delivered on that obligation by removing political advertising from their platform prior to Election Day, a decision that would stand fast in the tumultuous months to follow. And, while Facebook did temporarily suspend the ban in Georgia during the senate proceedings, political advertisements nevertheless remained absent from the platform in large until last week.

The removal of the ban does have some accompanying caveats—namely the identification process. Unlike before, advertisers will have to go to great lengths to confirm their identities prior to launching ads. Those ads will most likely also need to come from domestic agencies given Facebook’s diligent removal of foreign and malicious campaigns in the prior years.

The moral debate regarding social media advertising—particularly on Facebook—is a deeply nuanced and divided one. Some argue that, by removing political advertising across the board, Facebook has simply limited access for “good actors” and cleared the way for illegitimate claims.

Facebook’s response to this is simply that they didn’t understand fully the role ads would play in the electoral process, and that allowing those ads back will allow them to learn more going forward.

Either way, political advertising spots are now open on Facebook, and the overall public perception seems controversial enough to warrant keeping an eye on the progression of this decision. It wouldn’t be entirely unexpected for Facebook to revoke access to these advertisements again—or limit further their range and scope—in the coming months and years.

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Social Media

Twitter to start charging users? Here’s what you need to know

(SOCIAL MEDIA) Social media is trending toward the subscription based model, especially as the pandemic pushes ad revenue down. What does this mean for Twitter users?



Twitter and other social media apps open on a phone being held in a hand. Will they go to a paid option subscription model?

In an attempt to become less dependent on advertising, Twitter Inc. announced that it will be considering developing a subscription product, as well as other paid options. Here’s the scoop:

  • The ideas for paid Twitter that are being tossed around include tipping creators, the ability to pay users you follow for exclusive content, charging for use of the TweetDeck, features like “undo send”, and profile customization options and more.
  • While Twitter has thought about moving towards paid for years, the pandemic has pushed them to do it – plus activist investors want to see accelerated growth.
  • The majority of Twitter’s revenue comes from targeted ads, though Twitter’s ad market is significantly smaller than Facebook and other competitors.
  • The platform’s user base in the U.S. is its most valuable market, and that market is plateauing – essentially, Twitter can’t depend on new American users joining to make money anymore.
  • The company tried user “tips” in the past with its live video service Periscope (RIP), which has now become a popular business model for other companies – and which we will most likely see again with paid Twitter.
  • And yes, they will ALWAYS take a cut of any money being poured into the app, no matter who it’s intended for.

This announcement comes at a time where other social media platforms, such as TikTok and Clubhouse, are also moving towards paid options.

My hot take: Is it important – especially during a pandemic – to make sure that creators are receiving fair compensation for the content that we as users consume? Yes, 100%. Pay people for their work. And in the realm of social media, pictures, memes, and opinions are in fact work. Don’t get it twisted.

Does this shift also symbolize a deviation from the unpaid, egalitarian social media that we’ve all learned to use, consume, and love over the last decade? It sure does.

My irritation stems not from the fact that creators will probably see more return on their work in the future. Or on the principal of free social media for all. It stems from sheer greediness of the social media giants. Facebook, Twitter, and their counterparts are already filthy rich. Like, dumb rich. And guess what: Even though Twitter has been free so far, it’s creators and users alike that have been generating wealth for the company.

So why do they want even more now?

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