Category Archives: Marketing

Placester Raises Dough, Takes Aim at Zillow and Trulia

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My friend Seth Price, aka, Best Dressed Man in Real Estate, works for a startup called Placester. Many of you know the company, as it makes IDX websites for brokers and agents. High quality design templates and custom websites is Placester’s game. Or rather it was Placester’s game.

This morning, Placester announced that it had raised an additional $5.5M in funding. That news by itself isn’t something I’d normally write about, but there is an interesting angle here.

News release and thoughts after the jump.

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What L’Affaire d’Errol et Curt Means: Brief Thoughts

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I’m really, really, really slammed with work so this won’t be as in-depth and searching as I’d like, but I do think it’s important to put down these semi-brief thoughts, so I can figure out what I think about what Zillow’s recent personnel moves means.

Let me not bury the lede. L’Affaire d’Errol et Curt means that Zillow has written off organized real estate as a significant player in the future of the real estate industry.

I have no special insights, haven’t spoken to anyone from Zillow, and I seriously doubt they would agree with such a strong conclusion. But that’s what my tea leaves are saying to me. Commence calling me crazy at your leisure.

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Ease Up On the Glamor Shots…

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A static screenshot just doesn’t do it justice. Go visit the site.

First, the positive, because I do so love accentuating the positives when I see them. For whatever reason, I’m more fascinated by problems and issues and doomporn and such, but it’s so nice to see real estate people doing really cool shit.

The example here is Real Living, based in DC. The co-founder and co-CEO, Darrin Friedman, has created one of the — if not THE — coolest real estate brokerage website I’ve ever seen. Check it out here: www.rlathome.com.

Seriously a great job, Darrin!

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The Realcomp Anti-Trust Ruling Will Affect MLS Syndication

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Inman News reports that the Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals has ruled against Realcomp II in a years-long case:

Michigan’s largest multiple listing service “unreasonably restrained competition” among real estate brokers by refusing to transmit exclusive agency property listings favored by discount brokers to Realtor.com and other public-facing Web sites, a federal appeals court has ruled.

At issue was whether Realcomp’s refusal to transmit Exclusive Agency listings to places like Realtor.com was anti-competitive. Since Realcomp’s policy only applies to a tiny fraction of listings in the market, Laurie Janik, the outgoing General Counsel of NAR, suggested this wasn’t that big a deal:

NAR General Counsel Laurie Janik said that because other MLSs don’t have similar rules in place, the appeals court ruling is unlikely to have a wider impact. “I’m sure it’s extremely disappointing news to the folks at Realcomp, but it’s not the kind of case that’s going to send ripples across the rest of the industry,”

That’s especially true since the NAR’s MLS Policy prohibits the MLS from excluding Exclusive Agency listings from feeds, as Realcomp had done.

Nonetheless, I respectfully disagree with Ms. Janik. I think this ruling will send ripples across the rest of the industry. At the very least, it should since the next case that comes down the pike will surely look at Realcomp II, Ltd. v. FTC as precedent.

(By the way, for the non-lawyer folks, this case is especially significant because it came from the Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals. The only higher court is the Supreme Court. At least within the Sixth Circuit, which covers Kentucky, Michigan, Ohio and Tennessee, this ruling is binding. And throughout the country, the ruling will be extremely persuasive.)

Before we dive into why I think this ruling is significant, since I am doing law-blogging here, I have to say that this is in no way a legal opinion (I mean, c’mon, it’s a blog post) and that you should consult your own qualified legal counsel.

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In Which I Have Fun With Sam DeBord’s Inman Article on Pocket Listing Liability

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It’s a busy day here, but I couldn’t resist this. :)

Sam DeBord, a really intelligent and perceptive guy, who is also a working broker for Coldwell Banker Danforth in Seattle, wrote a long column on Inman about the possibility of huge liabilities for brokerages because of pocket listings. Read the whole thing.

There are important issues Sam raises, but I couldn’t help but um… rewrite huge sections of it, especially when it came to attorneys speculating about legal liability and the like. Think of the following as friendly repurposing. :)

There are serious issues to be discussed here, I guess, but that doesn’t mean we can’t have a little fun while trying to do it. Here we go then.

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