Tag Archives: real estate agents

Zillow Acquires Dotloop – I Chat With Errol and Austin, and Have Initial Thoughts

Earlier today, Zillow announced it was acquiring dotLoop, the popular real estate transaction management platform company. The terms of the deal were not disclosed. The press release is here:

Zillow Group (NASDAQ:Z), which houses a portfolio of the largest and most vibrant real estate and home-related brands on mobile and Web, today announced it has entered into a definitive agreement to buy DotLoop, a Cincinnati-based company that simplifies real estate transactions by enabling brokerages, real estate agents, and their clients to share, edit, sign and store documents digitally. The transaction is subject to the satisfaction of customary closing conditions and is expected to close in the third quarter of 2015.

Over the next 48-72 hours, you may expect to see the traditional industry freakout that happens whenever Zillow does anything. Expect everything from predictions of doom for Zillow, doom for brokers, doom for dotLoop, doom for everything and everybody under the sun.

Now, I do think the acquisition is interesting on a whole lot of levels. But I haven’t thought through all of those yet, and the deal is merely announced, rather than closed. So details are thin on the ground.

I did just get off a conference call with Errol Samuelson, Chief Industry Development Officer of Zillow Group, and Austin Allison, CEO of dotLoop where we chatted about the deal at a high level. I figured I should relate that conversation, and then maybe do my think-out-loud deal at the end as a bonus.

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Brief Post: Why Young People Don’t Become Real Estate Agents

Over on Facebook, my friend Nick Solis is on a roll about the aging REALTOR population.

There are some good points being made over there mostly from younger REALTOR types. But I don’t think the issue is all that complicated. So before I go board this plane, I thought I’d jot a few thoughts down on why young people don’t become real estate agents.

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Reading the Union Position on Monell v. Boston Pads

One of the law firms who filed the union-side amicus brief

One of the law firms who filed the union-side amicus brief

As my readers know, the recent Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court (“SJC”) handed down its ruling in Monell v. Boston Pads. I wrote about that case and cautioned against irrational exuberance from the results, because the results were not exactly a huge victory for the real estate industry’s position.

Thing is, Bararsani v. Coldwell Banker, the ginormous California case that everyone has been watching has yet to be decided, and one rightly wonders what the impact (if any) of Monell v. Boston Pads might be to that case. There is no controlling authority, since SJC is the state supreme court, not the Federal one, but there may be persuasive authority to the judge in Bararsani. I touched on that in my previous post.

Now one of the more interesting subplots of the Bararsani case — and all real estate independent contractor cases — is the involvement of the labor unions. One piece of scuttlebutt I heard from the folks at CAR (California Assoc. of REALTORS) is that CAR approached the legislature to make it clear that real estate agents were not to be considered as employees… and the legislature refused, because the unions didn’t want that. (What that says about REALTOR political power is a subject for another post, another day.)

So… I thought it might be interesting to try to understand what the argument of the labor unions are. Thankfully, the unions — by way of an amicus brief — made its arguments clear to the court in Monell. I understand this is probably of zero interest to those readers who aren’t law junkies or aren’t involved in strategic planning for the Bararsani litigation, but… what the hell. I think it’s interesting.

Notorious ROB — where I read law briefs so you don’t have to. :)

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The Truth About OfferGen & Telephonophobia

Telephonophobia

For the Gen-Y readers: that round thing with holes in it is called “the dial”. I know you’ve never seen one in the wild.

I recently had the pleasure of talking to Andrew Flachner of RealScout, who penned this article on Inman recently:

The answer to me, and to many real estate veterans, is obvious. A strategy that directly focuses on producing more transactions, while providing more value to the client, is far more rewarding, both financially and professionally.

“Offer generation,” the strategy of systematically and scalably converting clients into transaction offers, is the direct result of this realization. It will benefit the industry to have the same thought leadership, financial investment and technological innovation garnered by lead gen to be redirected to “offer gen.” We need to focus more on generating offers and less on generating leads.

I couldn’t agree with Andrew more on the concept and the philosophy behind this “OfferGen Movement”. But I thought I’d write this to point out the obvious truth about OfferGen, and make a suggestion or two (that will go ignored by the Powers That Be, of course).

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Oh, California… Duty to Monitor Crazies?

Santa Barbara Mom Lawsuit

I ran across this disturbing story on the Interwebz related to the horrible killings in Santa Barbara last year:

A tearful mother of a college student slain in a rampage outside Santa Barbara last year said Tuesday that she and the parents of the first victims sued the county sheriff and other parties to prevent future tragedies.

You can’t help but feel sorrow for Kelly Wang and the families of other victims in that tragedy. There’s no question that the killer, Elliot Rodger, was mentally unstable and dangerous.

But… the lawsuit contends that landlords — and by extension, their property managers — have a duty to screen for disturbed individuals, and I have to say I’m wondering about that.

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