This is our 8th annual FQR, and 2015 is off to a fast start. You won’t believe some of the top stories from the first three months of this year.
There is no doubt that the Industry is at a crossroads, as the Federal Reserve seriously considers raising interest rates this summer. Here are the most noteworthy stories of the first quarter of 2015, once again, “calling it as we see it.”
With all of the turmoil in the marketplace over Listhub’s April 7 cutoff of listings to Zillow, much bigger news has slipped beneath the radar.
The Arizona Regional MLS ARMLS has merged with the San Diego County MLS (Sandicor), forming the largest MLS in North America. The newly merged entity, Bi State MLS (BS MLS for short), will be the first major MLS to use the new MLS vendor platform, created by Real Property Requests, a new Canadian entry to this space, home based in Saskatoon, Saskatchewan. This new platform allows developers to create valuable real estate applications without being required to source the data and develop complex aggregation and data interpretation algorithms. Through the use of Open APIs that provide access to listing data, support existing single sign-on authentication, and facilitate authorization, applications that leverage existing data can be built very cost-effectively leading to a richer ecosystem of features that will benefit real estate professionals. Included in the MLS product will be deep, rich, underlying data, for every parcel in the US, provided by Yardi Information Systems (YIS). What will happen to the current MLS vendors? Most predict that within 5 years they will all be gone.
The New York Times reports that Google has decided to enter the real estate space once again, this time, by buying MOVE (REALTOR Dot Com) for 4 Billion Dollars. The mission is to make the REALTOR irrelevant.
In the first phase, Google has added a solicitation for free real estate services on its landing page.
Bob Hale has taken a position as Vice President, Google Real Estate…Congratulations Bob!
FLASH: 14 Billion to 7 Billion rocks the Market!
One of the largest and most prestigious marketing analytics companies in the country just released new figures. The number of dollars spent in marketing by agents and brokers, previously reported at 14 Billion Dollars annually, is actually less than 7 billion dollars per year. 14 Billion is the number that had been promoted to investors. Coupled with the feed cutoff from Listhub in a week, we are seeing resetting of certain stock valuations and Short Sellers of Portal stocks have been coming out of the woodwork all morning. Fortunes are being made, and lost.
Kiosks are back!
If all you want are more worthless views to add to your worthless portal views, put up Kiosks at drug stores. An old company is back to see if it can build a business out of worthless eyeballs.
Dual Agency is a violation of the Consumer Protection Act and will be enforced with the full weight of the government. Seen as a victory for Buyer Agents, and a small group of real estate professionals who are referred to as “Exclusive Buyers Agents” in that they will only represent buyers, and never sellers, in ANY transaction.
A national exam for all real estate licensees beginning April 1, 2016. Author John Reilly is hastily working on a revised edition to his popular text “Questions & Answers To Pass the Real Estate Exam.”
Greg Robertson posted a hot one in today’s Vendor Alley Job Board column: Both Google and Amazon are looking for senior executive level product managers to handle the growing number of generic Top-level Domains (gTLDs) acquired during the initial round of new domains offered by ICANN. Google filed applications for 101 TLDs and Amazon filed for 76. The basic application filing fee was $185,000 for each domain. In many cases, more than one applicant filed for the same domain. In fact, Google and Amazon often found themselves in bidding wars over certain domains. In the most extreme case, Google wound up paying $25 million to win the bidding for the Dot APP domain. So we are talking big bucks here for these new positions, even though all the announcement said was that salary was commensurate with the duties and responsibilities of the job. Greg said that before the ink was dry the first responder was none other than Steve Ozonian. Another responder was the very qualified contender — RISMedia’s Darryl MacPherson, better known as DMAC, and less known for his inability to steal second base.
DOJ sets maximum commission rate on the sale of real property; imposes Commission Tax.
Today the Department of Justice announced the new, maximum commission amounts allowed for all real estate transactions. Effective July 31, 2015, the Maximum Allowable Commission (MAC) is 3.5%.
Of this amount, .5% will be forwarded to the US Treasury upon closing as a Real Estate Commission Tax Allowed Levy(RECTAL).
HBO just announced
a new Pilot and proposed series to follow. The title of the two hour pilot is “Two Real Estate Brokers from Hawaii.”
It is the story of two CIA agents, working undercover at a real estate office in Kahala. John Reilly and Saul Klein will play the two real estate brokers/CIA agents, and Florence Henderson will star as the Office Manager. The weekly series will be entitled “MLS PI, Multiple Listing Private Investigators.” Working undercover with a lockbox key can be convenient.
After taking a year off from their successful crossing of the Pacific ocean from San Francisco to Honolulu in record time for a 2 person rowboat (unescorted) – www.FatChanceRow.org — former Trulia owner Sami Inkinen and wife Meredith have started training for their next adventure – the first husband-wife Moonwalk. The extreme athlete team has enrolled in NASA’s private astronaut program. Sami was able to come up with the $1 billion dollar fee thanks to the recently approved sale of Trulia to Zillow, now known as the Zillow Group.
The California Legislature passed a bill requiring all facilities open to the public, to provide Designated Pet Relief Area (DPRA). Government buildings are exempt.
The Blood Bank opened its first Branch in Transilvania and is expecting large deposits in the first few months.
Wow…I am exhausted…what a day!. Make the most out of this April 1, 2015 There’s more, but you wouldn’t believe most of it!
Some of most memorable real estate events seem to happen on April 1. For a recap of past events, check out these links:
- April 1, 2013
- April 1, 2012
- April 1, 2011
- April 1, 2010
- April 1, 2009
- April 1, 2008
- April 1, 2007
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And that’s the way it is, April 1, 2015. Thank you for reading the First Quarter Report (FQR).
That’s All Folks!