Friday Flash: Edina pulls the plug, Zip peddles leads, e-sigs go mobile


Edina Realty announced they are pulling the plug on listings syndication by the end of the year.

We’re going to see a lot more of this. There are many reasons why. But step back a moment and consider the big picture…

If I am a big broker, I have:

  • Gotten my splits chewed down to the nub by agents.
  • Had to contend with license-warehousing chop shops that gave those agents bargaining leverage.
  • Seen small, web-driven buyer brokerages build businesses on a database of listings I create.
  • Watched my MLS try to keep its piece of the Realtor dollar by peddling products, creating consumer destination sites, seeking to build its “brand” and otherwise stepping into a channel I’d like to call my own.
  • Seethed as the NAR launched a sprawling web application and data licensing business (RPR) that thumbs its nose at my desire for remuneration.

Oh, yes, and a cratering housing market.

Let’s party like it’s 1932.

Of course, brokers have made plenty of mistakes. But none of this incipient broker backlash should come as a surprise. It’s been a long time coming.

Our position at 1000WATT has always been to encourage brokers to pick up and leverage innovation where they find it, emulate the best tactics of those who beat them to the digital punch and focus on the brand values and competitive advantages that brought them to prominence in the first place.

That’s going to lead to some interesting places in 2012.

Speaking of MLS, I got an email from an agent this morning that read, in full:


I am writing to you because I would like to create a better Multiple List Service for the State of Maine. We only have one MLS for our entire state. It is cumbersome and because they are the only company here, the service is terrible. Does your firm have experience with developing MLSs?

[name removed]

I’ve written a lot recently about how I believe the MLS system is broken. I’ve heard a lot of other peoples’ views.

But somehow, this simple note from an agent is more affecting than any of that.

One more MLS tid-bit:

Sandicor, the MLS in San Diego, launched a consumer website just a couple weeks ago.

Take a look.

Please resist the urge to start happy hour early, go back to bed, or trash your office. Instead, join me in continuing to advocate for digital excellence in the real estate industry

ZipRealty announced deals with two more “traditional” brokerages that will be buying leads and software from the former discount broker.

Yes, this seems contrary to the trend I wrote about at the beginning of this post. I suspect the price was right.

Let’s end this on a high note:

DocuSign released a new iOS app called DocuSign Ink. Download it now. It’s amazing – and free. Digital signatures on a smart phone! Pair this with the web version of DocuSign and you’re 95% to a paperless transaction.

Enjoy the weekend!

[Disclosure: Edina Realty is a 1000WATT Consulting client, though we had no involvement in their decision to cease syndication]