Friday Flash – things to note from the week gone by

Each Friday, I’m going to jot down some of the things that caught my eye during the course of the week – and which may be useful to you as a sort of online real estate cheat sheet. This is my first installment.

Google “got out of real estate” – though, in reality, it’s hard to say they were in real estate in a meaningful way to begin with. I never thought Google was crazy enough to jump into our space full-on, so this doesn’t surprise me.

The consequences of this retraction include a couple less good parties come conference time, a better night’s sleep for online real estate executives… and little else.

Sami Inkinen, Trulia’s co-founder, wrote a lengthy piece in which he argued that what I call “shotgun syndication” – scattering listings across dozens of sites – will wane. It struck me as a positioning exercise cloaked, clumsily, in the garments of thought leadership. I let it go. Rob Hahn, on the other hand, took to it with a scalpel. I don’t agree with all of his points, but it’s a nicely argued piece.

My take on the content (broker) versus distribution (media site) tug-of-war around syndication? If, as a broker, it’s more cost effective for you to convert through syndication partners than it is through a deeper investment in in-house resources and – this is important – you actually have a coherent brand that’s well cared for, well then go for it. If not, don’t.

No muss, no fuss, no messy blog posts!

The RPR announced via Twitter that they now have 199 MLS partners. Congratulations are in order. I’m interested to know a.) What percentage of all MLS data they have at this point. b.) What usage looks like – i.e., how many Realtors actually use RPR? and c.) Whatever happened to Dale Ross?

Zillow released an update to their property search results pages. Maps are bigger and users can choose to display either a gallery (photo) view or list view of properties below the map. It’s done well and offers some nice cues to brokers still struggling with how to make maps something more than user interface quicksand.

Edelman Digital released a study indicating that “friends” in our social graph are losing their power to influence decisions. Given that most of our online “friends” aren’t in fact friends, I can’t say this is a shocker. But it’s worth noting when thinking about whether the proliferation of online realtor reviews is really all that useful.

Move, Inc announced that it’s new lending site,, has processed over 1,ooo pre-quals since its launch a month ago. Move opted for one lending partner and avoided the gang-bang vibe found on sites like Lending Tree. It seems to be working. The lesson here: people are often willing to sacrifice choice for a quality user experience. (Disclosure: Move, Inc. is a 1000WATT Consulting client).

Lots more I could’ve noted, but it’s Friday and Happy Hour nears. Enjoy the weekend!