Realfast acquired by zipLogix
Realtor-owned zipLogix — the provider of zipForm electronic forms and transaction management and digital signature applications — has acquired real estate forms company Realfast Inc. and will discontinue Realfast’s Realfast2Go offering. Fraser, Mich.-based zipLogix is offering all current Realfast users access to its products, zipForm 6 Standard, zipForm 6 Professional and zipVault.
"The acquisition of Realfast will significantly contribute to our strength and momentum in the marketplace," said zipLogix Chairman Walt McDonald in a statement. "We are extremely excited to offer incoming Realfast customers our flagship product, zipForm, which is used by more real estate professionals than any other software in the business."
Founded in 1991, zipLogix is a joint venture of the National Association of Realtors (NAR) and Real Estate Business Services Inc. (REBS), a subsidiary of the California Association of Realtors.
Market Leader offers local market data
Real estate marketing and technology company Market Leader has added local market data to its software platform, the company announced today. Through a "Market Insider" tab, the company offers customized reports of housing market statistics and demographic trends in a local area. The data can be viewed on an agent’s website or sent via a monthly email newsletter. The product is free to "qualified existing Market Leader customers" and new customers who subscribe to Market Leader’s platform by Sept. 30.
Last week, Market Leader announced a marketing agreement with Weichert Real Estate Affiliates that made kwkly, Market Leader’s text-based lead generation service, available to Weichert’s sales associates. Through kwkly, agents can offer buyers for-sale home information through their mobile phones.
Zillow launches ‘Top 10 Pros’ lists
Real estate professionals who are registered users of Zillow.com can now create a "Top 10 Pros" list of mortgage lenders, home inspectors, and other registered Zillow real estate pros they would recommend to clients.
The Top 10 Pros list appears on the user’s Zillow profile page, where they are also able to see which lists they are on.
IHouseWeb offers MLS Facebook app
Real estate technology firm iHouseWeb has launched an application that allows real estate professionals to add property search to their Facebook page, the firm announced Friday.
The tool is an app version of IDXPro, a multiple listing service search widget that can be embedded on any website and includes features such as Google Maps search, a lead tracker, property slide shows, and visitor registration, among others. The app is free to those who have already purchased IDXPro.
Better Homes and Gardens Real Estate program focuses on luxury real estate market
Realogy subsidiary Better Homes and Gardens Real Estate has launched a program that focuses on the luxury home market, the franchise network announced Monday. The network also rolled out programs focusing on city-center listings (Better Homes and Gardens Real Estate Urban Properties), and commercial listings (BHGRE Commercial) in the spring.
Distinctive Collection will feature properties with a listing price of at least $750,000 or those priced in the top 10 percent in their respective local markets. In addition to exposure on the program’s website and the brand’s main website, the program provides the brand’s agents with marketing and sales materials, access to advertising discounts to upscale publications, and access to a certification program from the Institute of Luxury Home Marketing.
Better Homes and Gardens Real Estate celebrated its third anniversary last week. Since July 2008, the network has grown to about 7,000 agents and more than 200 offices in 22 states. Its latest addition is Better Homes and Gardens Real Estate Reliance Partners in Auburn, Calif., which servers Placer, Nevada, Sacramento and El Dorado counties.
Local Realtor association’s tool generates unique QR codes
The Contra Costa Association of Realtors has adapted a tool that allows users to customize QR (quick response) codes — a type of bar code that can be quickly scanned and read using camera-equipped smartphones.
The association has created a range of real estate-related layouts, at http://www.ccartoday.com/apps/qrstyler/, to create custom QR codes that can be used on real estate marketing materials to direct mobile viewers to a website. Sample images that incorporate QR codes include gates, fences and yard signs. The graphics can also be customized to display open house dates, for example. QRStyler.com provides the underlying technology platform for the customized codes.
Inside Real Estate launches online marketing platform
Real estate technology company Inside Real Estate (IRE) has launched an online marketing platform that offers social media integration, the company announced last week.
The platform includes a customizable website with IDX (Internet Data Exchange) home search, a blog with posts that connect to multiple listing service listings and automatically sync with Facebook and Twitter, a blog post scheduler, email marketing and lead generation tools, market and area statistics, and site analytics.
The company also offers training, webinars and phone support. Website visitors can create profiles, save searches and favorite listings, contact agents, and schedule appointments from the site. Because websites are connected to IRE’s network, they also rank higher in search engines, the company said.
Trulia rolls out celebrity real estate blog
Real estate search and marketing site Trulia has launched a new blog dedicated to celebrity real estate, the site announced Sunday. The blog, Luxe Living, will feature the homes of celebrities and athletes on the market as well as other luxury homes.
The blog’s first official post is a star-studded interactive map of Los Angeles. The map links to Trulia listings for the multimillion-dollar homes of stars such as Charlie Sheen and Britney Spears.
Corcoran releases Android app in Amazon Appstore
New York City-based real estate brokerage The Corcoran Group has released the first real estate application in Amazon.com’s new Android app store, the brokerage announced. The app includes the ability to search homes for sale or rent in New York City, the Hamptons and South Florida.
Users can filter listings by price range, bedrooms, bathrooms and keywords; see property details and full-screen photos; and contact an agent directly from the app.
The app was first available for download on Amazon July 18, 2011. The online retail company first launched the Amazon Appstore for Android in March. That same month, Apple filed a trademark infringement lawsuit against Amazon for use of the term "App Store." The company filed a similar lawsuit in Germany; Amazon has subsequently decided to stop accepting new application submissions in that country, according to PC Magazine. Amazon also launched an app store for Mac software downloads in May.
PlanetRE Socialite integrates CRM, paperless platforms
Real estate industry software provider TrSoft is offering a "single sign on" (SSO) platform for real estate and mortgage professionals that integrates social media customer relationship management with paperless transaction management.
TrSoft’s planetRE Socialite allows agents to interact with prospects on Facebook, LinkedIn and Twitter while integrating with planetRE Compliance paperless system, which supports popular electronic signature applications.
Realtor.com CFO headed to Yelp Inc.
Realtor.com operator Move Inc. is looking for a new chief financial officer after Rob Krolik — the former eBay executive Move hired in 2009 to assist in a capital restructuring — announced his departure for Yelp Inc., where he will help the company prepare for an initial public offering.
Krolik was part of a new management team brought in by Steve Berkowitz after becoming Move’s CEO in January 2009.
Before joining Move, Krolik served as vice president and chief financial officer at Shopping.com, where he helped the company go public before it was acquired by eBay in September 2005.
After eBay’s acquisition of Shopping.com, Krolik stayed on as vice president for global finance operations at eBay’s marketplaces division, helping restructure the company’s financial architecture to achieve greater scale.
"Rob’s demonstrated track record as a successful public company CFO and hands-on business experience made him the perfect candidate to step into this important role on our management team," Yelp CEO Jeremy Stoppelman said in a statement. "Among numerous candidates, we’re excited to have found a seasoned Silicon Valley veteran who is eager to help scale a fast-growing business like ours."
Yelp credited Krolik with leading Move’s turnaround efforts by restructuring the capital structure, outlining a long-term financial success model, and putting in place infrastructure to scale the business.
In a statement, Berkowitz said Krolik "has been a great partner and I want to thank him for his many important contributions to Move. Over the past two years, we’ve made tremendous progress realigning the company to connect consumers with real estate professionals and to take advantage of the large online real estate opportunity."
Move said it had begun an executive search for a new CFO and that Krolik would assist in the transition of his duties.
Tech firm extends recruiting platform to real estate brokers, franchisors
Process Peak LLC, a company that has built up a client list among retail franchise companies for its franchisee recruitment and brand management services, is setting its sights on the real estate industry. Tim Johnson, president of Process Peak, said the company offers a "personal discovery platform" that allows prospective franchisees and agents to check out a real estate company, and tracks the interactions of the prospective recruits. He said the platform can leverage a company’s Facebook pages and recommend posts that can be effective in recruitment.
The company launched its real estate-focused services last week during the Real Estate Connect conference, and Johnson said that the company’s tools can be useful to franchise companies and non-franchisors alike. Outback Steakhouse and Jiffy Lube are among the company’s clients that are using tools including a Pipeline Catalyst, On-boarding Catalyst and Lead Catalyst to add franchisees.
Northern California brokerage has paperless plan
Coldwell Banker Residential Brokerage, Northern California’s largest residential real estate brokerage company with 62 offices and about 3,600 sales associates, has launched a cloud-computing initiative called HomeBase that is intended to reduce paper consumption and improve client communications and document access via smartphones. The company has also launched an effort dubbed Project Greenlight that seeks to move the company to electronic documents for the entire homebuying process, with offices in Saratoga and Petaluma serving as the premier testers.
"Many of our customers are early adopters of advanced technology," said Rick Turley, president of Coldwell Banker Residential Brokerage. "They’re used to conducting business on the run with smartphones and other mobile computing devices. Deploying cloud computing and moving toward a greener, paperless process is one more way to show our customers that we’re on the same page."
The HomeBase Transaction Management cloud platform was developed by Realogy Corp.; Coldwell Banker Residential Brokerage is owned and operated by Realogy subsidiary NRT LLC. According to a company announcement, about 1.6 million documents were uploaded into the HomeBase system across all NRT-owned companies during the first half of the year, with about 18,000 clients using the system,.
New search features at ColdwellBanker.com
In a separate announcement, global franchise company Coldwell Banker Real Estate LLC announced the relaunch of its "Properties" real estate search section at ColdwellBanker.com to provide more than a dozen ways to search for properties and gather information about homes and communities.
The site also offers information about how to download mobile apps for iPhone, iPad and Android devices. Search options and tools include: Lifestyle search, Affordability Radar (which gauges affordability of a home based on income, debt, available funds and loan terms), BlueScape, Coldwell Banker On Location videos, Home Listing Report, mobile apps and sites, luxury properties, international properties, vacation homes and second homes, new homes, and agent and office search.
GreatSchools launches app for Apple devices
GreatSchools, a national nonprofit that maintains profiles of public and private schools, has launched a mobile app that can be downloaded to Apple’s iPhone, iPad and iTouch devices and allows users to view and share school details, including ratings and reviews.
"The app is particularly relevant to residential real estate agents," GreatSchools said in a press statement, as schools can influence prospective homebuyers’ purchase decisions. The app provides information for about 125,000 public and private schools in the U.S. The app was unveiled during the Real Estate Connect conference last week in San Francisco.
REALM to power online advertising for MRED
Midwest Real Estate Data, a Chicago-area multiple listing service, has entered into an agreement with the Real Estate and Living Media Network (REALM), an online advertising service operated by LPS (Lender Processing Services) Real Estate Group. Under the agreement, REALM will deliver "highly targeted advertising to both real estate consumers and professionals across the entire spectrum of MRED online channels, including its MLS system and consumer-facing website, according to a July 28 announcement.
With the MRED announcement, REALM’s advertising services will reach about 10 million users in the real estate category. In May, Inman News and REALM announced a content and advertising agreement.
Also, Lender Processing Services Inc. announced that it has launched Advantage Cascade AVM, an automated valuation product that offers LPS and non-LPS products "to ensure unbiased and optimal (automated valuation model) results for a specific property" and to comply with the latest Interagency Appraisal and Evaluation Guidelines. Advantage Cascade includes 11 AVM models "and uses prior observations to identify the best AVM, down to the county level when possible," the company announced.
RealPage acquires senior housing site SeniorLiving.net
RealPage Inc., a company focused on software-as-a-service products and services for apartment communities and the single-family rental market, has acquired SeniorLiving.net, a free search site that assists consumers seeking senior care providers.
RealPage paid $4.5 million in cash, with "the potential to earn additional consideration upon achieving future financial targets through June 2014," according to the companies’ announcement. SeniorLiving has had revenue below $1 million and operated at a loss in the previous 12 months. The site was founded in 2008 by Todd Walrath, former chief operating officer of Weather.com and group vice president of AOL local search.
Andrea V. Brambila, Matt Carter and Glenn Roberts Jr. of Inman News contributed to this report.
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