Kal Raman, a former exec at tech heavyweights Groupon, eBay and Amazon, is the new CEO of Solutionstar, a company that has set its sights on outdoing top real estate portals Zillow, Trulia and realtor.com.
Solutionstar is a subsidiary of mortgage servicer Nationstar Mortgage Holdings, which recently acquired Real Estate Digital, a company that provides technology services to more than 500 multiple listing services, 350 brokerages, nearly 60 settlement services companies and more than 300,000 agents.
Raman will oversee RED’s integration into Solutionstar’s existing services from Seattle, where Solutionstar will open a new office.
“Acquiring RED was an important step toward elevating Solutionstar as the nation’s leading real estate innovator, and I’m energized by the opportunity this creates to develop Solutionstar into a true technology company,” Raman said in a statement.
“Solutionstar is making a significant, sustained investment in innovation to make real estate services simpler and more accessible. In the coming weeks and months, we look forward to unveiling new technology products and services to better connect consumers and real estate professionals — and, ultimately, to deliver a truly integrated, comprehensive online real estate solution.”
Nationstar has previously said it plans to use the RED acquisition to build up its online auction platform for bank-owned and short-sale properties, HomeSearch.com, into “a transactional marketplace for all things related to real estate” that will give the company “a customer for life.”
Before coming to Solutionstar, Raman was the CEO of Groupon’s Asia-Pacific region and, before that, served as the company’s chief operating officer, Nationstar said. Previously, he had been vice president of global fulfillment at eBay, CEO of education software firm GlobalScholar, senior vice president at Amazon, CEO of Drugstore.com, and held several management positions at Wal-Mart.
“Kal has a long record of success leveraging technology and innovation to deliver a high-quality customer experience, and we’re thrilled that his expertise will now help Solutionstar bring that kind of innovation to the real estate industry,” said Nationstar CEO Jay Bray in a statement.
RED hired Russ Bergeron, former president and CEO of big Chicago-area MLS Midwest Real Estate Data LLC (MRED), in August to help the company negotiate with brokers and MLSs for permission to display their data on HomeSearch.com.
At the time of his hire, Bergeron noted that the company was in the process of redesigning the HomeSearch.com platform and planned to have “a huge inventory” of MLS listings nationwide when the revamped site launched in either the late third quarter or the fourth quarter.
Nationstar today declined to provide an update on the relaunch.
Some other big names involved in the project include Jay Gaskill, head of RED; Ira Luntz, RED’s senior vice president of data products; and John Hensley, RED’s chief technology officer. In July, RED hired data licensing managers Paul Dixon, former regional account manager at Homes.com; Jay Huffman, former CEO of MRED’s predecessor, MLS of Northern Illinois Inc. (MLSNI); and Lisa Powell, former director of product management at the Combined Los Angeles Westside MLS (also known as The MLS/CLAW).