MLS & AssociationsTechnology

Listing Bits: Pioneering innovation in real estate tech

CEO of WolfNet Technologies Joel MacIntosh chats with Greg Robertson

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Talk about being at the forefront of new technologies — today’s guest was working to develop e-commerce in the mid-1990s, streaming video in 1998, and consolidating MLS data in 2000.

Joel MacIntosh is the CEO of WolfNet Technologies, a real estate tech pioneer offering highly configurable IDX and VOW property search applications, MLS data standardization services and property search API services.

WolfNet accesses data from 600-plus MLSs in North America, offering the most accurate and up-to-date MLS data in the business, and the company serves national franchises, brokers, agents and MLSs.

After graduating from the University of Minnesota’s Carlson School of Management with a BS in Entrepreneurship and Business Management, MacIntosh founded WolfNet in 1996 as a work-for-hire web development company.

WolfNet moved into the real estate space in 2000 when a broker approached the firm with an interest in Broker Reciprocity, and they have been developing groundbreaking products and services for the industry ever since.

MacIntosh was recently named one of the 200 Most Powerful People in Real Estate for a reason, and today he shares how WolfNet stays on the cutting-edge of real estate software innovation.

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What’s discussed:

  • WolfNet’s journey from small, garage-based web development company to real estate tech enterprise
  • WolfNet’s flagship products
  •  Why MacIntosh favors the consulting aspect of his work in the data space
  • How WolfNet pioneered data sharing among MLS systems
    • Up and running in Minnesota since 2001
    • Big growth from 2008-2012
    • Just added 635th MLS
  • Why most bigger players prefer direct database access over RETS
  • The benefits for WolfNet of building their own API
  • The two main WolfNet customer profiles
    • Established companies who want the data
    • Newer bootstrap firms who want a transactional API
  • The magic number of MLS markets at which point a company benefits from aggregating the data itself
  • How the numbers validate the concept of consolidation
    • Fewer than 10 MLSs have more than 100,000 active listings
    • 118 MLSs have 25,000-plus active listings
    • It takes 234 MLSs to get to 90% of the listing inventory
    • 500 MLSs comprise roughly 8.6% of the inventory and just 3,000 listings
  • WolfNet’s client base
  • How the data services component of WolfNet was conceived and productized
  • The built-in permissioning WolfNet offers
  • How WolfNet’s additional features connect data points to add significant value
    • Photo processing to generate thumbnails
    • Address data processing
    • Acquiring public records data
  • What is involved in WolfNet’s image categorization and tagging project
    • Identifies the category of room pictured in a photo (i.e.: kitchen, mudroom)
    • Distinguishes specific attributes (e.g.: white kitchen with stainless steel appliances)
    • Utilizes technology trained via neural network and human tools
    • 100,000,000 photos processed
  • MacIntosh anticipates release at the end of next quarter
  • WolfNet’s new data loader product
  • Vendors introducing AI in the real estate software space that impress MacIntosh

Connect with Joel MacIntosh.