Industry NewsTechnology

Broker Public Portal switches up its roster with industry notables

Seven new board members brought onboard

The Broker Public Portal’s board of managers is set up to prevent its roster from getting stale with staggered terms for its represented categories — small, large and medium-sized brokers; independent managers; and multiple listing service (MLS) organizations.

As terms expired for some of the 16 industry professionals heading up the initiative, today the project to build the nation’s first national public-facing MLS website ushered in seven new members to its team, many of them well-known in real estate.

Merle Whitehead

“It is an honor to serve with so many great leaders of our industry to develop this company, and I am grateful for the time and commitment given by each of my colleagues that are stepping down from the board,” said Merle Whitehead, chairman of the Broker Public Portal, in a statement.

“I am equally excited to for the introduction of new leaders who will shepherd us into the future.”

The shift in board managers will be as follows:

MLS (4 representatives)

Tim Dain

Out: Kirby Slunaker of REcolorado (stepping down after a two-year term)

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In: Tim Dain, MLS director of the Austin Board of Realtors

Staying: John Mosey of NorthstarMLS, Cameron Paine of SmartMLS, and Rebecca Jensen of Midwest Real Estate Data (MRED)

Large brokerage (5 representatives)

Cary Sylvester

Out: Robert Moline of HomeServices of America; Chris Heller of Keller Williams; and Howard “Hoby” Hanna of Howard Hanna Real Estate (all served two-year terms)

In: Gurtej Sodhi of Crye-Leike; Mary Frances Burleson of Ebby Halliday; and Cary Sylvester of Keller Williams

Staying: Merle Whitehead of Howard Hanna; Joan Docktor of Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices (BHHS) Fox and Roach

Mid-sized brokerage (3 representatives)

Pat Shea

Out: Drayton Saunders of Michael Saunders (served a two-year term)

In: Pat Shea, CEO of Lyon Real Estate

Staying: Richard Haase of ERA Latter and Blum; Craig McClelland of Better Homes and Gardens Real Estate (BHGRE) Metro Brokers

Small firm (2 representatives)

Andy Starck

Out: Christina Ishibashi Bonner of Pacific Union

In: Andy Starck of Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices (BHHS) Starck Real Estate

Staying: Mitch Ribak of Tropical Realty; Paul Wells of Re/Max Barrington

Independent managers (2 representatives)

In: Craig Cheatham, CEO of The Realty Alliance; Alon Chaver of Home Services of America

In order to belong to the board of managers, brokerage firms must be BPP shareholders, according to Victor Lund, a real estate consultant and facilitator for BPP. Firm size is determined by listing count, not agent count, he told Inman.

BPP, backed by a large group of MLSs and brokerages, intends to compete with third-party portals such as Zillow and realtor.com, which currently capture millions in advertising dollars from agents and brokers.

In January, BPP and Homesnap signed final agreements forming the National Broker Portal LLC, a joint venture owned 50-50 by the two companies.

Homesnap contributes its technology and brand to the joint venture.

“BPP was created to imagine and deliver a better experience for consumers — unsullied by ads and paid agent placement — that connects them directly to real estate agents,” Keller Williams’ Cary Sylvester, one of the new board members, told Inman via email.

“I’m thrilled to partner with this dynamic group of leaders working to change the consumer experience and represent the real estate industry.”

BPP was founded by a large group of MLSs and brokerages.

Andrea V. Brambila contributed to this article. 

Email Caroline Feeney