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Category Archives: Down Payment Resource

MRED Stuns Industry with Super-Success of MREDpalooza

Attendees, Sponsors and Exhibitors Thrilled with the Real Estate Tech Event of the Year

LISLE, ILLINOIS (June 24, 2013) – MREDpalooza was a super-success!  That was the consensus of the attendees, sponsors and exhibitors as told to the staff of Midwest Real Estate Data (MRED), Chicagoland’s multiple listing service (MLS), host of the event.

MREDpalooza, which took place on June 18th, surpassed all expectations and delivered on its promise as the largest and most impressive free real estate tech event of the year.  Almost 4,300 expo attendees stormed the Donald E. Stephens Convention Center in Rosemont.  Training classes were filled to overflowing with almost 7,400 pre-event registrations and numerous walk-ins.  Everyone came away impressed.

“Thanks for MREDpalooza – it was very informative,” said Sharon Drumm of Drumm Realty in Manteno.  “We learned LOTS!

“MREDpalooza was a valuable experience to learn how real estate technology impacts our industry and how knowledge of the various products and services available can empower any broker or agent,” said Marco Mallard of Safe Harbor Realty in Chicago.  “I got a chance to talk to several representatives that offered me insight into upcoming products and technology, and also empowered my utilization of current products and services. And for free?!  Totally worth it.”

“MREDpalooza was absolutely phenomenal — and free!” said Linda Krause of RealLiving Speckman Realty in Bourbonnais.  “The location, placement of vendors and classes running continuously throughout the day was a great idea.  Having amenities and food vendors nearby was an additional plus!  Thank you!”

“I just flew in from overseas – Romania,” said Bruce Theobald, of Lakefront Realty Group in Chicago.  “This is fabulous!  You guys are great.”

“I got to meet a lot of “behind the scenes” people from MRED,” said Kathy Repsis of Coldwell Banker Residential in Elmhurst.  “I love MRED and all of their Help Desk staff people.”

MREDpalooza’s sponsors and exhibitors were equally amazed with the large turnout and enthusiasm of attendees.

“Russ Bergeron and his crew at MRED showed us how it’s done,” said Greg Robertson, Co-founder of W&R Studios.  “We had our single best day for Cloud CMA Power Pack orders. I also spoke to a few other vendors and heard the “best day ever” comment more than a few times. The place was rocking for 7 hours straight. I probably left some money on the table by not having another person in the booth with me, it was that crazy.”

“Congrats to the MRED team!” said Susan Young of  “Our classes were standing room only and our booth was extremely busy all day.  Well done MRED!”

“We were thrilled by the amount of booth traffic and energy MREDpalooza provided,” said Vanessa Murray, Partner Marketing Manager for Market Leader.  “And a huge ‘Thank You’ goes to Gayle Ludemann and all the MRED team for making this a successful event and wonderful vendor partnership. It was a great show for us and we will definitely be sponsoring again!”

“The integration of down payment assistance information into property listings is a new concept,” said Rob Chrane, President of Down Payment Resource (DPR).  “Seven hours of non-stop engagement with MRED real estate professionals gave us a great opportunity to share our product’s features and answer questions up close and personal.  We were thrilled with the level of participation at MREDpalooza.”

“MREDpalooza had an amazing turn out!” said Liz McKay, Production Manager for 10K Research and Marketing.  “The 10K booth was busy all day, and we had great responses to our demos.  We’ve long valued our partnership with MRED; and the popularity of our product demonstrations at MREDpalooza cemented our mutual commitment to thrill MRED members.”

“I cannot express how satisfying it is to me personally and to our staff to have such a successful event,” said MRED CEO Russ Bergeron.  “It was a lot of hard work, but it was extremely important to us that this be a special experience for our attendees, sponsors and exhibitors.  We pulled out all the stops, and everyone involved thinks this was time very well spent.”

About MRED

Midwest Real Estate Data (MRED) is the real estate data aggregator and distributor providing the Chicagoland multiple listing service (MLS) to nearly 40,000 brokers and appraisers and 8,000 offices.  MRED serves Chicago and the surrounding “collar” counties and provides property information encompassing northern Illinois, southern Wisconsin and northwest Indiana.  MRED delivers over twenty products and services to its customers, complementing connectMLS™, the top-rated MLS system in the country per the latest WAV Group MLS Technology Survey.  For more information please visit

MREDpalooza – Not Your Typical Real Estate Tech Fair

Eclectic Mix of Exhibitors Offers Unique Experience

LISLE, ILLINOIS (June 4, 2013) – Midwest Real Estate Data (MRED), Chicagoland’s multiple listing service (MLS), had no idea such a wide range of vendors that would be attracted to its upcoming real estate tech expo, MREDpalooza.

“We expected to get interest from major real estate players like Trulia, Zillow and – and we did” said MRED CEO Russ Bergeron.  “We are also pleased by the strong support we are getting from many different sizes and types of companies, and not just from within the real estate industry.”

One of MRED’s service partners is 10K Research & Marketing, architects of The Thing, one of the most popular products MRED delivers.  The Thing, an interactive online market analytics tool integrated into MRED’s MLS system, uses MRED data to deliver easy to understand charts, graphs and housing trends for specific market areas.  Through the power of its interactive mapping tool, The Thing allows the user to define specific market areas and neighborhoods with which a Realtor® can demonstrate their detailed knowledge of their market. 10K came on board early as a ZOINK! level sponsor of MREDpalooza.

Workforce Resource, providers of Down Payment Resource (DPR), another popular service at MRED, is also on board as a ZOINK! sponsor.  DPR matches listings in MRED’s MLS database against thousands of down payment assistance programs, assisting buyers in determining their eligibility for those programs.  DPR helps MRED customers sell listings that might otherwise have gone unsold due to a buyer’s lack of funding – identifying one or more programs for which their listings qualify.

The Chicago Real Estate Forum is dedicated to promoting Chicago real estate news and trends. Their blog promotes news of interest to consumers and industry insiders – from community grand openings, model homes, amenities and more – including news from MRED and MREDpalooza.  Chicago Real Estate Forum is a ZOINK! Sponsor.

Another ZOINK! exhibitor is Goomzee®, delivering to MRED customers a mobile text messaging and QR code marketing tool that delivers property information to buyers’ mobile devices and instantly informs the listing agent about who is making the request.  This technology takes you to the cutting edge and makes “paper flyers” obsolete., yet another ZOINK! exhibitor, have created the MRED Social IDX (MSI) application for Facebook.  With most of the world on Facebook, provides an essential service to MRED customers, combining the power of Facebook with MRED’s Internet Data Exchange (IDX) program – bringing MRED’s MLS property search to an agent’s Facebook business page.  At MREDpalooza, is offering attendees a free month of MSI plus an agent website.

“The variety and numbers of participants has proven to us that MREDpalooza is the right event at the right time,” said Bergeron.   “With thousands already registered and signed up for training sessions, MREDpalooza is going to exceed every expectation for attendees and exhibitors alike.”

About MREDpalooza

MREDpalooza is the largest free real estate tech expo in the country.  Taking place Tuesday, June 18, 2013, from 9:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. at the Donald E. Stephens Convention Center in Rosemont, Illinois, MREDpalooza will be a great opportunity for MRED’s customers to learn, at no cost,  about a myriad of real estate products and services to enhance their businesses.

MRED is planning for several thousand attendees and scores of vendors, many of whom have already committed to attending.  Training sessions and demos will be offered throughout the day, providing more in-depth understanding of many of the products and services.  Those wishing to attend or exhibit at MREDpalooza are asked to visit for free registration and sponsorship information.

About MRED

Midwest Real Estate Data (MRED) is the real estate data aggregator and distributor providing the Chicagoland multiple listing service (MLS) to nearly 40,000 brokers and appraisers and 8,000 offices.  MRED serves Chicago and the surrounding “collar” counties and provides property information encompassing northern Illinois, southern Wisconsin and northwest Indiana.  MRED delivers over twenty products and services to its customers, complementing connectMLS™, the top-rated MLS system in the country per the latest WAV Group MLS Technology Survey.  For more information please visit

4 Common Down Payment Assistance Program Myths Debunked

Today’s homebuyers are doing significant online research before beginning their home buying search, yet there are still many misconceptions about home financing and down payment assistance programs. Home prices, along with down payments, are increasing, and assistance programs can help make buying a home as affordable as possible.

Are these common myths keeping you from investigating homebuyer assistance options?

Myth #1: Down payment assistance programs are only for first-time homebuyers.

First-time homebuyers are defined as someone who has not owned a home in three years. And, not all programs specify that you must be a first-time homebuyer. It’s important to know that assistance programs are for homebuyers, not investors. Most housing agencies will require that the home is occupied as a primary residence in order to qualify.

In addition, homebuyers purchasing a home in a designated target area (typically for revitalization efforts)  may receive special benefits such as higher assistance amounts, more lenient income requirements and the first-time homebuyer requirement may be waived. Veterans are often eligible for a first-time homebuyer waiver, too!

Myth #2: Assistance programs are no longer funded.

There are many public and private-funded programs available. In fact, there are hundreds of millions of dollars in down payment assistance, tax credits, affordable fixed-rate mortgages and rehab loans available throughout the country.

Each program has a different funding schedule. Some programs are government-funded and are provided through municipal or quasi-government agencies or non-profits. Others are privately funded, and some are even sponsored by employers. Every state has a collection of programs at the state-level, and hundreds of markets around the country offer local assistance as well.

Watch this four-minute video to learn about the three most common types of homebuyer programs.

Myth #3: It’s difficult to qualify for homebuyer programs.

There are many options and opportunities. The key is doing research early in the home buying process as well as reviewing the application criteria.

To qualify for an assistance program, the homebuyer and the property will have to meet certain criteria, which vary by program. Standard criteria include property location, type of home, sales price limits, household income thresholds, and homebuyer education certifications. There are often additional benefits, or even entirely separate programs, for educators, protectors, health care workers, veterans of the armed forces, and households with disabled members.

Down Payment Resource gives homebuyers the opportunity to answer a few simple questions to determine if they may meet the basic qualifications for a program.

Homebuyers must also demonstrate that they are financially responsible. Assistance programs  have  credit score thresholds and cash reserve requirements. Most programs will require a little money down from the homebuyer, as well as homebuyer education, especially for first-time homebuyers, to ensure the long-term homeownership success of each new buyer.

Myth #4: Using a down payment assistance program makes home financing more difficult.

Homebuyer program administrators often train “participating lenders.” These are lenders who are qualified to write the loans associated with the programs and understand how to incorporate this special financing into the home loan without complicating or prolonging the real estate transaction. This is why it’s important for homebuyers to seek information about available programs prior to touring homes or even getting prequalified. A little homework upfront ensures a smooth, successful transaction down the road.

You can begin by visiting your state’s Housing Finance Agency website to discover available programs. You can also use Down Payment Resource to access the participating lenders for specific programs.

Down payment assistance can help boost homebuyers’ purchasing power, help buyers retain a solid cash reserve for home improvements and other moving costs, and revitalize our communities with more homeowners.

Article via Down Payment Resource

What is your “blue ocean?”

What is your “blue ocean”?  Worth reading about; check out Down Payment Resource’s blog post about it HERE.

Potential first-time homebuyers are still on the fence. Stay relevant to this new market.

According to the latest Campbell/Inside Mortgage Finance HousingPulseTracking survey, the first-time homebuyer share of home purchases fell to 34.7% in October, the lowest first-time homebuyer share ever recorded in the three-year history of the survey. Many potential buyers are still waiting it out and may not be sure about the possibilities, including available down payment assistance programs in their market. Realtors, it’s time to employ tools that make you more relevant for today’s buyer, especially first-time homebuyers.

Read the full blog post from Down Payment Resource HERE

MRED and You – Preparing for 2012 and Beyond

Click HERE to see our CEO’s latest article in CAR’s magazine.

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