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Category Archives: MRED Communications

Broker Public Portal Inks Deal to Become Homesnap

Homesnap Logo

ROCKVILLE, MD, January 19, 2017 — Broker Public Portal, LLC and Homesnap, Inc. have executed final agreements to create the National Broker Portal, LLC, a joint venture that is equally owned by the two companies. The parties agreed that the best path to success would be served by forming a mutual partnership with Homesnap providing technology, brand and operational expertise to the new company, rather than composing a vendor agreement.

The National Association of REALTORS modified their model MLS policy to designate an MLS consumer facing website as a basic benefit of the MLS. In turn, more than 50 leading brokers and 50 leading MLSs developed the case for a national consumer site rather than 700 independent local MLS sites. “HAR.com and a number of other MLSs have been able to capture a reasonable share of voice in online consumer search,” said Rebecca Jensen, President and CEO of Midwest Real Estate Data (MRED). “But we believe that the best opportunity for success will be paved by MLSs who focus on a single, national strategy.”

MRED is one of several MLSs whose board of directors have already authorized participation in the portal, including a $1 per subscriber fee that will be paid to the National Broker Portal each month. Other MLSs committed to the portal include Northstar MLS (Minneapolis), Connecticut MLS, NORMLS (Cleveland), CRIS (Akron), Buffalo Niagara Association of Realtors and Rochester Genesee Region Real Estate Service. In anticipation of this initiative being formalized, MRED launched the BPP/Homesnap app in July of 2016. “Adoption has reached over 25% of MRED’s 40,000+ Realtor customers in just a few months,” added Jensen. In addition, now that the joint venture has been finalized, MLSs representing over 200,000 subscribers have requested the new National Broker Portal MLS Agreement to review and present to their boards.

“Homesnap is honored to have been selected as the technology partner to this inspired vision for the future of real estate search,” says Homesnap co-founder Steve Barnes. “As a company, we have always considered ourselves a business partner to the MLS and subscribed to the principles of the Fair Display Guidelines for MLS consumer sites.” Over 400,000 real estate agents have access to Homesnap Pro today, and the Homesnap app is used by over 4 million consumers. “This joint venture agreement formalizes our alignment with brokers and MLSs, making us equal partners in delivering a successful service to consumers,” said Barnes.

Under the terms of the joint venture agreement, each company will contribute three directors to the board of the National Broker Portal, LLC. The Broker Public Portal has appointed Alon Chaver of HomeServices of America, Craig McClelland of Better Homes and Gardens Real Estate/Metro Brokers, and Rebecca Jensen of MRED. Representing Homesnap will be co-founders Guy Wolcott and Steve Barnes, and COO Jason Mathias. The seventh director nominated to the Board will be David Charron of the newly formed Bright MLS, Inc.

“We have reached a great milestone,” said Merle Whitehead, Chairman of the Broker Public Portal. “Now it’s time for MLSs to show their support for the initiative by collaborating with other MLSs to create a national MLS consumer-facing website.”

About Broker Public Portal

Broker Public Portal, LLC is a collaborative venture between real estate brokerages and MLSs to create a national consumer home search experience defined by simplicity, integrity and common sense. The portal aims to provide consumers with direct access to the most comprehensive, timely, and complete property information while adhering to fair display guidelines. More information can be found at http://homesnap.com/bpp.

About Homesnap

Homesnap is the highest-rated mobile real estate app, used by millions of consumers to explore homes and search listings. Homesnap Pro, the professional version of Homesnap, is the fastest-growing mobile app for agents – now available to every agent in over 45 MLSs with over 400,000 members. Both are powered by a specialized homes database that combines MLS data, property tax records, census data, geographic boundaries and more.

Press Release via WAV Group

MRED President/CEO Named an Inman Influencer for 2017

RJMidwest Real Estate Data (MRED) President/Chief Executive Officer Rebecca Jensen is one of 150 individuals named to Inman’s Real Estate Influencers of 2017.

Jensen joined MRED as its President and CEO in March 2015. MRED provides multiple listing services to more than 8,000 real estate offices and 40,000 brokers and appraisers in the Chicago area. It provides property information about northwest Indiana, southern Wisconsin and northern Illinois.

She served as a board member for the Real Estate Standards Organization (RESO), including several years as board chair. RESO created the first real estate data dictionary, web API standard and compliance programs. In 2014, the National Association of REALTORS® approved a policy that required multiple listing services to adopt RESO’s standards. Prior to working at MRED, Jensen was CEO for UtahRealEstate.com for nearly eight years.

Inman publisher Brad Inman says the list of influencers includes real estate professionals with a variety of talents, opinions and personalities.

“They are not (all) cut from the same cloth, they do not speak the same language and they do not always necessarily share the same values. But they influence the industry by their work, through their followers and by expressing their opinions,” Inman says.

Blog Post via Illinois Realtors

5 Reasons to Hire a Real Estate Professional When Buying & Selling!

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Whether you are buying or selling a home, it can be quite an adventurous journey; you need an experienced Real Estate Professional to lead you to your ultimate goal. In this world of instant gratification and internet searches, many sellers think that they can For Sale by Owner or FSBO.

The 5 Reasons You NEED a Real Estate Professional in your corner haven’t changed, but rather have been strengthened, due to the projections of higher mortgage interest rates & home prices as the market continues to pick up steam. 

1. What do you do with all this paperwork?

Each state has different regulations regarding the contracts required for a successful sale, and these regulations are constantly changing. A true Real Estate Professional is an expert in their market and can guide you through the stacks of paperwork necessary to make your dream a reality.

2. Ok, so you found your dream house, now what?

According to the Orlando Regional REALTOR Association, there are over 230 possible actions that need to take place during every successful real estate transaction. Don’t you want someone who has been there before, someone who knows what these actions are, to make sure that you acquire your dream? 

3. Are you a good negotiator?

So maybe you’re not convinced that you need an agent to sell your home. However, after looking at the list of parties that you need to be prepared to negotiate with, you’ll realize the value in selecting a Real Estate Professional. From the buyer (who wants the best deal possible), to the home inspection companies, to the appraiser, there are at least 11 different people that you will have to be knowledgeable with and answer to, during the process. 

4. What is the home you’re buying/selling really worth?

It is important for your home to be priced correctly from the start to attract the right buyers and shorten the time that it’s on the market. You need someone who is not emotionally connected to your home to give you the truth as to your home’s value. According to the National Association of REALTORS, “the typical FSBO home sold for $185,000 compared to $245,000 among agent-assisted home sales.”

Get the most out of your transaction by hiring a professional.

5. Do you know what’s really going on in the market?

There is so much information out there on the news and the internet about home sales, prices, and mortgage rates; how do you know what’s going on specifically in your area? Who do you turn to in order to competitively price your home correctly at the beginning of the selling process? How do you know what to offer on your dream home without paying too much, or offending the seller with a lowball offer?

Dave Ramsey, the financial guru, advises:

“When getting help with money, whether it’s insurance, real estate or investments, you should always look for someone with the heart of a teacher, not the heart of a salesman.”

Hiring an agent who has their finger on the pulse of the market will make your buying or selling experience an educated one. You need someone who is going to tell you the truth, not just what they think you want to hear.

Bottom Line

You wouldn’t replace the engine in your car without a trusted mechanic. Why would you make one of the most important financial decisions of your life without hiring a Real Estate Professional?

Blog Post via KCM Blog

Buying is Now 37.7% Cheaper Than Renting in the US

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The results of the latest Rent vs. Buy Report from Trulia show that homeownership remains cheaper than renting with a traditional 30-year fixed rate mortgage in the 100 largest metro areas in the United States.

The updated numbers actually show that the range is an average of 17.4% less expensive in Honolulu (HI), all the way up to 53.2% less expensive in Miami & West Palm Beach (FL), and 37.7% nationwide!

Other interesting findings in the report include:

  • Interest rates have remained low, and even though home prices have appreciated around the country, they haven’t greatly outpaced rental appreciation.
  • Home prices would have to appreciate by a range of over 23% in Honolulu (HI), up to over 45% in Ventura County (CA), to reach the tipping point of renting being less expensive than buying.
  • Nationally, rates would have to reach 9.1%, a 145% increase over today’s average of 3.7%, for renting to be cheaper than buying. Rates haven’t been that high since January of 1995, according to Freddie Mac.

Bottom Line

Buying a home makes sense socially and financially. If you are one of the many renters out there who would like to evaluate your ability to buy this year, meet with a local real estate professional who can help you find your dream home.

Blog Post via KCM Blog

MRED Chicagoland Report for September, 2016

As anticipated at the outset of the year, demand has remained high through the first three quarters of 2016, propping up sales and prices despite heavy reductions in inventory and months of supply across the country. With rental prices and employment opportunities in a consistent climb, year-over-year increases in home buying are probable for the rest of the year but not guaranteed.

New Listings in Chicagoland were down 0.2 percent for detached homes but increased 4.1 percent for attached properties. Listings Under Contract increased 8.3 percent for detached homes and 11.9 percent for attached properties.

The Median Sales Price was up 6.2 percent to $223,000 for detached homes and 5.4 percent to $184,500 for attached properties. Months Supply of Inventory decreased 19.2 percent for detached units and 22.1 percent for attached units.

In general, today’s demand is driven by three factors: Millennials are reaching prime home-buying age, growing families are looking for larger homes and empty nesters are downsizing. However, intriguingly low interest rates often prompt refinancing instead of listing, contributing to lower inventory. Recent studies have also shown that short-term rentals are keeping a collection of homes off the market.

MRED real estate professionals can log into MREDLLC.com and click on the Statistics tab to get the latest Lender Mediated and Monthly Market Indicators Reports.  You can also click on the Local Market Updates choice under the Statistics tab and use our Interactive Market Analytics map for the latest local market metrics.

Any questions?  Please contact MRED’s Help Desk at 630-955-2755 or help.desk@MREDLLC.com.

Do You Know the Cost of Renting vs. Buying? [Infographic]