Hope


Top 10 Vendor Moments of 2009


Number 10…

Connect Create at Inman SF 2009. Diverse Solutions and Real Estate Web Masters went head to head on a challenge to develop an new real estate web app in less than 3 days. The spirit and enthusiasm of this event was truly something special. Can’t wait to see what happens in New York next month!

9. Connection 20?? Looks like the bad rep Connection developed for not allowing Vendors (even after Beth and Kurt nixed the idea for Connection 2009) has killed the event. na na na na, hey hey-ey, goodbye!

8. CMLS 2009! One of the best if not the best CMLS conference ever! Shelley and her crew hosted the event in Lake Tahoe and lots of fun and great content ensued!

7. The smile on Mike and Dave‘s face when they beat all comers in a grueling selection process for the right to be Tuscon Area’s MLS Vendor.

6. The smile on Seain and Brian‘s face when they realized they added over 50k new users in 2009 to Tarasoft’s Matrix platform.

5. The smile on Rapattoni‘s face when Fresno Association of REALTORs kicked out calREDD MLS and switched back to their Rapattoni MLS system.

4. The rise of CARETS. One MLS database to rule them all! Great for members, great for Vendors who only have to develop to one system and have access to over 100,000 members!

3. RPR. Call me an optimist but I think that Marty and his crew are smart enough to know that making robust APIs to RPR data will allow software developers to create fantastic new applications for N.A.R. members.

2. Social Media. Vendors have to realize that the advent of these new marketing channels are the best way to reach their clients. Vendors that embrace this will find themselves having a great 2010 and beyond.

and the number 1 top vendor moment of 2009 is….

1. The smile on Jay‘s face when they completed the deal with N.A.R. to be their exclusive vendor for the the RPR. LPS Real Estate Group has redefined what a big deal is in this industry.

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Dave Meyer, former President and co-founder of eNeighborhoods and Bryan Ehrenfreund, former eNeighborhoods Vice President of Operations have started a new loyalty marketing company, ClipFree, dubbed “Loyalty Marketing for the Rest of Us”. And according to the release Dave Meyer, CEO/President, says “For the first time ever, merchants will have access to a sophisticated, easy-to-use system that lets them deliver targeted promotions to local shoppers and cultivate loyal relationships”

Just another example of how successful people don’t stop, they keep innovating. I had the pleasure of working for Dave Meyer at eNeighborhoods and wish him nothing but success. I’ve always admired Bryan and know his tenacity is going to pay off of his latest endeavor.

And on another level it’s just great to see at least two guys make it out of Real Estate!!! You hear that people? It can be done!! : )

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Contact: Bryan Ehrenfreund
ClipFree.com
Office: (866) 500-2050 Ext. 702
Mobile: (602)-315-0030

ClipFree.com Launches Local Shopper Loyalty Program

Entrepreneurs bring turn-key relationship marketing to merchants across South Palm Beach County –

“Loyalty Marketing for the Rest of Us”

BOCA RATON, FL. [Sept. 23, 2009] – ClipFree.com today invited 3,000 select retailers and service providers in South Palm Beach County to join a breakthrough marketing network aimed at building loyalty among area shoppers.

ClipFree is an advertising and loyalty marketing solution designed to address the specific needs of retailers and service providers, with an easy-to-use marketing program that targets, nurtures and grows customer relationships. The invitations sent out today are intended to bring local merchants into the ClipFree.com community, in anticipation of a consumer launch next month.

“ClipFree.com will be a boon to the hundreds of area retailers and service providers who do daily battle to grow their business,” said Dave Meyer, CEO/President and co-founder of the company.

“We call it ‘Loyalty Marketing for the Rest of Us.’ For the first time ever, merchants will have access to a sophisticated, easy-to-use system that lets them deliver targeted promotions to local shoppers and cultivate loyal relationships,” he added.

Target. Nurture. Grow.

ClipFree combines time-proven cooperative direct mail techniques with a fully-featured frequent-shopper card program and cutting-edge Web-based communications. Its online platform lets merchants attract new shoppers and drive repeat purchases.

ClipFree.com’s intuitive tools let local businesses target prospective shoppers in their trading area and deliver compelling promotional offers that can drive them into their stores or offices. They help them to nurture shopper relationships by delivering compelling offers through a combination of direct mail and multiple online channels. They help grow business, by attracting more customers and providing them with more reasons to return and buy.

These capabilities are delivered through a comprehensive marketing platform which includes targeted direct mail, email, text messaging, and social media campaign tools.

Shopper Cards Next Month

While ClipFree.com signs local business owners to the program it also is making final preparations to distribute ClipFree shopper discount cards to thousands of area households next month. Each card will be imprinted with the brands of up to 22 neighborhood merchants and linked to a consumer Web site where shoppers can register and browse available discounts and promotions from their favorite local merchants.

Track Record of Success

Stu Siegel, Chairman and Dave Meyer CEO/President have had an enviable track record launching successful businesses. They most recently collaborated to create eNeighborhoods, LLC which they built into the nation’s leading compiler of real estate related home and neighborhood information, and sold in 2007.

Siegel is a partner of Sunrise Sports & Entertainment (SSE), the organization that owns the Florida Panthers NHL hockey team and operates the BankAtlantic Center, South Florida’s premier arena, seating over 19,000 guests. He serves as both the Managing Director of SSE and the Chairman of the Florida Panthers Foundation, the philanthropic arm of SSE.

Although ClipFree.com is launching its concept one local market at a time, the business founders have nation-wide aspirations. “The ClipFree.com business model is designed to serve the interests of merchants and service providers in communities across the country,” said Siegel.

Multiple Points of Contact.

In addition to the ClipFree.com Web site, the company has already launched an array of online resources for local business owners and shoppers. All are designed to provide superior access to ClipFree.com services and information:

ClipFree.com Web site
http://clipfree.com
ClipFree blog
http://blog.clipfree.com
ClipFree on Facebook
http://www.facebook.com/home.php#/pages/ClipFreecom/104963698586?ref=ts
ClipFree on LinkedIn
http://www.linkedin.com/companies/420978/ClipFree.com
ClipFree twitter feed
http://twitter.com/clipfree

About ClipFree.com

ClipFree is an advertising and loyalty marketing solution designed to address the specific needs of retailers and service providers. It combines proven direct mail marketing principles with the power of the Internet to deliver an easy-to-use marketing program that targets, nurtures and grows customer relationships. For more information, visit http://clipfree.com.

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Some of you that know me or have worked with me know that I keep a quote on my office door (when I had one!) or on my wall. The quote is about persistence. It goes like this:

“Nothing in this world can take the place of persistence.  Talent will not: nothing is more common than unsuccessful people with talent.  Genius will not;  unrewarded genius is almost a proverb.  Education will not; the world is full of educated derelicts.  Persistence and determination alone are omnipotent.  The slogan ‘press on’ has solved and always will solve the problems of the human race.”

-Calvin Coolidge, 30th President of the United States

I just wanted to share a quick story about a friend, his name is Mike Banhagel.

Mike is a great guy and one of Dan’s best friends, he works in architecture and land development. Over 7 years ago he told Dan and I about an idea he had for a new kind of pot. The type of pot that are used in nurseries for plants, trees and such. This new kind of pot makes it easier to transfer large or small plants from their pots to the ground. He called them “zip pots“.

He had many false starts, and setbacks, but he never gave up. Even having a full time job he worked year after year on his idea when he could.

Yesterday Dan got an email from Mike with one of the most beautiful set of pictures I have ever seen. You see his pots have made it into a little company you might have heard of, Home Depot.

I’m going to add this picture to the quote on my wall to remind me to never give up, keep going, and “press on”!


Congrats Mike!!

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I’m not quite recovered from Inman Connect but wanted to post a few things while they are fresh in my mind.

Once again, Brad Inman and his team put on an incredible conference. I’m not sure if you caught this but Brad was in Vegas, at a family event, the day before the conference got started. Imagine that, your in Vegas partying your butt off while one of your company’s biggest events is about to start. Brad’s obviously got a talented group of dedicated people working with him to have that kind of confidence and success (It was announced that attendance at the event was bigger than expected!) Show the love to your all-star team Brad; One word – “BONU$”

: )

I have to say that my favorite part of the event was the “Connect Create” reveal at the end of the conference. Glenn Kelman and Kevin Levent “Duet” were hilarious but you got to give it up to Diverse Solutions and Real Estate Webmasters.

Bring it?  It already been broughten!

Bring it? It already been broughten!

Connect Create was an open challenge to see what a group of developers/designers could build in a 48 hour period. Diverse and REW were the two teams. I can’t imagine why more teams didn’t show up, but I’m sure after all the great feedback and publicity this will be a highlight of future Inman Connect conferences.

But let me be more specific about the teams that did show up, because to me this was about the effort of some great individuals:

Diverse Solutions

Diverse Solutions


Jonathan Mabe, Jennifer Orser, and Andrew Mattie from Diverse Solutions.

The Real Estate Webmasters (Wednesday night, North Beach, around midnight)

The Real Estate Webmasters (Wednesday night, North Beach, around midnight)

Morgan Carey, Philip Pond, and Mike Griffiths from Real Estate Webmasters.

From the time these group of people got on the stage to the time to the time they left I had a huge smile on my face. Both apps were incredible and the fact that they were built in less than 48 hours is even more amazing.

I have to give it up to Justin LaJoie from Diverse for a great idea and possible glimpse in to the future. I was even more amazed at Philip, Mike and Morgan from Real Estate Webmasters. These guys lived the “work hard/play hard” ethos at the event. Without even knowing it Dan Woolley and I shared a cab with them to the Beer for Bloggers event. Then they started popping up all over the place!

We caught them later Wednesday night at the “Secret After Party” at Tony Niks in North Beach, then the next night at The Black Magic Voodoo Lounge! When did they get a chance to program anything!

Glenn Roberts did a great write up about both teams and the challenge you can read it here.

Well done to both teams and remember you heard about these real estate all-stars here first on Vendor Alley!

UPDATE: Dan Woolley has written a few posts on his experiences at Inman Connect:

Inman Connect Wrap Up
Inman ConnectTech Wrap Up

LB

The WAV Group’s recent post on their blog is titled, “Investor needed for growth company

The post describes, “WAV Group was recently contacted by a 5 year old company that sells technology products to MLSs. ….They are looking for $500k to $2M in the form of a convertible bridge loan or equity. The company’s product has been “site licensed” by more than 35 MLSs in the past 12 months and has a full pipeline of installations pending. ”

This has to be Listingbook. I could be wrong, but I can’t think of anyone else. I’ve been hearing rumors about them scheduling conference calls with other real estate technology companies about “joint ventures or partnerships”, then, in a few minutes in to the call, it’s pretty clear they are looking for cash.

The weird thing that struck me was the amount of cash they are looking for, “$500K to $2M”. First off, 500K hardly seems worth the effort and doesn’t look like it would last with a crew like this around (and that doesn’t even include Todd!).

Even $2M, which is nothing to sneeze at, seems low. I have no idea what their burn rate is but with 35 MLS’ up and running and “full pipeline of installations pending”, it’s gotta be pretty high and getting higher.

In my opinion these guys should start thinking bigger. I’ve written about them recently, I really think they got a hit on their hands with Listingbook. I’m not sure anyone in this space is in the position to pony up for them right now, but someone in the Valley might.

It’s a good story. I’m still hearing agents singing their praises, they get mentioned in the New York Times, and it seems like they are the front runner in this whole VOW race, even Brian Larson thinks so!

I’ve got a few ideas, some of them good, on how I would approach their current dilemma, but I’ll save those for a future post.

In the meantime let’s all hope Listingbook…

live long and prosper

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Fargo is a pretty big news story right now. Flood waters are rising as the town pulls together to stop the water from overflowing in to homes.

Fargo is also home to FBS Data Systems. Mike Wurzer is FBS’s CEO.
Many of you read Mike’s blog.. Mike is also a good friend.

Just wanted to say we are all thinking of you Mike, and your team at FBS. Godspeed guys and stay safe!!

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