*** This post is best read while listening to Jay Z’s track “Empire State of Mind” off his new album “The Blueprint III ***

Oh man I’m getting pumped up for next week! Brad Inman and his team have certainly put together another great conference. I’ve heard attendance is up from last year. So I’m looking forward to seeing everyone. Dan and I have a lot going on at the conference that I wanted to share with you.

First up:

Cloud CMA launch!
Yup, we plan to officially launch our latest web app, Cloud CMA at the show. We will have a SPECIAL ANNOUNCEMENT about this later this week so STAY TUNED!

We will have a demo pod on Wednesday only in “Start-Up Alley” so if you want to come and see a live demo of Cloud CMA please stop by!

Wednesday, January 13


Dan Woolley will be moderating a Workshop called ConnectTech from 9AM to 11:30AM
Topics include:
Tips and Tricks For Working with the iPhone SDK
How to code IDX Solutions that Don’t Suck
CTO Roundtable: What’s the Next Round of Online Real Estate Innovation?

Thursday, January 14

10:20AM – 10:40AM
I (Greg Robertson) will be on stage for “Start-up Shoot-Out” Part I:The Entrepreneurs”
There will be six us of us pitching our new products and the audience and a panel of judges will decide who take home a prize valued at $25,000!

11:10AM – 11:30AM
Start-Up Shoot-Out Part II: The Investors
High-profile venture investors weigh-in on the start-ups. What do they like? What don’t they like? Will they invest? (Not sure if we get back on stage for this or not yet?)
Investors include: Simon Baker, Vanessa Fox, Brad Inman, and Michael Yang

3PM to 4:PM

I’m doing “CONNECT LAB 2”:

Vendors Only: Selling Technology Solutions in Real Estate
“You’ve got an application. A service. Something you think is killer. But you have no idea how to market and sell it. Learn how to price your product, message it, and get in front of the people who will buy it in this session led by one of the most battle-tested marketing and bus dev executives in the business.”

I’ll be giving a short presentation on what I’m calling “The Twin Peaks of real estate app sales”

I’m kind of bummed a bit because Michael Wurzer is moderating one of the “INNOVATION TRACKS” around the same time:

2PM to 5PM

MIke has a killer line up of topics and panelists.

RPR Reverb: Should MLSs Love it or Fear it?
Breaking Data Taboos for Fun and Profit
For Those Who Think Big: Charter an Alternate Strategy for Your MLS
Not if, But How To: Work Towards Best Practices for MLS Data Sharing

Ought to be a good show. See you there!


I’m kind of anxious for 2009 to be over with and getting started on 2010. Which is why I’m super pumped for Inman Connect in New York City, which is January 13th to 15th. The list of speakers looks fantastic, as usual. I guess I most interested in see Jason Fried of 37signals.

They are bringing back ConnectTech which was super fun in San Francisco, can’t wait to see what the next set of developers come up with this time!

My company, W&R Studios, will be exhibiting in Start Up Alley on Wednesday. We will be showcasing Cloud CMA. I’m told that spots for Start Up Alley are sold out but Inman has 1 8X10 booth, and 3 demo stations are left. Contact Alice Myerhoff if you are interested.

I’m going to be speaking at a “Connect Lab” on Thursday, the 14th. It’s called Vendors Only: Selling Technology Solutions in Real Estate. So please join me for that session, ought to be fun.

Plus to top it off they have super deal right now. For only $939 ($839 if you are an Inman premium member) you not only get a registration for Inman NYC but Inman SF 2010 as well! Detail are here: Inman Connect NYC Registration


Drink Me!!!!

Don’t forget to come by our Suite and help us finish drinking all the booze we have left!

The fun starts at 5PM and goes to 6:30PM.

I’ll be picking people up in the lobby of the Hard Rock Hotel and bringing them up to the Suite starting at 5PM.

Help us celebrate!!!


Shelley Specchio

Shelley Specchio

“Do we know how to throw a party or what?” Shelley Specchio told the audience on Friday afternoon.

Well, the reviews are in and everyone agrees this was one of the best, if not THE BEST, CMLS ever. Early reports were that this CMLS was going to be something special and Shelley, CEO of Northern Nevada Regional MLS (NNRMLS) and her team didn’t disappoint. With the support of Merri Jo Cowen CMLS 2009 set a new bar that is going to be hard to beat.

Merri Jo Cowen

Merri Jo Cowen

Here are some of the highlights….

Brad Inman gave the keynote. He had just launched his latest enterprise,, in New York the day before. He spoke about innovation. Despite his busy schedule he gave a memorable presentation that many speakers referenced later. Brad chided the industry for supporting legacy “people”/systems/thinking and not being more innovative and to push to “create a vibrant marketplace”, and how innovation is “young person’s sport” and encouraged MLS providers to recruit as many young people to board positions. Some comments were a bit controversial but resonated for the rest of the conference.

Each presentation was given a TV Show theme. This added a bit of fun for both the presenters/panelists and the audience.

The content. There was furious note taking during all the sessions.

The voting keypads. Very cool interative tech for this kind of conference.

The Fannie Mae girls ladies. Interesting perspective.

Two words. Bud Fogel. Hilarious!

Jeopardy and Family Feud. (You knew I was going to say that!)

Opal- If you don’t know, then don’t ask.

Sports Center with Brian Larson and Kevin McQueen. This was scheduled as a two hour open forum on topics selected by CMLS attendees earlier in the conference. To me this was a high-risk program that could really have really gone bad. But CMLS attendees made the 2 hours fly by. Brian Larson did his normal fantastic job as he and Kevin kept things going giving great insight and audience participation.

CMLS Crossfire-Marilyn Wilson from The WAV Group, as classy and elegant as ever, played a perfect “straight man” to Larry Lomito as the CMLS crowd howled with laughter!

Speaking of The WAV Group, Victor Lund on Friday night dancing with his daughter was too precious and brought a smile to everyone’s face.

Speaking of Friday night, one word. Jam Sandwich!

Ice cream at the end of the last session on Friday. Nice touch!

I’m sure I’m leaving many things out so fill the comments with your favorites moments of CMLS 2009!

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

Looking forward to attending Connection 2009 next week in one of my favorite cities, Portland, OR.

As you may have heard or read, Connection is allowing Vendors this year. RMLS decided to allow Vendors because, that’s how they roll!

The agenda has been posted. They will not have an exhibit area for Vendors. Which I don’t think is such a bad thing. We can all hang out in the bar, or maybe even sit in on a few sessions. : )

Attendance is looking good, but I’m sure they are always looking for more. Here’s the details:

April 15-17

Hilton Portland
921 SW Sixth Avenue
Portland, OR 97204
(503) 226-1611

Conference Registration: $325
Attorneys Only Day Registration: $125
Attorneys Only Day and Conference: $400

For full details visit Connection 2009

See you there!

Marilyn, from our friends at the WAV Group, asked me to post this job listing. (Looks like Instanet is adding new staff. Good for them! I like writing about companies adding people instead of laying them off!)


REPORTS TO: Chief Executive Officer CLASSIFICATION: Exempt


Instanet Solutions, Inc, a leading provider of transaction management technologies provider is seekng to hire a senior sales executive for the position of VP Sales. The position will be responsible for building revenues by securing new MLS, Association and broker customers to participate in the company’s suite of automated forms, document management and transaction management products. The position reports directly to the CEO.

In today’s challenging economy MLSs, boards and associations are looking for opportunities to increase their value to their members while lowering member costs for technology services. The company delivers a program that helps REALTORS® save time and money while increasing their level of perceived professionalism with their clients.


Instanet is a leader in automated forms, document management and management serving over 300,000 customers annually. In just the past 12 months, the company has facilitated the processing of nearly 3 million faxes.
The company is very entrepreneurial demonstrating flexibility and leadership in the forms and document management area. This new position has been created to continue to increase the company’s growth and success.


Responsible for expanding the MLS, Association and Broker Sales Channels

Responsible for all facets of sales including:

v Lead development
v Presentation of products and business opportunities
v Proposal development
v Interfacing with fellow sales executives as needed
v Product promotion in new accounts
v Account maintenance activities

Position requires travel to trade shows, conferences and account sales presentations.


College degree as well as proven senior sales experience. The successful candidate has proven skills in selling technology products and services in the real estate sector. He/she will have multiple years of sales experience and will be adept at presenting and securing business deals working with senior management.

The ideal candidate will have a strong network of relationships with MLS/Association executives and large brokers. He/She will possess superior business and presentation skills this individual has a clear knowledge of the decision making process in MLSs and associations. Ideally he/she will have the reputation and knowledge needed to contact and secure appointments, present technology products, close deals and provide excellent on-going support throughout the implementation and adoption cycle.

The successful candidate will also be a strong “large audience” presenter to promote product adoption after signing when needed. They will also be able to work with individual agents as part of a broker rollout program.

In addition the ideal candidate will be able to negotiate profitable deals and will be able to recommend new business models and approaches to meet the individual needs of each account.

The position requires extensive travel throughout the United States.


Instanet Solutions, Inc. offers a very competitive compensation plan commensurate with experience with a base salary, commissions and full benefits.

For more information or to express interest, please contact:
WAV Group Inc.

Marilyn Wilson
Office: 805 473-9119
Mobile: 805 748-9118
Email: marilyn at wavgroup dot com

Next Page »