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Call it a case of the tail wagging the dog or just the fact someone took the wrong apple from the apple cart, but change is in the air. Today the wunderkinds at Diverse Solutions are releasing dsIDXpress. In a nutshell dsIDXpress is:

“A plug-in for WordPress that give gives IDX functionality to your website, allows your users to search for and browse available properties on in your MLS, and lets search engines index properties from the MLS on your website.”

I think their tag line says it better.

“MLS on your blog”

For SEO purposes adding dynamic listing content to your blog is like pouring gasoline on a lit fire. And it takes the “agent website” completely out of the equation. In the past the biggest reason you had a website separate from your blog was IDX. Not anymore. Now your blog is your website!

You want to know the test of true innovation? True innovation happens when it puts someone else out of business.

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Diverse Solutions Releases New WordPress IDX Plugin For Indexable Listings

Irvine, CA January 25th, 2010 – Diverse Solutions announced today that they have released a new IDX product called dsIDXpress. The product allows agents and brokers using WordPress to get property listings on their own website and own domain to be indexed by the major search engines. dsIDXpress is different than traditional IDX solutions in that it has both the standard consumer search capabilities as well as the ability to insert specific listings or groups of listings into any page or blog post with their Live Listings(sm) shortcodes. The plugin also automatically builds in search-engine-friendly city, community, and zip code pages that show available properties in the respective areas. Furthermore, listing detail pages are available for every property in the MLS. Overall, dsIDXpress is being touted as a low cost alternative to functionality that was previously only available in high- end custom websites.
The development of dsIDXpress came out of the desire for agents and brokers to have search-engine-indexable IDX listings on their website. With the National Association of Realtors recently adopting changes allowing for search engines to index property listings on an agent’s or broker’s website, the timing couldn’t be more perfect. Diverse Solutions recently completed their beta testing period, and the increase in website traffic from search engines was staggering. Active listings were being indexed by Google and ranking higher than results from the big national sites and large brokers. When asked about the new product, Justin LaJoie, CEO of Diverse Solutions, said, “Since WordPress is quickly becoming the platform of choice for real estate websites, it only made sense that we develop a WordPress IDX plugin that provides the functionality that the industry has been asking for.”
The plugin is built with flexibility in mind with the goal of placing the creative power back in the agents and brokers hands instead of being at the mercy of their vendors. Additionally, the Live Listings(sm) shortcode functionality provides the ultimate control on where listings show up on pages or posts. Live Listings(sm) allows agents and brokers to create the perfect city, community, or zip-specific pages with listings that are updated in real time for that area. dsIDXpress also include a number of WordPress IDX widgets, including their search and mapping widgets.
For more information about dsIDXpress, visit http://www.dsIDXpress.com or simply search for “dsIDXpress” in the WordPress plugin directory.
About Diverse Solutions
Headquartered in Southern California, Diverse Solutions is a leading provider of IDX technology for clients nation wide. The company offers a wide range of products and services designed to enhance the productivity and marketing efforts of real estate professionals through cutting-edge technology, excellent service, and superior quality.

Inman News put out a couple of lists over the holidays and I wanted to recognize some of those in the Vendor community and others that made the cut!

The first list was “Real Estate’s 50 Most Influential Online: 2009

According to the report…

“They are luminaries in the online world of real estate whose insight and commentary inspires other, provokes debate and incites change.”

Drew Meyers from Zillow, Reggie previously of Cyberhomes, now of RPR, Lani from Agent Genius, Rob Hahn, and Derek Overbey of Roost.

Another name that made the list, is yours truly!

Here’s an excerpt of what they said;

“Robertson’s Vendor Alley blog is sometimes humorous, sometimes down-and-dirty insider’s look at the real estate industry through the eyes of a vendor.”

Nice! And my apologies to the others who happen to find themselves on the same list as me!

Then the biggie. Inman’s “100 Most Influential Real Estate Leaders: 2009

“The people on this list embody leadership, innovation, ingenuity, power and persistence.”

Here are some of favorites and commentary….

Steve Berkowitz and Errol Samuelson made the cut. Not sure why Mr. Berkowitz is listed, if persistence is a key factor then Errol should be the only one from MOVE on the list!

Pete and Sami from Trulia (Do you think the Google rumors are true?)

I’ve got the same feeling about Dale Ross and Marty Frame as I do Berkowitz and Samuelson. Marty obviously should be listed, but Dale?

Nice to see Jay Gaskill from LPS Real Estate Group get some recognition, this guy is solid and LPS will be at the center of a lot of things in 2010.

Nice also to see Saul Klein, I love Saul and he is one of the industry’s good guys.

Jack Ross from Dominion Enterprises. This is a pretty lame choice. Peter Ill should be listed instead (I can feel him cringe as I write this!) , he runs the Home Media Division which includes eNeighborhoods, Homes.com, Advanced Access and Number1Expert.

James Saccacio
from RealtyTrac was also mentioned. RealtyTrac has been a absolute powerhouse in the industry. It will be interesting to see what’s next for Jim in 2010.

Andy Rapattoni also made the cut along with Mike Wurzer from FBS. Wurzer was not listed on the top 50 most influential online list, a glaring oversight in my opinion. Perhaps this will be a call to action for Mike to start writing a bit more often (pretty please Mike!)

Also good to see Brian Larson be recognized.

Listed in the Notable section of the report:

Brian Boero, Marc Davison and recent addition Joel Burslem of 1000Watt Consulting. I love, love, love, these guys. They have the perfect match of smarts and creative.

Gregg Larson also was listed under notables. I not sure many people give the credit Gregg and his team deserves for what they have contributed to the industry . I would have also liked to see Matt Cohen listed as well.


Premium members of Inman News (like me!) get these reports for free. All others must pay!

Shane McCarthy has left VisualTour and joined RISMedia new “Top 5 in Real Estate“, headed by former President of Realtor.com, Allan Dalton.

Here’s how Allan describes “Top 5”:

“By joining this unique real estate network, you are signaling to consumers that you have earned elite status within your profession. Consumers will take note that membership is reserved for only those North American real estate agents who have satisfied five “consumer-valued criteria.”

I’m not sure what that means. But Shane is definitely on my “Top 5” list of persons for selling software to Realtors.

Good luck and congrats on the new gig Shane!

It’s official!!

Florida Panthers’ minority partners take helm
Florida will undergo changes in its ownership structure as minority partners Stuart Siegel and Cliff Viner take control.

Win Stu! Win!!!

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I’ve just learned that NAR’s Second Century Ventures (SCV) just made a significant investment in DocuSign.

DocuSign was recently in the news when it just announced a deal with FBS.

It’s been quite awhile since SCV has made any deals. The last deal was ePropertyData (ePD), a provider of commercial information exchange (CIE) services for the commercial real estate industry. That was back in March 2008.

I’ve also heard that they have been adding staff to SCV.
It will be interesting to see what Constance Freedman, Vice President of Strategic Investments of SCV, has up her sleeve next.

The news has broke this morning. It represents the largest real estate franchise acquisition of the year.
Here’s an excerpt from the Vancouver Sun.

“Real Living Inc. built a major real estate brokerage in Ohio in a fairly short period of time by focusing on women clients as the primary decision maker in a home buying transaction. Toronto’s Brookfield Asset Management wants to duplicate that success across and the U.S. market and is buying Real Living’s brand to do it.

Brookfield said in a statement it is rebranding its GMAC Real Estate division, which its acquired from the trouble financing arm of General Motors last year, as Real Living to create a new franchise with more than US$20-billion in annual home sales.

Brookfield Residential Property Services says it will add Real Living’s 2,000 brokers and sales associates to its existing real estate network of 30,000 real estate professionals.

While Real Living says it will not change its core real estate business in and around Columbus, Ohio, it has essentially sold Brookfield the right to use its brand and technology across the rest of the U.S. as well as Canada.

In Canada, Brookfield controls real estate giant Royal LePage, but the company made no mention of alter that brand to make it more like Real Living.

In September 2008, Brookfield announced it was buying GMAC’s home-services unit and picking up about 1,500 offices in North America and nearly 30,000 employees.”

I’ll have some further commentary when I confirm a few things…

Stefan has some interesting thoughts on this as well. Read them here.

rumors

While it will be hard (if not impossible) to compete with the RPR-LPS announcement this past week, I assure you that there will be at least one other significant announcement this week having to do with the real estate franchise industry.

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