Or the headline could read.

THE LARGEST MLS IN CALIFORNIA SAYS NO TO CALREDD.

Take your pick!

Either way, a HUGE win for Marketlinx. Congrats guys!

MARKETLINX SIGNS MULTIYEAR AGREEMENT WITH SOCALMLS
—Largest California Multiple Listing Service Renews TEMPO Contract—

LOS ANGELES Calif., Jan. 20, 2010 – SoCalMLS, California’s largest multiple listing service (MLS), and MarketLinx, Inc., a leading provider of information technology to the residential real estate industry and a member of The First American Corporation (NYSE: FAF) family of companies, today announced they have signed a multiyear agreement for MarketLinx to provide MLS software products to SoCalMLS and its nine REALTOR® associations. Serving more than 46,000 members in Southern California, SoCalMLS is one of the largest multiple listing service providers in North America.
“MarketLinx has an excellent track record with us,” said Russ Bergeron, chief executive officer of SoCalMLS. “We selected MarketLinx years ago because of their experience serving large and active memberships like ours. Since then, the TEMPO system has proven to be a very robust MLS system that continues to evolve with our changing needs. MarketLinx’s support services have also been exceptional—evidenced by the outstanding job they did integrating SoCalMLS with the California Real Estate Technology Services (CARETS) database, which now supports 4 million listings and more than 100,000 real estate professionals. We are very pleased to extend our partnership with MarketLinx.”
“We’re privileged to have this opportunity to continue serving SoCalMLS,” said Ben Graboske, chief executive officer of MarketLinx. “Their confidence in our customer service and product vision has helped make us the industry’s top MLS system provider. All of our clients will benefit tremendously as we push forward with new technologies that make the process of buying and selling real estate faster, easier and less expensive.”
For more information on MarketLinx’s full suite of real estate information technology solutions and services, visit http://www.marketlinx.com.
About MarketLinx®
MarketLinx, Inc., a subsidiary of The First American Corporation, offers a full range of products and support services to address the information technology needs of the real estate brokerage and multiple listing service (MLS) market segments. The company’s full array of capabilities streamlines the real estate listing, financing and closing processes, resulting in increased efficiency and profitability. MarketLinx provides North America’s leading MLS and real estate software systems, including solutions for broker business management, agent productivity, and MLS data aggregation and distribution. For more information, visit http://www.marketlinx.com.
About First American
The First American Corporation is a FORTUNE 500® company that traces its history to 1889. With revenues of approximately $6.2 billion in 2008, it is America’s largest provider of business information. First American combines advanced analytics with its vast data resources to supply businesses and consumers with valuable information products to support the major economic events of people’s lives, such as getting a job, renting an apartment, buying a car or house, securing a mortgage and opening or buying a business. The First American Family of Companies, many of which command leading market share positions in their respective industries, operate within five primary business segments, including: Title Insurance and Services, Specialty Insurance, Information and Outsourcing Solutions, Data and Analytic Solutions, and Risk Mitigation and Business Solutions. More information about the company and an archive of its press releases can be found at http://www.firstam.com.
About SoCalMLS
For more than 16 years, SoCalMLS, the second largest MLS in the United States, has prided itself on a record of outstanding customer service while supporting a vast array of products and services to as many as 55,000 real estate professionals throughout the Southland, earning itself the reputation as the preferred provider of real estate information technology services. For more information, please visit news.SoCalMLS.com or e-mail info@SoCalMLS.com.

The names of actual companies and products mentioned herein may be the trademarks of their respective owners.

First American Media Contact:
Carrie Gaska
Corporate Communications
The First American Corporation
(714) 250-3298 • cgaska@firstam.com

First American Investor Contact:
Mark Seaton
Investor Relations
The First American Corporation
(714) 250-4264 • mseaton@firstam.com

SoCalMLS Media Contact:
Russ Bergeron
Chief Executive Officer
SoCalMLS
714-517-2626 • russbergeron@socalmls.com

The guys at LPS Real Estate Group have asked me to post this new job opening.

LPS Real Estate Group – Broker & Agent Products
Position: Product Manager

Background

LPS Real Estate Group is a leading provider of Internet solutions for the real estate industry. The Broker & Agent Products (BAP) team offers an award-winning suite of products, called rDesk, which includes broker and agent web sites, Contact Manager, CMA, IDX, and more. We are expanding our product management team, and looking for an enthusiastic individual that possesses that rare but valuable mixture of intellectual curiosity, business acumen, marketing savvy, technical proficiencies, strong communication skills, and fastidious attention to detail.


Job Description

The Product Manager is responsible for the product planning and execution throughout the product lifecycle, including: gathering and prioritizing product and customer requirements, defining the product vision, and working closely with engineering, sales, marketing and support to ensure revenue and customer satisfaction goals are met. The Product Manager’s job also includes ensuring that the product and marketing efforts support the company’s overall strategy and goals.

The Product Manager is expected to:
1. Define the product strategy and roadmap based on market needs and industry trends as well as information gathered from customers and business stakeholders
2. Work with customers, business, sales, account management, and support to understand, prioritize, and communicate product requirements.
3. Clearly define development tasks in the form of Product Specifications
4. Work closely with engineering, QA, project management, and account management teams to ensure successful launch and ongoing enhancements to products
5. Conduct market analysis and run usability studies, focus groups, and surveys to assess, confirm, define, and prioritize product plans.
6. Work with sales and marketing to establish pricing and effective communication of product features and value propositions.
7. Keep up-to-date with market trends and industry information, and be an expert with regards to the competition.
8. Work with external third parties to assess and form strategic partnerships and licensing opportunities

Qualifications

• Minimum 5 years experience as product manager, business analyst or related responsibility. Experience with real estate products a significant plus.
• Minimum 3 years experience working with software and Internet products, primarily in the B2B sector.
• Proven technical proficiencies in software and Internet arena, such that you can communicate effectively with engineering. Experience with Agile development environment a plus.
• Experience in producing product specifications. Able to supplement words with screen shots and other tools to communicate what is required.
• Demonstrated success in working in a team environment with engineering, project management, customer support, sales, etc.
• Highly organized, with extensive attention to detail.
• Have an absolute comfort in engaging with clients and partners.
• Possess a natural curiosity to explore product opportunities, and ability to convert that understanding into clear specifications.
• Strong industry references.

Contact:

Gail.Wu at lpsvcs dot com

Well, I’ve arrived. My bag got kidnapped, but that’s another story.

Important thing is I’ve got a little contest. I have one Vendor Alley Baseball Cap left.

It's still got the little tagger on it!

I’ll give it away to the first person you see’s me in New York and tells me the name of the guy who kidnapped my bag.

And remember all my Inman Connect peeps…

NEVER, and I mean NEVER go big on the first night!!

The mythical California State Wide MLS System

Inman News had an article on CARETS today. Turns out the service is too popular. They had to stop taking on new MLS providers, so they can catch up. This is a bummer but most likely the right thing to do to ensure their infrastructure is solid.

The amusing part of the article was calREDD’s response (via Mike Silvas the chairman of calREDD):

“We are disappointed, and frankly, concerned about their inability to perform at this point,” Silvas said. …”

One word Mr. Silvas: FRESNO!

This got me thinking. How many C.A.R. members is calREDD serving vs. how many C.A.R members is CARETS serving. So I took a look at calREDD website. Then I visited CARETS website. Here’s what I came up with:

Several large MLS providers are not on this list from calREDD LOIs; MLS Listings (Silicon Valley), MetroList Services (Central Valley), SoCalMLS, MRMLS, BAREIS to name a few. That’s a hell of a lot of agents: Over 100,000, easy.

Here are the MLS/Assocations CARETS provides service:

California Desert Association of REALTORS®
Citrus Valley Association of REALTORS®
East Valley Association of REALTORS®
Inglewood Board of REALTORS®
Inland Gateway Association of REALTORS®
Inland Valleys Association of REALTORS®
Montebello District Board of REALTORS®
Orange County Association of REALTORS®
Palos Verdes Peninsula Association of REALTORS®
Simi Valley-Moorpark Association of REALTORS®
South Bay Association of REALTORS®
Southland Regional Association of REALTORS®
Southwest Riverside County Association of REALTORS®
Tri-Counties Association of REALTORS®
Ventura County Coastal Association of REALTORS®

That’s well over 100,000 agents, my estimates are around 110,000 agents.

Plus when CARETS starts adding again they have LOIs with these MLS/Boards:

Sandicor, Inc. Regional MLS
North San Diego County Association of REALTORS®
Pacific Southwest Association of REALTORS®
Palm Springs Regional Association of REALTORS®
San Diego Association of REALTORS®

Now here’s calREDD’s list:

Merced County Association of REALTORS® (Live as of August, 2009)
Madera Association of REALTORS® (Live as of August, 2009)
Lake County Association of REALTORS® (January 11, 2010)
Chico Association of REALTORS® (January 25, 2010)
Oroville Association of REALTORS® (January 25, 2010)
Paradise Association of REALTORS® (January 25, 2010)
Amador Association of REALTORS® (March, 2010)
Yosemite Gateway Association of REALTORS® (March, 2010)
Mariposa County Board of REALTORS® (April, 2010)
Tehama County Association of REALTORS® (April, 2010)
Plumas Association of REALTORS® (April, 2010)

I’ve added up total membership for these MLS providers. 2,702

CARETS: 110,000 agents
calREDD 2,702 agents

If my memory serves C.A.R. allocated 3 Million dollars for calREDD.

2,702 agents, 3 Million dollars.

Does calREDD really think they have any chance of implementing a state wide MLS system when so many MLS Providers and Association have already made their choice?

C.A.R. members should do the math.

Vendor Alley readers already are familar with the drama. Great to see one of the good guys make the cut. Congrats Kurt!!

Kurt von Wasmuth

Kurt von Wasmuth Named President and CEO of RMLS™
RMLS™ Board of Directors promotes company’s Senior Vice President

PORTLAND, Ore. – RMLS™ (Regional Multiple Listing Service), the largest Realtor®-owned multiple listing service in the Northwest, announced the promotion of Kurt von Wasmuth to President and CEO today.

Von Wasmuth joined RMLS™ in 1998 as a Help Desk Technician and most recently served as Senior Vice President. He has also held management positions in training, communications and information services within the company. He holds a Bachelor of Arts from the University of Washington.

“With more than a decade of leadership in the industry and a strong focus on subscriber priorities, our Board of Directors is confident in Kurt’s ability to lead RMLS™ in this challenging market,” said Gary Whiting, a principal broker with John L. Scott and the 2010 Chairman of the RMLS™ Board.
Kurt von Wasmuth

“I’m excited to step into this role and look forward to helping RMLS™ grow its services and solutions for real estate professionals in the Northwest,” said von Wasmuth.

Former-president and CEO Beth Murphy retired in December after 11 years in the position and 15 years with RMLS™. After initial plans to move into a consulting role with RMLS™, she has instead elected to embrace full retirement.

About RMLS™
RMLS™ produces and provides multiple listing and related services to facilitate cooperation between its more than 12,000 REALTOR® subscribers. It is the primary source for real estate information and the premier Multiple Listing Service in the Pacific Northwest. For more information, visit http://www.rmlsbenefits.com.

Ira Luntz

Industry veteran Ira Luntz has joined LPS Real Estate group. After a successful stint at Listingbook (albeit a bizarre ending) it didn’t take long for Ira to find a new gig.

What’s interesting is that there seems to be a bit of secrecy on the project Ira is woking on. It will be interesting to see what LPS has up their sleeve next….

Congrats Ira!!