In the wake of the Broker Public Portal’s first board meeting comes the announcement that Alon Chaver, former Vice President of Industry Services at Trulia, has agreed to join the company’s Board of Managers. The governance of the LLC allows the Board to nominate two outside directors. Chaver is the first of those two.
Chaver has deep roots in the real estate industry as the co-founder and CEO of iHomefinder, a pioneering technology firm that helped shape innovative applications for MLSs, brokers and their agents. Chaver stepped down from that position in 2012 to join online portal Trulia. While at Trulia, Chaver supported the organization in building direct data licensing relationships with brokerages and MLSs leading up to the $2.5 billion acquisition by fellow portal giant Zillow Group.
“I am honored to join the team that will guide and shape the industry’s initiative to build a national portal for the benefit of both consumers and the real estate community,” says Chaver. “MLS consumer-facing websites have long occupied a valued strategic position supporting their brokers’ online marketing efforts and winning the confidence and trust of consumers with timely, accurate, and comprehensive information direct from the source. For the first time, the industry will bring together both brokers and MLSs to build a national portal that will live alongside third party websites and deliver additional value to local brokers and their agents.”
A nationwide group of leading Multiple Listing Services (MLSs) and real estate brokerage firms began the initiative to create the national portal in 2014, culminating in a fundraising round that began in January of this year. Since its inception, 51 brokers and 44 MLSs have contributed $480,000 in seed contributions to get the new company started. Together the contributors represent nearly two thirds of the members of the National Association of REALTORS®, a group responsible for 98 percent of annual home sale transactions according to the National Association of REALTORS®. In the first six months of the year the group has collected seed funding, elected its first Board of Managers and Officers, and is now busy with building out their go to market strategy.
Broker Public Portal Board Chairman Merle Whitehead in a statement writes: “We welcome Mr. Chaver to the team! He brings decades of experience and leadership in our industry having operated enterprise businesses that provide consumer search and deliver value to brokers and their agents. Along with others on the board, he is a tech savvy executive that appreciates the nuances and complexity of bringing together brokers and MLSs to pull together as many as 770 MLS feeds.”
Whitehead was joined by his Vice Chairman, John Mosey who added, “We could not have found a better independent candidate. Alon knows the space and understands that this partnership between the brokerage and MLS communities is truly inspired by the value that it will deliver to agents and their customers, the real estate consumer.”
The initiative, known as the National Broker Portal, was launched in January and now includes participants from 44 MLSs and 51 restate brokerages representing the interests of 826,000 agents.
WAV Group project consultant Victor Lund explains that MLSs have long provided regional consumer facing property search websites. In December of 2014, a group of likeminded MLSs and real estate brokerages met to discuss the opportunity to build a National MLS consumer facing website to fill an unmet need in the online marketplace.
John Mosey, NorthstarMLS
Cameron Paine, Connecticut Statewide MLS
Rebecca Jensen, Midwest Real Estate Data
Kirby Slunaker, REcolorado
Robert Moline – Home Services of America
Merle Whitehead – Realty USA
Hoby Hanna – Howard Hanna Real Estate
Chris Heller – Keller Williams
Joan Docktor – Fox and Roach
Craig McCelland BHGRE Metro Brokers
Richard Haase Latter and Blum
Dreyton Saunders – Michael Saunders
Mitch Ribeck – Tropical Realty
Paul Wells – RE/MAX Barrington
Christina Ishabishi Bonner – Pacific Union
Alon Chaver – Independent