Weekly Real Estate News Quiz: Think You're Up On The Biggest Headlines?

From a huge unexpected sale to an unfortunate dog-walking startup, the real estate industry threw some curveballs. Take Inman's real estate news quiz to demonstrate how strong your talking points and cocktail banter are this week.
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In an earnings call Wednesday, SoftBank CEO Masayoshi Son cited WeWork’s plummeting public valuation as one reason his company posted a net loss of $6.4 billion. He also cited this dog-walking startup.

SoftBank, the Japanese conglomerate with a heavy investment in U.S. tech startups, posted a net loss of 700 billion Japanese yen – or approximately $6.4 billion – in the second quarter of the fiscal year ending March 31, 2020.

Of the companies the fund invested in, 37 contributed to valuation gain for Softbank and 22 contributed to the loss of value. One of those that contributed to the loss was Wag, a dog-walking startup.

“We paid a lot of value in a company that specializes in dog walking, and SoftBank must be going mad,” Son said through a translator. “We learned a harsh lesson from that investment.”

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In a surprise announcement Thursday morning, Realogy, the nation’s largest real estate holding corporation, revealed it was selling off this company’s relocation services branch.

Realogy, the nation’s largest real estate holding corporation, is set to sell off Cartus’ relocation services branch, in a transaction valued at $400 million, the company confirmed Thursday.

The sale of Cartus’ relocation business to SIRVA Worldwide, a global relocation firm, will allow Realogy to pay down corporate debt and use the balance to reinvest in the business.

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Agentology, a San Diego-based startup that fields and vets leads, announced Tuesday a rebranding effort that includes servicing businesses outside of the real estate industry and a change in name to this.

Agentology, a San Diego-based startup that fields and vets leads, announced Tuesday that it’s changing its name and expanding to serve businesses outside its traditional core market of real estate agents.

Going forward the company will now be known as “Verse,” which co-founders and brothers David and Avi Tal said in a blog post was “inspired by the power to converse.” The newly renamed company will continue with the same team and ownership, but will also now focus on bringing “the power of conversational marketing and automation to other industries that need us now more than ever.”

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On Monday, which embattled real estate executive said this: “Somebody’s trying to push me out, apparently. Nobody’s given me any rationale. This is more like a he-said, she-said thing.”

Jim Harrison, longtime president and CEO of Silicon Valley-based multiple listing service MLSListings, has been put on leave, a move he fears is meant to push him out of the company.

Harrison has headed MLSListings since May 2005 and grown the MLS to about 16,000 agent and broker subscribers. He told Inman in a phone interview that he was put on paid administrative leave on September 28. Asked why, he said, “I’m not going to go into details. It’s bullshit.”

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According to an analysis by Zillow released Tuesday, in a survey of 3,200 homes where sellers received a cash offer from Zillow but ultimately rejected the offer and sold via traditional methods, those homeowners ultimately sold for this much more on the open market than they would have by selling to Zillow.

A year and a half after Zillow began buying houses with cash, the online real estate giant says that its instant iBuyer offers are nearly the same as what sellers can get on the open market.

The company revealed the results of a new analysis Tuesday, saying it looked at 3,200 homes where sellers received a cash offer from Zillow but ultimately rejected the offer and sold via traditional methods. In those cases, homeowners sold their properties for just slightly more than Zillow was willing to pay.

“We found that these homeowners sell for an average of about 0.22 percent more than Zillow’s offer,” chief industry development officer Errol Samuelson revealed in a blog post.


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Clearwater Benefits, a Texas-based insurance startup, partnered this week with this real estate brokerage to offer a healthcare plan to thousands of independent contractors.

EXp Realty has become the latest brokerage to offer its independent contractor agents an alternative healthcare plan to finding coverage through the Affordable Care Act’s open marketplace.

The virtual cloud-based real estate brokerage announced Monday it’s partnering with Clearwater Benefits, an 18-month old, Texas-based insurance startup for independent contractors that says it leverages group buying power to offer more affordable options.

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In an internal memo, Compass this week announced major changes to its stock option program, shifting from offering equity stock options to this offering.

Compass is making big changes to its agent equity program, according to an internal memo obtained exclusively by Inman. The company is shifting from offering equity stock options — an option to buy stock in the future at a set price, or strike price — to restricted stock units that will vest under certain conditions.

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Opendoor added two new partners this week for a program that allows homeowners selling to Opendoor to more easily buy and move into a newly built home. Name the partners.

Opendoor, the direct-to-consumer homebuying and selling startup, announced Tuesday it’s expanding its trade-up program with the addition of two new partners. Now homeowners can sell their homes and more seamlessly move into a newly built home from Century Communities or Gehan Homes, in addition to previous partners.


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According to a study released this week by Digital Third Coast, this city boasts the distinction of having the most Airbnb listings in the nation.

According to the latest report by Digital Third Coast, Florida boasts seven out of the 10 cities with the most Airbnb listings in the country. Miami Beach, in particular, surpasses all others with 3,416 listings for every 50,000 people.


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This Goodfella listed his Jersey Shore mansion this week for $6.5 million.

Joe Pesci, the star of Martin Scorsese’s new crime drama “The Irishman,” has listed his large New Jersey home for $6.5 million.

Located along the Jersey Shore in Lavallette, the home fronts the bay, has direct water access and full views. It spans 7,200 square feet and has eight bedrooms, eight bathrooms, a curving statement staircase, an eat-in kitchen with an island and an elevator. Outside, meanwhile, there’s a huge patio with a heated pool and a spa, as well as a private dock.

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