Tuesday, February 27, 2024

Broker Public Portal appoints former RE/MAX exec as CEO

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Dan Troup will lead a company founded by brokerages and MLSs, which aims to build an alternative to big portals such as Zillow and Realtor.com.

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After maintaining a low profile for years, a company known as Broker Public Portal (BPP) — which aims to serve as the real estate industry’s response to Zillow — is back in the spotlight this week with a new CEO.

Dan Troup

The new CEO is Dan Troup, who steps into the role after spending the last five years as the director of data operations and strategy at RE/MAX. Prior to that, he spent more than 13 years in various roles at RE/MAX of Michigan, according to his LinkedIn profile.

A statement from BPP celebrated Troup’s past work experience, specifically pointing to his “history of driving strategic initiatives, fostering collaboration and delivering exceptional results.”

Troup himself said in the statement that he is honored to take on the leadership role and “eager to amplify” BPP’s achievements.

“BPP has already made significant strides in demonstrating the importance of a national MLS consumer-facing property search site,” he said. “Together, we will not only uphold but surpass the industry standards, ensuring a property search experience that is both impartial and captivating, guided by the principles of the Fair Display Guidelines.”

In an email to Inman, Troup added that he’s now “settling into my new role as CEO, and it’s clear that there’s a lot of anticipation about BPP.”

A large group of multiple listing services and brokerages formed BPP years ago. Participating entities include major names such as Bright MLS, HomeServices of America and Windermere Real Estate, among numerous others, and the goal is to create a national, consumer-facing home search website. That website doesn’t exist yet, but BPP’s company site explicitly positions the project as “a better and more accurate alternative to the large listing portals.”

Asked when the consumer search site might go live, Troup said it’s still too early for him to “nail down a specific timeline for our future plans.”

“I’m in the process of getting up to speed and working closely with our board on our strategy,” he said, adding that BPP will “explore various possibilities and consider a balanced approach between building, buying or partnering for certain aspects of the project.”

Wednesday’s statement further notes that Troup’s new duties will include overseeing BPP’s “strategic vision, partnerships, business model, financials, product development roadmap, and launch.”

In the past, BPP forged a partnership with CoStar’s Homesnap, though that relationship ended in 2022. In general, BPP has maintained a low profile in the media in recent years.

Nevertheless, there does appear to be a thirst in the industry for what BPP aims to build. Zillow, of course, dominates consumer home search, but the company is controversial among real estate professionals; some swear by the portal’s lead generation, but others have criticized it as ineffective, or even as misleading to consumers. CoStar’s Andy Florance, who is trying to become Zillow’s chief rival via Homes.com, has gone so far as to accuse Zillow of “hijacking” agents’ listings — a sentiment some agents share.

In that context, it’s common at real estate gatherings to hear agents and leaders express regret that the industry — and specifically MLSs — allowed the major portals to rise mostly uncontested without offering an industry-built alternative.

BPP is supposed to be that alternative, though whenever it launches it’ll face a crowded fight for consumer eyeballs; not only will it have to compete with Zillow and Homes.com, but also with other sites such as Redfin and Realtor.com, all of which have a significant head start.

Despite the challenges, BPP leadership on Wednesday expressed optimism about Troup’s appointment. Board Vice-Chair Rebecca Jensen said in the statement that “the incredible successes Dan has delivered in his career have prepared him to take on the role of driving this important initiative.”

“He has the experience, skills and relationships to deliver business generation opportunities for brokers and MLSs across the country in a very important time,” Jensen added.

Meanwhile, board Chairman Dana Strandmo noted in the statement that “each industry expert that the BPP is composed of, in collaboration with Dan, will lean on their technology expertise and leadership skills to continue to execute on its mission — to deliver a consumer experience provided by people who sell homes, not ads.”

Email Jim Dalrymple II

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