People on the Move
Illustration by Lanette Behiry/Real Estate News

People on the Move at MARIS, real estate tech firms 

Cameron Paine takes on top role at MARIS as CEO David Price retires; Happy Grasshopper, HomeScout, Rechat and Lundy announce new executive hires.

January 23, 2024
5 minutes

Editor's note: As an industry with millions of agents and over 100,000 brokerage companies, new leaders rise to the top every day. Here we highlight executives and other notable leaders who've recently taken on, or stepped away from, roles that influence the residential real estate landscape. 

MARIS CEO David Price retires after 27 years; Cameron Paine takes helm

Mid-America Regional Information Systems (MARIS), a leading MLS with 15,000 subscribers covering Missouri and Illinois, bids farewell to President and CEO David Price, marking the end of his 27-year tenure with the organization. Industry veteran Cameron Paine will move into the top leadership role effective Feb. 5, 2024.

David Price, outgoing CEO, and Cameron Paine, new President and CEO; MARIS.
David Price, outgoing CEO, and Cameron Paine, new President and CEO; MARIS.

Price steered MARIS through a period of significant growth, the organization said in the announcement. MARIS noted Price's legacy of managing a well-run, progressive MLS that benefited MARIS members. Price expressed gratitude, stating that he was "immensely proud" of the achievements he oversaw at MARIS while adding that "Cameron, with his reputation as an innovator, is the perfect leader for the future."

Paine, a real estate industry stalwart, has held a variety of leadership roles spanning MLSs and associations, brokerage firms and real estate technology companies. He was previously CEO of CTMLS/Smart MLS and led industry relations at HouseCanary, and eXp.

"It is an honor and a privilege to join the outstanding MARIS team," said Paine, emphasizing the need for innovation and collaboration in meeting evolving consumer expectations. "It's important to recognize that David's stellar efforts and his extraordinary decades of service give anyone following in his footsteps an immediate advantage."

Paine added that he looks forward to championing pro-consumer data collaborations in the MLS industry from MARIS's central location.

Four tech companies bring on seasoned leaders

Real estate tech firms have been reeling in new talent in the first weeks of the year. Happy Grasshopper, HomeScout, Rechat and Lundy have all announced new executive appointments as they gear up for 2024.

Happy Grasshopper names new president

Real estate communication platform Happy Grasshopper has named Scott Lockhart as its new president, signaling a strategic move to enrich product offerings and amplify its influence, the company said in an announcement.

In his previous role as CEO of Showcase IDX, Lockhart, a 20-year industry veteran, oversaw two acquisition events to eXp World Holdings and Constellation. Lockhart's appointment is intended to fortify Happy Grasshopper's standing as the indispensable tool for real estate agents and brokerages looking to supercharge their CRM systems, the company said.

Dan Stewart, CEO of Happy Grasshopper, said Lockhart's "deep understanding of creating user-friendly products that address the often misunderstood needs of real estate professionals" made him an ideal candidate.

Lockhart said he looks forward to addressing challenges faced by agents, team leaders and brokers. "Looking ahead, we anticipate substantial growth in the coming year as we continue to innovate our offering and evolving markets and regulations enhance the relevance and necessity of our solutions," Lockhart said.

HomeScout hires chief strategy officer

HomeScout, which provides consumers with access to a nationwide network of real estate agents, loan officers and title representatives, has appointed Scott Oakley as its chief strategy officer to spearhead relationships and business development.

CEO and President David Camp, who acquired HomeScout in 2022, invested significantly in rebuilding the technology platform to create the ultimate consumer destination for finding a home, loan and agent. The company recently broadened its scope through the acquisition of lead generation company Trinity Oak Partners in December 2023.

"Scott has 27 years of proptech and fintech experience and relationships in the industry that are unparalleled," Camp said. "Bringing Scott into HomeScout helps to round out our leadership and strategy team."

Rechat announces new VP of innovation & industry insight

Rechat, an AI-powered tool that pulls multiple real estate functions into one platform, welcomes Zane Burnett as vice president of innovation & industry insight. 

Burnett most recently served as chief digital officer at Willis Allen Real Estate and was previously a U.S. Air Force technician and advisory board member for Rutgers University's Big Data program, bringing a unique blend of skills to his new role. At Rechat, he will oversee industry relationships, strategic planning and product development, aligning with the company's goal of offering an all-in-one solution to enhance agent efficiency. 

"There are a number of companies trying to simplify the process of buying and selling homes. What impressed me about Rechat is that it isn't built on legacy software," Burnett said about the company. "Rechat's forward-looking approach has enabled it to build a complete and integrated ecosystem and leverage AI in ways others simply cannot." 

Lundy co-founder takes on CTO role

Lundy, a voice-enabled property search engine, has appointed Jim Grady as chief technology officer. Grady co-founded Lundy in 2019 with CEO Justin Lundy and played a pivotal role in developing its natural language processing technology. 

The technology facilitates a conversational interface on the Amazon Alexa platform, making MLS property data accessible by voice.

In his new role, Grady will lead the continual advancement of Lundy's technology, focusing on enhancing accessibility for the blind and visually impaired. Additionally, the company aims to provide consumers with swift voice access to real estate prices and facts. 

The company has been forming partnerships with MLSs across the country to bring its voice-enabled capabilities to consumers. REcolorado added Lundy technology in November, and the Houston Association of Realtors partnered with the tech company in August.

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