Archive for the ‘NAR Reclaims’ Category

Realtors Coming Out of the Closet

Friday, May 29th, 2009

Realtor Closet

A few short years ago when I was doing my original research for (when I first became enraged with I found something very interesting.  There was a site (a rather stupid looking site with an even more stupid, long and impossible to remember URL) hosted on AOL that was beyond critical of  That site is no longer up (and I have since removed shaftingrealtors, when NAR politely asked me to).  What was interesting was that it was impossible for me to find the person who had put up that site on AOL.  Their name showed up nowhere on the site – or anywhere else.  They were afraid of reprisals from NAR.

As recently as fall of 2006 I  had numerous people writing to me, telling me I was "very brave" to openly speak out against NAR’s handling of

My my, how the playing field has changed.  No one writes stuff like that to me, anymore.  Seems the only thing stopping anyone from saying anything these days is they are busy trying to make a living (that thing NAR is supposed to actually help us with).  Thanks to Jim Duncan for unearthing these gems from

For nearly a decade, has helped REALTORS® thrive in the Internet age. was created to be an Internet site that would always be owned and controlled by REALTORS®

Protected members against business models intended to disintermediate them or force unfriendly tariff models upon the industry

No “For Sale by Owner” properties may ever appear on

It would be wonderful if the four quotes above were actually true.  Unfortunately, they are not correct statements.  But it doesn’t have to stay that way.  I believe NAR is populated by nice people who will wind up doing the right thing.  Even if it takes a while.  I also believe I have a lot of company now.  So there is light at the end of the tunnel.

NAR – Welcome to the Waffle House

Wednesday, May 20th, 2009


Just as a gentle reminder to all of what the actual purpose of the National Association of Realtors is supposed to be:

"The core purpose of the NATIONAL ASSOCIATION OF REALTORS® is to help its members become more profitable and successful."  You can see that here.

Prior to reading this post – which most internet-savvy Realtors have now read – I didn’t know what "indexing" was and didn’t care.  That was something I only learned in the comments section of that post.  So I now ask, Is it possible that Paula was wrong to allow search engines to find all of those listings on her site and for Google to index them?  Is it possible?  Really, isn’t it possible?  Well it must be possible, some people at NAR already thought it was wrong and Paula’s local association leaders also seemed to think it was wrong.  Do I personally think that a "no indexing rule" would be such a horrible bad thing?  If no one, no company could index listings?

It would be alright with me if wasn’t allowed to do it.  But is allowed to do it.  And they are also allowed to use terms like "MLS" in their meta words.  All of the listings on can be found by Google and indexed.  Because some people at NAR (who couldn’t see around corners, even a little bit) originally gave away the name, "" to a for-profit company instead of making it a member benefit we now have LOADS of other places that have our listings out there to be indexed.  Trulia, Zillow (and a growing list of other sites with MLS feeds) are all allowed to have the listings available for indexing.  These are all companies that would not even exist if it weren’t  for NAR’s original mishandling of  Is NAR going to stop them?  Could NAR stop them?  Is NAR going to stop from allowing listings to be indexed?

This past week in Washington D.C. it looked for a brief moment like sanity would prevail.  In the end it didn’t.  Can anyone (elected or paid staff) at NAR, on any committee or in any position explain how this makes even a little bit of sense?  Or are you going to try to ignore this issue by justifying it with, "It will be taken up by the committee in November"?

Why would it be okay with you for public – for profit companies – to have the right to freely do something that Realtors are then prevented from doing?  What twisted, tortured logic is used to justify that? 


Thumbs Up or Thumbs Down on

Wednesday, February 4th, 2009

Realtor Rip Off

This is another Open Letter to all of the officers, executives and staff of the National Association of Realtors.

Is Trulia better than  I received an email today from Trulia.  Here is part of what was included:


Isn’t it amazing this can even happen?  If had been set up correctly in the first place Trulia would not exist.  Same with Zillow.  Neither one of them would exist at all. 

If NAR had set up correctly I wouldn’t have received an email like this one.  Now or ever.  Trulia is set up to make money for the stockholders of Trulia.  Same with Zillow.  It isn’t have they made any money yet, it is that is their purpose.  They are the "agent’s friend" so that they can make money.  Their "purpose" is not to "help agents", it is to make money.

Isn’t it remarkable that they can even make a comparison like the one above?  Isn’t it fantastic that there is NO reason (as in none), for any Realtor to feel even the slightest loyalty to in a comparison like the one above? is supposed to be in complete alignment with the purpose of helping Realtors.  That is the "purpose" of the National Association of Realtors.  That is the very reason and only reason the NAR exists at all.  If they are not directly or indirectly helping Realtors then they are doing something off-purpose, that is not their job and most likely does not need to be done,  at least not by them.

Some years ago, NAR pretty much gave Homestore (now known as MOVE, a for profit company) the right to charge Realtors whatever the traffic would bear.  Just so long as each Realtor got each of their listings on "for free".  It was an unworkable idea from the start and it hasn’t gotten any better.  Realtors now get their listings on loads of sites "for free".  Eventually, the leaders of the NAR are going to have to face the very unpleasant idea that the entire fiasco hasn’t really "worked" and it isn’t going to work.  I understand that the people in power now are not the ones who created this mess in the first place.  But there isn’t even any good reason now for recriminations towards them.  Now and the future is what matters.  Pretending all is well because the people involved are all very nice and you are friends with them isn’t going to solve the problem. 

The more time that passes the more traction we lose.  Take it back.  Now.  Sure it is going to be a huge undertaking.  Most worthwhile things are.

It is not to late to make this right.  Keep losing ground and it eventually will be.  Take it back.  Do the right thing.   You only arrived at your position because you truly wanted to make a positive difference.  Take back.  It should be a member benefit.  Period.

The reclaim links page

Hate for Only the Right Reasons

Thursday, November 13th, 2008

Realtor Mousetrap

"I hate" That was pretty much the response in the comments from FSBOs on   I’m so glad Jay found that and wrote about it.  Eric Blackwell over at  Bloodhoundblog wrote about it too.  I think Michael Wurzer’s response is spot on but that Michael was way too polite.

Let me go on record publicly as directly calling out owners and executives as liars.  Blatant and knowing liars.  I understand that as a Realtor I am not supposed to utter an unkind word about a fellow Realtor (which they are).  So I encourage anyone who owns or works at to file whatever complaint they can against me.  Just so there is no misunderstanding:  You are lying in your press release.  You know that and therefore you are a liar.  You do not have FSBO listings on  All listings on come directly and only from MLS feeds.  Listings can not be "added" to any other way.  Again, they only get there from an MLS feed.

Please hate for the right reasons.  The stupid and misleading press release from Eric Mangan, of isn’t one of them. did nothing wrong here.  They aren’t "guilty" of anything in this instance.

It is not unusual to see venom spewed regarding in its present incarnation is a massive betrayal of all working Realtors.  What is ours has been given to an outside company so they can charge us as much as the traffic will bear.  They get to use our name ( to drive traffic to the site so we get to pay huge amounts to "enhance our own listings". 

Almost every agent who pays the outrageous prices does so for just one reason and one reason only: to be able to tell sellers their listings are "enhanced" on  There is no other reason.  NAR has wound up setting up a situation where we are being taken advantage of when their original goal was to help us.  I just renewed for next year.  I can add virtual tours and unlimited photos, along with scrolling text to all of my listings (which would all be there anyway).  The cost?  $3,659.00 for the year.  What a deal.  Why did I do it?  It is easier to pay it than to play defense, telling my sellers why we are not there.  No other reason.  None.  None, really.

From The Notorious R.O. B., here is a very interesting idea of how NAR could take back.  Totally worth reading.  Here is the NAR takes back links page.  Please check it out.

NAR Reclaims Series # 2: Gratitude

Monday, October 13th, 2008 Shaking Money Out

It seems to me that if a REALTOR wants to "attack NAR" they might also think it was a good idea to take an axe to their own head if they had a headache.  We are the NAR.  When I hear statements to the effect that all NAR has ever really come up with is the MLS, I wonder why those same people don’t find it odd that jewelry stores only sell jewelry.  Or grocery stores seem fixated on food.  BMW just with the nice cars.

I think that agents who don’t have a thankful attitude towards the (very) nice people who run NAR and sit on all the endless committees are ungrateful.  If it wasn’t for the work of a tremendous number of people you don’t know you wouldn’t even have a real estate career.  The MLS that we have and enjoy is one of the most valuable assets our industry has and we have it thanks to the National Association of REALTORS.  Countless lawyers, government busy bodies and other destructive types have done everything in their power to attempt to take it away and ruin it.  Thanks to the NAR we have it.

If there is really something you think "NAR should fix" and they aren’t doing it quite as fast as you would like the answer is simple: get on a committee.  The people that have are not only intelligent, have the wonderful quality of wanting to see others do well and (this one is very important) also play well with others.  That last one alone disqualifies most of the self appointed experts on what everyone else ought to be doing.

Even when it comes to no one here is making a demand.  NAR has the goal and purpose:"to help its members become more profitable and successful."  Any intelligent analysis confirms that has not and does not accomplish that.  But that doesn’t make NAR "wrong".  At the time it was set up the people who voted to set it up in it’s present form thought it would be great.  That beautiful building we have in Washington, D.C. was paid for with stock from Homestore.   Anybody who was factually guilty of wrongdoing (at Homestore, now MOVE, is long gone).  So your hindsight and mine is 20 – 20.  So is theirs.  The foresight part is where we sometimes make mistakes.  It seemed like a good idea at the time.  Is there anyone reading this (over the age of 25) who can’t look back and see something they would have done differently?

It is the future that matters not recriminations about the past.  NAR is going to totally reclaim  I know this is going to happen because I am not going to stop writing about it until it they do.  Every working REALTOR in the United States will eventually know about this and every person taking a seat on any committee at the state level on up will know about it too.  They will do the right thing.

One of the best written articles on this subject is from Jonathan Washburn, one of the founders of Active Rain.  I also have created a Reclaim links page.  Please check it out.

The NAR Reclaims Series

Friday, October 10th, 2008 Pencil Sharpener

I don’t know how many posts there will be in this series but I will continue to post them until I find out.  I want NAR to completely reclaim  I want them to take it away from MOVE (formerly Homestore).  I want everything about to be a member service included with our dues – just like is for Canadian Realtors.

My pencil sharpener graphic above is pretty much how most Realtors who are involved with selling real estate tend to see

Is there anything about Zillow you don’t like?  How about TruliaAnything you don’t like about Trulia?  There are perhaps a hundred (a thousand?) other me-too sites that I won’t even mention.  Let me tell you who to thank.

Thank the early to mid 90’s NAR Board of Directors.  If it wasn’t for them and the decisions they made Zillow, Trulia, etc., etc., etc. would not exist.  Oh, I know, the internet changed everything, blah blah blah.  How do I know?  Simple.  Look again at the Canadian version of "".  Then, check around Canada and notice how Zillow, Trulia and any other home valuation, MLS search (fill in whatever adjective you like) aren’t there.  Not there.  Why?  Canada has homes.  Canada has homes for sale.  People buy and sell homes in Canada.  Canadians want to know what their homes are worth. 

Why aren’t any of those companies in Canada? is the answer.

I understand that the decisions made by the NAR about a decade ago seemed like a good idea at the time.  It is easy to now find fault with those decisions – that isn’t my point.  I am not accusing them of doing the wrong thing then.  I am asking them to do the right thing now.