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December 9, 2006 | Tate Linden
You may have thought it wasn't possible, but it is. I'm going to write yet again about the confused brand that is REALTOR... or is it REALTORdom? ...REALTORness?

Would you believe that I receive about a dozen hits a day from REALTORs - and a few letters a week too. So far everyone has been in agreement about the problems with the REALTOR brand. Unfortunately I haven't had a single post from a REALTOR willing to speak out against the problems with NAR or the representaton they give to REALTORs.

That hasn't changed - on my site. But I came across a post on the Sellsius blog where a whole bunch of REALTORs have vented. The post in question shows the top 10 complaints with the NARs REALTOR.com site. Seems like the association that is supposed to represent all REALTORs is only representing those with deep pockets. Here's a sampling of the complaints:
Charging extra for enhanced listings Charging extra for leads Sponsored links divert traffic away from member listings Banner ads distract consumers Lack of member trust in a for-profit website
I had no idea that the NAR was doing things like this. Some I can see as reasonable - there's always going to be preferential treatment for larger or wealthier members - that's the nature of organizations. Elephants rule. As for other aspects I'm a little stunned. If I was represented by an organization that sold advertisements on my own product pages I would be miffed. They're not just being unhelpful, they're actively working to lose business for those that they represent.

I would assume that any organization that represented me (hypothetically) would allow me the courtesy of selling to my prospects once they had found me. The NAR continues to offer alternatives to my targets even after they've selected me as their REALTOR.

How can the REALTOR.COM problems be fixed? How about:
  • No competitive links from detailed listing pages unless the REALTOR is compensated for the clicks. Google does this for free - and REALTORs are paying NAR for the business they lose.
  • Increasing the default level of service given to a listing to at least the level provided by free sites such as Craigslist. One picture? Are we in 1995, or what?
  • Banner advertisements on a REALTOR's listing page should pay the REALTOR, not NAR.
  • REALTORs should be able to have their own banner advertisement on their listing pages (for a fee, of course) - and should be able to veto advertisements from those that work in their farm area.
  • REALTORs should never have to pay for leads from their own representative organization. If the organization isn't there to help businesses succeed then why is it there at all? Shouldn't membership fees cover the minimal effort required to forward contact information?
If I was a member of an organization that worked this hard to make a profit off of me I'd probably not be a member for very long.

Why are there so few REALTORs willing to rock the boat or leave the organization? Why is the NAR so overt about not representing their constituency. Why won't anyone speak out on this blog other than me?

Wait... I've heard about stuff like this.

Oh crud... is the Mafia behind this?

Tate Linden John Doe 123 Main Street 703-555-1234
4 Comments
jf.sellsius December 9, 2006 10:14 AM

Excellent suggestions.. It is afterall the members' listings that attract the eyeballs.
PS Thanks for the link.

Tate Linden December 9, 2006 1:04 PM

Happy to link to you Sellsius.
...and I'd not thought about the fact that the members are the reason there's traffic on the site...
Glad to see you rockin' the boat a bit. I'll have more thoughts on NAR in the next day or two.

FRANK LL0SA- Broker, Northern Virginia January 7, 2007 7:59 PM

Hey Tate,

You are gonna love my blog. I just started it. I expose a bunch of BS going on in the real estate world by Realtors (TM), from a Realtor (TM).
Do you have any good slogans for our Cheesiest Realtor Slogan Contest?
Maybe link to me if you enjoy the rest of my postings.
FRANK LL0SA- Broker, Realtor

Blog.FranklyRealty.com

Tate Linden January 8, 2007 8:53 AM

I enjoyed reading your blog this morning. I'll be sure to keep an eye on it for stories to link to - and if you mention us on your blog I'll put you on our "who is linking" page as well.
As for cheesiest slogans... At last count I found over 200,000 Realtors using some variant of "Making Your Dreams A Reality" or "Turning Your Dreams Into Reality." Add "dream home" into the mix and you'll get another 25,000.
How cheesy is it to be the 225,001st person to use a slogan... especially when it isn't actually working for any of the people who used it before you did?