A friend of mine by the name of Karen used to work with me here in our real estate office in Silverdale, WA. She had been both an agent and an assistant manager. Some years ago (they fly by way to fast to count) she moved to the east coast and eventually to Florida where she practices real estate.
Karen e-mailed me this morning asking for my take on this article; http://realtytimes.com/rtapages/20061130_seattlepullout.htm
Here are some of my thoughts:
This article comes from an interesting angle….”why are brokers choosing not to put their listings with Realtor.com”. I would come from the other side…why would brokers want to???
The Realtor organization is a fantastic organization for providing services to its’ members like; education, a consistent code of ethics, cost savings from third party vendors and for acting as a political watch dog regarding property rights, land use and legislation that affects our business.
They were not used for marketing or promoting our listing inventory. That has always been the broker’s job. In some areas there may be a crossover. Some Multiple Listing Services (MLS) are owned by the local Realtor organization.
So lets break this discussion into a two pieces; context and reasoning:
Some years ago, National Association of Realtors decided to start Realtor.com. They hired a third party to put this whole thing together and it is now operated solely by this third party as NAR has distanced themselves from it. The third party was Homestore, but is now known as Move Inc. and trades on the NASDAQ as Move.
The reason NAR felt there was a need for Realtor.com is because real estate firms in the midwest and on the east coast did not share their listing information in a way that the public could access it on line. The consumer would have to access each broker’s webpage, one company at a time to see what was on the market.
This is very different than those of us in the northwest. From the beginning we felt it was a benefit for the public to get their listing knowledge and market information right from the horse’s mouth. So each of us share with the other all of our listings. We would rather have the consumer go to our competitors website and get accurate up to the minuet information then to a third party vendor.
So now we have a for profit company, who looks and feels like NAR but really isn’t and they want to collect, distribute and profit from the listings that our agents have worked so hard to get.
Here is some of the information from their web page, italicized: