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Opinion Editorials


Thanks to Stefan Mendelsohn
Photo: Stefan Mendelsohn

Sometimes inspiration comes from the most unusual places – this time from a meeting with other Realtors. Specifically, we were discussing the Realtor MLS Presidential Advisory Group, and one member in particular was voicing great concerns about one aspect of the proposal that threatens all Realtors’ ability to do business. If this got implemented, it would be devastating and NAR really has no business damaging its constituency in this manner. Problem is, he hadn’t actually read anything about the PAG and was arguing from fearful “what-ifs” and false assumptions.

This isn’t a post about the merits of the PAG – it’s about fear. Witness some of the comments from some Realtors in response to the proposal:

“I don’t like this. It seems to me that this will open a can of worms that we don’t want opened. I think our MLS is adequate for our needs at the present time.”

“So, we would be competing against FSBO’s?” (Hint: we already are).

As Realtors, we navigate fearful “what-ifs” every day. What if the market goes down? What if my house loses value? What if my brokerage stops sending listings to What if Redfin comes into my market?

How do you counter fear?

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Educate, dispel myths and rumors and provide the best fact and analysis possible.

Knowledge is a dangerous thing. A little bit of knowledge mixed with fear can be volatile and damaging – to all parties.

This business is a gamble beset by what-ifs. Knowing what the “what-ifs” are and what the consequences may be is one of the many ways outstanding professionals add value to whatever business they are in. Nobody in this or any business is entitled to exist or succeed. We must offer a tangible and profitable benefit to our customers, clients and often to ourselves.

Succumbing to the fear of “what-if” is not a desirable option. Leveraging and understanding fear, its place in the debate and its consequences can be a valuable tool.

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Written By

Dad, Husband, Charlottesville Realtor, real estate Blogger, occasional speaker - Inman Connects, NAR Conferences - based in Charlottesville, Virginia. A native Virginian, I graduated from VMI in 1998, am a third generation Realtor (since 2001) and have been "publishing" as a real estate blogger since January 2005. I've chosen to get involved in Realtor Associations on the local, state & national levels, having served on the NAR's RPR & MLS groups. Find me in Charlottesville, Crozet and Twitter.



  1. Kristal Kraft

    March 11, 2008 at 8:13 pm

    Hanging on to the old beliefs of the past while the rest of the world changes is not an answer. As Realtors our value is NOT in the MLS but in the value we bring to the table as consultants, evaluators, guides and a source of local knowledge.

    Jim, I’ll vote for you. Are running for something? 🙂

  2. Jim

    March 11, 2008 at 8:16 pm

    I’d have to be dragged to run for anything … and that’s not really running. 🙂

  3. Jeremy Hart

    March 11, 2008 at 8:19 pm

    Well, if you’re not running and you’d have to be dragged, what can we drag you into?

  4. Missy Caulk

    March 11, 2008 at 8:22 pm

    Ignorance brings fear, knowledge brings power.

  5. Jim

    March 11, 2008 at 8:50 pm

    Accepting that fear is a component of many negotiations and decision processes leads to a better understanding of the situation and puts those who are aware in a powerful position.

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