It’s time to get involved.
This is a very real, tangible and definable threat to how Realtors do business in the 21st Century.
So I guess an email to Cliff is our only option to “get involved” as we are so often told to do. That seems odd, as I thought there was a committee or some sort of governing body we could address our concerns to. I don’t know Cliff, but if Jim Duncan says he’s a good man, that’s all I need to know to trust that Cliff will take my email and express my concerns to whoever it is that listens to these things. I wish I could tell them directly, but I guess I’ll use Cliff as the “middle man”.
Now the real work begins. It seems that we have convinced each other and enough NAR staff to have the conversation – In Real Life – with the 112* members of the Committee.
Here is *how* to get involved – specific to this matter.
1a – Realtor.org is remarkably difficult to navigate. This isn’t new to anyone, but it’s worth noting just how frustrating it is.
1b – Go to the NAR Committees page and find out who your respective members are in your state. – or see this spreadsheet put together by Brad Nix.
2 – Find their contact information and call or email your reps. They may or may not be well-versed on this particular issue, and one assumes that some will be lost on the technical aspects of this argument. Debating technology minutae with policy folks may be an inefficient use of everyones’ time and energy.
a) Go to your state association page or call the state association and try to find their email address – neither NAR nor your state Association (assuming they are like mine, Virginia) will disclose email addresses due to privacy concerns. When you hit this roadblock as I did,
Before contacting your fellow Realtors, for God’s sake, educate yourselves. Telling them “to fix it!” will not be sufficient. Tell them, and show them, how to “fix it.”
Make no mistake, this issue has potentially *huge* ramifications.
Such as – if this rule were to be adopted by other associations, the power would shift from those Realtors who have embraced the internet to establish presences – a leveling of the playing field if you will – to those who have the deepest pockets and the best connections with the NAR. Read: the big brokers who have been fighting for relevance and to recapture their respective power and presences would be given – given! – a significant advantage that they have not earned.
Realtors are supposed to play by different – better – rules, unlike our competition. I was joking when I said in the comments that I suspected that someone from Zillow/Trulia/Cyberhomes/etc must have been guiding the committee’s discussions, because they (and Realtor.com) are the second greatest beneficiaries. By taking away our proverbial weapons (IDX), the only ones with weapons would be our competition. (Realtor.com is our competition – just like Z/T/C – they are neither our partner nor our friend – their goal is profit – on the backs of Realtors’ content and work)
This cannot stand. If we want to ensure that our arguments, desires and opinions reach beyond the comments of blogs and beyond a very small minority within the NAR – staff and members – it is absolutely imperative that you speak out. Now. The absolute worst thing that could happen is for the members in leadership to hear silence from us. Policy is set by the powerful and the vocal. We must be both.
But … Let’s also set our expectations appropriately. Changing NAR policy is akin to turning a battleship 180 degrees – it takes dedication, patience and persistence.
As noted on Twitter:
It’s too easy to ignore “those guys on the blogs” until they show up at your meeting to express themselves #narmidyear0229 #dontmesswithus
It’s time to move off the blogs.
NB: The steps for getting directly involved on National Committees is worthy of another lengthy post … and involvement is a decision not to be made lightly – involvement requires commitment, dedication and a fortitude that is nearly unmatched. It seems that many (not all, and this is not an indictment of all NAR leaders) “leaders” get to be called “leaders” by virtue of longevity. If you’re willing and able to make that commitment – at the local and state and eventually national levels, Start Now. If you choose to get involved, please don’t waste energy and oxygen because you think it’ll benefit you later; do it because you feel you can contribute positively to the membership to help guide and craft solutions.
** Extra special thanks to Benn and Lani – without whom this progressive action would never have taken place. Benn’s counsel and guidance has proven invaluable to me and others.