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Realtors

The NAR Reclaims Realtor.com Series


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 Realtor.com.  I want them to take it away from MOVE (formerly Homestore).  I want everything about Realtor.com to be a member service included with our dues – just like realtor.ca is for Canadian Realtors.

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

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 “Realtor.com”.  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. 

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

I understand that the decisions made by the NAR about Realtor.com 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.

Written By

Russell has been an Associate Broker with John Hall & Associates since 1978 and ranks in the top 1% of all agents in the U.S. Most recently The Wall Street Journal recognized the Top 200 Agents in America, awarding Russell # 25 for number of units sold. Russell has been featured in many books such as, "The Billion Dollar Agent" by Steve Kantor and "The Millionaire Real Estate Agent" by Gary Keller and has often been a featured speaker for national conventions and routinely speaks at various state and local association conventions. Visit him also at nohasslelisting.com and number1homeagent.com.

22 Comments

22 Comments

  1. Matthew Rathbun

    October 10, 2008 at 5:18 am

    Yesterday I heard a presentation from a MLS Exec, who eluded to some knowledge (I wasn’t listening closely enough) that MOVE would be moving away from NAR within the year.

    I think they are having a hard time being relevant to practitioners. realtor.com has added estimates, which make it strangely enough, like Zillow. However, very few things that try emulation, in lieu of innovation, survive in the technology world. Why pay realtor.com (which should be a free service to it’s members) when I can get the same service for free on Zillow or Trulia, or, or, or…..

    Yes, they are supposedly the most visited RE site – for now. But that will change. The site is hard to navigate, doesn’t give the consumer enough information and is designed as a lead capture device and not a consumer oriented application.

    I do think it was the unintended consequence of the NAR’s BOD in an effort to capture the internet market. I just simply think that move hasn’t been innovative enough to keep up.

  2. Bob

    October 10, 2008 at 6:57 am

    MOVE doesn’t have any incentive. They can’t raise fees to counter a dwindling agent population, and they can’t pursue VC money. There is no pot at the end of the rainbow for them.

  3. Danilo Bogdanovic

    October 10, 2008 at 7:49 am

    I was in the same room with Matt when a certain MLS exec said the same thing. Very interesting that he shared that with us…

    I’d say that NAR wants to get away from Move for a variety of reasons. One big reason may be that they could use R.com as the consumer-facing piece of the “MLS 5.0” they’re talking about.

    But they have to be careful in what they do with R.com should they get it back. They need to seriously listen to the needs of consumers and not try and make it a lead generation machine for brokers.

    Just my .02.

  4. monika

    October 10, 2008 at 8:11 am

    I’m really ticked as my company is now forcing us to buy enhanced pages on R.com…forcing us if we want to participate in our e-lead system. The tie-in infuriates me. So far I’m not buying!

  5. Jim Duncan

    October 10, 2008 at 8:27 am

    But they have to be careful in what they do with R.com should they get it back. They need to seriously listen to the needs of consumers and not try and make it a lead generation machine for brokers.

    And herein lies one of the major problems – NAR’s focus often is on the “big brokers” and not the “Realtors” on the street …

    Why doesn’t NAR just buy out Move? Shares are trading today near their 52-week lows.

  6. Derec Shuler

    October 10, 2008 at 9:10 am

    I haven’t seen any huge innovations coming from Realtor.com even if they’re putting a new interface on the site. I’m a fan of Trulia’s ability to localize features and data in my area, Denver, in ways our local MLS isn’t even able to do (though they own the data). The pricing model and “exclusive” ownerships of zip codes isn’t necessarily in the best interest of agents nor the industry.

    I don’t know if NAR has the vision or foresight to create a dynamic, useful platform either. We need to create an incentive to create and be innovative and the current exclusive data access model seems to have Move focused more on upselling to agents rather than focused on providing a better consumer experience.

  7. Jim Reppond

    October 10, 2008 at 9:26 am

    Russell, I agree with Derec. The more relevant discussion should be – “How can Realtors take back the NAR?” THEN we could figure out how to get Realtor.com fixed. The NAR is broken and lost most of it’s credibility and standing, IMO. Realtor.com is just one facet of NAR’s failure to be of value to it’s members or the public.

  8. Rob Aubrey

    October 10, 2008 at 6:23 pm

    I got my pistch fork. NAR is in DC let’s go.

  9. Jim Gatos

    October 10, 2008 at 7:25 pm

    Seems to me like anytime someone has a bright and innovative idea that it winds up costing us “Realtors” thousands of dollars. My dues for next year are going to be $525. I’m actually considering dropping “Realtor” from my designations. What good are designations when they cost so much?

  10. Karen Rice

    October 13, 2008 at 8:09 am

    Watching this blog.

  11. Ernie Tabel

    October 16, 2008 at 1:14 am

    “…the current exclusive data access model seems to have Move focused more on upselling to agents rather than focused on providing a better consumer experience.”

    No kidding. And isn’t this utterly counter to what Borenstein claimed were the company’s new priorities when she took the job of President at Move? “Provide the best online real estate search experience,” she said. What changed (or failed to change)?

  12. Ted Mackel

    October 22, 2008 at 10:52 pm

    Realtor.com is a joke. I like the traffic reports, but the site is geared to sell agents their listings back at prices that are unreasonable.

    NAR still has a long way to go if it was to get control of Realtor.com. I doubt much would change.

  13. Judy Brown

    May 12, 2009 at 3:30 pm

    The only innovations I have noticed with Realtor.com is the sorry service you get if you try to bail out of the “Contract” with them prior to it expiring. These people have not heard of “Prorated” and will talk down to you and refuse to work with you at all if you request an early withdrawal from their precious “Enhanced” program. They were rude, obnoxious, even going as far as yelling at me to get their point across. I wouldn’t recommend them to even my most dreaded enemy. If they have any Quality Control listening in on these incoming phone calls I’d certainly be amazed. Seems they are far more concerned with the monthly income form the Realtor’s then providing “Support” and/or Customer Service”. After my year with them I can say without a doubt, there was not much of either where my issues were concerned. They definitely have their priorities. I’ll never do business with them again after the past year.

  14. N. Ferreira

    May 21, 2009 at 6:26 am

    “Quote”

    Is there anything about Zillow you don’t like? How about Trulia? Anything 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 “Realtor.com”. 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.

    Some comments:

    RE Brokers are not web-marketeers, or, better yet, web entrepreneurs. It is hard to win a battle if you no nothing about the battle field.

    As someone here mentioned, the business model is also important – if the incentive, the “pot at the end of the rainbow”(BOB) does not exist, MOVE has certainly though “why should we try harder”.

    So, with a board of directors that have no expertise in the web portals industry, and a developer company that has no incentive….where is the surprise?

  15. Karen Richards

    February 2, 2010 at 8:34 pm

    We all need to have a very high level of concern over this issue.

  16. Plano Homes

    March 5, 2010 at 11:49 pm

    AS it becomes harder to get buyers qualified this issue will continue to grow out of control

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