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Opinion Editorials

What Say You? Is this Good Advertising?



This morning I was reading some of my favorite blogs. (Not real estate related.) I glanced over on the side column and what did my eyes see?

An ad by NAR.

Picture 2

It was a rotating ad, and this came up next…

Picture 1

I don’t know if it is being advertised by NAR anywhere else because I was on and it led me to a story here.

When you click it takes you to the data that NAR compiled in a survey of 50,000 NAR members of which 4% or 2035 members responded. The survey was conducted between Aug 5th and Aug 14, 2009.

From my chatter around the water cooler, I know most agents are in favor of the extension.  We received a letter this week from NAR asking us to contact our Senators and Congressmen to ask them to extend the First Time Home-buyer Credit. I did not because I am not in favor of anything that is causing more debt for my children and grandchildren. I did not because the Cash for Clunkers worked for a month and now the automotive dealers are dead.

On Monday I did a status update on Facebook and asked if Realtors were going to be contacting their Senators and Congressmen to ask them to extend the credit.  27 folks commented their thoughts.

My question here is to get the opinion from you on this: is this ad an appropriate use for our NAR dues?

I suspect some of my more liberal blogging friends would not like to see this ad on Fox News. I am not sure I would like to see it anywhere.

What say you?

Written by Missy Caulk, Associate Broker at Keller Williams Ann Arbor. Missy is the author of Ann Arbor Real Estate Talk and Blog Ann Arbor, and is also the Director for the Ann Arbor Area Board of Realtors and Member of MLS and Grievance Committee's.

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  1. Fred Romano

    October 8, 2009 at 9:28 am

    What not keep spending till every last one of us is bankrupt! Too bad the government cant just wash the slate clean for all of us and themselves. A “Do Over” for everyone is what we need.

  2. Erion Shehaj

    October 8, 2009 at 11:48 am

    There’s no doubt that there are political implications to the extension of the tax credit — As there are with anything that involves the expenditure of tax dollars. And based on your political inclination, you may view that as a great or terrible idea. But from the perspective of a trade organization like NAR, their very purpose for existence is to make the landscape favorable for their members. And as far as that goes, the ad in question is appropriate because I don’t think anyone could argue against the fact that the members in this trade organization would be better off with an extended credit.

  3. Missy Caulk

    October 8, 2009 at 11:54 am

    Erion, I agree it is probably best for MY income. But…you knew there would be a but.
    When does putting the future of our children and grandchildren come first. The money is not FREE, we are paying for it.

    Is it right for my and Realtors own job’s to borrow against our childrens future ?

    I do we as a nation continue to borrow our way out of debt. I heard the debt today was 3.something trillion. I can’t even conceive of that…and most of the stimulus money is not spent, nor Cap and Tax nor anything for Health Care Reform.

  4. Erion Shehaj

    October 8, 2009 at 12:57 pm

    My question here is to get the opinion from you on this: is this ad an appropriate use for our NAR dues?

    My comment was in reference to your question above. If the question is: “Should tax dollars be spent for homebuying credit?” that’s an entirely different question. If it is true that the tax credit has accounted for most of whatever little wind has been blown in the sales of the housing market this year, eliminating it this early into “recovery” would be a mistake. I’m not too thrilled at the prospect of spending even more money to basically place a stool under a somewhat crippled market, but in much similar fashion to Afghanistan, the alternative would be much worse and the effects wouldn’t be limited to housing market either.

    In all fairness, I didn’t hear the same kinds of concern over national deficits when we went from a surplus to a 1 trillion dollar deficit in 8 years, over tax cuts. The definition of “fiscally responsible” should not change based on who’s occupying the White House.

    Just sayin’…

  5. Erion Shehaj

    October 8, 2009 at 1:06 pm

    I believe the verbatim phrase from Dick Cheney was: “Reagan proved than deficits don’t matter” …

  6. Bob

    October 8, 2009 at 1:28 pm

    I want a utility credit for power and water, a cable credit so I can watch The Pres on the tube, a grocery credit so I can help the traditional grocery stores fend off those capitalist pigs at Wal Mart so they cant continue to show the world how to make a profit, and a gasoline credit to be used to show homes to buyers with the tax credits.

    No more tax credit.

  7. Bob

    October 8, 2009 at 1:32 pm

    To answer the question about the ad, I think Erion nailed it:

    “But from the perspective of a trade organization like NAR, their very purpose for existence is to make the landscape favorable for their members. And as far as that goes, the ad in question is appropriate because I don’t think anyone could argue against the fact that the members in this trade organization would be better off with an extended credit.”

    Do I like the tax credit? No. But NAR is actually acting like a trade org here.

  8. Portland Real Estate

    October 8, 2009 at 2:24 pm

    Probably not worth our money. NAR seems to be a little mis managed these days.


  9. Missy Caulk

    October 8, 2009 at 2:42 pm

    Bob, appreciate your thoughts. Just seemed weird to see an Ad on Fox News from NAR. Would be interesting to see how many responded.

    Also would be good to see how many first time home buyers bought because of the credit that would NOT have bought otherwise. Since the first time home buyer always dominates the market.

  10. Joe Spake

    October 8, 2009 at 7:36 pm

    Good points about NAR acting as a trade organization – as they were with the “Now is a Great Time to Buy campaign” running as the world watched the US real estate market tank. NAR has acted as a trade organization with other such ads over the last few years, with Mr. Yun’s sunny forecasts, and now the current push for extension of the tax credit.
    NAR’s advocating for Realtors has strengthened the public’s perception that we are willing to bend the truth a little, or do most anything else to make a sale. IMO, a trade organization’s first priority should be upholding the standards of membership and honestly enhancing the public’s perception of the members, not spin doctoring.
    I, too, would love to see the numbers on how much the tax credit has stimulated the market. I really think my clients who took advantage of it would have bought anyway.
    For the record, I don’t appreciate my dues $ being spent on the ad [I didn’t support the Rose Bowl Parade float, either], and I do not support an extension.

  11. SteveBeam

    October 9, 2009 at 12:23 am

    I’m not for the tax credit or the ad. I too have seen NAR ads in crazy places. I think they feel like the government. Throw money at it and it will get better. I guess at least they are trying but not good enough in my opinion. i certainly don’t feel like I receive much for my dues.

  12. Ken Brand

    October 9, 2009 at 7:56 am

    I’m ok with AD. At least it’s a Call To Action, tied to urgency.

    I’m not ok with the general, “Now’s a great time to buy, for no particular reason.”

  13. Susie Blackmon

    October 9, 2009 at 1:10 pm

    I’m not for the extension of the tax credit, or the ad.

  14. Paula Henry

    October 9, 2009 at 4:47 pm

    I can certainly see the call of urgency if a first time home buyer is “on the fence”, but, I for one, do not want to see the first time tax credit extended. Still, I don’t like the ads; they speak of desperation.

    If it really takes a credit for a home buyer to buy, where will it stop. When will we know the market has normalized. We can not continue to throw money at the problem. When the money runs out and it will, then what?

  15. Missy Caulk

    October 9, 2009 at 6:43 pm

    We have just had so many first time home buyers who were HAPPY to get the credit but not buying TO GET the credit…maybe it is just Ann Arbor. We get tons of Residents and grad students who move in.

    Paula, I just can’t imagine a consumer clicking on that ad. Weird to me.

  16. Mike Pennington

    October 10, 2009 at 11:51 am

    Missy: Just read your last comment. I agree. Maybe though we need a tax credit for any buyer. Or maybe one big credit for those who sell and buy a more expensive home.

    In my area, there is low inventory of affordable homes. There is way to much inventory for the expensive stuff.

  17. Bob in San Diego

    October 12, 2009 at 12:31 am

    Is it good advertising? Who were they advertising too? It reminds me of the Drug company ads for some drug you have never heard about.

  18. Jay Myers

    October 12, 2009 at 1:43 am

    Let’s not forget the Tax Credit was put into place to stimulate banks just as much as to stimulate buyers to get out into the market.

    I have not signed NAR’s petition to “extend or Expand” the tax credit because of how it is written. I am in favor of an extension, but only till Spring of 2010. We need to keep lenders lending, since this will most likely be a slow year for retailers. keeping money changing hands is a good thing for the American economy, and if a short extension can do that I am in favor.

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