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Which Entity Interacts Better? AG Poll



National, State or Local?

With the advent of social media and modern communication, real estate associations of all levels are adopting new tools to reach out to, retain and educate members. Some entities are doing a better job than others- some have social medians hired, others still barely check email and want you to contribute to their literal “suggestion box.”

We’re interested to learn who you think listens to and interacts with Realtors better- has your experience led you to greater accessibility to NAR, your state association or your local board? Let us know in the poll below:

PS: we’re testing out a bevy of polling tools for you, let us know what you think in the comments. I’m not to hip on this one at ALL so far because of the ads as part of their java script, but it IS fully customizable which is cool.

Lani is the Chief Operating Officer at The American Genius - she has co-authored a book, co-founded BASHH and Austin Digital Jobs, and is a seasoned business writer and editorialist with a penchant for the irreverent.

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  1. Ted Mackel

    October 19, 2009 at 2:16 pm

    I think NAR is really starting to show that they have interest in this area and how they are working Facebook and Twitter for San Diego is refreshing. Also not to mention REBARCAMP Chicago.

    At the California Association or Realtors Expo in San Jose a few weeks back, CAR is urging the Local Associations to not endorse RE Barcamp. Overall CAR’s Tech Tuesday was much better and has been moving forward each year, it still has much to catch up with NAR on the Social Media. @tcar has really made some progress at NAR props to @tcar.

  2. Ken Brand

    October 19, 2009 at 2:46 pm

    I think NAR and State have the same issues Brokerage Companies and all corporations/organizations have, especially the larger ones. NAR and State are relatively faceless and perceived as big monolithic strangers. Just like most buyers and sellers don’t choose a logo, they choose an individual (maybe the logo supports their decision to choose this particular individual – this is what the big broker/independent broker convo is all about IMHO), most agents can’t and don’t relate (because there is no relationship) to a State or National organization of strangers.

    I know at our local level, while it’s still bureaucratic and hip high in BS, etc., I do know the names and faces of some of the players. Therefore, I connect, understand, pay attention cut-slack and sometimes engage with them.

    With State and Nat., I don’t have a clue what they do or who they are. Therefore, I cut them zero slack, tune them out and criticize them. Probably wrong, but it’s honest.

  3. Bob Wilson

    October 19, 2009 at 3:16 pm

    Where is option 4?

    None of the above as they all fail

  4. Ted Mackel

    October 19, 2009 at 3:53 pm


    The one thing that NAR and the State AORs are very important, is Lobbying government on issues related to our industry and Home Ownership. I think that the ancillary businesses they try to develop are concieved by small interest groups trying to create income streams the really don’t go back into the organization like it should.

    Take all the special designations i.s. CRS, ePro, GRI Blah Blah Blah. Each one of those programs has some individual behind it running it as a business. We had the ePro people out here for a teaser session and the guy came out with a 4 year old power point presentation. Hardly up-to-date. Problem is the old timers that usually run for position or get involved on the state and national levels are so stuck in tradition and old ways, they are not very receptive to change. Its a shame because we need the Lobbying power of the organization, it’s just the member benefits side of the organization that is all fouled up.

  5. Jim Duncan

    October 19, 2009 at 4:29 pm

    My local and state do a pretty good job of communicating with the members. As far as listening both could use some help.

    What Ted said:

    Problem is the old timers that usually run for position or get involved on the state and national levels are so stuck in tradition and old ways, they are not very receptive to change. Its a shame because we need the Lobbying power of the organization, it’s just the member benefits side of the organization that is all fouled up

  6. Sarah Nopp

    October 19, 2009 at 10:51 pm

    They can only listen to members if members bother to show up. Kind of tough for volunteer boards to hear the opinions that are un-voiced,.

  7. Jim Duncan

    October 19, 2009 at 11:24 pm

    Sarah –

    Define “show up” – in person? At membership meetings? At conventions? Online? Blogs?

  8. Joe Loomer

    October 20, 2009 at 6:46 am

    I’m with Bob – if there’d been an option 4 – “none of the above” – I would have taken that. At least the GAR hits me up with reminders about CE credit courses and the like.

    The local board is a mouthpiece for the two dinosaur franchises in town (but not for long) – and like Jim’s, a jumping-off platform for someone to sell you something else.

    Navy Chief, Navy Pride

  9. Matthew Rathbun

    October 20, 2009 at 8:07 am

    I’ve served the light side and dark side of this issue… (You can choose which is which)

    I’ve always found that all three are available for engagement. I just had to meet them half way.

    I think it’s important to remember that the association leadership not agreeing with you, doesn’t mean they aren’t engaging you… #justsayin

  10. Vicki Moore

    October 20, 2009 at 8:27 pm

    This isn’t the Q but I think NAR has stepped up its communication quite a bit.

  11. rob aubrey

    October 20, 2009 at 8:27 pm

    I know my local really think they are trying but not even close.

    Excel for Real Estate (3 CE Hrs),
    Outlook for Real Estate (3 CE Hrs),

    I told them I thought it was criminal that they would offer CE for basic fundamentals and why did they do it?
    The response was if they didn’t offer CE, no one would show, I responded if no one shows maybe the class sucks..

  12. Jim Duncan

    October 20, 2009 at 8:32 pm

    It doesn’t matter how great, cheap, expensive, awful a class is. If CE isn’t offered, very few will show. It’s not about the education, it’s about the credit. Which is a damn shame.

  13. Bob Wilson

    October 20, 2009 at 8:42 pm

    “It’s not about the education, it’s about the credit. Which is a damn shame”

    That is the truth, but you have to wonder if this is because we have grown accustom to not getting much in the way of pertinent education. The last time I received any AOR sponsored training that really mattered was when there was a wholesale change to our purchase contract. Half of the classes on this new contract were taught by lawyers. I would have paid for it,even without the CE.

  14. Jim Duncan

    October 20, 2009 at 8:44 pm

    “I would have paid for it,even without the CE.”

    And that’s the difference between you and many – you’re in it to better yourself and your clients whereas others are in it for the license renewal. Big difference.

  15. Bob Wilson

    October 20, 2009 at 8:59 pm

    Not even I can hold the AOP responsible for that. That is an agent mindset that can and should be dealt with by the broker.

    Perhaps this would be easier for me to answer if I knew what I should expect from a local AOR. The industry has changed so much since I started.

    Question for those of you who hold local board positions:

    Aside from anything MLS-related, how do you define the role of your board?

  16. Sarah Nopp

    October 21, 2009 at 1:00 am

    In response to what “Show up” means- I define it as “participate”. Show up to a membership meeting or government affairs meeting. Vote in the elections. help out at any of the community-focus events. Participate.
    I see a huge issue in apathy.
    And it isn’t just in the Association, but in other groups I participate in. The 80/20 rule is in effect and it is always the same people who make the effort and do the work. And they are all volunteers. In all the groups, including the Association.
    The apathy issue is cultural.
    Something important to note: my MLS is not REALTOR owned. NWMLS covers all of Western WA State, and parts of Central WA. Agents do not have to be REALTORS in order to use the MLS. So we choose to work at brokerages which are R-shops, or not.

  17. Ted Mackel

    October 21, 2009 at 2:06 am

    FYI – Technically AORs that are filing taxes as non profits cannot own and operate MLSs as MLSs are considered by the IRS as a for profit business. Many AORs around the country ignore IRS regulation and do so anyway.

    The way around it is that the AOR can own the shares in the corporation that owns the MLS, but if you mix the officers of the AOR board and the MLS board, the IRS is not going to like it. Again most AORs think that the IRS wont get in their business and take the risk.

  18. Atlanta Real Estate

    October 21, 2009 at 7:26 pm

    I have no idea, but I just sent $400 to the ABR for my various memberships, including NAR.

    I like the “do you want to send MORE money” blank there at the bottom.

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Austin tops the list of best places to buy a home

When looking to buy a home, taking the long view is important before making such a huge investment – where are the best places to make that commitment?



Looking at the bigger picture

(REALUOSO.COM) – Let us first express that although we are completely biased about Texas (we’re headquartered here, I personally grew up here), the data is not – Texas is the best. That’s a scientific fact. There’s a running joke in Austin that if there is a list of “best places to [anything],” we’re on it, and the joke causes eye rolls instead of humility (we’re sore winners and sore losers in this town).

That said, dug into the data and determined that the top 12 places to buy a home are currently Texas and North Carolina (and Portland, I guess you’re okay too or whatever).

They examined the nerdiest of numbers from the compound annual growth rate in inflation-adjusted GDP to cost premium, affordability, taxes, job growth, and housing availability.

“Buying a house is a big decision and a big commitment,” the company notes. “Although U.S. home prices have risen in the long term, the last decade has shown that path is sometimes full of twists, turns, dizzying heights and steep, abrupt falls. Today, home prices are stabilizing and increasing in most areas of the U.S.”

Click here to continue reading the list of the 12 best places to buy a home…

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Housing News

Average age of houses on the rise, so is it now better or worse to buy new?

With aging housing in America, are first-time buyers better off buying new or existing homes? The average age of a home is rising, as is the price of new housing, so a shift could be upon us.



aging housing inventory

aging housing inventory

The average home age is higher than ever

(REALUOSO.COM) – In a survey from the Department of Housing and Urban Development American Housing Survey (AHS), the median age of homes in the United States was 35 years old. In Texas, homes are a bit younger with the median age between 19 – 29 years. The northeast has the oldest homes, with the median age between 50 – 61 years. In 1985, the median age of a home was only 23 years.

With more houses around 40 years old, the National Association of Realtors asserts that homeowners will have to undertake remodeling and renovation projects before selling unless the home is sold as-is, in which case the buyer will be responsible to update their new residence. Even homeowners who aren’t selling will need to consider remodeling for structural and aesthetic reasons.

Prices of new homes on the rise

Newer homes cost more than they used to. The price differential between new homes and older homes has increased from 10 percent traditionally to around 37 percent in 2014. This is due to rising construction costs, scarcity of lots, and a low inventory of new homes that doesn’t meet the demand.

Click here to continue reading this story…

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Housing News

Are Realtors the real loser in the fight between Zillow Group and Move, Inc.?

The last year has been one of dramatic and rapid change in the real estate tech sector, but Realtors are vulnerable, and we’re worried.



zillow move

zillow move

Why Realtors are vulnerable to these rapid changes

(REALUOSO.COM) – Corporate warfare demands headlines in every industry, but in the real estate tech sector, a storm has been brewing for years, which in the last year has come to a head. Zillow Group and Move, Inc. (which is owned by News Corp. and operates ListHub,, TopProducer, and other brands) have been competing for a decade now, and the race has appeared to be an aggressive yet polite boxing match. Last year, the gloves came off, and now, they’ve drawn swords and appear to want blood.

Note: We’ll let you decide which company plays which role in the image above.

So how then, does any of this make Realtors the victims of this sword fight? Let’s get everyone up to speed, and then we’ll discuss.

1. Zillow poaches top talent, Move/NAR sues

It all started last year when the gloves came off – Move’s Chief Strategy Officer (who was also’s President), Errol Samuelson jumped ship and joined Zillow on the same day he phoned in his resignation without notice. He left under questionable circumstances, which has led to a lengthy legal battle (wherein Move and NAR have sued Zillow and Samuelson over allegations of breach of contract, breach of fiduciary duty, and misappropriation of trade secrets), with the most recent motion being for contempt, which a judge granted to Move/NAR after the mysterious “Samuelson Memo” surfaced.

Salt was added to the wound when Move awarded Samuelson’s job to Move veteran, Curt Beardsley, who days after Samuelson left, also defected to Zillow. This too led to a lawsuit, with allegations including breach of contract, violation of corporations code, illegal dumping of stocks, and Move has sought restitution. These charges are extremely serious, but demanded slightly less attention than the ongoing lawsuit against Samuelson.

2. Two major media brands emerge

Last fall, the News Corp. acquisition of Move, Inc. was given the green light by the feds, and this month, Zillow finalized their acquisition of Trulia.

…Click here to continue reading this story…

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