Connect with us

Real Estate Associations

San Diego area real estate associations sue to dissolve local MLS, Sandicor

(REAL ESTATE NEWS) Three real estate boards are at war – SDAR sued NSDCAR and PSAR earlier this year, and now, the latter have sued to dissolve Sandicor which is the center of the battle.

Published

on

sandicor

NSDCAR, PSAR file in California against Sandicor

There has been a long-brewing, quite nasty battle in The Golden State, with regional MLS provider, Sandicor, Inc. smack dab in the middle.

Sandicor is owned by three real estate boards/associations: Pacific Southwest Association of REALTORS® (PSAR, ~2,500 members), the North San Diego County Association of REALTORS® (NSDCAR, 5,300+ members) and Greater San Diego Association of REALTORS® (SDAR, ~12,000 members).

bar
NSDCAR and PSAR have now filed a complaint in the San Diego Superior Court to dissolve Sandicor as a legal entity, but it’s not because they have a problem with Sandicor, rather a long-term fight with SDAR over the MLS.

We have reached out to SDAR for their position on the matter (update below).

With Sandicor gone, what will members use?

NSDCAR and PSAR said in a release that they plan for their members to access the statewide California Regional Multiple Listing Service (CRMLS), which PSAR’s 2016 President, Anthony Andaya refers to as “more robust” and implies it would be a bigger benefit to consumers, agents, and brokers.

Andaya opined, “A move to an MLS that is controlled by brokers who own the data and endorsed by our state association provides our agents with an enhanced ability to serve the clients.”

Behind the lawsuits

In January of 2016, SDAR sued PSAR and NSDCAR for a hefty list of reasons that boil down to an anti-trust lawsuit:
antistrust SDAR lawsuit

In the filing, SDAR alleged that NSDCAR and PSAR dominate the board of Sandicor and exclude them (SDAR) by cutting off listing data access regardless of their contract. They add (among other things) that since NSDCAR and PSAR are the sole shareholders of Sandicor, Inc., that their power has been used as “an anticompetitive weapon,” and that the two “milked [Sandicor’s] resources for their own enrichment, and frustrated its purpose, all while actively preventing Plaintiff from participating in corporate decisions.”

The court has since granted motions to dismiss the claims, and Raylene Brundage, NSDCAR 2016 president said in a statement that SDAR had attempted to “block progress to improve Sandicor,” as well as blocked talks of a Sandicor merger with CRMLS, “despite our members’ requests.”

The answer to SDAR, PSAR, NSDCAR, and Sandicor's long battle? Dissolve Sandicor.Click To Tweet

California’s unique challenges

“About half of all MLS systems in California do not share data with each other, which means brokers and their agents that practice business across MLS boundary lines must pay extra fees to join multiple MLS databases,” added Andaya. “It is time to adjust and redefine how we do business so consumers will continue to have confidence in knowing their agents are the go-to, trusted resource for their real estate needs.”

“We understand that consumers sometimes get more information from Internet portals than agents using an MLS,” said Brundage. “However, the information from these sites can be incorrect or outdated. Agents deserve access to the same amount of information as consumers. When we cooperate, then we all do better business. Standardized data and a single point of access is the best way we can truly serve the consumer. Clients want to trust that their sales agent has the best resources available on their behalf. It is critical for the health and vitality of our industry.”

SDAR’s full statement:

The SDAR focus and intention is to insure that nearly 13,000 real estate professionals who rely upon us as members for service and support, continue to have that service and support without distraction or interruption. Our goal is seamless resolution.

Unfortunately, the future for 19,000 MLS subscribers in our area will be greatly impacted by the actions of both Pacific Southwest AOR and the North County San Diego AOR. SDAR has for many years, worked to resolve service issues at Sandicor despite having a minority of votes, (with 12,889 members SDAR has 4 of 11 votes, PSAR has 2,201 members and 3 votes, and NSDCAR with 4,628 members has 4 votes). We know that Sandicor is a shared and valuable resource to our community of REALTORS®, and we have constantly worked to re-focus Sandicor to its core mission of serving REALTOR® members and real estate professionals, while guarding against excesses and mismanagement of our shared MLS. In the end, SDAR’s stewardship obligations necessitated formal measures, when informal measures and proposed controls were rejected.

Inexplicably, the other two shareholders seek to dissolve Sandicor. We believe their actions negatively impact the MLS and further distract and drain its limited resources. As we are advised, laws governing the agreement, and the parties’ shareholder agreement prevent a dissolution of Sandicor. It is also important to note that if those two shareholders make the unfortunate decision to leave, SDAR stands prepared to exercise the buyout provisions of the governing documents and to continue to operate Sandicor for all of the MLS’s subscribers. There will be no interruption of services.

Most unfortunate is that the other two associations, which have already merged in all but name, are using their MLS control, and now their attempt to destroy Sandicor altogether, as mere cover for a membership fight, one which is endangering our member’s primary business tool in the process. They cannot survive alone, and cannot formally merge or they give up control of Sandicor, so they are attempting to destroy our members’ most valuable business tool rather than compete on a level playing field with SDAR.

For all of those reasons, SDAR’s pending federal litigation is proceeding. Nine of SDAR’s claims are moving forward, and the court is evaluating two additional issues. As the other two shareholders disclose information regarding their roles in Sandicor’s management and the other issues in the lawsuit, and we are hopeful that this first step to transparency will aide in our continuing effort to protect the MLS for all of its members.

Story updated 3:42 cst to include SDAR’s statement.

#BoardBattle

Lani is the Chief Operating Officer at The Real Daily and sister news outlet, The American Genius, and has been named in the Inman 100 Most Influential Real Estate Leaders several times, 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.

Continue Reading
Advertisement

Real Estate Associations

You know there’s a national real estate mentorship program, right?

(REAL ESTATE) It’s been a long time coming, but the call for mentorship in real estate has been realized thanks to the new NAR program. Here’s how to sign up.

Published

on

Mentor speaking with his mentee over mentorship video.

A mentor can help you grow and develop your knowledge and skills. Unfortunately, in the real estate industry, “being thrown into the deep end”, without proper mentoring, has become the norm. For years, we’ve said this shouldn’t be the case and those Realtors should be mentored so they can be set up for success. Now, the National Association of Realtors® has finally heard our cry for mentorship.

The NAR has a mentorship program that is “designed to help budding professionals in underserved areas thrive in a real estate career”. Named NAR Spire, the program will match mentees from “historically marginalized communities” with seasoned Realtors.

Those in the program will not just be exposed to the day-to-day business operations, but will also receive insights into marketing, appraisal, IT, and financing aspects of real estate. Along with that, they will be given educational opportunities, be able to attend business-related events, have one-on-one mentorship meetings, and have access to an online platform designed specifically for the program.

“NAR Spire is a groundbreaking new initiative designed and developed to drive inclusivity in the real estate industry,” said NAR CEO Bob Goldberg.

“We’ve reached beyond NAR’s walls to collaborate with partners across a number of industries,” Goldberg adds, “and we’re confident this program will help Realtors® enhance their reputation as invested, engaged and integral members of every U.S. community.”

You can join the program by completing an application form to become either a Mentor or Mentee.

After you’ve submitted your form, a program coordinator will evaluate your information to conduct a matching process. Your educational and professional background, experience, time availability, and location will all be taken into account to make a match.

When a match has been made, the Program Coordinator will provide you with your mentor/mentee contact details and make an introduction. Then, you will fill out an agreement, review guidelines, and complete an action plan.

Afterward, it’s up to the mentor and mentee to start the mentoring process.

According to the NAR website, the mentorship experience provides opportunities for both the mentor and the mentee, and I think we can agree that is true. For mentors, they will have the opportunity to coach the new kids to help them reach their full potential and also learn a thing or two in the process. For mentees, well, they will finally get the guidance they need to learn the ropes and thrive in their careers.

Continue Reading

Real Estate Associations

Why NAR’s Realtor Safety Network is so critical [personal story]

(REAL ESTATE) NAR has launched the meaningful Realtor Safety Network – here is a personal story, and an exclusive interview with NAR CEO, Bob Goldberg.

Published

on

realtor safety network

It was a Wednesday evening, the sun would soon be setting, and I was exhausted after pulling an all-nighter the previous night. Our study group would continue, but as a safety-conscious person, I knew it was best to head out.

I walked alone, which was normal for a college student that lived on campus. I held my pepper spray at the ready, had my keys in hand before leaving the building, and was alert. Although tired, I knew I had enough energy to go to dinner with my grandparents.

I get to the full parking garage, and halfway to my car, I hear steps behind me. I look back, and no one is there. I didn’t even see someone duck behind a car. “I’m being paranoid,” I think. “Why is no one around? It’s a full lot!”

I take a few more steps, and I am confident that I hear someone coming up behind me. I turn around, and nothing. I’m ready to use my pepper spray because there is definitely someone following me and I needed to make a decision quickly.

I had three choices – run quickly to my car where I may or may not be able to close the door fast enough, turn back and walk with authority the way I came (risking confrontation), or just straight up confrontation.

I quicken my pace, they quicken theirs, and I know what is about to happen. I turn around so I’m not blindly ambushed by someone I cannot later identify, and it is someone I recognize. Someone I had a class with. But not someone I had ever spoken with before. I hadn’t calculated how I would react in that situation and it slowed me down.

My hesitation meant he was able to shove me, and I fell backwards.

I re-calculate my choices, but this time there was no hesitation because I already knew I was in danger. As I tried to get up, he poised himself to pounce, and I used the pepper spray, knowing I’d probably get a dose, too. I missed his forehead (which is the ideal target as it drips into their eyes, extending the impact), and mostly got his mouth, but enough got into his face that it stalled him.

I rolled over before he could fall on me, and I ran. I was only yards away from a large, densely populated building.

This was nearly 20 years ago, before cell phones were mainstream, and I quickly found help from the school who called police. I won’t go into how they brushed me off and nearly refused to write a report, didn’t want to look for the guy, and so forth.

But I notified my professor as to why I couldn’t possibly go to class the next day. She was the one who insisted the University get involved, and the city police take action. She knew his name and gave it to all entities. And she was the one who never made me step foot in that classroom again, just in case. I got a restraining order, and it apparently scared him enough to stay away, but I knew he could violate it at any moment, so I remained on alert. I’m still on alert today. For him or others that think I might be an easy target.

I later learned he had stalked dozens of students, and attacked several before and after he tried to get to me. He has been in and out of jail since then.

But I always had a nagging thought… what of the other potential victims? Back then, the schools didn’t have any sort of alert system (for school closings or mass shootings). An alert system of systemic attackers could have saved others from being harmed.

It is for this very personal reason that I was moved to hear of the National Association of Realtors’ (NAR) new Realtor Safety Network, which was inspired by a Realtor’s child going missing (who is now safe).

NAR CEO, Bob Goldberg took the time to talk me through what the network does – it’s not a pointless group where people whine about missing pets, no, it is activated when there is a potential safety issue, be it physical or online.

NAR is now able to gather information about potential safety issues and either issue a national alert, or share the information through local and state associations via social media, email, and text where applicable.

At this time, it is not set up like an Amber Alert where you can opt in for texts (although I do hope this is ultimately an option), so we encourage members to read any email that is sent to them as an alert, and follow the social media hashtag, #realtorsafetynetwork.

They do have criteria that must be followed prior to a Realtor Safety Network alert being sent out by NAR. It must be a widespread threat impacting Realtors. Qualifying incidents include a pattern of assaults on Realtors, a Realtor or immediate family member going missing (and there is an open police investigation, and the family asks for NAR’s aide), or an association name is being used fraudulently to scam members out of money or identifying information.

Members and Association Executives can fill out a simple incident form, and Goldberg notes there is dedicated staff ready to respond.

While they are going to “continue to perfect” the program, it can be invoked immediately. Goldberg says that members are “our family,” and that the goal is to coordinate with local authorities to keep members safe physically, and keep their identities secured.

Goldberg notes that they intend on using the network sparingly, which makes perfect sense – remember when car alarms came out and you’d jump when one went off, but now you ignore all car alarms as a nuisance? The association has long offered Realtor Safety reports and statistics, as well as safety guidance and classes, but to see this meaningful step taken is one worthy of applause.

My inner 18 year old that still remembers the heart-in-my-throat fear of an impending attack thanks NAR. Truly.

This story was first published here in March of 2019.

Continue Reading

Real Estate Associations

NAR pushes back on DOJ’s reneging on antitrust settlement

(REAL ESTATE) After coming to a settlement with the DOJ, the National Association of Realtors is petitioning the court to keep the DOJ from reneging.

Published

on

antitrust doj nar

The National Association of Realtors (NAR) filed a petition in the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia to push back on the Department of Justice’s (DOJ’s) reneging on their existing antitrust settlement agreement reached in November 2020.

In a statement NAR notes that the DOJ began attempting to “withdraw from that fully binding agreement in July 2021, after NAR had already begun to implement its term,” adding that this is “a breach of the agreement and the law.”

It is uncommon for the federal government to reach a settlement then go back on that agreement, which is why this stands out.

The Petition’s first line summarizes the scenario aptly: “The National Association of REALTORS® brings this petition to quash a Civil Investigative Demand (CID) issued by the Antitrust Division of the United States Department of Justice because it violates a binding settlement negotiated and agreed-to by the last Senate-confirmed head of the Antitrust Division.”

“The DOJ action should be considered null and invalid based on legal precedent alone,” said NAR President Charlie Oppler. “The DOJ must be governed by principle, and NAR simply expects the department to live up to its commitments.”

Oppler points to this case as damaging in the long-term for the federal government, as American’s trust and confidence would be eroded. If the DOJ can reconsider terms of any agreement, Oppler states, “If that view prevails, it would undermine the strong public policy in favor of upholding settlement agreements and public confidence that the government will keep its word in future cases.”

In their public statement, NAR asserts that they have always pushed for competition in the marketplace. We long ago agreed in our news stories, debunking the anti-trust suit allegations.

So will this petition make a difference? Going before the Courts is the only option for relief possible, and since the association took that step, NAR members we spoke with today feel optimistic. It appears that NAR is simply pushing for the DOJ to make good on an existing agreement, it’s not complicated.

“NAR remains hopeful the DOJ will honor its agreement,” Oppler said. “We also remain committed to advancing and defending independent and local real estate organizations that provide for greater economic opportunity and equity for small businesses and consumers of all backgrounds and financial means.”

Dig into the docs:

Continue Reading
Advertisement

Our Partners

Get The Daily Intel
in your inbox

Subscribe and get news and EXCLUSIVE content to your email inbox!

Still Trending

Get The American Genius
in your inbox

subscribe and get news and exclusive content to your email inbox