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Realtor.com – You Can Put Lipstick on a Pig, But It’s Still Just a 1.0 Pig

realtordotcom

Tough Love

How neat Realtor.com that you have a Twitter handle, and have figured out how to comment on other blogs in reference to the recent alleged debut of porn ads on Realtor.com. We get it, you have no idea how it got there, so in utter freak out mode, you opt to accuse the user of a conspiracy in using photoshop to alter the image, and then decide to go with malware or spyware on the users computer that would still leave you clean of any wrongdoing.

I think that’s great that you responded, but the problem with your response is that you seem to want to shove it down the throats of your own product providers in true 1.0 style with polished spin that should end the conversation. How else would you explain not linking out to the posts that had reacted to the porn ad, or leaving comments closed on the Realtor.com website to your press release? There is no rug to sweep that beautiful porn ad under, there is not enough duct tape in the world to silence one million agents, and there is no press release well written enough to erase it from the minds of those that are reacting peacefully and mostly satirically to a situation that would be humorous had you approached it in that fashion.

You screwed up, but you keep screwing up, and that is the sin. Open comments on Realtor.com and let Realtor members address you with their concerns. I first asked you on Twitter this morning to do the right thing, and I’m urging you again- listen to Realtor subscribers.

I won’t be linking to the Realtor.com press release until comments are open and proper linking takes place, but you can get caught up on the story here as the original story seems to have gone private or been killed by the user.

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Benn Rosales is the Founder and CEO of The American Genius (AG), national news network. Before AG, he founded one of the first digital media strategy firms in the nation has received the Statesman Texas Social Media Award and is an Inman Innovator Award winner. He has consulted for numerous startups (both early- and late-stage), and is well known for organizing the digital community through popular offline events. He does not venture into the spotlight often, rather he believes his biggest accomplishments are the talent he recruits and develops, so he gives all credit to those he's empowered.

31 Comments

31 Comments

  1. Derec Shuler (@dereshuler)

    October 6, 2009 at 5:01 pm

    Benn, I saw the blog entry on Realtor.com earlier today and had no idea what they were talking about, nor any comments from other people asking what this was about. My first thought was how weird that they were being publically coy about whatever the issue is. Then I saw your post on Facebook and all the realtorcom tweets.

    Seriously, I doubt they intentionally hosted porn ads but by being so evasive and unengaging, it’s raising eyebrows.

  2. Matt Stigliano

    October 6, 2009 at 5:05 pm

    @BennRosales – I just sent EmMee a request to open her post back up to the public. Appears there are now some comments that have disappeared on her blog about it as well – one in particular was from realtor.com.

    The plot thickens. I love when you get worked up on the issues!

  3. Doug Francis

    October 6, 2009 at 5:53 pm

    When I first saw it his morning I really thought it was a parody site that some guy cooked up as a practical joke. I’m into humor… but to think that this actually got through is amazing.

    Maybe the listing was a brothel? Cathouse? Bordello?

  4. Jay Thompson

    October 6, 2009 at 7:38 pm

    I too tweeted r.com asking why their “press release” / blog is closed to comments.

    I got absolutely no response. None.

  5. Matt Stigliano

    October 6, 2009 at 8:07 pm

    For those that didn’t see the original on ActiveRain or read through the comments, the “press release” is word for word the same comments that were put on the post.

  6. Ken Brand

    October 6, 2009 at 8:16 pm

    The more things (Big Bureaucratic Business) change (so-called), the more things (Old-Guard speaking in the new-lingo) stay the same (BS).

  7. Rob McCance

    October 6, 2009 at 8:20 pm

    Why should we think they would know how to react?

    RM

  8. Lisa Heindel

    October 6, 2009 at 9:34 pm

    I tweeted the same basic request to them, asking if it was truly a blog if there was no commenting/conversation happening. No response here either.

  9. Paula Henry

    October 6, 2009 at 10:18 pm

    I’m not surprised at all!

  10. Karen Rice

    October 6, 2009 at 10:27 pm

    If this weren’t so sad it would be hilarious.

  11. Missy Caulk

    October 6, 2009 at 10:45 pm

    They should have linked to the blog EmMee wrote.

  12. Joe Loomer

    October 7, 2009 at 6:43 am

    Anyone hit Todd Carpenter up for his take? Seems 2.0 would be his bailwick….. Being the NAR (although not the Move.com) Social Media guy and all….

    Navy Chief, Navy Pride

  13. Greg Cooper

    October 7, 2009 at 7:35 am

    This is an organization which calls us every 12 months and asks for a check for several thousand dollars so we can modify the information on our own listings on the ‘official’ site of Realtors across the country. I doubt they’re concerned about our input or taking the moral high ground on much of anything.

  14. Jim Duncan

    October 7, 2009 at 7:56 am

    Here’s the thing – Move/Realtor.com don’t have to do anything to earn Realtors’ business. That lack of competition is sure to breed complacency and disdain for their customers/content providers.

    Why should they bother responding in a productive or responsible manner?

    I’m thinking that they should promote and train the person who commented so poorly on the AR discussion to social media manager; at least she gets that they needed to respond.

    As far as the porn ad – apologizing ain’t hard. Do it and move on.

  15. Benn Rosales

    October 7, 2009 at 9:43 am

    @jimduncan I do not see NAR getting Realtor.com back, nor do I see that as a option that works as NAR would not operate it to satisfy a majority anyway.

    I wrote this post as ‘tough love’ because if they take my simple advise, and go all the way in with communicating with subscribers, what they’ll end up with in the short run are a lot of fans that just want to know they’ve been heard, that change can happen- crowd sourcing their visibility and growth is only good for long term survival.

    They tried to deflect yesterday using Lani in regards to malware and spyware intentionally taking her out of context not realizing who they were talking to, and that’s why I got involved. If they continue to treat the crowd as if they’re stupid, this idea that their business cannot be damaged is false and proves they have no idea how powerful crowd sourcing can be, especially if it’s to the negative.

    Again, I’m urging Realtor.com to open the window and let the voices come in, there is nothing but awesome things that come from it for Realtor.com and its subscribers. Listening without defense could go a long way to curing a lot of the distrust agents have with Realtor.com.

  16. Susie Blackmon

    October 7, 2009 at 11:00 am

    Greg Cooper hit the nail on the head AGAIN!

  17. Derec Shuler (@derecshuler)

    October 7, 2009 at 12:19 pm

    This issue reminds me of Top Producer’s approach to consumer feedback. Wait, it’s the same company!

  18. Matt Stigliano

    October 7, 2009 at 6:08 pm

    @BennRosales – I think it’s quite clear that most have said “no big deal” on the ad – at least as far as “things happen.” What seems to have turned into the issue is their inadequate and in part, accusatory response. I think your comment sums it up nicely – an admission, apology, scratching of the head and saying, “Gee, I dunno.” would have generated more favorable responses from the agent-public. Instead the gap has widened and people feel wronged by a company that owns a site that reflects upon us. If it were called Trulia or Zillow, I wouldn’t care so much (although I would expect Rudy or David to jump right on the case), but instead it flaunts its affiliation with us by virtue of name and being our “official” site.

    I doubt we’ll ever see a day when NAR owns the site again, I can wish for it all I want, but I just don’t see it.

  19. Fred Romano

    October 8, 2009 at 9:03 am

    Realtor.com has us by the kahunas… Why? most MLS’s feeds to it for free, then they turn around and charge us to enhance OUR listings. It’s crazy…

    There will come a time when another website… say Trulia, will get all MLS’s to feed their data, then Realtor.com will be done. It’s getting closer now. I know that ListHub is a major factor in aggregating the data to Trulia and Zillow. It will be interesting how this unfolds over the next few years.

  20. Brian

    October 8, 2009 at 4:47 pm

    Hopefully after reading these posts Realtor.com will begin building a better Internet plan.

    Brian K.
    Premier Properties Inc.
    premier-properties.com

  21. Karen Rice

    October 11, 2009 at 8:53 pm

    Brian, you are funny!

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