Just because it is raining stupidity… we don’t need a Real Umbrella

I am really tiring of all the places that it is not safe to practice real estate. It is not safe to go into the water because a REDFIN is lurking there. Now, I can’t go out in the rain because there is a RealUmbrella there.

It is understandable that as the market changes, there will be new business models to contend with in every market. I get that.

I don’t understand why the organization that is suppossed to represent me and all the other dues paying members continues to plod along with blinders on. We are not winning the interweb battle for business.

Our industry was built upon the basic agreement of cooperation. In towns across America, Brokers realized that if they shared information about their listings with one another, there would be a natural increase in exposure and a subsequent increase in sales. Sure, there still are agents that do everything they can to do both sides of every deal, but for the most part, homes are sold through the efforts of two agents.

The information shared is administered by local multiple listing services. As the access to the internet grew, this information is now available on line. Each Realtor has the opportunity to enter homes for sale and view homes for buyers. The information entered includes compensation.

Apparently, brokers decided that there was an opportunity for branding and increasing traffic to their vanity sites by posting all the listings there. Agreements were hammered out and now the information exists via more clicks that crickets create on an autumn evening.

The subsequent action of the DOJ based on decisions made by various boards across the country only compounds the problem.

It is time for the NAR to wake up and turn off the large spigot. The cat is out of the bag as far as public access and demand regarding the internet. It is time to reduce the portals that the public can access to just one controlled by our association. The fine points can be ironed out.

If we want to maintain our position as the “go to guy” regarding the purchase of homes, we need to reduce the number of ways folks can get the information. Give the public access on one NAR site. Get rid of your money making Realtor.com. If someone clicks on a listing on the new NAR site, bring up the listing agents information. I would much rather see my dues support this instead another advertising campaign that does nothing for our business.

If someone wants to swim with Redfin and walk in the rain with RealUmbrella, let them do it. I only ask that some modicum of control be taken on our listings. They belong to us and should be used to support us. It is time we protected our most valuble asset – the homes we list for sale.

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