By Sam DeBord
The National Association of REALTORS® recently voted to approve updates to its operating agreement with realtor.com® and allow more flexibility for the Web site. There has been a wide range of reactions from REALTORS®. This blog is part one of my five-part series in which I will discuss the propriety of the agreement.
Let’s start with some background: NAR does not own the Web site. It merely owns the domain name, realtor.com®, which it has licensed to Move, Inc. to operate. Many discussions center on this issue still today. This agreement started in the mid-90s. Whether or not some members liked it, it is a 20-year old moot issue. NAR only owns about 2.5 percent of Move, Inc. They are merely a marketing partner with whom REALTORS® have regulatory clout because of our ownership of the domain name.
The new agreement between NAR and realtor.com® approves four major changes:
- Display unlisted new homes and new-home communities.
- Display unlisted rentals.
- Obtain listings from entities that are not REALTOR®-owned and controlled, as well as from brokers who are not REALTORS®.
- Identify properties where a notice of default has been recorded, auctions of distressed properties, short sales, foreclosures, and bank-owned properties. (Listing brokers will have the option to opt out by calling the realtor.com® customer care center.)
Individual consumer FSBOs remain precluded from the site, and the changes will be implemented in a way that preserves realtor.com®’s accuracy advantage, according to Move executives.
NAR directors are members—not some faraway body of executives. Continue reading »
By Sammer Mudawar
Let’s face it, in the eyes of the consumer, especially the internet shopper, all real estate agents are the same. In fact, they don’t even know why you get paid since they find properties on the internet themselves. Does this sound familiar?
Regardless of experience level, 6 months in the business or 16 years, most agents are insecure when discussing income with clients, especially on the buying side. Why? We work nights, weekends, and holidays to earn their income, but if you cannot demonstrate value in yourself, the consumer will not see value in your service.
First, let’s separate seller representation from buyer representation.
Most agents have less difficulty discussing compensation when dealing with sellers. I’m sure many of you are thinking the opposite; the buyer side is easier because there is no discussion, you just accept MLS offered compensation and the subject is never brought up. So let me explain, this industry has trained sellers to understand two things: 1.) A listing agreement will be required; 2.) A percentage of the sale price will be paid as compensation. In a listing presentation, the expectation of payment is already there, half the battle is already won, now it’s a discussion of how much.
However in buyer agency, the consumer doesn’t expect to pay or they don’t even know how compensation works. Continue reading »
By Brian Copeland
Over the past few months, I’ve been catching wind of a LOT of referrals between YPNers. As Daddy Goose, I’m so proud! As Daddy Goose, additionally, I think it’s important we chat a little about how to handle those agent-to-agent referrals.
Three weeks ago, I sent out three referrals to three different REALTORS®. None of those agents followed through, forcing me to back step and save face with my clients. Now, I know none of you reading this would have done that, but just in case one of those slackers stumbles upon this, here’s my good, ol’ fashioned checklist of best practices.
1. When you’re contacted by an agent, respond in his or her contact medium. Simply put, if he/she emails you, email them back. If he or she calls, pick up the phone and call them back. Now, if he or she says on the voicemail, “You can just email me at…” then you’re good, but Daddy Goose calls communications faux pas for any other behavior.
2. Include the agent in all client communications until he or she asks you not to. Over-communication is better than no communication. Even if you send a simple email that says, “Hey, Joanne. Just wanted to let you know, it’s been three weeks, and your buyer is still receiving daily listings, but won’t be in for another two months. I wanted to touch bases to let you know. Thanks, again, for trusting me with your buyer,” that’s a perfect way of giving that agent peace of mind.
3. Get the referral agreement to the referring REALTOR®, ASAP. Last week, I heard a horror story of a YPN who “trusted” the REALTOR® to do the right thing when she sent the referral. She didn’t see her money and had no documentation to support anything. Will she ever refer to that agent again? Of course not, and this was a supposedly a good friend! We have contracts and written agreements for a reason. Use them quickly, clearly and wisely.
4. Make contact with the REALTOR®’s referral your top priority. If an agent calls/emails/messages you at 10 a.m., you need to have reached out to his referral within the hour. No matter if they answer or not, let the agent know you have been in touch. It will give him the assurance he called the right REALTOR®! Continue reading »