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 Rob Reuter, YPN manager
Okay, so you’ve registered as a YPN member through REALTOR® Magazine’s Web site, joined your local and state YPN Chapter, and “Friended”/”Liked” YPN REALTORS on Facebook (if not, make sure you do all of the above). Well, now we have one more item to add to that list: You can now designate yourself as a YPN member in NRDS. For detailed instructions on how, please check out the how-to video prepared by YPN’s 2011 Chair Brian Copeland here: http://bit.ly/at7Zzb.
What’s the what-have-you-done-for-me-lately point? Well, it is the National REALTOR® Database and having the YPN designation in there makes you that much more officially YPN. We’re hoping to draw future e-mail lists from this database and it will take you less than one minute to do. Who knows, maybe we will require this designation to attend YPN events at the Midyear and Annual meetings and you wouldn’t want to miss what we have planned for New Orleans!
So if you are passionate about YPN and want to make sure you are up to speed with everything YPN, please follow Brian’s instructions and designate yourself in NRDS. And if you haven’t registered for NARdiGras, make sure you do so: http://www.realtor.org/convention.nsf/. See you in The Big Easy!
By Nobu Hata
Much has been made the last couple of weeks about two online “conversations” that permeated the real estate socialwebs. One, an “Open Letter to NAR President Vicki Cox Golder” regarding the disconnect between us REALTORS® and NAR Leadership. The other, the need for professional standards within our industry — the conversation raged among a handful of practitioners over the course of two weekends on Twitter, that continues today.
These issues are as old as the industry itself and the topical conversations are as inevitable as the sun rising, taxes and death. You can set a clock by it: pay NAR dues, see an ad you despise, whine (or blog) about it while letting loose a couple of “while I’m at it, let me tell you about something else I hate and what I’d do about it…,” get busy with the real estate thing, forget about it, rinse, and repeat in January the following year. I get it; writing/talking/venting about what irks you is almost like therapy, making that check you cut to NAR for their ad a bit easier to stomach. To tell you the truth, I was as jaded and cynical about these issues as well, but what could I do… right?
Thing is, these conversations, blogs – what have you – aren’t so one-sided anymore. Look no further than the reply to the aforementioned blog post by none other than NAR President Vicki Cox Golder herself. Me personally? I commented on the blog post trying to encourage involvement and thought nothing more of it. Later that week I served on a practitioner panel for REBAC requiring a visit to NAR headquarters. By the time I landed in Chicago I’d received the NAR perspective on both issues and a Presidential appointment to an NAR committee in hand. Apparently, Vicki Cox Golder is listening, reading, and absorbing what we have to say. What’s more: she wants us to get involved.
And getting involved we must. Let’s stop opining about the wrongs in our industry and start doing something to right it. There are 60+ forums/committees available to REALTORS® at the national level, countless more at the local level; which one are you on? All committee meetings and forums are open to the REALTOR® public during MidYear; which one will you stand and make yourself be heard at? (#RTB folks, Professional Standards Committee is meeting Thursday at MidYear, just saying.) On a national or local committee? Seek out like-minded thinkers, bring to the forefront the solutions we have, and discuss with the REALTOR®1.0 types. There’s power in numbers here, and besides, don’t you want to have meaningful debate among those outside your blogosphere?
Let’s stop the perpetual cycle of these conversations. Formulate a solution to the beef you have and Facebook Vicki on it… Facebook – Vicki. I’m still having a hard time saying that. Let’s stop talking “Us” versus “Them” and embrace “We.” No more armchair solutions. Do. Act. Try. NAR is a trade association, after all: by the members for the members, so do your part.
There is something different about this NAR president, and if she’s embracing her “On the Rise” concept for her year in office, the better. The industry is changing, bringing with it a lot of validity and credibility to what some of us are trying to say. Our voices are being heard. Let’s take advantage of that!
p.s. Vicki, if you’re reading this: I hate the new “Uncle Sam” ad. Most of us hate it. It’s failing to resonate with the majority of your members and the general public at large. Hit me up Facebook the next time you’re contemplating a TV ad, ok? Please?
Nobu Hata is a sales associate for Edina Realty in Minneapolis, and a founding member of the Minneapolis YPN group, the YoPros. Visit his Web site at www.nobuhata.com.