There, should be, a new Sheriff in town!
Back in the day when I worked at eNeighborhoods I would attend these meetings hosted by the National Association of REALTORS (NAR). They were for participants in their “REALTOR VIP program“. Basically a bunch of companies who, by working with NAR, would have closer ties to their members via advertising and branding.
The meetings were always a good time and I got to meet and hang with most of NAR’s senior leadership. They are a great group of talented people and I got to know them and their families pretty well over the years. So a big shout out to Bob Goldberg, Mary Stark-Hood, Kristin Stafford, Frank Sibley and everyone else if they are reading this now.
Every year they began with a session, led by the very smart, and always dapper, Frank Sibley,( who is in charge of events, publications, and PR at NAR) to go over NAR/REALTOR basics. One thing Frank would focus upon is how to say the name “REALTOR” properly. “It’s not REEEELTOR”, Frank would say. “It’s pronounced like detour, REALTOR”.
If you ever hear those NAR radio spots they really over emphasize the word REALTOR it really sticks out.
A quick side story about Frank. It you ever see a NAR commercial, notice the name on the yard sign. More than likely it says “Sibley Realty”, or something like that. I also have another story about the time I showed Frank the proofs for our Fabio ads, but that’s for another post. : )
I always thought these guys were went a bit wacky on their whole branding/identity thing. When I would submit advertising with the “Realtor VIP” logo on it I would always get something back from NAR about the proper use of the logo or I didn’t use capital lettered or forgot the registered trademark symbol. Always something! They were more than attentive, they were passionate about it.
So what’s this have to do about RPR?
So the dirty secret out there is that MLS information is being collected and sold under the table. This is mostly done by entities outside of the industry that don’t understand they just can’t scrape or download (or claim they don’t) MLS information and sell it to the highest bidder.
NAR needs a “Data Sheriff”
I’m not sure if this would be a NAR or RPR ( or LPS?) job but they need somebody, maybe from their branding enforcement team (jk), who is going to sniff out, investigate where that data came from and how it was licensed. If RVM is ever to become the “gold standard” they must make a concentrated effort to shut down companies that are obtaining and using MLS data nefariously.
Part of this can be helped with technology. But if NAR spends even half the effort they do protecting their precious “R” symbol it will be time and money well spent.