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Dec 7 23

So proud of this guy

by Greg Robertson

My son Toby would really appreciate your support. They have some tasty popcorn choices available, click this link to support him and his Troop #319 => Toby Robertson Scout Fundraiser

Dec 7 23

MLS GRID [Sponsor]

by Greg Robertson

My thanks to our newest sponsor, MLS GRID. At its core MLS GRID is an opportunity to outsource an MLS’ data feed process. Streamlining to use one license agreement, eliminating redundancies such as compliance, and a single point for data distribution and license fee collection helps make it efficient and cost-effective for each participating MLS. I’ve often wrote that I have an affinity towards software solutions that do few tasks, but do them very well, and I would put MLS GRID in that category.

If you MLS organization needs help with Data Licensing, Data Distribution, Data-Sharing, Compliance, and Billing. MLS Grid will help you raise the bar on your MLS Data.

If you have any questions or want more information just visit this page.

Dec 7 23


by Greg Robertson

Google’s demo of their Gemini AI is next level.

Dec 6 23

Authenticity, CoStar and the craps table.

by Greg Robertson

If you haven’t caught our last episode of Industry Relations that just dropped today you hear Rob talk about the desire for industry entities such as NAR to stop the corporate word salad and speak authentically. This conversation made me think about an article and podcast that caught my attention. It was in relation to the letter (email?) Andy Florance, CEO of CoStar, sent regarding a few statements made at NAR NXT. The entire letter is available (and link to the podcast) so you can go read it here at:


In the letter Mr. Florance make a few statements:

He calls out Bob Evans, VP of Industry Relations at, for making false statements “that was working against real estate agent“.

He (Andy F.) takes full responsibility for CoStar News naming Sitzer/Burnett plaintiff attorney Michael Ketchmark, “newsmaker of the week” and states “It will not happen again.” [Small quibble; Ketchmark was named “Person of the week”]

He also points out the fact and the WSJ is owned by the same company and then makes a damn good point. Here’s a quote from his letter:

Many people mistakenly believe that is part of NAR. In fact, it is not, it was sold years ago and is now owned by News Corp. The Wall Street Journal and are sister companies. They work together closely. The folks that call the shots for The Wall Street Journal and are one and the same.

The Wall Street Journal has been prolifically writing more than most about theSitzer/Burnett class action lawsuit and the NAR defeat. They have published article titles such as “Home Sellers Take On the Realtors Cartel”, “Almost No One Pays a 6% Real-Estate Commission-Except Americans”, “The Upending of One of America’s Most Popular Professions”, “The Way You Pay to Buy or Sell a Home is About To Change”, “Jury Finds Realtors Conspired to Keep Commissions High”, “Real-Estate Commissions Could Be the Next Fee on the Chopping Block”, “Realtors Face an Antitrust Reckoning” and more.

Letter from Andy Florance, CEO & Founder of CoStar

Zing! Pow! Authentic enough for you yet? Love him or not Andy Florance is not in his box seats, he is on the field, and I’m here for it.

As a prolific player of craps I have an analogy for you. In the game of craps you have the concept of “right way” and “wrong way” bettors. In simple terms “right way bettors” are betting on the shooter, and “wrong way bettors” are betting “against the shooter”. When a hot craps game is going on and a “wrong way bettor” shows up at the table everyone gets pissed off. They think having a “wrong way bettor” at the table brings “bad juju”. CoStar, in my view, has been perceived by the industry as a “wrong way bettor”. This was due to the fact that CoStar’s business model does better with the elimination or neutering of buy side compensation. And guess what? It’s looking like Andy made the right bet.

“7 OUT!”

Here’s the thing as these so called “portal wars” heat up. There are many things that we can argue about regarding the business models of all the portals. Dual agency, agent responsiveness, etc. But the Sitzer/Burnett ruling and all the copy cat lawsuits are making it very clear that the game has changed. CoStar isn’t the wrong way bettor any longer.

We need to move on. CoStar, Zillow, are all going to have to adjust. We as an industry are going to have to adjust.

We aren’t play craps anymore. Feels to me more like poker.

Dec 6 23

Industry Relations Podcast:The Future of NAR: Can This Industry Titan Be Reformed?

by Greg Robertson

Should NAR be reformed? What is the role of REALTORS in the lawsuit, and the value of membership in NAR? Join Rob and Greg as they answer these questions and the potential rebirth of the REALTOR movement, the importance of authenticity in communication, and the value of REALTORS sharing their authentic stories to connect with consumers. Plus Rob and Greg throw in their own doom and gloom predictions just to shake things up. Stay up-to-date with the real estate industry with this brand new episode of Industry Relations!

Click here for Brian’s LinkedIn post mentioned in the show. And here for Greg’s.

Watch us on YouTube!

Rob’s Website

Connect with Rob and Greg: 

Greg’s Website

Our Sponsors: 

Notorious VIP

This podcast is produced by Two Brothers Creative 2023.

Dec 5 23

Celeste Starchild promoted to President of InspectionGo

by Greg Robertson
Celeste Starchild

Real Estate Industry Veteran Celeste Starchild Promoted to President of InspectionGo

“In this new role, Starchild will now lead all of iGo’s business units, excluding iGo Academy, and will oversee Marketing, B2B Sales, Human Resources, Customer Service and Onboarding. She will continue to report to iGo Co-Founder and CEO John Russell, who will direct his efforts to drive the company’s strategy and revenue. Starchild’s promotion is the next step in iGo’s evolution to support the recent growth and rapid expansion of the company.”


I’ve always been a big fan of Celeste. This news made my day. Congrats!

Dec 5 23

Anyone else seeing these?

by Greg Robertson

Just as predicted these copycat lawsuits are gonna be everywhere. 😖

Nov 30 23

What was missing from NAR messaging regarding the commission lawsuits?

by Greg Robertson

Brian Boero from 1000watt wrote a great post about how “the real estate industry’s responses to the Halloween jury verdict to be almost universally weak.” As usual he makes a lot of great points. You may have heard similar arguments if you listened to Rob and I on our most recent Industry Relations podcast with Sam DeBord.

In Brian’s post he states,

“Good arguments balance evidence with proper framing — framing that is usually constructed to activate the emotions of their intended audience.

Good arguments use language, and words, that ignite feeling and imagery. “Cartel” – a word used over and over by plaintiffs’ attorneys – is a great example.”

I thought I might take a stab at this. I wrote the following as if I was writing for the National Association of REALTORS. Hope you enjoy, and thanks Brian for the inspiration.

Why is the Biden administration so focused on attacking solo female entrepreneurs?

Recently a jury comprising of 6 non-homeowners handed down an award in what is known as the Sitzer | Burnett class action suit. The award was $1.8 billion dollars in a suit suggesting REALTORS were involved in a “cartel”, facilitated by the multiple listing service (MLS), to keep real estate commissions artificially high.  We, the National Association of REALTORS, and 2 other real estate franchisors are appealing this ruling.

It was also recently discovered that the plaintiffs in the case had been is close communication with the DOJ before, during and after the trial ended.

The average REALTOR is a 59 year woman and is classified as an independent contractor.  Selling real estate is commission only sales job with no salary, and no benefits.  Why do these 59 year old women strike so much fear in the heart of the federal government?  Surely there are other pressing issues facing our country.

Buying a home isn’t the same as buying a stock.

In a recent hit piece the WSJ cited that since the advent of the internet prices have been slashed on  “stockbroker commissions”, but not real estate.  What may seem obvious, to everyone but the WSJ, buying a home is not like buying a stock, or a book, or a plane ticket.  3 factors come to mind. 

1. Buying and selling a home is typically the largest transaction anyone does in their life. 

2. Buying and selling a home is not a transaction done often, statistics show it might be once every 10 years after you become an adult. 

3. And last but not least is that buying or selling a home is an emotional experience. 

Due to these 3 core issues consumers have chosen time and time again (in fact in 2022, more consumers choose to use a REALTOR than ever before) to hire a trusted advisor.

The 1.5% vs. 6% Lie

Plaintiffs in the Sitzer | Burnett case and others have highlighted that in other countries consumers pay closer to 1.5% for real estate commissions, where in the United States the number is closer to 6%. The truth is consumers in the US have always had choices.  Discount brokerages offer real estate services for much lower than 6%.  In fact very recently Redfin did a nationwide campaign with big red billboards all over the country touting a 1% listing fee, which is less than the 1.5% fee touted by plaintiffs.

So the 1.5% vs 6% is a lie.  Consumers can always negotiate a commission and there are many brokerages and agents offering discounted services.  Don’t believe us, just Google, “flat fee real estate services” and search the over 29 million results.

Would consumers prefer a world where they would have no idea what the house across the street sold for?

Since the birth of the World Wide Web, and the launch of portals like Zillow, real estate listing data is now readily accessible everywhere, a sharp contrast to the rest of the world.  This is mostly due to the multiple listing service (MLS).  The plaintiffs falsely say that the structure and ownership of the MLS forces higher commission rates. This is simply not the truth.  The MLS is one of this country’s greatest inventions and an essential tool of every REALTOR.  The MLS brings together sellers and buyers. It’s reliable. It helps hundreds of thousand agents make a living and brings families together. It’s the operating system of the American Dream.  

The federal government wants to shut down the MLS, which would create a environment of less transparency and bring us back to companies gatekeeping real estate data which would make it more difficult to make offers on properties for sale and finding properties on the internet.

We at the National Association of REALTORS will fight for our members, the open real estate market, and will not let the federal government destroy the American Dream.

The National Association of REALTORS

Nov 29 23

The Great NAR Debate: Sam DeBord Challenges Rob and Greg!

by Greg Robertson

On this episode of Industry Relations, Sam DeBord joins Rob and Greg, and things get a bit uncomfortable as Sam tries to set NAR’s record straight. Tune in as Sam and Rob have a testy disagreement on NAR’s competency, but at the end of the day display their passion for the industry. While Greg tries to keep the peace and believes everyone on all sides can do a better job.

Watch us on YouTube!

Connect with Rob and Greg: 

Rob’s Website

Greg’s Website

Our Sponsors: 

Notorious VIP

This podcast is produced by Two Brothers Creative 2023.

Nov 27 23

Listing Bits Episode 88: Does NAR Have Value Beyond MLS Access? – with Michael Lissack of The Virtual Realty Group

by Greg Robertson

The verdict against NAR in the Sitzer lawsuit has organized real estate up in arms.

But Michael Lissack thinks the decision is the best thing to happen to the industry in 100 years.

In fact, he sees the trade association as a criminal enterprise with little value beyond MLS access.

Michael is Managing Broker for The Virtual Realty Group, a 100% commission brokerage that operates in 12 states. 

On this episode of Listing Bits, Michael joins Greg to discuss the real issue behind the lawsuits against NAR and describe what he would do to make buyer’s agent commission negotiable.

Michael explains why it’s necessary to decouple the MLS from NAR membership and how that would likely lead to bankruptcy for the trade association.

Listen in for Michael’s provocative take on why associations don’t deserve a way forward in a world where MLS access is open to anyone with a real estate license.

What’s Discussed:  

The real issue behind the lawsuits against NAR and several real estate brokerages

What Michael would do to make buyer’s agent commission negotiable

Why the DOJ takes issue with mandatory membership in NAR for MLS access

How decoupling the MLS from NAR would impact everyday REALTORS

What decoupling the MLS from NAR membership would do to the trade association (and what NAR might do to demonstrate its value and rebuild)

What it would take to decouple local, state and NAR membership

Why Michael believes a real estate license should be the only requirement for MLS access

Running MLSs as not-for-profit organizations vs. for-profit entities

Greg’s thoughts on providing a way forward for associations by compensating them for the work of building the MLS

Why bankruptcy might be apt for associations who don’t provide value beyond MLS access

Connect with Michael Lissack:


Michael on LinkedIn


Sitzer v. NAR

Michael’s LinkedIn Post

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