Where Real Estate Gets Its Dirt

A Vegas Christmas Carol

A Christmas Carol by Charles Dickens…

For the first time the hand appeared to shake.
“Good Spirit,” he pursued, as down upon the ground he fell before it: “your nature intercedes for me, and pities me. Assure me that I yet may change these shadows you have shown me by an altered life?” The kind hand trembled.

“I will honour Christmas in my heart, and try to keep it all the year. I will live in the Past, the Present, and the Future. The Spirits of all Three shall strive within me. I will not shut out the lessons that they teach. Oh, tell me I may sponge away the writing on this stone!”

The quote above is from the last few pages of Mr. Dickens’ famous novel. In which that last spirit, the spirit of death, is pointing at Scrooge’s tombstone in a deserted churchyard, and showing what will happen if he doesn’t change his ways.

Okay, so what does this have to do with Greater Las Vegas Association of REALTORS recent reversal to end listing distribution to portals like Zillow?

Work with me here…

One group that at first I found humorous, but now annoying, are the “Zillow Haters”. These agents and brokers begin to see red when the subject of Zillow is brought up. This fear, and yes its mostly fear, can make the comments section of any Zillow article on Inman News look like a Trump rally.

Now, I’m not saying Zillow is perfect. They can be heavy handed and a bit tone deaf to organized real estate.

But, I also see many MLS organizations have to deal with these “haters” with their leadership. And sometimes it just takes one director. When the subject of Zillow comes up at the next board meeting the hater’s blood begins to boil and any rational business decision making abilities go right out the window.

The haters don’t want to hear facts. Such as, they (the broker) can remove listings from Zillow at anytime, many of their agents find value in working with Zillow, one of the first things a Seller does now a days is check Zillow to make sure their house is listed on the site, etc.

But none of these facts matter to the hater, they just want to “stop sending listings to Zillow!”. They may as well be shouting to shut down the internet.

But, no matter how many emails are sent, no matter how many special board meetings are convened, the haters simply refuses to understand that they can remove their listings from Zillow at anytime. So what do you do if you’re an MLS?

This is where Dickens come in. You need to show the haters the future. And I think that’s exactly what GLVAR has done. They have given the haters what they want by announcing they were indeed shutting down MLS feeds to Zillow. And look what happen, people were now paying attention. Facts began to matter and GLVAR announced they were “reversing” their decision.

My guess this wasn’t a “reversal” at all. This was exactly what GLVAR wanted to have happen. It’s a Christmas Miracle!

  1. “Setting and forgetting” doesn’t work for engaged brokers. Maybe everyone can find the middle ground by simply establishing an annual reset of preferences. Modest work for the MLS to remind brokers to reset their opt in or out choices.

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