Where Real Estate Gets Its Dirt

Vendor Alley reader has unique solution to compensation disclosure on MLS systems

“I think I’ve figured out the solution. From now on, the last three digits in the list price represent the basis points the seller is willing to offer a buyer’s agent. $595,250 = 2.5%. It’s elastic from 0% to 9.99% and legal proof. Is the DOJ going to crack down on how sellers price their property? 🤯”

Vendor Alley Reader

The reader only wished to be identified as a “strikingly handsome and incredibly intelligent industry expert.”

Another miss

Anybody else getting a ton of calls/texts/forwards from your “non-real estate” friends about the NAR settlement? My friends are saying that a lot of their social media feeds are crazy with anti-REALTOR messages. Mostly in their social media feeds, with a ton of memes and “quick takes”. I think all of us are still digesting these changes but in the end as Redfin CEO, Glenn Kelman wrote in a recent blog post (NAR Settlement: Kaboom!) “…perception is reality…”

“Even if the letter of the settlement allows for cooperation, how the settlement is perceived may still re-shape agent attitudes about cooperation, and consumer attitudes about fees. The result could be that agent-to-agent cooperation on fees is weakened but not killed. “

Glenn Kelman, Redfin

I want to say upfront that I think NAR did a tremendous job on the settlement for their membership. But, and I may be beating a dead horse here, this feels like another miss in messaging/marketing from NAR. Based on what I’ve seen on Twitter and elsewhere NAR took everyone by surprise, even at their own event, AEI.

How about pumping the brakes a bit? Create some good content that puts a positive spin on things. Give all those assets to share with your local MLS and associations (so they can pass it on) and mirror that with some sort of nationwide “we hear you” campaign.

But releasing the news when all of their association leadership was offsite? Plus, has anyone seen anyone from NAR in the national news?

WTF?

Back to basics

Defining and Communicating the Value of the Multiple Listing Service

“In light of this uncertain, ever-changing environment, a casual observer might ask, “What is the existential value of an MLS?” The truth is, the MLS has provided an abundance of value over the past century that explains its broad appeal and its continued relevance.

Being able to succinctly communicate the many benefits of the MLS in a modern environment—with historical context, and even from an international perspective—is critical for brokers and MLS leaders to ensure that transparent, liquid marketplaces continue to serve their communities. In fact, any professional who’s involved in the real estate profession should be prepared to describe the value of the MLS.

Sam DeBord

A good reminder.

Looks like non “association owned” MLS orgs are still on the hook

Still running through the docs. One reader tipped me off to this nugget; Check out #8 of NAR FAQ on the settlement:

“8. How does the settlement affect MLSs?

• The agreement would release association-owned MLSs from liability for the types of claims brought in these cases on behalf of home sellers related to broker commissions.

• While the release excludes MLSs that are not wholly owned by REALTOR® associations, the agreement provides a mechanism for those MLSs to obtain releases efficiently if they choose to use it…”

nar-qanda-competiton-2024-03-15

Shades of CIVIX?

REACH Australia adds nine new companies.

REACH Australia and New Zealand Unveils 2024 Scale-up Program with 9 Dynamic Companies

“We are honored to have the opportunity to work with more exciting property technology startups,” said Peter Schravemade, managing partner, REACH Australia and New Zealand. “These nine companies represent the largest number of companies taken on in a calendar year for the REACH Australia and New Zealand program. Regardless of your area of specialization, there is significant value within this group.”

NAR, National Association of REALTORS

Interesting mix of companies. If website design and illustrations were any indicator of company success then Milk Chocolate would get my vote.

Are A.R.E.A. and NLS for real?

National Association of Realtors Faces Competition From New Group

“Mr. Umansky said that AREA will offer its members a nationwide database of home listings as an alternative, built from the technology he acquired for his own private listings service. That platform, which they’re calling the National Listing Service, is currently live with limited listings at theNLS.com.

“A centralized database with access to the full scope of listings across the country is better for everyone in the industry, and someone just had to do it,” Mr. Umansky said.

Debra Kamin, New York Times

A good question I would ask the two luxury real estate agents/brokers launching this new endeavor is this: “Will this new entity follow (or match) the Clear Cooperation Policy (CCP) guidelines?”

That would be a good tell.

NAR President, Tracy Kasper, resigns.

NAR President Tracy Kasper Resigns; President-elect Kevin Sears Steps into Role, Effective Immediately

“NAR President Tracy Kasper informed NAR’s Leadership Team that she recently received a threat to disclose a past personal, non-financial matter unless she compromised her position at NAR. She refused to do so and instead reported the threat to law enforcement. Ms. Kasper felt that, in the circumstances, it was best for the organization that she step down. The Leadership Team is deeply concerned about any attempt to undermine its governance and, as a result, is taking steps to protect the integrity of the organization.”

National Association of REALTORS(r)

🤔

Authenticity, CoStar and the craps table.

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:

COSTAR CEO SENDS MESSAGE TO WSJ & REALTOR.COM

In the letter Mr. Florance make a few statements:

He calls out Bob Evans, VP of Industry Relations at realtor.com, for making false statements “that Homes.com 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 realtor.com 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 Realtor.com 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 Realtor.com are sister companies. They work together closely. The folks that call the shots for The Wall Street Journal and Realtor.com 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, Realtor.com 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.

Industry Relations Podcast: NAR Conference Recap and Zombies

Join Rob and Greg on this episode of Industry Relations, as they recap the NAR NXT annual conference and explore some critical issues. Greg shares what NAR NXT’s atmosphere was like, and find out why Rob is worried about independent press commenting on NAR. 

Also, discover the reasoning behind Rob and Greg’s beliefs that the real estate industry is way past prepping and the zombies are breaching the wall!

Watch us on YouTube!

Connect with Rob and Greg: 

Rob’s Website

Greg’s Website

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This podcast is produced by Two Brothers Creative 2023.

Batton down the hatches

Mother of all commission suits filed in Illinois, this time by homebuyers

“The scope of Batton 2 is exponentially larger than Gibson, Sitzer | Burnett, or another, similar case, Moehrl. Both Batton 1 (formerly, Leeder) and Batton 2 seek class certification on behalf of two proposed classes:

  • a “Nationwide Class” made up of “All persons who, since December 1, 1996 through the present, purchased in the United States residential real estate that was listed on an NAR MLS.” For this class, the plaintiffs are asking for injunctive relief, meaning either a court-ordered prohibition or a requirement on the defendants’ behavior.
  • a “Damages Class” made up of “All persons who, since December 1, 1996 through the present, purchased in the Indirect Purchaser States residential real estate that was listed on an NAR MLS.” For this class, the plaintiffs are asking for damages under “antitrust, unfair competition, consumer protection, and unjust enrichment laws.”
Andrea Brambila via Inman News

This is why I drink.

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