national association of real estate professionals

NAREP: new organization seeks to replace all non-MLS real estate search sites

October 9, 2012
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narep NAREP: new organization seeks to replace all non MLS real estate search sites

The launch of a brand new association

Tomorrow marks the launch of the National Association of Real Estate Professionals (NAREP), an organization that Co-Founder Ben Caballero says is “a new real estate trade association that is intended to counter the questionable practices in which Zillow, Trulia, and REALTOR.com have been engaging” by creating a non-profit that is a “high profile” and “reliable” alternative national listings site to replace the current syndicators and be “free of all of these shenanigans.”

Real estate listing syndication has long been a contentious issue in the industry, and NAREP (not to be confused with the National Association of Real Estate Publishers) seeks to take action. In a statement the organization explains that they were formed to address “widespread backlash among real estate professionals who are frustrated with controversial practices by a growing number of real estate marketing websites. These sites rely in large part on listing data syndicated to them from local multiple listing service (MLS) databases nationwide,” taking aim directly at Zillow, Trulia, Realtor.com, and “other real estate websites.”



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Drew Meyers is the founder of Oh Hey World, who was with Zillow from 2005 to 2010, acting as a very public face for the organization. Responding to the “shenanigans” NAREP says their mission will fix, Meyers said, “For me to believe a single word on that site, they need to show me the money (in the millions) and team that is going to execute on that statement.”

Coordinating the pulling of all syndication

Once NAREP achieves membership representing 25.0 percent of the real estate listings nationwide, they intend to coordinate its members to cease all syndication and sharing of their listings to non-MLS websites.

“This action will eliminate a major portion of the inventory on Zillow, Trulia, and other such sites,” according Ben Caballero, NAREP’s co-founder and chairman. “Businesses such as Zillow and Trulia, in their effort to profit from real estate professionals, display MLS listings, yet many of them are outdated or duplicated. Some listings on their sites do not even have addresses.”

NAREP cites an industry study released by Redfin and The WAV Group last week, which concluded that about 36 percent of listings shown as active on Zillow and Trulia were no longer for sale in the local MLS, compared with zero or near-zero percent for the listings shown on brokerage firm websites. Some industry insiders question the accuracy of the report’s results, but syndication accuracy remains a hot button issue in the industry.

When asked about NAR’s role in listing syndication, Caballero told AGBeat, “NAR is too close to the issue to be objective. Its relationship with move.com appears to have influenced NAR’s decisions. NAR has a different set of rules for its members than it does for REALTOR.com and listhub.com. For example, NAR prohibits brokerage firms from commingling listings on their web sites from any source other than from MLS, but it allows REALTOR.com to do so.”

syndication narep NAREP: new organization seeks to replace all non MLS real estate search sites

Source: NAREP website.

NAREP says syndicators have diminished real estate professionals’ credibility

NAREP’s position is that in their haste to generate income, Zillow, Trulia, and other websites have diminished the credibility of real estate professionals by “misleading, confusing, and frustrating consumers,” said Caballero. NAREP aims to launch its own national real estate listing website, complete with all MLS listings nationwide, to resolve the controversial issue of listing syndication that has caused concern within the real estate industry.

The organization plans on “conspicuously” displaying the listing agent’s contact information prominently next to their listings at no cost, and they say that in an effort to ensure accuracy, their national website will use and regularly update data exclusively from local MLS databases. To participate in the new website, NAREP will require its members to discontinue syndication and sharing of their listings to all websites that are not owned or operated by an MLS or their members, stating that “Zillow, Trulia, and REALTOR.com do not meet these criteria.”

Beginning tomorrow, NAREP will begin accepting registrations for membership on its website. As for the universal question that will be asked, the answer to “who is Caballero?” is, according to a NAREP statement, “Caballero was the top individual real estate professional in the United States for 2010 and 2011, as measured by unit sales and dollar volume, with more than 4,500 home sales exceeding $1.2 billion in total value.” According to his statistics, the average sales price of his Texas listings is $266,666.

We asked Caballero why now? Why not years ago? Why not later? “The problems have dramatically escalated only in recent years as Zillow, Trulia, and move.com have optimized their capabilities to drain traffic away from brokerage firm web sites,” Caballero said. “Increasingly, we learn about consumers who become confused after visiting these sites, or they don’t end up getting the best information as the listing agent’s contact information is not readily accessible. Often it is overshadowed with an agent’s contact information who has paid for prime positioning.”

Caballero added, “These companies are e-commerce marketing firms that are solely interested in selling leads to real estate agents and brokers.”

syndication problems NAREP: new organization seeks to replace all non MLS real estate search sites

Source: NAREP website.

Could RPR do the same thing?

Next month, Realtors Property Resource (RPR) will become available to all Realtors, even if their local MLS does not support it, which is another ball of wax altogether. It is notable, however, that with a flip of the switch, this tool could become consumer-facing, with some simple bylaw changes at the National Association of Realtors (NAR). Could they possibly be working to the same end? It has been said many times that that is not a goal or in their plans, but one has to wonder if NAREP is taking an agent/broker approach to what RPR could do?

The big question is does this jive with the NAR’s anti-trust settlement with the Department of Justice? Is everything the NAREP is claiming they are going to do legal and above board on a local and/or national level? Given how complicated the listing syndication rules, bylaws, local, state, and federal laws are, it is concerning that a well meaning fledgling group could be stepping into something inadvertently and handicapping itself before it even gets started.

Additionally, the big three are publicly traded companies, ingrained in the minds of consumers and business plans of over a million real estate professionals – could a grassroots group that wants to create an alternative by pulling listings from syndicators do enough damage to the syndicators that consumers would notice? And further, will consumers trade their loyalty for their current favorite site for another site, or is this all over their heads and truly an industry insider matter known by few and understood by far fewer?

cut syndication NAREP: new organization seeks to replace all non MLS real estate search sites

Source: NAREP website.

Update (October 12, 2012, 4:13PM cst):
At the request of Caballero, we add the following:
“NAREP is organizing as a 501(c)(6) trade association. We are not attempting “to replace all non-MLS real estate search sites,” but we will provide an alternative if they do not adopt more responsible business practices than what they currently have in place. NAREP sees their current practices as a form of syndication abuse. We want that abuse to stop. By taking back a noteworthy fraction of our MLS listings, we will exert meaningful pressure on Zillow, Trulia, Realtor.com, and others and cause them to clean up their acts, but we are are not aiming to put them out of business. We must see something from them that is more equitable for consumers and the real estate industry than what they currently have in place.”

AGBeat Chief Operating Officer: Lani, named 100 Most Influential, as well as 12 Most Influential Women in Blogging, Bashh Founder, Out and about in Austin A Lister, is a business and tech writer and startup consultant hailing from the great state of Texas in the city of Austin. As a digital native, Lani is immersed not only in advanced technologies and new media, but is also a stats nerd often buried in piles of reports. Lani is a proven leader, thoughtful speaker, and vested partner at AGBeat.


  • SunsetPros

    RT @AgentGenius BREAKING: new trade group seeks to replace Zillow/Trulia/R.com http://t.co/ysomDGAG

  • RussBergeronMRED

    At first blush it sounds like a sham and a scam.  But I’ll let the FTC worry about that during their investigation. Will they be a publisher on the ListHub or Point2 syndication feeds?  Will they be licensing data directly from MLSs? Will they be getting data feeds directly from brokers and agents? And why are they only calling out these three sites when there are dozens of other ones out there? Will they indemnify content providers from any anti-trust implications? Inquiring minds want to know.

    • http://www.narep.net/ NAREP

      @RussBergeronMRED

    • http://www.narep.net/ NAREP

      @RussBergeronMRED
      Russ, NAREP understands your skepticism.  We, too, are skeptical of real estate websites, with their rush sales tactics that try to pit agent against agent, with more than 1/3 of their listings not actually available (in the case of Zillow and Trulia), and with their selling leads on homes that don’t exist. 
       
      NAREP has no intention to do business with either ListHub or Point2.  In addition, the planned NAREP website will be much like realestate.com except that it will not sell leads.  The listing agent’s contact information will be conspicuously displayed next to each listing, so that consumers can easily contact the listing agent directly.  If a home sells (and only if the home sells), the listing agent will pay a nominal amount to offset promotional and operational costs. 
       
      Why are we only calling out these three sites by name when there are dozens of other ones out there? These websites are the most prominent and are proxies for all such sites.  So many of these sites exist that it was impractical to list them all in our initial press release.
       
      You also raised a question about indemnifying content providers from any anti-trust implications. We appreciate your deferral to the FTC, but so that we can understand your concern more clearly, would you please clarify what exactly you foresee as possible anti-trust implications?

      • RussBergeronMRED

        @NAREP Ben, thanks for the response. This clears up a lot.  It appears that the model you are setting up is one of a nationwide referral model which has been done by any number of firms in the past. Most recently realestate.com that you referenced has caught a lot of heat for alleged misuse of MLS data, but that’s another story. Are you licensed in all fifty states, or will you be “hiring” a broker to represent you in every area? Have you been vetted by RESPA?
         
        If I were a broker I would have a couple questions for you.
         
        MARKETING: How do you plan on driving traffic to your site. The sites you are tilting at get approximately 60 million uniques a month. What will it cost to achieve a similar following? And should the big boys suddenly vanish one day, why would consumers go to NAREP in favor of a local broker site – as we all know real estate is hyper-local. What other features will you have on the site besides listings? You can’t compete of that is all that there is – every agent and broker already has listings on their IDX sites.
         
        INFRASTRUCTURE: How are you planning on building such a site. Are you using a 3rd party who already aggregates MLS data such as RED?  Whatever you set up, how will you guarantee that it can accommodate the load?  If you were successful in achieving your goal of eliminating competition (or syndicatees) could you handle the 60 million uniques who generate hundreds of millions of hits and searches per month?
         
        As to the FTC, I am not a lawyer so I cannot provide any legal advice, I can only direct you to the FTC site where they talk about group boycotts. http://www.ftc.gov/bc/antitrust/group_boycotts.shtm
         
        Best of luck with your venture.

        • simslyn

          @RussBergeronMRED  @NAREP It’s not a boycott if your aim is to have correct information provided to the consumer. Actually, YOUR information (or your brokers).

      • DanielBates

        @NAREP   I’d like to know what a “nominal fee” is? Is $20 nominal? or 1% of the gross nominal? I love that this is a not-for-profit, but I’ve seen a lot of CEO’s of not-for-profits with some pretty nice houses.  Absolute power corrupts absolutely.  I like where you’re going with this and have been calling on it for years, but as a get around for NAR not for Trulia and Zillow.  At the same time, I don’t know you and I’d have to see how you operate for quite a while before I’d put my business in your hands.

        • http://www.narep.net/ NAREP

          @DanielBates
          NAREP is a non-profit trade association for the real estate community.  Decisions on fees and other matters will be made jointly by our peers (i.e., fellow real estate professionals), and not by individuals seeking to build a multi-billion dollar publicly traded e-commerce empire. 
           
          I am not personally opposed to profit, but profit is not NAREP’s goal.  We must regain control of our business on the Internet before it gets completely away from us.  When 36% percent of the inventory on the leading sites is not available, the credibility of our industry is diminished.  Our listing content has been used to create several very powerful entities that are using their capital to buy other businesses to gain more and more control of the real estate business.  NAREP does not see this as good for the industry, and we must take action now.
           
          Sincerely,
          Ben Caballero
          Co-Founder, NAREP

        • drewmeyers

          @NAREP  @DanielBates Can you address Russ’ questions about how exactly you plan to execute on this?

        • http://www.brevardforeclosure.com/ beachtowne

          @drewmeyers  @NAREP  @DanielBates Yes, please lay out your detailed business plan for the pundit class.

        • Bill Rovillo

          @beachtowne  @drewmeyers  @NAREP  @DanielBates To be fair- Ben doesn’t have to “lay out his business plan” nor should he. All he wants is for REALTORs to go to his site, review the biz plan for themselves, and determine if they want to join NAREP or not. I certainly wouldn’t throw any biz plan I had out there for all to comment on/tear apart, copy etc…..

        • Bill Rovillo

          @beachtowne  @drewmeyers  @NAREP  @DanielBates Especially with the Zillow cronies watching this string….

        • drewmeyers

          @Bill Rovillo  @beachtowne  @NAREP  @DanielBates You’re right – he doesn’t have to lay out anything for us here. But for this to work, he needs to sell agents and brokers on this being more than smoke and mirrors. How he plans to do that is up to him.

  • RussBergeronMRED

    And what about NAHREP, and all the other NAREPs that are already out there?  Might want to think of a better name. How about yazuliar.com

  • RussBergeronMRED

    Lani – did you make this up just to generate controversy?

  • Bill Rovillo

    Ahh, the ol’ April Fool’s headline in October trick!

  • Bill Rovillo

    No wait….for real?

  • Bill Rovillo

    who da thunk it?

  • RussBergeronMRED

    Haven’t we seen this before?  http://mred.vu/R56ZAV

    • simslyn

      @RussBergeronMRED Good video & it worked out well for them. We should all be looking at them as a business model instead of arguing amoungst ourselves.  I’m sure the main focus is to control our own listings & not be financial exploited because of those listings. Right?

  • kenbrand

    Round and round we go, where she stops, nobody knows.  
     
    Seriously, who, how, when, if….to me the main point is that it would appear that the value proposition and love-affair with the syndicators is perceived by many (not the majority but the most vocal)  real estate agents and brokers (the people who power syndicators with their listings) as damaging or threatening and the love-affair is of the 50 Shades Of Grey flavors, but without the pleasure parts.
     
    Today I read on Inman that a Google wheel was added to the board at Realtor.com – that smacks of something?
     
    I think asking new members to stop syndicating will dull their recruitment efforts.  I would think a better plan would be to get members on board, create some critical mass, have members experience the magical benefits of NAREP, then the next logical and natural step would be to pull the plug (listings) on Syndicators.  
     
    Or RPR launches their nation wide MLS site and combo of property data and listing data trumps everyone else and Realtor.com is the only dominant player. 
     
    I wonder what Realogy and KW wheels think about all this fizz?

    • http://narep.net/ Ben Caballero, NAREP

      @kenbrand You are correct when you say “a better plan would be to get members on board create some critical mass . . . then the next logical and natural step would be to pull the plug (listings) on Syndicators”.  That is exactly our plan as described on our website.

  • AndreaRealtor

    As a listing agent I want my broker to syndicate listings to where the consumer is going. I didn’t see anything in the post addressing how and where they are sending the masses.

    • Bill Rovillo

      @AndreaRealtor Andrea, good pointy. The only reason those sites have traction (consumer views) is because that’s where the listings are today. If those listings are pulled, google will re-index them in 24 hours and wherever they are at that point, consumers will be directed to them. I think that is the direction Ben is headed.

      • Bill Rovillo

        @AndreaRealtor Good point- uh, not pointy.

      • DanielBates

        And if I can build a better mousetrap the world will beat a path to my door, right? The only reason that one would want to pull their listings from a source where there are already legitimate buyers is greed.  If you’ve got 75% of the listings in your area and want to pull a bold power move, I can’t stop you, but for the rest of it, it’s just plain foolish.  You take a listing with the understanding that you will do everything you can to sell the home.  Syndicating to these sites is a no brainer and 4-5 years ago everyone was trying to build the silver bullet tool that would make it easy for dumb agents, now there is no shortage of tools out there to use, but people are refusing them because they are simply greedy.

        • Bill Rovillo

          @DanielBates Daniel, there may be greed in some cases, but a lot of REALTOR’s i know just want the chance to chase the 30-70% of the leads that the sin-dicators sites lose on a daily basis.

        • DanielBates

          And that’s fine, but what are they doing to earn them?  Are they blogging? PPC? $1M advertising budget? Or are they just sitting back and whining while they couldn’t do their job without the agents who bring them their website.  I love leads.  I don’t pay T,R,Z for them, but I generate my own.  If you don’t want to syndicate, go get yourself a brokers license and start your own company and then you can make all these decisions for yourself (that’s what I did) but until then, you’re really just whining about something that you don’t realize that a vast majority of the public relies on because they have better tools / selection / product / marketing than you do.

        • Bill Rovillo

          @DanielBates You’re missing my point I think. if there were no Zulia’s, every Broker’s $35 dollar a month IDX site would be overloaded with leads.
          http://imapp.com/blog/2011/04/listing-sin-dication/

        • RuthmarieGarciaHicks

          @DanielBates I’m blogging my head off… and it used to work.  My blog was (and is) chock-o-block FULL of rich DEEP content about neighborhoods, complexes towns, cities and villages.  That used to pull in people and bring me business.  But even though site visits are up, conversion is way, way, way down.  Why? Buyers and sellers are probably calling the schmucks with deep pockets who can afford to promote themselves anywhere they want to, even if they haven’t stepped foot in the town or neighborhood.  
           
          The public is under the impression that the nice people at Zilliow and Trulia are dutifully combing through each agent and putting out there the ones that are the cream of the crop for the area. HA!  They don’t understand its the person with the better plastic that gets the spot. 
           
          Remember when everyone said Microsoft had the best mousetrap…way back in the 90s?  Turns out they didn’t.  They were just better at squeezing everyone else out.  That’s what’s happening here.

        • http://www.brevardforeclosure.com/ beachtowne

          @DanielBates said “You take a listing with the understanding that you will do everything you can to sell the home.”
           
          Do you have listings, Daniel? If so, do you direct mail them to everyone in that zipcode? Put them in the Thrifty Nickle? Pay a kid to walk back and forth with a sandwich board? No?
           
          Then you’re not doing “everything you can”.
           
          Oh… you mis-spoke? Did you mean to say everything you can “for FREE”!
           
          Guess what? When MY brokerages listings get posted on ZTR, with another agent’s paid contact info next to my listing, it’s no longer FREE to my brokerage, because 99% of the time that agent will #fail to respond in a prompt, professional manner to a prospect’s inquiry.
           
          THAT is a disservice to me, my agents and my seller. It can and will COST me money.
           
          That’s not GREED, that’s common sense.

        • DanielBates

          @Bill Rovillo Doubtful as long as IDX exists whatever the most powerful company that invests in PPC and SEO will fill the void.  If I do a search for one of your listings, I’m assuming that I will find TRZ filling in 1,2, and 3 in google…are you #4?  I beat out TRZ most of the time, but there are a 1000 terms that they pickup in the search engines that I don’t and great for them for doing that.  Now if you want to go back to a time before a centralized system existed or don’t allow anyone but the listing agent to publish their listings we can try that, but very quickly the independant brokerages would fail because people would come their sites and only see 1% of the listings, then the 10% market share companies would merge to battle the 30% and eventually you would either have a massive war between two companies OR they’d agree to create a centralized system.  Trulia and Zillow exist because NAR gave over control of R.com and R.com sucked / sucks.  If we did a better job promoting our own listings there would not be a market for these other companies to exist, yes we gave them control of the data, but consumers must think that they did a good job with it, because even with all of us handing a ton of money to NAR, they couldn’t do it.

        • DanielBates

          @RuthmarieGarciaHicks Fair points and I love the Microsoft example, but I see NAR as microsoft and Trulia and Zillow as Linux and Ubuntu (throwing Apple in there would have confused the issue).  Blogging may just be one piece of the puzzle in your market.  Ask yourself what aren’t they getting on your site that they can find on others?   Obviously this isn’t the medium for me to offer tech-support, but that my simple advise.  If you’re writing and they’re coming but they aren’t converting at a level that you see fit, you need to research who they are going with and how those people are generating business.  you may have to take a ‘if you can’t beat ‘em, join ‘em’ strategy for the time being and pay for a presence on these sites.  I agree that it is rarely the cream of the crop that you find there, but it varies across markets.

        • DanielBates

          @beachtowne My personal belief is what you do to advertise your listing is between you and your seller.  It’s as simple as that.  People list their homes with their crazy Aunt because it would be rude not and their Aunt can’t turn on a computer.  My hope is that eventually she is either acquires these skills (which should be the job of the Broker in my opinion) or she is not able to succeed and leave the line of work.  I would say the same to the people who fail to respond to quality leads they are paying for in your example.  If they continue to pay the high amount that these sites charge without converting than they will eventually run out of money and leave more business for you and I.  I know that’s an idealistic and over simplification of the problem, but it’s capitalism at work in my opinion.  It’s often a messy process, but it’s the best one I know.  And if in your opinion, your clients best interests are not being served by one or all of these sites, you can pull your listings (again, that’s between you and them…and your broker if applicable).  If enough people do this than they will not have a strong enough presence to support their business model and capitalism will once again sort out the winners and losers.

        • RuthmarieGarciaHicks

          @DanielBates You act as though I have very deep pockets.  I don’t.  There is no way I can afford to do more than I am right now.  I’m stretched to the max.  These bastards ruined my model and offered NOTHING…ZIPPO, NADA, ZILCH of real value.  NAR should be working FOR AGENTS LIKE ME.  I PAY THEM, they should ensure that people don’t jump the shark over our heads.  Thats their job and that’s what we expect of them.  I’m on a shoestring and am trying to move myself up to where the big dogs are. I was on my way because I actually offer QUALITY.  
           
          As for the why –  people behave strangely.  I recently had someone come to my blog and read it extensively. They even chose their stager through me.  The stager was sure that I would be getting a call from them.  After all, I rank at the top of Google for their neighborhood, I have a strong presence, they were reading and taking advice from me…but she found out later they had no intention of ever calling me.  They were deciding between two names in the area that have been there since the late Jurassic.  Neither are at all good at promoting anything.  One puts Christmas photos of the area up in June (Why reshoot the area? Once is enough – so what if the only shots we have were taken during the holiday season! ) and the other deliberately makes it hard for buyers agents to show the listing. By playing games with keys – that agent ensures that home is pretty much only shown to people from his brokerage.  Its infuriating. 
           
          The blog leveled the playing field and I got enough traffic to start building myself up. But that all ended when TZR clowns took over the search engines. The competition with the old guard was always there.  But without TZR – I had a fighting chance with the tech-savvy.   What is happening (I think) is that people read the blog – take notes, really learn about the neighborhood through me – but since they also hop onto TZR – when it comes time to pick an agent – they go with the TZR or the name they know from the Dark Ages.  That may be perception.  They really think that Zillow combs through the agent pool and hand selects the cream.  Note that T & Z want a TON of money that I simply don’t have to spend.  They are taking down the start-up  or mid-level agent that doesn’t have very deep pockets.   That leaves the top 2-3% in my area and people with fat bank accounts – who may or may not offer quality.

        • DanielBates

          @RuthmarieGarciaHicks I truly think that a majority of buyers skips over the TZR’s of the internet and hone in on blogs like yours once they get beyond vague searches.  I agree that they offer little value and are in fact flooded with inaccuracies, BUT we’re all playing by google’s rules and google giveth and taketh away each and every day.  A tweak in an algorithm can destroy their entire business, but yours is build on UNIQUE, QUALITY content which I hope google will always want to promote.  As for consumer’s misconceptions about T&Z’s “featured agents”, I think that NAR has done us a disservice by not assisting real estate professionals with the monumental tasks of consumer education, but when I go to these sites I don’t see any misrepresentation that these are the best agents in the area (you could argue that NAR does this with Realtors by implying that they are so much better than those that don’t choose to get on board with their agenda).  I’ve struggled in this business for 5 years and will probably continue to struggle for many more, people at the top will always have it easier than us, but perhaps they put in their time struggling too. Those with fat bank accounts usually get sloppy or board and eventually fall or they are satisfied with a hold over a specific niche.  We can only control so many things though.

        • Bill Rovillo

          @DanielBates SEO is so yesterday. Content is king.

        • RuthmarieGarciaHicks

          @DanielBates I know that it is nice and comforting to believe that cream always rises to the top.  But around here sludge seems to rise faster than cream.  There are people who have been doing a bang-up job of riding on their names for years.  We have a lot of very bad agents out there that are top-producers and a lot of wonderful agents (like me) that are seriously considering folding our tents.  I’ve already started a real estate photography business….you  know what I find??? The big dogs don’t even want to pay for photography.  They think they can get away with a few stock photos from the Jurassic period and take a few from the clamshell cell phone c2005.  These guys get away with literally putting a sign in the ground and running like hell.  I’ve finally come to the conclusion that most consumers are lazy are stupid or both…Really – they are. 
           
          As far as NAR goes, if I didn’t need them for MLS access – I would be loooooong gone.  They do not represent my best interests and they never have.

        • simslyn

          @RuthmarieGarciaHicks  @DanielBates Go get ‘em Ruthmarie. This gent doesn’t know who he’s dealing with.

        • DanielBates

          @simslyn I’ve worked with @ruthmarie and respect hrr and the trouble she is having. I don’t blame T&Z for taking advantage of a hole in the market that subpar agents take advantage of because everybody is entitled to generate leads how they see fit, but I do agree that NAR has let us down by there performance and acting on behalf of it’s members. I do 90% of the work on a lot of deals that other agents just put up the sign on. Hopefully that won’t be case forever and these agents will not survive (though rest assured more will come in to fill their shoes) but no one ever promised life would be fair.

        • RuthmarieGarciaHicks

          @DanielBates  @simslyn  @ruthmarie Sorry, but this is idiotic.  Although this is topic for a different type of posting, it relates remotely to NAR performance or its lack thereof.  NAR, local MLS’s, and Brokerages should be vigorously ELIMINATING these agents.  Blatant ethics problems are treated with a slap on the wrist.  When NAR linked its fortunes to the raw number of agents that it could collect money from without any regard to quality and brokerages followed suite they let down the industry and the agents that DO provide excellent service.  
           
          This has created  a culture of the more the merrier. Good, bad, medium or indifferent, they are all welcome with open arms – as long as they can pay the fees.  Standard wisdom – would say that more choices are better for the consumer.  But instead it has created a paralysis among consumers who are now hopelessly confused and often betrayed by agents who are trying to turn a quick buck.  Thanks to third party sites, self-marketing hype and a lot of smoke and mirrors  the public can’t tell the good from the bad or what is even relevant.  Because so many bad apples are allowed to persist and even thrive, you have a breakdown of trust between the agent and the community they serve. 
           
          The reason why we don’t self–police is greed on the part of brokers and NAR.  This, in turn creates an atmosphere where agents aren’t trusted.   And so in an indirect way, this is relevant to the discussion.  Because if NAR doesn’t serve those who do the work or pay the bills, there are others who will step in to fill the void…and you are seeing some of that here.

        • simslyn

          @DanielBates  Daniel:  Keep me out of this. Until now I have never seen your name or heard you utter a peep on any blog sites except for this on any of these important issues. You NOW finally decide to be a voice? Too little too late on your own part.

        • DanielBates

          @simslyn I’ve commented on AgentGenius from time-to-time since their beginnings, sorry I didn’t stand out in your mind, but I’m not on ActivePain if that’s what you meant.  I also didn’t specifically “choose” now to speak out, rather simply made one comment on here and the rest were responses to other people’s inquiries of me.  I thought that was how comments worked, no?  You copied and pasted this post to your AR account and had a large private conversation on it than I did.   I don’t have any agenda and am not quite sure why you’re trying to call me out or what the “too little too late” is in reference to.  To little WHAT? and too late FOR WHAT? Are new voices not allowed to begin discussion in your world?

  • boxphobiadesign

    Is it strange that Ben has had an open account and profile at both Zillow and Trulia for multiple years and is benefiting from the link authority that they pass to his homesusa website from the links in his profile? Just a thought.

  • RE_buttal

    Any everyone will just stand still and let it happen
    NAR will stand put, MLS vendors won’t fight, MLS shops will just role over so he can take over
    Mr Caballero must be smokin something good
    must be a slow news day to even publish this

  • rqd

    Maybe Ben will start by taking his Zillow profile down.  http://www.zillow.com/profile/Bcaballero/

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  • http://www.brevardforeclosure.com/ beachtowne

    If only Mr. Cabellero was a well known Blogger, semi-professional real estate Pundit or a former Inman shill, then we could give this idea our full attention. But, alas, he is only a dumb ass realtor. I support your efforts, NAREP. I don’t know where this will lead, but anything that puts pressure on ZTR (Zillow Trulia Realtordotcom) is good for DARs (Dumb Ass Realtors) everywhere.

    • RussBergeronMRED

      @beachtowne Just an observation but it was the “DARs” who put their listings on all these sites in the first place.

      • http://www.brevardforeclosure.com/ beachtowne

        @RussBergeronMRED Who is Russ Bergeron MRED? A pundit? Covention Rockstar? Realtor/Broker? What is your area of expertise, Russ?

        • Bill Rovillo

          @beachtowne  @RussBergeronMRED hey Beachtowne, Russ at MRED is loaded with experience and knowledge. and i think he is on the side of real REALTOR’s everywhere. he’s just asking a lot of very good questions.

        • http://www.brevardforeclosure.com/ beachtowne

          @Bill Rovillo  @RussBergeronMRED  Looks like he’s a CEO of a Chicago MLS? I was thrown off by the 7 consecutive inane comments…
           
           
          > Haven’t we seen this before? 
          > who da thunk it?
          >No wait….for real?
          >Ahh, the ol’ April Fool’s headline in October trick!
          >Lani – did you make this up just to generate controversy?
          >And what about NAHREP, and all the other NAREPs that are already out there?  Might want to think of a better name. How about yazuliar.com
          >At first blush it sounds like a sham and a scam.  But I’ll let the FTC worry about that during their investigation.

        • RussBergeronMRED

          @beachtowne www.linkedin.com/in/rjbergeron

        • RussBergeronMRED

          @beachtowne  @Bill Rovillo Oh gosh – we’ve sunk to name calling. Lani time to shut down this string.   PS – only 6 of those “inane” comments can be attributed to me. But thanks for taking the time to read them.

        • http://www.brevardforeclosure.com/ beachtowne

          @RussBergeronMRED Thanks Russ! I always like to know who is grinding which axe. You are apparently more than chummy with both T and R of the ZTR Trinity. “Russ currently sits on advisory boards of Realtor.com, Trulia.com…”
           
          Name calling? What name calling?
           
          I didn’t say you made all those clever, thoughtful comments.

        • http://www.brevardforeclosure.com/ beachtowne

          @RussBergeronMRED  YOU referred to Mr. Cabellerro’s project as sounding like a “sham and scam” did you not, sir?

        • Bill Rovillo

          @RussBergeronMRED  @beachtowne  @Bill Rovillo the other 3 inane comments were mine. I call it tongue in cheek comments but whatever you prefer to call them is ok with me!

        • Bill Rovillo

          @RussBergeronMRED  @beachtowne Be nice- you both used “Dar’.    :)   ;)

  • Bill Rovillo

    I applaud his effort. If successful with achieving 25% of the listings kept away from the sin-dicators, he’ll bring them all crashing down in a NY minute. Then only REALTOR’s will be displaying listings on-line (with the exception of the scraping thieves). Gee, what a great concept. Good luck to you Ben.

  • AndreaRealtor

    So who is financing this effort to get the consumers off onto another site as well as educational piece to sellers to change the perception that R/T/Z is how their listings get exposure and advertised? That perception is no different than when sellers perceived the local newspaper was how their listing got exposure and advertised. How are you selling this to Realogy, Keller Williams and Home Services?

  • RuthmarieGarciaHicks

    Ok – A lot of anger here and a lot of “issues” are popping up.  Here is where it sits for someone with my personality type…Call my naive, call me old-fashioned, call me as dated as you like.  One of the problems in America right now is that people are producing products and systems that have NO INTRINSIC VALUE.  Whether or not consumers buy into them is beside the point.  We seem to be creating a lot of “stuff” that is of little use and now we’ve got people who created a site of little TRUE VALUE in the IPO stage of things making a boat load for investors but offering almost ZERO value to the consumer (agents) or the end user (buyers and sellers).   The likes of Zillow and Trulia really had build “a better mousetrap” with more rich content on local neighborhoods that actually helped the consumer with some difficult choices, I’d have to say that they had created an actual SERVICE. But there really is nothing in these sites that is “better” or more “informative” than an agnet IDX buttressed by a strong local blog.  
     
    The trouble with these sites is pretty simple:  Real estate is still a local industry and if people realize that en masse, these sites will lose traction -fast.  In the meantime, they have mastered the search engine game in  a way that no brokerage or agent could ever do.  Its infuriating – they glomb on to all the traffic by taking our listings and then force us to buy into their “system” – which they poached from us to begin with – in order to have a crack at the 60 million eyeballs they get.  But here is another problem with these sites.  There aren’t 60 million people buying and selling at this time are there?  Not even close.   So not only do agents have to buy into this crap – but they also have to sift a massive number of lookie lous and tire kickers to get to a few nuggets of gold.  So not only are you paying for the privilege – you are wasting a ton of time.  Which is why the followup on inquiries is sometimes not the way it should be.
     
    The point is that on decent product should perform a unique and vital service.  This is a middle man in the middle of middle men.  Pretty soon we are going to have a Dagwood sandwich…Too many hands trying to slice the pie does not help the consumer.

    • DanielBates

      @RuthmarieGarciaHicks So if NAR took half the budget they sock away for fighting legal battles (against Trulia and Zillow), lobbying, and funding worthless projects and spent that money on making a solid product and educating the public than we wouldn’t be having this discussion and NAREP wouldn’t need to exist? right?

      • RuthmarieGarciaHicks

        @DanielBates They shouldn’t have allowed it to happen in the first place.  Now that it has, they have to try and shut them down AND create something just as compelling for agent use.  The trouble is that NAR no longer represents agents in the trenches. They take our money and exploit us. If I didn’t need them for MLS access I would NOT be a member.

  • JonathanDalton

    Let’s see … I can either read all the comments, wasting time I could spend prospecting, or just post an answer and figure that I can accurately predict 90 percent of what’s been said. Yeah, I go with the latter:1) To those who argue the need to get a listing syndicated because that’s where the consumers are … a week ago I listed a home at $140k. The Zestimate is $110k. Since the seller didn’t hire me to advertise the home as $30k overpriced, I didn’t list it on Zillow. And it sold for full price in 8 days. Lesson? Where you advertise is less important than what you advertise.2) Pulling your listings from ZTR will not impact the price for which they sell or the time in which they sell. So, really, what’s the real benefit to your seller of being there? You’re confusing page views with real marketing to serious buyers.3) There are issues with the plan above – I think it’s iffy from an anti-trust standpoint and, for those of us where the MLS is not the one syndicating listings and opting out of internet advertising spikes our listings from IDX, it’s not that great of an idea.4) This isn’t a dual agency issue so, please, get off your high horse for a little while.

    • DanielBates

      @JonathanDalton I could care less about zestimates, but FWIW I’m pretty sure that properties listed for sale on Zillow do not display the zestimate value, so by not syndicating Zillow you actually allowed people that do have faith in zestimates to go look it up where as it would not have been an issue if you had.  I just really hope that they client advised you of the zestimate and that’s not something you normally do to determine value :-p
       
      If you point was that you can sell a listing without the help of ZTR, I thought that went without saying, I can come up with a couple of examples where they weren’t involved also.  It can also be done without newspapers, magazines, yard signs, social media, the MLS, flyer boxes, brick and mortar stores, business cards, word of mouth, carrier pidgets, the entire internet, telephones, etc. but I still leave it up to each agent (or their Broker) to pick and choose which of those techniques they want to use.

      • JonathanDalton

        @DanielBates Unfortunately, you’re incorrect … EVERY property listed for sale on Zillow has the Zestimate right below it. Take a moment, check the site for yourself.

        • DanielBates

          @JonathanDalton Sure enough, luckily this isn’t a debate on zestimates, I think we’ve all had enough of those with clients.   Oddly, Zillow didn’t show up on first page of google for a search for the just the street address or street address and city and state, it was only when I added the zip code that they showed up and all the way at 1st position

      • http://www.brevardforeclosure.com/ beachtowne

        @DanielBates  @JonathanDalton  I would always check the Zestimate when taking a listing. And if it is advantageous to use in my marketing I will be sure to do that. See?! Zillow does have value. Sometimes.

        • DanielBates

          @beachtowne  @JonathanDalton So your stance is that the house is cheaper than a computer that’s never seen the inside of it thinks it should be based on the number of bedrooms it has? Quite an endorsement

        • http://www.brevardforeclosure.com/ beachtowne

          @DanielBates  “My stance” is that if Zillow says my listing is “worth” significantly more than my property is listed for I will be sure to mention that prominently in my marketing. Sales 101, Daniel.

    • AndreaRealtor

      @JonathanDalton I agree with you on the prospecting part. For the next few years it appears the challenge in the market is going to be the decline in inventory. It doesn’t make sense tome to start a whole new organization responding to the issues of some buyers agents. The key to the market as it always has been is the inventory. What makes a property sell or not sell is not dependent on syndication.

    • RussBergeronMRED

      @JonathanDalton  You get wiser every day. Thx. :-)

  • http://www.narep.net/ NAREP

    As much as your comments and advice here are appreciated, registering your support at http://www.NAREP.net will be even more appreciated.  Thus far, the response has been overwhelmingly positive, so much so that we’ve increased the NAREP.net web server capacity to permit more simultaneous visits.  We still have a long way to go to reach our goal of 25% of the national listing inventory, so we need all the support you can give us.  Spread the word to all in the industry.  Powerful entities are watching and no doubt hoping and expecting us to fail. 
     
    Move.com now owns ListHub.  Zillow owns Diverse Solutions. We are losing control of our business in several ways. In addition, when 36% percent of the inventory on the leading sites is not available, the credibility of our industry is diminished.   NAREP wants to provide a solution.  Take this opportunity before it is too late.   The time for action is NOW.
     
    Remember, NAREP is being organized as an IRS designated 501(c)(6) trade association (not simply as a non-profit organization). It is open for membership to real estate professionals. It will be governed with a non-profit objective by YOU — and not by those seeking to build a multi-billion dollar e-commerce empire.
     
    Please spend some of your time and energy, and support our effort by signing up at http://www.NAREP.net.  There is no cost for doing so. 
     
    Sincerely,
    Ben Caballero
    Co-Founder, NAREP

  • http://www.narep.net/ NAREP

    As much as your comments and advice here are appreciated, registering your support at http://www.NAREP.net will be even more appreciated.  Thus far, the response has been overwhelmingly positive, so much so that we’ve increased the NAREP.net web server capacity to permit more simultaneous visits.  We still have a long way to go to reach our goal of 25% of the national listing inventory, so we need all the support you can give us.  Spread the word to all in the industry.  Powerful entities are watching and no doubt hoping and expecting us to fail.  
     
    Move.com now owns ListHub.  Zillow owns Diverse Solutions. We are losing control of our business in several ways. In addition, when 36% percent of the inventory on the leading sites is not available, the credibility of our industry is diminished.   NAREP wants to provide a solution.  Take this opportunity before it is too late.   The time for action is NOW. 
     
    Remember, NAREP is being organized as an IRS designated 501(c)(6) trade association (not simply as a non-profit organization). It is open for membership to real estate professionals. It will be governed with a non-profit objective by YOU — and not by those seeking to build a multi-billion dollar e-commerce empire. 
     
    Please spend some of your time and energy, and support our effort by signing up at http://www.NAREP.net.   There is no cost for doing so.  
     
    Sincerely,
    Ben Caballero
    Co-Founder, NAREP

    http://www.narep.net
    http://www.twitter.com/NAREPnet

  • http://www.narep.net/ NAREP

    As much as your comments and advice here are appreciated, registering your support at http://www.NAREP.net will be even more appreciated.  Thus far, the response has been overwhelmingly positive, so much so that we’ve increased the NAREP.net web server capacity to permit more simultaneous visits.  We still have a long way to go to reach our goal of 25% of the national listing inventory, so we need all the support you can give us.  Spread the word to all in the industry.  Powerful entities are watching and no doubt hoping and expecting us to fail.  
     
    Move.com now owns ListHub, and Zillow owns Diverse Solutions. We are losing control of our business in several ways. In addition, when 36% percent of the inventory on the leading sites is not available, the credibility of our industry is diminished.   NAREP wants to provide a solution.  Take this opportunity before it is too late.   The time for action is NOW. 
     
    Remember, NAREP is being organized as an IRS designated 501(c)(6) trade association (not simply as a non-profit organization). It is open for membership to real estate professionals. It will be governed with a non-profit objective by YOU — and not by those seeking to build a multi-billion dollar e-commerce empire. 
     
    Please spend some of your time and energy, and support our effort by signing up at http://www.NAREP.net.  There is no cost for doing so.  
     
    Sincerely,
    Ben Caballero
    Co-Founder, NAREP

    http://www.NAREP.net
    http://www.twitter.com/NAREPnet
    http://www.facebook.com/narep.net

  • http://www.narep.net/ NAREP

    As much as your comments and advice here are appreciated, registering your support at www.NAREP.net will be even more appreciated.  Thus far, the response has been overwhelmingly positive, so much so that we’ve increased the NAREP.net web server capacity to permit more simultaneous visits.  We still have a long way to go to reach our goal of 25% of the national listing inventory, so we need all the support you can give us.  Spread the word to all in the industry.  Powerful entities are watching and no doubt hoping and expecting us to fail.  
     
    Move.com now owns ListHub, and Zillow owns Diverse Solutions. We are losing control of our business in several ways. In addition, when 36% percent of the inventory on the leading sites is not available, the credibility of our industry is diminished.   NAREP wants to provide a solution.  Take this opportunity before it is too late.   The time for action is NOW. 
     
    Remember, NAREP is being organized as an IRS designated 501(c)(6) trade association (not simply as a non-profit organization). It is open for membership to real estate professionals. It will be governed with a non-profit objective by YOU — and not by those seeking to build a multi-billion dollar e-commerce empire. 
     
    Please spend some of your time and energy, and support our effort by signing up on our site.  There is no cost for doing so.  
     
    Sincerely,
    Ben Caballero
    Co-Founder, NAREP

  • http://www.narep.net/ NAREP

    As much as your comments and advice here are appreciated, registering your support on NAREP’s web site will be even more appreciated.  Thus far, the response has been overwhelmingly positive, so much so that we’ve increased the NAREP.net web server capacity to permit more simultaneous visits.  We still have a long way to go to reach our goal of 25% of the national listing inventory, so we need all the support you can give us.  Spread the word to all in the industry.  Powerful entities are watching and no doubt hoping and expecting us to fail.  
     
    Move.com now owns ListHub, and Zillow owns Diverse Solutions. We are losing control of our business in several ways. In addition, when 36% percent of the inventory on the leading sites is not available, the credibility of our industry is diminished.   NAREP wants to provide a solution.  Take this opportunity before it is too late.   The time for action is NOW. 
     
    Remember, NAREP is being organized as an IRS designated 501(c)(6) trade association (not simply as a non-profit organization). It is open for membership to real estate professionals. It will be governed with a non-profit objective by YOU — and not by those seeking to build a multi-billion dollar e-commerce empire. 
     
    Please spend some of your time and energy, and support our effort by signing up on our site.  There is no cost for doing so.  
     
    Sincerely,
    Ben Caballero
    Co-Founder, NAREP

  • NAREP_BenCaballero

    As much as your comments and advice here are appreciated, registering your support on our web site will be even more appreciated.  Thus far, the response has been overwhelmingly positive, so much so that we’ve increased the NAREP.net web server capacity to permit more simultaneous visits.  We still have a long way to go to reach our goal of 25% of the national listing inventory, so we need all the support you can give us.  Spread the word to all in the industry.  Powerful entities are watching and no doubt hoping and expecting us to fail. 
     
    Move.com now owns ListHub.  Zillow owns Diverse Solutions. We are losing control of our business in several ways. In addition, when 36% of the inventory on the leading sites is not available, the credibility of our industry is diminished.   NAREP wants to provide a solution.  Take this opportunity before it is too late.   The time for action is NOW.
     
    Remember, NAREP is being organized as an IRS designated 501(c)(6) trade association (not simply as a non-profit organization). It is open for membership to real estate professionals. It will be governed with a non-profit objective by YOU — and not by those seeking to build a multi-billion dollar e-commerce empire.
     
    Please spend some of your time and energy, and support our effort by signing up on our web site.  There is no cost for doing so. 
     
    Sincerely,
    Ben Caballero
    Co-Founder, NAREP

  • simslyn

    Lani definately put her ‘own spin’ on that press release didn’t she? Amazing how 2 people read the same sentences & get totally different things out of the same wording.  I would like to have advertising control of my own listings & not be financially manipulated by others because of those listings.  I WORKED to get them, not Z, not T, nor R.com.  I did the work & want to take responsibility on how they are shown to consumers.

    • DanielBates

      @simslyn

    • DanielBates

      @simslyn Isn’t that something that you should take up with your broker as they typical control syndication? I’m a broker and I specifically choose to distribute my listing to T&Z.

      • Dylan in Bend

        @DanielBates  @simslyn
         Some MLS’s require listings to be sent to syndication sites.

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