The recent “Blogstorm O’ Controversy” surrounding the complaint filed by an Indianapolis real estate broker to MIBOR (Metropolitan Indianapolis Board of Realtors), and the subsequent “clarification” by the NAR (National Association of Realtors) that an agent can not post IDX/MLS listings that can be indexed by search engines has unleashed a flurry of reactions across the blogiverse, in the hallways at the NAR Midyear Conference, and beyond.
I won’t rehash the debate. It’s the reason I was invited to Washington D.C. to address the MLS Committee. You can read the initial post and its 372 comments on Agent Genius if you want all the gory details.
What amazes me the most about this mess are the things I keep hearing from (some) real estate brokers and others “in the business”:
“If I acquire the listing it should be my decision where, when and how it is displayed, and keep some details accessible only through me.”
“If it goes on Google, I want it to be under my company’s name and not that of my competitor.”
“Why should some techy agent outrank me in Google and get my leads from my listing?”
“We’ve let too much information get into consumers hands. We should be the keepers of listing information.”
“My listing shows up with their name on it, and leads I would otherwise be able to get are directed to my competitors site.”
“It’s my listing, everything should point back to my site”.
I could go on and on. To be blunt, talk like this sickens me.
Here’s what I just can’t wrap my mind around.
When I take a listing, the goal is unified and simple – sell the home. Isn’t… that… the… point???
I don’t take a listing to generate leads. I don’t take a listing in the hope that I will “double side” the transaction (a practice known as dual agency – where the agent represents both the buyer and seller in the same transaction). In fact, I abhor dual agency. And I don’t see anything wrong with providing information.
So why, WHY would any real estate broker have a problem with their listing being splayed all across the Internet, and beyond? (assuming of course, all other rules and regulations with regard to advertising are followed. You Arizona types should pay particular attention to Commissioner’s Rules A.A.C. R4-28-502 ).
Well, the only thing that makes sense is some brokers DO want to generate leads from a listing and/or they DO want to double-side the transaction. Or perhaps they want to keep information out of the consumers hands so they can “add value” via data access.
Not this broker. I want to sell my listings. Period.
Standard of Practice 12-4 in the Realtors Code of Ethics states:
Realtors® shall not offer for sale/lease or advertise property without authority.
In other words, no broker can advertise a Thompson’s Realty listing without the authorization of the designated broker (that would be me).
If you’re reading this, consider yourself duly authorized.
You want to put one of our listings on your web site? Run an ad in the Sunday paper? Place a 2 page fully color glossy ad in Homes & Land Magazine? You want to hike up Camelback and sing the praises of our listings from the top of the mountain?
Knock yourself out.
Please advertise our listings. Send out mailings, buy ads, build websites – doesn’t bother me one iota.
And what if your web page / blog post / single property web site outranks me in Google? Will I go crying to my local board that it’s not fair?
Hell no. In fact, if you want help advertising one of my listings on the internet, call me.
I want the listing sold. Period. If you want to advertise that listing and help it get sold, more power to you. And if you get a “lead” from advertising a Thompson’s Realty listing, I hope it’s the strongest lead you ever get that leads to the biggest commission check of your lifetime.
(But you’ll owe me a beer)