Entry by Lester Langdon

"List on Realtor-com" flat fee under fire by NAR

  8 Comments

Flat fee websites using the phrase "List on Realtor.com" were the subject of a preliminary injunction granted by a federal judge for deceptive advertising and trademark infringement, which the Defendant allegedly says he will fight by naming "1000+" other Brokers that use the phrase in their advertising.

More ..... http://agbeat.com/real-estate-news-events/list-on-realtor-com-flat-fee-under-fire-by-nar/

Note from Lester... There are five states with Minimum Service fiduciary obligations and standards therefore the brokers that stick a sign in the ground can not profitably charge their low flat fee.

 

8 Comments

Wow….  

I assume NAR will take a covered wagon to the court proceedings… 

Change is coming and there are only so many tactics NAR can use to delay the inevitable...

Great story!!

Working in a minimum service state, services can be waived (in writing) by the customer/client, which covers the flat-fee companies, and thus would allow them to put listings in the MLS, which is in turn syndicated to Realtor.com, among other sites.

The other thing is, at least in Tennessee, in order to work as a real estate agent one is required to join the local, state and national Realtor boards.

Thus, if one's local Board is syndicating the listings and the agents of a company are members of that Board, the flat-fee company should be able to advertise someone's listing will appear on xxx.com site.

Of course, my logic could be skewed. ;)

Not long ago I commented on a local board in TN looking to hire a CEO. Within the job description it was explained that more and more of their revenues are now coming from non-dues sources. What I said is that it looks as if the local association is just a cover for a commercial enterprise generating large revenues and profits paid out to its' employees.

 This I believe, is the same process NAR is using and we the members just haven't picked up on it yet. I have believed for years that the amount of money  we send to NAR in all its' form, we receive very little in return. To me they are just a commercial enterprise disguised as an association. For this reason I have drop membership in NAR. Over my 10+ years as a licensed professional I have dropped in and out of the organization for that very reason--not really seeing the benefit.

I have a point that I would like to make here and I hope that I can accomplish it in short order. 

What we as agents and brokers deliver to the local boards, which in turn is passed on to the NAR is a very valueable product. Of course you know what I referring to--it is the data. Why should I put the data I collect into the hands of a group who generate tons of money from it and share none of it with me? I can now--the with technology do exactly what they are doing and share with every other broker that shares with me my internal listings. Point2 has been doing it for year and with the cloud every broker can do it internally.

A change is definately coming and sooner than most of us think.

Ha! William, it was probably my Board, as we have a relatively new CEO.

Chiara I believe it was the Memphis area. Is that your board?

Ahh, I'm at the other end of the state in Knoxville. Didn't realize Memphis has a new CEO, too.

Maybe I'm misreading this, but it appears that it's not the issue that a flat-fee service is putting their listings on Realtor.com, but rather (at least by the ads shown in the article) the defendant is making it appear that they ARE Realtor.com, or at least acting on the behalf of Realtor.com.

On that premise, not only is the defendant violating the terms of use of the word "Realtor" they are indeed practicing deceptive practices.

In the mid 90's I worked for a brokerage in Tampa that dealt mainly with buyers.  We did not take any listings, but for a flat fee we would place a seller's home in the MLS for him/her.  Of course, back then we didn't have the internet to worry about so we didn't have that aspect to deal with.  We would place a sign in the yard of the seller indicating the propety was listed on the MLS and it would have our phone number on it for details.  I have not heard of anyone charging a flat fee to put a home on the MLS around here.  

This page contains a single entry by Lester Langdon published on March 5, 2012 11:08 PM.

Can my Market Support Consulting? was the previous entry in this blog.

Rules for Real Estate Consulting is the next entry in this blog.

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