The Lame List Part II – MLS Rules

[photopress:LAME.jpg,full,alignright]Recently, Dustin, Anna, myself, and the fine folks at LTD Real Estate, had the pleasure of dealing with the NWMLS.

The gist of the discussion was our inabilty to host a NWMLS search tool due to NWMLS belief that Rain City Guide is alledgedly not an agent site. They are of the belief because multiple agents from multiple brokers participate on Rain City Guide. Because of this, having a “framed” IDX solution developed by me, using LTD’s feed on Rain City Guide would be considered a violation of NWMLS rule 189, because said rule states: “No member shall advertise, sell or otherwise provide to any other member’s subscriber or a non-member any product utilizing information or content derived, extracted or complied, in whole or in part, from or through NWMLS.”

Needless to say, this rule makes no sense, because any web site that offers any publicly accessable MLS search could be considered in violation of rule 189. At any rate, I’m sure Dustin will comment more on this in a future post.

Anyway, the more I learn about how the MLS operates, the more I want to start a “bottom feeder” site and screen scrape everything I need. Any way this experience has lead me to the following questions for the peanut gallery.

  1. What MLS rules are you least fond of and why?
    Granted, I’m an outsider loooking in, but it’s seems the current rules are very agent unfriendly and add uncessary cost & ineffeciency to the entire system.
  2. Why are there 189 rules?
    Well, that’s easy, because 188 weren’t enough! But the bigger question is how do these rules get written in the first place. I’m assuming MLS board members write them, but is there any kind of vote by the membership on these? I can’t imagine why any agent (or broker) would impose such crap on themselves.
  3. Is the wave of MLS consolidations good or bad for the industry?
    Slightly off topic, but I’m curious to find out how Joe Realtor and Jane Broker feel? I think fewer MLSes make things easier, but I’m so far undecided if things would be better or worse.

Anyway, after learning about their interpretation of Rule 189, our local MLS earned a spot on my Lame List.

53 thoughts on “The Lame List Part II – MLS Rules

  1. I have always thought of the Board as nothing more than a copy of the DMV. Many similarities.

    There is little motive for efficiency as it seems these people have very little motivation to serve their constituency and the ones who pay their salary.

    The people elected to their board are typically non producers who could not make it as agents. I speak generally of course and I don’t wish to dis the dedicated servants of the industry.

    When I was in the biz years ago, I figured it out when this gal who I think was senile then (circa 1988) gave more service to a homeowner wanting forms so he can sell his fsbo. Meanwhile I was treated like dirt because I filled out an MLS form wrong and was paying a fine or something.

    My friends and clients still in the business say she is still serving (or not) at the local board.

  2. Tim, here in the Seattle area, “the Board” and the mls are two separate bodies. The mls is separately owned by the Brokers and not connected to the Board of Realtors.

  3. 1) My least favorite rule is rule #2 because it is agent friendly and consumer unfriendly.
    2) There are more than 189 rules, there are 196 rules with 197-199 reserved for future needs. I think when we get to 199, we have to start from scratch and revise and consolidate the whole thing.
    3) Joe Realtor says fewer mls’s is bad, because to sell in a large geographic area, he would have to join and pay dues to several all at once. Jane Broker says the smaller the better, as it helps keep Joe Realtor out of her long end of the tail niche market :-).

  4. Robbie,

    I like the agry Robbie… He is so much more fun and provocative…

    Ardell, how does NWMLS work in terms of dues, fees etc? Also do the member brokers make money from the business set up?

    Our MLS her in Atlanta (FMLSdotCom) charges the agents .0024 of every transaction when it closes…. That is a Whopping $2400 bucks on every million worth of real estate sold.

    multiply that times the total volume under their coverage area for a year and you have a 100+ million dollar business.

    The MLS here is set up to pay the member brokers a kick back based off of the proceeds left over after expenses for the year. Needless to say they receive a big check each month.

    If you think NWMLS is nasty…. try convincing a broker these crazy rules are bad for them when they get 10-15 K every month sent back to them.

  5. Giles, I think NWMLS is a non-profit organization. The brokers don’t get any money, the dues are $500 a year per agent member and if they have a little extra money, the broker doesn’t personally have to pay dues. It is truly a service to and for its members.

    The mls makes a lot more sense from the inside looking out, than it does from the outside looking in, especially if one is trying to break in with a crowbar and ski mask 🙂

  6. Giles, I think NWMLS is a non-profit organization. The brokers don’t get any money, the dues are $500 a year per agent member and if they have a little extra money, the broker doesn’t personally have to pay dues. It is truly a service to and for its members.

    The mls makes a lot more sense from the inside looking out, than it does from the outside looking in, especially if one is trying to break in with a crowbar and ski mask 🙂

  7. I had a conversation with the Houston MLS last week hoping to get a RETS or IDX feed to import data into my website. Since I am an agent and not a broker, the MLS rep told me my only options were (1) get the data from my broker or (2) punch-out to a frame hosted by HAR.com.

    I’ve been in web development for 9 years. I was hoping to be able to customize MLS data to fit my own style not to mention customized searches and Google Maps mash-ups. Instead, I am forced to use iFrames to punch-out to HAR.com pages.

  8. I had a conversation with the Houston MLS last week hoping to get a RETS or IDX feed to import data into my website. Since I am an agent and not a broker, the MLS rep told me my only options were (1) get the data from my broker or (2) punch-out to a frame hosted by HAR.com.

    I’ve been in web development for 9 years. I was hoping to be able to customize MLS data to fit my own style not to mention customized searches and Google Maps mash-ups. Instead, I am forced to use iFrames to punch-out to HAR.com pages.

  9. Ardell,

    What is interesting here in Atlanta is that most agents have no idea that the MLS is owned by the brokers… and certainly dont know how much money they get back each month.

    This info is a closely guarded secret.

  10. Ardell,

    What is interesting here in Atlanta is that most agents have no idea that the MLS is owned by the brokers… and certainly dont know how much money they get back each month.

    This info is a closely guarded secret.

  11. Robbie, You and I have not spoken before, I called Dustin and Anna when he copied me on that email the other day. You should talk to him about who controls the NWMLS, and the MLS. Do you wonder why the DOJ is after the Realtors? Well, I am a technologist of the old era. We sold a search engine technology company, that I founded in 2001. So as far as scraping technology, we built the best one, on IE Object Component Models. The facts are the facts, MLS’s do have a important purpose. They add structure and provide a common playing field for all real estate agents and Brokers to share listings and information. I am not saying they are perfect, I am saying they need to improve. I worked for a guy who was the Chairman of the board a few years ago, I learned a lot from him. He left 90% of his putt’s short in golf, and yes that means he was ultra afraid and conservative. The old guard is afraid of technology companies, they believe that controlling information is the way to control power. I disagree, I do think there is a structured way to achieve the goals of protecting real estate information, the consumers, and the real estate industry. We all have to cooperate, so I hope you understand, that the MLS’s have 95% of the rules to help agents compete, but the MLS’s also has 5% of the rules that favor the big companies. And, certain old guard companies don’t want us little, average person to win, or compete with their restrictive market share.

    If we help the consumers win, we will always win, and that is why technology industry is where we are going. Hey check out what http://www.Xoompad.com is launching, you Dustin and I should talk some time soon. As I read some where, the right is right, the left is right, and all is good in the hood!

  12. Robbie, You and I have not spoken before, I called Dustin and Anna when he copied me on that email the other day. You should talk to him about who controls the NWMLS, and the MLS. Do you wonder why the DOJ is after the Realtors? Well, I am a technologist of the old era. We sold a search engine technology company, that I founded in 2001. So as far as scraping technology, we built the best one, on IE Object Component Models. The facts are the facts, MLS’s do have a important purpose. They add structure and provide a common playing field for all real estate agents and Brokers to share listings and information. I am not saying they are perfect, I am saying they need to improve. I worked for a guy who was the Chairman of the board a few years ago, I learned a lot from him. He left 90% of his putt’s short in golf, and yes that means he was ultra afraid and conservative. The old guard is afraid of technology companies, they believe that controlling information is the way to control power. I disagree, I do think there is a structured way to achieve the goals of protecting real estate information, the consumers, and the real estate industry. We all have to cooperate, so I hope you understand, that the MLS’s have 95% of the rules to help agents compete, but the MLS’s also has 5% of the rules that favor the big companies. And, certain old guard companies don’t want us little, average person to win, or compete with their restrictive market share.

    If we help the consumers win, we will always win, and that is why technology industry is where we are going. Hey check out what http://www.Xoompad.com is launching, you Dustin and I should talk some time soon. As I read some where, the right is right, the left is right, and all is good in the hood!

  13. The part that seems fundamentaly broken to me is that the people who would benefit the most from the raw data (the agents), can’t get access to it.

    I mean we have agents like Jim Mulholland and our own Robert Smith, who clearly have the desire & the ability to develop web based MLS search tools, and yet their broker or their MLS doesn’t give them access to the data. This seems exceptionally dumb, since agents are paying $500/yr for the priviledge of not having access to the data that they are providing!

    Ardell, please explain how this makes sense? Why can’t motivated agents get at the raw listing data? I know running database servers incurs some cost, but it seems the MLS could just throw up a CSV or TXT file on an ftp server, update it daily (or more often), and let the tech savy agents innovate.

    Maybe the MLS thinks, if the agents have the data, the terrorists win? What’s really scary is that the NWMLS seems better than most of the other MLSes accross the US!

  14. The part that seems fundamentaly broken to me is that the people who would benefit the most from the raw data (the agents), can’t get access to it.

    I mean we have agents like Jim Mulholland and our own Robert Smith, who clearly have the desire & the ability to develop web based MLS search tools, and yet their broker or their MLS doesn’t give them access to the data. This seems exceptionally dumb, since agents are paying $500/yr for the priviledge of not having access to the data that they are providing!

    Ardell, please explain how this makes sense? Why can’t motivated agents get at the raw listing data? I know running database servers incurs some cost, but it seems the MLS could just throw up a CSV or TXT file on an ftp server, update it daily (or more often), and let the tech savy agents innovate.

    Maybe the MLS thinks, if the agents have the data, the terrorists win? What’s really scary is that the NWMLS seems better than most of the other MLSes accross the US!

  15. I am in the Bellingham area, which has 2 MLS’s at the moment. Several of the large franchise companies “invited” the NWMLS into this area about 2 years ago, and it has now efffectively taken over the market. It appears to be more strict that the local MLS, but I really don’t see that the enforcement of rules is any stronger, except as regards the IDX feed. We have adapted our website and it is working well, but the process of changing cost us a lot of time, money, energy and lost business. It is possible, however, for an individual agent to offer a great data search on his/her site under the current rules.
    I prefer smaller MLS’s because one is less likely to get agents trying to represent their clients in a market and area about which they know nothing. They can look up the data in the MLS, but all you have to do is look at Zillow to know that great data collection cannot tell you what you need to know about an area to effectively guide your client in a purchase or sale.
    I don’t like some of the MLS rules, but I can see the reason for most of them. By providing consistency in reporting of data, they help to give both agents and the public some assurance that the information they are pulling is accurate and consistent in format. That’s huge.

  16. Dustin,

    First off, let me say that I am a member Broker of the NWMLS, however I don’t have much say in how things are run and am about as far from as official spokesman for them as you can find. The membership does have votes on the rules. Only brokers vote but not agents, however brokers get additional votes for each agent they have employed. So somebody like me who is an independant broker with no agents doens’t have much say when there are several brokers with 1000s of agents.

    You see rule 189 as making no sense. Well, do you know the kind of backroom activities that go on to maintain the MLS? They employ multiple people just to do the tech work to transfer the data to the broker sites. The NWMLS is a non-profit organization and if they had to do downloads of the data to every Tom, Dick and Harry’s websites it would cost more money from the members. Why should I pay to develop content for your website?

    Furthermore, I do not even have a MLS search on my own webpage. It just isn’t relevant to my business. If I don’t think I need the MLS data on my own webpage, then certainly I don’t think I need to pay money for it to be on yours.

    The brokers and agents do have access to the data in realtime when they log into the MLS. This is the service. When it is on the internet, you are looking at stale data anyway. One broker is downloading every 15 minutes and that is angering a lot of people because of the rescource use. Most downloads occur overnight, so web based MLS search is yesterday’s news. That hot new house that was just listed you found on the web, probably already sold yesterday.

    Actually my soultion to this whole issue is to not allow any broker, agent or anybody else to have a MLS data download. The alternative would be the MLS maintains the sole search page for the listings much like they do on http://www.nwrealestate.com but have it souped up a bit for better searches. I like this search and direct people to this site when they ask to search themselves. The reason I like this site is that it shows the listing agent’s name and number with the data.

    Anyhow, I’ve rambled on long enough. Hope this shines some light on the other side of the coin for you.

  17. Dustin,

    First off, let me say that I am a member Broker of the NWMLS, however I don’t have much say in how things are run and am about as far from as official spokesman for them as you can find. The membership does have votes on the rules. Only brokers vote but not agents, however brokers get additional votes for each agent they have employed. So somebody like me who is an independant broker with no agents doens’t have much say when there are several brokers with 1000s of agents.

    You see rule 189 as making no sense. Well, do you know the kind of backroom activities that go on to maintain the MLS? They employ multiple people just to do the tech work to transfer the data to the broker sites. The NWMLS is a non-profit organization and if they had to do downloads of the data to every Tom, Dick and Harry’s websites it would cost more money from the members. Why should I pay to develop content for your website?

    Furthermore, I do not even have a MLS search on my own webpage. It just isn’t relevant to my business. If I don’t think I need the MLS data on my own webpage, then certainly I don’t think I need to pay money for it to be on yours.

    The brokers and agents do have access to the data in realtime when they log into the MLS. This is the service. When it is on the internet, you are looking at stale data anyway. One broker is downloading every 15 minutes and that is angering a lot of people because of the rescource use. Most downloads occur overnight, so web based MLS search is yesterday’s news. That hot new house that was just listed you found on the web, probably already sold yesterday.

    Actually my soultion to this whole issue is to not allow any broker, agent or anybody else to have a MLS data download. The alternative would be the MLS maintains the sole search page for the listings much like they do on http://www.nwrealestate.com but have it souped up a bit for better searches. I like this search and direct people to this site when they ask to search themselves. The reason I like this site is that it shows the listing agent’s name and number with the data.

    Anyhow, I’ve rambled on long enough. Hope this shines some light on the other side of the coin for you.

  18. Zachary,

    Since you directed the question at me (not sure why), I feel compelled to respond…

    I really think you (and the others from the NWMLS) are missing the boat on this issue!

    I know you seem to think that Google is there to help you out, but they are not. Google wants your data and they want it bad. However, they are smart enough to know that the NWMLS will not give them data directly, so they are attempting to create their own source of data that is more valuable than yours because it will be visible to each and every person when they begin their home search (and yes, I’m only talking about the people who begin their home search on the web, but…).

    Hiding all of your data behind one crappy website would play perfectly into their hands.

    And if hosting costs are really an issue (they aren’t), then I’m sure Google would be happy to host ALL of the data (and provide free feeds to anyone interested) on Google Base.

  19. Zachary,

    Since you directed the question at me (not sure why), I feel compelled to respond…

    I really think you (and the others from the NWMLS) are missing the boat on this issue!

    I know you seem to think that Google is there to help you out, but they are not. Google wants your data and they want it bad. However, they are smart enough to know that the NWMLS will not give them data directly, so they are attempting to create their own source of data that is more valuable than yours because it will be visible to each and every person when they begin their home search (and yes, I’m only talking about the people who begin their home search on the web, but…).

    Hiding all of your data behind one crappy website would play perfectly into their hands.

    And if hosting costs are really an issue (they aren’t), then I’m sure Google would be happy to host ALL of the data (and provide free feeds to anyone interested) on Google Base.

  20. Zachary

    Good comments. A couple of thoughts.

    Making data downloads available to individual agents would, monetarily, be inconsequential to you if spread across the membership of NWMLS. They could also charge the agents who want the feeds a pro rata share of the increased cost. Money is not the issue. Control is.

    Brokers dearly want/need their own web sites because Internet lead capture is the name of the game. Can you imagine a system where NWMLS was capturing those leads and having to send them to member brokers. Not good.

    The fact is that web lead capture is the reason that brokers won’t allow agents to have their own feed. Effective monetization of web leads is the name of the game these days and brokers want to control that. Brokers want and need more margin and this is one avenue to gain that additional margin. There is no right or wrong to this policy, just perspective….which from the broker’s side of things makes this rule just fine.

    -Russ

  21. Zachary

    Good comments. A couple of thoughts.

    Making data downloads available to individual agents would, monetarily, be inconsequential to you if spread across the membership of NWMLS. They could also charge the agents who want the feeds a pro rata share of the increased cost. Money is not the issue. Control is.

    Brokers dearly want/need their own web sites because Internet lead capture is the name of the game. Can you imagine a system where NWMLS was capturing those leads and having to send them to member brokers. Not good.

    The fact is that web lead capture is the reason that brokers won’t allow agents to have their own feed. Effective monetization of web leads is the name of the game these days and brokers want to control that. Brokers want and need more margin and this is one avenue to gain that additional margin. There is no right or wrong to this policy, just perspective….which from the broker’s side of things makes this rule just fine.

    -Russ

  22. Sorry, I had inadvertently addressed it to you. Your name was right above the post I was responding to. Looking back at it your name was there because it was at the bottom of the previous post.

    Perhaps I am missing the boat here because I can’t understand your point and what google has to do with all of this. Can you elaborate it a little more for me?

  23. There is no doubt I could have made that comment clearer.

    The data IS extremely valuable, no doubt… and I think Russ put it much better by focusing on the concept of control.

    I brought Google in to the comment because in my twisted world-view, Google is the competition that agents should be fearing. But in reality, Google stands as a metaphor in my mind for all the competition that is attempting to marginalize real estate agents. At this point, agents still “control” the listings. If Google can take that away (and they will try), then agents will forever have a hard time being “relevant” on the web.

    And if the only way to gain prominence on the web is to buy a Google ad, then expect a bottom-feeder situation among agents, where desperate agents continue to pay more and more for each potential lead until the profit margin for agents on the web drops to nil. (You know who wins in that situation: Google!)

    It doesn’t have to be that way, but if real estate professionals don’t figure out how to “compete” on Google terms (i.e. extreme relevance to users), then it will be inevitable.

  24. There is no doubt I could have made that comment clearer.

    The data IS extremely valuable, no doubt… and I think Russ put it much better by focusing on the concept of control.

    I brought Google in to the comment because in my twisted world-view, Google is the competition that agents should be fearing. But in reality, Google stands as a metaphor in my mind for all the competition that is attempting to marginalize real estate agents. At this point, agents still “control” the listings. If Google can take that away (and they will try), then agents will forever have a hard time being “relevant” on the web.

    And if the only way to gain prominence on the web is to buy a Google ad, then expect a bottom-feeder situation among agents, where desperate agents continue to pay more and more for each potential lead until the profit margin for agents on the web drops to nil. (You know who wins in that situation: Google!)

    It doesn’t have to be that way, but if real estate professionals don’t figure out how to “compete” on Google terms (i.e. extreme relevance to users), then it will be inevitable.

  25. here’s an excerpt from the remax press release:

    “In the past, consumers were unable to access local MLS listing systems, and individual real estate broker sites only featured their own exclusive listings. With the new RE/MAX system, flexibility is made possible in the real estate industry by providing all homes for sale, in all cities, for all searches.”

    consumers may love this but how do agents feel about this?

    as russ pointed out, it’s about “LEAD CAPTURE”. the ability for the BROKER to capture leads via their information request forms and then decide how to distribute the leads to their AGENTS. now that’s power.

  26. I will add to Russ’ comment that Broker “control” is not simply about leads and money. The Broker can be liable and fined for the rules each agent may break along the way. The Broker insures that the method of display on the Broker site complies with the rules, and is changed as the rules change.. When agents are restricted to the Broker’s feed source, the Broker can insure that all of the agents are complying with the rules without checking each and every site every day.

    For instance, the RE/MAX.com site mentioned above shows a RE/MAX for sale sign in the photo when you click on view details. They do this for every listing that doesn’t have a photo, even though it is not a RE/MAX listing. Some without photos DO have photos in the mls…so why does the RE/MAX “For Sale” sign appear on another broker’s listing? This could be construed as a violation of the rules. To permit every agent to access separately, multiplies the potential for fines to the Broker.

    Russ, Might “Broker Only” licensure address this issue by giving the agent more freedom by releasing “THE” Broker from the liability? Where is that Broker Only Licensure change now?

  27. Ardell,

    Broker only licensure in Washington will not change the concept of who “owns” (I hate that term) the listing, at least between (managing) broker and, uh, (sales) broker.

    You are also technically right about the liability issue but I have to disagree that this is a big reason to support the rule. Brokers let their agents do so many things without oversight that adding one more (a mls feed web site) to the list won’t make much of a dent either way for broker risk. The brokers that actually manage their agents per written performance guidelines and standards could do the very same with agent-operated mls-feed web sites.

    Leads me to another story. In the “old” days, brokers hired a bunch of agents to beat the streets and find listings and buyers. The good ones stuck, the bad ones left the biz. There has always been a functional tension between the producing agents and their broker, each one vying for control of the business but neither one reaching the tipping point. Over the years, despite increased costs and liability resulting in shrinking margins, brokers have been slowly losing this battle. Just look at the top producing agent web sites and you see the broker’s name in -1 point type below the browser line (but only because it is required by law). Remember back in the ’90s when John L. Scott signed up for the Costco referral program and eventually backed away when their agents threw a tantrum about actually paying a third party for leads. More and more, brokers have operated at the mercy of their top producing agents.

    Welcome to Real Estate 2.0 Brokers now have the ability to gain back some of that control and it is absolutely and directly tied to Internet lead capture. It will be the major paradigm change in broker/agent relationships over the next several years and will very much change the business.

    As is no suprise, NWMLS is very much a broker-run MLS so the rule does not suprise me. Most MLSs are Realtor-owned which tend to be far more agent governed.

    -Russ

  28. Ardell,

    Broker only licensure in Washington will not change the concept of who “owns” (I hate that term) the listing, at least between (managing) broker and, uh, (sales) broker.

    You are also technically right about the liability issue but I have to disagree that this is a big reason to support the rule. Brokers let their agents do so many things without oversight that adding one more (a mls feed web site) to the list won’t make much of a dent either way for broker risk. The brokers that actually manage their agents per written performance guidelines and standards could do the very same with agent-operated mls-feed web sites.

    Leads me to another story. In the “old” days, brokers hired a bunch of agents to beat the streets and find listings and buyers. The good ones stuck, the bad ones left the biz. There has always been a functional tension between the producing agents and their broker, each one vying for control of the business but neither one reaching the tipping point. Over the years, despite increased costs and liability resulting in shrinking margins, brokers have been slowly losing this battle. Just look at the top producing agent web sites and you see the broker’s name in -1 point type below the browser line (but only because it is required by law). Remember back in the ’90s when John L. Scott signed up for the Costco referral program and eventually backed away when their agents threw a tantrum about actually paying a third party for leads. More and more, brokers have operated at the mercy of their top producing agents.

    Welcome to Real Estate 2.0 Brokers now have the ability to gain back some of that control and it is absolutely and directly tied to Internet lead capture. It will be the major paradigm change in broker/agent relationships over the next several years and will very much change the business.

    As is no suprise, NWMLS is very much a broker-run MLS so the rule does not suprise me. Most MLSs are Realtor-owned which tend to be far more agent governed.

    -Russ

  29. Am I the only one who thinks Russ’s posts are amazingly well-informed, intelligent and valuable?

    Is Robbie’s suggestion any different than what Trulia does? The problem with screen-scraping is that the listings are often incomplete and out-of-date, and structured search is more difficult to implement than it is with direct database access. This also is the problem with Google’s indexing approach, though I agree that it is inevitable (and probably, from the consumer’s perspective, desirable) that real estate inventory be freely Internet-accessible.

    We have to compete because consumers want our service, not by controlling access to the inventory.
    Glenn, Redfin

  30. The most expensive part of making data downloads available is the salary of the database administrators & software engineers (and the MLS already paid for that). The added cost of agent access will be minimal. As Dustin alluded to, Google would be happy to provide this service for free if you let it.

    Although, Dustin’s world view is twisted, it is essentially correct. Personally, I’d fear Zillow more because they are focused on your market (after all, people don’t buy plane tickets on Google). Despite that difference of opinion, I completely agree that Google has the potential to be a much bigger threat if it chooses to be.

    Anyway, if you prevent agent access to the data, you’re playing right into a tech company’s strength. You see, anything you put on the internet can be scrapped and copied into a database with a small amount of effort. And since you can’t copyright facts, there’s not much you can do about it legally either. In other words, although Google doesn’t have real time access to the listings, they probably already have all the listings a day old and older (and that’s good enough to be relevant to a lot of the house buying public).

    Russ is right, the rule isn’t about broker liability, it’s about broker control. When John Consumer visits an agent web site, the first words out of his mouth are “Where are all of the houses?

  31. The most expensive part of making data downloads available is the salary of the database administrators & software engineers (and the MLS already paid for that). The added cost of agent access will be minimal. As Dustin alluded to, Google would be happy to provide this service for free if you let it.

    Although, Dustin’s world view is twisted, it is essentially correct. Personally, I’d fear Zillow more because they are focused on your market (after all, people don’t buy plane tickets on Google). Despite that difference of opinion, I completely agree that Google has the potential to be a much bigger threat if it chooses to be.

    Anyway, if you prevent agent access to the data, you’re playing right into a tech company’s strength. You see, anything you put on the internet can be scrapped and copied into a database with a small amount of effort. And since you can’t copyright facts, there’s not much you can do about it legally either. In other words, although Google doesn’t have real time access to the listings, they probably already have all the listings a day old and older (and that’s good enough to be relevant to a lot of the house buying public).

    Russ is right, the rule isn’t about broker liability, it’s about broker control. When John Consumer visits an agent web site, the first words out of his mouth are “Where are all of the houses?

  32. Glenn,

    I just wanted to clarify on your last point. Having direct database access is obviously preferable to screen scraping. But if both the agent & the tech guys don’t have the database access, then listing acquisition becomes a screen scraping game and the agents lose. If the agent has direct DB access, then the game changes in their favor.

    Perhaps even worse for the agent, screen scraping is become less necessary for the tech folks. All these compelling Reply

  33. Glenn,

    I just wanted to clarify on your last point. Having direct database access is obviously preferable to screen scraping. But if both the agent & the tech guys don’t have the database access, then listing acquisition becomes a screen scraping game and the agents lose. If the agent has direct DB access, then the game changes in their favor.

    Perhaps even worse for the agent, screen scraping is become less necessary for the tech folks. All these compelling Reply

  34. Russ, when I last read the draft of the Broker Only licensing changes, it said “THE” Designated Broker would only be responsible for the actions of licensees with less than two years’ experience. Might that not give more freedom for those with more than two years’ experience to break away from under the Broker’s thumb with regard to websites and mls download agreements? I know it is not an automatic change, but aside from everyone becoming a separate broker and a separate company to have the website they want, there has to be an easier answer.

    Robbie, if the mls gave actual access, vs. the ability to download, couldn’t someone change the data within the system? I remember when we got out download agreement, they indicated that to protect the system from hackers and mischief, access had to be quite limited. Would the security of the system itself be lesser in any way if they changed the rules to the ones that you want? Just asking. I have no clue about what you guys can and can’t do if you have “direct acces to the data”. Though I do think they have fears with regard to that type of access that may be justified.

  35. Zillow is not a threat to an MLS or any listing site such as realtor.com. It is not a threat to anyone who has a brain and realizes it will NEVER buy or sell a piece of real estate.

    The only threat to the status quo of MLS controlled distribution of listings is the DOJ.

    In the end, Sellers will be given the POWER over listings distribution/access which they have NOW but just dont realize it because of the contracts they sign w/brokers. .

    Proof: NAR already as a sample docment they want brokers to have sellers sign giving the right to control online advertising to the broker.

  36. Is all of this really about the data access and MLS data search? I disagree with the folks with tech centric views, I have been a technologist for much longer than I have been a real estate agent. I had a co-founder of my technology company make foolish comments as did the Anonymous poster above, guess where he ended up. I think there are some aspects of the home listings data that cause personal security issues. There are also private matters and legal issues that a foolish young technologist company will never understand. Some of these issues can actually cause physical harm to home sellers and their families, eg. security codes and info on families. Not to mention low service, unskilled real estate agents will undoubtedly cost thousands in seconds in bad real estate negotiations.

    As I said before, the NWMLS and major MLS’s are doing a great job, and I agree with about 95% of their rules. I do think the power needs to be equally weighted, instead of just big companies. Trust me, the big company guys are the one’s who have the most to protect. I see this dialogue as a way to impact the MLS policies.

    I want to share some non-documented statistics with all of you. The top 3 real estate agents in Queen Anne don’t have much of a web presence. They continue to be the Top 3, and no matter what the medium for leads, sucessful people still have to convert the leads. Technology cannot not convert the leads, real estate is a complex sales cycle, anyone read Spin Selling? To make my point clear, here is a story of someone you all know or should know. While I worked for an old world company, that office was #10 in the world of 2400 offices. In 2005 Jim became the #1 agent in that office. While Jim did that, he has made some headlines, but his success is about much more than just online leads.

    When I joined Jim’s company, I asked him to be my mentor not because of his technology skills or know-how. I asked him because Jim is one of best people I know. What makes him a great real estate agent and very successful? Same thing that applies to all great sales people and market leaders. He is very ethical, honest, smart, nice, and works super hard. He is organized, he does not try to screw people over, and he focuses on his clients needs ahead of his. He closes real estate transactions because people trust him and his team, and they want to do business with him. How can a website or ebusiness do that? Well, that is the multi-million dollar question 🙂 Will some of us figure it out? Is Jim earning more profits than this hot real estate company? Well, some of us know that he is, how about that, a 5 person non-technical team, whipping a high tech company with million’s in investments? Why, he knows what he is doing!

    Before, I sign off I must mention my truth. I have kept quite for a long time, and will need to be for about 2 1/2 more years at the MAX. Because of this topic of MLS data, I got an email from Dustin last week. And, I love this website as it is very informative. All of you really are an asset to the real estate industry, well almost all:-) I also got a call from a top real estate agent from my old world real estate company. And that person asked me to share my truth, and some of you know the pain and sufferring I went through. Me and my family are still recovering from it. My truth will come out in the court of law, and yes, the honest hard working people always win, some times it takes them a little longer.

    There are people on this board that I don’t respect, I know these people have lied to the public, and many in the industry have noticed. I am not interested in saying negative things about who these people are. They know who they are, and all I can say is, Karma is, what it is. All I ask is that people, please stop lying to the public, I am not the only one sharing this view. Real Estate agents are very hard working people, and the earn every dollar they make. Are Investment Bankers worth their 10-20% fees? Technologists must understand and have empathy for the human factor before they build their solutions, or they will simply wither away.

    Dustin, way to go and make this website a huge success!! I am super proud of you and Anna, as you have come a long way since when I told you guys to start a website and blog to generate leads back in 2004. I will never forget Carol’s wedding where we met, I still can’t forget how my daughter had the poop accident:-) It’s awesome to see that you are getting more traffic and higher rankings than UrbanTango.com. Why would I say it’s awesome, because you want others to succeed as well as your self, especially people you like! It was sad to see Anna leave the Keller Willams family. I really do love KW, and the incredible ethics that the company is known for, no wonder it’s the Fastest growing real estate company in North America! Those ethics actually got me a great lead for a $600k client yesterday. The prospect mentioned the ethics of Keller Williams as a determining factor to choosing our website, and me! I am sure we will stay in touch privately, Avoir and Bon Voyage!

  37. Is all of this really about the data access and MLS data search? I disagree with the folks with tech centric views, I have been a technologist for much longer than I have been a real estate agent. I had a co-founder of my technology company make foolish comments as did the Anonymous poster above, guess where he ended up. I think there are some aspects of the home listings data that cause personal security issues. There are also private matters and legal issues that a foolish young technologist company will never understand. Some of these issues can actually cause physical harm to home sellers and their families, eg. security codes and info on families. Not to mention low service, unskilled real estate agents will undoubtedly cost thousands in seconds in bad real estate negotiations.

    As I said before, the NWMLS and major MLS’s are doing a great job, and I agree with about 95% of their rules. I do think the power needs to be equally weighted, instead of just big companies. Trust me, the big company guys are the one’s who have the most to protect. I see this dialogue as a way to impact the MLS policies.

    I want to share some non-documented statistics with all of you. The top 3 real estate agents in Queen Anne don’t have much of a web presence. They continue to be the Top 3, and no matter what the medium for leads, sucessful people still have to convert the leads. Technology cannot not convert the leads, real estate is a complex sales cycle, anyone read Spin Selling? To make my point clear, here is a story of someone you all know or should know. While I worked for an old world company, that office was #10 in the world of 2400 offices. In 2005 Jim became the #1 agent in that office. While Jim did that, he has made some headlines, but his success is about much more than just online leads.

    When I joined Jim’s company, I asked him to be my mentor not because of his technology skills or know-how. I asked him because Jim is one of best people I know. What makes him a great real estate agent and very successful? Same thing that applies to all great sales people and market leaders. He is very ethical, honest, smart, nice, and works super hard. He is organized, he does not try to screw people over, and he focuses on his clients needs ahead of his. He closes real estate transactions because people trust him and his team, and they want to do business with him. How can a website or ebusiness do that? Well, that is the multi-million dollar question 🙂 Will some of us figure it out? Is Jim earning more profits than this hot real estate company? Well, some of us know that he is, how about that, a 5 person non-technical team, whipping a high tech company with million’s in investments? Why, he knows what he is doing!

    Before, I sign off I must mention my truth. I have kept quite for a long time, and will need to be for about 2 1/2 more years at the MAX. Because of this topic of MLS data, I got an email from Dustin last week. And, I love this website as it is very informative. All of you really are an asset to the real estate industry, well almost all:-) I also got a call from a top real estate agent from my old world real estate company. And that person asked me to share my truth, and some of you know the pain and sufferring I went through. Me and my family are still recovering from it. My truth will come out in the court of law, and yes, the honest hard working people always win, some times it takes them a little longer.

    There are people on this board that I don’t respect, I know these people have lied to the public, and many in the industry have noticed. I am not interested in saying negative things about who these people are. They know who they are, and all I can say is, Karma is, what it is. All I ask is that people, please stop lying to the public, I am not the only one sharing this view. Real Estate agents are very hard working people, and the earn every dollar they make. Are Investment Bankers worth their 10-20% fees? Technologists must understand and have empathy for the human factor before they build their solutions, or they will simply wither away.

    Dustin, way to go and make this website a huge success!! I am super proud of you and Anna, as you have come a long way since when I told you guys to start a website and blog to generate leads back in 2004. I will never forget Carol’s wedding where we met, I still can’t forget how my daughter had the poop accident:-) It’s awesome to see that you are getting more traffic and higher rankings than UrbanTango.com. Why would I say it’s awesome, because you want others to succeed as well as your self, especially people you like! It was sad to see Anna leave the Keller Willams family. I really do love KW, and the incredible ethics that the company is known for, no wonder it’s the Fastest growing real estate company in North America! Those ethics actually got me a great lead for a $600k client yesterday. The prospect mentioned the ethics of Keller Williams as a determining factor to choosing our website, and me! I am sure we will stay in touch privately, Avoir and Bon Voyage!

  38. Ardell,

    To quote computer security professionals “The only secure computer is one that’s unplugged, locked in a safe, and buried 20 feet under the ground in a secret location… and I’m not even too sure about that one.”

    Now, obviously an unplugged computer isn’t very useful, so whenever you put a computer on the internet you are putting it at risk. A database server is more complex than a file server, and it’s more likely it could have security hole or be misconfigured by system administrator that could be exploited by hackers.

    I think giving agents data access via database server or data download would be fine. A database server would be nicer but, with shared web server/database hosting plans being so cheap from companies like Inmotion Hosting (The host of Rain City Guide) or Parcom (My favorite shared hosting company) it’s not a deal breaker.

    Vipin,

    I should say, that despite my free data / tech loving frenzy, I don’t think it will change the fact that a real estate transaction for most people will always be a complex, stressful & emotional experience that will benefit from the assistance a human agent.

    If you can attract leads, turn them into satisfied repeat customers who give you referrals, you’ll do well (regardless of what business you are in). Obviously this is easier said than done, but there many unique & effective ways of doing this that don’t require computers.

    I just believe that smart use of technology can improve the home buying/selling process by making consumers smarter and more satisfied with the services you provide. It can also make agents/brokers more efficient, lower transaction costs & perhaps even improve your revenues. Unfortunately, the relentless march of technology, tends to lower margins and change the status quo (which tends to scare the establishment).

  39. Ardell,

    To quote computer security professionals “The only secure computer is one that’s unplugged, locked in a safe, and buried 20 feet under the ground in a secret location… and I’m not even too sure about that one.”

    Now, obviously an unplugged computer isn’t very useful, so whenever you put a computer on the internet you are putting it at risk. A database server is more complex than a file server, and it’s more likely it could have security hole or be misconfigured by system administrator that could be exploited by hackers.

    I think giving agents data access via database server or data download would be fine. A database server would be nicer but, with shared web server/database hosting plans being so cheap from companies like Inmotion Hosting (The host of Rain City Guide) or Parcom (My favorite shared hosting company) it’s not a deal breaker.

    Vipin,

    I should say, that despite my free data / tech loving frenzy, I don’t think it will change the fact that a real estate transaction for most people will always be a complex, stressful & emotional experience that will benefit from the assistance a human agent.

    If you can attract leads, turn them into satisfied repeat customers who give you referrals, you’ll do well (regardless of what business you are in). Obviously this is easier said than done, but there many unique & effective ways of doing this that don’t require computers.

    I just believe that smart use of technology can improve the home buying/selling process by making consumers smarter and more satisfied with the services you provide. It can also make agents/brokers more efficient, lower transaction costs & perhaps even improve your revenues. Unfortunately, the relentless march of technology, tends to lower margins and change the status quo (which tends to scare the establishment).

  40. Robbie, I totally agree with you. And, that is why I spend most of my time on technology issues and making technology help us. I along with many successful people seek a balanced approach. Disruptive technologies really are not disruptive, it’s often the process in how we use them. Innovators Dilemma is a great book to explain that for me, and how big companies and organizations have the positional conflict of protecting what they have. It’s the smart organizations that do both, GE, Cisco, MS have figured out how to make it work for them. It’s unclear to me if Google will continue on it’s track, but it has a lot of momentum and it is its own worst enemy based on the recent Trends CD.

    The Listings data access is a very complicated process, and needs to be enhanced. I do hear there are some new rule changes coming out of the NWMLS. I certainly support your efforts to get the NWMLS and MLS systems across the world to make it easier for Agents or other credible organizations that want to help the consumer. I think it is always about the consumer first, Real Estate agents and Brokers second, we have two constituents in this case, the buyers and the sellers. Even the County records have restrictions on public records access and what maybe shared and what not. Consumer privacy is paramount, so is the IP owners, and than ofcourse the even level playing field for business competition.

    Back in the early 2001-02, my company was helping the HIPPA regulations for healthcare, gigantic data issues there. Any way, there are countless industries with these data and content issues of ownership and control. Ticketmaster fight over event data, Google issues with Publishers, how about Google getting sued a few weeks ago about it’s rankings impacting control to that kids website? Even unintentional issues with CraigsList lawsuit, and Napster enabling illegal activity? IP and data access issues will continue to be challenged and enhanced. So forword we go, making the world a flatter place. But selling a home or two in Seattle, one client at a time, is how we make it work!

  41. Robbie, I totally agree with you. And, that is why I spend most of my time on technology issues and making technology help us. I along with many successful people seek a balanced approach. Disruptive technologies really are not disruptive, it’s often the process in how we use them. Innovators Dilemma is a great book to explain that for me, and how big companies and organizations have the positional conflict of protecting what they have. It’s the smart organizations that do both, GE, Cisco, MS have figured out how to make it work for them. It’s unclear to me if Google will continue on it’s track, but it has a lot of momentum and it is its own worst enemy based on the recent Trends CD.

    The Listings data access is a very complicated process, and needs to be enhanced. I do hear there are some new rule changes coming out of the NWMLS. I certainly support your efforts to get the NWMLS and MLS systems across the world to make it easier for Agents or other credible organizations that want to help the consumer. I think it is always about the consumer first, Real Estate agents and Brokers second, we have two constituents in this case, the buyers and the sellers. Even the County records have restrictions on public records access and what maybe shared and what not. Consumer privacy is paramount, so is the IP owners, and than ofcourse the even level playing field for business competition.

    Back in the early 2001-02, my company was helping the HIPPA regulations for healthcare, gigantic data issues there. Any way, there are countless industries with these data and content issues of ownership and control. Ticketmaster fight over event data, Google issues with Publishers, how about Google getting sued a few weeks ago about it’s rankings impacting control to that kids website? Even unintentional issues with CraigsList lawsuit, and Napster enabling illegal activity? IP and data access issues will continue to be challenged and enhanced. So forword we go, making the world a flatter place. But selling a home or two in Seattle, one client at a time, is how we make it work!

  42. Vipin;

    Re; security issues/safety

    technology search no more risky than an ad in any other medium unless security codes, location of hidden key and notes that property is vacant are in database (not a wise thing to do). Casing a neighborhood and looking for ” for sale” sign on the lawn is as low tech as you can get and much more effective for burglars. You’ve spent too much time in the tech lab and not enuf out of doors.
    http://www.bbc.co.uk/insideout/southeast/series4/burglary_crime.shtml

  43. 3cent please no attacks here, just professional intelligent conversations and dialogue about technology and business use of technology for real estate. Here is the attacking comment, in case you were not aware. I don’t need an apology, but others may not think highly of your comments if you put yourself down, via projection:-) “You’ve spent too much time in the tech lab and not enuf out of doors” ? Statements of such wisdom come from an author who hides himself, why hide? Please don’t attack others, let’s be loving, kind, and smart! On the BBC comments, I use to love the BBC, until I along with thousands of Americans and Brits sent numerous emails getting powerful people to look at the leader of that organization, and getting him fired for his unethical reporting and journalism. I had planned on not writing on this board per my comments above, I want to stay true to my ethics and core, but since people addressed me, I owe it to them to respond.

    I am sure you don’t know this, but I will take being outdoors over being infront of my computer any day, so I thought I would tell you about my outdoor life. Infact, my blackberry is my favorite tool, can you tell by going to my http://SeattleHouses.blogspot.com blog? In case you did not want to visit, or vist, I write from my blackberry more than I write from my computer, especially my blogs on that particular website. Mostly when I am out-of-doors, I have had a blackberry since Feb. 2001. Just for your info, I spent about 2 hours at Lincoln Park on Sunday morning, 4.5 hours showing and helping a client buy a $600K plus home, and another 2.5 hours walking my dog at Green Lake, very late in the day. In between, I played with my kids, had dinner with my in-laws, in a different part of townm out-of-house again, celebrating a wonderful Easter Holiday. For those of you who don’t know me and my family, kind of hard, as we make so much press:-)

    The Singh/Dickinson family lives in Queen Anne, we have 2 children and a dog name Logan. Logan is named after Logan’s Pass Glacier National Park Montana. If you have not visited, you are missing the most beautiful park in North America. The main road though Logan’s pass is called “Going to the Sun road..and is only open for 3 months of the year, I think”. Do you think we go outside and enjoy the outdoors? My wife JIll, and I were snow shoeing two weeks before the birth of our child. We love hikiing, biking, jogging**I have run 4 marathons–Yes It’s true. We are out of doors type of people, if there is such a thing, and we have our sense in reality with nature as it’s core. We moved to Seattle from Minnesota back in Jan. 1998, we have lived in Queen Anne and Fremont neighborhoods of Seattle. We have visited every neighboring hiking, biking, dining, tourist spot you can imagine in the Northwest. The locals mentioned to me back in 1999 only a year after we got here, that they had not even seen a lot of the places we had. Jill bought one of those local tourist guide books, and a couple of hiking books. I highly recommend that to anyone who is moving here, or wants to enjoy the best that the Seattle Metro and the Pacific Northwest has to offer. That is infact, why we live here. And, since I am a successful real estate agent, I recommend these books and spots to relocation clients.

    Oh yes getting to the main point of the Blog title, getting back to access to listing data, consumer access, and different technologies to make things better. Back in 1999 when I co-founded a successful technology company, XML was not well known or used, so at that little company we built a interesting Bot technology. It was actually that technology that led to the acquisition by the 6th fastest growing company on the NASDAQ in 2001. That scraping, as Robbie calls it, worked off the Object Component model of IE, and the bots were custom developed better than any other at the time, as they were easier to train. Bots, for most of you that don’t know what they are, are short for Software Robots. Robot.txt is something that almost all of your real estate website owners should be aware of. As those are instructions to Bots by search engines. Google Bots are the smartest tools that Google utilizes to aggregate and index data/content on the web. The nerd in me, my senior thesis in MIS was on Robots and Artificial Intelligence, where I taught a class to fellow MIS senior graduates. So bots, and scrapers for data access are somethings I know about:_)

    I agree with Robbie that Agents should have access to the listings data, the MLS does provide data in XML as of late, but to only to provide it to the consumers via their websites. But if the MLS does not provide a tight control over the access, and or unethical or worse non-security savvy or smart agents/technologists will cause harm to sellers or manipulate the data integrity? Data Integrity is as big of an issue to the NWMLS as is security. Please don’t ask me to explain data integrity issues, and equal opportunity to all agents etc? (**why are they dealing with technology any way–shouldn’t they be selling real estate?). Most importantly for me, security is an issue informationn such as, schedule of kids sleeping, the sellers traveling and out of town for a week or longer, people’s work schedules, security codes for doors, alarm systems etc. This type of data is provided to agents to make it easier for them to show homes to their clients, and often lots of other types of private data is available to agents and should not Ever be allowed for direct access to consumers. Why? I thought I explained that pretty well in the previous post. Folks, and especially technology folks, think from other points of view not just yours. There are so many issues with consumers calling sellers directly without being qualified negotiating etc. Most sellers don’t want to be bothered with cheap unqualified buyers wasteing their time, the issues go on an on. To quote Stephen Covey, “Seek to understand before trying to be understood”. This is paramount in applications of technology for consumer and business needs. Why did I spent so much time writing this email, because I want people to make smarter decisions. Ignorance and lack of knowledge will cost people thousands of dollars. That is why the UrbanTango tagline is “Smart Real Estate, Nice people” Let’s all make the world a little smarter, a little nicer!

  44. Vipin:

    Your words to which I focused my narrow response:

    ” I think there are some aspects of the home listings data that cause personal security issues. There are also private matters and legal issues that a foolish young technologist company will never understand. Some of these issues can actually cause physical harm to home sellers and their families, eg. security codes and info on families.”

    Free and open and intelligent dialogue should have room for a comment like “too much time in the lab not enuf outdoors” to make a point about low tech lawn signs–don’t you agree? Did you ever watch English Parliament –do you believe their style of debate is not intelligent dialogue? Do not take my one statement out of context and call it an attack. Perhaps I should have added 🙂 so as not to injure. mea culpa.

    In my opinion, your claim of “attack” is actually your defense mechanism in response to my narrow point, which is that tech advertsiing is no more dangerous to safety than old fashioned garden type advertising & lawn signs. I think your sense of attack comes largely from my disagreement with you. Sorry about that.

    History trivia: George Washington would often rail against Congress during the Revolutionary War & only one member took offense, I believe it was John Hancock, who during one episode, ran out of the chambers, wildly upset, saying “George is being mean to me” 🙂

  45. Vipin:

    Your words to which I focused my narrow response:

    ” I think there are some aspects of the home listings data that cause personal security issues. There are also private matters and legal issues that a foolish young technologist company will never understand. Some of these issues can actually cause physical harm to home sellers and their families, eg. security codes and info on families.”

    Free and open and intelligent dialogue should have room for a comment like “too much time in the lab not enuf outdoors” to make a point about low tech lawn signs–don’t you agree? Did you ever watch English Parliament –do you believe their style of debate is not intelligent dialogue? Do not take my one statement out of context and call it an attack. Perhaps I should have added 🙂 so as not to injure. mea culpa.

    In my opinion, your claim of “attack” is actually your defense mechanism in response to my narrow point, which is that tech advertsiing is no more dangerous to safety than old fashioned garden type advertising & lawn signs. I think your sense of attack comes largely from my disagreement with you. Sorry about that.

    History trivia: George Washington would often rail against Congress during the Revolutionary War & only one member took offense, I believe it was John Hancock, who during one episode, ran out of the chambers, wildly upset, saying “George is being mean to me” 🙂

  46. ok, I buy it, and all is good in the hood, intelligent thoughtful caring intellectual sparring! Sticks and stones can hurt my bones, words just make me smile:-) Thanks for smiling!

    I am rarely offended, mainly because I have often been the one to lash out at people and attack in the past. In the recent years, last 5, I have learned that sugar and honey are much sweeter than salt and vinegar! Now, how can I get consumers to fall in love with my website? How can I present the best NWMLS data, I want to share some touching heart felt stories about consumers who have bought and sold their homes. I actually will be working on a project with a recent home seller. Also, I went to an Escrow company’s office today per divine chance, only to find out that the owners husband died unexpectedly last week. I had tears in my eyes, I had just talked with him last week. She is an amazing spiritual women, and there are so many people that we all get to know every day. This is a people business, unlike any other, and that is why I love selling real estate. Buying or selling a home is one of the top 5 stressful events in people’s lives, I am glad that people entrust in me, and all of us in the business. That is why, I really like real estate agents and respect them, and all of us need to just find ways to help people achieve their goals, there is plenty of money for all of us to go around, if we just do that well! My dear 3Cent I wish we were friends, I think I would like you, I love the reference of our leaders of the past, Original meanings and healthy dialogue. I don’t know who you are, and that is all cool with me, sometimes it’s better we stay that way. Some times our friends are in places we need them to be, even our enemies if there are such things, teach us lessons.

  47. ok, I buy it, and all is good in the hood, intelligent thoughtful caring intellectual sparring! Sticks and stones can hurt my bones, words just make me smile:-) Thanks for smiling!

    I am rarely offended, mainly because I have often been the one to lash out at people and attack in the past. In the recent years, last 5, I have learned that sugar and honey are much sweeter than salt and vinegar! Now, how can I get consumers to fall in love with my website? How can I present the best NWMLS data, I want to share some touching heart felt stories about consumers who have bought and sold their homes. I actually will be working on a project with a recent home seller. Also, I went to an Escrow company’s office today per divine chance, only to find out that the owners husband died unexpectedly last week. I had tears in my eyes, I had just talked with him last week. She is an amazing spiritual women, and there are so many people that we all get to know every day. This is a people business, unlike any other, and that is why I love selling real estate. Buying or selling a home is one of the top 5 stressful events in people’s lives, I am glad that people entrust in me, and all of us in the business. That is why, I really like real estate agents and respect them, and all of us need to just find ways to help people achieve their goals, there is plenty of money for all of us to go around, if we just do that well! My dear 3Cent I wish we were friends, I think I would like you, I love the reference of our leaders of the past, Original meanings and healthy dialogue. I don’t know who you are, and that is all cool with me, sometimes it’s better we stay that way. Some times our friends are in places we need them to be, even our enemies if there are such things, teach us lessons.

  48. Vipin–

    Thanks for understanding. You are my friend in word and though we may disagree on some things there is surely more we agree on–intelligent dialogue, understanding, respect, good humor, need for spirituality, the brevity of life. Peace & Good Health to you and yours.

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  50. Pingback: Seattle’s Rain City Real Estate Guide » “Frank”-speak on “broads” and the mls’ lame 24 hour rule

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