[photopress:Cavegirl.jpg,thumb,alignright]I started butting heads on industry changes long before I started “blogging”. Below are two “posts” I made to an internal agent real estate forum about a year ago. They have been “picked up” on the internet, and so are now “publicly available” on the internet. I thought I would take them out, dust them off, and look at them again and see if my views have changed at all in the last year.
From September 2005: The challenge of this industry is to find the correct resolution to “What’s wrong with this picture?”
From the DOJ and the consumer standpoint, what’s RIGHT with this picture is the opportunity for Joe Public to pay less than the rate Realtor’s dictate is correct and appropriate. What resolution resolves the issue for both Realtors and the public’s right to competition in the marketplace with regard to cost of service?Secondly, if you insert the EBA model into the above excerpt with all facts the same except “Why would you want to call the “Seller’s Broker” when you can have separate and full representation at the same price?” you have another question to answer. What “boycotts” the discounter also “boycotts” the EBA, as they both use other Broker’s listings to promote a model that urges you not to use the company who listed the property. Is there an answer that is fair to the listing company/agent, provides an open marketplace with regard to commissions charged consumers, and allows the Exclusive Buyer Agent to promote the benefits of separate representation?
Is your response part of the solution or simply an attempt to keep your finger in the hole in the dike for as long as you can.
To date, the Realtor organization has considered it a courtesy or “by permission of” the listing company for one to advertise oneself by using another company’s listings. Those outside of the Realtor organization have not considered this internal courtesy arrangement, and so are confused by the Realtor argument against anyone using listing info as they choose without approval. Even within the industry there are discrepancies as listing “agents” give permission when, in fact, the Broker should be, and usually is not consulted.
The house of cards is toppling. We created a system that supported the traditional business model and frankly, “set” fees nationally. The DOJ is not incorrect in seeing a problem with the system from the consumers’ perspective. It is incumbent upon the movers and shakers of this industry to promote a solution that is fair to all.
To date, our systems have only supported the full service, traditional, full fee business model. I once suggested to Early (maybe twice 😉 that he not be a Realtor as his business model does not “fit” with the Realtor organization’s objectives. I put my money where my mouth is in that I have followed my own advice. I set my fees on a case by case basis and I am very cognizant of the consumers’ right to choose their form of representation among the various options available to them. I am not a “discounter” or “single agency shop” by definition, I simply allow the possibility for the consumer to choose from all options. That is really all the public wants and deserves.
Back to the present, sometimes it takes a “Cavegirl” who has been around the block a few times, and carries a big club, to beat the issues into submission from both sides of the fence. I’m going a bit inward here and re-examining my own words and thoughts from a year ago. Are we any closer to the true solution? NAR is not. The DOJ is not. I’ll have to read over my own words a couple of times and see where we are…