Realtors Getting Screwed and Listening to Idiots- A Top Ten List

Almost daily I am again reminded at how ridiculous the business of selling crap (services and ideas) to Realtors has become. The real estate industry has enough problems right now- we don’t need people trying to screw us over and so many idiots preaching about stuff they don’t know anything about.

Here I name ten of the worst offenders. From people preaching to agents about the business to companies that are screwing you over, I’m going to spell it out.

10. Inman News and Rismedia charging hundreds of dollars/year to become a “member” so you can read their articles or watch videos or read the “breaking news”. It’s not enough to slap as many ads as possible in every possible place on their site, with some, like the first big-ass ad on Inman as you go to the site, are the most annoying ads EVER. No, they also need to charge just to read stuff. Reminds of me the old (failed) business model newspapers used when they first went on-line.

9. Bloggers that think if you whine and bitch about how bad things are than it proves you are trustworthy. Many bloggers, and “bubble” bloggers especially, think that because they constantly preach about how prices are crumbling and everyone will lose all their money that somehow that makes them trustworthy, like, “See I’m telling you bad news so you can trust me.”

8. Realtor.com– One of the biggest, lamest business models ever. To be a Realtor, one must subscribe (and pay $100’s/year) to their local, state and national Realtor Associations. The National Association of Realtors (NAR) collects millions every year from memberships from agents who go out and actually do the work of selling property. Realtor.com is the “official” website of NAR and, because it is the official website has access to all the listing data that its members provide. But instead of using that data for the benefit of it’s members, it sells listing placement, promotions and ads to its members, effectively selling leads back to it’s members by using the data that those members have provided it. And the members don’t have a choice- either pay your membership dues (and give your listing data to Realtor.com) or you cannot be a Realtor.

7. MLS’s– I could go on for hours about how much MLS’s screw over agents. Not only as a Realtor, broker and owner of real estate companies, but having websites and now owning a company that develops custom websites for agents and brokers, I have seen a lot of ugliness in the MLS systems. They regulate and fine and give out ridiculous fees to their members, then if you want to use that data for your own website you have to pay the MLS’s for that right. Some MLS’s are so pompous and self righteous (Denver’s Metrolist and Bostons MLS) it could make you sick. And some charge so much money (Utah’s Wasatch Front MLS and Phoenix’s charges $12,000/year!!) to use their data for your website that it should be criminal.

6. Template website providers– most of these templates are so ridiculous that I’m surprised anyone buys them. Many don’t include MLS searches, many have very little customization, and most are completely worthless as a source of getting new business (their primary objective) or in improving service for clients. Some of these, like Number #1 Expert charge thousands of dollars to sign up , plus hundreds of dollars/month and sell you on being part of their “network” of suckers agents.

5. Advanced Access– I think I’ve covered why they suck…

4. Point2 Agent– These guys give you a website for nothing. And that’s what it’s worth! They will give you a crappy template site and then charge you for any upgrade they can and refer you to their business partners “preferred partners” for anything else. Instead of an MLS search, they give you an “Agent Handshake” listing feed. So you can display listings from agents who are members of their service and who have agreed to allow you to display their listings. That’s right- why show web visitors all the homes for sale when you can show a very small percentage?

3. Diverse Solutions– Because they copied BlueRoof’s sliders (except made them much worse and slapped them on a bad map-search) a long time ago when I wouldn’t partner with them and now actually tell people they had something do with the design of BlueRoof . Yeah- right!

2. Craig Proctor– This is an agent who sells websites that are the most painful things to look at ever. Try reading one of these things, they are basically just thousands of keywords and hundreds of forms to fill out, which are ways to try and get people’s information so you can then spam email them until they die or just give up and throw their hands in the air with surrender and buy something just so you’ll leave them alone. Ironically, they will get even more emails because Proctor’s system now identifies them as a complete sucker. It’s not just the system I don’t like- it’s those painful, ridiculous websites!

1. SEO Companies that guarantee placement. If an SEO company tells you that they can guarantee your website will be on the first page in Google search results, you should invite that person to meet you in person, and then when you meet them, SLAP them! It is a hoax, a fraud, a sham! Nobody can guarantee placement on Google- not even Google.

There are a lot of good leaders, speakers, consultants, and people in the industry. People like Ed Kraftchow, Marc Davison, Dustin Luther, Dougan Jones, and Gretchen Pearson. There are good agents doing good work and there are many good products, brands, and services. I’ll write about them later- right now I’m heading off to the NAR convention to meet up with some of these good people. Hope to see you there…

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Tired of a template website that doesn’t bring you business?

If you are looking for a custom real estate website with lead management (CRM) system and more, contact BlueRoof360 (http://blueroof360.com) at 888-850-4867 Ext#1 or sales@blueroof360.com.

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22 thoughts on “Realtors Getting Screwed and Listening to Idiots- A Top Ten List

  1. Pingback: Top 10 ways realtors are getting screwed … | The Hotlist

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  3. Great post, especially since you are right here at #nar2008 in the middle of it all. I think this will be looked back on as a pivotal convention: social media has a firm foothold that the NAR grandfathers just don’t get. You are among us and can put up a post like this. Greg Swann was right up the road yesterday doing Unchained…… this should be a wakeup call for the NAR establishment. Lets see how long they will hang on to “business as usual”.

  4. Greg – you know I don’t always agree with you, so let me take them in order
    1. – Agree
    2. – Agree
    3. – Agree
    4. – Agree
    5. – Agree
    6. – Agree
    7. – Agree
    8. – Agree
    9. – Agree
    10. – Agree

    Oops, Maybe I need to reconsider my statement.

  5. Greg – interesting post but #3 is a complete fallacy. First off, I have no idea who you are and have never talked with you so I know for certain we have never tried to partner with you. I don’t know why we’d want to anyway. Second, I didn’t realize you were the self proclaimed “Father of the Slider”. Many websites have been using this as an input method for some time including Yahoo and MSN. But I do find it amusing that you think you came up with the idea. If I do recall correctly I believe I saw this same type of slider concept on my parents stereo 30 years ago. Lastly, at no time have I or am I aware of others in my organization telling anyone we had anything to do with the design or implementation of Blue Roof. It’s not a site people bring up.

    Justin LaJoie
    CEO
    Diverse Solutions, Inc

  6. It’s about time you start posting what you really think again! You starting playing it safe for so long I was beginning to think you went corporate or something.

    I’ve read your blog long enough to know that when you write from the heart it is only because you want people to start conversations and think about things and thats what you do best.

  7. Zak- I’m one of the damn bloggers (smile).

    Joe- I hope you came over to see us at our booth at NAR to get one of our decision-maker keychains (they could change your life).

    John- I know you don’t always agree with me and I appreciate when you tell me so. I just want to keep the conversation going.

    Shawn- I agree completely, there are good people in all of these companies and I have friends that work for some of them.

    Richard- Thanks for the praise.

    Ranae- Good luck with your website and thanks for the praise.

    Justin- Not sure who it was, but someone from Diverse did contact me a couple years ago and asked me about using some design elements of mine and I said no. I have had three seperate people now (one of them at the convention last week) tell me stories about Diverse people saying some form of your company having something to do with BlueRoof. If it is not being said, then people are lying about your company and contacting me about it just for fun.

    JB- I know- I used to be on the top-ten blogger lists and stuff, but I have been so busy this last twelve months I have not posted as often. Thanks for not giving up on me.

    I appreciate the comments and really I am okay with people not agreeing with me. I like having the conversations grow and the discussions taking place.

    Greg

  8. It has been awhile since my last visit… but it is writing like this that always brings me back.

    Great list. The SEO deserved the #1 slot. At least two calls a week from those boiler room outfits. Always garbage.

    Hope you had a nice time at NAR (I didn’t attend this year).

    See ya next time.

  9. Just wondering, what have you got against Boston’s MLS (MLSPIN)?. They really aren’t “Boston”, more like “Central Mass..”.. and not that I necessarily disagree with you, but just wondering, what’s your beef with MLSPIN?

  10. Jim,

    I should have clarified. I just don’t agree with MLS’s that restrict people from getting info unless they register. I hear they have changed their policy now so I’m not sure at which point web visitors have to register, but I think it should not be an MLS decision to make visitors register on someone website- that decision should be left to the agent or broker who owns the site.

    MLS’s sometimes try to make themselves the moral voice or business compass for their members and that is not their place. They should be a collector, organizer, and provider of member information, and that’s it. Having basic protections on updating or accuracy is good, but I don’t want my MLS telling me how to run my business and I don’t think they should be trying to decide what is good business for their members.

  11. If the recording gives the caller what they want (relevant info about the property) than there’s nothing wrong with them. It’s also what the agent does with the phone number. If they make a call to ask if they can help, that’s good. If they call over and over and/or give out the phone number to other people, that’s not good.

    Just thinking of it from the point of view of the consumer makes it easier to know what to do.

  12. I sure wish I had read this BEFORE I went to Bloodhound and NAR as I would have stalked you until I met you. The MLS and Realtor.com will be forced, I hope, into changing once the ante for being a realtor is upped… and it will be. Gone are the days of hanging a sign and sitting in a cubicle waiting for the phone to ring, but thankfully not everyone has figured that out.

  13. You are so right on so many issues… especially the MLS. I am a Realtor and I pay and pay my dues but when I have a request to get something adjusted on the MLS. I am told, they can’t change it just for me….I was told last week by an MLS technician, I don’t make the rules, I just follow them. Lot of good they do me!!ERRRRRRRRRRRRRR..

  14. Amen, brother!!!

    I especially agree with Realtor.com and the MLS’s. Both exist because of me and my listings. Realtor.com charges me to have photos with my listings or have my listings “Showcased”, and my MLS is so greedy I have to pay them every month, plus for my keybox key, plus for IDX. And I can’t show my listings how I want- I have to follow their restrictions?!?

    Thank you for saying what needs to be said!

  15. Pingback: Now GM Wants a Bailout; Twitter for Customer Service

  16. Craig proctor was an absolute waste of my money I spent over 500 bucks a girl i knew did that and got coaching and wasted about 10k

    If we only knew

    1st you go to a free seminar where they sell you on going to the next seminar then the next seminar is free where they sell you on paying 495 or something like that I did it in 2011 in ca from that they try to sell you on individual coaching for 1000 a month

    waste of my money

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