1-2 cha-cha-cha. 3-4 cha-cha-cha. DOJ. NAR. FTC. MLS.
There was a dance of sorts held in DC on Tuesday, June 5, when the Department of Justice and the Federal Trade Commission hosted a ‘workshop’ to discuss competition in residential real estate. But while NAR and industry players prepared for the fox trot, bringing their best arguments for maintaining the status quo around data access, the DOJ put on a little salsa music and shifted the discussion to commission transparency and coupling.
Rob and Greg are reversing roles this week, as Greg spins conspiracy theories regarding the government’s intentions and the potential consequences of its intervention in the real estate industry. They speak to organized real estate’s nothing-to-see-here approach to the discussion and review the range of views shared in the Developments in Real Estate Fee and Service Models panel.
Greg explains why decoupling would effectively end the MLS, and Rob covers the paper prepared by the National Bureau of Economic Research suggesting conflicts of interest due to coupling. They address who would benefit if buy-side commissions went away, how such changes would impact portals like Zillow, and the surprising number of industry players who support decoupling. Listen in to understand why Rob and Greg are calling for NAR or CMLS to move on this and start leading the dance to develop solutions around commission transparency.
Organized real estate’s nothing-to-see-here stance at the DOJ/FTC workshop
The Developments in Real Estate Fee and Service Models panel
Greg’s take that the industry was caught off guard
How decoupling cooperation and compensation would end the MLS
The NBER paperon realtor commissions and conflicts of interest
The theory that real estate commissions are high due to coupling
Rob’s concern that the DOJ has already made up its mind
Why the industry needs to move on commission transparency
Why real estate is the only industry in which the seller pays the buyer’s rep
How the potential changes might impact portals like Zillow
Who would benefit if buy-side commissions went away
The leadership opportunity for NAR, CMLS to address DOJ/FTC concerns
The surprising number of people in support of commission decoupling
Public response to the previous NAR budget transparency discussion
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Critics of Zillow bash the accuracy of the Zestimate, but the fact is that a home’s worth hinges on what the market is willing to pay. And with the advent of Instant Offers, Zillow is backing up the Zestimate with a check. Consider the fact that Zillow has a platform to help themselves sell homes quickly and it is easy to see how Instant Offers is a game-changer with the potential to create a ‘market-maker system’ of real estate.
Rob and Greg are back to discuss the recent GeekWirepieceon Zillow’s first home purchase in Chandler, AZ. They comment on the irony of the agent’s intention to lean on Zillow for branding as well as the company’s original business model as an auction site. Rob explains the concept of an insta-flip and how it benefits Premier Agents, and Greg offers his take on the one thing that is still missing from the Instant Offers model.
Rob and Greg speak to Zillow’s data around the number of shoppers in a particular zip code and the target market for the Instant Offers model. They address the potential profit Zillow might generate from Instant Offers, the listing lead flow the program will generate, and the possibility of discounted as-is purchases on the platform. Listen in to understand how Instant Offers is likely to foster competition in the space and learn how Zillow continues to change the game of real estate.
Zillow’s first home purchase in Chandler, AZ
The agent’s intention to lean on Zillow for branding
Greg’s questions around double-ending and fees
How Zillow is creating a ‘market-maker system’ of real estate
Zillow’s original business model as an auction site
The concept of an insta-flip and how it benefits Premier Agents
Greg’s take on what’s still missing from the Instant Offers model
How Zillow’s Instant Offers further validates Opendoor
The target seller for Zillow’s Instant Offers model
How Instant Offers differs from We Buy Ugly Houses
The listing lead flow Zillow will generate through the program
What traditional brokers should do in light of Instant Offers
The potential for a discounted as-is purchase through Zillow
Rob’s insight on the possibility of Zillow offering seller financing
How Instant Offers is likely to foster competition in the space
‘Opendoor is a Bigger Deal Than Zillow’ in Inman
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As Peter Parker will tell you, great power comes with great responsibility. And there is little doubt that NAR has a great deal of power. With Bob Goldberg at the helm, many have anticipated a ‘kinder, gentler NAR,’ an organization that rules with a warm embrace rather than an iron fist—serving its membership with open discussion and greater transparency. Does the recent drama over the dues increase demonstrate a more-of-the-same-old approach from NAR leadership? Or is the perceived crisis around the budget an overreaction? Is there evidence that the culture at NAR is really changing for the better?
Rob and Greg are back in the ring on the heels of the REALTORS midyear legislative meeting, going toe to toe over the recent controversy around NAR spending. They start with an overview of what went down, beginning with the Houston Association of REALTORS opposition piece in Inmanand the subsequent op-ed credited to Jim Harrison of MLSListings. Rob and Greg walk us through the retractions, rebuttals and apologies that followed as well as the board of director’s vote in DC.
Rob offers his take on NAR budget priorities, sharing the questions he has around spending on things like zipLogix, RPR and advertising to protect the REALTOR brand. He goes on to discuss the way NAR handled the spending controversy, framing it as a missed opportunity to embrace opposition as a catalyst for discussion rather than ruling with an iron fist—which may discourage membership from speaking up in the future. Greg offers his defense of NAR, pointing out that the SMART Budget Initiativeis clearly outlined NAR’s website and citing member engagement as an incredibly complex issue. Listen in for Rob’s insight around NAR’s responsibility to its members and decide whether NAR is, indeed, using its power for good.
The Houston Association of REALTORS’ opposition to the dues increase
How the controversial op-ed credited to Jim Harrison went too far
The questions around NAR’s spending on zipLogix, RPR and advertising
The line items Rob would like to see NAR prioritize in its budget
Greg’s perspective that there is no evidence of an NAR crisis
How NAR might have handled the spending controversy differently
NAR’s postponement of the 2.5% annual dues increase
Rob’s take that NAR’s iron fist will discourage others from speaking up
Rob’s concern about the lack of explanation regarding NAR spending
Greg’s defense of NAR as being more transparent than ever before
Rob’s belief that NAR’s power gives them a higher level of responsibility
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