C Tann-Starr's Outside Blog


Is NAR Falling Behind On Technological Issues? What Did I Miss? Fill Me In...


Be careful of the Internet Speech Police. Sometimes you have to call a spade a spade without stubbing your toe on one. I love the reminder that we should be telling the truth on our blog posts. We should. What I'm curious about is how far is NAR willing to go when people say something that is true but some other competitor doesn't like. We already have libel, slander and defamation laws. Be careful when you want to impose too much of your association free speech rules on individual people. They may stake out Constitutional challenges because they view it as anti-competitive...

If it sucks it sucks. I should be able to say that and not get kicked out of a dues paying organization because I happen to be a blunt person. If I am not in the mood to make my speech flowery then I wont. You can't make me. No one can. I'm just saying there is more to life and reality than the everything is coming up roses or be quiet crowd. Blunt people should not be penalized because a serial liar can make it sound like something you want to hear. I'm sorry some of you don't believe that tact and diplomacy can breed lies. Some people use it as a shield to justify why they didn't/don't tell the truth. At least you know where you stand with me, good or bad. I have a big mouth. :-)

People are entitled to a good and bad review point of view. Opinions are subjective and the moment you start trying to make it a violation to express yourself you open up a can of worms you can't close. Bloggers don't just write about "the facts," they also write about their impressions, feelings, likes, dislikes and can be just as relevant or irreverent as the mainstream Press. I dare you to pick up a single newspaper and not find something subjective in it. If two people are in a room there will always be two opinions. Why not just say don't violate the libel, slander and defamation laws or there will be consequences. Period. Bet you can kill several paragraphs with that sum and summary statement. What ever you do, I'm behind you because I like being a Realtor and I like NAR. I will, however, say exactly what I mean. That's what bloggers do.


As a NAR member I have to say shit or get off the pot. Don't committee this to death, FIX IT! We brokers rely upon search engines so the consumer has choices and can find us. They usually don't ask for me by name, they tend to put in key words looking for what they want and the search engines make it possible for them to find us and our listings.

A seller expects other consumers to find their home, that's why they hire us. Since only brokers have access to the MLS, don't you think it is counter productive to hinder our ability to market homes to the actual people who buy them by maximizing our search engine optimization?

Most MLS members expect other members to market all available properties to all of our clients. That's why we join and covet the access and bust our bloggers butts to get licensed. IDX is the name of the game and most MLS services have a individualized policy that all members can market the inventory. Yup, we are tasked with protecting that information, however, it appears to be the height of stupidity to make it illegal for the search engines to index what we go out of our way to promote and advertise to the whole world. The Internet is Global. If a MLS or NAR makes it difficult for members to advertise their listings and to be found via the search engines, those policies make it impossible for us to compete against the big dogs like Realtor.com on a level playing field. I want multiple licenses, so I have multiple MLS rules I have to follow which may eventually result in several IDX databases flowing through one site. Do you see where I am going with this? This issue has to be addressed as quickly as possible because multiple state licensees may be in a hell of a bind if you don't get hip with the current technology available. I may want to be the next version of Realtor.com but I can't if you restrict my ability to have my IDX site indexed by search engines or if one state's MLS rules conflict with another, screwing my website up.

We pay way too many fees to allow that to continue to happen as we try and grow our business models... Realtor.com is optional not mandatory. I have never gotten a single lead from the site because if you don't pay them they do not put your contact information on your own listings that the MLS automatically sends over to the site. Hmm... I have to wonder if knocking Google or a Broker with a really cool IDX site smells of anti-competition in favor of the big dog or competitors at the expense of the wee folk getting creative with the freebee marketing. That is a subjective thought of no basis other than theoretical speculation. Don't sue me for thinking out loud (LOL).

BTW, I am not the only one wondering this. Once we find out something is going on (or not happening) we start talking amongst ourselves, asking questions and the blog posts begin. So here I am putting my two cents into the pot because I don't want to speculate, am asking losts of questions because I want to know why this happened and why it wasn't fixed sooner.

I am amazed NAR sent this to committee when one line adjusted could have benefited the entire real estate community. Updates should be debated, yes, I agree, but how much debate is up to NAR because NAR controls the rules. I thought from what I read at Inman it would have been a no brainer. Ooops. I was wrong.

NAR, in my humble opinion, you need to update your IDX digital rights management so we can compete effectively with the current technology at hand and not go broke doing inefficient coding modifications to our websites that serves no purpose other than to destroy our search engine optimization when the competition whines. I do not see Realtor.com having to do this but please feel free to correct me if I am wrong. The search engine is free to index that mega site. BTW, I'm a buyers broker. Are you telling me I can never promote a listing agent's property to my buyers on my site if a competitor whines after putting it in the MLS? If I can print the info on a flier and hand it out or mail it why can't my search engine get people back to my site?

Search engine indexing is not scraping and my MLS gives us all access to every property and the right to use limited information to market the inventory to clients and prospects. I guess every MLS is different so I guess my question is what are you going to do to give all members a level playing field regarding IDX sites, especially if I cross state lines with multiple licenses?

Tell me what I missed here... I am sooooo gonna be watching for an answer to this.


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Comment balloon 6 commentsC Tann-Starr • May 19 2009 01:37PM


I think Sky Realty is doing the right thing.  I can see the the perspective that says the sellers are at a disadvantage.  But, this is perception only.  Few closed sales actually result though.  A buyer or their agent is going to find the listing. 

Posted by Erik Hitzelberger, Louisville - Middletown Real Estate (RE/MAX Alliance - Louisville REALTOR-Luxury Homes) over 11 years ago

C - I started reading this post yesterday, then was called out of the office.  Came back to finish it today.  You make excellent points and asked some really good questions.  I'm shocked that there hasn't been more than one comment made here!

I read the post elsewhere regarding the brouhaha and actually contacted my local NAR rep to see if she had been at the meeting at Mid-year in DC with the people from Indianapolis.  She did not respond directly to that particular question as we were also emailing back and forth about the $8000 tax credit issue. 

I suspect the same as you about NAR and Realtor.com.  It certainly does reek of anti-competition.  I've never been a fan of Realtor.com - it just irks me that this was the site created through our NAR dues yet we have to pay to have "enhanced" listings...give me a break.

And in the last several years, because of increased web traffic through many search engines, it seemed that not paying extra for Realtor.com was not so much an issue anymore.  Hmmm...makes you wonder, doesn't it?  Anyway, I'm with you - this issue is a NO-BRAINER and does not need to be discussed in committee ad nauseum.

Posted by Amy Salisbury, West Virginia Realtor/Jefferson/Berkeley (Leading Edge Properties) over 11 years ago

Erik, I want more people to find me and my featuredproperties, not less. I routinely promote my firm's listings and my friends who don't work here get just as vigorous promotion if I decide to help them. I babysit listings and have all of my buyers run through it. I throw open houses at properties that are not mine. My job is to get a buyer and seller to agree and go to contract, not have to worry about whether the broker in charge at another firm doesn't like my blog so he or she wants to ban me from doing what I do well, or create stumbling blocks, hindering my content.

I go out and take new pictures of homes I want to promote, I do not swipe them from the MLS. I make an appointment and see the place for myself, then start making arrangements for access to keys. I even copy my keys and give them to other firms with the permission of my sellers. I do not leave lock boxes. If I trust you, then you are the person in your firm that has access to my property inventory. The one time I left a courtesy key in my office, I wound up with a broken lock (LOL). I had to cancel four showings because I could not get into my own listing. It's nice having a backup key with someone you trust and luckily for me i had just given the only other key to my girlfriend at another firm. I promptly made two more copies and went back to work. :-) 

It's even nicer if we play nice and not get mad when another firm advertises our listing to try and find a buyer because they thing our co-op/condo-house is really nice. The flip side: if they have an exclusive contract and place in the MLS do not advertise without permission, I will honor that because Iwould never disrespect someone's contract or instructions in the remarks sections. :-)

Amy, I'm getting a lot of private e-mail on this one. They are viewing and reading so I have no complaints about the lack of comments. :-)

Posted by C Tann-Starr (Tann Starr & Associates, Inc.) over 11 years ago

agree 100%

Posted by Agent over 11 years ago
A Form ARS regarding Move, Inc. has been filed with the United States Securities and Exchange Commission. To view this filing, please click here
Posted by helping who??? over 11 years ago

Helping Who??? I love irony.

I was very excited to see the logo with a link to what I thought was an answer to a question. Instead, the Word, HTML and PDF only said this:

"ARS MOVE INC filed this Form ARS on 05/15/09 << Previous Page | Next Page >> This document was generated as part of a paper submission. Please reference the Document Control Number 09011330 for access to the original document. << Previous Page | Next Page >>"

That quote is a cut and paste. It appears as of this writing that "next page" doesn't have a next page (ROTFLMAO). I checked the Word and PDF versions (embed to the right of the ARS link) after I couldn't get to the next page on the HTML version.

I love irony... Seriously... Fix the link and post the pages because as it stands you've proven my point about being behind technologically (LOL). I really didn't want you to prove that. I was looking forward to be educated on the possibility that I was wrong or am misunderstanding this situation.

Links and info have to work and be relevant. "Document Control Number 09011330" has me wondering what that means and where it is (or is it the control number for the only information I got out of this visit to your website???).

We want to succeed in a tough market and ask questions or form opinions looking for answers and an interesting dialog to help us understand. Comments are valuable. I'm afraid that this comment didn't help me learn anything useful so far but thank you for responding.

Looking forward to your next response (hopefully with the link to the actual text of the docs).

Posted by C Tann-Starr (Tann Starr & Associates, Inc.) over 11 years ago

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