OpinionAgent

Why the term ‘Realtor’ matters in the real estate profession

A response from a broker who's experienced a true A/B test
  • New York City and the outer boroughs have a rival trade organization (REBNY, the Real Estate Board of New York) in addition to a substantial population of licensees who belong to no trade organization.
  • REBNY, a proud and reputable organization, has nothing that operates like a true MLS, and there is an awkward translation of practice and protocol when working "across lines."
  • Licensees who are not members of a trade organization often operate off the grid -- for reasons I wouldn't be proud of, by-and-large.
  • I could tell of bad experiences with NAR members also -- but those are the rare exceptions.
  • At the end of the day the branding problem isn't rooted in bad policy; it is a function of the rarity of the transaction.

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Marc Davison wrote a piece earlier this week exploring the hypothetical rebranding of the term "Realtor" applied to National Association of Realtors (NAR) members to make the term more relevant to the public. As a Realtor, broker, owner and English major, I will respectfully suggest that a rebrand is a solution seeking a problem. The true A/B test I live in an area -- perhaps the only one in the U.S. -- where there is a true A/B test of whether there is value to being a Realtor or not, as New York City and the outer boroughs have a rival trade organization (REBNY, the Real Estate Board of New York) in addition to a substantial population of licensees who belong to no trade organization. Given my experience in this area, I would make the following factual observations: REBNY, a proud and reputable organization, has nothing that operates like a true MLS, with the RLS being hamstrung by no single platform and one large firm opposing efforts to create one. An NAR member unti...