Debating who's No. 1

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"We are #1!! Now please make it stop"

A Twitter debate between Phoenix real estate broker Jay Thompson and Keller Williams Realty generated more than 50 comments to The Phoenix Real Estate Guy blog this week.

In his "We are #1!! Now please make it stop" post, Thompson expressed his annoyance about claims companies make about being "No. 1" or "the best" without substantiating them or saying why anyone should care. Thompson detailed how this particular debate started, complete with tweet screen shots: KW Careers said, "KW is the #1 RE Company on Twitter & Facebook," to which Thompson said, "Curious, #1 based on what metric?"

And the debate was off: KW Careers responded that the statistic was based on the number of followers the company had, including the followers of each of its associates. Despite back-and-forth tweets, according to the updated post, Keller Williams had not gotten back to Thompson with actual numbers.

"Not only is it wrong, but honestly, who cares and so what?" Thompson wrote. "Does being the #1 real estate company on Twitter mean a damn thing to the most important people for your brokerage — your clients? Last I checked, our sellers have one fundamental goal — to sell their home. Our buyers have one fundamental goal — to purchase a home that meets their needs. I don’t think they give a hoot how many Twitter followers our agents have …"

One local Phoenix area KW agent asked Thompson, "Aren’t there bigger causes/more productive things you could question or try to solve?"

"Personally, I think a major RE brand making an apparently baseless claim IS a big deal. Your mileage may vary," he responded.

One anonymous commenter asked, "What’s your problem? Jealous? I’m a KW agent and I love them."

Comments to the post largely supported Thompson’s viewpoint, however: " Keep preachin’ it, brother!" one said.

"I’m a RE/MAX agent and yes, we have a bazillion agents and signs everywhere. Fact is, it’s up to ME to be a great agent. Having a bazillion agents with the same franchise brokerage doesn’t matter to my clients — all that matters is ME," commented San Antonio, Texas-based Matt Stigliano.

"We can debate who’s number one when all these folks stop losing their homes …" said Phoenix agent Kristin LaVanway.
The Phoenix Real Estate Guy

"Sex, Lies and the MLS"

While most Realtors are "fundamentally honest," agents frequently include information that would affect the value of the home in the "private remarks" section of their multiple listing service without including that information anywhere else, said real estate consultant Florence Foote in a post on the Bigger Pockets Blog. …CONTINUED

"Thus, any offer presented to the listing agent (without the benefit of this information) would not be able to price in the information in the opening offer," Foote said.

This "secret" information should sometimes legitimately be kept secret — the code on a lock box, for example — but not when the information could influence a buyer’s decision about whether a property meets his or her needs and whether they want to invest time on the property.

A classic example, Foote said, is when an agent puts "total fixer" in the private agent’s section of the MLS, but nowhere else.

"I’m sorry, but this is the kind of tactic (that) gives Realtors a bad name," Foote said.

Other relevant omissions include when there are building code citations or liens on the property.

"Even though this article didn’t contain sex, like its title promised, it was still a great post. I don’t know why it still surprises me when clients say a property they found on the MLS didn’t turn out to be what they thought it was. I do think some MLSs have stiffer penalties than others and discourage its members from posting things in the private section like you mention," commented Craig Grella of commercial real estate financing company Cornerstone Funding Services.

"If you run into a situation where you have proof an agent knows about a material fact and still does not disclose it, you should report that person through the proper channels, most likely a state real estate board," Grella added.
The Bigger Pockets Blog

"The passion of the Realtors Property Resource"

Perception is what will determine the fate of the National Association of Realtors’ subsidiary Realtors Property Resource LLC, wrote 1000watt blog’s Brian Boero. He recommends the national database project "go dark" to try to remedy "a botched launch and persistent strategic gaffes."

"Am I nuts? Or has the launch of this thing just been screwed up that badly?" he said.

As a marketing guy, Boero recommends: crafting a coherent, positive story that reflects input from the people that will actually end up buying the product; breaking down the where, how and who of spreading the message; preparing a "rude Q&A" of detractors’ likely questions; setting honest and measurable goals, and, finally, shutting up — "Don’t stoke the fire by trying to extinguish it."

"Brian, I absolutely concur! They still lack a clear concise message," commented Dawn Kennedy, CEO of the Oklahoma City Metropolitan Association of Realtors. "They seem a little too enthralled with the technology and their evasiveness has cast a large and heavy veil of distrust and fear."

"I see nothing here that a quality user experience can’t solve. Just give me the marriage of thorough public data and MLS data in a killer user interface, as shown in (RPR’s) demo, and I will be very happy, regardless of who talks when or where," commented Brad Nix, managing broker at Maxsell Real Estate in Georgia.
1000Watt Blog

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