OpinionAgent

The rise of the ‘little-r’ realtor

A snapshot of Atlanta’s market from a licensing perspective
  • The idea of broker affiliation with MLS access (and without monthly cost) is possible only in Atlanta.
  • An open, for profit, National MLS would destroy the industry as you know it.
  • Zealot dedication to the conventions of the past will eventually erode the industry's credibility.

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"Excuse me, what did you say?" When real estate agents relocate to Atlanta and hear the term, “little r,” for the first time, they are often confused. In truth, wherever they were from, the idea of living in a two-"r" world never crossed their mind. But here in Atlanta, we have Realtors and realtors. And, though the world could care less about our semantical usage, there are those whose job it is to monitor such things. (And, I thought the mall “engineer” on the kiddie tram had the worst job ever.) When you tell a newbie they don’t have to join a board or pay the National Association of Realtors (NAR) dues, their next breath almost always includes the plea: “But I need access to the MLS!” The idea of MLS access having nothing to do with a board truly surprises most people. But it’s a fact: Atlanta is, and probably will forever be, the only marketplace in the United States with “optional” board membership, While this is wonderful for the tens of thousands...