April 7, 2009

Why hasn't some innovative company come in and destroyed the NAR and realtors on commission?

I enjoy watching bad companies with restrictive and anti-consumer business models fail.

Nothing is better than watching arrogant and corrupt organizations (and people) be destroyed.

America does one thing better than any country - we kill off bad and replace with new and improved better than anyone.

This is why GM must fail. This is why Ma Bell got taken out. This is why Microsoft is in trouble. This is why Pan Am and TWA went away. This is why AOL is insignificant. This is why the UAW is now dead. This is why we have the internet, ipods, satellite TV, wireless phones, blogs, and even those disposable electric toothbrushes or Tide with bleach.

And this is why Apple roars, Google dominates, Toyota and Honda rule the road, and Craigslist destroyed your local paper.

The only thing that screws things up?


Your bought-and-paid-for Congress.

So in this case, with the NAR, with the biggest lobbying budget of any organization in the land, gets to keep their monopoly on the "MLS", which is just a freaking database folks. They avoid prosecution (so far). Nobody on the hill is talking about busting them up using RICO anti-racketeering statutes (but they should).

But it shouldn't be up to Congress to trust-bust the NAR. Because they're something even bigger and more powerful than Congress these days.


And busting up the NAR and realtors should be up to Google.

Now get on it boys. Unleash. Buy Zillow. Hire a force of salaried workers with NO BONUSES OR COMMISSIONS who can unlock lock boxes and point out granite f*cking countertops.

Have a kick-ass free user managed online database of every home for sale and for rent. Arm anyone who wants one - for free, and one click - with a report on the market, comps
, historical prices, payment calculator, PE ratio, etc. No more ignorant idiots screwing people for a commission by telling lies. It's the math stupid - so give it to them.

Give us intelligent, salaried workers armed with Zillow spreadsheets and Google mathematical models, employed by buyers or sellers on an as-needed ad-hoc basis. Want someone to show your house? That'll be $50. Want to be driven around town to look at prospects? Great, that'll be $50 an hour, including gas. And part of that tour is you get handed a rent to income calculation, historical price chart and report on every listing. So if you're stupid enough to pay 200x rent, at least you knew you were being stupid.

Change the model Google. Unleash knowledge. Get rid of commissioned used house salesmen. Make buying or selling a house enjoyable and easy. And put the NAR and lying realtors on commission out of business forever.


It hath been foretold.


Anonymous said...

problem is keefer corrupt organizations screwed by technological innovation can always lobby and pass laws to 'protect jobs' and smother the new ways...like GM with street cars or electric cars

yoski said...

"Buy Zillow"
More impotantly, buy Congress.

Anonymous said...

Google has a motto to "don't do evil". Maybe they've seen what evil is involved in selling real estate and have decided to not go there. It's like the old saying:
"Power corrupts, real estate corrupts absolutely"

investorinpa said...

Its a great thought, but I don't know if Google will be that company...I can see them offering some support in the way of technology and the platform, but at 50 bucks a pop, where's the money in it for them?

Dave said...

Have you never heard of Redfin?


soft landing said...

Thing is Keith, Smart people already do the research on thier own. They are forced to get a realty clerk on commission to get full* access to the MLS when finding the right home using conventional methods fails.

The majority of buyers, of course, simply hire a clerk to lead them to the slaughter.

I certainly hope you are right about the demise of this system.

*Full access to the MLS does not include knowledge of the realty clerk perks, bonuses and kickbacks.

Anonymous said...

That's a better idea yoski! I wish I would have thought of that, its so simple and elegant, just BUY Congress outright.

They are haridans, whores and closet gay losers and toe-tappers after all. White haired red-faced drunken crooks in some cases.

Everything has a price.

Congress should be a Cheap Bargain.

America is DEAD. F*ck America.

Corrupt Nation of Nothing.

fat amelican said...

We have a mole in the White House courtesy of the mobbed-up political machine in Chicago, and you are worried about the future of real estate salesmen?

LOL - we're freakin' doomed!

Anonymous said...




brokersleaveyoubroke said...

I just read that Rolls Royce car sales,this year, are up %28 over last year. I wonder how many of those were bought with bailout money.
As far as real estate is concerned I think all we need to do is open up the multiple listings services for everyone to use.

6 Percent Solution said...

The thing is, people are not REQUIRED to use a realtor. They are just brainwashed into thinking they need one to sell or buy a house. Not true. Do a little tiny bit of reading on the internet and you can figure out what you need to do to sell or buy. It isn't brain surgery. Yes, you have to do the showing of the house and the communicating with your buyers but Little Miss Airhead Realtor in Matching Shoes and Purse can't do that any better than the average joe. And the attorney/title company who handles the actual sale and transfer does most of the paperwork anyway.
A little extra effort on the part of buyers and sellers puts the whole realtor industry out of business.

les said...

Have you looked at RedFin

Ross said...

If anyone wants a simply brilliant excel spreadsheet that I yanked from Countrywide while I worked there, please let me know. I'll email it to you. I have nothing to sell but I love giving this thing away to good people. It's all you need to figure out if your monthly budget fits the price of a falling knife, err house, that you want to buy.

Find me on twitter if you want it.


Anonymous said...

FranklyMLS.com (for DC area)

As I recall, the realwhores lost the battle to keep the MLS listings database private and away from commercial competition.

Gradually sites like these above will do to realtors what travelocity and others did to travel agents.

It's coming!

yoski said...

anon 2:47
"Everything has a price.

Congress should be a Cheap Bargain.

America is DEAD. F*ck America."

Should have a special section on Ebay under "Politicains" with subsections of county, state and federal level scum bags for sale. That would bypass the middle man (ie. lobbyist) and streamline the whole operation.

Anonymous said...

I hope and pray that someone can come up with such a model. It is a crying shame that this organization can get away with uncompetitive practices for so long.

But also the reason why the NAR and realtors are successful is because so many people automatically assume that "oh gosh, I need a realtor to buy a house, I need a professional". Anyone can buy a house or sell a house on their own if they are willing to sit down and read even a simple book like "Home Buying For Dummies". But too many people buy the line of "I need a professional to make sure everything goes smooth" and thus realtors will be around for a long time.

Anonymous said...

Download Supertrap "Dreamer" Crank it up real loud!

Anonymous said...

Redfin is broke

Anonymous said...


Screw Google. They are watching you. Don't buy their motto for a second. Saying something doesn't make it true. If they're so freakin' kind, why do their employees spend 20% of their time a week working on whatever they want to do - none of which is charity? Why not go pick up a park, clean up some bums or chop vegetables in a soup kitchen? Nah - they'd rather work on open source software in their free time, which in turn makes open source seem like it is thriving, which in turn make people think about trying it out. It looks altruistic, but it is just a smoke screen to topple Microsoft. When Google becomes the bitch of Wall Street and is forced to rethink that 20% policy, watch open source development tumble. Kiss your Open Office, Ubuntu, and GIMP goodbye.

Janus said...

I guess http://www.housingmaps.com/ based on craigslist is a first baby step in that direction

consultant said...

Not is the NAR a worthless business model, the way we price homes is crazy.

This is not the old days when you lived in one place all your life. The value of a home should be based on the value of THAT home, not all "similar" homes around you.

Our current system builds into the value of your home, the "perceived" value of the neighborhood. That's just wrong and helped contribute to the ease with which appraisers and Realtards were able to jack up and justify the high price of homes.

Anonymous said...

"...We have a mole in the White House..."

All the more heinous after the last 8 years of benevolent altruism.

Lordy; did we have it good.

Guberville Smack said...

It's getting there.


the days of realtors monopolizing the MLS are quickly coming to an end. Once a precedent has been set, it gets easier for judges to rule against them.


RobertM said...

Need a job? Buy yourself a dragonfly copter/camera and get a good camcorder and start doing virtual home tours. That way you can do away with the "showing of houses" altogether. Between that and Google's streetview, what more do you need when you are narrowing your purchase choices.

Anonymous said...


Michael G said...

This is a great post. Please Digg it!

JAWS said...

They're trying.
Redfin is fabulous, and cheap.
REDC is offering tons of properties with lenders on site at their auctions.

NAR's done a brainwashing on the whole RE industry. It is a very strong pyramid.

It is slowly being chipped away at though. You can just see that literally GOBBS of properties are NOT being sold via traditional methods anymore. MLS's are reflecting it. Agent's incomes are too. Brokers are falling by the wayside.

NAR does NOTHING for realtors, and their TV commercials suck. NAR is kind of like the auto unions; take the members money and do squat.

NAR is not getting the support it needs to stay strong and it'll go by the wayside.

Mitesh Damania said...

Redfin doesn't work well in ie8.

happy snapper said...



The real Queefe from HP is back!

I haven’t been on here in while cause Keith had slipped to the nutty side for a while with all the kookoo conspiracy rioting nonsense.

With intelligent posts like this we may actually recover.

Thank you and welcome back.. :-)

Deb said...

I'm a realtor (don't kill me please!) and I gotta say, I hate the MLS as much as you do, probably a whole lot more. In fact, I hate ALL FOUR MLS's I'm forced to join (and pay for) because my market area overlaps four of these ridiculous fiefdoms. They all charge exorbitant dues and fees and require you to take training on each of their (proprietary, uninteroperable) systems. Who ARE these MLS's and how do they have such a stranglehold on this information? We realtors can't even get it without belonging to each separate system (there are dozens or hundreds in each state).

For the record I strongly agree with moving to a fee-for-service model, i.e. so much for a showing, so much for an open house, so much to stage the place or write the ad copy, etc. I have no problem with that whatsoever. It would also force buyers to pay for services rendered, whereas now they are freeloaders at the expense of sellers who are then overcharged for the (usually quite a bit EASIER) job of merely listing the house in the MLS and waiting for someone else to sell it.

First these MLSs have to be forced to merge on a state-by-state level, then we can try to get the whole thing operating nationally.

I also agree that NAR does not represent me, I disagree with almost every political position they take, I think their ads are a joke, and I resent being forced to belong to this organization.

I do think though that there is room in the real estate buying and selling process for at least SOME buyers (perhaps even MOST buyers) to benefit from having someone they trust who is familiar with the process to guide and advise them. Now certainly many (perhaps most) realtors don't provide any more information than a reasonably diligent person could find on their own. But if you are lucky enough to find a good one (ASK AROUND FOR A RECOMMEND, that's the absolute best way), you WILL get more and more up-to-date information than the average person can obtain right now.