Realtor.com / Move Inc. / boycott realtor.com
We feel that realtor.com has not been responsive to the needs of realtors and that the current relationship between nar and move, inc. (as currently constituted) is not in our interest as realtors for the following reasons:
1) move, inc. Has a long standing pattern of raising fees on realtors and charging them exhorbitant fees in comparison with the costs of developing a national real estate listings site. Fees (which yet again are expected to be raised in 2009) are out of line with what other national listing aggregator websites cost their shareholders. Why should we be paying many multiples of what companies like trulia and zillow are costing their shareholders for aggregating real estate listings on their sites?
2) after being provided all of our listings and photos, they have stripped off all but four, unless realtors pay them an annual "enhancement" fee. This effectively takes our clients and holds them hostage until we pay their "fee". Much of this fee goes right back into "sales expenses" which are move, inc.'s marketing to realtors that they must have their service. This adds huge costs to what is needed for a national website and is not acceptable.
3) in a world where many websites offer realtors social networking opportunities to connect realtors to potential clients, realtor.com has been sorely lacking in developing these types of programs.
4) the 2007 10k (released feb 28, 2008) from move, inc. Shows staggering general and administrative expenses of over million and sales expenses of over 8 million.. These expenses are ridiculous given their online properties and a development expense of million. While we realize that this includes top producer and other assets of move, inc., that actually makes the ratio of development / sales, general and administrative expense even more out of line. We are tired of having nar tell us to pay for their inefficiency.
We are not against paying for what we receive. If you want to charge us for "enhancing our contact information" then fine. But don't hold our clients and customers hostage. That is unconscionable. Many of them don't know what you are doing to us and if they did, they would find it incredibly offensive.
More importantly, because the national association of realtors leased the rights to our web presence to third parties, they put themselves in the position of defending realtor.com's inefficiencies and deficiencies to the general membership for their own financial gain.
We call on nar to take steps to buy back realtor.com from move, inc. Or to buy a controlling interest in move, inc. To provide a national listings site for realtors at a price that is reasonable and rational. With the current stock price so low, a controlling interest can be purchased at a reasonable price and other assets like topproducer can be spun off to repay (partially) the investment. This is a strategy that makes sense.
Until nar seriously takes up this issue and hears our concerns, we vow to raise awareness, talk to the press, let our clients know what you are up to, and most importantly, we will not continue to pay higher and higher fees to cover move, inc. S inefficiencies and largess.
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