Will NAR’s bold moves with realtor.com pay off?

It’s been a busy couple of weeks for my family. We are in the process of moving back to Chicago, and I haven’t had much time to write. Last week, the National Association of REALTORS® Board of Directors met to approve “historic” changes to their agreement with Move Inc, to operate realtor.com. Inman News provided good coverage here.

Screen Shot 2013-07-29 at 1.05.07 PMBasically, realtor.com will be able to display non-listed rentals, new construction properties, and some distressed properties. Basically, idea 3 from my prior post. I’m a proponent of moves like this.

NAR definitely paid a price to make this happen. REALTOR.com is no longer the members-only club it was a week ago. The site is now offering about the same member benefit as Trulia.com offers every real estate agent, REALTOR® or not. What will NAR receive in return?

These changes should help Realtor.com improve traffic, but will they be enough to regain the lead among real estate portals? I’m skeptical. It would be interesting to know what the BOD’s expectations are, which leads me to a question I would love your input on.

What result should NAR expect from Move Inc, now that it has “let realtor.com soar?”

Furthermore, will Move be able to deliver? The BOD’s decision is definitely a step in the right direction, but at best, they are playing catch-up. Trulia and Zillow have robust rental, new construction and distressed property programs in place. Move’s incorporation of New Home Source listings will likely make them a leader in new construction listings, but by how much? Meanwhile, Zillow is still meeting consumer demand for things that remain taboo for the REALTOR® family (agent ratings, Zestimates, FSBOs…). If NAR is expecting Move to regain the lead in traffic, they have their work cut out for them.

Only time will tell what will happen, but I think NAR will have some interesting decisions to make in the near future. Should the association bet on their horse to win, place, or show? If Move can’t deliver, the next special BOD meeting could be about a partnership with Zillow instead.


7 thoughts on “Will NAR’s bold moves with realtor.com pay off?

  1. Richard T. Stauffer

    Too late – the horse has already left the barn. Integrate the information from RPR into a national data listing system with a public interface side, you might have a winning product. You have to provide the consumer with unique information that can not be obtained elsewhere in order to have a winning product. Take a lesson from the restaurant business. If your menu or atmosphere is not unique, why bother going.

  2. Richard T. Stauffer

    What would happen if third party aggregators weren’t provided with the information? Maybe we are going in the wrong direction by providing a myriad of choices to the public. Has the variety of automobile models increased or decreased over the years? How many options do I have when I purchase an IPhone – color – memory size and ???? . Drop realtor.com entirely and promote state-wide listing systems. Isn’t real estate local? Do we really need a national data base system in the first place? I can only speculate what my state association could do with an additional $6m in revenue. The real question to ask is: “Has NAR outlived its usefulness”?

  3. Steve Booth

    So we join the ranks of providers of outdated, inaccurate information (Zestimates are a farce at best). How does NAR expect to justify our dues if we let other sources display listings on our site. I think we should follow the lead of Edina Realty, cut off the feeds and/or make the aggregators pay for the information and fine them if we find they are not providing correct, current information. As mentioned about, real estate is a local business. What value will there be in the Realtor logo if we become part of the herd??


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