IS YOUR MLS FOR SALE? How About Your Soul?
I recently received this notification from a vendor who will remain nameless to protect me from being sued:
Dear Real Estate Agent/Broker:
(Un-named Vendor) is now offering a new product, please read the descriptions below and update your fees:
"Subject Data Report: Focuses entirely on the subject property and asks for 10+ exterior subject photos, Subject MLS with photo gallery and completion of a brief questionnaire about the subject and subject market area. If interior access is obtained, 20+ interior photos should be provided of all rooms, damages, needed repairs and upgrades. A value determination will not be required. No comparables necessary. Turn-time will be 24-48 hours.
- Subject Data Report - Exterior - $20.00
- Interior Data Report - Interior - $30.00
Comparables Data Report: $15.00- Focuses entirely on comps for the subject property and asks for the best 15 comps in the subject market and full agent MLS "WITH" photo galleries in PDF format to be submitted for each completed report. Preferred 10 sales and 5 listings. No visit to the property is necessary. A value determination will not be required. Turn-time will be 24 hours.
Subject Data Report with Comps: $35.00-$45.00- This report will be a combination of the Subject Data Report and the Comparables Data Report. Turn-Time will be 24-48 hours".
Where do I begin? 10 Exterior Photos of the Subject, really? Do you want a picture of each tile on the roof too? Next, Comparable Data Report, full agent MLS, this "agent" report is reserved for participants and/or subscribers of the MLS and distribution of this report to outside parties is a direct violation of most MLS rules and regulations but I guess if we can make a whopping $15 bucks it's OK to break the rules.
Are we really so desperate that we will sell our MLS & our souls to these vendors? These are the same gangsters that own two of the three largest title/escrow companies directing 80% of the REO business, and who also charge us referral fees which may be a direct violation of RESPA rules, not to mention fees for administrating the escrows they already have directed to their companies, technology fees to use their software that never works correctly for tasks and reimbursements, and processing fees for invoices that were advanced our own money on the clients behalf by the agent who then try to get back their own money back less the processing fees.
Once you pay for your fuel (nearing $4.00 a gallon), your car payment, insurance, maintenance, MLS dues and fees, and all your other expenses trying to stay in business this new product will probably make you less than $5.00 an hour. Oh yeah BTW get this back to them in 24-48 hours. They will of course be assigning this on Saturday at 1:00PM so you can work all weekend while we have a nice Monday holiday 3 day weekend off and no human will actually be here to either accept this report or worse reject it because after you do all the research you don't fit the computers AVM.
If we want to be treated as professionals we need to JUST SAY NO, STOP THE INSANITY, and LET THEM KNOW WE ARE MAD AS HELL AND WE ARE NOT GONNA TAKE IT ANYMORE! Turn down these underpaid assignments. Go hug a grand kid, kiss the dog, or so something else you like instead. You will find this more rewarding both emotionally, and dare I say financially, in the end.