I am very sad to say...

Real Estate Agent with Century 21 Results Realty

Not shocked... but sad. 

Actually, I'm not shocked at all.  And maybe sad isn't the right word... disgusted would be better...

And I really hope the right people find this post... 

A few days ago, I posted a comment on the President's Report blog at the NAR.  The NAR has found this whole social media/blogging thing, and they want to show that they "get it" and are hip to the grooviness.  But they don't, and they aren't.  

Dick Gaylord, President of the NAR posted about an email he received that supportive of the NAR and their "rosey" outlook during this latest housing crisis/bubble/boom/crash/whatever.  It brought out a VERY valid point that the media had been overly sensationalistic and negative.  Each time, the problem was not as deep, long or protracted as the media presented.  Of that point, I am fully supportive... 

Here are a couple of clips from the post:

More often than not, they say we are too positive about the prospects for housing values in the future.

From the email:

The Media’s attack on the real estate industry is nothing new. For decades they have practiced doom and gloom tactics and in some cases have actually caused real estate prices to decline short term. The good news however, is each and every short term decline has been temporary and has been followed by long term price appreciation.

As stated, I agree with the premise of the email... 

(You knew there would have to be a "but" and here is is)

But...  I commented.  And I commented in a manner that some in the NAR might not have appreciated.  I put THEIR comments into perspective.  Here is the entire comment:

But you have to admit that 5 or 6 quarterly reports that say “the worst is behind us” each time… while the market continues to erode is a little tiring.

We all know that the media’s market readers keep preaching that whatever is happening in the short term will last forever.  But the NAR hasn’t been too realistic about the short term.  Instead of telling people that the market looks challenging, the NAR message has been “Prices are up, it’s a great time to buy.” or “Prices are down, it’s a great time to buy.”  The truth is that it is a great time to buy for some people.  It is a lousy time to buy for others.  Consumers should consult with THEIR REALTOR(R) to find out which camp they are in.  

I guess they really didn't like the comment.  As of this evening, that comment hasn't been posted to the blog.  All of that only goes to show something...  The NAR doesn't "get it" and they aren't hip to the grooviness. 

So, I know that most of those that comment here are likely to say that I shouldn't be shocked or surprised.  I know that a lot of us in the industry aren't thrilled with "our" trade organization.  Many of us feel taken for granted, or taken advantage of.  We feel like the NAR thinks we exist for their benefit rather than them existing for ours.  This MLS/domain name issue and the actions of Move, Inc in relation to Realtor.com are two good examples. 

In the case of my less than supportive comment, Dick Gaylord and the others at the NAR wasted a GREAT opportunity.  Instead of censoring the comment and hoping it would go away (76,606 members here... a few will read it, and the comment hasn't gone away), they missed a perfect opportunity to respond.  

That's right... respond!

Had they wanted to show the other members that I was flat out wrong, they could have responded to the criticisms.  It would have gone a lot further with the membership to show that they are open to the dissenting opinion, and can show that they were acting appropriately.  

And finally...  Part of the allure of blogging is its openness.  Transparency.  Honesty.  How open, transparent and honest is it to censor comments?  I understand moderating comments... I killed one today that was spam, and I have dumped comments for language and abusiveness.  But I don't see how my comment could have been classified as any of those. 

The censored it for dissent...

So, NAR... Dick Gaylord... feel free to post up the comment I gave on your blog and answer it.  I'll be happy to say so here... and on the very public post on LaneBailey.com.  Or, if you think the appropriate way to answer criticism is to censor it and ignore it, feel free to let me know why right here. 

Frankly, I don't expect to hear from anyone at the top of the NAR...


** Edit.  I had to go back and add the link to Dick Gaylord's blog post. **

We managed to get some kind of response...  Here is the post I wrote about it.

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Chris Ann Cleland
Long and Foster REALTORS®, Gainesville, VA - Bristow, VA
Associate Broker, Bristow, VA
I am so glad that someone called the NAR on their overly optimistic viewpoints.  Being real isn't being negative.   Thanks for sharing what the NAR has censored.
Mar 11, 2008 09:36 AM #87
Douglas Garbe
Real Living Real Estate Solutions - Orlando, FL
Real Living Real Estate Solutions

I think you should do a separate blog with your example of the 'correct answer,'  Most people just scroll down to the comment box (as much as we'd like them to read all the comments, but that is a lesson I have learned the hard way!).

You are doing a great job, in any case.

Hero is not bad, trust me.

Mar 11, 2008 10:30 AM #88
Brian Kreick
Willinger Real Estate - Wenatchee, WA
Great post.  I've been thinking that NAR pushes too much hype on how good the market is for sometime.  Every quarter they say it is time to buy and every quarter the prices come down.
Mar 11, 2008 12:28 PM #89
Lane Bailey
Century 21 Results Realty - Suwanee, GA
Realtor & Car Guy

Scott - Nice sentiment, but it doesn't tell consumers what is going on in the world.  The problem is that the NAR gets call from the media asking for their predictions on the coming market. 

Chris - I know that my clients appreciate when I tell them what's on my mind... even when they don't agree.  They may or may not take my counsel, but they are glad to know that I am willing to tell them the truth as I see it.

Greg - There are times I think that the NAR wrote all of the market reports at the same time... and just released them when needed.  

I bank blog posts sometimes.  I had some pre-written recently (so that I could keep up the schedule when my son was born).  But I know that the may need to be re-edited even a couple of days after being written.  

Josué - You are welcome. 

Jimmy - I am not expecting a response.  Would you respond into this crowd?

Bill - They are closer to the membership, but I wonder how connected some are to the market.  

Christy - Personally I don't doubt the accuracy of the numbers.  It is the interpretation I don't trust.  

Chris - There is a way to be positive and ethical.  But, being rosy in the face of the thorns isn't necessarily it.  

Douglas - Maybe I'll just leave it there as a bonus for the people paying attention...  Thanks.  

Brian - Pumping sunshine up the skirts of the consumer will lead to distrust, so when there are clear signs the market is turning, no one will believe it.  

Mar 11, 2008 03:06 PM #90
Kent Simpson
Realty One Group Mountain Desert - Tucson, AZ
Real Estate Is About People
A healthy dose of reality is what we try to get our clients to accept on a daily basis--it is time for our leadership to do the same.  Great Post, Lane!
Mar 11, 2008 04:12 PM #91
Karen Monsour
Coldwell Banker Fort Lauderdale Beach - Fort Lauderdale, FL
REALTOR, SSRS - Sells FL Waterfront, Short Sale Expert!


As I said in the beginning of your blog, I back you 100%. This is totally unbelievable. Now we know who has "our" back's in this disgusting market...and who obviously won't help.

Kudo's for you! Thanks for sharing...I mean I thought, but didn't want to believe that this was happening.


Mar 11, 2008 04:20 PM #92
ActiveRain City and State Listing Group
Christiansted, VI

What we need to remember is that the NAR is a numbers driven organization.

All that matters to them are the numbers. More members mean more dollars to use for lobbyists and advertising, which they hope will draw in more members.

The NAR has been neglectful of many aspects affecting the livelihood of the vast diversity of its members.

Any organization or person, for that matter, that is always positive, while neglecting the real facts is worthy of scrutiny. Most of us are uncomfortable with scrutiny and therefore become censors of sorts.

The consumers of today are aware when the wool is being pulled over their eyes, for the most part, and they then begin to distrust all people associated with such an organization.

Good for you on your efforts. Allowing it to be "public" is healthy for the discussion it creates and the consumers need to see that we can address adversity among ourselves.

Bad for NAR to not print your comments, and Bad for the NAR for not being members of web sites like AR and making the effort to address such issues head-on.

Maybe you should send this whole post, along with the comments, to the powers to be at NAR for their review.

Mar 12, 2008 01:43 AM #93
Lane Bailey
Century 21 Results Realty - Suwanee, GA
Realtor & Car Guy

Kent - I find it amusing and sad at the same time. 

Karen - Thank you for your support...  

Don - With real estate agents having such a hard time with the trust of the public, the NAR's actions don't help.  But, I would bet that there are some folks here with the NAR looking at what is being said.  They just don't want to weigh in.  

Mar 12, 2008 02:12 AM #94
Cathy & Gary Elmore
Coldwell Banker Tomlinson N - Deer Park, WA
Great Post, there seems to be a real problem in the country with some people afraid to "rock the boat" like lets all just perform like good little citizens.  I appreciate when someone takes the initiative think thats what these blogs are suppose to do.  There needs to be accountability from people in charge, no matter in which arena, if that is not happening then a change may be needed.  Where is the uproar about the housing crisis? gas prices? consumer goods prices? Thanks for being acrive keep it up!!
Mar 12, 2008 05:37 AM #95
R. B. "Bob" Mitchell - Loan Officer Raleigh/Durham
Bank of England (NMLS#418481) - Raleigh, NC
Bob Mitchell (NMLS#1046286)

Frustration with OUR trade organization?  Hmmm, that's assuming that NAR really is OUR trade organization.  Their relationship with MOVE, Inc. makes me think otherwise.  If you're reading this comment and don't know what I'm talking about, look into how Realtor.com operates and then tell me if you think that NAR is operating in it's member's best interest or not?

Lane, excellent post!  I hope that they read it and start to understand that we're all not a bunch of dummies!


Bob Mitchell

ValueList Real Estate Services, Inc. 

Mar 12, 2008 06:45 AM #96
Suzanne Gantner
Sky Realty, Central Texas Real Estate - Round Rock, TX
Lane - as usual you are right on.  I believe all organizations need a shake up now and then to get in the current year. We need fresh air!!
Mar 12, 2008 07:00 AM #97
Brian Blake
Twin Falls, ID

I got you covered.

I made a couple of calls and some NAR representatives will be joining and looking at your comments soon.  These are clients of mine who will add their perspective and maybe answer some questions.

Each and everyone of you have your own NAR representatives for your state and or region.  Ask your local association who they are and talk to them.  Invite them to activerain.com they may be too busy to even know that it exists.

Real estate is local and so are your Reps.

Do you have a login at http://www.realtor.org/ You will need it to access this page.  This may have all the names of all the reps.  I don't have access but you as a REALTOR do.


If you want to know what NAR is publicly broadcasting media wise.   go to http://www.willisandjillstone.com/ and watch the videos from NAR.  This is the current media campaign. 

They put the videos on the site for you to use.  http://www.realtor.org/pac.nsf/pages/pachome

I have also added a great video from The Idaho Falls REALTORS.  You may want to create your own "Real Estate is Local" video and put it on youtube.com and all the others.

Mar 12, 2008 10:24 AM #98
Lane Bailey
Century 21 Results Realty - Suwanee, GA
Realtor & Car Guy

Cathy & Gary - Yeah... falling in line isn't one of my strong suits. 

Bob - I'm no fan of Move.  I look at the SCCA ownership of the name Trans-Am and how it carried them for years financially.  Then I see the the NAR and R.com.  The SCCA wasn't fleecing their members by leasing the name to GM.  

Suzanne - I don't know that I'm usually right on, but I try...

Brian - You might look at my comment about "real estate is local" earlier in the thread... But, thank you for getting someone over there on it.  I wonder if my comment will get posted...  If it does, I will update this to reflect that. 

Mar 12, 2008 03:52 PM #99
Lane Bailey
Century 21 Results Realty - Suwanee, GA
Realtor & Car Guy
Everyone... We got noticed.  I just popped up a new post to let everyone know the latest...
Mar 13, 2008 05:03 PM #100
Alex Charfen
Charfen Institute - Austin, TX

Great post - I could not agree more, see my blog on the numbers and just how big the distressed property market is.  We believe we are at the beginning of a very long process that the real estate market will havee to adjust to and learn to excel in.  NAR needs to be much more realistic.  I wonder how many investors and homeowners have purchased based on NAR predictions and have seen their values slide on a consistent basis.  Great post, thanks!

Alex Charfen

Mar 16, 2008 11:45 PM #101
Lane Bailey
Century 21 Results Realty - Suwanee, GA
Realtor & Car Guy
A&C - I would hope that people wouldn't buy based directly on the NAR recommendation... but how many agents counseled their buyer based on those predictions?
Mar 17, 2008 02:44 AM #102
Social Media, Email Marketing & Search Engine Optimization Specialist
PCS Online Solutions - Del Mar, CA

Without a doubt times are tough right now -- but I bought a home last year, so did my sister, and my mom is currently listed to sell. So, people move on, regardless of what others say.

I highly doubt there will be a day, soon, where the media will get out their horns and exclaim it's a great real estate market right now.

Blogging would be particularly helpful if agents would give more market info.

Happy Sailing ... _/) Paul -- www.eNewsletterSolutions.com 

Mar 17, 2008 09:10 AM #103
Lane Bailey
Century 21 Results Realty - Suwanee, GA
Realtor & Car Guy
Paul - I wouldn't be so sure.  In fact, I am hearing people in the media talking well about real estate now.
Mar 17, 2008 02:59 PM #104
Matt Stigliano
Kimberly Howell Properties (210) 646-HOME - San Antonio, TX

Lane - This is the first time I saw this, thanks for mentioning it in my comments.  Interesting to see your take on the NAR's insistence on positive reports, since I just wrote a whole post about it recently - "Are Realtors® Too Positive About The Market?  Or Are They Not Doing Enough?"  I was hoping to see more consumer opinions on the issue, but most of them have remained silent so far.

May 19, 2009 02:46 AM #105
Lane Bailey
Century 21 Results Realty - Suwanee, GA
Realtor & Car Guy

Matt - Consumer comments are very welcome... but also a bit rare...

May 19, 2009 03:51 PM #106
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