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.