The Race To The Bottom: $99.00 Listings?

Real Estate Agent with Big Block Realty 858.232.8722 CA BRE# 01261476

Do you support an MLS



that supports this?




We're hired for the Big 3






Problem Solving


Sellers still need negotiators and problem solvers, but damn, why give away the MLS access and marketing?


FSBO's have always been around and over 80% of them convert to a REALTOR® when they realize they have no clue what they are doing. FSBO's also leave an average of 13% of their potential capital gains on the table for lack of the BIG 3. Broker's that flat fee supports them have always been around too, but I do not understand why our MLS supports this practice?




Think about it: your MLS exists because you have a business that supports your MLS and your local, state and national Realtor associations. Now they are allowing the very virus that (theoretically) will kill your business and lower their membership and revenues. They are supporting their own demise through the destruction of our careers.


This is not a post about FSBO's, it is in fact a post about, (as NAR proposes their fee increases): 

When will we hold NAR's feet (and the trickle down) to the fire to spend our money to DEFEND our careers/industry that pay for their salaries and budget? We are all in this together, it's our industry, NAR is supposed to represent our needs and concerns, not profit off them!


NAR talks about a fee hike. What The Frost!!! Not until they do something that supports us in this fight that we are in fact in. Change is here and happening and not enough of us are taking action. NAR already sold our REALTOR®  brand to News Corp and media mogul Rupert Murdoch. We do not own our brand and "thems that do", don't give a rip about our careers, only money for the shareholders! How did that happen? How did we let them do that with our brand? It was our brand to represent not theirs to sell. NAR are supposed to be our servant leaders!



NAR and our MLS have let us down repeatedly. Locally, we'll fight this in our MLS (or will we)? I already know their "fair market" anti-trust argument. It's time to change the rules that are set up to fail us and our businesses. 


It's time to speak up and flex some muscle with NAR. I don't want their stupid commercials, I want their support against the Zillow's and MLS MY's of the industry. NAR should want this too! There's a hell of a lot more of us than the discount brokers and if we go away, NAR goes away. Again, I'm less concerned about FSBO's and more concerned about proper use of my hard earned commission that pays NAR, CAR,SDAR and S.A.N.D.I.C.O.R. being used to protect the "grove that bears the fruit" - our careers.


Technology and changes that come with it are inevitable, as an e-Pro and a 35 YEAR+ entrepreneur, I get it. But, we need to expect more from the top down, by demanding it from the bottom up. I’m taking action, what are you doing?


Therefore, I do actively and financially support industry-activists like Greg Hague  that are fed up with us being under the bus. Sitting on the sidelines is not an option folks, this is happening now, our careers are under attack now and thinking "this won't affect me" is not an option; if affects us all.



 This article contains largely my opinion based on info heard on

Frank & Brian's National Real Estate Post 5/18/2018 (click above link).

Graphic #1 screen-shot from Frank & Brian's National Real Estate Post


It's Finally Here!






Your thoughts in the comments please...

Posted by

REALTOR®, CRS, RCS-D, CDPE, ePro, Certified:Military Home Specialist,

Certified: Luxury Home Specialist Podcast Host, Author & Keynote Speaker


Brokered by Big Block Realty

Do You Know The Market Says Your Home is Worth?

CA-BRE# 01261476, since 1999  (My Team)

 "Oh by the way, I'm never too busy to serve you and your referrals to good people like you."

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Disclaimer:  Nothing in this blog article is to be construed as legal advice, tax advice, medical advice or financial advice.  For legal advice see an attorney.   For tax advice, health or financial advice see a tax attorney, certified public accountant, or other qualified professional.

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Sybil Campbell
Long and Foster REALTORS® 5234 Monticello Ave Williamsburg, Virginia - Williamsburg, VA
REALTOR® ABR, SFR, SRES Williamsburg, Virginia

I agree with you on this. We can always hope somehow NAR will get the message from us.

May 20, 2018 11:00 AM #23
Michael Layton
nook real estate - Palm Springs, CA
Michael Layton 7604085300

Thanks for posting this Thomas. I think we have to start somewhere. Everyone of us should contact our MLS tomorrow and ask if they have such a program in place. If they do we should write a letter of objection and notify our sphere of influence and request that they do the same.  

It is one thing to syndicate our listings to the portals but to list and facilitate it for non members seems to me to be betrayal. 

May 20, 2018 11:01 AM #24
Candice A. Donofrio
Next Wave RE Investments LLC Bullhead City AZ Commercial RE Broker - Fort Mohave, AZ
928-201-4BHC (4242) call/text

In metaphysics, when there is a threat from without, the FIRST line of defense is to sharpen YOUR OWN tools.
Every single one of us needs to do just that.
They won't protect us from the ZTRs, etc of the industry.
We have to make sure WE ARE better - one transaction at a time.
Our MLSs gave away the farm BECAUSE they are all run by folks who are not terribly good at their craft, and they very mistakenly thought that letting our data be sold to the highest bidder and then back to us would somehow keep us able to impress our clients. 
Every word you wrote = full on truth. 

May 20, 2018 11:48 AM #25
Debbie Gartner
The Flooring Girl - White Plains, NY
The Flooring Girl & Blog Stylist -Dynamo Marketers

This is sad.  Unfortunately, I suppose it's a classic example of Porter's 5 Forces at work (low bargaining.  A good example for a study.  Once in the midst of it; it's challenging to get out of.  I feel your pain and it is a shame.

May 20, 2018 12:16 PM #26
John Mosier
Realty ONE Group Mountain Desert - Prescott, AZ
Prescott's Patriot Agent 928 533-8142

Really GREAT POST, Thomas J. Nelson, Realtor, ePRO, CRS, RCS-D. You did not cover one of my biggest gripes with NAR.

NAR uses its influence to play politics just like the trade unions do. Decisions on what to support do not represent the will of NAR Members. 

I am considering getting my Broker's License in Arizona so I do not have to be a REALTOR anymore.  I do not need any MLS! 


May 20, 2018 02:26 PM #27
HOMEiZ.COM Real Estate Technology
HOMEiZ.COM - Agoura Hills, CA
The Real estate social network

Show me the money.

Like most unions and boards who propose to look out for your interest, they get fat off your dollar, then make you dependent on them and finally control how you make a living. The NAR and the local MLSs are playing this game with real estate agents. Real estate agents act like zombies and are very unorganized. These boards do what they want to do and are never challenged. Their budgets increase yet their value to the agents and to the consumer diminishing. The promises from NAR to real estate agents to become better real estate agents, are nothing but nonsense. Become a "Realtor", you will become a better agent, you will take ethics class every year. Being able to use the word “REALTOR” does not mean much in the real world. You can have a million letters following your name, but if a client doesn't trust you, then they are all worthless. 

The only reason I see NAR wants you to become a “Realtor” is, money greed. Yes, money greed. Many agents I know are saying; “NAR is a member of NRA - they put a gun to your head and hold your career hostage for megabucks just because they have a monopoly on the data. It's ridiculous. All they want from the agents, is to Keep sending money. STOP SENDING THEM MONEY! 

May 20, 2018 10:18 PM #28
Debra Leisek
Bay Realty,Inc Homer Alaska - Homer, AK

NAR went ahead and raise our dues 30 dollars. They will spend this money on politics and politicians and cocktail parties. They are not going to help us with MLS or FSBO discount companies.  They sold us down the river a long time ago.... that bridge cant be rebuilt.  

May 21, 2018 12:25 AM #29
Dave Martin (703) 585-4687
Fairfax Realty - Fairfax, VA
Making Realty Dreams a Reality #WeWillGetYouHome

I couldn't agree with you more Thomas J. Nelson, Realtor, ePRO, CRS, RCS-D the associations we fund do a deplorable job of promoting & protecting our businesses. Instead they are only focused on the most superficial and pointless extravagances; that actually do nothing anyway. How bad a job has NAR done to educate the public regarding the differences between Real Estate Agent & Realtor?

Well, in the 110 years of its existence not a very good job.

The vast majority of consumers have No Idea that there is a difference between Realtor and Real Estate Agent.

Most consumers mispronounced it Real "a" tor.

Consumers more often use the term Real Estate Agent, which is MUCH longer yet apparently preferred over our "coveted" trade mark REALTOR.

They do indeed need to fix the problem from within the system or perhaps it needs to be scrapped and begun again with a clear model designed to educate, promote, protect the industry and its members.

Thanks for the post 

May 21, 2018 07:36 AM #31
Fred Griffin, on leave of absence from ActiveRain
Fred Griffin Real Estate - Tallahassee, FL
Licensed Florida Real Estate Broker

     It is too late to do anything about Zillow, Redfin, Purplebricks, or Discount Brokerage.  NAR blew it; there is no going back.

   Why would anyone continue to pay dues to a failed organization?  I'm done with NAR at the end of this year.  

   As for the term, "Realtor"... the Public could not care less.    It has become a common name like Kleenex.   

May 21, 2018 07:48 AM #32
Annette Thor
Connecticut Homes and Commercial Fairfield Cty,CT - Westport, CT
Residential & Commercial Real Estate Broker in CT

I wouldnt belong to NAR if I wasnt strong armed into it by my mls.  There should be another search to be a member of besides our local mls but it must be as current in the status as mls's are.


May 21, 2018 07:01 PM #33
Nathan Gesner
American West Realty and Management - Cody, WY
Broker / Property Manager

NAR is a political group enamored with self importance. I would quit them but my state and local board require membership.

"If you think a professional is expensive, try hiring an amateur."

May 21, 2018 07:48 PM #34
Marte Cliff
Marte Cliff Copywriting - Priest River, ID
Your real estate writer

Way back when I became an agent, we were not Realtors and MLS had not invaded our small town. Perhaps it was a pain, but buyers visited individual offices to see what was for sale. We shared listings with other offices if we felt like it.

I think that system would work again - except with access to the Internet, everyone could have their listings out there where buyers could find them. It might take a little longer, but aggressive marketing would get them found.

I wish you luck in this battle. If EVERY member opted out of MLS and refused to pay dues to the realtor organizations, things would change in a hurry - but getting every member to cooperate is another story. Too many operate on fear.

May 21, 2018 09:15 PM #35
John Wiley
Right Move Real Estate Group- EXP Realty - Fort Myers, FL
Lee County, FL, ECO Broker, GRI, SRES,GREEN,PSA

I agree with your explanation of what is going on in our industry and the lack of support from NAR.

I was shocked when we heard about the Logo re-design. The shocking part was they spent $250,000 for a failed attempt. That was our money they are throwing around.

Why are they not spending money on protecting the members from the disruptors?

The dues increase passed and that adds $30 to our dues. Will $30 break our bank? No. But what it does is now mandates that $17 of that raise goes to RPAC. That will bring in more than $40million, for lobbying, not on our efforts to have a thriving business.

Thanks for sharing and best wishes.

May 22, 2018 08:47 AM #36
Jody Hodges
Hodges and Fooshee Realty,Inc - Nashville, TN
Real Estate Broker,P.I.

If someone wants to take a chance and give away their home they can. Typically the dicsount listing client is confused as to where they really stand in the market. So Wish them luck, get an investor to buy their home and then relist it and make everyone some money.  For sale by owners, I want to thank them for setting me up for an early retirement. They saved the commission alright, this may open the door for some more investment opportunities.  I remember working for years to help people get loans, once the gooberment regulated it so that we couldn't make money, I just stopped helping people get into homes and started helping myself buy rentals, lord what a difference in the bottom line. So as the big data monopolies get greedy, they will ultimately implode. Yes the MLS needs to take a step back and not bite the hand that feeds them.

May 24, 2018 08:43 AM #37
Sam Schneiderman

When our MLS stopped requiring membership in NAR to become an MLS member and NAR sold for a million dollars, followed by feeding our listings to and other online portals that only existed to squeeze their profits from short-sighted agents that paid them to advertise on those portals, I began to question the benefit of paying to be in an organization that did not have the guts and/or talent to protect the value of the MLS systems that Realtors built with our own time, talent and money. Add to that an unenforced Realtor "Code Of Ethics" and an RPAC that provided political support to candidates that might support housing but may have other values that I don't wish to support and I cancelled my NAR membership.

I could do this because I run an independent brokerage and I am the broker. If you work for a brokerage where the broker is an NAR member, agents in that office must also be NAR members. If you want to send a message to NAR to represent you, then the agents in your office need to let your broker know how displeased you are.

While you are at it, if you hope to be in this business for the long-term and save your career from becoming more of a commodity than it has become recently, learn how to generate your own good leads and stop paying online portals for leads with less than a 3% closing rate. They are probably a bigger threat to your business than NAR and you are keeping them alive.

Leaving NAR has not hurt my business one bit and it has saved my business thousands of dollars over the years. NAR won't see my dues or support again until they start supporting my business more pro-actively, which might finally be starting to happen again, but forced RPAC contributions don't cut it. Think about it and talk with your fellow agents. It's time to make NAR responsive to its members again.

May 25, 2018 12:33 AM #38
Jonathan Bowen
Hub Edge Realty - Stoughton, MA
Advice. Education. Guidance.

Denying these discount brokerages access to MLSs may violate the Sherman Antitrust Act so there's no getting around their existence.

May 25, 2018 12:00 PM #39
Dave Halpern
Keller Williams Realty Louisville East (502) 664-7827 - Louisville, KY
Louisville Short Sale Expert

Failed logo redesign cost $250,000.

Dues increase per agent is $30.

$250,000 divided by $30 is 8,333.

They wasted the dues increase of "only" 8,333 agents out of the one million agents paying dues.

That's why they can write a $250,000 check so easily.

May 27, 2018 09:18 AM #40
Lise Howe
Keller Williams Capital Properties - Washington, DC
Assoc. Broker and Attorney Licensed in DC, MD, VA,

I am appalled by the lack of representation that the NAR gives us - I think there should be accountability to its members and I am not seeing it from this group. Good post! 

May 29, 2018 03:57 AM #41
Pat Starnes-Front Gate Realty
Front Gate Real Estate - Brandon, MS
601-991-2900 Office; 601-278-4513 Cell

I'm so glad this was featured and that Carol Williams added it to her Second Chance Saturday column. I fear it's too late to do anything. So many are brain-washed that MLS and NAR are the end-all, be-all, but look how incompetent they have been. Mistake after mistake with no consequences. It appears we all drank the kool-aid and are blindly following them into our own demise.

May 29, 2018 07:39 AM #42
Hannah Williams
Re/Max Eastern inc. - Philadelphia, PA
Expertise NE Philadelphia & Bucks 215-953-8818

Thomas J. Nelson, Realtor, ePRO, CRS, RCS-D  perhaps the reason for the increase was that many chose  not to pay the fee last year . I am glad Carol Williams  chose this post for SCS

May 29, 2018 01:17 PM #43
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