More On Discount Real Estate Brokerage

I just can’t resist back to back posts on a subject that has kicked up some feelings for all of those involved in the real estate industry.  Sunday night’s 60 Minutes episode Hi Tech Real Estate Moves In has created quite the buzz across the Internet and among my colleagues (check out Peter Comitini’s take on the subject).  And of course, the NAR is up in arms about the piece as seen in this letter to its members shared by Christine Forgione at (I’m not a "Realtor" so I didn’t receive this letter…but Christine did and here it is):

Dear Fellow REALTOR:

I am disappointed and dismayed at the biased story that 60 Minutes aired on Sunday evening. I want to let you know that we’ve been working to stay on top of this story.

One of the most difficult challenges we face is educating the news media about today’s real estate industry. There’s no better example than this 60 Minutes show. For more than a year, NAR worked with the producers who put the segment together and offered several spokespersons to be interviewed for the show, including myself. Yet, NAR’s voice was strangely and noticeably absent from the segment though CBS gave time to two critics who disagree with our policies on the display of listings on the Internet.

At times, NAR and REALTORS&#174 have often been the subject of less than accurate news coverage. Your association and its professional staff is making every effort to get the REALTOR&#174 message out to the news media. The result is that only a fraction-less than five percent-of the vast news media we receive is negative.

We encourage all of you to contact CBS to voice your concerns — maybe have some of your satisfied customers do the same.

Thank you for your support.

Pat V. Combs

I just wish I could have heard good ole David Lereah’s reaction (aka "spin") to this 60 Minutes segment.  Is the NAR surprised that this story is "bias?" 

This debate over whether or not a discount real estate brokerage model can survive in the marketplace has been going on since before I started in this business 15 years ago.  So I did a Google search this AM to see exactly what I could find by the way of discount firms.  My search of Discount Real Estate Brokerage (no caps) turned up 1,210,000 search results with 7 of the first 10 being bonafide discount real estate agents.  If you’re interested in this type of service, there are options out there for you (try the same Google search).  There will always be consumers who prefer Charles Schwab over Sanford Bernstein.  I’m counting on continuing to make my living servicing the latter.

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