Motion Passed On Coming Soons

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Anthony: Hey, everybody, I’m here at NAR, and the motion just passed. All coming soon listings moving forward need to be submitted to your MLS within one business day of being publicly marketed. Now, there’s a couple of caveats to that. It depends on the type of MLS you have, whether or not it’s privately held like if it’s a broker owned like we are in Massachusetts, then they need to adopt it which I expect to happen. The committee meeting just occurred here in San Francisco. There’s been a lot of hype, a lot of lead up to this. There’s been articles in Inman Risk Media, HousingWire all over the place about this particular issue on coming soons and it just passed and there was, I’ll tell you big discussion on both sides. Only four people opposed it, and I’ll be honest with you guys, I went into the meeting feeling as though I was unsure, but feeling like I was leaning towards being against the proposal. I’m one to usually say, “Let the consumer decide, it’s between broker and consumer.”, but after listening to the arguments and listening to people who have been working on this for months like the folks on the committee and the folks who chaired the committee and vice-chair and all those folks.

They worked very hard on this, and they heard arguments from all sides of the aisle and for those of you that you know aren’t familiar with the National Association, and who make comments like, “Well, they already gave us up or NAR doesn’t do anything for us.” You’re mistaken. That’s how I used to talk until 2011 when I got involved and I’ve come to realize that they do a lot of good work for us and without them, we’d be in trouble and so wouldn’t private property owners. Again, there were arguments on both sides, but really, only four people completely opposed it and there was probably 20 to 30 people that got up in favor of it. I sat there and I was thinking, and there was a lot of people talking about fair housing and how it’s super important that people get a fair shot at homes.

One of the things that hit me with respect to coming soon, there was a lot of good speakers and a lot of good word said and a couple of things that got me is somebody stood up and said, “You know what, our whole business model National Association, MLS, all of this was predicated starting back in 1908 when we all agreed to cooperate and that’s the essence of what our business is; the brokerage business and the home selling business.” I’m doing this live so if I misspeak I’ve got to recover, but that’s how it works and there are people that say, “Well, that’s not good for the consumer.” No, I actually think it is good for the consumer. The more I think about it and I’ve been thinking about it for days, and the more I listen to the arguments, the fact is there are agents out there who do try to get their seller to take a direct offer before putting the property on the market oftentimes– or not, I shouldn’t say oftentimes, but sometimes that is not as good of an offer for that seller, but the agent wants to maybe double end it and that does happen.

The fact is if we’re going to market them publicly, I do think that we should have to submit them to MLS. I mean, look at the last five years, the amount of coming soon Facebook groups is out of control. I started unsubscribing to them and getting out of the groups about a year ago because I don’t personally sell anymore, and I was frankly a bit annoyed by them and I thought back about that, and I listened to people’s arguments and I will tell you, I’m for it. Again, this was very well thought out, very, very detailed in a detailed fashion and the people that ran the committee were great, I mean these are major players in the business. This was someone who’s running Long and Foster down in the Mid-atlantic region for home services and they really broke this apart and came up with this rule.

Now here’s the thing I want to clarify for everybody to make sure you understand. This does not mean that you cannot market your listings in your brokerage, that is allowed. Okay, you can. Like in our company, we have a whole pre list system where people submit their listings and it gets the listing protected and it allows the agents within the company to see it. That’s totally fine. What they’re saying is once it goes public, so if you’re going to put it on Facebook, if you’re going to put a sign in front of the property that says, “Coming soon”, if you’re going to I don’t know newspaper ad whatever it may be, if you say coming soon and it is property specific that won’t be allowed. Now again, in Massachusetts, I see mostly Massachusetts Realtors watching here some of our own, “Hello.”

It hasn’t taken effect yet, MLS pin has to vote on it, but the CEO of MLS was there, she’s very good, Kathy. We were texting about it and there will be meetings in the months to come and I suspect, I’m not speaking for her– I suspect that it will be adopted and I am going to be for it, and I’ll tell you again, I’ll admit I went into the meeting thinking, “I’m leaning towards no. I’m leaning towards being against this.” and as a company selfishly speaking, I don’t love it. We’ve been doing coming soon ads. We created a whole product for our agents, a whole service where our marketing team can put a listing up for them, “Coming soon” and that’s largely going to come down. Now, it doesn’t mean you can’t do them, once it’s submitted to the MLS it will get marketed to everybody who’s an MLS subscriber and you would, therefore, have to participate with other peoples, but because of that and because of the 21 day rule that you can’t show, you know it has to be listed within 21 days at least that’s how it is now, it could change with these new rules implementation, but it they talked about the 21 days, and then they say you can’t show it, I think largely what we’re going to see in the next six months is coming soons dramatically decrease as far as being publicly marketed.

I’m okay with that. I will tell you I think this is a blow to Zillow and I’m okay with that too. I think that they’re our biggest competitor and I’ve changed my tune a bit on them though they’re a very good company and they’re run by very smart people and they offer some very good services for both homeowners and realtors. I think that they will not like this getting past because the more people that they can get on they’re coming soons, the more properties they have to offer and the more leads that they can sell. Keep that in mind, they are in the business of selling leads and they’ve done it brilliantly. Like them or not, they have done it brilliantly and they have managed to get themselves in between the consumer in the realtor, and now many of us pay for it. Think that you’re going to see, there’s no doubt. There’s no doubt with this passing you’re gonna see coming soons substantially decreasing.

Now I want to mention one caveat, probably should have mentioned in the beginning, this does still have to get through a couple of other committees, I believe, Policy Committee, Executive committee and then Board of Directors on Monday. It got through the first committee what which was the hardest one, now it has to go through others. I think it’ll pass. I actually thought, “Do I want to do this video on Monday?” I decided against it I wanted to update you all live. Again, the motion passed in order to promote a coming soon listing publicly you have to submit it to your MLS within one business day. Yesterday I had said 24 hours. That wasn’t right, it’s one business day and I am for it. After listening and sitting here live paying attention in the meeting and the meeting was jam-packed. I posted some pictures in the thread from yesterday in the comments, the meeting was absolutely jam-packed and it was like a hundred degrees in there, but I’ll tell you, the people who ran the meeting, I’ve been in that position was it not for a meeting this important, but I’ve been involved in National Association committees. I’ve been fortunate to be involved.

A lot of thought goes into it and these people worked extremely hard. It was very obvious that they worked hard and they were all over it, and they were under a lot of pressure, but I will tell you, at least 80% of the room was for this and there was realtors from all walks of life from people that sell two homes a year to broker-owners like myself and then big broker-owners with thousands of agents and their companies. I’m for it. It passed. I assume it will be made official on Monday and then it will be interesting to see what our MLS in Massachusetts does for those of you that have I believe it’s Realtor Association owned MLSs, I believe they have to implement as soon as it takes effect. I should mention that by the way, forgot that part. I see them going live so I’m bouncing around, but this rule takes effect January 1st and they will start, what is the word, implement no not implementing, basically, punishing people if they don’t follow it by May 1st. That was going to be March 1st, but it takes effect January 1st, and then by May 1st if you’re not adhering to it that’s when the smack will come down. That’s the official date.

I hope that helps you, guys. Hope that makes sense. I came back to my room so I could actually focus and do this video. You can see I’m here in San Francisco. There’s a huge glare off the glass, but I think you can all see the view and I am headed back down to listen to another meeting, Katie Johnson, our head of legal for the National Association and their outside counsel is going to be talking about this class-action lawsuit against the National Association and many of the big brokerages. I want to be there to hear what they’re saying. That’s all, my friends. Post comments if you disagree, if you don’t like it. If you don’t like my take, I don’t care. Say what you think. All right, guys, have a great day, everyone.