Inman has the story:
The 1.5 million members of the National Association of Realtors will see a $10 increase in their yearly bill from the trade group next year for its consumer advertising campaign.
The trade group’s special assessment for the ad campaign started as $15 in 1999, went to $20 in 2002, $30 in 2007 and $35 in 2009, remaining unchanged since then.
“With escalating media costs paired with emerging media channels, and an increasingly crowded real estate category, the committee feels that increasing the per member assessment $10 is the best way to generate the funds needed,” the Consumer Communications Committee said in its rationale for the change in a packet distributed to the board of directors.
That’s all fine and dandy, and $10 a year can’t be much of a hardship when inflation is north of 8%. But there was something else in this story that caught my eye:
“With ad spend expected to rise nearly 50 percent over the next several years in a crowded category all competing for the same mindshare, we need to remain competitive with our investment that we have made,” he told directors, while showing a slide with the names of several “new entrants” in the industry, including Compass, Opendoor, Knock, Homie and HomeLight.
Included with that statement was this image:
Am I crazy or does that slide include a few companies who are actual members of NAR?
- Zillow is a REALTOR member.
- RE/MAX is a REALTOR member.
- Compass is a REALTOR member.
- Opendoor is a REALTOR member.
- Offerpad is a REALTOR member.
- Redfin is a REALTOR member.
I can’t make out all of the logos, and I don’t know if Ribbon, Flyhomes, Knock or HomeLight are REALTOR members or not. These companies have tens of thousands upon tens of thousands of REALTOR members as agents.
So the proposition here is what? That NAR will charge Compass agents, RE/MAX agents, Redfin agents, Opendoor agents, etc. etc. to promote a brand that directly competes against their own brands? Sure, this has always been the case with NAR’s consumer advertising campaign, but this is the first time I’ve seen it spelled out so clearly, that NAR considers these other real estate brands as competition.
I mean, I guess if they’re all cool with it, then it’s all copacetic. But having been a veteran of the whole “MLS public facing website” battles of the past, I can’t help but wonder how this is all going down.