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Comment No.: REW-0338
Received: 11/07/2005
Organization:  
Commenter: Roven, Fred
State: MA
Attachments: None


Comments:

From: f.roven3@verizon.net [mailto:f.roven3@verizon.net]
Sent: Monday, November 07, 2005 12:49 PM
To: ATR-Real Estate Workshop
Subject: Project # V050015

To Whom It May Concern:

I have been a member of the National Association of REALTORS (NAR) for 7 years. For most of that time I have struggled to have my Real Estate office found in the "Find a Realtor" search on their affiliated web site realtor.com managed by Homestore, Inc.

I am a member through the Cape Cod and Island Association of Realtors. The agents in the area I cover (02539,02557,02568,02575,02535) have opted not to use the association affiliate Multiple Listing Service, Inc.(MLS) Since we pay dues to NAR, you would think we could be found in their search for REALTORS. Not so. We are told the contract NAR has with Homestore specifies the information Homestore uses in their online search capabilities uses information supplied by MLS.

In order to be found as a member of NAR, I am forced to pay membership fees to MLS, a service I have no need of. To further the frustration but perhaps not the legality, I must buy an advertisement on realtor.com, a separate entity from NAR and MLS, simply to be found as a member of NAR. I call both NAR and realtor.com and somehow this all makes sense to them. They almost have me convinced by the time I am off the phone.

Right now, in addition to my $494 membership to NAR, I must pay a $1,000 initiation fee to MLS plus a $40 a month fee and $594 per year to Homestore, Inc. I would have to pay $2,024 to 2 groups I have no need of using in order to be located by consumers in an association to which I already pay dues.

I have several years of e-mail communication with NAR, Homestore, and REALTOR.COM. Some of the most significant quotes:

"Clearly, the end objective for the REALTOR directory at this point, is to mirror the phone book where advertisers are in one section and the standard list in another."
"NAR's preference would be to have a single directory"
"We anticipate that the 'Find a REALTOR' function will undergo revision later this year."
Tim Kline
Marketing manager, internet properties
NAR
May 30, 2003

"[TV ad says].the value of using a REALTOR, with the tag line "work with someone who will work with you."
"..because it is our exclusive national listing site there is a reference to www.REALTOR.com <http://www.realtor.com/> on the ending screen shot in each TV commercial"
Tim Kline
Marketing manager, internet properties
NAR
March 18, 2003

In addition to paying the previously mentioned $2,024, part of my dues to NAR are used to run an ad that directs consumers to a web site where I cannot be located except by looking through an entire list, like looking through an entire white pages, to use an abve quote.

I hope the above information will help in your study of National Association of REALTORS.

Sincerely,
Fred Roven
256 Edgartown Road
Edgartown, MA 02539-1661