Notes From Readers: Staying Small Is Smart

A collection of letters from readers of REALTOR® Magazine this month.

April 1, 2011

Many of us get into the super-sized fast-food ­approach with social networking before we understand what we’re doing. It is as we mature in the social media realm that we learn the lesson you teach us in your article ("Less Is Definitely More," March 2011, page 23). Thanks for making us more aware.
- Jerry Reed, First Team Real Estate, Orange County, Calif.

Taking a Pass on Facebook

My thanks go to Editor-in-Chief Stacey Moncrieff for exposing the time-wasting threats of social ­networking ("Discussions That Matter," March 2011, page 6). We’ve been hearing for several years that buyers are online so we should be too. In reality, real estate is about relationships and referrals, not Facebook and Twitter. Those sites just don’t gen­erate consistent business. You may luck into a sale, but that’s the exception. Spend time with tradi­tional marketing and networking.
- Rick Snider, Prudential Ridgeway Realty, Waldorf, Md.

Strong MLSs Need Strong Data

I like the idea of moving toward statewide MLSs ("Yes to Consolidation," March 2011, page 38). More important, though, writer Cameron Paine addresses the "exaggerated predictions that the death of the MLS is inevitable." The primary reason that hasn’t yet happened is the quality of information and amount of historical data in the MLS. It is of utmost importance for each of us to be as accurate and as thorough as possible when it comes to inputting new data. It won’t be long before an Internet threat can match the MLS’s ease of access to data. If your MLS survives, it will be strictly a function of whether its data is better.
- Bob Tarantino, Badgerland, REALTORS®, LLC, Delafield, Wis.

A Practical Solution

Cameron Paine’s article is right on the money ("Yes to Consolidation," March 2011, page 38). Why doesn’t each state have just a single MLS? I sell ­almost all the state of Georgia; I will go anywhere my clients want to go. It would be nice to be able to pull up any property anywhere in order to better serve my buyers and sellers. When a competing broker asks me, "What are you doing here in my town?" My answer is, "My license is for the state of Georgia last time I checked."
- Marianne King, Coldwell Banker Bullard Realty, Zebulon, Ga.

GSA Deals Can Be Tricky

The article about government leases was spot-on ("Simplifying GSA Leasing," page 19, March 2011). I previously worked for the General Services Administration and recently branched off to open a GSA lease consulting business. Landlords have been extremely receptive but the GSA is showing some unwillingness to cooperate. There is an enormous amount of policy that its leasing specialists and contracting officers have to work with. There will forever be a reluctance to work through a GSA deal until people get out in front of a lessor and have their hand held through the process, which is exactly what my company does.
- Anthony Lichtl, ­Unified Interest, Santee, Calif.

Show the Credentials

While we were pleased to see one of our members, Robert White, CEO of Real Capital Analytics, featured in the March 2011 issue of REALTOR® Magazine ("Is Core Overheated?" page 20), there was one important thing missing in an otherwise informative and thought-provoking article—Robert’s CRE credential. - Mary Walker Fleischmann, President and CEO, The Counselors of Real Estate, Chicago

Why We Do What We Do

NAR recently received a letter from a REALTOR® in the state of Washington, thanking the association for its efforts to keep banks out of the real estate brokerage business. "I, for one, am proud to be a REALTOR® and gladly pay my dues to keep us all at work," the member wrote.
- Posted Feb. 22 by Kelly Killian, manager of editorial development for

Vivianne Rutkowski responded: One may ask why it is even necessary to remind Congress that real estate brokerage and mortgage loan brokerage should not mix. But capitalism does not like to be limited. If there is opportunity, [banks] will grab it. Unfortunately, often at the taxpayers’ expense.

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Kelly Quigley

Kelly Quigley is the former managing editor of REALTOR® Magazine.