Notes From Readers: Following the Trail of Your Listing Data

Readers write in about our story on listing syndication, the importance of title searches, connecting with NAR leadership, and more.

March 19, 2014

This month’s magazine was a wealth of information. It is a must-read for all of our members. The special report by Meg White (“Do You Know Where Your Listings Are?” January/February 2014, page 24) was the best explanation on how syndications, VOWs, websites, MLSs, and third-party sites use our listing data and how it affects our business.
—Mary Ann Sgobba, ABR, GRI, N.J. Realty Center, Totowa, N.J.

Do You Know Where Your Listings Are?” is the best-written general overview of this topic I’ve read. Of course there are even deeper layers of complication, but this was perfect and spot on for the general membership to start thinking about and understanding syndication and how it works.
—Steve Crossland, Crossland Real Estate, Austin, Texas

Title Searches and Divorce 

In the article (“Providing Help During a Break-Up,” January/February 2014, page 33), Erica Christoffer quotes Pam Theroux as saying, “No one thinks to run a background title report on a house.” Excuse me? Where I practice real estate, it is standard practice to contact a title company and order a preliminary title search as soon as I take a listing for a property, if not before. There are many things that can come up on a title search that can prevent you from closing the sale of the property, including but not limited to: tax liens, construction liens, and mortgages that have not been discharged. I would certainly agree that prior to even considering a divorce, one or both of the spouses contact a REALTOR® to discuss the impact that the divorce will have on the real estate they own or vice versa. Without a preliminary title search, how can you really be sure that the person signing the listing documents actually has the (sole) right to sell the property, at least as far as the Register of Deeds is concerned?
—Kevin Keating, Coldwell Banker Mount Pleasant Realty, Mount Pleasant, Mich.

Connecting to NAR

It was interesting to read the bio of our new president, Steve Brown (“The Uniter,” January/February 2014, page 18). I love the idea of transparency and of his interest in including us peons in NAR. But when I couldn’t find a way to contact him in the article I assumed (wrongly I hope) that it was all talk.
—Sig Buster III, CCIM, Sig Buster Commercial Real Estate LLC, North Myrtle Beach, S.C.

Editor’s Note: It was not all talk. Feel free to contact Steve Brown at

Blog Post: The Danger of Always Being On

From The Weekly Book Scan: At the Inman Real Estate Connect conference in January, Huffington Post Editor-in-Chief Arianna Huffington talked about her upcoming book, which is broadly about unplugging from a constantly-on life. Now that the market is red-hot in many areas across the country, agents are still trying to do it all like they did when things were slow. Huffington’s message to real estate pros is this: It’s a different market, and you need to adjust. First, we all need to stop talking about sleep deprivation as a badge of honor. But Huffington also said we’re all spending too much time on our devices. “They make [these devices] deliberately addictive. It’s not accidental,” she said. “There has to be an AA for devices. You know, ‘Hello, my name is Arianna and I am a tech addict.’ ”
—Meg White, multimedia web producer for REALTOR® Magazine

Lindy Carter responds: Recently, I met an agent who was so addicted to her cell phone that she could barely have a meaningful conversation with the person right in front of her, i.e. me. She thought that hiring an assistant might free up time for her to get the important things done, but after listening to her conversations with her hairdresser and with another agent, plus a couple of urgent text messages that were read and responded to, I realized that this gal needed to unplug more than she needed an assistant.

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Note: Letters and blog posts are edited for space and clarity. Publication of a letter doesn’t constitute an endorsement of the writer's views by the National Association of REALTORS® or REALTOR® Magazine. Submission of a letter constitutes permission to publish it in any form or medium.