Surely not intentionally, but that is what they are doing with the following, received in my ever-crowded inbox:
Dear Valued Customer,
In order to be of assistance in your budgeting process, we would like to inform you with as much advance notice as possible about our January 15, 2007 price change. We do not take lightly the impact any price increase (like any product or service any person buys) has on you, our customer. In order to continue to advertise all basic listings for free, not charge referral fees, and to purchase traffic for REALTOR.com®, it is necessary to have a source for generating revenue and thus remain competitive, and allow REALTOR.com® to remain in business. That said, we firmly believe that the value rendered by REALTOR.com® Marketing Systems are monumentally greater than the price charged to REALTORS®.
That they would even mention “not charging referral fees” – that the thought of selling leads back to the providers of the data/content is simply onerous.
Just as REALTOR.com® carefully evaluates a number of factors before arriving at the aforementioned business decision to raise prices, so too do we encourage each individual REALTOR® to carefully evaluate the value you receive on behalf of you and your clients in relationship to the costs, before you make your individual business decision. It is for this reason that we eliminated automatic renewals so that only those REALTORS®, who carefully contemplated the value of utilizing REALTOR.com® beyond its basic free program, would be the ones who renewed their respective REALTOR.com® Marketing Systems and products. In order to carefully contemplate REALTOR.com® value, we are providing a minimum of two months to a maximum of twelve months advance notice of the price change (depending upon the REALTOR’S® product renewal date), because we believe this should be a carefully thought out evaluation. It is a privilege to serve those of you who seek to provide even greater value for your current and prospective clients.
At least they want us to be careful. Google is fast becoming a “no-brainer,” but one must “carefully consider” using Realtor.com.
Details of the price increase: Beginning January 15, 2007, prices for the Showcase Listing Enhancements Marketing System, Standard Listing Enhancements, Featured Homes™ Marketing System and Featured CMA™ Marketing System will increase by 10% and the Featured Community™ and Featured Agent™ Marketing System will increase by 7%. Your agreement will be unaffected until the date of your agreement renewal. The price you paid or are paying monthly, will not change until expiration of your current agreement.
If you have any questions that require immediate attention on these upcoming changes, we encourage you to contact your Account Executive by calling 800-878-4166. And again, on behalf of everyone here at REALTOR.com®, we thank you for the privilege of serving you and helping you better serve your clients.
Senior Vice President,
Realtor.com’s cushy arrangement with getting all (or most) of Realtors’ listing data is swiftly coming to an end. Realtor.com is a listing tool that I use to sell to my potential seller clients, because the perception is that their home has to be on Realtor.com. That is no longer the case. What happens when Realtor organizations start pulling their property data feeds? Hmmm .. given the option of paying hundreds or thousands of dollars to have my sellers’ properties marketed on Realtor.com, or list them on Google for free …
To the consumers, curious, potential home buyers or sellers – would you rather go to Realtor.com or Google if you were searching for your new home in Charlottesville?