Attention Realtor.com – Use Spell Check Please

Update –

I received an email last night kindly pointing out that my calling Realtor.com out on a spelling error as being petty and superior. Had almost anyone else said that, I likely would have brushed it off. The respect I hold for this person caused me to think and conclude – He was right.

However, let me explain. The misspelling is, to me, indicative of a much larger issue – the general lack of respect that I perceive Realtor.com has for its customers as well as the frustration and irritation I feel for having Realtors’ efforts sold back to us. (and I’m certainly not alone)

For those uninitiated, Realtors send their listing information to Realtor.com, which is operated by Move.com which has a contractual relationship with the National Association of Realtors. Move.com is a public, for-profit entity. NAR is a member-services organization.

So – Realtors get the listings, send them to Realtor.com for free, who in turn “enhance” them and sell these enhancements back to Realtors. We’re just working against ourselves.

Not taking the time to spellcheck a multi-million dollar webpage is indicative of a lack of regard for the readers and the members, and I as a customer (those are big sarcastic quotation marks, by the way) am offended (in as much as I can allow a misspelling to offend me; but when a page that I purportedly support is being marketed to my potential customers, I do take a mild bit of offense).

Was it petty to post about a simple misspelling? Sure. Should I have emailed Realtor.com and told them? Probably; but I have no idea whom I should contact, nor do I have any confidence that it would be fixed.

Seriously, is it too much to ask for “REALTOR.com® is the official site of the National Association of REALTORS® and is operated by Move, Inc.” to ensure that there are not misspellings on its pages?

And their keyword slamming is irritating, too
I do kind of like the comprehensive display of information on the page, though.
(Visited 31 times, 1 visits today)

4 Comments

  1. michael guthrie November 17, 2008 at 18:26

    Jim,
    I find it interesting that you are concerned with Realtor.com taking our listings and then having the Realtors pay to be able to enhance their own listings on a site owned by NAR. If this is really a concern of yours, then why do you have a web site that allows folks to search all the listings in our MLS? Other agents hard work has gotten them the listings and because of IDX you, at no cost, are able to have people find their listings while on your site. What is the difference especially when every Realtor’s listings are on Realtor.com (the most searched real estate web site) for free vs your comment of Realtor.com selling the listings back to the agent. An agent has a choice on whether they pay for the enhancement you speak about and that as you know is in their best interests because it causes people to spend more time looking at those enhance listings. I’m confused

    Reply
  2. Jim Duncan November 17, 2008 at 19:24

    Michael –

    Thanks as always for the comment.

    I see Realtor.com as the competition, a site that Realtors should control and one that should benefit Realtors.

    I pay for both MLS access and local association dues as well as for the website(s). Realtor.com gets the data for free (if I’m not mistaken) and then sells “upgrades” back to us – versus my ideal of a Realtor.com being much like MLS.ca – no ads, a benefit for all Realtors.

    The fees I pay are admittedly nominal when compared with the potential (and hopeful) benefit … but I do pay something versus RDC’s paying nothing at all. I’d say it’s the “principle of the matter,” but that argument typically loses me when I hear it made … but, I do pay something.

    Further, I would be fine with having the listing brokers’ branding within my IDX feed (my personal opinion, so long as it’s MLS-wide) – but I understand that that is a political no-go, apparently.

    There are MLS’ that are pulling their feeds from RDC because they do not get the benefit from it that they should.

    My issue is also the dichotomy of the situation and the fact that Realtor.com is innovating at a far less rapid pace than their competition and

    Another matter is the credibility of the site/mistrust that permeates the Realtor community within which I am most familiar. That the FSBO story was not dismissed out of hand last week is a testament to how far RDC needs to come.

    Whew!

    Reply
  3. Jim Duncan November 17, 2008 at 19:39

    I forgot the ads – from a pure aesthetic point of view, they clutter up the page, and distract from the listing itself. We should be able to do better than our competition and have a site focused on the properties we are marketing rather than sharing space with the ads.

    My site doesn’t have ads. 🙂

    But … I do like the new display of listings.

    It’s possible.

    Reply
  4. Pavel Dovgalyuk November 18, 2008 at 08:46

    Very good points, Jim. In my opinion, Realtor.com is all about making a profit. Just take an example of virtual tours: you cannot upload a virtual tour (a basic URL link) if the virtual tour provider does not pay Realtor.com a yearly fee. I pay for enhanced membership on Realtor.com and cannot post my virtual tours because my vendor is not “approved” by Realtor.com – meaning my photographer does not pay them a yearly fee. Realtor.com heavily promotes listings with virtual tours and therefore, backhandedly forces a Realtor to switch to another VT provider or force his VT provider to pay up. Nonsense.

    Reply

Leave A Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *