The controversy over NAR’s attempt to cover up their failure to trademark MLS with claims of ethical violations rages on over a case in Sarasota, Florida. Inman News and the Bloodhound Blog report on it, and the issue has elicited huge commentary at Real Estate Webmasters. I’ve long had the position that the NAR won’t be able to put this genie back in the bottle, and trying to do so will just anger their customers. I also suggested a few times that the NAR would be better off spending their money creating a new brand to promote IDX authorized sites:
Once data standards are established, promising a strong and comprehensive data product from brokers and agents to consumers, NAR should create and heavily promote a branding and logo program for legitimate IDX sites so consumers can have confidence they are seeing everything.
With the recent VOW litigation settlement, this idea is one step nearer fruition. Now NAR just needs to shift its focus away from annoying its members and instead use their funds to help their members with a strong brand that will enhance the authority of their individual web sites. Imagine what NAR could do with their TV and other ad dollars targeted at promoting a simple brand certifying web sites that have all the data available for consumers?
Alternatively, perhaps a company like Roost or someone else (e.g., FBS with its flexmls or other brand?) will step up to the plate with such a brand. NAR can lead or follow.