I grabbed a flight to Chicago early Monday morning so I could be at the NAR headquarters for the REBar Camp. I though it would be an interesting venue and who knew whom I'd meet. "Show up and see what happens." Having sponsored the recent rebar in Boston, I knew a little bit about what to expect.
Most of the groups at the Chicago rebar were useful and interesting. Topics were submitted by participants. Each "class" was lead, but input and discussion were encouraged as in all rebars. There were people there to sell something, although they generate interest by teaching a class rather than directly propositioning. The big Z and T usually have people there. People from smaller companies were there, too.
If you need pointers on SEO, twitter, or the Internet in general, a rebar can be useful, but you can also get many of the same pointers by searching on most search engines. However, you don't get the interaction with other agents when you're searching on-line that you do at a rebar. It does personalize Internet communication when you meet them IRL (in real life).
Since we met In Chicago at the NAR building, the CEO of NAR, Dale Stinton, gave a brief speech and then answered questions from the group. It was interesting to listen to his perspective about where the NAR is and the things that are developing. One agent from St Louis, asked if the NAR could get younger agents involved. Dale suggested the agent work his way into the committees at his board level. Having tried that already and having switched boards once in an attempt to find a more open board, the agent asked if something at the NAR could be instituted as a top down method. Dale said he'd suggest 2 new seats on each committee that would be specifically for agents/brokers who are under 30 years old.
CEO Stinton tried to impart his own frustration with NAR members who don't respond to a "call for action" from NAR leadership. "We send out notice and all they have to do is push two buttons and they don't even push two buttons. We need more member involvement on issues that affect real estate and ownership." He went on to comment that a 1% response from a million members is not as useful as any director would prefer.
Another note of interest was the mention of an NAR exclusive database that includes every property in the US. Asked to clarify, Dale said that literally every property would be in the database and that it would be ready sometime this fall! This will give NAR members access to property information for every location in the US.
When asked if this would be open to R.com, the Big Z or T and sites like them, Dale was very thoughtful. After his pause, he stated that Z and T have their place. Then he carefully worded his comments about R.com to say that "there is no requirement that we share the database with (them)". No mention was made that many MLSs have already, or are in the process of, pulling out of R.com and similar sites in favor of their members' sites.
Dale was very generous with his time. Although not all people there were Realtors, he listened to everyone and directly answered each inquiry with thought. He shook hands and continued speaking with me and other brokers and attendees when the formal meeting ended.
Happy selling and listing real estate!
Heath Coker, Associate Broker
Robert Paul Properties
www.CapeGroup.com / email@example.com
508-274-5613 Licensed in MA
Its a beautiful day on Cape Cod!
@CapeGroup Skype: heath.coker