There’s always something to howl about

SEVRAR puts the brakes on ARMLS über alles, at least for now: Arizona-wide MLS hits a roadblock.

I wrote about this in July: The Arizona Association of Realtors wants to buy ARMLS, the Phoenix-area MLS system, in order to create a statewide MLS. This looked like the kind of sleazy insider self-dealing we have come to expect from Associations of Realtors, so I had assumed it was a done deal, all over but the staged performance of voting.

Not so. For some reason, the Southeast Valley Association of Realtors (SEVRAR) voted to decline AAR’s offer — which was at least five cents on the dollar what ARMLS is actually worth, given the notion that is worth a billion dollars.

But: I assume nothing. I have no idea why SEVRAR voted against what was obviously the party line. The cynic in me suspects a shake-down, but I really, really want to believe that some of that Mesa Tea Party spirit has found its way into the NAR.

I left a comment on AAR’s weblog, but so far it has not been moderated. Those folks aren’t interested in hearing from me, anyway. Realtors and brokers from all over the country talk to me about real estate marketing, technology and law, but the local practitioners, to all appearances, have nothing to learn from me. Their loss. Here’s my comment, in any case:

If you were at the SEVRAR meeting on September 9th, I’d love to hear why the sweetheart deal of the century was voted down.


9 Comments so far

  1. Greg Swann September 17th, 2011 9:53 am

    Just in passing: No news from SEVRAR, alas.

    You will note that no one from either AAR or ARMLS rose to defend their position, not in this post and not in response to the post I wrote in July.

    Doesn’t prove they’re crooks, but it sure does make it plain that they’re cowards.

  2. Bob Howe September 20th, 2011 10:48 am

    You’re a real jerk, you know that? You’d rather that REALTORS around the state pay for separate MLS priviledges for access; sounds to me like you’re propagating that racket. Just wait a few years when ARMLS and the others are made obsolete.

    Don’t worry; I don’t expect you to post this. Oh, and don’t bother replying to my phoney email address.

  3. Greg Swann September 20th, 2011 11:15 am

    > I don’t expect you to post this

    Why wouldn’t I want to put the vast intellectual prowess of the Arizona Association of Realtors on full display? As ill-mannered as you might be, none of the people you pay to sell out your interests has bothered to speak up. In the kingdom of the blind, etc.

    > You’d rather that REALTORS around the state pay for separate MLS priviledges for access

    I would prefer that the NAR, the AAR and every other tentacle of this criminal cartel were already dead and forgotten about. Thanks for asking.

    > Just wait a few years when ARMLS and the others are made obsolete.

    Now we’re talking!

  4. Jim Klein September 20th, 2011 2:59 pm

    Phony EMail address? Are you often phony or is this some special occasion?

    Anyway, did anyone ever find out why this didn’t go through? Seems to me there’s got to be an interesting story here. I know nothing of the details, but I’m bettin’ the cause wasn’t any Tea Party spirit. I’d love to be wrong, though.

    Speaking of which, I came across this…

    Not wholly right, but not wholly wrong. To paraphrase a wise man, “This is what comes from selling Rule of Law and not egoism.”

  5. Greg Swann September 21st, 2011 5:58 am

    > did anyone ever find out why this didn’t go through?

    No, alas. I have not heard anything.

  6. Greg Swann September 22nd, 2011 5:59 pm

    SEVRAR’s rationale is here:

    I can’t make head or tail of it, so I would welcome a translation.

  7. Richard Martin September 27th, 2011 2:25 pm

    As a new Broker to AZ and SEVRAR. I went to the meeting a couple of days before the sale was supposed to have been finalized where members seemingly were hearing about the sale for the first time. I guess there was 40-50 people there. After hearing the presentation they were pissed. I suspect that afterwards they really let the Board know their feelings. Besides feeling that the sale had been jammed down their throat without any transparency we were told that it was a done deal.

    Some of those speaking up were clearly concerned with loss of business. Others “concerned” that agents from out of the area could not professionally serve clients.

    As a newbie to the area the logic of the presentation made sense to me. It seems to me that a statewide MLS must happen someday so why not start now. That said there was discussion that I didn’t understand. SEVRAR owns ARMLS but needs to pay to become a part owner of the new one??? ARMLS worth $millions? Hmmmm!

  8. Jim Klein September 28th, 2011 6:57 am

    Thanks, Richard. That sounds like a nice explanation, at least by my standards. Greg was closer than I thought with his Tea Party spirit.

    Me, I had the press release translated as, “We’ve got something up our sleeve and we’re not even close to sharing it with you.” This is the sort of thing I enjoy being wrong about.

  9. Carol Anne Warren, Realtor September 29th, 2011 12:56 pm

    Wow. How original – gratuitous hostility towards Realtors. But let’s leave that alone for the moment.

    Statewide MLS has been rearing its head for at least 10 years. The answer to “why do they want statewide MLS?” is in the body of your article – the profits are huge, and AAR would have a monopoly.
    THe reason behind SEVRAR’s stance, I’m guessing, is twofold. (Let me please make it clear that I don’t have any more information than you do – I’m extrapolating from SEVRAR’s historic behavior.) First of all – yes, ARMLS is probably worth more that AAR is offering. The second (and possibly nost important to SEVRAR) is that SEVRAR has always been something of a maverick. They’ve never been very good sheep – they don’t “just go along with the party line,” ever.