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[Matrix Vortex] NAR Gets The Advertising Jones

On occasion, there is a surge of commentary on a particular topic presented as a post on Matrix that seems to warrant some additional followup. I often learn a lot from these comments as they seem to push the discussion a little deeper.

The word Vortex [1] or something regarded as drawing into its powerful current everything that surrounds it came to mind as a way to describe this sort of feedback about a particular topic. Hence, Matrix Vortex.

Topic: NAR advertising versus the Media
Post: Buy This: It’s a great time to buy or sell a home. [Matrix] [2]

NAR entered the housing market fray last week by trying to counter the negative media coverage on the housing market after playing cheerleader all during the housing boom. If their membership doesn’t sell homes, then the trade group is not performing a service to their membership.

This week’s post Buy This: It’s a great time to buy or sell a home. [Matrix] [2] stirred up a vortex of discussion, most of it questioning the NAR’s ethics for taking this action.

The infamous ad wasn’t groundbreaking advertising [pdf] [3] at all. It simply advised buyers to take action now. The ad relied on pretty obvious spin on today’s market conditions. However, the accuracy of the message delivered by NAR was weak at best because it didn’t deal with the real issues at hand (I don’t see how they could, because it wouldn’t help their efforts). National inventory is high and affordability is declining. Buyers aren’t buying because sellers aren’t being realistic.

Many companies spin their results or circumstances to their advantage everyday. Its called selling.

I’ll bet if NAR ran this ad a year ago, it would have received a far less skeptical review. The public relations damage they have sustained this year has been significant, far reaching and of their own making. Before the housing boom, they were the voice of the US residential real estate market. Now they are simply the voice of their membership. I wonder if they can respond to changing market conditions in the future?

Its apparent that NAR needs to get a lot better at delivering the bad news as well as the good news. Delivering the good news is easy – the messenger always looks like an authority, a hero. Delivering bad news is much more difficult. NAR has a long way to go.