Op-Ed: A scathing rebuke of Rex’s “real estate cartel” claim

Longtime industry advocate Steve Murray disabuses critics of the Realtor marketplace.

In a hit piece op-ed in The Wall Street Journal, a senior official of REX repeated claims that agents are lazy, that they charge 6%, that you don’t need MLS and that they can do it for less (see their claim below with words taken directly from the company website,) now says that the whole Realtor world also discriminates against them by not allowing their listings to be fully marketed through the same MLS and Realtor marketplace that they view as antiquated and inefficient.

Makes one wonder about the hypocrisy they must feel to keep saying you don’t need agents, you don’t need the MLS and then attack them both and the system that has worked so well for so many for so long.

“Did you know that 68% (homebuyers) find a home with the help of an agent? Your home’s perfect match is looking online and REX is there. We create custom digital campaigns that target specific buyers and then send them to your home’s landing page. From Zillow, to Facebook, to mobile apps and more. REX online marketing is doing the work so you don’t have to.

Traditional real estate agents post your home on the MLS and cross their fingers and hope the right buyer comes along.  All while charging you 6% commission.  We don’t like waiting.  We have a team of tech geniuses working on the latest AI (artificial intelligence) machine learning, and data technologies to find the right buyer.  We then target that buyer online and offline to ultimately sell your home faster and charge you less.”

From REX Real Estate’s Website

Sounds like Chicken Little, doesn’t it? REX claims they don’t need the Realtor marketplace’s efficiencies and then whines when their business is struggling, because — wait for it — housing consumers actually like the benefits of using the Realtor marketplace. Consumers don’t always think that “tech geniuses and AI” are all that helpful. Maybe the efficiencies, as REX claims, are not enough to move consumers to adopt their methods but rather consumers like the personal services of a Realtor.

At least Glenn Kelman of Redfin, who leads a strong firm that does everything that REX does, knows that other Realtors, the Realtor marketplace and the MLS help his firm and its salespeople do an efficient job for both homebuyers and sellers. And, Redfin provides a low-cost solution, as well. Nearly 100,000 buyers and sellers have chosen to use Redfin and their low-cost manner of buying and selling their home.

A RealTrends and Harris Insights consumer study shows that over 90% of housing consumers willingly choose a Realtor to buy or sell their home, that the majority of these consumers are satisfied with their Realtor and that they are aware that they have numerous lower-cost options — including not using a Realtor at all. It does make one wonder when REX will focus on making their own business work, like Redfin has, instead of criticizing a the Realtor marketplace and a system that works to benefit all market participants.