I wish to respond to an article in the July issue of your magazine, Industry leaders demand changes now.
 
How crass. Think about it. Who are they to demand anything? The industry is made up for the most part by independents — many of which took over after these dinosaurs went out of business.
 
Yes, the franchise business has been popular recently. However, if you really think about it, the franchise is only beneficial for referrals. For the local market, having a franchise does not add even one benefit to the transaction, in fact it only adds aggravation.
 
Oh yes — they try to let on that they perform miracles. However, after watching them for many years, it is my opinion that most of what they do is all smoke and mirrors. A visit to most of their web sites will prove to be the ultimate in frustration. After you wade through the 200 odd questions they ask, you may luck in and find a property listing. But be assured that the inventory will be sparse and probably out of date.
 
Why are their sites designed this way? Because each time you move around in the site or answer a question, it is recorded as a hit. So the hits they advertise must be discounted 90 per cent or more to be even close to the true visits.
 
Their proposal for a new national MLS site could be a good one, however they state in their presentation that the site should not advertise its presence to the consumer. If we cannot tell anyone about the site, what is the benefit of having it?
 
They claim the present system is inefficiently and costly. When was the last time you received a letter from these guys stating that your franchise fees would be reduced due to increased efficiency on their part?
 
In my opinion, they are up to something and worth watching.
 
Charlie Lank
Former owner, Lank Realty
Now an agent Peters & Lank Realty
Charlottetown, P.E.I.

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