A Lively Day on the Blog

claw.jpgYesterday’s post “Why Won’t CLAW Give Us the Square Footage?” struck a chord with a lot of people, as I’d hoped it would. It generated about two dozen comments on this blog (including my comments in response to comments). It also got picked up by Curbed L.A. and got another two dozen comments over there.

I wasn’t surprised to learn that many of you share my frustration about the omisson of key information in CLAW (Combined L.A./Westside Multiple Listing Service) listings. I was, however, surprised to hear from more than one agent who was unaware that CLAW withheld square footage and lot size in its public listings.  (Another agent copped to “intentionally” leaving square footage out of his listings, but assured that he wasn’t “evil.”)

A few posters speculated that CLAW feared being sued for posting inaccurate square-footage information.  That argument doesn’t hold water.  Somehow, every other MLS in Southern California posts square footage without worrying about litigation.

I hope the folks at CLAW read the posts and see how frustrated people are by its policy.  We’re still no closer to knowing what its rationale is, but one thing is certain:  It isn’t helping you or me.

With any luck, CLAW is reading your posts and reconsidering its stance. Or perhaps member agents will band together and urge CLAW to reconsider.  We’ll keep on it.

Recent Redfin posts:
I Dunno about Dunfield Ave. in Westchester
What “More Affordable” Beachside Living Costs

  • http://www.personalrealestateinvestormag.com Andrew Waite

    My take on withholding information on any website is a legacy of a profession that still has holds itself above mere mortals aka, customers.

    Realtors still have a strong contingent who cling to “Mommy knows best” philosophy as we are not capable of protecting ourselves or understanding the minutae of realty.

    Welcome to the world of the web and the fact that there are already better sites covering the same content and more than CLAW covers.

    This is simply an illustration of old guard management fighting a rear guard action to protect their buggy whip business. In my area we have this disfunctional MLS management committee who is still trying to justfy moving off a 1960′s platform and into the late 20th Century. No one wants to bite the financial bullet that change implies. Their data base covers less than 2/3s of the market and is falling and will be dead by 2010 unless they do something radical.

    Andrew Waite – Publisher
    Personal Real Estate Investor Magazine
    Where to Live Books.

  • ron

    When Homegain, Realtor.com, etc. or a realtor who is a member of CLAW creates a IDX website (like REDFIN–yes, they are a CLAW member), CLAW info gets automatically accessed by anyone who searches through their site. Unfortunately, CLAW feels sqft is either proprietary or opens them to litigation. Therefore, not all guest websites that you find on the web typically have the full CLAW numbers. The consumer is out, imho.

    Yet again, if Redfin wants to institute beneficial change to the policy like Cindy is provoking, then I can think of no better way of doing it than from within. The Redfin Seattle office is the broker office of record for CLAW. Also, Abe Chang, Erin Eckert and Erik Van Joosten are agents on CLAW roster who are listed as working from the Redfin office. In my experience as a CLAW member, I have found them responsive to suggestions and change.

  • Corntrollio

    I doubt CLAW will be receptive to an online broker that doesn’t want its 3%. The calls from the Redfin brokers will go unreturned.

  • ron

    CLAW has a fiduciary duty to respond to its membership. Redfin is a member. Do they want to affect change or just complain about how unfair it is?

  • http://losangeles.redfin.com/blog/author/cindy.allen Cindy Allen

    Ron, I appreciate your comments. Regarding the three Redfin agents who are members of CLAW affecting change within CLAW, I’m sure those agents would advocate the change, but there are three of them and hundreds of non-Redfin agents. Furthermore, as I’m sure you know, many traditional agents are mistrustful and even resentful of Redfin. So I think a groundswell of public opinion and perhaps pressure from other member agents — such as yourself, if you agree with what we’re saying — stand a much better chance of affecting change. If, as you say, CLAW is responsive to change, that gives me hope that they will read what’s been written here and make the necessary adjustments. There are more than 30 comments now on yesterday’s post; I hope CLAW’s seen it.

  • http://losangeles.redfin.com/blog/author/cindy.allen Cindy Allen

    Andrew, thank you for posting. I really hope there is someone at CLAW who recognizes the need to change. The upsetting thing is that CLAW is holding its clients hostage. Its agents are earning some of the largest commissions in the ocuntry off of these sales, yet by omitting this information, they are committing a disservice to its buyers and sellers.

  • http://guests.themls.com clawmls

    We have read what’s been written here and I’ve posted what I hope is a detailed reply on the previous entry.

  • Rico Zim

    I think CLAW is making a mistake by assuming that it is either Redfin OR a traditional agent. Like almost everyone else who uses a traditional agent, I also use Redfin to do my own research on properties. With the amount of money at stake, wouldn’t anyone want to do the same? And I figure it makes my agent’s job easier and more efficient. The result for non-Redfin agents? The same commission with less work.

    I called CLAW to explain this and was given the office manager’s e-mail address: gigi@themls.com.

    Who knows if that’s the right e-mail, but I suggest that other folks with similar views write to this e-mail just in case.

  • http://losangeles.redfin.com/blog/author/cindy.allen Cindy Allen

    Hi, Rico: I was given the same email, so I’m sure it will get to Gigi. I think it’s a great idea to let CLAW know your views. Thanks for your comment.