Have you ever heard of TAN (Top Agent Network)? It is doubtful, unless you are a top producing real estate agent. According to their website…
Top Agent Network (TAN) is the private online community where the verified top 10% real estate agents in local markets collaborate & exchange valuable Non-MLS information. These advance communications help TAN members sell more homes while attracting more clients.
The only thing we know for sure about top producing real estate agents is that they sell a lot of homes. From that we can infer that they are exceptionally good at marketing THEMSELVES. Top producing agents may or may not be any good at their supposed fiduciary duty: looking out for the best interest of their clients. Since most home sellers are ignorant of the home-selling process, even if these top producers were short-changing their clients, they would have no way of knowing it (or proving it).
The supposed purpose of TAN is to leverage these top agent’s success to garner an even larger share of the real estate pie. By creating this private online community, these top agents can keep their deals hidden from the other 90% of losers, er, agents who are not part of their elite inner circle. And how do they accomplish this feat? By keeping their listings off their local MLS (Multiple Listing Service), and I assume, off of the third-party sites like Trulia and Zillow.
I am certain that these top agents understand that by hiding their listings from 90% of the agents, the MLS and the third-party sites, they are severely limiting their exposure, which most assuredly results in lower prices for the home. In other words, it screws the home seller, and is a clear violation of their fiduciary duty and their code of ethics.
Now, real estate agents wanting more business for themselves and screwing home sellers is not, in and of itself, news. That has been going on for years. What is interesting about TAN is how they go about trying to convince these top producers to join their little clique. From their website, they explain “How Pre- and Non-MLS Marketing Serves Sellers:”
Greater ease finding properties for buyers. How does that serve sellers? It helps the TAN agent’s buyers by eliminating all the other buyers.
More strategic marketing options for sellers. By strategic, I think they mean “limited.”
Whether by word of mouth or through ad-hoc meetings… Yes, that is how I want to market my home in the age of Internet technology, word of mouth and ad-hoc meetings.
I am shocked to see how TAN uses these perverted twists of logic to try and attract members. I am sure this BS would work on home sellers, but other top agents? Maybe they have been dishing it out so long, it is the only thing they know to do. I can tell you this for certain: the next time I hire a real estate agent to list my home I will inquire as to whether they are a member of TAN. And if they proudly respond that they are, I will proudly respond adios.