Sarasota Association of Realtors attacks Marc the Realtor

Posted by John Sabia on Monday, October 20th, 2008 at 10:26am.

A Realtor friend of mine in Sarasota has recently faced an aggressive legal battle launched at him by the Sarasota Association of Realtors®, (SAR) of which he is an active member, because of the use of "mls" in his website address. The use of "area mls" in a Realtor's website address was widely recommended in a 2002 article written by "Mr Internet" in a publication by the National Association of Realtor's® (NAR). Marc Rasmussen, a Sarasota Real Estate Agent, purchased his website address "thesarasotamls" back in 2003 based largely on the advice he read in the article and when marketing real estate on the internet was in it's infancy. Mark continued to spend numerous hours and thousands of dollars over the next 5 years creating and improving what had become the number 1 Sarasota Real Estate website and was rewarded for his efforts by achieving high rankings in the internet search engines. A recent change in Article 12 of the National Association of Realtors® Code of Ethics, now allows local Realtor® Associations at their sole discretion to determine if their members are permitted to use the term "mls" regardless of how long they have used it and especially with disregard to the recommendation featured in the Mr Internet article. It should be pointed out that "mls" is not a trademark of any Realtor® Association, instead the trademark for Major League Soccer (MLS). The public has also come to know mls as a common everyday term for real estate property listings. However, it was prior to this change in the ethics code that the Sarasota Association of Realtors® decided to take legal action against Marc, apparently in an effort to shut his website down. A website that was highly respected for doing what a real estate website should do, provide consumers with real estate information and real estate property listings. Morgan Carey, the web designer for Marc explains in detail in his blog post Help us Fight the Sarasota Association of Realtors®, the legal action which began with an ethics complaint against Marc filed by SAR (Sarasota Association of Realtors®) for which Marc was cleared of any wrong doing. This is where I and many others believe SAR® went too far crossing the line. The Association, rather then accept this ruling, continued action against Marc outside the scope of an ethics complaint, in a legal maneuver, brought their argument to the Internet Corporation for Unassigned Names and Numbers (ICANN) - which as you will read below, has nothing to do with ethics. ICANN mission statement In a split decision, ICANN ruled in favor of the Sarasota Association of Realtors®. Marc has filed a lawsuit in Federal court against the Sarasota Association of Realtors® to allow him to maintain control over the old website address (domain name thesarasotamls.com). Marc has already redirected the old address to his new website address. By allowing Marc to maintain control over the old domain and through the redirect to his new website will preserve the past 5 years of hard work and maintain the authority Marc's old site had gained and avoid Marc having to start all over again. There has been an enormous outpouring of support for Marc from fellow Realtors®across the country and a barrage of protests against the Sarasota Association of Realtors® has now put this issue into the lime light. They have an opportunity to do the right thing, bring this to a close and allow Marc to remain in control of the old domain. If they continue to force Marc to surrender the website address to SAR®, than in my opinion, as shared by many others, this was never about ethics, nor an action to protect the consumer. Rather a contemptuous action far more rooted in taking down a Realtor's® website possibly because of jealousy or envy. Read the linked articles, and you decide.

To list your article here, email me or post in comments. To voice your support for Marc, contact the Sarasota Association of Realtors®

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John Sabia

16 Responses to "Sarasota Association of Realtors attacks Marc the Realtor"

Sarasota Associaton of Realtors® attacks Marc the Realtor® · Real-Estate-Investing.ExplainedOnline.Net wrote: [...][...] Original post by Fort Lauderdale Real Estate News |Fort Lauderdale Real Estate Blog - John Sabia [...][...]

Posted on Monday, October 20th, 2008 at 10:56am.

The Sarasota MLS | Denver SEO Guy Knox | Search Engine Optimization wrote: [...][...] Sarasota Association of Realtors® attacks Marc the Realtor® [...][...]

Posted on Monday, October 20th, 2008 at 12:20pm.

Sarasota Association of Realtors takes down its own member! « The Gulfshoreslife.com Team Service Providers wrote: [...][...] Sarasota Association of REALTORS attacks Marc the REALTOR Possibly related posts: (automatically generated)Sarasota Florida Real Estate Better Florida Investment Going ForwardMortgage loans, MLS numbers and RealtorsMLSThree Local REALTOR(R) Associations Provide Clarus(TM) MarketMetrics(TM) an… [...][...]

Posted on Monday, October 20th, 2008 at 1:40pm.

Gulfshoreslife wrote: Hi John! It works now!

Posted on Monday, October 20th, 2008 at 7:01pm.

Joe Lane wrote: Hi John,

You've got a pretty nice piece here. I've got an blog entry running over at ActiveRain: http://activerain.com/blogsview/744440/TheSarasotaMLScom-Is-History-Maybe-Youre-Next

Perhaps you would consider including it in your resource list.

Best, Joe :o)

Posted on Monday, October 20th, 2008 at 7:52pm.

Judy Orr wrote: Thanks for spreading the word, John. I will add this link to a future post I'm going to write organizing most of the posts I've read (and written). Not sure if it will appear in AR or REW yet.

Posted on Monday, October 20th, 2008 at 8:09pm.

john sabia wrote: @Joe - I posted your link
@Judy- Great.

Posted on Monday, October 20th, 2008 at 9:29pm.

Marc Rasmussen wrote: Thanks for your help John. I get a big smile on my face to see all of the support. ;-)

Posted on Monday, October 20th, 2008 at 11:14pm.

john sabia wrote: Hey Marc:
Your welcome! Your a good guy, and you should not be going thru this. I'm happy to help and it even happier to know that you have a lot of support from Realtors who think you've been targeted unfairly. The internet is buzzing with support for you! I sincerely hope that SAR recognizes the support from your peers, recognizes it's not going away and realizes their position is not a popular one and does the right thing to bring this to a close. Good luck buddy!

Posted on Monday, October 20th, 2008 at 11:28pm.

Sarasota MLS Legal Fund For Marc | Denver SEO Guy Knox | Search Engine Optimization wrote: [...][...] Sarasota Association of Realtors® attacks Marc the Realtor® [...][...]

Posted on Tuesday, October 21st, 2008 at 6:08am.

knox wrote: This needs to got to a real court, not a bridge club. Only actual case law in favor of Marc will keep this from spreading. I'm trying to organize a legal fund and starting it with a 100 bucks that I'll match again at a grand.

Posted on Tuesday, October 21st, 2008 at 6:40am.

Sarasota MLS Domain Freedom wrote: With Marc's approval I set it up - see my Name Link

Posted on Tuesday, October 21st, 2008 at 10:27am.

Sarasota Association of Realtors Railroads One of their Own | The Phoenix Real Estate Guy wrote: [...][...] Sarasota Association of REALTORS attacks Marc the REALTOR [...][...]

Posted on Saturday, October 25th, 2008 at 3:17pm.

Sarasota Association of REALTORS - They need my online reputation management help! : wrote: [...][...] Sarasota Association of REALTORS attacks Marc the REALTOR [...][...]

Posted on Saturday, October 25th, 2008 at 7:26pm.

Marc Rasmussen wrote: Hey John,

I just posted a brief timeline of events pertaining to this case. Perhaps your readers might find it interesting - http://www.luxurysarasotarealestate.com/blog/sarasota/marc-rasmussen-vs-sarasota-association-of-realtors-over-thesarasotamlscom/show/

There is nothing monumental here but I read a few inconsistencies across the web. Most importantly, I wanted to thank everyone for all of the support. I've said it before but I really am proud to be associated with a great group of people.

Posted on Monday, October 27th, 2008 at 8:22pm.

Gulfshoreslife wrote: http://www.luxurysarasotarealestate.com/blog/sarasota/sarasota-association-of-realtors-says-august-2008-sees-continuation-of-summer-sales-slowdown/show/

Posted on Wednesday, November 19th, 2008 at 10:06pm.

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