pay to be preferred vender

I just recieved and invite from a local broker to be on a preferred partner list he is publishing for two large offices he runs and it will only cost $200! It could mean a lot more work very close to home but a blatant violation of state rules. I am sure one of my competitors will weigh the potential income vs the state fine.

When you turn him in to the state … be sure to turn him in to the ethics committee of either ASHI or NACHI, if he is a member. It violates both codes of ethics to pay-to-play.

It also violates NAR’s COE: and, it violates an agent’s fiduciary duty.

$200 is very affordable IF it gets you more business / Most of these programs don’t however.

In KC we’ve getting more and more brokerages asking $400-$700 p/year to be able to be on their PREFERRED box stuffer list AND be able to drop off flyers, cards or brochures.

None of us mind graft and kickbacks IF it would only bring us $$$$$$ BECAUSE our state ethics state EATING is good

Unfortunately what brings $$$$$ is cheap, soft, quick and preferably short reports.

Any vendor paying money to be on any vendor list does not make that vendor a good vendor. When agents recommend these people, it will not promote a good image to their clients, or their own company, when that vendor does not do the job.

Many RE companies have tried, and failed, to promote these lists. Some are no longer in business. However it is good for the business of their attorneys.

It seems they do not care about the integrity of their companies; it is only about the bottom line.

Maybe InterNACHI should start a list of agents that pledge to use only the best InterNACHI members based on merit and pledge to never to recommend a diploma mill association member.

Ooops, spoke too soon. Already have the list populating:

If they recommend a NACHI member who is also an ASHI member … have they violated their agreement?

No. Dual members have enough problems swimming upstream against our agent alerts which supply agents with the names of local inspectors who are members of known no-entrance-requirement diploma mill associations. I’d worry about being on that list long before I worry about some pay-to-play list. But hey, if you think any association out there does you more good than harm, go for it.


Morally it sucks but we have had this conversation so many times in the past.
Brokers offices can charge you to advertise in the special rag they publish every month.

No SOP is broken.
So Sorry but that is the facts Jack.

A desperate Newbie with zero referral base can advertise where he wishes in hopes of instant in crowd status.If past comments here are accurate that might be a way to get going, since common perception is Agents like referring newbies as “easy to train”.

Though some would like it to be, it is not that simple.

You can pay to advertise … but if they only refer those who pay to advertise, it violates the COE and some state laws.

You can call it “advertising” or “marketing” or you can call it “Dorothy”. It doesn’t really matter. If you pay money and get a referral in return … you are in violation.

preferred partner list he is publishing for two large offices

Does preferred partner list mean “only” or does it mean partner as in advertiser?

I think InterNACHI has made a lot of headway in past few years with direct-to-agent communication. Overturn in the real estate industry has helped in that newer agents are more open to advice.

There are four types of agent/inspector relationships:

New agent/new inspector
New agent/veteran inspector
Veteran agent/new inspector
Veteran agent/veteran inspector

If the inspector is an InterNACHI member, our alerts strengthen that relationship. If the inspector is a diploma mill association member in all but the last category, our alerts disrupt that relationship and essentially throw it back into the basket where our members have better chance of getting it.

As a side benefit, we simultaneously put pay-to-play in a negative light from the get go.

Forget about what it is called. It doesn’t matter what it is called.

If you pay money to a used house salesman and … in return for that money, you receive exclusive access to referrals (meaning that they do not refer their clients to people who do not give them money) you are in violation of the COE and some state laws.

Calling it a “partnership” or “advertising” or any other crap does not change the fact that it is unethical and wrong. When the client who is unhappy with any aspect of their inspection discovers that the criteria used by the used house salesman to refer you was nothing more than your willingness to pay them money … you and the agent are both toast. When the media gets hold of it … it reflects poorly on our entire industry. This is why NACHI and ASHI prohibit it. NACHI actually outlawed it before ASHI did.

Woah JB and settle down.

“**you receive exclusive access to referrals”
Where does advertising assume this is a result?

There are used house salesmen who charge for “advertising”. You pay them to “advertise” and, in return, you get their referrals. If you do not pay them for “advertising” you do not get their referrals. Their referrals go only to those who are willing to pay them for “advertising”.

This so-called “advertising” grossly violates the code of ethics.

There are two distinct prohibitions.

Paying to be a “preferred vendor” or “affilliated inspector” is one prohibition. “Ah,” says Inspector Slick. “I am not paying to be a preferred provider. I am paying to advertise.” But … he errs in his plan since the other prohibition is to pay money (directly or indirectly) for referrals. If the payment of money assures him of referrals and the non-payment of money would exclude him from referrals, he is violating the code of ethics to pay to “advertise” under those circumstances.

Whenever you find these lists, call the broker and ask him what you need to do to get on the list. Then, ask him if he would refer anyone to you if you were not on the list. If the answer is “no” … send the list to Nick with a record of your call. Any NACHI members on that list are subject to sanctions for their unethical activity.

Keller-Williams Overland Park, KS
Keller-Williams Prairie Village, KS

Both require you to pay a fee to deliver flyers, brochures, and place an ad in their “red book”. You cannot even step into these offices unless to pay a fee. I used to do a lot of inspections with agents in these offices, but no longer even communicate with these agents without “payment”.

When agents start using these “preferred inspectors” and have problems, they have no choice but to change companies, or keep using these inspectors who pay, write soft reports, and have a lack of experience.

I will not participate in these fiascos. It is dishonest, non-professional, and unethical. I believe the NAR needs to define these lists, and fine offices for promoting them.

Kyle Bush has been penalized for his actions. It will cost him short term, and in the long run. It showed his lack of respect to other professionals in his sport, his true personallity came out, and now it hurts not only him, but his whole team.

Real estate offices nationwide better think long and hard about promoting these lists.

Please JB -

Lets not pull my old alma-mater ASHIE into this and try to use them as a shining example. As we all know its always been do what I say not what I do.