Written by Lloyd Sherman
Over the past year, I have found myself in wonderment over the lack of push-back or resistance to the establishment of Village Homes & Land/POA by the realtor community. While many may see this as nothing more than the establishment of yet another broker in the area, the reality is that it represents something much larger. Originally presented as the vehicle to be used for the elimination of the POA owned lots, that objective appears to have been abandoned and has morphed into the transition of becoming a developer.
To begin with, one must ask why we needed another brokerage to represent the Village. If it were a private enterprise, it would be one thing, but this brokerage is an operating department of the POA.
What are some of the implications?
- All functions of Village Homes & Land is being funded by HSV property owner assessments.
- What that means is that staff is being dedicated to an unnecessary operation while infrastructure issues remain a major issue.
- It means that these POA employees are salaried where all other brokerages in the area are compensated via commission and based upon their performance.
- It means they have an unlimited marketing and resource budget to promote their agenda.
- Discovery Packages are basically an exclusive offering of Village Homes and Land and not available for use by other brokers, rental agencies or private rental programs other than by turning your client over to them for tour, etc.
- Village Homes and Land is the exclusive listing agent for Builder Guild members.
In some circles, this would be considered the forming of a monopoly. Using other people’s money (OPM) to conduct their agenda.
elimination of Village Homes & Land mean to the community?
There is nothing being done through this arm of the POA that couldn’t be absorbed by the existing broker network. Discovery Packages could be absorbed and managed through the HSV Visitor Center.
Why do I see this as mission creep?
It would mean all the resources currently being consumed by this function could be directed to infrastructure projects or increased targeted marketing activities. It would mean the hundreds of thousands of dollars’ worth of compensation, marketing
- In August 2018 a POA board member was distributing a document touting the accomplishments of the POA CEO. That document stated “Launched Village Homes and Land and Builders Guild and related location, regional and nation real estate marketing campaigns. Subsequently leading to the following year over year shifts in the Hot Springs Village real estate market.” Document went on to take credit for improvements to the real estate market due to these efforts. Probably important to note that Village Homes & Land was responsible for closing seven (7) sales in the entire year of 2018, which in the commission world would have generated about $43K in commissions.
- Another article in 2018 in an outside publication also indicated that the implementation of Village Homes & Land had resulted in the improved real estate market within HSV.
- At a recent Marketing Forum, once again credit was taken by the POA for a positive shift in the HSV real estate market, giving no recognition to the larger real estate community.
- The most recent example is a full-page article in the Living in Arkansas 2019 Relocation Guide which directs all leads to Village Homes & Land.
- The new POA website is nothing but an advertisement for Village Homes & Land, as well as the exclusive builders of the POA, ignoring both established brokers and builders.
Change of direction needed
While there is absolutely nothing wrong with what is happening with the Departments of Parks and Tourism and Retire to Arkansas, these activities should fall in under the HSV Visitor Center. Did you know? That a realtor is present at the Visitor Center every day of the week including Saturday and Sunday to be an Ambassador for those interested in seeing or moving to HSV? The POA’s job in marketing is to drive traffic to the Village, not to their own entity that takes business away from existing “for profit” brokerages.
Discovery Packages are also a good
Builders of the Guild have to list exclusively with Village Homes & Land and can’t participate in the program unless they make that commitment, thus restricting the marketing avenues of other non-Guild builders, and again providing a leg up for those builders on property owner assessments.
The HSV Board of Realtors should get behind such a program and play an active part in the role of expanding the marketing efforts to sell our little slice of heaven while protecting our member Realtor’s.
All information contained in this document is the personal opinion of Lloyd Sherman, HSV Realtor, and not affiliated with any business or organization.