New NAR Initiative Forces Realtors to Update Avatars

(Washington DC) – In a statement released this morning, the National Association of Realtors® announced a new initiative aimed at curbing abuse in photographic representation amongst its membership in the virtual sphere.

“This initiative has been ten years in the making,” according to NAR spokesman,Trevor Null. “Ever since Realtors entered the online space en masse, we have been fielding complaints from the public about misleading avatars.”

Jane DeVannon of Surprise, AZ filed one such complaint back in 2009.

“We were nervous first time buyers,” Mrs. DeVannon explained. “Having never been through the process, we had no idea what to expect and knew that we needed to hire a Real Estate agent we could trust to guide us through the process. So we did what we always do when we have a critical decision to make. We Googled it.”

With over 87% of today’s home buyers starting their searches online, per NAR statistics, the DeVannons’ story is a common one.

“We settled on a nice looking gentleman, about forty or forty two, with two darling children in his profile picture. Imagine our surprise when an obese seventy five year old with a goiter the size of an Olsen twin showed up to our first appointment. We tried to make the best of it, but we could just never get past the initial lie,” Mrs. DeVannon related.

“We have long had a reputation problem with the general public,” Null admitted. “Grossly misrepresenting our appearances in online marketing has only served to exacerbate the institutional mistrust. I mean, when you think you’re hiring Gary Cooper, and you get Gary Coleman, it’s a problem.”

According to Initiative UB-FUGLY, all Realtors® will be required to update their avatars monthly, without benefit of Photoshop or similar photo editing software that can alter true appearance.

“And none of this downward pointing camera angle bullshit,” Null expanded. “If you have three chins, the consumer needs to see three chins.”

Penalties for failing to comply with the new requirements will be severe, including mandatory use of DMV photos for first time offenders.  Proof of ownership for any/all pets and children in a Realtor’s avatar must be furnished prior to Internet use. Nieces and nephews are off limits.

The news comes too late for the DeVannons, but they are hopeful that future buyers will be spared their painful lesson in what the NAR refers to as “photo synthesis.”

“We think he rented the kids,” Mrs. DeVannon added.


– Filed by Paul Slaybaugh, BSRE News © 2011



Please like & share:
  • Susan Mangigian

    Very funny and way too close to the truth!

  • once again, Slaybaugh hits it out of the park…

  • This should be the keynote address at the NAR Convention in Anaheim!

  • That was so funny! You did a great job with presenting this as authentic too!

  • If this really happens, it will be devastating to Glamour Shots’ business……..

  • If I was going to cheat in the photo I would use something more attractive. I’ve thought about using one of my dogs. The Westie is pretty darn cute.

  • I think I just spit coffee out of my nose. If only we could make it true. Great stuff!

  • Hmabery

    Oh so true…and I just spit coffee thru my nose.

  • Hysterical!

  • Robert

    Another game winner – from 3-point range! Loved this one, Paul!

  • Susan001

    It would be a little rediculous to require a monthly updated photo, but I can see every year or at least every other year as far more practical and showing a much more truthful representation. Most people don’t change that much over a few months but an old high school photo would really be out of touch with reality. Most of us do represent ourselves with fairly current photos.

  • Sorry NAR! My avatar update money is going to the mandatory union dues this year.

  • Gina Kay Landis

    Uh… Null’s phrase “if you’re looking for Gary Cooper and get Gary Coleman” – wouldn’t happen, anyway (hello, different races, and the statement itself is kind of ugly). Wonder how the agent with a likely operable goiter feels about these statements too… BUT he should not have misrepresented!! I understand the issue with folks misrepresenting themselves (not just older, thankee), and yes, people should be required to be representing themselves as they are, pretty much (except maybe hair color since that changes on some folks frequently, LOL). But oh lordy, don’t make me use my DMV photo!! ugh!! The lighting alone…..!! Bleahhhh! Heck, yeah, I’ll comply… #visionsofthatSeinfeldshow I’m lucky, I don’t look my age anyway! 😀 bwahahahaa

  • Sorry I’ve neglected the thread, gang. I’ll be sure to keep you posted with any new developments on this unfolding controversy.

  • dowelltaggart

    You mean I will need to get rid of my rental family?

  • Out of the park, Paul! Made me spill my coffee.

  • Lisa Sanderson

    I used to work with a very cool team who would put this disclaimer in all of their ads: “The agents in these photos may appear younger and thinner than they actually are.” Great ice breaker lol

  • Clever, Lisa. I like it.

  • Glad it gave you a smile, Missy. How’s things?

  • I don’t see a mount in your avatar, Thomas. NAR might have a problem with the dental omission. Just fair warning.

  • We specialize in ridiculous around here.

  • Thanks, Robert. Hope all is well.

  • Realtors are a funny lot.

  • Mine came with the wallet 😉

  • If you only knew how much this comment made me chuckle.

  • Laughter = good. Coffee through nose = bad. I’m half sorry.

  • I vote for mandatory avatar pics with the B list celebrity of one’s choice. I’m going with Steve Buscemi, personally.

  • You look just fine, Leslie. My wife keeps threatening to use one she snapped during what I like to call “The Experimental Years.”

  • Somewhere, a pixelated crow’s foot screams …

  • Thanks, Katerina. We are easy to lampoon 😉

  • Every generation has its watershed issue, Kent. We don’t know which generation harbors this one. The photo was taken at an angle, and the sun obscures the upper half of the face …

  • Too soft a target, Nick. It’s almost cheating. Not unlike cracking on Justin Bieber.

  • Then there are those like Susan Mangiggly who couldn’t take a bad pic if they tried.

  • Brent S

    The mandatory use of DMV photos for first time offenders…. had me on the floor. Great post! Still laughing.

  • Paul: The eyes have it.

  • My DMV photo is 15 years old, but taken over college spring break. Suffice it to say, not my best look 😉

  • Itzach Stern

    I adore the idea it should be implemented, that an effective realtor must comply.,

    Salt Lake City Realtor

  •  I can’t use my 8th grade Middle School graduation photo anymore?


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Paul Slaybaugh is here to sell houses and chew bubble gum. He's all out of bubble gum. More About Me >>>

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