Opinion: A Real Row

POSTED: 07/11/11 1:01 PM

Subtracting the letters t, o and r from the word Realtor leaves you with the world real. Attach A and row and you have A Real Row. That bit of word of word play just about sums up what has happened in the process of forming what should be a unified effort at protecting a key industry in this island – real estate.

We bring this up again because what could have ended peacefully is turning into an even greater mess than we initially thought it could be. Each side has fair points and each side does not its total act together, but that, to us, is opportunity knocking at the door of two next door neighbors, while they scream at each other in the square.

While we thank one side for acknowledging our efforts at completeness and we hope the other side will also continue to make its case, we’ve reached a point yet again where we must stress that having this fight in the media is not the way to get this issue resolved. That particular formula has never worked. What does help is the conscious effort to put aside differences and move on. One party is ready to do that, it would appear that the other is not ready. One thing that won’t help them get ready is jabbing at them about past failures.

In fact from what we read it seems that parties have decided that there’s no coming together. It is definitely unfortunate that there can be no coming together for the simple reason that the more agencies that were represented in one body, the greater the lobbying power. The situation with two organizations is that valuable time will undoubtedly be spent jockeying for position, instead of hammering positions to be presented, including on the fact that government is considering land tax and that at least one MP has announced that he’ll be drafting legislation to cover the real estate sector. That lost time is money and opportunities that the parties will never get back and could harm their industry more than help it.

One understands that the real estate industry is competitive. Journalism, at its best, is also competitive, however journalists here in our region and around the world found the time to come together to form bodies that fight for our joint ability to report the news without fear or favor. That coming together also helps to improve what we do and keep all of us sharp and on our toes so that those who buy our product get value for their money. With realtors it should be the same. If you come together it gives all of you the chance to sharpen your skills and ensure that each person that needs to buy or sell a house gets the best deal and the best service with the latter being very important on an island that thrives because of the service industry.

Another potential disadvantage of not coming together is that there’ll be two standards and there’ll never be a strong enough yard stick, unless it’s legislated, that will help people to determine where to take their money. Rather people will get lost in investigating whether the realtor being part of a particular association, with a particular code of conduct, is better than the other who is part of the other association.

Is it horribly wrong that there will be two realtor’s association? Not really. At least that will be the response of anyone who does not mind that people who should be partners are fighting each other instead. This newspaper is not about drama mongering. Instead it stands for finding the solutions and building our country. And building a country also entails telling some you’re better off together than you are alone.

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Comments (1)


  1. George MacGee says:

    What has me flabbergasted is that the owner of Tendal Real Estate is none other than MP Leroy de Weever. The same Member of Parliament who just recently successfully managed to pass a motion in Parliament to regulate the timeshare industry, a subsector of the St. Maarten Real Estate industry.

    MP De Weever, who is also the Vice President of Parliament, has the credibility and the stature to call on all parties involved to put aside their differences and come together as one association so that they can truly be force to reckon with in our presently unruly real estate sector, which is facing some very challenging times. Especially in the aforementioned timeshare subsector.

    Mr. De Weever, can you please step up to the plate and show that you are truly a Member of Parliament for ALL the people of St. Maarten?