‘NAR swat team’ strikes Arizona home in wild new marketing video


The Instagram video shows agents with “NAR” along the back of swat team jackets bursting into a home before tackling, tasing and hogtying a Realtor who failed to remove an offer from the MLS.

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An Arizona-based real estate brokerage has taken the collective confusion over commissions in a wild new direction, posting a marketing video that has gone viral for its depiction of NAR as an FBI-like swat team that ransacks a home after listing agents fail to remove an offer of compensation from the local MLS.

Jenn Burgess and colleagues at Retsy, a luxury brokerage in Scottsdale, uploaded the minute-long video on Instagram this month as a way to “just laugh” about litigation over homeseller commissions, which is expected to come to a head in November with a ruling on the National Association of Realtors’ settlement.

“[The NAR settlement] naturally brings up a lot of anxiety and worry, but as time passed, we realized, the quality agents are still going to educate their clients,” Burgess told Inman. “So once we really started breaking it down and talking about it, we were just like, ‘You know what? We don’t need to worry about this. Let’s just laugh about it instead.’”


The video, which has been liked 1,400 times since June 13, reveals what, at first glance, appears to be a typical team meeting ahead of an open house at a $2.95 million property Retsy agent Paul Nicoletti currently represents.

Suddenly, the scene takes a turn, as the sound of broken glass leads to a grenade entering the frame, shaking the room. Within seconds, a squad of men with “NAR” printed along the back of swat team jackets burst into the home, ransacking the property before tackling, tasing and hogtying one of the Realtors, who earlier in the video acknowledged entering an offer of compensation with an unnamed multiple listing service.

“Adam, did you remember to take the commission off the MLS paperwork?” Burgess, playing a version of herself, asks another Retsy colleague, Adam Hizme.

“You know what, I think I forgot,” Hizme replies.

“Dude, after the NAR settlement??”

“No one’s gonna know,” Hizme replies — seconds before the NAR raid.

As Burgess and Retsy colleague Siena Koppelman flee the home later in the video, a helicopter pilot says into his intercom from above, “Looks like we have two Realtors making an exit in the back yard. Oh yeah, they’re making a run for it — go get ’em!”

A NAR spokesperson declined to comment on the video, or it’s characterization of the trade organization as an FBI-like rule enforcer on Wednesday.

Burgess said her team had fun creating the video, which they shot in about two hours after a brainstorming session over coffee. Nicoletti’s listing hasn’t sold yet, but it’s enjoyed an uptick in traffic since the video went live.

As for the shot of Burgess being tackled into the pool? Although it appears as though it was a challenging shot, Burgess said her team completed it in a single take.

“I wasn’t going to get wet hair and then spend an hour blow-drying it,” Burgess said with a laugh.

“Funny enough, that was my brother in the ghillie suit,” she aded. “It was years of pent-up sibling rivalry that he took out in a mere five seconds.”

From her perspective, Burgess said NAR offers guidelines for the industry while providing access to the MLS. But otherwise her feelings on the 1.5 million-member trade organization are ambivalent. Brokers and agents like hers will be required to make changes to their business practices by Aug. 17 to conform with terms of the NAR settlement, including creating buyer-broker agreements and removing references to buyer-broker compensation in the MLS.

“It’s just like paying taxes,” Burgess said. “We pay NAR dues every year and it’s sort of like a necessary evil. But I know some brokerages have left NAR and are starting their own MLSs and I think that’s intriguing.”

Email Lillian Dickerson

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