WTF with NAR?!

I know that most of you are accustomed to reading my weekly training posts, and I’m very glad to see them so well received.  Thank you for reading and for your many comments!  On Friday, I’ll still post my weekly training article, but today something happened that really ticked me off and I felt the need to rant!

So what happened that’s got me so steamed?  Today I got my invoice for my annual membership dues — you know, the National, State, and Local Associations of REALTORS®.  Well, actually, I got lots of them, all with separate postage.  One for every one of my agents, and we have between 70 and 80.  (Gee, I wonder what it would have cost to send them all in one big envelope?)

I was okay until I opened mine.  Have they lost their collective minds!? Is it me or have the last two years been the worst two years on record for agents?  In most markets REALTORS® are struggling just to survive.  Am I living in an alternate reality or does it suck where you are too?

Well, because times are so tough, for two straight years now, our dues have gone… UP!?  Are you kidding me?!  Yes!  Last year we got an increase of a paltry 16.7% while inflation was at 2.85%.  Wow!  That’s nearly 6 times the rate of inflation!

But this year it went up by a mind numbing 25.7% while inflation only went up 3.85%, or nearly 7 times the rate of inflation!  What are these morons thinking?!  But it’s probably because of all the additional services we’ve received these past two years.  Let me think… no… I can’t think of any additional services.  Can you?

Oh!  I just realized what it was!  It was because during those last two years they managed to lose our MLS exclusivity in the Department of Justice settlement agreement.  Yeah, that explains it!  I feel much better now.

Editor’s Note and Followup to the Above Post
(posted six days later)
I’m sorry.  Last week I posted the “rant” above that apparently stirred quite a lot of controversy.  I felt I needed to clarify my position somewhat, less some think me a traitor because I dared speak against our association…

I am (was) griping about the total bill.  Maybe you care which association gets what, but to me, it’s all just an unbelievable waste of money.  Frankly, I didn’t care about the individual allocations enough to go pull a historical invoice… I just know the total has gone up two years straight and services have not gone up.

Apparently, some have missed my point:  Agents (look around you) are having a hard time making it all over the country.  Although my company has over $2 million in receivables from agents who would like to pay me but can’t afford to, I will somehow manage to survive scraping together my $440.

But the fact that that the bureaucracy collectively called our associations are so out of touch with their members, or so indifferent to their struggles (even worse) is extremely troublesome to me.

I fully expect to see a dozen or more agents in my brokerage that will not be able to afford continuing as members and will likely just affiliate with our non-member company.  What a shame.

Maybe some of you see nearly half a billion dollars a year in combined value provided by our collective associations, but I, frankly, don’t.  But then again, that’s just me.

I, for one, would like to see our associations tighten their belts just a little, you know, sorta like the people they claim to represent. And if you happen to be one of the tiny minority who haven’t had to tighten your belt these last two years, then God bless you!

Again, sorry if my venting bothered some of you.  I guess I just think they work for us and not us for them.  But that’s just me…

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Comments 2

  1. author Deb S. posted March 30th 2010. 1:28 am Reply

    Oh, don’t get me started. Let’s just say…I’m with you here!

    Despite my providing one-on-one training, staffed office, individual desk & computers, all signage, automated call capture lead system, follow-me Agent telephone system, automated showing system, Talking House systems, a Client Care Coordinator, generous splits, etc.,etc, the hike in dues has been the ‘straw that broke the camel’s back’ two years running!

    My Agents said, they “cannot justify paying these kind of dues, in the current market.” Several of them added, “based on the services offered, they truly do not find value in membership.” In fact, two of my Agents went as far as to say, they thought it was just a group of ‘good old folks’ generating revenue, and creating local boards who partner with local MLS service providers to monopolize access to MLS data & increase fees, while trying to exert excessive control over those they claim to serve. In other words… ‘talking the talking’ and NOT ‘walking the walk.”

    These are comments coming from ethical, productive, active members! Who is listening, besides us Brokers… GOOD QUESTION! I certainly wish someone would, because as of right now, it’s the Brokers who bear the bruises, as evidenced by the office closings.

    I guess it’s just easier for some to shoot the messenger,than ‘listen’ to the message. Good luck.

    • author Matt Jones posted March 30th 2010. 11:16 am Reply

      Awesome comment! I couldn’t agree more! Thanks for reading and for your comment.

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