Does a real estate agent really need to be a REALTOR?

By
Real Estate Broker/Owner with Catarra Real Estate, Inc CA BRE #01191946
http://actvra.in/XTW

We're about to lose a lot of our colleagues next month.  The annual renewal of local association dues is coming up for many agents.  Many associations will lose members who can't afford the cost of renewing - typically several hundred dollars in many places (over $700 for my association).  The membership includes many so-called "member benefits" including forms, business discounts, and political advocacy.  If they stay in business, is it necessary for them to be REALTORS?

In the State of California there are a large number of agents who opt not to be REALTORS.  I'll bet there are agents in other states too.  They get their brokers license, set up an office, get E&O insurance, and...they do just fine.  Their clients like them, they work ethically, and they do a good job of buying and selling homes.

Does that agent really need to be a REALTOR to do a good job?  This is just a theoretical question, not a justification for the expenses of organized real estate.  The cost of doing business is fairly high across the board.  When you consider the cost of being a REALTOR, getting MLS access, paying a desk fee, and then account for commission splits, it's really expensive to be an agent and also a REALTOR.  A smart business decision could be to simply not become or stay a REALTOR.  So, what's the difference?  Many of us talk about what makes being a REALTOR great and some of those aspects include:

ETHICS:  Often the defining difference is that a REALTOR would follow the Code of Ethics while a plain agent isn't required to.  However, I know of many agents who are REALTORS who violate the COE constantly in the name of doing business. Conversely, I know a few non-REALTORS who are very ethical and follow the COE anyway.  Is membership required to be an ethical agent?

LOCAL BOARDS:  Our local board has meetings where agents can network and present properties.  If they're not REALTORS, they can't have that engagement.  Is it necessary?  I dont' know.

SOFTWARE:  As far as I know, you can't get ZipForms without being a member.  In today's world of paperless offices, that's a major difference.  Is it important?  If you're only doing 1-4 transactions a year, it's cheaper to buy paper forms.

This is a philosophical debate.  I'm not, repeat NOT, advocating one way or another.  I'm a REALTOR and plan to remain one.  I'm just asking people to think about what happens when our colleagues drop off the membership rolls, are they really any different.  Can agents do just fine without being members?

 

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Ambassador
625,491
Doug Rogers
Your Pineville Louisiana Agent
Bayou Properties Realty

In order to be a member of the MLS we are forced to pay Realtor dues. Nothing like a monopoly to "encourage" membership...

December 30, 2011 12:08 PM
Ambassador
1,645,565
Richard Weisser
Richard Weisser Coweta Newnan Homes for Sale
Better Homes and Gardens Real Estate Metro Brokers

Bryan...

I would add "political action" which is one of the most important reasons to be a dues paying member.

Featured in the Group "Whacked!!!"

December 30, 2011 12:11 PM
Rainmaker
814,561
Jeffrey DiMuria 321.223.6253 www.SouthBrevardBeachHomes.com
www.SouthBrevardBeachHomes.com
Coldwell Banker Sun Land Realty

Good post and really good distinction between a real estate agent and a Realtor...thanks Bryan

December 30, 2011 12:13 PM
Rainmaker
278,343
Melanie Ross
Benicia CA & Vallejo CA Real Estate, 707-319-2828
Coldwell Banker Solano Pacific

Bryan, In our office we often talk about this.  Bottom line I will always pay my dues and am proud to use the REALTOR behind my name.  It is part of doing business and I feel shows to others my commitment to be the best that I can be.  I am not sure if there is any profession out there that does not have some affiliation with like people. 

December 30, 2011 12:46 PM
Rainmaker
172,898
Ken Brandon
Camp Lejeune, Jacksonville, NC
Coldwell Banker Sea Coast Advantage (Jacksonville, NC)

I think someone can do well at this job as a real estate professional whether they are a REALTOR or not. I have seen many examples that support this. I know people talk about the ethics portion...but to be perfectly honest...I operate my business with the highest degree of integrity anyway...I don't need the "ethics" to make me act right. (though it may be more significant in the minds of the consumers.) The political aspects of the association are extremely important...even though we may not see all of the results of their efforts. Like you, I am a REALTOR and plan on staying one.

December 30, 2011 12:56 PM
Rainmaker
882,016
Jane Peters
Connecting you to the L.A. real estate scene
Power Brokers Int'l

I don't use all the benefits but being without ZipForms, and consequently DocuSign would be like being without an arm.  

December 30, 2011 12:58 PM
Ambassador
1,112,384
Dick Greenberg
Northern Colorado Residential Real Estate
New Paradigm Partners LLC

Hi Bryan - I think it comes down to practicalities - we can't be members of our MLS without belonging to our local board, which requires us to belong to the state and national boards as well. So there's no real choice, but I feel like I'm taking a significant amount of money every year and flushing it down the toilet - I don't think NAR is really serving my interests, ditto state and local boards, COE enforcement is a joke, and half the time I think the industry is lobbying for the wrong side.

December 30, 2011 01:15 PM
Rainmaker
532,442
Cynthia Larsen
Sonoma County Real Estate Broker
Safe Haven Realty

Being a REALTOR® doesn't have any effect on how I do my job. As far as I'm concerned, the difference between a REALTOR® and a real estate agent is about $600 a year.

December 30, 2011 01:15 PM
Ambassador
1,082,676
Bryan Robertson
Broker, Author, Speaker
Catarra Real Estate, Inc

Doug - Around here, you don't have to be a REALTOR to have MLS access.  It's unfortunate that you're forced to do that.

Richard - Thanks for the feature!  Yes, political action is a major part of what NAR and the state/local associations spend our money on.  Some of it I agree with, some not.

Jeffrey - Thanks!

Melanie - That's true, there's a trade organization for nearly everything.  Which is fine.  Our trade associations have pros and cons.  It's just interesting to see what difference, if any, people see between members and non-members.

Ken - Thanks for understanding what I'm trying to point out in this discussion - lots of good agents, dont' have to be REALTORS, but nice if they area.

Jane - Yeah, I can't imagine not having Zipforms.

Dick - I dont' like the fact that you have not choice to access the MLS without being a REALTOR. 

Cynthia - For many agents, that's about right.  Being good have little do with having the REALTOR label.

December 30, 2011 01:42 PM
Ambassador
776,132
Fred Griffin, Tallahassee Real Estate Broker. Buyer Brokerage and Flat Fee MLS
Tallahassee Florida Real Estate: Call 850-339-4861
Frederick Griffin, Licensed Real Estate Broker

Ethics -  NAR Lies about Housing Sales Reports; the Falsified Sales Data from NAR made national news this month.   I don't need a "Code of Ethics" from a  Trade Union that has no Ethics.

 

Local Boards - we have a great Local Board.  I wish I could join the Local and State without joining NAR, but the Local Board forces you to join NAR.

 

Software:  Nobody can match the Florida Association of Realtors online forms. A "must have" for Real Estate Business.

 

  I would add to the List:  

   GE Supra eKey and MLS

     I need both, however they are both Monopolized by the Local Board.

 

 

December 30, 2011 02:10 PM
Ambassador
291,959
Linda K. Mayer
Realtor, SRES, SoCAL, A REALTOR YOU CAN TRUST
License # 01767321

Bryan, that's an interesting question.  I mean, some offices are dropping their franchises due to crazy fees and going solo.  Shouldn't an agent have the same courteousy?  And there are unethical people in every business, whether they have a code of ethics or not - that is simply a person to person thing.

December 30, 2011 02:14 PM
Ambassador
983,560
Alan May
Evanston & Northshore of Chicago real estate
Coldwell Banker Residential

I know many "real estate agents" who are excellent at what they do, and highly ethical... and I also know "Realtors®" who are a total waste of skin.

No, you need not be a Realtor® in order to represent your client well.

(full disclosure:  I am a Realtor®)

December 30, 2011 02:17 PM
Rainmaker
645,151
Team Honeycutt
Allen Tate

This is a very interesting topic and question! As you stated, many Realtor's violate the code and many non-Realtors strictly follow it. The cost as you said is very high in many parts of the country and the economic times are forcing people out! Great question to ponder!

 

KW

December 30, 2011 02:18 PM
Anonymous #14
Anonymous
Anonymous

If only for the forms, I will remain a Realtor. 

December 30, 2011 02:26 PM
Rainmaker
501,501
Christine Smith
Exclusive Buyer Agent & Attorney, Canton, MA
Buyers Brokers Only LLC - www.BuyersBrokersOnly.com

Bryan....great debate.  I am a Realtor® as well, mainly because of the perception that Realtors® are bound by the COE, which I would follow anyway.  But NAR has done a good job of convincing people that they should hire an agent who is also a Realtor®.  So like many of us I suspect, I am a Realtor® because I feel I have to be.

December 30, 2011 02:27 PM
Rainer
90,309
Maya Swamy
Ph.D. Long Beach, CA - fundsavailable.com
Funds Available

I belong primarily for Winforms and docusign. Nothing else they charge me for is worth it. If anyone knows a work around those issues I wouldn't renew. In California of course you can join the MLS without the board.

December 30, 2011 02:30 PM
Rainer
12,315
Bryan Stephens
Looking for Homes in the IE Call Today - Inland Em
Renown Realty and Property Management

There is a lot of costs in doing business as a real estate professional.  Being a Realtor is just another cost.  If you are only doing 1 - 4 transactions a year then this is more a hobby than a career.  The cost is also tax deductible as it is a cost of doing business.  As for the benefits to us, well you can see from most the only thing we gain are tools of the trade and which are more state and local than National.  But as well all know it seems that vendors and NAR see real estate agents as making such huge commissions per deal that they should stick it to us with high costs because after all we are all so rich we can afford it (sarcasm intended).

December 30, 2011 02:31 PM
Rainer
277,079
Steven Cook
- Pierce, King, Kitsap, Thurston, Mason Counties
No Longer Processing Mortgages.

Brian -- as a Licensed Mortgage Loan Officer -- you have raised some excellent points about what it means to belong to the professional organization of your business.  I agree with you about the fact that people should not be forced/coerced into belonging to the organization.  In my mind, if you have to coerce them to join, there must be something wrong with the organization.

December 30, 2011 02:36 PM
Rainmaker
1,346,139
Andrew Mooers
Northern Maine Real Estate-Aroostook County Broker
MOOERS REALTY

The legal hot line for procedures to avoid mishandling a new situation is worth the price of admission to wearing the "R", the hardest working letter in the alphabet. Networking with thousands of others in the group and being active in state, local boards is the key. If you don't take advantage of the education, etc. you get what you put in. The renewal of real estate license continuing education is cheaper as a member and the perks far out weight the cost. Zip forms, procedures, mls, and a voice in Washington, at the state level make it a good deal. Not a franchise network, with the REALTOR group you have a connection to promote, tap in to.

December 30, 2011 02:36 PM
Rainmaker
508,110
Mitchell J Hall
Lic Associate RE Broker - Manhattan, NYC
The Corcoran Group

In Manhattan (NYC) NAR has very little presence less than 10% of the market. The major brokerages here do not belong to NAR a national trade association located in Chicago Second City. We have our own very powerful 110 year old real estate board (REBNY - Real Estate Board of New York) REBNY is not affiliated with any other trade association and it is not a REALTOR organization. REBNY has it's own mission and it is all about real estate and economics in New York. My membership is in the residential brokerage division but REBNY membership includes the entire real estate industry in NY. All the "movers and shakers" are members.

NAR does not have a monopoly here nor do their members have any more or less ethics than any other real estate agent or broker.

I'm proud to be a REBNY member.

December 30, 2011 02:38 PM
Rainer
157,536
Anthony Daniels
SF Bay Area REO Specialist
Coldwell Banker

In my opinion, the often mispronounced term "REALTOR" versus "REALITOR", is just another source of revenue for NAR.

Good post, thanks for sharing it.

December 30, 2011 02:41 PM
Rainer
98,874
Dave Leiderman
ABR, SFR - Realtor - DE & MD Beaches
Coldwell Banker Residential Brokerage

Great post Bryan.  I think I'm with Dick on this one.  COE enforcement is a joke.  There is a tremendous amount of hypocrisy in this business.  I'd rather we not have mandatory ethics classes and more (actual) COE enforcement!  But I digress.....I don't think you need to be a Realtor to be successful, ethical or anything else.  The difference is your affordability/spending and what you get from it.  In 14 years I have yet to see a single direct benefit from being a Realtor.  That said, like you, I plan on remaining one in part because my broker is a member and in part because the MLS requires it.  Very thought provoking post.  Well done!

December 30, 2011 02:42 PM
Ambassador
767,381
Robert & Lisa Hammerstein
Bergen County NJ Real Estate
Keller Williams Valley Realty

Bryan - We are Realtors®and will always be Realtors®.... That being said I find this a very interesting conversation. Will be interested to see what everyone has to chime in with. Wishing you a very Happy New Year from NJ

December 30, 2011 02:43 PM
Ambassador
924,439
Amanda and Jared Christiansen, YOUR Fort Wayne Realtors
Century 21 Bradley.
Century 21 Bradley (260)704-0843

Good stuff Bryan, thanks for pointing out the difference.                                             

December 30, 2011 02:50 PM
Rainmaker
808,064
Lyn Sims
Schaumburg Homes
RE/MAX Suburban - Schaumburg IL Real Estate - Northwest Suburbs of Chicago

Good post. I asked my owners if I could opt out of being a realtor because it is of no benefit to me & it's just too costly. Aside from spending my money like it was free is a different topic.  I will abide by the code of ethics which is all that we can hope for in our day to day dealings right? My company says we must remain members for arbitration on commissions. I disagree as that is a pre-suit that anyone can opt in for whether members or not. You elect to arbitrate which is even on our contracts.

The board is not proving value to it's membership or people across the country wouldn't be leaving in droves. As far as board forms - get Adobe Acrobat for a couple hundred bucks & it's cheaper than dues & your problem is solved. That's a ridiculous reason for membership - I get 'forms'.  I'm sure you can get a friend to give them to you? Hey, retype them in Word for c'sakes.

Richard - come off the RPAC is so worthwhile! Give money to the dems or repubs & not have some drone on a national level do it for you.

 

December 30, 2011 03:06 PM
Rainmaker
312,118
Michael Russell
Overland Park Kansas Real Estate
Keller Williams Realty Partners, Inc.

I will tell you that I would pay NAR twice as much as I already do, if they would increase the educational standard for Realtors. This would eliminate the part time and major underacheivers who need to leave the business.

December 30, 2011 03:10 PM
Ambassador
1,405,838
Anna Banana Kruchten
Phoenix Real Estate Agent, CRB, CRS 602-380-4886
Phoenix Property Shoppe

We are Realtors® and proud to be so.  Does an agent need to be in order to conduct a well run and ethical business? No. I do appreciate all that our board offers - which by far is one of the best around. 


Featured in BananaTude


December 30, 2011 03:11 PM
Ambassador
1,082,676
Bryan Robertson
Broker, Author, Speaker
Catarra Real Estate, Inc

Fred - Yes, the issue of ethics by NAR and others within organized real estate is a difficult one to reconcile.  The nature of being a REALTOR is because the license for the membership comes from NAR as licensed locally.  As far as I can tell, there's no way to be a local member without being a national member.  And yes, I'm not a fan of the MLS monopoly.

Linda - I've heard about offices dropping their membership due to costs.  Check out Christine's point below - NAR has convinced the public that working with a REALTOR is better than just working with a plain agent.  True or not, that could be a mitigating factor for a broker or agent.

Alan - That seems to be the general trend in the feedback.  Although being a REALTOR does have its perks.

KW - And we've got a great dialog going abou it.

Aimee - Yeah, I'd have a hard time living without the forms.

Christine - That's a good point.  The NAR PR campaign showing REALTORS as better than other agents does impact how the public perceives us.

Maya - I've looked into just getting forms and it doesn't appear possible.  And yes, it's nice we have MLS access in California without being members.

Bryan - I got the sarcasm and I'm with you 100%.  The agents doing 1-4 transactions a year are, typically, doing this more as a hobby.  But, we all hit hard times and perhaps a few just hit a rough patch.

Steven - Good point.  One form of that is requiring membership to obtain MLS access.  That seems like something of a restraint of trade.  We have no such limitation in California.

Andrew - Those are all good advantages.  Personally, I see access to others and networking as a major benefit.  The legal support is a nice option but I also have that with my company.  Good points.

Mitchell - I didn't know that and I really appreciate the insight.  That alone makes this discussion worthy.  Knowing that a major trade group like that exists, isn't a NAR associate, and has a large number of great members is good to know.

Anthony - I'd be happy if the fees were less or that I had the option to get things a-la-carte.

Dave - Thanks for the compliment.  Yes, I'll remain a member for all the reasons you say.  This has turned out to be an interesting discussion about what the real value is.

Robert & Lisa - It seems in general most folks don't see much difference in being a REALTOR but there are some benefits.  Biggest hot buttons seem to be cost and the MLS monopoly.

Jared - Thanks!

Lyn - We have agents in our area who get copies of forms and use them.  Our board gets furious about that but they seldom have much recourse.  Personally, I'd rather get what I need at a lower cost.  I'd like ZipForms and MLS access.  I don't need the rest.  Unfortunately, I can't do that.

December 30, 2011 03:11 PM
Rainmaker
895,352
Brian Madigan
LL.B., Broker
RE/MAX West Realty Inc., Brokerage (Toronto)

Bryan,

in Ontario, it is very much the same, however the Act contains a Code of Ethics too, some ethical distinctions really don't apply here.

The key difference is access to MLS.

Without that, it is very difficult to function.

Brian

December 30, 2011 03:13 PM
Rainer
23,470
Adrian Kindred
Keller Williams Arizona Realty

Wow, what an interesting topic. I like the fact you brought this up, it gives Realtors(R) food for thought. I plan on remaining a Realtor(R), for all the pluses and minuses it entails. 

December 30, 2011 03:16 PM
Rainer
78,108
Chris Lewis
Front Royal VA Home Sales
Gracious Living Realty

It is absolutely not necessary to be a REALTOR® in order to work ethically and professionally.  In Virginia it is not necessary to be able to access the MLS, but the quarterly subscription is higher (but still less than the combination of board fees plus MLS dues).

December 30, 2011 03:16 PM
Rainmaker
251,964
Mike & Eve Alexander
Exclusively Representing ONLY Orlando Home Buyers
Buyers Broker of Florida

First of all if anyone thinks that you must be a REALTOR to get MLS, you are wrong.

Many years ago there was a lawsuit in Georgia, over the very same thing...."tying" something needed for business survival,  like MLS, to a membership to something else.  Out of that suit came "Thompson Brokers" for the agent named "thompson" that sued.  "Thompson brokers are not members of anything other than MLS"

At one time, I became disgusted with the lack of ethics enforcement in South Florida and my whole office quit the board, FAR and NAR and just joined MLS as "thompson brokers".  Our dues for MLS at the time was about $220 a year. 

While no one can force you to join the board, the state association or national association, what they can do is JACK THE PRICE OF MLS TO BE EQUILEVENT TO THE SAME DUES AS IF YOU WERE A MEMBER PAYING FOR ALL OF IT.

I have NEVER used the word Realtor, with or without the R behind my name or in describing myself (yes, I am one) and in 20 years I have never had one consumer ask me if I were a realtor...in fact, I have gotten some buyers because they thought that a Buyers Broker was NOT a realtor.

Eve in Orlando

 

December 30, 2011 03:19 PM
Rainmaker
111,122
Jerry Morse
BBA,GRI
The Morse Company

I guess I learned something; that you can join MLS without being a Realtor!

December 30, 2011 03:35 PM
Rainmaker
495,235
Cal Yoder
Homes For Sale in Lancaster PA - 717.413.0744
Keller Williams of Central PA East

Like many others, we need to belong to NAR in order to have access to our local MLS. No, from a philosophical point of view, one does not need to belong to NAR to be a good real estate agent or ethical. However, the benefits and dues far outweigh every person for himself or herself. Without a code of ethics somewhere, and no centralized organization creating one, how would we know what is ethical as independent agents? In other words, if NAR just left the face of the earth and there was no code of ethics which NAR created, what would define that code? Somewhere there does need to be a centralizing force, IMHO.

Cal

December 30, 2011 03:39 PM
Rainmaker
237,024
Roger Johnson
Realtor - Hickory NC Real Estate
CENTURY 21 American Homes

As many have already said, Bryan, in lots of areas, being a Realtor is NOT a choice, it's a requirement.  They have created a monopoly in the area and the only way to do business is by becoming a Realtor.  The only way NOT to be one here is to find a real estate company that isn't already a member (good luck) and sign on with them (OR you could simply start your own office, I guess).  Problem there is a) you have no access to property info (at least no more than the average customer has) and b) you have no other agents that will deal with you because you aren't a member of the local MLS and therefore, barely more than a FSBO).

 

December 30, 2011 03:40 PM
Rainmaker
166,183
Dale Samples
REALTOR -Homes for Sale Charleston, West Virgini
304.741.4705 • www.dalesamples.com

Same goes for my board, I am required to be a REALTOR for access to the MLS.

 

December 30, 2011 03:46 PM
Rainmaker
1,085,155
Bryant Tutas
Broker/REALTOR, Tutas Towne Realty, Inc
Bryant Tutas-Tutas Towne Realty, Inc

I guess it depends on how you have your buisness set up. I don't think the consumer cares one way or the other as long as you get the job done. In my MLS you can get partial membership without being a Realtor(R). You can input listings but I don't think you have complete access to sold data.

I'm not a big fan of NAR but am a big fan of FAR (Florida). The benfits and tools I get as part of membership are very good and would cost me far more than the $535 I paid this year for my annual dues.

So you do have to be a Realtor to be successful at real estate. But I do believe it helps. 

December 30, 2011 03:47 PM
Rainmaker
437,308
E.J. "Mike" Carlier
Lakeville MN
CENTURY 21 MarketLink Realty

It seems that there are many real estate professionals who feel that NAR is not giving decent value for its price.  Professional organizations exist to establish and enforce professional standards of their members, and to promote their professional image and reputation.  I feel that the NAR is doing neither adequately. 

The only reason the association is able to get away with overcharging for underdelivery is that there is no organized opposition.  It's time for a grass roots watchdog group to pressure the association to perform up to the standards we deserve.  Who's in?

December 30, 2011 03:57 PM
Rainmaker
310,051
Leslie Prest
Owner, Assoc. Broker, Prest Realty, Payson,
Leslie Prest, Prest Realty, Sales and Rentals in Payson, AZ

Only because our local board says we can't be MLS members w/o joining all the way up through NAR. Otherwise we wouldn't. To say that because an agent belongs they will do better is nonsense. No one holds any of us to "a higher standard". No one checks or, really, cares.

December 30, 2011 04:00 PM
Rainmaker
647,135
Evelyn Kennedy
Alameda, Real Estate, Alameda, CA
Gallagher & Lindsey, Alameda, California

Bryan:

I am a Realtor and will remain one without qualification.  It is primarily because of the Code of Ethics and the forms.   I know that there are agents who have very high ethics and there are Realtors who have no ethics but the code is an insurance policy for me and my clients that Realtors will do the right and ethical thing. 

December 30, 2011 04:11 PM
Rainmaker
1,249,329
Carla Muss-Jacobs, Principal Broker/Owner
Buyer Focused ~ Buyer Results
BuyersAgentPortland.com | (503) 810-7192 Portland Metro Exclusive Buyers Agent | 100% Buyer Representation ~ 100% of the Time

The situation here in Portland is similiar to Doug's #1 comment.  I've always thought it odd that as a business owner (an LLC), and a state licensed Principal Broker, I can't do my job in my real estate practice unless I'm a "member" of NAR via the membership rules of the RMLS. I pay over $1,700 in dues to the RMLS/year.  I pay about $500/year to NAR AND I have to pay for online ZIP forms (annual fee).  For the CONVENIENCE of showings (the Supra Keypad) and accessing the RMLS I am a Realtor(r).   The alternative, save $2,300/year and search listings on REDSPIN or ZILLOW for my clients, then call the listing agent to open the door for me to show . . . LOL.  Yup it's the cost of doing business. 

December 30, 2011 04:12 PM
Ambassador
2,342,413
Lenn Harley
Real Estate Broker - Virginia & Maryland
Lenn Harley, Homefinders.com, MD & VA Homes and Real Estate

For many, opting out of the NAR and locals is because of the fees. 

However, I'm not sure they save anything.  E&O is much more expensive for a non-realtor.

Also, the cost of CE, which is required to license renewal costs more for non-realtors.  Same with forms, etc.  Licensees can join our MLS without Realtor membership, but the fee is higher. 

I'm not sure they really save anyting.

In past years, I would have said that national dues are worth it because of the PAC.  HA!  Considering the events in Congress in the past several years, I don't see where they're doing anyting.  Our state PAC published a report of their successes in the past year and sadly, I disagreed with about half the politicians they supported.

I'll pay my dues but not contribute to the PACs any longer.

December 30, 2011 04:36 PM
Rainmaker
216,453
Chris Sloan
Tooele Utah Real Estate
Group 1 Real Estate

Guess I'll be in the minority. I've had the opportunity to serve as local Board and State President, as well as currently serving on the National BOD. Do I like everything that NAR does? Far from it. However, if all I get out of them is saving the MID, I win. At the State level, we've held off attempts to impose transfer fees and professional tax on services for the last decade in Utah. That alone justifies my membership, as I can pay my dues with the savings from 1 transaction if we had either of those fees. 

The original question was whether you need to be a Realtor to be an effective agent. Of course you don't. Ethical people will still be ethical. Unethical ones will still be unethical. However, if NAR or your State Associations went away, being an effective agent would likely become much more difficult, just from a regulatory standpoint. I think I'll continue to be a member, thanks.

December 30, 2011 04:39 PM
Rainmaker
1,033,426
Joan Whitebook
Consumer Focused Real Estate Services
BHG The Masiello Group

An interesting discussion.  I think if one want to work with a firm, then being a Realtor is a necessity.  NAR has also made the public aware of the code of ethics, so there is some recognition by the public.  As for the pacs I'm with # 42.

December 30, 2011 04:42 PM
Ambassador
706,136
Mike Frazier
Dyersburg Tn Real Estate
Carousel Realty of Dyer County

Bryan, I am losing one agent who is making that jump. Personally I choose to remain a Realtor.

Congrats on the feature and the thought provoking post.

December 30, 2011 04:45 PM
Ambassador
2,342,413
Lenn Harley
Real Estate Broker - Virginia & Maryland
Lenn Harley, Homefinders.com, MD & VA Homes and Real Estate
From the membership counts on Realtor.org, it appears that California is loding about 5,000 member a year. http://www.realtor.org/wps/wcm/connect/550c63804891c54db639fe0c8bc1f2ed/MembershipCountbyState-Historicalyearend.pdf?MOD=AJPERES&CACHEID=550c63804891c54db639fe0c8bc1f2ed
December 30, 2011 04:50 PM
Rainer
39,995
Allen Deaver
Allen Deaver
Sky Realty

Like it or not most Boards require agents/brokers to be a member of NAR. For us dues are just part of doing business. Prior to becoming a REALTOR I was a Union Electrician and had to pay dues to the local IBEW. NAR declares they are looking out for our best interest and they may be. But I choose to be in the real estate business so unless I decide to go back to turning wrenches I will keep paying my dues.

December 30, 2011 04:57 PM
Rainmaker
190,139
Gregory Bain
Mezzina Real Estate & Insurance

It's just a trade organization for the broker paid for by the agents. I belong because I want to work local and need access to the MLS.

 

BTW - there are more disparaging blogs written by Realtors about those "unethical" Realtors on Active Rain than just about any other subject. Things that make you go Hmmmmm............................

December 30, 2011 05:04 PM
Rainmaker
655,896
Pamela Seley, REALTOR®
Menifee Lakes California Real Estate
REALTY EXECUTIVES OTF

Bryan, great post and hot topic. Maybe your post is intended for brokers only, but as I am an agent I have to follow my broker. My office is a member of our local board and so I am too. Some may laugh at this, but I am proud to be a REALTOR®. I've earned it, not because I pay big bucks every year for my membership, but from the time I've put in going to orientation, ethics and other seminars/workshops at my local board. 

CAR is the greatest thing since sliced bread (I mean that). I couldn't do business without the CAR forms, which are updated on a fairly regular basis. I don't understand how a non-member could keep up. Not only is it frowned upon to use another member's forms, I've seen offers rejected because of it. How would that be to the buyer client? Not too good.

Second, I have used the CAR Legal Hotline on numerous occasions to get answers to my questions and/or concerns. That service is provided because I am a member.

Without access to the MLS I wouldn't be able to market my listings to other brokers/agents. That's how I sell my listings. Although I am disappointed that NAR got the numbers wrong, I will give the benefit of the doubt that there was a problem getting the correct information from all the MLS groups across the country. That could be a local board problem? 

As far as ethics goes, it's true that non-member can be more ethical and vice versa. But, not having the COE, IMO, may encourage the more unscrupulous to be more unscrupulous. At least the existence of COE is a constant reminder. 

December 30, 2011 05:21 PM
Rainer
45,860
Christian Bastian
Christian Bastian - Douglas Elliman Real Estate
Douglas Elliman Real Estate

With or without NAR, I would still conduct my business in the same ethical and professional manner. What I believe NAR can do a better job at in marketing us as professionals is to step away from that business suit and perfect hair look that pervades many of the TV ads, and let our clients and customers know the diversity of people and talents that we embody.

December 30, 2011 05:39 PM
Rainmaker
539,960
Eric Michael
Metro Detroit Real Estate Professional 734.564.1519
Remerica Integrity, Realtors®, Northville, MI

I'm a Realtor® and have no plans on ever Not being one. I don't think you have access to our MLS if your just a "regular" agent though. That could make things quite tough.

December 30, 2011 05:45 PM
Rainmaker
1,051,758
Ginny Gorman
Homes for Sale in North Kingstown RI and beyond
Phillips Post Road Realty ~ 401-529-7849~ RI Waterfront Real Estate

Bryan, this is a great post on that dilemma and issue...personally I respect that I abide by the COE and am expected to for my clients...money doesn't buy that does it?

December 30, 2011 06:11 PM
Ambassador
1,227,260
Erica Ramus
MRE, Schuylkill County PA Real Estate
Erica Ramus - Ramus Realty Group - Pottsville, PA

I'm with you. I personally think the COE should be how we all do business, not just because we are "realtors". I have run other businesses and a COE espoused by a trade group doesn't make me any more or less ethical.


In our area we have to be a member of the loca and state and NAR to have access to our MLS. If we didn't have to join I personally would not. I don't need them to do business. I just need access to the MLS.

 

December 30, 2011 06:18 PM
Rainmaker
559,927
Corinne Guest
Barrington's Country Suburban Home Matchmaker
Barrington Realty Company

Like #1 we have to be Realtors to be able to join the boards. I personally do not have a problem with it but I do understand it's not a real necessity. I have just stopped paying my annual ABR fees. I consider I got the designation and should be allowed to keep it, another discussion I know but there seem to be too many  other "businesses" reliant on us agent/Realtors.

December 30, 2011 06:46 PM
Rainmaker
409,412
Michelle Francis
Realtor, Buckhead Atlanta Homes for Sale & Lease
Tim Francis Realty LLC

Bryan, 

It's a very interesting debate and will certainly continue as the economic environment is challenged.  We are Realtors.  However, I have no issue if folks that we co-op with are not.  it doesn't guarantee that you are a great real estate agent.  

In Georgia, they are just about to charge for access to forms if you are not a member of the board.  Board membership includes this.  My biggest concern is that today all folks virtually use the same forms.  Now, we will see many different forms and it will be more work for all to make sure we know what they say.  The uniformity probably benefited both agents and clients alike.

All the best in 2012, Michelle

December 30, 2011 06:49 PM
Rainmaker
292,857
John Marshall - FORE!
Specializing in Golf Course Properties
John Marshall

Interestingly, the three companies in Colorado that have had the most significant growth in new agents, all offer the option of belonging to a board or not, most of the agents joining these companies are from oother board carrying brokerages.

Perhaps even more interesting is that a couple of the MLS's here in Colorado still allow you to participate even if you do not belong to a board, they charge a few dollars more per month, however you save several hundred per year by not joining a board ????? 

As many of you have commented, I know several great agents that are not Realtors, recently some of my craziest transactions were with Realtors that supposedly follow the code of ethics, if these were my agents I would have cut them loose immediately!

December 30, 2011 07:04 PM
Rainmaker
805,723
Gail Robinson
REALTOR, GRI, e-PRO, Fairfield County, CT
William Raveis Real Estate

My broker and my MLS require me to be a REALTOR.  I do use the legal counsel at my state level REALTOR organization and I love Fran, who heads up my local REALTOR organization.  Paying the dues creates a barrier for entry and I would like to see the barriers even higher, so I have no problem with it.

December 30, 2011 07:07 PM
Rainer
63,763
Benjamin Lang
Associate Broker, ABR, CDP, Oakland County MI Shor
Lang Premier Properties, Max Broock Realtors

I am a Realtor and I strongly support that decision for other agents.  I am bound by a higher code of ethics and while I would still abide by these codes if I was only an agent, I believe that not everyone out there does or would.  Therefore, it is another tool to set us apart.  Ultimately it is one's own decision to obtain the Realtor status.  Of course I know real estate professionals that aren't Realtors and are wonderful agents too.  And even some Realtors that are just awful! 

 

I don't think this debate will ever be truly solved!  

 

December 30, 2011 07:18 PM
Ambassador
1,319,822
Richard Iarossi
Crofton MD Real Estate, Annapolis MD Real Estate
Coldwell Banker Residential Brokerage

Bryan,

The interesting part is that we're all REALTORS to the general public. If I wasn't working in a brokerage that requires all their agents to belong to NAR, I'm not all that sure I would. The benefits to agents aren't all that apparent.

Rich

December 30, 2011 07:20 PM
Rainmaker
504,017
Rob D. Shepherd
Principal Broker ABR, GRI
Coldwell Banker Coast

On our board you are a Realtor or you aren't a mamber. Our benifits are a lending library for lockboxes. Check them out and bring them back later. We also get our subscribtion paid to have computer access to county records.

December 30, 2011 07:39 PM
Rainmaker
156,802
George Bennett
Inactive Principal Broker, GRI
Inactive

In Oregon you can't join the MLS if you are not a realtor.

December 30, 2011 07:51 PM
Rainmaker
245,315
John M. Scott
Broker / Owner San Francisco Bay Area
BRE # 01442690, Scott Keys Properties

Bryan, as far as I can tell in San Francisco - you can't get MLS access without being a Realtor. Go figure.

December 30, 2011 08:04 PM
Rainmaker
538,391
Gretchen & Mel Ahrens
ColumbiaGorgeFSBO.com

I think where you are is a large variable in whether you need to be a Realtor or not. I once lived in a small Colorado town where almost no agents were. There were other associations that made up for what these agents missed. In other areas, it's essential to be a Realtor to stay competitive with all the Realtors in the area.

Gretchen

December 30, 2011 08:12 PM
Rainer
171,630
Luis Iniguez
Search Inland Empire Homes For Sale - Short Sale Agent
Option One Real Estate

I believe if you're going to be in real estate you have to be a Realtor.  This is one of those things you just don't do half a**.  You need to be part of an organization that represents your industry.  It has it's pros and cons, but I believe at the end you will benefit from it.

December 30, 2011 08:16 PM
Rainmaker
85,347
Ben Blonder
Buyers, Sellers, Investors!
Broker/Owner, Kapital Real Estate Inc

I feel like the MLS is the biggest resource you get. This can help the hunt and listings and make you look more professional by having the resource.

December 30, 2011 08:38 PM
Ambassador
407,830
Tammy Emineth
Content Marketer, SEO Teacher, Website Fixer
Personal SEO - Website SEO and Real Estate Marketing

Not so much a philosophical debate as a mandatory one. When I was an agent in WA our entire brokerage had to subscribe to be a Realtor. If he didn't none of us could or did. So it was the fact of whether we chose to be at the brokerage or not. I didn't see it as a benefit since we had all the forms and I had all the support I needed. Many "regular" people don't know the difference either.. but I have learned since that it really depends on the state or brokerage...

December 30, 2011 08:53 PM
Rainmaker
477,913
Robert L. Brown
Grand Rapids Real Estate Bellabay Realty, West Michigan
www.mrbrownsellsgr.com

Oh well it could be worse. You want to play you must pay. I've been doing it for over 25 years. It is the cost of doing business.

December 30, 2011 08:56 PM
Rainmaker
341,179
Dawn Maloney
330-990-4236 Hudson Stow Cuyahoga Falls Silver Lak
RE/MAX Haven - Northeast Ohio Real Estate Specialist

We can't join the board without being a REALTOR®. I just wish the NAR would do more for us in the direction of our requests...and stop soaking us with www.REALTOR.com.

December 30, 2011 09:54 PM
Rainmaker
293,958
Brian Morgenweck
Broker/Owner, GRI, CRS, ABR, SRS
Power Realty Group, LLC Bergen County, NJ

Simple answer = No.

It'd be nice if we could order a la' carte, but boards, mls & associations are all in bed together. (which may seem like some sort of ethics violation to many of us!) The sad part is, it's made very difficult to operate without being a member, all-in or nothing. I think New York City has the right idea...

As far as the COE, I've always thought that aspect was laughable, at best. You either have a moral & ethical compass...or you don't...period. The public should blindly trust one over another due to a "code" one paid for?! ...as if the buying & selling public had an aggregate IQ of 12.

That said, all of my dues are paid in full, along with the $40 in additional protection money that was tacked on in 2011.

Thanks for having the stones to write a controversial piece, Bryan. Happy New Year!

Who Is John Galt?

December 30, 2011 10:01 PM
Rainmaker
481,055
Christine Bohn
Realtor, Gainesville FL
RE/MAX Professionals

I am proud to be a Realtor, and plan to remain one also.   Locally, I think our roster will be shrinking too....but that does NOT bother me a bit.  Our profession is Just That....a profession...not a J O B.

December 30, 2011 10:15 PM
Rainmaker
680,225
Ruthmarie Hicks
Keller Williams NY Realty - 120 Bloomingdale Road #101, White Plains NY 10605

If NAR was actually representing its membership this question wouldn't come up so much and the dues wouldn't be a source of so much anger.  Personally, if I pay dues to an organization that is supposed to represent my  interests - I expect them to do just that.  NAR fails on so many levels that no one comment can cover that topic.   But organizations that fail to represent those that foot the bill are eventually destined to die. 

December 30, 2011 11:29 PM
Rainer
201,577
Mary Macy
Top Agents Atlanta Metro
Top Agents Atlanta Metro

NAR dues went up in our area and I opted out.  We don't have to be a Realtor to have access to MLS and I believe there was a court case that changed that nationally, but everyone needs to check.  I do not need to have the REALTOR behind my name to feel proud, I am professional, work hard and represent people with ethics, fairness and a lot of hard work and marketing skill.  The only thing the board ever did for me was charge me a lot of money every year.  I opted out this year for the first time in 25 years.  I don't think that lobbies in Washington are going to be tolerated as the way to run this country and people still buy and live in homes in Canada that does not have a tax deduction, the agents there seem to be doing better than the US agents.  I am a professional and do not need to pay to prove it, a lot of the responses to this blog are really brainwashed that they have to spend money to prove who they are professional, think about that!!! Being a member of a group does not make you any better than anyone else, it just makes your budget several hundred dollars higher for something that may not give you anything in return. I really don't feel that my interests are being represented anywhere politically in todays enviornment.  Great Post, lots of people stuck in paying dues both from a requirement and mindset.

December 30, 2011 11:47 PM
Rainmaker
322,802
Mike McCann - Broker Nebraska Farm Land
Broker Nebraska Farm Land For Sale 308-627-3700
Mike McCann - Broker, serving all of Nebraska

I am one of those who is not a Realtor.  I left because in 2007 I joined a company selling farms in rural Nebraska.  The state board wanted all 50 agents to join NAR, NE NAR, the local board and the Mls if I wanted to stay in my local Board...We donot have time here to discuss the stupidity of that when NONE of them lived within the borders of our local Board.

I do believe to do a great job selling residential you should belong to the local board...ag and farm mot needed.

There is a place for both and the highest paid Brokers in Nebraska are not Realtors.

In regards to the C of E.  I firmly believe that is no more than a cover for some and is totally disregard by more than just a few for the sake of a commission.  NO... don't argue with this until you read this months Nebraska Real Estate Commission newsletter and see some of the names that have been reprimanded and or disciplined...and fined.

December 31, 2011 01:55 AM
Rainer
48,637
David Myre
VIP Realty

The fees are outrageous, but there's no other way to access the MLS.

December 31, 2011 02:02 AM
Rainmaker
824,184
Marc Swartz
CPA, CA - Toronto, Durham & York Regions, Ontario

In my part of Ontario, you need to be a board member to be a Realtor® and to obtain access to the MLS.

December 31, 2011 02:03 AM
Rainmaker
105,665
Christie Lane Craven
Your Anne Arundel County Agent
Long & Foster

We are required to be members.  I truly believe 99 out of 100 of the general population don't know the difference between the having the designation or not. I also believe you can't buy ethics.  I had them before I ever got my license and will continue to do so whether I have a big blue R on my shirt or not.  

It seems a bit ironic to me to be taught ethics by a group that requires me to be a member to earn a living.  

December 31, 2011 02:04 AM
Rainmaker
134,415
Paul Francis
Las Vegas Real Estate - Summerlin Homes - 702.592.
Prudential Americana Group - REALTORS

Hmmm....  I have several good friends and Fraternity Brothers from college that are in Commercial Real estate and they do just fine not being REALTORS...

I think the big question is if the value of paying these fees are worth it?

$610 here in Southern Nevada just for REALTOR dues... that does not even include MLS / Lockbox key fees.

I'm only paying because I have to.... Certainly not by choice.

 

December 31, 2011 03:49 AM
Rainmaker
1,774,882
Gabe Sanders
Stuart Florida Real Estate
the BlueWater Realty team specializing in Martin County Residential Homes, Condos and Land Sales

Interesting post and I enjoyed reading the comments.  Like with any real estate I guess it still depends on your area and how the MLS is run.  If being an effective agent requires access to the MLS (and in many areas it does) then not being a Realtor may indeed be an issue.

December 31, 2011 06:06 AM
Rainmaker
282,470
Charlie Dresen
Steamboat Springs, CO e-Pro
Steamboat Sotheby's International Realty

This is a very thought provoking post and like Gabe, I've enjoyed the variety of comments. While I have no intention of not being a Realtor, I question if buyers and sellers really even know the difference between a Realtor and a non Realtor? The term has become so generic that it's really most useful to us and the access it gives us to the MLS, forms, processes and procedures. I would guess to the average buyer and seller every real estate agent out there is a Realtor.

December 31, 2011 07:52 AM
Rainmaker
319,775
Kat Palmiotti
The House Kat
Better Homes & Gardens Rand Realty, Monroe NY Real Estate, 914-419-0270

You don't need to be a REALTOR® to be ethical, and just because you are one doesn't mean you ARE ethical. 

That being said, for practical reasons, most REALTORS® are forced to become one because access to MLS isn't allowed without belonging to the NATIONAL ASSOCIATION OF REALTORS®.

It then becomes a necessary cost of doing business, whether you agree with the process or not.

 

December 31, 2011 08:18 AM
Ambassador
683,273
Charita Cadenhead
Serving Jefferson and Shelby Counties (Alabama)
Keller Williams Realty

Gee Bryan you sure know how to strike up a conversation.  As many have stated, our arms may be twisted into becoming Realtors® (must be member of NAR in order to be member of local board).  I look at being a member of NAR as the cost of doing business and have never sweated it not once have I complained about it.  I just have to do what I have to do in order to be able to maintain that membership if I chose do do and I DO CHOSE to do so.

December 31, 2011 08:31 AM
Rainmaker
891,596
Michael Setunsky
Your Commercial Real Estate Link to Northern VA
Michael's Commercial LLC

Bryan, in my area the Association controls the MLS and the lockboxes. I would think it would be hard to work with clients if you can't get into a house to show it. I did pay my dues this year, but the ROI seems to be very low. Happy New Year!!

December 31, 2011 08:45 AM
Rainer
5,191
Dr. Tameka Bryant
Helping you close more deals!
The Real Estate House

I've been a Realtor for 10 years and each year I happily pay all of my dues.  I see agents that aren't Realtors in the market, but they aren't nearly as productive.  I utilize the benefits of any organization I'm affiliated with and NAR is no different.  Every year I do a cost benefit analysis and can see my investment net me more than $8,000 in referrals and other perks. 

December 31, 2011 08:47 AM
Rainmaker
432,058
Jennifer Allan-Hagedorn
Author of Sell with Soul
Sell with Soul

Great discussion. I wrote a blog a few years back called "I am now a REALTOR, the World is Safe" after I paid my $407 to the local Board, got my receipt and went back to business as usual. It certainly didn't change who I was or how I ran my business, and the 3-hour "ethics" class which consisted of mostly one sales pitch after another was a joke. Seriously - I'm going to be "ethical" (or not) because I took a silly class or paid a membership fee (or not)? Besides, in Colorado anyway, what I agree to as a licensed Broker Associate via the Real Estate Commission is pretty much the same thing as the REALTOR COE.

I've never much cared for NAR after dealing with them as an exhibitor in the 2007 National Convention. It was a freakin' nightmare and I'm not sure I've ever felt so ripped off and taken advantage of. And the whole idea that they force agents to belong (in many areas) in order to access the tools to properly do their jobs is just wrong. If you want someone to join your Club, make them WANT to join your club, don't force them to!

December 31, 2011 08:49 AM
Ambassador
1,088,787
Joni Staples
Your Huntsville / Lake Livingston Area REALTOR®
Berkshire Hathaway Home Services - Anderson Properties
Personally, I am proud to be a RAeALTOR and would be a member even if it were not required to access MLS. Why? The same reason I have taken so many additional classes... To go ge extra mile and be all that I can be!
December 31, 2011 09:44 AM
Rainer
166,869
Dave Sullivan
The Real Story on Your Credit Score - TheCreditGuy
www.TheCreditGuy.TV

great post happy new year...

December 31, 2011 10:04 AM
Rainmaker
313,510
Sandy Acevedo
RE/MAX Masters, Inland Empire Homes for Sale
951-290-8588

Congrats on the feature and great post. You have posed an interesting question. I had not known about all the major differences before.

December 31, 2011 11:13 AM
Rainmaker
95,149
Lorraine Santirosa
#1 San Diego Military Relocation Expert!
Keller Williams - San Diego Metro

This is a great post because it makes us take a hard look at our professional organization and the benefits of being a member. 

December 31, 2011 12:43 PM
Rainmaker
193,208
Krystyna Baty
Torrance, Redondo Beach & Greater South Bay CA
The Real Estate Group

Great post! Good to see that I'm not alone in raising those same questions. 

December 31, 2011 12:49 PM
Ambassador
535,180
JO SOSS
Kitsap County WA Real Estate - HOMEFRONT Realty
HOMEFRONT Realty

I am not a Realtor.  I was for years but once I went out on my own I opted not to join or have my office affiliated.  Our MLS is not a Realtor MLS we are owned by our member brokerages - which I an one.  We have Express Forms .  My office does subscribe to the COE - and each agent must adhere to it as well.  Anything the Realtors in my area have I have - except the option to attend a WAR meeting - never attended one when I was a Realtor.

Happy New Year! 

December 31, 2011 01:14 PM
Rainmaker
279,106
Alan Brown
24 Years of Real Estate Experience .
Coldwell Banker Montrose Colorado

In the world of Trade Unions its called a closed shop. Many local boards make you be a member of your State and National associations in order to get MLS access (closed shop)

Although I am a member of NAR and my Local and State organizations I do so because as an office my broker wont opt out, even though we could have MLS access without being members. I know the vast majority of the agents in my office would opt out if they could.

Make it voluntary to join all thes assocaitions and lets see how many people pay their dues. Many of the positions that NAR  take are counter to the best interests of the membership. I for one would opt out if I could.

December 31, 2011 01:18 PM
Ambassador
1,227,260
Erica Ramus
MRE, Schuylkill County PA Real Estate
Erica Ramus - Ramus Realty Group - Pottsville, PA

Interesting how in some parts you do NOT have to be a realtor to have MLS access. I wish this was true in my area.

December 31, 2011 02:28 PM
Ambassador
1,550,626
Christine Donovan
Broker/Attorney 800-610-7253 DRE01267479 - Costa M
Donovan Blatt Realty

Bryan - I think you can get ZipForms without NAR/CAR membership.  It just costs more.

December 31, 2011 09:58 PM
Rainmaker
99,406
Mike Grumbles
Franklin TN Real Estate
Exit Realty of the South

Bryan,

 

Good post. The issue is coming up more and more. Personally i choose to be a REALTOR and it means a lot of thing like you said but the forms (contracts) are typically provided to REALTORS form the state or local boards exclusively for REALTOR members.

 

The political advocacy is part of our dues but it will continue if one member drops off the membership they still will receive the benefit of our joint effort. Just like this year when the rates increased because the membership is down the rates go up for those of us that remain.


The issue i see without being a MLS member , which in our area requires REALTOR membership means your listings will have to be marketed on your own without cooperation from other brokerages.   Lock boxes to provide security for sellers is (in our area) associated through the board. What do you do for a new client that wants to know more about homes for sale without MLS access?  Obviously the setup of boards varies from state to state but looks like in my area not being a member would impact opportunity to make a career in real estate. 

January 01, 2012 01:41 PM
Rainmaker
338,151
Lloyd Binen
Silicon Valley R since 1976;408-565-8177
Certified Realty Services

Bryan,  NAR has not done a good job distinguishing Realtors from non-Realtors. CAR does an excellent job providing valuable products and services.  This industry would be a mess without a strong Code of Ethics.

January 01, 2012 05:36 PM
Rainmaker
278,966
Marnie Matarese
Showing you the best of Sarasota!
J Wood Realty

REAL ESTATE IS LOCAL!  How many times has that been drummed into your head?  I think that NAR is totally not needed, am happy to be a member of my local MLS and the Florida Association of Realtors.  NAR is like the old union set up that needs to be disbanded.  What a mess with this last snafu and outright lying about statistics.  I am proud to be a realtor, will continue to be one but wish I could opt out of NAR!

January 02, 2012 07:48 PM
Rainmaker
818,637
J. Philip Faranda
Broker-Owner
J. Philip Faranda (J. Philip R.E. LLC) Westchester County NY

Association member ship is required to be in out MLS so the decision is made for me. That said, our local association is, in my view, excellent. 

January 02, 2012 10:22 PM
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1,082,676

Bryan Robertson

Broker, Author, Speaker
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