The True Value of REALTOR® Associations

By
Real Estate Broker with RE/MAX Dallas Suburbs TX Broker 0513551

I’ve read a number of blogs this week bashing the National Association of REATORS® (NAR) along with the state and local counterparts. Many of the comments on these blogs show that REALTORS® to not understand the value of the associations and what they do to protect the industry and the general public.

Full disclosure, I serve on the Board of Directors of our local association and I’m a Sterling R PAC Major Donor.

Most importantly, NAR gives us a single voice with almost a million members behind it. Elected officials take note and do listen to our million-person voice.

While I don’t agree with everything they do, it is a bottom-up driven process with input from the local and state associations. I can’t imagine too many things that a million people would all agree on when it comes to our industry.

Want to know what happens when you lack that large voice? Ask any mortgage loan originator about the Dodd-Frank bill. Dodd-Frank drastically over-regulated their industry, put a cap on their pay, and actually cost the consumer money.

What NAR does at the national level also happens on the state and local levels.

Last Saturday, about 40 of us from the local association attended a 2013 budget meeting in one of our local cities. The city was proposing a rental registration and inspection program for single family rental homes in the city. Because our Government Affairs Committee has developed good relationships with our elected officials, we not only heard about the proposal in its early stage, we were also able to attend the meeting and voice our concerns about it. This resulted in the proposal being removed from the 2013 city budget.

Membership dues are only part of the monies needed to fuel our voice. RPAC and the state PACs need money to operate. In Texas, we ask each REALTOR® to donate $35 to the PAC. We have a state-wide donation rate of about 40 percent. Basically, 60 percent of our REALTORS® get all the benefits without donating. The other 40 percent of us carry them.

I could give you hundreds of examples of the good our associations and the PACs do for the industry and the public. If you’re part of this industry, be thankful that we have a powerful voice in our national, state, and local associations.

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Tom Branch and Gina Branch, The Branch Team with RE/MAX Dallas Suburbs, service the greater North Dallas suburbs including Dallas, Plano, Allen, McKinney, Frisco, Lewisville, and Carrollton.  While Gina concentrates on traditional listings and buyer/tenant representation, Tom specializes in assisting distressed homeowners to avoid foreclosure.  Tom and Gina have published two books (Achieving Rock Star Status and The Field Guide to Short Sales) and are available for speaking engagements in the greater Dallas - Fort Worth Metroplex. Subscribe to The Branch Team Blog.

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  1. Harry F. D'Elia 08/21/2012 09:08 AM
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Comments 20 New Comment

Ambassador
516,228
Tom Branch
Broker, CDPE, SFR, ACRE, Plano TX Ambassador
RE/MAX Dallas Suburbs

Carla,

It was a poorly executed ad--without a doubt. I don't think for one moment NAR set out to attack renters, they wanted to tout the benefits of home ownership.

I think national advertising should stick to national issues like the flood insurance problem a few years ago. Most real estate is local and the state/local associations are better engaged to deal with them.

Despite their issues, the associations still perform their intended roles of a unified voice which is critical to the industry and private property owners.

Tom

August 21, 2012 03:08 AM
Ambassador
516,228
Tom Branch
Broker, CDPE, SFR, ACRE, Plano TX Ambassador
RE/MAX Dallas Suburbs

Charles,

I'm not fond of what happened with realtor.com either. That said, the associations still do plenty to help our members run their businesses and protect private property rights.

Tom

August 21, 2012 03:11 AM
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1,070,182
Bryan Robertson
Innovator, Writer, Speaker
Catarra Real Estate, Inc

I just read and commented on Leslie's post.  I get where both of your are coming from.  My issue with NAR is that they seem to lack the necessary expertise to articulate the mission statement of the organization and reinforce the brand identity.  The public makes no distinction between agents and REALTORS, while at the same time they endorse a "Normal Rockwell" vision of homeownership.

Sure, they do a lot at the advocacy level but it would be nice if our dues were spent on building a strong brand image.

August 21, 2012 08:43 AM
Rainmaker
792,500
Lyn Sims
Schaumburg Homes
RE/MAX Suburban - Schaumburg IL Real Estate - Northwest Suburbs of Chicago

I think they are loosing their relevancy. Everything they have tried to do just seems to come out badly which puts a bad reflection on the rest of us. Lord knows, we don't need any more bad PR about miscalculations on sold numbers or this latest stupid faux pas with this commercial.

They lack overall sophistication with the media & consumers.

August 22, 2012 08:44 AM
Ambassador
516,228
Tom Branch
Broker, CDPE, SFR, ACRE, Plano TX Ambassador
RE/MAX Dallas Suburbs

Lyn,

I agree with you that the media campaigns are less relevant because all real estate is local. I'd like to see them refocus on truly national issues.

However, their relevancy to the industry and the public has not declined. We need that unified voice now more than ever.

Tom 

August 23, 2012 07:31 AM
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516,228

Tom Branch

Broker, CDPE, SFR, ACRE, Plano TX Ambassador
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