Dear Vicki (may I call you, Vicki?),
I just finished reading the wonderful profile written about you in REALTOR Magazine. As a native Washingtonian now living in the MD Suburbs, I want to welcome you to the Nation’s Capital. It’s a tad different than Tucson area but you might grow to like it. It seems a lot of people do. Most love having their neighbors keep them in Washington instead of “back home”. Even one of your Senators (John McCain) loves the city so much he wanted to move into that nice, big White House for awhile.
You may want to leave your .38 behind at the ranch, though. There are plenty of rattlesnakes in DC but it’s frowned upon if you shoot them because they’re the ones that create all the legislation. Plus, DC has some tough gun laws.
I also noticed that you want to pump up the numbers of Realtors who answer the National Association of Realtors’ Calls to Action. I see part of you plan is to put the touch on Broker/Owners who, in turn, will strong arm encourage their agents to click on the buttons. I’m guessing that having larger number of Realtors contact their duly elected representative (see John McCain) about NAR issues will show exactly how powerful the largest trade association in North America can be.
Good cause. Wrong approach.
What you probably already know (see Call to Action) is that politicians respond to constituent concerns. They know they need their constituents on their side in order to keep coming back and keep a [very nice] job. That’s a big difference between then and the NAR and, really, most trade associations and unions. It seems that the leadership of NAR can effectively ignore the concerns of its constituents and just follow some issues perceived to be important by staff or a few in the leadership.
This is the part that should get attention. Much like the labor unions, NAR is living, fat and happy, off dues that are essentially mandatory and all the great non-dues revenue from its various business endeavors.
NAR is not getting the response it needs from individual members because NAR leadership has essentially marginalized individual members. Half-baked and demeaning marketing campaigns about “now is the time to buy” and “get off the fence” are really not the way enamour the membership with your cause. It’s time to put the Realtor back into the center of the real estate transaction. It’s also time to get serious about taking on the competition to the Realtor brand. There are businesses out there getting ready to eat NAR’s lunch.
If NAR is going to sit by the sidelines while Zillow sends Spencer Rascoff to talk about major housing issues on CNBC and overtake Realtor.com as the “go to” web portal for real estate information it won’t be long before NAR will be just like the formerly great and powerful AFL-CIO — begging Congress to force members to pay up.
Find Out What is Important to Your Members
The bottom line here, Vicki, is that NAR really needs to get down in the trenches and see what is important to their members and then go to the mat to fight for those issues in Washington. Ditto about staying in front of consumer trends and not lagging behind the entrepreneurial companies by becoming just another “me, too” Internet presence. NAR needs some fresh thinking and some fresh blood. And co-opting a few social media types to become NAR mouthpieces is transparent and insulting.
You have over a million members that could be a force for good in the world. If NAR leadership continues down it’s current path, NAR will become a toothless tiger — powerless and ineffective.
Welcome to DC from your dues paying, RPAC contributing, local and State Association participating member,