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Opinion Editorials

NAR board votes to raise dues, members consider quitting



Dear NAR, I quit

Over the weekend, the National Association of Realtors voted to pass an increase in dues of 50% to support the new Realtor Party Political Survival Initiative (RPPSI) in response to a recent Supreme Court ruling that changes how political fundraising works.

Our sources tell us that the concept of RPPSI was born by member-driven committees and not NAR executives, and most expected it to pass despite numerous member surveys (including one here at AG) that indicate a lack of member support.

For those that tell us off record that they support RPPSI, they note that NAR has always contributed to political campaigns regardless of the new Realtor Party and that it is important for NAR to remain competitive politically despite reasons given and that sometimes associations contribute to politicians because of their office and not who is in the seat.

Real estate coach Matthew Ferrara said, “What NAR didn’t say was, the Supreme Court decision will unleash tons of union cash in future elections, so… NAR needs to become much more like a trade union than a trade association in order to buy as many politicians as the other unions.”

Realtor responses

When we broke the story that the vote had passed and shared it on Facebook, the responses were heated:

Gregory Bain said, “I have an invite to put my license with RealtyMark and letting me decide to work in a NON-REALTOR office. I’m thinking of jumping ship again.”

Al Lorenz noted, “In response, at least half of us need to quit as members. I’m working on it.”

“Time to start another Association of Certified Real Estate Agents …” said Art Vuilleumier.

Velda Miller said, “Figures. Maybe a new organization should spring up for Real estate agents to join.”

Others noted that it wasn’t a shocking development and Matt Thomson explained, “Folks, NAR doesn’t decide for you who to support politically. NAR finds the candidates that they feel best support your business needs. You still have the chance to vote for whomever you’d like. When was the last time NAR increased dues? My HOA has increased. Gas has increased. Rent has increased. My opinion…and it’s just that, my opinion…is that MOST (not all) of the people upset by this are not involved in the Realtor association any more than paying their dues. If more Realtors were involved, they’d know what NAR does for our industry, and they’d be more okay with this.”

What do you think?

We formally polled prior to the vote but today are asking simply what you think now that it is a reality? Are you one of the people thinking about your non-NAR options, are you upset but willing to pay up and move on, or do you believe the RPPSI vote is healthy for the membership? How does this change YOUR world?

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  1. Sig

    May 18, 2011 at 6:51 am

    Well I am one who has been involved politically with NAR for decades. I have all of the honors that go with it. I am against NAR telling us we will contribute and they will decide who we support and if we don't like it they don't care.When they take our money we are forced to support anyone they want us to. we don't have to vote for them, but we are forced to support them with our money. This is the typical lying spin of the cowards who say this was not enacted by NAR executives but was member driven. It was not conceived by NAR Staff but it was conceived by NAR Leadership, Phipps ET El., who hand picked the committee who voted for it in spite of every poll out there of members that was overwhelming against it. Their spin is perhaps worse than the measure. They (the NAR executives) say they listen to the members. This was definitely not true in this case. This is their initiative designed for their benefit. NAR does a lot of good things for the members and should be applauded for it, but this was not one of the good things. This is morally wrong.

  2. Mark Brian

    May 18, 2011 at 5:57 pm

    I am involved with my local RPAC and I am not happy about this decision in some ways. But I see what has happened to other real estate professionals such as mortgage brokers and appraisers. I think we are the next target for the banks to either destroy or control.

    I feel that my state and local association does work for me and listens to me. NAR on the other hand…..

  3. Al Lorenz

    May 19, 2011 at 11:33 am

    It is one the agenda for our next local brokers' meeting to discuss ending the requirements of being a Realtor to obtain mls access. Choice is a good thing.

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Opinion Editorials

Have an in-person job interview? 7 tips to crush the competition

EDITORIAL) While we all know the usual interview schtick, take some time to really study for your next face-to-face job interview.



Job interview between two women.

So, you’re all scheduled for an in-person interview for a job you’d kill for. It’s exciting that you’ve made it to this step, but the question is, are you ready? Especially with remote interviews being the new norm, your nerves may feel shaken up a bit to interview in person – but you’ve got this! And many of these tips can be applied no matter the interview setting.

We all know the basics of a job interview: dress nice, get there early, come prepared, firm handshake, yada, yada, yada… However, it’s good to really sit and think about all of the requirements of a successful interview.

There are seven steps for crushing a face-to-face interview. Do your homework upside down and inside out in order to walk into that room.

Which brings us to the first step: know everything you need to know backwards and forwards.

This can be done in two steps: getting to know the company and getting to know yourself. By doing website, social media, and LinkedIn research, you can get a feel of the company culture as well as the position you’re interviewing for.

By getting to know yourself, have a friend ask you some interview questions so you can practice. Also, take a look at your resume through the eyes of someone who doesn’t know you. Make sure everything is clear and can compete with other candidates.

The next step is to anticipate solving future problems. Have some insight on the department that you are interviewing for and come prepared with ideas of how to better this department. (i.e. if it’s marketing, give examples of campaigns you’ve done in the past that have proven to have been successful.)

Step number three requires you to go back to the research board and get some information on the employer. Find out who you’re meeting with (head of HR, head of the department, etc.) and make your self-presentation appropriate for the given person.

Next, work on making the interview conversation a meaningful one. This can be done by asking questions as people like to see you take an interest in them. Also, be sure to never answer the questions as if it’s your regular spiel. Treat each job interview as if this is the first time you’re presenting your employability information.

With this, your next step is to have stories prepared for the job interview. Anecdotes and examples of previous jobs or volunteer/organization experiences can help bring life to an otherwise run-of-the-mill resume.

After this, you’ll want to make sure that you’re showing enthusiasm for the position you’re interviewing for. Don’t jump on the couch in the lobby like you’re Tom Cruise on Oprah, but definitely portray that you’re excited and up for the challenge.

Lastly, make a good impression by being impressive. Be professional and in control of your body language. Put yourself in the mindset of whatever position you’re interviewing for and show them that you have what it takes.

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Opinion Editorials

The benefits of remote work are just too good to overlook

(EDITORIAL) Employees scream it from the rooftops and businesses don’t want to admit it: Remote work is just too beneficial to pass up- and here’s why.



Work from home written with scrabble letters.

Remote work has been rising in popularity in the past several years. Especially following the COVID-19 global pandemic, more companies saw significant benefits for both their business and their staff that went beyond the realm of finances by allowing remote labor.

Less happily, many people lost their job during the pandemic, but they ended up having more time to put toward their passions or were compelled to get creative with their remote business ideas to ensure a consistent stream of income.

If you remain on the fence about allowing your employees to work remotely, or are considering a career shift yourself, take a look at the top four benefits of working remotely, which may sway your decision.

Better Overall Quality of Life

Allowing your employees to work remotely doesn’t necessarily mean they work from home full time. There are benefits to having your employees work in an office part of the time – say, two or three days – and working from home, in more familiar surroundings, the rest of the week.

In this way, your workers enjoy some freedom and independence while retaining the ability to interact face-to-face with their peers. That provides human interaction, which can play a substantial role in terms of improved mental health for your staff.

Happy employees means healthier employees, which can save your outfit money in the form of healthcare costs and lost productivity. But we will get further into the cost-saving benefits a little further on.

If you’re a remote worker, you should see yourself becoming significantly more productive. But why would this be the case if you don’t have a manager over your shoulder watching your every move?

It’s true that when employees have a greater sense of independence, they also experience a significant sense of trust on the part of their employers and managers. This is one of the huge benefits of working remotely because it has a trickle-down effect on the quality and overall production of people’s work.

Can Work Anywhere with Internet

Whether you are a small business owner or have crafted your work to tailor toward a life of remote labor, this is an opportunity for someone who has dreamed of being a digital nomad. You have the ability to work anywhere in the world as long as you have access to the Internet. If you love to travel, this is a chance to spend time in various places around the globe while continuing to meet your deadlines.

Multi-member Zoom call on a Apple Mac laptop with a blue mug of black coffee next to it.

Set Your Own Hours

In some cases with remote businesses, you have the freedom to set your own hours. Content writers, for instance, tend to enjoy more flexibility with regard to when they work because a lot of what they produce is project-based rather than tied to a nine-to-five schedule.

When you’re a business owner, this can be incredibly useful when you outsource tasks to save money. You can find a higher quality of performance by searching for contractors anywhere in the world and it doesn’t limit you to workers who live near to your office.

Saves Everyone Time and Money

 In the end, remote work typically saves money for every person and entity involved. Businesses save costs in terms of not having to pay for a physical space, utilities, Internet, and other expenses. This allows you, as the owner, to spend more of your income on providing quality software and benefits for your employees so your operation runs more smoothly and efficiently.

According to FlexJobs, employees or remote business owners may save around $4,000 on average every year for expenses such as car maintenance, transportation, professional clothing in the office, or even money spent dining out for lunch with coworkers. Eventually, the costs add up, which means extra money in your pocket to take that much-needed vacation or save up for a down payment on your first home.

These benefits of working remotely only skim the surface. There are also sustainability factors such as removing cars from the roads and streets, because people don’t have to travel to and from an office; or employees missing fewer workdays since they have the ability and freedom to clock in from home.

Weigh the pros and cons as to whether remote work is right for you as a business owner or online professional. You might be surprised to find that working from home for more than the duration of the pandemic is worthwhile and could have long-lasting benefits.

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Opinion Editorials

Do these 3 things if you TRULY want to be an ally to women in tech

(EDITORIAL) We understand diversity helps and strengthens our companies, and individual teams. But how can you be an ally to the talented women already on your workforce?



Two women at meeting table discussing working in tech.

More and more women are leaving their positions with tech companies, citing lack of opportunity for advancement, wage gaps, and even hostile working conditions as some of the reasons why.

What’s better for the tech industry and its employees than cultivating inclusive and diverse departments? Diversity is known to strengthen the overall performance of a company and its teams, and there are a number of ways you can be an ally to the talented women already on your workforce. To name a few:

1. Be open to listening to different perspectives.

It can be awkward to hear so many reports of workplace politics stacking against women, especially if you’re not a woman!

Instead of getting uncomfortable or defensive – ask open ended questions and be interested in a perspective that isn’t yours and may be unfamiliar.

Don’t seek to rationalize or explain the experiences you’re hearing about, as that can come off as condescending. It’s common for women to be interrupted or spoken over in team gatherings. If you notice this happening, bring the conversation back to where the interruption began. Offering your ear and counting yourself as responsible for making space will improve the overall quality of communication in your company.

Listening to and validating what women have to say about the quality of their employment with a company is an important step in the right direction.

Expressing something as simple as “I was interested in what you had to say – could you elaborate on your thought?” can help.

2. Develop an Employee Resource Group (ERG) program.

An ERG is a volunteer-based, employee-led group that acts as a resource for a particular group of employees. An ERG can help to foster inclusiveness through discussion, team-building activities and events. It’s common for a department to have only one or two women on the roster.

This can mean that the day to day feels disconnected from concerns commonly shared by women. disjointed it might feel to be on a high performing team, without access to relatable conversations.

3. Be responsible for your company’s culture.

Chances are, your company already has some amazing cultural values in place. That said, how often are you checking your own performance and your co-workers performances against those high standards? Strong company culture and values sound great, but whether or not they’re adhered to can make or break the mood of a work environment.

Many women say they’ve experienced extremely damaging and toxic cultural environments, which lead to hostility, frustration, and even harassment. Take action when you see the new woman uncomfortable with being hit on at team drinks.

Call out those who make unfriendly and uncouth comments about how women perform, look, or behave.

Setting a personal threshold for these kinds of microaggressions can help you lead by example, and will help build a trustworthy allyship.

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