Connect with us

Opinion Editorials

NAR’s “Right Tools – Right Now” Campaign



Before We Get Started

I know that no matter how positive I think this campaign is, people will take this opportunity to take one more shot at NAR.  No Association, company or person is perfect and often times the Association’s blunders are bannered on very blog out there, and their successes are quieted away or totally ignored.  I’ve got my own qualms about how things are done at NAR at times, but that’s been covered elsewhere.  In this case, NAR is releasing many fee-based programs and products for agents for free.  They are hailing it as “free” but I’ll the first here to point out two things. The first is that member’s dues paid for this.  NAR may have investment options and other income streams to run this program, but these resources and those investments still needed member support to get executed.  Second, it’s my opinion that these products and services should have always been available to members for free – just like I think should be free.

I think it’s sad that I have to start out with the disclaimer before even writing the post.  Funny enough, I was trying to come up with a cleaver title, but I figured that using “NAR” would automatically trigger emotions either way…

The Meat

Yesterday, I was attending a Association Executives session at the Virginia Association of Realtors®.  NAR gave a webcast introducing their “Right Tools – Right Now” Campaign.  Part of the release to the CEO’s had the following:

In response to these needs, NAR is proposing a program that will make valuable publications, education, services, resources and tools available to members for FREE, at cost, or at significantly reduced pricing.  The intent of the program is to make NAR’s robust roster of business-building resources more easily available by removing the financial barrier, thereby increasing the number of members who take advantage of these tools and information.

Nearly 300 previously ‘for-sale’ resources will be offered at discount or for free in the following categories:  Education Tools & Publications, Conventions & Events, Technology Services, Research Tools, Enhanced Services, Online Training and Association & Board Resources.  In some cases, new services have been created and offered at no charge to better help members in this time.

In this package are extensive assets and offerings for Local Associations and members, but I am just going to outline the items offered in the package that pertain to member-practitioners.  All of these materials will be posted at  However, I couldn’t seem to find an exact launch date, just that it’ll be up within this month.

Here are the outlined services:

I understand that in the next day or two there will be a video posted on explaining this in more detail, but remember that you heard it here first!  If the video is embed-able, I’ll come back and post it here.

There are ton of items of value on this list.  I also understand that there will be some discount on Swanepoel’s Trend report, that was just briefly touched on int the webcast.  Of special interest to me, was the PDF version of Home Buyer and Seller Profiles.  Seconded by the vast number of client brochures and broker tools, such as anti-trust booklets.  All of this will make it remarkably easier to post on your website, so that you can give your buyer or seller packet link to the client by e-mail.  It’ll also make it easier for Brokers to get good tools for their agent’s orientation or ongoing training.

 In a future post, we’ll visit what an on-line buyer packet should look like and which of these tools should be used.

One of the most frustrating things I can hear from members is that they don’t know what they get for their dues, well here is a great, tangible answer.  

Also of interest from Realtor Associations would be:

Virginia Association of Realtors New Agent Program (free) –

NAR’s Free Virtual Video and eBook source with chat option to NAR support ProQuest

NAR’s Client / Agent Market Resource tool

NAR’s general information and research tool

I know that some of you aren’t fans of NAR, but are you bitter enough to not use free tools and resources to make your business better?  





Matthew Rathbun is a Virginia Licensed Broker and Director of Professional Development for Coldwell Banker Elite, in Fredericksburg Virginia. He has opened and managed real estate firms, as well as coached and mentored agents and Brokers. As a Residential REALTOR®, Matthew was a high volume agent and past REALTOR® Rookie of the Year & Virginia Association Instructor of the Year. You can follow him on Twitter as "MattRathbun" and on Facebook. Matthew's blog is

Continue Reading


  1. Michelle DeRepentigny

    February 13, 2009 at 10:30 am

    Wow, that is pretty good news. I am especially excited to see the profiles and preference reports available free. I have purchased them sometimes in the past and really been able to leverage the info in them, this time the money just wasn’t available.

  2. Ben Martin, Va Assn of REALTORS

    February 13, 2009 at 2:40 pm

    Just as a point of information, is still in development and should definitely be considered a Beta (or perhaps even Alpha) product.

  3. Matt,

    Thanks for posting the information on the “Right Tools – Right Now” program. We have been thinking about doing this for a few months. In fact, one of the sources of the idea was a fellow blogger of yours who hoped we could put the Home Buyer Profile online.

    Thanks for spreading the word.


    P.S. we just hired a Social Media Manager who starts shortly.

  4. Hilary Marsh,

    February 13, 2009 at 4:43 pm

    Hi Matt,

    Thanks so much for posting this information (even with the disclaimer).

    The NAR staff is working as fast as we can to get information about all the products and programs online. Look for it in the next couple of weeks.

    Please feel free to get in touch with me if you have questions!



  5. Monika

    February 15, 2009 at 6:58 pm

    Some good stuff listed Matthew. I am very happy that NAR is heading in this direction. Most if not all of this should be free for members.

  6. Matthew Rathbun

    February 16, 2009 at 10:14 am

    Dale / Hilary,

    You know that I am fan and the disclaimer is in the interest of sharing my own thoughts and heading up what I knew would be comments. I heard a lot about this offline.

    This is a fantastic move forward and tangible proof that NAR is listening.

    It’s important to know that you read these posts from the and more importantly that you are listening and engaging folks on this forum.


  7. Bill Lublin

    February 17, 2009 at 8:41 pm

    Why am I not surprised that you carry the torch forward to let people know that there are benefits to membership – even if you have to take thr trouble to use the 😉

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Opinion Editorials

The *actual* reasons people choose to work at startups

(EDITORIAL) Startups have a lot going for them, environment, communication, visible growth. So it is easy to see why they are so popular now



startups meeting

Startups are perpetually viewed as the quintessential millennial paradise with all of the accompanying perks: flexible hours, in-house table tennis, and long holidays. With this reputation so massively ingrained in popular perception of startups, is it foolish to think that their employees actually care about the work that startup companies accomplish?

Well, yes and no.

The average startup has a few benefits that traditional business models can’t touch. These benefits often include things like open communication, a relaxed social hierarchy, and proximity to the startup’s mission. That last one is especially important: While larger businesses keep several degrees of separation between their employees and their end goals, startups put the stakes out in the open, allowing employees to find personal motivation to succeed.

When an employee can find themself personally fulfilled by their work, that work reaps many of the benefits of the employee’s dedication, which in turn helps the startup propagate. Many aspiring startup employees know this and are eager to “find themselves” through their work.

Nevertheless, the allure of your average startup doesn’t always come from the opportunity to work on “something that matters.”

Tiffany Philippou touches on this concept by pointing out that “People come to work for you because they need money to live… [s]tartups actually offer pretty decent salaries these days.”

It’s true that many employees in their early to late twenties will likely take any available job, so assuming that your startup’s 25-and-under employee base is as committed to finding new uses for plastic as you are may be a bit naïve—indeed, this is a notion that holds true for any business, regardless of size or persuasion.

However, startup experience can color a young employee’s perception of their own self-worth, thus allowing them to pursue more personally tailored employment opportunities down the road—and that’s not a bad legacy to have.

Additionally, startups often offer—and even encourage—a level of personal connection and interactivity that employees simply won’t find in larger, more established workplaces. That isn’t symptomatic of startups being too laid-back or operating under loosely defined parameters; instead, it’s a clue that work environments which facilitate personalities rather than rote productivity may stand to get more out of their employees.

Finally, your average startup has a limited number of spots, each of which has a clearly defined role and a possibility for massive growth. An employee of a startup doesn’t typically have to question their purpose in the company—it’s laid out for them; who are we to question their dedication to fulfilling it?

Continue Reading

Opinion Editorials

People saying “I love you” at work casually – yay or nay?

(EDITORIAL) Is saying “I love you” in the workplace acceptable in the current harassment and lawsuit climate? Let’s take a look at the factors.



love shared

Anyone who works in “The Office” knows sometimes there is a failure to communicate. Per email conversation, context can get lost in translation.

So, why then, in the age of the Me Too Movement, are coworkers saying: I Love You?

I’m guessing it’s thanks to our digital lifestyle?

No, I’m not a Boomer. Thank you very much. That’s a different editorial. But, I’ve been working since way back in the day. A time when we wore tennis shoes with nylons. Wait, that’s still a thing?

Alas, I digress.

If we consider the culture of work, particularly in the case of some start-ups, it’s not uncommon for there to be beer in the workplace, casual dress – meaning you have clothes on – and possibly a more youthful expectation around communication.

So, f*ck yeah, dude, I love you!

With the use of workflow apps like Slack, where people can text you – while on the toilet, no less. I mean, who hasn’t told a colleague, “OMG! You are a f@cking ?” after dealing with a challenging situation/customer/boss/client and that colleague comes to the rescue.

Just me? Oops.

Maybe it started back with the I Love You Man commercial, which also became the title of a bromance.

If the bros can have their bromance, then why can’t we all say those three words in the workplace?

I’m not gonna spoil the party and say never. I’m just going to suggest some things are better left unsaid.

First, words are powerful.

Because this is the era of Me Too, it’s easy for there to be misinterpretation. What if a woman says it to a male colleague. A boss says to a much junior employee.

Can you say harassment?

One of my former managers didn’t even like me saying her name. I can’t imagine what she’d do if I said: “I love you.”

But, here’s a real reason. People are happy with us one day and not the next.

Keeping it chill and professional is important. For example, I once called my co-worker – and very good friend – a nasty Spanish word and it almost resulted in a knife fight. What I learned is one day you are joking around and your friend isn’t.

Second, a laissez-faire attitude toward communication can become second nature. You can’t be accidentally telling your client, you love them, now can you? I mean, beyond being authentic, those words mean a lot to some people, just tossing them about shows a real lack of judgment and can result in an extremely negative response.

Which leads me to my last point.

“Et, tu Cheryl”

One company I worked at hired Gallup to do a survey of staff. One of the questions was about having a work BFF, which is important in the workplace. Often we have our work husband or wife or sister, even. We all need someone we can lean on.

In the workplace, depending on the culture and environment, it may be a good place to keep it 100 or, if too toxic, a better place to fake it. Even people who seem to be on your side might be just waiting to pounce.

Get too close, say the wrong thing and Cheryl gets your office with the window and the red stapler too.

All I’m saying is keep it real, but maybe not too real.

Oh, and btw, I <3 U.

Continue Reading

Opinion Editorials

Audi paves the way for how to thoughtfully reduce a workforce

(BUSINESS NEWS) Audi has a new electric car plan that will eliminate 9,500 employees…but in a shocking twist, we’re not even mad. WATT’s going on here?



Audi E-tron

12 billion motivational posters/yoga tops/specialty ziploc bags can’t all be wrong: Positive change always comes with loss.

For German Audi workers, the company shifting gears to focus on manufacturing electric vehicles will see employee losses to the tune of 7.5k people being Audi of a job there. In the next five years, another 2,000 jobs are expected to get the axe as well.

So they should be panicking, right? Audi workers should mask up and be out in the streets?

Well, considering the general state of the world, yes. But if we’re isolating to just this change, no!

See, Audi’s not actually shoving people out of the door to make room for younger, sexier, more fuel-efficient staff. The jobs they’re cutting are going to be cut due to employees leaving on their own for different pastures and retirement. As in, no one’s getting laid off through 2029.

Now there’s an electric slide I can get behind!

Audi’s top brass, in an Ohm-My-God twist (see what I did there), actually sat down with worker reps and talked this move out. This kinder, gentler, distinctly NON-assy arangement will save the company over 6.6 billion dollars over the next decade, and all of that cash is going to boogie-woogie-woogie into their ‘lightning car development’ piggy banks.

Yay for them!

And yay for us.

See, Germany has a (recent) history of not being horrible to their employees. It’s why Walmart’s attempt to claw its way into Deutschland went up in so much smoke. And that history is accompanied by a reputation for stunningly positive change for everyone from white tie to black apron.

With a brand as giant, trusted, and drooled over as Audi is managing to conduct massively profitable business without schwantzing anyone over, everyone here in the US has a shining example to point to and follow when making massive company moves.

Notably, Tesla, America’s favorite electric car company is almost cartoonishly anti-union, anti-worker, and anti-running dress rehearsals on expectation/glass shattering exhibitions. The prevailing thought is that it’s a necessity to be some kind of moustache twirling villain to get ahead because so many businesses insist upon it.

But that chestnut cracks here.

No more ‘Businesses exist to make money’ excuses. No more ‘You have to be ruthless to get ahead’ BS. Those selective-sociopathy inducing phrases never made any sense to begin with, but now, we’ve got a shining example of towering projected #GAINZ for a company doing right by its people without a single head rolling on the factory floors or a single decimal point moved left in the ledgers.

Ya done good, Audi.

Here’s hoping more businesses stateside follow in your tire tracks.

Continue Reading

Our Great Partners

American Genius
news neatly in your inbox

Subscribe to our mailing list for news sent straight to your email inbox.

Emerging Stories

Get The American Genius
neatly in your inbox

Subscribe to get business and tech updates, breaking stories, and more!