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NAR Reclaims Series # 2: Gratitude Shaking Money Out

It seems to me that if a REALTOR wants to “attack NAR” they might also think it was a good idea to take an axe to their own head if they had a headache.  We are the NAR.  When I hear statements to the effect that all NAR has ever really come up with is the MLS, I wonder why those same people don’t find it odd that jewelry stores only sell jewelry.  Or grocery stores seem fixated on food.  BMW just with the nice cars.

I think that agents who don’t have a thankful attitude towards the (very) nice people who run NAR and sit on all the endless committees are ungrateful.  If it wasn’t for the work of a tremendous number of people you don’t know you wouldn’t even have a real estate career.  The MLS that we have and enjoy is one of the most valuable assets our industry has and we have it thanks to the National Association of REALTORS.  Countless lawyers, government busy bodies and other destructive types have done everything in their power to attempt to take it away and ruin it.  Thanks to the NAR we have it.

If there is really something you think “NAR should fix” and they aren’t doing it quite as fast as you would like the answer is simple: get on a committee.  The people that have are not only intelligent, have the wonderful quality of wanting to see others do well and (this one is very important) also play well with others.  That last one alone disqualifies most of the self appointed experts on what everyone else ought to be doing.

Even when it comes to no one here is making a demand.  NAR has the goal and purpose:”to help its members become more profitable and successful.”  Any intelligent analysis confirms that has not and does not accomplish that.  But that doesn’t make NAR “wrong”.  At the time it was set up the people who voted to set it up in it’s present form thought it would be great.  That beautiful building we have in Washington, D.C. was paid for with stock from Homestore.   Anybody who was factually guilty of wrongdoing (at Homestore, now MOVE, is long gone).  So your hindsight and mine is 20 – 20.  So is theirs.  The foresight part is where we sometimes make mistakes.  It seemed like a good idea at the time.  Is there anyone reading this (over the age of 25) who can’t look back and see something they would have done differently?

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It is the future that matters not recriminations about the past.  NAR is going to totally reclaim  I know this is going to happen because I am not going to stop writing about it until it they do.  Every working REALTOR in the United States will eventually know about this and every person taking a seat on any committee at the state level on up will know about it too.  They will do the right thing.

One of the best written articles on this subject is from Jonathan Washburn, one of the founders of Active Rain.  I also have created a Reclaim links page.  Please check it out.

Written By

Russell has been an Associate Broker with John Hall & Associates since 1978 and ranks in the top 1% of all agents in the U.S. Most recently The Wall Street Journal recognized the Top 200 Agents in America, awarding Russell # 25 for number of units sold. Russell has been featured in many books such as, "The Billion Dollar Agent" by Steve Kantor and "The Millionaire Real Estate Agent" by Gary Keller and has often been a featured speaker for national conventions and routinely speaks at various state and local association conventions. Visit him also at and



  1. Mack

    October 13, 2008 at 6:29 am

    Like you I would like to see reclaimed. I just don’t know that it will happen in my lifetime. How many times a year does come to your area pushing the expensive monthly fees that they say we can’t make a living without.(BTW, yes I can) They have been coming to my area of metro Atlanta twice a year for the last several years. We must have a lot of agents here that fall for that junk.

  2. Lisa Sanderson

    October 13, 2008 at 7:26 am

    Russell: I LOVE the positive tone of this post and encourage you, and anyone else interested in this issue, to continue in this vein. And I agree, what is right will eventually win out!! Beautiful article.

  3. Karen Rice

    October 13, 2008 at 7:30 am

    I recently lost the last bit of respect I had for when I got suckered into driving 45 minutes each way and wasting several hours at a “Tools and Technology Seminar” which was mainly set up to be a high pressured sales pitch for the ***RIDICULOUSLY EXPENSIVE*** “enhanced features” on

    I am not naive – I knew that there would be a sales pitch in there, but I also expected to come away with something to make my time spent worthwhile. At the beginning of the “seminar” the speaker promised to talk more about podcasting – later. Okay, fair enough.

    When “later” came, this was what he said: “Go to and type in ‘create podcast’.” I kid you not.

    I realize that NAR has done a LOT for agents nationwide from a political standpoint. is an insult to the very people who gave it the power to become #1 = OUR LISTINGS. They’ve taken what WE PROVIDED THEM and have in turn used it against us in order to turn a profit.

    The public has no idea why most of the listings on have had only 1 picture and no description – they think agents are worthless and lazy. They don’t know the ridiculous fee has charged agents to “enhance” their listings with more pictures and worthwhile text. And this new one of allowing 4 pictures is still a joke. 4 pictures??? Someone thought THIS was great???

  4. Karen Rice

    October 13, 2008 at 7:32 am

    I apologize for being so snarky. hits a raw nerve with me right now.

  5. Jim Gatos

    October 13, 2008 at 8:03 am


    In order for me to LOVE “NAR” again.. they would have to,

    1. Reclaim and get rid of these ridiculous high pressure clowns that compete AGAINST you, not with you…

    2. Offer the full services of for free instead of milking it’s own members for more and more… Yes, for free Russell. The “enhanced” listings thingy is one of the ALL time biggest swindle jobs I’ve ever seen! I have to pay to have my info on my listings? LOL.. It’s not even my broker’s choice anymore. Money talks and BS walks, eh?

    3. Lower their dues. $525 this year is RIDICULOUS..

    Oh, maybe I’ll join those committees.. Most of the times I’ve seen those commitees, locally and nationally, it was like a scene right out of “Night of the Living Dead..” A lot of people all together doing nothing… except eating the victims alive… LOL…

  6. Jim Gatos

    October 13, 2008 at 9:00 am

    It’s not like I’m some sort of angry nut. I think NAR SHOULD RETAKE, and should be a proud thing for realtors to recommend. Y’know.. realtors look at Point2NLS, Zillow, Trulia, and so on. should be all these and more. It’s getting to the point where I start thinking; “If I get a Point2NLS site, that’s 50 monthly, that’s $600 yearly.. Maybe I should drop being a Realtor…

    See what I mean… ? My listings will get syndicated with Point2NLS.. I understand what being a realtor is, however, I personally don’t have to pay $525 for 2009 dues to be “ethical” (code of ethics). I don’t know about you folks but I can be “ethical” for free LOL…

    Trying to be funny but have you seen the “Realtor” websites that are basically redone “Top Producer” websites? More money out the door if you get that. Top Producer itself is as valuable as a “narcotic”.. once you get on it, you’ll be paying a lot for for so much that really is very very little….

  7. Bob

    October 13, 2008 at 9:43 am

    In two months, I will pay membership dues to NAR for the 20th time. I have never equated NAR with just the MLS, which is just a tool to offer compensation. However, the fact that 1000s of others do see NAR=MLS and a handful of cheesy commercials, speaks volumes about the value they think they receive.

    I agree that continual bitching about MOVE is pointless, other than to act as a reminder that if we dont learn from the past, then we are screwed.

    However, the very recent past and present is fair game. The likes have Lereah and Yun have done enormous harm to the credibility of NAR and their membership.

    Russell, I hope you do not stop writing about NAR because it furthers the conversation about all things NAR. The sad reality may be that what ever happens with is too little and way too late.

  8. Tony Arko

    October 13, 2008 at 9:56 am

    Until there is a clear alternative to NAR, they will continue to make bad decisions. There is no reprecussions to their mismanagement. If you want to make a difference don’t waste your time with the national organization. You can have a much more profound and immediate effect at the local and state level. The national association does not have a technology committee. They do not have a technology subcommittee. Just a forum. That tells you how important they think technology is for Realtors. And I searched the website to get a definition or explanation of what each committee does but was unsuccessful. The website is antiquated and cumbersome, the committees are not applicable to todays real estate market and the length of time it would take for a forward thinking member to make a difference would be measured in decades not years.

  9. Daniel Bates

    October 14, 2008 at 4:50 am

    The idea of tying Realtors to a Code of Ethics is one giant pile of crap. Lawyers don’t have a special organization out side of their real estate license to that join to show they are ethical. If the public could see a huge difference between NAR members and non-members it would be one thing, but there are ethical and nonethical on both sides of the fence. THE NAR DOES NEXT TO NOTHING TO ENSURE ETHICAL BEHAVIOR. I report plagiarism and they don’t care in the slightest, they should be going hard after unethical behavior. The fact that we have a pretty building in DC actually makes me more sick to stomach than it does happy. I hate lobbyist and I hate buying votes and that’s exactly what the NAR does with our money. It is part of the problem, not the solution and the mortgage/housing mess (caused by extended loans to people who can’t afford them) is the best example out there. I may be different than most but I probably agree with the bills the NAR backs about 25% of the time and I’m a REALTOR!

  10. Glenn fm Estero

    October 16, 2008 at 3:54 pm

    Russell – I truly agree with two statements you have made in your post. 1)”The MLS that we have and enjoy is one of the most valuable assets our industry has…” 2) “get on a committee”

    I for one did not actively participate in my local board until this past year and I truly have gotten more out of it, than I contributed. I became active, because we can complain, but we also the ones that can change things.

    The MLS is definitely an industry asset, and I have to question how effectively local boards monitor the feeds and the use of the feeds.

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