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11 Questions for the National Association of Realtors

national association of realtors

Dear National Association of Realtors,

I’m not a Realtor, I’m not a real estate agent, in fact, I’m a marketer by profession but Realtor wife by marriage. I have questions based on many recent events. My motives for asking these questions are first to give the NAR an opportunity to show off how transparent they are (or are not or could be or will not be), to help Realtors to become more involved by being more educated and lastly for consumers (I consider myself in this category) to understand the industry and better connect with and trust real estate professionals (the long term challenge).

So here are 11 questions that I have:

  1. Where can agents see a list of all NAR committees?
  2. Where can agents see a list of all NAR committee members?
  3. How do Realtors learn about open seats- are upcoming availabilities posted online?
  4. Are these roles appointed or campaigned for?
  5. Where can agents learn about when/where committees meet and are meetings open or private?
  6. Where can people read minutes from committee meetings?
  7. Are the agendas and issues considered at bi-annual legislative meetings made public before meetings?
  8. Are all legislative meetings open to attendees of mid-year and the big conference?
  9. Where can minutes from legislative meetings be found?
  10. For any of these questions if the answer is “we don’t do that” or “no, minutes are private,” what is the process for lobbying for transparency?
  11. What committee governs the Realtor.org website?

I challenged several Realtors (even NAR committee members) this week to see if they could answer any or all of these questions by logging into Realtor.org and it was fruitless. There was a relatively unanimous “I dunno” to all these questions which is why a list of links in comments is only a short term solution to this problem of information dissemination. I am aware that some of this information does already exist on Realtor.org but is difficult to locate and the site structure is outdated, so I hope that you (NAR) will hear this as a vote to revitalize the prioritization of revamping the structure (not the aesthetics) of the Realtor.org site in an effort to improve Realtors’ awareness of information because in my eyes, education is always the first step toward involvement which is the path toward improved consumer experiences.

Thank you,
Lani Rosales

PS: readers, if you have additional questions related to the 11 above, please ask in the comments section.

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Lani is the COO and News Director at The American Genius, has co-authored a book, co-founded BASHH, Austin Digital Jobs, Remote Digital Jobs, and is a seasoned business writer and editorialist with a penchant for the irreverent.

64 Comments

64 Comments

  1. Clint Miller

    May 28, 2009 at 1:21 pm

    Excellent questions!! I am not an agent either. But….if I were a NAR member, I would want to know the answer to these questions. Just sayin…

  2. Duke Long

    May 28, 2009 at 1:25 pm

    Realtor since 1993. Waiting for all answers.Should take 5 minutes…waiting…waiting…waiting.

  3. Karen Rice

    May 28, 2009 at 1:25 pm

    Great questions. I’m anxious to see if there are any answers!

  4. Ben Goheen

    May 28, 2009 at 1:26 pm

    Let’s declare today National transparency day – you’re asking for it from NAR and I’m asking for it from agents: https://agentgenius.com/real-estate-sales-marketing/marketing/realtor-secrets/

    *high five*

  5. Chris Griffith

    May 28, 2009 at 1:39 pm

    You know that cartoon ::booooinnnng:: sound an arrow makes when it gets shot into a target’s bulls eye? I heard that right after I read that list. Bingo!

  6. Ken Brand

    May 28, 2009 at 1:40 pm

    Interesting and Natural questions. I predict that the response will be, “yes, it’s available, on the website.” The problem is, as you’ve shared, you can find it if you know exactly where to look and I’d bet it’s scattered around in different places. You’d have to be uber-patient and given step by step directions.

    The over arching question is why would they make it easier, or why go transparently-transparent. What’s in it for the current guard. In reality, human nature will view this as a threat. All previous decisions (good, bad and ugly) plus any “cozy” will be exposed. Who would want that?

    Question #4 is interesting – appointment or campaign. Locally, my experience is there are some campaigned, but hand picked “yes” type folks. Sorta sad in my eyes

    Dialogue, questions and conversation is the beginning of change.

    Personally, I understand the need for a Trade Association, I’m sure there are many earnest well meaning leadership types pulling levers and pushing buttons. A swift kick in the pants or tug on the sleeve is a good thing for anyone.

    I’ll be staying tuned for new episodes.

  7. Lori Bee

    May 28, 2009 at 1:47 pm

    As a VERY involved member on the state level here in North Carolina…. I understand all the questions. I too, don’t know all the answers to the questions. However, I do know a good many of the answers, because I am INVOLVED. I also know I can find out.

    My first recommendation is to call, e-mail, contact someone at NAR or your state Association. Even if it’s just the main number at Chicago or with your respective state. I am sure you would be directed to the proper information. I am more than sure they will be happy to hear about your husband’s willingness to be involved and care! Especially if he is the one that calls. 😉

    I do know that most REALTOR associations whether it be local, state and national, are undergoing major structure changes. Some have happened, ours here in NC is ongoing, and some are just in discussion. There is a grass roots uprising for change and SIMPLIFICATION. (That’s the big one for me!). It is all way too confusing, and on that point I totally agree. We need to stress efficiency and not redundancy. I believe this will also create a greater impact, more quickly, when issues suddenly arise. However this restructuring I see going on right now, might even be part of the reason that everything isn’t easy to find online at this time. I see the changes coming….

    As for transparency, if one was involved, they’d know that as Board of Directors, Committee Members, or other Service type boards, we often sign confidentiality agreements. This is for the best interest of our Association and always will be. If you have a desire to know, then get involved! Minutes and agendas may or may not be published to the discression of that board or committee. They are provided to those who are members of that particular group. But you can imagine, that in those meetings, there are discussions take place that can affect the industry as a whole, either good or bad. The secrets to how we for example plan to fight specific legislation on an issue for example: “banks in real estate”,the “DOJ suit,” etc. ; do you really want those strategies to be public knowledge? Come on….

    That would be akin to asking the government to disclose in advance what their strategy is in Afghanistan and Iraq is, and where the next attack will be. It just does not make sense to ask, and it’s not in the industry’s best interest to share that with everyone!

    I believe non-members should have NO access to this information. We are an Association. Not a publicly held company. That includes well-meaning spouses as well, in my humble opinion. Absolutely no offense meant, but it sounds like your husband is the one who needs to be asking these questions. It is his organization not yours…

    Furthermore, one has to have trust in leadership that you elect or are appointed, as they try to do the best job they can for you. How do I know this? They VOLUNTEER so why else would they be there? If you don’t trust them, then get involved yourself. A bunch of you have great minds (like your husband), that could be of great use to NAR. My old motto: “Put up or shut up.” Personally, I’d love for more of you to PUT UP! 🙂 Until then, don’t talk to me about “transparency.”

    Love ya Lani a lot, but gotta disagree on this one. But I think it’s great to get people thinking. And hopefully, INVOLVED! 🙂

  8. Lori Bee

    May 28, 2009 at 2:01 pm

    Oh and I am not anyone’s “yes” man or “whoa” man. I am always just me. I have been both elected and appointed. But even when appointed, I am not one to agree with any old guard or faction. I am there to do my absolute best for the REALTOR community. Period. That may even mean disagreeing with well-respected friends. 🙂

  9. Kevin Tomlinson

    May 28, 2009 at 2:01 pm

    I wish NAR was more open to looking forward than looking to keep things the way they were.

    In any event, the people at the top have to be tired and will be leaving soon–and then change will happen.

    https://www.time.com/time/specials/packages/article/0,28804,1898024_1898023,00.html

    The Gen X’ers will take over the helm and change what has needed to change for some time now.

  10. BawldGuy

    May 28, 2009 at 2:23 pm

    Lori — This comment isn’t aimed at you personally, just the content. 🙂 I’m a member for going on four decades and I can’t get a committee to tell me what they’re doing? 90% of the minutes have nothing to do with your examples, which indeed should remain out of the public domain.

    What you’ve explained is the NAR M.O. used since forever — ‘You don’t need to know, but trust us, it’s for your own good.’

    Print that quote out, shred it and pour it evenly on your front lawn for the greenest grass in the neighborhood. 🙂

    I wonder if all the incredibly moronic moves NAR has made in the last decade alone would’ve been avoided had they actually had their membership’s best interest at heart. Don’t answer, it’s a trick question.

    The web wasn’t created last Tuesday, yet NAR still makes almost impossible to figure it out. They hire a private firm to do exactly what they want to punish others for, then obfuscate when pinned down. I’ve been hearing this ‘get involved’ party line since I was 18. The next time I see any changes from what I’ve seen since 1969 will be the first.

    NAR has proven time and again they couldn’t organize tea for two with the help of Buckingham Palace and 30 days notice.

    Gimme a break.

  11. Benn Rosales

    May 28, 2009 at 2:30 pm

    Furthermore, one has to have trust in leadership that you elect or are appointed, as they try to do the best job they can for you. How do I know this? They VOLUNTEER so why else would they be there?

    Money and special interest? We hope in the interest of members but more likely in the best interest of the broker.

    If you don’t trust them, then get involved yourself. A bunch of you have great minds (like your husband), that could be of great use to NAR.

    Lori, I love ya, so I’ll simply say, I am involved, locally, and nationally through AG and often quietly behind the scenes in consultation (even with the NAR). We’ve given more than we have to agents and their interests in the several years we’ve been around, and done more to raise interest and awareness of the NAR than many of those who claim to be our competitors. What we do here at AG is involved, and it’s in the interest of the majority, not a minority.

    Having special insight into the purpose of this article, I know that it’s intent is to actually help guide the conversation about how to get involved. If members cannot find easially these simple things within the organization, you’re asking members to climb a wall to see the daylight.

    Regards, Benn 😉

  12. Lori Bee

    May 28, 2009 at 2:31 pm

    My M.O. is “If you need to know, you need to be involved.” Big difference.

    I don’t take it personally, and hope you (or Lani) doesn’t take it personally, but I’m not a fan of ” Barcalounger Coaches.”

    You would understand much better if you go to the conventions, to the meetings you can, etc…. I just know it.

    And I am a Generation X’er and want some the rest of you to join me.

    We do have some changes to make, but your not gonna make them JUST yelling thru your computer (it does helps sometimes). You have to also be there IRL !

  13. Kevin Tomlinson

    May 28, 2009 at 2:35 pm

    Lori
    That’s the problem with NAR right there! The whole world is on the computer and has endorsed a new way of thinking and doing business–except the real estate industy.

    The fact that the people who are in place to help us–aren’t screaming back from the computer only further reveals the biggest problem of all.

    They need to get with it and change; not us!

  14. Benn Rosales

    May 28, 2009 at 2:49 pm

    I think if the Obama administration and those on capitol hill can come out and lobby for the decisions they make on behalf of Americans, I think the committee members could be a lot more forthcoming on decisions they’re making for their membership.

    The argument that we should run for office to make a change is ridiculous, saying on one hand that it’s a democracy when in fact it isn’t- even the federal government invests more time and effort getting information out than the organizational committees that make up the NAR.

    Maybe not freely open to the public but you’d best be open to the membership by making information accessible in any and all fashions afforded, especially realtor.org.

  15. Lori Bee

    May 28, 2009 at 2:51 pm

    Benn,

    Thanks for your response. This is a great conversation that I hope will spur people to ACTION (not just talk).

    I totally agree that NAR needs to do a better job on educating it’s members on “how to get involved.” The website being a classic example. But I often see many complaining, but not actually doing. As someone who has been doing since 2002, and never had her hand held to do it, I get frustrated with everyone saying we need change this, we need change that. Sometimes, I agree but it’s not gonna get done sitting at your lap top at home. It may be part of the process, but not all.

    For example, the conversations here a couple of weeks ago about IDX and scraping. It’s absolutely wonderful (even with opposing sides) that it got really took off here. However, I saw very few of the most vocal posters on that subject go to Mid-Year (I couldn’t myself because of RE BarCamp) to address it. One major exception being Jay Thompson. I absolutely love that dude! He will totally follow his mouth with his feet. That is all I am asking!!!!! We need more of that!

    But once one does get involved, you will understand it ain’t all that simple. Yes change does need to happen. Transparency is good sometimes, but DEFINITELY not ALL the time. But that understanding of how NAR and state associations are run, doesn’t mean we who are involved aren’t fighting for you. We really do the best we can.

    And btw, I am a broker (small time albeit) who has never gotten more than few pennies to reimburse PART of my room cost & gas, now and then for my services. If there are kickbacks or benefits, I must be pissing people off to not get them. LOL!

    I just got done today, reviewing a 30+ page document for NCAR on Strategic Planning, and did it for free. How many of the people who have posted on this board today, have even served on one or two committees locally, state or NAR? I’m not just talking about membership years…. just because you’ve been a member does not mean you have “served” necessarily, but certainly I see a lot of “take, take, take,” followed by “whine, whine, whine.” Ok , I admit it, I am frustrated with all that Bull Shit! There I said it!

    Wow. Thanks for letting me vent. I feel a little better. Maybe it was that 30 page report today. LOL. No, it wasn’t JUST that… but come on people… join me. Help me out. You’re right, I am way tired of being one of the “3% percent” that does the work for the rest, just to hear you complain. And I’m one of the “young guard.”

    And just so you know Benn, I am glad that Lani asked those questions. I am glad for this blog. I love the open dialogue. It is the start of change. All I am asking is for people to take it a step further.

    Thanks for ALL you and Lani Do,
    Lori Bee

  16. Joe Loomer

    May 28, 2009 at 2:52 pm

    Nice punt, Lori – downed inside the 10, no doubt.

    Lani, coincidentally, I received my June copy of Realtor Magazine today, and armed with your questions, I decided to get out the bifocals and the fine-tooth comb and FIND the answers to at least one of your questions within it’s glossy pages.

    (insert Jeapoardy theme here, then something else that lasts several hours – perhaps the longest rock song ever to make it to the top ten? I believe it was “The Low Spark of High-Heeled Boys” by Traffic)

    Ok, cover-to-cover, and I now know the names of the president, president-elect, vice-president, first vice president, treasurer, vice president and liason to committees, vice president and liason to government affairs, the communications committe chair, and executive vice president and CEO. I also learned who the senior vice presidents are for: AE/leadership, international, and specialties (huh?), communication and convention, community and political affairs, government affairs, human resources and office services, information technology, legal affairs, marketing and business development, and resarch.

    (deep breath)

    Page 8 revealed a list of “Specialities.” These include: appraisal, auction, buyer representation, commercial, green real estate, international, land, propery management, resort/second home, and seniors real estate.

    That was pretty much it – no mention on any page that I saw of any contact number, email, or website for committee info or minutes from any meetings. Sorry Lani!

    Just a sec – what’s this?

    AHA! A great ad on page 35 of the magazine from NAR itself! Big Gold “Coming Soon” banner – YOUR 2009 MEMBER REFERENCE GUIDE!! Went to the sneak peek link – http://www.realtor.org/membershipguide and VOILA! Nothing relevant to your questions.

    So, to get back to Traffic and those naughty boys, I can sum it up thus:

    If I gave you everything that I own
    and asked for nothing in return
    Would you do the same for me, as I would for you?
    Or take me for a ride
    and strip me of everything, including my pride
    But spirit is something that no one destroys
    And the sound that I’m hearing is only the sound
    of the low spark of high-heeled boys.

    Have a great Navy Day!

  17. Benn Rosales

    May 28, 2009 at 2:56 pm

    Lori, it’s because you know your stuff that you can opine from the position you do with absolute respect. 🙂

    I challenge anyone without calling someone at NAR to actually locate any and or all of the questions Lani laid out- if you really want people to get involved, then you can help by actually answering the questions.

  18. Todd Tarson

    May 28, 2009 at 3:01 pm

    Lori Bee, I admire your attitude and your willingness to be as involved as you seem to be. So I’ll say from the beginning that in a very real sense I agree with you and what you have written… and no one can convince us we are wrong.

    However, not every member can volunteer the time or make the sort of efforts that are needed to bring about the changes in total that many are rightfully seeking. And at some point the leaders have to respond to the will of the members. Hopefully there will be enough members like you who are willing to do the work.

    I do see some positive indicators that changes are coming, but it is at an all too slow of a pace for certain.

    You see, I also have to agree with Mr. Brown (BawldGuy) to some degree as well. When I went through the chairs at my local association (all the way to the top, baby), I was all about sharing information and met resistance practically every step of the way. And to be honest, I have no idea why there was resistance. The only thing I could ever think of was it simply led to more work.

    And all I was asking for during my leadership stint was to post board and committee meeting minutes on the secure member only part of the local web-site. (something that is still not being done even though our local has all the tools to make it happen).

    But like I said at the beginning, I admire your attitude and willingness for involvement. And more like you are needed, it is that simple.

  19. Lani Rosales

    May 28, 2009 at 3:08 pm

    To reiterate the point- the first step of “getting involved” is educating yourself on the who/what/when/where/why of committee life. We don’t buy cars or homes without researching, why would people volunteer time without doing the same research? I’m not whining (hell, I’m not even a member), I’m taking the first step in getting involved and helping people educate themselves.

    Lori, I have spent many an hour irritated at all the noise and the lack of action, but I assure you that helping people think critically and actually educating themselves rather than pad their resumes with committees (admit it, many do this) IS ACTION. Many writers here are actually NAR committee members, some of us are NAR cheerleaders and others vomit at the mere acronym so I assure you that this article (and others) are in the spirit of involvement (aka action) that will improve the overall industry so consumers have a better experience.

  20. Lori Bee

    May 28, 2009 at 3:13 pm

    BTW, (trying to be helpful here): Many of the NAR Committee member are decided upon thru the State Level.

    And for example, here in NC, we have an EXTRANET site that can ONLY be accessed by MEMBERS (Login & Password) and it includes not only a complete list of committees, and boards, but the address,e-mail & phone number of every committee member.

    It also includes a schedule of events that you can search for when these are next meeting.

    FOR NAR:

    Also if you go to REALTOR.org , login and type in COMMITTEES, the first link that popped up for me says this:

    Committee Recommendations for 2010 – Reference Page

    Committee and Directors Directory
    <2009 Committee Leadership (75 kbyes)

    How to Serve on a National Committee

    2009 Committee Composition and Structure

    Meeting Policies

    National Meetings Agendas/Minutes

    Committee Reports from NAR Meetings

    Committee Quick Place

    I think those should just about cover it.

    🙂

  21. Lori Bee

    May 28, 2009 at 3:14 pm

    Benn,

    Done. I was looking it up as you were posting. It’s all there Dude.

  22. Lori Bee

    May 28, 2009 at 3:18 pm

    “However, not every member can volunteer the time or make the sort of efforts that are needed to bring about the changes in total that many are rightfully seeking.”

    Todd, I am a single mom of 2 teens, a farm with over 30 critters on 18 acres, and my own small firm. If I can do it, surely some more of you can….

    You get back what you put into it. I assure you.

  23. Ken Brand

    May 28, 2009 at 3:33 pm

    Ummmm…..I’d say I’m involved. I’ve been a Realtor for 30 years. What’s 30 years of dues add up too. Surely paying our dues is some form of involvement.

    I served on the local board – once. Enough to know that I didn’t have the temperament.

    As for trust, I don’t know any of these folks, I certainly didn’t vote for any of them, I can’t ever recall receiving a ballot.

    I will say that our local board does a fine job of announcing opportunities for leadership. That’s cool.

    I don’t feel that I take, take, take…I know I pay, pay, pay. Locally and nationally, when there are conventions and such, or what ever the meetings are called and little parties, cocktails, leadership training and other big-shot stuff, our annual dues pay for that. I understand that all leadership doesn’t benefit from these perks, I believe the big-shots do. I don’t take, take, I think big-shot leadership enjoys the taking. Is there an Annual Statement showing detail on how all our dues are spent, including entertainment, shmoozing, travel, lodging etc.?

    Also, we have more than a problem when leadership classifies concern, complaint, objections, dissent, interest and the opposing view of it’s membership as whining. I also understand that a leadership role can be lonely and thankless….but hey, that’s part of the deal. Viewing the voice of your dues paying members as “whining” is something leadership should do in their secret meetings, not in public.

    Secret meetings, we could tell you but then we’d have to kill you or we can’t trust the masses with all this hyper sensitive information, loose lips sink ships – really? Sure, there are certain issues that should remain private, but I’d venture to say that would a very small percentage of all things that are being dealt with.

    Lastly, for the sincere volunteers working their ass off to make a difference, I do appreciate that and the frustration of dealing with the old guard and getting pummeled by the membership masses. So keep the faith, work for change and god’s speed.

    Oh, one more last thing. More transparency is proper and expected.

  24. Jim Little

    May 28, 2009 at 3:34 pm

    Lani, great discussion you started!

    I asked my branch manager how the officers got selected, I will not quote him here, but rest assured it was not complimentary.

    Lori Bee said above “board…committee members… sign confidentiality statements. This is for the best interest of the Association.” OK, that is the problem in a nutshell. Even if wrong, and I don’t believe it is, this is the feeling of most I talk to. The NAR serves itself behind the scenes.

    A local agent who also writes for AG, Russell Shaw, has pointed this out in his posts about REALTOR.com.

    We are shown slick ad campaigns, but forbidden to use the “R” word because our dues-paying birthright was sold out years ago. We get absurd controversy about google because earlier leaders couldn’t see the future and plan for CoE and rules changes to take us into the future.

    As far as going to mid-year; I, like many are struggling. If I am lucky, I might get to San Diego later this year, and I only live 400 miles from there, an easy days drive. Forget flying across the country.

    At least the google controversy got Jay Thompson, another local boy and vocal, invited to mid-year to bring his logic and views to the situation. It seems that the problem will be resolved largely throught the efforts of the 21st century web 2.0/blogging community, not the forward thinking of Chicago’s leaders.

  25. Todd Carpenter

    May 28, 2009 at 3:46 pm

    The short answer is that almost all of this information is available by clicking on the “NAR Governance” link in the left column of realtor.org.

    We’ll have more information for you soon.

  26. Lori Bee

    May 28, 2009 at 4:12 pm

    Ken. I can assure you I am no big shot. I might have big “guns.” LOL. Anyway…

    The answer to your question about expenses, oh yes… there’s a budget detail down to just about every last nickel of where your money goes, including the dining. Local, state & NAR. If you were involved, you would know that.

    A definition of whining: Is to complain UNNECESSARILY about something.

    I am NOT trying to piss people off. I am trying to tell you … the info IS out there folks! https://REALTOR.org

    Instead of yes, “whining” about it, redirect your energies to find it. Get involved on your boards & committees. Am I really so horrible for asking that?

    In the meantime, I remain AT YOUR SERVICE. I truly do. Have a good evening. I’m gonna have a good Guinness.

  27. Matt Stigliano

    May 28, 2009 at 4:13 pm

    Man, I love me a good conversation.

    I think Lani’s intent was clear to me from the start. Maybe I’ve had enough conversations with her that I’ve started to see her slightly devious side that likes to ask questions that push buttons, but not to get people on edge but rather to get them motivated. She’s good like that (and it’s one of the reasons I love reading here at AgentGenius, because she’s not the only one – sometimes I read a post and feel furious and then realize that the author just trapped me…they had only pushed me to think).

    In related news, you may remember I was quite vocal in my thoughts on the whole Google/MIBOR thing both here and elsewhere, and my next week’s post here at AgentGenius was about my “Committme Campaign.” Well today was the day to offer yourself up for consideration to the Texas Association Of Realtors® for committees and I have done so. I promised I would today and I did as Lani and I have already discussed.

    Which brings me to the fact that I’d like to think that I had a little something to do with Lani’s questions. I went to search out information and of course as far as NAR is concerned, they want some experience. Being a pretty new Realtor® does not gain me the levels of experience at the state or local levels that I think they’re looking for, so NAR was out of the picture. However, Texas and San Antonio were not.

    In my efforts to find the information, I did struggle. Although I did find the answers I was seeking, it wasn’t all that simple. In terms of our local board (SABOR), I had to speak with our past president, Bob Leonard, via email (and he was gracious enough to email me back tons of info in less than 24 hours. (If you come across this Bob, thanks.) He not only helped me but encouraged me and gave me names and contact info of people I should get to know in order to make progress on my quest.

    My next step is to seek some work at the local level and I will be working on that in the coming days. Thanks to Jay Thompson and Paula Henry, I was inspired to be more involved and I do agree that we should all try to be involved (and know many are). However, I do have to agree with Lani (despite her not being a member of NAR) that if the information was easier to find and more readily available, then perhaps more would serve. I know it is common to hear about the “good old boys club” of these committees and associations, so do you think many young or new Realtors® even think they have a chance? I actually have doubts about my chances of serving at the state level at this point in my career, but it’s not going to stop me. If I have to try every year until I die, I will.

    In my case, it took inspiration from others and some hard work and determination to get to the step of even trying to become involved, which I suspect would deter many people. Of course, there are those of us out there who want change and know it won’t happen overnight, but will do what it takes to help make it happen.

  28. Lani Rosales

    May 28, 2009 at 4:35 pm

    Thanks for stopping by, Todd. I’m not a Realtor so I cannot log in, but I might have gotten access from someone, let’s see how far I can get! 🙂

    1. Where can agents see a list of all NAR committees?
    2. Where can agents see a list of all NAR committee members?
    Easy! Realtor.org > NAR Governance > Committees > Committees & Directors Directory

    3. How do Realtors learn about open seats- are upcoming availabilities posted online?
    4. Are these roles appointed or campaigned for?
    Realtor.org > NAR Governance > Committees > How to Serve on a National Committee > NAR online committee recommendation database… leads to a “recommendation period for 2010 has passed”

    So, I tried Realtor.org > NAR Governance > Committees > Committee Recommendations for 2010 > Complete your Expertise Profile… which tells members their information is gathered for work groups, committees, etc. but I’m missing where it talks about the actual process of how joining a committee works. I DID however find it in the 68 page “2009 Committee Structure” so it *is* there, it just takes some sleuthing.

    5. Where can agents learn about when/where committees meet and are meetings open or private?
    8. Are all legislative meetings open to attendees of mid-year and the big conference?
    I visited Realtor.org > NAR Governance > Meetings > Future NAR Meetings… which lists dates of upcoming events. Agents can google them since no links to the events are given.

    So I went to Meetings > Meetings Policies > Committee Leadership and Member Attendance Policy… which is just a guide for leaders’ responsibility to attend.

    Then Meetings > 8th link which was Open/Closed Meeting Policy:

    Unless there are exceptional reasons for confidentiality, meetings of the Association are open to any member.

    The following committees are authorized to conduct closed meetings where confidential business of the Association is discussed:

    * Executive Committee
    * Finance Committee
    * Legal Action Committee
    * Nominating Committee
    * Past Presidents’ Advisory Committee
    * RPAC Trustees Committee

    Requests for a committee meeting to be closed and not be published in the convention advance program, written consent of the Executive Vice President must be obtained.

    I maintain that the agenda prior to meetings is not well spelled out, one sentence (in my personal opinion) doesn’t suffice.

    6. Where can people read minutes from committee meetings?
    9. Where can minutes from legislative meetings be found?
    Realtor.org > NAR Governance > Committees > National Meeting Agendas/Minutes… this outlines the results of past events but I ask readers if you think knowing when/who proposes legislative policy is important? It seems faceless and gives leaders the opportunity to lead in silence and anonymity (so we can never tell when pleas for NAR policy support are sincere or if it’s because the person lobbying in the blogiverse is the author of a policy).

    7. Are the agendas and issues considered at bi-annual legislative meetings made public before meetings?
    Realtor.org > NAR Governance > Meetings… says “Meeting Agendas for major meetings are only posted online in the 10-15 days before a meeting.” It seems like if I’m an agent and I’m being told to “get involved, get involved, get involved, get involved” that I want to buy a plane ticket long before the 15 day mark, is there somewhere that agendas are published prior to the last minute that would allow more members to get involved by knowing what’s going on?

    10. For any of these questions if the answer is “we don’t do that” or “no, minutes are private,” what is the process for lobbying for transparency?
    I’m having trouble figuring this out, even with full access to the Realtor.org site.

    11. What committee governs the Realtor.org website?
    Realtor.org > NAR Governance > Committees > 2009 Committee Composition and Structure > List of 2009… I read the “purpose” for every single committee and can’t tell which one governs the website… technology maybe? I don’t know, but after numerous conversations this week with agents, I believe that people would get involved with the direction of Realtor.org if they knew which committee to get involved with.

  29. BawldGuy

    May 28, 2009 at 5:28 pm

    So, let me get these facts straight. I’m compelled (read: held hostage) to join local, state, & national associations and pay them all annual dues. Then, when I wanna know what’s going on, and how in the hell did they screw things up so monumentally, I’m told to either get involved or retire to the corner and shut up.

    That, boys and girls, is my 40 years in the business in a nutshell.

    Let’s review some ‘Realtor’ handiwork.

    They’re all for ‘cooperation’ between members, but fully support either by policy or deafening silence local MLS systems’ policy of blackmailing neighboring members for even more money to use their system.

    Strike one.

    I got my first computer in 1987, over two decades ago. I note that because the newly redone Phoenix MLS is getting kudos around the country for various design gems. One of which, hold your breath, is the ability for local agents using Apple computers to actually gain access to the system for which they pay. You’d have thought they put a Realtor on the moon for Heaven’s sake. Most local operations can barely spell Apple, much less hire the local 15 year old nerd for a few hours to make it happen. And yes, it’d be about that easy.

    Strike two.

    Do I even need to say anything about how embarrassingly stoopid the whole Realtor.com issue is? Really? Anyone who did that in the real world would’ve been fired on the spot. Ignorance of that magnitude is not only unacceptable, but as has been shown since, not in the um, world of what passes for leadership at the NAR.

    Strike three.

    Lori, the hard charging, ‘we’re gonna make a difference’ crowd who say getting involved will matter a hill of beans, have been absorbed into the muck and mire since I was first licensed back when Nixon was in his first year in office, and I was still shaving my face only. The firebrands of the late ’70’s are the so-called ‘experienced leaders’ of NAR’s current power structure. They all thought they were gonna change NAR — and they were all either absorbed and reprogrammed, or resigned in abject disgust once they saw what was behind the curtain and the futility of their involvement.

    Every 10 years or so the newest batch of ‘revolutionaries’ show up for slaughter. I’m reminded of the movie Soylent Green. 🙂 I can only hope the ‘Dan Rather’ factor will finally force NAR into embarrassed submission and retreat as was Mr. Rather.

    You’ll pardon me if I don’t hold my breath waiting for this latest group of revolutionaries to succeed.

  30. Kevin Tomlinson

    May 28, 2009 at 5:42 pm

    Bawld Guy–

    They ain’t never gonna get it.

    The rest of my comment will be “Lenn Harley-style”

    Off with their heads. They ain’t using ’em anyway.

  31. Ken Brand

    May 28, 2009 at 5:56 pm

    Lori, I really do appreciate your energy and involvement and of course you’re participation in this buzzfest. Matt is money, Lani is a naughty woman.

    Like I said, “I am involved, my dues involve me.” I guess I could hunt down the budget. If I did, would it say, ‘$12 for a martini at so at so, a bag of chips over there, steak and shrimp at XYZ. Or two nights at the Super Secret Suite and Hush-Hush/Super Plush Hotel on main street. I’m not gonna look up it up, but I’d bet dollars to donuts the Pres and the chosen aren’t staying at the Motel 6 and eating Chicken Tenders;-)

    Honesty, I don’t care really care how many drinks they have or the thread count of their hotel suite sheets. And you nailed it, I’ll admit, I’m too damn disinterested to look it up. My point is not “I wanna know”, my point is, I’m not “taking, taking, taking”. Leadership (some) entertains (takes, takes, takes) on my dime and the dimes and dollars of the membership.

    As for “whining”, I know what it means. I also know that a leader doesn’t built trust and nurture relationships by calling their followers or dues paying members “whiners”…even when it’s true or justified.

    Nope you’re not pissing me off. I appreciate you and what you’re doing. Hopefully we’ll meet one day, laugh, swap stories and chit-chat about life’s sense of humor.

    Nope you’re not “horrible” for asking me to look it up and I’m not horrible for directing my energies on these comments. No doubt this series of interactions will have a positive effect on everything, like the original “scrapping” post and comments. Hopefully, any good won’t be tabled for half a year while everyone in power mulls it over. Had to dig the ‘postponement” issue, because I’m a bit sarcastic and rough edged…at times, plus it feels good.

    In closing, cheers to you Lori and fellow commenters, wouldn’t it be cool if we could all gather around a big wooden table, sling back a few pints of ice cold Guinness and talk about how to change our little slice of the world. Before it was all said and done, we’d stage a revolution and have you sitting in the President’s Chair. Love live the new Queen.

    In the mean time, this is what he have…which ain’t so bad. It’s a start.

    Clink-Cheers

  32. Ken Brand

    May 28, 2009 at 6:11 pm

    Bawldguy – I fell you pain brother.

    You’re comments about “revolutionaries” reminds me of the scene in the movie “Saving Private Ryan”.

    The scene where the squad is pinned down my Nazi machine gun fire. Tom Hanks commands two privates to rush the machine gun nest….babbabbbabb….pop,pop,pop…they get mowed down. 10 seconds go by, Tom barks, “you two, rush that machine gun nest….bullets are whizzing, the next two bright privates pop up and haul ass up the hill…they’re wiss cheesed too.

    It’s ugly business, rushing entrenched machine gun nests.

    Let’s hope this bright eyed crop of revolutionaries whip out some “Star Treck Style Phasers” and blast their way to the top of the mountain.

  33. Ken Brand

    May 28, 2009 at 6:12 pm

    Wish I could spell better? ;-(

  34. Matthew Hardy

    May 28, 2009 at 6:45 pm

    Y’ever seen the National Association of Realtors building in Washington, D.C.?

    It’s big.

  35. Hilary Marsh, REALTOR.org

    May 28, 2009 at 9:55 pm

    Lani, Thank you for this post. You ask some great questions, and I’ll do my best to answer them.

    NAR is the largest trade organization in the US. We operate like a government, which makes sense given that our population of 1.1 million+ members is larger than that of many states.

    The structure of the association’s governance is large and complicated – but it is transparent. The association’s membership grew dramatically over the last decade, and the governance structure grew with it (because it’s based on member size). I know the online information isn’t as intuitive as it can be, but it is there.

    Now to answer your questions:

    1. We have 82 committees, subcommittees, and forums (in 2009, anyway – this can change every year). It’s here:
    https://www.realtor.org/LeadGov.nsf/pages/committeecompositionandstructure

    You didn’t ask this, but our board of directors, which includes representatives from every state based on its membership, has about 900 members. Here is a list of the roles on the board: https://www.realtor.org/letterlw.nsf/Pages/Constitution?OpenDocument&ExpandSection=4#_Section4

    2. The directory of board and committee members is here: https://www.realtor.org/commdir.nsf.

    3 and 4. All committees have openings every year. Any member can join a committee. You do need to complete the expertise profile form (actually, I think it’s preferred but not required) – this form is offline at the moment, because the deadline for completing it for a 2010 committee was May 26th. Members can submit themselves or be recommended by a state or local association executive or president, current committee leaders, NAR directors, or NAR staff. All the information about the committees and what they do is contained in a 65-page PDF committee structure book, linked from the Committees page: https://www.realtor.org/LeadGov.nsf/pages/committeecompositionandstructure

    5. Committees meet at the NAR Midyear and Annual meetings. Most committee meetings are open to any member. The few that are closed are those that discuss confidential association business.

    6. There are two types of committee meeting outcomes: those that are filed and those that require an action from the board. Both are posted online at https://www.realtor.org/narcomar.nsf/webReportsbyMtg

    7. Meeting agendas are published 10-15 days before a meeting, and meeting minutes are posted 30 days after conclusion of the meeting.

    8. Yes

    9. See #6 above

    10. n/a

    11. The Communications Committee governs REALTOR.org. At each meeting, we review the site’s statistics, count of registered users, and highlight past and upcoming achievements. We get input for new initiatives we propose, and accept ideas from committee members about the site’s direction. The Communications Committee also oversees other things, so the site is just one of the things covered at the meetings.

    We are very much aware that the site isn’t as member-focused as it could be. Fixing it is a top priority for my team and for the organization.

    –Hilary Marsh, Managing Director, REALTOR.org

  36. Ruthmarie Hicks

    May 28, 2009 at 10:00 pm

    WOW!!! I’m obviously late to the party….I’ve only been an agent for 3.5 years – so what I have to say needs to be taken in its proper context. I was appalled by NAR within my first 6 months. It was pretty obvious that the entire industry was in a state of major dysfunction. You had major brokerages setting up pyramid schemes that squeezed the new agent mercilessly while it fed fat splits to the “old guard” who were complaining bitterly about the internet and new agents “stealing” their business. The new agents were necessary because the brokerages needed their big splits to survive. The result was a market so glutted with agents that landing your first listing was like winning lotto – almost impossible. They let anyone in with a license and a pulse. There may have even been a few dead people – but at least they were licensed. I’m surprised they weren’t outside BEGGING people off the streets to become agents.

    Meanwhile, no one who had any coin seemed the least bit interested in investing so much as a dime towards vital new technology. Everyone was protecting their turf – while perpetuating the policies that created the glut and the turf issues to begin with.

    Meanwhile – To Bawld Guy—

    THANK YOU FOR MENTIONING APPLE! When I went into my MLS training I was shocked that a Mac couldn’t be utilized to access the MLS. They acted as if I was some kind of MORON for asking and thought it was wildly presumptuous that I was at all annoyed. I mean REALLY!!! Here I am in a business start up with two perfectly decent Macs and I have the NERVE to be upset about having to buy a new computer! Not to mention the software since I never had a PC before!

    We became Mac “compatible” about 18 months ago – BUT I have to run a weird combination of virtual Windows in the form of Citrix or Parallels. Bootcamp used to work, but won’t now since they “improved” the system. Citrix will work on a desktop but likes to crash and burn on a laptop. Parallels works, on a lap top but you can’t print out certain essential forms…..you get the picture.

    I was at a CE class when one of the MLS techies was helping the instructor set up his laptop (pre-Y2K) with the slide show projector. He mentioned that it might be “time” for a new computer. I said – “Oh – why don’t you get a Mac?” The tech turned to me and said “NO!!! Macs are EVIL!!!” With that kind of “forward thinking” going on – how can we go wrong?

  37. Brandie Young

    May 28, 2009 at 11:33 pm

    Can open, worms EVERYWHERE (and it wasn’t me!!!!)

    NAR recently celebrated it’s 101st birthday. Initially it’s objective was to unite the real estate men (ahem) of America for the purpose of effectively exerting a combined influence upon matters affecting real estate interests.” Today, the Mission statement sounds less political, and offers a warm/fuzzy benefit “The core purpose of the NATIONAL ASSOCIATION OF REALTORS® is to help its members become more profitable and successful.”

    I’m not a Realtor nor an agent – merely a proud DOB (daughter of Broker) and as such have watched much evolution over the years.

    For me the big question is the role of trade associations still relevant?

    Have market shifts, swift advancements in technology & social media had an adverse impact on industry trade associations, rendering them less important in both the business and social lives of their members?

    If so, that’s really a loss, as a well-run trade association can contribute to the success of its members and society creating a win/win.

  38. Joe Loomer

    May 29, 2009 at 5:11 am

    @Ken – you’re off base here, chum. Any fool knows Guiness is never to be served “ice cold.” I’ll bet Lori keeps hers in the barn with the critters to achieve the proper ambiance and temperature.

    @Lori – kudos on being so involved – hope you can keep up the good fight for the rest of us. Your “Passion Bucket” appears to be brimming. We underNARlings without the wallets to participate more actively still vote – sometimes with our wallets, sometimes with our feet…. We’re 1.1 million (oops, make that 1.09, dangit didn’t finish the post fast enough, make it 1.08) strong and counting (down)!

    For Lani – good googley moogley you opened a can of squigglies here! The dang answers got posted about 15 comments ago and these yahoos keep commenting, and commenting……..uh, wait a minute……

    Navy Chief, Navy Pride

  39. Jim Duncan

    May 29, 2009 at 6:19 am

    Golly, Hilary answered the questions … what more can be added? 🙂

    Realtor.org needs to be fixed. ASAP. This isn’t a surprise to anyone, least of all Hilary and her staff, but we’ve been saying “it’s broken” for years What will it take to get it prioritized in a way that it will be fixed in the next six or nine months?

    It should not take a degree in hunting and pecking to find the information.

    As far as the “get involved cliche” …. by the time those of us get in positions to actually effect change fixing the organization, we’ll be less concerned with change fixing the problems … in no small part because they will be less apparent.*

    My fear of involvement – at any level – is summed up by @Bawldguy’s comment:

    Lori, the hard charging, ‘we’re gonna make a difference’ crowd who say getting involved will matter a hill of beans, have been absorbed into the muck and mire since I was first licensed back when Nixon was in his first year in office, and I was still shaving my face only. The firebrands of the late ’70’s are the so-called ‘experienced leaders’ of NAR’s current power structure. They all thought they were gonna change NAR — and they were all either absorbed and reprogrammed, or resigned in abject disgust once they saw what was behind the curtain and the futility of their involvement.

    Every 10 years or so the newest batch of ‘revolutionaries’ show up for slaughter. I’m reminded of the movie Soylent Green. 🙂 I can only hope the ‘Dan Rather’ factor will finally force NAR into embarrassed submission and retreat as was Mr. Rather.

    I sincerely fear that those of us fighting to change the NAR from within will wake up in 10 years and realize that while we are on different committees, nothing has changed other than I’ll be shaving my head, too.

    *I’m taking a hiatus from using the word “change” – it has been overused, misused and abused for the sake of vague political meaning. I think we would all benefit from defining change rather than saying we “want it.”

  40. Lori Bee

    May 29, 2009 at 7:00 am

    I love all of ya…

    but here’s some more of my 2 cents (we might be up to that nickle now)…

    Here’s my analogy:

    Just because you are a citizen of the United States and pay taxes, I don’t believe that entitles you to complain about our government — if you don’t vote. There are men & women out there dying for your right to do so.

    Just because you are dues paying member of NAR, doesn’t entitle you to sit back and complain about old guard and lack of change or transparency, yada, yada. You need to vote (there is plenty of that in our organization btw). You need to be involved. That doesn’t necessarily mean on the NAR level. There are plenty of opportunities on the state and local level too.

    Maybe I’m just stubborn, but I am not one to go down without a fight. Ever. I too see plenty of changes that would be wonderful. But in my short tenure as a NAR member, my activities HAVE afforded change. Our NCAR website is miles and miles better than it was when I started. It wasn’t just me. It was a group of people who didn’t give up. That’s just 1 example. There are many others, by thousands who have stepped up to the plate.

    I challenge each of you yes, to “put up,” because I know many of you. I know you can do it. Apathy does not suit me, nor do I find it endearing of others. Yes NAR might need to make the opportunities more obvious (via the web, their magazine, etc). Sounds like they are working on it. But when all it takes a simple search engine of their site to find out what you can do, how hard are YOU really trying? I am “passionate” that if all us took even just a few hours out of our year, the wheels of NAR, your state Assoc & your Local Assoc, could plug along much better. Our industry would be so much better for it…

    I hope each of you have a great weekend.

    And do not ever give up. Whether you like it or not, we are all in this world together. 🙂

  41. Ken Brand

    May 29, 2009 at 7:48 am

    Joe – Ha, ha. You’re right. With some luck, maybe you can show me the correct way the IRL some day. That’d be cool.

    Nice to see Hilary pop by.

    Lori – When I hear the name “Lori” I think of “Lori darling….” in Lonesome Dove. Awesome mini-series. I guess that Guiness and a good nights sleep has you up and at’em early.

    Because we pay dues and taxes, we do have a right to voice our opinion. Complaining is exactly what precedes all change. In fact, a loudly complaining tribe may have more long term impact than a silently voting crowd.

    I do vote in government elections, mostly I vote because I know there’s an election. The people being elected reach out and state their case. Our elected officials don’t tell us, “hey, if you wanna know the issues are, and who the candidates are and when voting day is , figure it yourself, go google it or something.”

    Having said all of that….I will say this with enthusiasm – If I knew you were running for a leadership position – I would most definitely VOTE for you. Your passion is appreciated.

    I hope we all have a great weekend. I’m gonna sit on the sidelines and cheer and jeer and whine and complain…I imagine I might even vote. All this chit-chat has me thinking (for a change).

    Rock On friends

  42. Benn Rosales

    May 29, 2009 at 11:06 am

    Lori,

    It’s really sad that you feel it necessary to continue the get involved railing, the message you send to the committee members is that they do not need a consensus of the membership in any form or fashion if they’re not sitting in a committee chair.

    Even you could not find all of the information, Hillary could find it because to be honest, she’s responsible for it- we knew she could answer, the question was could a member? In Seven out of seven cases they could not.

    If membership cannot easily access the who what when where and how, then the membership cannot voice an opinion to the committee (not everyone can serve on that committee). This is the same fashion in which we voice our thoughts to our elected leaders when NAR asks us to lobby on their behalf in Washington.

    You’re not doing any favors to the backslappers that are reading what you’re saying, and getting excited at being defended by you.

    For you to sit there on some high horse and tell our readership that if they’re not on a committee not to speak up is offensive, for you to tell us that by our paying our dues gives us no right to speak up or out is offensive, and for you to scream at the choir here who are for the majority involved in some capacity that they have no voice is alarming to me.

    You can remain naive if you wish, that is your right, and you have the freedom to do so, and you also have the free will to be blind to the fact that if you really wanted folks to be involved, you would make it as easy as apple pie to exactly see everything you need to see to be educated, not buried ten links deep in a search result for a step by step process.

    If you really want members involved, lay it out in no uncertain terms to exactly what is upcoming, who’s involved, their numbers and email addresses exactly beside it and they will or they won’t, and THEN and ONLY then can you really say ‘get involved’ and mean it.

  43. Kevin Tomlinson

    May 29, 2009 at 11:10 am

    Maybe “they” should get involved. Get down in the mud, here with us.

    NAR funtion is to be there for the membership NOT make the real estate market “look good” to OUR consumers.

    We are NAR’s consumer—OUR clients are NOT NAR’s consumer.

  44. BawldGuy

    May 29, 2009 at 11:44 am

    Lori? I have the ‘right’ to do whatever I choose. I’m forced to join the associations, and I’m forced to pay the dues. It’s not apathy you poor naive child, it’s known as a learning curve. Learn to watch and remember what they do, not what they say. I have 40 years of watching them. They’d screw up instant oatmeal.

  45. Todd Carpenter

    May 29, 2009 at 1:27 pm

    Did you know a member of RE.net serves on the communications committee? I’m going to ping her and ask her to speak up.

    Meanwhile…

    This is realtor.org’s Google search appliance

    https://twitter.com/tcar/status/1962112656

    This is realtor.org’s new backup drive

    https://twitter.com/tcar/status/1962126319

    They’re on opposite sides of a HUGE and very costly server room built around supplying NAR’s web needs. Lots of new equipment has been recently installed to build a backbone for an improved realtor.org. But it’s not going to be easy.

    realtor.org serves 8500 pages of content to about 800,000 unique visitors a month. More than 80 people edit that content. Multiple publishing and database platforms are used to create this content. Much of this content is a decade or more old. All of it is valuable to somebody within the organization.

    When I was presented with what Hilary’s team is up against, my first thought was of my favorite Super Bowl commercial.

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Pk7yqlTMvp8

    The leaders of the IT and Publishing divisions, along with our CEO meet regularly concerning realtor.org. What to do now. What to do short term. What to do long term. It’s a top priority here at NAR. But that doesn’t mean anything will change tomorrow. It’s a huge job.

    Until then, let us know what your looking for and we’ll try to help. Just as Hilary did in this post. We have a support page on realtor.org. Just click on the “Need Help” link. You can chat with one our staff or even call us toll free between 8:00 and 6:00 CST at 1-800-874-6500.

    Benn, if you want to serve on a committee, and are having trouble navigating the site. Let me personally help you with that. What committee are you interested in serving on? If you don’t know for sure, tell me how you best feel you can contribute and maybe we can recommend something for you. We just missed some of the deadlines for serving in the next term, but I’m sure NAR would benefit from your contribution next time around.

    If anyone else in this thread wants to serve, and doesn’t want to navigate realtor.com. I’m available at tcarpenter@realtors.org or @tcar on twitter.

  46. Lori Bee

    May 29, 2009 at 1:29 pm

    Benn,

    If you look back at my post at May 28th, 2009 at 3:13 pm …. I did find most (maybe not quite all) of the answers. That’s BEFORE Todd or Hilary posted. It was thru a different manner, just simply using the search feature, and entering ” committees.” I have even said thruout my thread that I don’t disagree that the website needs some updating. Just look back.

    As for being on a “high horse.” I beg to differ. I am “down and dirty in the trenches.” I am not just talking the talk. I am walking the walk. I have simply tried to encourage people instead of JUST ranting (hey I rant too!), that they need to put some action behind it to make a difference. I want all of you too.

    I think that it is VERY easy to get involved. I think that having to spend 5 minutes instead of 2, doing a search, is an excuse, not too. If you are interested, e-mail me at Lori@BeeRealty.com, and I honestly will be willing to direct someone to the appropriate committee or board that they may have an interest in finding out more about. I mean that. I believe we all know someone we can simply ask.

    If I wasn’t listening to the concerns of the members, then why would I have been here reading this post in the first place. But there is a difference between communicating concerns and wanting a change, and personal criticism and attacks. “Ya get more bee’s with honey than vinegar.” I’ll be the first to admit, I am more willing to help someone and listen to them, then they are nice about it, rather than attacking. I confess my defensiveness, not because I have been indoctrinated or brain-washed or whatever you call it, but because I know how hard I have worked. For ALL of you. And have seen many others work even harder on your behalf, only to be shot at from the sidelines of the internet, when all the facts weren’t known. It’s hard for me to watch that…

    I am not naive. I know I will NOT accomplish all the changes I would love to. No one can. But I HAVE seen many wonderful changes in our industry that the association has fostered: Buyer’s Agency; Banks prevented from getting in real estate (can you imagine how much worse of a pickle we’d be in now?!);many, many victories over transfer taxes and impact fees throughout the country (esp here in NC I am so proud to say); I have seen our summers extended here in NC to benefit the tourism trade and reduce summer heating costs for schools; I have seen legislation to prevent homeowner’s insurance from going completely thru the roof or worse yet, not available at all; and those are just a few I’ve personally seen. Just a mere few.

    Just because our website needs some revamping and we have some definitive issues to address still with the whole IDX thing… does NOT mean NAR or any of your associations are doing nothing. It’s amazing to me to see that those kind of other accomplishments, have been so quickly forgotten.

    Furthermore, no one is “forced” to pay dues. You can be a licensee. I actually have some friends that feel the same way as you and won’t join. That’s their right. I respect that. I respect that you even disagree with some of the things going on that do need to be changed. I don’t respect that you criticize every other person in there in the trenches where the” real mud” IS at, with me, when a great many of us, maybe not all, but a great many of us, are totally busting our butts, only to be criticized because we care that much to make a difference thru action. Not just talk.

    Join us. I mean it. I’d love it.

  47. Lani Rosales

    May 29, 2009 at 2:11 pm

    WOW. No wonder no one wants to join the ugly political underbelly- all I did was ask a few questions for some friends and look at all this… Lori’s equated me to a nosy wife who should butt out and who is ungrateful for the military that died fighting for the right to vote (never mind the right of free speech).

    Vinegar and honey? Sugar, please- I wrote a simple article with no venom and you’re trying to put everyone over your knee and spank us while saying “join, you dumb ungrateful child, join!” I’m so turned off, it’s beyond belief.

  48. Mark Flavin

    May 29, 2009 at 2:21 pm

    I do not work for NAR so these are not official answers just information I have bookmarked over time. Hopefully these answers help shed some light.

    1. Where can agents see a list of all NAR committees?
    https://www.realtor.org/commdir.nsf?OpenDatabase
    or https://www.realtor.org/LeadGov.nsf/pages/CommitteesHomepage?OpenDocument
    2. Where can agents see a list of all NAR committee members?
    https://www.realtor.org/commdir.nsf?OpenDatabase |
    3. How do Realtors learn about open seats- are upcoming availabilities posted online? https://www.realtor.org/commdir.nsf?OpenDatabase
    4. Are these roles appointed or campaigned for? https://www.realtor.org/LeadGov.nsf/pages/servingonnationalcommittees?OpenDocument
    5. Where can agents learn about when/where committees meet and are meetings open or private? https://www.realtor.org/comsel.nsf/ViewthisYrCommittees?OpenView
    6. Where can people read minutes from committee meetings?
    https://www.realtor.org/natmeet.nsf?opendatabase
    11. What committee governs the Realtor.org website? Communications Committee https://www.realtor.org/comsel.nsf/6e618788208705e086256d470064269a/a0599c29c3a654bc86256f82004d0345?OpenDocument

    Basically the entire Governance section of realtor.org is where you want to be looking. https://www.realtor.org/nar_governance

  49. Joe Loomer

    May 29, 2009 at 2:28 pm

    Lani – I did 21 years in the Navy, dangit, I’ll spank you like you’ve never been spanked!! I’d rather have a beer with you, Ken, or ANY of my buds down at the Legion or from the Chief Petty Officers Association than spend ten minutes of my life at the local board committee meetings.

    Sorry Lori – I’ve already had people try to kill me that didn’t speak English – dont’ need to meet any more of them now I’m retired from Career #1.

    Navy Chief, Navy Pride

  50. Jim Duncan

    May 29, 2009 at 3:09 pm

    I think this is where someone’s supposed to point out that if the NAR SMM is confused by the realtor.com/realtor.org debacle, how are the agents and public supposed to sort them out? 🙂

    If anyone else in this thread wants to serve, and doesn’t want to navigate realtor.com. I’m available at tcarpenter@realtors.org or @tcar on twitter.

  51. Brad Nix

    May 29, 2009 at 3:17 pm

    I am thankful Benn and Lani are hosting these conversations on AG. It is exactly the type of content that can make a difference to our industry. It’s even more encouraging to hear @tcar’s involvement and Hillary’s desire for improvement of NAR, specifically R.org.

    To shed some light from my dirty south viewpoint… I have served on my local association for 7+ years. I have been an executive member for the past 2 years and will be president of the association in 2011 (provided I don’t throw my hands up and quit before). I sit on committees, chair councils, and constantly push for more change, err, improvements (i agree with Jim about the abuse of ‘change’ as a noun). Yet, I could not have answered any of Lani’s original questions (except maybe #4 because I was asked to take a leadership role and accepted 2 years ago). This must signify that there is a serious disconnect of training/information delivery from NAR to State and/or State to Local levels.

    The information should be easier to obtain, but more importantly the leaders at each level should be more knowledgeable about this same information. I am embarrassed that I could not answer these questions, but also frustrated that I was never asked or required to learn of such.

    @tcar – I’d love to give more of my time and energy to improve our industry on a committee. I don’t know what committee to serve on, but I am skilled/interested in the following areas: technology, events, improving R.org, taking back or overhauling R.com, and drinking dark beer. Let me know where I’m needed most or most useful.

  52. Linda Davis

    May 29, 2009 at 3:34 pm

    I can only speak for myself as far as serving on a National Committee. I asked our Board’s EO how I could serve on a National Committee. He sent me the link to Realtor.org’s expertise profile form. I filled it out and decided I had something to offer the Land Use Committee. I asked my EO to nominate me. He did. I’m on a National Committee. That was easy. No politics involved or sinister plots. I never served on a state committee. I just had a desire to serve.

  53. Jim Little

    May 29, 2009 at 4:41 pm

    As the Bawld Guy said. there must be a middle ground.

    Why don’t we have some national or state elections? I have only seen local board elections.

    If some part of the system wasn’t broke, we wouldn’t have these posts and the resulting comments. Defending what is broker won’t help, listening to the loyal opposition might.

  54. Judith Lindenau

    June 6, 2009 at 10:49 am

    Ummmm…The question was about the website, not the association governance. Let’s do one hard thing at a time! As far as the website is concerned (realtor.org) I am a frequent user. The search function works, though it’s not particularly intuitive. It’s the ANSWERS that are the problem: there’s simply too much info, and not a good way of organizing it. A keyword search brings back a response which seems to be a mess of everything. Often there are no dates of the articles so I don’t know if what I am reading is new or old info, and there’s no indication (that I can see) of whether the response is a whitepaper, an article, a podcast, or something else. Also, some of the more useful information, like the ‘field guides’ are buried in the results, and you have to really dig to find them.

    What NAR might consider is not (perish the thought!) a committee to ‘govern’ the website, but rather a user group
    to guide the product decisions.

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