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Breaking Down NAR Dues- the NAR’s Value Proposition

NAR’s Value Proposition

The National Association of Realtors’ CEO, Dale Stinton presented NAR’s value proposition during the 2010 budget proposal at the Board of Directors Meeting at the 2009 Midyear Legislative Meetings in Washington D.C. and recently we’ve spent time discussing NAR legislation.

Below are the four slides in Stinton’s presentation:





To Break it Down Further

Let’s take a look at Stinton’s value proposition in order of dollar value:


Here’s how NAR dues are allocated according to percentage:

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Based on the current 1.2 million* NAR members, here’s how much NAR collects annually per category:


Because Stinton laid out the affordability to the individual Realtor (who only pays $1,280 over 20 years), we thought it would be fun to see how those dues add up in NAR’s accounting department over 20 years:


Interesting trivia, no? It’s intriguing how all monies are allocated and it’s equally interesting what is free. I am personally grateful for all of the volunteer work done for the members and support NAR’s not directly charging for things like Sentrilock. It’s notable that NAR revenue also comes from other sources like advertising dollars from conference vendors and sponsors, advertisers of Realtor Magazine, Realtor Magazine Online, Realtor Magazine E-Newsletters, Realtor AE Magazine and sponsors of the Realtor Magazine Good Neighbor Awards, Realtor Magazine Young Professionals Network, and Realtor Benefits Program. Did you learn anything here today? What are your thoughts?

*count provided by the National Association of Realtors is approximate

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.



  1. Lori Bee

    May 29, 2009 at 2:18 pm

    Thank you so much Lani. 🙂

  2. Ashley Drake Gephart

    May 29, 2009 at 2:28 pm

    Don’t know where the $80 comes from. I paid $94 for REALTOR National Dues last year. Is that an average per year for a 20 year time frame?

  3. Russell Shaw

    May 29, 2009 at 2:41 pm

    For the President of NAR to even suggest that Realtors don’t “pay” for (claiming this as some “plus” that they have arranged for us) is absurd. Realtors who use it most certainly do pay for it. Dearly. And all Realtors “pay” for NAR giving away in lost revenue. Realtors who don’t directly pay MOVE get a “free listing” on the site – just like they do with Trulia, Zillow and now dozens of other sites. If not for NAR giving our site to a for profit company, Zillow, Trulia, etc. would not even exist.

    NAR does not need to justify their dues. They need to stop doing destructive things towards Realtors.

  4. Joe Loomer

    May 29, 2009 at 2:49 pm

    Ashley – might be your state dues in there for the $94.

    Lani – we can always count on you to weed through the chaff and see it in a way that is somewhat clearer. Interesting that they (we?) felt the need to put it forth as a “Value Proposition” as if it were cheap. Believe those autoworkers get a little more bang for their buck if I’m not mistaken.

    Navy Chief, Navy Pride

  5. Brandie Young

    May 29, 2009 at 2:49 pm

    Please pardon my naiveté in this matter, but as a member-funded association is NAR required to send its members the Association financials at year end?

  6. Clint Miller

    May 29, 2009 at 2:51 pm

    Not sure what else to say here but…


  7. Kevin Lisota

    May 29, 2009 at 3:18 pm

    We must be getting ripped off. In Seattle, the annual dues to join the NAR are $456/agent!! While that does include dues paid to the state association and local association of realtors, it is 5.7x higher than the dues that this guy mentions in his presentation. Is our market somehow different?

  8. Ashley Drake Gephart

    May 29, 2009 at 3:22 pm

    OK It was $94 in 2006. I was looking at the wrong column. It was $80 last year. Joe I wish my state was $14. Last year the breakdown was
    REALTOR Local Dues $244.00
    REALTOR State Dues $215.00
    REALTOR National Dues $ 80.00

  9. Jim Duncan

    May 29, 2009 at 3:56 pm

    Seriously, $80 a year is a bargain.

    Just the free stuff online at (that you can find) is worth more than eighty bucks a year.

  10. Fred Romano

    May 29, 2009 at 6:01 pm

    I agree with Jim, it’s a bargain for all the valuable tools and info. And shouldn’t be free for any agent in my opinion. To have all your listings published on the top real estate website for $80 a year!!! Come on now. I pay to showcase my listing because I have to… my clients expect it.

    Maybe I wouldn’t need to pay several hundred a MONTH if all agents paid their fair share. Yes – I list a lot, so it costs me a lot. And I found out next April (when my account renews) I will be paying about 700-800 a month! Uggg.

  11. Kevin Tomlinson

    May 29, 2009 at 7:58 pm

    Bargain or not–NAR’s “mission” is not to get us a free publication. So the notion that it’s cheap “so don’t worry about it,” doesn’t cut it for me.

  12. Kevin Tomlinson

    May 29, 2009 at 8:04 pm

    one last thing….everything on the site is provided to me through my broker (obviously I pay for it through my split).

  13. Brad Nix

    May 29, 2009 at 10:33 pm

    I’d pay more to own and operate an ad free

  14. Thomas Johnson

    May 30, 2009 at 12:45 am

    I didn’t see an allocation for the palaces in DC and Chicago.

  15. Thomas Johnson

    May 30, 2009 at 12:47 am

    If our association could use its clout to get us group rates on health insurance, that could add about $5000-$10,000 to every agent’s bottom line.

  16. John Kalinowski

    May 30, 2009 at 5:33 am

    @Fred Romano – I used to pay big bucks for the enhanced listings on, but stopped cold turkey early last year when they asked for a pot of gold to continue. I haven’t had a single client or potential listing ask for it yet, nor have I lost a listing because of it (that I know of). We now spend the money in other areas, and have seen much better results.

    Agents should stop paying for’s ridiculously overpriced “enhancements”. That might be the final straw that would force them into providing something that’s actually useful to agents, and ends the extortion of making us pay to get our own data back. Data that we already paid to provide to the MLS!

  17. Karen Rice

    May 30, 2009 at 6:03 am

    QUOTE: Realtors who don’t directly pay MOVE get a “free listing” on the site – just like they do with Trulia, Zillow and now dozens of other sites.

    BZZZT. WRONG! You get MORE for free on Trulia, Zillow, and other sites. You can put as many pictures as you want, often add virtual tours, links to your own site, etc. Trulia and Zillow FREE run circles around what you have to PAY big bucks for to get on REALTOR.COM. The REALTOR.COM “free” listing is a JOKE, even though they now let you have 4 pictures! Holy hannah, 4???? Gosh, I’m so overwhelmed by the generosity.

    I do agree that the stuff on is certainly a bargain. I would pay more per year for NAR dues ($120 or so) if it meant I could have those fancy “ENHANCED” listings at no additional crazy monthly fee!

    Yes, the NAR dues aren’t that expensive – but don’t go trying to put REALTOR.COM in there as something valuable. It’s nothing – NOTHING – for NAR to be proud of. Why do you think Trulia and Zillow have so quickly put the heat onto REALTOR.COM? How long do you think REALTOR.COM is going to REMAIN #1?

    I’ve had enhanced listings through my broker for two years. In all that time, I have had three or four inquiries directly from; one did lead to a double ended sale but that was last year. Someone else called THE OFFICE after seeing my listing on and the floor time agent sold the house to them. SO in two years time, I have had two sales as a result of

    And many more as a result of my own blog/website. Let’s be serious. as it is now is nothing to be proud of….they should be ashamed for gouging the very people that power it.

  18. Joe Spake

    May 30, 2009 at 7:23 am

    Very interesting views on NAR’s expenditures. I am wondering wondering about the $96M for Code of Ethics/Legal Policy, Enforcement. I don’t see any enforcement (or policing) done by NAR on the COE. Maybe this only applies to my local situation, but COE violations, no matter how egregious are only addressed when a member files a complaint through the Grievance process. How is that $96M used?

  19. Ken Brand

    May 30, 2009 at 10:22 am

    Wow. Serious money. I agree, what we get for the dues is a fair exchange on an individual basis. What’s missing is the “collective” value of our pooled dues – which is the point of a Trade Association.

    To me, the real opportunity is about what “could” be done with just shy of ONE HUNDRED MILLION DOLLARS PER YEAR?

    For starters IMHO – WTH – $18,000,000 for Consumer and Member RELATIONSHIP building? I don’t have a relationship with NAR. Neither do most of the agent I know or work with.

    $7,200,000 for Economic and Technological Research – Odd? Less than 10% of the budget invested in the FUTURE and our race to out think, out deliver, out innovate and out kick-ass against future and current competitors. Come on, less than 10% invested in the future?

    I don’t know how you spend $346,000 a week (18million) on Consumer and Member Relationships…how much is that a day. Somebody is enjoying some sweet relationship building. (Lori it they aren’t buying you cocktails and other stuff, you’re getting screwed.)

    It also sounds weird to spend $4,800,000 or $92,000 per week or almost $10,000 per day, seven days a week, on Code of Ethic/Legal Policy Enforcement and also spend the same pile of dough on something that seems eminently more important – Customer Service and Produce Suite. (I wonder who’s the customer, “us” or the “public”?) I’m not saying rules don’t have to enforced but I know if I spend the same amount on legal as I do customer service, I lose in the long run.

    That’s my take. I’m impressed with the total collection, I’m underwhelmed by what our dues actually provides. I could be wrong, but with this amount of money at stake, it’s no wonder that people in power want to protect their turf, lock things down and meet in private.

    NAR spends $1,846,000 per week. Wow!

  20. Danilo Bogdanovic

    May 30, 2009 at 12:53 pm

    They don’t charge much on dues compared to others because they have make (much more) money elsewhere.

    What about ripping off members by using members’ listings/data to create money by charging those same members for leads generated from their own listings/data?

    What about pushing the Sentrilock lock box system via local associations that are in cahoots with them despite Sentrilock being more expensive to members while being inferior to the current lock box system in place (which lowers the level of service and safety that Realtors can provide consumers).

    And the list goes on…

    As Russell said, “They need to stop doing destructive things towards Realtors.”

  21. Paula Henry

    May 30, 2009 at 5:18 pm

    That is a lot of money – not individually, but seriously – I’ll second Brad’s nomination to own an ad free

    I wonder – does the NAR make money from the ads on

  22. Matt Stigliano

    May 31, 2009 at 7:59 pm

    My new favorite way to say “lobbying” – Legislative/Regulatory Advocacy.

    I also had to chuckle at the fact that $0 goes to “Volunteer Leadership”.

    Thanks for showing me the value in that one. I thought those volunteers were rolling in the dough.

    Alright, so I’m being a bit sarcastic, but they truly are amazing numbers. Do they give us the numbers on what’s being made outside our dues anywhere? I remember during the whole float debacle, they said that was paid for with non-dues money as well. How much is flowing in there? Would love to know. Do they get any of the cut for or is it just a flat fee? I hope they’re a least getting a percentage of the extortion, I mean, fees to upgrade listings.

    It is pretty amazing that some of the outside sites like Trulia and Zillow actually offer you more bang for your zero bucks. I haven’t even visited in quite some time. I wish Trulia and Zillow could have data as accurate as, but to be honest, I’d rather use them.

    I just need to figure out how to run my own national association – there’s gold in ‘dem ‘dar hills.

  23. Missy Caulk

    June 1, 2009 at 10:23 pm

    80.00 is nothing.

    I would pay more to not have them discriminate against those who don’t pay on

    Trulia and Zillow offer much more. If there was not a need they would not be growing as much. I remember a few years ago no seller had heard of them, not so now.

  24. Jim Rake

    June 2, 2009 at 6:24 am

    Lani – always appreciate the info. NAR does some good work, no doubt. Our profession is evolving, albeit not as quickly as we’d like. We just have have to keep pushing, change is never easy.
    And, yes, is dying a slow death despite NAR’s efforts.

  25. Bob Wilson

    June 2, 2009 at 4:14 pm


    Please explain to me how so little is done with so much.

    Please start with why there is NO health care options worth mentioning.

    Of course we did get the short sale white paper, which has solved all most a few next to none of the short sale issues.

    I won’t complain about the $80, but I would like to see better use of these funds.

    $7.2 million for economic and tech research? In light off how freakin dead wrong their economists have been, I have to assume they just paid some dip minimum wage to tell the world on a daily basis that “It’s a great time to buy real estate”. Given what was a wasted investment there, and they have no tech to speak about, please tell me they didnt spend the rest of it to get Carpenter a new laptop and wireless card so he can tweet on the road.

  26. Kevin Tomlinson

    June 2, 2009 at 5:09 pm

    Rock it out Bob!
    Wow…if I could form a sentence, or two, I would have said exactly what you did.

    Remember, now’s a great time to buy real estate….hey I remember saying that exact thing in 2004-05.

    Hey, I guess it’s ALWAYS a great time to buy real estate, no?

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