NAR dues put to a vote
Last month, we broke the news that the National Association of Realtors (NAR) was putting the Realtor Political Party Survival Initiative (RPPSI) to a committee vote. The initiative, if approved on May 14, will increase NAR dues by 50% to support the $38.8 million per year RPPSI.
When asked if dues will be reduced by the amount raised if the Supreme Court ruling (which NAR pointed to as the reason for the increase) is overturned, NAR program director Liz Giovaniello told AGbeat, “The funds for this initiative are needed NOT ONLY because of the Supreme Court ruling, they are needed in order to help ensure the success of our state and local association advocacy efforts – to help them be as successful as possible. Even of [sic] the ruling had not occurred, we would need to bring our advocacy efforts to a higher level.”
Because publicly, people are willing to criticize and condemn or praise to get ahead, we set out to poll members in private. All answers are anonymous and we do not release user information to any entity. Because of that, there is no repercussion to being honest and no peer pressure. This poll is not scientific, rather is a flash poll to take a pulse, not diagnose.
The AG Flash Poll
We asked two simple questions, both of which had to be answered in order to submit an opinion:
- How do you feel about the potential NAR dues increase? (this question offered checkboxes, users could select multiple entries)
- (a) The increase in dues is critical for NAR survival.
- (b) The increase in dues is critical for Realtor survival.
- (c) I am indifferent about the dues.
- (d) The increase in dues is mildly upsetting.
- (e) The increase in dues is very upsetting.
- For what reason do you pay NAR dues? Please select the answer that most closely matches your sentiment. (this question allowed only one option to be selected)
- (a) I pay NAR dues because I believe NAR represents me and the Realtor brand well.
- (b) I pay NAR dues because it is important for homeowners and Realtors to have a political voice.
- (c) I pay NAR dues because I have to, but I would even if they were voluntary.
- (d) I pay NAR dues only because I have to in order to access the MLS.
- (e) I pay only to access the MLS, I would prefer to only pay my local board.
More results insight
Because the first question about how people feel about a potential increase allowed for multiple answers, we dissected responses that offered multiple answers with the majority only selected one, and a small percentage choosing more than one. Of that small percentage, the majority indicated that the increase is critical to NAR or Realtors’ survival but also indicated that they were “very upset” in most cases. The dichotomy was very interesting to us that many see the increase to be “critical” yet are “very upset” about the potential rise in dues.
No respondents indicated they were “mildly” and “very” upset, resulting in 80% of respondents that indicated they were “upset” about a potential due increase. Despite the reason, those polled here are not in favor of the increase.
In order to evaluate why people pay their dues, we inquired with responses aimed to put people in two categories- (1) content dues paying members and (2) dues paying members that are discontent with or without a hike. This is important to note because when prices of any product someone buys as an essential (gas, groceries) increases, consumers get upset. If people see NAR dues as a luxury or something they don’t mind paying, an increase is more likely to be accepted, but for those people who see it as an essential like gas, they begrudge any increase. This is predictable and NAR is most likely aware of this notion.
What may be surprising, however, is that 61% of respondents indicated that they only pay dues because they have to and could not classify themselves in the category of paying dues for the greater good or a positive reason, rather as a begrudging essential for their business. We were surprised that 11% indicated they pay dues because NAR represents them and the Realtor brand well given that the May 2010 research seemed harsh toward NAR.
It is not shocking that the majority of respondents did not look favorably toward dues in the first place, but it is shocking that despite any value those that do place on current dues and that they see in the critical nature of raising dues, they are still “upset.”
The bottom line is that most see NAR dues begrudgingly and are upset at a potential dues increase, but if 82% don’t see the hike as critical to NAR or Realtors, that’s still 18% that do. Is that 18% enough to get the RPPSI passed? Is that 39% of people that pay dues for positive reasons enough to pass the RPPSI? We’ll find out on May 14th at the NAR Mid-Year Convention in D.C.
Austin tops the list of best places to buy a home
When looking to buy a home, taking the long view is important before making such a huge investment – where are the best places to make that commitment?
Looking at the bigger picture
(REALUOSO.COM) – Let us first express that although we are completely biased about Texas (we’re headquartered here, I personally grew up here), the data is not – Texas is the best. That’s a scientific fact. There’s a running joke in Austin that if there is a list of “best places to [anything],” we’re on it, and the joke causes eye rolls instead of humility (we’re sore winners and sore losers in this town).
That said, SelfStorage.com dug into the data and determined that the top 12 places to buy a home are currently Texas and North Carolina (and Portland, I guess you’re okay too or whatever).
They examined the nerdiest of numbers from the compound annual growth rate in inflation-adjusted GDP to cost premium, affordability, taxes, job growth, and housing availability.
“Buying a house is a big decision and a big commitment,” the company notes. “Although U.S. home prices have risen in the long term, the last decade has shown that path is sometimes full of twists, turns, dizzying heights and steep, abrupt falls. Today, home prices are stabilizing and increasing in most areas of the U.S.”
Average age of houses on the rise, so is it now better or worse to buy new?
With aging housing in America, are first-time buyers better off buying new or existing homes? The average age of a home is rising, as is the price of new housing, so a shift could be upon us.
The average home age is higher than ever
(REALUOSO.COM) – In a survey from the Department of Housing and Urban Development American Housing Survey (AHS), the median age of homes in the United States was 35 years old. In Texas, homes are a bit younger with the median age between 19 – 29 years. The northeast has the oldest homes, with the median age between 50 – 61 years. In 1985, the median age of a home was only 23 years.
With more houses around 40 years old, the National Association of Realtors asserts that homeowners will have to undertake remodeling and renovation projects before selling unless the home is sold as-is, in which case the buyer will be responsible to update their new residence. Even homeowners who aren’t selling will need to consider remodeling for structural and aesthetic reasons.
Prices of new homes on the rise
Newer homes cost more than they used to. The price differential between new homes and older homes has increased from 10 percent traditionally to around 37 percent in 2014. This is due to rising construction costs, scarcity of lots, and a low inventory of new homes that doesn’t meet the demand.
Are Realtors the real loser in the fight between Zillow Group and Move, Inc.?
The last year has been one of dramatic and rapid change in the real estate tech sector, but Realtors are vulnerable, and we’re worried.
Why Realtors are vulnerable to these rapid changes
(REALUOSO.COM) – Corporate warfare demands headlines in every industry, but in the real estate tech sector, a storm has been brewing for years, which in the last year has come to a head. Zillow Group and Move, Inc. (which is owned by News Corp. and operates ListHub, Realtor.com, TopProducer, and other brands) have been competing for a decade now, and the race has appeared to be an aggressive yet polite boxing match. Last year, the gloves came off, and now, they’ve drawn swords and appear to want blood.
Note: We’ll let you decide which company plays which role in the image above.
So how then, does any of this make Realtors the victims of this sword fight? Let’s get everyone up to speed, and then we’ll discuss.
1. Zillow poaches top talent, Move/NAR sues
It all started last year when the gloves came off – Move’s Chief Strategy Officer (who was also Realtor.com’s President), Errol Samuelson jumped ship and joined Zillow on the same day he phoned in his resignation without notice. He left under questionable circumstances, which has led to a lengthy legal battle (wherein Move and NAR have sued Zillow and Samuelson over allegations of breach of contract, breach of fiduciary duty, and misappropriation of trade secrets), with the most recent motion being for contempt, which a judge granted to Move/NAR after the mysterious “Samuelson Memo” surfaced.
Salt was added to the wound when Move awarded Samuelson’s job to Move veteran, Curt Beardsley, who days after Samuelson left, also defected to Zillow. This too led to a lawsuit, with allegations including breach of contract, violation of corporations code, illegal dumping of stocks, and Move has sought restitution. These charges are extremely serious, but demanded slightly less attention than the ongoing lawsuit against Samuelson.
2. Two major media brands emerge
Opinion Editorials1 week ago
The actual reasons people choose to work at startups
Business Entrepreneur2 weeks ago
Small businesses must go digital to survive (and thrive)
Business Finance1 week ago
Small business owners furious over more PPP fraud this week
Business News1 week ago
Hobby Lobby increases minimum wage, but how much is just to save face?
Business News2 weeks ago
RIP office culture: How work from home is destroying the economy
Opinion Editorials2 weeks ago
How a simple period in your text message might be misinterpreted: Tips to improve your virtual communication
Business Marketing2 weeks ago
Bite-sized retail: Macy’s plans to move out of malls
Opinion Editorials1 week ago
How Peloton has developed a cult-following