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NAR raising dues 50% for RPPSI as vote passes with a majority- BREAKING

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NAR dues rising 50%

In March, we broke the news that the National Association of Realtors’ annual Mid-Year meeting in Washington DC would play host to a major vote proposed and voted upon by the Board of Directors regarding a potential rise in dues by 50% up to $120 annually.

Several raised important questions while others balked the idea of any change. The Realtor Party Political Survival Initiative was explained in detail that a recent Supreme Court ruling put NAR and members at a major political disadvantage as the reason for the need to raise dues (hence “survival”).

We were the only news organization that asked what would come of the dues if the ruling was overturned and were told by 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.”

The vote passed

We are again the first to break the news that this morning, the NAR Action Center said that the “NAR Board of Directors votes to fund political survival initiative through $40 dues increase, beginning in 2012.”

Sources say a motion to reconsider the vote was overwhelmingly defeated as a strong majority of the Board voted for the increase.

Realtor responses varied to the overwhelmingly affirmative vote ranging from Duane Fonts, President of the Arizona Area Association of Realtors who tweeted congratulations to Realtors (which appeared to be genuine and not facetious) to Maryland Realtor Tyler Wood noting that it “would have be nice for the minority to have had opportunity to be heard” and even Florida Realtor Lisa Rose-Mann asking, “when does the class action begin? Sign me up.”

We asked you, our readers, what your thoughts were on an increase in dues and the AG report on sentiments on NAR dues reflected 66% of respondents were “very upset” about a potential increase, and 14% were mildly upset with 32% saying they only pay dues because they have to in order to use the MLS. The upset on the increase by our readers was similar to several other studies published afterward which confirms Wood’s feelings that he (and other Realtors) are not well represented at the Board level.

We would love to hear your thoughts in the comments. Did you think this measure would pass or fail? Are you upset or glad RPPSI passed? Do you think the Board of Directors is in touch with what you and your peers are experiencing?

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40 Comments

40 Comments

  1. Diana Hoyt

    May 14, 2011 at 12:13 pm

    I am shocked and sickened by this vote. When this all came about, my first reaction was that I would no longer be a realtor if it passed. Now that it has, I feel hog tied as I either have to suck it up, accept and pay PAC monies disguised as a routine dues increase, or give up my membership that I HAD been a proud member of since 1989. I now have lost my right to choose what causes and politicians I will support financially. I don't understand how that can not be illegal – forcing someone to give PAC money. It will be forced and if we refuse to pay that additional $40, I assume we will lose our membership priviledges. How can they do that to us? Apparently I am in the minority so I guess I have lost my say in the matter and in how I vote. Now I must decide whether or not I stay. I am so sad…….

  2. Matthew Thomson

    May 14, 2011 at 12:31 pm

    I'm still stunned by the negative reactions to this. Dues are $120/yr. Find me another business that you can be a member of for $120/yr. Did anyone notice that the government has now put a mandate on what loan officers can be paid? Any idea what that has done to loan officer compensation? Has anyone heard of the HVCC? Anyone know what that's done to appraiser's compensation?
    Why haven't Realtor commissions been regulated like appraisers and loan originators? Maybe NAR has something to do with it, maybe not.
    It is my opinion, and nothing more than my opinion, that MOST (not all) of the Realtors who are upset with this are not in any way involved with their Realtor association. I think if more of us were involved, we'd know what the Realtor association means to our industry and our livelihood, and we wouldn't be so upset over a due increase.
    If NAR protects my ability to charge the commission I choose, if they help keep my state government from taxing my commissions with a service tax, then I'm 100% positive that the value I get from NAR is worth FAR more than $120.
    We are small business owners, and owning a business for $120/yr is ridiculously low. My home inspector has to pay over $600/yr for his right to be protected.
    Cost versus value makes this a no-brainer for me.
    Do I like paying more? Of course not. Is it worth it? To me, yes.

    • sfvrealestate

      May 15, 2011 at 1:24 pm

      Mathew, I beg to differ. First, it costs us much, much more than $120/year to be Realtors. Second, here's what I don't like about NAR having more money to give to politicians: aside from real estate, those politicians may not have views that I can support. At all. Citizens United be damned; I want to vote with my VOTE, not my money.

    • Sig

      May 16, 2011 at 8:06 am

      Clearly you don't understand the issue. The issue is not the value of the Realtor organization. The issue is being forced to pay into a political organization you otherwise would not support. NAR says we will pay they will pick the candidates they like and if we don't like it they don't care. Those are the issues.

      • Matthew Thomson

        May 16, 2011 at 9:37 am

        I understand the issue, thanks. We are paying $40 to have folks research who they feel politically will most benefit our industry.
        No one is telling you who to vote for. If you don't vote along with NAR you still get to sell real estate.
        I only voted along with WAR's recommendations about 40% this past election, and still have no problem paying to have some research done.
        Am I happy WAR donated money to Governor Gregoire's campaign? No, I was stunned. Did that affect my vote? Not at all. They felt she was better for our industry. I felt she was worse on all fronts.
        We're asked to pay $40 for someone to research a way to improve our industry.
        I simply don't see that as major.

        • Daniel Bates

          May 17, 2011 at 9:40 am

          I think the "research" you speak of is done in about 5 minutes and may be conducted by a monkey with a dart board for all I know, the lion's share of the money will be given to greedy politicians to grease the palms of our horrid political system.

          That's a big "no thanks" here as well. It's not about the dollar amount, it's about the giving to undeserving candidates who do not represent my views. I haven't supported 90% of what the NAR has stood for and would gladly lose the worthless title of "Realtor" which the public could care less about, unfortunately as a Broker-in-charge, I don't even have this option.

          Anytime someone wants to separate the MLS system from this lousy political machine that I have somehow become a party to, I'm ready to support you and get on board!

  3. Matthew Thomson

    May 14, 2011 at 12:35 pm

    In regards to the PAC fee specifically, since that is probably more the issue, we can still support whom we choose. I was stunned by the WAR recommendation for Washington's governor this past election, and a bit upset by it.
    But I still cast my vote for the candidate I felt was better for our state and supported his campaign.
    My money goes towards the research of the candidates and political issues, and while I didn't agree with their choice, I am fine paying $40 to let them research things.

    • Rick Greene

      May 23, 2011 at 8:47 am

      Where did you get the notion that the $40 increase is for research? The NAR has sold this idea on the argument that they need the money to affect the outcome of votes in congress. That says to me that with this extra money they will be able to "persuade" legislators to a certain viewpoint by providing or withholding campaign dollars. That is the type of persuasion that seems to be the most effective in D.C..
      If that is the case, and I don't think I'm being cynical in arriving at that conclusion, then everyone here who is arguing that they don't want the NAR to be spreading even more of their money around to politicians that they don't agree with has a very valid point.
      I'm quite capable of making my own decisions on politics without the coerced intervention of NAR doing it for me.
      Now some people have raised the point that although the NAR is raising the fees while insisting it is a necessary move to affect politicians' support of Realtors, they are really trying to backfill the funding of the NAR because of the drop off in the numbers of realtors due to the poor economy. If that is true then, in my view, there is cynicism, in the leadership of the NAR.

  4. Michael Citron

    May 14, 2011 at 1:59 pm

    I am not surprised that Realtor dues will be raised. It seems that everything in the world is costing more, including our REALTOR dues. I think that it will certainly hurt a lot of hard-working Realtors in their pockets.

    As a result of the increase, more and more Realtors will let their memberships lapse, and it will ultimately hurt the overall membership. What makes me even more upset is that many brokers, who pay their REALTOR dues for access to the MLS, are allowed to list properties and include the real estate agent's name in the broker remarks or the agent's phone number to call. This real estate agent can fully list real estate properties through their broker's account. I think it should not be allowed! If you aren't a REALTOR, then brokers should not be able to allow their real estate agents, who are not REALTORS, access to list and sell homes on the MLS.

  5. Erica Ramus

    May 14, 2011 at 2:13 pm

    I am not upset about the $40.

    I am upset because I don't consider "the realtor party" to be MY PARTY. My career is only one aspect of my life.

    I vote for and support who I want to, based on multiple facets. Not just "the realtor party" said so.

    This just confirms we're all cogs in this giant labor union. If we did not HAVE to join to get MLS access, I would not.

    • Matt Stigliano

      May 15, 2011 at 8:28 pm

      Unfortunately the opposition to RPPSI wound up being framed around the $40 and not the issue of political choice. I'm gutted that it passed. Raise my dues, that's fine, but let me choose who i want to invest in – my politics are my own personal choice and not dominated by my career.

  6. Sam Ruta

    May 14, 2011 at 3:09 pm

    Sorry, Didn't sign up to become a union member. Don't tell me how to vote and take my money. Dinosaur waiting to die. Worse than the idiots in Washington.

  7. Mike Bowler Sr.

    May 14, 2011 at 3:42 pm

    If REALTORS ever needed political representation with all monumental issues we're facing, now is the time. Compared to other National Associations $120.00 a year is a bargain.
    Stop your whining and go join a committee at your local Association to contribute toward your industry. Oh! you don't have time, you say. Hell, I recommend those who don;t have time should kick in another $40.00.

    Go List a House, Mike

  8. Missy Caulk

    May 14, 2011 at 5:16 pm

    It is "not" about the 40.00 it is about WHO they typically support.

    Now I will have to give double this to the candidates I support. This will offset the amount they are giving to candidates I care nothing about and who's agenda is bigger than "HOUSING".

    And they just got the last RPAC donation they will EVER get from me.

    • sfvrealestate

      May 15, 2011 at 1:27 pm

      Right on, Missy!

    • Sig

      May 16, 2011 at 8:10 am

      Missy, you are right on. Ron Phipps should resign in disgrace.

  9. Ricki Eichler

    May 14, 2011 at 5:36 pm

    I don't like it and I don't like being told who to vote for either! I can figure it out for myself and I don't like my money going to candidates I do not endorse like what happened in the last election in Texas.

  10. steve

    May 15, 2011 at 7:27 am

    What did you expect. Your local association or board is run by the Brokers not by the agent or tenants. Agents are just tenants you do not own anything when you sign on with a broker. NAR is run and owned by brokers not tenant agents. This is the way it has always been. This is just a small part of the problem with consumer facing MLS listings and listing syndication, where the broker receives the web leads taking the agent tenant out of the loop and forcing consumers to work with low split agents for a bigger profit on deals and the consumer by some estimates work with an agent tenant with less than 60 experience. The NAR is trying to turn the tide back to the them selfs and away from large agent tenant teams, brokers do not want to have there business controlled by large agent tenant teams, some large brokers will not accept large teams. Listing syndication is a very large problem for the agent tenant it takes you out of the loop.

    • Mike Bowler Sr.

      May 15, 2011 at 11:35 am

      With all REALTOR Boards, I think you have it backwards. Plus most brokers would love to have a good team. If your broker is taking your leads, maybe you're in the wrong office. Listing syndication helps sell homes in my book. 🙂

    • Daniel Bates

      May 17, 2011 at 9:46 am

      That was a random tirade. The local boards are made up of all of us. They may be more heavily weighted toward broker's who can spare more time for these activities than busy-beaver agents. I just don't think that they get listened to. I don't know what syndication has to do with anything, your job as listing agent isn't to pick up buyers, it's to sell the home and syndication makes your job easier. If you don't like the way your listings are being syndicated, that is an issue between you and your brokerage and an easy change to make.

  11. Patrick Flynn

    May 15, 2011 at 12:02 pm

    The NAR is obsolete! This is evident by the amount of Real Estate Brokers who don't or won't pay their dues in Washington. Fact is, being a REALTOR is not attached to their subscription to the NWMLS. Simply put, Brokers are not affected nor is their MLS access affected by NOT paying their REALTOR dues. I'm fairly certain if Agents and Brokers in other states had this same 'luxury'…they would not pay their REALTOR dues either!!

  12. Steve Babbitt

    May 15, 2011 at 7:17 pm

    First, let me state that I have been a Realtor for 32 years and I plan on selling real estate for another 15! I am not in management, I sell homes, about 45 per year, over 1700 homes in my career.
    I pay $40 per month for my E&O insurance and have never used it! Will I stop paying it, not on your life! Do I buy AAA insurance for $75 per year, you bet and hope I never have to use it!
    For me to pay $40 a year to insure that I have a livelihood, is nothing. Come on you people, if you can't afford $40 for the year then you should be looking for another job!
    Who do you think is going to bat for you to keep the Mortgage Interest Deduction? the Property Tax Deduction? How many houses will you sell if all your buyers needed 20% down? What if there were no Flood Insurance, how many sales would you lose?
    There is a time for everything, and now is the time to make sure our representatives in Congress are reminded of these and that's what this is all about.
    If I lost one sale because of one of the above situations, it would cost me thousands of dollars.
    Here is my recommendation to you, get involved in your local Associaiton and start lobbying your local politicians about these issues. Go to Lobby Day at your State Capitol.
    I am glad we have people like Ron Phipps who have volunteered to champion our issues in Washington!

    • Mike Bowler Sr.

      May 15, 2011 at 8:03 pm

      Very well illustrated. We need to continue letting them do their jobs and focus on business. 🙂

    • Sig

      May 16, 2011 at 8:08 am

      You don't understand the issue either. Ron Phipps should resign in disgrace.

    • Daniel Bates

      May 17, 2011 at 10:03 am

      I know this sounds crazy, but shouldn't laws be judged on their merits and not how much money a political party can throw at it? Yes, that's more of a beef with our system of government than the NAR, but my point is, who is to say that the mortgage interest deduction will not be upheld with or without the NAR greasy the palms of every congressman along the way. If they all agree that it's good for the country and it can be paid for than they'll vote for it, if not than why are we trying to convince them that they should? Do you really think that our housing market and industry is better because of the actions of the NAR? The government has maintained an unrealistic level by enticing more people who will default on home loans in the next 2-3 years to buy homes that they can not afford and creating programs that help a select few people in foreclosure trouble without tackling the large issues at hand and letting the market place reach a natural balancing point and I blame that on part on the NAR as almost everyone one of their recommendations has been followed. Recommendations based not on the good of the country, homeowners, banks, etc. but on real estate agents keeping their jobs like you have spoken of.

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