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National Association of Realtors downsizing by 10%

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NAR going through layoffs?

Rumors of layoffs have been flying for months, quietly echoing in the halls of the National Association of Realtors (NAR), the largest trade association in the world. Chicago computers have been humming with updating of resumes as NAR staff anxiously awaits the possibility of their job on the guillotine.

NAR Chief Executive Officer, Dale Stinton informed us that internally, leadership and staff were told in March that as part of the annual budget process for 2012, NAR was going to “reduce headcount (mostly through attrition) by about 10 percent.”

Stinton indicated the cuts would not have a major impact on programming and that NAR is already “well on [their] way to achieve this reduction this year so that the benefit of the savings will be realized going into 2012.” Stinton also notes that this move is “sound fiscal and program management – nothing more nothing less.”

2012 budgeting

Stinton says, “We are actually ahead of budget this year and we will be balanced for the year just as we have done in 25 of the last 26 years.” He notes that “Basically we’re just asking staff to do more with less. Our members are doing it – we should prioritize our resources and do the same.”

NAR critics and NAR supporters

NAR critics have pushed for years for reduced budgets and streamlined use of their dues and elimination of wasteful spending and would prefer further cuts, while supporters point to NAR’s track record of balancing their budget and that not adding staff back to positions lost through natural attrition is a responsible means of budgeting.

It was announced in May 2011 that a vote passed for NAR dues to increase by 50% in order to fund The Realtor Party Political Survival Initiative (RPPSI). All funds raised through this dues increase are required as part of the RPPSI package to go directly to political initiatives, therefore is a separate budget item from salaries.

Tara Steele is the News Director at The American Genius, covering entrepreneur, real estate, technology news and everything in between. If you'd like to reach Tara with a question, comment, press release or hot news tip, simply click the link below.

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48 Comments

48 Comments

  1. Chris Michaud

    July 25, 2011 at 9:06 am

    It's about time the REALTOR org starts doing what every other business had had to do. They actually need to clean house, and bring in new thinking. The old thinking is tied into an archaic business model being protected by the "body shop" proponents; more bodies, more dues and fees both for the organization and the 500 gorillas who have learned to profit with marginal mediocrity rather than exemplary excellence. That's why we continue to have agents who "turn over" 80% within 5 years in most of the country.

    Instead of promoting fee for services, hybrid business models that would actually save the consumer money and provide agents a better way to make a living, the old contingent commission theology prevails. that hasn't changed in the past 250 years.

    REALTORS also had the opportunity early on to be the technology leaders and instead created first very proprietary software that didn't work, then came kicking and screaming to the table when the likes of Zillow and Trulia really came on board. REALTOR sponsored MLS' STILL limit access to data that consumers can now get online elsewhere under the guise of "confidentiality." the real reason of course is to get the consumer to contact a REALTOR. that worked in the past because they controlled the data – but no more.

    REALTOR leaders never understood, nor do they today, that quality agent services can never be replaced by a database. Certain ease of use and access functions can replace $7 labor that the average agent gets paid too much for, but cannot replace the anecdotal and holistic market information that an experienced agent has attained through their experience in a given market.

    I heard someone say the other day that there wasn't one icebox company that invented a refrigerator because they are so short-sighted in their present reality. I now suspect that the REALTOR organization itself has to become defunct and a new and improved organization replace it that is adept and in sync with today's technologies and works to change the archaic business model it continues to promote.

  2. Grant Hammond

    July 25, 2011 at 5:45 pm

    So, the NAR is downsizing, but I just got a notice that my 2012 NAR dues are going up. Hummm? What ever happened to their National MLS? That should would be helpful!

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Austin

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?

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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.”

Click here to continue reading the list of the 12 best places to buy a home…

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Housing News

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.

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aging housing inventory

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.

Click here to continue reading this story…

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Housing News

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.

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zillow move

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

Last fall, the News Corp. acquisition of Move, Inc. was given the green light by the feds, and this month, Zillow finalized their acquisition of Trulia.

…Click here to continue reading this story…

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