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Realtors give to charity 46% more than the national average #NoSurprise

(REAL ESTATE) Americans give generously to charity, but Realtors contribute at a much higher rate than the national average.

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Americans remain one of the most philanthropic nations on the planet, contributing to innumerable charitable causes. Fully 56.6 percent of Americans give to charity annually, yet the Realtor population donates 82.0% percent, far higher than the national average.

People outside of the industry may be surprised, but I have personally never known a more generous population than the real estate community, not just with money, but with time and talent. And not just luxurious galas, but in quiet ways no one will ever know. This community is truly kind, and comes together like none other when others in the industry are down.

The Community Aid and Real Estate (CARE) Report, from the National Association of Realtors (NAR), also revealed that members, broker-owners, and Association Executives (AEs) all donate money and volunteer time while supporting their local Realtor Associations.

NAR members indicate that being involved in their community is actually a part of their business plan, ingrained in the core of their business.

Sure, Realtors survive on the strength of their network, so it is certainly incentivized more than the average American, but let me tell you – when my Irish twin died in 2007 at age 24, so many people in the real estate community anonymously gave a tremendous amount of money to help his wife and two babies, and sent in offers of how they could volunteer time to make the situation less painful.

“The findings in this report highlight what we’ve known all along – that Realtors® go above and beyond to serve their neighbors,” said NAR President John Smaby, a second-generation Realtor® from Edina, Minnesota and broker at Edina Realty. “Realtors® across the country not only work to help people achieve the American dream, but they also work hard to make a difference in our communities and make them better places to live.”

The report found that 64 percent of Realtors are encouraged by their firms to volunteer time (while 80 percent of broker-owners say they encourage their agents to be involved). Fully 66 percent of members at-large volunteering for a median of eight hours monthly, while 77 percent of broker-owners volunteer for a median of 10 hours per month, and lastly, 85 percent of AEs and MLS staff volunteer monthly for a median of 10 hours per month.

Next year marks the 20th year of the NAR Good Neighbor Awards which has awarded $1.2 million in grant money and recognized over 200 Realtors for their charitable service.

And what is striking is that most winners we’ve interviewed over the years would tell you they didn’t know the award existed when they began their philanthrophy, and despite winning awards, these are humble people that aren’t focused on awards, rather on being the best stewards they possibly can in their own communities.

To those inside of the real estate community, this widespread generosity of time, talent, and money to charity is no surprise.

Lani is the Chief Operating Officer at The American Genius and has been named in the Inman 100 Most Influential Real Estate Leaders several times, co-authored a book, co-founded BASHH and Austin Digital Jobs, and is a seasoned business writer and editorialist with a penchant for the irreverent.

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Real Estate Associations

RPR use spikes dramatically (plus new features, slimmer operating budget)

(REAL ESTATE TECH) Having a free data tool like RPR is a lifesaver for you – having an industry more readily relying on it means better service to homeowners as a whole.

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Realtors Property Resource® (RPR) saw a 30 percent increase in use between 2017 and 2018, hitting a record 14.7 million sessions for the year, with Realtors spending over 100 million minutes researching properties and creating consumer reports.

Imagine you were running a tech company, and there was a tool built exclusively for your company that no one else had access to, that gave you an exclusive deep dive into data relevant to your industry. What a dream, right!? Every startup dreams of something like that, but it doesn’t exist.

Yet in real estate it does. NAR members (and only NAR members) have free access to RPR, offering wildly detailed data for the residential and commercial sectors.

We tend to find that the less successful practitioners don’t use RPR, while power brokers rely quite heavily on it.

The same holds true in any industry – those that rely on data rather than their gut assumptions outperform – across the board.

Their mobile app was downloaded over 470,000 times last year, accounting for over a third of all RPR traffic. In other words, it’s being used in the field more than ever.

The data tool is evolving – they’ve added a new Buyer Tour feature and updated the map interface (new features include distance search, drive time, parcel line overlay, and school search), according to RPR COO, Jeff Young.

In a press release, the company asserts that they have “realigned around delivering increased member value combined with improved budget efficiencies,” echoing the massive restructuring efforts of their parent company, the National Association of Realtors.

After reviewing operations and product development, RPR nixed 14 percent of their operating expenses in 2018, and expect a 22 percent reduction in 2019, which Janine Sieja, RPR Sr. VP of Product Management says will not impact what they will offer to members.

“By examining what our members consider of the highest value for them and their consumers, RPR is reimagining some of its core functions,” said Sieja. “We are excited about incorporating training and other new features into our applications. We expect to build on 2018’s success and offer additional improvements while achieving continued growth in usage.”

NAR CEO Bob Goldberg expressed enthusiasm regarding the RPR reexamining their core mission. “These efficiencies amount to the first reduction in RPR’s total operating budget since its creation in 2008, and position RPR to deliver its web and mobile platform for about $13.50 per member annually in 2019, included in their NAR dues.”

Just like many of us are hitting the gym to meet our New Year’s resolutions, this feels quite like RPR stuck with their 2018 resolutions and can now lift more than everyone else at the gym, while many of us are trepidatiously jogging on a treadmill.

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Real Estate Associations

Have you wondered how to join a NAR committee? Here’s the nitty gritty

Real change begins with social activism, and being on a NAR committee is one impactful way to enact said change. It’s one thing to complain, but another to take action.

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Everyone says we all need to “raise the bar,” but many focus their efforts on just complaining on Facebook (don’t look at me like that, you know it’s true). Getting involved sometimes means dedicating your time to help the industry to change, to evolve. Realtors can join committees ranging from the diversity committee to professional standards to affordable housing.

Last week, committees met at Midyear (The REALTORS® Legislative Meetings & Trade Expo) which is where NAR members take an active role to advance the real estate industry, public policy and the association. REALTORS® go to Washington, DC, every May for special issues forums, committee meetings, legislative activities, and the industry trade show.

Committees are armies of volunteers

Committees help shape the direction of NAR and its policies, thus evolving the industry. If you want your voice to be heard and want to contribute to the decision-making process, NAR’s committees are a great forum for debate and discussion.

Further, experience on national committees is beneficial for those interested in seeking a future leadership role.

The 3 stages in the process

According to NAR, there are three main stages in the committee selection process. The first stage is the committee application period from March to May the year prior to the appointment year. A member expertise profile is required to show NAR leadership the experience you have beyond what is written in the application form.

The second stage is the selection process. State Association Executives (AEs) have an opportunity to review and rank applications and provide feedback on applications for their state. All appointments are approved by the incoming President.

The final stage is the notification process. Chairs and vice chairs receive an appointment letter between mid-July and late August. All other positions receive an appointment letter via email in early October.

Many are called, few are chosen

Unfortunately, with only 2,500 positions available, NAR is unable to appoint everyone who submits an application. They encourage members to try again the following year if not selected. Also, potential candidates should consider committee opportunities at the state and local level to gain experience.

Many of those serving on national committees have had years of experience at the local or state level, but that doesn’t mean first timers don’t make the cut, so put your hat in the ring. It’s a much more meaningful step than just commenting on Facebook, no?

#NARcommittees

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Real Estate Associations

Quick post-REALTORS® Conference & Expo catch up

(REAL ESTATE) The National Association of Realtors just wrapped up their annual conference where they dug into critical industry issues – you can catch up here.

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Quick post-REALTORS® Conference & Expo catch up

The National Association of Realtors (NAR) just wrapped up their annual conference, and it was packed full of information and news releases. Take a quick scan below and click to access the news you are most interested in (and if you haven’t gone before, start making plans for the 2019 REALTORS® Legislative Meetings & Trade Expo in Washington, D.C. in May, 2019 – we’ll see you there)!


Here is a list of sessions, and if you see a microphone next to one you’re interested in, there’s playback available. Whether you weren’t able to attend, or you were just pulled in too many different directions, the good news is that NAR makes playback an option!

The 2019 REALTORS® Legislative Meetings & Trade Expo is in Washington, D.C. next May and if you want to take part in impacting real change, make your way out East.

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