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The NAR, the Realtors Favorite Punching Bag- Hypocrite?

A lot of Realtors around the blogosphere love to beat up on NAR.  They call them out on their talking points and basically use them to bash NAR over the head.  I have no problem with that, but what it leaves me to wonder is why in the world do you pay your dues?  Further, if you hate real estate licensing so much, then why are you licensed?  If you hate what the industry has become, then why are you in it?  I’m sure your reply will be, “to change the system!” Yeah, okay.  I’m sure one out of ten buyers & sellers will believe you, but that leaves the rest of us who know differently.

The NAR is the world’s largest Association of Brokers in the free world.  Great; I guess you know who NAR really works for- the Broker.  Almost anyone that has ever had a real estate Broker knows that the Broker more than likely doesn’t care about you, much less even knows your name in most larger Brokerages.  So it is no wonder why many of you hate the NAR.  So why not just stand up and say it?  Because you’re a coward?  Because you are so amused by everything it says and does?  hypocrite_wallpaper.jpgIf that is the case, get a life- and we all know it has nothing to do with whether you’re a yellow-belly or not.  It’s all about protecting the career you’ve worked so hard to build.

I pay my Realtor dues not liking many things the local board passes down our way.  Why? Because right now, 1.3 Million Realtors face what equates to a hostile corporate takeover by large VC Corporations that could care less about transparency, customer service, Realtor commissions, web2.o, or Redfin for that matter- they only care about the money. They’re content on using Redfin for the disruption.  Whether or not Redfin succeeds as a model, they could care less- it’s the end result, the long-term goal… to ultimately control it (real estate).  They’re not content with a piece of the pie, they want the whole thing, and they want to eat it too. 

I pay my dues because I want to be a part of the 1.3 Million agents that will fight and win the corporate takeover.  This has nothing to do with whether or not I like NAR.  Honestly, before this all hit the CBS fan, I paid very little attention to NAR.  It may or may not have had its use in the past, but it does have relevance today.

So all of you who have chosen to distance yourself from, attack, or expose the NAR, you may want to give some thought to the fact that in effect you are kicking 1.3 million other agents in the proverbial face that are in this battle with you.  I know, I know, I’ll get some flames on this message, but let’s look at it this way- RE could use a lot of changing up, resorting, and deeper thought, but who would you prefer do that- Glenn Kelman? VC Corporations? Or… the 1.3 Million agents who operate independently via one voice- The NAR.  My suggestion- stop yelling at the NAR, and start yelling through it.  Start by yelling at your Broker, and if you are the broker, start yelling at your board.

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We’ve allowed  VC corporations to set the tone and perception and the only way the perception will be changed is to properly use the most powerful tool in our arsenal- The NAR.  Not to change laws to limit competition, but to reach out to those that are soon to fall victim to the one thing consumers hate most in this world- BIG CORPORATIONS. 

I’m with you, not the NAR. It’s time we began using NAR to its fullest possible potential, it will either bend and flex or it will break but either way, the perception will be that Realtors did more than bitch, moan, and complain. They stood up and operated the industry in the way it was meant to be run- the way it was described when we were all lulled into paying our splits and dues- otherwise you risk sounding like a hypocrite.

Benn Rosales is the Founder and CEO of The American Genius (AG), national news network. Before AG, he founded one of the first digital media strategy firms in the nation has received the Statesman Texas Social Media Award and is an Inman Innovator Award winner. He has consulted for numerous startups (both early- and late-stage), and is well known for organizing the digital community through popular offline events. He does not venture into the spotlight often, rather he believes his biggest accomplishments are the talent he recruits and develops, so he gives all credit to those he's empowered.



  1. Austin Realtor's Wife

    June 18, 2007 at 1:44 pm

    No joke- quit barking and take action! If you’re taking action, blog about it (rather than come across as whining).

    There are a lot of screamers out there, but not many who take action. Genius article!

  2. Jonathan Dalton

    June 18, 2007 at 3:24 pm

    The idea of getting involved rather than kvetching from the sidelines makes sense and I’m hoping soon to be a in a position where I can do so.

    As for why I pay my dues, I don’t have any choice in the matter – not if I want to have MLS access. No board dues, no MLS.

    It’s a really simple decision, actually, even if I’d prefer to have a choice.

  3. B. R.

    June 18, 2007 at 3:54 pm

    Jonathan, if there was a single soul on this planet I believe would move a mountain for his client, its you.

    In saying that, there is more you (meaning anyone) can do even if you feel powerless. Meet with your Broker, if you do not like your brokers politics fire them and switch to one you do like. They (good ones) are out there. Sticking with the status quo changes nothing- enough agents jumping ship will effect its equilibrium.

  4. Sock Puppet

    June 18, 2007 at 6:36 pm

    Likewise with Jonathan it’s a simple case in Connecticut. You are required to become a realtor in order to be allowed membership in the MLS.

    Then they mail me stuff all the time telling me how realtors make $x more than non-realtors…



  5. John Lockwood

    June 18, 2007 at 7:32 pm

    People should not yell at their brokers. Some of us are very sensitive and emotional.

  6. John Lockwood

    June 18, 2007 at 7:33 pm

    Oh, sorry, the rest of your article was spot on, though.

  7. B. R.

    June 18, 2007 at 8:49 pm

    *hands John a Kleenex… I never said the broker wouldn’t yell back. But at least you the Broker knows your agents care and want you to lead the way.

    Thanks for reading.

  8. April Groves

    June 19, 2007 at 8:55 am

    Likewise, our dues are directly tied to our MLS participation…but, I would pay them anyway.

    Our state association of NAR has done great things IMO…most recently, they helped protect private property rights in the state legislature. While it is completely in the RE community’s best interest to do so, this is a move that was looking out for the consumer too.

    I’ve tried being the lone voice and I am sure it will happen to me again – it’s much harder that way than with the strength of a large organization behind you.

  9. B. R.

    June 19, 2007 at 9:03 am

    April, here in Austin and Texas in general, I really like our board, that isn’t to say some out there do not need any work. Kudos to you being willing to stand up and be counted. There seem to be many who would rather leave it all on your shoulders. It doesn’t have to be that way.

  10. Jonathan Dalton

    June 19, 2007 at 9:14 am

    There’s no way we made Lockwood cry. 🙂

    Do I believe NAR and the state boards are beneficial from a lobbying standpoint? Without a doubt. But does that mean NAR doesn’t do some remarkably stupid things? Of course not.

    For such a large operation, NAR’s public relations arm is clueless. The talking points issued to “deal” with Redfin’s 60 Minutes ad and the like are almost laughable.

    Just because NAR does some things well doesn’t mean it does everything well.

  11. B. R.

    June 19, 2007 at 9:35 am

    NAR is Brokers and Realtors. NAR had nothing to repond to with Redfin. If you waited for NAR to justify your commission or your personal value vs Redfins it was not going to do that- that is up to you. There wasn’t much NAR could do except rebutt the fixed 6%.

    The problem with attacking the NAR as a generality is simply this- it’s operated by Brokers and Realtors (look in the mirror) It can be changed. Stop supporting legislation you don’t like, fire brokers that have bad politics and already you’re putting a dent in change.

  12. Jonathan Dalton

    June 19, 2007 at 9:46 am

    Okay, is Lereah a broker or a Realtor then? NAR is more than just brokers and Realtors then.

    Someone put together the 60 Minutes talking points. I guarantee you it was NAR staff and not a broker or a Realtor.

  13. B. R.

    June 19, 2007 at 9:56 am

    Lereah was part of the arm- but who is the body? I’ve already answered the question. No one said reform was easy. But it starts with your brokers politics and how willing they are to speak out within NAR to effect policy. This is politics, you are the constituent- vote in the consumer interest. That is the point. or Realtors can continue to sit around and do nothing.

  14. john harper

    June 21, 2007 at 8:09 am

    You’re a Genius! Like the new look.

    We’ve been saying it for a year on our blogs – under the battle cry of “Free The Consumer” are just another bunch of profiteers trying to take money from what they say is a cash cow. What’s so funny about the whole thing is that they are expecting the real estate agents to pay the freight through ads!

  15. Todd Tarson

    July 10, 2007 at 8:30 am

    I’m way late in this discussion… but thanks for writing this article.

    You have to be a leader if you want to be a leader.

  16. B. R.

    July 10, 2007 at 8:40 am

    You’re never to late, thanks for reading… You’re right,
    doing something about it > bitching about it

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