Our current NAR President told consumers to call a REALTOR® if you're considering a home purchase and apparently a lot of buyers have been listening.
"The percentage of consumers surveyed who are more likely to hire a Realtor® than a real estate agent who is not a Realtor® has risen from 51 percent in 1999 (the first year of the survey) to 64 percent in 2006."
"2007 marks the most extensive outreach effort since the Public Awareness Campaign began. Ads will be broadcast nationwide from January through November and will air more than 8,750 times on national TV and radio outlets and more than 25,000 times on local radio stations through a national buy. Print, billboard, bus shelter, and poster ads are available to local and state associations to use in their own outreach efforts, and Realtors can download Web banners for their own Web sites. To view the materials and learn more about the national Public Awareness Campaign, visit www.realtor.org/awarenesscampaign."
Here's a few ongoing community service programs all across the US.
We're also in the forefront of disaster relief programs. Did you know following 9/11 NAR put in place a $1,000,000 relief fund WITHIN HOURS of the terrorist attacks?
These funds later grew to over 8 million dollars, earmarked to ensure that no 9/11 victim's families lost their home as a result of losing a loved one, and none did.
The disaster relief funds ultimately became the REALTORS® Relief Foundation after the devestating tsunami in South Asia; we sent over a million dollars to that area to rebuild homes.
We also talked to Congress about health care reform for us and other small business owners.
"WASHINGTON, January 10, 2007 - Small business employers and the self-employed, including real estate firms and agents, are facing a growing challenge in accessing and providing affordable health insurance, Pat Vredevoogd Combs, president of the National Association of Realtors®, told a congressional panel today.
"As we sit here, 28 percent of the nation's 1.3 million Realtors® do not have any health insurance."
Here's some policy initiatives we're working on this year:
"Affordable Housing Tax Credit
NAR supports incentives to increase the supply of affordable single family housing. NAR is urging Congress to enact legislation providing a tax incentive in the form of a tax credit to developers and/or investors to enhance the supply of affordable housing that would be available for purchase."
"Improving the Effectiveness of FHA
NAR is a strong supporter of the single- and multi-family programs administered by the Federal Housing Administration (FHA). However, FHA's market share has diminished considerably threatening its ability to serve its public purposes. NAR is working with the Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) to modernize FHA to enhance its effectiveness in today's mortgage marketplace."
"Natural Disaster/Flood Insurance
NAR supports the promotion of affordable and accessible homeowners' insurance, especially in disaster-prone areas. Additionally, NAR supports reforming the National Flood Insurance Program to ensure its financial and actuarial soundness. NAR is urging Congress to enact legislation ensuring the availability of adequate, affordable homeowners' insurance to consumers in disaster-prone areas, and NAR is urging Congress to fully fund FEMA's flood map modernization program."
And several other important policy initiatives; you can read all about them here.
And of course there is lots, lots more; all carried out by volunteer REALTOR® members (and NAR staff) just like you and me. And please keep in mind none of these volunteer leaders, including the NAR President, get paid for their activities.
The leadership team and NAR directors do get reimbursed for actual travel expenses to meetings and conducting NAR business so the "I can't afford it" excuse for not getting involved is not valid.
Here's some more things NAR provides us for 64 bucks a year.
Spend some time at http://www.realtor.org/ reading about what NAR does for you and the real estate industry for your 64 dollars a year in dues.