Case Study: FAIR OR FOUL?

Real Estate Agent with TOVIJE Enterprises, Inc.

chainged moneyHaving lunch today in Venice, Florida at Sharkey's On the Pier, a rather large group of gregarious REALTORS got on the subject of how much our local Board of Realtors dues had gone up over last year.

Many feel that the increase is due to the decline in the number of REALTORS who renewed their annual dues, others feel that they are being gouged. 

I happen to feel it was time for the dues to go up, even though I don't like paying more for anything. It is logical for increases to happen just to keep pace with overhead costs, etc.

All inclusive annual dues and fees for two of the local boards in Sarasota/Charlotte County area of Florida are in the approximate range of $1000-1300 for a first time applicant to the board. It is a good business investment.

Our local area Board of Realtors does so much for us in the way of training, information distribution, support, lobbying, etc. etc. etc. that the value of our least to well worth it. What doesn't make sense to me is this...................

If you were a member last year and for whatever reasons you dropped membership prior to the first of the year, but then rejoined anytime after first quarter...they are not "allowed" (by FAR or NAR?) to pro-rate you back in.  In previous years, they did. (Has anyone else heard this?)

Being curious about this...I called the board. I was told that a brand new member can be pro-rated in, but a returning member cannot.  In short, they are penalizing returning members who had a gap in membership.  Hmmm..what do we think about this?

It was explained to me that this is being done because so many REALTORS couldn't afford to pay full year membership dues and therefore dropped out to see what the market was going to do. Now that they are returning, they are astonished to find that they have to pay full boat PLUS a $150 reinstatement fee. Some are yelling.....FOUL! 

Comments (3)

Gary L. Waters Broker Associate, Bucci Realty
Bucci Realty, Inc. - Melbourne, FL
Eighteen Years Experience in Brevard County
Local Boards wield a lot of power. They control your career, your income, your business. Running afoul of "The Board" is not a good thing. Oh I believe the FOUL is there but what can you do? Don't expect understanding from those who control the Board. You gotta pay to play...they control the game and make the rules! It stinks at times - times like these!
May 17, 2007 10:58 AM
Bill Cherry, Realtor - Dallas, TX
Broker & Wealth Coach

I've been doing this for a very long time, and I have been in two big city boards and one medium city board.  The best one as far as how it was run and the services offered and getting the most for your membership fees was the medium city board.  It is in Galveston, Texas, and its executive director, Bruce Landry, is awesome and the elected officials know he knows best, so they don't tinker with a good thing.  You'd love it.

All of this to say in the case of pro-rata fees, your board needs to rethink their decision.  Everyone, whether new or returning, should be handled equally.  That's ethics' rule #1.  The guy who dropped out because he couldn't pay his dues for one quarter or so, got no benefit from the board during that period.  So what made him any different than the guy who joins mid-year?  Nothing.  Neither got services during the period they weren't dues paying members.

May 17, 2007 12:52 PM
Lucky Lang
Premiere Plus Realty Marco Island - Marco Island, FL
Marco Island & Naples Florida Real Estate


I'll take up the other side on this one (just for fun).  Speaking of "ethics' rule #1", why is it fair that Realtor A who pays her dues regularly has to pay more than Realtor B who jumps in and out of the market whenever he sees fit in order to snag a deal every now and then from the "full-time" agents?  Realtor B is nothing more than a "Cherry-Picker"!  (Sorry, Bill, for using your name in vain)

Lucky :) 

May 22, 2007 10:49 PM