The decision not to renew my NAR, MAR, GCAR membership did not come easy. Although one may hold a real estate license without being a REALTOR; it really makes things difficult if one plans to be active in single family home sales.
My opinion is that if you intend to sell homes and have access to as much information as possible you need to be a REALTOR. Actually, if you are in the Mississippi Gulf Coast and wish to show MLS homes you need to be a member of the REALTOR Associations; or depend on the grace of member agents to work with you. I will not focus on single family home sales at large if I am not a REALTOR.
In some circumstances a licensee may represent new home builders without being a REALTOR. In that case the builder is represented. Should the prospect wish to look at other homes they will likely benefit more from working with a REALTOR.
The fees and dues of being a REALTOR, MLS Member, having the Supra E-key ready to unlock MLS listed property is not that bad--if--you plan to be active and consistently work the business.
For instance, in the Mississippi Gulf Coast, you have to be a REALTOR to access the agent side of the MLS, you haved to be a member of the MLS to be able to pay for the Supra key that unlocks the doors to MLS listings. Together these fees are less than $1,000 (depending on the type of supra key you choose). This is not bad if you plan to be active.
I found the Gulf Coast MLS office and REALTOR Association to provide great service at a great price.
However, according to the wonderful ladies in the Gulf Coast MLS office--I am not alone in making this decision, nor am I the lone ranger in losing the "passion" for real estate home sales (and working on straight commission).
I still have a MS Broker license (For Non Real estate professionals: You must have a real estate license to be a member of the National Realtors Association, but, you do not have to be a REALTOR to be a real estate licensee.) and will keep that active until further notice.
We all know that a real estate home sales career isn't for everyone. I am finally able to admit it is not for me. The aspects of real estate that I loved can be found in many other careers or real estate specialties:
- Helping people solve problems
- taking photos
- developing and placing ads
- showing homes as a leasing agent
I will of course miss the MLS research capabilities. I guess I will need to look for other resources.
May you all have an outstanding 2011. I plan to have one. Please do not think I am sad. I am happy with my decision. I have many wonderful real estate memories.
I published this article early into the oil spill as there seemed to be irrational panic regarding air quality on the Mississippi Gulf Coast early into the Oil Calamity of 2010.