Hey NAR, what have you done for me lately?

Real Estate Agent with RE/MAX Suburban

Boy has NAR been busy!  Have you been following all the headlines?

Well I feel like TMZ dishin' all the latest Realtor® newzzzzzz!  I feel likenar, our organization has been very busy lately spending our money. Here's the scoop:

1)  Announcement that NAR now owns Sentrilock.  Yes it seems that they now own a majority stock in that company.  I'm not sure why we have to own a lockbox company.

2)  Announcement that NAR has a merger/acquisition with a Credit Union in Chicago.  It's now called the Realtors Credit Union.  Did you get the email on that?  Visa application possibly?  Me either.  

3)  And the biggest for last - that NAR has purchased the building right next to the Michigan Avenue headquarters for $1.45 million dollars CASH.  (Keeping with Chicago tradition ala Otto Kerner they had it in a shoe box safely tucked away in a closet just for this purpose possibly?).

I love this wording in NAR's press release 'the building will not result in any direct financial benefit to members, at least in the form of reduced membership dues or refunds'.

That pretty much told me the answer I was looking for!  

Where did they get the money asks this Realtor® Reporter?

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Steve Barker
Movement Mortgage - Bel Air, MD
Steve Barker

Took me reading down to post 34 (Kimo) to find someone that defended the NAR, or is it the NRA?  Solutions are needed, what would you suggest? 

May 31, 2012 02:48 AM #39
Pacita Dimacali
Alain Pinel - Oakland, CA
Alameda/Contra Costa Counties CA


Ouch! I really hoped our interests are well-represented. But it looks like there are other interests at play here.

Still waiting to hear what action they're taking to have the Mortgage Debt Forgiveness Act extended.


May 31, 2012 03:14 AM #40
Pat & Wayne Harriman
Harriman Real Estate, LLC (203) 672-4499 - Wallingford, CT
Broker/Owners, Wallingford CT Real Estate

Not surprising. You obviously missed the NAR post on their Facebook page, something about sponsoring an agent named Stephen Flannery for The Bachelor TV series. It has since been removed, probably out of extreme embarassment.

Having said that, I can see the logic in buying a lockbox company if there is a benefit to the membership in doing so, like reducing costs or eliminating them altogether by making it a member benefit covered by dues, but that could also be done at the local level.

May 31, 2012 03:23 AM #41
Malcolm Maughan
ReMax Parkside Affiliates - Olympia, WA

I have only been a member for 16 years. Like some I am wondering is the organization worth it? I am concerned about the direction the "company" is going. Some of the things they do, who or what are they benefiting. I have never got around to checking the company books. (If possible) To see if the things they buy, sell, Lease, rent or whatever help the membership. Somehow I think not. How much do we get into the coffers for letting people use “Realtor” in their name or marketing. Can you imagine “Google”  Letting someone use  google .biz or something  similar for less than a couple of billion, I think in America “Realtor” is as well recognized if not more so by all generations.
I for one would like more clarity. No Explanations in my inbox?
 A great post, let us all keep digging.

May 31, 2012 05:20 AM #42
Lyn Sims
RE/MAX Suburban - Schaumburg, IL
Schaumburg Real Estate

I am so mad I could scream! Something happened to my response post to you all & poof it was gone! 2nd time is the charm?

Kimo #34 - Thank you so much for your opposing view.  What I would like to mention is that this is an information GIVING post.  I wanted to share what I had found out just recently & to be honest am totally shocked.  None of this was ever mentioned to the membership.  Since it was informational in nature, I will not offer a solution.  I will assume that you didn't know this was going on either?  What are your suggestions?  My objective was just that - information.  I offer no solutions because I am not in a position to offer them.  I want to tell the membership what they haven't - you make a determination based on this disclosure.  In fact, why didn't you know this was going on & why didn't you tell a large majority of NAR members in this forum?


Carla:  As always great comment. Was curious on why the press release on the building purchase had the language that the membership would not benefit?  That's odd for a press release isn't it? 

Pam:  When we had to pay our dues in October I had asked my company if it would be possible to leave & it is a company policy that I stay a member.

Laura Allen:  Just be sure that your name is also connected with it.

Buyers Choice:  Indeed.

Tammy:  How many people would it take?  How much sand would we need?

Eric:  Do what's good for you & your business.

Paula:  Better investigate & stay informed.  It was a surprise to me also.

Linda:  Yes, our governors ....  Maybe we should have them make our lock boxes in prison!  Hey, there's a solution.

Gary:  Thank you so much for adding your wisdom.

Craig:  Indeed, nice baseball outfit.

Howard & Susan:  Yes, I stand corrected it was indeed Powell that had the shoeboxes of money.  I did google it because I couldn't remember Kerner's name. I just googled 'Illinois corruption, shoe boxes of money' and up it came with a few great stories.  Thank you.

Sally & David:  OK, but I'm not going to ignore it because I don't like it.

Ron:  Thank you for your comment.

Margaret:  I agree that we need more clear cut help with raising our public image.  I don't think buying a building helps that.

Debbe:  This makes you wonder doesn't it.


May 31, 2012 05:42 AM #43
Rob Arnold
Sand Dollar Realty Group, Inc. - Altamonte Springs, FL
Metro Orlando Full Service - Investor Friendly & F

NAR is big and bloated but they do protect us as Realtors with their legislative efforts.  They have thwarted many a bill in Congress from becoming law.

May 31, 2012 06:01 AM #44
Barb Travers

I keep thinking of the Walt Kelly "Pogo" cartoon in which Pogo says "we have met the enemy and he is us".....this forum can be a positive means of communication and awareness of our responsibility to monitor our own organization, demanding accountability from those we elect to represent us.  I'm sure most of those at the top have good intentions, but it is very easy to lose perspective in the midst of power and politics.  I assume that NAR was established as a "non-profit" organization. Does anyone know? Could that be the reason for the statement that "members would not benefit"?  The IRS is watching. 


May 31, 2012 07:17 AM #45
Lyn Sims
RE/MAX Suburban - Schaumburg, IL
Schaumburg Real Estate

Barb:  I do not think that is the case.  I will agree that the IRS is always watching along with the DOJ.

Rob:  That is true, some I was for, some I was against.  There are a few here in IL that need terrible reform & the IAR is against all changes.  They say it is providing for home ownership but it's really about tax cheats.

Pacita:  Not much activity on that is there?

Pat & Wayne:  FB? Sponsoring The Bachelor?  Is 'he' or the 'future they' going to purchase a house? Bad use of our dues dollars if you ask me. 

I was made aware privately what was the purpose in the Sentrilock purchase but I still think that the membership doesn't know about it.  I know I was never aware of it until now.

May 31, 2012 08:42 AM #46
Amanda S. Davidson
Amanda Davidson Real Estate Group Brokered By eXp Realty - Alexandria, VA
Alexandria Virginia Homes For Sale

Lyn- I didn't hear about any of this...until I read your post. Unbelievable. I'm waiting for August to roll around and the dues be raised, or maybe that will be January when Sentrilock is due. I'm sure one or both will be higher. Having majority ownership in Sentrilock is a total conflict of interest. Thanks for your post.

May 31, 2012 10:21 AM #47
Gene Riemenschneider
Home Point Real Estate - Brentwood, CA
Turning Houses into Homes

Wow this is the first I have heard.  Now it might make sense to have a credit union to help us with unique finance issues of the Self Employeed.  Sounds like the "Chicago Way" to me.

May 31, 2012 12:02 PM #48
Paddy Deighan JD PhD
TimeshareLawyers.pro - Vail, CO
Paddy Deighan J.D. Ph.D

all good points...seems typical of an organization based in Chicago!!! Cost of doing business is high there!!

May 31, 2012 04:33 PM #49
Marte Cliff
Marte Cliff Copywriting - Priest River, ID
Your real estate writer

So - NAR has gone the way of unions. A good thing at one time, but then...

Now there's no real benefit to you - except that as long as you pay your dues you're allowed to work and access MLS.

Can you join MLS anywhere without being a NAR member?

Will you soon learn that all members MUST use the Sentrilock brand?

May 31, 2012 05:50 PM #50
Lyn Sims
RE/MAX Suburban - Schaumburg, IL
Schaumburg Real Estate

Gene:  It would be a great idea but why not promote it?  Why not hear about a service for it's members?  I belong to a credit union now (teachers if you can believe it) & they are great.

Amanda:  Just trying to put some of these things out there.

Paddy:  Costs are what they are I guess, Chicago being in the middle of the country.

Marte:  I can join the MLS without joining NAR but my company will not allow it.

May 31, 2012 10:38 PM #51
Bob Miller
Keller Williams Cornerstone Realty - Ocala, FL
The Ocala Dream Team

Wow Lyn, they sure are on a spending spree with our money.  Maybe their last visit to Washington gave them ideas?

Jun 01, 2012 06:34 AM #52
Jan Green
Value Added Service, 602-620-2699 - Scottsdale, AZ
HomeSmart Elite Group, REALTOR®, EcoBroker, GREEN

Wow!  Thanks for the information.  Obviously, I'm not keeping up with the NAR news. 
But then again it didn't hit my inbox either.  Hmmmm

Jun 03, 2012 07:09 AM #53
Bryan Robertson
Los Altos, CA

Sorry to be so late to the game on this. I think there is a lot of wasted member funds with unnecessary "benefits" and duplicated benefits from NAR to state and local groups.  Our dues would drop quite a bit if we didn't waste on duplication.

Jun 04, 2012 02:11 AM #54
Wayne Jackson
Lakeshore Realty 208-714-4109 - Hayden, ID
North Idaho Realtor, Serving Coeur dnullAlene and Hayden Lake

Lyn, Thanks for the education. Every MLS I have ever worked under required us to be members of NAR. Some comments speak of benefits from NAR, I would like to know what they are? They claim NAR members get a discount on Dell computers. I have bought 5 or 6 Dell computers over the years and every time I have come out money ahead by not using my NAR membership. I wonder if NAR gets a kickback when we buy an overpriced computer with a discount?

Jun 10, 2012 10:41 AM #55
Lyn Sims
RE/MAX Suburban - Schaumburg, IL
Schaumburg Real Estate

Wayne:  I have often tried that & it actually seems we are charged more than if we go online as a regular consumer.

Jun 11, 2012 04:26 AM #56
Matt Robinson
Professional Investors Guild - Pensacola, FL

I find NAR to be no different than a bully, labor union.  I don't agree with anything they do, or how they lean politically, and yet I'm FORCED to pay them if I want operate in my profession.  Ok, perhaps I'm not forced, but we all know it's impossible to be a real estate agent without the REALTOR designation and access to the MLS.

May 09, 2013 03:13 AM #57
Lyn Sims
RE/MAX Suburban - Schaumburg, IL
Schaumburg Real Estate

Thanks Matt for reviving this poor tired post.  I agree as in the Chicago area, we are very familiar with bully unions.  I have asked for our company to resign from the board & even though they agree with the sentiments they won't do it because they feel it would not be good collectively for business.  I tired of the fees & nonsense NAR offers us.

Oh, don't forget the Realtor Political Action Committee too.

May 09, 2013 08:23 AM #58
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