"The core purpose of the National Association of REALTORS® is to help its members become more profitable and successful." From the National Association of Realtors Mission Statement
It's a good guess that most of the real estate agents and brokers who blog on Active Rain pay dues to our trade group, the National Association of Realtors. In this area, it's very difficult to do business unless you send off a check to pay your NAR dues each year. And like many of you, I had to wonder, "What are they thinking?" when I read about the agent matching tool they are proposing, to help consumers find Realtors in their areas.
OK, first, there is this number that has been floating around for decades, that 10 percent of the agents do 90 percent of the business. But wait! Do those 10 percent also pay 90 percent of the dues that NAR's million or so members send in each year?
Don't think so! I think NAR owes a lot to the 90 percent who provide a good chunk of the NAR operating budget. At a minimum, they should stay out of the way of that part of the 90 percent who are on their way to becoming highly productive members of the real estate community.
While, in theory, it's a great idea to help the public learn something about real estate agents who are good and helpful vs. those who are not, this isn't NAR's job.
And there are a lot of different ways for an agent to be Number 1 in any given market.
The basis for their rating system is simple - it's all about numbers. And numbers are not necessarily a predictor of the consumer experience when dealing with an agent. Also, there are many business models, especially the "Team" concept that can greatly distort the numbers. And will they treat limited service agents, who may show up with big numbers, the same way the treat full-service brokerage models?
In any market, many of the very best agents are not those who post the largest numbers of sales - in fact, it's often the exact opposite. The best Realtors are the ones who focus on how to provide a great customer experience to their clients and who meet or exceed the expectations they set. If they have a traditional business model, working alone in a brokerage with other agents and a staff providing core support services, their numbers will not be a match for an agent who heads a team of twenty agents, and who is given the credit for the work of the entire team.
If the NAR wants to help its members, all of its members, become more successful, they need to stay out of the "matching" business, especially when the core consideration is numbers. Without a quality component, it means nothing.
If consumers want information about the agents they are interviewing to represent them in selling their homes, they should ask for a detailed marketing plan, a market analysis, copies of marketing information and links to virtual tours on recent listings, and above all, references from previous clients. If they are looking for a buyer broker, they should likewise look at a prospective agent's search plan, informational materials and talk to other buyers who the agent has represented. They can also go to an agent's blog or web site to get an idea of how an he or she works, and what tools they have that will enhance a sale or a search.
NAR should stick with lobbying for our interests at the local, state and federal levels, and keeping us up to date and educated in what's going on in the industry, including legal,economic, and technological trends and changes. And they should understand that it is their duty to represent the interest of all Realtors.
Just my two cents!