Is NAR Losing Touch With Its Core Purpose?

Real Estate Agent with RLAH Real Estate AB95346

"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!





Re-Blogged 3 times:

Re-Blogged By Re-Blogged At
  1. Nancy Laswick 11/12/2013 12:49 PM
  2. Ryan J. Orr, Team Title Guy Ticor- 909-767-0718 11/12/2013 11:14 PM
  3. Fred Griffin Tallahassee Real Estate 11/13/2013 01:30 AM
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Ken Reetz
Zip Realty Residential Brokerage - Beaverton, OR

#67 makes a point that I had not previously considered.  However, I don't care how much or how little the NAR is involved -- this idea of on line agent ranking is something that the NAR should be 100% against. 

Why?  Well, just consider how useless those on line home values are.  The consumer is not well served with on line home values and they will not be well served with on line agent ranking.  This is not a pro consumer idea.  

I'm not even close to being a top producer so I know my work just got more difficult; all the more reason to work hard and smart for our client,  making them our biggest fan - keeping in touch and digging for those referrals.  

Nov 13, 2013 03:22 AM #89
Wayne Johnson
Coldwell Banker D'Ann Harper REALTORS® - San Antonio, TX
San Antonio REALTOR, San Antonio Homes For Sale

Patricia-It seems that the NAR should be like Switzerland (neutral) when it comes to agent matching. Stay out of it.

Nov 13, 2013 04:21 AM #90
John Fauth
Coldwell Banker King Thompson - Grove City, OH
Turning your dreams into an address!

Could not be said better! To many variables to make a stat stick and be right. The know it now stat crazy online world we are in makes it worse. 

Nov 13, 2013 04:26 AM #91
Silvia Dukes PA, Broker Associate, CRS, CIPS, SRES
Tropic Shores Realty - Ich spreche Deutsch! - Spring Hill, FL
Florida Waterfront and Country Club Living

Pat, maybe it's time to stop syndicating our listings to this "service".

Nov 13, 2013 04:39 AM #92
Mitchell J Hall
Compass - Manhattan, NY
Lic Associate RE Broker - Manhattan & Brooklyn

You said it Pat! Matching agents based on production is so 2008. It assumes that is what the consumer wants and cares about.

On our website you can match an agent based on the language they speak, the school they attended, their hobbies, interests, office location, specialty. You may have a friend of a friend or family friend in one of our agents since the site is linked to facebook and linkedIn. If you only want a top producer you can be matched with 38 agents recognized by the Wall Street Journal as among the top real estate agents in the nation.

Love the new pic!

Nov 13, 2013 04:48 AM #93
Catherine Ulrey
Keller Williams Capital City - Salem, OR
Equestrian and Acreage Property Specialist

Well said Pat.  And to think we pay them for this!

Nov 13, 2013 07:32 AM #94
Jimmy Faulkner
Florida. Homes Realty & Mortgage - Wantagh, NY
The Best Of St. Augustine

Giving more control to NAR and is like puting them in charge of health care. They are only looking out for themselves and it shows.They want to appease the high producers with services and do nothing for the average memberl Sounds like government.

Nov 13, 2013 07:39 AM #95
David Burrows
Classic Realty - Fairfax, VA
No Pressure, Just Seriously Devoted to Real Estate

Pat, I wholeheartedly agree with your post today. It's time we send a message to NAR and as one voice let them know how much we disagree with them. Just like everyone else who has commented, I pay dues, too! This is NO way to treat membership.

Nov 13, 2013 07:48 AM #96
Bob Miller
Keller Williams Cornerstone Realty - Ocala, FL
The Ocala Dream Team
Congratulations Patricia. You not only got your two cents in, sounds like you got something off your chest. We agree with NAR seems to have lost identity with it's true membership.
Nov 13, 2013 08:02 AM #97
Annett T. Block
NextHome Connect Realty - Fort Lauderdale, FL
Your NextHome in Fort Lauderdale Beach

Of course they lost their identity, what we are thinking? This is a company to make profit. They don't care about all their members they just care about their income and profits. We can voice our opinion but if we don't do anything this will always be the same. And here we are again if you are a big player than it is like in politics and you have a big say.

How we say: "Geld regiert die Welt" - "Money rules the World" why should it be different with NAR? We are all kidding our self if we thought they are having our interest in mind and our back-hahaha... 

Nov 13, 2013 08:17 AM #98
Karen Fiddler, Broker/Owner
Karen Parsons-Fiddler, Broker 949-510-2395 - Mission Viejo, CA
Orange County & Lake Arrowhead, CA (949)510-2395

NAR can decide what their purpose is...and change at a moment's notice. But I hate that I have to pay to belong just to practice real estate

Nov 13, 2013 08:47 AM #99
Kathy Sheehan
Bay Equity, LLC 770-634-4021 - Atlanta, GA
Senior Loan Officer

Patricia, you are right.  Every member is entitled to the same support.

Nov 13, 2013 09:24 AM #100
Debe Maxwell, CRS | The Maxwell House Group | RE/MAX Executive | (704) 491-3310 - Charlotte, NC
Charlotte Homes for Sale - Charlotte Neighborhoods

Patricia, this seems to be the talk of the day and I couldn't agree more with most NAR members - we ALL pay our dues and to feature so few agents, who someone or some computer in a far-away city is projecting to be the best match for a buyer is just ridiculous.  I hear they've been given a cease and decist order and like 90%+ of their members, I hope it comes with no expiration date!!

Nov 13, 2013 02:03 PM #101
Nora Sims
Northern Shadows Realty, Inc. - Sedona, AZ
helping folks like you since 1978!

While we may be aware that NAR is simply another bureaucracy, I can't seem to come to grips with how to stop contributing to their coffers.

Does anyone have any good ideas?

Nov 14, 2013 06:44 AM #102
Jan Green
Value Added Service, 602-620-2699 - Scottsdale, AZ
HomeSmart Elite Group, REALTOR®, EcoBroker, GREEN

Couldn't agree more.  Matching is not a good idea, period.  As I Mentioned on Barbara's post, there are those of us that service both buyers and sellers, but how would NAR know this?  If they only look at listings, that leaves out 50% of what is actually occuring for agents.  Not a fair stance for all of us.  Lobbying is a better project for them.

Nov 14, 2013 12:15 PM #103
Dan Spencer
Aspen Lane Real Estate - Aurora, CO
Your Colorado Home Source

Outstanding Post!! Thank you for taking the time to write this!

Nov 14, 2013 12:41 PM #104
Barbara-Jo Roberts Berberi, MA, PSA, TRC - Greater Clearwater Florida Residential Real Estate Professional
Charles Rutenberg Realty - Clearwater, FL
Palm Harbor, Dunedin, Clearwater, Safety Harbor

Another great post, Pat. I have to agree with you, NAR needs to get back on track.

Nov 16, 2013 03:21 AM #105
Georgie Hunter R(S) 58089
Hawai'i Life Real Estate Brokers - Haiku, HI
Maui Real Estate sales and lifestyle info

Next thing you know, they'll want us to pay a premium to be a featured agent!  

Nov 16, 2013 08:18 AM #106
Inna Ivchenko
Barcode Properties - Encino, CA
Realtor® • Green • GRI • HAFA • PSC Calabasas CA


'they should stay out of matching business' and focus on serving all of us. We pay the same fee to NAR should be treated equally. Otherwise, it's discrimination. What they say: 'it is not NAR, it is application, yet NAR is behind it. Read more of this discussion( warning, it is really ugly there):


Nov 20, 2013 05:38 PM #107
Charles Stallions Real Estate Services
Charles Stallions Real Estate Services Inc - Gulf Breeze, FL
Buyers Agent 800-309-3414 Pace and Gulf Breeze,Fl.

NAR is only looking for something else to make them more money. I wonder how much it would have cost an agent to be reconizeded as being number 1 in their market.

Dec 25, 2013 11:02 AM #108
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Patricia Kennedy

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