Is NAR Really Working for its Members?

By
Real Estate Broker/Owner with Wynd Realty

Even the most avid NAR backer will admit over 90% of its membership couldn’t articulate a single benefit.    After numerous decades, how is that even possible?  This leaves many to the opinion NAR, the non-profit trade group chartered with representing its members, may actually be more concerned about representing its own self-interest.  Again, no one has to dig too deep to find countless articles highlighting NAR’s dubious track record.  But, if you ever really thought NAR was representing its agent members, consider the following.

It wasn’t many years ago the United States had dozens of car manufactures, hundreds of cable companies, thousands of Internet Service Providers, tens of thousands of hardware stores, bookstores and theaters.  Time, technology and changing economic conditions always create industry consolidation.    And, for the most part, because of the competitive nature of capitalism, the consolidation most always benefits the consumer in the long run.

Yet, by some reports, there are still over 800 local Association/Boards in the United States.  It is inconceivable that mere happenstance is the only reason the real estate industry somehow escaped what every other industry couldn’t.  The real estate industry is fractured into a thousand territories that by design are not supposed to communicate.  This mushroom-in-the-cave development strategy isn’t so much for growth and advancement as it is for the zealot dedication of maintaining the status quo.

Much of the real estate industry still operates under rules and conventions that were founded in the 1970’s.  Any student of business will tell you it is virtually impossible to keep an entire industry in a frozen time-warp for any length of time.  Yet this is exactly what NAR as accomplished on behalf of its members.  Keeping them in pretty much the same position they were in 40 years ago.   Outside of coal mining, can anyone name any other industry in a similar situation?

Ask any 10, 30 or 100 agents what’s the first thing that comes to their mind when asked about NAR.  If the phrase, “waste of money” isn’t the most popular, it isn’t far behind .  In 2014 NAR ate through a whopping 55M dollars on buying political influence.   NAR outspent the American Medical Association, AMA (19.7M) and Blue Cross/Blue Shield (21M) COMBINED!   If you are asking why; so are we.

But nothing can be more demonstrative of wildly unnecessary waste than the fact NAR outspent the National Rifle Association.  NAR outspends the NRA!  Drink that idea in for a moment.  We know exactly what the NRA gets in return for its favors, the unquestioning love of pocketed politicians.   It isn’t nearly as clear as to what, if any, benefit the Realtor trade group realizes.

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