There’s always something to howl about

Is It Really Just The MLS?

Greg’s post a few minutes ago lit me up.

I’m pretty sure that just like Greg a majority of NAR members pay their dues each year for just one reason: To get access to the local MLS system.

If this is really true, then forcing changes at NAR or killing the organization altogether is likely as simple as building a really solid National Listing system that both pros and consumers would be comfortable with. Of course, the technology already exists and is out there. Adoption is another story, but nothing a souped up modern marketing plan couldn’t overcome.

But maybe let’s not get ahead of ourselves? First… let’s see for sure whether or not most pros equate NAR dues with little more than MLS access?

If you’re connected with a fair number of current NAR members and you want to help get a sizable sample for this poll, please feel free to tweet this, put it on facebook, or copy the widget to your website.



11 Comments so far

  1. keith davis March 29th, 2011 10:38 am

    You are asking the wrong question.
    The right question is, would I belong to NAR if it was no longer required. Its not a question of do I need the MLS. I like the MLS, and I like that it is managed by my local board. I just don’t see value in a required PAC and a national spin machine. I would still belong to my local board.

  2. Al Lorenz March 29th, 2011 10:57 am

    For those that see other value in being a Realtor, the opportunities for training, networking and what ever else you think you get from the NAR and local chapters would not have to go away. They would just evolve. Count me in, on the record, as the only reason I am a member is access to the MLS.

  3. Dan Connolly March 29th, 2011 11:04 am

    Actually the Atlanta FMLS and GA MLS the two big listing services here are not owned by the Boards of Realtors. Most brokerages require membership, especially the big franchises like RE/MAX, C-21, Coldwell Banker, KW, etc. You have to go to an off brand company to sidestep the requirement to be a Realtor.

  4. Cheryl Johnson March 30th, 2011 5:41 pm

    Speaking as a broker …I maintain NAR/CAR membership as an office … and since my ~office~ is a member, the BOARD requires each and every agent in my office to be a member … I personally wouldn’t require it and couldn’t care less …

  5. Meg Hurtado March 31st, 2011 8:57 am

    I shared this on FB, just FYI. I’m definitely curious to see where this goes.

  6. Daniel Beer April 2nd, 2011 12:39 pm

    I have often thought about this very issue. While there are clearly other benefits to NAR, the fact of the matter is that enough agents would leave the association if they could still have access to their local MLS.

  7. Danny Loftin April 2nd, 2011 6:03 pm

    Stay tuned. When any company gets too big and bloated with union or government-like spending, they can fall big. I know something is coming this way. It will be grass-roots and will move swiftly to build a more efficient and effective system. Stay tuned. A paradigm change is in the air. Non-transparency is out the door, so 2000…The unspoken masses will soon rise up in rebellion and the result will produce a game changing new vision for every dedicated agent and broker who want and demand change to move our business into the future. It reminds me of the famous quote.“I am proud to be paying taxes in the United States. The only thing is – I could be just as proud for half the money.” — Arthur Godfrey …Most of us feel the same way about the NAR and the MLS… And in this age, should they be costing us so much money (or any money?)…Stay Tuned…

  8. Eric Henneman April 5th, 2011 12:41 pm

    Much of the lobbying I see the NAR do is largely against what agents in my area believe – I live in a conservative state and it troubles me to see nearly every agent pay dues to an outfit they would otherwise speak out against. I see the plus’s and minus’s to the whole thing, but having MLS or franchises require membership of one in order to be part of the other is asking for corruption to take over.
    I’ve got an ethics issue/guideline to propose the NAR add — No MLS/RE franchise/or private RE firm can be a member of the NAR if they have a requirement that their own employees/members subscribe to the same.
    Or would that be a bit too ethical?

  9. Jimmy Williams April 10th, 2011 9:02 am

    As a whole NAR has in my MHO lost sight of the basic mission of NAR. Realtors need strong lobbyist to represent Realtors interests at the State and National levels, this sometimes requires financial contributions to politicians who don’t necessarily representative our individual overall views of what society should be, but do support the interest of Realtors. Without a unified Realtor lobby we are at risk of Bigger Corporations and Banks becoming so powerful in Real Estate that we as independent Realtors would lose our ability to compete with the large corporate businesses. If this happens the independent MLS start ups would be without customers Independent Realtors) to use their services. Do we need a Strong NAR–unfortunately—yes.

  10. Greg Swann April 10th, 2011 10:11 am

    > Without a unified Realtor lobby we are at risk of Bigger Corporations and Banks becoming so powerful in Real Estate that we as independent Realtors would lose our ability to compete with the large corporate businesses.

    So you’re saying that Realtors have no real value to bring to the marketplace? That we only make money by stealing market share from “Bigger Corporations and Banks,” who actually would deliver value to consumers, if the NAR got out of their way?

    That reads like two crimes to me: We forbid consumers from getting the better value, and thus we force them to accept the worse value.

    Is this what you think the NAR is doing? Are you saying that, if the NAR were not committing these two crimes, Realtors would not be able survive in the marketplace?

  11. Jimmy Williams April 10th, 2011 1:33 pm

    Greg–very good comment, completely agree.