There’s always something to howl about

The bad news? The NAR’s #rppsi scam passed, despite overwhelming opposition. The good news? The NAR is now a labor union, complete with forced political speech. Let the Right-to-Work lawsuits begin!

The National Association of Realtors’ bloodsuckers’ survival initiative (#rppsi) passed this morning, even though only the bloodsucking Babbitts themselves are in favor if it.

Now the NAR will have even more money to “protect homeownership” with bloodsucking legislation like the Community Reinvestment Act, the Government Sponsored Entities laws, the first-time home-buyer tax credit, etc.

The NAR plans to “protect homeownership” until every last one of us is living in a cardboard box.

That’s a bad thing — bad for the people who voted for it, since crime is always self-destructive. But bad for us, too, since we now have that much more to apologize for.

Here’s the silver lining: The NAR is now arguably a labor union. Membership is forced for most Realtors to gain access to the MLS. And #rppsi is beyond all doubt forced political speech: You will have no control over the $40 a year that is to be extracted from you. If you don’t despise Barney Franks, there’s something wrong with you, but your money will be going to that petulant thug like it or don’t.

If you are lucky enough to live in one of the 22 Right-to-Work states, you may have recourse in the courts. Here are some apposite links from the National Right to Work Legal Defense Foundation:

The NAR has been a vampire latched onto the neck of the American body politic since its founding. It does not exist to “protect homeownership.” Its sole reason for existence is to despoil American consumers to the benefit of real estate brokers: To steal money from the people who earned it, diverting it to a conspiracy of bloodsucking vampires. Today’s vote was the first step in the process of eliminating this pestilence from our lives forever.


18 Comments so far

  1. Jim Lee May 15th, 2011 7:37 am

    Since it passed by a majority vote of the NAR Directors, (who BTW are our fellow Realtors, I’ve been one), that is clear evidence that it wasn’t “passed, despite overwhelming opposition”.

    There was loud, passionate, and vocal opposition but obviously not “overwhelming”.

  2. Teri Lussier May 16th, 2011 7:36 am

    >but obviously not “overwhelming”.

    I’m curious about that, Jim. I had heard the NAR say as much during the run-up to the vote, and I would be interested in seeing some numbers to support sentiment one way or the other.

    To me it looked like a done deal when it was announced, and nothing I’ve seen so far would help me to think otherwise. Here’s what I know: I do not recall that my board ever said a word about it to us. I could be wrong about that, but I was expecting to see something/anything and it could have been buried, but I’ve been looking and didn’t see it. Another agent mentioned the same from her board. I also know that Houston Realtors said no in a survey sent from their board, and they are huge. So appearances, from where I’m sitting, would indicate that either people were not asked and therefore are still unaware, or people who were asked were not listened to…

    Anyway. I’m curious to see numbers to support that most Realtors either knew about it, or supported it?

  3. Jim Lee May 16th, 2011 8:06 am

    I’m betting that numbers like you’re looking for don’t exist Teri, pro or con.

    My state Association of Realtors held a ‘town hall’ type meeting to discuss feelings and opinions about this very issue. Out of about 5,000 statewide members approximately 40 showed up to voice an opinion. Hard to know what the remaining 4,960 thought since they said nothing.

    There was some vocal and passionate opposition to the issue that made their thoughts and opinions known via social media channels, but out of the 1 Million plus NAR members I don’t think opposition numbers approached anywhere close to “overwhelming” by any measure.

  4. Greg Swann May 16th, 2011 8:31 am

    > I don’t think opposition numbers approached anywhere close to “overwhelming” by any measure.

    Hide and watch. What will be interesting, at first, will be the few MLS systems that the NAR does not control. If right-to-work suits are successful, as many as 22 states’ worth of MLS systems could join that company. Let’s see what the NAR’s membership numbers look like three years from now.

  5. Teri Lussier May 16th, 2011 9:34 am

    >I’m betting that numbers like you’re looking for don’t exist Teri, pro or con.

    I’m betting you are right about that, Jim. Makes it all the more frustrating. Listen, I don’t enjoy gunning for the NAR- I’m just a little gnat in the grand scheme of things and can be sqwarshed just as easily. But I’ve had people contact me privately after posting here saying that they agree with me but are hesitant to speak out in public against either the NAR or they don’t want to cross their own local board. They might be in the minority, but they might not. The fact that the NAR can’t really be bothered to gather numbers to support such a decision speaks a lot more about them than that annoying buzzing sound you hear from the few of us who are speaking out against such coercion.

    OTOH, this vote might could waken a sleeping giant. Who knows? Stranger shift has happened.

  6. HawgWyld May 16th, 2011 9:41 am

    Hmmm. A RealTown poll showed that 82.3 percent of the respondents were against the proposal. An Agent Genius poll showed that 66 percent of the respondents found the proposal “very upsetting” while 14 percent found it “very upsetting.”

    The phrase “overwhelming opposition” may well be appropriate.

  7. HawgWyld May 16th, 2011 9:46 am

    Actually, that’s 14 percent found the increase “mildly upsetting” in the Agent Genius poll. Sorry!

  8. Al Lorenz May 16th, 2011 9:49 am

    It’s on the agenda for our next broker’s meeting, to decide whether to retain NAR affiliation. On the local level, we’ll know soon how much support there is for the increase.

  9. Jim Lee May 16th, 2011 10:09 am

    Teri, It’s truly sad that members of our NAR feel reluctant to speak their mind about any issue for fear of whatever.

    I’m just one of the folks like you but I’ve also never had a problem speaking my mind.

    Just as any issue can be voted in, it can also be voted out if enough people get on that particular bandwagon.

  10. Bill Schmiett May 16th, 2011 3:30 pm

    Follow the money!

    May I suggest that when dues become due and payable next year that everyone withhold $40 from the assessment. This will cause NAR to suspend all those members and the house of cards will collapse under it’s own weight.

    I doubt whether most of the folks who have complained about this will have the stones to do it, but I suggest everyone pass the word at the local level that this is the next shot to be fired in this ridiculous chapter of our industry.

  11. Jamie Johnston May 16th, 2011 6:49 pm

    I WISH that NAR was a real union! Having been a member of AFTRA and the Screen Actors Guild for years, where they really take care of their members, (offering health care, pensions, damn….even a credit union), I have been deeply disappointed in this association that costs an arm and a leg to maintain and offers nothing more than “access” to its members (i.e. the MLS).
    Obviously NAR doesn’t even listen to their member’s concerns either.
    Citizens United was one of the worst decisions SCOTUS ever made! Corporations are NOT people!

  12. Joe McDermott May 16th, 2011 9:56 pm

    I’m thinking that Jim’s experience with having 40 agents out of 5000 show up to voice an opinion is the crux of the problem. My bet is that almost every Realtor that doesn’t have some interest in getting elected to a national, state, or local position within our association is against this.

    The sad fact is that not too many people care or, as the case is here, are even aware this was about to go down. Only those interested in the goings on of the NAR had a clue this was about to be imposed on the membership. Given the lack of outreach (if I didn’t know about it there was a lack of outreach)its not surprising this passed.

    My suggestion is that NAR put issues as critical as this to a membership-wide vote. Let the members decide if this is in the best interest of NAR. Some will say “If you’re not happy, get involved…” I will…send me a ballot of initiatives, not just candidates…let me send you my opinion. NAR is a democracy, not a republic.

    I doubt it will happen because it guts the power of those who have worked for years to get to the top…I’m sure they’d fight given up that kind of influence to those they represent.

  13. Teri Lussier May 18th, 2011 4:54 am

    I was in Chicago last weekend and the city was preparing for the coronation of Rahm Emanuel. Got me thinking… Here’s where I believe I went wrong in getting my point across to the NAR: I used too many words and not enough pretty pictures in my blog posts, and I never once suggested that we all get together at the next wingding to have an #EPIC party, and/or offer to send up a case of Maker’s Mark to Chicago. Ah well… Live and learn…

  14. Jim Klein May 19th, 2011 4:25 pm

    You got it, Teri. “The motive power behind the suicidal bleeding of the greatest country in the world is not an altruistic fervor or a collectivist crusade any longer, but the manipulations of little lawyers and public relations men pulling the mental strings of lifeless automatons.” Rand, “The Pull Peddlers”

  15. David Saks May 21st, 2011 10:31 am

    Hi Greg,
    I posted a link to your article on AR.
    I’m on your side.

  16. Greg Swann May 21st, 2011 10:53 am

    Good on ya. Thanks.

  17. Maria Morton May 21st, 2011 11:04 am

    Greg, I found your article on David Saks’ link on Active Rain. The NAR has been a disappointment to me since the start of my career in real estate. Thank you for taking the time to write this.

  18. Barb Davis-Hassan June 4th, 2011 5:21 am

    Here’s what actually happened to those who haven’t been around the Realtor organization long enough to know how things work. NAR knew ahead of time when they were planning their FY12 budget (earlier than April 2011) that the $40/dues increase was not going to be popular with members. They even factored into their budget a drop from 1.2 million to 745,000 members (which equates to $29,800,000). They also knew if they polled the members directly the RPPSI would go down in flames. That is precisely why this initiative was kept under wraps for all long as the AE’s/CEO’s/Board of Director Presidents/Gov’t Affairs Chairs/Executive Board members who all owe their fiduciary to NAR (if they want to continue to serve and enjoy all the percs of travel, pleasure and power on your dues dime)decided not to get this out to their members.

    For those AE/CEO’s who attended the meeting in Dallas TX earlier in the year and felt compelled to let their members know the details of this immediately and actually have a vote on this, the result were an overwhelming NO vote. To the AE’s/CEO’s of any Realtor organization that kept this under wraps as long as possible, you all should be fired! Please be reminded who pays your salaries.

    The system is broken in many boards of realtors across the country. Their is a huge disconnect between members and their boards of directors. Who you know not what you know is the way to get these boards…and go along to get along will allow you to stay on and get promoted. If you dare to speak up against the actions of anyone “let the bullying begin” along with the “mushroom treatment”. Nothing new..that’s just the way disfunctional organizations work.

    It appears that the State Executives are so entrenched in their loyalty to NAR that they completely ignore the voice of the members. All NAR members who have the knee jerk reaction of “lets just drop out of NAR” may want to think twice about that. You didn’t do anything wrong, therefore why should you give up anything.

    I’m sure when the dust settles someone will come up with a great suggestion that allows this to become a win/win situation. We are all very angry right now and words can easily fly off our finger tips. It seems that we should start at the grass roots of this issues and fix the foundation first and then eventually we will get to the top.