With all of the discussion about Realtor.com, Agent Match, and the National Association of REALTORS® (NAR) lately, it has crossed my mind that NAR and the REALTOR brand may be becoming obsolete. While claiming to be the “The Voice for Real Estate” with the mission of “help(ing) its members become more profitable and successful,” few agents feel that NAR is doing a good job of representing the industry or the agents as they claim.
The National Association of REALTORS® boasts a membership of over 1 million members, 1400 local associations, and 54 state and territory associations. NAR is highly involved in political activism to help protect the rights of the homeowners as well as all real estate agents (not just REALTORS®). They also represent an important segment of the economy, providing information on housing, mortgages, and commercial real estate. In many areas, however, being a REALTOR® is not an option – it’s a requirement. In many areas around the United States, the only way to gain MLS access is to be a REALTOR®. Speaking with agents from around the country, this is true for either all, or parts of, Texas, California, Oregon, Florida, Washington, and Minnesota. In some areas, non-REALTORS have to pay a higher price to get MLS access than REALTORs.
However, is NAR really doing enough to bring their members and consumers together in a way that best serves both parties? Many say no, and I agree.
Maybe it is just time for NAR to change it’s mission statement to cover the real estate industry as a whole, rather than falsely and deceptively claiming to support its members. Perhaps it’s time for a changing of the guards. Perhaps it’s time for a new organization that truly represents the interests of its members. Perhaps it’s time for a new organization that can serve the same purpose without forcing membership or holding the MLS hostage.
What are your thoughts?