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Jim Winters, Real Estate Pro in Brooklyn, NY

REALTORS, what are the advantages to joining the NAR?

Asked by Jim Winters, Brooklyn, NY Sun Apr 6, 2008

Hi - I work for a medium sized firm that does not subscribe to an MLS. I am considering becoming a REALTOR, and was hoping a few of the Trulia RE Pros could tell me the good and the bad to joining the NAR.

Thanks in advance,


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Maybe the NAR should change ad agencies? As for the lobbying expense , much of that is optional add-on fee to the basic membership. If you don't agree with the politics, you don't have to contribute to be a Realtor.

I am proud to be a Realtor, yet I have never contributed a penny to the Realtor Political funds.

You can be ethical with out joining, just practice the golden rule. - It helps to study ethics. Anyone who claims that we Realtors are automatically more professional, more knowledgeable, more ethical because of our standards of practice is inhaling helium. Everyone should strive to be knowledgeable, professional, and ethical.

I had my license 9 years before I joined NAR ( I was a salaried transaction coordinator and loan processor ) You can give great service to your clients with or without being associated with the industry trade group.

Jay said you don't need either MLS or NAR in parts of NYC, it may help you in networking with other pros outside of the city.

Our NAR economists have made some embarrassingly stupid predictions in the recent past, some consumers have trumpeted those glaring mistakes as reasons to distrust Realtors in general. Unfortunate generalizations. - Those few cents of my NAR dues that paid David Lereah's salary were truly wasted.
3 votes Thank Flag Link Mon Apr 7, 2008
Jim Walker, Real Estate Pro in Carmichael, CA
You should definitely change company's. I have never heard of an agent without an MLS. How do you get clients when their homes won't be listed on the MLS? As for joining NAR, there are many benefits, one is you can't call yourself a REALTOR® until you belong. They are the voice of agents in the US. They work hard in Washington and the local levels to promote bills and laws that benefit all of us. They also run the ad camapigns you see all the time about REALTOR®'s. And it is not that expensive to belong to an MLS or NAR, it is worth every penny. IMHO. Good luck to you. David, a REALTOR® !
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3 votes Thank Flag Link Sun Apr 6, 2008
Here in the greatest state of California we lead the nation in member services. My particular Association of Realtors has NOT owned their MLS for over 30 years! We get by on member dues and providing membership with outstanding programs locally and through the state and NAR. Our Association has flourished and is constantly held up as an example of life without the “MLS”. Those wishing NOT to become Realtors are just focused on the tip of their nose; the next deal. You need to step back and see the larger picture and understand the lay of the land and the dangers inherent in anti-trust legislation, brokerage fee limitations and independent contractor status. Quick buck licensees will join because their broker makes them or the will seek a company which doesn't "bother them" with those pesky Realtor fees!
Very short-sighted indeed. Those who see this as a career come to appreciate the constant fighting on different fronts that our local/state/national associations’ conduct on OUR behalf. In California alone the legislator develops 100+ "point of sale" legislative bills yearly. And every year CAR knocks them down one by one! They always have the Realtor or you non-paying licensees, as the person required to fulfill the legislations promise. If we did not have our lobbying forces at work, (I always pay the bigger political action fees) our transactions would be laced with a myriad amount of NEW disclosures, inspections, fees to the seller, and "deal stoppers" than we have today.
In our area we had one town which decided it would be a great idea to require all sales to have a complete audit of construction, energy and zoning compliance at the time of sale! They thought it would be a great idea to have the property brought UP TO CODE, with NEW ENERGY devices such as dual pane windows, wall insulation, and proper zoning compliance. This in a town where historic Victorians dot the landscape!! We as a local association rallied the troops and got it totally off the table.
Then there's the biggie which is the "anti-trust" issue which NAR is spending much money keeping at bay. This is all because of a very HOT market and the "exorbitant" fees all you guys where charging your clients in selling their property with 20 offers in 1 hour!! They think you ALL charge way too much and would like to reduce your fees to a very manageable and controlled fee. You can thank all the new "business models" of real estate companies who wanted to give the public total access to our MLS for bringing this one one us! The battle is totally engaged on and ongoing with NAR leading the way. It’s not over by a long shot. Your support is critical at this juncture. And how about all of you as employees? How many of you would even have a JOB if your broker had to supply you with mandated employee benefits? Remember the bankruptcy of a company which did this?
I could go on and on!! When I was a younger man I would pan Realtor's and NAR. I was short-sighted, young, immature, but have come to know many in leadership at all levels of Realtordom and find those folks the silent servants of all Realtors. If my dues were $1,000 a year I would gladly pay them. I KNOW the true cost of doing business. Are Realtors any more ethical or professional than a licensee? Some are some are not. Becoming a "pro", a term soiled by some of the answers on Trulia by you "pros", is a state of mind and an ability to "work" the market, any market, and provide our clients with superior representation.
Take this under consideration! It is in YOUR best interest, long-term, to support our Realtor endeavors.
2 votes Thank Flag Link Fri Apr 11, 2008
One word - MLS! Enough said!

Christina Asad Edwards, REALTOR
2006 & 2007 Sales Masters Top Agent
mobile or text 937-205-4741
office 937-573-0082
fax 937-433-3561
Real Living Realty - #1 in OHIO!
Realty, Mortgage, Title, Relocation
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1 vote Thank Flag Link Fri Apr 11, 2008
Hi Jim. As far as I am concerned, the real question is what the benefits and/or disadvantages of not joining the NAR are. Obviously, your company has been able to do business without being part of the MLS system. Maybe your company is in a niche market where there is no need for the MLS. I don't know.

I am also wondering if you can become a N.A.R. member without your broker belonging to a board or association of Realtors®. I have never researched that. I just know that I got my N.A.R. membership when I joined one of my local Associations of Realtors® and being part of the assocation also required me to join the MLS and I could not have joined the MLS if my broker had not been a member of the association. If you have to switch companies, I would think about whether there are any disadvantages or advantages to joining another real estate company just so you can join N.A.R. Don't get me wrong, I don't have anything agains the N.A.R., but I just it could not hurt to answer your question by looking at things from a slightly different angle. Good luck with your decision making process.
1 vote Thank Flag Link Mon Apr 7, 2008
Ute Ferdig -…, Real Estate Pro in New Castle, DE
I'd rethink your company. The mls, and it's partner,, have site visits that put all NY companies to shame. If you are completely comfortable, as most areas outside of NY are, understanding that the purpose is cooperation with other agents in order to benefit both buyers and sellers (thus splitting your income), go for it. If not, you can still input in the mls without joining the NAR. I've never had someone ask me if I'm a Realtor, so may decide next year to bypass the dues, operate with my own integrity (saving the NAR costs) but will utilize the mls because it benefits buyers and sellers in a way that is not possible with some companies in NY that view the "double end" as the primary focus of a listing. Not using the mls is a real travesty to the home selling/buying contingent- I'd look for a company that has a good grip on ethical behavior (full exposure for sellers). That your company doesn't use it is a huge red flag- but unfortunately, you're not alone. It is not a requirement in NY to be a Realtor in order to input on the mls, but it is a requirement (as I understand it) that once you commit, all listings MUST be offered to cooperating brokers. NY is one of the last holdouts, and it's really disheartening- I really feel for sellers who list with companies that eschew full exposure. Inexcusable.
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1 vote Thank Flag Link Mon Apr 7, 2008
No downside of joining NAR, becoming a Realtor and having access to the MLS. The tools that are provided (Winforms being only 1 that will cost you more than the NAR membership dues alone..FREE with NAR and local Assoc. memberhip) are priceless. In this day and age, going without the tools and support offered by NAR and your local Association will put you at a distinct disadvantage and leave you open to additional liability.
1 vote Thank Flag Link Sun Apr 6, 2008
Jim, more respect in the industry from your piers and some bragging rights when you are trying to get a listing, you can tell sellers how you uphold to higher standards than someone who is not part of NAR.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Wed May 21, 2008
Thank you everyone for your candid responses. It was very informative and a big help.

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0 votes Thank Flag Link Fri Apr 11, 2008
The advantage of the MLS is that instead of just you trying to find a buyer for a house the MLS gives you a whole army of agents trying to sell the house (or any house for that matter).

The Downside is the cost. It ain't cheap!

JD “Dan” Weisenburger, GRI
Broker-Associate REALTOR®
Vanguard Realty, Inc. GMAC Real Estate
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0 votes Thank Flag Link Sun Apr 6, 2008
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