by Saul Klein
We are each entitled to our opinions, and I respectfully submit mine here:
First, I am not here to defend NAR as I am not always in full agreement with all of the many issues in which NAR is involved…such is the nature of an “association” with a membership of diverse interests.
I have been a member of NAR for 34 years and an active volunteer, serving on many committees and as the president of a large local association in 1993. I gladly pay my $80 NAR dues each year. There is no organization that benefits my interests like NAR (and CAR and SDAR), not only as a broker for many years, but as a property owner. And to this day, organized real estate at the local, state and national levels are for my money well worth my annual investment. I no longer belong to the MLS (as of last year) in San Diego County. I do not partake of the educational programs and since I no longer list and sell real estate, the promotional programs and the fees I pay for forms as part of my dues in California are of no business benefit to me. But I still believe in the value I receive for my money as a member.
Issues property owners cherish, such as the home interest deduction, would be greatly diminished or possibly eliminated if not for NAR. And how bad would the economic situation be if Banks were allowed into real estate, as Banks have wanted and lobbied for over the last 8 years or so? Who kept them out…NAR. The list of issues and benefits is exhaustive and I would recommend that anyone who feels that their $80 per year in NAR dues is not well spent should review the Member Resource Guide you received a few weeks ago with your membership card. Also look at the Right Tools Right Now program. NAR is giving away products and tools to help members through these tough times. Also, take a look at the REALTOR Benefits Program. The use of a few of the products or services from the affiliate arrangement NAR has with these companies will cover your dues a few times over. At IC, we use the FedEx and Dell programs and save money with every purchase.
And my last point, there are two human resource sides at NAR, the volunteer side and the staff side. As I have mentioned, I have been involved as a REALTOR volunteer at all levels since the mid 1980′s. In doing so, I have met and done business with some great people and established many long term relationships, relationships very dear to me. I have known personally many members of the NAR Volunteer Leadership Team, including many of our NAR Presidents, Committee Chairs, Committee members and Directors…and they are everyday REALTORS giving their time and energy to our organizations and members, all with the best intent and it is all volunteer time. NAR is not some monolithic, no face organization. It is REALTORS working for REALTORS and for property owners and for property rights.
The other side of the human resources at NAR is the paid staff. I also have come to know many of them over the years and they are as bright, educated, and conscientious a group as you will find anywhere…truly interested in the benefits of the members and the membership…from newest employee to the CEO; you will not find better staff. I consider them some of my good friends and I am confident that they work every day with our best interests in mind.
By Saul Klein
Saul Klein is CEO of Point2 Technologies, Inc.