The Fall season starts the National Association of Realtors (NAR) favorite time of year. It begins their annual renewal period on the greatest financial scam the United States has ever seen. Every year millions of real estate agents throughout the U.S. are forced to re-up and pay their NAR membership or face certain exile from the industry itself. How so? If an agent doesn’t pay the annual NAR ransom, they won’t have access to the MLS. And without MLS access an agent is pretty much dead in the water.
Sounds terrible, doesn’t it? But that’s NOT what happens in Atlanta. Atlanta is a FREE and open market. Atlanta is one of the only places on the planet where NAR is OPTIONAL! Yes, WE don’t have to PAY!
But sadly, too many of us are still paying into this scheme because they were told they “had” to. That is a lie! Contractually, nationally franchises all require their affiliated agents to be NAR members. It’s a franchise rule. If you don’t like it, leave the franchise.
Atlanta is loaded with independent Brokerages that do NOT require NAR membership. Atlanta is the only real estate market in the U.S. with more “little r” realtors than it has the “R” NAR-type Realtors.
In 2022, NAR became the largest financial lobbyist to the United State government. Most would think that title shouldn’t be a badge of honor, but NAR seems to relish it? Last year NAR blew through $81.5 million dollars. That is more than the pharmaceutical industry (28.3M), American Hospital Association (21M) and the AMA (20M) COMBINED!
Ever wonder “why” they spend so much money? And remember 2022 was not a one-off. NAR does this every year. Over the last five years NAR has doled out over $323 million dollars. What the hell is so wrong with our industry that it needs this kind of financial support. Year after year they blow through money, and nothing ever seems to change. Why doesn’t whatever they are doing ever “get better”? This is madness!
Speaking of madness, have you seen the shellfish appetizer at Bourbon’s? It costs $205.00, making their $94.00 ribeye seem like a steal. Why do I mention a long-time favorite Pennsylvania Avenue steakhouse? Because this is the cafeteria of the K-Street lobbyist. This is how your dues are being spent. This is what real estate agents throughout the U.S. are paying for. Stop it!
NAR will tell you their financial dealings are critical to maintaining their “pro-Realtor” position. As if there were hoards of anti-Realtors lurking in the wings to spread real estate mayhem all over the place. I for one am a PROUD anti-Realtor! Yet I love real estate and would never do anything to hurt our industry. I promote our industry! What is NAR talking about? Why must there always be a boogeyman? Perhaps it’s because “fear” is all NAR has to sell?
Agents of Atlanta need to continue dropping out of their NAR memberships. As an agent collective, we need to move past them. Atlanta agents need to show the rest of the Nation that real estate is thriving just fine without NAR. That is what Atlanta does. Our freedom from NAR is what makes the Atlanta market so special. So please support your local non-NAR independent Broker! And save yourself a ton of money while you are at it.
NAR is synonymous with the national franchise system. How a “non-profit” is allowed to manipulate the income of millions of real agents is a story for another day. But know this: affiliating with a franchise instantly dates an agent. Still operating like it’s 1989? Today’s consumer is more brand savvy and marketing aware than any other generation before them.
They know an old, tired brand when they see one. And unlike other generations, this generation seems much more open to new brands and new ideas. This is especially true in the real estate space as so many of the industry’s old “Boomer” brands are still lingering around. As an agent you need to be viable in today’s market. Lugging around a franchise boat anchor from the Gillian’s Island era isn’t helping anyone with their future.
Go independent! And help STOP the NAR scamsters!