NAR Dues Increase Approved: $40 Increase in 2012

by Chicago Agent

This weekend, the National Association of Realtors (NAR) gathered at the Midyear Meetings in D.C. The organization decided to raise dues by $40, a widely debated increase which aims to reshape campaign financing.

NAR has been discussing increasing membership dues for months; now, despite the wishes of many NAR members (measured by various polls), the due increase will be enforced in 2012, taking members’ current national rates up to $115.

The rate of $115 is impacted by the $35 assessment for NAR’s Public Awareness Campaign which has been renewed and funded since its establishment in 1998; the assessment will be revisited in 2014, so national dues will actually increase from $115 to $155 next year, according to First Arkansas News.

NAR President Ron Phipps posted a statement regarding the approved increase, saying:

Do you agree with NAR raising its members' dues in order to fund more political activity?

  • No (89%, 207 Votes)
  • Yes (11%, 26 Votes)

Total Voters: 233

Loading ... Loading ...

“Earlier today, the NAR Board of Directors voted in favor of the Realtor Party Political Survival Initiative and agreed to fund it through a dedicated dues increase of $40 per member, beginning in 2012. The initiative will allow NAR to provide millions of dollars in additional support to state and local boards, which are facing a cadre of policy proposals that would restrict private property rights and drain home owners’ pocketbooks.

“As the only organization speaking on behalf of America’s home owners, NAR must remain strong and influential at all levels of government. During the past week, we have heard from dozens of industry and government leaders about the broad challenges facing our markets and the growing desire on the part of federal, state and local governments to implement policies that would hurt home owners and the economy. In passing this initiative, Realtors send a clear message that we are ready and willing to protect the home owners and communities we serve.

“On behalf of the entire organization, we thank the directors for their feedback and guidance, as we refined this initiative, and we are grateful to all Realtors who engage in an informed debate prior to this vote.”

However, members may not share Phipps’ enthusiasm. Earlier in the month, a poll by RealTown gathered data, finding that 82.3 percent of members opposed the increase, and 1,237 “no” voters specifically took issue with paying additional political funds, while 524 “yes” voters stated that political advocacy was critical for NAR.

AgentGenius had also posted a flash poll, finding 66 percent of members calling the then, potential, hike in dues “very upsetting.”

While the poll results offered insight into the members’ perspectives, the results were not counted as official votes on the issue.

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  • Bernie Taylor says:

    The recent dues increase is a slap in the face of every Realtor who has been struggling the last 4 years. Funding more political activity is exactly what this country does not need!

  • The NAR needs to start cutting “non-essential” activities that it is involved in. The NAR should be following it’s charter, it’s mission. I believe it can be argued that the NAR has greatly strayed from it’s original path and gotten involved into activities that do nothing for it’s members and the home buyers/sellers it seeks to assist.

  • tom rebarchak says:

    Well our “union leaders” did it again. They think that they are the only people who know the “BEST” way to spend our money. Did anyone of our “LEADERS” take a pay cut, or a cut in their benifits/pension. Hell no, that would be leading by example. Their leadership is partly to blame for the real estate problems. They just blamed others for the depressed market while they sat back and just pocketed their salary and benefits!

  • Lin Liston says:

    NAR-acronym for National Association of Realtors. Not realtors and homeowners. I agree that homeowners need someone to speak on their behalf.
    Perhaps there can be a subgroup of homeowners who can choose to pay dues to fund subgroup (Public Awareness Campaign) representation more specific to their needs aside from strictly realtor concerns.

    The NAR group is to primarily represent realtors-I don’t appreciate the Phipps empty thank you to its realtor membership when the NAR decision is contrary to the desires of the majority opinion votes clearly cast against an increase at this time.

  • Greg says:

    The NAR is pretty much a useless organization with a monopoly over the real estate business in the USA. I’m sure their CEO, etc. did not take the pay cuts alm

  • Barbara says:

    I couldn’t agree more with the comments already posted. Not that $40 will make a huge difference in my income, but it’s the perception that they aren’t listening to the people the are suppose to represent. Typically, the heads of these types of organizations just make noise about how they want to make things better, they certainly don’t want to make any sacrifices. No doubt none of the so called leaders of this group were willing to do without their 6 figure incomes.

  • Barb says:

    NAR has kept banks from coming into our business (although right now they’re probably thanking us!) and many other actions our government would like to take AGAINST REALTORS. Look at the bigger picture how having a political action committee to fight our battles has helped us. Shame on us for being penny wise and pound foolish. You might not always agree with NAR’s position or the battles they always fight, but if even one or two of them helps our business continue or helps homeowners keep their interest deductions,etc, then we should be supporting it! If $40 is a strain right now, then get out of the business.

  • Greg says:

    Right on, Barbara. My comment was cut off half way through. I know I’ve gotten little from NAR and CAR. They can’t even present us with healthcare options! Yet I’m sure they all have wonderful healthcare at the top as all execs do. Belonging to these organizations is required if you want MLS access, which we also pay dearly for. They have us by the “balls.”

  • Gladys says:

    Funding more political activity should be an individuals choice. Looks like they do what they want even though the majority said no. Just like all goverment politics. My opinion is the $40. might not be a strain for many but it’s the principle of it all, it should be a choice not mandatory.

  • Bonnie says:

    I believe like so many oragnization the NAR has lost sight of its mission. Bigger and more–the mantra of the last several years–is not always better. (with the exception of putting more people to work at NAR) However, in order for there to be change in direction– action must be taken on the part of Realtors. Ideas on the quickest way to move the NAR to do as much or more with less needs to be insisted upon. Not listening. The next representatives will.

  • Tammy says:

    I do not agree with all the sides that the NAR takes on our behalf!

  • Dave says:

    Not participating in the political arena on a financial basis is noble. It is also a sure way to see your limited voice completely drowned out in a sea of money.
    The opponents of home ownership want to do away with:
    1.The institutions which make it possible for millions of Americans because they have a governmental ownership component. Practicality be damned when it comes to philosophy, since who does not want less government?
    2. The ability to buy a house with less than 20% down. Sounds like a good idea until you find out it would take the average Chicago family over 15 years to save enough to buy the median home here, if they can stick to a saving program for 180 consecutive months and prices don’t rise faster than their wages.
    3. The mortgage interest deduction which makes home ownership a way to save versus a life long expense. The word “landlord” comes from a feudal class system, and certainly would move closer to the original meaning in a world where mortgage interest wasn’t a deduction.

    Fifty bucks? C’mon, get real and realize how fortunate you are to be a part of the organization. MLS? Gee, since Realtors built it and the business model it has fostered, they are supposed to give it away? You pay less, way less, in Chicago for MLS services than any other region of the country.

    I would concur with Barb, don’t pay, get out of the organization and get out of the way and let those of us committed to fixing this mess move on and engage on the level (unfortunately) needed to get housing back on track.

  • Steve Jurgens says:

    This is unbelievable! We as members supporting this organization with our hard earned money should learn more about where our money is going and demand accountability. I did a little research and pulled NAR’s annual report for 2010. There is a break down of our dues but it left me more confused. If we increase our budged by $40 which is nearly a 35% increase in the worse real estate market in years, truly what is our benefit. There are 1,010,176 members according to NAR’s website. If each of these members pay the $40 increase, NAR will receive an additionally $40,407,040 per year. With this new amount of money, NAR should be able to provide a breakdown of not only where the money is going but what it accomplishes. Our clients would not hire us if we could not show our production or accomplishments…why can’t NAR produce its accomplishments? Currently, NAR’s annual report has categories for its budgeting. I would like to know more about what benefits are being produced for each category. Currently, NAR reports that $15 dollars of our dues is going to Consumer and Member Relationship Building. This equates to $15,152,640 per year ($15*1,010,176 members). What relationships here are getting built? How does it benefit us? 15 million is a lot of money to see nothing. The Economic and Technological Research category is receiving $10 dollars of our dues or $10,101,760 per year. All I see here are national numbers. This does not help any neighborhood realtor in which each block yields different values. NAR, please be accountable to your members. As members, we need to hold the NAR accountable with our investment. If this investment is not supporting us, the NAR must go or management needs to be replaced. Any investor of a company demands production and see the benefits. If a company is not producing in the private sector, that business will fail and the investors’ investment will be lost. NAR needs to be run like a profitable business. As investors spending our hard earned money in NAR we need to see production and the benefits of each category to truly believe in our investment. NAR is not our charity organization! We should expect an educated and prompted response!

  • Pete says:

    I agree with Steve Jurgens comments 100%. NAR should respond to these concerns considering we, as realtors, are all feeling the economic pressures of the current market.

  • Dave says:

    Steve, and all members can see how this money will be spent if you go and look at realtor.org.
    Everyone decries the need for money to create political will. Change that system and we can save our pennies, but until you do this is very cheap insurance for your business future.
    NAR has given local (CAR) and state (IAR) associations a complete break down of how they intend to spend these dollars.
    Email those folks and ask for this to be put up on their websites.
    NONE of this goes to operating expense, it is all for advocacy and the majority of it will make its way back to local and state initiatives.

    NAR has frozen salaries, cut staff, benefits, and expenses.

    The real estate industry is in an all out battle for the survival of its foundation of home ownership. Interest groups are out to make us pay for their mistakes and their constituents are pouring money into their coffers to make sure you lose and they win.
    Again, if $50 is going to break your bank, you are in the wrong business.
    This dues increase is nominal and in every Realtor’s best interest, if that is seeing your business model viable in the future.
    If you don’t believe that, go to Washington yourself, meet your rep, talk to Congressional staff and hear how close you are to seeing this all go away.
    The NAR Directors did the right thing in voting for this. They, and NAR, should be commended for seeing the threats and responding so quickly.

  • Astonished says:

    You could have smelled this coming. Half the REALTORS out of the business in the last few years (good news actually as they most didn’t belong in the business anyway). Somebody’s gotta pay all the salaries in Chicago HQ and DC. Easy for them to say it’s gotta be us.

  • I totally agree with Steve and also Matt Jones these guys don’t care one bit about the AVERAGE realtor I for one will make it a movement that from now on all dues should be voted on by members. And all members should be sure to get rid of these idiots who want to waste more money!

  • Bill says:

    It’s hard to vision the LEADERS would subscribe to an increase, at this point of time—view the “ECONOMY”—

  • al stresen-reuter says:

    I’m checking into whether I can resign from the NAR and retain my membership in my local realtor group.

    I strongly object to be strong-armed to support a PAC and wonder whether it’s legal.

  • Amazed says:

    Well… talk about narrow minded. $40… Is it Really going to break your bank…?! If $40 sends you over the edge in your business… That’s good news for the rest of us that remain! I this member driven organization, the members elect the leaders. The members demand and trust that the leaders are be informed and that they vote with their hearts on their behalf. It’s a system that has worked for over 100 years. If you don’t like the vote, get involved and make a difference. Stop putting down that which you don’t fully understand! Politics affect this industry every day! The sooner you figure that out, the sooner you will understand how important political influence is for what we do!

  • Wow says:

    Gee, Amazed. You’ve missed the point entirely. Have you not seen the polls showing that 80 percent of the NAR’s members were against the increase? That being the case, who are those leaders who “voted with their hearts” on behalf of the members actually representing?

    Throw in the “three-way agreement” that forces agents to pay the NAR, state associations and local boards and you start talking about some real money after awhile. Throw in license renewal fees and MLS dues and you’re talking about some more money.

    Will $40 kill anyone? Probably not, but that’s not the point. Agents are being nickled-and-dimed to death for political advocacy, nonsense commercials that are an embarrassment and other measures tossed out there by a national association that pays lip-service to being member driven but doesn’t listen to its members at all (just take a look at some of the warthogs the NAR backed in the 2010 elections, for example). This increase is just another symptom of the “we know best” philosophy that has put the NAR very much out of touch with its members (you know, those people who are supposed to pay their dues, shut up and trust the NAR to do the right things).

    An additional $40 is quite a bit to ask of people who are members of the NAR because they have to be to gain MLS access.

  • Me says:

    What a bunch of crooks, that is just not right.

  • Amazed says:

    Wow… as I said… Tell your Leaders! Pretty Amazing that the Directors that get it, Approved it! Get involved, get n the know, & be a part of the Solution, Not a Part of the Problem!

  • Tanni says:


  • Rafael says:

    Although I am a non-practicing real estate Agent in the insurance industry, I believe an organization that is intended to represent a segment of people, should represent their voice. In this case, the majority seems to have been opposed to the increase.

    In the insurance industry, we have PACs where individuals at each company have the opportunity to donate and become part of the PAC. Although it is not required, most people do contribute voluntarily because they see the good it’s bringing their business or employment and are communicated about those issues at hand.

    Why not constitute something like this in the real estate industry? If not, is there a way to create a 2nd organization to compete and keep the NAR honest? Just a thought.

  • Milenka Crnkovic says:

    Very disappointed to hear of such a raise in this struggling economy and in this housing market nightmare we are all in.

  • Don M says:

    It is not the NAR $45.00. But add that to the increase of the MLS fees, Board fees, gas prices, cell phone costs, etc. etc. Then top it off with the lower selling prices and the lower commissions and the increased tagged on $100+ whatever fees. Then add the time to close and addeitional paper work for short sales. After all that, add the additional tech stuff you need so you can work smarter and faster for less money. There!! The 45 bucks is just a drop in bucket. Oh, I almost forgot we already pay NAR fees.
    Looks like anything that starts with “National” is gonna cost us money.

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