$250,000 for this?
You’ve got to be kidding me.
I’m no stranger to differences of opinion with other real estate agents. I run my business differently than most and have never been shy about calling out the shady, deceptive, and down right annoying business practices that are pervasive in this industry.
But, last week, I found what is probably the most common ground I’ve ever experienced since I started selling houses in 2005. I’m annoyed as hell about it, which puts me in the same camp and just about every other Realtor in the United States.
The National Association of Realtors (NAR), in their infinite wisdom and unwavering mission to innovate, decided that an update to the Realtor logo was necessary.
And they paid $250,000 for it.
One quarter of one million dollars for something I could have ordered on fivver.com and had delivered in 48 hours for under $100. Shoot, Jason Walle over at Chain Reaction Studios probably could have turned it around in an afternoon for a few hundred dollars more.
The reason? According to the NAR:
“The roll-out of this work truly enables the REALTOR® brand to better compete and thrive in the marketplace in a way that is clear, credible, and compelling, while leveraging equities that NAR has earned over the past 45 years, and evolving our brand so that we can continue to lead the real estate industry over the next 45 years.”
LEAD THE REAL ESTATE INDUSTRY?
The NAR has a damn monopoly over the real estate industry, courtesy of the MLS.
Not a monopoly over the public, but rather a monopoly over broker access to the data in the MLS.
Quick lesson for my non-realtor friends: there are “real estate brokers” and there are “Realtors.” The former is one who holds a license to work as real estate broker, the latter is one who holds a license AND has joined the NAR.
To join the NAR you have to also join a state association as well as a local association and, of course, pay dues to all three.
So if you can work in real estate without being a member of NAR, why join? It's simple: you can’t get access to the MLS to list homes for sale without being a member. The fees vary by state and local association but in 2018 the national association dues were $120 + $35 for a Consumer Advertising Campaign special assessment.
So that’s $155 per member.
Right now there are 1,289,206 members.
So for 2018 NAR received a total of $199,826,930. Read here to see where the money goes.
Just shy of $200M.
Basically the NAR is a big, dumb company. And like any other big, dumb company they make big, dumb decisions.
Call me crazy but I don’t see spending $250,000 on $100 logo as an effective means to “lead the real estate industry.”