The NAR Board of Directors at its meeting in Washington May 19 took a major step toward increasing professionalism in real estate by giving associations new teeth for enforcing Code of Ethics violations, and it also positioned REALTORS® for the future by adopting the association’s first dues increase in eight years.
S.M.A.R.T. Budget Approved
In a major move to keep REALTORS® positioned for success into the future while ensuring NAR no longer needs to use reserves to cover expenses, the board approved a budget that sets national association dues at $150 per year per member beginning in 2019.
That’s a $30 increase. Seventeen dollars of the increase is for REALTOR® Party advocacy programming. The remaining $13 will fund programs such as the new Commitment to Excellence professionalism initiative, the popular forms and transaction management benefit, and upkeep of the association’s buildings.
The new package of measures, called the S.M.A.R.T. Initiatives (for Strategic Measures Advancing REALTORS® to Tomorrow), was approved by NAR’s Budget Review Committee in March and association leaders have been getting member feedback on them since then.
The NAR budget underwent a comprehensive review after Bob Goldberg became CEO of the association last August. The spending plan for 2019-2021 reflects more than $2 million in annual savings, achieved by reducing association staff, cutting global travel, and making across-the-board cuts.
NAR is also realizing savings from a decision Goldberg made earlier this year to end the Advanced Multi-List Platform (AMP), formed in 2015 by NAR’s wholly owned Realtors Property Resource® (RPR®) subsidiary to provide customized back-end technology services for small- to mid-size multiple listing services. The elimination of the program saves NAR $1.7 million in 2018 and, along with other reductions at RPR®, will save $5.25 million in 2019.
A key element of the financial blueprint involves replenishing NAR’s reserves, which have fallen 45 percent since 2015. In recent years, NAR used savings to fund activities such as a popular forms and transaction management platform benefit and for creation of Upstream, an innovative data management platform for brokers.
The increase also funds needed upgrades and repairs to the association’s Washington and Chicago office buildings. In addition, the board voted to establish a reserve fund to cover maintenance costs for the buildings in the future.
Fair Housing 50-year Anniversary
The board heard a report that the NAR Diversity Committee passed a resolution commemorating the 50th Anniversary of the Fair Housing Act and acknowledging that NAR policy over the years has evolved from promoting exclusion and opposing fair housing to leading efforts to expand fair housing rights and inclusion in the association’s membership.
Chief Lobbyist to Retire
The board recognized the service of NAR Chief Lobbyist Jerry Giovaniello, who is retiring at the end of 2018. Giovaniello is a 37-year veteran of NAR, the last 17 as chief lobbyist.
Meritorious Service Award
The board recognized Sharon Keating of Jefferson City, Mo., and Larry Edward of Jackson, Miss., as this year’s federal political coordinators (FPCs) receiving the Meritorious Service Award. FPCs are NAR members who serve as liaisons to their senator or representative in Congress.
REALTORS® Political Action Committee
The board heard that RPAC met more than half of its $34.5 million fundraising goal for 2018 during the first four months of the year, and that the percentage of members who are RPAC contributors has risen to 28 percent, up from 25 percent a year ago.