Some Realtors® were upset with the results of the National Association of Realtors’® (NAR) D.A.N.G.E.R. Report, which focused on dangers to the real estate industry, but NAR’s First Vice President Elizabeth Mendenhall said the report helps the industry focus on emerging trends. Mendenhall spoke last week to a group of local association presidents during PAR’s Spring Business Meetings in Harrisburg.
“We’re the largest trade association in the country dedicated to the protection of private property rights,” Mendenhall said. “We can do this better collectively through our local, state and national associations.
The top five dangers highlighted in the report included:
Masses of marginal agents destroy the reputation. “Many believe that higher education to enter the profession would help raise the bar of professionalism, but there are no statistics that show that higher education results in higher professionalism,” Mendenhall said. “There’s also no research that shows raising dues restricts less professional agents.”
Currently, NAR has a Commitment to Excellence Task Force to find out what consumers are looking for from their Realtor® to help address this issue.
Decline in relevancy of agents. According to Mendenhall, for the first time, the most recent NAR Buyer and Seller Survey shows that consumers revealed that the number one service they want from their Realtor® is help finding the right property, not negotiating skills.
“We need to redefine our role and shift where we have been to reflect what clients want,” she said. “That’s why NAR’s new advertising campaign focuses on addressing the anxiety of choosing a home. NAR’s extensive research shows that consumers are the most excited about the homebuying process when they begin their search and they’re the most anxious when they select a Realtor®.”
Regulatory tsunami hitting the industry. “We’ve weathered the changes issued by the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) and NAR is working with regulatory agencies to find out what’s next on the horizon, so we’re able to comment on changes and prepare for the impact on how we do business,” Mendenhall said.
Untrained leaders in the organization. “NAR continues to work on training for our leaders and our members,” she said. “We need to continue to talk about the issues and not just our process for dealing with them. The Realtors Property Resource® (RPR®) provides a large series of online education and webinars for Realtors®.”
State of the MLS. Mendenhall said changes within the top leadership of MLS companies and little research and development money being invested in the MLS systems has caused declining satisfaction with the systems. “And MLS systems say they have little excess capital because Realtor® organizations have negotiated the prices to be extremely low and do not allow them to have funds to invest in the system,” she said.
“We know there is nothing more disrupting to a person than losing their home and all of their belongings. I know how it affected a close friend of mine and how that left a lasting impression on me,” she said. “You each have stories about helping families by a home and you’re in this business because you care. Realtors® touch lives and help people achieve the American dream of homeownership.”