I had the pleasure of attending the NAR YPN event at NAR Mid-Year. Shortly after arriving I was asked if I would mind being interviewed by the REALTOR® Magazine. I chatted with the NAR representative briefly before starting the interview. Once the camera was turned on she asked me her first question. It was something along the lines of "do you feel that the government is effectively passing pro-REALTOR legislation?" I have to admit I wasn’t prepared for this question. I stared at the interviewer for a few seconds and then said that her question was actually pretty complicated and I wished she had given me time to prepare an answer. I’ve had a night to think about the question now and I don’t think it was the most appropriate question.
I believe NAR should have asked the question, "do you feel the government is effectively passing pro-homeowner legislation?" There has been a lot of talk in the past few weeks over NAR’s policy on protecting the REALTOR® and the REALTOR® business and reputation, but maybe they should think about focusing on the homeowner instead. I understand that NAR is here to protect my business and my business model, but let’s face it, concentrating on the "what can Congress do for my (the REALTOR’s) pocketbook" and "how can I keep MLS information from getting into the public’s hands" mentality is not helping the REALTOR® cause. It actually makes us look shady and sneaky. In an day and age when consumers have and expect access to information with a few strokes of the keys on their keyboard, why is NAR spending so much time hiding information from them? Why is NAR so focused on pro-REALTOR legislation instead of pro-homeowner legislation? If Congress and local municipalities are pushed to pass pro-homeowner laws, doesn’t the REALTOR® community reap some of these rewards? If consumers know that NAR is pushing for their rights and fighting for them, wouldn’t more consumers trust a local REALTOR® to help them buy and sell property?
This may boil down to semantics. The NAR representative may have phrased her question wrong. But, it definitely concerns me if NAR is only focusing on protecting the REALTOR®. If the homeowner abandons the REALTOR®, NAR will have nothing left to protect.