I was reading a blog post on a professional networking site and found that a fellow agent was bombarded with responses to a post about NAR dues. She'd asked whether her national association dues were being spent wisely. The responses were overwhelming. Many agents came forth with their own complaints - too many dues, dues too high, not enough advocacy, not enough targeted public relations or advertising. Some folks came forth with complaints about their state and local associations. Those complaints were even more specific and did nothing to veil the sadness, worry and, in some cases, anger of the authors.
My first reaction was relief. I'm not the only one scratching her head wondering what the associations are doing to protect, defend and help us. But my next reaction was different. I wondered how many of those agents attended association meetings. How many volunteered for events? How many thanked the folks working at local associations and carrying the weight of their own work plus membership's worries on their shoulders? I know for some of us the burdens are so heavy we can barely stand the weight.
Questions about how our associations work for us can only be answered if we offer solutions ourselves.
And, we may not feel the same way if we look at situations from different perspectives. How do members of our local association feel when they send out invitations to participate in a survey and only a handful of agents across one of the largest cities in the world respond? How disappointing is it to invite local candidates to an open meeting only to have ten or twelve people come hear what they say? Not everyone in the city has the access to the candidates we do - so where are we?
To paraphrase, if the associations are “of the agents, by the agents, for the agents,” then who are we mad at -- ourselves? I sent that blog to a friend at C.A.R. I asked her if she knew whether our association had such a forum for agents to ask questions and decompress.
So here we are. We've got questions and I bet many of us have answers. I'd like to re-initiate the conversation. Name one specific thing you think C.A.R. is not doing as well as it could. Then give one or two ideas about how it could improve. Be reasonable, fair and smart -- same as you would be in business. Our association will be better for it - and better for you.
Carmen V. Rodriguez - Broker Associate
Coldwell Banker Residential Brokerage