Wednesday, January 30, 2008

Are There Too Many Realtors? Yes!

The National Association of Realtors (NAR) is one of the largest trade associations in this country with over 1.3 million members. In 2000 there were only 766,000 Realtors nationwide. That's a 41% growth over 7 years. That's quite impressive. You probably don't know that a real estate agent can only call him or herself a Realtor if they are members of NAR. Many Realtors probably don't even know this. The running joke in many cities across the country is "everyone knows a Realtor". After looking at these numbers you can see why people say this.

So we have too many Realtors and also have to battle a terrible public image. A major reason for this is because it's not that hard to become a real estate agent anywhere in the nation, but at least in Texas they make it tougher than most other states. You have to sit through 150 hours of class or 210 if you don't have a college degree then pass a national and state exam. In comparison, Georgia and Florida only require 63 hours of class to become an agent. Keep in mind each state decides its own requirements to become a real estate agent.

So wouldn't it help NAR's cause to make the process more selective and harder to get into the industry? Not only would that help rid the profession of the slackers, it would leave the professional and successful Realtors to work with buyers and sellers which would eventually help boost public image. Why not kick out those Realtors that sell 2 or less homes a year? Sounds great in theory but there's a serious Catch-22.

NAR's Realtor Political Action Committee (RPAC) raised $11 million for the 2005-2006 election cycle. That's some serious dough and it gets shelled out to help get NAR supporters across the country elected. Where do you think most - if not all - of that money comes from? Realtors. So if NAR made states become more selective they would lose TONS of money. And if I've learned anything in this life it's that money talks, money's king, show me the money, and all that jazz.

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