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.