By Robert N. Authier, CEO Massachusetts Association of REALTORS®
When you receive your annual REALTOR® Association dues invoice, you might say, “OK, I know that my membership allows me to use the professional trademark REALTOR® which advertising experts say is worth millions in name recognition. But this has been a tough economy, so what have you done for me lately…in real dollars and cents value that I can use in my own business?”
As leadership consultant Stephen Covey says, “let’s take first things first.” Only the REALTOR® Association protects your business through powerful lobbying in Congress, the Massachusetts State House, and in your community. Only REALTOR® clout does that. You stay updated with information you only find in REALTOR® magazines and online (using your personal REALTOR® password). REALTOR® membership also allows you to use REALTOR® designations, which signify professionalism around the world (and in your own neighborhood). And you count on the REALTORS® Code of Ethics for smoother real estate transactions and to avoid costly litigation.
Now let’s sample just some of the real dollars and cents benefits that are INCLUDED with your dues. You also can go to marealtorbenefits.com for a much longer list of benefits, along with a calculator to do your own $ analysis.
(all included with your REALTOR® membership)
Free MassForms Online = $130/year savings.
With the easy-to-use Form Simplicity platform, you have unlimited online access to MassForms…forms that are constantly updated by the people who are CLOSEST to changes in laws and regulations–your MAR legal team! Nobody else has this sort of access or understanding of changing Massachusetts rules. And, you get the online platform at ZERO additional expense to you.
Free Online Continuing Education = $50 per course savings.
MAR, in collaboration with the local associations, built these online courses with your needs in mind, creating a solid learning experience on the REALTOR® University Learning Library online platform. So, you will be able to complete your CE requirements, from the privacy of your own home – late at night in your ‘jammies,’ if you like. Of course, live classroom courses also are available across the state.
Free Technology Helpline = $79/call savings.
How many times have you been on-hold for countless minutes or even hours, waiting for someone to answer a question about your laptop, Ipad, smartphone, digital camera, etc. only to be disconnected? Your membership gives you access to quick and reliable phone support for most tech questions…at NO cost! Amazing.
Free Legal Hotline = $250 per incident savings.
Through a simple phone call, your company representative (principal or designee) can get legal information to help YOU manage that difficult transaction. You may still want to pay for legal representation from your own attorney, but this simple Legal Hotline phone call often answers most questions about the right thing to do.
Boston Herald Open House Listing = $20/ad listing.
Your membership offers you access to free weekly listing about your Open Houses on a first come first served basis.
Free Market Statistics & Research = $125 per report.
Your membership password gives you access to statewide market statistics, in a format that you can customize to make your listing and selling presentations really stand out. Be the smartest real estate person on the block, but only as a REALTOR®.
Government Advocacy that Counts – Just a Few Examples.
The REALTOR® organization protected your commission from additional tax on services = $2,000 Annual Savings; helped defeat Energy Scoring = $500 Savings per transaction; helped defeat Environmental Disclosure = $250 Savings per transaction; helped defeat Lead Inspection Mandate = $250 Savings per transaction; helped defeat Local Sign Fees = $25 Savings per transaction.
(all on behalf of REALTORS®)
National Advocacy = $.
Only the REALTOR® organization is representing your national interests with such critical issues as mortgage availability, federal flood insurance, mortgage interest deduction, high FHA loan limits for MA, etc. Did you ever wonder why Massachusetts has NO statewide transfer tax and only two local transfer taxes (and only on the Islands)? The reason – your REALTOR® Association is always working for you and your customers.
Profitable Networking = $.
Most REALTORS® report that they make more money with each state or national convention or local education program they attend.
Networking works. Most who join a local, state, or national committee as a volunteer do so for the connections they make and how well-informed they become.
Powerful Advertising = $.
National, state, and even local advertising on your behalf promotes
the use of a REALTOR® and the value of home ownership. The REALTOR® message gives you the edge.
Power in Numbers = $.
As the largest professional association in the world, and one of the most successful lobbying organizations, the REALTOR® organization truly is strength in numbers. You can try to do it yourself, but just as a FSBO, the results just won’t be the same. United we stand!
Dispute Resolution = $.
REALTORS® can access local arbitration/dispute resolution services that avoid costly lawsuits with competitors, customers, and clients.
These are just a few examples of your actual REALTOR® ROI. To learn more about member discounts, resources, services, and information you can use to your advantage on a daily basis go to www.marealtorbenefits.com
BUT, you ONLY get this “stuff” if you are a REALTOR®. Please consider that when it’s time to renew your membership. Moreover, as someone who has served this Association for more than 35 years, I extend best wishes to you for a successful and profitable 2012!
Want to Hear More from Fellow REALTORS® Many more REALTORS® than those quoted in this feature responded to the question asked, “What do you consider to be the most valuable benefit of membership?” Read them all by visiting the Bay State REALTOR® magazine homepage at baystaterealtor.com.
Discover the Benefits of Membership:
Local: Marealtorbenefits.com Click on "Local Association Programs"
Member-Discounts And Other Great Stuff For Your Business
Office Products and Services
Boston Herald Open House Listings
MAR Legal Hotline
Pearl E&O Insurance
MassForms Electronic Forms
Distinctive Homes magazine
Brokerage Succession/Acquisition Services
Job Loss Mortgage Protection
Technology Products and Services
Boston Logic Websites
MoreStor Data Backup
a-Networks IT Services
MAR Wireless Center: Cell Phones & Plan
Sprint Wireless Plans
Personal Products and Services
Boston Bruins & Shows
at the Garden
Health Insurance for REALTORS®
MAR Vacation Center
Long-Term Health Care
MassDrive Direct Auto Insurance
LifeLock Identity Theft Protection
USAlliance Federal Credit Union
Cambridge Eye Doctors
Sullivan Tire and Auto Service
Patriot Financial Group
Realtor® Federal Credit Union
Discount Prescription Drug Cards
Members Cite Most Valuable Member Benefit, click here to Read more