• The Real Estate Standards Organization (RESO) has created new membership tiers with revised annual dues and has rolled certification fees into the annual dues cost.
  • Annual dues for MLSs with fewer than 500 members were slashed by 50 percent, dropping to $500 from $250. Moreover, MLSs with fewer than 100 members will experience a 90 percent discount, with annual dues dropping to $50.
  • Meanwhile, larger MLSs will experience a hike in annual dues. For instance, MLSs with 5,000 to 9,999 members annual dues will increase by $2,500 to a total of $5,000.
  • RESO Executive Director Jeremy Crawford says he expects the annual dues and certification changes to bolster membership so MLSs will have an easier time becoming RESO-compliant.

In 2014 the National Association of Realtors’ board of directors approved a recommendation that would require MLSs to comply with standards set forth by the nonprofit Real Estate Standards Organization (RESO), including compliance with RESO’s Data Dictionary and Web API, starting in 2016.

The underlying goal was to get MLSs more or less operating at the same level. Now RESO has announced the implementation of new membership tiers that slash annual dues for smaller MLSs with the goal of making compliance less burdensome while wrapping certification into a membership benefit.

Meanwhile, annual dues for larger MLSs have increased.

“By creating new membership tiers and slashing our annual dues for brokerages with fewer agents and MLSs with lower membership counts, we make RESO membership in 2017 more accessible for everyone in the real estate industry,” said Jeremy Crawford, executive director of RESO in a press release.

“This ensures all market segments are affordably represented in the creation of industry standards, and greatly strengthens our ability to implement data standards, which directly improves the process of buying and selling homes for everyone,” he added.

The smallest MLSs with 100 members or less will see a 90 percent reduction in their 2017 annual dues. That means their dues will go from $500 to $50 a year. MLSs with fewer than 500 members dues were slashed in half from $500 to $250. According to RESO, a majority of the estimated 770 MLSs fall within the 500 member category.

On the other hand, larger MLSs will see a hike in their annual membership dues. For example, MLSs with 5,000 to 9,999 members annual dues will increase by $2,500 in 2017. The largest MLSs with 37,000 to 50,000-plus members will see the biggest hike, with an increase of $5,000.

The new RESO membership tiers for MLSs.

The new RESO membership tiers for MLSs.

Crawford says he doesn’t expect a decrease in participation among larger MLSs despite the annual dues increase. Crawford notes that most of the large MLSs were at the RESO Standards Table before RESO was formed and that MLSs have six seats on the RESO Board of Directors.

Furthermore, he says those MLSs helped provide oversight in the budget and the balance of membership fees, which was in response to the industry requesting more membership tiers.

“The large MLSs recognize the impact of standards in the industry and a slight increase in dues for the first time in almost five years with a more accurate tiered pricing model has shown positive support from industry research of those MLSs, some of which are actually on the RESO Board of Directors,” Crawford said in an email.

Screen Shot 2016-07-27 at 5.16.08 PM

In addition to a more balanced tiered pricing model, RESO members will no longer have to pay separate certification fees.

“By removing the headache of applying for certification and paying three separate invoices per year, the streamlined approach will help more MLSs and other organizations obtain certification as a member and allow the focus on standards participation,” he added.

As an example, Crawford says MLSs with fewer than 500 members would pay $800 a year for two certifications under the old membership system. Those MLSs will now be able to pay their annual dues and get those two certifications for $250. For larger MLSs, that savings can be as much as $1,400.

Lastly, RESO has added two new types of certifications required to meet the new standard of the RESO API and certification services for the RESO Web API. That means members can now have up to eight types of RESO Standard certifications.

Crawford says he anticipates these changes will boost membership numbers and attendance to RESO’s Fall Conference in October.

For complete membership information for MLSs, brokerages and associations, visit here.

Email Marian McPherson

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