National Association of Realtors Treasurer Tom Riley responds to Kenya Burrell-VanWormer’s piece, “Reallocate funds or raise dues — that is the question.”

Kenya, thank you for sharing your thoughts about the direction NAR should take to position our members for success in an era of rapid change and disruption. An engaged membership will no doubt have an array of opinions about the best way forward.

Tom Riley

We agree that advocacy is critical to the future success of our members and the industry. However, though, to only focus on one element misses the forest for the trees.

The real estate industry is facing complex challenges that require a comprehensive solution. This includes advocacy, strategic business initiatives and technologies, and positioning Realtors at the forefront of consumers’ minds. The S.M.A.R.T. Initiatives are the comprehensive approach we need at this time.

We also understand that change is hard, which is why so many would rather kick the can down the road. That is no longer an option. The challenges since the last time NAR raised operational dues 10 years ago in 2008 have only grown with each succeeding year. We will not abdicate our responsibility to lead during this time of change.

We look forward to continuing this discussion as we head toward our Midyear meetings in May.

Tom Riley, a veteran of the real estate industry for more than 35 years, is in his second year as treasurer of the National Association of Realtors.

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