To cover an expected budget deficit, the National Association of Realtors’ Finance Committee has proposed aligning dues with the Consumer Price Index, increasing the likelihood of annual hikes.

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The National Association of Realtors will consider tying its annual membership dues to a measure of inflation at its board of directors meeting this week, NAR Treasurer Greg Hrabcak announced at the trade group’s midyear conference Sunday afternoon.

NAR’s board votes on the trade group’s budget proposal every year at the event, the Realtors Legislative Meetings, in Washington D.C. The board will meet on Thursday.

Greg Hrabcak

“NAR ended 2022 with a strong financial position with record high membership,” Hrabcak told conference attendees.

“With that said, the strength will be tested in the next few years under challenging conditions,” Hrabcak added. “Our chief economist Dr. Lawrence Yun, predicts an estimated 15 percent decline in membership over the next couple of years. As a result, the association anticipates an estimated $10- $15 million budget deficit beginning in 2024.”

NAR ended 2022 with at a record 1,580,971 members and says it has 1,607,000 members in its database currently. The trade group projects membership counts of 1,500,000 in 2023 and 1,380,000 in 2024.

“[I]t is typical for associations to budget around current number of members in the database, while knowing there will inevitably room for fluctuation,” NAR spokesperson Mantill Williams told Inman via email.

NAR’s annual dues currently stand at $150, plus a special assessment for its consumer ad campaign, which was raised to $45 last year.

To cover the expected budget shortfall, NAR’s Finance Committee is proposing that per-member annual dues be indexed to the annual increase in the comprehensive overall Consumer Price Index (CPI), Hrabcak told attendees. The CPI is a measure of inflation. The change would mean that members’ annual dues would likely rise every year.

Hrabcak added that the rise would never exceed 4 percent, rounded to the nearest whole dollar, and that the indexing would begin in 2024.

“We understand the challenges members are facing and we are committed to meeting their needs and keeping NAR financially sound,” Hrabcak said.

If the proposal is approved, annual dues for 2024 would be $156, a 4 percent rise from current dues.

Mantill Williams

“We use the year end comprehensive overall CPI at the last year end,” Williams said.

“So for example, we created the 2024 budget proposal in Q1 2023 so we use the end of 2022 CPI which was 6.5 percent, capped at 4%.”

Hrabcak noted that the NAR Finance Committee “has been working with to trim expenses and explore opportunities to increase our non-dues revenue,” but did not offer additional details.

Asked what kind of non-dues revenue NAR was exploring, Williams said, “Our budget proposal reflects considerable non-dues revenue, as it does each year. For 2024, it accounts for 20% of total revenue and nearly 30% of operating revenue.”

Editor’s note: This story has been updated with an additional comment from NAR about using its current membership total for its budget proposal.

Email Andrea V. Brambila.

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Lawrence Yun | NAR | realtors
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