The economic, political, technological, cultural and market forces that we have predicted for the last 15 years have matured and tightened their grip over virtually every aspect of the American real estate industry. The complex three tier Realtor® structure has at the same time, due in great part to its resistance to adapt to this new environment, continued to suffer from a growing lack of relevancy. Unless immediate steps are taken to realign, restructure or reposition the various parts of the Realtor® movement, some or all of the three levels will fall by the wayside.
On a national level the NAR is working overtime to create a contemporary relevancy through the vision and energy of its 21st Century Initiatives. The jury is still out as to what extent each initiative will succeed. On a state-by-state level the generally more limited focus on government affairs by state Realtor® associations have made it the most threatened of the three levels. But it is within the “rubber meets the road” environment of the local Realtor® association that the impending “irrelevancy” question is fast approaching epidemic levels. Membership levels are either dropping or merely hanging on as a result of “mandatory” MLS participation while “real” participation is dropping fast. Many member services have become non-essential and leadership is becoming more and more disconnected with what needs to be done. In other words, the Realtor® movement that exists today is on the brink of irrelevancy.