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27% of agents are now considering joining new trade group: Intel

Publish Date: March 15, 2024

Written by Lillian Dickerson

- Originally published at Inman News - Lillian Dickerson

Ahead of the National Association of Realtors’ commission settlements Friday, some agents are reevaluating their memberships and considering the American Real Estate Association instead.

This report is available to Inman Select subscribers as a sample of all that’s in store for subscribers of Intel, a data and research arm of Inman offering deep insights and market intelligence on the business of residential real estate and proptech. Subscribe today.

The real estate industry has seemingly faced challenges on all sides in the past year, from higher mortgage rates to commission lawsuits and even shakeups at the National Association of Realtors.

The tumult has agents reevaluating who they want to be aligned with, whether that’s in relation to a specific brokerage or team, or the industry’s long-time public face, NAR.

NAR SETTLES COMMISSION LAWSUITS FOR $418M

More than one-quarter of agent respondents to the Inman Intel Index in February 2024 said they would consider joining a new alternative to NAR, the American Real Estate Association, announced by The Agency founder and CEO Mauricio Umansky, at Inman Connect New York last January.

Approximately 7 percent of February Intel Index survey respondents said they would consider joining the luxury CEO’s trade group, which is being co-created by Compass’ Jason Haber. Another 19.6 percent of Intel Index survey respondents said they “might” consider joining the group.

Source: Inman Intel Index | February 2024

The February results came on the heels of January Intel Index survey results that showed some agents had thought of distancing themselves from NAR in recent weeks.

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When asked if they had canceled their NAR membership in the last 60 days, about 1 percent of agents who responded to the January survey said they had canceled their membership. Another 6.5 percent said they had not yet canceled their NAR membership, but planned to in 2024.

More than 25 percent of agent respondents to that month’s survey said they had not canceled their NAR membership, but “not by choice,” suggesting other factors prevented them from canceling their membership.

Source: Inman Intel Index | January 2024

Umansky debuted the trade group at Inman Connect New York after The New York Times leaked the news two days earlier. After months of growing unrest at NAR in the wake of sexual harassment allegations, changes in leadership and a series of major commission lawsuits launched at the association and several big brokerages, Umansky said that the association was no longer cut out to represent agents in the industry to the extent that they deserved.

“We need better advocacy, we need better lobbying, we need to make sure we’re taken care of,” Umansky said at ICNY.

The new data comes on the heels of the National Association of Realtors’ decision, made public on Friday, to pay $418 million in damages as part of the settlement of two lawsuits, according to NAR.

According to terms of the deal, NAR would agree to not create rules that allow listing agents to set compensation for buyer brokers. Offers of compensation wouldn’t be displayed in the multiple listing services.

“It also places a blanket ban on the longtime requirement that agents subscribe to multiple listing services in the first place in order to offer or accept compensation for their work,” the report says.

What is Inman Intel?

Inman Intel is the data and research arm of Inman. Using horizon-scanning data insights and regular surveys of real estate professionals and consumers, Intel is designed to help industry decision-makers, proptech founders and investors navigate an evolving market. Learn more and subscribe.

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