Are you approaching your 40-year anniversary as a member of the National Association of Realtors (NAR)? Looking forward to becoming “Realtor emeritus” and enjoying your well-deserved dues exemption? Well don’t hold your breath, because NAR says you still have to pay.

Inman News reports 40 years of continuous membership no longer qualifies Realtors for emeritus status. Beginning in 2015, the trade union will require qualifying members to also devote at least one year of service to NAR as a(n):

  • officer;
  • director;
  • committee member;
  • federal political coordinator;
  • president’s liaison; or
  • regional coordinator to a NAR-affiliated country.

That’s right: if you want your dues waived after 40 years of service, you’ll need ties to NAR’s inner sanctum.

The Realtor population is aging rapidly, with an estimated 50,000 Realtors approaching emeritus status. Granting their most steadfast followers free dues translates to a $6 million loss in annual revenue.

So rather than take a negligible loss, they’re taking away another benefit. This news comes on the heels of several years of dues hikes by the trade union. Many members are growing increasingly disgruntled with NAR/CARs my-way-or-the-highway administrative approach, particularly since the fees are growing as benefits continue to shrink.

Perhaps it’s time to consider an alternative. After all, you need not be a member of the trade union in order to access the MLS. And real estate forms (the only benefit of any value) are produced by other highly reputable organizations (shameless plug) that won’t gouge you to ward off their own economic obsolescence.