Understanding your Columbus REALTORS® & MLS dues billing
It has been five years (2013) since the last local dues increase at Columbus REALTORS®. The Budget, Finance & Investments Committee, comprised of appointees from the Board of Directors, members at large and staff, has been dedicated to finding ways to balance increasing costs alongside funding important services to our membership.
In the end, the only way to continue to provide the level of service that our membership expects was to raise the dues for 2019 for both Columbus REALTORS® and Columbus MLS.
The justification for the local dues and MLS fee increases can be summarized by the following key points:
- Without a dues increase, our draft budget was showing a loss, given costs that have continued to rise over the past 5 years.
- Our delivery of services has continued to increase with the number of members, services and resources we offer our membership.
- There was significant concern that with a pending market slowdown that membership would not continue to grow at the same rate, and that we should budget for a flat membership in 2019.
- There is an increased need and demand to get involved in critical legislative issues, and the costs of fighting for or against the key issues that impact our industry continue to escalate.
- Columbus MLS did a cost analysis review to come to the increase.
- Columbus MLS has not yet fully funded the MLS cash reserves (policy = 50% operating costs.)
MLS Fee increases
According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the base Consumer Price Index has increased from 232.95 in 2013 to a projected 257.52 for 2019, an increase of over 10%. Cumulative inflation from 2013 to 2018 is approximately 7%.
|| National dues
|| Ohio dues
|| Columbus dues
|| Keybox fee
|| MLS subscriber fee
|| 2019 dues + fees
|| voluntary CORPAC donation
New services for 2019
Special Reserve Goal
The 2019 budget also includes an increase for the Special Reserve Goal (Cash Reserve Policy) from $250,000 to $450,000. This Special Cash Reserve is designated for public advocacy, grassroots programs, legal defense, research and development.
Given the political climate and reoccurring policy issues at the local level, there is a real possibility that Columbus REALTORS® will need additional cash reserves to combat legislation that could harm (or adversely affect) our members and your clients.
These increases, stated above, will allow us to adequately pay for the same services and resources currently provided to our membership and will help us grow our Cash Reserve accounts for both Columbus REALTORS® and Columbus MLS.
Over the past 18 months Columbus REALTORS® has lobbied successfully to modify new City of Columbus ordinances on real estate signs and short-term rentals which has helped to save our membership hundreds of thousands of dollars.
We have every reason to believe that there will be more issues that we’ll need to fight.
The Budget, Finance & Investments Committee and the Board of Directors believes we should continue to budget in a conservative fashion so that we are prepared to do what is in the best interest of our membership.
The time, energy and thoughtful discussions that the Budget, Finance & Investments Committee has invested is appreciated.
We appreciate all that each of you do to help make Columbus REALTORS® a great organization and we encourage you to get involved in a committee to share your talents and input.
Andy Mills, 2018 Treasurer