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Defining AREA

We are a referral group, created to find the most competent and ethical members of our chosen profession throughout the USA, Mexico and other locations in North America and the world. The bond that holds us together is the National Association of REALTORS©, of which all members must also belong. The primary reason for that deals with the CODE of ETHICS of that Association, which, among other very important considerations, stipulates that the interest of the client always exceeds our own. We are an organization based on Trust and the promise of equity for all. Each of us has signed a "Participation Agreement", which has been endorsed by your broker, stating how we work and the schedule of payments we must adhere to as members.

AREA is a privately owned, licensed real estate company domiciled in Arizona. I am the owner/broker and have no staff save for the volunteer work done by Suzanne Cooper in helping with technical and logistical functions that keep us running smoothly. (As compensation, during the year some of Suzanne's expenses, are covered by us including her membership dues.) AREA also has contracts with highly professional outside resources to assist in a variety of functions including the website newsletters, legal, accounting, travel etc.

Our sources of income come from four arenas:

  1. Member Dues: These are $300 for the principal member and $150 for any secondary member, all annually paid on the anniversary of one's acceptance.
  2. Member fees for things such as the Retreat and, perhaps, other such opportunities, which are done at cost. (AREA is also responsible for arranging for the hotel and all of the venues and guaranteeing payments against the actual costs, which run over $40,000 per Retreat plus agreeing to pay for rooms, which do not meet the agreed upon minimum ($25,000+ is normally the amount of that guarantee.)  We only hope to break even, which happens occasionally and now, more so, because of the sponsorships.
  3. Sponsorships. Currently we have four who currently, annually contribute a total of $10,000 for promotional interests.
  4. Commissions on all commercial transactions among members (residential and Commercial). All such transactions done, member to member, require a payment of 5% of each recipients' side of the transaction to be paid to AREA.


Over the years we have been fortunate to hold what we have come to be known as the "AREA Gatherings" twice a year: D.C. and the annual NAR Convention. At these events, members are invited as guests of a volunteer host (Vince Malta has done this twice already and will also do it in San Francisco during the 2019 NAR Convention, during which he is inaugurated as President.) Many others like Sherri Meadows, have done the same hosting and I also thank them. This is a special event and so much appreciated by our attendees.

Over our 13 years, AREA has held Retreats in the following locations.

  1. Tucson 2007
  2. Denver 2008
  3. Denver 2009
  4. Seattle 2010
  5. Las Vegas 2011
  6. San Antonio 2012
  7. New Orleans 2013
  8. Napa 2014
  9. Stowe 2015
  10. Santa Fe 2016
  11. Santa Barbara 2017
  12. Newport 2018
  13. Boise 2019


Next year we are schedule to be in the wonderful city of Cleveland, followed by Nashville. If you would like to have this event in your community, please let us know.

The optimum timing of the event was recently determined to be early to mid-July, as those dates, up until now, seem to have been the most compatible with the competing schedules of other industry events both state and national. Please feel free to express your opinion about these dates.

In 2014 we created the Advisory Board to provide our members with a forum to assist AREA in remaining, not only viable, but also forward thinking. While, at the same time, also, helping to facilitate member engagement. This is not a policy board, but, as the name implies, "Advisory". Ken Libby, Diana Bull, Leslie Rouda Smith, Hagan Stone have served all of us well over the past several years. In the end, AREA, as a private company, remains solely responsible for establishing and implementing policy that it believes is in the best interest of the organization.

As we move forward, based upon the comments made at our 2019 Retreat, we realize that we must understand the dynamics of the marketplace and act accordingly.

As Hans Hansson and Trinkie Watson, along with a bevy of others pointed out during their remarkable commentary, Trinkie, a very proficient residential agent in Tahoe and Hans, a leading commercial broker in San Francisco, through a friendship that has developed over the years, have found that residential and commercial are not only compatible but essential if the bar of success for any of us is to be raised to meet the new realities.

Trinkie knows nothing about commercial but is constantly being approached by her clients with questions about things dealing with commercial and, thus, she and Hans have formed a mutually beneficial relationship that allows her to refer to Hans with confidence that if a deal results, no matter, when or where, she will be compensated.

It is our strong suggestion that ALL of our residential members, who currently do not have a commercial partner, seek out a competent NAR member commercial broker to be their Hans and then to nominate them to join AREA as a full member.

AREA, in order to retain the intimacy that we have achieved, will close out our membership at 200 and, thereafter, vary between 180-200.