Pay to Play in Texas

Before I get to my question, let me get this out of the way; Yes I am relatively new, I got my Texas license in Oct 2022 so the course contents are still pretty fresh on my mind.
During the course of the program we hear that it’s not ethical to pay a realtor or broker or whatever to get on their preferred list. I completely agree with this this. Where my question comes in is we are also told that we should pay to join our local realtors association so we can generate more inspections through the association. Why is it ethical to pay to get on the realtors associate members list to get more inspections when it’s not ethical to pay real estate companies to get on their list to generate more inspections. Again, I would never offer a real estate company money for any reason other than to buy/sell a house.
I’ve been bothered by this question for a while now and I can’t seem to get past paying to be on the associations list to get more inspections.

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I’m not in Texas, but inspectors in my area join the realtor’s association in order to get access to Supra Key and ShowingTime.

I don’t think I’ve ever gotten an inspection just for being an affiliate member of the association, but I’m sure I get a few agent referrals because they know I can schedule my own inspection with the sellers and can access the home without the agents having to coordinate everything.


Great question and I suppose it’s about the size of the association as a whole v. a single office but am just guessing. Also, it’s a bit of the “fox guarding the hen house.” The association that makes the rules (in Texas, HIs are regulated by that commission, right?) wants the membership money.

In Maui I joined the realtor association as an affiliate which gives me access to their agent list and I’ve done some email marketing to them with decent results.

In the end, my understanding of the intent of the rules (in and out of Texas) is to give consumers a fair chance to pick an inspector and not be routed directly to one just because he/she gave a broker or an office some money.

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I’ve looked into to joining our local association but at that time didn’t have the money. Decided to give it a year to build up my finances. I do recall a conversation about an app I would gain access to. So this does make sense, because sometimes the realtors are too busy to go to the properties and let the inspectors in.
Thank you for your response.

I can see gaining access to the list of agents. I know in Texas our TREC Texas Real Estate Commission is all about protecting the consumer.
Thanks for your response.

That’s total BS. Realtors are lazy used house salesmen. Generally if a realtor won’t show up for access I tell the client they must not be all that interested in your needs. That generally gets them moving. They can make arrangements for another agent to open up for you. Remember there are two agents involved, if they want it to happen it will happen.


I’m not from Texas either but I’ve been an affiliate member of my local Board of Realtors for 20 years now to have access to SentriLock and ShowingTime, as stated by Ryan above.

I don’t rely on Realtors to let me in a house to do my job, I also like the fact that I can go online and schedule inspections without having to call LAs only to find they’re on vacation in the caribbean and are out of reach of cell service.

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Agree with Ryan and to take it a step farther by being an affiliate member you have opportunities to sponsor realtor classes and get in front of agents (usually new agents) and market yourself and your business.


You’re in a relatively small market, so tougher to judge if joining the local realtor association will get you more business. It may be a little like being on a vendor list. As far as why it is ethical to pay money to the association, your money is not directed at an individual agent or office. In a large market, like mine, joining an association is only worth it for access to lockbox codes as a convenience to agents.

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These responses are great. I can see the difference. Like I said I intend to join, this question just popped into my head and I couldn’t get past it. It really sounds like the cost could be worth it.
I work with one Realtor who goes out of her way to make sure I can get into a property, even if that means she gets the key from another realtor and leaves it at her office for pick-up. I’m thankful she tries to make sure I’m able to do my job.
I appreciate all the input.

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Why are you not showing on the TREC license list search? Should be there by now.

Where are you located?

Joining the RE Association is only worth it to obtain access to a Supra Key so RE Salespeople don’t have to be there. However if you want to join just to get on the affiliates list go for it.

The difference between joining an association and paying a RE Office is you are joining an association for benefits and the money goes to the association. When you pay a RE Office you are paying to access only their clients and they get the money.

The only purpose of any licensing agency is consumer protection otherwise there is no useful purpose for licensing. However once you have been in the business for awhile you will find that for some agencies this is not their purpose.


I just did the TREC search for myself (without logging in), I’m there. The license number is 25829. I’m in Amarillo.

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When I searched I did it by last and first name and it did not show up. It appears to now. No surprise their DB has many glitches.

Make sure you change your INACHI profile to add a footer and put your license number it it so it shows on all posts. Believe it or not TREC considers this advertising.

Paying to join a realtors association is not about buying preferential treatment or access to clients, but rather about investing in your professional development and networking opportunities.