Thu Jun 20 20:52:32 EDT 2024
Home#OpEdNew Trade Association on the Horizon? Labor Unsatisfied with Options.

New Trade Association on the Horizon? Labor Unsatisfied with Options.

The Winds of Change are in the Summer Air!

After years of promises to Labor by both the National Association of Mortgage Field Services (NAMFS) and the International Association of Field Service Technicians (IAFST), many are coming to the conclusion that neither Association appears to have Labor’s best interests in mind. As hundreds of millions of dollars have flooded into the Prime Vendor’s coffers since the massive price increases from Fannie Mae, Freddie Mac, and HUD, Labor has felt none of it. Regardless of what Wall Street is doing, inflation has dug in for the common man and woman and the $5.90 inspections simply have not kept up with the 33% increase in fast food and 26% increase in groceries, not to mention energy, housing, and other expenses. To put it more clearly, pricing has not increased for any line item in this Industry since the 1960’s, and has actually gone down. This, while inflation has risen 896%, and housing prices have risen by more than 2,350% since then. During that same time, rent rose by 892%. As a testament to the failure of these two Associations, there has been “… a mass exodus of over 70% of the experienced vendors since 2015, according to a NAMFS document entitled Mortgage Field Services Pricing Discussion released in 2022.

For years, I have dealt with Board members at each Association. Much like an activist investor, I have been tasked to complete things which the Boards themselves were incapable of doing. A good NAMFS example was the recent exposing of Jonathan Dedman Dietz of GIS Field Services in order to contend with his Board position while churning out $5.90 inspections. With respect to the IAFST it was the creation of the IAFST Federation of Labor to address their Board’s refusal to communicate with rank-and-file.

In recent surveys submitted to NAMFS and IAFST members, less than one in one hundred — that is less than one percent — had ever heard from their Board for anything other than to collect dues. And when it came to satisfaction with their Boards and value add from paying dues, that number was in the lower 20th percentile. We know that NAMFS membership losses are enormous simply from their IRS 990 filing. Details on the IAFST Membership is a bit more murky; however, what Labor remaining there has made it clear, without changes they are gone at the end of the year. Labor is mad and they have every right to be. Both NAMFS and IAFST have Prime Vendors on their Boards and none have had any interest in Industry wide price increases. And while both Associations have access to third party educational platforms, adoption has been minimal and neither Board has championed it as a means to increase pay.

Trade associations are supposed to be bastions of industry advocacy, offering a collective voice for member companies and safeguarding their interests. The Board serves at the leisure of its Membership and is not a privilege, but an honor.

    • Stalled Advocacy: What has your Board done for you lately? An ineffective Board can become entangled in internal politics, wasting valuable time and resources on a monthly meeting that has no meaning to its Membership when actions are not taken. This leaves core advocacy efforts neglected, with the Association failing to represent Member interests effectively before policymakers and regulators. It is even more problematic when Boards refuse to communicate with its Membership.
    • Irrelevance Breeds Apathy: Does your Board Make You Excited? When a Board prioritizes its own agenda over Member needs, the Association’s programs and initiatives become irrelevant. This disengages Members, leading to declining participation and dwindling financial resources, creating a vicious cycle.
    • Missed Opportunities: What Programs or Initiatives Has Your Board Put Forth? An out-of-touch Board might miss crucial Industry trends and fail to adapt to a changing landscape. This can leave Members vulnerable to new competitors and emerging threats, hindering their ability to thrive.
    • Membership Exodus: Do You Want an Association That Represents You? Ultimately, the biggest peril is a mass exodus of Members. Frustrated by a lack of value and representation, companies will seek alternative channels to address their needs. This can lead to an Association’s decline or even its dissolution.

These are the questions Foreclosurepedia is asking. We are digging deep as the time has come for Labor — true Labor — to determine their own future. In the case of the IAFST Federation of Labor, a caucus of the IAFST, it is contemplating breaking away from its parent association. In fact, not only has the Federation created its on website, they have branded their own domain. Discussions have been underway since the beginning of the year to gauge support, which has been overwhelming. As many know, our Founders Meeting was held last week and we voted to finally go public. Whether or not we petition the IRS for a stand alone 501(c)(6) depends upon a vote next month. That is the thing, you know? You may have all the titles in the world, but they are meaningless when you forget that your Membership paid the bills and empowered you. It’s like calling for a war and no soldiers show up to fight. 😉

The technical, post-mortem will not be made public anytime soon. Suffice it to say that the IAFST Federation of Labor stands with Labor. More details will be forthcoming, including Membership options and carryovers for those holding IAFST Memberships.

Our stats today come from a Survey launched last month. While we initially only surveyed 100 Association members, if you would like to participate in an anonymous survey that collects ZERO identifiable information, feel free to click here.

Paul Williams
Paul Williams
Off Grid Linux Junkie and Always a Friend of Labor!


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