We’re All in This Together

You've shared your thoughts on the future of NAR and the real estate industry. Now, association leadership is ready to turn those ideas into action.

July 11, 2013

Not long ago, leaders of the National Association of REALTORS® developed a long-range strategic plan to position our industry and our members for success in the new millennium. That was the Second Century Initiative, and out of it came stepped-up political advocacy efforts, which have dramatically increased funds and technical assistance to state and local REALTOR® associations. The initiative also led to the creation of our best-in-class data company, REALTORS Property Resource®, and the launch of Second Century Ventures, our strategic investment company.

I mention these game-changing initiatives because they’re examples of how NAR’s strategic planning translates into concrete programs that are working for you every day.

Today we’re deep into another game-changing planning effort, REThink, and we’re closing in on ideas that could again shake things up at NAR. REThink was launched last year as a fresh way to create our next strategic plan. Thousands of you have already participated in one of two dozen workshops held around the country, contributing ideas about our current and future challenges. As CEO Dale Stinton recently noted, NAR leaders are “ready to get in trouble” if that’s what’s needed for the REALTOR® family to continue thriving. I second that sentiment 100 percent.

At the Midyear Meetings in May, we released a preliminary report with some noteworthy findings. First, you want your association to engage members via more open communication. Second, you want NAR to become a more prominent resource for consumers. And third, you want more focus on raising the bar of professionalism.

You also want NAR to take a hard look at proposals for restructuring the REALTOR® family. That means looking at whether some local boards should be consolidated, while examining the agreements among national, state, and local associations. You’re also interested in a more accessible path to association leadership.

In addition to proposed changes at NAR, just as many ideas were generated for what the industry as a whole needs to consider. For example, many of you think the industry needs to be more cooperative and less competitive, such as with data sharing.

Based on the input we’ve received from you, the Strategic Planning Committee will soon draft a vision for the future. The NAR Board of Directors will weigh in on that vision when it meets in November at the association’s annual meeting in San Francisco.

A finished plan is often just a document that is put on a shelf and is never seen again, but as we saw with our last major planning effort, ideas can be turned into action. With REThink, you’ve spoken and we’re listening. The potential for reimagining how things are done is limitless.

Gary Thomas

Gary Thomas was 2013 president of the NATIONAL ASSOCIATION OF REALTORS®.