Steve Brown is 2014 president of the National Association of REALTORS®. Read his official NAR bio.
We’ve Heard You and We Get It
NAR President Steve Brown responds to criticism.
September 17, 2014
I’ve heard the criticisms: “NAR is behind the times,” “NAR is like a large ship that can’t move fast enough to respond to: a) the market, b) new technology, c) big agents, c) small agents, d) big brokers, e) small brokers, f) all of the above.” These complaints are usually paired with the recognition that NAR is successful with lobbying, yet it falls short with regard to meeting the business needs of members. I’d like to respond by sharing the perspective I’ve gained over the past three years helping to steer this ship.
I’ve witnessed an organization that strives daily to address member needs. During the Great Recession and its aftermath, for example, NAR staff didn’t pretend everything was okay. They created the “Right Tools, Right Now” program that offered free and discounted business tools to help you carry forward during a very challenging time.
Have the interests of every member been addressed over time? No. Over the past few years, brokers’ needs have sometimes taken a back seat in the association’s programming, not because brokers are unimportant, but because NAR has been applying a broad brush to help all members improve their sales.
This approach has worked to some degree. But as real estate markets have become more specialized, such a generalized approach is not always effective. Here’s a sampling of initiatives we’ve instituted to target many of the frustrations:
- Committee and forum realignment. We’ve substantially overhauled the structure of our committees and forums, largely to address brokers’ needs more efficiently and to provide more streamlined communications.
- Broker Summit. In August, more than 200 brokers from across the country gathered in Atlanta to obtain concrete advice on operating issues and risk management. We’ve also launched the Broker to Broker program to provide tools with compelling business value.
- Environmental Summit. In July, NAR leaders convened in Washington to learn from policy experts about the implications of climate change and other environmental issues for the real estate industry.
Your Leadership Team gets it. We’re responding. To those who doubt the veracity of this claim, I say, join us at the REALTORS® Conference & Expo and see for yourself. This year it’s in New Orleans, Nov. 7–10, and it’s where you’ll find the latest and most useful information and tools for you and your brokerage at the largest real estate industry event in the country.
NAR can’t be all things to all people at all times. No organization can. Can NAR help brokers run a better company and all REALTORS® be more profitable and professional? The answer is absolutely yes. Come to the conference in November, and see what NAR has to offer you now.
Updated: September 20, 2019