The National Association of Realtors is in the process of selecting the final candidate to succeed Terry McDermott as the trade group’s chief executive officer. McDermott is scheduled to leave his post at NAR in January. The association so far has been mum on who’s in the running and how many candidates are on the table.

Inman News has compiled a list of our top 10 candidates for the position:

1. Steve Jobs: Let’s face it, the real estate industry needs innovation and could use some of the wisdom and guidance that Jobs currently gives to Apple computers. Could the same guy who brought us the iPod and iTunes – two names that have become synonymous with music – create a revolutionary way of conducting real estate business?

Tell us your top pick for NAR’s new CEO. Click here to cast your nomination.

2. George W. Bush: During his time in office, the president has repeatedly upheld the importance of the nation’s housing market and promoted an ownership society. He warmed up to Realtors during NAR’s mid-year meetings in Washington, D.C., in May, saying that Realtors play a crucial role in upholding the American Dream. Bush also has been in favor of providing less-costly healthcare for small businesses – another concern NAR has been tackling for members. His current office is within view of NAR’s D.C. headquarters, so running back and forth should be a breeze.

3. Joel Singer: In all seriousness, the fearless leader of the California Association of Realtors would do a fine job of heading the nation’s 1 million-plus Realtors. Singer played a critical role in the formation of and was one of the first industry leaders to push for home listings on the Internet. While at C.A.R., Singer has built a professional team and powerful presence in California while providing intellectual and strategic advice to NAR on finance, technology, research and government policy issues.

4. Bob Hale: The CEO of the Houston Association of Realtors believes strongly in providing high-tech member services. During his tenure with HAR, the association’s Web site has become the premier real estate portal for Houston, with 300 million hits per month. HAR also offers free Web sites to every member.

5. Barbara Corcoran: The self-proclaimed Queen of New York Real Estate has razor-sharp business sense and a spunky personality to boot. She built a real estate empire on $1,000 she borrowed from an old boyfriend – imagine what she could do with one of the most powerful lobbying groups on Capitol Hill.

6. Sen. Hilary Clinton: While we’re nominating women, why not Hilary? She’s been cozying up to the industry by proposing measures that aim to boost housing. NAR liked her proposal for a measure to provide incentives to encourage employers to assist employees in buying a home. She also introduced a bill that would provide tax credit to developers and investors who build affordable housing for lower-income individuals.

7. Yoda: Realtors could use Yoda’s wisdom in the fight against banks. NAR has earmarked the issue of national banks getting into the real estate brokerage business as a top priority for the past few years and has made some headway but still hasn’t succeeded in getting a permanent ban passed by way of legislation. Although soft-spoken, Yoda is a force to be reckoned with and could give NAR the upper hand.

8. Steve Ozonian: Few in the industry have had as many leadership roles in different aspects of real estate as Ozonian. As former chief of, executive at RE/MAX International and now homeownership executive for Bank of America, Ozonian has the experience and business vision that would benefit NAR members. He could figure out the online listings business, understand the needs of large brokers and provide insight from the bank side as well as what consumers want.

9. Chip Roach: The chairman of Prudential Fox & Roach is just the forward-thinking, entrepreneurial-spirited candidate for the job. Roach’s background leading a brokerage company would give him an edge for understanding large broker member needs, and he could help members learn how to adapt to changing market and technology conditions.

10. Alan Greenspan: The Fed chief will need to keep busy when he leaves the chief monetary policy position. As CEO of NAR, Greenspan could give the trade group an edge on how to predict long-term interest-rate movement. Although Greenspan has been cited as saying there is “froth” in some local housing markets, he could guide members with insight on changing financial conditions and how to prepare. 

Tell us your top pick for NAR’s new CEO. Click here to cast your nomination.


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