NAR addresses ‘Big Brother’ fears as it gears up to centralize and crunch member data

Data-mining initiative aimed at improving promotion and delivery of services

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The National Association of Realtors is not watching you. That’s the message NAR’s chief technology officer, Mark Lesswing, wants to drive home to Realtors about the trade group's new predictive analytics program. The assurance, which he broadcast in a presentation at NAR's recent midyear conference, underscores NAR's desire to avoid unnerving Realtors as it begins to mine its trove of member data for insights that could help the trade group better promote and deliver services and initiatives. NAR launched the effort last year, hiring industry veteran Todd Carpenter to head up a new predictive analytics group. The group's work will be groundbreaking for a trade organization, Lesswing said. And it may soon underpin NAR's marketing and advocacy campaigns, with its first round of analytics slated to launch later this year. "We hope to share our knowledge with other trade associations," Lesswing said. "It’s a little bit of a science project." Lesswing draws a line bet...