- NAR's new CEO takes over today and says he's ready to make "disruption" work for Realtors. He has not yet publicly revealed his concrete plans for change.
Today is Bob Goldberg’s first day as CEO of the National Association of Realtors, and he wants the trade group’s 1.2 million members to know his tenure is not going to mean business as usual.
In public statements so far, as well as a video published today, both NAR and Goldberg seem acutely aware of the skepticism among some in the real estate industry that Goldberg’s selection as CEO could mean maintaining the status quo, continuing the trade group’s reputation in some quarters of being slow-moving, stodgy and resistant to technological innovation.
“Bob’s appointment opens a fresh chapter in our association’s 109-year-old history, a chapter undoubtedly to be hallmarked by discovery, innovation and progress. A revolution is brewing on almost every level of organized real estate, driven by legislative, MLS, technology and market forces,” NAR 2017 President Bill Brown said in today’s video welcoming Goldberg.
NAR’s leadership team is “confident that with Bob’s vision, his second-to-none business acumen and his unique ability to leverage technology investments successfully, he is poised to spearhead progress to shape our industry and ensure Realtors remain at the front of the real estate transaction.
“Bob is a fearless leader who embraces fearless ideas.”
Before taking over as NAR CEO, Goldberg was senior vice president of sales and marketing, business development and strategic investments, professional development and conventions for NAR.
He continues to be president and CEO of Realtors Information Network (RIN), the for-profit, wholly-owned NAR subsidiary that oversees the realtor.com operating agreement with Move Inc. In 2016, NAR received $1.86 million in license fee payments from Move for its use of the realtor.com site, according to NAR’s Finance Committee.
Industry consultant Rob Hahn has questioned why, after 22 years, Goldberg hadn’t previously effected the ideas for innovation that NAR said had impressed the CEO selection committee.
But in the aforementioned video, Goldberg portrayed his experience as a NAR veteran as an asset he will leverage to pinpoint where the association can improve and make “disruption” work for Realtors.
“I’ve been in the industry for over 30 years, 22 of those with NAR. I have a grasp on the association’s strengths and our weaknesses. We have an incredible foundation already in place, but I know we can, and we will, get better,” he said.
“Industry evolution is moving at a rapid pace with disrupters promoting and advancing aggressive change. But I believe change and opportunity walk hand in hand. Now is the time to embrace disruption to make it work for our members.
“I have a number of ideas, including a three-year plan devised to keep our association and membership ahead of the curve.”
When asked to elaborate on those ideas and the plan, NAR spokeswoman Sara Wiskerchen said in an email, “Bob is in the process of sharing his plans and strategies for implementation internally before he begins sharing them externally. He’s already shared those plans with Realtor leaders and is meeting with staff throughout this week.
“In two weeks, at NAR’s Leadership Summit in Chicago, Bob plans to connect with staff executives of state and local associations and their presidents-elect. [Inman publisher] Brad Inman is speaking at that meeting, and he’s asked to speak with Bob about his plans too; we are hoping to connect the two of them during that meeting so they can talk one-on-one and get details to share in a story for Inman’s readers.”
Goldberg said one of his first goals is to improve communication between NAR members and the trade group’s executive team. He invited members to follow him on the Realtors CEO Facebook page and his LinkedIn profile.
“I’m going to make a concentrated effort to stay in touch regularly. Communication is a two-way street. I look forward to hearing our members’ suggestions and feedback,” he said.
Goldberg is replacing Dale Stinton, who has been with NAR for 36 years, nearly 12 of those as CEO. Stinton becomes CEO Emeritus of NAR today until December 31 when his contract expires and he transitions into full retirement, NAR has previously said.
In a parting blog post yesterday, Stinton said he had “been lucky to be part of the largest dream-making and dream-saving machine the world has ever known — organized real estate and Realtors.”
“[T]hank you for giving me a reason to get up in the morning and instilling the belief in me that each of us really can make a difference,” he added.
“And today, July 31, 2017 … the bitter sweetness will at last be replaced with the knowledge that I tried my hardest, I felt deeply about my job, and the ultimate consolation that Webster’s dictionary still today defines ‘Realtor’ as a member of the National Association of Realtors!”