Newly minted National Association of Realtors (NAR) CEO Bob Goldberg made some big promises to smash the trade group’s “ivory tower facade” and position it to keep up with the real estate industry’s ongoing transformation with “smart change” under his leadership.
One area of priority was reviewing the organization’s structure across the board, which hadn’t been done in 15 years, Goldberg said in his debut August speech at NAR’s Leadership Summit.
Today we’re seeing that plan unfold with the announcement of 10 reorganized groups — some merged, some expanded and others newly created — across NAR’s two offices in Chicago and Washington, D.C., in an effort to “enhance services to and engagement with members,” the trade group said in the announcement. NAR worked with outside experts in conducting an organizational design study to evaluate its internal structure, processes and staff.
“This reorganization reflects the promise I made when I was named CEO last August to create better efficiencies in engaging with and serving the association’s members,” said Goldberg in a statement. “This restructuring to the internal organization is the most sweeping change in the association’s history, and I’m confident it will drive greater innovation, put more focus on member engagement and satisfaction, achieve a more holistic communications and marketing strategy, and improve the association’s nimbleness and decision-making.”
The structural changes, and NAR’s newly organized Senior Management Team, include the following, effective immediately:
- NAR’s Government Affairs and Community and Political Affairs divisions are merged into a new Political Advocacy group, led by newly promoted Chief Advocacy Officer and Senior Vice President Bill Malkasian, who will bring greater synergy to the association’s federal, state and local advocacy efforts.
- A new Member Experience group will focus on ensuring Realtor associations and members are highly engaged and satisfied with the association and it many services and offerings. NAR General Counsel and Senior Vice President Katherine Johnson takes on an expanded role overseeing all functions related to Legal, Information Services, Association Leadership Development, and Association and Multiple Listing Service Governance.
- Communications, Marketing, and Meetings/Events are merged into one group, Marketing, Communications and Events, led by Senior Vice President Matt Lombardi. This group will bring significant enhancements to the way NAR communicates with members, ensuring consistency, continuity, rapid response and accuracy in branding, design and messaging.
- A new Strategic Business Innovation & Technology group, led by recently promoted Senior Vice President Mark Birschbach, will drive industry innovation and bring benefits to members through strategic relationships with a broad range of business and technology players. Birschbach will oversee NAR’s Realtor Benefits Program, Center for Realtor Technology, Second Century Ventures, REach accelerator, top-level domains, and the relationship with Move, Inc., operator of realtor.com.
- Commercial and Global services continue under the leadership of Senior Vice President Janet Branton and will continue to focus on delivering service and value to members working in the global and commercial arenas and creating and building partnerships with real estate professionals and organizations around the world.
- A newly formed Member Development group, led by newly named Senior Vice President Marc Gould, will drive an integrated education strategy for Realtors. Gould will continue as dean of student services for Realtor University, oversee NAR’s Center for Realtor Development, Leadership Academy and the Commitment to Excellence and member financial wellness programs currently in development.
- The Marketing Research and Predictive Analytics teams will be merged into NAR’s Research group to centralize research and data collection and analysis and will be led by Chief Economist and Senior Vice President Lawrence Yun.
- Human Resources and employee engagement remains under the oversight of Senior Vice President Donna Gland.
- NAR’s enterprise technology infrastructure, ecommerce and staff facing Information Technology services, security and support remain under the leadership of Chief Technology Officer and Senior Vice President Mark Lesswing. The group will also represent NAR on several technical industry standards organizations.
- The association’s Finance group, overseeing budgets, financial analysis and real estate management will continue to be led by Chief Financial Officer and Senior Vice President John Pierpoint.
- A new Leadership Resources team will also be led by Director Erin Campo, who reports directly to the CEO and oversees the operations of NAR’s elected leadership, including coordinating their meetings, travel, outreach activities and initiatives to achieve their visions and goals.
“Redefining the staffing structure is an important step toward making sure our members continue to come first,” said NAR President Elizabeth Mendenhall, a sixth-generation Realtor from Columbia, Missouri and CEO of Re/Max Boone Realty, in a statement. “I believe this new NAR will help bring us greater success in achieving the association’s strategic priorities in 2018 and beyond.”