NAR 'furious' over criticism of leadership, denies profiteering

Addressing a critical op-ed, the real estate trade group strongly defends its actions and denies benefiting 'in any way' from DocuSign

Editor’s note: The following piece was first published by NAR’s Facebook account in the comments of Jim Harrison’s critical op-ed on NAR for Inman on Thursday, May 10, 2018. We have republished NAR’s commentary responding to Jim in full, editing only to comply with our style guidelines.

On Wednesday, an op-ed piece by MLSListings CEO Jim Harrison was posted on Inman called “It’s Time to Stop Ignoring the Crisis at NAR [also labeled ‘NAR Leadership in Crisis’ in an email].

I am responding to this message on behalf of the leadership team because we are furious at the allegations made.

Our take on this op-ed is simple — it’s wrong, and our members need to know the facts from the fabrication. The op-ed not only misleads but provides a narrative that is dishonest and disheartening.

The falsehoods, misrepresentations and misinformation listed in this piece distort what’s really happening at the National Association of Realtors today.

First, no members or staff have profited from the DocuSign initial public offering. Implying that there are “NAR insiders” could not be further from the truth. Our Leadership Team and the Second Century Ventures Board of Directors have confirmed in writing that they have not benefited in any way from the DocuSign IPO.

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In leading our 1.3 million members and the entire real estate industry, we have faced difficult and tough decisions. The NAR Leadership Team, CEO Bob Goldberg and the entire staff are aligned and committed to moving our association into the future, and we stand with Bob, who is helping drive the many changes at NAR and our industry. We are here to help our members be more successful and keep them essential to the transaction. We are 100 percent committed to tackling the issues of our industry. We are not afraid to shake things up and do what’s right.

Many of you have met us at local, state and national meetings. We are Bill Brown, past president; John Smaby, president elect; Vince Malta, first vice president; Tom Riley, treasurer; Kenny Parcell, vice president; Colleen Badagliacco, vice president; and Elizabeth Mendenhall, president. We accepted and are proud to serve in these positions to represent the membership. We take our responsibilities seriously and sacrifice time away from family and our business to serve the membership.

To have these statements made about us is reckless and misleading.

The new NAR is open, transparent and proactive. We have not shied away from talking about the proposed 2019 NAR budget, S.M.A.R.T. Initiatives and the biggest issues facing our members. We have been proactive in publishing information about the budget from the moment the budget committee of more than 50 people met on March 22.

We immediately shared information on March 25 with association executives at AEI. We sent out an email to all members directing them to a website where they can get more information. We hosted a live town hall on Facebook for anyone and had over 15,000 views on the video. We have been to countless associations across the country and met face-to-face with thousands of members and over 300 National directors. We fielded phone calls, hosted a webinar and welcomed questions. We have not gotten everything perfect, but we have tried to keep the member in mind all along the way. As the process and information changed, we kept you informed and up to date. While some have had questions, concerns or criticism, we listened and shared in meaningful conversations.

We are not afraid of criticism and welcome an open respectful dialog and honest discussion. However, this type of bullying is unacceptable and no volunteer or staff should be subject to this. It discourages participation and involvement. The future of our organization is strong and we want our members to be fully engaged with their National Association of Realtors.

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