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Each week on The Download, Inman’s Christy Murdock takes a deeper look at the top-read stories of the week to give you what you’ll need to meet Monday head-on. This week: Redfin CEO Glenn Kelman encouraged agents and brokers to leave NAR along with the company. Will they, and who else will join them?
The National Association of Realtors is facing unprecedented challenges to everything from its leadership structure to its control of the tools of the real estate trade. Now, it may be facing a truly existential threat as Redfin becomes the first major brokerage to break ranks and call on its agents and brokers to do the same.
EXTRA: Following Redfin’s announcement, it emerged that Anywhere was no longer requiring its agents and brokers to be NAR members. Find out more here: Anywhere unveils the details of its bombshell commission settlement
While the trade group initially seemed to believe that they could make do with a single sacrifice — the resignation of controversial President Kenny Parcell — they are now facing the possibility of a wholesale change to the way they do business and to the power they wield.
In a message to his employees, Redfin CEO Glenn Kelman cited the trade organization’s recent sexual harassment scandal alongside a host of other grievances in announcing that the company would be severing its ties with NAR. He called for as many as 1,800 Redfin brokers and agents to follow suit and cancel their memberships immediately.
Kelman said that Redfin had already made the decision to sever ties in June and had resigned its national board seat prior to the publication of allegations of rampant misconduct at the organization. Those revelations pushed Redfin to encourage those who could to cancel their memberships.
In his statement, Kelman acknowledged the difficulties faced by many of Redfin’s agents and brokers who live in markets where they are, for all practical purposes, unable to practice real estate without NAR membership. Therefore, he called on the trade group to decouple MLS access from organizational membership.
Redfin’s announcement reignited much of the discourse around NAR and the many challenges it faces and called into question the viability of the trade group if other major industry figures follow suit. The question has now become less about individual leaders at NAR and more about the continued existence of the organization at large.
The ongoing NAR saga has been an opportunity for industry leaders to offer their thoughts and opinions via Inman, so Redfin’s exit seems like a good time go back and look at how those opinions have developed and changed over time. Here are the op-eds we’ve published on everything from the scandal itself to the pros and cons of leaving and starting from scratch.
And, of course, it’s also a good time to remind you that we’re helping you stay up-to-date with all of the latest developments here: As NAR scandal unfolds, keep up with Inman’s latest coverage here.
The arcane volunteer structure at the National Association of Realtors prevents proactive decision-making and erodes individual accountability, Brad Inman writes in this Aug. 30 op-ed.
The Realty Alliance CEO Craig Cheatham illuminates the frequently byzantine path many Realtors follow on their journey up the National Association of Realtors’s formidable org chart.
President and CEO of Anywhere Brands Sue Yannaccone writes that this is the time for leaders to find and use their voices so that the industry reflects the values it promotes.
From unrealistic portrayals on reality TV to NAR’s unfolding scandal, the industry’s reputation will suffer until consumers are offered a better deal, writes NextHome broker-owner Edward Svec.
Amid massive leadership challenges, trainer and DEI expert Dr. Lee Davenport takes a deeper look at the ‘we’ in NAR’s ‘That’s who we R’ slogan and what it means to be a Realtor right now.
So-called organized real estate appears to be anything but in NAR’s convoluted structure, writes Inman founder Brad Inman. No wonder so few successful Realtors are willing to get involved.
Pam O’Connor, retired CEO of Leading Real Estate Companies of the World and NAR thought leader, offers her insights into the problems inherent in NAR’s business and leadership models.
Times are changing, and it’s not just real estate agents who need to pivot, writes broker Mayleene DeFreece. Redfin’s departure from NAR reminds us of the importance of transparency.