NAR kicks off nationwide search for ‘diverse’ CEO candidates


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Applications to become the 1.5 million-member trade group’s 13th chief executive will be accepted through July 31, the National Association of Realtors announced.

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The National Association of Realtors has officially kicked off a nationwide search for a new CEO, the 1.5 million-member trade group announced Monday.

NAR has engaged minority- and women-owned national talent firm Career Management Partners to help handle the search, and a job posting for the role on the company’s website indicates applications are accepted through July 31.

Any new CEO of NAR will have their hands full overseeing not only the day-to-day business of an annual budget, with more than $350 million in revenue and 350 employees, but also a myriad of other challenges, including multiple antitrust lawsuits, possible federal government involvement in the real estate industry and criticisms of the association’s role in advancing fair housing and in supporting political candidates that violate its own code of ethics.

bob 1

Bob Goldberg

The search launch comes after NAR announced last week that its current CEO, Bob Goldberg, would retire at the end of 2024 after nearly three decades at the association. Goldberg became NAR’s CEO in 2017 amid some criticism from NAR members.

They asked for more transparency in the selection process and were disappointed when NAR chose a candidate that had been with the trade group for 22 years and some suspected was predetermined.

Many at the time also hoped that NAR would choose its first female CEO, which inspired a real estate broker to start a Facebook group called “NAR Girl Boss 2017” which currently has 771 members. All 12 CEOs in NAR’s history have been men, despite women comprising the majority of Realtors.

NAR specified in its announcement Monday that it intended “to identify candidates with diverse backgrounds and experiences, both inside and outside of the real estate industry.” Its job posting stresses NAR is “an Equal Opportunity Employer (EOE/Minorities/Females/Vet/Disabled)” and includes an extensive list of qualifications and requirements for the role.

The posting does not include a salary range, but Goldberg’s salary was $2.52 million in 2021, according to NAR’s nonprofit tax filing that year.

The new CEO will report to NAR’s president and its board of directors and is expected to live in either Chicago or Washington, D.C., and “be regularly present in both NAR office buildings.” They will be in charge of setting goals and managing NAR’s budget to align with the trade group’s strategic plan, while at the same time carrying out the priorities and agenda of the NAR board of directors, according to the trade group.

“The Search Committee seeks an executive with exceptional interpersonal skills as well as business and financial acumen to navigate NAR’s large and complex structure,” the job posting reads. “The executive will arrive ready to help NAR tackle the trends, challenges and opportunities facing the real estate industry.” According to the posting, these areas include but are not limited to:

  • The constantly changing legislative landscape
  • An active and broad-based bi-partisan advocacy team focused on consumer and Realtor engagement
  • New and exciting technology influences
  • Protection and growth of the NAR brand
  • Development of professionalism of NAR membership
  • Effective communication within and between levels of the association
  • Maintaining the relevance of the association, the industry and its membership

Candidates should have a minimum of 15 years of relevant experience with at least 10 years in executive positions and should have “strong experience leading a significant trade association, professional society, or other large and multipart business,” the posting also specifies.

The position is not for the faint of heart, the posting makes clear, noting that the new CEO must be able to navigate the needs of various industry stakeholders, promote the Realtor profession politically, keep NAR’s finances healthy and push for innovation while respecting what worked in the past.

A few of the requirements and duties listed in the job posting include:

  • “They will be well-networked and balance their time between serving as an external representative and a spokesperson for the organization, board partner and as an internal leader to senior leaders and staff. They will acknowledge the diverse real estate industry landscape and thrive on the challenge to unify the culture of this large, complex organization.”
  • “Raise visibility and awareness for the value of the Realtor profession, ensuring that NAR is ‘at the head of the table’ in regulatory and policy discussions at the local and national level.”
  • “Maintain a healthy mix of dues and non-dues revenue while controlling expenses. Directly oversee the Association’s reserves and ensure investment policies are fully complied with and NAR remains financially healthy.”
  • “This individual must be a forward thinker who inspires a culture of change and innovation while remaining respectful of, and maintaining successful elements of, current and previous priorities of NAR. They will convey NAR’s strategic priorities and innovative ideas in a way that generates support for the shared goal of increased performance and relevance of NAR.”

NAR declined to publicly identify the members of its search committee.

“[W]e expect a similar number and structure to committees of the past while we work to emphasize and execute a broad, nationwide, diverse search,” NAR spokesperson Wes Shaw told Inman in an emailed statement.

Email Andrea V. Brambila.

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Alexandra Williams
Alexandra Williams
Alexandra Williams is a writer and editor. Angeles. She writes about politics, art, and culture for LinkDaddy News.

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