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National Association of Realtors

NAR builds huge consumer database via Houselogic, now in action

NAR’s Houselogic site has been gathering consumer data for years now, and as of today, they’re putting it to use and getting consumers involved in effecting change.

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Since its launch four years ago, the National Association of Realtors’ Houselogic website has been collecting consumer data, that they will now officially be doing something with. NAR President Steve Brown has announced a Consumer Call for Action (CCFA), built on a strategic initiative the trade group has been working on for two years, asking consumers to sign a petition and/or send a letter to their House of Representatives member to fight to keep homeowners’ current deductions for home interest and local and state tax deductions.

Congress is currently discussing these deductions as part of a larger tax reform conversation, although no legislation is currently proposed.

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In asking consumers to voice their concerns and help shape federal tax code reform, this marks NAR’s first ever test of the Consumer Outreach Program, reaching out to 85 million homeowners, including several million prospective owners. The CCFA will begin today and run until at least mid-July. This advocacy outreach to consumers is a part of NAR’s Strategic Plan and is being executed through the Community and Political Affairs Department utilizing REALTOR® PARTY advocacy tools.

It’s all a part of homeownership awareness

Brown said in a statement, “This consumer outreach will help us find out more about how we should communicate with consumers in the future. It is part of a concerted homeownership awareness, education and action campaign by NAR to demonstrate to homeowners that REALTORS® share concerns with consumers on issues relating to homeownership; and that REALTORS® can be counted on to articulate those concerns and stand up for consumers at the federal, state and local level.”

This is just the beginning

“A tremendous component of the Realtor Party program is truly communicating with the public about real estate ownership issues at all levels of government,” said Bill Malkasian, Vice President of Political Strategic Planning at NAR. “No matter if it’s educating the consumer on real estate issues or which candidates are real estate ownership supportive, consumer outreach is the future of advocacy.”

Malkasian added, “This first time nationwide consumer outreach call to action is just the beginning of how NAR will educate the public on issues relating to ownership of real property.”

NAR is in a unique position

Pennsylvania Association of Realtors’ CEO, and Realuoso editorialist, David Phillips adds his personal thoughts, noting that “This makes sense to me. NAR is the only advocate for homeowners and for years Realtors have been protecting their interests without any expectation of partnership or cooperation.”

“In today’s political climate, housing is under attack,” Phillips opines. “With this move, it sounds like NAR is looking for homeowners to help the fight to protect the interests of homeowners and private property rights.”

Being proactive with homeowners

“I’m thrilled NAR is taking the initiative to reach out to the consumer in such a proactive way,” said MRED President and Chief Executive Officer Russ Bergeron. “Building an alliance with homeowners and having their support on initiatives increases substantially the influence NAR wields in Washington, as well as on a state and local level. Glad to see them focusing their efforts in something that is in their wheelhouse.”

Some praise and a dash of criticism

Bob Bemis, Founder at Procuring Cause Advisors said, “This move to direct communication with consumers is a logical extension of NAR’s change in emphasis much more toward political advocacy and lobbying. In February, they changed the name of their spring conference in Washington DC, now calling it the ‘Realtor Party Convention & Trade Expo’ to highlight their efforts on capital hill. But they certainly recognize that a trade association can’t just do things, they must tell people what they are doing for them. Such activity is designed to show the consumer that Realtors are in their corner.”

Bemis also adds in a dash of criticism, noting that, “It’s interesting that not all of NAR’s actions are pro-consumer. In October last year they opposed a change in HUD rules that would prohibit dual agency in HUD short sale transactions. NAR opposed the rule change and got HUD to back down. Dual agency is illegal or unethical in every other profession that offers any kind of representation, yet NAR defends the practice vehemently. That posture, to me, is not in the consumer’s best interest and flies in the face of their professed support of homeowners and buyers.”

Lani is the Chief Operating Officer at The Real Daily and sister news outlet, The American Genius, and has been named in the Inman 100 Most Influential Real Estate Leaders several times, co-authored a book, co-founded BASHH and Austin Digital Jobs, and is a seasoned business writer and editorialist with a penchant for the irreverent.

National Association of Realtors

The more communicative you are, the more you’re apt to earn

Communication is key in any relationship, but even more so when it’s the Realtor/Client relationship. Here’s why.

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In our fast-paced, technology-driven world, Realtors need to be able to engage clients quickly and in a way that allows them to be both personable and professional. Celeste Starchild, Vice President of Move and General Manager at ListHub, gives a bit of insight on how Realtors can tap into the online market more efficiently.

One of the first thing Starchild suggests is maximizing your online presence with search engine optimization or SEO; effectively using SEO will boost targeted advertising to reach consumers when they are most likely to be ready to buy or sell a home.

She states, “search engine marketing drives high quality and high volume leads. If you have the budget, you can pay for the right to have your name and business visible to practically all consumers looking for an agent in a specific location.”

Consumers want immediate responses

This is especially important given the majority of consumers in today’s market are “digital natives.” These “digital natives” are millennials or Gen X-ers who have been around technology so long, they can’t remember a time when the Internet wasn’t at their disposal. Due to this, they tend to go online to do research because they are not familiar with doing business in-person. They also expect an immediate response, as they are used to texting and email, not phone calls and letters.

Starchild states, “consumers want immediate responses from their friends and family via email and texting. Realtors risk missing an opportunity with this demographic if they aren’t responding in a timely, informative, and personable manner.” This includes areas such as social media.

Have you notices Facebook actual lists a response time on business pages now? They do. Most businesses strive to answer messages within an hour, or risk losing business.

Don’t shoot yourself in the foot

Facebook can be an extremely successful and cost-effective marketing tactic for Realtors by using predictive advertising. With this, you can target scenarios such as job relocation, marriage, child birth, and divorce, as purchase drivers and your ad will appear alongside a potential buyer’s Facebook page. This is one of the most powerful and effective ways to reach consumers, according to Starchild, as you are reaching out to them at the critical moment of decision.

Practically every interested buyer or seller will search online for information about a Realtor and read reviews about them before contacting them. This is another area Starchild suggests you examine: “It doesn’t matter where on a search list a Realtor shows up if they don’t have an updated profile with a professional headshot, listed contact information, and a few client recommendations. Failing to do [this] will ultimately lead to missed business;” and no one wants that to happen. So, take a few moments and ensure your contact information is updated and readily available as a search result so you do not miss a potential client.

Improve earnings by being communicative

Once a client messages you, you should aim to respond in the first five minutes, even if your response is automated with a promise to follow-up quickly. As long as you’re reaching out, you can increase your contact rates exponentially.

“Consumers are looking for facts and they want them now. How you respond and interact with them influences their decision on whether or not they’re your client forever, or they’re on to the next one,” says Starchild.

No one wants to miss business, simply because they forgot to respond. Automate responses, use social media, and update your Realtor profile and you’ll be on your way to maximizing your contact rates and client satisfaction.

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National Association of Realtors

NAR Announces 2021 Leadership Academy Class

[REAL ESTATE ASSOCIATIONS] NAR offers annual Leadership Academy to help participants enrich their leadership skills. Applications for the 2022 academy opens December 2, 2020.

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The National Association of Realtors (NAR) Leadership Academy identifies, inspires, and mentors emerging leaders from local and state levels. The Leadership Academy aims to give participants the opportunity to enrich their leadership skills while learning the history, structure, and inner-workings of NAR leadership. The 11-month program includes twelve interactive online courses and in-person experiences designed to prepare graduates to represent the 1.4 million NAR members.

2021 NAR President Charlie Oppler, a Realtor® from Franklin Lakes, N.J., and broker/owner of Prominent Properties Sotheby’s International Realty said, “NAR’s Leadership Academy provides one-on-one experiences and tools that equip volunteer leaders for the critical roles they will play shaping American real estate in the years ahead.” Oppler continued, “Volunteer leaders are vital to our industry, and by better understanding the needs and strategies of our association, Leadership Academy graduates can affect change at the national, state and local levels of this organization.”

The program runs from January through November, concluding at the 2021 REALTORS® Conference and Expo in San Diego, CA. Course summaries, applications, and resources are available at the NAR website. The application period for the 2022 class will be open from December through March 2020.

The 25 Realtors® selected from across the country to participate in the 2021 NAR Leadership Academy are:

Brian Anzur (CO)
Michelle Bailey (ID)
Jaime Caballero (FL)
Cheri Daniels (WA)
Ryan De Guzman (Guam)
Nina Dosanjh (CA)
Gaspar Flores (IL)
Andrew Fristoe (VA)
Karem Gallo Garcia (KS)
Christy Gessler (TX)
Michael Gobber (IL)
Alisha Harrison (WA)
Cynthia Haydon (FL)
Michael Inman (KY)
Bakhsish Khalsa (CA)
William Klein (MO)
John LeTourneau (IL)
John McPherson (NC)
Gonzalo Mejia (FL)
Eileen Oldroyd (CA)
Lorena Pena (TX)
Jairo Rodriguez (NJ)
Derek Sprague (CA)
Peggy Todd (VA)
Heather Zimmaro (OH)

The session topics participants will cover during this course include: How NAR Leads Real Estate from Washington, D.C.; Leadership Skills: Basic- Intermediate; Becoming a Better Spokesperson; Leading NAR From Chicago, IL; and Building Your Legacy: Taking the Next Steps in Your Leadership Journey.  In person meetings are designed to provide opportunities for open dialogue and will be located in Washington D.C., Chicago, and San Diego.

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National Association of Realtors

What NAR’s senior management hires reveals about their strategy

(REAL ESTATE) The National Association of Realtors (NAR) has hired two powerhouses, and their choices speak volumes of what to expect from the trade group going forward.

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The National Association of Realtors (NAR) confirms two top hires – Victoria Gillespie as the new Chief Marketing & Communications Officer, and Shannon McGhan, the new Sr. VP of Governmental Affairs.

These two hires reveal two major signals from NAR.

First, and most unavoidable, these are two rising stars that happen to be women, putting more females in the boardroom which the industry has struggled to do, even in recent decades. In fact, McGhan is the first female in her role in NAR’s 110-year history.

Secondly, these two executives are extremely qualified and come from within their respective segments to serve their roles, and clearly prove CEO Bob Goldberg’s continuing to boldly restructure the corporate organization of the association since his taking the reigns last year.

McGahn will fill the very big shoes of Jerry Giovaniello who retires this year after nearly four decades at NAR and a stellar record of successes. McGhan is sharp and modern – she cut her teeth on the Hill as communications director for the House Republican Conference, and spent over six years serving in various policy communications roles for the House Republican Conference, the Office of the House Majority Leader, and Congresswoman Jennifer Dunn (R-WA). She served as counselor to the secretary of the U.S. Treasury, spearheading relationships with members of banking and tax writing committees alongside House and Senate leadership, managing legislative agendas and priorities.

“I’m excited to join NAR and bring my experience in the legislative and executive branches to support policies that not only benefit members, but promote property ownership for everyday Americans,” said McGahn. “On behalf of NAR’s 1.3 million members, I look forward to promoting the American dream of homeownership, bolstering private property rights and emphasizing the financial security and other associated benefits of owning real property.”

NAR has hired an up-and-comer that knows the intricacies of inside baseball to handle the policy nuances.

Equally impressive is the fact that they’ve also brought on a power player, Gillespie, who has owned her own real estate agency for over 12 years, and served as Sr. VP of Enterprise and Marketing Communications for Northwest Federal Credit Union. She’s extremely well versed in real estate and finance, a powerful combination for the next communications leader at NAR, as the trade group seeks to tackle the daunting and endless task of strengthening their relationship with consumers and activating the Realtor brand.

“I’m thrilled to take on this new role at NAR and put my knowledge of the real estate industry to use for our members,” said Gillespie. “Having spent much of my career in the industry, there are tremendous opportunities to increase the awareness of the value and services that NAR offers so that our members understand that NAR is a radically member-centric organization. I look forward to working with our talented team to do so.”

“The addition of Victoria and Shannon’s strategic leadership to our already powerful team will help us once again make real estate a topline issue,” said Goldberg. “Together, they will lead our strategic direction in Washington and around the country to better serve our members’ interests.”

The combination of these two hires strongly indicates powerful, modern communications and policy strategies in coming years. In short, these hires indicate that they’re not messing around.

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