The 2019 NAR president is committed to the power of member stories in addressing America’s real estate needs.
NAR 2019 President John Smaby

© Oscar & Associates

You’ve encouraged NAR members to “Own Your Story.” What does that mean to you? Who isn’t moved by a good story? No doubt, REALTORS® have many to share. Whether you are a commercial or residential agent or broker, property manager or appraiser, or association staffer, every member of the REALTOR® family has stories of the work we’ve done to help strengthen communities. As the 2019 president of the National Association of REALTORS®, I’m excited to share the stories that show our commitment to helping people have a better place to call home. In this issue, I’m humbled and proud to share my own story as a second--generation REALTOR® and leader. My late father Phil, NAR’s 1976 president, helped me appreciate the association’s irreplaceable role in advancing the industry while being ever mindful of the necessity to give back.

Do you have advice to help REALTORS® own their story? A really compelling story is revealed in a new NAR report, the Community Aid & Real Estate survey, which confirms a theory I’ve long believed in—few groups give back to communities as much as REALTORS® do. A full two-thirds of NAR members volunteer in some way every month; among the -broker-owner community, the percentage rises to 77 percent. And it’s not just our time that we are generous with; it’s also our hard-earned income. Eighty-two percent of our members donate money on an annual basis, exceeding the 57 percent national average for giving in the U.S. The second step is making sure our narrative is heard. Self-promotion isn’t easy for a lot of us, but it can be a critical component of a successful marketing plan. (Check out this story for tips to enhance your marketability through storytelling.) Your clients play a key role in this effort, too.

What will be the focus of our association’s next chapters, through 2019? NAR’s core mission is to help REALTORS® become more successful. As we work together to write NAR’s next chapters, several initiatives remain at the forefront: communication, professionalism, advocacy, and technology.

Some of the biggest challenges we’re up against are housing affordability and supply issues with potential consequences far beyond real estate. The health of our economy and society are at stake. As trusted community experts, REALTORS® can be part of the solution to this complex problem. To learn more about the ways REALTORS® can offer a path forward, visit You’ll find resources NAR has developed that will help agents address housing affordability and supply in their own communities. To own our story, we must be ready to tackle big issues head-on and, to that end, NAR is committed to working with our members and REALTOR® associations at every level. I assure you NAR’s continuing story will be a real page-turner.