Innovation continues to alter the real estate’s operating landscape. NAR President Elizabeth Mendenhall shares best practices for an evolving industry.
Elizabeth Mendenhall

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How is NAR helping REALTORS® stay in front of technology trends?

Rapid transformation within the real estate industry parallels changes occurring at the National Association of REALTORS®. When Bob Goldberg became NAR’s CEO last August, working alongside our Leadership Team, we immediately introduced changes to make NAR a more radically member-centric organization. As part of the internal restructuring, the Strategic Business, Innovation, & Technology Group was created to focus on engaging world-class innovators and keeping NAR ahead of industry disruption.

Our early-stage technology fund, Second Century Ventures, invests in leading tech companies in which we leverage resources to help members keep pace with rapid tech changes. Providing a window into cutting edge of technology, NAR will host the iOi (Innovation, Opportunity, and Investment) Summit in San Francisco, August 28–30. This inaugural event will show REALTORS® how to capitalize on the possibilities ahead.

What technology trend should REALTORS® be most attuned to?

Some of the biggest changes in the industry focus on how we access and record data—and do so securely. Blockchain technology, which provides an instantly verifiable public record, has tremendous potential for transforming real estate transactions by streamlining and safeguarding the title and mortgage process and tracking insurance claims and other essential data. Be assured that no segments of the industry will be dismantled in the process. An NAR Presidential Advisory Group has been assembled to focus on the state of the electronic transaction, including blockchain, to ensure our members are prepared.

How else is NAR preparing for the future?

Future-focused planning will keep our association relevant and strong. NAR’s committee structure, in which more than 2,500 REALTORS® participate, establishes the groundwork for long-term success. The Board of Directors approved a 2019 operating budget in May that includes NAR’s S.M.A.R.T. Initiatives, including $35 million in new programming. One highlight: the Commitment to Excellence professionalism program to assess and strengthen members’ expertise in core competencies, including data privacy, ethics, and advocacy.

How should real estate pros plan for the future?

Education is key. Practitioners must stay on top of industry trends and new technologies—our clients are more knowledgeable than ever, so the onus is on us to show our value to consumers. REALTORS® are always busy, but making time for professional development is a top priority. Take advantage of the ongoing education that NAR provides.