Your Value Proposition

Fostering your financial security and pride in your accomplishments are high on NAR President John Smaby’s to-do list.
NAR President  John Smaby discusses NAR’s vision for secondary mortgage market reform.

© National Association of REALTORS®

At a high-level industry policy forum in February, NAR President John Smaby discusses the association's vision for secondary mortgage market reform.

You’re certainly sensitive to the risks real estate professionals take on by entering a field that, in most brokerages, offers no guaranteed paycheck. How is the association looking out for the financial well-being of members?

While ours is the greatest profession in the world, there is no doubt about it, we work extraordinarily hard for our paychecks. Nothing is more important to me than enhancing opportunities that help members be as successful in the business as they want to be. The truth is many agents and brokers are underprepared to cope with a costly family emergency, let alone their retirement needs. We launched the Center for REALTOR® Financial Wellness in recent months as a platform to help REALTORS® plan for their financial needs, no matter where they are on their career path. (Learn more about the Center for REALTOR® Financial Wellness and check out tips and strategies here.)

Besides giving members tools to chart their personal financial strategy, what else is brewing at the association that can help REALTORS® step up their game?

We launched a major multichannel national advertising campaign on Feb. 25 that’s aimed at showing REALTORS® in a way that not only promotes our value proposition to consumers but also showcases our pride in who we are. It’s a highly member-focused ad campaign honoring members’ far-reaching accomplishments. Over my 40-year career, I reveled in my role as a managing broker helping agents reach their goals. As NAR president, I seek to ensure my colleagues wake up proud each day about the work they do. There is no higher honor than helping people navigate the most significant financial transaction of their lives. We’re building trusted relationships that last a lifetime. We have so much to be proud of and many stories to tell.

What’s the messaging we’re conveying through the commercials and web ads?

Rather than wringing our hands about the ways technology, especially iBuyer platforms, can limit opportunities for real estate professionals, it’s essential we own our story and communicate to consumers the indispensable role we play both in property transactions and as industry and community advocates. REALTORS® make a difference in the lives of our clients as we help people find homes, secure financing, or prepare a memory-filled family home for sale. Our messaging reminds people “That’s Who We ‘R.’ ” The new campaign shows consumers what sets REALTORS® apart. Our trademark is priceless, and we're sending a clear message about all that we bring to the table. Members can even download the materials for their own use at We’re thrilled to share our accomplishments and highlight REALTOR® pride.