In Memoriam: 1996 NAR President Art Godi, an Educator and Advocate

He had a global reach teaching the principles of real estate and leading the effort to quash a threat to the mortgage interest deduction.

Arthur “Art” L. Godi, of Stockton, Calif., 1996 president of the National Association of REALTORS®, passed away on April 15, 2023. He was the principal broker of Art Godi, REALTORS®, which he founded in 1961. During his many years of service to the REALTOR® organization, Godi served at the local, state, national and global levels.

Under Godi’s leadership, NAR ran a successful lobbying and consumer education campaign to oppose flat tax proposals that would repeal the mortgage interest deduction. NAR “took no position on the flat tax itself or any particular presidential candidate,” Godi later explained. However, “as the association whose mission is to fight for preserving the American dream of homeownership, we had to educate people that the attractiveness of the flat tax masked a devastating threat to their lifeblood—the value of their home.” NAR commissioned a study that predicted significant losses in home prices if the MID were repealed, and REALTORS® testified before congressional committees about their concerns. In the end, the flat tax proposal lost momentum, due in large part to the actions of REALTORS®.

NAR also played an influential role in the development of regulations to implement the federal Lead-based Paint Hazard Reduction Act. Before the act’s passage, the association advocated for requiring disclosure of known lead paint hazards. During the rulemaking period in 1996, NAR provided recommendations for consumer information pamphlets and gave clarity to the role of real estate practitioners in lead paint disclosure. “It’s good business to let people know up front what they’re buying,” Godi said. He made it a priority to educate members on the new rules, saying, “We REALTORS® can be proud of our involvement.”

Among Godi’s other accomplishments during his presidential year was a campaign to educate members on the purpose and benefits of the REALTORS® Political Action Committee, leading to a 15% increase in national RPAC contributions. Also, at a special meeting of the NAR Board of Directors that year, Godi led the decision to shift NAR’s technology initiatives to create a publicly accessible “central gateway” that became®.

Godi served on the Board of Directors beginning in 1978, on the Executive Committee from 1985 to 1997, and on numerous NAR committees, including International Operations, Finance, Nominating, and Strategic Planning, as well as the Certified International Property Specialist Advisory Group. He was president of the California Association of REALTORS® in 1981 and the Stockton Board of REALTORS® (now Central Valley Association of REALTORS®) in 1967, and was honored as REALTOR® of the Year by both organizations. In 1998 and 1999, Godi was NAR’s reciprocal director to Italy, and from 2000 to 2003, he was reciprocal director to Russia.

As part of his dedication to the real estate profession, Godi was heavily involved in the education realm. “As an educator,” he said, “I'm often reminded of the truism that if you want to achieve a certain goal, you start by finding people who've already achieved it and then borrow some of the ideas and techniques that have worked for them.” In 1962, Godi began teaching real estate courses at the University of the Pacific and at San Joaquin Delta College, where he created the Real Estate Principles course and taught it for 51 years. He also served as chair of the Real Estate Continuing Education Committee for the California Department of Real Estate.

During his career, Godi held the GRI, CRB, CRS, and CIPS designations and taught courses in all of these. He even co-authored the original CRS program and served as its first instructor. Globally, he taught in 22 cities across Eastern Europe. In 1987, NAR honored Godi as Outstanding Real Estate Educator in the United States. Later, in 2003, the Real Estate Business Institute presented him with the Hall of Leaders Award, established to honor CRB “designees who have provided outstanding contributions and service in the real estate industry and profession.” Along with his many designations, Godi held the At Home with Diversity certification.

Godi is survived by his wife, Joyce, four children, and many grandchildren. He loved to play golf and was an avid sports fan, cheering on many California teams, including his alma mater, Stanford. A longtime supporter of the arts, Godi served on the board of the Stockton Civic Theater group. He was also a member of the North Stockton Rotary Club and the Stockton Golf & Country Club, and he sat on the board of the National Center for Healthy Housing.