NAR Wants to Put REALTORS® in High School Classrooms

The association’s Ignite Others initiative, launching next year, aims to demonstrate how members can use their skills and expertise to uplift their local communities.

The REALTOR® brand has been invigorated this year as members of the National Association of REALTORS® in all 50 states rally to celebrate the power of their collective voice during the national Riding with the Brand motor coach tour. But what will keep the energy going once the tour reaches the finish line in November at NAR NXT, The REALTOR® Experience in Anaheim, Calif.?

A new initiative called Ignite Others will carry the torch, aiming to translate the unifying message of the Riding with the Brand tour into action, 2024 NAR President Tracy Kasper announced Tuesday during the association’s Leadership Summit in Chicago. The initiative, which officially kicks off next year, will be centered around events and programs designed to help members demonstrate their community leadership—including sending them into local high schools to teach students about financial literacy and homeownership preparedness.

“We will have an opportunity to change the lives of an entire generation of [potential] homeowners who never thought they could achieve that piece of the American dream,” Kasper said of the Ignite Others high school financial education program, which is now accepting applications for volunteers to go into their local public or charter school. The goal is to help young people from all walks of life understand how to plan for a financial future that includes homeownership—and possibly even a career in real estate. “We can build a culture of inclusion and belonging. So often, when we say we want every voice at the table, the table doesn’t necessarily change. So, we’re saying, ‘It’s time to build a new table.’”

Members of Kasper’s 2024 Leadership Team talked about Ignite Others’ six “points of light,” which will “ignite our fellow members, our associations and our communities to help build a better, more inclusive future with opportunity for all,” Kasper said.

  1. Financial literacy. The goal of the volunteer teaching program is to empower youth to make informed financial decisions and secure a prosperous future. By preparing more young people for homeownership, the real estate profession can become more inclusive.
  2. Illuminating community. REALTOR® associations will host events and activities that demonstrate members’ commitment to supporting community development and property ownership. Associations can apply for a grant to support these events.
  3. Member financial wellness. The Center for REALTOR® Financial Wellness helps members get their own finances in order so they can speak authoritatively to others about the subject.
  4. Sustainability. REALTORS® have an opportunity to explain and demonstrate to consumers how they support healthier, vibrant and more accessible places to live. NAR’s Sustainability Summit, which is being held in Atlanta in September, is one avenue to learn more about your role in sustainable housing.
  5. Future leaders. Association executives and other REALTOR® leaders will be able to give “Ignite Others” pins to members who exemplify the initiative’s philosophy and purpose, creating an avenue to develop future leaders. This also will help associations’ road map for diversity and inclusion.
  6. Member success. Professionalism, education and advocacy are key elements to the vitality of members’ businesses. NAR offers an array of resources, such as the REALTORS® Commitment to Excellence program and the Center for REALTOR® Development, to help real estate pros reach a higher level of customer service.

All REALTORS®, members of the National Association of REALTORS®, are leaders, whether in their family or through their brokerage, community or association, Kasper said. Leaders must take responsibility for everything in their world, including the impact they have on their customers and neighbors, she added. The Ignite Others initiative aims to impart leadership skills to members. “Taking ownership requires humility and courage. Taking ownership for mistakes and failures is hard. But doing so is key to learning, to developing solutions and, ultimately, to victory.”