WASHINGTON (December 11, 2018) - The National Association of Realtors® (NAR) announced today staffing changes in the organization's advocacy, marketing communications, member experience and technology groups that will strengthen NAR's ability to serve as the leading voice for Realtors® on key legislative policies while fostering technological innovation on behalf of its members and enhancing the member experience.
"These changes represent the next phase in our ongoing efforts to advance the real estate business and industry and put members' interests first, from representing Realtors® and property owners in Washington to driving development of new technology in Silicon Valley," said Bob Goldberg, CEO of NAR. "We are executing on the vision set forth earlier this year to achieve more for our members and succeed in a period of upheaval and generational changes."
A modernized approach to advocacy
NAR's new organizational structure bolsters its advocacy efforts by realigning its lobbying resources to interact more effectively on key issues with members of Congress and key committees most relevant to the real estate industry. It also continues and enhances NAR's commitment to a 21st century public advocacy operation, striking a balance between building on its existing internal resources and the selective retention of outside firms that will extend its reach and members' voices in the nation's capital.
"Our new, streamlined approach provides more flexibility to work with outside firms as we develop public policy campaigns on issues identified in our federal issue survey," said Shannon McGahn, senior vice president of government affairs. "Using well-connected, outside experts in these areas deepens our bench and amplifies our voice in Congress while giving our internal team more flexibility and time to focus on relationships across the executive and legislative branches of government."
Integrating marketing, communications for better member experience
Building on the integration of marketing and communications into one group, recently appointed chief marketing and communications officer Victoria Gillespie has developed four teams, including a new digital strategy group with data and analytics capabilities to drive more advanced marketing and communication strategies along with meetings/events/sales, content and creative, and media/public relations/advocacy/operations. Integrating skillsets across these teams enables NAR to improve efficiency and coordination, allowing for more timely, transparent, direct and relevant member communications.
"Integrating our marketing and communications teams ensures we will have greater alignment in our messaging and brand presentation across all of our communication channels, while encouraging collaboration and creativity throughout the marketing and communications team," said Gillespie.
The member experience team also has been reorganized into two teams, each focused on a target audience - members and organizations that serve our members, including Realtor® associations, affiliates, MLSs and global partners - and each having subject matter experts for association leadership, governance, commercial and global.
"The reorganization of this area is intended to create a more holistic approach to serving our stakeholders," said Katie Johnson, general counsel and chief member experience officer of NAR.
Technology with Realtors® in mind
Following the creation of the strategic business, innovation & technology group (SBIT) earlier this year, NAR is forming an emerging technology team. This team will identify and evaluate emerging technologies and analyze their potential impact on real estate. It will also build relationships with corporations, governments and academic institutions that are researching and developing emerging technologies. The emerging technologies team will be part of a larger strategy and innovation group that replaces the Center for Realtor® Technology and will be led by a new vice president of strategy and innovation, who NAR expects to hire in early 2019.
"I am excited to announce these new initiatives for the SBIT group," said Mark Birschbach, senior vice president of strategic business, innovation and technology. "These changes will drive additional efficiencies within SBIT and expand its efforts to drive innovation in real estate both globally and domestically as well as provide additional benefits to members."
The National Association of Realtors® is America's largest trade association, representing more than 1.3 million members involved in all aspects of the residential and commercial real estate industries.