A Message from NAR President Tracy Kasper

A Message from NAR President Tracy Kasper

Sep 7, 2023
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President Tracy Kasper recorded a video for NAR members addressing the challenging and distressing circumstances NAR has been navigating over recent weeks.

As Tracy explains, NAR’s Leadership Team and Executive Committee met recently to discuss the instances of sexual harassment and misconduct reported by the New York Times last month, making clear that the association has begun to plot a better path forward for its staff, members, and current volunteer leaders.

“We must figure out what NAR needs to do to make sure every member and every association staff person always feel respected and valued,” Tracy states in the video, going on to stress her commitment to reforming and rehabilitating NAR’s internal and external culture.

Watch as Tracy shares her vision for how we move forward.

Learn more about NAR’s commitment to fostering a respectful workplace.

A Message from NAR President Tracy Kasper - Transcript

I have both a heavy heart and one of hope as we grapple with a very difficult situation. The Leadership Team and Executive Committee met last week regarding recent reports of sexual harassment and other misconduct that led to the resignation of our last president.  I want to take a moment to talk with you about this and answer some questions you may have. 

Let me start by acknowledging the members and staff who are hurting right now. Their trust has been broken. It’s upsetting to hear that some members and staff have not felt safe or respected. I want you to know I hear you. The Leadership Team and Executive Committee hears you. We must figure out what NAR needs to do to make sure every member and every association staff person always feel respected and valued. 

One of the questions we’re hearing is, how did this happen? I can promise you going forward we will do – and be – better. First, we are engaging outside experts to assess the way reports of misconduct are investigated and resolved. While NAR investigates every complaint received, sometimes with the assistance of outside legal counsel, we will evaluate that process and those outcomes. We expect there will be recommendations to implement new and better safeguards and procedures. Second, we will evaluate the way leaders are selected, the power and control they have, and how they interact with the association staff professionals.

Another question we are getting is, even if the conduct wasn’t unlawful, why didn’t you do more to stop it? I can tell you that within the past year, NAR did implement a number of new policies to address the conduct and behaviors of volunteer leaders. If you go to the NAR website at “About NAR” and “our commitment,” you’ll find more details about those policies. But what we are seeing and experiencing shows us that those new policies and practices still are not enough. 

There is much more work to be done. And it’s like our real estate transactions. And for those of you who haven’t met me, I am a broker/owner and I list and sell real estate every day. As we all know, we learn things right in the middle of the transaction that we didn’t anticipate and know we have to fix. We will do exactly that. And just like we do in those transactions, we will get guidance and recommendations from outside experts, and we will get input from members and staff.  

As has been reported, we are employing a new Culture PAG. This effort is still evolving but will include contributions from NAR members, state and local association executives, as well as NAR staff members. We are all important collaborators and stakeholders in this mission to protect and promote property rights, fair housing, affordable and accessible housing and more. 

We also need to be aligned on how we engage and support each other. I am also pleased to share that we have engaged the expertise of renowned organizational culture expert, Shaun Harper, to guide the Culture PAG toward recommendations for a better future.

Members, we have a lot of work to do. Your Executive Committee and Leadership Team feel an incredible sense of importance and urgency around this, and we are moving quickly. We also want to do this right. We have to listen better. We have to take meaningful action. We have to do better by our members and our staff. Look for us to share timely updates as we figure these things out. 

There is one goal, but certainly not just one path to get there. Please continue to share your thoughts and ideas with us. We want to hear them.  Together, we can effect the necessary changes we need to make to move forward.

Please know that as hard as this moment is, I still very much have faith in this organization. There are so many people who care. So many people who want to do the right thing. You have the unwavering commitment of the Executive Committee, the Leadership Team and me to get this right. 

Because no one should feel anything less than heard, empowered and able to do their work in an environment where they feel safe and respected. And I need each and every member beside us on this. Each and every member treating each other and every member of staff with dignity and respect. 

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