RISMedia's Real Estate Magazine

JUL 2018

Real Estate magazine is the industry's leading source for real estate news and information since 1980. Published monthly by RISMedia, Real Estate magazine offers timely and relevant real estate news to the industry's top brokers and agents.

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RISMedia's REAL ESTATE July 2018 33 To do so meant a full organizational realignment at NAR, which led to changes like 227 employees reporting to new leadership and an abolishment of the "silo men- tality." Job titles were reexamined and terms like "de- partments" and "divisions" were replaced with "teams" and "groups." The goal was to invert the pyramid, and the process is ongoing. "The main goal of the realignment never ends," Gold- berg explains. "We will always look to perfect our struc- ture to make sure it's member-first and member-focused. That's why we did what we did—to eliminate the hand-off mentality and a delay in responsiveness, and to make us more nimble. We're working hard with leadership to flip the pyramid upside down so that the members are at the top and NAR is at the bottom." BELLY-TO-BELLY WITH REALTORS ® Part of the organizational realignment at NAR meant get- ting NAR staff on board with its new member-centric mis- sion. To make that happen in a fast and tangible way, E LIZABETH MENDEN- HALL'S rallying cry for her 2018 presidency is the phrase, "REALTORS® Own It!" While effective in its simplicity, its meaning is actually multilayered and deeply significant. In its sim- plest form, Own It relates di- rectly to the NAR mission of advancing homeownership for more Americans, but the message is also meant as a call to action for NAR leadership and REALTORS® themselves. "In our organization, our local presidents and state presidents turn over every 365 days," explains Men- denhall. "You have to be willing to take ownership of your organization during that time. We've given it to you; make it better than where you found it. And, as REALTORS®, there's a lot of conversation about professionalism. You have to be willing to be more professional and own your role in the transaction as a trusted advisor for the con- sumer—you can't leave it up to someone else." Mendenhall's 2018 pri- orities break down into four key areas: 1. INCREASED PROFESSIONALISM. This year, NAR is introduc- ing the REALTOR® Commit- ment to Excellence Program, which invites members to take a skills assessment to measure their proficiency in 11 areas, including eth- ics, advocacy, technology, data privacy, and customer service. "Professionalism has so many components," says Mendenhall. "A lot of con- sumers really like their real estate a gent, but they don't like real estate agents as a whole. What you really want as a consumer is someone who has your best inter- est at heart, someone who is looking out for you. We have to be the best that we can be." 2. INCREASE INFLUENCE IN AN UNCERTAIN LEGISLATIVE, REGULA- TORY, AND POLITICAL ENVIRONMENT. NAR played a huge role in this year's historic Tax Cuts and Jobs Act, collec- tively sending a record-high 300,000 letters to Con- gress. NAR's efforts helped preserve the rules of exclu- sion for capital gains on the sale of a principal resi- dence, and preserved the 1031 like-kind exchange for real property. Mendenhall is calling upon members to increase advocacy efforts, as it di- rectly affects their busi- ness. One of the most im- portant legislative issues on the agenda for this year is the preservation and ad- vancement of the Fair Hous- ing Act. The Act turned 50 in 2018, but work remains to ensure fair access for all, Mendenhall says. "As stewards of the right to own, use, and transfer private property, REAL- TORS® depend on a free, open market that embrac- es equal opportunity. Fair housing protects our liveli- hood and business," says Mendenhall, "and it pro- tects consumers. It makes all of us stronger." 3. TAKE THE MANAGE- MENT OF REAL ESTATE DATA TO THE NEXT LEVEL. The third priority involves the evolution and manage- ment of real estate data. "Competition and the de- mand for more data and analysis is forcing the management of real estate data to evolve," says Men- denhall. "We want to help brokers better understand effective ways of managing their data." 4. ENSURE THE ROLE OF THE REALTOR® IS ESSEN- TIAL TO THE CONSUMER. All of Mendenhall's priori- ties feed into the ultimate goal, which is to make sure the REALTOR® remains es- sential to the consumer. And one of the best ways REALTORS® can secure their role is to stay educat- ed, informed, and current on innovation. And that's where NAR can help. "One of the things NAR does best is provide news and information on every issue and every new tech- nology coming up," says Mendenhall. "You don't have to know everything, but you have to know what you don't know. You have to be con- fident and know why you're doing what you're doing." WHY REALTORS ® HAVE TO 'OWN IT'

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