To better bridge its efforts with the industry at large and membership, the National Association of REALTORS® (NAR) is restructuring its staff across advocacy, marketing, member services and technology, according to an announcement by the organization on Tuesday. Among the changes are the forming of four marketing teams, as well as an “Emerging Technology” team.
“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, in a statement. “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.”
The advocacy department—which represents over 1.3 million REALTORS®—will be “modernized,” according to the announcement, to align with the “current environment” in Washington. In charge of the effort is Shannon McGahn, senior vice president of Government Affairs, who NAR hired in October.
“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 McGahn in the statement. “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.”
On the marketing side, Chief Marketing and Communications Officer Victoria Gillespie, also hired in October, has formed four teams, including one for digital strategy. The goal, according to the announcement, is to allow 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.
(Editor’s Note: Both Gillespie and McGahn recently shared their thoughts and vision in RISMedia’s Real Estate magazine. See the story.)
The Member Experience team, meanwhile, has been reorganized into two teams: one focused on members, and one focused on the organizations that serve them, such as associations and MLSs.
“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, in the statement.
In the area of technology, the association is forming an “Emerging Technology” team, which will eventually be integrated into a larger team that will replace the Center for REALTOR® Technology. In early 2019, NAR will hire a vice president of Strategy and Innovation to lead the new team. Earlier in 2018, the association created the Strategic Business, Innovation and Technology (SBIT) group).
“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.”
NAR had previously shuffled its staff at the start of the year, in what was then called “the most sweeping change” in the history of the organization.
For more information, please visit www.nar.realtor.