BAM Key Details:
- With accusations in the New York Times “just the tip of the iceberg,” Jason Haber announced a project that allows industry professionals to take part in holding the National Association of REALTORS® accountable for change.
- The NAR Accountability Project aims to advocate for necessary and transparent reforms within NAR.
- Industry professionals can get involved by going to agentsdemandchange.com and sharing information about the NAR Accountability Project on social media.
News of National Association of REALTORS® (NAR) president Kenny Parcell’s resignation has swept the industry this week. But industry professionals don’t believe a single swap in leadership will address all the issues alleged in the article.
After all, accounts from Debra Kamin’s New York Times exposé, along with countless public comments online, detailed more than just claims against Parcell. The accusations go much deeper, pointing to the entire leadership team, as well as the culture deeply embedded in the NAR organization.
Stepping into her presidency early, NAR president-elect Tracy Kasper stated, “As your president, I take the responsibility of rebuilding very seriously.”
Many in the industry have voiced their concerns about how Kasper and the leadership team at NAR plan to rebuild—not just the culture within the organization, but its trust from dues-paying members as well. Others are working to ensure that NAR lives up to the statements being released and is held accountable for change.
Change Starts with Action
After The Times article was published over the weekend, Haber started receiving calls from current and former NAR employees. In a call with BAM, Haber said,
Over the last three days, I’ve spoken to at least 25 current and former staff. The stories I’ve heard from them not only confirm what was in the New York Times, but it turns out The Times was just the tip of the iceberg. This isn’t a story about just one man, Kenny Parcell. This is a story about a toxic, broken culture that exists in the upper echelons of NAR.
After hearing these accounts firsthand, Haber wasted no time in taking action. He started a petition on Change.org, demanding “the Immediate Resignation of Kenny Parcell.”
Over 200 signatures and one resignation later, Haber knew his efforts couldn’t stop there. Enter the NAR Accountability Project.
NAR Accountability Project
The NAR Accountability Project includes dues-paying members of the organization, not internal employees. The goal, which can be found on the project website is “to advocate for necessary and transparent reforms, and that the ongoing process should be made accessible to all members.”
To be clear, Haber stated they are not looking to tear anything down. Rather, the project respects NAR and wants NAR to be a successful organization.
We’re looking to make NAR a rock for our industry that it really needs to be. Especially right now, with all these critical issues we’re facing between the lawsuits and all the other regulatory and statutory issues around the country that require our full attention.
But they know that won’t happen until reforms are made internally.
Proposals from the NAR Accountability Project
In order to bring about the reform needed, Haber shared that the NAR Accountability Project has a series of policy proposals they believe will put NAR on sound footing and allow the organization to thrive.
The proposals include:
1. A new leadership team.
Although the current team has achieved positive outcomes for the organization at large, they have presided over a toxic environment. Therefore, Haber explained, they should be removed from their leadership positions.
CEO Bob Goldberg should resign this week—or at least announce an early retirement. And he should not be responsible for picking who succeeds that position. It should be someone outside the organization entirely.
2. Hire a third-party human resources provider.
The next proposal is something that could be implemented immediately, and Haber believes could change the culture overnight. Since there is little, if any, trust between leadership and employees, a third-party HR provider would enable employees to report any claims outside the chain of command.
We have seen too many stories of internal reporting of sexual harassment within the organization that gets covered up, that gets brushed under the rug, or where the woman gets blamed. And we’re not going to stand for that.
3. Release NDAs that aren’t tied to trade secrets.
Finally, anyone who has a non-disclosure agreement that is not tied to trade secrets should be released from those NDAs. After all, if the accusations are “categorically false,” as Parcell has stated, the NDAs make it seem like NAR is hiding something.
How to Get Involved
Since getting 200 signatures on the Change.org petition, Haber stated that those numbers have been doubling each day. At the time of writing this, Haber and his team at the NAR Accountability Project have heard from nearly 1,000 agents who want to get involved.
The movement is growing exponentially—and it is one that agents from all over the country, with different perspectives and outlooks—agree on.
Any industry professional who wants to get involved and help hold NAR accountable for change can do so by heading to agentsdemandchange.com.
You can also download the images below (right-click and save) and share on social media with the hashtags #agentsdemandchange #realtor.