BAM Key Details:
- NAR was removed from the Great Place to Work list after receiving emails from the NAR Accountability Project.
- On Monday, advocates gathered in Chicago to demand immediate changes within NAR following allegations of sexual harassment.
Great Place to Work®—a global authority on workplace culture—has removed its certification from the National Association of Realtors® (NAR) after receiving emails from the NAR Accountability Project.
According to the NAR Accountability Project, the folks at Great Place to Work no longer consider NAR one of the best workplaces in the U.S.
That’s gotta sting a little. But if you ask members of the NAR Accountability Project—and the industry at large—it’s just the start of what needs to happen.
Advocates Demand Change within NAR
On Monday, advocates and concerned members of NAR gathered outside of NAR in Chicago to demand immediate and far-reaching changes within the organization.
NAR has become a house of horrors for its employees and members. Far too many do not feel safe, they do not feel heard, they do not feel respected. NAR’s leadership must take much stronger action to address this toxic culture.
A Call for Accountability
Illinois State Representative Kelly Cassidy joined Haber and members at the press conference on Monday, emphasizing the importance of holding NAR accountable.
The National Association of Realtors is following an old and tired playbook: trying to silence employees who had the audacity to stand up for themselves and their colleagues. I will always stand with survivors, and call for the end of the use of non-disclosure agreements to hide from true public accountability. NAR should take this moment as an opportunity to clean up its house and make the changes that so many are calling for to ensure a safe work environment for all employees.
Sharmili Majmudar, Executive Vice President of Policy, Programs, and Research for Women Employed, a Chicago-based non-profit advocacy organization, added her voice to the chorus of demands for change. Majmudar highlighted that the real estate industry, which predominantly consists of women, should prioritize the safety and respect of its agents.
The industry should be stepping up to ensure that their agents are safe and respected – flexibility alone does not make a good job, and no one should be forced to sacrifice their dignity and security for a paycheck.
NAR Accountability Project’s 4-Point Plan
To address the pervasive issues within NAR and bring about immediate change, the NAR Accountability Project has outlined a comprehensive 4-Point Plan:
- The termination of NAR’s CEO, along with other executives who failed in their professional and moral responsibilities to protect staff and association members.
- The release of all women from non-trade secret non-disclosure agreements.
- The implementation of a third-party human resources reporting system so employees can safely report incidents.
- A sweeping, independent investigation by a law firm without prior ties to NAR.
For more information on the NAR Accountability Project and its work, visit agentsdemandchange.com.
One more nail in the coffin?
The coffin in question is not so much for NAR as for its status as gatekeeper to MLS access for its members.
While the removal of NAR from Great Place to Work’s list may be a blow to its reputation, the larger issue at hand for real estate agents nationwide revolves around the demand for optional NAR membership. With approximately 1.5 million members, NAR has long held the keys to Multiple Listing Service (MLS) access for real estate professionals across the United States.
However, a growing sentiment among agents is that membership in NAR should be a choice rather than a requirement to gain access to the MLS. The recent controversies surrounding NAR’s workplace culture and accountability issues have further fueled this call for change.
The push for change within NAR and the demand for optional membership are representative of a broader conversation taking place within the real estate community—one that seeks to redefine the industry’s norms and ensure a better future for all real estate professionals. The path forward may be a long one, but it is clear that agents are up for the challenge.