BAM Key Details:

  • In a video released on Thursday, NAR President Tracy Kasper addresses questions from NAR members and shares some of the organization’s steps to rebuild trust.

Nearly two weeks after a New York Times article exposed sexual harassment allegations and scrutiny toward the National Association of REALTORS®—and one week after NAR announced continued support for CEO Bob Goldberg—NAR’s new president, Tracy Kasper, delivered a video message.

The 5-minute video aims to cover questions that every industry professional is asking:

  • What is NAR going to do to fix issues within the organization?
  • Why didn’t NAR do more to address internal claims?
  • How can members and staff trust that NAR is going to make changes?

Kasper begins her message by saying,

To all of my NAR colleagues, 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.

Tracy Kasper

President, NAR

While the video goes on to answer questions that have been raised by NAR members and industry professionals, those answers are somewhat vague. The executive team is likely still working out a lot of details—but right now, many in the industry are simply looking for some transparency. 

Addressing member questions

How did this happen?

Kasper begins with the first question on everyone’s mind: How did this happen?

After all, The Times article was a compilation of events and circumstances detailed by 29 current and former NAR employees, including internal claims and lawsuits previously filed against NAR. Soon after the article was released, many more began expressing their own unsatisfactory experiences working at NAR online. 

Kasper alludes to the fact that there has been some misconduct in the organization by stating, “I can promise you going forward we will do – and be – better.” 

She goes on to provide two actions the executive leadership board is taking:

  1. NAR is bringing in outside experts to “assess the way reports of misconduct are investigated and resolved.”
  2. There will be an evaluation of “the way leaders are selected, the power and control they have, and how they interact with the association staff and professionals.”

In the video, there were no further details on who the outside experts are, nor how they plan to evaluate the current process for selecting leaders. 

Kasper does state, later on, that a new Culture Presidential Advisory Group (PAG) at NAR will be guided by organizational culture expert, Shaun Harper, and will include contributions from NAR members, state and local association executives, as well as NAR staff members. 

Why didn’t you do more to stop misconduct?

Over the past couple of weeks, there have been an enormous amount of criticisms about how NAR is responding to the allegations. One notable complaint is a lack of accountability, which includes former president Kenny Parcell’s statement that claims against him were “categorically false.” 

In addition, when CEO Bob Goldberg was asked if the NAR organization has an issue with sexual harassment, he said, “I would not characterize it as a problem.”

The way Kasper tees up this question also makes the reader wonder whether or not the organization is taking responsibility: 

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.

Tracy Kasper

President, NAR

Kasper states that leaders at NAR recognize that “there is much more work to be done,” and the organization will share “timely updates as we figure these things out.” 

But will these efforts be enough for members and staff who have already lost trust in the organization? 

Time will tell. 

For the full video and its transcript of Tracy Kasper’s message, click here