We Are the Lions

By NAR 2014 President Steve Brown

It’s a tremendous honor to serve as the 2014 President of the National Association of REALTORS®. At our Annual Conference in San Francisco last week, I laid out my goals and direction for our Association in the coming year.  For those of you unable to attend the inaugural, let me give you a brief outline of what  I shared there, and what I believe we can accomplish together this year.

The goal of NAR has, and always will be, to keep the American Dream of homeownership alive by ensuring that property ownership remains accessible to all, affordable to the many, and sustainable well into the future. Fortunately, the public continues to recognize that real estate, especially residential sales, cannot be reduced to a mere transaction, no matter how sophisticated the technology.  In fact, survey after survey shows increasing use of REALTOR® services.

Twenty years ago, past NAR President Bill Chee warned of a “lion coming over the hill”.  He used this as a metaphor for all the forces of “disintermediation”—the Internet, technology and other entities—that could come between REALTORS® and consumers.

We have long lived in fear of that lion.  Today, we need no longer fear change.  REALTORS® are now the “lions coming over the hill”. We have not only weathered disintermediation, we have survived the Great Recession.  Even in the age of the Internet, clients need and rely on the benefits offered by REALTORS®.

Further developments in technology will only help us to expand available information, participation and commitment from our members and real estate consumers.  We will continue to pursue the latest and greatest technology for our members.

NAR will continue to adapt.  One example is how we are increasingly becoming an organization that crosses borders.  As we do so, our international mission must be to encourage global participation in our Association, and global membership in the REALTOR® family.

As you well know, being a REALTOR® is not just a job.  Its rewards, like any profession done well, are deeper and richer than any salary can provide.  Moving forward, our goal must be to continually raise the bar of professionalism through education, training and designations, as well as by our own example.

This will require a renewed emphasis on communication, both inside and outside of NAR.  To be truly effective we must act and move as one body, with common vision, purpose and goals.

There are many reasons for renewed optimism.  I believe the time is now for us to plant and cultivate the seeds of progress from which we will reap numerous benefits in the years ahead.

I look forward to what will be an exciting year, full of new issues, new people and new challenges. Together, we will prosper.  I hope you’ll join me in making NAR an even greater organization.

  1. I am as excited for the new year, as Mr. Brown ! It’s going to be great! It’s going to be only my second year in the business, and it only gets better and better.

  2. Steve,
    Why has there not been a Call-to Action regarding the Mortgage Debt Relief Act? We’re running out of time. This is very critical in our market as we are a casino based economy and conditions here are worsening.


  3. Mr. Brown,

    Thank you for this inspirational message. I have designed a program to help empower our fellow members with what they need to enhance communication, both inside and outside of NAR. I am seeking your assistance and support to have our fellow members act as one body, with common vision, purpose and goals.

    I would like to meet with you to provide an overview of how working together we can accomplish this. I do want to join you in making NAR an even greater organization and have developed a way to do just that. Please contact me at your convenience.

    All the best,

    Ian Hamilton – Realtor®
    International NAR Member

  4. Looking forward to serving under your leadership Steve!

  5. John Stevens

    Mr. Brown,
    As an associate broker in the South Florida market, I see things a little differently. In my opinion, the MLS system and realtors are being out muscled by the huge amount of distress inventory of Loan Servicers like Ocwen and GSE’s like Fannie Mae. Why these companies are allowed to place their inventory with a broker in the MLS and then require realtors to go to Hubzu.com or Homepath.com to sign up on the website and submit offers. I feel these sites are designed to eventually cut the realtors out of the transaction turning it into an auction style transaction not suited for unsophisticated home buyers.

    I have had trouble dealing with theses sites and try to avoid these listings for my clients as the business practices are questionable. Here is an example of a negotiation done for one of my buyers on a homepath.com house listed in the MLS at $299k. The comparable sales show an average value of $235k with a high of $260k. The buyers offered $250k and were countered at $290k. The buyer is not going to pay $290k because the buyer’s lender can not get the house to appraise for $290k. I was told that the buyer should go thru Fannie Mae and get a 5% Homepath.com loan that does not require an appraisal or PMI Insurance. How can Fannie Mae do this? Is this not a form of steering? Is this not leading us down the same overleveraged path as before.

    I would like to see the Lion protect is territory and customers. Is NAR looking into these issues?