NAR Facing New Alternative Organization as Competition

Above, Mauricio Umansky, left, and Jason Haber

Already embroiled in controversies and lawsuits over the past year, the National Association of REALTORS® (NAR) now looks to be having to deal with a new group intent on potentially supplanting it. Mauricio Umansky, a celebrity agent in Los Angeles, and Jason Haber, an agent with Compass in New York, have announced their intent to start an alternative group, the American Real Estate Association (A.R.E.A.).

Haber, 46, has been vocal in his disapproval of NAR, starting the N.A.R. Accountability Project following the resignation of former NAR President Kenny Parcell last year. Umansky, 53, co-founded the Hollywood brokerage the Agency.

In an exclusive interview with RISMedia, Umansky said the excitement level over the undertaking has already been overwhelming.

“This is about the future of real estate,” he said. “I love this business, it’s the best business in the world. Jason and I feel we have an opportunity to create an association that advocates for REALTORS®, to take care of them.”

Umansky stated that there will be three pillars to A.R.E.A. They are education, advocacy and lobbying and, hopefully, one listing service nationwide. The details are all to be worked out, he said.

Asked whether he sees competition with NAR or whether he would like A.R.E.A. to actually supplant NAR, he was noncommittal. 

“I have no idea if we would coexist,” he explained. “The REALTORS® will choose who they want to be with. If we coexist, it’s okay with us. There are just a lot of problems and frustrations right now.

He added, “I’m a REALTOR® first, with 3,000 agents who work for me. They want to be taken into the future.”

“We’ll hire a CEO and get a board of directors. The excitement has been tremendous just in the eight hours since it was first announced.”

Umansky added that details will start being announced soon.

Asked for comment Tuesday on the new developments, a NAR spokesperson emailed the following to RISMedia:

“Our members have always appreciated and thrived in a competitive environment. NAR is future-focused and remains committed to leading and fostering dialogue and actions that encompass diverse perspectives. Our best-in-class advocacy efforts have led to improved access to homeownership, increased housing inventory, streamlined affordable housing programs, expanded economic opportunities, and progress toward ensuring fair housing for all. We are proud to deliver unmatched value to our members, including by providing industry leadership, innovative tools, educational opportunities, leading economic research, national property data and other benefits.”

Stay tuned to RISMedia for further developments.

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