NAR Leader Pushes Back at ‘External Commentary Purported to Tell Our Story for Us’

In a letter entitled, “The Real Story” emailed to members of the National Association of REALTORS® (NAR) and posted to the NAR website Feb. 16, a defiant-sounding Interim CEO Nykia Wright said that while others outside the association may offer critical commentary and stories about what NAR has and continues to face regarding legal issues and more, she and the association have everything in hand.

“This is a challenging moment for the real estate industry and for NAR,” she began in the letter. “External commentary has seized on those challenges and purported to tell our story for us. The real story is this: NAR recognizes the challenges of the moment, and we are focused on moving our association and our industry forward.”

Without going into detail, Wright acknowledged the legal challenges facing the industry, likely meaning the Burnett trial outcome in late October, which found that NAR and other real estate power players conspired to inflate commissions in violation of federal law, awarding $1.78 billion to the plaintiffs. An appeal is expected, with other copycat lawsuits filed.

“We’re mindful of the profound obligation we have to guide our industry and organization going forward, especially in ongoing antitrust litigation,” wrote Wright. “The stakes are enormously high. Potential outcomes of this case could have a significant impact not just on the real estate industry but on the American people and the economy at large. NAR has the unique responsibility to consider these issues holistically, taking into account the complexities involved in how consumers buy and sell homes. From the beginning, we have been willing to work with industry, government and other stakeholders to improve our policies and ensure they are in the best interests of our members and the consumers they serve.”

In the letter, Wright briefly referenced her experience as an asset in leading NAR going forward. In an exclusive interview with RISMedia Executive Editor Maria Patterson, published the day before her letter to members, Wright detailed that experience much more precisely.

“My executive expertise lies in organizational transformation and long-term strategy,” she said. “Over my 20-year career, I have played significant roles in private equity transactions, served as an adviser to Fortune 100 companies, and served as the CEO of a media outlet during a period of industry upheaval. The unifying thread throughout these ventures has been my passion for supporting mission-driven organizations through periods of challenge and transformation—both in an advisory capacity and in executive leadership roles. During my time as a business broker, I learned firsthand the value that mission-based associations bring to any industry, and I wanted to bring that experience to this role at NAR.”

Concluding her letter to members, Wright wrote that “the real story, then, is progress. NAR will continue to evolve to better serve our members, our staff and consumers across America—and to lead our industry into the future.”

To read the statement in its entirety, click here.

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