Does Umansky Have What It Takes To Save Real Estate? The Download

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Each week on The Download, Inman’s Christy Murdock takes a deeper look at the top-read stories of the week to give you what you’ll need to meet Monday head-on. This week: At Inman Connect New York, The Agency founder unveiled his plan for a rival organization to take on NAR. Is there any chance it’ll work?

The last year has been a brutal one for the National Association of Realtors. From scandal to lawsuits (and ever-more lawsuits), the once-Teflon organization is undergoing a long, cascading fall from grace.

From the ICNY stage and in the pages of Inman, it seems that everyone is thinking about the impact of NAR’s struggle and looking at what it means for their individual businesses (and for the industry at large). This week, two prominent NAR critics laid out a tentative roadmap that may indicate even more stress on the already-strained trade group.

“Built by Realtors, for Realtors,” is the way The Agency founder Mauricio Umansky somewhat ironically characterized The American Real Estate Association, or AREA, the new organization he’s launching with Compass’ Jason Haber as an alternative to the National Association of Realtors.

Advance word about the organization leaked Monday in The New York Times, but Wednesday’s Inman Connect New York session offered Umansky a platform from which to more thoroughly make his case that NAR is no longer cutting it — and that the time is right for a replacement.

Umansky offered few details about how exactly his and Haber’s AREA might look, or how it might specifically solve any of NAR’s shortcomings, indicating that the new organization might be less a replacement for NAR than a way to add pressure to improve the trade group.

EXTRA: Why NAR may be primed for record membership fall in 2024: Triple-I

There’s no doubt that plenty of folks are considering what the future of real estate will look like after the unprecedented upheaval of the last year. Whether you think Umansky and Haber can create a viable rival to NAR, they’re inarguably two of the most prominent voices leading the charge for an alternative.

This week, let’s take a look back at the pros and cons of sidelining NAR, as articulated by Inman Contributors.

Abandoning NAR won’t help us reclaim our legacy and lead change

Agents industrywide are tempted to give NAR the cold shoulder, but coach Darryl Davis says that is not the solution to fix the major problems at hand.

EXTRA: It’s time to consider eliminating NAR’s Clear Cooperation Policy

James Dwiggins: NAR needs a top-down overhaul

Ahead of Inman Connect New York, the NextHome CEO said NAR serves an important function, but needs a major fix to deal with challenges related to leadership and commission suits.

EXTRA: NextHome CEO: Make buyers’ agent agreements a priority

And recent stories from AREA’s new founding partners:

NAR put on a brave face at NXT, but accountability is on the way

More must be done to keep agents from paying for the National Association of Realtors’ mistakes, NAR Accountability Project founder Jason Haber wrote upon the conclusion of last year’s NAR NXT.

5 people you need in your corner when starting out in real estate

Mauricio Umansky helps you build your ideal team to inform, challenge and fuel the growth of your real estate business.



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