Industry Organization Spotlight: National Association of REALTORS® (NAR)

by James Florence

Realtor_logoThe National Association of REALTORS® (NAR) is the United States’ largest trade association, consisting of more than one million members that include residential and commercial brokers, salespeople, property managers, appraisers, counselors, and other real estate professionals. All members are identified as REALTORS, a registered designation that signifies their commitment to the association’s Code of Ethics and Standards of Practice. NAR’s key priorities include promoting the success and professional development of its members; conducting research and exchanging information; and advocating on the behalf of its industry, its members, and American property owners.

Professional Development
NAR and its affiliated institutes, societies, and councils offer an extensive array of programs and services to help its members enhance their professional skills and knowledge. Upon completion of required courses, REALTORS can earn designations and certifications recognizing their specialized expertise, such as Certified Commercial Investment Member (CCIM), Seniors Real Estate Specialist (SRES) and Accredited Buyer’s Representative (ABR).

Community Programs
In addition to encouraging the professional development of its members, the National Association of REALTORS is dedicated to aiding and empowering the public, including both current and prospective property owners. Some of its community-oriented endeavors include its Smart Growth Program, Housing Opportunity Program and Diversity Program, the latter of which is aimed at helping immigrants from diverse cultural backgrounds attain homeownership.

Research & Resources
NAR conducts research on both the residential and commercial real estate markets and regularly publishes its statistical reports and research. Additionally, the organization produces news releases, blogs, podcasts, publications, and other resources for the benefit of both its members and the general public.

Every fall, NAR holds its annual REALTORS Conference & Expo, a four-day event that includes seminars by nationally recognized speakers, trainers and industry experts, as well as exhibits from hundreds of industry vendors presenting the latest innovative tools for real estate professionals. Other events include the REALTORS Legislative Meetings & Trade Expo, Leadership Summit, and AE Institute.

Political Advocacy
As the largest trade association in the U.S., the National Association of REALTORS is considered one of the country’s most effective advocacy organizations, representing the interests of industry professionals and property owners alike. From lobbying for federal policy initiatives to initiating local grassroots action, NAR is an active force in upholding the free enterprise system and the right to own real property.

To learn more about the National Association of REALTORS, visit