January 4, 2017 – Heidrick & Struggles has been retained by the National Association of Realtors (NAR) to lead its search for a new chief executive officer. After 36 years of service, CEO Dale Stinton is retiring from the association. The NAR is America’s largest trade association, representing more than 1.2 million members involved in all aspects of the residential and commercial real estate industries.
A diverse member search committee has been appointed to work with Heidrick to recruit candidates for the CEO position. NAR 2015 president Chris Polychron is serving as chair and 2003 president Cathy Whatley is vice chair.
“Dale Stinton has had a long and distinguished career at NAR and has made immense contributions to the association, and we thank him for his service,” said Mr. Polychron. “This continues to be a dynamic time for the association and the industry, and I am confident that we will find and hire the best candidate to position NAR for long-term success as it continues the important role of advocating for Realtor members, consumers and the industry.”
Mr. Stinton will continue to serve as CEO until a successor is named, which is expected before the end of 2017, to ensure a smooth and successful transition. Heidrick will begin the search for a new CEO immediately.
“We look forward to serving NAR as partner for this critical leadership transition,” said Heidrick partner Bill Hudson. “Recognizing that NAR is one of the largest and most respected trade associations in the nation, we’re honored to be selected to lead the search for the new CEO.”
Mr. Hudson serves as a senior advisor to the education, non-profit & social enterprise (ENSE) practices at Heidrick. But his role with the search firm is focused on serving the trade and professional association market and collaborating with boards and CEOs to provide culture-shaping, succession planning and recruitment advisory services.
Heidrick’s global real estate practice helps clients through hundreds of searches, consulting assignments and research projects globally. It provides expertise and service across the real estate industry, from banking to construction, asset management to investing. The practice works with start-ups to multi-billion dollar market leaders.
Downturn Leads to Opportunity
It is no secret that the real estate market has suffered in certain locales over the last several years. Improvements within the industry are evident, but there is still a dire need for executive talent in the real estate field, say recruiters — namely, executives who’ve been through the last downturn but who now have a vision for more prosperous times ahead.
According to the 2016 ‘Real Estate Hiring Forecast’ report released by recruiters Ferguson Partners, 93 percent of the largest real estate companies either forecast an increase in hiring or maintaining their same level of hiring. In prior years, there was much higher demand for executives who could either invest or raise capital. This past year’s report found much more of a focus on individuals who can drive value and cash flow in assets.
“The commercial real estate downturn several years ago forced many long-time professionals out of the industry,” said Karen Finan, partner and leader of the commercial real estate / economic development recruiting practice at executive search firm Gilman Partners. “As economic development and real estate rebound, organizations are finding it more challenging than ever to fill mid to senior level positions. Our extensive industry and business expertise provide clients value throughout the hiring process.”
Contributed by Dale M. Zupsansky, Managing Editor, Hunt Scanlon Media