July 31, 2017 – Bob Goldberg has been named chief executive officer of the National Association of Realtors (NAR). The organization enlisted Heidrick & Struggles to find its new leader. Mr. Goldberg succeeds Dale Stinton, who is retiring after 36 years at NAR, including 12 as CEO.
After an extensive national search, the organization turned to an internal candidate. Mr. Goldberg, who assumes the CEO role on Tuesday, is the group’s senior vice president of sales & marketing, business development & strategic investments, professional development and conventions.
“Bob’s vision, business acumen and unique ability to successfully leverage NAR’s technology investments will ensure Realtors remain at the center of the real estate transaction,” said 2017 NAR president William E. Brown. “With extensive knowledge of the association and real estate industry, Bob brings with him a strong track record for future-based thinking and enacting change, which is why the NAR leadership team is extremely confident in his ability to lead the association and membership to continued future success.”
Bridging the Skills Gap With Insiders
There has been an emergent skills gap that has plagued almost every industry. While organizations have implemented a series of measures to improve oversight of labor costs and value returns, they have focused more on improving the quality of talent acquisition than they have on sustaining employee performance.
In his SVP role, Mr. Goldberg has been responsible for brand and strategic marketing and association non-dues revenue, and oversees the largest employee base at NAR, with 69 division personnel. He guides a broad range of association initiatives including business development, strategic planning and partnerships, association product and marketing services and management, member professional development, competitive brand positioning, marketing, advertising and promotions, and group conventions.
In addition to his NAR roles, Mr. Goldberg also acts as SVP of administration for Realtor University, overseeing graduate school staff, day-to-day operations of the research center, curriculum development and budgets. He is also president and CEO of the Realtors Information Network, an NAR for-profit and wholly owned subsidiary responsible for overseeing the realtor.com operating agreement with Move Inc.
“This is a dynamic time for the association and the industry,” said Mr. Goldberg, “and I am looking forward to my new role and working with Realtor leaders and staff to advance the association and our members toward long-term success.”
After soliciting and considering recommendations from NAR’s members, the leadership team appointed a diverse 15-member search committee to work with Heidrick to recruit candidates for the job. Past NAR president Chris Polychron served as the search committee chair, and 2003 NAR president Cathy Whatley was vice chair.
“Finding a successor for Dale Stinton was far from easy, but it was a challenge our search committee took very seriously,” said Mr. Polychron. “The final candidates, who were all top-notch, brought diverse backgrounds and the right mix of skills, but Bob Goldberg stood apart because of his considerable understanding of and expertise in the many the issues facing the industry and NAR’s members,” he said. “We greatly appreciate Heidrick and Struggles’ insights and assistance throughout the entire selection process and look forward to moving ahead.”
The National Association of Realtors is America’s largest trade association, representing 1.2 million members involved in all aspects of the residential and commercial real estate industries.
Downturn Leads to Opportunity
It is no secret that the real estate market has struggled in certain locales in recent years. Improvements within the industry are evident, but a need for top executive talent in the field remains, say recruiters. Particularly sought after are those who experienced the last economic downturn but who 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 forecast either an increase in hiring or that they would maintain hiring at their current levels. In previous years, there was much higher demand for executives who could either invest or raise capital. This year’s report found a greater focus on individuals who can drive value and cash flow in assets.
Search firms have stepped up in securing new leaders within the sector. Here’s a sampling from the Hunt Scanlon Media archives:
Huntbridge Recruits CEO for MIBOR REALTOR Association
Washington, D.C.-headquartered executive search firm Huntbridge, Inc. placed Shelley Specchio as CEO of the MIBOR Realtor Association, the professional association representing central Indiana’s Realtors.
BridgeStreet Partners Places CFO at Centennial Real Estate
BridgeStreet Partners recruited Temple H. Weiss as CFO of Centennial Real Estate Company. Dave Westberry, managing director of BridgeStreet Partners, led the assignment. Centennial is a real estate firm specializing in the investment, development, and management of retail properties.
Contributed by Scott A. Scanlon, Editor-in-Chief; Dale M. Zupsansky, Managing Editor; Stephen Sawicki, Managing Editor; and Will Schatz, Managing Editor – Hunt Scanlon Media