‘Blueprint’ of Berkshire Hathaway, Charlie Munger, dies at 99

‘Blueprint’ of Berkshire Hathaway, Charlie Munger, dies at 99

Longtime Berkshire Hathaway Vice Chairman Charlie Munger died on Tuesday. Munger was credited with building Berkshire Hathaway into the behemoth it is today, which includes an expansive portfolio of real estate and insurance companies.

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Warren Buffet’s longtime business partner and Berkshire Hathaway Vice Chairman Charlie Munger has died at the age of 99.

First reported by The Wall Street Journal, Munger had been hospitalized for an unknown length of time in a California hospital. His family hasn’t shared the cause of death; however, they said he passed “peacefully.”

Warren Buffett

Warren Buffett

“Berkshire Hathaway could not have been built to its present status without Charlie’s inspiration, wisdom and participation,” Buffet said in a prepared statement moments after Munger’s death.

An Omaha native, Munger had a unique rise to the top of the business world. He briefly studied mathematics at the University of Michigan before enlisting in the U.S. Army Air Corps during World War II. The Army sent Munger to the University of New Mexico and the California Institute of Technology to study thermodynamics and meteorology — two useful skills for his role as a weather forecaster in Nome, Alaska.

When the war ended, Munger convinced a Harvard School of Law dean to admit him, despite never finishing his bachelor’s degree at the University of Michigan. The future Berkshire Hathaway magnate graduated magna cum laude in 1948 and moved to Los Angeles to begin his career in real estate law and investing.

One of Munger’s first successes with real estate investing came through the great-grandson of Times Mirror Co. founder Harrison Gray Otis, Franklin Otis Booth. According to Forbes, Booth enlisted Munger to help him navigate the purchase of a printing company. The deal fell through, but Munger helped Booth seize another opportunity in Los Angeles’ condominium market.

The pair poured $1 million into a 40-unit condominium complex, and within two years, they’d made their money back and then some. “He shamed me into demonstrating the wisdom of my own advice,” Munger told Forbes in 1998.

Charles Munger | Getty Images

In 1959, Munger and Buffet met at a dinner in Omaha. Both men recalled hearing bits and pieces of information about each other over the years, with Buffet’s first investor noting he reminded him of Munger.

“I think Warren felt that Charlie was the smartest person he’d ever met, and I think Charlie felt Warren was the smartest person he had ever met,” Buffet’s first wife, Susan, told The WSJ in 1998.

The pair were inseparable, even as Buffett continued to build his investing empire in Omaha and Munger co-founded Munger, Tolles & Olson, a law firm specializing in real estate, corporate and tax law, among several other practice areas. Munger also built his investing muscle, with his portfolio as an investment management partner performing slightly ahead of Buffet’s.

“Buffett’s partnerships returned an average of 24.3 percent annually. Munger’s did even better, averaging annualized gains of 24.4 percent,” The WSJ‘s article read. “Over their 14-year history, his portfolios gained an average of 19.8 percent annually; the S&P 500 grew at only a 5.2 percent rate.”

Munger shuttered his investment partnerships in 1975, and three years later, Buffet called on Munger to be the vice chairman of Berkshire Hathaway, the parent company of multiple globally known brands, including Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices.

“[Berkshire] has been built to Charlie’s blueprint,” Buffett said. “[He told me], ‘Forget what you know about buying fair businesses at wonderful prices; instead, buy wonderful businesses at fair prices.’”

Even as old age and worsening eyesight from a botched cataract surgery in 1978 began to take their toll, Munger continued to be an integral part of Berkshire Hathaway well into his 90s, with Buffet often turning to his friend for solid advice.

The vice chairman was an amateur architect, noted author and avid philanthropist. He gave millions of dollars to Stanford University, Los Angeles’s Good Samaritan Hospital, Planned Parenthood and several other organizations, partially in honor of his son, Teddy, who died of leukemia in 1955 at the age of 9.

Munger leaves behind seven children. His first wife, Nancy Huggins Freeman, died in 2002. His second wife, Nancy Barry Borthwick, died in 2010.

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35% of Americans hope the housing market will crash in 2024

35% of Americans hope the housing market will crash in 2024

Financial site LendingTree’s latest consumer survey revealed 35 percent of Americans hope the market will crash in the next 12 months. Why? They believe an economic downturn will lower mortgage rates and home prices.

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Worsening affordability has pushed Americans to the brink, with more than a third of Americans wishing for a housing crash in 2024, according to a LendingTree survey published on Tuesday.

Jacob Channel | Credit: LinkedIn

“Right now, home prices are high, as are mortgage rates,” LendingTree Senior Economist Jacob Channel said in a prepared statement. “With that in mind, I can understand why some might wish for a housing crash that brings lower prices. Unfortunately, if the national housing market were to crash, odds are that it would bring down the rest of the economy with it.”

The financial website surveyed more than 2,000 consumers aged 18 to 77 about their sentiments on the housing market. Forty-five percent of respondents said they expect the housing market to crash in 2024, while 31 percent were unsure about the likelihood of a 2008-esque decline. When broken down by age, millennials were the most likely to expect a crash (52 percent), followed by Gen-Zers (48 percent), Gen-Xers (42 percent) and baby boomers (30 percent).

Households with children younger than 18 were more likely to predict a crash (55 percent) than households with children older than 18 (35 percent), and homeowners were more likely to believe in an impending crash (46 percent) than nonhomeowners (46 percent).

Only 25 percent said the market wouldn’t crash over the next 12 months.

For those who see a housing crash on the horizon, the majority aren’t scared.

In fact, 36 percent of homeowners within this contingent said a crash could be a benefit, with 15 percent expecting their property taxes to drop and another 15 percent saying it “could lead to future stability.” Meanwhile, 32 percent of nonhomeowners who foresee a crash say it’s the only way they’ll be able to afford a home — with the expectation that mortgage rates and home prices would fall in the midst of an economic downturn.

“It’s not impossible for home prices to fall and make a given housing market more affordable,” Channel said of Americans’ assumptions. “It’s also not necessarily impossible for the housing market to outright crash next year while the rest of the economy remains relatively OK (though it’s very unlikely).”

While some households could “benefit” from a crash, the LendingTree economist said economic downturns ultimately do more harm than good. While home prices would most likely slide, Channel said banks would also tighten their lending standards — meaning most Americans wouldn’t benefit from improved affordability.

“If you’re hoping that the housing market will crash and make it easier for you to buy a house, you’ll probably be disappointed,” he said. “Not only does data indicate the odds of a housing crash in the next few years are slim, the past shows that when the market crashes, it tends to hurt more people than it helps.”

“Today’s housing market is far from perfect. It’s prohibitively expensive for many and often tough to navigate,” he added. “That said, there isn’t much reason to think the housing market will outright crash next year … If you want to buy, you should do things like save and work on strengthening your finances instead of hoping for a crash.”

Looking ahead, Channel said mortgage rates will eventually come down, albeit not as fast as Americans want. He said rates will likely settle between the 6 percent and 7 percent range in 2024, if the Federal Reserve’s inflation strategy succeeds. As far as what lies ahead for 2025 and beyond, Channel was hesitant to make a forecast outside of the fact that Americans will never see 2 percent to 3 percent mortgage rates again.

“Ultimately, mortgage rates are constantly fluctuating, and it can be hard to gauge where they’ll end up a week from now, let alone a year into the future,” he said. “There’s a chance that they could fall back to their 2020 and 2021 levels again at some point, just as there’s a chance they’ll spike back up to their early 1980s levels. From where things stand, I’d say that either scenario is more unlikely than not.”

He added, “Unless something catastrophic — like another major pandemic or a meteor crashing into Manhattan — I think people are right to assume rates aren’t going to fall to sub-3.00 percent levels anytime soon, if ever.”

Although that’s not necessarily welcome news for the 35 percent of nonhomeowners and 37 percent of homeowners who say high mortgage rates are their greatest concern, Channel said not all hope is lost.

“Often, the more time you give yourself to do things like save money, increase your credit score and pay down other debts, the easier getting approved for a mortgage and buying a house can be,” he said. “That said, you don’t want to focus too much on what might happen that you forget about what’s going on.”

“An ‘ideal’ time to buy a house may never come, and if you’re in a good position to buy now, doing so might be a good idea,” he added. “After all, you could miss plenty of great opportunities if you’re too worried about the future to act in the present.”

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Homebuyers demand school data. Portals are grappling with the risks

Homebuyers demand school data. Portals are grappling with the risks

This report is available exclusively to subscribers of Inman Intel, a data and research arm of Inman offering deep insights and market intelligence on the business of residential real estate and proptech. Subscribe today.

Real estate is all about location, and for today’s homebuyers, the location they’re most concerned about is their potential home’s placement in a high-quality school district.

In the National Association of Realtors’ 2022 Home Buyers and Sellers Generational Trends Report, 23 percent of all homebuyers said school district quality influenced neighborhood choice. That number nearly doubled for millennial homebuyers in the 32 to 41 age group.

Although homebuyers can independently research schools through sites like Niche and SchoolDiggers and word-of-mouth recommendations from parents, portals in the past several years have stepped up to provide accessible, easy-to-understand information on the individual listings, neighborhoods, and school districts on their list.

“With almost one-third of home shoppers having children under the age of 18, providing school data is important to help parents make informed decisions,” a Zillow spokesperson told Intel about its decision to launch a search-by-school feature on its mobile app in October.

Although there’s robust demand for school data, it comes with the same risks as crime data. It can be used to make biased inferences about a neighborhood’s value and diversity and open the door for fair housing violations — if agents, brokers and portal leaders aren’t mindful of how they source, display and share data.

Lee Davenport

“All of this comes down to people’s ability to have the most access to information,” real estate educator and coach Lee Davenport said. “Yes, [a consumer] can go do a Google search and get some information, but the whole point is that because we do this every single day, we have access to resources that may not come up on the first or second page of Google. That’s the whole point. Giving them the tools.”

With information comes great power, Davenport said. She’s urging portals and real estate leaders to foster a more holistic and transparent approach to understanding and sharing school data while helping agents uphold fair housing standards.

“But unfortunately, there’ve been numerous studies and research that show rating school ratings that are primarily based on test scores,” she said. “Test scores only tell one part of the story. Was this community redlined at one point in time? What opportunities has this school had access to? What’s the diversity of a school? These are the caveats we have to be transparent about.”

The ABCs of school data on portals

Zillow, Realtor.com, Redfin and Homes.com’s school data is sourced from GreatSchools, a 25-year-old nonprofit that collects and analyzes data from all 51 state departments of education and the federal government. Zillow and Realtor.com also use HomeJunction and Precisely to source additional information about school district zones and boundaries.

GreatSchools has revamped its scoring system twice over the past six years in response to fierce criticism about its methodology potentially reinforcing negative stereotypes about schools in lower-income and diverse areas, leading wealthier, often white homebuyers to self-segregate and flock to neighborhoods with higher school rankings.

“I think GreatSchools has a lot of responsibility to think deeply about how their platform is being utilized or not in relation to patterns of segregation,” Stanford professor Francis Pearman told education site Chalkbeat in 2017. “The notion that a quality school is necessarily one that is white and affluent is a problematic stance.”

GreatSchools pushed back on the idea their scoring reinforced segregation; however, they updated their scoring system again in August 2020 to a four-point system that considers test scores, student progress, college readiness and equity. Test scores have the least weight on the total score, while student progress has the most.

“We are committed to an ongoing evolution of how we can paint a broader picture of school quality that better captures the factors that matter most to parents and that research shows can make a difference in student success,” the nonprofit said of the change. “We think the changes we are making to our methodology are a step forward in our ongoing mission to illuminate issues around equity in education.”

Christian Taubman

Despite past criticisms, Redfin Chief Growth Officer Christian Taubman said GreatSchools is well-trusted and serves as a “first step” in homebuyers’ research journey.

“We try to provide data that answers the most common questions about a home and neighborhood. We’ve found that schools are top of mind for many people, especially families with school-age children,” he said in an emailed statement. “GreatSchools is a nonprofit that is transparent about its methodology and data sources.”

“We appreciate that GreatSchools has increased emphasis on student growth and equity ratings over standardized test scores in its ratings,” he added. “We recommend that buyers and renters use GreatSchools information and ratings as a first step, and conduct their own research and visit local schools to help inform their decision.”

Sara Brinton

Zillow and Realtor.com expressed equal confidence in GreatSchools and said they have strict display and search standards to avoid steering.

Realtor.com Principal Product Manager Sara Brinton said the site doesn’t allow users to filter for homes based on school ratings, and Taubman said Redfin publishes GreatSchools’ subscores for test scores, student progress, college readiness and equity — not just the overall score. Meanwhile, Zillow has a disclaimer that encourages homebuyers to do further research.

“We are committed to fair housing and have considered this when deciding how to display school information on our site,” Brinton said. “For example, we do not offer a search filter that allows consumers to filter for homes based on school ratings, as ratings are only one way to evaluate school quality.”

The growing demand for school data

Taubman said providing school data comes with risks, but it is part of creating a transparent homebuying process — especially for the millions of households with school-aged children clamoring to find their place in the market.

“We’re very deliberate and thoughtful about the data that we show on Redfin, always aiming to balance transparency against the risks of perpetuating historic inequities,” he said. “We consider this carefully every time we add data to the site.”

He added, “In some cases, like crime data, we decide that we can’t get accurate enough with the data for the benefits to outweigh the risks. In other cases, like climate and school data, we decided the benefits outweigh the risks.”

NAR’s Home Buyers and Sellers Generational Trends Report reflects a steady demand for school data, with nearly a quarter of all buyers from 2019 to 2022 noting that school district quality impacted their final buying choice. The share of homebuyers who said school district quality impacted their buying choice experienced a slight decline during the shift to virtual learning in the early pandemic years, dropping from 26 percent in 2020 to 23 percent in 2022.

School district quality ranked above walkability (21 percent), availability of larger lots and acreage (19 percent), convenient access to health services (15 percent), and convenient access to public transit (5 percent) and airports (8 percent) in 2022.

When looking at the data by age, school district quality unsurprisingly carried the most weight with millennials and Gen-Xers, who are most likely to have school-aged children in their households. In 2022, 30 percent of buyers aged 23 to 31 and 40 percent of buyers aged 32 to 41 said school district quality impacted their final buying choice.

Over the past four years, a growing number of homebuyers have begun to compromise on home price, home size, home style, home condition and how far they live from work. For example, the number of homebuyers willing to compromise on home prices experienced a 22 percent change from 2020 (22 percent) to 2022 (27 percent) — a trend that likely reflects a historic run in home price appreciation throughout the first years of the pandemic.

However, homebuyers have been consistent in their unwillingness to budge on school quality — with the share of all homebuyers willing to compromise on the metric never going above 4 percent.

NAR changed the reporting methodology for its 2023 report, making it difficult for Intel to properly compare the past year to the previous four. NAR expanded the survey age range from 23-96 to 18-97, and instead of six age categories, the report now has seven.

As a result of the widened age range, the total share of homebuyers who said school district quality impacted their buying choice dropped from 23 percent to 15 percent — a -34 percent change from 2022. The metric only outranked convenience to health facilities (15 percent), access to bike paths (6 percent), convenience to airports (5 percent), and convenience to public transportation (2 percent) for the 2023 report.

Still, the share of millennials and Gen-Xers who prized school district quality remained consistent with NAR data from 2019 to 2022. Nearly a fourth of buyers aged 24 to 32 and buyers aged 43 to 57 said school quality impacted their final buying choice, and nearly a third of homebuyers aged 33 to 42 said the same.

Homebuyers were still unwilling to budge on school quality, with only 2 percent saying they sacrificed school quality to get their desired home.

Tom Gamble

TKI Analytics CEO and co-founder Tom Gamble said households with school-aged children will continue to guide the real estate market for the foreseeable future, as older generations of homebuyers have “an enormous amount of equity” and don’t want — or need — to face the challenges of the current market.

“The fact they have an enormous amount of equity coupled with the fact that they’re in their eldering years — not old, but eldering — doesn’t make getting into the market an attractive choice right now,” he said. “And with rising interest rates, borrowing money is very, very expensive right now.”

Gamble’s company is in the process of creating its outlook for the upcoming quarter; however, TKI’s third-quarter report revealed families with at least one child 24 and under living at home accounted for 35 percent of all the 301,314 listings it correctly predicted for 2023. Households with children 7 to 17 accounted for another 20.9 percent.

TKI’s predictions are based on proprietary artificial intelligence-powered algorithms that “identify patterns and correlations” from more than 300 data sources, which help real estate agents identify areas of opportunity for farming, marketing and other business activities.

“Those with children are driving listing inventory today followed by empty nesters and singles,” Gamble said in an emailed statement to Intel. “Out of all properties expected to list, we have already been correct more than 300,000 times with plenty of runway to far exceed that number. And by studying the various profiles, we can see who is driving listing inventory.”

He added, “Those who seemingly want more-or-less space, access to better schools along with job or relationship-driven moves are driving listing inventory.”

A Zillow spokesperson echoed Gamble’s findings, saying that one-third of the platform’s users have children under the age of 18.

“According to Zillow’s Consumer Housing Trends Report, 52 percent of buyers rated their preferred school district as a highly important location factor,” the spokesperson said. “The importance of school district selection was particularly evident among buyers in their 30s, with 75 percent of them emphasizing its significance.”

“In addition, 67 percent of buyers in their 40s and 61 percent of first-time buyers considered it a highly important factor in their home search,” the spokesperson added. “Year over year, the percentage of buyers who considered school districts highly important remained steady at 43 percent from 2018 to 2021.”

‘Provide, but don’t personalize’

As the information highway widens, Dr. Davenport said brokerage leaders must help agents understand how to educate homebuyers without breaking fair housing laws — a lesson that was on full display with Newsday’s 2019 exposé that revealed widespread issues with steering.

“There’s a thing that is implicit in the fact that we’re called agents. Part of the very definition of our name is more of us being a conduit … We’re not really supposed to give our opinion on anything. It’s not our job,” she said. “Our job is to make sure people have the most access to all of the options available, so they can make the best decision for them.”

“The moment you begin to say, ‘If you were my daughter or my son, or if these were my grandchildren,’ you’ve crossed the line,” she added. “All of a sudden, this agent or broker has now personalized this family’s search. Let’s stay away from that personalization. Again, it’s not our job to say, ‘This is what I would do.’ Once you add that to the conversation, know that you are probably getting ready to cross into unfair housing.”

On the portal side, Davenport said leaders have the responsibility to help consumers understand the context of the information they’re providing, whether it is a short disclaimer explaining what a school’s score is based on — similar to Redfin’s decision to display GreatSchools’ scores for each category — or linking to an in-depth article or blog post that explains the checkered history of school evaluations.

She’d also like to see portals partner with fair housing testing centers to make sure their current standards around displaying school data are strong enough.

“The thing I always recommend is partnering with fair housing testing centers,” she said. “Self-audit. Reach out and say, ‘Hey, are we violating some things in our approach to this?’ This is something that we’ve been trying to push — instead of waiting for your hand to get slapped by the government or by a lawsuit, which we know too well in the real estate industry, take the first step first.”

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NAR installs President Tracy Kasper, other leaders for 2024

NAR installs President Tracy Kasper, other leaders for 2024

The National Association of Realtors installed its 2024 leadership after the board of directors meeting during its annual NAR NXT conference. Kasper started her term three months early, after the resignation of former president Kenny Parcell.

The verdict is in — the old way of doing business is over. Join us at Inman Connect New York Jan. 23-25, when together we’ll conquer today’s market challenges and prepare for tomorrow’s opportunities. Defy the market and bet big on your future.

The National Association of Realtors President Tracy Kasper and its leadership team have officially begun their year-long term, according to an announcement on Monday. Kasper, President-Elect Kevin Sears, First Vice President Kevin Brown, Treasurer Gregory Hrabcak and VP of Association Affairs Erik Sain were installed after the board of directors meeting at NAR NXT in Anaheim, California.

Kasper was not available for comment; however, NAR’s post about the team’s installation garnered several comments from Realtors wishing Kasper and her team the best as the association readies itself to go deeper into the battle over buyer-broker commissions and attempts to regain trust after the fallout from a string of headline-making sexual harassment allegations.

“Congrats to all,” wrote Ron Carpenito. “Thank you for all you do, and all the best for a successful year ahead!”

Kasper was thrust into the president’s chair in August when former president Kenny Parcell resigned amid a firestorm of disturbing sexual harassment allegations outlined in The New York Times. Kasper, an experienced broker-owner from Idaho, was immediately tasked with calming the association’s 1.6 million members and outlining the path for accountability and reconciliation.

“We recognize there is lots of concern, anger and disappointment, and we want to acknowledge the people who have come forward and shared their stories and those of you who have shared your perspective over the past few days,” she said a few hours after taking the helm from Parcell. “We have taken everything we have heard to heart. Our commitment to our staff and our members is unwavering, and we will continue to enhance the way we foster a welcoming, safe and respectful workplace.”

During the first few months of her term, Kasper tapped organizational culture expert Shaun Harper to spearhead the Culture Presidential Advisory Group, whose findings were shared during the NAR NXT conference. She’s also navigated the early retirements of former CEO Bob Goldberg and NAR Head of Human Resources Donna Gland, who will step down from her post at the end of the year.

Interim CEO Nykia Wright said she’s excited to work with Kasper and her team in charting NAR’s next chapter, as the real estate industry barrels toward an unsure, yet exciting, future.

“The interim position is powerful because it gives an organization enough breathing room to step back and think critically about its next chapter. There are no rushed decisions — only deliberate, thoughtful steps taken in the best interest of the enterprise,” Wright said in a Q&A published alongside the 2024 leadership team installation announcement on Monday. “I am coming to this role to work alongside member and staff leadership as it takes steps to strengthen the organization. My experience driving transformational change for mission-driven organizations positions me to help NAR embark on the next phase of leading our industry.”

Here’s NAR’s 2024 leadership lineup:

Tracy Kasper

President Tracy Kasper is the broker-owner of Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices Silverhawk Realty in Nampa, Idaho. Kasper has served on NAR’s board of directors since 2016 when she was elected as the president of the Idaho Association of Realtors.

President-Elect Kevin Sears is the broker-partner of Sears Real Estate in Springfield, Massachusetts. Sears has an extensive leadership history that includes serving as NAR’s 2017 VP of government affairs and the Massachusetts Association of Realtors president in 2010. He also served as the Massachusetts Board of Real Estate Brokers and Salespersons’ chairman of the board in 2011 and 2016.

Kevin Brown

First Vice President Kevin Brown is the broker-owner of Better Homes Realty and Brown Commercial Investment Real Estate Services in Oakland, California. Brown was president of the California Association of Realtors in 2014 and has served on NAR’s board of directors since 2011.

Treasurer Gregory Hrabcak leads Hanna Commercial Real Estate’s commercial and property management divisions in Westerville, Ohio. Hrabcak has been a member of NAR’s Finance Committee since 2015 and served as the association’s Region 5 vice president (covering Michigan and Ohio) in 2020. This is the second year of his two-year term.

Erik Sain

Vice President of Association Affairs Erik Sain is a district sales manager for Florida’s largest independent brokerage, The Keys Co. The West Palm Beach-based Realtor was NAR’s Realtor Party Disbursements Liaison in 2018 and Public Policy Coordinating Committee Chair in 2017.

Vice President of Advocacy Nate Johnson is president of The Real Estate Solutions Group at Redkey Realty Leaders in St. Louis, Missouri. Johnson has chaired NAR’s Sustainability Advisory Group and Smart Growth Advisory Board and served as the Missouri Association of Realtors president in 2018.

Nykia Wright

Interim CEO Nykia Wright is the co-founder of SaaS solution SonicMESSENGER, and most recently served as the CEO of the Chicago Sun-Times. Wright has degrees from the University of Cambridge, Carnegie Mellon University and The Tuck School of Business at Dartmouth.

The association also installed 13 regional vice presidents, who “oversee the work of the association and serve as NAR spokespersons; attend their region’s conferences; and chair the regional caucuses held at NAR’s two annual meetings.”

The 2024 regional vice presidents are as follows:

  • Stephen Medeiros; Dartmouth, Massachusetts: Region 1 (Connecticut, Maine, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, Rhode Island, Vermont)
  • Jennifer Stevenson; Ogdensburg, New York: Region 2 (New Jersey, New York, Pennsylvania)
  • Jay Mitchell; Virginia Beach, Virginia: Region 3 (Delaware, District of Columbia, Maryland, Virginia, West Virginia)
  • David Kent; Mt. Pleasant, South Carolina: Region 4 (North Carolina, Kentucky, South Carolina, Tennessee)
  • Faron King; Blairsville, Georgia: Region 5 (Florida, Alabama, Georgia, Mississippi, Puerto Rico, U.S. Virgin Islands)
  • Sara Calo; Mayfield, Ohio: Region 6 (Michigan, Ohio)
  • Bernice Helman; Terre Haute, Indiana: Region 7 (Illinois, Indiana, Wisconsin)
  • Scott Wendl; Johnston, Iowa: Region 8 (Minnesota, Iowa, Nebraska, North Dakota, South Dakota)
  • Amy Bladow; Norman, Oklahoma: Region 9 (Kansas, Arkansas, Missouri, Oklahoma)
  • Marvin Jolly; Plano, Texas: Region 10 (Texas, Louisiana)
  • Devon Viehman; Jackson, Wyoming: Region 11 (Nevada, Arizona, Colorado, New Mexico, Utah, Wyoming)
  • Evelyn Arnott; Fairbanks, Alaska: Region 12 (Idaho, Alaska, Montana, Oregon, Washington)
  • Jennifer Branchini; Pleasanton, California: Region 13 (Hawaii, California, Guam)

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NAR NXT: Everything to know as the annual conference begins

NAR NXT: Everything to know as the annual conference begins

The verdict is in — the old way of doing business is over. Join us at Inman Connect New York Jan. 23-25, when together we’ll conquer today’s market challenges and prepare for tomorrow’s opportunities. Defy the market and bet big on your future.

The National Association of Realtors is preparing to take over the Anaheim Convention Center for its NAR NXT Conference. For a week, 12,000 Realtors will be able to “Own the Moment” with hundreds of networking events, governance meetings, advisory boards, field experiences, galas and sessions featuring NAR leadership alongside dynamic keynote speakers Mindy Kaling, Kurt Warner and Nicole Malachowski.

Between the fun and education, NAR is making room to address its controversial year, which includes the fallout from former president Kenny Parcell’s resignation after facing a bevy of sexual assault allegations and a mounting list of antitrust lawsuits that aim to upend the current commission structure. NAR President Tracy Kasper will talk about her journey during Tuesday’s general session, and USC Race and Equity Center founder, executive director and NAR culture advisor Shaun Harper will share his investigative findings with NAR members during an hour-long session late Wednesday.

The week ends with two pivotal board of directors and delegate body meetings, both of which will be livestreamed on NAR.Realtor.

“Realtors and real estate professionals worldwide will gather with experts from business, technology, government, media, sports and entertainment to discuss opportunities and challenges in the constantly changing real estate landscape,” Kasper said in a prepared statement of the week ahead. “The preeminent real estate event of the year offers opportunities to learn, network, share ideas and best practices, serve and give back to the local Anaheim community, and much more.”

Download your NAR NXT mobile app, double-check the schedule, put on some comfy shoes, and keep reading to see the highlights from the upcoming week:

Sunday, Nov. 12

The first day of the conference will be filled with governance meetings, field experiences and a handful of social events to end the day, including a Women’s Council of Realtors (WCR) first-time attendee orientation and reception, invite-only Leadership Academy Reception and Graduation, and Residential Real Estate Council (RRC) welcome reception.

A majority of the governance meetings and field experiences are invitation-only or require a ticket or advanced registration.

Elizabeth Mendenhall

The biggest event of the day, which takes place from 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. PT in Room 251 C, is a ticketed Realtor L.E.A.D Vision Course featuring Washington Association of Realtors CEO Steve Francks, 2018 NAR CEO and RE/MAX Boone Realty CEO Elizabeth Mendenhall, and 2011 NAR president and Phipps Realty principal broker Ron Phipps. Francks, Mendenhall, Phipps and several other instructors will explain how to sharpen your vision, create an all-star team and master other leadership basics.

Conference attendees can also explore Anaheim through two field experiences about SoCal architecture and cutting-edge sustainable home design in the Greater Anaheim area. The architecture experience will take attendees through Floral Park, Old Towne Orange and the Orange Circle, and the second experience includes a tour of several sustainable homes throughout the city. Attendees must reserve a ticket before the event and will meet in the  Hall D Foyer at 12:30 p.m. PT.

Lastly, attendees can brush up on their fair housing knowledge through a three-hour course, Bias Override: Overcoming Barriers to Fair Housing. C.R. Copeland Real Estate principal broker Reggie Copeland and RE/MAX Around Atlanta founder Maura Neill will explain the dangers of stereotypical thinking, how to overcome implicit bias, and how to build authentic relationships with colleagues and consumers from diverse backgrounds. The course will take place in the Anaheim Marriott Hotel’s Platinum Ballroom from 1-4 p.m. PT and requires advanced registration.

Monday, Nov. 13

Monday will start with the Realtors Relief Foundation Breakfast in California Ballroom C from 7-8:30 a.m. PT. NAR Chief Economist Lawrence Yun will host the ticketed event featuring inspiring stories from Realtors who helped their communities after natural disasters.

Lawrence Yun

The rest of the day is dedicated to meetings, forums and sessions for the Multicultural Real Estate Leadership Advisory Group, Association Executives Committee (AEC) Recommendations and Recognition Advisory Board, NAR Finance Committee, Past Presidents Advisory Group, The Real Estate Business Institute (REBI), the State Leadership Idea Exchange Council, the Realtors Political Action Committee (RPAC) and Multiple Listing Service (MLS) executives and staff members.

As noted before, the meetings may require an invite, advanced registration or may only be open to attendees who are part of a specific committee, council or group.

The highlights of the day include an eight-plus hour artificial intelligence certification course from REBI in Arbor C & D of the JW Marriott Anaheim Resort. Noted speaker and Realtor Marki Lemons-Ryhal will help attendees understand the ins and outs of ChatGPT, the legal and ethical challenges that come with integrating AI into a real estate business, and tips for effectively using AI to enhance the buyer and seller experience. More details about the course are here.

The Women’s Council of Realtors has a dynamic lineup of sessions on Monday, including a keynote from expert auctioneer Dia Bondi who helps women use auctioneering tactics to get what they deserve in life and business. The three sessions that follow will explain how to create a better work-life balance, effectively leverage social media to supercharge your business and wield emotional intelligence to get the best outcome for your clients during negotiations. The sessions are in the Westin Anaheim Resort Anabella Ballroom from 7:15 a.m. to 12:15 p.m. PT.

Once again, the day will end with several social events, including an Inaugural Gala in Anaheim Convention Center Hall D from 6:30-10 p.m. PT. The gala will celebrate the installation of NAR President Tracy Kasper and her leadership team. Tickets are $150 each and attendees are encouraged to follow a black-tie dress code.

Tuesday, Nov. 14

NAR NXT kicks into full gear on Tuesday, with NAR opening AXIS, an area where attendees can get help with registration and badge pick up, receive free branding and marketing help at the Revitalize Your Brand Bar, lounge at the Bank of America Recharge Station, and take advantage of several other complimentary services.

Tracy Kasper

The general session starts at 8:45 p.m. PT in Anaheim Convention Center Hall D. The 90-minute session will include a fireside chat between 2023 NAR Vice President of Association Affairs Jennifer Wauhob and Emmy-nominated writer, producer and actor Mindy Kaling. NAR President Tracy Kasper will also give an overview of 2023 and cast her vision for the upcoming year.

From there, the day will launch into a series of informative sessions about diversity and inclusion, real estate technology, macroeconomics, fair housing and strategies for success in a volatile market. Here are some of the best sessions of the day:

  • The REACH Demo Day will highlight cutting-edge marketing, transaction management and lead generation tech from Highnote, Flock, Tongo, Plus Platform, Summer, Real Grader and Prisidio. (Anaheim Convention Center, Room 252 A from 10:30-11:30 a.m. PT).
  • Get the lowdown on what’s ahead for the U.S. economy in 2024 from NAR Chief Economist Lawrence Yun and several other experts representing the 2023 Residential Economic Issues & Trends Forum and the California Association of Realtors (Anaheim Convention Center, Hall D from 10:30-11:30 a.m. PT).
  • Understand how to effectively set buyer and seller expectations from The RECollective broker-owner and renowned real estate speaker Barb Betts. Betts will explain how to navigate transactions with transparency, integrity and expertise (Anaheim Convention Center, Room 252 A from noon to 1:00 p.m. PT).
  • Learn how to craft and communicate your unique value proposition as a buyer’s agent from Madison Seminars broker-owner Lynn Madison (Anaheim Convention Center, Room 204 A from 1:30-1:50 p.m. PT). If you enjoy this session, attend her follow-up lecture about securing buyer representation agreements from 2-2:20 p.m. PT in the same room.
  • This year has been a whirlwind — listen to The Counselors of Real Estate 2023 Global Chair William McCarthy‘s predictions on the top current and emerging issues poised to impact the industry in the next 12 months (Anaheim Convention Center, Room 201 A from 3-4:00 p.m. PT).

The day will end with a dynamic lineup of networking sessions from 4:15-5:00 p.m. PT throughout the Anaheim Convention Center’s Main and North buildings. Attendees will also have the chance to meet NAR’s 2023 Leadership Team at Booth No. 563 in the Anaheim Convention Center, Hall B from 4-4:30 p.m. PT, before the evening launches into several receptions and galas for REBI, RRC, WCR and the Realtors Land Institute.

The premier event for the evening is the NAR NXT Welcome Event at Angel Stadium from 6:30-10:00 p.m. PT. The event will include batting practice, food and drinks, a self-guided stadium tour and a photo-op with star Angel’s player, Adam Kennedy. Get more information here.

Wednesday, Nov. 15

The fourth day of the conference kicks off with morning yoga from 7-7:45 a.m. PT in the Anaheim Convention Center’s Katella Terrace.

Col. Nicole Malachowski

From there, attendees can network in the NAR NXT AXIS area before venturing to Wednesday’s general session featuring combat veteran, fighter squadron commander and first-ever woman Thunderbird pilot Col. Nicole Malachowski. Malachowski will use her story of perseverance and grit to help attendees understand how to navigate headwinds and ultimately turn the tides in their favor.

After Malachowski’s keynote, NAR leadership will announce the 2023 Good Neighbor Award honorees.

Like the days before, NAR NXT’s Wednesday schedule is overflowing with informational sessions, committee meetings and networking opportunities. Here are some of the best sessions of the day:

  • LGBTQ+ Real Estate Alliance Chief Executive Officer Ryan Weyandt and LGBTQ+ Real Estate Alliance Director of Education Alex Cruz will explain how to become an effective ally for the LGBTQ+ community as they fight for housing equality. The session will feature personal stories from Alliance members (Anaheim Convention Center, Room 210 B from 10:30-11:30 a.m. PT).
  • Still uneasy about ChatGPT? Elm Street Technology Director of Content Christopher Linsell will explain how to leverage ChatGPT and other AI-powered platforms and level up your value proposition as automation becomes the name of the game (Anaheim Convention Center, Room 261 A from 10:30-11:30 a.m. PT).
  • Are your agents struggling to adjust to today’s market? David Knox Productions President David Knox will provide simple, actionable tips on how to help your team master business fundamentals, sharpen their marketing, and win deals even as the market normalizes (Anaheim Convention Center, Room 257 from 1:30-2:30 p.m. PT).
  • Learn about Black Americans’ struggle to achieve the American Dream and build generational wealth despite centuries of racial, social and economic discrimination. Preeminent scholar and lecturer Michael Eric Dyson will lead the session alongside several Black real estate professionals (Anaheim Convention Center, Room 251 from 3-4:00 p.m. PT).
  • Hear from USC Race and Equity Center founder and executive director and NAR advisor Shaun Harper in a one-hour session about NAR’s culture. Harper will share his findings from 100 interviews with NAR staff, executives and members, and ask for recommendations from attendees (Anaheim Convention Center, Hall D from 3-4 p.m. PT).

End the day with another round of networking sessions from 4:15-5:00 p.m. PT, and then enjoy a Social Sober Hour in the Vibe Lounge before heading to the Good Neighbor Awards Networking Reception and Dinner Celebration from 5:30-9:30 p.m. PT in the  Anaheim Marriott Hotel’s Platinum Ballroom. Tickets for the event are $140.

Thursday, Nov. 16

The NXT schedule gets down to business on Thursday, with the morning being chock-full of sessions about business etiquette and strategies, effective recruiting and retention tactics, using NAR data to your advantage and how to justify your value to consumers.

Kurt Warner

Thursday’s general session doesn’t start until 2:45 p.m., and features a fireside chat between NAR 2023 Vice President of Advocacy Pete Kopf and Hall of Fame NFL Quarterback Kurt Warner. Warner will share how he’s overcome adversity on and off the field, and his tips for becoming a leader that everyone knows, loves and trusts. After the chat, Kopf will announce the winners of the association’s year-long motorcycle sweepstakes.

The day will end with caucuses for each of NAR’s 13 regions. The 90-minute forums will enable NAR directors, committee members and regional leaders to discuss action items and informational updates that will be presented during the Board of Directors meeting on Friday (Anaheim Marriott Hotel from 4:30-6 p.m. PT).

Here are some of the best sessions of the day:

  • Listen to a live recording of NAR’s Drive With NAR: Realtor to Realtor podcast series featuring leading broker-owners Nova Tower, Tiffany Curry, Valerie Archer Belardo and Marki Lemons Ryhal. Each woman will be sharing their tips for improving your brokerage’s value proposition and retaining top-tier agents in the midst of a market shift (Anaheim Convention Center, Room 261 A from 9-10 a.m. PT).
  • Control the agenda at the NAR NXT Mini REBarcamp, a collaborative two-and-a-half-hour event that allows attendees to pitch session ideas and spark informative conversations with a lineup of nine experts, including Barb Betts, Lynn Madison and REACH Executive Director Ashley Stinton. Registration is required (Anaheim Convention Center, Room 207 AB from 9-11:30 a.m. PT).
  • Learn how to use NAR’s treasure trove of data to grow your business and help clients make informed decisions. Hear from six experts, including NAR Deputy Chief Economist Jessica Lautz (Anaheim Convention Center, Room 252 A from 10:30-11:30 a.m. PT).
  • Network with fellow agents and learn how to craft a flawless buyer consultation strategy. C21 Professionals broker-owner Kimberly Allard and Sotheby’s International Realty VP and broker Shannon Buss (Anaheim Convention Center, Room 254 from 11:45 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. PT).
  • Discover how accessory dwelling units are revolutionizing the fight for affordable housing. Leading architect Ileana Schinder, PLLC will cover what agents need to about ADUs (Anaheim Convention Center, Room 261 A from 1-2 p.m. PT).

Friday, Nov. 17

The conference ends on Friday with a Board of Directors meeting from 8:30 a.m. to noon in the Anaheim Convention Center ballroom’s A-E. The meeting will cover various topics, including association staff, commercial real estate, diversity and inclusion, and global and MLS issues. No MLS proposals are expected; however, there will be legal reviews of Data Share Presidential Advisory Group’s working documentation.

After the BOD meeting, there will be a Delegate Body meeting from 1-2:30 p.m. Delegates will vote on any recommended amendments to NAR’s Constitution and Code of Ethics.

Both meetings will be livestreamed on NAR.Realtor for members.

Email Marian McPherson