New president Tracy Kasper wades into troubled NAR

Kenny Parcell’s resignation sped up replacement, set off insider concerns

Tracy Kasper is stepping in as president of the National Association of Realtors at a critical time for the trade group.

Kasper ascended to the role of NAR president this week after Kenny Parcell resigned, moving the transfer of the leadership role a few months ahead of schedule. Inman reported that while many members applauded Parcell’s departure after he was accused of sexual harassment, some also expressed skepticism over Kasper’s ability to raise the organization out of tumult.

Kasper in a statement on her new role referenced the “concern, anger and disappointment” among members, some of whom voiced concern to Inman that Kasper — who was president-elect and has held numerous leadership roles in the past — is entrenched in the same culture that brought NAR to this moment.

“I’ve seen the behavior at the state level and the national level and I have to presume that she’s part of the system,” Cincinnati-based Karen Schlosser told the outlet. “To become a president, you have to work the system.”

One member criticized Kasper for not being more outspoken after former NAR chief storyteller Janelle Brevard filed a lawsuit centered on Parcell and his treatment of female employees, accusing the organization of sexual and racial discrimination. Brevard dropped the lawsuit three weeks after filing it, but the New York Times report detailing similar allegations from three former employees said complaints about Parcell surfaced in the wake of the filing.

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Jason Haber, a Manhattan-based broker with Compass, took his grievance with the group public by creating a petition on Aug. 27 demanding Parcell’s resignation after initial allegations of Parcell’s wrongdoing failed to spark an industry response.

“There was no reaction from the industry. There were no local boards, there were no brokerages, there were no influential people calling for immediate action,” Haber told The Real Deal. “I thought this wasn’t right. Where is the outrage? The indifference and silence bothered me.”

“There is something toxic at its core now that needs to be fixed,” Haber said of the business group.

NAR is also dealing with multiple seismic legal battles as it tries to change its culture. Some are pushing for the early retirement of chief executive officer Bob Goldberg, who plans to retire at the end of the year. Another recommendation: sever the tether tying NAR membership to MLS access.

Holden Walter-Warner