New NAR president sees agents, brokers as 'the driving force for good'
Kenny Parcell, a 25-year agent and broker, brings a passion for advocacy, service and communication to his new role as 2023 NAR president.
- Parcell will embark on an outreach tour next year to promote member recruitment, engagement and retention.
- Making homeownership more accessible and affordable is a policy priority for Parcell.
- Parcell believes that for members of the agent community, giving back is a way to get ahead.
A longtime activist, real estate leader and Utah brokerage owner is the new president of the National Association of Realtors.
Courtesy and friendliness are the hallmarks of service for Kenny Parcell, a 25-year industry veteran and owner of Equity Real Estate Utah, whose motto is: "If you take care of people, they will take care of you." Parcell's humility and straightforward approach have yielded results. Parcell has logged more than 3,200 home sale transactions since 1997.
Parcell's people-first approach will also serve him well as president of NAR, a vast organization whose members have varying needs and priorities. To connect with agents across the country, Parcell plans to launch an unconventional outreach campaign for 2023 called "Riding with the Brand," described as a national motor coach tour to build the brand and engage with members.
"I want every one of our more than 1.5 million members to know that they do something for the brand and that the brand is bigger than any one person," Parcell said about the tour, which will involve stops in every state next year. The goal is to promote member recruitment, engagement and retention.
"We're not governed by the majority but the majority who participate," Parcell said. "We want to reconnect with the members we have in every U.S. ZIP code and remind them of how important it is that we continue to engage policymakers in support of American consumers."
'In the trenches with members every day'
At NAR's annual conference last week in Orlando, Parcell and other top NAR officers were formally installed for a one-year term. In addition to his nearly 25 years as an agent and broker, Parcell has been involved with NAR throughout his career and has held leadership roles in his local Utah association.
Reflecting on his experience, Parcell said, "As a broker-owner who still sells real estate and having served the National Association of Realtors on the local, state and national level, I'm in the trenches with our members every day and understand the challenges and opportunities they face." He added, "I pay the same dues as every member on the street. I am no better than anyone else because I have a title."
Speaking to his new role, he emphasized, "I will work hard as president to help and support Realtors as they provide a living for themselves and their families."
Making homeownership accessible
One of Parcell's first orders of business as president was to issue a formal statement this week calling on the Federal Housing Administration to lower mortgage insurance premiums for low-to-moderate-income buyers.
"A substantial amount of FHA's insured loans in 2022 were given to first-time homebuyers, far outperforming other providers in the market to this demographic," Parcell said. "NAR will continue working with FHA on extending their access to credit and other resources to buyers across the country."
Promoting affordable homeownership is a focus for Parcell, who grew up in poverty. "Our country is experiencing a six-million-unit housing shortage, pushing homeownership out of reach for too many Americans," said Parcell, adding that it's important that "the American dream of home and property ownership remains available to as many people as possible."
Dedication to service, leadership and giving back
A lifelong resident of Utah, Parcell played football as a college student at Brigham Young University and obtained his real estate license before graduation. His approach to business has been consistent: "From the very start of my career, I have built my reputation as a real estate agent on the principles of excellent service, valuable expertise and constant communication," said Parcell.
In addition to advising his clients, Parcell offers words of wisdom to his fellow agents and brokers in a changing marketplace: "Be aware of market shifts and focus on the learning and skills necessary to succeed," he advises. "Always be improving. Be better today than you were yesterday and be better tomorrow than you were today."
Parcell has cultivated a reputation in his Utah community and beyond for his attention to what he calls the "five L's" — lead, laugh, learn, legacy and love — words that reflect his principles and his belief in giving back as a way to get ahead.
Real estate agents and brokers, said Parcell, are "the driving force" for good in their communities. "Not only do they volunteer in their communities at three times the rate of the average American, but they also transform lives by helping people find a home," he said.
Outside of his business life, Parcell describes himself as an outdoor enthusiast and a family man first. He also is a children's book author who published "Heart of a Hero" in 2020, the inspirational story of a three-legged canine and the child who adopted her.