Fair housing advocate and NAR leader Margo Wheeler has died 

Wheeler, a John L. Scott broker in Tacoma, Wash., was VP of association affairs at NAR, a local industry leader, and a volunteer at several housing nonprofits.

January 31, 2023
3 minutes

Fair housing advocate and NAR Vice President of Association Affairs Margo Wheeler died Saturday, January 28.

“Margo has been a treasured member of the NAR family for nearly 30 years, serving in numerous volunteer roles at the local, state and national levels,” said NAR President Kenny Parcell. “Within this time, she served with gracious devotion and helped advance the mission of the association, all while being a mentor and source of guidance and strength for countless others.”

Wheeler was a managing broker at John L. Scott Real Estate Tacoma’s University Place office.

Born in Philadelphia, Wheeler served in the U.S. Army for more than 20 years before retiring as a First Sergeant in 1993 and launching her real estate career.

That experience led Wheeler to specialize in serving military families and others facing difficult transitions. “I especially like to work with the military because I understand exactly what they’re going through,” she said. “I had the privilege, you could say, of moving 10 times in 20 years and some of that was with my children. So I understand the anxiety and some of the stress.”

In her nearly three-decade career in real estate, Wheeler served in numerous leadership roles at NAR, including as a board director and on the Leadership Academy Advisory Group. She was President of the National Women’s Council of Realtors in 2011.

Over the years Wheeler also served on the NAR Housing Opportunity Committee, the Diversity Committee, the Fair Housing Discriminatory Effects Committee and the Equal Opportunity-Cultural Diversity Committee.

At the state level, Margo served as Washington Realtors President in 2017 and chaired the Strategic Planning Committee in 2013 and 2016. 

"Margo was an extraordinary individual in many ways and her history of service in leadership speaks for itself,” said Alisha Harrison, Washington Realtors President. “Her mentorship role and leadership by example set the stage for success for so many others. Career accomplishments aside, Margo was an exceptionally compassionate and caring individual who touched the hearts of people all across the Nation. We join her family, friends and colleagues in mourning her passing.”

Wheeler was a Washington State licensed instructor, teaching courses including NAR's At Home with Diversity and Military Relocation Professional certification, and she taught first-time homebuyer education classes through the Washington State Housing Finance Commission. 

Wheeler served at the local level as well. She was formerly president of the Tacoma-Pierce County Association of Realtors and was on the board of the Helping Hand House, a nonprofit that provides emergency shelter and housing solutions to homeless families. She also volunteered with Habitat for Humanity’s Women Build program in Tacoma and the Tacoma Rescue Mission.

In an interview with the California Association of Realtors WomanUp! Blog last year, Wheeler summed up her views on being a leader and on her career.

“Leadership is a journey, not a destination or position, it’s not really about you — it's an opportunity to mentor and empower others.” she said. “It’s also about the relationships you build, not the position you hold. Just remember to enjoy the journey.”

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