A person enters their name on an online petition.
Illustration by Lanette Behiry/Real Estate News; Shutterstock

Agent launches campaign calling for change at NAR 

Allegations of sexual harassment at NAR, followed by "very emotional" calls from association employees, sparked a new initiative now gaining steam.

Updated August 30, 2023
3 minutes

Key points:

  • New York agent Jason Haber on Wednesday announced the launch of The NAR Accountability Project.
  • Haber said about 1,000 agents are already on board.
  • The project began as a petition calling for NAR President Kenny Parcell to resign, which Parcell did on Monday.

A prominent New York real estate agent has kicked off a campaign calling for wholesale change at NAR.

Jason Haber said he felt called to action after reading about the Aug. 26 New York Times investigation into Parcell and allegations of sexual harassment and a "culture of fear" at the National Association of Realtors.

"I assumed I would be a voice in a choir calling for change at NAR, and instead I was singing solo," Haber said.

Sunday, after receiving some "very emotional" calls from current and former employees at NAR, Haber started a petition calling for Parcell's resignation. After Parcell resigned the next day, that effort began to evolve into a campaign to create change at NAR.

Haber on Wednesday announced the formation of the NAR Accountability Project, a grassroots nationwide movement to reform the nation's largest trade organization. More people are now joining the choir, with about 1,000 agents on board so far, he said.

"I've never been afraid to speak up when I see an injustice," said Haber, an author, entrepreneur and agent who brought his 10-plus years of experience to Compass in 2021.  

Haber said some of the women he'd heard from had signed an NDA, or still work at NAR and didn't feel like they were in a position to change the "toxic culture."

The NAR Accountability Project is calling for women to be released from NDAs that are not related to trade secrets. "The time for silence is over," Haber stated on X (formerly known as Twitter). "Allow women to speak their truth."

Parcell has denied wrongdoing. NAR CEO Bob Goldberg said the organization fully investigates every claim brought to them, and that the allegations reported by The Times were "either validated, and we took action; or not violations of the law or our Code of Conduct … or not true."

The NAR Accountability Project is now calling for Goldberg's resignation and for a new  leadership team.

Haber said he has never met Parcell or Goldberg, and only recently became a member of NAR after starting to work in Florida. But even as a member of the Real Estate Board of New York (REBNY), he was familiar with NAR's role as "an important advocate for the industry" and its scale, with more than 1.5 million members.

All this, to him, raises the stakes.

"We have a lot of important issues facing the real estate community nationwide, and … a cloud over the organization," Haber said.

Haber said he is not seeking a role for himself and would like others to join the push for change. "I hope that the boards and brokerages will join me and be on the right side of history," Haber said.

"I'm an unlikely candidate to sort of lead this effort. But maybe it has to come from the outside."

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