People on the Move
Illustration by Lanette Behiry/Real Estate News

People on the Move: NAR names new marketing and comms leader 

Suzanne Bouhia will take on the role of Chief Marketing and Communications Officer, effective Dec. 11, during a turbulent time for the organization.

December 5, 2023
3 minutes

Editor's note: As an industry with millions of agents and over 100,000 brokerage companies, new leaders rise to the top every day. Here we highlight executives and other notable leaders who've recently taken on roles that influence the residential real estate landscape. 

The National Association of Realtors has named Suzanne Bouhia as its new Chief Marketing and Communications Officer to help oversee NAR's "vision, strategy and long-term management approach for communications, branding and marketing," the organization said in the announcement.

Suzanne Bouhia, Chief Marketing and Communications Officer, NAR.
Suzanne Bouhia, Chief Marketing and Communications Officer, NAR. (National Association of Realtors)

Previously, Bouhia was Chief Communications Officer for the Americas for global finance giant Ernst & Young (EY). According to Bouhia's LinkedIn profile, her career with EY spanned over 18 years where she held positions in marketing, communications and business development.

In addition to helping shape and execute NAR's communications strategy, Bouhia will also be joining the organization's vice president team which directly works with and supports the executive leadership team and NAR's overall mission and goals. 

"It is my privilege to help shape NAR's perspective and amplify the voice of its 1.5 million members within the real estate industry and beyond," Bouhia said in the announcement. "I have a passion for developing high-performing teams, leveraging the power of diversity and inclusion, innovation and collaboration to achieve measurable results."

Interim CEO Nykia Wright said that Bouhia "will play a critical role overseeing these essential functions within our organization," with a focus on maintaining the organization's "​role as a positive force in the real estate industry."

Bouhia steps into comms role at a challenging time

NAR's "role as positive force," and the organization's ability to communicate its value, have been questioned this year following well-publicized controversies and existential challenges, notably allegations of sexual misconduct and a "culture of fear" within NAR and a loss in the Sitzer/Burnett case.

Additionally, some brokerages have already begun to pull away from NAR — whether on philosophical or procedural grounds. 

In October, Redfin leaders announced that the company was cutting ties with NAR and requiring its agents to drop their NAR memberships "everywhere we can." And this week, Coldwell Banker Danforth — the largest Coldwell Banker franchise in the state of Washington — announced that the firm would not renew its NAR membership for 2024 and would give its agents the choice to decide "if they feel the NAR is a good value or not." 

At this year's annual NAR NXT conference, president Tracy Kasper directly addressed the organization's problems and its need to "change our culture" and communicate the positive aspects of NAR and its members.

"This is our time to reach outside of us and to showcase to the world who we are as Realtors," she said to the audience.

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