American Real Estate Association; Mauricio Umansky and Jason Haber.
Illustration by Lanette Behiry/Real Estate News

NAR alternative moves up its launch 

AREA, an initiative spearheaded by Mauricio Umansky and Jason Haber, aims to create “something totally new” for agents and others dissatisfied with NAR.

Updated January 23, 2024
3 minutes

Celebrity agent and entrepreneur Mauricio Umansky and NAR Accountability Project founder Jason Haber have taken their public challenges of the National Association of Realtors to the next level, unveiling plans to launch an alternative.

Called the American Real Estate Association, or AREA, the organization is still in the early stages of development. Its website is currently just a place to sign up for more information.

Why now? Umansky and Haber announced their plans for AREA today via the New York Times. The Times, with its reporting last summer on sexual harassment allegations and a "culture of fear" at NAR, played a large part in kicking off the organization's season of turmoil. 

That turmoil at NAR, which included the resignation of president Tracy Kasper earlier this month, accelerated Umansky and Haber's timeline for the move, which they hinted at in late 2023.

"We believe you cannot replace something with nothing. For years, agents have wanted a choice. They have been yearning for a change. We are going to give them that," Haber told Real Estate News on Tuesday.

What NAR had to say: "Our members have always appreciated and thrived in a competitive environment," said Mantill Williams, NAR's VP of public relations and communication strategy.

Williams said the association delivers "unmatched value to our members, including by providing industry leadership, innovative tools, educational opportunities, leading economic research, national property data, and other benefits." He also highlighted NAR's commitment to diverse perspectives and its "best-in-class advocacy efforts" around housing.

What about listings? AREA plans to offer access to listings via the National Listing Service, which Umansky helped found and which — in its earlier form — has been in a legal struggle with NAR. does not currently offer comprehensive national listings and it is not clear how it would do so. began in 2017 as, a site focused on pocket listings, highlighting properties that sellers did not necessarily want published on the MLS. A lawsuit filed by challenging NAR's Clear Cooperation policy, which requires MLS participants to share publicly marketed listings with the MLS, is still active after getting a favorable ruling from the Supreme Court last year.

Other details: Umansky and Haber also told The Times:

  • They are looking to raise as much as $100 million from investors but are currently funding AREA themselves.

  • Dues will be between $400-$500 per year, but will not be charged for at least another six months.

  • The organization will not have a president or vice president.

  • AREA will likely be headquartered in Florida or Texas.

"We are not looking to replicate NAR. I believe that's a losing proposition," Haber told Real Estate News. "Instead, we are creating something totally new."

NAR has not yet replied to a request for comment.

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