Katie Johnson on NAR’s mission to educate homebuyers
Today’s episode of HousingWire Daily continues our Women of Influence series and features an interview with Katie Johnson, the chief member experience officer and general counsel at the National Association of Realtors.
During the interview, Johnson talks about her start in the real estate industry and her surprising path to the NAR general counsel after only six years at the organization. She also shares her team’s COVID-19 preparedness response and their efforts to demystify NAR’s professional services for homebuyers.
Here is a small preview of the interview, which has been lightly edited for length and clarity:
Alcynna Lloyd: You were responsible for drafting NAR’s COVID-19 response plan and you also led efforts with NAR’s state and territorial realtor associations to help ensure that real estate was deemed an essential service. And if that wasn’t enough, you are now leading the defense of a potentially industry changing class action lawsuit challenging how MLSs operate and how homes are bought and sold throughout the US. You’ve done so much in the last few years. And I would love for you to elaborate on each of these efforts and how they transformed NAR’s positioning in the industry.
Katie Johnson: Katie Johnson: For the pandemic, insurance, unemployment insurance, resources and access to loans and everything that we could advocate for to make sure that property owners were well taken care of was all part of this COVID relief response that we’re all orchestrating. But I will say that, as the General Counsel, part of my job continues to be an exciting challenge as well, because right now, we Realtors are facing a number of really existential lawsuits regarding the American real estate system and how we provide professional services.
That falls back into communication, I think what those lawsuits have revealed is that there is a great misunderstanding about how the process of the transaction works. And, and, or a lack of appreciation. We’re definitely going to defend those lawsuits in the courts. And we’re asking our members and everybody to help defend them in the court of public opinion. We have been providing a lot of communication materials on getting back to the basics, what’s your value? What’s your value proposition? Making sure people understand what Realtors do and and how the multiple listing service or local broker cooperation works to the best interest of homebuyers and sellers.
HousingWire Daily examines the most compelling articles reported across HW Media. Each afternoon, we provide our listeners with a deeper look into the stories coming across our newsrooms that are helping Move Markets Forward. Hosted by the HW team and produced by Alcynna Lloyd and Elissa Branch. If you have a pitch or an inquiry relating to podcasts, you can reach our team at firstname.lastname@example.org.