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June 28, 2022

Executive Compensation at the National Association of Realtors (2019)

by Anne Paddock

The National Association of Realtors (NAR) is the largest professional trade association in the US. A non-profit tax-exempt 501 (c) (6) based in Chicago, Illinois, NAR represents 1.4 million members who belong to one or more of the 1,200 associations/boards and 54 state or territory associations.  Members can be residential or commercial brokers, sales people, property managers, real estate appraisers, counselors and others who work in the real estate industry.

NAR functions as a self regulatory agency, a lobbying organization, and as a provider of accreditation and certification of designations.

NAR generally raises about $250 million annually, spends about that amount, and has about $300 million in net assets.  But, in 2019, revenues increased dramatically – by nearly $100 million over 2018.

NAR reported total revenue of $338 million (compared to $245 million in 2018 and $242 million in 2017), of which $258 million (76% of revenue) came from membership dues (compared to $204 million or 83% of revenue) in 2018).

Expenses totaled $222 million with the largest expense reported to be compensation ($60 million or 18% of total revenue) for the 396 employees who received an average compensation of $152,000. However, only 260 employees (nearly 70% of staff) received more than $100,000 with the 13 most highly compensated employees reported to be:

  • $2,281,240:  Bob Goldberg, CEO
  • $   825,663:  Shannon McGhan, SVP, Government Affairs
  • $   766,398:  Katherine Johnson, SVP General Counsel
  • $   754,755:  Mark Birschbach, SVP, Strategic Business Innovation and Tech
  • $   665,340:  Lawrence Yun, SVP Chief Economist
  • $   627,662:  John Pierpoint, CFO
  • $   609,564:  Bill Malkasian, Chief Advocacy Officer
  • $   531,038:  Marc Gould, SVP, Membership Development
  • $   517,553:  Victoria Gillespie, Chief Marketing and Communications Officer
  • $   495,493:  Donna Gland, SVP Talent Development Resources
  • $   286,549:  John Smaby, NAR President
  • $   271,593:  Matthew Lombardi, Former Key Employee
  • $   250,000:  Dale Stinton, CEO (former officer)

The 13 most highly compensated employees received $9 million in compensation or an average compensation of about $700,000 each.  If the most highly compensated employees were excluded from the total amount of compensation paid, then 383 employees were compensated about $51 million, which equates to an average compensation of $133,000.

9 of the 13 (69%) most highly compensated employees are male while 4, or 31%, are female.

NAR paid for first class travel, travel for companions, health or social club dues or initiation fees, and personal services (i.e. The CEO’s personal tax return along with tax or legal services for for certain SVP’s of the organization, and reimbursing the President for housing related costs while traveling for company business). In addition, NAR provided tax indemnification and gross up payments. For more information on these expenses, see Schedule J, Part III, Supplemental Information of the IRS Form 990.

88 independent contractors received more than $100,000 in compensation with the five most highly compensated reported to be:

  • $71,358,344:  Havas Media Group, of Chicago, IL for marketing and communications
  • $14,215,910:  Ziplogix, of Fraser, MI for software provider
  • $ 3,841,931 :  Projection Presentation Technology, of Springfield, VA for video production services
  • $ 4,886,451 :  Colbalt Media Group, of Pompano Beach, FL for marketing consultants
  • $ 2,707,367:    QGC Printing, of Sussex, WI for printing and graphic arts services

It is interesting to note that Havas Media Group was compensated more than $71 million for marketing and communications yet the Statement of Functional Expenses on the Form 990 (Part IX) reports that fees for outside services for “other services ) was $44 million and that advertising and promotion was reported to be $30 million.

The bottom line is that most member dues are spent on marketing and communications and compensation for employees, 13 of whom were compensated $9 million in 2019.

To read the IRS Form 990 (2019), click here.

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