Leadership Academy

Each year, the National Association of Realtors® hosts its Leadership Academy, an eleven-month, six-stage training and development program designed to foster and develop future NAR leaders. Training sessions are structured around NAR national meetings.

Why Participate?

  • Vision: Gain new insight into NAR’s strategies and goals.
  • Collaboration: Increase your effectiveness when working with peers and staff.
  • Influence: Improve your communication skills and negotiating techniques.
  • Commitment: Discover how you can contribute to the success of the organization.

How will you benefit?

  • Learn the organizational vision and strategies at the national level, enabling you to lead with purpose and inspire others.
  • Have the opportunity to ask questions, meet key influencers, and learn how the organization strives to provide advantages to members in a changing marketplace.
  • Discover your unique leadership style.
  • Become involved with colleagues whose values, beliefs, communication styles, and worldviews may be significantly different from your own.
  • Learn to identify the specific values and behaviors that will contribute to your success as a leader.
  • Build teamwork experience, refine your presentation skills, and be heard by NAR leadership and key staff.

Session Schedule

In order to complete the program, attendance is mandatory at all sessions. Participants who have more than one unexcused absence will not be able to graduate and will be encouraged to reapply. To apply for the next session, you must contact your local board by March 22, 2016 and NAR must receive applications by April 1, 2016.

The 2017 schedule is as follows:

  • Session 1: Welcome & NAR Governance Overview
    January 25, 2017, online webinar: This session will welcome the new Academy members and provide information on what to expect during the course of the year. It will also provide a brief overview of NAR’s governing bodies and reporting structure and allow time for questions.
  • Session 2: Legislative & Advocacy Training
    March 29-30, 2017 Washington D.C.: This will provide an overview on how NAR builds relationships with members of Congress and Federal Regulatory agencies to influence policy makers and achieve success.
  • Session 3: Preserve & Protect: Bringing Our Message to the Hill
    May 2017, Washington, D.C.: This session will be held during the May Legislative Meetings and will focus on the work of the Federal Political Coordinators and their relationships with the members of Congress.
  • Session 4: Lead by Example: Understanding the Principles of Leadership
    June 28-30, 2017, Chicago, IL: This session will teach Academy students how NAR leads the industry as it relates to global real estate, ethics & policy, and publications (Realtor® Mag, etc.). Participants will partake in workshops, meet key NAR staff, and learn of new NAR initiatives. This session will also discuss available resources and educational tools to assist in building a strong and viable expertise profile.
  • Session 5: Fundamentals of Leadership
    August 30, 2017, video conference: This session will feature two former NAR leaders, who will share their paths to leadership with all its challenges to balance duties with goals and expectations.
  • Session 6: Bringing it All Together
    November 1, 2017, Chicago, IL: This final half-day session during the Realtor® Conference in November will close with a recap of the previous sessions and will include a presentation from a former NAR president. The class will also present what they’ve learned through the Academy sessions in addition to their final class/individual projects. It will conclude with graduation and reception.


NAR Leadership Academy participants are expected to pay a $1,000 tuition fee. An invoice for this fee will be sent upon acceptance to the program. Payment is due upon receipt. NAR will accept tuition payments for 30 days from the date of the invoice.

NAR covers all course materials, hotel expenses, and U.S. domestic economy class flights for Sessions 2 and 4. Academy participants are responsible for their own travel expenses to attend Session 3, the Realtors® Conference & Expo, and Session 6, the Midyear Legislative Meetings & Trade Expo.

Who Should Apply?

Realtor® members who have leadership experience at the local and/or state level, but have not yet been actively involved at the national level, should apply to the Leadership Academy. The Academy is focused on developing participants’ institutional, industry, and association knowledge.

Realtor® members with demonstrated leadership abilities, and who are passionate about the industry and the issues, are encouraged to apply. Applicants often possess formal training from a local or state Realtor® association, a JD, MBA, community or military leadership program(s); in lieu of formal training, be prepared to describe an incident or activity that had the most impact on your development as a leader. Consideration also will be given to applicants who demonstrate an ability to contribute to diversity based on age, gender, ethnicity, geography, specialty, etc.

You may be overqualified if you:

  • Serve(d) as chairman on two or more NAR committees
  • Serve(d) as past or present NAR RVP
  • Currently are a member of the executive committee
  • Are a past or current member of the NAR Leadership Team or Extended Leadership Team
  • Are a past or current NAR committee liaison

Application and Selection Process

Leadership Academy participants are selected through a committee process. The applications are judged on qualifications, and personal information, including your name, is not shared with the committee. Responses to the industry challenges and leadership aspirations are given careful consideration as they reflect personal point of view and vision.

The 2016 Leadership Academy application will be available through NAR and will close March 31, 2015.

NJ Realtors® Endorsement

If you would like to seek endorsement from NJ Realtors® for the 2017 Leadership Academy, you must first contact your local board/association by March 22, 2016.

Following this step, a committee for NJ Realtors® reviews the resumes of potential participants from New Jersey and selects one member from the state to endorse for the program. The endorsement does not guarantee acceptance into the Leadership Academy, however, NAR takes it under serious consideration. If NAR selects the NJ Realtors®-endorsed candidate, the state association will cover the cost of tuition and some other expenses not covered by NAR to attend  the meetings. NJ Realtors® will make its participant endorsement to NAR by April 1, 2016.