David Lereah, chief economist for the National Association of Realtors, has announced his resignation. He will be joining Move.com, the real estate listing website run by his old boss, Allan Dalton. (That’s David Lereah, which rhymes with “diarrhea” according to at least one blogger.)
Jonathan J Miller has a great post about the man – it sums up in a nutshell what Lereah had to do for NAR, and how NAR missed a grand opportunity over the past several years to become the industry’s #1 pro-consumer advocate.
The US housing market went through the largest property boom in history and is now weakening. He did what he thought he was supposed to do: promote his trade organization through market statistics and commentary. Unfortunately, his style did not translate well when market conditions weakened. He became a cheerleader rather than an insight provider.
(I’d say he did what THEY told him to do, not what he THOUGHT he was supposed to do … but I have no idea whether or not he agreed with what he said or was simply the mouthpiece.)
One thing I never got over through all this was the loss of opportunity for the NAR to gain credibility with consumers. Instead of spinning so blatently, NAR could have taken the torch and become the market leaders for real estate expertise. The old school of thought that if you say it often enough and loud enough, people start to believe prevailed.
The excess spin that was generated seemed to be fully embraced by a large portion of the NAR membership but really served to further distance the trade group from the public.
More: David Lereah Resigns, Spin Takes A Smoke – By Jonathan J. Miller, Matrix