A Tribute to Dr. Frank Nothaft
This week, we are taking a moment to remember CoreLogic Chief Economist Dr. Frank Nothaft who was not only an influential force in the property industry but also a friend to many. In early June, Dr. Nothaft passed away unexpectedly. As the heart of CoreLogic in many ways, he will be greatly missed but not forgotten.
In this episode, host Maiclaire Bolton Smith recounts her memories of Dr. Nothaft as well as the recollections of others. His passing will ripple throughout the industry underscoring his far-reaching influence and the profound impact he had on the lives he touched.
Maiclaire Bolton Smith:
Welcome back to Core Conversations: a CoreLogic Podcast, where we dive into the heart of what makes the property market tick. I’m Maiclaire Bolton Smith, your host and curious observer of all things related to property — from affordable housing to market trends and the impacts of natural disasters to climate change — I want to converse about it all.
Today we want to pause and remember someone very dear to us at CoreLogic – Dr. Frank Nothaft. Frank passed away very suddenly at the beginning of June. He was, perhaps, the most well-known face of our company and this industry. With his signature bowtie, he was recognizable everywhere, but he was more than just a good-natured grin framed by the many colors of his necktie.
Generous, special, sweet, genuine, joy, kind, humble, wisdom, humor, considerate, grace, selfless, legendary, magnanimous, icon, passionate, bowtie
MBS: Not only was Dr. Nothaft — or Frank or Dr. No, as he was known to many — in many ways the face of CoreLogic, he was also my colleague, my mentor and, more importantly, my friend.
Many of our listeners will recognize the name but more likely, they will recognize his voice. Since we started Core Conversations, Dr. Nothaft has appeared in fourepisodes. In fact, even earlier this month he was here to talk about interest rates that have been rising with superhuman speed.
Frank Nothaft: “Why thank you so much, Maiclaire. Thanks for having me back.”
MBS: Not only was he a regular guest here on Core Conversations and all of CoreLogic’s video content, but he was also a source of regular laughter, ensuring the use of catchphrases like:
“It’s a double-whammy.”
“Oh, I tell ya, Maiclaire.”
“Let’s jump into it.”
MBS: While he was known throughout the industry for only getting through half his slide deck on any given presentation, it only meant that he considered even the most inert detail to be of monumental importance and deserving of attention. Frank was also extremely animated when it came to his job, regularly bursting out with exclamations when data surprised him.
FN: “Woah, 20%! Woah, hurt me! Oof, that’s big time.”
MBS: But Frank always came with a smile and enriched the lives of his colleagues with his knowledge, his humor and, of course, his bowties. His impact was evident in the memories we gathered from a few of his colleagues — past and present. To allow those closest to Frank time to grieve, we’ve called on a few additional voices to narrate these remembrances.
“I would say that I learned more from Frank in the two years I worked with him than in my entire career.”
— Selma Hepp
“My work was made exponentially better by Frank’s guidance and contributions.”
— Pete Carroll
“Working with him over the past five years has truly been a remarkable experience.”
— Allyse Sanchez
“The GOAT — that man knows everything. He’s the GOAT in the housing market and well-loved.”
— Michelle Barnes
“Frank was a “Chief” magnet: attending Conferences with him, the majority of folks who made their way across the room to say hello had “Chief” in their titles: Chief Economist, Chief Financial Officer, Chief Operations Officer, etc. People playing very important roles in the housing, and overall economy sought Frank out. While genuinely humble and modest, Frank was a rock star!”
— George Gallagher
“Frank made us all better at our jobs.”
— Alyson Austin
“He was so easygoing and willing to share his expertise with the younger professionals.”
— Shu Chen
Everyone knew Frank as a person who always had time for you, and the reason he had time was because he was so deeply intelligent and had the ability to manage and analyze things quickly and efficiently. Frank was basically a human supercomputer when it came to seeing trends in data.
— Thom Malone
“A highly accomplished and respected housing economist, Frank’s one-of-a-kind personality, his hard work, service to others and his passion and gift for persuasion have deeply touched me and will continue to inspire me in what I do.”
— Yanling Mayer
“Despite being as accomplished as he was, he always made time for people, regardless of their position or rank.”
— Dan Smith
“He was always the first person to congratulate me… He had a laser-sharp focus on typos no one else would ever spot. More so than most, Frank always cared.
— Tom Buehl
MBS: Dr. Nothaft was a leading industry expert, and since 2015, he served as Chief Economist and led the economist team at CoreLogic. Although a fixture at our company, his reach went well beyond the organization. He was the go-to expert for trends and forecasting, a brilliant spokesperson and a trusted colleague within the broader housing industry.The magnitude of his influence was widespread, and tributes to his character and importance to the industry arrived from media outlets around the world.
While he was indisputably an expert in his field, he was also a man with a witty sense of humor who was always up for banter. As an ambassador for CoreLogic, he made countless media appearances and was recognized for his uncanny ability to distill complex economic trends into memorable insights. Behind the scenes, he approached his job with a playful nature.
I want to share some of the outtakes from his emails over the years that prove this:
“I have an economist dress shirt and (bow-)tie in the office. I haven’t had my hair coiffed in a while, soon I will have a man bun, hope that’s OK…”
When asked for his availability for a media interview he responded, “On Tuesday I will be wearing bicycle shorts, on Wednesday I will wear a suit, do they have a preference?”
And while on set, he said, “I am at CNBC. Just left make-up and am in the green room, which is not green nor much of a room.”
All of those classic Frank and his character.
Personally, I have so many memories of Frank, but one of the most meaningful was last fall. When my son was born, he sent me a children’s book written by his son. It was such a special gift that will forever remind me of him. Although, I’m not sure I’ll ever be able to get through it now without shedding a tear.
But I am not alone in holding fond, personal memories.
“He always brought smiles to people’s faces with his charisma and humor and love for his work. And always went above and beyond for others”
— Bree Wood
“Frank as a person was a life well-lived, kindness to all, leaves others enriched and grateful.”
— Yanling Mayer
“Once I said, ‘Frank, you have very good eyes.’ He replied with humor, ‘I don’t have good eyes; my glasses are good.’”
— Archana Pradhan
“I remember his first day at CoreLogic. Frank was my first boss back at Freddie Mac 30 years ago, so when he walked into CoreLogic to take over as Chief Economist it was like a reunion for me. We immediately gave each other a really big hug and then both said at the same time, ‘Are we allowed to hug?’ It was one of my best days at CoreLogic.”
— Molly Boesel
MBS: The spirit that made Dr. Nothaft so well regarded at CoreLogic was not reserved only for his colleagues. His reach extended well beyond the office. He served on the Board of Directors of the non-profit Falls Church Housing Corporation, which owns Section 8 housing in northern Virginia, received the Freddie Mac Community Service Award and was also the recipient of the 2020 HousingWire Vanguard Award.
I know I’m not alone with the number of tears I have shed over his passing. Dr. Nothaft’s absence will be felt profoundly throughout the organization and beyond. Please join us in keeping Frank’s family and colleagues in your thoughts as they process this unbearable loss.
His voice, that voice, will forever echo through my mind.
FN: “Yeah, thanks for having me, Maiclaire. Great to catch up.”
MBS: Frank, it has been an honor and a pleasure.
Thank you to everyone who contributed their memories to this podcast: Alyson Austin, Michelle Barnes, Molly Boesel, Tom Buehl, Pete Carroll, Shu Chen, George Gallagher, Selma Hepp, Thom Malone, Yanling Mayer, Archana Pradhan, Allyse Sanchez, Dan Smith, Rhea Turakhia, Anita Tulsiani and Bree Wood.
And thanks to the voices who brought these memories to life: Romie Aromin, Mathew Lederman, Ed Martinez, Katia Oloy and Erika Stanley.
And always, thank you to the team for helping bring this special podcast to life: producer Jessi Devenyns, editor and sound engineer Romie Aromin and social media duo Sara Buck & Makaila Brooks.
Until next time.