By Brett Caviness
From the first year I got my license as a college student, I knew I wanted to be involved in the real estate business as much as possible. I started by attending the Iowa REALTORS® Legislative Bus-in where I quickly realized the power we as individuals have to take part in the political landscape that is our real estate industry. Real estate took a bit of a back seat while I finished my degree. As I made my way back home to another market, I again jumped in full-force as an active member of the Iowa Great Lakes Board of REALTORS®. After less than a year in my current market, I was elected secretary/treasury of our board. Since taking office, I have been involved in many programs and organizations.
During my first trip to state meetings this past winter, I was immersed into the exciting culture of passionate real estate professionals from across the state who take an active role in their profession at the state and sometimes national level. I quickly realized that we do have the power to interact, develop ideas, and implement strategies that affect not only our business, but the real estate industry for buyers and sellers.
After the energizing sessions we attended at the state level, I found myself asking, “Why doesn’t everyone want to attend these meetings? If nothing else, why don’t more brokers attend to take back this valuable knowledge and experience to their agents?” The president of our board responded quickly, “There are givers and there are takers.” Continue reading »
By Nobu Hata
Much has been made the last couple of weeks about two online “conversations” that permeated the real estate socialwebs. One, an “Open Letter to NAR President Vicki Cox Golder” regarding the disconnect between us REALTORS® and NAR Leadership. The other, the need for professional standards within our industry — the conversation raged among a handful of practitioners over the course of two weekends on Twitter, that continues today.
These issues are as old as the industry itself and the topical conversations are as inevitable as the sun rising, taxes and death. You can set a clock by it: pay NAR dues, see an ad you despise, whine (or blog) about it while letting loose a couple of “while I’m at it, let me tell you about something else I hate and what I’d do about it…,” get busy with the real estate thing, forget about it, rinse, and repeat in January the following year. I get it; writing/talking/venting about what irks you is almost like therapy, making that check you cut to NAR for their ad a bit easier to stomach. To tell you the truth, I was as jaded and cynical about these issues as well, but what could I do… right?
Thing is, these conversations, blogs – what have you – aren’t so one-sided anymore. Look no further than the reply to the aforementioned blog post by none other than NAR President Vicki Cox Golder herself. Me personally? I commented on the blog post trying to encourage involvement and thought nothing more of it. Later that week I served on a practitioner panel for REBAC requiring a visit to NAR headquarters. By the time I landed in Chicago I’d received the NAR perspective on both issues and a Presidential appointment to an NAR committee in hand. Apparently, Vicki Cox Golder is listening, reading, and absorbing what we have to say. What’s more: she wants us to get involved.
And getting involved we must. Let’s stop opining about the wrongs in our industry and start doing something to right it. There are 60+ forums/committees available to REALTORS® at the national level, countless more at the local level; which one are you on? All committee meetings and forums are open to the REALTOR® public during MidYear; which one will you stand and make yourself be heard at? (#RTB folks, Professional Standards Committee is meeting Thursday at MidYear, just saying.) On a national or local committee? Seek out like-minded thinkers, bring to the forefront the solutions we have, and discuss with the REALTOR®1.0 types. There’s power in numbers here, and besides, don’t you want to have meaningful debate among those outside your blogosphere?
Let’s stop the perpetual cycle of these conversations. Formulate a solution to the beef you have and Facebook Vicki on it… Facebook – Vicki. I’m still having a hard time saying that. Let’s stop talking “Us” versus “Them” and embrace “We.” No more armchair solutions. Do. Act. Try. NAR is a trade association, after all: by the members for the members, so do your part.
There is something different about this NAR president, and if she’s embracing her “On the Rise” concept for her year in office, the better. The industry is changing, bringing with it a lot of validity and credibility to what some of us are trying to say. Our voices are being heard. Let’s take advantage of that!
p.s. Vicki, if you’re reading this: I hate the new “Uncle Sam” ad. Most of us hate it. It’s failing to resonate with the majority of your members and the general public at large. Hit me up Facebook the next time you’re contemplating a TV ad, ok? Please?
Nobu Hata is a sales associate for Edina Realty in Minneapolis, and a founding member of the Minneapolis YPN group, the YoPros. Visit his Web site at www.nobuhata.com.