By Sam DeBord
Realtor.com®’s president, Errol Samuelson, has been hired away by Zillow. I’ve met Errol and he’s a nice guy, very smart, and very successful. Business is business. But, naive as it might be, there’s plenty of disappointment from the REALTOR® community. It comes from a belief that we have a common cause greater than just our businesses. Whether we’re aligned with NAR or realtor.com®, we believe in unified goals that are good for the country as a whole, and create significant loyalty to our brand.
Like I said, it sounds silly to an outsider. Why wouldn’t a top executive, who clearly received a more lucrative employment offer for a position he saw as a step up, take that proposal? In the world of publicly-traded real estate ventures, you could be selling soda ads one day, and interviewing the president the next. The landscape changes drastically every year, and when your skills are in business management and strategy, you’re always looking for the next challenge.
And still, there’s a bit of an empty feeling from the REALTOR® masses when an exit like this happens. It’s just another day at the office when your insurance company’s CEO changes companies, or your old business partner switches brokerages. But when someone leaves the REALTOR® fold to work for a direct competitor, it ignites much stronger emotions from the membership. A quick scan of discussions online makes it clear that this isn’t just some job change. Reactions range from frustration to outright anger. This is someone who did a good job and likely had no direct contact with most of the commenters, but many take his departure so personally as to feel betrayed.
As simple-minded as it sounds, I can’t help but feel a bit of the same disappointment. Real estate agents hop between companies like mercenaries until we find the right fit. We don’t feel remorse for changing our workplaces, because it’s simply a business decision. At the same time, those of us who are advocates for the REALTOR® brand would be incredulous if our associates left the membership. Your career is your business, but your commitment to supporting REALTOR® causes is ours. Continue reading »
By Anand Patel
A few weeks ago, Rob Reuter made the exciting announcement that the Young Professionals Network has grown to 300 networks (and counting). This is a commendable feat in the short 4+ years YPN has been around. As a part of Florida YPN, I’m very proud that 12 out of the 26 new networks established nationally to date in 2013 are from within the great state of Florida! Needless to say, the YPN “bug” has caught on and will continue to spread.
As YPN continues to grow around the country, it is also important to focus on quality as the networks multiply in quantity. The last thing we would want to see is networks fizzling out and failing after just a year or two post-launch. If you have ever been involved with Toastmasters International, you may know that not only do they place importance on mentoring new members who join a Toastmasters’ club, but also on mentoring new clubs as they become established. This way you help ensure member participation and club success as they start out their initial year.
As YPN members we can apply the same principles to the many new YPN networks being established around the country. Newly appointed YPN chairs are actively seeking guidance, tips and advice, and would be happy to hear from experienced networks. Here are some ways you could be a mentor and some advice you can share with new networks in your geographic area or across the country:
- Reach out to the YPN chair, association executive or staff liaison of the new network and offer to share your experiences. Calendar in some time, for example: Agree to spend 15-20 minutes every few weeks on the phone to speak with them. This doesn’t have to be a burden on you and take up too much of your valuable time. Fifteen minutes on the phone and perhaps corresponding via email can go a long way in helping a new network out.
- Share advice on how to select your inaugural YPN committee, selecting a vice-chair and how often to meet. We all know YPN is a great entry-point into association volunteerism but keep in mind that this may be the appointed chair’s first experience as part of a committee as well. Continue reading »
By Chris Nichols
I recently attended a conference where I heard the following story related:
An elderly man had dreamed of taking a cruise to the Mediterranean for most of his life. The man did not come from means of any sort and had saved for years and years to make this dream of cruising a reality. Being frugal with his money he kept mostly to his cabin, venturing out only when the ship was docked at the various ports he was so anxious to see. He brought several cans of food with him on this trip and ate in his cabin, avoiding the fancy dining establishments throughout the ship. He also skipped all of the parties and entertainment opportunities the ship offered throughout the cruise. On the last night of the cruise as he was returning to his cabin to prepare another meal of canned food, a crew member inquired of him which of the various final evening parties he planned to attend. The man quickly responded that he could not afford to attend any of them. When the crew member explained that all of the parties, entertainment and food were included in his ticket, the man suddenly realized that he had been living well below his privilege for the entire cruise.
This story struck a nerve with me this last week as I have watched the blogs, Twitter and other social media venues light up with discussions on the REALTOR® Party Political Survival Initiative (RPPSI). While there tends to be vociferous opposition to RPPSI, what disappoints me even more are the number of NAR members who have chosen to live well below their privilege of membership in our great association. Much like the man on the cruise, many members choose not to understand or exercise all of the benefits and opportunities that are already theirs for the taking at no additional cost. It pains me, as I am sure it pained the crew member who informed the frugal man, to see members missing out on so much simply because they haven’t taken the opportunity to discover the world of benefits that membership in NAR provides to them. It’s not like they are hidden, or that NAR hopes you don’t take advantage of them. Simply by visiting REALTOR.org, most, if not all, of these benefits are just a few clicks away. (Check out where your NAR membership dues go.) Continue reading »