By Stefanie Hahn
At the recent REtechSouth conference in Atlanta I had the chance to see Robert Hahn of 7DS Associates speak on a subject he titled, “A Time for Greatness.” This presentation was geared to association execs and REALTORS® who are leaders within their organizations – a group well represented in the RETSO crowd. Since YPN has given me the opportunity to be a leader in my own state I felt compelled to attend and scribbled mad notes throughout the two-part session.
Let me say two things right away…
1.) Rob and I are not related.
2.) This is my interpretation of the presentation based solely on my notes. If you want a deeper look, read Rob’s post-event blog post or talk to him directly – he likes to engage with others in this field.
The first thing I noticed is that Rob has little hope for our generation if things don’t change – not fatalistic, but just not hopeful. The other thing I noticed is that Rob is really smart. Combine those two things (little hope and big brains) and I knew this was something that had to be shared and something we could work on.
Rather than focus on the industry issues many of us already know exist (and during his talk he covered all the favorites including low industry standards, high turn-over rates, and public perception) I think we should use Rob’s talk as a clarion call to think about possible solutions. That is what I have chosen to do. I know others are too – in fact many associations are already considering new directions – but in this case perhaps doing it from a YPN perspective makes sense.
One of the first suggestions Rob made was to reform governance within the REALTOR® associations. Perhaps organizations don’t need all these people to make decisions. This one hits close to home, of course, since I just managed to earn a seat on my state board of directors. I must agree with Rob though that many associations should consider whether longer terms are necessary (after all, just how much can you accomplish knowing you have just 365 days to get it done) and should give more thought to whether direct elections are the way to go. Certainly from a YPN perspective, knowing you can “be a part of the process” from the outset may encourage more direct involvement. Continue reading »