As I’m sitting in the Boston Airport, ready to fly home, I find it’s a good time to reflect on why I choose to be involved.
After five long days of early meetings, walking the expo floor, evening receptions and dinners, and a 5k race, I’m exhausted. The to-do list for the week is already piling up and I’ll be lucky if I’m caught up by the weekend. It would be easy right now to say, “This is too much work…let someone else take time away from their family and their business.”
While that might be the path of least resistance, it’s not the path I want to choose. Something that 2019 NAR President John Smaby said during today’s Board of Directors meeting best captures why I stay involved. John’s theme for next year is “Own Your Story.” During the meeting, he stated “If we don’t tell our story, someone else will.”
Being a REALTOR® is an incredible opportunity, and we need to share that. Over the past decade, my career in real estate has given me the opportunity to work in several different roles. Whatever the role, the highlight for me was the difference I could make in the lives of the people for whom I was working.
Representing buyers and sellers gave me the chance for people to buy their first home, move into a better school district for their kids, or sell a house that was no longer the right fit for them and help them get into the right place for the stage of life they are in now.
Later as a managing broker, I was able to hire new agents, walk them through their first deals, help them grow their business, then watch them grow their career to new heights. Seeing agents that I hired years ago move into leadership roles, both within our company and in our state and local association is the highlight of that phase of my career.
Last, I currently work with a builder and developer that focuses on work force/entry-level housing. I see old, asbestos-filled, dilapidated buildings with roofs falling-in get taken down, the surrounding land improved, and new homes built that will provide an opportunity for an individual or family who’s been stuck paying higher and higher rents get into a home that they own.
We all have stories like that, and we need to tell those stories. That is one of the greatest benefits the REALTOR® association can provide. The real estate industry is going through constant disruption. This isn’t anything new — ask anyone who started with MLS books that you literally had to copy, cut, and paste to plan your showings.
Despite the increasing rate of change, if REALTORS® ever lose their role in the transaction, it will not be because of some technological innovation; it will be because we failed to keep focused front and center on the people we serve. It’s not about listing agreement or purchase and sale contracts, standards of practice or MLS policies, or even advocacy — it’s about the people we serve and the way in which we serve them.
That’s our story and making sure that story gets told is why I will be in DC next May, San Francisco next November, and wherever else I may be asked to serve.