Virginia REALTORS® is lucky to have so many great volunteers. Many of our volunteers have shared that their success in real estate has increased as they have become more involved with their associations. While certainly not a requirement for success, it has its benefits. When asked why and how they got involved, the typically answer is that it happened because they were asked or pushed in by a colleague or their broker.
So, we asked a few brokers to share why they encourage involvement with the REALTOR® association and how it has benefited and enhanced business for them. Here is what they had to say.
Our Associations are more than just a commitment to an offer of compensation. In the midst of the committees and voting and socials, there is learning. There are bonds of respect that are formed, and the boundaries of our Code of Ethics are laid out, reassessed, and laid out again. In this way, each volunteer does not simply become a part of the whole. Rather, they weave their individual experiences into the larger tapestry of our work to create a diverse and cohesive whole. To volunteer with your association reaps the benefits of being both servant and leader.
~ Quinton Beckham, Principal Broker and Owner, The Beckham Team at Keller Williams
I try to encourage all our agents to volunteer in the associations, as I feel this is the foundation of our business and it is a way of my giving back. I think being in the association and on committees develops relationships with other agents and gives you more creditability if you come in contact with them during a transaction. I have met some incredible people in my years of volunteering in the associations.
~ Tele Jenifer, Associate Broker, Relocation Director, 29 North Real Estate III
Volunteering for your local REALTOR® association is something to consider as early as when you first get your license. Getting involved helps you understand the ins and outs of being a REALTOR® as well as establishing relationships with other people in the industry. These connections can help you get advice from colleagues you come to respect as well as navigate the nuances when working a transaction together. I would recommend serving on a committee or work group/task force first when you choose to serve.
~ Michael Guthrie, CEO, Roy Wheeler Realty Company
While it sounds a bit cliché to say, “I want to give back” or “I want to make a difference,” I believe it to be true, but involvement goes beyond those reasons. I have always gotten more than I’ve given. We are in a relationship business, and involvement has allowed me to build relationships that I would have never have had without being engaged. This is what I tell others when I’m encouraging them to become involved. Beyond the relationships is the knowledge. Involvement has allowed me to be around smart, dedicated, and engaged REALTORS® who are passionate about our profession. And, from a self-serving perspective, I can parlay these relationships and the knowledge into business success. When I nudge others to be involved, I underscore the importance to their business.
~ Kit Hale, Principal Broker/Managing Partner, MKB, REALTORS®
Personal connections and relationships are the wheels that make our real estate wagon roll… involvement with REALTORS® in the associations is critical to our success. In those moments of escalation clauses and multiple offers, those connections can be even more critical, because knowing each other well may make the difference between a transaction going smoothly or blowing up. The ability to reach out to agents or brokers to fine tune transactions really comes from the mutual respect gained from knowing one another first-hand and knowing we will all do the right thing. We are all working for the same goal—to grow the business of our agents and to always do the right thing. Being in the association is a great way to always stay connected and on the right wagon path…
~ Jay Mitchell, Managing Broker and North Carolina Broker-in-Charge, Beach, Oceanfront and Strawbridge Offices, Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices Towne Realty
After 12 years in real estate, a REALTOR® friend of mine asked if I was interested in running for the Board of Directors for our local Association. I had never been active at all and used to complain about that large yearly payment I “had” to make. I was delighted to win the election for a one-term Director’s position, ran again the following year, and won again. I had the honor of participating in REALTOR® Day on the Hill in Richmond before the pandemic hit and was incredibly impressed with the leaders of both VAR and PWAR.
I have learned so much since becoming involved. I realize now that the association does far more than simply collect fees, and I have been very fortunate to be a part of such an amazing group of people. I’ve made new friends, had my professionalism and skill sets enhanced through involvement, and I believe it has helped me professionally as I am now the Branch Vice President/Managing Broker of my office.
As a Broker, I stress involvement with the associations on either the local or state level with all my agents, including the newly licensed ones. It is never too early to join a committee, take advantage of the education and speakers offered, and to have a little fun and network with other professionals in the area through social events. I am fortunate to have many past Board members in my office as well as many who are on committees now.
I believe involvement in all levels helps elevate and distinguish an agent from others. We are actively engaged in growing our knowledge, making a difference in our communities, providing input to our leaders and other decision makers, and giving back to others.
~ Chrissi Chapman Topoleski, Branch Vice President, Coldwell Banker Realty