So it is getting to be that time of year. Yes, triple digit temperatures for some, schools out for others… But it is also the time when many local REALTOR® associations and NAR put together next year’s committees and boards of directors. I know what you are thinking, “Please don’t make me sit in one more boring meeting!” I get it, really. But what if I told you there is a whole world and some money on the table for you in these meetings and opportunities? Now by money, I don’t literally mean dollars sitting on your seat just waiting for you…but it is almost that good.
Silly me, when I got into the business, I thought it was a requirement that you had to serve on a committee. It was the best mistake I ever made. My first committee was MLS. I wanted to know how things worked in the system, why forms said this and how to use them better. I got that education. Later in my tenure on that small committee, I was a part of selecting our MLS service provider, getting rid of the book, securing a new lockbox system and helping rewrite our data input forms. This, of course, was over a period of several years. It was one meeting a month or every other month for an hour–not a huge commitment, but big results.
Then I got involved in government affairs. I wasn’t your typical political wonk, more of a watcher of people and things. I was very interested in a zoning issue that would affect a piece of land I was trying to sell. I got a crash course in working with elected officials, Planning & Zoning and other agents. I did sell the land and got a reputation for being hands-on. That helped me sell more. It also opened up other doors to be involved.
Finally, I ran for my local board. This was a group of people that met once a month and had the final say on all the little projects the other committees were working on. They were the decision makers. They affected my daily business, from MLS providers and lockboxes to working as a group with local government officials. I just wanted to have a say and represent my office and my geographic area where I worked. But even more than just representing my little square of the world, I got to help my office, other REALTORS® and our clients. The group of board members I have worked with from that time forward has always come together with others in mind, focused on the good of the whole. Getting to work at that level on the big picture is pretty cool. I feel privileged to serve with such a talented, bright group. We all benefit from our volunteer boards at every level.
Today I am honored to serve as AAR 2010 first vice president. Each step into volunteering opened up new doors and opportunities. It also allowed me to meet people. As REALTORS®, we are social folks and make our living off of that. Volunteering on these different levels has allowed me to be in the “know.” I learn about things directly from the source rather than reading about it. Having this knowledge makes me a better agent for my clients. It also opens me up to more potential clients. (Referrals, we all love them!) I have found when involved people get to know your passion for this business, they like their clients to work with like-minded agents. I love sending referrals to agents I have met through my service. My journey as a volunteer in our organization has paid me back tenfold in knowledge, advice and referrals–and I’ve met some pretty cool people along the way. The doors that open for you can be just amazing.
I know it seems like forever before 2011. But take a moment and think about what you might do that could net you one more closing, two more clients, an easier closing because of what you might learn and may only take an hour or two a month. Would it be worth it? It just might be the best thing you ever did for your business. Besides, you never know where one committee might take you.
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