By Erica Christoffer
The COVID-19 pandemic may have halted in-person meetings over the last 15 months—but that’s about to end. The YPN Advisory Board announced that its members are going to begin traveling again to visit state and local YPN groups and attend speaking engagements in the coming weeks and months.
During the Advisory Board’s meeting May 6 at the virtual 2021 REALTORS® Legislative Meetings, Chair Georgia Stevens applauded the group’s outreach efforts during the pandemic, including their fair housing videos posted to the National Association of REALTORS® YPN Facebook Group in April, and their mental health awareness videos being posted throughout the month of May.
“We’re on fire. This group just does not let up and it’s inspirational to me,” Stevens said.
Mike Ford, president of the REALTORS® Relief Foundation, was a guest presenter during the Advisory Board meeting. He talked about the 20th anniversary of RRF, a charitable arm of NAR that started the day after 9/11 to help the victims of the terrorist attacks. Since the organization began, it has donated more than $33 million to about 1,700 families in need, usually after a natural disaster.
Also, during the meeting, Advisory Board workgroups presented the following updates:
Growth and Network Outreach
YPN Advisory Board member Lacy Browne said her workgroup has made contact with nearly every inactive YPN across the country to offer services and support. Advisory Board member Jairo Rodriguez completed a lot of the leg work of identifying inactive YPNs. Many of these groups either disbanded or have new leaders. Fellow workgroup and Advisory Board member Heather Haase said she recently worked with a local association in Michigan to get their first YPN network launched. They also recently hosted their first quarterly call, called YPN Power Hour sessions, which help networks either get reestablished or grow and thrive. The next calls are July 15 and Oct. 14. For more information, contact firstname.lastname@example.org.
Angela Gibson, the YPN Advisory Board AE Representative from Boise, Idaho, said the videos that board members are recording are getting good engagement and reception. “If we can continue doing them with a different theme each month, people like to see our faces and it helps us get more out there and more contact,” Gibson said. The workgroup is also brainstorming ways to partner with RRF to support their 20th anniversary campaign. YPN is about both personal growth and business development, so the mental health awareness theme in May resonates particularly well with the value that YPN brings, said Advisory Board member Jordan Pyle. Stevens said that in this tough market the support of YPN is more important than ever.
This year’s YPN Advance, a day and a half workshop for YPN chairs, vice chairs, and staff liaisons on how to build your network and grow your real estate business, will be in person this year Aug. 26-27, at the Intercontinental Chicago. Registration opens in June. YPN Advisory Board member Felicia Mares said one goal is to increase staff liaison attendance, which has a specific track turning the event on how to support their YPN group. “A lot of networks had a rough time throughout 2020 where they weren’t meeting in person and weren’t able to have events, so a lot of them shifted and a lot of them pushed the pause button,” Mares said. So, the main theme of this year’s Advance is relaunching your network.
As the country opens up more, with travel and in-person events relaunching, Stevens reminded everyone that it might take a while for people to readjust. “Even with the masks coming down here in Washington (state), it’s a little awkward,” Stevens said of her local area. “We just want [Advance] to be warm and welcoming to help overcome some of the uneasiness of being in big groups again.”
Erica Christoffer is a contributing editor for REALTOR® Magazine and manager of the YPN Lounge. Connect with her at email@example.com.