By Brian Copeland
I recently had a lively discussion with one of my Baby Boomer, dearest real estate friends on the phone. Of course, it was on the phone, that’s what Baby Boomers do. They want to meet and talk on the phone all the time. I had asked her if we could just e-mail, but she insisted on a phone call.
This phone call went into a long talk about what young, professional REALTORS® and our organization are in motion to do. I can always best sum this up in one word…availability.
Availability tears down walls of confusion. Availability creates strong bonds and ties across generational lines. Availability facilitates amazing, reciprocal relationships. In fact, in November alone, I had two association executives come to me and say virtually the same statement.
“Thank goodness for YPN. Had we not had our YPN committee, we would’ve never known that <insert name here> was even part of our organization. We put her in this association membership position and she was the shining star. We now have a new leader thanks to YPN!”
As Mickey Mouse-cheesy as it sounds, it’s true. Your availability as a young professional is truly making our real estate industry stronger, more diverse and salient to those who have us on their radar.
With our evolving position in the real estate landscape, I want us all to remember one thing. Having a place at the table comes with great responsibility. Many may stereotype you as being the person who is at the table in order to “change” the way things are done. I’d encourage you, however, to view yourself as someone who is at the table to enhance, strengthen, and fortify what is already in place.
“They” call us “young lions” because “they” see us as people barreling through barriers and roaring for our voice to be heard. We, however, see ourselves as a body of people who are just excited to be heard. As you are being heard, I hope you will remember the following things and ask a few questions as you are ready to spring into action:
1. Are my words spoken in a way that embraces those who have worked so hard to create the table I sit at today? If that statement is in conflict with someone else’s, I hope you will think to smile and show true interest in the greater organizational good as you get ready to share.
2. Is my point actually something I’d be willing to lose my seat at the table over? I know, I know. Well-behaved people rarely make history; however, rowdy people may lose their opportunity to make history, especially in the REALTOR® organization. If it’s something you’re so passionate about that it would rock your world if it went another direction, speak up. If the point is already being argued by someone else, keep your two-cents for when you really might need them.
3. View every objection you are met with as an opportunity to build a bridge. I sat down for my director’s interview for my state last year. I was devastated when the list came out and I didn’t make the position. My first thought was, “Come on people! I can do this, and you need me!” My second thought was, “Hold up. This was your first time. Calm down that inner energy and look forward to the next year.”
With availability comes great excitement and responsibility. We are at the beginning of the first time in history NAR has created a subcommittee like YPN. You’re going to be pulled in 100 different directions. You’re going to be asked your opinion on things you’ve never thought about before. You’re going to learn a lot. You’re going to be a better REALTOR® with the experience. Thank YOU for being available!