By Jef Conn
Applications are open now through May 1, 2020, to apply for the 2021 National Association of REALTORS® committee selection. You mean, we apply for 2021 positions before the REALTORS® Legislative Meetings & Trade Expo? Yes, that’s correct. But don’t stress! Whether this is your first or 10th time, here’s a quick guide to make the process a little easier.
Create Your Expertise Profile
Make sure you fill in as much information as possible, and don’t forget your photo. Do you need a photo? Yes! One of the biggest frustrations among NAR Leadership when it comes to placing people on committees is incomplete profiles. And don’t forget to brag on yourself! Talk about what you’re passionate about, the designations you have, and any background education or former jobs that give you a unique opportunity to add value to committees.
Which Committee(s) Do I pick?
There are 93 committees and advisory boards listed on the NAR committee structure page. We have so many dedicated members who put their hearts into our organization, which also means space is limited. That said, make sure you pick your top three to five committees so that you have an opportunity to serve—just know that you’ll likely only be selected for one. Click on the link above and learn more about what the purpose of each committee. (Example: Here’s the YPN Advisory Board explanation.)
After you fill out your profile COMPLETELY and add a photo, pick your top five committees and apply to serve on them. You may not get your first or even second option, so have backups to your backups. Make sure you describe how you can add value to the committee. Don’t just fill in blanks with quick words. Think about your answers. Your words matter and will separate you from the sometimes hundreds or thousands of people applying for the same committees.
Ask for Recommendations
You will have the opportunity to ask for recommendations from friends and colleagues. You’re more likely to get a committee position if you have people who recommend you. Who should you ask? Your local association executive, state leadership, other friends in the real estate industry who are involved. Work closely with them on the process. If needed, help write a quick bio and explanation of why you want to serve and send it to them so they can get to know more about you.
Remember, Committees are Where Work Gets Done
You’re not on a committee to check a box or sit and listen. Be prepared to be an ACTIVE participant on the committee. Ask questions and get to know the other people on the committee. Speak up! Every single committee is important to the mission of NAR, so your role on a committee will help shape the future of NAR. Don’t waste that opportunity.
Important: Do Not Wait Until the Last Minute
Imagine 1.4 million REALTORS® having the opportunity to apply for committees and everyone waiting until the last day. You might wake up sick and not get your application in. If you wait until the last minute, the people you ask for recommendations may have 20 others to get through that day already. Make it easier on yourself and others by applying early. Let me repeat that: Apply early! Don’t wait until the last day.
Bonus: Record a Video Introducing Yourself
Want to set yourself apart? Record a video briefly introducing yourself, why you want to serve on that committee, and why you are uniquely qualified for it. Being brief is important. Think 2 minutes or less. Upload the video to YouTube and add the link to your expertise profile (there’s a field where you can add the URL toward the bottom). Do not record a 20-minute video. People will not have time to watch it in its entirety.
Apply and become a more active member in your association. It’s not scary; you can do it. You’ll learn a lot along the way and you’ll likely make some new friends and colleagues along the way. Start today!
Jef Conn, CCIM, SIOR, is a commercial agent specializing in industrial, office, and investment properties with Coldwell Banker Commercial in Lubbock, Texas. Jef served as the 2017 president of his local association and currently serves as Region 1 vice president and executive board member for Texas REALTORS®. Connect with Jef on LinkedIn or via email: JConn@CBCWorldwide.com.