Why I Volunteer My Time on Boards of Directors

Board of DirectorsIf you’ve never served on a volunteer board of directors for an organization to which you belong or support – you’ve missed out.  Serving on a committee or a task force or even at the director level provides a level of engagement that opens one’s perspective, broadens the horizon of possibility, and informs leadership to make smart choices.  Sure, there are those boards that have nightmarishly long meetings and the same topics are discusssed month after month and it doesn’t seem as though anything gets accomplished (I’ve heard of Home Owner’s Association meetings like that).  That being said, my experience has been quite the opposite. 

I’ve served on our local multiple listing service board (IRES) for 7 years and am currently serving as the Chair.  It has been a wonderful opportunity to meet folks from my industry from other communities and work together to solve problems, provide a wide perspective, look to the future, and maintain an excellent service standard for the beneficiary subscribers (in this case, practicing real estate agents, appraisers, and owner-REALTOR Associations).  I’ve also served on our local REALTOR board for a 3 year term during the financial and real estate market collapse.  I’ve witnessed all manner of highly adversarial conflicts and struggled through processes to build consensus and evaluate the organization’s relevance to its members. 

Global CommunityI like to think that I help provide a strong measure of prudent yet progressive ideology to identify ways to assist the organizations to which I belong and believe remain long term and viable entities that serve the best interests of their respective constituencies.  I’ve spent the bulk of my professional real estate career in management, training, coaching, and keeping an eye on trends both economic and trade-related.  I’ve been described as a big picture person; a 40,000 foot observer of how things work.  But I’m also not afraid to get down in the weeds and work through the details of day-to-day obstacles that can prevent an organization from flourishing.      

But the reason I choose to volunteer my time is because I want to play an active role in where these organizations focus their attention and create value for the communities we serve.  REALTORS are more than the legislative lobby that represents us at city council meetings, state legislatures, and the U.S. Congress.  We are volunteers at hospice; we are soccer coaches; we are public school volunteers and assistants; we are cancer survivors; we are aids walk organizers; weHousing Economics are craft beer enthusiasts.  In short, we ARE our community!

We participate in one of the single biggest economic engines of our nation – housing.  Yet I have concerns that the future of Organized Real Estate is frought with upheaval and accelerated change driven by forces both within and without.  There are opportunities as well as threats to how we conduct our business that if left unmonitored or unquestioned could lead to dramatic negative impacts to our livelihoods, our companies, and the personal brands we’ve worked hard to cultivate not to mention the clients we tirelessly serve.  Let me be your eyes, ears, and voice so you can rest assured that there’s an advocate working on your behalf.