Chairman Monopoly Image MLS and Association leadership brings forth an unusual ‘changing of friends’ on an annual basis. It is in the spring of each year that we begin to see these friendships take hold as CEOs arrive at NAR Midyear with their new Board Chairman in tow. It is all part of an important synthesis that takes place in our industry – one that often goes unappreciated. For five or more weeks each year, CEOs are on the road with their Chairman, building a friendship that is pivotal to a successful year, and in some cases, lasting a lifetime.

WAV Group strategic planning appreciates the culture of leadership in real estate. We recognize that each year, the Board Chairman takes aim at challenges for the organization, balancing goals for the year with long range planning. The National Association of REALTORS® is even more specific about this paradigm. Each year, the NAR leader is explicit about their charge. In many ways, success comes from energizing the State leaders and local leaders to adopt the mission. Adoption by the nation’s Mega Boards plays a significant role in that success. Similar extension happens on MLS boards also.

Continuity plays a key role in the long-term success of any MLS or Association. If the company were to dramatically change course each year with the churn of the Chairman of the Board of Directors, the disruption would erode the effectiveness of the company and undermine the services offered to the members. It is more common for the Chairman to pick a cause each year, but also play a sustaining role in moving along the long-range goals of the company.

Great CEOs of Associations and MLSs recognize this. It is critical that they bring the past chairman, chairman elect, and standing chairman to industry conferences. Conferences are important conveyors of business strategy for these companies. These conferences provide two key references. One is the conference content itself, offering sessions about the topics of our day. The sessions also allow similar organizations to share strategic information and case studies about how they are moving their business forward. The second key reference is more informal. It is the conference behind the conference – the coffee breaks, and meals with peers where fellow chairman and executives commune with their peers about the goals of their organizations.

When you add up the conferences that shape the direction of our industry, you recognize the vast amount of travel that CEOs and Chairman have each year. At a minimum, you have the company leadership meetings, state convention, NAR Midyear, NAR Annual, AEI, and CMLS. For some, other conferences like RIS Media, or Inman may be attended. Nothing will draw a CEO and a Chairman closer as friends than five to eight weeks of travel together.

In some way, we try to make each article on the WAV Group blog into something that expands awareness and understanding about an aspect of our industry.

For agents, you need to understand that participation in your Association Board is an important step to gaining an understanding of the valiant and tireless efforts of volunteer leadership that supports your trade.

For brokers, it is important that you play a role on your MLS Board of Directors too. It is the place where the policies surrounding your data are being shaped and preserved.

For technology vendors, you must understand that CEOs of Associations and MLSs do not choose or reject or adopt your product or service alone. They do it in concert with the goals of the organization shaped by board leadership.

For the CEO who will be spending the year with a Board Chairman who makes life miserable, take solace that years go by fast. For those CEOs who make friends for life with their chairman, we are happy for you.

For Association and MLS Leadership, we want to thank you. Without your tireless efforts and time dedication to events like NAR Mid-Year this week, this industry would be moving a lot more slowly with much less knowledge and insights of today’s issues. We applaud your dedication and passion for your industry and your local community.  Have a great week in Washington!