As leaders of Associations and MLSs, it is imperative that every Board member, CEO and Association Executive remember their core goal – to help REALTORS® thrive for the long haul by arming them with the best information, service, and support we can.
To live to this vision every leader has to be selfless and focused on helping support and nourish our industry as a whole for the greater good.
Unfortunately, I regularly witness organizations that are not living to this mantra. Some Association Executives and CEOs call their MLS organization “theirs”, acting as though they own the company themselves outright. They forget their job is to adapt to the ever-changing needs of their members.
Some Association leaders forget the lesson that NAR has taught many times. The MLS should not be the underwriter of the financials of your Association. The Association needs to stand on its financial merit.
Some MLS leaders act on their own without board input or approval on bold actions. Some Board members clearly approach their role as a way to drive their own personal agenda or to support their company’s business model.
Today we see a ton of protectionist behaviors out there where an Association ignores the needs of its members and focuses instead on what it will take to shore up its own organization. We see boards of directors without term limits suffering from cronyism and outdated thinking. In some cases, it gets so bad that local industry leaders have to revolt and create a board coup in order to get new thinking into the board room.
We have also seen local associations threaten to sue state associations and we see brokers quit their Board of Directors because they do not believe their voice is being heard.
All of these behaviors create unnecessary drama and distract our industry away from the job at hand: How do we continue to arm REALTORS® with the tools, insights, training, and support they need to be the best customer servants they can be?
We make it much easier for third parties to enter our industry when we do not present a united front focused on doing the right thing for homebuyers and sellers. It is time for us to come together and find productive ways to be the best we can be. It is time to be more open-minded and nimble to find new productive ways of working together so we can better serve the ever-changing needs of consumers.
It’s time we lay down our swords, forgive the past and start to find new ways to become the most well-oiled industry we can be. As we head to NAR Mid-Year, let’s begin a discussion about the best ways for our industry to work together from here on out.