Many of us are familiar with the challenge of attracting the most productive and progressive leaders to our boards. The best and brightest are already focused on their own businesses. Worse yet, many of the largest brokers, top producers, and up-and-coming leaders fail to understand the fundamental value of serving on an Association or MLS Board of Directors.
What strategies can you employ to upset this paradigm?
- Industry Leader Governance
Top producing agents, large brokers, and industry up and comers don’t want to sit on a board with people who aren’t actively engaged in today’s real estate marketplace. They want to work with fellow movers and shakers. If your board members spend more time serving on committees than they do selling real estate, the real power players are not going to be interested. Recruit the best and brightest and you will be able to attract more of the best and brightest. Starting with just one or two can be the beginning of a significant board turnaround.
- Market Enhancing Performance Criteria
Focus meeting topics on the issues that can really move the needle to increased productivity for the market. Are you looking at tools to help close a deal faster? Are you proposing legislation that will strengthen the opportunity for more consumers to buy and sell in your market? Do you build programs to yield the smartest people in the room, arming your members with more comprehensive and digestible data than anyone else? Are you searching for ways to make it easier for millennials to find downpayment assistance? If so, keep going! If instead, you’re focused on committee reports with “make work” projects or rehashing the same topic for the 5th time, then it’s time for an overhaul.
- Fewer and Focused Meetings
I had breakfast this morning with a high-powered broker in our local community. When I asked him if he has served on a board, he said, “Frankly, no. I don’t see the value in spending my time doing that instead of helping my agents. I don’t believe our local board DOES anything. The monthly 3 to 4-hour meetings scheduled is simply too much TIME commitment.” Instead of monthly meetings, why not move back to quarterly meetings – and maybe 2 live meetings and 2 remote meetings. Focus the meetings on decisions that need to be made and discussions about larger trends affecting REALTORS’ ability to do business. Provide thorough pre-board meeting packets and encourage each board member to read about the key issues in advance of the meeting.
- Open-Minded, Decisive, Strategic Culture
Nurture a spirit of open-mindedness and decisive action by focusing on the “why” behind the actions. What’s the strategic goal of every topic on the agenda? How will it help REALTORS® succeed? If you can’t answer these questions, then the issue probably doesn’t need to be on the agenda. Make a rule that a topic can be discussed no more than twice. Don’t bring it to the Board of Directors unless it is accompanied by a recommended solution and plan of action.
- Chop the Committees
Eliminate as many committees as you can, especially those lacking ties to a specific strategic objective. Instead, opt to assemble task forces that address a specific topic and then disband once the topic has been addressed. Committees that exist for the committee’s sake waste the time and energy of the staff who could be focused on solving more pressing issues for the membership.
Contact WAV Group for help overhauling your governance or improving the productivity of your leadership. We have worked with many organizations to get at the heart of their board dysfunction to unleash a whole new level of effectiveness– what’s holding your board back from reaching its full potential?