President’s Page: Everyone has a Voice
As REALTORS®, it’s important to recognize that we may each enter the profession by a different path, and to that end we each have something a little different to bring to the association.
Like many of you, I grew up in real estate family. Both of my parents were REALTORS® and my mother sold real estate for virtually her whole career. I spent a lot of time as a young child visiting open houses and reading Nancy Drew mysteries while she met with clients. I didn’t really understand what real estate was, but I knew it was important to our family.
One evening after my mom’s company holiday party, she put a book on the coffee table in the family room. It was given to all the agents in her office that year. I was a book-worm and attracted to any new book—especially one with great photos! It was a book called Under All Is the Land published in 1972 by the National Association of Real Estate Boards, the predecessor to NAR.
I spent hours poring over this book. What dawned on me as I looked through the pictures and read the words that accompanied them, is that land is a valuable and limited resource. Here I was–a young girl growing up in a townhouse in Reston. The idea of ‘land’ was somewhat abstract to me. Suddenly, I realized that even though my house was mostly vertical, my parents owned the land on which it was built. Owning a piece of ‘the land’ didn’t have to be a farm or a home with a huge yard. This was a revelation to me.
Those early experiences, however, were not enough to lead me into real estate. My career led me from federal consulting to project management. From software sales to stay-at -home mom before I finally acknowledged that real estate had my heart.
What I have learned along the way is that there is no right or wrong way to enter or succeed in this business. Not all of us will be the top agent, lender, title company or vendor in our market—nor do we necessarily want to be.
Some may wish to help friends and family buy and sell and others may want to work solely with investors. Some may want to manage offices and inspire agents, and others just want to work with buyers or sellers. There are those of us who will work with commercial clients and others who will focus on residential real estate. What we all have in common is the desire to help people recognize their dreams of property ownership—and of course earn a living.
Whatever your reason for working in real estate, I want you to know that you have a voice within our association. While the President of DAAR doesn’t usually have a theme, there is something that resonates with me, so for 2018, we are going to have one! This year the theme for our association is ‘Everyone has a Voice.’
Our individual goals may vary, but we all have respect for the importance of property ownership and property rights. As members of the association, who work in the real estate industry, we must continue to make our voices heard. This might be at the local, state or national level or with consumers. It might be that you are seeing a trend—good or bad—in the industry and want to bring it to us. It might be that we, as an association, need to fight nationally or locally for legislation that affects us, or consumers. We each have a voice, and we have something to say, and our association will help ensure that our voices are heard both as individuals and as a group.
Finally, most of us in leadership at the association started because someone asked. Remember, that when someone asks you to step up it is because they see your potential as a leader. If you can do it, please do! If you see someone who should be in a leadership role, please ask them to volunteer. It is only through person-to-person communications that we keep our leadership team vibrant and evolving. For each of you taking on a leadership position for 2018, thank you. And remember that one of your responsibilities is to find someone to replace you. Foster those members who might not yet realize how rewarding it is to work within our industry at the association level and, when the time is right, ask them to serve.
I look forward to representing the members of DAAR this year! It will truly be an honor.
Thank you all for your support and remember—everyone has a voice here!
Holly Weatherwax, Momentum Realty, is the 2018 President of DAAR. She can be reached at President@dullesarea.com.