2017 News President's Report

RIAR President’s Report – August 2017

August 22, 2017

Recently, RIAR President Elect Joe Luca, CEO Phil Tedesco and other state, local, and national officers and association executives traveled to the National Association of REALTORS® Leadership Summit in Chicago.  They had the opportunity to hear from the mouths of NAR’s new leaders – CEO Bob Goldberg and 2018 President, Elizabeth Mendenhall and shared with me some of the highlights of their speeches.

“They are changing what it means for us to be a professional. They are changing what it means for us to own our data. And it’s time for us to innovate in that space so that we are setting the pace to where we are headed,” said Mendenhall.

From Goldberg, “Agents and brokers: Your profession is changing. Association staff, your role, and my role — are all changing. The clients we serve; they’re changing. To stay ahead of disruption we must all agree this industry is not the same as it was when NAR was founded 109 years ago — not even nine years ago…If we resist change, it is futile. We cannot, and we will not, let these outside forces dictate this industry. Realtors will be the disrupters. The status quo is just not an option.”

I couldn’t agree more. Nine months ago I spoke from a similar platform. We must be out in front of the changes that lay ahead in our profession as leaders and forces for change. We have weathered an enormous transformation in the past two decades. Twenty years ago, our profession’s use of the internet was in its infancy. Since then, sites like Zillow and Trulia have changed our landscape. Zillow’s Instant Offers is ushering in a new way to sell.  And we may soon be able to order our favorite foods from Whole Foods and sell or buy our homes with a simple Amazon account. Talk about one-stop shopping.

Had we thought of any of this 20 years ago?  Were we pushing those changes or reacting to them? Are we thinking ahead of the curve now – where might we be in 2027 or 2037?

At the Leadership Summit, Bob Goldberg told of a comment that a member had made to him that always stuck with him. The member had said, “Bob, you know what?  Everyday I wake up and I’m unemployed.”

We are all in the same boat. Until our next deal, we begin a new business each and every day. And if you want a business to be successful, you need to be more than prepared for the future, you need to direct the future. As NAR’s new CEO advised: Be the disrupter. The status quo is just not an option.

I hope, and I believe, that Joe Luca’s trip to the Leadership Summit, left him inspired to be the disrupter. Joe has been actively involved in our profession and our organization for years and in working with him this year, I know that he is ready to bring his expertise and ideas forward. But he can’t do it alone.

In that light, if you’re passionate about the real estate profession and have visionary ideas, get in touch with me, Joe, your local board or the state association. There could be a leadership position for you at RI REALTORS® in the coming years. Together we can direct the course of our profession, not just react to it.

Have a great Labor Day,


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