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Keeping Lists

January 1, 2006

Summer. The word used to mean such great things to me . . . I remember my childhood in Northern Michigan—playing baseball, waterskiing, fishing and doing all the wonderful things that kids do. Great memories. Today, however, I find that my kids want my wife and I to create a list things for them to do—go to Water World (which is the equivalent of taking a swim with 16,500 other people), or to Six Flags Park or the mall. I recently took a day to spend with my kids and had visions of mountain biking or hiking in the Rockies, but I was quickly corrected when my 13-year-old daughter said she wanted to do “anything that is not outside.” I made them bike anyway, Dad 1, kids 0. Water World will have to be next on the list.

Speaking of lists. We all have them; to do lists, lists of personal or professional goals, lists of people to call and even things we want to do before we leave this world. This issue of Realtor® Association Executive deals with lists. So, in keeping with this theme, here are a few of mine.

What changes are on the horizon for AEs?

1. In the very immediate future, a potential drop in the all-time high membership numbers. It has been good times over the last 5 to 7 years with huge membership growth and a strong real estate market. We need to be prepared for a change.

2. A smarter, more efficient, and demanding member. Their focus will be on services that are truly beneficial. If we do not provide these types of services, the members will find them somewhere else.

3. Flexibility and a general willingness to change. We need to pay less attention to interior issues and focus on exterior issues; not easy for many, but a critical element for our future success.

What traits and characteristics are important to being a happy and effective AE?

1. Maintain a strong will and desire to do your job. Look for challenges and opportunities to do things differently. Surprise yourself with creativity and different approaches. If you no longer enjoy your position, it’s time to move on.

2. Be aware of the environment. Read periodicals, magazines and books. Get out and talk to the members and office managers, large and small. Get outside of the Realtor® sphere. There is a whole big business world that has a huge impact on our associations.

3. Have fun. Laugh at yourself, be a bit weird at times and just lighten up. Keep your priorities straight. Take care of yourself, both physically and mentally.

Congratulations to Malcolm Young from Louisiana on being awarded the William Magel Award at the recent NAR Mid-Year Meetings, it is well deserved. The entire AE community is so very proud of all the local and state AEs from the coastal regions who have remained so strong and committed through the challenges they have faced. Our legislative efforts in Washington last month always remind me of the critical role the Realtor® organization plays in the political process. A personal thanks to everyone serving on various AEC committees and work groups, you are really making a difference. Next up is the NAR Leadership Summit in Chicago, a wonderful opportunity for us to spend a couple of days with our incoming leadership.

And yes, I am still having fun as your AEC Chairman, it is a real honor to represent you . . . that’s the way I see it.

Robert E. Golden