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Expand Your Leadership Growth with NAR Committee Appointments

by Carol Weinrich Helsel

NAR ArticleNational Volunteer Week 2017 is April 23-29. Collectively, Women’s Council members dedicate countless volunteer hours each year in support of great causes. This April, Women’s Council National encourages you to consider a different kind of volunteer effort – one that will return significant value back to you: Apply to serve on a committee of the National Association of REALTORS®.

Beginning April 3 and running through May 23, members can submit an application to serve on up to five NAR committees. The process, including completing an expertise profile and seeking endorsements for your application, takes place entirely online – making it easy to manage. In addition to the “at large” spots, some committees have a seat earmarked specifically for an NAR affiliate representative. To be considered for these appointments, you must have submitted an application.

Embrace the WIFM (What’s in for me?)

While you may be giving your time and talents to NAR, there’s much to be gained in return. The Women’s Council mission includes advancing women as leaders in the industry. Getting involved in the larger REALTOR® organization is an excellent opportunity to gain new leadership skills (or to hone your current ones), but it goes well beyond that.

Council member Sherri Meadows says, “Leadership is an incredible opportunity to achieve personal and professional growth and in doing so, to set an example for others. It is a platform to change lives!” Sherri, who currently serves as NAR’s Region 5 Vice President, adds, “Volunteering on all three levels of the REALTOR® organization has been an opportunity to learn to think strategically, advocate boldly and, through teamwork, deliver a unified message to create significant change.”

Deena Zimmerman, 2016 NAR Committee Liaison to the Commercial Group, has a similar perspective. “I encourage everybody to apply for an NAR committee. I still pinch myself! It’s amazing to be in a room with so many incredible professionals from around the country sharing their thoughts and opinions. It’s a truly incredible experience that I am blessed to be a part of.”

“The opportunity to serve in leadership on a national level with NAR has been the ‘cherry on top’ of a 30-year career in the real estate industry,” says Georgia Meacham, Vice Chair of NAR’s Smart Growth Advisory Board. “By moving up in leadership, I became aware of programs and services available through NAR that no other organization offers. From national committee work, it becomes easy to use that knowledge to put programs into action, whether in your local community or personal business.”

A Call to Action

If you’ve served in any leadership capacity in the Women’s Council – local, state or national level – you know the importance of committees…and committee volunteers. Groups such as NAR and the Women’s Council rely on strong member input to develop and guide effective strategy. In the next few weeks, you have an important opportunity to give to your industry and reinforce the fact that the Women’s Council of REALTORS® is a valuable source of leaders. While the percentage of Council members involved at NAR (18 percent) significantly exceeds the percent NAR members affiliated with the Council (1 percent), last year saw a small decline in Council member involvement at NAR.

But it's not just about percentages. Those who get involved benefit professionally and personally. “My business is 100 percent referral,” says Deena, “and that’s due to my involvement at the local level as well as NAR.” For Georgia, the value comes from knowledge gained. “With knowledge comes confidence, which helps to grow your business.”

Sherri offered a quote from Mark Twain that sums up the value of involvement for her: The two most important days of your life are the day you are born and the day you find out why. “Many people go through life never knowing what their ‘why’ is,” says Sherri. “My ‘why’ is to be a voice for those who feel they don’t have one, and to empower others to find their voice.”

Find your voice by applying for an NAR committee appointment. Here’s how:

  1. Go to the NAR Committee Selection Process page at Realtor.org for details, a timeline and an FAQ.
  2. Complete or update your expertise profile to help NAR match your talents with committee needs (have your NRDS login handy).
  3. Review the list of committees and their structure to identify those of most interest to you.
  4. Review the Committee Selection Process FAQ – an easy-to-read Q&A that covers questions you may have.
  5. Submit a committee application for up to five committees and seek three qualified endorsements per application (all is done electronically and the FAQ spells out who can give an endorsement and how). The deadline for applications and endorsements is May 23, so don’t wait until the last minute! Committee appointment notifications will be made in October.

Many members begin their leadership journey at their local Network, working their way up and making important contributions to the organization. If you haven’t considered leadership opportunities beyond the Women’s Council, NOW is the time to do so! Honor National Volunteer Week by pursuing a new volunteer experience with NAR.

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