Leadership Blog

by Jo Ann Stevens, 2018 National President

JoannsmallsquareWow! Where does the time go? This year has flown by partially because your National Leadership Team has worked diligently to move Women’s Council forward and increase both our visibility and the recognition of our brand.

It has been my honor to serve as your President this year and to represent Women’s Council across the country and even internationally. I have had a fabulous leadership team, with which to work and I thank them for supporting my vision for the future of The Council.

When I campaigned for this position years ago, I promised you a BOLD leader. I even went so far as to say I would be a creative risk taker because I felt our organization needed to tackle some tough decisions to remain relevant in the future. I believe I have kept those promises!

I also said that the local network was the heart of our organization and that the experience at the local level must be a positive one for Women’s Council to thrive. For the first time this year all 250 networks across the country operated under the new model. Additionally, every local network president signed our new affiliation agreement protecting our brand and ensuring a standard of operation across the country. I thank you for that!

You may recall that last year I told the Leadership Team to buckle their seat belts because we were taking The Council to new heights. And it has been a wild and wonderful ride because your Council is doing so many exciting things, and this is just the beginning. It has been a year of firsts as The Council is pioneering new initiatives.  

2018 was the beginning of revamping our national meeting schedules to allow our members increased participation in NAR meetings. We want you to utilize your leadership skills in various capacities.

Thank you for approving a dues increase to partially fund our new website and database which will launch next month. It will be mobile friendly, have a world class “find a member” directory and will be member centric.

Our Leadership Academy was rebranded as Network 360, A Leadership Conference, and for the first time ever all incoming officers were in attendance because of the new election timeline.

2018 began the offering of our PMN courses via live broadcast allowing all members, regardless of location, access to our designation.

A new 3-year strategic plan was approved at the November meetings and this will set the direction for the future of the Council. Expect enhancements in coming years in several areas, including education as we will launch a brand-new public speaking class next year.

Woman’s Council finally “owned” our role of developing business leaders and next Spring we will launch our inaugural class of our new Leadership Institute. In time we hope to build our Institute to train business leaders for various organizations and individuals throughout the real estate industry.

2018 saw the creation of several new initiatives. In November our paperwork was approved to form the Women’s Council of REALTORS® Foundation, a non-profit organization that will foster development of future women business leaders in the real estate industry via education, programming and support.

Image003Women’s Council partnered with an established real estate women’s organization this year, AMPSI, to bring a delegation of over 15 US members to their annual conference in Malaga, Spain. We signed our first international Memorandum of Understanding with this group and plan to work together in the future to help one another in our respective fields.

Our RPAC numbers in 2018 have surpassed all previous years and we are approaching $3M and over 75%-member participation. We can proudly say that no other organization in the NAR family has a participation rate higher than Women’s Council.

Women’s Council has taught me the value of involvement, the dynamics of relationships, the importance of diversity and the vision of leadership. This is the POWER of Women’s Council!

Yes, 2018 has been an extraordinary year and not one I will soon forget. As I have traveled the country and met with the members, I am humbled by how much each of you give to The Council and to one another. I have invested 32 years in an organization that has changed my life and I will forever appreciate all I have learned, the people I have met and the many opportunities I have been afforded. Thank you for this wonderful gift.

Although my wild and wonderful ride has come to an end, your 2019 Leadership Team is sure to have some new surprises in store for the members and many new initiatives of their own. Rest assured Women’s Council is headed in the right direction!