Welcome to 2017! Like you, I start off the New Year with a fresh perspective on things, and renewed vigor and energy to start things off on the right foot! As your 2017 President, I’ll be with you each step of the way. Women’s Council can be your partner for success in 2017. We have so many unique benefits to share with you, and what better way than to highlight one benefit a month!
January: Pay attention to your member profile. According to the recent Women's Council survey, 56 percent of members made one or more referrals to another member in the past year and 31 percent report receiving one. All this referral activity equates with an average of $13,217 in paid commissions. That’s some real business potential! You will want to log-in to your Member Expertise Profile and ensure your information is up-to-date. Your current cell number should be your main phone number. Include your designations, hobbies, specialties, areas you serve, and add a current photo. The more information you put in, the more likely you are to get a referral.
February: Attend a local Network meeting. There are over 1,500 activities that our networks organize annually across the country. Network meetings at the local level are designed to be fun, interactive, have good networking, with timely industry topics, all in a friendly environment. It is never easy to take time out of our busy schedules and step out of our comfort zone, but I encourage you to do so! Make the time investment to attend some events. If you haven’t been to an event for awhile, last year Women’s Council passed some major bylaws changes, which will transform and improve the way our networks organize industry events, so make sure and attend one this year. I hope to see you there!
March: Volunteer. Studies show that volunteering connects you to the community, deepens relationships with professional colleagues, and opens doors up that you may not have imagined. We’d be honored to have your time and talent. It’s the next logical step after updating your profile in January and attending some meetings in February. Our Networks boast 1,200 elected officers so there is space. Too busy to become an elected officer? There are many project teams and other opportunities with less commitment if you’d like. The volunteerism of Women’s Council sets us apart from other leadership training programs.
April: Go Global! In today’s shrinking world, your buyers may come from Boston, Bangalore, or even Brazil – hence my April benefit. Women’s Council, for the second year in a row, will be partnering for the second annual International Real Estate Women’s Conference in Brazil. There is something empowering about reaching across borders and establishing relationships with other professional women and learn the commonalities that our colleagues face globally, but also the opportunities we can all take advantage of to build our business network. Last year’s event was held in Rio and had over a dozen Women’s Council attendees, many shared that the event was transformational both personally and professionally. Read about last year’s event here and mark the 2017 dates which are April 2-4. I’ll be there, and hope to see you there as well!
May: Women’s Council Legislative Meetings. By spring, hopefully you have attended several local events, volunteered, and enjoyed the online resources at www.wcr.org. Hopefully you’ve sent and received referrals as well. Now is the time to go to a national meeting and network with colleagues from around the country! The Women’s Council conference in May is held in conjunction with the NAR meetings in our nation’s capital, and attracts over 700 attendees. The low $240 registration fee allows you exclusive access to dozens of innovative seminars with nationally acclaimed speakers, a welcome reception, a breakfast meeting, and other high-energy activities. You will find a friendly and welcoming environment, and I hope to meet you in person as well!
June: Enroll in a PMN course. Women’s Council has a designation, called the Performance Management Network (PMN) Designation. This business leadership designation offers a variety of courses in topics such as leadership, running a business, negotiation, and networking and referrals. June is the time to begin the coursework so that you can apply for the designation in the fall. If you already have the PMN, then enjoy the benefits it brings, such as: a private Facebook networking group, exclusive reception at national meetings, deeply discounted banner ads, and free webinars.
July: Invest in a banner ad. Are you getting any referrals yet? If not, set yourself apart from the crowd and purchase a banner ad so that your name is more visible in the referral directory. For only $200 or $16 per month, you can advertise yourself in up to six cities, customize your ad with your photo and business logo, and your name will appear at the top with an eye-catching banner ad. If you are a PMN, then a year-long banner ad is only $140, which well offsets the annual dues. Make yourself more visible to your Women’s Council colleagues, and the buying public!
August: Become a Women’s Council leader. In March I emphasized volunteerism, but I’d like to challenge you to become a Women's Council leader. With over 260 Networks, there are ample opportunities to serve and to put your leadership skills into action. Every August, Women's Council holds a leadership academy for next year's officers (2018) in Chicago, and we spend two and a half days with nonstop seminars and activities designed to give you all the tools you need to become an effective leader, both at a local Network and in other areas you may want to exercise your leadership. You will leave the event inspired and connected to future leaders from across the country.
September: Apply for the PMN. Back in June, I challenged you to take some PMN courses, and if you've taken 3 courses you should now apply for the designation in time to be recognized at the November conference. Applying for the PMN designation gives you enhanced visibility and credibility, and you will be further recognized as a business leader.
October: Follow our social media pages. Our Facebook page has 60,000 fans and growing. We highlight leaders and influencers in our 78 year history, give business tips, and have fun posts designed to motivate you. Social media is a primary method of communication between the meetings and a place to network, share, and enjoy the unique collaborative culture of the Women’s Council.
November: Attend the Women’s Council National Conference. Every November, Women’s Council has a “conference within a conference” of the larger NAR Conference with 20,000 attendees. In November it will be in Chicago and includes world-class entertainment, education, and a massive expo.
December: I saved December for our last benefit, but actually its our newest, so if you’ve made it this far in the article, let me re-emphasize the Women’s Council Online Outlet Mall! Launched last month just in time for the holiday season, the mall offers discounts on premium and exclusive products and services for members of the Women’s Council, which will you save money while offsetting increased spending. Plus, you just might find a gift idea or two. The Council has negotiated “members only” discounts on your behalf with suppliers who recognize the purchasing power of our membership. Discounts are now available on some of the world’s most recognized brands, with new discounts coming online every month. To save you time (while we save you money), discounted products are divided into two distinct categories: 1) Business Services and 2) Entertainment and Travel. Use this exclusive benefit and you’ll find that by the end of the year, your dues investment has been paid for several times over, just by using this program !
Finally, throughout the year, enjoy our many free resources on www.wcr.org. The Women's Council website is a treasure trove of mostly free information designed to provide resources that help grow your business. The business resources section in the Member Center has recorded webinars (over 20 last time I counted), all with unique topics with nationally acclaimed speakers. There are leadership skills training modules and profiles of leading women in the industry to get inspired.
It was a challenge to fit all we do into twelve months. May your 2017 be successful, and may Women’s Council be your partner for success !
-Sherri Souza, 2017 National President