If you didn’t know, the size of our local associations range from over 9,900 members to less than 400 members (with the Realtors® Commercial Alliance of Massachusetts, a statewide overlay board, currently at40+members). To work together, we make use of three Realtor®-affiliated multiple listing services. Our markets include ocean-fronts, mountains, urban cities, suburban towns, and rural areas. There are modest first-time homebuyer properties available for well under $100,000, and multi-million-dollar luxury estates, often surprisingly close to one another.
Some of you work close to home while others may help buyers and sellers miles from their offices, like I do in the Berkshires. We also know that business models vary. There are huge franchises, small boutiques, single brokers, teams, bricks and mortar, multiple offices, virtual offices, concierge, limited service, etc. Of course, business practices vary by region as well. The tradespeople, attorneys, and lenders on our “go-to” lists are different and even days on market (DOM)—and the definition of DOM—can differ depending on where you are in the Commonwealth. We are a microcosm of the entire country packed into 10,565 square miles.
So, is it the differences that define us, or the similarities? I believe it’s both. Some things are a constant among our members, (I know there are exceptions) however, generally speaking, MAR members truly care. There is a level of professionalism that does not necessarily exist elsewhere. You will find MAR members willing to jump in to help each other, and members that spend time volunteering in their communities. We encourage each other, we form strong professional bonds and, we form even stronger friendships that last for decades.
Like in any family, there are times when we don’t see eye-to-eye. But the differences fall by the wayside in times of need, or when consumers need our help. At the end of the day, you will find competitors deep in conversation, frequently with lots of laughter any time they gather.
Whatever our role; member, volunteer, or staff, WE ARE MAR. There is pride in that. What each of us sees close to home, in our bubble, is just our frame of reference, our comfort zone. There is always the challenge we may fall into the mindset that our way is the only “right” way. But that mindset could cause you to miss out on opportunities to learn, grow, and do business.
I am going to encourage you to step out of your comfort zone and get to know each other better this year. Checkout the calendar of events on our website and look for events elsewhere. Take a ride over to another association and take a CE class there. Go to a fundraiser or chat at a networking event. Exchange contact information and get to know each other.
The wealth of knowledge, creativity, encouragement, and friendship here is unique. And the best part? It’s all yours for the taking. It’s our MAR, and we are pretty awesome.