Why I Volunteer My Time on Boards of Directors

Real Estate Broker/Owner with Elevations Real Estate, LLC www.BuyFortCollinsHomes.com

Board of DirectorsIf you've never served on a volunteer board of directors for an organization to which you belong or support - you've missed out.  Serving on a committee or a task force or even at the director level provides a level of engagement that opens one's perspective, broadens the horizon of possibility, and informs leadership to make smart choices.  Sure, there are those boards that have nightmarishly long meetings and the same topics are discusssed month after month and it doesn't seem as though anything gets accomplished (I've heard of Home Owner's Association meetings like that).  That being said, my experience has been quite the opposite. 

I've served on our local multiple listing service board (IRES) for 7 years and am currently serving as the Chair.  It has been a wonderful opportunity to meet folks from my industry from other communities and work together to solve problems, provide a wide perspective, look to the future, and maintain an excellent service standard for the beneficiary subscribers (in this case, practicing real estate agents, appraisers, and owner-REALTOR Associations).  I've also served on our local REALTOR board for a 3 year term during the financial and real estate market collapse.  I've witnessed all manner of highly adversarial conflicts and struggled through processes to build consensus and evaluate the organization's relevance to its members. 

Global CommunityI like to think that I help provide a strong measure of prudent yet progressive ideology to identify ways to assist the organizations to which I belong and believe remain long term and viable entities that serve the best interests of their respective constituencies.  I've spent the bulk of my professional real estate career in management, training, coaching, and keeping an eye on trends both economic and trade-related.  I've been described as a big picture person; a 40,000 foot observer of how things work.  But I'm also not afraid to get down in the weeds and work through the details of day-to-day obstacles that can prevent an organization from flourishing.      

But the reason I choose to volunteer my time is because I want to play an active role in where these organizations focus their attention and create value for the communities we serve.  REALTORS are more than the legislative lobby that represents us at city council meetings, state legislatures, and the U.S. Congress.  We are volunteers at hospice; we are soccer coaches; we are public school volunteers and assistants; we are cancer survivors; we are aids walk organizers; weHousing Economics are craft beer enthusiasts.  In short, we ARE our community!

We participate in one of the single biggest economic engines of our nation - housing.  Yet I have concerns that the future of Organized Real Estate is frought with upheaval and accelerated change driven by forces both within and without.  There are opportunities as well as threats to how we conduct our business that if left unmonitored or unquestioned could lead to dramatic negative impacts to our livelihoods, our companies, and the personal brands we've worked hard to cultivate not to mention the clients we tirelessly serve.  Let me be your eyes, ears, and voice so you can rest assured that there's an advocate working on your behalf.

Comments (7)

Charles Stallions
Charles Stallions Real Estate Services - Pensacola, FL
850-476-4494 - Pensacola, Pace or Gulf Breeze, Fl.

Belonging to three boards has it challenges but the volunteers are wonderful to work with

Jul 24, 2013 10:04 AM
Chris Ann Cleland
Long and Foster Real Estate - Gainesville, VA
Associate Broker, Bristow, VA

I like serving on my HOA Board of Directors.  I get to know more about the intracacies of an HOA and learn the nitty-gritty about the neighborhood.  It's invaluable.

Jul 24, 2013 01:38 PM
Chris Hardy
Elevations Real Estate, LLC www.BuyFortCollinsHomes.com - Fort Collins, CO
Northern Colorado Real Estate

Charles and Chris Ann - thanks for commenting.  I originally wrote this as a place to send colleagues and clients to get to know me a bit better.  You really do get to see the inner workings of group dynamics and micro-political systems.  I really do enjoy it.  Enjoy the remainder of your summers!!

Jul 25, 2013 05:02 AM
Mike Sibbald
Elevations Real Estate, LLC - Fort Collins, CO
Broker/Owner Elevations Real Estate, LLC

Nicely done Chris.  You have hit being a volunteer right on the head.  It is a pleasure working with you, Mike.

Jul 28, 2013 12:09 PM
Chris Hardy
Elevations Real Estate, LLC www.BuyFortCollinsHomes.com - Fort Collins, CO
Northern Colorado Real Estate

Thanks, Mike!!

Jul 29, 2013 01:06 AM
Jon Zolsky, Daytona Beach, FL
Daytona Condo Realty, 386-405-4408 - Daytona Beach, FL
Buy Daytona condos for heavenly good prices

Chris - very engaging blog, but I had to sigh... A hermit is a hermit, and I stay away from organizations, but I sure can understand you

Aug 12, 2013 01:52 PM
Joan Cox
House to Home, Inc. - Denver Real Estate - 720-231-6373 - Denver, CO
Denver Real Estate - Selling One Home at a Time

Chris, kudos to you for giving your time for such a good reason.   I volunteer for several committees, and have been BOD for our local Assn.    It is rewarding to give back.   Nice to meet you today! 

Oct 19, 2014 12:42 PM