Know Your Followers
This is not an original thought, but for the first time in my life I am beginning to feel that my peers aren’t listening. The blogosphere and Realtors have been talking about the increasing divide between the generations. I’ve never really seen it – until now.
I’ve always felt comfortable with the generations before me and indifferent toward those of my own. However, in this age of social connections, I am finding that more and more my feelings and ideologies aren’t necessarily unique.
I’ve engaged several members and elected Realtor Leaders recently and a common conversation has been problems with agent interaction s well as the need for everyone to follow the same rule book. (IMHO) The problem is that everyone trying to solve this issue is overlooking the fact that the average agent doesn’t read our newsletters.
A Child Shall Lead Them
I think it’s time that we redefine who is leading our Associations. Members aren’t reading the e-mails and newsletters; they aren’t running to join the committees and they aren’t using the tools that we’re desperately trying to give them. Who are the members listening to? I’m not sure, but there are industry blogs that have thousands of hits a week and we’re starting to see even NAR respond to the members thoughts and ideas in those venues. It’s great that NAR is starting to do a better job of engaging it’s members, I would just like to see it trickle down faster.
Most Leaders still consider online social venues as a tool of Generation X and Y. The reality, as I’ve seen it, is that the real influences are those of the Baby Boomer Generation. These are the real authors with wisdom and insight that only life-experience can give. There are many from my generations that are arising in the ranks of elected leadership, but I wonder….aren’t those who influence the industry more of a leader than those who are just trying to catch up? There are some great folks from the Generation X and Y who having amazing skills and are working hard to create a better image of the profession; but frequently their voices are drowned out by mediocrity.
Great spirits have always found violent opposition from mediocrities. The latter cannot understand it when a man does not thoughtlessly submit to hereditary prejudices but honestly and courageously uses his intelligence. ~Albert Einstein
It Has Nothing To Do With The Internet
Whereas the internet has given the venue for the voice of the masses; the message has most likely always been there. There are exceptional agents out there who simply don’t care what others are doing – good or bad. There are exceptional agents out there who just accept that there are bad agents out there and they simply have to work around them. And then there are exceptional agents who want to be active in really bringing the industry to a higher level. Only you know who you are – everyone else guesses. The internet and blogging has little to do with these three groups; but it certainly can bring about more knowledge and better training.
Frequently I hear people say that there are only a small percentage of members involved with blogging (recently I heard 8%). They use this number to support their lack of involvement or support for blogging Realtors. I’m curious as to how many agents are involved in Association Leadership. I would guess it’s less than 8%. I happen to think that 8% is a large number, if you exclude dual-career agents and those who make less than poverty level. There are reports that support that only 20% of agents are actually producing.
What’d He Say?
Essentially every leadership training program I’ve taken, has emphasized servant leadership and the strong need to be respected by those you’re leading. Listening and routinely engaging membership is the way to show those traits. Otherwise in the void of leadership, that is recognized by the members, you’ll have either a new group of leaders arise or…”Lord of the Flies.”
I have a fear that the chasm of mutual respect that we’re seeing begin, is just going to get far worse. Leadership needs to be re-defined and members need to be engaged in the venues and techniques they are residing in. It doesn’t matter if it’s e-mail, newsletters, magazines, blogs or smoke-signals; Realtor Associations posses great resources to engage members in all forums. The only thing lacking is the desire and initiative to do so.