The National Association of Realtors (NAR) has announced Glenn Shimkus as the new VP of Strategy and Innovation. He has been tasked with establishing a new strategy and innovation group within the SBIT (strategic business, innovation, and technology) group at NAR.
The new strategy and innovation group will be comprised of two new teams – the emerging technology team (which will evaluate emerging technologies’ impact on real estate, and forge relationships with other institutions developing new tech), and the strategy team (which will work on strategic projects involving NAR’s investment companies and large tech companies).
Shimkus will also play a large role in NAR’s forthcoming strategic think tank, “a network of world class business leaders and innovators from inside and outside of real estate.”
“Glenn has been heavily involved in the technology, real estate and investor communities for a large part of his career, and we are excited to put his knowledge to work for NAR,” said Bob Goldberg, CEO of NAR. “Glenn’s addition to SBIT will help push technological innovation that is beneficial to NAR members and the real estate industry.”
“As a long-time technology enthusiast and entrepreneur, I look forward to positioning NAR to foster innovative technology growth,” said Shimkus. “Our focus on building key relationships with emerging technology partners, academic and government researchers and private technology corporations will allow us to drive innovation in the real estate industry and keep our members at the forefront of technological change.”
What struck us most about Shimkus is that he is of a rare breed, with extensive tech experience outside of real estate and a background in real estate tech. What often happens to real estate technologists is they find themselves exclusively in that sector, independent of the rest of the tech world, whereas Shimkus remains a TechStars mentor and investor, with feet firmly planted in both worlds. Again, a rarity.
Victoria Gillespie, Chief Marketing and Communications Officer at NAR noted that in the buildout of these teams, they’ll continue to seek this rare type of talent. “We believe that to be successful we need to find the rare folks that have a combination of this skill set and background in order to accelerate our projects and ultimately deliver against our goals.”
Gillespie indicated that the combination of knowledge (real estate and tech) was a selling point for hiring Shimkus in this new role, adding that it is “also important to understand that Glenn’’s knowledge of real estate industry goes beyond the brokerage as he built out the online mortgage platform for Guaranteed Rate before founding Cartavi and he created the ‘lead to close’ vision for DocuSign for their efforts to get rid of paper in the real estate industry. We believe that Glenn brings NAR and our members a truly unique combination that we believe will provide great value as we drive forward with our goal to keep NAR at the forefront of emerging technologies and business trends that are transforming the industry.”
Shimkus has long been an active mentor to NAR’s real estate tech accelerator, REach, where he will continue to be involved, having taken an advisory role with the REach team in recent years, and has also been involved in Elmspring (the new commercial accelerator for NAR).
“Glenn has a strong history of building world-class teams,” asserts Gillespie. “If you look at his LinkedIn profile you’ll notice that he has a large number of folks from across his career that have written wonderful recommendations for him from their time working together.”
When asked of his leadership style, Gillespie said he “works to empower his team, set clear goals, provide his team the tools and support they need to be successful and then let them work their magic! If you speak with anyone that has met Glenn or worked with him you’ll quickly hear that he’s a tremendous leader, has great vision and the unique ability to deliver against his vision.”
What many AG readers will ask is – how will NAR members benefit from this hire?
Rather than truncate Gillespie’s answer, we’re offering it in full as it gives unique insight into NAR’s overall direction:
“Ultimately the addition of Glenn to NAR will continue to help drive against the strategic vision set out by Bob Goldberg when he became CEO of NAR in 2017. At that time Bob set one of his objectives was to keep NAR at the forefront of emerging technologies and business trends that are transforming the industry.
As a part of the SBIT group within NAR, Glenn is now tasked with several key initiatives that we believe will provide meaningful value to our members and deliver specifically against this vision. First, at the core he is creating a new emerging technology team that will work to identify and evaluate emerging technologies and their potential impact on the industry.
This work will be an important feeder for work being done across NAR such as with our advocacy efforts, in our work with REach and SCV as well as our member communications and education – all of which are aimed at ensuring our members are aware of the transformation happening across the industry and prepared to not only survive but thrive. It is paramount that we have our pulse on the ground of what’s happening across the country and the world in terms of new technology and process innovation that may impact the industry in the future.
Additionally, Glenn is responsible for ensuring that our annual Investment, Opportunity and Investment (iOi) Summit is one of the industry premier events when it comes to bringing together the industry practitioners tech leaders and investors that are driving innovation in the industry. He will also work to create a strategic think tank of world class business leaders and innovators from within and outside of the industry to collaborate with our CEO and share experiences and best practices when it comes to how innovation is impacting industries of all size across the globe.
Both the iOi Summit and Strategic Think Tank will ensure that NAR is actively collaborating within and outside of the industry with those that are a part of the transformation so as we can share best practices, learn from each other and work together to continue to drive the industry forward. We believe that based upon the unique skill set, knowledge and experience that Glenn brings to NAR will drive meaningful value to our members as we continue to navigate the transformation happening to our industry.”
NAR en Español: Breaking records because of new members
(REAL ESTATE NEWS) NAR en Español is rising in members because of the rise of Spanish speakers in the US, and this is opening new avenues in other countries.
Spanish is the second most spoken language in the United States and the Pew Research Center has projected that it’s only going to keep growing. The National Association of Realtors® (NAR) reports similar, noting that their Spanish-speaking membership numbers are increasing rapidly. As such, it makes sense that the NAR has begun to expand their accessibility.
One notable expansion is the inclusion of a Spanish session in the annual NAR Conference & Expo. This year’s session, titled “NAR en Español: What does the future look like?” is the fourth session done entirely in Spanish. The event garnered record-breaking numbers: over 200 members were in attendance.
This session is just one part of the NAR en Español Initiative, which was founded in 2018.
The initiative works to increase the amount of networking opportunities and industry resources available to Spanish-speaking members, as well as creating a stronger connection to Realtors® on a global scale.
Global connections could be seen in the Spanish session, with members from Peru, Ecuador and Brazil each helping to moderate the event. The panelists were also made up of national and international members. Including members from across the globe allowed for valuable experiences and perspectives to be shared, helping make the event a unique experience for all involved.
Topics covered in the session included women in the industry, Multiple Listing Services and NAR resources for international members.
Alejandro Escudero, manager of global alliances and business development in the NAR, reported that the audience was highly engaged, which created a dynamic atmosphere for those in attendance. The session was able to provide valuable educational and networking resources to attendees.
As interest and attendance have grown over the last four years, it should be no surprise that the Spanish-speaking session has quickly become a highlight for members. In fact, Escuerdo reports that, due to the popularity among U.S. and international members alike, there is a huge potential for growth – especially after record breaking attendance this year.
According to Mario Rubio, NAR Regional Coordinator in South America, “Opportunities like these allow members to feel included while sharing their story with counterparts from around the world.”
Voting now open for NAR’s 2019 Good Neighbor Awards finalists
(REAL ESTATE NEWS) These real estate professionals deserve a moment in the spotlight in recognition of their tireless dedication to their communities, their endless fundraising, and countless hours of volunteer work. These are the real changemakers – give ’em a vote!
So few professions allow individuals to make such a wide impact in their local community, than real estate. One person, like the National Association of Realtors® 2019 Good Neighbor Awards finalist, Kristy Payne in Oklahoma has helped over 2,000 foster children in her state with necessities so desperately needed after a child is removed from a relative’s home.
That’s one person who has impacted thousands. And like the other 10 finalists, and all award winners honored in the past, they’d never pat themselves on the back, they’d keep putting as much effort as possible into making an impact in their neighborhoods and beyond.
2019 marks the 20th year or of this awards program which honors Realtors who have made a positive impact on their communities through “incalculable hours of volunteer time,” and millions of dollars in charitable fundraising. They pour all they have into enriching the lives of those around them, and they deserve recognition.
“We are honored to have this group of extraordinary people representing the Good Neighbor Awards as we celebrate the 20-year milestone,” says NAR President John Smaby, Edina, Minnesota. “They inspire us and epitomize ‘who we are’ as Realtors.”
Voting is now open and lasts through September 28th – five winners will be named on October 2nd, and each will receive a $10,000 grant, be featured in the November/December issue of REALTOR® Magazine, and the remaining five finalists will receive a $2,500 grant in recognition of their work. The top three vote getters will win bonus grants of $2,500, $1,250 and $1,250, respectively, for their nonprofit organizations.
“The Good Neighbor Awards reflect the values we share with the Realtor® family,” said Tracey Fellows, acting CEO of realtor.com, the primary sponsor of the awards. “This year’s finalists represent the industry at its best – making meaningful connections that count for people, families and communities.”
More about the 10 finalists:
Sabrina Cohen – The Sabrina Cohen Foundation
Coldwell Banker Residential Real Estate, Miami Beach, Fla.
Fourteen years after Cohen suffered a spinal cord injury, she founded a nonprofit dedicated to funding adaptive fitness and recreational activities for people with disabilities. She created Miami Beach’s first inclusive playground, runs monthly Adaptive Beach Days and spearheads a $10 million capital campaign to build a state-of-the-art adaptive recreation center.
Rosemary Dutter – Dutter House Inc.
Century 21 Affiliated, Beloit, Wis.
To honor her beloved grandson who died at age 12, Dutter gives parents of severely disabled children a break from their daily challenges, transforming a local house into a safe, cheery and kid-friendly place. While she lovingly cares for these children each evening, their parents have time to run errands, spend quality time with their other children or simply take time for themselves.
Bruce Johnson, ABR®, CRS, GREEN – SickKids Foundation/Children’s Miracle Network
RE/MAX of Wasaga Beach Inc., Wasaga Beach, Ontario, Canada
In memory of his daughter, Alyssa, who died in 1998 at 20 days old, Johnson has traveled more than 37,000 miles across North and South America on his motorcycle. Johnson has raised more than $600,000 for Children’s Miracle Network, which benefits the SickKids hospital in Toronto where his daughter was treated, and a network of children’s hospitals.
Nora Partlow – Neighborhood Health
Coldwell Banker Residential Brokerage, Alexandria, Va.
Partlow began supporting the neighborhood medical clinic when she noticed patients waiting in her coffee shop. As the daughter of immigrants, she understood the great need for affordable healthcare. Her greatest contribution is her ability to connect donors, patients and volunteers. In 21 years, she has raised $550,000 and recruited hundreds of supporters.
Kristy Payne – Fostering Sweet Dreams Foundation
Keller Williams, Edmond, Okla.
As a foster parent, Payne learned about the needs of families who may suddenly be asked to care for a child who is removed from a relative’s home. She provides necessities like beds and car seats to help bridge the gap for families working to collect all the resources required for placement. Since 2016, Payne has helped 2,000 children across 31 Oklahoma counties.
Mark Solomon – Veterans Community Project
Keller Williams, Kansas City, Mo. and Longmont, Colo.
Solomon co-founded a nonprofit to eliminate veteran homelessness through a “tiny house” development. The neighborhood includes an outreach center where any veteran can access medical and mental health referrals, employment assistance, and addiction counseling and treatment. With the Kansas City location nearly complete, Solomon is helping to expand the cause nationwide.
Bahar Soomekh – Angel City Sports
Nourmand & Associates, Beverly Hills, Calif.
Soomekh and her husband founded a nonprofit to help people with physical disabilities stay active, renew their spirits and connect with a supportive community. Inspired by her son, Ezra, who uses a leg prosthesis, Soomekh runs athletic clinics and competitions for adults and children with disabilities. The 2019 Angel City Games drew 1,500 spectators to cheer on 430 athletes.
Kimberly Strub – Schurig Center For Brain Injury Recovery
Coldwell Banker, Mill Valley, Calif.
Strub leads a nonprofit that improves the lives of people with brain injuries and their families through therapy, support groups and social and recreational activities. In a decade, she has raised $1 million, tripled both the annual budget and the number of people served, and helped set up a concussion protocol for children in the Marin County schools network.
Dale Taylor, ABR®, GRI – South Suburban PADS
RE/MAX 10, New Lenox, Ill.
For 19 years, Taylor has spent nearly every Monday night with the 35 homeless men who gather at the shelter site he manages just south of Chicago. From serving food and mopping floors to making decisions as a board member and raising nearly $3 million, Taylor calls his volunteerism a “divine calling.”
Paul Wyman, ABR® – Turning Point
The Wyman Group, Kokomo, Ind.
When he saw his community struggling with opioid addiction, Wyman called a county-wide summit to find solutions. This summit led Wyman to found a nonprofit that connects people affected by addiction with the services required for recovery. Instead of red tape, people now find a central resource to access help. Turning Point helped 1,400 clients during the last year.
NAR partners with Food Recovery Network to BE the change
(ASSOCIATION NEWS) NAR takes a huge step to lead by example, and urges associations to get involved with the Food Recovery Network. This is the feel-good news we love to hear!
Mahatma Gandhi once said, “Be the change that you wish to see in the world.” But today, most people are clicktavists (clicking “Like” on something and feeling like an impact has been made), and the National Association of Realtors (NAR) continues to go out of their way to avoid meaningless chatter, instead pushing for real change.
NAR has partnered with the Food Recovery Network (FRN), a national nonprofit that unites students at colleges and universities to fight food waste and hunger by recovering surplus perishable food. The partnership will donate excess meals from their conferences and meetings to local food banks, and they’re asking the 1,200 local and state Realtor associations to “take the pledge” to “multiply the effort.”
Announced at the annual Leadership Summit in Chicago, NAR CEO, Bob Goldberg said, It is exciting to see State and Local Association Executives and incoming Presidents step up to fight hunger in their areas. Taking the pledge to participate is one example of their commitment to serve the less fortunate. Showing compassion for people in the communities we serve is how we ‘Own Who We R,'” referencing the “That’s Who We Are” campaign.
“Giving back to the community is the right thing to do, and I am proud that NAR members have a long history of helping their neighbors,” Goldberg said in a statement. “We hope this effort will inspire other associations, organizations, businesses and individuals to fight hunger in their local communities.”
FRN has already recovered 3.9 million pounds of food, donated 3.2 million meals and prevented 7.4 million pounds of CO2 emissions since 2011.
The partnership started earlier this year, when FRN staff designed and executed a food recovery plan for NAR’s Legislative Meetings & Trade Expo in Washington, D.C. On the final day of the event, two lunch events were unexpectedly canceled. However, thanks to the food recovery plan, 85 meals were donated to Charlie’s Place, a hunger-fighting nonprofit in D.C.
“We look forward to partnering with NAR and the entire Realtor® family to make food donation a regular part of their events and meetings. We make it fast, easy and simple for organizations to donate surplus food to people who need it the most,” said Regina Anderson, FRN Executive Director. “Our two organizations share the goal of making food recovery – not food waste – the standard at real estate industry events.”
NAR hotel and convention partners will collaborate on food recovery, and FRN will verify the effort at NAR’s largest annual event for real estate professionals, the 2019 REALTORS® Conference & Expo, which be held this year from November 8–11, 2019, in San Francisco. An estimated 20,000 people will attend the conference.
We look forward to reporting back with all of the associations that join the movement!
In the era of lazy clicktavism, NAR is leading by example. Gandhi would be proud.
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NAR en Español: Breaking records because of new members
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