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On Being President Of The Tallahassee Board of Realtors|Debbie Kirkland

Realtors, Serving You

Today was my first official Monthly business meeting as President of the Tallahassee Board of Realtors. I couldn’t have been more excited.  Although official Installation is a little late this year in February, I wanted to wait so that I could share that moment with the members of our Association as we recognize all of their accomplishments of 2011. I’ve spent a year planning for this very important year. Polling members, meeting with Brokers and Agents one on one, asking the hard questions, listening to their concerns, their fears and their struggles as they plow forward through the uncertain and ever-trying economic downturn of a housing and employment recession. Learning how to help, where to apply our energies and talents. However, mostly, I have learned about my fellow Realtors.

Kudos to the Realtor survivors, to those with a passion so strong that they can think of nothing they would rather do, than to serve the public and be the advocates for all homeowners, present and future. God Bless the ones who had to make a change, to survive but who still have that burning desire to help others.

I wonder and ask, “Does the public truly realize the service of the professional Realtor, or understand the level of education, certification, and experience that the dedicated Realtor brings to the table of every transaction?”   The industry of real estate professionals who carry out the duties of residential, commercial, development, appraisal, and property management transactions, are the future-shapers of every community. The ripple effect of the real estate professional and every transaction they facilitate creates work and employment for mortgage companies, banks, loan officers, insurance agents, title company employees, home inspectors, pest control specialists, roofers, carpenters, handymen, contractors, building supply companies and local businesses.

Thank God for the Realtor. Thank God for the customers who use the professional Realtors because they value not just their knowledge of the transaction, but of the service the Realtor gives to their community and the protection and survival they fight for for and support which involve all of these industries.

My opening remarks were simple today,.. another “Thank You,”  for the professional, the Tallahassee, FL Realtor:

You don’t always see was what it took for many of us to get to where we are today. People  don’t always see the thousands of hours that were spent studying for a certification, reading and researching industry news  or walking and talking about advocacy issues that you hope will protect your very right to be in business or homeowners to have property rights. Not many are here to see you breaking the glass ceilings of the personal goals we surpass or to say, “Good Job.”

And, not one of us is here on our own. Everyone has had someone to inspire us, someone who has set the bar in our eyes, someone who we recognize has accomplished much, be it in business, in our community or in their personal lives. In many ways we see ourselves in you, and hope that you see yourselves in each other so that you see we are not just one, but many.

This Association is about you. It’s about those that came before you, and that work beside you or who mentor you today.

This year, your leadership team is here to open doors of communication, to encourage discussions that help develop services, tools and technologies things that you need to grow and develop your business. Our meetings are more than “Marketing meetings,” they are “Business Growth and Development Meetings.”  We are here to give you opportunities within your profession to be a part of changes, of vision, to help you break the glass ceiling of business as usual. We are here to thank you for reaching back to help pull someone else up and over. We are here to support you, in business and in life as you strive to “Raise the Bar”.

This year, I’m striving to acknowledge the exceptional Realtor, the many who have helped others, helped my customers and the many with whom I have strong, and powerful relationships. So, what constitues the exceptional Realtor? A few unique characteristics of “that” Realtor:

  • They attempt to balance work and family, and have a very difficult time at best.
  • They work 70 – 100 hours a week. ( do the math on that, the next time you see that “fat” check that you think they receive at closing!)
  • They take customer’s calls on nights, weekends, and the most inopportune times, and they ANSWER the call.
  • They catch all kinds of Hell when a transaction falls apart between buyers and sellers…all while having to reconcile that they will not get paid for another few months..perhaps never.
  • During the recession, they have lost their life savings trying to survive on the rare transaction that made it to closing, while loosing their real estate investments, and even their homes and health insurance, yet helping their customer’s keep theirs. Some, for the second time in their careers. Remember the 80’s, 13% interest?
  • They are advocates for local communities, promoting amenities in hopes of attracting a population of newcomers, working with Commissioners, Chambers of Commerce hoping to attract business and industry companies that ultimately produce jobs.
  • They reach into charities, neighborhoods, communities to volunteer hundreds of hours, giving back, helping others and growing communities.
  • They sponsor community events, contribute to the less fortunate, even when that means sacrificing funds that they need to make ends meet.
  • They work through exhaustion at the end of their day while getting that one last article to the local paper, or magazine that provides the public with a true sense of market conditions.

Realtors, the genuine, ethical professional puts others first most times. Help me say “Thank You” to those Raising the Bar in their industry and in your community.


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