Always Learning

An association executive for more than 30 years and the 2009 recipient of the William R. Magel Award, Travis Kessler still says, “There is never a dull day in the REALTOR® organization.” His greatest challenge? Keeping up with industry changes. For Kessler, what has helped the most is the depth of knowledge and support from both experienced and new colleagues, which energizes him to stay current on key issues and be creative while embracing new ideas and concepts.

Q: What’s your best advice for other AEs?

Surround yourself with people who contribute and bring out the best in others to maximize good decision making. And value these long-term best practices and leadership traits: ethos, having the courage to always do what’s right; pathos, understanding the needs and expectations of others; and logos, making the best decision possible based on the facts and information you have at that time. The shareability of resources is what keeps our jobs rewarding.

Q: What’s changed the most over your tenure?

Broadcast delivery of information, education and services— via Zoom or other electronic/digital platforms—and a staff hybrid/remote work environment have proven to be remarkably efficient, effective and well received by association staff and members. The benefit to associations is clear: By offering improved and diverse options, we meet and exceed member expectations, creating a more robust and dynamic experience for all.

Q: During challenging market conditions and other ups and downs, how do you keep seasoned and newer staff and members engaged and optimistic?

Presenting factual information is always the best and most effective approach. But also suggest solutions— this makes all the difference in communication success. Understanding, creating and maintaining a service culture is paramount for effective association management.

Q: What’s the most effective thing you do to communicate the value of membership in Texas REALTORS®?

Using multiple communication resources to show the value of membership is paramount today, when repeat messaging is not only necessary but critical, especially with all the legal challenges in our industry.

Q: What do you learn from younger staff members—and what can they learn from their seasoned peers?

Being approachable is the key to establishing and maintaining effective business relationships—our younger staff have shown me that. They have so much they can contribute if the expectation is set that they can and should offer their insights and expertise. What seasoned staff can offer in return is institutional knowledge. History and background add tremendous value to the decision-making process.



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