Team Player

South Shore REALTORS® CEO Rachel Tristano shares her staffing know-how.
Rachel Tristano

When it comes to staffing, Rachel Tristano, RCE, CAE, believes in inclusivity, transparency, empathy and kindness as guiding principles. She adds, “Together, we share in our many successes, and equally, we learn from our rare failures, supporting one another throughout.” Here, Tristano offers more advice on how association executives can approach staffing.

Q: How do you and your staff stay in sync?

Communication and collaboration! Regular communication channels are critical so that everyone is up to date on organizational changes, projects and goals. We hold frequent team meetings, and I have an open-door policy. We also leverage various collaboration tools and project management software to enhance productivity.

Also beneficial is my HR Management Certification from the Society for Human Resource Management. Coming into a CEO position with longtime staff can be challenging, and I realized quickly that bringing about intense changes was essential for our growth and improvement. The certification gave me the knowledge and tools to navigate through these changes successfully and significantly improved my staff management.

Q: What’s your philosophy on remote work?

My philosophy is to focus on results rather than the number of hours spent at the office. Setting clear, measurable goals and expectations is essential. Regular check-ins, whether video conferences or phone calls, help us maintain a strong connection, as do team-building activities.

Q: Can you share some examples?

We’ve implemented periodic virtual wellness sessions, such as guided meditations or fitness classes; walking meetings; and outings two to three times a year. We also participate in charity events together. These activities contribute to a more fulfilling work environment.

Q: What’s your biggest management challenge, and how do you overcome it?

Misunderstandings and unclear expectations can deter productivity and morale. I make a conscious effort to listen to my team members, providing them with a safe space to express their thoughts and concerns openly. Regular one-on-one meetings allow us to address individual needs.

Q: You’ve worked at both a national affiliate and a local association. What have you learned from these experiences?

Regardless of the organization’s size, certain principles remain universal: building a strong team culture, fostering open communication and promoting a sense of ownership among staff. I’ve learned the value of adaptability and the importance of customizing approaches to fit the specific dynamics of each organization. Highlighting teamwork, recognizing individual contributions and encouraging professional growth are practices that all AEs can benefit from.



About AExperience

All state and local REALTOR® association executives, association communication directors, regional MLS executives, and Government Affairs Directors receive AExperience at no cost. Issues are mailed to the address found in NAR’s M1 system. To update your AExperience subscription preferences, update your mailing address in M1.

Update your address