Knowing When to Say No

Guest Editor Daryl Braham’s time-management skills enable him to stay on top of association business and flourish in his own.

This is your magazine. We take that idea quite literally. Since January 2013 we’ve been inviting REALTORS® to share their thoughts about upcoming articles and their own tales from the real estate trenches with us. While most of you juggle numerous duties every day, we visited with someone for this issue who seems to hold multiple identities.

We interviewed Daryl Braham back in 2011 when he was a Prudential broker-owner and CEO of a residential construction company. Today, Braham, CRB, GRI, runs an independent coaching business and is a broker--associate with RE/MAX Realty 1 in Fargo, N.D. Also, he’s the 2016 REALTOR® Party director, a national volunteer leader position, charged with spearheading fundraising. His appointment by 2016 NAR President Tom Salomone helps ensure federal-level advocacy work on behalf of consumers and real estate pros remains a top NAR priority.

Though Braham is pulled in many directions, he excoriates multitasking. “Many of us get overwhelmed with how much we have to do and think we have to get everything done right now. That’s a big mistake,” he says. “When people do 25 different things poorly, they miss an opportunity to do two or three things really well.” He says setting time parameters with clients and colleagues “and making sure people know about them” is essential for staying productive and preserving personal time. It’s not only OK to say no, it can be a necessity, he points out. “The three hardest words for people in this business are ‘No, thank you.’ ”

Braham put those words into action with us. When his REALTOR® Party duties called, he scuttled a planned visit to see us in Chicago. We adapted by setting up a guest-editor virtual gathering. He met with our staff via Google Hangout from his home office in Fargo. This kind of efficiency is coming into play more and more in the business, too. In this feature, you can read about brokers who are committed to running completely mobile offices. “Face-to-face meetings aren’t going away. But we can do so much more now because of technology,” Braham says.

While NAR leaders most visibly focus their time on policies to help the industry move forward, they are concurrently managing their own businesses. “People may not realize that Leadership Team members are doing the same work every day as all of our members,” Braham says. Some manage offices or work with clients, and others handle commercial real estate. Some of the most important business lessons come unexpectedly during a regular workday. That’s why you’ll now find a revamped “In the Trenches” on the magazine’s back page. There we’ll share evocative tales from REALTORS®, the kinds of stories Braham hears every day as a coach. After all, his heart is in the trenches even while his head is immersed in the political arena.