NAR President Elizabeth Mendenhall eyes a new generation of industry leaders.
NAR President Elizabeth Mendenhall

This issue looks at the significance of style from a number of vantage points: personal style, marketing style, home style. We’re also looking at style from the perspective of our younger members—specifically, this year’s 30 Under 30 honorees. Why is it important to focus on the youngest professionals in our industry?

While REALTORS® in their twenties comprise just 4 percent of our total membership, this critical member segment represents our future. If brokers want to remain in this industry for the long haul, they must ensure that their business attracts and maintains younger talent. The largest share of home buyers falls in the 25 to 34 age group. In 2017, this group accounted for 26 percent of all U.S. buyers. Brokers who want to grow their business with millennials will benefit from having younger agents on their teams. Some clients prefer working with agents close to their age, and new agents’ networks open the door to opportunities.

Companies may need to make changes to their business practices to engage younger agents. Traditional education offerings, communication styles, and types of social activities are just a few examples of what brokers should consider updating.

As one of the youngest presidents in the National Association of REALTORS®’ history, you’re keenly aware of the importance of cultivating future leaders within NAR. What is the association doing to encourage involvement by younger members?

NAR’s 2018 Leadership Team has a responsibility to move the association into the future. A critical aspect of this charge is cultivating tomorrow’s leadership today. To do this, it’s imperative that our millennial members see the value that REALTOR® associations offer. NAR’s Young Professionals Network launched in 2007; since then we’ve significantly strengthened relationships with this key constituency. NAR is stronger because our YPN members are more involved than ever. We are at our best when all members work together to own it!

As a broker, how do you help newer and experienced agents work together constructively?

Experience goes a long way in this industry, but even the most successful agents and brokers can benefit from a fresh perspective. If your business is flourishing, it’s easy to get stuck in the “if it ain’t broke, why fix it?” mentality. Sometimes we don’t even realize we’ve adopted this mindset. But when you welcome new talent and solicit different viewpoints, your business can rise further. Millennials are the first generation to have had the internet throughout their lives. It’s not always easy to stay on top of advancements, but millennials have done it since birth. In a sense, they’re old pros. Over the years, I’ve mentored a number of new agents. But at some point I realized, they’re also mentoring me.