The Changing Role of Today’s AE

By 2018 AE Committee Chair Rebecca Grossman, RCE, GREEN, CEO, Scottsdale Area Association of REALTORS®, Ariz 

I love the theme for this issue because like many of you, my role as AE is always changing and presenting new challenges. But I think we can all agree that these changes make our world interesting and allow us to continue to retool ourselves and our abilities. I, for one, never imagined when I first started out that I would have to do things like manage lease space, navigate through MLS mergers, deal with the fallout of a failed association merger, start up a meeting and event space business, teach short sales and foreclosure classes, endure plummeting membership numbers during the hard times, launch a real estate licensing school, sing at installations, and jump on a float for a parade. These are just a few of the many roles we all play, and I can’t wait to see what comes next.

We always talk about raising the bar for our members, but more and more that bar is raised for us. We must continually prove ourselves to a new group of leaders and volunteers. As we seek to accommodate added responsibilities and expertise necessary to keep our associations strong, we need to be able to articulate our value and make sure that we are sustained through adequate compensation, benefits, educational opportunities, and staff resources. A great time to do this is during your annual review, so be prepared to share what you are proud of and what you have taken on for the year.

I am very excited about the topics being covered in this issue and the contributors, whom I know and admire. Like me, many of these great AEs didn’t choose association management as a career but have embraced all the challenges it brings and have made significant impacts in their organizations and communities. They know how to adapt to change and, when called upon to make something happen, they allowed their roles to grow without complaining and kept a sense of humor when things got tough. I know you will find what they have to share extremely valuable, and I thank them for sharing their expertise.

One thing I have learned over the years is to allow things to happen. When your association members want to move in a certain direction, help them get where they want to be. Sometimes as AEs we must set aside our concerns over changing roles and let our organizations take risks and reinvent themselves. Along the way, we need to educate the leaders on the impact and ensure that they are giving us the necessary resources, but at the end of the day we can’t be a roadblock.

Make it a great 2018!

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