Vital Advice for Every AE

Miami REALTORS® CEO Teresa King Kinney on building a career, getting involved, and inspiring younger generations.

Teresa King Kinney sitting at a desk in black blazer

It’s impossible to cover Teresa King Kinney’s groundbreaking accomplishments and industry-shaping leadership in one page. The South Florida Business Journal was just able to scratch the surface in its 2018 profile of Kinney, RCE, CAE, as one of the top 25 most influential businesswomen in South Florida, where it said she “is playing an integral role in making Miami a top real estate market for both domestic and international investment.”

Magel Award Badge fro Teresa King Kinney 2019

In November, she’ll be celebrated at the REALTORS® Conference & Expo in San Francisco as the recipient of the 2019 William R. Magel Award of Excellence in association management, where she will no doubt share the credit with her staff, leaders, members, supporters, and peers. It’s this sense of humility and grace that has defined her more than 40 years as a REALTOR® AE.

She recently took time out to share advice on becoming a better AE, getting involved, and elevating young REALTORS®.

Q. What’s the chief piece of advice you have for all AEs?

Focus on improving and enhancing your communication skills. Learn to be the absolute best communicator you can be. Constantly work to improve your public speaking skills and continually work to take them to the next level because nothing will take you further in your career. 

Q. You served on the committee that created the RCE designation in 1987 and you hold six other designations. What’s your advice for AEs on professional development? 

Earning the CAE designation and the years of work on the teams developing the RCE designation have been a major foundation for my entire career. Designations and certifications are powerful and effective for every AE who wants to advance in their careers and their professional and personal lives. Designations show your commitment to your association, our members, and professional development.  

Q. You lead a 50,000-member organization with dozens of staff members, yet you found time recently to appear live in one member’s video blog. How can busy AEs maintain a close personal contact with members? 

Interacting with the members in video blogs, on programs, and face to face is an important opportunity to connect and learn more about what members care about. Having 50,000 members really breaks down to serving them one at a time in person, on the phone, electronically, and in small groups at meetings, seminars, and conferences. For them and for us, it’s personal.

Q. You’ve served on numerous NAR committees and task forces. What are the benefits of getting involved?

Definitely get involved in committees and other volunteer roles. Take advantage of these opportunities to participate, learn, share, and make a difference. I served on every AE committee, forum, and task force that I could, state and national, and that expanded to serving with other organizations, such as the American Society of Association Executives, chambers of commerce, and other civic organizations. Be sure to balance your volunteer roles with your commitment to your own association and, whenever possible, find opportunities that also benefit your association and your members. It’s a good idea to also choose roles with strong staff support where your volunteer time has maximum benefit.

Q. Your association has an active Young Professionals Network group. How do you engage the new generation of REALTORS®? 

Choose a few of the best and the brightest YPNers in your association, and help them find their focus, direction, and passion—and make sure you don’t get in their way. Our YPNers are crazy, wonderful, top professionals who are absolutely the best at everything they do. We love them and their energy, creativity, and leadership. They do so much great work with education and community involvement that I recommended to the corporate board to make them a “leadership board.”  This means that their elected board members, president, and president-elect have been on the same level as our other leadership boards—residential, commercial, etc. Their programming, events, and outreach truly make a difference in the lives of all our members and our communities. They are our future.

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