RISMedia's Real Estate Magazine

NOV 2018

Real Estate magazine is the industry's leading source for real estate news and information since 1980. Published monthly by RISMedia, Real Estate magazine offers timely and relevant real estate news to the industry's top brokers and agents.

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28 November 2018 RISMedia's REAL ESTATE W hile John Smaby is being sworn in as 2019 president of the National Association of REALTORS® this month, he makes it quite clear that he is just one part of the team. As he puts it, "We are a seven-person Leadership Team for four years, and for one year, I'm privileged to direct the choir. " A second-generation REALTOR®, Smaby brings nearly 40 years of experience to the role of 2019 president of the National Association of REALTORS®. As a broker at Min - nesota's Edina Realty, he has been in the trenches with real estate professionals to understand their needs on a firsthand basis, and his years of service at the state and national association levels afford him a big-picture perspective on the challenges and opportunities facing the industry at large. Here, in this exclusive interview, Smaby shares some of his thoughts on the year ahead and the bigger picture for real estate. Maria Paerson: You have a long history of association involvement at various levels. Why do you feel this has been, and continues to be, an important part of being a REALTOR ® ? John Smaby: My father was a REALTOR®, and from an early age, I saw how much my dad respected the REAL - TOR® family. Because of his work ethic, and because this industry provided him tremendous opportunities, my family has benefited, and has received so many gifts over the years. I didn't completely understand or respect that until about 10 or 15 years ago when I started think - ing about, 'How did I get here today?' A lot of people along the way devoted their time to help the real estate business…to help it adapt and change with the times. So that's why I feel it's important to do my part, as well. MP: What are your thoughts upon stepping into the role of NAR President? What are you most excited about? JS: I've been on the runway for four years as a team member, so the most important part is continuing to be a strong and inclusive team player. We are a seven-person Leadership Team, and for one year, I have the privilege to direct the choir. Our team is committed to taking a broader view of the vision for our association. Traditionally, incoming NAR leadership selects a theme for the year ahead that is representative of their team and priorities. But 2018 President Elizabeth Mendenhall, 2020 President Vince Malta and I decided to do something a little bit different—we adopted the "Own It" theme to carry us through three years. Our team is unified; this is just one example of the commitment we've made to each other, reflective of our members- come-first focus. We're working hard as a group to make a collective decision for the betterment of mem - bers and consumers across America. If we all look at the longer-term view for our association, that will outlive my short term as president. MP: What will be your top priorities during your presidency? JS: Our members will determine our priorities, and we have a fabulous strategic thinking committee to help do that. With their help, we have identified four priorities to focus on throughout 2019: - First, to advance the membership and consumer com - munications. Toward the end of 2017, when CEO Bob Goldberg took over the reins at NAR, we opened a fresh chapter in our association's history. Bob is a visionary and is changing our strategy—especially in terms of consumer and member communications. We're looking forward to rolling out a new consumer advertising campaign in 2019. - Second, we're doubling our efforts in advocacy and regulatory monitoring. The polarization in Washington has created different opportunities and obstacles for the association in the future. With Jerry Giovaniello retiring at the end of the year, we have hired a new senior vice president of Government Affairs, Shannon McGahn, to retool our Advocacy Group. We're remod - eling our house, and this is one more area that we're focused on. - Another area we'll be focusing on involves our role as stewards of data. In this day and age when data security is crucial to all businesses, it's imperative that NAR is a good steward of the data for both our Leading the Team in 2019 John Smaby Steps Into the Spotlight as NAR President by Maria Patterson

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