William E. Brown is 2017 president of the National Association of REALTORS®. Read his official NAR bio.
Climb the Ladder of Involvement
President William E. Brown calls on REALTORS® embrace their own leadership roles.
May 10, 2017
As I travel the country speaking to members, I’m often asked how to get more involved in the association and how to become a leader for change. To reach our potential as the nation’s largest trade association, it takes the commitment of all of our members. We must be open to the future, recognize our responsibilities—and act.
From the tremendous work members do at the REALTORS® Legislative Meetings & Trade Expo in May, it is apparent we have a deep bench of strong leaders, but new voices and new ideas are not only welcome, they are needed. We want to hear from you. If you are not already involved at the national level, I encourage you to do so. And you don’t need to run for office or be appointed to a formal role. I think of leadership as being deeply engaged in the issues that matter to REALTORS®—it means caring about what happens to our businesses. As I was coming up the ranks in northern California, a sage local association leader told me to think of leadership as a “ladder of involvement.” The first rung might simply be attending a meeting. The second might be answering a call for action. Another rung might be getting a colleague to attend a meeting with you.
At the National Association of REALTORS®, we’re focused on building a culture where everyone contributes to strengthening the association—where everyone can climb the “ladder of involvement.”
For some, the business of the national association may seem remote and hard to connect with, but let me suggest how you can become involved: Attend an NAR conference, enroll in a professional designation course, respond to a call for action on a legislative issue. The three-way membership agreement assures that we work together at the local, state, and national levels. What inspires me about the future of this industry is seeing the level of enthusiasm for association and community involvement that many of the 30 Under 30 honorees profiled in this issue have demonstrated so early in their careers.
Our business has seen great changes in the last decade or so, and no doubt the transformation will continue. We’ll need strong leaders to stand up for our industry and our profession—and to embrace the evolution. With your help, NAR is fighting for the American dream of homeownership and for you—the REALTORS® who make that dream possible. Many of us will meet with members of Congress in May to press our issues ranging from tax reform to flood insurance reauthorization. Throughout the year, thousands more will support our advocacy efforts through RPAC. I’m confident we can position our industry for growth and innovation for the next generation. Together, we will lead this revolution, and together, we will succeed.
Updated: September 17, 2021