This month’s National Association of REALTORS® (NAR) Power Broker Roundtable introduces Jim Imhoff, 2019 Liaison for Large Firms & Industry Relations for NAR, and our 2019 moderator.
Christina Pappas: Welcome back, Jim! It is my privilege to pass the baton to someone so dedicated to the values of NAR and the industry—and as you’ve served as moderator before, I know you remember how quickly the year goes by and the importance of this role in keeping brokers informed.
Jim Imhoff: Yes—these panel discussions are important, not just for the broker community, but for a lot of agents and managers looking for top-level insights.
CP: One of the things I love about this business is that the REALTOR® community really is a community. We’re committed both to the power of relationships and to the real impact of working together in order to get things done. The 2019 Leadership Team, led by President John Smaby, is continuing the great mission of the “Own It!” theme. It’s such a great call to action.
JI: Be accountable. Take responsibility. Chart the course you want and stay with it. If that’s not a recipe for success, I don’t know what is.
CP: Agreed; it’s been a real pleasure to address so many relevant issues in my year as NAR Liaison.
JI: You’ve tackled some universal concerns, including succession planning, disaster protocol and bringing millennials front and center into real estate. These are topics that matter, and will continue to matter, in a changing real estate environment.
CP: These are important topics in our industry and I thank our monthly panelists for taking the time to discuss them with me. It’s their time, and their willingness to share, that makes the roundtable valuable.
JI: Which goes back to your comment about the dedication of this community and striving to be the best we can be.
CP: Yes—we can all learn from each other, and I can’t think of a better person to lead the conversation in 2019. In 40 years of growing your company, you’ve witnessed, and successfully navigated, a generation of change—market cycles, changing dynamics, the evolution of technology…I look forward to learning from you. You have a firm grip on the value proposition we REALTORS® offer.
JI: I firmly believe, as does NAR, that our mission is to stand with the customer—that every transaction should have two winners: a happy buyer and a happy seller. If the customer’s happy, the agent will prosper. That’s a truth that never changes, no matter the market climate.
CP: What are some of the topics you’re considering for the coming year’s Roundtable agenda?
JI: I think you hit the nail on the head when you mentioned value proposition. I want to start by asking brokers to take an in-depth look at what defines their company. What’s their promise—and how will that promise stand up to competing business models? Most important, are they staying true to what works best for them?
CP: Value proposition is a critical topic, and we need to get a firm handle on it, as new business models continue to emerge and provide competition.
JI: Our answers impact every aspect of a brokerage, from the integration of new technologies, to how we make best use of space, to the way we pay our agents. New approaches are inevitable, of course, but brokers need to know what brings customers to their door, and how they plan to keep them coming.
CP: I look forward to that discussion. What else is on your agenda?
JI: I’d like to revisit some of the topics I know we’ve addressed in the past—updates on wire fraud, best practices for agent teams, tapping into millennial talent—and something that’s near and dear to my heart: defining the agent as our customer. What can we, as brokers, do to help our agents grow their business?
CP: And, what we can do to keep them with us once they become successful…
JI: Yes. That’s not always an easy thing to do unless our value to those agents remains compelling no matter what else comes along.
CP: It sounds as though you’re planning to focus on the very core of our business: what we stand for as brokers and agents, creating value in the face of change, and inspiring strength and loyalty.
JI: Did I say all that? Wow. That’s a hefty promise. I’ll do my best to keep it. And I hope I can count on you—and the real estate community—for topic ideas and input.
CP: It will be my pleasure.
JI: Thanks, Christina, for a year’s worth of your valuable time and great discussions.
CP: My pleasure. I look forward to your upcoming discussions and continuing our dialog with the broker community.
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