Member Driven?

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Glen Moss asked 1 year ago

Member Driven?
Big Rocks in First!
ABoR members, this is a 3-minute read.
My wife and I have a granddaughter; Her name is Emerson, and she is 4 years old.
She lives here in town, and when we visit, she likes to play in their backyard sandbox. It is surrounded by river-rock, pebbles and there is a garden hose to rinse off when done playing.
Last week, our daughter (Emerson’s mom) called me and asked, “do you know what Emerson just said?” My initial thought was she learned a new word from one of her preschool friends.
As it turns out, she and Emerson were playing in the sandbox and filling up her little plastic bucket. It was then Emerson said, “big rocks in first, Steven Covey.”
For those who don’t know, Steven Covey is the author of The Seven Habits of Highly Effective People. At his seminars, he does an exercise where students are given an empty bucket and asked to fill it with rocks, pebbles, sand, and water. He teaches it is essential to get the big rocks in first. Otherwise, the remaining items won't fit.               
I pleaded guilty to my daughter and told her I was the one who taught Emerson the term. She, of course knew this because while in high school, we attended one of Steven Covey’s seminars.
On Wednesday, October 3, 2018, the current ABoR Board of Directors voted to forever dissolve 3 of our Committees. (Leasing & Property Management- Global- MLS) To be fair, the voting was not unanimous and some BOD Directors dissenting.
Having been Chairperson of one of these Committees, I was definitely disappointed. The Chairpersons of the other Committees and I presented Business Plans as well as facts and figures in the hope of remaining viable member driven entities. However, to no avail….the Board still voted us out.
Because of the newly introduced Strategic Plan, members now seem to play a lesser role in filling the ABoR bucket. Are we now reduced to pebbles or sand?
A few years ago, while serving on the Budget Committee, it was made clear to be good stewards of the member funds. And while serving on the Investment Committee, we have successfully increased our net deposits and reserves every year.
Why is it then, outside organizations come to ABoR looking for donations and many times receive 10’s of thousands of member dollars to help fill their buckets? Yet, when dissolved all-volunteer Committees asked to remain whole, the answer is voted NO.
Knowing this, every member should now receive a big empty bucket, and we need to fill it up. And, using Emerson's words, “big rocks in first.”
The first big rocks in the bucket, are our members. They have built this organization, pay the mortgage on its headquarters and embody the spirit of Realtors.
The next big rocks are………...well no; There are no other big rocks.
I understand the need for donations and supporting other worthwhile organizations. In my personal life, I am a progressive liberal and continuously give.
However, the ABoR funds are member funds and not to be used as an open wallet for anyone who asks for support.
In closing, it is my hope more members would become involved with the inner workings of ABoR and not be discouraged by its recent setbacks. Steven Covey said, “leadership is a choice, not a position.”

5 Answers
Best Answer
James Bigham answered 1 year ago

Well said Glen.  I thought that the last changes in the make up of ABoR leadership was the result of members wanting better member representation on the board.  Apparently I was operating under a false impression of what had occurred. 
I am disappointed that the voice of a strong and dedicated representation of Property Management & Leasing professionals will not be available to the general membership. 

Rick Ebert answered 1 year ago

Thanks Glenn for all you have done for the LPM committee. I do believe that staff is and has for a long time led the board members by the nose and as a consequence we as a board of REALTORS(R) have lost sight of our purpose. It is outrageous that a large segment of the members, leasing agents and property managers, have stripped of their voice and denied a place at the table of issues impacting not only our specific body or work but all REALTORS(R). The board of directors are not representing our industry needs and they are not providing us with a platform to make money and to stay abreast of local and state ordinances. Then too, their actions place our property owners and sometimes our tenants at risk because leasing agents and property managers are not kept up to date in a timely manner.
I feel very fortunate to have started my business with an ABoR that was receptive to growing new ideas and empowering the membership to move forward to spread their wings. With the current cesspool of thought that is now the think tank calling themselves the board of directors our entire membership is at risk of sinking to new lows of thinking which leads to apathy, and all of that does not lead to professionalism.

glen moss answered 1 year ago

Rick, I empathize with you and feel your pain.
For the record, and for those who do not know Rick Ebert.  He is the author and co-author of most of the Leasing Classes taught throughout Texas.
Additionally, he and his wife Karen are Co-Founders of the National Association of Residential Property Managers. (NARPM)
I appreciate everything you have shared with me and our Committee regarding L&PM.

Stan Martin answered 1 year ago

Thank you Glen, Rick, and Jim for your comments. I value the work and effort your group as brought us over the years and the volunteers on the LPM committee have made significant contributions to the association. I hope that your dedication and professionalism can continue to be an asset moving forward. As you mentioned, we have an audience for this information and understand the value of providing education and resources to these members – all of this fits into our goal of providing an orderly marketplace. And despite the LPM committee discontinuing, this is far from the end of working with the leasing and property management community. It is the association's intent to create even more opportunities for our member's voices to be heard. We’ll have some more information about those opportunities as we approach 2019.
Stan Martin - MLS Director

glen moss answered 1 year ago

Stan, you have been an asset for the L&PM Committee.  You attempted to always strike a balance on issues,even when out of frustration, I was less than co-operative.  And for that you are much appreciated.
Moving forward, I am most concerned for our members and who they will seek for information.
Thanks for your help on many of the items we tackled over the last few years.

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