I am going to be gone next week, Tuesday through Thursday, attending the VAR Leadership Academy.Â This is a year-long program that is comprised of four retreats and is designed to – you guessed it – shape and develop better leaders.Â Our first assignment has been to read The Timeless Leader, a fascinating conglomeration of leaders throughout history and the corporate correlations.
And this is a big one.When I was at the Virginia Association of Realtors Legislative conference a few weeks ago, I sat in on a presentation that touched on the NAR MLS working group on which I had the privilege to serve. At the table I was sitting, several of my classmates from the Leadership Academy were a bit confused – it’s hard for two people to compress months of meetings into twenty minutes – and this is the example I gave them:What if Keller Williams, Century 21 and Re/Max decided to upload their listings to Google or Zillow or Trulia rather than to their local MLS, or even better, kept them locally, but stopped sending them to Realtor.com?It is starting. This type of innovation makes me seriously consider even more a move to KW.For those of us at Trulia, we are excited to announce our strategic business agreement with Keller Williams Realty. This is the first of its kind for Keller Williams; part of their company wide initiative to provide more cost-effective, innovative online advertising opportunities to their 77,000+ brokers and agents.
A wise person told me years ago that, in a multiple offer situation, if there were three Realtors bringing offers, the one known by the listing agent may have a better chance of acceptance due to the Realtors’ prior relationship…. Because of these committees, I consider myself better informed than the average Realtor on many matters that affect my clients – roads, developments, eminent domain, grantors taxes, land use policies and legislation – politics that affect and impact real estate…. For the State, I recently accepted an offer to be on the Public Policy and Governance committee as well as the request to be a Delegate (not really sure what that means yet, other than I have a couple meetings in Richmond throughout the year)…. (I said no to another request – a fleeting feeling of liberation!)Nationally, meeting Realtors and Brokers of the caliber that serve on various Leadership Teams, Presidential Groups, etc. was fascinating (I lucked my way into this committee because of a meeting made through my participation in last year’s Leadership Academy).There are at least two dangers to volunteering and participating so much – 1) Too much time spent away from representing clients in the buying and selling of real estate is fiscally (as well as to my psyche) damaging.
Reflecting on the VAR Convention …Â I spent the past two and a half days at the Virginia Association of Realtors’ Convention learning (I graduate from the Leadership Academy on Friday morning) about the state of the Association.Â The first and most vexing observation is about politics – everything is about politics, isn’t it?Â The more I get involved, the more I am torn between continuing to get involved and withdrawing from it all together.Â Yet, expressing a voice for what is right will lead to more advances than will silence.Â So, involvement it shall be; until my disillusionment becomes overwhelming …Â More to come as time allows, but it is refreshing to hear that Realtors will be advocating for some solutions rather than merely fighting everything.Â Hint: impact fees may be involved.
Being away at this Leadership Academy is extremely challenging – business grinds slowly and I fear I am neglecting my clients.Â However, I am learning an awful lot; we have been spending time with Ann Atkinson this morning.Â Wow.Workforce housing *is* affordable housingCommunities are coming to understand that not only does affordable housing make communities healthy demographically, but also practically, as demonstrated by this recent New York Times article:RWSA unveils recommended water supply option – Finally!Biscuit Run work sessionsRising gas prices: Good or bad?Â Maybe this will be the time that we seriously consider and plan for the future.Top ten obstacles to selling a home – as always, Ardell writes a story that speaks to me and my clients.
I am away for much of this week attending the second of four retreats for the VAR Leadership Academy, and probably spending the time upon my return catching up.Â This time we are in Natural Bridge, just past beautiful Lexington, home of my alma mater, VMI.Â What are the chances these guys are wrong?Bill Gates, John Doerr and Steve Case believed in the Internet long before Wall Street did.Â Now, they’re betting on the next great “disruptive” technology: alternative fuels and other environmentally friendly products, but this time other investors aren’t far behind.And we will soon have wind technology in our backyard.The alternative fuel economy is going to shape how our region grows, whether we like it or not….Â I cannot stress this enough: Our scattered, disconnected, low-density pattern of development is a significant contributor to the increase in Vehicle Miles Driven and gasoline consumption.Â Over the past half-century, Virginians have built an auto-centric physical infrastructure adapted to a cheap-energy world but maladapted to an expensive-energy world….Â But our political leaders continue their Business As Usual transportation and land use policies, differing only in the extent to which they are willing to dedicate new revenue streams to perpetuate the ancient energy regime.Â This, too will shape the future of CharlAlbemarle.