2006 Installation of Officers & Business Meeting
Country Club of Pittsfield – Route 7 & 20 in Pittsfield
Thank you, David
[Wluka] for coming to the Berkshires today
for our installation. I look forward to hearing your vision for our state
association later this morning too. And to the membership – thank you
all for coming! When I look out into the audience, I know that I’m
not doing this alone! I’m
going to tap many of you this year to help, and I’m fully prepared to
call in chits, blackmail, arm twist and beg to get you involved. But please
remember - you’ll never know if I’m calling about a multi-million
dollar property or a task force appointment, so it would be a breach of your
fiduciary duties if you start to refuse my calls.
I would like to introduce you to a few members that
have already been roped into service this year. These are chairs of our standing
committees. All others will be task forces that will be appointed as needed..
and that’s when
I’ll be calling you! Please stand when I introduce you so that the members
can see who and where you are. Hopefully you will be flooded with volunteers
interested in helping by the end of the meeting:
I’m pleased to announce that Dennis Welch of Dennis Welch Real Estate
will Chair the Administration Committee, which deals with our most valuable
resource – the Board Office personnel;
I have appointed Debbie Dwyer to serve as the chair of the Government Affairs
Committee and she will be surely be strong-arming, I mean ‘strongly’ encouraging
us to contribute to RPAC in 2006.
The Grievance Committee will be headed by Kathy Hazelett of Dayspring REALTORS® and
her team has been appointed – it will include Susan Seeley, Maureen
McFarland, Will Brinker and Carlyne Mills.
Our fearless Past President Lynne Blake will head up the task force to get
the Newcomer Magazine in shape.
Elizabeth Randall will be chairing our Professional
Standards Committee and our REALTOR® Community Service Committee will be well served by Tom Maloney.
We, of course, wouldn’t let Dan Boulais get away so easily and he has
agreed to co-chair our Golf Tournament with Debbie Dwyer.
Thank you all for accepting the challenges that lie ahead.
Now, I’ll be honest - my mantra since accepting this position has been
60 percent… 60%….SIXTY PERCENT! Sandy dropped that bomb on me
after I accepted the position, of course – Sixty percent - That’s
the percentage of REALTORS® who have been on the job for less than five
years. I’ve been having a very hard time with that number for the past
two months. The old guard is shrinking - of which I am one…. although
Sandy also insists I can pass for a young guard ) and new agents and
brokers are stepping up to the plate to shape our industry. But this shift
begs the question… how should the Board serve the needs of such a diverse
membership? What services do you need to be successful in year 1, year 5 and
year 15? How can the Board help? Be proactive? And make a difference?
In my opinion, the answer is this – we all have different approaches,
styles and experience in real estate, but the one universal need of each and
every REALTOR® is for top-notch, relevant education.
To use an analogy that’s just perfect for the Berkshires – working
in this industry can be a bit like driving in a snowstorm at night. You take
your life in your hands…. But really, did you ever experience a storm
with big, fat flakes that make you feel like you’re driving in a snow-globe
that’s just been shook? When it’s hard to see the road for the
flurries racing at you? Our destination is, plain and simple, to sell the home.
The flurry of distractions on our road include ever-growing legal requirements,
environmental limitations and regulations, inventory issues – sometimes
too much, other times not enough – the local and national economy, and
dare I say, heavy competition for business among so many agents in our region.
We all just want to ‘get there’ and sell houses! But how can we
get there successfully and safely? Education is the answer! I put together
a great task force to come up with education options to meet everyone’s
I suppose while I am telling you how important education is, you might be
interested to know that survey after survey after survey has shown that three
things have stayed true throughout the years:
1. the more on-going education a REALTOR® takes, the more money they earn.
It’s true! Seriously – in every market, in every locality you’ll
find the top producers stay current and continue to soak in as much knowledge
2. the vast majority of a REALTORS® business comes from how well you serve
your clients, because they TELL EVERYONE, good or bad. And a great reputation
is critical to longevity and success; and finally
3. the number one skill home buyers and sellers seek in an agent is knowledge.
Think about it for a minute - a buyer might say they
want an agent that operates via e-mail, or someone to help navigate the mortgage
process, or someone who understands the neighborhood or the market, or can
help figure out all of the paperwork or negotiate for the best price, or
know exactly what to do when a home inspection turns sour… But it comes down to this: they want us
to be knowledgeable about everything! Because in real estate, anything can
and does happen… and we are professional hired to get the job done,
with no excuses. Think about the areas that you could use a little refresher
or an outright lesson…
Then, take a look at the booklet and you’ll find we’ve covered
it all - from selling techniques, to business building. From broker-owner
programs to technology trends. We’ve put together courses on safety,
the environment, legal direction and enhancing our professional image. I
guarantee that these programs can help each and every one of us find success,
improve our businesses and stay focused on the road ahead.
I hope you’re inspired by these programs and more importantly, I hope
you attend!!! Because this is a test year to see if such a schedule is possible.
If you’re a broker-owner, please pass this message on to your agents,
because a strong, knowledgeable sales force is invaluable. And it can keep
you out of the clinker too… but I know Berkshire Brokers are altruistic
in their desire to have highly trained agents fulfill their career potential. Definitely!
So, in closing, I thank you for this opportunity to serve you, I look forward
to meeting you and working with you, and I cannot stress enough that you must,
must, continue to take my phone calls in 2006.
Tom Unsworth Tribute.
I’d like to recognize a special person today.
If Tom Unsworth could please come forward.
We would like to present a small token of our appreciation
to Tom and our best wishes for a happy retirement. It is for all the wonderful
things he has done for the Board of REALTORS®, all of the financial support
he has secured from Lee Bank over the years for our education programs, and
for being an all-around good guy.
We thank you, happy retirement, and we’ll miss