By Kyle Rank
“I’ve been selling real estate for longer than you’ve been alive!”
This was the common mantra I used to hear (often accompanied by eye rolling) when I spoke about changing the industry with new concepts as a fresh-faced 21-year-old agent. I may have been the youngest agent in my office by more than 10 years, but I was still keenly aware that many saw my inexperience as a serious liability, even if I knew I had something to offer. As I forged on with my real estate career, I found myself longing for a community of colleagues who agreed.
That’s why, 13 years later, when presented with the opportunity to form the Hudson Valley re_think Chapter, I was beyond excited. Here was my chance to offer the support I couldn’t find as a new agent just entering the industry, to bring a fresh voice to our proverbial office table that would advocate for our brand, share the needs and wants of the millennial generation, and help recruit young agents into a vibrant industry rife with possibility and potential.
With this and more on my mind, I sought out our prospective council members from among the sales professionals at Hudson Valley, NY-based Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices Hudson Valley Properties, hoping a few agents might be receptive to the idea.
“Sign me up!”
“Can I be involved?”
I was shocked to see such an immediate and overwhelming positive reaction. I was onto something big. Within days, I selected my council members and sat them down, asking, “We have a chance to make a difference, what should we discuss?”
I wasn’t sure what kind of a response I would get but the answers proved rich and well-conceived: Members shared a common desire for a community where their ideas could be heard and where they could trade expertise. We talked about what kind of knowledge and skills we could’ve used when we were just starting out in the field and what opportunities for growth we still desire. In just a short time, we brainstormed actionable ideas for networking, education and marketing.
Laughter and discourse filled the room. It was hard to even catch a breath. The conversations provided insight into how we can change the real estate community, find our unique identity, and share ideas that would help others succeed. Certainly, I wanted our meetings to be as transparent as possible; we agreed on the necessity to broadcast our discussions to the public and launched a Facebook and Twitter page.
Overall, our first meeting was a success and brought us a little bit closer to achieving my goal for this group: to transform our business into one that harnesses the strengths of agents from all generations in order to create an environment conducive to the contemporary buyer and seller. Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices has now made that possible and I am honored to start a local chapter of the REthink Council. I know we’ll make a lasting impact and I can’t wait to see what the future holds.
KYLE RANK is managing broker for Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices Hudson Valley Properties. Connect with Kyle on any of his social sites by visiting kylerank.me.