Farewell from the Chair

 Mary Duff  |    November 08, 2021
Message from the Chair

In my opening column this year, I encouraged “peace, joy, and contentment” as you moved through your year. Well, the activity levels challenged that charge as we worked feverishly to keep up with buyer demand and produce any and all listings we could possibly find to put people into homes. It was nuts out there this year! I know you join me in being grateful for the work, but I’m certain you also join me in hoping we can strike more balance in the marketplace, and in our individual lives, moving forward. With that in mind, I’d like to highlight the value I place on connections made and how focusing on these can add value to your life.

Because … Connect, we did! For those of you who attended the 2021 WRA Annual Convention in Milwaukee last month, you know it was electric to be together and learn together and laugh together. If you haven’t attended an in-person REALTOR® event yet, I encourage you to do so as there is no substitute. It is what we need in this business and in life — we thrive on connections.

Your WRA legislative team is working hard connecting with our elected officials to come up with solutions to our supply problems. I’ve learned that it also takes connecting with your local and state officials. Remember that YOU are an expert in this arena, so make your voice heard. You understand what it means to buyers when there aren’t enough options available to make informed decisions or even to make a sensible purchase within a defined budget. Tell their story; tell your story! The more we beat the drum, the more likely we can move the needle on creating more housing options of ALL kinds. We are falling short right now, so it’s imperative we keep connecting with those who are in positions to make decisions. (Maybe consider becoming one of those folks who can make decisions. Call the WRA’s own Joe Murray for more information if interested.)

Another area of connection REALTORS® in our state have established is our Wisconsin REALTORS® Foundation (WRF). If you are “in the know,” you’ve had opportunities to donate and support Feeding Wisconsin at the convention or during special events such as the Team Up Against Hunger week in June and Hunger Action Day in September. I thank WRF Chair Mike Spranger for heading up these efforts and his entire board as they’ve partnered to make a difference in connecting those in need with valuable food resources. REALTORS® are a generous bunch, and we have a lot of blessings to share.

As your next WRA Chair Brad Lois puts it, you ought to “Find Your Strike Zone.” While this can apply to how we conduct our business, I challenge you to expand this into volunteerism. Go to where your heart sings and then give in that arena. It may feel awkward — but get comfortable being uncomfortable. Push yourself to try new things, as you may just find your strike zone somewhere you never expected. I discovered that serving my REALTOR® community did just that for me. I’ll admit, it was uncomfortable sitting down to that first interview with my local board to apply for a director seat — but, bit by bit, I met incredible colleagues, learned about the countless areas we touch in our REALTOR® associations, and became a better practitioner with each year of service since.
Find your passion and give your time there — be it within the REALTOR® organizations or in other areas of your life. (Ideally in both!) By taking that time, you will make connections you never could have imagined, and they will give back to you tenfold in personal and meaningful ways, many of which you cannot predict. And when given from a place of authenticity (you truly love what you’re doing), the time and energy spent won’t hurt your business — it will likely enhance it!

While it’s been a wild ride these past two years, I wouldn’t trade the connections I’ve made, the business I’ve done, and the passion that’s grown inside me for our industry and its people who are dedicated to constant improvement. I extend my deepest gratitude for this opportunity to serve the amazing REALTORS® of Wisconsin and look forward to when we next connect. In the meantime, may you experience peace, joy, and contentment during the holiday season ahead.

With gratitude, 
Mary Duff
2021 Chair of the WRA Board of Directors

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