By Rob Reuter, YPN Manager
YPN members from across the country converged on the nation’s capital May 12-17 to attend the 2014 REALTOR® Party Convention & Trade Expo (#RPCTE) where thousands of REALTORS® annually meet to address the most recent issues facing the real estate industry. Over the last five years, the number of YPN attendees has increased as the group continues to grow their networks, and a greater number serve on NAR committees and in volunteer leadership roles.
The 18-member YPN Advisory Board was established in 2010, and meets in-person twice a year – during RPCTE and the REALTORS® Conference & Expo each November – to discuss initiatives that further the network as a whole. Here is a recap of what was discussed/presented during the 90-minute RPCTE meeting:
- 2014 NAR REach Class: For the second consecutive year, the advisory board was introduced to the newest class of NAR REach, a Second Century Ventures program that focuses on upcoming real estate tech companies. Naturally, YPN members are technologically savvy and the REach program offers advisor/mentor opportunities for those interested in testing and providing feedback to the companies. For more information on these opportunities and to learn more about this year’s class, visit the NAR REach website.
- Next Generation Find-a-REALTOR® Profiles: Ernie Graham, Move Inc.’s senior director of product development, gave an overview of the latest feature coming to realtor.com® that allows consumers to find agents based on criteria such as activity (closed properties, current listings, showings, etc), client recommendations, and “badges” earned for designations and certifications. This new feature is expected to go live later this year. Stay tuned for other opportunities for YPN members.
- ’10 For 10 With YPN’ Update: Launched at the 2013 REALTORS® Conference & Expo, the “10 For 10 With YPN” initiative has gained momentum in the quest for 1,000 YPN members to pledge $10,000 over the next 10 years to RPAC. Prior to RPCTE, more than 100 YPN members have taken the pledge with an additional 20+ members joining on-site in Washington, D.C. If you are a REALTOR® or association staff member interested in taking the pledge, please visit www.realtoractioncenter.com/10for10.
- YPN Accountability Survey: The YPN Advisory Board conducted a survey earlier this year of YPN network chairs and liaisons to discover the current strengths and weaknesses of YPN. While many of the networks are hosting very successful events, the primary demand among survey respondents was the ability to search events that other networks are hosting. A “YPN Event Bank” is nearly ready to launch where networks will be able to: A) submit details of successful events they’ve hosted, and B) search for details of events other networks have hosted. The event bank is expected to launch this summer at realtormag.realtor.org/YPN. The second largest survey request was advice on how to keep a network active after getting established using the YPN Startup Kit. The California YPN is spearheading a solution to this by compiling a “YPN Playbook” in which details such as establishing a leadership succession plan, staff support, raising sponsors, and many other topics will be outlined. The playbook is expected to be completed by July 4.
- YPN Leadership Retreat: Over the past four years, YPN members have been invited to NAR’s Leadership Summit to learn more about volunteer leadership. Due to capacity and financial restrictions, the number of YPN attendees was reduced to 40 last year, and YPN will not be invited to attend this year’s Summit. However, due to the high number of requests to have a live meeting for YPN members, the YPN Advisory Board is planning to host a YPN Leadership Retreat in Chicago on Tuesday, August 19 from 8:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. While the exact details and agenda are still in progress, 150 YPN chairs, vice chairs, and liaisons will be invited to attend. Registration and other information to be released as soon as it becomes available.
Finally, after an afternoon of business meetings, YPN members attending RPCTE gathered for a fourth consecutive year at The Park at 14th for a night of networking and fun. Initially, the annual reception drew around 200 attendees, but now more than 325 have attended in each of the past two years. We hope to continue the tradition at The Park in 2015!