HGAR Member Appreciation Day Challenge for 2023

HGAR Member Appreciation Day Challenge for 2023

I have attended many HGAR Member Appreciation Days over the years, and it is a great time to catch up with those that you haven’t seen in a while. Many of us missed this kind of interaction during the COVID-19 pandemic and the years that have followed. With classes and other events on Zoom, I hear people longing to get together in person more and more.

Member Day is filled with past HGAR Presidents and Realtors of the Year, Executive Committee members, Board members, Committee chairs, instructors, volunteers and staff. These people are people who know people…. a lot of people. For these attendees, Member Day is like a reunion.

However, what about the newer members or those who have been less engaged? It can be intimidating to walk into an event with hundreds of people you don’t know. Chances are they know someone… but maybe not many. For these people, Member Appreciation Day may be like attending Thanksgiving for the first time with a new love interest…. and being surrounded by people they don’t know, who all know each other really well.

For all the experienced attendees, I am going to ask you to make a concerted effort to acclimate a newer attendee. Seek them out. Introduce yourself to people you don’t know and help them meet other people. If you are a leader, formal or informal, within this organization, you owe it to the organization to help create an inviting and inclusive environment. Our future leaders are among us, and they could use your assistance. I bet someone held a door open for you. Now it’s your turn.

There are lots of reasons why this will benefit you, too. Member Day events present a unique opportunity to expand your professional network, and the importance of actively engaging with new people cannot be overstated. While spending time with familiar faces can provide comfort and familiarity, venturing out to meet new individuals offers a myriad of benefits that contribute to personal growth and professional success.

Broaden Your Network—Networking is a cornerstone of professional success in real estate, and Member Day events offer an excellent platform to expand your network where you can establish valuable connections with industry leaders, competitors, affiliates, instructors, mentors and Association and MLS staff.

Learn from Industry Leaders—HGAR’s Member Day events often attract industry leaders and experts as speakers or panelists. By attending sessions featuring prominent professionals, you can gain insights into the latest industry trends, best practices and strategies for success.

Boost Confidence and Communication Skills—Initiating conversations with new people can be intimidating, but doing so can significantly boost your confidence and communication skills. Engaging with diverse individuals in a professional setting enhances your ability to articulate your ideas, actively listen, and adapt your communication style to different audiences.

Foster Inclusivity—Attending Member Day events with a willingness to meet new people aligns with the core principles of diversity, equity and inclusion. By actively seeking out and engaging with attendees from underrepresented groups, you contribute to a more inclusive environment.

I look forward to seeing you all on October 30th at the Hudson Gateway Association of Realtors Annual Member Appreciation Day. I challenge you to do one or all of the following:
1. Bring a newcomer.
2. Meet a newcomer and introduce them to people you know.
3. Meet and interact with people you don’t know.
4. Search out members of HGAR’s DEI committees and ask how you can help foster inclusivity at our organization?

Embrace the opportunity to network and connect with individuals from various backgrounds and industries on Member Appreciation Day. Then watch how these interactions positively impact your professional journey within the real estate industry.

Katheryn DeClerck is a member of the Hudson Gateway Association of Realtors DEI Steering Committee.

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