Happy Half-Anniversary to our Leadership Team! Yes, there is such a word. Sometimes it is called a Semiversary. The first time I ever heard of any such thing was when our children started celebrating half-birthdays in school. Cynical me figured it was just a way to try to get the parents to give them more presents. Didn’t work!
Anyway, we have just passed the halfway point in our service to The Counselors. Much has happened since I last wrote in December. I have had the opportunity to meet with our chapters in Houston, Chicago, Charlotte and Hawaii (no, CRE did not pay for that one!) with upcoming visits to Minneapolis and Dallas. I also had a chance to present at MIPIM France, which had over 24,000 attendees. This was a great opportunity to showcase The Counselor brand on a global basis.
And speaking of global, the recent Stanford Symposium absolutely nailed it. Kudos to everyone involved in putting together Global Cities in an Era of Change 2016. The program was beyond outstanding. To put the best into a workout, you have to stretch your muscles. To put forth your best counseling, you have to stretch your mind. And that conference was a real mind stretcher! I wish all of you could have been there as it included the most interesting and forward-thinking, back-to-back presentations that I can ever remember absorbing in such a short period.
Next, I will be presenting our latest version of the Top Ten Issues Affecting Real Estate 2016-17 at the National Association of Real Estate Editors conference in June. The External Affairs committee is currently compiling the list as of this writing. This is a keynote address and has been very well received in the past. Although all of this speaking is a bit outside my personal wheelhouse and comfort zone, it is essential for achieving one of the goals of our Strategic Plan, which is to increase the awareness and appeal of the CRE brand. Our staff does a tremendous job in arranging all of these opportunities.
I am looking forward to the second half of our year at the helm and I am happy to report that we are well on our way toward implementing the Strategic Plan. What I have learned in the past few months is that one of our biggest challenges is communication with our membership. Many CREs do not know what the application and invitation processes entail and are reluctant to sponsor candidates as a result. The first step in overcoming this has been a complete re-write of the “Membership” section of our website. Please take a few minutes to click and read through it. The rollout of the redesigned website comes next. The RFQ redrafting is nearly complete and we will be taking additional steps to clear up misconceptions. This has involved many hours of work on the part of numerous members and I thank you all for your efforts.
I hope to see many of you in Berlin in June and in Washington, D.C., in September. In the meantime, please pass along any suggestions you may have. I am finding that we are pretty good at counseling our own organization if we take the time.
James Lee, CRE
2016 Chair of the Board