The more next-generation leaders show their potential and strength, the more people are out there listening and observing. A perfect example of who listens: IREM. IREM recognizes the importance of next gen voices to the discussion of where property management is headed. As such, the Institute launched a program to celebrate the contributions of young professionals—which prompted even more opportunities for them to become active in the association.
Recognizing young leaders
On an annual basis, IREM identifies 30 next gen leaders, known as IREM’s 30 under 30, who are selected from all over the world within the real estate management industry, and brings them together to seek their contributions and facilitate connections. IREM uses this platform to showcase the many talents of these young professionals who contribute to the real estate management profession in extraordinary ways. Exhibiting the accomplishments of these forward thinkers shows how they’re able to make an impact in the field.
I know, because I was recognized as one of IREM’s 30 under 30 recipients in 2017. Receiving this distinction has been an extremely rewarding experience. Not only was it a huge honor, it marked the beginning of my journey with IREM. Thanks to this recognition, I have been able to forge connections with fellow recipients, grow my network on a much larger scale than I could have ever anticipated and provide leadership as IREM moves into the future.
One next gen program leads to another
After being named to 2017’s 30 under 30, I was asked to join the Young Professionals Presidential Task Force (YP Task Force), which was established by 2017 IREM President Mike Lanning, CPM, to initiate and focus on IREM’s strategic priority of engaging young professionals. Fourteen members, all stakeholders representing different geographic areas, met regularly over the course of three years. One of the incredible resources that our task force had was direct contact with the Executive Committee, where I was privileged to have a seat as an at-large member and could represent the task force and its perspective. Following group think-tank sessions, the YP Task Force identified several innovative proposals, and I presented them directly to the IREM Executive Committee. With these recommendations in hand, IREM took action.
One of the YP Task Force recommendations was to develop an advisory board to aid in creating initiatives and programs that speak to younger members of our industry. After Executive Committee approval in 2019, the Next Gen Advisory Board was formed, solidifying representation in IREM’s governance structure. The board—of which I’m honored to be the inaugural chair—is comprised of 12 diverse leaders from various property types who will provide guidance and direction to the Executive Committee, to ensure the Institute remains relevant and appealing to the next generation of real estate management professionals.
We challenge ourselves to leave no rock unturned in this effort. Our purpose is to serve as a sounding board and provide feedback on long-term member engagement for current programs; advise on innovative ways for IREM to engage next gen professionals; and provide guidance on new products and services. The board will continually look at how IREM is positioned with next gen professionals and take a 50,000-foot view to analyze the landscape on an international level. Connecting a group of forward thinkers is a perfect formula to make an impact in real estate management. IREM is investing in the future, and this board will work toward priorities and areas of focus that will help IREM pivot to meet the needs of the next generation, an effort consistent with IREM’s strategic direction.
A new board ready to bring new ideas
My journey with IREM has been extremely fruitful. I’ve had the opportunity to sit in rooms that I never thought I would be in, and I have IREM to thank for that. I know that IREM will continue to cultivate the community of emerging industry professionals, who add value to both local and international circles. I, too, look forward to growing alongside IREM for the long run! After all, it is a marathon—not a sprint. I’m excited to lead the Next Gen Advisory Board and, with its members, bring to others what IREM has brought to me: the opportunity to connect with colleagues and generate growth and new ideas in our industry.