As the next president of the National Association of Realtors®,
Elizabeth Mendenhall defines her strategy for 2018.
By Deborah Kearns // Photography by Anthem Photography
Real estate is in Elizabeth Mendenhall’s blood. Her family has been selling homes in Columbia, Missouri, since 1894 – long before there was the MLS, the Internet or even cars, for that matter.
Mendenhall has always been with RE/MAX since entering the business in 1996. Under the expert guidance of her father, Richard Mendenhall, she has built an empire of her own.
In November, the sixth-generation Realtor® and Broker/Owner of RE/MAX Boone Realty in Columbia will take her lifelong love of the business to a new level – as president of the National Association of Realtors®.
What drives Mendenhall’s success, and what’s on her list of priorities for the year ahead? Here’s a glimpse:
ABOVE: Congratulations on your upcoming installation as NAR president! Your father also was NAR president in 2001. What’s the No. 1 lesson you learned from him?
Mendenhall: My dad taught me that collaboration is important if you want to get things done. As an industry, we move much faster when we work together and learn from each other. We have to be united behind a common cause.
ABOVE: What issues will you be working on as NAR’s next president?
Mendenhall: We have four key strategic initiatives for 2018. The first is to define measurable increases in professionalism for Realtors®. The goal is to find out what issues make the most difference to consumers – and how we can level up to those expectations.
The second is to increase our efforts in regulatory and legislative initiatives. Some specific issues we’ll tackle include increasing the national homeownership rate, advocating for more affordable housing and securing tax benefits for property owners.
Our third goal is take real estate data to the next level. Real estate brokers are facing a lot of competition in terms of who is managing our data. We want to explore new business models and various partnerships so we can stay competitive and provide value to consumers.
Finally, we want to ensure Realtors® stay relevant to the real estate transaction, no matter how the business model changes. Consumers are better protected when they have a trusted advisor at their side throughout the process.
ABOVE: How can agents excel in their daily business?
Mendenhall: Be prepared, be organized and know your data. Also, you have to work harder to keep your pipeline full. People aren’t moving around as much as they used to. In order for you to keep the same amount of listings, you have to double your database.
ABOVE: How has being with RE/MAX helped you become successful?
Mendenhall: One of the greatest things about RE/MAX is the flexibility to run my office the way I see fit. No other brokerage can give our agents the flexibility and support like RE/MAX does. We’re proud to be part of the brand.
ABOVE: What’s your advice for new agents to rise up into the next level? What tools does NAR provide to help them do that?
Mendenhall: Education. Get as much of it as you can if you’re new. RE/MAX partners with NAR to provide designations, certifications and courses and there are numerous educational benefits of being a NAR member.
You have to reach beyond the basic licensing credentials and take your professional development seriously in order to improve your results. For those who have more experience, it really comes down to finding education that fits your area of expertise or where you want your business to go.
ABOVE: Any advice to RE/MAX agents who want to get more involved in the industry but aren’t sure where to start?
Mendenhall: Get out to your local real estate board meetings. You’ll meet other RE/MAX agents and top Realtors® in your marketplace. Being more involved and visible is a great way to grow your business.
Read about more RE/MAX leaders shaping the industry here.