Autumn 2019: From the CEO | Chicago Association of REALTORS®

Time management is always an area where I’ve excelled. I can time block like no other! I’m a planner, and having worked for the Boy Scouts, “Be Prepared” is something I take to heart. But at 2:14 PM on June 2, 2017, my life changed forever when my husband Brace and I welcomed our son Broyce into the world.

About 12 hours prior, I had emailed in my resume to the recruiter for CAR’s CEO position.  I felt I had killed it at time management – I was responding to a job opportunity while in labor – girl power! But, I had a very scary delivery. Broyce had to be resuscitated and went straight to the NICU, rather than his impeccably decorated nursery. So, when the recruiter called back for a follow-up, I was curled up in a chair in a corner of a hospital room alone after a fever spike and possible infection. I wasn’t allowed to hold my baby boy, Brace was running between my hospital room and Broyce’s, and our families were thousands of miles away in Chicago. I had no plan for that experience and working for CAR was the furthest thing from my mind, so I didn’t pick up the phone. I sent the recruiter an honest email about my situation and offered to keep the dialogue open at a later time. Eventually, Broyce fully recovered and got to come home, I found my way back to the recruiter, and we continued our dialogue about the association. It all worked out!

As first-time parents, my husband and I get excited for all Broyce’s “first” moments and milestones, and we’re infinitely amazed by how much he grows every day. We don’t want to miss a single moment. But our industry requires long, sometimes unconventional hours, planned and unplanned. I’ve had moments where I struggle to find balance in my schedule between work and family, wellness and community involvement. I know many of you can relate.

As your association, we’re here to protect the real estate industry and your careers as practitioners. A large part of that is making sure we have time to take care of our communities, our health and, most importantly, our families. To help you as best we can, CAR is committed to expanding the resources, events and opportunities that aide your work-life balance.

This year, we have increased the number of online learning courses, webinars, podcasts and on-demand resources available to you. These pause-and-play professional development opportunities allow you greater flexibility on when and where you consume information. We’ve also reintroduced our CAR to You program, which allows us to bring services and training right to your office, saving you valuable time and resources.

In August, our family-oriented member outreach and annual business meeting welcomed you and your families to the Museum of Science and Industry for a day of education and connection. We were thrilled to meet so many of you and your loved ones, and we hope you learned about the many services we offer to help you make a greater impact in our neighborhoods.

We recently introduced our External Affairs department, focused on bridging any gaps between our business and our communities and delivering opportunities for us to give back. We’re building connection through events like a Red Cross blood drive, Boys & Girls Club Back to School Carnival on the west side and the famous Bud Billiken Parade on the south side.

While our business is important and our work is impactful, it can be difficult to feel like we’re giving our all to everything and everyone. We can time block and plan all year long, but curveballs will always come our way – by accepting support and taking advantage of available resources, we can bounce back. We are all killing it at this thing called life as best we can! I hope you’ll join me in making the best use of these opportunities at CAR, so we can spend more time being involved in our communities and building priceless memories with our families. It’s worth it!