Spring 2021: From the CEO

In 2020, leadership and industry cooperation was critical within our teams, our industry and our communities. REALTORS® stepped up, worked together and ensured our industry thrived even in the darkest of times. Within the pages of this issue, we honor what we achieved by working together to close transactions and ensure private property continued to power our economy. With all the challenges we faced last year, I congratulate all our top producers on your success. Your dedication and focus is inspiring; thank you for answering the call for leadership this year and illustrating the power of focus and perseverance. Leaders show up every day. Leaders lead by example. Leaders support and challenge others to be their best. Leaders do what’s right, not only professionally, but also ethically. April is Fair Housing Month; it is a time for reflection, and also action. We must ensure we are upholding the right to fair housing for all, and the only way we can do this is by working together — upholding the law, pursuing education and reporting violations when they occur. We must hold each other accountable for our actions, both professionally and personally. We must also continue these tough conversations to continue to move this issue forward. We have a unique opportunity: we can be allies and advocates for those in our industry who need it. This is an issue we cannot overcome without all of us working together to make a difference. I want to take a moment to recognize our past president, Frank Williams, who celebrated the 50th anniversary of his brokerage, F.J. Williams Realty, this past January. Frank is a Chicago real estate trailblazer and Hall of Fame inductee. He’s overcome so many challenges and made the path easier for others like him. He told us, “Being in business for 50 years as an African American is truly a milestone for us. And for those of us who had to go through special hoops, it’s quite a tribute. It’s also a tribute to everyone who helped me along the way.” Congratulations Frank! I challenge you to look at how you can lead through cooperation not only this April during Fair Housing Month, but throughout the year. How can you work in our industry to help raise up your co-workers and peers? What can you do to ensure you’re in compliance with fair housing every day? How can you be an ally to those who need one? Is your team representative of your communities? It is imperative that we all work together to make this change. Will you join us?