Editor’s note: The Pennsylvania Association of Realtors® is celebrating its 100th anniversary this year. As part of our Member Profile feature, we’ll be highlighting some of the Realtors® who have served as president of the organization.
Name: Ellen Renish Company: Continental Realty, East Norriton Years in real estate: 45 years Local association: Montgomery County Association of Realtors® Year served: 2002 president
If you could go back in time, what advice would you give your younger self? Never let anyone hold you back. Don’t be afraid because you’re young or you’re female or any other thing that you think might hold you back. Just go for it.
Why should agents get involved in their local, state and national associations? Agents and brokers should get involved because it’s your industry and we really need your input. The networking aspect of being involved is invaluable. You gain a network with people throughout state and the country, and if you’re global, throughout the world. Being involved is something that will serve you well toward your success in the industry and in the future for years to come.
What advice would you give someone who was thinking of moving up through the offices in PAR? I would suggest you meet as many people as you can. When you come to meetings, volunteer to serve on committees, task forces and presidential advisory groups wherever you can. This gives you a chance to share your expertise, so people will begin to know you and know that you are someone who aspires to be a leader in the association.
What’s the biggest change you’ve seen in the real estate market since you started? The internet is the biggest change I’ve seen since my career began. When I first started, the internet wasn’t available. We conducted business very differently. We signed a one-page Agreement of Sale in the back of a car with a pen. It is totally different now; everything has become digital. It’s really great, I actually love how we’re able to do business now, technology has made it much easier.
Do you think the environment or technology will have a bigger impact on real estate in the next 100 years? I feel like I’ve been in the business 100 years already! I think that technology has been the thing that’s impacted our industry over the 44 years that I’ve been in real estate and I think that technology will still be having an impact moving forward because it’s forever changing. The environment will also have an impact, but it won’t be as much as digital innovation will have in the futuristic world we now live in. That is progress!