Marking PAR’s 100th Anniversary: Past President Jerry Romanik
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: Jerry Romanik
Company: Coldwell Banker Lakeview Realtors®, Hawley
Years in real estate: 46 years
Local association: Pike/Wayne Association of Realtors®
Year served: 2004 president
If you could go back in time, what advice would you give your younger self?
I would tell myself No. 1, start a leadership training program, which PAR has today, and take it. I believe that this program is a tremendous asset to our association. It gets our younger members on track earlier. I would have wanted to do something like a leadership training program at that time. No. 2, if I could change things, I would get involved in committees as early as possible to learn more about the industry, take it back to my local association and my business and to teach other agents.
Why should agents get involved in their local, state and national associations?
I’d encourage them to get involved early because I always felt that they need to look at this as a career, not as a job. A job is something you work for a couple days or week or two until you get paid, then you move on until you don’t need money anymore. I like to see people who are saying to themselves, “I want to get involved in a career. I want to do something that’s going to be good for me for a long time.” Real estate is a career that requires training, and when they come to the meetings to learn what’s going on in the industry, they’re able to take it seriously.
What advice would you give someone who was thinking of moving up through the offices in PAR?
When you consider getting involved, there are a couple of things that I believe you have to think about. One is your family, because as an officer in this organization, your commitment takes time away from your home and your children, at least for a period of time. You need to be able to work that in, so that you don’t ignore your family, but they understand what you’re doing and why you’re doing it. You also need to understand that while you’re away, there are missed opportunities in earning money and that affects your family too. You need to think about all of these issues before making your decision.
What’s the biggest change you’ve seen in the real estate market since you started?
I’ve been a Realtor® for 45 years and what I see as major change over the years is the way we work with consumers. And that’s because of technology and the internet. People who we talk to today know so much more about our business than they did years ago. That’s because they can go online and they can see how they’re supposed to be treated, what we’re supposed to do how we’re supposed to do it. They expect us to be professional and act in that manner. Today’s Realtors® need to be on their toes. They need to know what’s going on and they need to know how to work with people in a professional way.
Do you think the environment or technology will have a bigger impact on real estate in the next 100 years?
If you’re asking me which of the two, the environment or technology, I have to lean toward technology. What I’ve always believed is that if you watch what has happened historically, you’ll see what’s going to happen in the future. Over the last 10 years, look what has happened to this industry based on technology alone. What’s it going to be like 100 years from now? I don’t know because probably the environment will get me before that time, but the fact of the matter is who’s to say what it’s going to be like, but if it’s anything like our history, it’s going to be better.