The case for development of RE investor leaders, all across Iowa

Left to Right: Scott Whaley, President NREIA, Leslie Couture, admin assistant, and Andrew Lietzow, Exec Dir, both with IaREIA-ILA.

Left to Right: Scott Whaley, President NREIA, Leslie Couture, admin assistant, Andrew Lietzow, Exec Dir, IaREIA & Iowa Landlord Association.

For nearly three decades National Real Estate Investors Association (NREIA) has offered an opportunity for affiliated associations to compete for “Awards of Excellence” and well as “Honors of Merit”.  All awards are presented at the Mid-Year Leadership Conference, in June of each year.   Some previous venues for this conference were Seattle, Pittsburgh, Denver, and Minneapolis, in 2012, 2013, 2014, and 2015, respectively, and we have had one or two representatives at each.  While it is mandatory that at least one leader from each Chapter attend, we love it when other leaders participate. Interested? Let us know!

This year, our representatives were Andrew Lietzow, Exec Dir, and Leslie Couture, who joined IaREIA in 2015, as an administrative assistant.

To ensure fairness and lack of bias, non-industry professionals assemble to judge entries in each of seven categories:

  • Government Affairs
  • Community Service
  • Membership Development
  • Communications
  • Education
  • Vendor Trade Show or Convention
  • Strategic Industry Partner (Tier 1) Marketing Programs

Over 40 Chapters from across the US submit entries.  Submitting our application in each category took approximately 10 hours, to assemble but involved a year of dedicated effort from many members, and we are very grateful for the active participation of our members to even enable the submission of an application.

We compete against REIA groups with memberships exceeding 1,000 members, with some metro areas in their state exceeding the entire population of Iowa, so the bar for excellence is set quite high.  Thus, when a group wins, it can be both exhilarating, and personally, very humbling.  Their are some outstanding leaders of these groups across the nation, many of whom we want to emulate!

In 2014, we submitted in but one category — Government Affairs.  We won!

In 2015, IaREIA submitted in two categories – Government Affairs and Education.  And … we won in both, for mid-sized group (250-500 members) in the U.S.   Our development of the “IaCHP – Iowa Certified Housing Professional” designation was particularly well-received.   But winning in all categories for which we submitted application begged the question, “Did anyone else apply?”.  Fortunately, NREIA representatives confirmed, “Yes.  There were quite a number.  You can be proud you won!”

So, congratulations to our members!  To those who contributed direct effort, our hat is off to you and we extend a sincere, “Thank you!  We couldn’t have done it without you”.

And, to those who indirectly contributed by paying your dues, we extend a sincere thank you, as well.  For without adequate capital, we could not offer the quality programming which enables us to win such awards!

Membership dues also help underwrite the cost of attending Mid-Year Leadership, the Tech or Treat Technology Conference in the fall, and the annual Investors Cruise (you’re invited), all of which lead to programming enhancements and member benefits!

Residential Rental Property and RE Entrepreneurs are truly important to Iowa’s economic growth.   In 2016, we expect to submit in even more categories — perhaps all, so we can have a shot at the overall “Award of Excellence”.   There is some stiff competition, yet we’ve never shied away from a challenge.   Here’s how you can help!

Attending city council meetings, or serving on city councils; participating in our Legislative Day on the Hill, or reaching out to your state representatives and senators, perhaps over coffee or a meal helping keep legislators informed;  volunteering to be one of our 50-Senate District Captains;  whether you volunteer to serve on a committee or to lead a committee, if 50% of our members volunteer for 6 hours per year, that would be nearly 1200 hours per year!

To win in all seven categories is going to take monumental action.  It’s going to take, “Real Estate Investors Uniting for Success”.

Is it time for you to step up and accept more leadership responsibilities?

If not you, who?   If not now, when?

Andrew ‘L’ietzow, MBA
Executive Director