By: Melissa McElroy

The NAR REALTORS® 2022 Conference rumbled in this November in Orlando, Florida, just as Tropical Storm Nicole swept across the area. Like the hurricane, the NAR convention was a force to be reckoned with.

The theme, “Building Your Legacy: Taking the Next Steps in Your Leadership Journey,” encouraged attendees to consider their potential and how to position themselves in future leadership roles. Over 10,000 attended the weather-stricken event, which boasted 250 industry-leading exhibits and over 100 speakers. Podcaster and bestselling author of “Think Like a Monk,” Jay Shetty, and seven-time Grand Slam winner, and tennis champion, Venus Williams were two notable speakers featured.

REALTOR® Mindy Kidney said, “Every REALTOR® should get the opportunity to go to a NAR convention. It is an opportunity to network and learn from the best of the best.” She said that “you’re learning from people who understand the struggle of the work/life balance… or lack of it.” Kidney explained how REALTORS® are constantly bombarded with work and how it’s helpful to get input from other professionals in the trenches “who get it.”

Kidney, is active in the local YPN Advisory Committee. NAR awarded the Nebraska YPN with the state network of the year. It’s something that she believes will put Nebraska on the map on a national level. She credits YPN’s “fearless leader” Kyle Schultze for the honor, and for pushing to make the organization better.

The Women’s Council of REALTORS® Omaha Chapter was also recognized, winning the Certified Network Recognition award. President Liz Otto and President-Elect Sarina Neel accepted the award on the Omaha Chapter’s behalf.

NAR also recognized long-time Omaha REALTOR® Herb Freeman for receiving the prestigious 2022 Nebraska REALTOR®-of-the-Year award. When asked about the award, Freeman said, “It’s proof that you can outlive your reputation,” he chuckled with a hint of mischief. “I was completely flabbergasted and utterly surprised,” he added humbly.

Freeman has been in the real estate business for the last 50 years. He has racked up an impressive list of professional achievements, including being a past President of The Omaha Area Board of Realtors, a member of the Great Plains Regional MLS Board of Directors, and previously a member of The National Association of REALTORS® Board of Directors. Freeman said the best way to really excel at a real estate career is to “get involved in local committees, go to REALTOR® functions, and be active with peers.” He summed it up succinctly, “when you’re professional and knowledgeable, other agents will want to work with you.”

Being involved provides access to educational resources that help you grow your business. It provides a place to learn the industry from the best in the field and interact and network with real estate professionals. Being involved in committees provides a platform for discussion and a place where your voice can be heard. Attending the NAR conference is an important step for those seeking a leadership role.