Young professionals from the SEATTLE KingCounty REALTORS® were among top award winners at this year’s REALTOR Conference & Expo in Orlando. Led by Georgia Wall, Seattle’s “YPN” (Young Professionals Network) earned Network of the Year honors in its category.
Wall, a partner at The Wall Team at John L. Scott in Bellevue and a real estate professional since 1999, said the award is based on several criteria, including specific achievements around YPN’s goals and mission.
Award entry materials state “Outstanding networks have members who diligently plan, regularly attend and actively participate in national, state, and local activities that include training, charity events, fundraisers, and networking events.”
Reflecting on her year as chair, Wall said the group’s first event in February stands out. Billed as “Spotlight on Seattle,” she called it her “highest career achievement” because of what was accomplished. Wall said the event was designed “to catapult YPN to the forefront and get momentum going for the year.”
The awareness-building reception, held in collaboration with Cobalt Mortgage and Pirq at Mercedes-Benz of Bellevue, drew more than 400 attendees. Joining the Realtors were attorneys, “techies,” entrepreneurs, professional athletes, politicians and members of the media. The kickoff event also netted $5,247, which was donated to the Bellevue Family YMCA.
In subsequent months, the Young Professionals Network presented a sold-out “Death of Networking” educational program, recruited volunteers for association committees and an environmental restoration project, and mounted a successful campaign to increase YPN representation on SKCR’s Board of Directors.
REALTOR® Magazine launched the Young Professionals Network (YPN) in 2006 as a way to help the younger generation of REALTORS® build a stronger link with the magazine and the real estate industry.
“Young professionals are the future of the real estate business,” said Russell Hokanson, CEO of Seattle King County REALTORS. Noting the average age industry-wide is 52, Hokanson said younger real estate practitioners often strive for a way to connect with each other and tap into tools, technology and other resources that will help them thrive and stay abreast of industry concerns.
Since the launch in 2006 and subsequent formation of a YPN website and blog, more than 200 Young Professional Networks have been established nationwide. While most members of YPN are under age 40, there is no age restriction.
In addition to SKCR’s award as Network of the Year in the medium-small association category, other winners were the Illinois YPN group, which won the top award among state associations, and MetroTex, winner in the large-local category.
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