Today we’re going to be talking about YPN and why it’s a great organization for real estate agents to get involved.
Why YPN Is A Great Organization For Agents To Get Involved Takeaways
- Show Up – just showing up to events will make a difference.
- YPN helps young real estate professionals excel in their careers.
- YPN Gives back to the local communities.
- YPN isn’t about age, it is all inclusive.
Why YPN Is A Great Organization For Agents To Get Involved Podcast Transcription
Adam Small: Hello, and welcome to The Real Estate Marketing Minute. This your host, Adam Small, and today, we are in Akron, Ohio, and we’re speaking with the Akron Cleveland Association of Realtors. And we’ve got a couple of special guests with us today, starting with, we’ve got Kimberly Small. Hi Kimberly. How are you?
Kimberly Small: Doing well.
Adam Small: Great. Nice to see you here. And with us is Kady Overton, an Akron Cleveland realtor. Hi Kady. How are you?
Kady Overton: I’m great. How are you?
Adam Small: Doing great, excited to have you here. And with us today, we also have Drew Fristoe, NARYPN Chair. Hi Drew, how are you today?
Drew Fristoe: I’m well. How are you?
Adam Small: Doing great, thank you. So today we’re going to be talking about YPN and why it’s a great organization for realtors to get involved with and stuff. And that’s why Drew’s here with us and Kady as well. She’s a former chair of the Akron Cleveland branch. So I want to kind of get started with a little bit of history on you guys. So we’ll start with Kady. Why don’t you tell us a little bit about your background and how you got involved with YPN to begin with?
Kady Overton: Great. So I became a realtor in 2014 and pretty quickly, I’m a joiner, so I realized that I needed a little bit of accountability and I needed to be around other like-minded individuals. So one of the realtors at the company where I was working at the time suggested that I joined the Young Professionals Network at our Board of Realtors, which is the Akron Cleveland Association. So I joined right away and I’ve been here ever since. I was the chair in 2017 and now just, I’ve enjoyed being an active member and helping with all of the great things that we accomplish.
Adam Small: Great. So now Drew, you’re on a national level, right?
Drew Fristoe: Yes, sir.
Adam Small: So why don’t you tell us a little bit about yourself, your background, and how you got involved in it?
Drew Fristoe: So I am from Fredericksburg, Virginia, which is an hour south of DC. I have been licensed for 10 years now, so I got my license in 2008, and when I got my license, the market was horrific.
Adam Small: Great time to jump into real estate, right?
Drew Fristoe: You will find I’m the smartest person in this room.
Adam Small: We started our business at the same time, so we understand.
Drew Fristoe: So when I got in, there weren’t that many young people that were still in the business. A lot of them had dropped out. So there were a few of us at my local that started a young YPN, and it was better than going to the events with all of the older agents that really didn’t care about this 24-year-old kid that was asking them too many questions. And it was being in a room of like-minded people.
Drew Fristoe: And so once I started doing that, I went to the NAR conference that year. And I have a realtor mom, and she told me that while we were in Orlando at the NAR conference that I was going to go to the YPN networking event. And I was by myself, and I went, and I was the awkward 24-year-old kid that I still am today. And I just went up and just started talking to people because I didn’t know anyone. I went to the meeting while I was there and I just kinda kept showing up things.
Drew Fristoe: So I was the chair of my local, I helped start my state network, and I was chair there. Then in the meantime, I had kept applying to be on the NAR Committee and not getting it, but it just kept showing up to the meetings and kept showing up to anything I could. And so finally, when the spot opened up, I think there were just like, just please give that kid Drew something to do so he can stop annoying us.
Adam Small: So the moral of that story is show up, right?
Drew Fristoe: Absolutely.
Adam Small: Absolutely. So great. All right, so why don’t we go ahead and kind of backtrack a little bit and explain what YPN is, how long it’s been around, and kind of go from there, what their goals are.
Drew Fristoe: So YPN started in 2006. The Realtor Magazine does a 30 Under 30, and they had been doing it for a few years, and they didn’t really know what to do with them. So they were like, why don’t we put together like a young professional network to kind of put these talented people that we have that are obviously doing great things in their business, but they didn’t know exactly how to plug them into the association. So they started the group for them.
Drew Fristoe: At first, it was just kind of a group that got together just to have a meeting and we have since kind of morphed into this group that’s actually doing a lot. But our mission statement for YPN, if you want me to read that-
Adam Small: Yeah, sure.
Drew Fristoe: YPN helps young real estate professionals excel in their careers by giving them the tools and encouragement to become involved in the four core areas. And the four core areas are realtor associations, so getting young realtors plugged into the local state and national, the real estate industry peers, so networking and then making sure that we’re involved in community.
Adam Small: Great. Great. So quite involved in the community now, right? What are some of the things you guys are doing in the community? I guess you’ve got a local area as well as a kind of on a national level, right?
Drew Fristoe: Yes. So at the national level, we just try to help give ideas to locals in states. We don’t do too much-
Adam Small: Directly.
Drew Fristoe: Directly for the national level. But some really cool events that we do to help out, the state of Iowa does some really, really cool things and one of them is they do an Ikea build. So they get Ikea furniture donated, then you pay to be a team to put that Ikea furniture together in a certain amount of time. And then you can come and watch them do that, and then you can also spend money so they have an extra tool or they have to use like a rubber ducky to put the whole thing together. So you can sabotage them. It’s been really successful for them and it just sounds so fun.
Adam Small: I don’t know, I wouldn’t say that putting Ikea furniture together with a rubber ducky would be fun. That’s just me. I’ve tried, not with a rubber ducky, but I’ve tried putting it together. So that’s my opinion. Anyhow, Kady, how about you guys on a local level? What have you guys been involved in?
Kady Overton: So on a local level, we are going to be participating in a Toys For Tots drive this winter, and we also do a lot with the existing community outreach committee that we have here at the Akron Cleveland Association of Realtors. For instance, actually, this evening we have Operation Orange, which is with the Akron Cleveland Food Bank where we go and help them out. It’s a 24 hour span and everybody signs up for shifts. So we do get involved with that. We’ve done things in the past where whatever charity that Akron Cleveland Realtors is helping with, we kind of just piggyback onto those events collecting donations for a sock drive, a shoe drive, all of those different types of things.
Adam Small: Great. Great.
Kimberly Small: So Drew, you mentioned age a little bit when we first started the conversation. So I think anytime anybody sees an organization that has “young” in the description of the organization, they’re like, “Okay, what exactly is young?” I know that you started your career in your twenties. A lot of realtors start later in life. It’s kind of a second career for them. So who is the YPN Organization for? Is there an age demographic? Is it anybody that’s new to real estate or who fits in that category?
Drew Fristoe: Personally, my thoughts are Young Professional Network are for anyone young in age or young in the business. So I don’t think there’s an age cutoff personally for YPN, in my head. For the NARYPN Committee, I think we’ve kept it at 40 just for the committee itself, but to be involved or to come to events or to do anything, there’s no age limit on that. There have been a few group YPNs that changed their name from young to like Your Professional Network, which irritated me.
Drew Fristoe: I’m someone that likes the young part of it because I did get in at 24, and I do have a different viewpoint than some of these realtors that have been in for decades and decades. Their viewpoint is also very important because they have that historical knowledge that we don’t have, but I like the young part, and I like to lean on that because it does make me different. I’m not just that typical older realtor.
Kimberly Small: Okay. Well, and I think you speak to the point, there’s a lot of people that have been involved in the organization for a long time and they do sincerely have an interest in helping people get started. And so they’re a valuable asset to the group as well. And I think that there’s some people that hesitate to go to the group if this is their second career. So I’ve heard people talk about that or say, “Well I’m young at heart, so I figured it would fit in,” or something along those lines. So just wanted some clarification on what the objective is and make sure that everybody knows that it’s an inclusive group, and that you guys want to help people that are getting started.
Drew Fristoe: Yeah. Because when you get in as that second career, you are basically the same place that I was when I got into 24. You don’t really know how things go, you don’t know how they work. So part of why I’ve loved YPN is we’re that inclusive group where I know I can go and I can ask those really dumb questions, and I get it like an actual real response as opposed to-
Adam Small: As opposed to something sarcastic.
Drew Fristoe: Exactly.
Kimberly Small: So you’ve been involved in recently launching a new YPN site. Tell me a little bit about that. What were the goals for the new site? It’s ypn.realtor, is that correct?
Drew Fristoe: Yes ma’am.
Kimberly Small: Okay. So what are agents going to find when they go there? And what were you hoping to accomplish with launching the new site?
Drew Fristoe: So our new site, last year, we kind of sat down and realized that the site that we had was dated and not very good. It was good for when it began, but had been there for too many years. So we wanted a site that you could go to, you could find things, it was easy to maneuver. And when we got the money to do the site, we also got money as a national YPN advisory board to travel.
Drew Fristoe: So on the site, there is a lot of information, but you can go and you can see the National Association Advisory Board, and if a local association does want to invite one of us, you can find everyone on there and our contact information is on there. So you could reach out to one of us if you want to invite us, and then there’s also a state and local networks map. So if you don’t know if you’re local has one or if there’s one close to you, there is an actual interactive map that you can click on and it shows you all the different local and state YPNs that are out there.
Drew Fristoe: You can also, if you’d like to join YPN and you haven’t already, there’s a little place that you can join. And then there is an event bank idea, a startup kit. So if you do want to start one and you haven’t already, there’s a startup kit with some information and the NAR contact to talk to, and then the event bank if you want to do some events that you’ve never done before, there’s some in there. And if anyone has any great event ideas, they can submit them to the event bank to help share it with other people as well.
Adam Small: Wow. That is amazing. It sounds like the site has got a lot of great resources for the local YPN groups. What’s the URL of the website again?
Drew Fristoe: It is ypn.realtor.
Adam Small: Great. So pretty easy to remember too, right? We’ll make sure and put a link to that in the blog post as well. That way, anybody listening can see that right off the bat. So one of the things that you guys do every year is give out awards at the NAR Annual Conference or the YPN Reception at the NAR Annual Conference. So can you tell us a little bit about those rewards and maybe what some of the qualifications to win are?
Drew Fristoe: Absolutely. So we have four Network of the Year awards that we give out. The deadline to sign up for one of those was August, the end of August, so you’ve missed it for this year, but if you want to do it for next year, you can plan.
Adam Small: Start now.
Drew Fristoe: Exactly. So there is the application on there for you to download, but we want to help to acknowledge some networks that are doing some awesome things and are kind of well rounded. So the five things that we make sure is the YPN’s mission statement, make sure it is a member driven organization and that they are going along with NAR’s mission with the four pillars of what we’re looking for. So their network, their members are involved in the association with committees and on the board and giving back, that they are doing active role within the real estate industry, that they are doing some networking events, and they are giving back to the community. So we want to just acknowledge those networks out there that are doing cool events or just giving back to their community and also-
Adam Small: Really exemplifying the whole point of-
Drew Fristoe: Exactly. And they’re well rounded.
Adam Small: Right, right. Kady, on a local level, are there awards as well?
Kady Overton: On this … Well, at Akron Cleveland Association of Realtors, we do give away a Young Professional of the Year award every year. And that is basically just a member of the committee who has really exemplified our mission statement, which mirrors the National Association of Realtors’ YPN Statement. And so it’s a really great opportunity. There’s even a scholarship award for taking some of the continuing education and designation classes as well involved with that award. Plus, you get a cool trophy and you get to have that for your claim to fame on your resume that you were the Young Professional of the Year.
Kady Overton: And then also at our state level, at the Ohio Realtors, we do have a Young Professional Network of the Year award as well. And ACAR did win that in 2016. So we are a past winner and we have some strong networks here in Ohio, so we were really proud of that.
Adam Small: Yeah, absolutely. That’s amazing. Great. So it’s a great thing. So there’s national recognition for the local boards and then on a board level, and I would imagine a lot of states and localities have similar things to what you were just talking about. So there’s opportunity for recognition across the board there, which is really a great thing. So since I’m talking about local boards, how many local boards are there? Do you know?
Drew Fristoe: So I don’t know the exact number, but it’s, I think, a little less than 400. Don’t quote me on that, but I think it’s somewhere around that.
Adam Small: I’ll try not to hold you to it. But still, that’s pretty impressive. Even if it’s anywhere close to that, that’s pretty impressive numbers. That’s some good growth over a period of, what, about 12 years or so. That shows a lot of dedication, involvement, and strength of the group as well. So is there anything else that agents should know about YPN? Anything else you want to put out there about it? Just a promo, “Hey, come and sign up today.”
Kady Overton: Just get involved. It may feel like, oh, I’m just volunteering all of this time. How is this going to help me professionally and to build my business? But it’s really about you get what you give, and by being a part of Young Professionals Network, you are more knowledgeable about the industry, you’re able to help people in the communities where you work, which in turn, gives you better knowledge of the people in your communities and makes you a resource for them. It helps you to be as knowledgeable and professional as possible in addition to making some great connections and friendships.
Drew Fristoe: And something that I love about YPN is, and this is my own opinion, I feel like a lot of the younger generations, we like to share what works. So there’s some of those older realtors that have been doing it forever that just like to hold their secrets close, and they don’t like … They might take my business. Whereas we’re like, oh hey, we did this, it worked, and then I love when I can go to somewhere and I can say, “Oh, I volunteered my time, but I just found this cool idea that I can use in my business that’s going to help me make money at the end of the day.”
Adam Small: Right, right.
Drew Fristoe: Fantastic.
Adam Small: Right, so great networking opportunity. All right. So what I’m hearing from you guys is really kind of the summation of Drew’s intro story, which is show up. Right? Well, thank you so much for joining us, guys. Really do appreciate it. Appreciate it, Drew. Appreciate it, Kady. And thanks for listening to The Real Estate Marketing Minute. We’ll see you next time.