ARA Social Series: Vol 1
When I started Arkansas REALTORS® I knew I wanted to do something different, something that struck at the heart of communication. After many cups of cold brew and brainstorming sessions came Social Series: A place for REALTORS®, by REALTORS®, with real REALTOR® experience.
If you were to imagine the perfect pitcher of sweet tea, the most spirited Fourth of July, and the sweetest, southern apple pie all in human form…you would get your 2019 ARA president: Angie Johnson. Daughter of Karen Crowson, Johnson and her mother will make ARA history as being the first mother/ daughter pair to both be president. This, along with many other reasons, made her the perfect candidate for the inaugural issue of our new blog anthology.
Originally attending school to study sports medicine, Johnson swore she would never go into Real Estate. However in 2003, after being a nail technician for ten years, Johnson took the leap to follow into her mother’s footsteps. She began by looking into being an appraiser, but when Crowson became Secretary-Treasurer and soon to be President, Johnson joined her mother’s team to help assist with her clients. This gave Johnson veteran experience and a first-hand view of what it’s like to be a successful realtor in the state of Arkansas. Fifteen years later she embarks on her biggest challenge yet: being President of the Arkansas REALTORS® Association.
“Running for President is something I swore I’d never do. I started my real estate career by immediately attending national legislative meetings in DC, which became my favorite meeting. This is what prompted me to become passionate about legislation. That led me to be involved in the Legislative Committee and PR Committee because of my passion for Special Olympics. I was then asked to run as zone director and serve on the Board of Directors. That led to me being asked to chair the PR Committee in 2012. I was a bit hesitant to say yes at first because of my fears of public speaking, but I got some encouragement from mom and my REALTOR® family and decided to do it.”
I was surprised to hear that Johnson didn’t feel the pressure to follow her mother’s path. It’s a tale as old as time that nothing is harder than following in a parent’s shadow, but Angie wanted to be more than “Karen’s daughter.”
“Enjoy it” Johnson replies when asked if her mom gave her any advice about being elected president. “She told me it would go by really fast and to meet as many people as I possibly could. Open your ears and listen.”
I wanted to know more about Johnson’s goals as president. She is obviously much more than just a title, so what does she want to achieve during her time in office?
“I want to help bridge the gap that exists between local, state, and national levels” Johnson spoke very passionately about communication and public relations during our interview so it came as no surprise that communication of all sorts within the association was a milestone for her presidency. “I want to help continue to guide the path that we are currently on. We must bridge the gap to not just local president’s, but the local level agents. I’d like to get our information, our why, our story…out to the public. We are more than unlocking doors and showing you a house.”
I’ve only been with the ARA for a short amount of time, but one quality I have found with every seasoned REALTOR® is their passion for what they do. It’s not just a job, it’s a lifestyle. Johnson is no exception to this rule.
Johnson was not just looking to amp up communications though, she had a starry-eyed vision of how she wanted meetings to run this year, too.
“We’re completely changing the convention this year. Everything is different. Mike Ford and I created this Convention Task Force to help rebuild the convention. We discussed time commitment, how we get more people to attend, the possibility of allowing CE to be part of the convention, and my favorite change: having a keynote speaker at the beginning and the end. We’re going to The Guesthouse at Graceland in Memphis. Our highest attended conventions have been in Tunica and Memphis. Miki Bass called me one day and said she found the perfect place. She said it was ‘sparkly, full of character, and inviting just like me’ so I looked it up and fell in love. So to Graceland, we go!”
When Angie talks about said task force she is not exaggerating when describing the electricity of new ideas for the 2019 convention. In my first week at Arkansas REALTORS®, I found myself surrounded by REALTOR® rockstars. Former presidents, REALTORS® of the Year, Committee Chairs, and fresh new faces to the industry were just a sample of the talent on this task force. For two days the task force destructed the convention and built it from the bottom up. It was one of the most inviting and exciting strategy sessions I personally have ever attended. This was where I had my first opportunity to meet our Madame President.
I have to say that I couldn’t be more excited to be led by Ms. Angie Johnson. She has been nothing but supportive, creative, and humble since the day I met her. I look forward to seeing all that she does in her time as president and the changes that she will make that will cause a rippling effect for years to come.
Until next time, dear REALTOR®, may your days be filled with happiness, good health, and closings.
– Cam, Director of Communications: Arkansas Realtor®