1. What is your real estate background? Number of years and primary experience?
Exploration into investment properties led to property researches, on-site visits and evaluations. And, through investing, my Real Estate career was then born out of a conversation with a friendly, helpful and professional REALTOR® who kept telling me I was a natural at identifying and evaluating properties and should consider it as a secondary profession. Well, it started as a “secondary profession” in the summer of 1988, while I was still a Contracts Manager for Brown & Root. Within 6-months, however, I was honored as my Company’s Top Rookie of the Year, resigned my position with Brown & Root, and I’ve never looked back! It’s hard to believe that my Real Estate career began 24-years ago, but it still evolves every day and I’m blessed to be a Broker/REALTOR®!
Although my primary focus is residential real estate, I also handle commercial transactions as well due to numerous requests from prior clients. Today, I handle real estate transactions for my family, extended family and prior clients/referrals. However, the majority of my days are now spent on recruiting, educating, mentoring and coaching agents as the Broker of Record/Vice President of RE/MAX Professional Group in Houston. I get such joy in seeing the agents thrive and become successful.
2. Why did you join Women’s Council of REALTORS?
To be honest, I joined because a good friend asked me during a “membership contest”! I told my friend that I had many commitments to Houston Association of REALTORS® as well as other organizations and would not be able to be involved, but would be a “counted member”. If this sounds familiar, then I am You!
During the next 3-4 months, 2-additional friends encouraged me to attend a meeting and discover the opportunities Women’s Council had to offer. So, finally acquiescing, I went to the WCR website and fell in love with the Mission, Vision & Values – and attended my first Business Resource Meeting 6-months after joining. I haven’t missed a meeting since!
3. What has been your involvement with your local chapter?
After committing to get “involved”, I became Hospitality Chair in 2007 as well as a Membership Committee member. In 2008, I served the Greater West Houston Chapter as Chair of both the Ways & Means and Strategic Partner committees. In 2009 I was President-Elect and then honored as Chapter President in 2010. I continue to serve my home chapter as Chapter Advisor and Bylaws/Standing Rules Chair. But, all that withstanding, my real involvement is with the members through referrals, networking, education and events.
As stated in one of the Council’s core values – Involvement: “Active participation increases membership value. Participation in Women’s Council of REALTORS® is the opportunity to contribute to change, and to be changed, personally and professionally”. This core value is one that I truly cherish, for my involvement with the Council has helped make me a better REALTOR®, Broker, coach, listener, participant, person, etc. (I could go on and on!).
4. Why do you believe that Women’s Council is still a viable organization?
In my opinion, there is no other organization, whether professional or social, that offers the value to LIFE that Women’s Council does! There’s continuous education, a diverse network, personal & professional support, leadership development, unlimited resources and tools for business, a strong value system, a high level of professionalism which brings personal growth, and the power of relationships that enhances every part of our lives.
I’ve been associated with many organizations over the years, but have never been impacted by any of them as I have through Women’s Council. The old saying “ they do not care how much you know until they know how much you care” holds so true with Women’s Council! It’s evident in the Mission & Vision statements as well as the Core Values: Power of Relationships, Leadership, Professional Credibility, Diversity, Involvement, Success and Influence. And, Women’s Council and its members are a true testament to how much they care about every facet of our lives!
5. What ideas do you have to increase membership and strengthen chapters?
To increase membership, we should reach out more to REALTORS® who are with Independent Brokers and smaller Firms. These independents and small firms do not usually have the training, education and referral networks that are offered by larger franchises. Through Women’s Council, we can show them value for their business, education, support, relationships and recognition they are not currently receiving. We just need to get the message of our value system to them through one-on-one contact.
Offering unique programs brings more attendance to meetings, thus more members and then stronger chapters. We need to develop a better method of gathering information on these “unique” programs and share with all our chapter leaders around the state. At National in DC this year, there were numerous ideas shared, but we need to filter down this information to the local level…i.e. Mock Trials, different panels, community outreach. We are finding that the average “speaker” just does not draw attendance any longer at our meetings. Programs need to be educational, exciting and interactive.
6. Personal information that you would like to share about yourself and family.
I’m the eldest of six kids and we are all very close, not only as siblings but as best friends – we support each other, play together, cry together and sound-off together! We all start and end our day with a positive affirmation or inspiration. And, we all thank God and our parents every day for giving us to each other.
There are 15-nieces and nephews and 12-great nieces and nephews just on my side of the family! I’ve been involved in all their activities throughout the years (dancing, drill team, baseball, football, tennis, bands, etc.). I’m also very close to my Aunts, Uncles and Cousins. Every other Christmas we have a family reunion with at least 65-70 in attendance with lots of games, laughter & blessings!
I am very blessed with my wonderfully supportive husband, Tim, (he’s one of 7-kids!) who is my rock, keeping me laughing & grounded. I have 2-super children, Susan & Tim Jr., and my very special Grandson – there’s no greater joy than hearing him call me Nanny and still seeking me out for play, support and guidance even though he’s now 13!
My Dad has always been my hero, my mentor in business and my confidant. Mother was my angel on earth and now I make a phone call to Heaven and talk with her every day.
I’m thankful for all the blessings bestowed on me, and reiterate that “it takes many hearts, hands and minds to bring any success” (author unknown)!
Thank you for the opportunities Women’s Council has given me and for the privilege to serve,
Sharon Morton – TRLP,PMN,ABR,ASP,NHS,RECS,IMC,CBS,PME,Relocation Certfied
Broker of Record/Vice President – RE/MAX Professional Group
2012 Texas State Treasurer: Women’s Council of REALTORS
TAR TREPAC Trustee – Region 14