YPNs bring fresh faces to association

by Kasey Chronis

When Joselin Malkhasian, a Realtor at Lamacchia Realty, first got into the real estate business at the age of 25, she wanted to get involved with her local Realtor association, but she felt her inexperience in the industry was a roadblock.

“I was so young and inexperienced, I felt like I couldn’t,” she said in recent interview.

Malkhasian soon learned about the Greater Boston Association of Realtor’s Young Professionals Network (YPN) Committee and began attending events. “Then I joined the committee and then I became vice chair and then chair,” she said in a recent interview.

Seven years later, Malkhasian is leaving the committee to join the board of directors for the Greater Boston Real Estate Board.

She said the YPN committee helped introduce her to other real estate professionals and learn the tricks of the trade. Real estate law, social media tips and forums on new technology were among the takeaways for Malkhasian.

She said working as a Realtor is somewhat different from a lot of other careers because agents work as independent contractors and don’t go to an office and see the same coworkers every day. That’s where YPN comes in, she said.

“It’s just this wealth of knowledge that you’re learning from your peers,” she said. “I think it’s invaluable.”

Malkhasian and others are breathing new life into YPN, holding the committee’s first Battle of the Brokerages in November, challenging Boston’s real estate professionals to bust out their best karaoke – and all for a good cause. The event raised $4,000 each for HomeStart, a nonprofit focused on ending homelessness, and Toys for Joys, which provides children’s gifts for families in need.

YPN isn’t just for young real estate professional, Malkhasian said. It’s also not just for Realtors.

Elizabeth Perez Barletta, a real estate attorney with ligris, has served five years on YPN committees in the Boston area. “It’s about being new to the industry and young at heart,” she said. “You automatically feel a little more comfortable getting involved in an association through that committee.”

Perez Barletta described YPN as a starter committee but added, “I never wanted to leave.”

She said the committee brings together real estate professionals on both sides of the equation – those representing the buyer and those representing the seller – and helps build better relationships between parties that often find themselves at odds.

Malkhasian said the transaction tends to go more smoothly when the listing agent knows the buying agent. YPN helps build those relationships, she said.

“They’re there to protect their clients, and I’m there to work for mine, but you have the same goal at the end of the day, so you have to work together,” she said. “You get more bees with honey than you do with vinegar.”

Malkhasian said associations without YPN committees should consider forming one. She noted that a lot of folks in the industry assume YPNs are for young members, but she said they’re open to all ages.

“It’s just so crucially important to get the younger generation of Realtors to get involved in the associations,” she said.

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