Each year, the Houston Association of REALTORS® (HAR) honors a member that most personifies REALTOR® in spirit and ethics, through service to his or her profession, peers and the REALTOR® association. For 2017, Chance Brown, broker/owner of Realty One Group Lone Star, was selected as the most deserving of this prestigious recognition.

What was your first reaction when you learned that you were the 2017 honoree?

Honestly, relief.  I was in my office with one of my agents when my office manager interrupted to tell me that [HAR Legal Counsel] Grant Harpold was on the phone.  After I picked up, he said that [HAR Chair] Cindy Hamann was with him and they needed to talk to me.  My immediate reaction was, “Oh no, what could we have screwed up so badly that it requires both HAR’s legal counsel and chair to be on the call?”  Then they told me I was the 2017 REALTOR® of the Year.  So, my first reaction was relief, quickly followed by complete surprise.

What does this honor mean to you?

To me, this is a testament to all of the great people I have in my life supporting me. From my wife to my team members at our brokerage to the volunteer leaders and staff at HAR, none of the things that got me to this point would be possible without all of them.  If it wasn’t for all the people I have been fortunate to surround myself with in this business, I would be back sitting in my home office doing an average business alone.  So, this award is really a sincere thank you to everyone who has helped me along my way.

What do you find most gratifying about your work as a real estate professional?

My mission has always been to help people.  When I first started, it was focused on helping people buy and sell homes and live the American dream of homeownership.  Today, my mission extends to helping my agents build lasting, profitable businesses and helping our associations protect private property rights and the ability for people to continue to become home owners.  It’s different now, but I wouldn’t change a minute of the journey.

What advice would you offer new real estate professionals or folks considering entering the real estate profession given current market conditions, opportunities and challenges?

First, and most importantly, join a brokerage that is going to give you the support and training that you need right out of the gate.  Really do your homework on that.  Second, find a mentor, hire a coach or find someone to help teach you the things that you certainly aren’t going to learn in real estate school.  Third, use technology to speed the transition of your brand from what you used to do for a living to being the real estate resource for your consumer.   That looks like a CRM.  Finally, don’t try to get too fancy with things.  Remember the KISS (Keep It Simple, Stupid) philosophy.

Do you have any other thoughts or comments?

One of the first things my first real estate coach told me was don’t be a secret agent.  I was hesitant because my thought was that I didn’t want to spend time or effort on people who weren’t going to buy or sell a home with me.  Man, was I wrong.  Now I urge agents to get out there and meet other agents, volunteer for a committee or two, whatever you need to do, but just get involved.  Iron sharpens iron.  You will be amazed how much you benefit from being around great agents.

Congratulations, Chance! You are most deserving of HAR’s 2017 REALTOR® of the Year honors!