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In 1971, Ellen Renish took a temporary receptionist job at a real estate office. The broker saw potential in her, and the two-week assignment turned into two months, then two years as she worked her way up to agents' assistant, then became a Realtor® herself.
2017-18 Chairwoman, Suburban Realtors® Alliance
Hometown (born/raised): Mt. Airy (northwest Philadelphia)
Hometown (current): Collegeville
Years as a Realtor®: 41
Why did you first join the Alliance Board?
I was initially a member of the board of the Realtors Legislative Alliance, when it first formed, which later became the Suburban Realtors Alliance. I was happy to be a part of this innovative group. It truly was groundbreaking to have a regional political advocacy group. It was and still is very exciting to be a part of a group of dedicated individuals in our profession devoted to advocating for positive laws and regulations affecting us. We were trendsetters.
What do you see as the most important legislative issue for Realtors® right now?
Local ordinance inconsistencies, such as in point of sale requirements, create challenges for our Realtor members, even though we were able to affect the passing of the Municipal Code and Compliance Act. Much education still needs to be done, both for Realtors and municipal employees.
We need to prevent increases to realty transfer tax and tax on our services, while encouraging individuals who understand real estate to run for office at all levels of governments. I know you asked for what is the most important, but I can't come up with just one. I am a political junkie!!
Describe the first deal you ever closed.
The first deal I ever closed, believe it or not, was generated by my very first night on floor time (back in the day!). I received a call on a listing that my office had that was in a small subdivision under construction. I scheduled an appointment with the caller after talking to the person. I was really excited! Showed the property the next night to the very nice couple. I had just come back to work after having my first baby and was terrified that I was going to be working on commission only for a couple of months.
Our profession is intertwined with our personal lives.
We eat, sleep, drink and dream real estate.
How do you like to spend your time when you're not working?
I love to read. That is my R & R. I work out 5 days a week, and that gives me energy and contemplation time. I also love to dance whenever I have a chance. If you ask my family and friends, they say I am always working. It is hard to be turned off and tuned out for any length of time. Our profession is intertwined with our personal lives. We eat, sleep, drink and dream real estate.
What is one piece of advice you would give to a new Realtor®?
Create a system and stick to it. Be organized and focused. Be everywhere you can be, talking to everyone. Get out of your comfort zone, learn as much as you can! Be ethical, build your integrity, become a resource. That's more than one thing, but it all goes together.
What book(s) is on your nightstand?
Destiny and Power: The American Odyssey of George Herbert Walker Bush by Jon Meacham
I have served as President of Central Montgomery Association of Realtors (now Montgomery County Association). I was only the 3rd female President at that time in 1992. I also served as PAR President in 2002, the 5th female to serve. I am proud to currently serve as the Chairwoman of the SRA.
One last thought: I am the RPAC Queen here in Montgomery County. I cannot express how strongly I feel about investing in RPAC. It truly is insurance in our business. It is the easiest way to participate in the political process. And we all know that if Real Estate is our Profession, then Politics is our business!!