Matt Difanis, 2018 president, at the Illinois REALTORS® 2017 Inaugural Gala

Illinois REALTORS® President Matt Difanis told attendees at his inaugural gala in Naperville Oct. 12 that the association must do better at engaging with diverse members.

And part of that effort must include having diversity reflected in leadership positions within the association.

Difanis said he wanted to reach out to other organizations to tap their expertise and leadership. He said to ignore population trends which show increasing numbers of minority residents moving into the state would have a negative effect on the association.

“Forget about the legal and moral considerations about diversity for a moment, and let’s look purely at organizational self-preservation,” he said. “If we were looking for a road map to irrelevancy and organizational extinction, the path would be clear and easy: fail to recruit and engage minority REALTORS® into the business and into our organization’s governance.”

Difanis spoke of a number of organizations with diverse memberships he has visited with in the past year. “Any journey of this type begins with outreach, sometimes in ways that haven’t been done before,” he said.

The full remarks are here