Is there a perfect way to celebrate a 100-year anniversary?
I don’t know, but the thought is certainly keeping me awake at night as I realize that, as the president of Cape Fear REALTORS® for 2022, a portion of the responsibility for celebrating our amazing organization’s 100th birthday rests primarily on my shoulders.
Wilmington and the surrounding communities in the Cape Fear region have witnessed significant growth and changes since 1922, when the association was founded, and I am very honored and humbled to be the 100th president. Being tasked with kicking off the next 100 years is a huge responsibility, one that I take extremely seriously.
My goal as president is to showcase how far we have come as an association and pave the way for future leaders that are as diverse as our wonderful community. Of course, any efforts to promote diversity and inclusion are not sustainable without equity. With that in mind, I will be focusing on providing fair opportunities for all people, to help ensure they can attain their full potential to the best of my abiltiy.
As an aspect of this lofty goal, I will be working to celebrate the diverse communities within our region and grow the diversity in our association through equity and inclusion. Advocating for homeownership and working to make a positive impact on our association and community is also very important to me, as I am eager to give back to our city and the industry that has given me so much.
Since moving here in 2004 with my wife, Anne, to open Palm Air Cottages, a business in downtown Kure Beach we recently sold, I have been continually impressed by the friendly atmosphere in this quaint community. We immediately felt a sense of connection to everyone here and have enjoyed volunteering for various town committees, the Pleasure Island Chamber of Commerce, Island Women, and local events.
Giving back to the real estate industry is something that I have also been passionate about for many years. The journey began for me when a colleague asked me to volunteer shortly after Anne and I started our real estate business, and since that time I have felt very fortunate to have had the opportunity to serve on numerous committees in various capacities, including as a director of the board.
I feel it’s also worth pointing out that, in my early career, I spent a lot of time guiding, managing, developing and assisting mission-driven entrepreneurs, businesses, and investors, as many of my friends and colleagues in real estate could be classified as all three.
Additionally, I spent 10 years as the owner and founder of a real estate brokerage in the area, which expanded my knowledge and expertise of the issues that entrepreneurs deal with on a daily basis.
From working in a sales capacity for a different brokerage for the two years that are required as a prerequisite for launching a new real estate brokerage venture, nurturing that business, and helping it grow before I eventually sold it in 2019, I was fortunate enough to have the opportunity to build relationships with many local REALTORS® and develop a well-rounded insight into our industry, encompassing both sales and management.
This experience will be critical to me as I focus on furthering and protecting the interests of our members, whether they are sole proprietors, brokerage owners or investors.
It is also worth noting that I graduated from the Cape Fear REALTORS® Leadership Academy. The responsibility that I have for my clients, and in a broader sense, the association, has been a huge motivator for me, one that has led me to attain several education-based designations, including the Graduate REALTOR® Institute, Short Sales and Foreclosure Resource, REALTORS® Commitment to Excellence, Seniors Real Estate Specialist and At Home with Diversity.
Another driver for me has been a quote from the Dalai Lama: “If you think you’re too small to make a difference, try sleeping with a mosquito in the room.” This inspires me to work toward a positive change every day and will be essential to me as I endeavor to help our association and our members move forward into another successful 100 years.
If you would like to learn more about me, please click here, visit CapeFear.REALTOR or call 910-762-7400.
Johanna F. Still - Oct 3, 2022
Johanna Cano - Oct 3, 2022
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