The cost of an associate membership without the under 35 discount can be hard to justify. After 35, people often begin the struggle of maintaining a good work/life balance with growing families. Having a young family myself means my time is valuable and anything that takes away time from my family or work has to be worth it. As an investment broker, I always ask myself “how do I maximize my return on my investment (ROI)?” So what’s the benefit of maintaining your ULI membership after 35? I have found many value-add opportunities that have increased the return on my ULI associate membership.
JOIN A COMMITTEE My involvement with ULI started as a very active member of the ULI Young Leader Program Committee over 10 years ago which eventually led to becoming co-chair of the Young Leader Executive Committee. As a member of ULI, you have the ability to join one of several committees and leadership initiatives. These committees not only allow members to use their expertise to help ULI fulfill its mission, but also provide opportunities to get to know other real estate professionals on a more personal basis. I am now a member of the Program Committee and I, along with a dedicated group of other members, assist in developing program ideas and suggesting panelists.
APPLY FOR THE CHICAGO PRODUCT COUNCIL INITIATIVE There are currently two Chicago Product Councils, launched earlier this year, which are comprised of 30-40 members. These councils provide an intimate forum for members to network, share best practices, exchange information, and address current development and real estate issues. I worked alongside ULI Chicago staff and my Council co-chair, Matt Otto, to come up with a program that would get more Associate members (over 35) involved in the District Council. From those discussions, the Chicago Product Council idea was developed and I am now one of the co-chairs of the Blue Flight on the Urban Development /Mixed Use Council. I have really enjoyed the open discussions and the networking our sessions have provided so far.
ATTEND MEMBER ONLY EVENTS Throughout the year there are networking and policy events organized exclusively for members. These are usually smaller, more intimate gatherings where you can meet and connect with other professionals one-on-one.
UTILIZE THE MEMBERSHIP DIRECTORY Probably one of the most underutilized aspects of ULI membership, the directory contains over 34,000 members of ULI. The membership directory provides the ability to connect and share information with other real estate professionals from around the world.
FOSTER RELATIONSHIPS AND USE YOUR ACCESS TO REAL ESTATE INDUSTRY LEADERS Whether it be attending the breakfast meetings, working together on a committee, or by joining a local product Council, a large number of senior real estate executives are actively involved with ULI. Membership in ULI allows you to work with and get to know these leaders. For me, this has been one of the main benefits of my ULI membership. I have been lucky enough to have found a number of mentors in ULI that have helped me tremendously in my career.
In the end, like with anything in our lives, what we pay attention to grows over time. If you invest the time and become active in ULI, you can develop successful, long term relationships that will pay unique dividends.
Authored by Ronan Remandaban, Lee & Associates® of Illinois, LLC
Ask a ULI Member will be an on-going feature of ULI Chicago’s Newsfeed offering candid tips on making the most of your ULI membership. If you have a question or issue you’d like to see covered, please let us know at Chicago@uli.org