Mike Gobber was installed as the 2018-2019 president of the Mainstreet Organization of Realtors (MORe) on Sept. 11. He is a broker/owner of Century 21 Affiliated in Westchester.
Chicago Agent: Would you offer a little background about your career? Why did you choose real estate?
Mike Gobber: I started in the corporate world as an operational auditor, but realized I had a passion for real estate. In 1999, I made the jump to being a real estate agent full time.
CA: What inspired you to get involved with MORe?
MG: I first started getting involved around 10 years ago, serving on some committees and eventually working my way up to chairman and then board of directors. I didn’t know much about them at first, so it was a learning experience. But once I saw what MORe was all about — a chance to network with other professionals and work with the communities we serve — that drove me to become more involved. I think Mainstreet has always been on the cutting edge, taking the initiative to be a leader in the industry.
CA: Why is MORe a valuable resource for members?
MG: We offer some great educational tools that focus on career development for our members. That helps our Realtors advance to that next level. We are also out there advocating for our members, ensuring that different government entities at the local and state level act in the interest of private property owners. Mainstreet has a professional standards department as well, which helps us self-police members according to the Realtor code of ethics, and makes it possible to report and enforce those standards if we ever have a “rogue Realtor.”
CA: What’s something about MORe that Realtors might not know about or expect? What services does it provide that prove beneficial to their careers?
MG: A lot of our members don’t realize how much we are out there on the advocacy side. They are on the front lines of public policy that protects the real estate industry. I think our educational resources and classes might also go under-appreciated simply due to time constraints.
Mainstreet also has a staff of 33 in our main office, and I think they are what drives our association and allows us to offer a top-notch experience to members. They are the first point of contact with members, and with an average tenure of 12 years, they are very experienced and we are really lucky to have them.
CA: What are some of your goals or initiatives for MORe during your term as president?
MG: I’ve still been deciding on exactly what my goal or theme would be. One area I think we could expand upon is consumer engagement. We are working on a strategic plan around consumer engagement that looks at how MORe can do more to get out there and speak to the consumer on our members’ behalf. This plan has three parts: Reaching out to them through something like an advertisement for Realtors that describes what we bring to the table. The second part is actually getting consumers involved in advocacy efforts. Third is the philanthropy side — attending community events or highlighting the work that a lot of our Realtors do in their communities.