Bill Malkasian rising in the ranks
In recent years, the road has been carefully paved for long time Wisconsin Realtors Association (WRA) President, Bill Malkasian, to graduate to a major role at the National Association of Realtors where he will be the new VP for Strategic Political Planning, overseeing the entire new advocacy program of NAR with all of the states and boards.
In an exclusive interview with AGBeat, Malkasian noted that his successor Mike Theo has been with him at WRA for 27 years, saying that “this succession plan was done two years ago and a model for the association world.”
Regarding his new role at NAR, Malkasian said his first plan of action is to “not sit at a NAR desk but to be in the field with staff and members” and to talk to them, asking them for their ideas. The National Association of Realtors is a mammoth organization and with any association of it’s size, comes substantial challenges. Malkasian said he anticipates the biggest challenge to be getting “all the moving parts of this political program working on the same page across the country,” further noting that “every state has unique issues.”
Elevating the discourse in America
“This job is one of trying to take the industry to a new standard of communication with government and policy makers, making communities a better place to live and helping people understand the value of home ownership,” Malkasian said. “People who are elected need to hear the story of why real estate ownership works. I hope to help agents understand the role of the trade association and why it’s involved in the political world. It may seem messy, but if someone doesn’t step up to the plate and explain what agents do for consumers who want to sell and buy real estate, then no one else will.”
Malkasian will be staying in Madison, WI where he has lived and led for decades, and will be traveling across the country as part of his new role. Malkasian told Madison.com that when he was brought on as the WRA President in the late 1970s, most board members were nearly double his age. “I gave up a lot,” he said. “You were never the father at the Cub Scouts meeting every Wednesday night, because I was on the road all the time. I was doing something that normally a 45-year-old would be doing. And you were questioned all the time, because you were young.”
The tables turned over a decade ago as board members were increasingly younger than him, making it time for him to go. “I’m excited and ready,” he said. “I just can’t do much more here. It’s time. Change is going to be good for me, and good for the organization.”