Lessons From Valenti’s First Year On The Board
The REIQ sat down with the REIQ’s newest Board Director, Laura Valenti, to discuss her motivations for applying for the Board, the goals she wants to achieve during her tenure and how her personal and professional life has benefitted since taking on the position.
Aislinn Dwyer: What inspired you to nominate for the REIQ’s Board of Directors?
Laura Valenti: I’ve been impressed with what the REIQ has achieved for its members and the wider real estate community over the past few years and I felt that my values closely aligned with those of the REIQ.
However, joining the Board wasn’t something that I’d even thought about until I saw the position advertised last year. I had just served two years in the REIQ Property Management Chapter Committee which I thoroughly enjoyed, and thought that as a Board Director I would be able to take part in and contribute towards high level discussions and decisions that would help shape the future of the REIQ. I also thought my experience in property management would bring diversity to the Board and give voice to the thousands of property managers we represent.
AD: What are some of the benefits you’ve experienced since joining the Board?
LV: I have learnt a tremendous amount over the past year, and of course I’m still learning so much. Personally, my confidence in my abilities has increased – sometimes you don’t realise how far you’ve travelled in your career until you put your hand up for something like this. Interacting with the REIQ management and fellow directors has been so enlightening, it kind of feels like I’ve climbed up a mountain. It’s a bit scary, and there’s more responsibility on my shoulders, but I have a better view from here and thus a better understanding and appreciation of how the organisation works, the challenges we face and the opportunities that are available. My personal growth is tied closely to my professional growth and I believe that being a Board Director has assisted me greatly as a business owner and a leader in my organisation.
AD: Let’s talk goals – what are some of your goals as a Board Director, and what changes would you like to enact?
LV: I joined the Board with an open mind and without pre-conceptions. I found the Board to be a group of talented, cooperative, engaged professionals who are very open to change for the better. As a property manager at heart, I’m always considering how our decisions are affecting all those hard-working property managers out there in the field. My goal is to contribute positively to REIQ’s push for better professional standards.
Another of my goals is to see members more engaged with the REIQ, and of course a higher membership uptake because there is such strength in numbers.
AD: You’ve almost been a member of the REIQ’s Board of Directors for 12 months now. What achievement are you most proud of since you’ve joined?
LV: I can be proud of my contribution to the REIQ’s response to the new tenancy reforms, in particular the negotiations in support of our Everyone Matters in Real Estate campaign during the height of the COVID-19 pandemic . Of course, we can thank Antonia and her management team for their extraordinary work in this campaign, with the support and expertise of the Board’s appetite for strong advocacy.
AD: Nominations for the REIQ’s Board of Directors are now open. What advice would you give to someone considering nominating for the Board?
LV: Being a member of the Board is a real commitment – of time and passion. You need to believe in what the REIQ stands for, and have a desire to work with the other Board Directors to help the REIQ move forward and improve. Your intentions need to be a little altruistic – to work together for the good of the whole, not the individual.
AD: Finally, why should REIQ Members consider nominating themselves for the two available Board Director positions?
LV: I’ve always promised myself to consider every opportunity that presents itself to me, especially if it’s outside my comfort zone. Just nominating myself was daunting, and I was truly humbled to have been elected. If you love this industry, are passionate about increasing our professional status and standards, and believe that the REIQ is the vehicle that can achieve this, you should go for it.
Interested candidates can visit the REIQ website here to download a nomination form. Nominations can be accepted via email or post, or can be hand delivered to the Company Secretary.
Nominations close Friday, September 18 at 4:00pm. Keep up to date with more election news and coverage on the REIQ’s social media channels and website over the coming weeks.
To be eligible as a candidate for election as a Regional Member Director or general Member Director to the Institute’s Board of Directors for a period of 3 years (subject to the rotation requirements set out in the Constitution) commencing at the conclusion of the 2020 Annual General Meeting (AGM), an individual must be a member of one of the following classes described in By-laws 5 to 8:
Additional eligibility criteria for a Regional Member Director is set out in Clause 5.2(d) of the Constitution and Clause 5.2(c) for a general Member Director.