By Patrick Francey
Every year, members of the REIN community look forward to celebrating the winners of our annual awards in a variety of categories. For many, it is inspirational to see and hear firsthand the real-life examples of what others have achieved, and to validate the benchmarks and milestones of what is possible as a real estate investor.
This past June, Richard Dolan, Don R. Campbell, and I were honoured to present REIN awards to the many deserving REIN members in Vancouver, Edmonton, Calgary, Toronto, and Ottawa.
For recognition of REIN members who have been part of the community for 10 and 20 years, for top action takers and rookie of the year, and for the coveted Michael Millenaar Leadership Award, nominations rolled in, information was gathered, and winners were selected.
Why Do the Awards Matter for REIN?
Awards are an impactful way for REIN and the community to acknowledge a member’s success. For example, achievement awards such as the bronze, silver, gold, platinum, and diamond pins represent members’ incremental accomplishments, which they are able to celebrate with their peers at regular meetings.
The various REIN annual awards such as we presented this past June are a way to celebrate the culmination of investing achievements and milestones hit by REIN members. Individuals throughout the community who are focused on their commitment to moving forward in reaching their investment and business goals are nominated to become part of the award-selection process.
For REIN as an organization and member support team, the awards are another way we are able to measure and recognize the value we provide, and the impact we have had as a resource providing the right support for investors to achieve their real estate investing goals.
Every successful individual knows that his or her achievement depends on a community of persons working together. —Paul Ryan
Later, after we presented awards, posed for pictures, and enjoyed the celebration, I spoke with several winners, and two things stood out in my conversations: first, time and time again, winners wanted others to know that they cannot take all the credit for their achievements.
Consistently, I heard about how family, friends, and team members played an invaluable role in achieving an award-winning outcome, and the winners felt compelled to acknowledge and share their success with their support team. It is a reminder that the most successful real estate investors embrace the fact that it does take a team to truly succeed.
Second, award winners talked about their engagement with the REIN community—many at the deepest level—and recognized it for the resource it is. Award winners recognize the importance of supporting others, while in kind being supported by others within a like-minded community of friends, experts, and professionals.
A member asked me recently if I thought awards really mattered. Does anyone pay attention to them, really? Instinctively, I answered yes, for all the reasons we’ve been presenting to members for years. The awards are framed from the perspective of “treat your real estate investing like a business,” and as such build brand awareness, differentiate REIN members from the pack, and generate a level of credibility.
At our core, each of us is driven by an entirely different set of reasons and values when it comes to investing in real estate, but one thing is certain: receiving an award, or even being nominated or shortlisted, is a statement of who we are as a real estate investor and how we are seen by our friends, family, and peers within the community. The REIN 10- and 20-year member awards, for example, are a way for REIN to acknowledge individuals’ steadfast commitment to themselves and the community, and for the members receiving the awards to mark and celebrate their commitment to their vision.
And not all those who strive to achieve certain financial goals or business outcomes succeed. That’s where even the exercise in the process of submitting information, making or generating nominations, winning the award, and gaining public recognition comes in. Awards do not only acknowledge success; they recognize many other essential qualities for success: ability, struggle, effort, resilience, and, above all, the pursuit of excellence. That’s why we value awards. That’s also why it’s important that they are chosen carefully, wisely.
As I continued to contemplate the question I felt the need to define why I believe awards matter:
1. Awards instill a mindset of achievement
It stands to reason that you won’t achieve the highest level of success unless you set the bar high and strive for it. So creating a culture of award-winning goals or outcomes instills a certain mindset and puts people on a path to excellence. It pushes teams to be more creative, go the extra mile, and achieve the desired results.
2. Awards nurture pride, either for you as an individual or for your company
No one aspires to be mediocre, and no one wants to be part of a team that isn’t striving to be the best at what it does. Awards are a way for individuals and teams to recognize and celebrate success.
3. Awards showcase the commitment and focus of getting results
REIN awards provide the space and a benchmark for individuals and teams to measure results. To what extent has the work you and your team do had an impact on your business, money partners, co-ventures, and the success in building your financial future? That’s the bottom line. When your results can speak for themselves, why not celebrate them on the community stage?
4. Awards sharpen your sense of where the bar is and how to raise it
Too often, individuals (and organizations) operate in a bubble, lifting their heads up only long enough to see if they are at least somewhat on the right path. But if you make the effort to measure yourself against the goals you defined and the results you expected, you’ll know where you stand. The desire to achieve an award encourages you to raise your bar.
5. Awards deliver third-party validation
When you’re part of an organization such as REIN, it can be challenging to not find yourself drinking your own Kool-Aid. Awards help you gain a perspective of what is possible by having an impartial third party—those who have gone before you, and your peers—tell you how you are doing.
For me, awards are not about bragging rights; they are about us testing our abilities and our commitment to learning and leadership. But mostly they are about celebrating who we had to become to achieve the results. It’s about you (and your team) knowing that the efforts you made and the struggles you overcame to achieve the results were award-worthy. And isn’t that the only kind of work worth doing in the first place?
Financial freedom by design is an outcome that REIN stands for to our members. Awards are a way for our members to mark the path on their journey and celebrate along the way.