Shawn Massey, CCIM, SCLS

Why I belong? No longer a bystander, but a participant.

“There is two ways to get to the top of the tree….one sit on acorn and wait and the other is to climb it”
Kemmons Wilson, Sr. Founder Holiday Inns of America

It is that time of year when many of us are deciding what organizations we want to continue to be a part of in the New Year or those organizations we want to join. In the commercial real estate industry (at least in Memphis) we have multiple opportunities such as CCIM, SIOR, IREM, NAIOP, Lambda Alpha, MRA, ICSC, ULI, MAAR Commercial Council etc. This list does not even cover the other non-industry related groups that we are asked to join and participate in each year.

It is easy to look at all the commitments in your life and say that I am going to opt out of one or more organizations. I personally belong to several industry and non-industry specific groups. I am challenged both professionally and in my personal life to why I want to be a part of so many organizations. It is a tough question that I felt was important to address in this post. The 10 top reasons that I feel that are important to why I belong to these professional groups and participate include:

1. I have been blessed in my career and believe that it is important to give back.
2. Angels are not going to make it happen. It is up to all of us to stand up and participate.
3. Networking, Networking, Networking!
4. Education is lifetime commitment and these organizations provide an excellent opportunity to stay on top of my game and develop new skills.
5. Share mutual experiences, ideas and views with others in our profession.
6. To take charge of my career.
7. Access to industry information, conferences and conventions.
8. Protect and promote my profession.
9. Come together to accomplish things. In essence make a difference.
10. To make money!

The benefits of belonging to a professional organization goes beyond the services we see and the designations we have behind our name of which I have been told I have too many. The real benefit of being a member is often what is happening behind the scenes and what our competition is doing.
This year I am the incoming president of the local CCIM chapter and want to be honest with prospective members why I encourage people to join and be a part of something bigger than ourselves. I also plan to continue my active participation at MAAR, Lambda Alpha and ICSC. Outside my industry commitments I am the Chairman of The Board for Memphis Business Academy Charter Schools (the largest charter operator in Tennessee). It is this organization that I really feel is making a difference not only in our community but in my profession. The number one reason Memphis is stalled on job growth is education. With jobs comes; retail centers, office buildings, industrial parks, apartment buildings and new homes!

Today I was at one of our industry meetings and the speaker was Spence Wilson the grandson of founder of Holiday Inns. He was outlining the “Moon Missions” the Chairman’s Circle of Memphis Regional Chamber has envisioned for our city. He is one of 100 like-minded companies/individuals who have committed their time, talent and whole lot of money to lead Memphis forward in the next decade. If these people did not join together I sometimes wonder whether my industry will survive the next 10 years.

When Groucho Marx resigned from the Friars Club, he explained, “I don’t want to belong to any club that will accept me as a member.” I often hear reasons about why people join, don’t join, or quit organizations, and some of these reasons sound just as ridiculous.

If you enjoy this site please share it with your friends and ask them to register on-line.



Shawn Massey, CCIM, CLS, CRX is a partner with The Shopping Center Group a 3rd party retail real estate advisory firm in their Memphis office, an adjunct professor in the graduate real estate program at The University of Memphis and a co-founder and Chairman of the Board for the Memphis Business Academy charter schools (K-12th grade) in the Frayser area of Memphis.
For all your retail real estate needs (tenant representation, landlord representation and property, investment & land sales) I hope that you will choose The Shopping Center Group and me to represent you and your business. We understand that representation is a privilege and that you have a choice!

The opinions expressed in this post are entirely my own. They should not be considered the opinion of The Shopping Center Group, LLC in which I am associated.

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One comment

  1. Great advice and very timely. Thanks Shawn!

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