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Stitch Export 11by G. Sax, Head of Communications, RESO

Welcome to “Three Questions,” an interview series that introduces you to real estate industry professionals, their businesses and how they interact with real estate standards. The goal of the series is to humanize the tech side of the industry, fun included.

This week’s interview is with Nicole Murray, Association Executive, Pocono Mountains Association of REALTORS®. We discussed punching above your weight class, finding ways to help others and authenticity. Enjoy!

Q1: Pocono Mountains is ranked 160th for MLS membership size, according to the 2024 T3 Sixty Real Estate Almanac with north of 1,400 subscribers. That puts you on the smaller side of the participating MLSs at RESO conferences.

What is it that you hope to bring back to your constituents about real estate standards that nontechnical people will understand?

Nicole: Well, I’m nontechnical. I know enough to be dangerous, and I think I can help everyone I serve to understand what people are talking about when they talk about RESO.

I spent 15 years as a REALTOR®, so I know what that’s like. I got into the MLS world like a lot of REALTORS® do. I was asked to join a committee.

From there, I started to figure out the MLS and FlexMLS, which we had just started to use, and I used my position on the committee to help bring more services to our marketplace that made my job easier.

As for the size of our MLS, I’m surprised to hear that we’re in the top 200! In my mind, we’re a little MLS with big ideas.

Members see the value of our MLS being part of the national conversation. They are proud of me for representing the Pocono Mountains and for being involved at the national level.

I am constantly learning, trying to meet new people and bringing fresh ideas back to my MLS leadership.

Q2: As you mentioned, you were a working REALTOR® for 15 years. How did that work inform your current role, and how did you switch from home sales to advocating for people who do home sales? 

Nicole: This is going to sound cliché.

My background was mental health, not sales. I always wanted to help people.

When the Pocono CEO position opened up, I happened to be the board president and held the role for three months in an interim capacity.

My executive committee asked if I would be willing to take the role full time. I didn’t seek it, but I realized that I wasn’t getting as far in my endeavors for the MLS in my volunteer role, so I thought maybe being on the other side of the equation would be better.

That was more than eight years ago. I’ve learned a lot in that time, and I like to believe that I’ve helped a lot of people.

Q3: I’ve hung out with you. I think you’re a lot of fun. You’re adventurous and willing to explore new things. Do you bring that same energy to your work or do you keep a separation of Fun Nicole and Work Nicole?

Nicole: “Oh, no. It’s all me!”

When I was hired, I knew that they were in for a surprise with me.

For example, I’m not allowed to play poker, because I’m too open and honest. But I’m super passionate.

We’ve had our growing pains. Sometimes, I don’t always explain myself to the best of my ability or explain what changes are coming up that our members should know about, but the mutual respect is there.

We’ve changed our board structure, requirements and participation. When I started, you could run for the board on the day you joined the association. That did not seem wise.

You want your leaders to have some experience. Strategically, I was seeking strong business people and highly regarded brokers to join the board, so I could learn from them, so we could all learn from each other. That tactic has served us well.

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