At Benchmark Realty, we love seeing our team members succeed—and Realtors® Lisa Wurth and Julia Wood have each achieved something monumental: they’ve been elected to serve on Board of Directors of the Williamson County Association of Realtors®.
Wurth was elected to be the organization’s president, and she’ll begin her tenure in November. Wood, who was elected a WCAR director, will also begin her new position in November.
The Board of Directors has several duties to 2000+ WCAR members, including approving budgets, committees and groups submitted by the organization’s president, recommending changes to bylaws, and acting on committee requests and recommendations—all of which require attendance at regular Association meetings. The president and directors continue to maintain their real estate careers, as well, so this is a tremendous commitment (and one that requires a huge degree of selflessness, because the Realtors who voluntarily serve do so because they genuinely want to give back to the real estate community).
Julia Wood, WCAR Director
Wood didn’t expect—at least not early on—to be elected to the Board of Directors.
“I received a phone call from a committee member who asked me if I would accept the nomination and be willing to fulfill the duties of the office if the membership elected me. I researched the responsibilities of office, gave it some serious thought and discussed the commitment with my husband, and I also prayed about it a bit. After that, I decided I would be willing to ‘give it my all’ to serve our Association if the votes fell my way,” says Wood.
Unsurprisingly, the votes did fall her way.
“It’s a position of service, and I strongly feel that my focus is quickly turning towards a life more of service to others coming up the ranks behind me, than of fulfillment my own success wish-lists. Not that I am putting myself out to pasture as a professional—I’m just shifting a major part of my focus,” says Wood. (We’re glad, too; we need Wood and her many talents on the Benchmark Realty team!)
A great association of professionals is a treasure! Yet they don’t just happen. They are a result of sacrificial service for the benefit of their members,” says Wood. “I have felt my desire to jump in for the benefit of others growing for the past few years, and so I started offering to serve on committees and see where I am able to become an asset to all Realtors® in our Association. Serving now as a board member is just a logical next step, and a way to continue to focus on making the experience of being a Realtor at WCAR just a little more valuable for others.”
Benchmark Agent and WCAR Board Member
Wood’s main goal: to help Wurth achieve great things as president.
“My number-one goal is to listen to our new president, Lisa Wurth, and learn what her goals are, and to do whatever I can to make her goals become a reality. Because I’m new to the Board, I am not yet familiar with the goals she has set for herself as president. After that, I’ll try to tackle issues we face, and then burn up a few brain cells trying to find solutions,” says Wood.
You wouldn’t know it by talking to her, but Wood is an introvert who often relies on her husband’s support (he’s an introvert, too, which means he understands) for the push she needs at social events.
“It takes more courage for me to attend a party than to appear in court—truly! (Wood is also an attorney.) I plan to recruit my introvert husband, Terry, to attend with me at social events. That way we can think or talk on the drive there about how we will work hard to overcome our awkwardness… and then we will flop onto the couch afterward completely drained of our energy because of the awkwardness we couldn’t overcome. It kind-of makes me laugh when I think about it!” Even if Wood has a tough time with attending parties, we’re sure she’s going to do an amazing job at it—and so will Terry.
So what motivated Wood to become the best Realtor and lawyer she could be?
“My father taught me to love real estate as an investment. He pointed out that there is always going to be a limited supply of land, and most likely an increasing demand for it. He showed me how if I didn’t have debt, but had some savings, I could acquire real estate. And if I didn’t leverage too much, it would grow exponentially. Boom—so logical! I think I fell in love with real estate investing immediately. He would teach me as I grew about what he would buy, lease, and then sell (usually with a seller-financed note),” says Wood.
Wood’s father also took the time to show her how the math would work, making it even easier for her to dive in.
“I remember so vividly how one day he showed me an amortization pocket book he used, and took the time to teach me how to use it. That was before there were calculators which could do the work for us. I was instantly hooked on the concept of saving and investing and compound interest. And since the Texas Instruments calculator came out which will calculate any loan or compound interest variable for me, I have had at least one calculator in my purse at all times,” Wood says. “Now, looking back to those young years, I am convinced I was always destined to make it to the real estate business eventually. The love of real estate began that far back.”
A pair of Realtors who handled her family’s transactions—one in Los Angeles, one in California’s High Desert—had a big impact on Wood’s career, too. Over the years, they both became her law clients; when Wood chose to venture into real estate, they were the first two phone calls she made.
“I still talk to or meet with them annually and discuss my goals, successes, failures, and listen carefully to their advice,” she says.
As she began to navigate her real estate career, Wood also relied on the support of other Realtors who had more experience.
“Learning from the wisdom and experience of Realtors who had been in the business for a while was invaluable. My first real estate job was at a brokerage other than Benchmark, where I was fortunate to be placed right under a fabulous managing broker, Marty Calfee. She has since retired, but I remember that I connected with her immediately and I am indebted to her for the years she gave much of her time to teaching, conducting annual reviews, and encouraging me personally,” says Wood.
She also joined a coaching program that taught her how to conduct herself even more professionally, and she followed the examples (and advice) of the other Realtors in her first office who were willing to share their time and experience.
“I can’t stress enough how important at least a few years of coaching is to newer agents trying to gain traction in this business,” Wood says.
She’s not done learning, either.
“As I joined Benchmark, like any other agent in the company, I have been continually learning from our managing brokers and from Phillip as well. They spend a great deal of energy working to make us more professional in the business. I appreciate how available they are to answer a question or discuss a sticky situation. And it seems that we all have a lot of fun as we are learning and cheering the company on,” says Wood.
Wood’s biggest concern?
“Hopefully, I will be able over the next decades to repay the debt I owe forward—to others—for the investments that my mentors, teachers and leaders have made in my professional development as well,” she says.
And we think that’s one of the most noble of all reasons to serve on the WCAR Board of Directors.
Congratulations, Julia—here’s to a great term!