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PathFinders Article Published in KeyNotes

Thursday, September 11, 2014   (0 Comments)
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Read the PathFinders article published in the September KeyNotes by Ian Turner.

LAI Phoenix: PathFinders Club Inaugural Event

Ian Turner

The energy and excitement was palpable at the 2014 LAI PathFinders Club inaugural event. The event was billed as a “Back to School/Back to Work” theme, and took place Tuesday night, August 19th at the W Hotel in Old Town Scottsdale. Over 45 LAI full members, PathFinders and Prospects were in attendance at the event, which ironically had a blazing fireplace despite triple digits outside. Inside, however, this cool event was kicked off with Sheila Harris (Phoenix Chapter President) explaining what LAI is about, followed by Ian Turner (PathFinders Steering Committee) articulating the vision of what the PathFinders will be.

The PathFinders are a feeder group for the Phoenix chapter LAI group. Conceptually, it is made up of mid-career professionals engaged in the real estate economics eco-system. The PathFinders’ motto is “The Path to the Pin,” referring to the pin that is associated and worn by full LAI members. The idea for the PathFinders Club was born from the confluence of two primary factors. The first is the ashes of the Great Recession, the second is the mature demographics associated with the LAI baby boomer membership.

The Great Recession has left few Generation X’ers and even fewer Millennials standing in the real-estate related fields that LAI has historically pulled from. This issue is amplified by that fact that LAI is an elite membership group with applicants required to have over 10 years of significant contribution to real estate economics. Arguably, both factors have contributed to a dwindling membership on a national level, thereby creating a need for the PathFinders.

The PathFinders operate as a sub-group of the LAI Phoenix chapter with its own leadership called the “Steering Committee,” comprised of 8-10 members. The group is self-funded through sponsorships secured by the Steering Committee, thereby not burdening the LAI full membership financially. The plan is to limit membership to under 100 PathFinders with event attendance never in excess of 50 attendees, thereby ensuring intimacy. The focus is member self-improvement through increased real estate knowledge, shared best practices, networking and business development.

The PathFinders have a total of seven events planned on an annual basis. The first type are networking events at cool, hip venues with LAI full members encouraged to attend and mix it up with the PathFinders. The second type are “Professional Development Series” events that are limited to only PathFinders. In these events, the focus is entirely on expanding PathFinders acumen and knowledge base through a sharing of best practices and educational lectures. The last event of the annual calendar will be similar to the complementary inaugural event that is designed for potential new members to see what the group is about.

The PathFinders membership is high value as all seven events are included in the modest $75 fee collected upon acceptance and approval of a membership application. A PathFinder applicant must have a sponsor to apply for admittance, similar to applying for full LAI membership. Additionally, a PathFinder may bring up to two additional prospects to a given event, providing them with additional networking leverage for themselves and the group. This is how the PathFinders will grow organically, through excellence in programming and members bringing new members.

Sponsors are eager to secure sponsorships in this arena as each business type is limited to one of each type. Additionally these same companies want to establish brand recognition with future industry leaders that will evolve from the PathFinders eco-system.

Sponsors include:

  • Gammage and Burnham-Legal
  • McGladrey-Accounting
  • Capital Source-Financial
  • Montandon Farley-Valuation
  • Stewart Title-Title
  • Baldinger Studios-Architecture
  • Greenberg Construction- Contracting

In summary the PathFinders Club is a funnel for future candidates to join LAI. It is being studied as a case study by LAI nationally as a way to reinvigorate and bolster interest in full-LAI membership. It is also an opportunity for companies to send their mid-career associates to a safe environment to turn “grinders into finders”. As was articulated in our kick off event, “Look to your left, look to your right. These are the folks who will be the future leaders in our industry. Meet them today and build relationships with them. Start digging your well before you are thirsty”.

For more information about the PathFinders please contact:

Ian Turner
Director of Business Development
Guaranty Solutions, LLC
Pathfinder Steering Committee Chair
602 324 9111 


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