Dwyn Thudium was installed last week as the 2014 president of the Wichita Area Association of Realtors.
The 51-year-old broker and owner of Crown III Realty will mark her 20th year as a Realtor next year.
For many of those 20 years, she said, shes been involved in a variety of volunteer roles with the association that represents the areas residential and commercial real estate agents.
And she has a challenge for her peers, especially those who might not agree with something the association is doing or isnt doing.
You dont like the way we do it? Then volunteer, get involved, Thudium said. Wed love to have more volunteers.
The mother of two grown daughters and grandmother to a 3-year-old boy didnt start working as a Realtor right away. She was studying for a business degree at the University of Iowa when her husband, Shawn, got a job at Beechcraft.
Then I went to school at Wichita State and then I had a baby, and that was it, said Thudium, an eastern Iowa native. Im like a semester short (of earning her degree).
But my husband traveled most of the time, so when my kids were young I didnt feel like I could go (back) to school.
When Thudiums daughters were old enough to where she felt comfortable working outside the home, she worked in office-type jobs, including a stint at her father-in-laws durable medical equipment business. Her duties were primarily back-office work, but not always.
I delivered beds, she said. I did whatever I had to do.
She would continue that track when her husband was hired by IBM, and they were sent to St. Louis.
How did you get into real estate?
When we moved back here (from St. Louis) a friend of mine who sold me my house said, Dwyn, youd be good in real estate. You ought to get your license. So I did.
What agency did you start with as a Realtor?
The same company. Crown III.
But your first foray as a Realtor didnt last long, did it?
Shawn traveled four weeks out of four weeks. And it just did not work out with my family.
The office manager job at Crown III came available so I became the office manager. Jim Miner (the firms founder who co-owned it with Margie Zwiesler) was a wonderful mentor. I learned a lot from him.
How much time do you think you will spend weekly serving as WAAR president?
Im making him (RJ Marshall, WAARs CEO) give me a parking space downstairs. Ive read its six to 10 hours a month. I bet its more than that, though.
What are your goals for your one-year term as president of WAAR?
I want to serve the membership, thats my big goal. I feel like thats my responsibility to satisfy or investigate issues that might be coming up so we can inform our membership. (And) I want the community to know that the Realtors are concerned about their community. Thats a huge thing.
What do you like about the business?
Its an ever-changing business. No two deals are ever alike. You are constantly learning.
What are the biggest challenges being a Realtor right now?
The financing is probably the biggest. The tighter lending requirements (to purchase a home), its ever-changing. Whats happening today wont happen two weeks from today.
There has to be happy medium between the way it was and the way it is today. (But) it is getting better.
You said that probably your toughest time in the real estate business was a couple of years after you bought Crown III, when the financial crisis and recession hit, causing home sales to plummet. So how did you handle that trough?
You really, really watched your pennies. Obviously I like the real estate business because (for a while) I didnt bring home a paycheck, all my money went into the company.
Why did you get involved in the leadership of WAAR?
Jim Miner encouraged me to get involved. This is your business. You want to help. You want to be involved. You want to know whats going on.
How is your career different than when you started?
Im more at ease with everything, maybe more confident in myself than 20 years ago. My agents help me every step of the way. I attribute a lot of my success to them. And they pick up the slack for me when Im gone. They are good, good people. I wouldnt trade them for the world.