Hearing Keller Williams agent and REALTOR® Sherri Meadows talk about her passion for real estate, one would guess she is a newcomer rather than a much-honored veteran.
“Every day I wake up, and I put the REALTOR® badge on. It has been an honor to be able to do that my entire adult life,” she says. “[My husband Bert] and I have a family business, and my kids are involved as well. I want them to be able to put that REALTOR® badge on every single day for another 37 years.”
From the age of 23, Sherri has been transforming her clients’ dreams of homeownership into reality, but she’s also gone a step further. Through her many leadership roles with the Florida Realtors® and National Association of REALTORS® (NAR), Meadows has and continues to work to ensure Realtors’ voices are heard by decision makers.
She testified before a congressional subcommittee in Washington DC to advocate for much-needed improvements to Veterans Home Loan Program. She has worked alongside the Florida governor to reduce business rent tax, keep flood insurance affordable, and to protect and preserve Florida’s waterways. Additionally, she has raised awareness of homelessness and the importance of housing at a state level.
In 2017, Meadows was the key contact to Florida Senator Dennis Baxley, Representative Charlie Stone, and sat on a multitude of committees: Attainable/Workforce Housing Work Group, Public Advocacy Advisory Group, Florida Realtor® Party Coordinating Committee, to name a few.
"I began working with Sherri on the Women's Council in 2000 and have been with her every step of the way," shares Gail Hartnett of KW Realty Boise. "At the legislative forum in DC, Sherri never retreated when staff members questioned our ideas and desires. When Sherri brought a Housing for All symposium to DC in 2016, I was moved and found a passion I didn't know I had. She listens, makes things happen and is a servant leader. I have been so impressed with her work ethic, vision and passion for members and the association."
Sherri has held myriad leadership roles: 2016 Vice President for Government Affairs for NAR, 2014 President of the Florida Realtors®, longtime NAR Federal Political, President of the Ocala/Marion County Association of REALTORS®, and many more. In 2015, she was honored as the REALTOR® of the Year.
“You see what you can do at the local level to help with policy issues, to help create personal and professional growth for your members, and that’s multiplied at the state level and then exponentially at the national level,” she says. “We have 1.3 million members, and leadership is an opportunity to change lives in a positive manner. I think that produces passion every single day to get up and make a difference.”
Her vision is local, focused on advocating for the rank-and-file REALTORS®.
“My favorite quote is from Mark Twain, that the two most important days of your life are the day you are born, and the day you find out why,” she says. “And it was an epiphany for me that my ‘why’ is to be a voice, a voice for those who don’t have one.”
For more than 20 years of her 37-year career in real estate, Meadows has been THAT VOICE.
Her professional advocacy efforts began with a misdirected telephone call made to her husband more than two decades ago. The caller asked him to consider a directorship of the Multiple Listing Service.
“My husband told him, ‘Well, you need to speak with my wife,’” she recalls. “He said, ‘She’s the broker of record,’ and then handed me the phone. And, three years after that, I was the local Women’s Council of REALTORS® president and the MLS president. It just took somebody asking to realize how engaged the REALTOR® needs to be in our profession.”
Sherri’s work has only deepened her resolve to set the pace for future leaders, one reason why she is currently running for NAR 2019 First Vice President. NAR Directors will cast their vote in the election on May 19.
“When I think about the future, I think about what I learned in my life lessons as a leader. My grandmother told me, ‘Don’t ever forget where you come from.’ My father taught me to have the heart of a servant. My mother taught me the value of people. And my time at Keller Williams has taught me to be BOLD in all the things you do. I realize that these are leadership traits that we need to carry forward within our association,” Meadows says.
“And, at the National Association of REALTORS®, many times our members are hurting – they don’t feel heard, they don’t feel important. For me, this is an opportunity to bring a message that every member matters. I want to be a leader who not only brings them hope, but brings them strategies.”