Inman is exploring what the future of real estate leadership should look like through a series of articles, Q&As with industry pros, and a Leadership Week series based on a national survey. Read all the parts here. Please send your feedback to If you’re a leader who wants to join us for our exclusive Disconnect in The Desert event on March 26-28, or want to recommend a colleague, send a note to explaining why.

David Charron is currently the chief strategy officer and director for Bright MLS. Bright facilitated $91 billion in residential real estate transactions in 2017. He is president of MRIS and chairs its investment committee. David serves as chair of the National Broker Portal/Homesnap and is the 2018 president of the Council of MLSs (CMLS).

He has served with Midwest Real Estate Data (MRED) as its first strategic manager. He served as a board member of the Realtors Federal Credit Union as well as the NAR MLS Policy Committee. He is a founding member of COVE, an industry think tank comprised of large MLSs.

We recently spent some time with David to pick his brain about the future of real estate leadership.

As a leader, what keeps you up at night?

The horizon and its possibilities. Conversely, people anchored in the past who invariably stand in the way, protectors vs enablers and artificial barriers. As you can see, I work at both ends of the spectrum and don’t get as much sleep as I would like!

David Charron

If you could change one thing in real estate, what would it be?

That we would spend more time challenging one’s point of view and less time challenging his or her integrity. Words matter.

How have your expectations of your management team changed over the past two years?

Even greater emphasis on whatever they/we do — it must be essential, timely and measurable.

How do you keep your team competitive?

One element of staying competitive is to study the competition. Channeling and paraphrasing Indira Noori CEO of PepsiCo and the “Queen of (soda) Pop”: “Think first about how competitors can help you learn more about your business. Worry less about how they will kill it.”

With so much disruption in real estate, what’s your best advice for managing change?

Change doesn’t occur because everyone wants it. It occurs because a need has been identified and that need will be met. Change is loyal to no one. Change only sees the opportunity to impact the status quo. As a result, go ahead and innovate (carefully) on your base. Importantly, do it before someone else does.

Want to connect with David? You can find him on Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn.

Email Matthew Shadbolt

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