Board Spotlight: Joanie Blackwell & Melanie Brooks

This week, we’re continuing our series that brings the advice, insight, and personal stories of HAAR Board Members to our community. Realtors rarely take days – or even afternoons – off, and we want to thank our entire leadership structure for the work they do to make our organization great.

We’re thrilled to bring you the latest installment of this series, highlighting Directors Melanie Brooks and Joanie Blackwell.

Melanie Brooks

Earning her license in 1993, Melanie is a Broker that has served our community as a certified real estate instructor since 2008. She teaches statewide and holds the designations of Real Estate Negotiation Expert (RENE), Accredited Buyer Representative (ABR), Professional Property Management Certification, Cartus Network Certified Agent, and USAA Real Estate Rewards Network Agent.

In addition to her work on HAAR’s Board of Directors, Melanie is the current State President of the Women’s Council of Realtors, Membership Chair of the Alabama Real Estate Educators Association, and has held numerous positions in state organizations that support our industry.

Joanie Blackwell

Joanie Blackwell, a native of the Huntsville/Madison County and Limestone areas, loves matching people with their real estate solutions. She began her career in real estate in 1987; then licensed as a broker in 1991.  Over the next 20 years Joanie worked as Vice President/Regional Manager for Flournoy Properties and was their Designated Alabama Broker. With a strong background in marketing, sales, and property management, she started her own team/business at RE/MAX Unlimited in 2010. The Blackwell Team has since become a #1 Top Producing Team both locally and regionally. In 2018 she and her team reached RE/MAX Diamond Club status, the highest award level a team can achieve. Joanie has also been awarded the RE/MAX Lifetime Achievement and Hall of Fame Awards. She currently serves on the Huntsville Area Association of Realtors Board of Directors (2019/2020).

In addition, Joanie is the Owner/Broker of North Alabama Property Management Group, LLC, a full service Property Management Company that manages approximately one hundred single family homes in the North Alabama region. In her down time, you can find Joanie and her husband Charlie enjoying the time with their children, keeping up with their two wonderful grandchildren, or relaxing by the lake.

Q: What do you think is the biggest challenge facing a new agent today?

Blackwell: Lack of inventory as compared to the number of increasing agents is a challenge for our entire industry. I believe that is one of the largest challenges facing new agents — and all agents — in today’s market.

Brooks: The biggest challenge is probably something as foundational as getting listings. It can be a lot harder than most new Realtors think, especially before you establish your footing in the industry.

Q: Why should new Members get involved with HAAR and engage with their association?

Brooks: There is just so much to learn on your own. Getting involved, attending meetings, and taking classes are all “musts”. There are so many opportunities, it’s nearly impossible not to find something fun and that will fit your skillset and interests.

Blackwell: Knowledge is Power! As a Realtor, you own your own business and need every competitive advantage available. By being involved with HAAR, you will stay on top of critical data needed to build your business and be recognized as a professional.

Q: Why did you become a board member?

Blackwell: I became a Board Member to expand my leadership role beyond my own business in an effort to work with other real estate professionals, while making a contribution toward growth in our association.

Brooks: I became a board member because I wanted to be a part of the changes at HAAR. Rules and regulations have to be created to keep our association and industry thriving, and I think my experience over 26 years in our community lends a sound opinion.