Reno, Nevada, “The Biggest Little City in the World,” is known for its casinos and bright lights, but it also boasts a riverwalk district, a planetarium, the National Automobile Museum, and a wildlife sanctuary. It is also where we can find the LeTip of Reno chapter, led by Chris DeMay, Commercial Realtor for the chapter and president of the board. We connected with Chris to find out more about this well-established LeTip chapter.
The LeTip of Reno chapter, established in 1992, is currently 49 members strong and has done some unique things to rebuild since Covid. Chris said, “We worked very hard to get back to normal meetings after last year’s elections. There was no impetus to get back to normal at the time and I felt it was very important to get things back to normal. We reinstituted regular meetings at our regular meeting place. We did have to make accommodations for health issues, and we still are making them for one member whose spouse is undergoing chemo treatments. We reminded those with white badges that we didn’t want them to turn yellow and to remember their commitment to bringing in a new member within a year. This got people to bring in guests. But mostly, we feel our membership responded because we were back to normal. We have also removed members who were not active and did not meet attendance and tipping requirements. We were able to replace those categories very easily. In fact, we had a 5 person speak off for the mortgage lender category!”
When it comes to overcoming obstacles, this chapter understand that communication is key. Their experienced members share words of wisdom on obstacles they have learned to overcome:
- Don’t overpromise and always be honest in dealing with difficult situations (see also the competing members discussion in the Power Partners section below.)
- Look for seasoned business professionals.
- Mentorship! This chapter has members who are very new in business and they stay for the mentorship from the other members. This is a huge part of the success of this group. They have two members who take the new members under their wing and train them, encourage them, and make sure they are up and running. Linda Anderson and Suzanne Shepherd go a long way to making this group successful by doing that.
We asked if the chapter hosts any chapter events, other than the weekly meetings. Chris shared that their events are in held in-person. Visitations have been held for the last year. If a member is uncomfortable with meeting in person, they are allowed to carry out the visitation vis telephone. They have visitation and have been for the last year. If someone is uncomfortable, we allow them to do it via telephone. They also host quarterly mixers and a holiday party, as well. Their Lunch Bunch is organized very well. Attendees are assigned be power partnerships or categories. For example, all the “Household” categories meet at the same time. Then the next time it might be the financial categories, then auto, etc.
The Lunch Bunch meetings seem to be doing their job, because the power partnerships in this chapter are successful: “We have quite a few power partnerships. We have a graphic artist who works with the printer, the sign guy and the promotional products guy all the time. And they pull in the web design guy if the project is for more online advertising. He is a great graphic artist as well. There is overlap in categories in many places, but we have embraced those potentially competing members and encourage them to work together. It doesn’t always work but when it does the group grows stronger. For e(examples – We have 3 auto categories and they share the category – we worked it out beforehand. Mechanic – Tires, High end enhancements and mufflers. – The muffler guy sold his business recently). They are all kicking butt. We’ve recently brought on a plumber and roofer, who have given each other a lot of business in their first 6 weeks as a members.
When asked what makes their chapter different from others, they told us: “We are grateful to have members that have been here for decades and chip in when help is needed. In addition to the business we receive, we feel we all get the VIP service from other businesses. These connections and customer service help us help our clients and friends as well.”