As I sit here writing this email I can’t help but think about what today “normally” would have looked like…

It’s the third Thursday of the month which means I would be getting ready for our April luncheon; excited to put on something colorful and looking forward to seeing all of you and hearing from a powerful speaker! Feeling great about the dessert I would have planned to indulge in because I would have gotten an early morning workout in at the gym.  And in all likelihood, I would also be looking forward to happy hour with friends because Thursday is my favorite day of the week to have a drink!  Are you finding yourself walking down this same mental path of what you would have been doing, should have been doing, and/or wish you were doing? IF that answer is YES you are normal and not alone!

I’m a planner and this year was planned to be one of the best yet. I had a trip booked with family or for business each month, starting in March through July.  All of which have been postponed or canceled. We have an incredible IREM Board this year and I looked forward to a smooth and successful Presidency with so many great events! Now, we are discussing how to modify or delay (DON’T get any ideas IREM – we are still going to have a GREAT YEAR despite modifications)! You get where I’m going here – so much has changed and we are left trying to find ways to stay engaged, encouraged, grateful, and SANE.

Over the past few weeks, I’ve had many conversations with my kids, my co-workers, my friends and family about “little victories.” These little victories are now the highlight of our day in place of what we had originally planned to look forward to. Ironically, I find this translating into asking ourselves, What Is Success to You? There is NO question that back in December all of us had a very different idea of what success was going to be for the coming year. There is no question that many of us have shared disappointments, and tears, and frustration, fear, or pain for how this unanticipated pandemic has affected our lives. So today when I WISH I was connecting in-person, going about my “normal” life that I love, I’d like to ask our IREM family to look for the little victories. Notice that while success likely look’s totally different right now, there is still something that IS, in fact, a glimmer of success. And celebrate it no matter how big or small.

Encouraged by Andie Albers I asked our IREM Board to send me a picture of what success was to them over the past few weeks. And this is how it looked…



I want you to know that I speak on behalf of our entire Board – we miss you!  We too miss “normal” life. We too have good days and tough days. However, one thing remains – WE are going to get through this, we are going to remain connected, and we will persevere stronger. In the meantime, if I or the Board can do anything for you please don’t hesitate to reach out.

Additional resources OR just fun facts:

  • Many liquor stores are delivering.
  • Should you feel fortunate enough, there is an incredible fundraiser happening through ONE KC, and donations TODAY will be matched up to one million dollars! Learn more here.
  • Still looking for a reason to smile – go check out SGN with John Krasinski who started this at a time where we could all use some good news.

Letter from our President

This is not a procedural note to Property Managers or Industry Partners regarding best practices or a COVID-19 update. This is simply a note, from the heart, at a time where I really feel the need to connect with you all. So here it is…

As a self-admitted absolute realist but anti-alarmist, I found myself finally accepting the reality of this situation we are currently in. A situation that none of us foresaw, none of us planned for, and candidly none of us welcomed.  Yesterday, within the same hour, my son’s spring break turned into SUMMER break; the two gyms that are a huge part of my life finally closed their doors; all kids’ sports were postponed indefinitely, and just like that routine was pulled out from under me. The ability to do the things I and my children love changed instantly. In the midst of all that is changing in the world right now, I’ve found myself asking “What is Success to You” in a completely different context.

Yesterday, success to me was making it to 5:45 PM before pouring my first glass of wine. I truly felt a small victory in that! Success was setting up game night with my boys and making a kid charcuterie out of marshmallows, deli-meat, and goldfish. Success was calling a friend, rather than texting, to offer support as she began to really worry about the economy and her paycheck. It was sending a note to a colleague who had to postpone their wedding and trip to Italy. Success was brainstorming today with the other regional IREM Presidents about how their companies are adapting and strategizing ways to keep tenants afloat. The notion of success has temporally shifted to perspective, survival, and tiny little wins wherever I can find them. However, one thing that hasn’t changed: success, for me personally, is still based on relationships.

Scientific evidence strongly suggests that human interaction is a core psychological need. In fact, many studies show that social interaction between humans actually results in increased physical health and immunity.  Yet here we are in the middle of a true crisis where the only cure is social distancing and isolation. So what can we do to lift each other up, support one another, and cultivate as positive of a dynamic as possible during all of this?  We improvise and get creative! For the first time ever I’m participating in a virtual happy hour. Six of my closest friends and I have set a time tomorrow to all hop on Facetime, from our homes, and have a glass of wine (or three) together. I’m making phone calls when I would have normally emailed or texted. I’m calling tenants to check in with them and let them know I’ll be in to support their businesses the best I can over the coming weeks. Most of all, I’m finding tiny areas where I can offer a little more grace for someone else who may be in a trying situation. In other words, I’m focused on kindness and showing just a little more love. That is what success is to me right now.

None of us know how the next several weeks are going to look. It is scary, unprecedented, unpredictable, and all parts of life as we know it has changed overnight. What I do know for certain is that we have a choice in how we handle ourselves and one another. We have a choice to make the best of what we can control. We have a choice to support and foster becoming stronger, together, as we navigate through this. And I have no doubt that with time every one of us is going to come out stronger and with a much greater sense of perspective.

I speak on behalf of our entire IREM Board to say that we are here to help where we can. We look forward to seeing you all soon, and in the meantime, stay safe and healthy.




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Volunteer Opportunities

  • Bridging The Gap offers a variety of volunteer opportunities for individuals, groups, families and students. Whether you have just a couple of hours or want to make an ongoing commitment, you can help protect our planet for generations to come.   You can review the list of current volunteer opportunities by clicking here.
    • URGENT NEED for APRIL 27, 9:00-Noon. Learn more here.
  • Join IREM KC and BE THE CHANGE by helping volunteer with VETERANS COMMUNITY PROJECT. Through contributions and partnerships, VCP is creating Veterans Village — a community of transitional tiny-homes and onsite services to provide housing stability and address the underlying cause of the Veteran’s homelessness. IREM Members & IPs can sign up to work on the site between June 5-7. You can SIGN UP HERE and get all of the DETAILS HERE. 

Fearless Negotiating


We’ve hired Mary A. Redmond, the Fearless Negotiator, to present at the May lunch. Mary is a motivator, coach and mentor. With over 20 years of experience, Mary has negotiated on behalf of the world’s largest financial institutions including GE Capital, Orix Financial, Mellon Bank and Wells Fargo. She shares her tips, processes and stories from the negotiation trenches as a professional speaker and boasts several achievements:

  • Member of the Year: National Speakers Association, Kansas City Chapter
  • Past President: National Speakers Association, Kansas City Chapter
  • Women Who Mean Business Award: Kansas City Business Journal and Kauffman  Foundation.
  • Global Ties KC, Board Member, a non-profit organization whose purpose is to improve global understanding through exchange programs between international leaders and their American counterparts.

Mary transforms the way many people negotiate in their daily life with co-workers, friends, and family with her signature negotiation mantra “If You Don’t Ask You Won’t Get.”


Body Language: I Don’t See What You’re Saying

The subtle and not-so-subtle differences in how men and women negotiate can make or break your next communication. People approach others at work, play or at home differently because of their gender, culture, customs, and socialization.

No matter how much we try to control body language, it leaks out and gives away our inner thoughts and feelings. When you accurately read body language, you’ll be more successful in business or personal exchanges.  

For business professionals, the question is how to maximize your ability to read what others are thinking and react appropriately to both their words and their actions no matter what their gender.

Powerful procedures to improve body language interpretation.  

    • How to make minor adjustments in your body language to improve relationships.
    • Discover Eyes Lie, Feet don’t
    • Movement that Sends Red Flags
    • Clusters Clarify and Confirm
    • When silence pays Gold Dividends.  
    • Where to Sit to Assume Power or Disappear
    • How to show you are in charge and “Own the Room”






KC Mayoral Forum


KCMO Mayoral Candidates met for a forum on Thursday, February 28 to answer questions regarding their stance on commercial real estate issues. IREM KC was one of the main sponsors for this event.

Overall, the candidates did not have any major contrasting views or changes for the KC commercial real estate future.

All of the candidates appeared to support the idea of taking the Energy Empowerment Ordinance further to regulations that would require building owners to reduce a building’s carbon footprint. The Energy Empowerment Ordinance was put in to place by Mayor Sly James in 2015. The Ordinance objective is to improve the city’s management of resources by requiring owners of large buildings to benchmark and report their energy and water use. The goal is to help businesses and residents to save money on their utility bills and create local jobs in energy efficiency. This is an ordinance that a majority of property managers are against as it would mean more overall costs by building owners.

None of the candidates support the ballot measure coming out that would limit the city tax incentives to 50%, which is a positive for property managers.

Eleven candidates, including six current city council members, are in the race to replace Kansas City Mayor Sly James when he leaves office this year.

2019 Mayoral Candidates

Alissia Canady: Canady is a first-term Kansas City Councilwoman, representing the 5th district in the south and east parts of the city. She is currently a private attorney. Previously, she was an assistant prosecuting attorney for Jackson County. Canady is running on an initiative to promote equitable economic development in all parts of Kansas City and increasing funding for mental health programs.

Clay Chastain: Chastain’s name may be familiar to voters. He’s been behind several failed light rail initiatives and has run for mayor at least four times. While Chastain keeps a permanent residence in Bedford, Virginia, he is registered to vote at an address on Wyoming Street in Kansas City.

Phil Glynn: Glynn owns a small business in Kansas City’s Crossroads District that finances and supports housing and development projects in American Indian communities. Glynn was previously a member of Kansas City’s TIF commission, which awards incentives to developers, but he was removed after he voted against a plan to approve incentives to build the BNIM headquarters in the Crossroads.

Jolie Justus: Justus is in her first term on the city council, representing the Fourth District. She has also served eight years as a Missouri state senator and is director of pro bono services at the Shook, Hardy & Bacon law firm. Justus initially entered the race last year but withdrew after Jason Kander announced he was running in June. After Kander’s surprise withdrawal in early October, Justus re-entered the race, admitting in a news release that she was disappointed to have suspended her original campaign but believed it was “best for Kansas City.” Since Kander’s exit, she said, “After talking it through at length with my wife, I’ve decided that I can best serve Kansas City as its next mayor.”

Henry Klein: This is Henry Klein’s third run for mayor. He last ran in 2011, but didn’t make it to the general election. On a Go-Fund-Me page, Klein says he won’t ask for donations from special interests groups “knowing full well they expect something in return.”

Vincent Lee: Lee lost to incumbent mayor Sly James in 2015’s general election. Back then, Lee described his top priorities as bringing union contracts back to Kansas City, improving access to health care for low-income residents and improving public education in the city.

Quinton Lucas: Lucas is in his first term on the city council, representing the Third District in the east part of the city. He is currently a private attorney and teaches at the University of Kansas School of Law. In 2016, he sponsored an ordinance that caps tax incentives for developers, with exemptions for distressed areas determined by the city. He has also been behind efforts to motivate developers to build more affordable housing.

Steve Miller: Miller is an attorney in Kansas City. He previously served as chairman of the Missouri Highways and Transportation Commission, where he oversaw billions of dollars in infrastructure projects, even as the Missouri Department of Transportation saw significant budget cuts. According to his website, Miller is focused on improving the city’s infrastructure, including the streetcar expansion.

Jermaine Reed: Reed is in his second term on the Kansas City Council, representing the city’s 3rd District. First elected in 2011, he became the youngest person to serve on the council. Reed also serves on the board for the National League of Cities. He’s spent much of his time on the council advocating for Kansas City’s historic 18th and Vine District, where he lives. He also pushed a measure to ban employers from asking about criminal history on job applications.

Scott Taylor: Taylor is in his second term on the Kansas City Council, representing the 6th district in south Kansas City. He’s a private attorney. Last year, Taylor introduced a “Revive the East Side” campaign aimed at increasing jobs and economic development in neglected parts of the city. He was a vocal opponent of Edgemoor, the developer selected to build the new terminal at KCI; Taylor supported Burns and McDonnell for the project.

Scott Wagner: Wagner is currently Kansas City’s Mayor Pro Tem. He is serving a second term on the city council, representing the 1st district in the Northland. He is a small business owner with a background in marketing and public relations. Over the last year, Wagner has worked to implement a rental inspection program to help renters who live in unsanitary or unsafe conditions. That issue became the subject of a citizen initiative petition after it failed to advance in council. He has also taken a role in the city’s effort to exert greater oversight of the troubled American Jazz Museum.


Be The Change: Uniform Drive

cpa.jpgThe students of Crossroads Preparatory Academy Charter School need your help. Many of the students can only afford one uniform and their home doesn’t have a washing machine or the student is homeless without anywhere to wash the uniform. Teachers are Fabreezing uniforms to help children not be embarrassed by wearing unwashed clothing. You can BE THE CHANGE in these students’ lives by supplying extra uniforms for the school to give to those in need. We are encouraging companies to hold a Uniform Drive with collection boxes. Please see the documents below for details on uniform specifics. If your company would like boxes provided with photos of the items for your official Uniform Drive, please contact info@iremkc.com. PLEASE BRING ALL ITEMS THURSDAY, MARCH 21 to our monthly lunch at Milburn Country Club or request a pick-up from your office by emailing us at info@iremkc.com. THANK YOU in advance for making a difference in our community!

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Member Highlight


This year’s IREM KC theme is “Be The Change,” and we love hearing stories of how our members are doing just that and making a difference! At January’s lunch, Lenora Carpenter, CPM, Managing Director of Cohen-Esrey, shared a new group that she has put together called “Layers of Love.” Lenora, along with friends and family, makes fleece lap blankets for residents at memory care facilities and nursing homes. Lenora started this project after seeing a need when visiting her mother in care: “My mother has been in memory care for 4+ years and I see many of the residents in wheelchairs or sitting around and they are cold.  It has been tugging on my heart to do something like this so now is the time!” Lenora’s goal is to make 80 lap blankets. She has put together 40 thus far and will deliver them to a nursing home on February 19. If you’d like to help Lenora with her project, you can donate money or fleece material. Lenora can be contacted at lenora.carpenter@yahoo.com.

IREM KC Member Lee Whitman, CPM, with MC Realty Group was our monthly member drawing winner at the January Lunch. Lee admired what Lenora is doing and donated his $50 prize to her for blanket supplies.

THANK YOU Lenora and Lee for BEING A CHANGE! Opportunities are all around us to make a positive difference in this world! If you have a story to share, please email us at info@iremkc.com.

IMG_6692.jpgLee Whitman, CPM, MC Realty and Lenora Carpenter, CPM, Cohen-Esrey at the January IREM KC Lunch Event.