Margo McDonnell, CES, CRE
25 Years Active in Real Estate-affiliated Field
What was your career prior to real estate, if applicable?
As president, I oversee all areas of operations, human resources and business development. Throughout the year, I present numerous 1031 exchange seminars and continuing education courses to educate investors and business owners and their professional advisors on the many benefits of Section 1031. I also work with our exchange team to ensure everyone is knowledgeable on all aspects of the exchange process and can provide a seamless transaction for our clients.
What type of leadership roles have you held outside of real estate?
I have served on the Board of Directors of the Federation of Exchange Accommodators (FEA), the national trade association for the 1031 industry, from 1997 thru 2008 and again from 2011-9/2019. I am a past president and currently serve on several committees. I spearheaded the 1031 industry’s efforts to launch a certification and continuing education program and have been involved in efforts to preserve Section 1031 as Congress works on tax reform. On a personal note, I served as a Girl Scout leader for 9 years and am a frequent volunteer at my church.
As a voice for your colleagues, what strengths/insights will you bring to the Board discussions?
Affiliates are an important part of Suburban West and I think my experience on other Boards helps me identify ways Suburban West can enhance the benefits of membership while also encouraging our Affiliate members to get involved in committees and attend events to maximize their membership and build win-win relationships with our members. I have enjoyed being part of the Commercial Chapter Advisory Board and want to see Suburban West seek affiliate members that primarily market their services for commercial real estate transactions.
What issues do you feel the Association should be addressing?
The biggest challenges facing the real estate industry is technology and the perception that real estate transactions can be successfully accomplished without the REALTOR® and other professional advisors. Transactions are complicated, legal transactions that most homeowners only complete a few times in their lifetime but much of their savings and livelihood go into making those transactions. The role we play in helping ensure they find the perfect place to grow their family, to retire or enter a new chapter in their life is a very personal one and cannot be done using an online app. It’s essential we work together and continue to educate consumers on the value we bring to the transaction – finding the right place, understanding the documents, negotiating the right price, going through the closing process, protecting your interests and investment – and fight the commoditization of the home buying process. An app cannot replace years of experience and education.
Why are you interested in serving as a member of the Board of Directors?
I have been involved in the 1031 exchange industry for over 25 years and know how closely it is intertwined with the real estate industry. I have respected the professionalism of Suburban West for many years and having served on the Board for the last two, I see first-hand the commitment leadership and staff has to its members. Many Suburban West members have referred business to my company over the years and this is a way to give back to the real estate community and help however I can.