Get to Know Our 2023 Leadership Team—Patti Jo Fitzpatrick, First Vice President

By MNR News posted 02-07-2023 08:19 AM

Q&A with 2023 MNR First Vice President Patti Jo Fitzpatrick
What do you want to accomplish in your role as first vice president?  
Because this is a new role, I can help to develop what it is and define how it moves forward. I'm in a good position to do that because I understand it’s not all about me. It’s about how we grow this association and make it even more responsive to the needs of its members. Initially, a large part of my focus will be on the implementation of the new MNR strategic plan. I’ll also serve as vice chair on the Finance Committee. Beyond that, you’ll see me out mixing with members at local and state association meetings. I’ll also attend the NAR Legislative Meetings, Conference, and Expo. In all these places, I’ll be asking a lot of questions. And everything I learn will help me—and future leaders in this role—better serve every Realtor® member across the state. 

What do you see as the single biggest challenge awaiting you? 
In 2023, we’re heading into a slower market. It won’t be anything like the last couple years, when properties seemed to sell within hours of being listed—you couldn’t even get a sign in the yard before the transaction was done. Of course, we’ll still have urgency in a lot of activity, but the pace won’t be as frantic. Sometimes, it will be frustrating, but you’ll have to stay persistent.  

Even in a cooler market, people always need to buy and sell real estate. That won’t ever change. People have babies and pets and need more room. They get new jobs. They get divorced. They die. There will always be a need for real estate sales. As leaders, our job is to help members get the knowledge and resources they need to thrive. Whether it’s through professional development, valuable resources like Minnesota Realtors® forms, or guidance on risk management, we’re here to help. And part of my job will be making sure our ears—and our doors—are always open for our members. 

Do you do any volunteer work?  
I volunteer with the Community Engagement Committee through the St. Paul Area Association of Realtors® (SPAAR). I love working with Bridging Minnesota, either collecting items or building dressers (I'm really good at building them!) I also volunteer with Feed My Starving Children, an organization that provides meals for millions of undernourished kids around the world. Locally, I give to Meals from the Heart, which brings nutritious food to thousands of Minnesota families suffering from food insecurity. 

I enjoy participating in collection drives, too, and I'm a sucker when it comes to silent auctions. I always try to get the bids up, and then I end up $500 lighter in my pocket and with a dog basket and a bottle of wine. But I have a passion for trying to get people to give more money. 

What are your hobbies and interests?  
I like doing jigsaw puzzles. It takes my mind off everything, while also being good for my brain. 

If you could leave town tomorrow, where would you go and why? 
I love going up to our cabin near Brainerd and doing some fishing—especially ice fishing. I also enjoy golfing and taking hikes—just being outdoors. When I want to go a little farther out of town, I head down to Florida. My husband and I used to get in the car and drive there with no specific destination or hotel reservations. And we’d do that during spring break! We never had problems finding a place to stay.