GATEWAY PERSPECTIVES: Priorities
Richard Haggerty | September 2016
In mid-August President Elect Dorothy Botsoe and I made the trek to Chicago to the National Association of Realtors 2016 Leadership Summit. NAR conducts the Leadership Summit every year for the association’s incoming President and the CEO. In addition to numerous updates on NAR initiatives, the program provides the incoming President of NAR the opportunity to put forth his or her vision for their year in office. The year’s President Elect is Bill Brown from Alamo, CA, and the theme of the Leadership Summit was revolution.
I’m not sure what I heard at the Summit was revolutionary, but I did find the content exciting and thought provoking and I believe that Bill Brown’s vision and priorities can continue to propel our association in a positive direction to benefit our members.
Bill distilled his vision for next year into four succinct goals:
1) Improve home ownership rates;
2) Protect the current tax structure, which includes mortgage interest deductibility and 1031 tax exchanges;
3) Preserve the Government Sponsored Enterprises (GSEs) Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, which play a key role in maintaining a healthy secondary mortgage market and
4) provide tools to help ensure the financial future of our members.
The first three of Bill Brown’s goals are not new, but they are critical to maintaining and strengthening the value of homeownership. The last goal is not a topic that we have heard a lot about before, but I believe it is vital to our member’s long term success. We know that real estate is cyclical with highs and lows, and we are just now recovering from one of the most challenging downturns in the economy and the real estate market in recent memory. We also know that many real estate professionals operate on the hand-to-mouth principal and do not provide for adequate savings to ride out the “low’ cycles, let alone save for retirement. Providing training and tools to help our members save and invest will hopefully help our members thrive in strong markets as well as challenging markets. Be on the look-out for these tools which NAR intends to roll out next year, and rest assured that HGAR will promote them on a local level.
One NAR future initiative, which was discussed at the Summit, was an upcoming upgrade to realtor.org, which will feature a customized member dashboard when the member first logs on, exactly what HGAR launched just a few weeks ago. It’s nice to know that we are ahead of the curve! It’s also gratifying that NAR is equally focused on improving the member experience, which has been one of the priorities of this year’s HGAR President Marcene Hedayati.
Keeping the interests of the member at the center of all of the association’s endeavors is the primary priority of HGAR and it goes hand-in-hand with all of the advocacy efforts in which the association engages. Next year HGAR will launch a new strategic planning initiative that I believe will further enhance the member experience.