GATEWAY PERSPECTIVES: Setting the Bar Much Higher
Richard Haggerty | July 2017
I recently returned from a state conference of Realtor Association executives that featured a broad spectrum of speakers who addressed a myriad of topics that currently confront our industry. One of the speakers was Aleks Velkoski, data scientist and a member of the Data Analytics Group of the National Association of Realtors. Aleks, as his title would suggest, is a data geek, and provided a very entertaining run down on what goes on behind the scenes at the CRT (Center for Realtor Technology) Labs at the NAR headquarters in Chicago.
Aleks provided a virtual behind the scenes tour of the CRT Labs, which are filled with tools and gadgets that relate in some way to real estate or the mechanics of operating a home—such as monitoring heating and air quality. Some of the experiments going on in the lab even include testing the effect of houseplants on air quality.
The portion of the program I was most impressed with was Alecks’ discussion of the words that are etched on the glass doors at the entrance of the CRT Labs, which are as follows:
“Under all is the land. Upon its wise utilization and widely allocated ownership depend the survival and growth of free institutions and of our civilization. REALTORS® should recognize that the interests of the nation and its citizens require the highest and best use of the land and the widest distribution of land ownership. They require the creation of adequate housing, the building of functioning cities, the development of productive industries and farms, and the preservation of a healthful environment.”
These words are from the preamble to the Realtor Code of Ethics, and Aleks spoke about this mission contained in the preamble with a sense of reverence and great responsibility. He indicated that all of the endeavors undertaken by the NAR employees at the Lab relate back the precepts of this section of preamble. We often distill the primary mission of the Realtor Association as protecting and promoting homeownership rights. I think this section of the preamble appropriately sets the bar much higher. The ideals of the widest distribution of land ownership, the creation of adequate housing (I’m going to take the liberty of including the creation of affordable housing as well), the building of functioning cities, the preservation of a healthful environment—these are powerful and laudable responsibilities that individually and collectively, the Realtor family must embrace.
In conclusion I have a challenge and a request. The challenge is to review the preamble to the Code of Ethics in your office, either at an office meeting or with a group of your fellow agents, and have an honest discussion about how we can make a difference in upholding the standards and responsibilities contained in the Code.
The request is to consider volunteering your time and talents to the Association. The HGAR Leadership Committee is currently looking for passionate and inspired individuals who are interested in applying for leadership positions in the association. If you are interested you can find the application on our website, hgar.com. Remember, Realtor membership isn’t just about benefits, it’s also about responsibilities.