PRESIDENT'S CORNER: Greetings from San Francisco

Ron Garafalo | November 2019

I am writing this month’s article from San Francisco as I attend the 2019 National Association of Realtors Conference and Expo. For those of you that have never attended this annual conference, I would strongly suggest that you think about it in the future.

To attend this event and be a part of more than 20,000 Realtors from all over the world is very powerful. Attending sessions and classes from the best and the brightest in our industry is extremely motivational. At the same time, you can’t help but be proud of being a member of such an exceptional group that has one common goal, and that is to support the individual rights of homeownership and widen the opportunity to enjoy it. Next year’s NAR conference will be in New Orleans. On a similar note, Triple Play in Atlantic City in December is also a wonderful conference to attend.

The theme of this year’s NAR conference was “Imagine the Possibilities.” I thought about those words and what they mean to me, and hopefully to you as well. As we all know, homeownership, the “American Dream,” plays a very large part in the success of our country. When someone buys a home, they spend money on that home. In fact, when home values go up by 10% there is an additional $147 billion in consumer spending.

Additionally, even if home values aren’t going up to that level, homeowners are still spending money on their home. They are going to the local store to buy paint, furniture, appliances and so much more. They join gyms, practice their faith, support our local parks, celebrate holidays and birthdays at the house we helped them purchase. That helps our neighbors, local business owners, succeed, and in turn they spend money in the community as well.

Statistics show that the median net worth of all homeowners in this country is $231,400, an increase of 15% since 2013. The median net worth of renters is $5,000, a decrease of 9% during the same time. Additionally, statistics show that the children of homeowners do better in school.

When I think of “Imagine the Possibilities,” I think of the importance of what we do to help our country succeed and keep our communities strong, as well as help families accumulate wealth and have their children do well in school. We, as Realtors, play a very big part in all of that. To think that assisting our buyers and sellers in what is most likely the largest purchase or sale they will make in their lives, is to be part of helping our clients achieve the American Dream and be financially secure in their future. I can’t help but say that what we do is so important on so many levels. We should never think of a closing as just another deal, as the result of that closing goes far beyond that day.

As I have been saying all year in these articles and when I have spoken at meetings or events, the importance of what we do makes it imperative that we do our job in the most professional and ethical way. We must work together to support each other, to support the Hudson Gateway Association of Realtors, the New York State Association of Realtors and the National Association of Realtors. We must contribute to RPAC so we can continue to support candidates that support homeownership. If you are reading this and haven’t made a RPAC contribution this year, I ask that you do so today. If you are not sure how, please contact me. It is a responsibility that we all have as Realtors.

As we near the holiday season, I wish all of you and your families a happy and healthy holiday season. Also, as you are working with your next client, I encourage you to “Imagine the Possibilities.”

Ron Garafalo
Ron Garafalo is 2019 President of the Hudson Gateway Association of Realtors, Inc