PRESIDENT'S CORNER: Half Way Home

Ron Garafalo | July 2019

Hello Friends,

As we begin the second half of the year, I congratulate all of you on all the business you did in the first half of the year. It has been a very busy year. Yes, I know certain areas are busier than others. Some have price increases this year, while others are down slightly. Some are seeing increases in inventory, while others are not. In some areas, unit sales are up, and again, in other areas they are down. Overall, in our MLS, we have sold more than 8,000 homes (single-family, condos, co-ops and multi-family). That is a significant amount of business.

As 2019 began, I am sure many of you had goals you wanted to accomplish this year. As your HGAR President, I did as well. I had three main goals when I started my term in January.

My first goal was for our association to do a new strategic plan. We had not undertaken one in recent years and I believed it was time our last one be updated to reflect all that we have going on in our association. I am proud to say that that process has started, and it is being worked on by a Strategic Planning Committee. Our goal is to have our plan in place soon. I thank all of you that assisted us in taking the time to answer the survey that was sent out a few months ago.

I also wanted our association to reach its RPAC goal (every association in the country is given a goal each year by NAR based on its number of members). We have not reached our goal in many years. This year our goal was $219,000 in RPAC contributions and 3,815 members donating. Currently, we are at 62% of our dollar goal, or $137,000, and 75% towards our participation goal, with 2,820 members contributing.

RPAC is so important for all of us, as we continue to tackle issues in our quest to promote and protect home ownership. Our collective voices would not be heard by our elected officials if it wasn’t for RPAC contributions.

I am aware that we do not win on every issue, but our advocacy continues to produce many victories. If it wasn’t for RPAC, we would not be at the table when issues such as transfer taxes, mortgage-interest deductions, increased closing costs etc. are discussed.

I thank all of you that have contributed this year to RPAC and attended our events. If that’s you, maybe consider making one more contribution. If you haven’t, I respectfully ask that you contribute today. You can go to NYSAR.com and click on the RPAC link to contribute, or feel free to contact me directly. We at HGAR are also asking that Broker/Owners lead us in our efforts by talking to agents in their offices, and lead by example by contributing $250.00 to help us reach our goal.

My third goal was to “raise the bar,” in how we all conduct our business. I have talked and written on many occasions about this. I have asked all of you to remember that our goal as Realtors is to always work in our client’s best interest and to do so in an ethical and professional manner, while being considerate in how we treat each other. This goal is far from mine alone. Both NYSAR and NAR are promoting this initiative as well. NAR has started its “Commitment to Excellence” campaign this year, called C2EX, that we all can take part in. Personally, I have completed about 60% of the program. I encourage you to consider starting C2EX if you haven’t already.

I also want to thank many of you that have come up to me at events and told me you have read my monthly articles and are happy to hear that I am discussing professionalism and ethical behavior. I ask all of you to do the same. If we all work together in that manner, our jobs would be much more enjoyable, and our clients would be better served.

Please join me as we all work together to make the second half of 2019 exceptional. I look forward to hearing from you and hope to see you at one of our many upcoming events.

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