PRESIDENT'S CORNER: Staying Ahead of the Curve

Barry Kramer | November 2018

I just returned from the NAR Convention, which was held in Boston for the first time in 60 years. Boston is a city rich in history and a great backdrop to a conference looking to frame the future of real estate. When I attend these conferences, I think of them in terms of four opportunities: the trade expo, conference sessions, governance meetings and networking opportunities. You can pick your priorities, but I suggest you be sure to devote time to each.

The trade expo featured more than 400 vendors and three days to visit as many as possible. As the owner of an independent office, the trade expo is always a good opportunity to discover the latest technology, and get a pulse on the latest trends. The expo offers products and services that help me stay ahead of the curve. In addition to visiting booths offering new products, it was great to say hello to vendors I’ve been working with. There’s nothing like a face-to-face meeting with vendors we partner with.

The conference session has always been an important part of my convention experience. In addition to classes on specific topics, there are many opportunities to hear panel discussions with industry experts. This year I attended a class on customer service and understanding how we miss opportunities to gain new clients. I also attended a class on cyber security, which I found very useful and informative. There were more than 125 conference sessions and it was hard to pick just a few. I always try to bring back a few takeaways to help my business and my agents.

Over the past few years, as I’ve become more involved in the HGAR leadership, I’ve made it point to attend a few of the governance meetings. In Boston I attend a Diversity Committee meeting where HGAR was well represented by Immediate Past President Dorothy Botsoe. The topics for discussion were very timely, including fair housing education, assistance animals and other updates. Liz English, 2019 NYSAR Co-op Working Group Chairperson from Long Island, raised the issue of fair housing in cooperatives and the work being done to promote legislation that would bring transparency in co-op transactions. I also attended a President and President-Elect roundtable discussion with 2018 HGAR President-Elect Ron Garafalo. NYSAR held its own caucus to review issues brought up at the conference, and that was followed by a Region 2 caucus.

On Monday morning nearly 800 members of the NAR Board of Directors met at the Hynes Convention Center. The board adopted a five-year strategic framework to provide a more visionary, holistic and business-oriented approach reflective of NAR’s expanding role in technology and other arenas critical to real estate. The board also approved five new policies designed to improve public trust in the profession. I was pleased to represent HGAR at the Delegates Meeting that followed the Board of Directors meeting.

Finally, there were some great opportunities for networking with fellow Realtors. I attended the NAGLREP (National Association of Gay and Lesbian Real Estate Professionals) on Saturday evening. I was also honored to attend the RISMedia Power Broker Dinner and enjoyed a keynote speech from Bill Rasmussen, the founder of ESPN.

Speaking of sports, we’re close to our RPAC goal for the year, but need your help to cross the finish line. Remember, RPAC benefits our profession and advocates for Realtor issues. Please consider investing today so we can reach our goal!

Next year’s NAR convention will be held in San Francisco November 8-11. See you then!!

Barry Kramer
Barry Kramer is 2018 President of the Hudson Gateway Association of Realtors, Inc