PRESIDENT'S CORNER: The Realtor Family

Drew Kessler | August 2015

I write to you on the verge of beginning a 14-day RV road trip through the Midwest with my family. For those keeping score at home that is four kids, one dog, one 8.5-month pregnant wife and I.

I know, what am I thinking, or more importantly what is my wife thinking? Well, it is her family reunion in Wisconsin so this trip is for her. Along the way I have destination points picked out every three hours on our journey through New York, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, West Virginia, Ohio, Kentucky, Illinois, Missouri, Iowa, Wisconsin, Michigan and Indiana. For those of you who are still keeping score at home the trip has a total of 3,200 miles covering 12 states in a five- bed fully contained motor home.

So why am I sharing my vacation plans with you? Maybe it is for a little sympathy, but it is actually to share with you the experience I have had planning the trip, which falls in line with similar experiences I’ve had over the years reaching out to the Realtor community.

The National Association of Realtors, The New York State Association of Realtors and the Hudson Gateway Association of Realtors are all trade organizations plain and simple. They exist to provide a set of ethics to guide us and be a voice for a profession on multiple fronts including marketing to the public and political lobbying. With my more than 10 years being involved with the organizations on all levels including national, state and local, I have found that it is the people that make the Realtor Associations what they are. I have forged lasting friendships, locally, across the state, and nationally serving on the HGAR Board and during meetings I have attended of NYSAR and NAR. In reality the trade associations have become for me a fraternal organization on top of their traditional role serving my professional needs.

Back to my vacation, while the Internet has become the place to research anything and everything, it does not substitute in many cases for picking up a phone and getting someone’s personal opinion of an area or a specific venue. This is where the fraternal aspect of the Realtors organization  comes in. I started with calling the friends I have made over the years followed by calls to people I have no tie to only that we share the same “R” on our lapel. I have been delighted to get great tips and advice for the places I was asking about. What blew me away was the generosity of my fellow Realtors, some asked if I would like to meet them for dinner; others opened their personal homes to me and my family to spend the night as we were passing through. How great is that! People always amaze me by how nice they can be for a friend or even more impressive for a total stranger.

I believe this all happened because I have a network to call on and I am part of a greater family—The Realtor Family.

Wish me a good, safe trip and the power of patience as I embark on this journey.

If anybody ever has any questions or issues that I can address please feel free to contact me at Thank you for the honor of leading our organization this year and I continue to look forward to the journey.

Drew Kessler
HGAR President