PRESIDENT'S CORNER: Raise the Bar, Commit to Excellence

Ron Garafalo | February 19, 2019

Happy February to all my HGAR friends. As we make our way through winter in the Hudson Valley, I know that spring will be here soon. Yes, there is always something to look forward to and there are always reasons to be positive. Spring brings us the busiest time of the year in real estate. We need to stay positive and of course always do our job in the most professional and ethical manner possible. In making the biggest financial decision of their lives, our clients deserve to work with positive, professional and ethical Realtors.

That is why I am asking all of you to join me in making 2019 a year we all try to raise the bar in our profession and keep in mind the importance of our role as Realtors. Remember what we all pledge to follow when we become Realtors and what we take classes on every two years—the Code of Ethics. What else can we do? Recognizing the importance of that goal, NAR has worked very hard in putting together a program to raise the bar, or as it is called, a Commitment to Excellence.

The National Association of Realtors proudly introduces the Commitment to Excellence (C2EX), a program that empowers Realtors to demonstrate their professionalism and commitment to conducting business, while maintaining the highest standards. This innovative engagement tool encourages participation in all levels of the Realtor organization. It’s not a designation or a course. It’s not a requirement, but a benefit available to all NAR members at no additional cost. You can find the link for this great program on the member portal page of HGAR. Please join me participating in this innovative program.

Along a similar theme, another very important part of being a Realtor is supporting home ownership. As you know there are always issues that we need to support and others we need to oppose in order to make the American Dream of home ownership remain strong. We need to fight higher taxes, transfer taxes and increased closing costs. We need to defend things like the mortgage interest deduction and the STAR program. We can do this by supporting RPAC (the Realtor Political Action Committee).

This year we all celebrate the 50th anniversary of RPAC. The money we contribute helps us defend home ownership. Many of you may not be aware of this but every Realtor Association in the country has an RPAC goal based on their size. This year HGAR’s goal is $219,177. I ask all of you to do your part in helping us reach our goal. Yes, the goal is lofty ($219,177), but I am confident that if we all do our part, we can succeed.

If you have already made an RPAC contribution when you paid your dues, I thank you. If not, please reconsider by donating now. It is easy. There is a link on that you can click on to access the form for donating. The suggested donation is only $35.00. If half of our members did that, we would reach our goal. If you made a contribution, I thank you again, and ask you to think about raising the bar, and contributing a little more. Become a member of the $99 Club, or another level of giving.

What else can you do? Spread the word. Talk to those in your office and ask them to join you in celebrating the 50th anniversary of RPAC and NAR’s C2EX. You can also come to the many events that we have to raise money. This month’s event is at Dave and Busters in the Palisades Mall, on Wednesday Feb. 27 from 5:30 p.m. to 7:30 p.m. Join me and your RPAC chairs Crystal Hawkins-Syska and Rich Herska, and your fellow Realtors for what is sure to be a fun night.

Together, let’s raise the bar, commit to excellence, support the American Dream of Home Ownership, hit our RPAC goal and let’s make 2019 a great year for all of us.

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