President’s Letter-November/December 2012

Wading in together
Thanks for the opportunity to serve as president

By Jennifer Frontera

 

Pinch me. I can hardly believe this is my last column. The year has flown by, and it’s truly been an honor and a privilege to serve as your president.

We began the year talking about embracing change and never giving up as Realtors®. And though our market has stabilized a good bit since then, it will never be like it was before. I truly believe those often-quoted lines that Pocahontas sang in the movie, “What I love most about rivers is: You can’t step in the same river twice. The water’s always changing, always flowing.”

That’s one of the reasons we need an association — so that we can step into the river together and stay abreast of changes by sharing knowledge and learning from one another.

A big thing that is always changing and affecting us is politics. I’ve talked about my reluctance to get involved on this level prior to joining the association leadership, but I felt that way about local housing statistics, too.  After I spent time learning more about government affairs and stats as a way to understand the market, I became a better representative of the association. And now, I’m a full-fledged convert.

Staying engaged

In 2013, I will serve as past president, but I am also joining our Government Affairs Committee. After the November 2012 elections, we will have many new officeholders. We need to ensure they understand the economic importance of our industry as well as such basics as encouraging homeownership through the mortgage interest deduction on taxes.

I encourage you to also consider joining a committee or to volunteer in another capacity at the association. The key is to stay engaged and get involved.

I’ve met many of you through my tenure as president, and it’s been such an enjoyable part of the position. I want to thank all of you who already volunteer at the association and who participate in our many activities. I also want to thank our association staff. When you serve as president, you see up-close just how hard our staff works for us. We are fortunate to have them.

Much to celebrate

Thanks to our members and staff, we’ve had many accomplishments at the association in 2012. Here are few highlights:

  • Through the third quarter, the staff brought back approximately $61,000 in your state and national dues by winning grants from the National Association of Realtors® (NAR) and the North Carolina Association of Realtors® (NCAR).
  • Our Housing Opportunity Foundation’s Community Grants Program awarded seven housing nonprofits grants ranging from $1,000 to $2,500 to support needy and deserving homeowners in Mecklenburg and Iredell counties.
  • Thanks to some of the grant money from NAR and NCAR, our association organized a billboard campaign that ran regionally during the Democratic National Convention in Charlotte.
  • Realtors® Care Day drew more than 500 members to help homeowners at 23 sites. It was our fourth year of the program, which to date has assisted 110 families and had an impact of more than $500,000.
  • The association released Fusion MLS and mobile systems.
  • More than 800 attended The Realtor® Expo and more than 100 turned out for a first-ever REBar Camp at the association.
  • The foundation facilitated its first-ever Week of Awareness, which highlighted foundation programs and services, and benefited homeless children at A Child’s Place.
  • We hosted myriad education programs, including Tax Strategies for Professionals, Avoiding Copyright Calamities, Democratic National Convention information, three Corridor Conversations and more.
  • Twelve participants graduated from the Leadership Academy after they successfully researched and presented projects for my Presidential Challenge.
  • The association published four inserts in the Charlotte Business Journal that educated the consumer about market conditions and how Realtors® are making a difference in the community.
  • We expanded our statistical data to cover 18 counties, and our Realist system added six South Carolina counties.
  • Member Ginger Dowdle was one of five winners of the NAR Good Neighbor award.

Please note that these highlights aren’t “my” accomplishments as president. They, among others, are what we achieved together. At the risk of being trite, I will say that based on what I’ve learned, the people I’ve met, working with the staff and simply serving my fellow Realtors® and the association, I have received more than I’ve given as president. It’s been a wonderful journey; thank you for the opportunity.