Fall is here; it’s my favorite season of the year! Fall means fires in the fireplace, beginning to shop for Christmas gifts, calling the clients who said they would list their home “after Jimmy goes off to college,” and tailgating before Buckeye football games!
Like a winning team’s playbook, our Columbus REALTOR® Strategic Plan is a plan of actions to focus the Association toward our goals. The Strategic Plan is reviewed quarterly and revised every three years. John Myers, the 2019 President, will captain the team creating the next Strategic Plan that will guide the Association for years 2020-2022.
I am pleased to share “we are winning!” Yes, Columbus REALTORS® is winning when one considers the accomplishments of our goals in 2018. These triumphs are due to the participation of our dedicated REALTOR® and affiliate members, along with great support from our staff members, staying focused on our five goals of the strategic plan.
First, goal one, to raise member professionalism. A new policy has been created as a result of recommendations from the Raise the Bar Presidential Advisory Group, which is focusing on ways to raise the bar of professionalism. Beginning Sept. 1, 2018, new agents will be required to complete Columbus REALTORS® New Member Orientation within 90 days of obtaining electronic key box access. Failure to complete the orientation within 90 days will cause their electronic key box access to be interrupted until the orientation requirement is satisfied. Once the New Member Orientation becomes available online, new REALTOR® applicants will be required to complete New Member Orientation before obtaining electronic key box access, and within 60 days to continue receiving any other services. Staff is reviewing online education facilitators to provide a meaningful and robust orientation.
Our second goal is to increase member participation. In late August, the Young Professionals Network (YPN) held YPN Unplugged: building relationships to transform your business at Mohican State Park Lodge and Conference Center. This two-day event was packed with speakers, sharing of ideas and of course social time while “unplugged.” Additionally, this year’s REALTOR® Care Day was epic! Twenty-three groups and over 640 volunteers working on 52 projects all over central Ohio, with the main project in Milo-Grogan, where 17 homes and one business were improved, a community garden received much need attention all while budding new friendships between REALTORS® and Milo-Grogan residents. A few clear touchdowns to highlight for Columbus REALTORS®.
The focus of goal three, to increase broker/manager involvement, started early in 2018. The Broker Advisory Council (BAC) meets regularly and holds educational broker forums while networking to see where Columbus REALTORS® can help connect brokers, managers, and the Association. The BAC is also looking forward to helping implement a broker/manager orientation program as the Association is seeing a growth in new brokers.
Our fourth goal is to strengthen private property rights in central Ohio and provide advocacy. In this arena, we have engaged many elected officials on issues affecting real estate, such as Columbus City Council creating a common-sense Short Term Rental Regulation to protect property rights and innovation in Columbus while becoming a model ordinance for other communities. Additionally, Columbus REALTORS® has hosted candidate and members networking events, including one for the 12th Congressional race. Another new connection created between REALTORS® and communities is the “Get to Know” series throughout central Ohio. Each city highlighted includes members meeting officials from the city, receiving an overview of the town with up-to-date information on business and economic development, housing and growth projections, school statistics, and additional useful information.
The final goal of our strategic plan is goal five, to promote the mission of the MLS Corporation and its divisions. For the commercial practitioners, we established a new Central Ohio Commercial Information Exchange (COCIE) provider and signed new vendor agreements this year, saving money for our members while adding the Listing Data Checker functioning fourth quarter.
Listing Data Checker identifies new and changed listings, validates these listings against public records and the board-defined rules, flags data inaccuracies and rule violations and brings them to the attention of the system administrator and the listing agent or broker by email, including any information regarding grace periods and potential penalties.
I have confidence that you also believe Columbus REALTORS® is at first and ten, or maybe first and goal, ready for that next touchdown! I am proud to be your Team Captain this year, acting as the Quarterback with so many of our colleagues on the field moving toward the goal line or in the stands cheering the Columbus REALTORS® and our members on to great success. Oh, and of course, Go Buckeyes!
Beginning 9/1/18, new agents are required to complete Columbus REALTORS® New Member Orientation within 90 days of obtaining electronic key box access. Failure to complete the orientation within 90 days will cause their electronic key box access to be interrupted until the orientation requirement is satisfied.