Serving as President of Columbus REALTORS® is a tremendous honor, and I look forward to representing you and our Association in 2019.
We begin this year with a few challenges, from market forces that impact availability and affordability of housing to outside forces that include the use of our MLS data and/or technology that could displace the REALTOR® as the center of the transaction. All of which brings us to this year’s theme, “Rising to the Challenge”.
To meet these challenges, we need an involved membership with many members volunteering to serve on committees and as committee chairs, officers and directors.
We also have a Strategic Plan with established goals that serves as a frame work for addressing many of the challenges we will face in our industry:
Increasing member participation is one of the five goals of the Strategic Plan. We have done well in this area and it’s one of the reasons we have one of the best Associations in the country. But maintaining our standing in the industry is an ongoing effort. We are a member-driven organization that relies on member input. Many of us got involved when someone asked us to volunteer, so I challenge you to do the same, ask someone to volunteer.
Another key reason for our Association’s success is our great professional staff lead by our CEO Stan Collins. Raise member professionalism is another goal of the Strategic Plan. The Raise the Bar Task Force, started by last year’s President Sara Walsh, will continue its work this year. An example of one of the objectives initiated by the task force is requiring new members to take the New Member Orientation. To make this class more accessible new members will now have the option of taking the class online. Checkout page 12 in this issue for more information, including upcoming class dates and times. And, look for more innovative initiatives from the task force this year as we work to increase our professionalism.
Additionally, NAR recently introduced the “Commitment to Excellence” program which empowers REALTORS® to demonstrate their professionalism and commitment to conducting business at the highest standards. Click here to learn more about this program.
Our third goal is to increase broker and manager involvement. The Broker Advisory Council (BAC) has worked hard to achieve this goal and will continue to provide informative content for Broker/Manager forums and for Broker/Manager Day. And, in keeping with the Raise the Bar theme, the council is also developing a New Broker Orientation program.
We can also expect more legislative activity that will impact our industry making the goal of strengthening private property rights as important as ever. Having a meaningful voice to successfully advocate for private property rights means member involvement and having the financial resources to make our voices heard. With record setting CORPAC fund raising to support issues and candidates who support our industry and funds budgeted for advocacy, we are prepared to meet our ongoing challenge of strengthening private property rights.
Promoting the Mission of the MLS and COCIE is the fifth goal of the Strategic Plan. These two services are key to member success and both will be expanding their reach this year. Through our vendor, Catylist, COCIE subscribers will have a national listing platform going live this year. In the spring, MLS members will see the launch of Homesnap – a national public web portal that will generate leads that go directly to agents. Homesnap has consumer friendly search functions and will be a great marketing resource for agents.
As we head into 2019, I am extremely confident that we, members of one the best Associations in this country, will rise to the challenge and make this year a great success!