My Grandmother Always Said, “Better Late, Than Never”…Posted by Jim

…and grandmothers are always right. In the case of this blog entry, it’s better that I be late writing about some recent things than to never have talked about them. This entry was to have been completed about ten days ago, but the holiday season came first along with all of the things that go with the season so forgive me for being “late.”

Recently, several of us from NAR’s Leadership Team took the new NAR Green Course. It was a great course and brought back into focus the need for all of us to work on issues of sustainability, energy conservation, and environmental health. We should be doing this in our daily lives and in our professional jobs as well.

NAR has tackled “green issues” with a core course and with a residential elective course. This spring we’ll also have a commercial elective for those of us that toil in the non-residential sector. My point is that all of us should have been working towards this long ago. Now, our association has made it a priority to help our membership find good reason to work in a way that keeps our planet healthy for generations that follow us.

Thank goodness I completed the Green Course successfully (because there is a test).

Right after the course, I went to Washington, D.C., as a member of the NAR Commercial Economic Stimulus Work Group. This group is comprised of many of our brightest minds, including representatives from each Institute, Society and Council, NAR’s regulatory and Government Affairs divisions, the Realtors® Commercial Alliance, and many others. This group, flown in from all over the country, is currently putting the finishing touches on a stimulus package plan similar to the residential Four Point Stimulus Package our BOD passed in November. The resources NAR brought to the table that day were and will be used to prod our government and Treasury Department into helping with the commercial financing issues facing our members as well as work to ensure that legislative and regulatory markers already in place aren’t taken away that would worsen a slumping commercial lending arena and real estate market.

All in all, we’ve been busy. Our association continues to work for us to alleviate market forces that have hurt so much of our membership. Remember, calling and writing your congressman and senators will also help.

At this point, the New Year is less than a day away. Together, we’ll find ways to work through the current economic scenario, and together we’ll see our individual lives and our association move forward in 2009. I wish you all a Happy New Year!! — Jim Helsel, 2009 NAR Treasurer