By NAR 2014 President Steve Brown
It’s a tremendous honor to serve as the 2014 President of the National Association of REALTORS®. At our Annual Conference in San Francisco last week, I laid out my goals and direction for our Association in the coming year. For those of you unable to attend the inaugural, let me give you a brief outline of what I shared there, and what I believe we can accomplish together this year.
The goal of NAR has, and always will be, to keep the American Dream of homeownership alive by ensuring that property ownership remains accessible to all, affordable to the many, and sustainable well into the future. Fortunately, the public continues to recognize that real estate, especially residential sales, cannot be reduced to a mere transaction, no matter how sophisticated the technology. In fact, survey after survey shows increasing use of REALTOR® services.
Twenty years ago, past NAR President Bill Chee warned of a “lion coming over the hill”. He used this as a metaphor for all the forces of “disintermediation”—the Internet, technology and other entities—that could come between REALTORS® and consumers.
We have long lived in fear of that lion. Today, we need no longer fear change. REALTORS® are now the “lions coming over the hill”. We have not only weathered disintermediation, we have survived the Great Recession. Even in the age of the Internet, clients need and rely on the benefits offered by REALTORS®.
Further developments in technology will only help us to expand available information, participation and commitment from our members and real estate consumers. We will continue to pursue the latest and greatest technology for our members.
NAR will continue to adapt. One example is how we are increasingly becoming an organization that crosses borders. As we do so, our international mission must be to encourage global participation in our Association, and global membership in the REALTOR® family.
As you well know, being a REALTOR® is not just a job. Its rewards, like any profession done well, are deeper and richer than any salary can provide. Moving forward, our goal must be to continually raise the bar of professionalism through education, training and designations, as well as by our own example.
This will require a renewed emphasis on communication, both inside and outside of NAR. To be truly effective we must act and move as one body, with common vision, purpose and goals.
There are many reasons for renewed optimism. I believe the time is now for us to plant and cultivate the seeds of progress from which we will reap numerous benefits in the years ahead.
I look forward to what will be an exciting year, full of new issues, new people and new challenges. Together, we will prosper. I hope you’ll join me in making NAR an even greater organization.