Q: Describe what HAR was like organizationally during your year – board structure, membership size and any other unique features.
A: In 2009, the Houston Association of REALTORS® was 26,400 members strong and had a board of directors that consisted of 21 committed volunteers and an executive committee of six elected members from almost every aspect of the real estate community. During that year, HAR overtook the Long Island (New York) Board of REALTORS® (LIBOR) as the largest local REALTOR® association in the nation.
Q: What was the most controversial issue during your year as HAR chair?
A: Because it was a Legislative year, many issues arose statewide, but the most challenging was the national issue of Home Valuation Code of Conduct (HVCC), which stemmed from a court action brought by the Attorney General of New York against a mortgage lender for its perceived elevated appraisals. HAR worked tirelessly with our entire Houston congressional delegation to sign on to a modification of the national requirements brought about by this issue.
Q: What were some of the hot issues in Houston in 2009 – politically, socially or otherwise?
A: The downturn in the marketplace started to hit out region and the foreclosure numbers were rising affecting consumers, neighborhood values and our members’ earnings. HAR worked closely with the media and members alike to provide important statistics and methodology to help us illustrate the difference between what was portrayed nationally and the reality of the situation in the Houston market.
Q: What do you consider the greatest accomplishment of your year?
A: I believe it was our ability to deal with the ever-changing national, statewide and local issues in a proactive manner in order to effect positive changes. Our HVCC efforts were recognized at the national level as a model of legislative cooperation. Personally, I was recognized as one of the five Most Inspirational Leaders in the nation by the National Association of Association Executives.
Q: Do you have any funny or memorable moments to share from your term?
A: Humor kept us going all year starting with the presentation of the “family joke,” THE Blue Hat, at REALTOR® Celebration, by my eldest siblings. I will leave it to everyone’s imagination to guess what the true meaning of the HAT was!
Q: What would you consider the greatest innovation at HAR since the conclusion of your chairmanship?
A: The continual improvement of HAR’s IT department to develop new and innovative tools: mobile applications, enhanced statistical programs and processes, and the ability to access factual and timely information for our agents to use as we deal more efficiently with our customers and clients.
Houston REALTOR® will visit with another former HAR Chairman in the December 2012 edition.