When the Chips are Down, REALTORS® Come Together

It has been a very difficult time for so many of our members, clients, so-workers and neighbors. What was reaffirmed for me as we all struggled to return to some sense of normalcy is the REALTOR® spirit. We received offers of help from REALTOR® associations, MLSs ad real estate-related corporations all across the country. One association in Alabama that has fewer than 200 members sent a $5,000 contribution to the Texas REALTORS® Disaster Relief Fund. The Florida Association of REALTORS® sent 25,000 shelter kits with all the necessities like soap, deodorant, toothpaste and more. The outpouring of support was remarkable.

Also, we had members who were boots on the ground helping to rescue people from flooded homes or animals from flooded properties. All of this was going on while many also searched for REALTOR® Crystal McDowell from Baytown who went missing just hours before Hurricane Harvey hit our region. Sadly, her body was found two weeks later and her ex-husband has been arrested for her murder. Please keep her two children, her family, friends and co-workers in your thoughts and prayers. You may read more about her here.

With so many members getting involved to help in this tragic situation, you are also trying to return to business and provide for you and your families. I encourage you to keep up your involvement though, whether in the community at large or as part of HAR by applying for one of the advisory groups and/or area networking groups. These are where the real work starts. The members of these groups formulate many of the ideas that are then presented to the HAR board of directors. You may find out more about applying for one of these opportunities here.

We knew that the August homes sales statistics would be impacted by Hurricane Harvey, but we didn’t know how much they would be affected. Single-family home sales were down 25.4 percent, while active listings rose by 12.4 percent. We expect our market to be an unusual state for some period in the future, as those whose homes were damaged or destroyed decide what to do. You may read all about the latest MLS market update here.

In light of the impact the hurricane has had on our members’ businesses, we have decided to delay automatic billing of MLS subscriber fees for both the fourth quarter of 2017 and the first quarter of 2018. You may read more about the revised automatic billing schedule here.

This is also the time of year when we accept nominations for the REALTOR® of the Year and John E. Wolf Community Service Award. Looking back on the year so far, there are many worthy nominees for these honors. I hope you will download the 2017_Annual_Awards PDF to find out more about how to nominate someone you know—or yourself. As a past recipient of the Community Service Award, I can tell you it was one of the greatest professional recognitions I have ever received.

If you haven’t taken the Matrix Overview course, I strongly encourage you to do so soon. Fusion will be discontinued by CoreLogic on October 17, and Tempo will be retired on November 14. HAR is literally the last MLS in the country on Tempo, so we hung on as long as we could. Fortunately, most of the feedback about Matrix has been positive. We do know change is difficult, especially for an MLS platform. Take the course, watch the online video tutorials, ask questions, play around in Matrix now, so you’ll be ready when you have to switch over completely. Also, Tempo didn’t start out as the Tempo we have today. If you have suggestions for ways it could be better (other than make it just like Tempo), please let us know. We will sort through the suggestions, evaluate them and submit them to CoreLogic. You may read more about Matrix here.

Lastly, don’t forget that HAR Engage is coming up on October 19. This is the largest HAR membership event of the year, and we are bringing in some of the best presenters from across the country to help you get more engaged with your business, your clients and yourself. You may look here for more information about who will be there and how to buy your ticket today.

With best wishes,

Cindy Hamann

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