If you’re reading this, then welcome to the future. Due to a variety of circumstances, the April issue of the Houston REALTOR® magazine was the last print edition that will be produced. (Save your copy to sell on eBay years from now.) Just like everything else these days, the magazine has gone virtual. Well, actually, it has gone all digital. We will be rolling out new features for the online-only magazine during the next couple of months with increased capabilities each time. You might notice embedded videos in some of the articles and promos in this month’s issue. Rather than needing to type in a clunky url, you can just click on the video and watch it from inside the magazine. It’s a little like the Daily Prophet for any Harry Potter movie fans. We hope you continue to find the information in the magazine interesting and useful.
Probably the biggest question among members has been how the coronavirus and stay at home orders would impact sales. As of the publication of this magazine, we only have March sales statistics which still showed increases due to a strong early March. We expect April sales figures to be down across the board as people weren’t leaving their houses as much due to the statewide stay at home order. Now that we are slowly returning to normal, whatever that will look like going forward, things may start to pick back up. Will there be pent up demand? Will buyers who had been thinking about buying make the move because they think they might have less competition now? Will sellers put their homes on the market to test the waters? All of this will likely be revealed in the numbers in the next few months. In the meantime, you can read all of the March MLS statistics on here.
Even as we are adjusting how we conduct business, some things must continue. One of those things is the HAR Board of Directors election. Beginning on May 7, you may apply to run for the 2021 HAR Board of Directors. You must submit your Candidacy Notification Form, Candidate Questionnaire and Candidate Video no later than 5 p.m. on Monday, June 8. I can promise you that it is one of the most professionally-rewarding decisions you could make. You may find out all of the details here.
Whether it has been our Member Focus Monday shows on Facebook Live or our HAR Virtual Event series webinars, we have been trying to provide the latest information to our members, so you know what is going on at all times. We have the www.har.com/coronavirus website that has a wealth of FAQs, as well as a link to our member resources page, which has everything from information about student loan deferments and mortgage forbearance to SBA loans and even activities for the kids. You can find links to all of these on page 17.
Hopefully you have heard about the HAR Virtual Open House platform by now. If you haven’t, then you haven’t logged into Matrix, looked at our social media accounts, opened our emails, or spoken to an HAR staff member. Our staff looked at the need and assessed the greatest products out in the market. We collectively decided we could do something better, so we developed our own platform. It will eventually be an MLS Platinum feature because of NAR requirements, but we are making it available for free to all members during the coronavirus pandemic. We’ve had messages and calls from members saying they’ll never go back to in-person open houses after using the HAR platform. You may read more about this incredible tool here. And look for more products to help you in your virtual business coming soon…
2020 HAR Chairman