As I write my last chairman’s column, I am reflecting on all that has been accomplished during the last 11 months—and all that is yet to come in 2012.

We have rolled out a new MLS area map that has generated quite a few comments. Fortunately, most of them are positive, and even those that are less positive are being used to help tweak and improve the boundaries and areas covered. You may read more about it on page 10 and feel free to contact us if you have any suggestions that would make it more member and consumer friendly.

We also completed our technology trifecta with the release of the HAR native iPad app. This release follows on the successful launch of the Android app and last year’s launch of the HAR iPhone app, which was the first in the country from an MLS allowing its subscribers mobile access. You may read more about it online and look for the print ads promoting all of the apps in the Houston Chronicle and on select billboard around town.

I mentioned it last month, but I again want to encourage you to “get involved” with HAR by applying to serve on one of the many advisory groups. The members who have been on these advisory groups in the past have helped to make HAR what it is today. The advisory groups really are where the rubber meets the real estate road.

There are also several proposed changes to the HAR Bylaws, mostly dealing with the composition of the HAR Board of Directors. I hope that you will take the time to read the proposed changes and will even consider coming to the Annual Member Meeting, which will be held in the HAR Board Room at the central location on December 19 at 1 p.m.

While we were very pleased with the results of the recent City of Houston elections, with all of our recommended candidates either winning outright or entering a runoff, we still have work to do. We have four races that will be decided on Saturday, December 10. The voter turnout was depressingly low for the general election and will likely be even lower for the runoff election so your vote really will count more than ever.  The final HAR recommendations for these races will be made after this publication has gone to press so please look for those recommended candidates in all of HAR’s upcoming communications products.

I also want to highlight a very informative and resourceful letter  from Houston Independent School District Chief of Staff Dr, Michele Pola. Dr. Pola and HISD Superintendent Dr. Terry Grier visited a recent HAR Board meeting and spoke about the importance of education to our overall economy and to the real estate market. We are looking for ways to partner with HISD and other school districts in our area so if you have any suggestions, please feel free to email me.

Lastly, I want to congratulate Wayne Stroman and the entire 2012 executive committee and board. Even though I will still be around next year as immediate past chairman, I have full faith and confidence that this association is in good hands with Wayne at the helm.

For the last time,

Carlos Bujosa
2011 HAR Chairman of the Board