There are many things that we all want but far fewer that we need. One of those needs for HAR members though is our real estate license obtained through the Texas Real Estate Commission (TREC). After a system upgrade, TREC had some problems with the database, which caused some delays for license renewals. The good people at TREC have streamlined the process somewhat and are taking steps to fix the problem as quickly as possible.

With more than 500 million active users on Facebook, anyone looking for business would have to consider the social media site as a prime location. As the saying goes, “fish where the fish are.” That being said, many still have difficulty figuring out how to monetize or generate business from being active on Facebook.

Speaking of generating business, the ubiquitous nature of the Internet offers many opportunities for REALTORS®, but it also means that some MLS rules and guidelines need to be addressed in light of the Internet. One such rule is the prohibition for one agent or broker to advertise another broker’s listing without their prior written consent. The IDX rules can become confusing so read more about it to help clarify what you can and cannot do.

One of the highlights of the commercial real estate year is the annual CCIM Forecast Competition, which will be held on February 25. It’s a great event that provides useful information and some healthy competition for our commercial agents. Plus, you can receive four hours of MCE credit. I hope you’ll attend this event to hear the latest and greatest about Houston commercial real estate.

As with any organization, one of the primary on-going issues is succession planning and leadership development. HAR has addressed this by offering the Texas REALTORS® Leadership Program (TRLP) each year. It is a limited enrollment program but offers so many opportunities and benefits for those who are accepted. You will have the chance to hear from political, business and community leaders and learn more about the greater Houston area.

Finally, and possibly most importantly, all of our residential members visit the Members Only site probably more than anywhere else on HAR redesigned the site to be cleaner and more modern and began a transition period at the beginning of December 2010, with the plan to switch everyone over to the new design by the deadline of January 31, 2011. Make sure you are familiar with the new site since you have now likely been switched over to it. Fortunately, we will be having a webinar to help you with the new site.

As you can tell, HAR is starting off the new year with a bang. As always, make sure to let us know if there’s ever anything we can do to help you in your business.

May you have a prosperous February.