Dear HAR Members,

It is a great privilege to serve as your HAR Chair of the Board for 2016. My philosophy for the new year is “Approaching a Strategic Intersection.” That is my vision for the way HAR members confront the challenges of an evolving real estate marketplace and embrace the new technologies that enable us to perform competitively and profitably while advancing the real estate industry as a whole.

One intersection we are crossing with tremendous confidence and pride has to do with the annual dues you pay. The HAR Board of Directors has voted to maintain the current dues level for the 13th straight year!

As a businessman, I admit that is remarkable for a professional trade association to be able to hold the line on dues while continuing to expand the range of services it provides its members. As a matter of fact, when you combine HAR dues and MLS subscriber fees, the total amount paid is actually less than what members paid back in 1997. I don’t think you’ll find another association that can make that claim. I believe that HAR remains one of the greatest values for your money.

The greater Houston real estate market has just concluded an impressive year. Even as falling oil prices and energy industry layoffs triggered alarming news accounts about the local economy, home sales stayed pretty much on par with 2014’s record sales levels, and inventory levels began to grow.

Without the benefit of a crystal ball, it’s impossible to know all the twists, turns and intersections that lie ahead of us in 2016. But with the job growth we have seen in non-energy industries and the resulting population growth, I think it’s safe to say that Houston will remain an attractive destination in the new year.

Even after the successful rebranding of as “Homes And Rentals” with a powerful and enviable statewide reach, the HAR technology team continues to develop new tools and innovations that make access to real estate and lifestyle information easier and more portable than ever for members and consumers. These are tools and innovations that have the industry watching closely, as it has before, knowing HAR’s progressive nature.

It is only with the strength and support of every one of our 31,000 residential and commercial members that we remain a successful and vibrant REALTOR® community, so I personally thank each and every one of you for your membership in your Association. Yes, YOUR Association. This Association only exists because of your participation, so rest assured that HAR is here to support you throughout 2016 and beyond.

Mario Arriaga
2016 Chairman, Board of Directors
Houston Association of REALTORS®