As you know, the Texas Legislature only meets for 140 days every two years. The current session began in January and will fly by in a flash when the gavel falls for the final time at the end of May. With an estimated $27 billion shortfall in the budget, nothing is off the table when trying to determine how to make up that enormous amount. There is no more important time to be involved and remain aware and informed about what’s going on. The actions our elected officials in Austin take in the next few months will have a real impact on you and your business.

And also please make sure that you are registered to vote. Everyone gets busy and sometimes you can forget to update your voter registration when you move. We have printed an easy to tear out application that you can then mail in to become registered. It is only through our numbers that we are able to display our strength with our elected representatives.

We all already know how great is, but did you know we set a new record for traffic in January? Nearly 1.4 million unique visitors were on in that month alone, looking at nearly 14 million detailed listing pages of YOUR listings. What other site gives you that much exposure?

There are many governmental things going on in Washington, D.C. right now, but perhaps the two biggest for the real estate industry are the discussions of reducing the Mortgage Interest Deduction and the potential “winding down” of the government’s role in the secondary mortgage market through Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac.  Various economists have predicted that removing the government’s backing could instantly increase interest rates by 1.5 to 2 percent.  There are several proposals so we will keep you informed about what happens with regard to Fannie and Freddie.

Finally, as a commercial guy, I am particularly interested in the upcoming Commercial Expo Living Legends 2011 on April 6.  Each year, Commercial Expo gets better and better, and this year will be no different, as HAR’s Commercial Gateway once again partners with the Society of Industrial and Office REALTORS® (SIOR) to host the premier commercial event of the year.

While we are all out in the field conducting our residential and commercial real estate businesses, we should all feel comforted to know that the HAR staff is staying on top of everything going on for all of our benefit.

Until next month,

Carlos P. Bujosa