It may sound trite, but I am truly honored and humbled to serve as your chairman for 2016. The opportunity to lead not only one of the largest local REALTOR® associations in the country (we just crossed the 32,000 member line) but absolutely the best is among the highlights of my professional life.

I also want to congratulate Rob Cook who was named the 2015 REALTOR® of the Year and Ronnie Matthews who received the John E. Wolf Community Service Award. Both of these men are examples for all of us and what can be accomplished with hard work and determination.

It is an interesting time in real estate in our market. With oil prices falling recently and the possibility of more layoffs, this is the time for members to stay focused and use this as an opportunity. As they say in the stock market, “Buy on weakness.” You read the most recent MLS market statistics here. This might be the time for clients who are still on the sidelines to make a move.

One of the best programs that HAR has is the Texas REALTOR® Leadership Program (TRLP). This intensive coursework makes its participants more well-rounded professionals and members of the community. It is well worth the time and cost to be part of this competitive program. Applications are available now, so I highly encourage you to consider applying today. You may find out more information here.

As a commercial REALTOR, I also want to congratulate the recent members who earned the Certified Commercial Investment Member (CCIM) designation. There were 19 members who passed the examination, and you may view their names here. It is a very challenging curriculum and exam, and I am very proud of each of these new CCIM designees.

There will be challenges that lie ahead for all of us, but we are taking steps as the HAR leadership to be as prepared as possible. We have new elected leaders at the city level across much of the region. We are entering the year with state and national races on the ballot. We have new regulations in place that will make our jobs more arduous. Through it all, we will stand together as a united REALTOR® voice for the betterment of our Association and industry.

Until next month,

Mario Arriaga
HAR Chairman of the Board