With the beginning of the year upon us, we once again will be offering the Texas REALTOR® Leadership Program (TRLP). This intensive, year-long program will prepare you to take the next step in your career and in your leadership at HAR and beyond. As a proud supporter of TRLP, I can speak to the amazing opportunity it is to participate. You may read more about it here.

The greater Houston real estate market continued to buck expectations following Hurricane Harvey. Many predicted that sales would slow but pricing would likely rise due to reduced inventory. They were half right. Prices have continued to rise but so have the number of homes sold. We are on pace to have a record 2017 for real estate, despite the storm’s disruption for so many homeowners across our region. You may read more about the latest home sales statistics here.

It might seem like we are never out of election season because there always seems to be another election coming up in the next few months. It’s no different now, as we prepare for the March 2018 primaries, which will have many hotly-contested races to watch. There’s no better time than now to register to vote, if you aren’t already registered, as February 5 is the registration deadline to vote in March. You may read more about the deadlines and elections here.

While the residential real estate market seems to garner most of the attention, the commercial real estate folks are busy preparing for the upcoming CCIM 2018 Commercial Real Estate Forecast Competition. To be held on February 16, 2018, this has become one of the best attended events in the commercial world. Local experts in office, retail, industrial, land and multi-family will share their perspectives about where they see each market going. For more information, you may read here.

As I write this, REALTOR® Celebration is a recent memory. While they make a big deal about the installation of the chair, it is really ultimately about each of you. It is about Pamela Hughes receiving the John E. Wolf Community Service Award. It is about Chance Brown being named REALTOR® of the Year. Each of them shows the true REALTOR® spirit. You can read more about Pamela here and more about Chance here. It was an amazing evening that I will never forget, but it is also just the beginning.

As this is my first column as chair, I want to say what an honor it is to lead an organization like HAR. As a member, you see the limited amount of the association with which you interact. Maybe you take a class, so you see how great our professional development department is. Maybe you respond to a Call For Action about tax reform and see how great our governmental affairs department is. Maybe you read this magazine or any of the other communications we send out and you see how great our communications department is. You never know all the moving parts that go into making our lives easier until you are in leadership at HAR. As the second largest local REALTOR® association in the country, with 37,000 members now, HAR really is the best. I can’t tell you how many REALTORS® move from Houston and then send notes saying they miss everything they had at HAR and took it for granted. On the flip side, the emails from REALTORS® moving into our market and saying how amazing everything is. That doesn’t mean we can’t be better, so I do encourage you to email me at kenya@har.com if you have any (constructive) suggestions or comments. We can only get better with input from each of you.

Until next month,

Kenya Burrell-VanWormer
2018 HAR Chair