As you can tell from the “Special: Consumer Edition” stamp on the cover of this month’s magazine, we are focusing on the consumer. And shouldn’t we all?

HAR has been at the forefront of conducting consumer research on behalf of our members to help you make better choices and provide better service to your clients. The HAR Consumer Research Panel has more than 6,660 consumers who have opted-in to respond to surveys about a variety of topics. You will find some of the results of those surveys interspersed throughout the magazine this month. You may read more about the Panel here.

One of the key findings is that consumers want the ability to rate their real estate professionals AND view ratings and comments from previous clients. HAR developed the Client Experience Rating in 2009, and it is one of the services that HAR provides that is most asked about by leaders from other associations across the country. You may find out more about it and how to sign up here.

HAR utilizes the tremendous talents and insights of the WAV Group to help design and conduct the surveys for us. Marilyn Wilson with that organization is a national speaker and expert in the area of consumers. She wrote about the consumer and what they want here. This is a “must-read” article for any of our members—at least the ones who care about what the consumer wants. We can all learn something from her words.

It isn’t too early to buy your tickets for this year’s The BIG e either. It will be held on October 24, 2013 at the Norris Conference Center in CityCentre from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. The focus is fittingly enough…”Embracing Today’s Consumer.”  You may read more about the program and find out how to purchase tickets here.

Even though the topic for this month may be consumers, we can’t forget another very important area, which is personal safety. There have been recent reports of crimes going on that involve showings by REALTORS®. The “buyer’s agent” will call and say they are from Galveston and don’t have a Supra Key, so they request an accompanied showing. At some point during the showing, one of the women will unlock an outside door. Later, after everyone has left, someone will come back to the home, enter through the unlocked door and steal jewelry or other items. You may read more about it here.  Just always remember to stay safe and report anything suspicious.  No deal is worth putting yourself in harm’s way. So far, the women have only been stealing items, but you never know what might happen, so stay alert.

Until next month,
Danny Frank
HAR Chairman of the Board