Whitney Houston sang, “I believe the children are our future.” While the honorees for this year’s NRG 20 Under 40 Rising Stars in Real Estate recognition are definitely not children, I do believe they are our future.  HAR is so fortunate to have such determined and distinguished members who are of the “younger generation.” There were so many deserving applicants for the list, but you may read about each of the winners this year here.

Hopefully many of the members on the above mentioned list will also apply to serve on one of the many HAR advisory groups. There are opportunities to help with everything from next year’s The BIG e and political affairs to risk management and international. If you really want to make a difference in the REALTOR® community, then make sure that you volunteer to serve on one of these groups. This is where the real work gets done. You may read more about them on here.

You can’t serve on an advisory group without being a member, so remember to pay your 2014 dues. Payment is due on December 1, 2013. It is only with prompt payment that we can continue to operate as efficiently as possible, so make sure to pay your dues on time. This is the 11th year of no dues increase and compared to both other REALTOR® associations and other professional associations, the HAR dues is a bargain. You may learn more about how to pay here.

One of the benefits of being an MLS subscriber is about to get even better. HAR has contracted to provide the Realist tax system to all members, hopefully by the end of this year, and it comes packed with more information. You will now have expanded coverage and access to county tax record, ownership and mortgage history, as well as foreclosure and distressed property information for all counties across Texas. You may read more about it here.

Speaking of packing a product with more information, the City of Houston partnered with HAR to develop the new Houston Living app that is intended to connect residents with the services around them. It goes beyond just that though.  The app will allow you to find out the closest park, library, METRO stop or police station, as well as nearby restaurants, events—and homes for sale. The app is currently available in the App store for iOS devices. You may read more about its features here.