Woodrow Wilson was president. Daylight Saving Time was enacted for the first time. World War I ended. Reverend Billy Graham was born. The Houston Association of REALTORS® (then known as the Houston Real Estate Board) was formed. All those milestones occurred in 1918. As we enter our 100th year of HAR this year, we have much to reflect on regarding how things have changed and how they have stayed the same. You may read about the history of HAR and Houston real estate here.

Among those things that have changed is technology. Every time I turn around, HAR is rolling out a new product or an improved service. It’s our job to make your job easier. You may read about all the great new things here. You’ll see our mobile enhancements, such as the Open House Registry app and Texas Real Estate Directory app, as well as changes to the agent profiles. You’ll also read about the RealInsight consumer-facing newsletter that you can use to help grow your business.

Speaking of business, it’s all of our business to make sure that fair housing laws are followed, and April is Fair Housing Month. The Fair Housing Act prohibits discrimination based on race, color, national origin, religion, sex, disability and familial status. (Other Acts expand the list of protected classes.) You may read a couple quick tips here to help make sure you are compliant. Plus, NAR has a great Fair Housing Toolkit that you can find online at the address in this article.

Being well into the thick of the 85th Legislative Session in Austin, know that we at HAR and TAR are tracking many pieces of legislation that could impact you and your clients. There are bills regarding property taxes, school finance, the Texas Real Estate Commission and more. You may read about some of them here and make sure to stay informed and respond to any Calls For Actions that you receive from HAR, TAR or NAR.

With so many important issues at hand, it is a great time to remind you that it is never too early to invest in TREPAC. Last year, we were able to set a national record for the amount of money raised by a local REALTOR® PAC, and we aim to beat that record this year. Your TREPAC investment goes toward electing REALTOR®- and homeowner-friendly candidates and supporting issues that make a difference in the real estate industry. You may learn more about TREPAC and how to invest here.

Until next month,

Cindy Hamann
HAR Chair of the Board