“Are we there, yet?”

As children, we asked it. As parents, we answered it. As an Association we live it. “It” is the journey to get to a specific place. We, as members of Columbus REALTORS®, are not physically positioned in a car, attentively reading every mile marker hoping only to see the welcome sign or the entrance gates of a world famous amusement park. Columbus REALTORS® is on a journey to promote our mission, continue advocacy, grow member involvement while the Association increases member benefits, educates the consumer to our value as well as raises the level of professionalism for our colleagues.

Mic Gordon, John Myers and I represented Columbus REALTORS® at the National Association of REALTORS® Board of Directors meeting on May 19, 2018, in Washington, DC. NAR took a large stepped forward to raising the bar with a change to Standard of Practice 1-7.

Starting in January 2019, a listing broker or agent will be required to respond in writing that an offer was submitted to the seller if the cooperating broker who sent the offer requests such confirmation. The listing broker or agent must answer in the affirmative unless the seller has provided written notification waiving the obligation to have the offer presented.

Are you aware that according to the NAR 2017 Member Profile, that only 74 percent of REALTORS® said that real estate was their only occupation? That number jumps to 84 percent among members with sixteen or more years of experience. NAR noted that 56  percent of members who have two years or less experience made less than $10,000. Did you know that 12 percent of members have two years or less experience?

With a concern for the number of new members joining the Association, and the real estate industry saddled with a large number of “part-time, untrained, unethical, and/or incompetent agents” as reported by the NAR DANGER Report, the Raise the Bar Presidential Advisory Group advanced the first step for policy change. This motion reflects directly on our Columbus REALTORS® mission to provide a REALTOR® community that, while protecting the interests of its members, sets high standards for ethical professional practice.

Beginning Sept. 1, 2018, new members will have better training as the Columbus REALTORS® Board of Directors enacted that all new members will be required to satisfactorily complete the Association’s New Membership Orientation within 90 days of obtaining electronic key box access. Failure to complete the orientation within said 90 days would cause their electronic key box access to be interrupted until this membership requirement is satisfied.

Once the New Membership Orientation is available online, new REALTOR® member applicants will be required to satisfactorily complete the Association’s New Membership Orientation before obtaining electronic key box access.

This policy should place our new members at a better advantage to get on the road to a successful practice much quicker and making their journey in real estate much more positive without taking a route with toll roads (fines) or dead ends (a professional standard hearing.)

On other positive notes, we had a recording breaking CORPAC Action, an epic REALTOR® Care Day and have started an additional new committee, the Trade Expo Committee, which will focus on enhancing the Trade Expo in April 2019. Holly Lockett and Kristina Ross will co-chair this committee.

Also, the new Diversity and Inclusion Task Force is working with the Affordable Housing Committee and the Realtist to present a robust celebration this Fall honoring the anniversary of the Fair Housing Act with continuing education at a mock trial based on actual events from an Ohio case.

I hope to see many of you in the next couple of months. Consider attending the REALTOR® Morning for the BIA Parade of Home in Jerome Village (9/5); the CORPAC Golf Outing at Scioto Reserve and Kinsale Golf Clubs (9/11); OAR Convention at the Hyatt Regency/ Convention Center (9/16-9/18); the Annual Business meeting at The Grand Event Center (10/18) or a Columbus REALTORS® committee meeting or continuing education session.

If we look at our journey as an Association, accompanying our members at the crossroads of Codes and Cannons with Communication and Competency just after crossing over the bridge of Caring and Concern, I think we have an excellent roadmap. So far, 2018 have been a challenging yet fun expedition, serving as your volunteer President.

Are we there, yet? No. However, are we driving in the right direction? Definitely!