Owning Our Momentum: A Note from the President, Elizabeth Mendenhall

Every competitive swimmer understands how the start of the race can decide the finish. You may have a strong stroke and thunderous kick, but if you’re slow off the starting block, it’s difficult to catch up in the water – especially if your competition in the surrounding lanes is resilient. A good start means creating tremendous speed with your dive, carrying it through your breakout, using your momentum to explode up to the surface, and owning your race through the finish.

My swimming career ended years ago but the lessons I learned remain applicable. As we dive into 2018, it’s imperative we start the year forcefully. The real estate industry is evolving at breakneck speed. Not only do REALTORS® need to pick up the pace; we need to drive the pace. While NAR was quick off the block, working tirelessly this first quarter to harness the power of our 1.2 million members, we need your help to ensure a successful finish come yearend.

NAR’s Strategic Planning Committee has identified four priorities the Association must focus on throughout 2018.  These issues are not new. In fact, most have been association priorities for many years now. However, they have a different trajectory in today’s environment. Our success in achieving these goals continues to change as new innovators shape our industry, and there are significant and imminent consequences for waiting out the race in the wading pool.

The first priority is to define measurable increases in professionalism for REALTORS®. Our goal is to find out what issues make the most difference to consumers – and how we can surmount those expectations. Professionalism is a hot topic for all practitioners, but it is especially important in the commercial space, where more residential agents are dabbling in the commercial practice. Proficiency is essential; NAR will continue to make strides in support of this priority.

The second is to increase our efforts and influence in regulatory and legislative initiatives. All members need to understand the connection between getting involved in advocacy and sustaining their business.  Given the current political climate, it is essential that we heighten our advocacy work in 2018 to deal with vital legislative issues such as the National Flood Insurance Program, 1031-exchanges, and ramifications from tax reform.

Our third priority is to take real estate data to the next level. Real estate brokers in the commercial arena face great competition in terms of who is managing our data and how to make the most of it. We want to explore new business models and dynamic partnerships so REALTORS® can stay competitive and provide value to consumers.

Finally, NAR is committed to ensuring REALTORS® stay relevant to the real estate transaction, no matter how the business model changes. Consumers are better protected when they have a trusted advisor at their side, guiding them through complicated transactions, and this is exactly what our commercial members do every day. We want to share this message throughout this year.

NAR’s 2018 priorities focus on issues uniting all REALTORS®, enabling our association and our industry to move faster. We cannot be content to simply tread water. We must “Own It” together. Let’s plunge full-throttle into this year, striving to maximize our momentum and ensure REALTORS® will own our competition, own our profession, and own our future.

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Create is a quarterly publication for commercial practitioners, members of the National Association of REALTORS® and commercial real estate industry leaders. Members can subscribe by updating your member profile information to include commercial interests in the "Field of Business" list.

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