Since I first entered this profession, over 35 years ago, the National Association of REALTORS® has been my rock, providing the foundation needed to help build and maintain a successful commercial real estate practice. Serving as the 2017 NAR President has been the highlight of my career. To be able to give back to a community that has provided me with so much has been a labor of love; the years of hard work it took to reach this pinnacle was well worth the effort.
I am reminded of lyrics from the John Lennon song, “Beautiful Boy:” “Life is what happens to you while you are busy making other plans.” With legislative, MLS, technology, and market forces advancing with wild abandon, when I began my term at the end of last year, I knew 2017 would be an unpredictable year for REALTORS®. What I did not anticipate was that the changes ahead would also include a personal revolution.
As you may know, I recently developed severe pulmonary issues after receiving a strong antibiotic that knocked down my immune system. As the symptoms worsened throughout this spring, it became clear that an organ transplant was necessary. In August, I underwent a double lung transplant, and, as I pen this column – my last while serving as NAR President – I am making progress on the journey to healing.
This has been a challenging road to navigate, but gratitude overshadows all other emotions. I never could have envisioned the course of events that have paralleled my term; however, I am filled with tremendous pride in all that we accomplished. There is a lot to be proud of – the Sustainable Property Ownership Conferences, a successful Call for Action to extend the National Flood Insurance Program, the REALTORS® Relief Foundation and REALTORS® rapid response to the many natural disasters of 2017, the appointment of the new NAR CEO Bob Goldberg – just to name a few.
From the bottom of my heart, I want to thank you, the REALTOR® community. With your support, service and contributions, working together we have made great strides to ensure sound success for REALTORS® and for our industry.
As I prepare to pass the gavel to 2018 President Elizabeth Mendenhall, I feel good about the direction our Association and our members are moving. As a commercial practitioner, it's heartening to see strong markets and a bright commercial outlook projected. However, if there is one thing that I learned this year, it's that life happens. Our industry is still in the midst of a revolution, and while REALTORS® are positioned at the frontline, it important that we remain vigilant to lead our industry into the future. We've come a long way; let's keep up the good fight!