NAR Annual Convention Recap Orlando, FL November 3-7, 2016
By Denise Schultz, LARA CEO
Note: As the Association Executive, I attend national REALTOR association meetings to connect with peers and learn updates about the governance of our association and a high level view of the industry. My meetings and activities are geared at managing our association. REALTORS who attend the same events enjoy an entirely different experience, focused on the business of real estate and how to do it best. I encourage anyone who hasn’t attended a national convention to talk to other REALTORS about what they’ve learned and experienced. For most REALTORS, that will be a lot more fun than what I’ll report.(wink)
“NAR 360” is a “must attend” at any NAR convention. It’s awe-inspiring to enter a room filled with thousands of REALTORS and association leaders from around the world, all committed to their profession, and feel like you are among friends. The purpose of this kick-off event is to provide a 360-degree view of all things happening in the REALTOR-world. This year 2016 NAR President Tom Salomone continued his legacy of demonstrating the national commitment to work with our local Boys & Girls Clubs of America and additionally shone the spotlight on the REALTOR Party Relief Foundation and how it “helps people that need it the most get it the quickest.” I’ve witnessed those who attend and get a larger picture of what being a REALTOR means are positively changed forever by this experience.
I spent most of my days in meetings with Association Executives from around the country. We focus on topics pertinent to managing our associations. Our own WRA President and CEO Mike Theo is the acting Chair of the national AE Council now and for 2017. The major topic for the past several years remains NAR’s “Organizational Alignment Core Standards”, the bar to which REALTOR associations are now held accountable. Requirements in six major association management categories must be met annually. Reports normally begin with the number of mergers and consolidations that have resulted from the demands in meeting these standards. Mike reported that “it has become obvious that throughout the country volunteer leadership lacks the knowledge of the details, complexity and importance of Core Standards.” This can be challenging for those of us managing the associations. NAR is investing time and money in marketing and education for volunteer boards to understand what their AE/staff are responsible for in regards to meeting Core Standards.
One of the major focuses of governance meetings at this convention was a proposal to change how the NAR BOD is structured. The net effect in Wisconsin is minimal in that GMAR (Milwaukee) would lose 1 director and WRA would gain 1. The larger issue for us in Wisconsin was that we realized a voting mechanism we planned to use for national NAR meetings would actually require a change in most of our Bylaws, which will be discussed at the next local BOD meeting.
A new initiative called C2EX (Commitment to Excellence) for REALTORS was a highlight of many of our meetings. This program is being proposed to measure “Realtor Excellence.” This is simultaneously happening at the AE level with a “Certificate of Excellence” proposal. Both programs are going to NAR Finance Committee for budgeting and more information will follow.
The Trade Expo is an enormous trade show floor, filled with information and opportunities to learn what is available for every aspect of the real estate business. On this visit I learned about something I had never seen before – the Salvation Army Real Estate for Rehabilitation program. I am not sure if you are all aware – and I wasn’t – that when you have a client moving and has anything left to get rid of (housewares, appliances, furniture, even clothing, etc.) you or they can call: 1-800-SATRUCK and have it picked up to help those in need.
I enjoyed hearing a keynote presented by General Colin Powell and an inspiring talk by Lou Holtz, former Notre Dame Football coach. His entire message is one that never changes. We should all simplify life by living with 3 rules and apply them to every other rule: 1) Do what is RIGHT; 2) Do everything you do to the best of your ability.; 3) Care about people.
For me the most valuable component of national meetings is connecting with people from all over the country that face the same challenges as I do daily. Sharing ideas, learning from peers, and building relationships around the nation, and even the globe, is an opportunity we should all take advantage of.
Your next opportunities: The Legislative Meetings & Trade Expo in Washington, D.C. – May 16-20 and/or the next annual Conference and Expo in nearby CHICAGO November 3-6, 2017!