What hundreds of Texas REALTORS® just did in Austin
02/11/2015 | Author: Editorial Staff
Here are a few highlights from the 2015 Texas REALTORS® Winter Meeting, which concluded yesterday in Austin. Look for a full recap in the March issue of Texas REALTOR® magazine.
Board of Directors meeting
The TAR Board of Directors elected its officers for 2016: Chairman Leslie Rouda Smith, Chairman-elect Vicki Fullerton, and Secretary/Treasurer Kaki Lybbert.
In addition, the Board of Directors recognized Mona LeBleu, association executive for the Kerrville Board of REALTORS®, and Mary Leidy, CEO of the Collin County Association of REALTORS®, for earning the REALTOR® Certified Executive (RCE) designation in 2014. LeBleu and Leidy had to accrue at least 350 points through professional-development activities, professional achievements, and education, and pass an intensive exam to demonstrate their commitment to professional development.
Congrats to these award-winning Texans
Several Texas REALTORS® were recognized for their contributions to the real estate industry during the Awards Luncheon and STARs Reception on Monday.
- Texas REALTOR® of the Year: Bill Jones, Temple
- William C. Jennings Award (outstanding commercial transaction of the year): Mike Boyd, Houston
- Tom D. Morton Award (top association executive): Cade Fowler, Lubbock
- Texas REALTOR® Hero Award (exemplary work in a housing-related endeavor): Matt Hilton, Collin County
- Educators of the Year: J. Rene Ward of Round Rock and Leigh York of Fort Worth
- Education Programs of the Year for local associations: MetroTex (Legal and Marketing), Greater Denton/Wise County (Innovation), and Houston (Series or Short Program).
The following Texas REALTORS® were inducted into the National Association of REALTORS® Omega Tau Rho fraternity:
Larry Behrens, Larry Patterson, and Jerry Sefcik of San Angelo; Peggy Myrick and Jim Duncan of Greater Metro West; and Sharon Borgne, Jerry C. Caldwell, Jerry Davis, Patricia Durbin, Val Fenwick, Kathryn Finigan, Clyde A. Geer, Harold Goodman, Odie C. Hall, Mary B. Harker, Jane Henry, David Howard, Pansy Johnson, Betty Lanier, Early Milstead, Lena Milstead, Jim Monroe, J.C. Posey, Tom Posey, John Powell, Dorothy Rolater, Milli Ruwaldt, Marybeth Tiemeyer, Billy G. Tillerson, Pansy Wilson, and Randy Wright of Collin County.
Kenya Burrell VanWormer of Houston; Rebecca Connatser of MetroTex; Martha Dent of Arlington; Steven Gragg of San Antonio; Melvin Harris of Greater Fort Worth; and Meredith Held, Matt Hilton, and Marvin Jolly of Collin County.
To grow your business, start by making an impact
Keynote speaker Dr. Rick Rigsby delivered an address that had hundreds of Texas REALTORS® applauding and laughing during the opening session Friday night. Attendees walked away inspired by Rigsby’s words on how to make a real impact with your life rather than just showing up. “You can sell houses, or you can make an impact. Here’s the difference: You sell houses, you make a living. You make an impact, you change lives … and you get wealthy.”
News from the Capitol
During the Governmental Affairs Forum, U.S. Congressman Michael McCaul, chairman of the House Committee on Homeland Security, expressed his support for increasing security along Texas borders. “We can’t have secure homes without a secure homeland,” McCaul said.
State Rep. Larry Gonzales shared his insight into the 84th Texas Legislature during the Public Policy Forum. Gonzales said Texans can expect education and infrastructure to be top priorities during this legislative session because they have such large impacts on the lives of Texans.
On Tuesday morning, TREPAC Major Investors heard from Texas Land Commissioner George P. Bush, who discussed the role of the Texas General Land Office in helping military veterans become property owners. Bush said that even though the GLO has administered $10 billion in veteran land loans since World War II, many members of the military aren’t aware of the services that are available to them.
The Houston Association of REALTORS® received the 2014 Governmental Affairs Outstanding Achievement Award for its fundraising and grassroots participation. Three Texas REALTORS®—Meredith Held, Paul McGee, and Shad Bogany—received the 2014 Strike Force Award for their grassroots involvement.
The importance of returned calls
MLS/Technology Forum attendees heard from Nobu Hata, NAR’s director of digital engagement, who shared his advice for Texas REALTORS® looking to remain relevant and meet consumers’ needs. One suggestion Hata offered is for REALTORS® to acknowledge potential clients immediately after they contact you, even if that means making a quick call or sending an email just to say you received their message and will be in touch soon. Hata said this responsiveness can impress potential clients and help set their expectations early. “Eighty-five percent of people want contact within an hour. The other 15% must be lying.”
Click here to download slides from Hata's presentation, "Brokerage of the Future."
How you can help more buyers enter the housing market
Jim Gaines, Ph.D., from the Real Estate Center at Texas A&M University, told Housing Initiatives Forum attendees that many potential homebuyers don’t realize how many homebuyer programs are available at the local, state, and federal levels. Texas REALTORS® play an important role in educating consumers about their options, Gaines said. “There are more than 2,200 downpayment-assistance programs in the United States. The help is there.”
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