Some of you may know that one of my favorite activities is researching my family’s genealogy.
I’ve visited almost every cemetery I’ve ever driven past to search 
for clues that add another piece to my family’s puzzle. I’ve learned 
my 3rd great-grandfather came here with Stephen F. Austin in the
 late 1820s and owned property right next him. And I wasn’t surprised when I learned I wasn’t the first family member drawn to the real estate business.

My relatives faced different challenges in their real estate business in 1879 than I do now. But even 139 years later, one thing about the industry hasn’t changed: Success in the business is based on having strong relationships.

Relationships with clients are obviously important, but it extends to other parties in your transactions, professionals at ancillary service providers, and especially between REALTORS®. In fact, the relationships between REALTORS® is so strong that many of us say we are part of the REALTOR® family.

Unlike your genetic family, the REALTOR® family is one we are choosing to be a part of. But like all families, we reap the most joy when we are engaged with each other, open and understanding, and showing up when it matters. These are things I’ve watched members like you do throughout the past year. Your passion is inspiring to me, and helped keep me going as I served as your 2018 chairman.

As I reflect on my time as chairman, I am in awe of the incredible accomplishments among our membership. We’ve set new records 
for TREPAC investment and participation. We’ve elected REALTOR®-friendly candidates to office. We’ve launched an exciting new brand initiative. Members have been recognized at the local, state, and national levels for their work. And these examples are the tip of the iceberg.

Watching your successes makes me so grateful and honored to have had the chance to serve as your chairman. And as I pass the baton on to Tray Bates, I am excited to see the achievements in store for 2019.

I will continue to make that choice to be a part of the REALTOR® family. I am going to stay engaged and show up, and I hope you will make plans to join me; the association will be strong and effective only if you do.

Thank you for giving me the opportunity to be your chairman. As generations of future members of our REALTOR® family look back on this time, they may see the different challenges we faced, but I know they’ll relate to the constant in our business: The power of building strong relationships.