Our Job: Stay Positive

From the NAR President: The year 2007 has been full of surprises, both positive and negative, that have had a direct impact on your business and mine.

November 1, 2007

Well, it has been quite a year to be president of the NATIONAL ASSOCIATION OF REALTORS®! The old saying “timing is everything” certainly plays out in today’s marketplace.

The year 2007 has been full of surprises, both positive and negative, that have had a direct impact on your business and mine. Our business environment is more competitive than ever, and the media have risen to new heights in trying to discredit our industry. Yet, we carry on with our heads held high and our REALTOR® ideals intact.

Meanwhile, we’ve all read the stories of doom and gloom in the housing markets. Our business (like everything in life) has cycles. But home buyers and sellers haven’t disappeared. In fact, NAR expects the volume of home sales this year to be comparable to that of 2002, the second year of the housing boom. Next year, we expect that continued low interest rates and reduced prices will bring even more buyers into the market. NAR is forecasting more than 6.2 million existing-home sales in 2008, up from an estimated 5.9 million this year.

As REALTORS®, we need to make sure that consumers see more than the media’s picture of our industry. The great thing about being a REALTOR® is that we don’t have to do it alone.

Every day, your association leadership and staff speak to reporters about a wide range of issues, including the housing markets. We emphasize that conditions in many markets are positive and suggest that consumers talk to a REALTOR® about opportunities in their market. Our Public Awareness Campaign is helping to get the word out, too, that now might be a great time to buy.

An African proverb says, “Smooth seas do not make skillful sailors.” I believe today’s competitive environment presents us with a significant opportunity — a chance to improve our skills and to prove that we’re the first and best resource for anyone looking to buy or sell real estate. If we stay positive and use all of the resources available to us as NAR members, we’ll continue our great success — today, and for many, many years to come. This month’s magazine, in fact, talks with REALTORS® who are honing their skills to become even more effective and efficient in the current market. At REALTOR.org, you’ll find a huge range of business tools to help you do the same. Take the time to check it out!

It has been my great privilege to serve you and to represent our industry during 2007. As we move into 2008, I ask you to take to heart this poem, published anonymously, that I think puts our challenges, as real estate professionals, in perspective.

Take time to work. It is the price of success.

Take time to think. It is the source of power.

Take time to play. It is the secret of perpetual youth.

Take time to be friendly. It is the road to happiness.

Take time to love and be loved. It is nourishment for the soul.

Take time to share. It is too short a life to be selfish.

Take time to laugh. It is the music of the heart.

Take time to dream. It is hitching your wagon to a star.

Pat Vredevoogd Combs

Pat V. Combs was 2007 president of the NATIONAL ASSOCIATION OF REALTORS®.