The Good Neighbor Way

A true professional works in a skilled and caring way for the betterment of all.  

November 3, 2014

Many REALTORS® regularly step up as volunteers in their community. The Good Neighbor Award winners profiled in this issue are in a rarified class. These women and men are helping the most vulnerable in their midst in some extraordinary ways. In many respects, this is what being a true professional is all about: working in a skilled and caring manner for the betterment of all. I salute them.

One benefit of serving as president of NAR this year is witnessing the work of REALTORS® from across the country and our peers around the world. In the United States, our work as REALTORS® has a major impact on the economy, with real estate spending accounting for nearly 20 percent of the GDP. Through our work in home ownership, the middle class is strengthened—and a strong middle class lends stability to our society. 

Our work also has a significant influence on government. Because we know every community in which we work—we’ve driven every street and collectively may well have sold nearly every property in our communities at one time or another—we know the people who vote and the issues that matter to them. Secondly, we have made it our mission and responsibility to promote and protect their American dream of private property ownership.

Such work is commendable, yet we must seek to improve what we do and how we do it. We need to be more knowledgeable on real estate issues than consumers, more technologically adept than our customers, and more skilled in negotiating a transaction than our clients if we want to remain at the center of the process of helping people buy and sell property. 

Improvement means constantly adapting to our changing business environment. It means creating new relationships—whether in expanding our networking sphere or establishing new strategic partnerships. And it means constantly fine-tuning how we communicate information with our clients.

As we go forward, let us not only respond to change but also be open to initiating those changes that will make us more professional. Let us, as REALTORS®, continually raise the bar so as to become more knowledgeable, more helpful, and more professional, and thus good neighbors to all.

I started out my year as NAR president with the slogan “the time is now.” As my term ends, that slogan seems as appropriate today as it was at the beginning. The time really is now for our industry to take the initiative to become, well, with apologies to my fifth-grade English teacher, “more better.” There, I said it. So here’s to the ongoing journey of being more and being better.