Obstacles or Opportunities?

NAR President Chris Polychron greets the new year with a solid plan for moving the association forward, as well as a challenge to members.

January 21, 2015

Greetings, friends, and welcome to 2015. Whether or not you believe in making New Year’s resolutions, I hope you have a plan for your business in the year ahead. You know what they say—a goal without a plan is just a wish. My plan includes connecting with as many REALTORS® as I can to ensure that members know that the national association is listening.

I want to know your take on the myriad issues facing our business, from tax reform to the disruptive effects of unreliable market data on the Internet. At my inaugural in New Orleans in November, I talked about my Arkansas roots and some of the earliest lessons I’ve learned—not to judge a situation or a person before you have an understanding of them; not to underestimate yourself; and to only see life as a series of opportunities. I’m convinced that our success this year depends on our outlook: Do we see obstacles or opportunities?

A few of the major initiatives for this year involve “codes” and “standards” pertaining to industry professionalism. These are great frameworks for discussing the work we do. But they are only that. As REALTORS®, we all have our routines, our ways of doing things. Ultimately, we are responsible to our clients. They will make it clear if they value our expertise and knowledge.

Let me give you an example: I put a laser focus on my listing data. At my brokerage, we do a thorough market analysis of every listing we obtain, and my approach is to be hands-on. I take a listing and I hand-select three or four comparable properties. The point is that I do my homework and determine the most accurate value possible of every property I present to a client. This approach underscores my commitment to building trusting relationships with consumers. As technology evolves, we’ll have even more data to use to our advantage. We need to make the most of these opportunities.

I look forward to getting to know more and more members as your president. And you can learn more about my story, as well as my passion for the industry and serving the members of the association. But it’s not just me at the helm. The entire Leadership Team is here to support you, along with our regional vice presidents and our association leaders at the state and local levels. Together we’ll continue our unrivaled political advocacy that keeps the legislative issues affecting home ownership and real estate markets front and center in Washington.

Here are two truisms: I care deeply what NAR means to you. And I attend a lot of meetings. If I happen to be at a gathering with you in your state or community, don’t be shy about coming up and saying hello. However, I have one request: I want you to ask me, “Chris, how can I help?” That’s the conversation I want us all to have. I look forward to furthering that conversation in the year ahead.