Our 5 Biggest Challenges in 1997

The challenges we face in the coming year will define us for years to come.

December 1, 1996

Keeping you first

Foremost is making sure the NATIONAL ASSOCIATION OF REALTORS® keeps you central to the real estate transaction and continues to offer the kinds of products and services that you want, that are cost--effective, and that represent the diversity of our membership.

Partnering

This is the number one trend in doing business in the 1990s. NAR is studying what services are most valuable to you so that we can form partnerships with the best sources of those services. NAR itself will provide some of those services; partnerships with local or state associations, or outside vendors, will provide others. NAR has already partnered with some states in publications, annual conventions, computer technology, and education.

Three-way agreement

The agreement between the national, state, and local associations of REALTORS® is vital to us as "The Voice for Real Estate." We'll be looking for ways to make our agreement stronger by finding more opportunities to collaborate and cooperate and to eliminate duplication of services at all levels.

Legislative and political process

Top issue of the coming year will be the restructuring of RESPA regulations. We'll be prepared to aggressively represent other definedREALTOR® positions, including keeping mortgage interest deductibility, restoring a meaningful capital gains differential, and making withdrawals from IRAs penalty free for first--time homebuyers.

We'll also increase our efforts to make theREALTORS® Political Action Committee an even stronger force. We want to make sure thatREALTOR® views count in the political process, not only in Washington but also in every state legislature and local council.

Technology

It’s important for all REALTORS® to raise their personal knowledge of technology and their comfort with its use. Expertise among our clients and customers is increasing daily, and they expect us to keep pace. NAR, in cooperation with regions, states, and boards, will assist members in becoming more techno savvy. The "Central Gateway" Intranet with links to Internet--based information will assist you in your business transactions and information research.

These are just some of the important areas we'll address this year. 1997 will be a critical year for us to pull together and move forward, and the Leadership Team and I will be working hard for you.

Russell K. Booth was 1997 president of the National Association of REALTORS®.

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