It is a tremendous honor and privilege to serve as your HAR Chairman of the Board for 2021. I have to admit that in all my years working in the real estate business, 2020 was both the most challenging and most rewarding year that I can ever recall. I suspect that many of you will agree.
Early on during the coronavirus pandemic, HAR leadership worked closely with elected officials across the greater Houston area to ensure that real estate was designated an essential service. That designation was a critical step toward allowing us to maintain our livelihoods while serving consumers in need of housing. The HAR Technology team also worked quickly and diligently to roll out Virtual Open Houses (VOHs) and virtual showings, which were vital to our business during stay-at-home orders and after they were lifted when many were concerned about not being able to safely conduct in-person open houses and showings.
I am incredibly proud of these achievements and the work that HAR does throughout any given year to promote the industry and develop new tools that benefit members and consumers alike. It’s worth noting that HAR membership has grown to more than 41,000 – during a pandemic! Just phenomenal!.
If you had asked me when the COVID-19 crisis began what I expected its effects on real estate to be, I would not have been optimistic. In fact, I was expecting the worst between a pandemic and layoffs across the energy industry. However, consumers still needed housing and demand was so strong, especially with interest rates at historic lows, that new listings barely kept up with sales. As I write this letter, we are on track for another record year in 2020!
I don’t have a crystal ball to foresee what challenges may lie ahead in 2021. But I think it’s fair to say that if we can endure the pressures of a global pandemic, we can probably survive anything! That has everything to do with the dedication and commitment of all of us to promote home ownership along with our love for the greater Houston area that we call home.
With that said, I am thrilled to announce that for the 18th consecutive year, the HAR Board of Directors has voted to leave the current dues level unchanged! You read that correctly. Your HAR membership will not cost a penny more in 2021!
As more Texas real estate markets take advantage of the listing benefits of HAR.com, the HAR Technology team continues to introduce new tools and innovations making access to real estate and lifestyle information easier and more portable than ever for members and consumers. That’s exactly what keeps the industry watching HAR closely and following our lead.
Only with the strength and support of every one of our more than 41,000 residential and commercial members can we remain a successful and impactful REALTOR® community! I want to personally thank each and every one of you for membership in YOUR Association. This Association only exists because of YOUR participation, so please know that HAR is here to support you in 2021 and beyond.