PRESIDENT'S CORNER: Reflections on Challenges, Victories and Opportunities

It’s hard to believe the end of the year is already upon us. This will be my last news article before I pass the hat to your next President Tony D’Anzica. It has been a great year and a whole lot of fun being President. I enjoyed all the meetings and encountering new people at other associations.

At the beginning of my presidency, I challenged each of us to ask ourselves, “What’s my role?” And as I reflect on this past year, it’s been my honor to see the impactful ways our members have taken ownership of their roles in order to better our association. This association belongs to you, the members. As leaders, it’s our job to listen and learn from you, and work with you to tackle the challenges, seize the opportunities, and set a brighter, bolder course for the future.

At the beginning of 2022, we prepared for another year of low inventory, stable interest rates and market appreciation. None of us expected the rising rates and volatility that followed. Looking at the headlines, some buyers and sellers felt panicked about a “cooling market,” and have backed away. What they need to know is that despite the changes, the market remains robust. In fact, it is the first balanced market in several years. Insights like that come from looking beyond the immediate numbers to longer-term trends.

As Realtors, we must be at the forefront, explaining the market to the public, and guiding them through the process. It’s vital to be an expert in your market area, know the data, and become a trusted advisor. Working together, we can shape perceptions, and encourage clients to stay in the game. That can have a very real and positive impact on the market. That’s the power of unity.

I’m proud of the work we did this year. Legislatively we stood up and made our voices heard. I’m proud that we exceeded our RPAC goal by 105% raising $268,008 with 69%-member participation. At the HG Realtor Foundation, we continue to raise funds to help support local charities.

Of course, even in the best of times there are New Yorkers who cannot afford a home. That’s why during events like NYSAR Lobby Day and the NAR Midyear conference in Washington, D.C., we urged legislators to continue supporting affordable housing. This includes programs like first-time homebuyers’ savings accounts, down-payment assistance programs and converting previous commercial or retail spaces into residential housing. The reality is, we’re years behind on inventory levels, and our work is just beginning on finding solutions for New Yorkers who want to become homeowners. But, if we maintain our commitment, and remain open to innovation and change, we can move a long way toward achieving this goal within the decade.

I’m sure we all can agree that one of the best parts of 2022 was being able to finally gather again with our peers and colleagues as HGAR was finally able to host in-person events after nearly two years of socially-distanced activities. Among those events, HGAR hosted the highly successful Global Summit and DEI Summit.

Our association is special in that we are a very sophisticated group of people that are examples of professionalism in our industry. As always, I would like to recognize and thank our 2022 sponsors for their generous support.

As my presidency is coming to an end, I’d like thank all my fellow Realtors and remind them to always remember to act professionally, be knowledgeable of your area of expertise and keep up to date with the industry and the real estate laws. But, no matter what, the journey has in store for you, have fun with it along the way, get creative and don’t forget to make your voice heard by supporting and investing in the RPAC. As 2023 approaches I urge each one of you to take time to Re-new your commitments, spend time with family and Re-energize. Last, but not least Re-engage with your sphere of influence, network and community, because this is where everything begins!

Please get involved and be part of the process. We all have a say in the future of HGAR. Your time, talent and energy are vital parts of the equation. Serving as your president has been the honor of my professional life. I am forever grateful that you trusted me with this role.

Truly, my hope is that we keep working together and alongside each other. We are an asset and wealth of knowledge to our communities. Thank you again for trusting me to serve you in 2022. Wishing you all health, happiness, and prosperity this holiday season and in the new year.

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