PRESIDENT'S CORNER: What Follows a Year Like No Other?

PRESIDENT'S CORNER: What Follows a Year Like No Other?
Gail Fattizzi, HGAR 2020 President

I can’t believe that it has been a year since I stepped into the role of HGAR 2020 President, and that this is my last Real Estate In-Depth column. I suspect every past President has felt and/or said the same thing. But this truly has been a year like no other.

This year has been one of so many conflicting feelings, and it ends the same way. There’s part of me that feels relieved to have it behind me. So long 2020, bring on the new year! Another part of me feels sad to relinquish the honor of serving as the HGAR President, knowing that our members bestowed their confidence in me to serve their best interests during this year. There’s a big part that feels proud of the challenges we’ve overcome and the successes we achieved.

Along with Vince Malta at NAR, Jennifer Stevenson at NYSAR, and all the other state and local Realtor association presidents across the country, I guess I will be forever known as our “Pandemic President.” I must say, I feel I was in very good company! There was a sense of camaraderie, of compassion, and understanding, perhaps even of sympathy, that developed through the year. We learned from each other, supported one another, shared trials, tribulations and successes. It felt very nurturing, something that probably wouldn’t have emerged in any other year.

This was a year of incredible contrasts for our industry. The exuberance of the real estate market in the first couple of months of the year, the virtual shutdown of our industry for three months, then followed by one of the most robust markets I can remember, albeit with new safety mandates and virtual tools in place. I do believe that we, as people and as an industry, are forever changed in many ways. Some things will return to pre-pandemic “normalcy” eventually, but we have learned so much about how we really want to live, about what is important, what is necessary and what we can manage without, and on that there’s no going back.

I’ve tried to dust off my crystal ball but it’s still a bit too cloudy to get a clear picture of what’s to come. I feel optimistic about 2021. I see how our industry has made technological leaps and bounds, and believe the strength of the real estate market will continue to be buoyed by low interest rates, a strong desire for homeownership, and the newfound freedom from commuting to traditional offices. Inventory will continue to be the limiting factor. I think the pandemic is still going to kick our proverbial butts for a while longer, until enough of the population can be vaccinated. But, then I have a vision of Yankee games, vacations, BBQs with more than 10 of my friends, in-person CE classes and all those networking and fundraising events that just aren’t the same over Zoom.

Despite the obstacles of 2020, I am so proud of our HGAR Leadership team, our Board of Directors, our staff, the Committee Chairs, and all the volunteers who weren’t deterred but rather stepped up to the challenges and created so many successes. I commend you, I admire you, and I feel privileged to have worked alongside you and had your support.

So, what happens now? For me, I take a small step back, I stand ready to support our new leadership, and I hope to continue to have the opportunity to contribute to the success of HGAR in whatever ways are needed. I look forward to helping develop new talent and future leaders.

For the members of HGAR, I could not be more excited for us to have a dynamic and visionary new leader in Crystal Hawkins-Syska, the HGAR 2021 President. I know she’s ready to take our association to the next level of excellence and achievement.
I feel so fortunate and blessed in my life for the myriad of reasons I will never take for granted. The experience of serving my Realtor family and leading this world-class organization is among them. I thank you for the opportunity, and more importantly, for the friendship.

I wish everyone a happy, healthy and peaceful holiday season.

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