Time flies when you’re having fun! As I reflect on 2016, I’m in awe at how much the association’s volunteer leaders took on and accomplished in such a short amount of time.
In April, we held the first of a biennial fundraiser for Habitat for Humanity called Tee Up & Wine Down for Habitat.
The event was a tremendous success, raising more than $73,000. In Spring 2017, our momentum will continue as we participate in building a Habitat house.
And plans already are underway for the 2018 Tee Up & Wine Down event.
GCAR’s community efforts included an annual $5,000 contribution to the National Association’s Realtor Relief Foundation, which was first launched in 2001 within hours of the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks.
The foundation raised more than $8.4 million to help surviving family members remain in their homes following the attack.
Since then, more than $25 million have been raised for victims of disasters, providing housing-related and other needed assistance.
GCAR is committed to being a part of this ongoing effort to raise awareness and monies for the foundation.
GCAR also became involved with the Snack Pack program, which provides weekend meals for students in Hamilton County schools.
Through an initial $20,000 contribution and a commitment to an ongoing annual contribution of $10,000, GCAR is a key player in this growing initiative, which currently serves 1,000 students in 12 schools.
We also began a Realtor Safety Certified Office Program, which is a multi-faceted approach to promoting safety in the marketplace.
We incorporated a safety talk into our monthly orientation and continue to offer safety-related classes, including the popular self-defense class.
In addition, there’s an ongoing push for every Realtor to become a safety ambassador and for every Realtor firm to become certified as a Realtor Safety Certified Office.
We continue to work with local employers to bring Employer-Assisted Housing to Greater Chattanooga. Across the country, much of our workforce, including those who provide vital services to a community such as firefighters, police officers, teachers and health workers, cannot afford to live in the communities where they work or serve.
Employer-Assisted Housing is one tool that can be implemented to address this challenge by providing assistance, including education, counseling and financial assistance, to employees in obtaining affordable housing.
At the local, state and national levels, Realtors continue to advocate on behalf of consumers to protect and promote private property rights.
In addition to advocacy efforts, Realtors invest in the Realtor Political Action Campaign (RPAC) to support political candidates whose philosophies are consistent with and supportive of the concepts of private property rights and the free enterprise system.
GCAR members rose to the challenge this year by investing more than $44,000, which was 198 percent of our annual goal.
While real estate is our career, politics is our business. Look for GCAR to be engaged in 2017 with the elections for Chattanooga mayor and City Council.
After a full revamp of our GCAR Leadership Academy, we graduated 19 Realtors in September.
This program provides a knowledge-based foundation to motivate and empower them for serving in a local leadership position, whether at GCAR or in the community.
Some of my goals as GCAR president were to unify the profession, improve member engagement and provide member value.
With all that we’ve accomplished and the new programs we’ve begun, I feel it was a successful year. It truly has been a team effort, and I’m grateful for every Realtor who got engaged this year. Thank you for helping making GCAR better and stronger and strengthening our profession to better serve all property owners.
The Greater Chattanooga Association of Realtors is The Voice of Real Estate in Greater Chattanooga.
The Association is a regional organization with more than 1,700 members, and is one of more than 1,400 local boards and associations of Realtors nationwide that comprise the National Association of Realtors.
The Greater Chattanooga Association of Realtors services Hamilton and Sequatchie counties in southeast Tennessee, and Catoosa, Dade, and Walker counties in northwest Georgia.
Go to www.gcar.net for more information.