Hamilton Herald Masthead


Front Page - Friday, November 21, 2014

Greater Chattanooga engaged in national issues


Vicki Trapp

After spending a week in New Orleans at the Realtors Conference & Expo, I’m pleased to report Greater Chattanooga is very much engaged in national issues. More than a dozen of our members participated in the conference, and were among the nearly 17,000 Realtors and industry experts in attendance from across the country. Sharing in these meetings is our opportunity to glean best practices from peers, and to give input on where the national association is headed. Throughout the conference, our members were involved in policy discussions related to the release of sold data, advocacy, and raising the bar of professionalism – to name a few.

This year’s conference theme, “Realtors in Full Swing,” encouraged members to take full advantage of new technology, tips from top industry professionals, and the opportunity to make new contacts across the globe. Realtors were also given the chance to hear from real estate experts and leaders in featured talks and panels. Panelists and speakers included the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s rural housing service administrator, Tony Hernandez, Federal Housing Finance Agency Director Mel Watt, and “Double Down: Game Change 2012” authors and political commentators Mark Halperin and John Heilemann.

As the most trusted source in real estate, Realtors immerse themselves in the trends and issues affecting our industry. During the conference, Realtors advocated solutions to the important legislative and regulatory issues facing home buyers and sellers. Realtors are dedicated to keeping real estate issues a priority on the country’s policy agenda, as well as helping their clients closer to home.

For example, here in Chattanooga, our leadership recently participated in meetings with the Mayor and City Council to convey our concerns regarding proposed stormwater regulations. We feel certain aspects of the proposed stormwater ordinance would have negative consequences. These conversations are just one example of ways in which we are fighting locally on issues that impact real estate values, development opportunities, and quality of life in our community.

Throughout the conference, we participated in workshops, forums, and classes to help prepare ourselves, our businesses, and the local association for 2015. This involvement is one of the ways Realtors raise their professionalism and skills with specialized knowledge and expertise. We have members appointed to serve on various national committees, which gives Greater Chattanooga a voice in the national discussion.

Realtors from Greater Chattanooga also had the opportunity to explore the newest products and innovations set to transform the real estate industry. More than 350 exhibitors showcased the latest products and services available to the industry during the trade expo.

In addition, our members had the opportunity to engage in discussions about drone photography, which is becoming increasingly popular. However, the National Association advises all Realtors “that the use of unmanned aerial vehicles for real estate marketing currently is prohibited by the Federal Aviation Administration. Such prohibited use of unmanned aerial vehicles may lead to the assessment of substantial fines and penalties.”

During the conference, Chris Polychron, a Realtor from Hot Springs, Ark., was installed as the 2015 NAR president. “In 2015, we need to keep homeownership issues – mortgage interest deduction, foreclosures and short sales, affordable financing, and available credit – a priority on the nation’s public policy agenda because they affect all Americans, not just those who own a home,” he said. “Homeownership is still the American Dream, and as Realtors, we will fight to make sure every person who’s able and wants to own a home has that opportunity.”

The Greater Chattanooga Association of Realtors is “The Voice of Real Estate in Greater Chattanooga.” The Association is a regional organization with more than 1,400 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. For more information, visit www.gcar.net.