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Blaine Morris’ 2014 President of Marin Association of Realtors 1/6/14 Monday Memo

Blaine Morris, President, Marin Association of RealtorsAs the 2014 President of the Marin Association of Realtors, one of my responsibilities is to write a weekly column for distribution to our 1400 members.  It’s commonly called the “Monday Memo”.  Since I have quite a few friends, clients and business associates who are not members of MAR, I thought it would be useful to post those columns here as well.  As such, here is my first column of the year, which was originally published on 1/6/2014.  We will post the others that were already published this year over the next couple of weeks until we get caught up.

Happy New Year Marin Realtors!  It’s an honor and a privilege to have the opportunity to serve as your President in 2014.

I hope to see you at the next MAR General Membership meeting on January 14th, where the always-delightful and informative Carole Rodoni will help us make some sense of the market and opportunities for the coming year.

I want to take a moment to thank three people for their contributions in 2013.  First of all, thanks to Jack Wilkinson for stepping in to serve as our Association’s President in 2013.  Thank you to Edward Segal, our recently-departed CEO, who was a wealth of information and vision as I navigated my year as President-Elect.  Finally, I want to thank Mary Anne Heffernan for stepping in and seamlessly taking the reigns as our Interim Association Executive while we have been conducting our search for a permanent executive.

It’s been a good year for the business…it’s been a great year for the business!  Sales are up.  Prices are up.  Membership is up at MAR.  A growing membership is a healthy membership.  A healthy industry.

Looking forward to my term as 2014 MAR President, we have many opportunities as an association.  First and foremost, MAR will continue with our advocacy efforts on behalf or our members.  The association will also be focused on service and giving back to our members, our colleagues and our community.  We are launching the Young Professionals Network (YPN) for our newer members.  We are also looking into re-launching an MAR-sponsored volunteer effort, to give back to the community that has given so much to us.

As I said in my remarks at the MAR installation last month, our efforts as an association can be simply focused and measured on three criteria:  Are we promoting the Productivity, the Profitability and the Professionalism of our members?

Regarding Productivity, are we giving our members the tools to be as productive as possible, with as few distractions as possible?  Are we?  Is the municipal resale inspection process a help or a hindrance to our member’s productivity?  Do our members have the very best and most responsive MLS?   As an association, we must promote the productivity of our members.

Regarding Profitability, are we doing what we can to ensure that our members are as profitable as possible?  We must look out for and advocate for the best interests of our members and property owners with our local government and regulatory agencies.  We don’t want legislation that impedes our ability to conduct business.  Whether we are advocating for local control of planning and building decisions, advocating against additional fees for building and transacting Real Estate, or taking a position on pending legislation, advocating for our members is at the heart of promoting our Profitability.

Regarding Professionalism, we must provide for the education, professional development, and professional standards of our members.  We must promote the highest level of professionalism through our shared code of ethics.

So it’s pretty simple:  everything we do at MAR must be focused on the Productivity, Profitability and Professionalism of our members.

One last thing:  get involved in 2014!  Whether it’s with your neighborhood, local community, helping your colleagues, or helping those less fortunate, make it a point to get involved and give back!  And don’t get too caught up with the time commitment…however small your contribution, you will make our community and our industry a better place with your involvement.

I wish you a wonderful and prosperous 2014!