Hamilton Herald Masthead


Front Page - Friday, January 1, 2021

Realtors do more than sell houses

2020 is in the rearview, and with that my time as President of Greater Chattanooga Realtors is over. With my last column, I wanted to shine a light on some of the items I’m most proud of as association president in this surprising and often trying year:

 Investing locally. This year has shown us that our favorite restaurants, venues and artists are more cherished than we ever thought. Greater Chattanooga Realtors believes in acting and investing locally, and so when we recognized our members for the advocacy efforts, we used local artists to make our awards.

When we had giveaways, they were to local restaurants. We were proud to provide 500 wreaths through Wreaths Across Chattanooga. Their mission is to ensure every veteran is honored with a wreath each year. We live and invest in our community that we love so much.

Encouraging Advocacy in our community. As a Realtor, my job isn’t just putting “For Sale” and “Sold” signs in the ground. You might be surprised to know that as president, much of my time was spent being an advocate.

The same is true for all Realtors. We’re not only advocates for buyers and sellers, but we also serve as advocates for our entire community.

Being an advocate takes many forms. For example, at the beginning of 2020, Greater Chattanooga Realtors traveled to the Tennessee State Capitol building in Nashville. We joined around 500 Realtors from all over the state to discuss crucial real estate issues on behalf of current and future home and property owners across Tennessee.

These issues included infrastructure, licensing and unnecessary fees for homeowners.

Continuing our support for Snack Packs. This year during our annual Realtor Day with Snack Pack, I had the privilege of presenting a $10,000 check to the Snack Pack Food Ministry, which helps feed more than 2,000 food-insecure children in Hamilton County every week.

And just last month, we were able to make an additional donation to Snacks Packs plus participate in the monthly packing event. It was incredible to see firsthand all that goes into making this operation run as smoothly as it does, even amid a pandemic. I can’t wait to see what we all can do help this organization in 2021!

Helping feed our neighbors. Thanks to a grant from Tennessee REALTORS, we partnered with the Chattanooga Area Food Bank to identify East Lake as an area significantly impacted by COVID-19. In September, Greater Chattanooga REALTORS made a donation and helped pack and distribute food.

In addition to this one-time grant, last month, we made an additional donation in response to the great need in our community. The Chattanooga Area Food Bank takes funds and multiplies its effects, meaning a $1 donation provides four meals. In total, our financial support this year provided more than 100,000 meals to our neighbors. That’s incredible!

Helping tornado victims through the Realtors Relief Fund. There were many times this year our membership shined, but this one is very near to me. Many residents were dealt a devastating blow this past April when tornadoes decimated many homes in our area.

Through the Realtors Relief Fund, Greater Chattanooga Realtors distributed more than $75,000 for housing assistance, which went toward mortgage or rent for 85 families.

Sure, the funds can’t fix everything, but behind-the-scenes Realtors helped Chattanooga families get back on their feet.

Soon my friend and colleague Robert Backer will be sworn in as 2021 President, and I know that our association is in great hands. Thanks to all of my fellow board members, as well as CEO Carol Seal, for their help this past year.

Most of all, I’m so very thankful for my friends and my wonderful family. I am especially proud of my sister who’s working with COVID patients. I pray for all health care and front-line workers and I am so thankful for all they’ve done during this crisis.

Robert, I know you’ll do wonderful things for Greater Chattanooga Realtors in 2021. It has been my pleasure to serve our members and help make our community aware of the crucial role Realtors play in our community every day. Serving and leading, That’s Who We R.

Greater Chattanooga Realtors is The Voice of Real Estate in Greater Chattanooga. A regional organization with more than 2,400 members, Greater Chattanooga Realtors is one of 300 local boards and associations of Realtors nationwide that comprise the National Association of Realtors®. Greater Chattanooga Realtors service Hamilton and Sequatchie counties in southeast Tennessee, and Catoosa, Dade, and Walker counties in northwest Georgia. For more information, visit www.gcar.net or call 423 698-8001.