As we begin a new year, my term as president of Greater Chattanooga Realtors comes to an end. In my final weekly column, I wish to thank those who helped me this past year, look back at what we achieved and look forward to 2022.
Last year was a tumultuous time in real estate and virtually every other facet of life. COVID-19 taught us our lives could change seemingly in an instant.
And while 2021 arguably had more upside than 2020, our lives were anything but ordinary. In real estate, Realtors everywhere continued to pivot and adapt to make sure we could effectively – and safely – serve the needs of our clients and community.
For many, 2021 was the year when real estate needs continued to intertwine with our need for personal space and workspace. This meant many folks were looking for homes that could comfortably accommodate their individual and family lives, as well as support the need to switch to a remote work situation.
These needs translated into record low housing inventory and increased prices. There were many challenges, but Realtors, both locally and nationally, rose to the occasion to serve their clients.
While there were definitely challenges for us, I’m not too bashful to admit there’s a lot to be proud of for our association in 2021.
For starters, our Placemaking Committee was able to complete the Highland Park Commons Placemaking Project. This joint project between the Greater Chattanooga Realtors and Highland Park Commons provides a distinct place for conversations and activities by everyone in the neighborhood.
There’s a community flower garden with raised flower beds and an ADA compliant concrete pathway to help increase the impact to the community and become relevant to a wider audience.
Highland Park Commons plans to eventually expand the project area to include a covered area that will provide tables for socializing and afterschool programs for children to learn chess and other hobbies.
The area will also eventually be fenced in to provide a safe area for children to play without fear of the nearby road. This project is tangible proof Realtors are making a difference in our community.
Our continued support of Snack Packs through volunteering and donating funds shows how much Realtors are dedicated to fighting hunger for area school children.
Furthermore, our involvement with the Medal of Honor Heritage Center and Wreaths Across Chattanooga show our gratitude for those who have selflessly served our great nation and our promise to never forget their sacrifices.
And when times were tough, our association and members rose to the occasion like we always do. Greater Chattanooga Realtors donated funds to the Chattanooga Area Food Bank, to various relief funds and directly to tornado victims in Tennessee. It’s easy to see we serve – and love – where we live and work.
Something near and dear to me was establishing the Greater Chattanooga Realtors’ Scholarship fund. Thanks to the hard work of many dedicated Realtors, our association will be able help 10 local graduating seniors each with a $1,000 scholarship. We encourage local seniors to ask about this scholarship. More information will come in early 2022.
But that’s not all. Not even close. Our association continued to increase participation in the Realtor Party, the nation’s largest non-partisan political action committee, with more investors and dollars over previous years as well as more major investors investing $1,000 or more.
Vote. Act. Invest. It’s part of our culture.
Also, Greater Chattanooga Realtors’ Diversity Inclusion Committee is representing the culture of our association well. Throughout 2021, we welcomed speakers and discussed topics that helped us examine not only real estate but also parts of our history that could impair all people from achieving the dream of homeownership. I’m looking forward to more great talks in 2022.
Personally, I was privileged to meet with elected officials to help convey the needs of Realtors and also homeowners. With the help of others, Greater Chattanooga Realtors continued to be the voice of real estate.
Advocating for homeownership often took me away from my everyday business and my own family, and I want to thank my family for their understanding, endless love and support.
I also want to thank the staff of Greater Chattanooga Realtors for their support over this past year. Our staff sometimes gets overlooked because they work behind the scenes, but I thank them for all they do for our more than 2,500 local Realtors every day.
Lastly, as we all look toward 2022, I want to congratulate my friend Derek English on being elected as 2022 president of Greater Chattanooga Realtors. I know he’ll bring passion and excellence as president, and I’m looking forward to seeing all the great things to come.
It’s been a pleasure to serve as president this past year, and I urge all of my fellow Realtors to get involved and serve at our association. Our association is only as strong as those who choose to serve. It’s a time commitment but a commitment I’m so glad I made.
Serving our fellow Realtors, clients and community – That’s Who We R.
Founded in 1912, Greater Chattanooga Realtors is a regional organization with more than 2,500 members servicing Hamilton and Sequatchie counties in southeast Tennessee and Catoosa, Dade and Walker counties in Northwest Georgia. The association is one of approximately 1,100 local associations and boards of Realtors nationwide that comprise the National Association of Realtors. Greater Chattanooga Realtors owns and operates a Multiple Listing Service, which is one of approximately 600 MLSs in the country, and services more than 2,700 MLS users.