As we look to a new year, my term as President comes to an end. In my final weekly column, I wish to thank those who have helped me this past year, to take a look at what we’ve achieved, and to look forward to 2022.
2021 was a tumultuous year in real estate and virtually every other facet of life. Covid-19 taught us that our lives could change, seemingly, in an instant. And while 2021 arguably had more upside than 2020, our lives were anything but ordinary. Specifically, in real estate, Realtors® everywhere continued to pivot and adapt to make sure that we could effectively (and safely) serve the needs of our clients and community.
For many, 2021 was the year where real estate needs continued to intertwine with our need for personal space and workspace. This meant that 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 that 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 was a joint project between the Greater Chattanooga REALTORS ® and Highland Park Commons, and it provides a distinct place for conversations and activities by everyone in the neighborhood. There is 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 allow for tables for socializing and after school 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 that Realtors are making a difference in our community.
And our continued support of Snack Packs through volunteering and donating funds shows just how much Realtors are dedicated to fighting hunger for area school children. And 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, and most recently to various relief funds and directly to the tornado victims impacted in Tennessee. It’s easy to see that we serve (and we love) where we live and work.
Something near and dear to me was establishing 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, with more information to 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.
And the culture of our association is being well represented by Greater Chattanooga Realtors’ Diversity Inclusion Committee. Throughout 2021, we have welcomed speakers and discussed topics that have helped us examine not only real estate, but 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. While advocating for homeownership often took me away from my everyday business, and many times, my own family, I want to thank my family for their understanding, endless love, and support.
I would also like to thank the staff of Greater Chattanooga Realtors® for their support over this past year. Sometimes our staff gets overlooked since they are 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 that he will bring passion and excellence as President, and I look forward to seeing all the great things to come.
It has 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 that I am so glad that I made. Serving fellow Realtors, our clients, and community- That’s Who We R.