Get Involved with IVAR!
FRANK LICEA, 2017 IVAR PRESIDENT
Members of the Board of Directors, committees and other important leadership positions at IVAR offer their efforts for many reasons, but no pay. For some, it seems like a distraction from the work we do to make a living and build our businesses.
For those who get involved, we find that it becomes an important part of helping us build our careers in real estate.
Our industry is changing. It’s changing from the inside as the roster of real estate professionals change over time. It’s changing from the outside as the nature of our clients and their interests as homeowners change. Other change is being created almost daily through the work of lawmakers at the local, state and federal level. Being involved means being better attuned to the changes before they come and helping to craft our industry’s response to the way things are necessarily shifting before our eyes.
The average veteran REALTOR® in our industry has enough – shall we say – “experience” to have seen the transition from printed MLS books to computers. It wasn’t that long ago that our headquarters building was home to the Riverside Board of REALTORS® and more than a dozen fellow Boards existed throughout our region. We used to set course to show homes with the help of Thomas Guide coordinates. The printed real estate section in the local newspaper was how our clients kept tabs of real estate.
Now the Inland Valleys Association of REALTORS® represents two dozen cities in two counties over a population of more than 3 million. Our market is covered almost exclusively by one MLS – the California Regional MLS. We have more computing power in our smartphones than NASA had when it sent missions to the Moon and not only do we not buy maps anymore, but our new, free maps politely let us know that we need to turn right in 400 feet.
Our industry keeps changing. Our new locus of concern comes from Zillow. The real estate behemoth that didn’t exist in our vocabulary at the start of my career has grown from curiosity to aggressive upstart to a real challenge to professionals attempting to serve clients in real estate. And it’s no longer just the problems created by wildly inaccurate “Zestimates” of home value.
The new offering from Zillow is a feature that plans to deliver low-ball, “instant offers” directly to your clients. The pilot program, which is opening in Las Vegas and Orlando, would provide instant cash offers to homeowners in a system that pulls Realtors out of the transaction.
I’ve heard this described as the digital equivalent of cardboard signs stapled on telephone poles with “Will buy your house – CASH!”. That may be true. However, as we learned with a computerized MLS or our talking digital maps, technology doesn’t just rearrange the furniture, it can change our world completely.
We continue to need our members to be involved and join the ranks of leadership to help us respond to these issues and more that will come. Our mission as REALTORS®, whether we each individually accepted it or not, has been to represent homeowners and homebuyers present and future and support the American Dream of homeownership. That’s why we have to take notice and respond when we see groups take action that carry major risks for homeowners. It’s why we police our own industry and members for violations of ethics It’s why we feel a responsibility to pressure the PACE industry to reform its practices.
In ways large and small, our involved members make a real difference daily and keep themselves at the center of understanding how to best serve their clients. If you’re not involved on that level, I hope you will consider making leadership, constant learning and involvement a part of your career path.