Friday, January 18th, 2020: The first Alaska Association of Realtors Broker Summit took place.

Purpose – I decided to attend without really knowing what the content would be and was very pleased with my experience. The over arching theme from my perspective was for Alaskan Realtors to be able to deliver excellent results to clients and customers by being well informed, knowing the changes that are coming to our industry, and preparing for them.

Speakers – Included national speakers from the National Association of Realtors (NARA). Michael Labout talked about he new C2EX a custom tailored training program provided by NAR to identify Realtor strengths, weakeness, identify areas that need improvement, and provide the education for those needs. Awesome session on Risk Management from Neal Ainsworth, Attorney and Paddy Coan, Broker for Keller Williams Alaska Group. Special Agent Joe Bieshelt from the FBI talked about white collar crime and fraud including money mules working for syndicates. I was particularly impressed with the presentation Mary Hughes from the University of Alaska Board of Regents gave on the status and plans for the University, something that concerns all of us in Alaska. *I graduated from University of Alaska, Fairbanks myself. Nobu Hata from NAR spoke about the new wave of “I Buyer” platforms that are out there including Amazon and Googles entry to selling real estate. The stress was really on how we demonstrate to our clientele the value added proposition no technologically based program has yet been able to duplicate. Nobu grew up here in Anchorage and got his start in real estate in Alaska and now is based out of Chicago where his wife has a thriving real estate practice.

Finally and the Highlight for me was Kitty Wallace and Febra Hensley talking about the role of the Realtor Assocation in Advocacy. Both from the lower 48 and active Realtors. They helped me better understand the important role that the National Association of Realtors plays in American life. About the only thing most Americans know about NAR is that it is a huge and powerful political lobby that advocates for property owner rights. Which is true, and important! Things like the mortgage interest rate deduction remain year after year partially because of the vigilance of NAR. What Kitty and Febra really hit on was the ADVOCACY of NAR. This means that on the local level Realtors are out there assisting their communities. This can mean lobbying for important local issues like water rights, parks, open spaces, zoning and more. The cool part is that it’s not just the local Realtors who take part. It’s a grass roots effort with country wide support from all of the Realtors out there. This means Realtors giving time, money, and advocating for quality of life issues for Americans.

In fact I think this may be one of the first things I talk about in a listing presentation with Sellers in the future. Why they want to hire a REALTOR to assist them. Not all real estate professional are Realtors, members of the National Association of Realtors prescribe to a Code of Ethics that licensees may not, and so much more!

Just another one of the things I really enjoy about what I do. Being a Realtor is a big part of why I enjoy my vocation. I am involved on the Professional Standards Committee at the local level and serve on the Alaska MLS Board as well. Get in touch if you have questions about anything I’ve mentioned in this post.