Fall means many things to many people. For most of us, it means cooler temperatures, falling leaves, and college football. And for many realtors across our state, it’s also the time we gather to celebrate our achievements and survey industry challenges. We also honor our colleagues who have served in leadership roles and elect leaders to help lead our state in the coming year.
More than 300 realtors attended last week’s Tennessee Realtors Fall Conference in French Lick, In. With the opportunity to participate in more than 40 classes and events, we gained valuable insight and learned from nationally renowned speakers.
But it wasn’t all work.
I was thrilled to celebrate two of our own realtors – Paige Batten and Mike Purcell – as our newest graduates from Tennessee Realtors Academy of Real Estate Advancement (A.R.E.A.) class. A nine-month commitment, realtors apply for less than 20 spots to partake in A.R.E.A., which empowers them in their leadership roles, whether in service at the local or state Association level or in their volunteer roles outside the real estate industry. Great job, and congratulations to Paige and Mike.
We also took time to honor those who have served in a state capacity in 2022, including several from Greater Chattanooga – Jennifer Grayson (Convention Advisory Group chair), Steven LaMar (Residential Forms chair), Kathy Tucker (Risk Management Forum chair), and Ellis Gardner (Young Professionals Network Forum chair). I thank these hardworking individuals who take time from their busy schedules to help lead this profession. Thanks for all that you do.
Also, Geoff Ramsey was elected as 2023 Division 3 vice president. I can’t wait to see the great things Geoff will do for our area. Thanks for serving, Geoff.
I know I speak for all our local members for how proud we are of our own Travis Close, who has served this year as president of Tennessee Realtors. Under his leadership, our state has added several member benefits, including last week’s announcement of a new health insurance plan for realtors across the state. Also, we had a productive Governmental Affairs Committee meeting and update. There are a few items from last year’s agenda that will carry over into 2023 as well as a few new issues the Tennessee Realtors will be taking to our elected officials in Nashville on our annual Day on the Hill in February. The Board of Directors also passed the 2023 Budget and voted to approve a few By-Law changes for the Tennessee Realtors.
In his year-in-review, Close noted that our statewide membership has grown to an all-time high of 36,151 members. That’s an impressive number that reflects the ever-present need of service by local realtors at the state level to keep our industry moving forward and protect private property rights.
I would also be remiss to not mention the efforts of our State Leadership in launching a GoFundMe to raise money to purchase toys for tornado victims of Dresden, Tn. and Samburg, Tn. in December of 2021. Travis Close (Chattanooga), Alex Bynum (Dresden) and Katie Townsend (Parsons) worked with a wholesaler to line up a unique opportunity to purchase a semi-truck of toys at cost, so the children of the area were able to have Christmas. Santa Claus was also brought in to visit with the families and help with the delivery of the toys just days before Christmas and after most families had lost everything. In less than 48 hours, Tennessee realtors raised over $40,000 dollars in donations. I would also like to include Will Sliger (Morristown) as he was integral in mobilizing the effort of trailers and volunteers to assist in the process, taking time away from his real estate business and family to help others.
After missing out on these in-person meetings for so long, it was incredible to see old friends and make new ones as we all share our passion for real estate. Whether consumers are looking to sell or purchase, they can rest assured that the real estate industry is being led by some very capable folks. Realtors serve their communities and clients all year long. That’s Who We R.