by Steve Brown, National Association of REALTORS® president
“Isn’t the real estate industry just like any other business? Don’t we have a product to sell? Isn’t the industry based on profit and loss and market share just like any other business?
“It would be naive to think our industry could thrive without a smart business model and thoughtful business decisions. It is our responsibility to our clients and to ourselves to be smart business people.
“That being said, I can hear Peggy Lee singing in my ear as I write: ‘Is that all there is, my dear?’
“No, Peggy. The answer to your question is a resounding no! Our services may be shaped by business models, but our product is special. Our product has both iconic meaning and fundamental human purpose. It is this distinction that keeps REALTORS® pushing forward.
“‘Under all is the land.’ Real estate, whether it is residential, commercial, farm, or raw land, carries intrinsic values and meanings that we as real estate professionals oversee in our work.
“Property ownership shapes wealth. It builds and strengthens the middle class, which is critical to any country’s growth and stability. Whether for shelter, for security, for business, for pride of accomplishment — whatever the reason — real estate is a product that has a profound impact not only on the owner but also on all that surrounds that property—neighbors, communities, societies, and the environment itself. So much more than title is conveyed in the transfer of a property.
“In this issue of REALTOR® Magazine, the emphasis is on the home. As I have travelled to Asia, Europe, and South America, much of my thinking about the American dream has been broadened. The desire for and value attributed to homeownership prevails in almost every culture, not just ours.
“What is different is not the overt value placed on home ownership but the hierarchy of meanings by which people express that value. In more developed countries, we dream of a place to make beautiful, of lifestyles, of places to live out life’s experiences. One prominent real estate professional in another part of the world told me home ownership in her country represents security above all else — both as a financial investment and a place to be physically safe in an ever-changing -political environment. In other parts of the world, the most important meaning is as simple shelter, and for yet others, home ownership represents accomplishment—the paramount symbol of success. Clearly, culture plays a major role in framing the dream of home ownership, but, for most, the desire to own a home is embedded firmly in the heart.
“This is why we as professionals, as REALTORS®, must be the best we can be in our work. Yes, we are in business. But we are not only in charge of the transactional aspects of a transfer of title. We are, in a more profound way, enablers of all the intrinsic social values that go with the sale. And that makes our product quite unlike any other.”
(Reprinted from REALTOR® Magazine Online, July 2014, with permission of the National Association of REALTORS®.)
• Now that he has sold his sign company, Global Sign Concepts, Randy Dziadek wrote that he could not help but be impressed with how REALTORS® are so professional when conducting their business affairs.
“To Winnipeg and surrounding area REALTORS®:
“I would like to thank each and every one of the REALTORS® I have had the pleasure to work with for the past 18 years. During this time, I had the opportunity to observe first-hand how hard everyone in the real estate industry works. When I went to work each morning, and logged in the sign orders, I could not help but notice all the times of the day and night that the requisitions would be called in — some as late as 3 a.m. While the rest of us were sleeping, or on weekends off and on holidays, you were working hard for your clients, providing advice and feedback, closing an offer or searching for the ideal property. It takes a very special person to be a REALTOR®, and I soon came to realize that REALTORS® today provide a valuable service that cannot be replaced.
“I have a great respect for everyone associated with the real estate industry. You are truly professionals. I would like to thank everyone I have worked with: from the office staff who unlock the door in the morning to the manager who closes at night; REALTORS® who list the homes to the families of the REALTORS®, who show tremendous patience while their spouses are out working; lawyers who register land titles to the couriers who deliver paperwork; and all those involved in the many workshops and trade shows. It is a big wheel that spins, and the work of all of these people provides the bread and butter for many of us. We all benefit from their expertise.
“I am very proud to have been a part of your lives as you have become a part of mine. It was a privilege to work together and change the real estate sign landscape.
“Thank you again for your support.”
— Randy Dziadek