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| Mid-year report for all Members
Savannah Area REALTORS® - President Bonnie Gaster
The first half of 2015 has really gone well at both SAR and SMLC. A peaceful and productive year with all committees performing as needed thus far with more events and projects coming in the next few months as we finish this year.
We have several things coming up quickly that I want you to be aware of and hopefully participate in enhancing your involvement in our Board. This week the Nominating Committee will be meeting to begin the process of selecting new members for our Board of Directors and Executive Committee. You should have received a letter last week giving you the application and deadline of Friday, August 21, 2015 for applications with interviews on August 26th. Presently we need applications to fill 3 Director positions ending 2018. Also Vice President applications are available for any member who has served at least one year as a Director, so any past Directors can jump back into the fray! I would love to see applications from members who have served on any committee who want to step up to another level of service to our organization.
Membership is definitely up with current REALTOR® members of 1,416, plus 93 Affiliate Members. 2014 ended with 1,338 REALTOR® Members with 97 Affiliates. We are in the process of developing a Membership survey; so, please watch for this so that you can give leadership your ideas to improve our service and opportunities for you.
Community Service Committee has met many times completing many projects and ramping up for the remainder of the year starting with BOWL-A-THON on August 8th with proceeds going to Lifeline for Children. Come join us at AMF Savannah Lanes, 115 Tibet....to cheer on the 33 teams. Check today to see if there are lanes available to bowl.
We are the Hostess City for the Georgia Association of REALTORS® convention coming to Savannah for the first time in 23 years. September 9-12 at the Westin Riverfront. Early Bird registration is before August 8 2015, at $179.00 with regular registration fee of $219.00 after the 8th. Let’s make a good showing with great local participation! Look at the GAR website to see classes and events in which to participate, particularly the Friday night Riverboat tour!
After Convention, September 26, 2015 we will have our first Annual Taste of Culture at the Ships of the Sea Museum organized and sponsored by our Cultural Diversity and Fair Housing Committee. There will be many ethnic food selections and entertainment from diverse groups. We did receive a NAR grant of $5,000.00 to promote this event with the City of Savannah, Chatham County Organizations, Armstrong University, Savannah State University, Savannah Tech and others participating with our profits going to college student scholarships.
SAR Institute is alive and well with a very busy year working extremely well promoting education opportunities that we offer. Classes are well attended with great reviews (other than AC too chilly in room). The number of instructors has increased as well as new classes to be held before the year ends. As of June 1, 2015 the Institute is showing a net profit of $20,000.00!!!
Governmental Affairs Committee has had an extremely busy year with even more to come. Our RPAC contributions are significant and all should know that this is the lifeline of protecting Private Property Rights for our customers but also protecting the practices within the government that affect us in our business. Following is a report from Tommy Danos, our Vice President of Governmental Affairs: “We have had a busy year this year starting with our visit to Atlanta for the GAR Legislative Conference. We met at the Capitol and talked to our representatives. One of the key issues that we supported was to exclude REALTORS®s from the Unauthorized Practice of Law bill that was recently passed allowing us to continue to advise buyers and sellers concerning contracts. We also visited Washington for the NAR Legislative Conference. Real Estate Related Tax Policies Vital to the Economy was a topic that was discussed. The importance of the Mortgage Interest Deduction, the Property Tax Deduction and the Mortgage Debt Forgiveness were stressed. We also worked to get a delay to the New Closing Rules per the CFPB.
The Global Alliance/Cultural Diversity committee has participated in the local Housing Fair this year. The committee is also hard at work preparing for the Taste of Culture Picnic on September 26th, an event that will bring together many of the community’s diverse cultures.
RPAC has been very productive this year with setting new records for Fundraising. This year with our annual sponsors, Quack Quack event, Major Investor Dinner, RPAC Auction and Trivia night we have exceeded expectations. And we are not done yet. We still have a Trivia Night (August 25th), the Pig Pickin’ & Oyster Roast (October 24th) and the Jewelry Sale (November 5th). Join us for these events. It will be a great opportunity for you to finish your pledge if you have not done so yet. Thank you to all that have helped to make this a banner year for Governmental Affairs.” Tommy Danos
SMLC has overseen the transition and extensive training of our membership as we move into the new Matrix system. Staff and SMLC Leadership taught over 33 classes, with more available online....one more time keeping SAR/SMLC on the cutting edge of our industry. The training classes were very effective and received rave reviews from attendees!
Membership Committee that oversees Awards Committee has had a busy year following a wonderful awards banquet at the Marriott. I was thrilled to see the number of award recipients increase back up to a record high after the slow down in the market. 2015 Awards banquet is planned for February 20, 2016.
Lock box audit was held this past week with a make up date of Tuesday July 28, 2015 from 10:00 a.m. – 3:00 p.m..
Thanks all for a good first half of 2015...we will finish this year celebrating all that our Leadership and Members have contributed not only to SAR and SMLC, but to our communities that we serve.
Again, thank you for all that you do....Bonnie
July 27, 2015