Closing the door on 2021

As my two years serving you as NETAR President draws to a close, I am incredibly grateful to have been entrusted with this honor, privilege, and responsibility. Was it anything like I, or any of us, imagined? Absolutely not! But I can honestly say that the challenges we faced have made us stronger as an association and as an industry. We learned very quickly that to adapt, change, and pivot would be vital.

We pivoted ways to communicate, swapping podiums for virtual platforms and stages for computer screens.

We pivoted the business of real estate, lobbying to keep real estate services open and supporting safe and virtual transaction processes. Setting records in 2020 with about 9,000 closings worth more than $2 billion, which we are on track to exceed by the end of 2021!

We pivoted member service and engagement, text messaging, live online chat, revamped email resources, and more to ensure that you could continue to serve our clients and run our business.

We pivoted meetings and classes with virtual and hybrid solutions, offering more than 79 classes which included 178 hours of credit taken by 2031 agents. Leadership and learning never stopped. We attended NAR® and TN REALTOR® events both virtually and in person.

We pivoted programs and events, offering new safety and technology options for our members. We held virtual meetings with NAR Chief Economist Lawrence Yun, Sullivan County Sheriff Jeff Cassiday, and Tri-Cities Airport Director Gene Cossey, just to name a few.

We reimagined community impact, finding creative ways to support individuals and local businesses. NETAR members support great organizations with fundraisers and donations to Isaiah 117 House, Habitat for Humanity, and Second Harvest Food Bank. We also like to love on the children in need in our community from backpacks and school supplies in the fall to coats and shoes in the winter and everything in between.

We pivoted leadership as individuals and as an association, celebrating Realtor® award winners and finalists at local, state, and national levels. Our own Jerry Petzoldt celebrated 50 years of service to the commercial real estate community and later in the year was honored as one of the recipients of the 2021 National Commercial Awards. This recognition program honors REALTORS® who received an award or recognition for their exceptional service and contributions to the commercial real estate industry.

I am truly humbled to have been the president to such an amazing, resilient organization through such a trying time. I think Lou Holtz said it best, “Show me someone who has done something worthwhile, and I’ll show you someone who has overcome adversity.” With lots of prayer and flexibility, I hope we have done something worthwhile through the worst of this trial that was put before us.

Thank you to the leadership team and the board for being so supportive and flexible as we navigated unknown waters. Thank you to the members for hanging in there while we found our way. Thank you most of all to the staff, Edithann Wadewitz, Darlene Rasnick, Andrea Self, and Don Fenley. You have been vital to keeping us going for the last two years and I cannot possibly thank you enough!

So, as we pass the torch to next year’s leaders, I have the greatest confidence that we will continue to meet every challenge that comes our way, because “who knows whether you have not come to the kingdom for such a time as this?” Esther 4:14. And because That’s Who We R.

NETAR is the voice for real estate in Northeast Tennessee. It is the largest trade association in the Northeast Tennessee, Southwest Virginia region representing over 1,500 members and 100 affiliates involved in all aspects of the residential and commercial real estate industries.   

NETAR is the voice for real estate in Northeast Tennessee. It is the largest trade association in the Northeast Tennessee, Southwest Virginia region, representing over 1,600+ members and 100+ business partners involved in all aspects of the residential and commercial real estate industries. Weekly market reports and information for both consumers and members are available on the NETAR website at https://netar.us