Spreading holiday cheer, Realtor style
The High Country Association of Realtors held its annual membership meeting Thursday, reflecting on a challenging year for real-estate sales but promoting professionalism among members.
President Carole Cox, in her last official actions, touted the public education and advertising the association had conducted over the past year and expressed optimism for the year ahead. She also said the board members had been good stewards of the association's money.
Some members questioned the need for a large fund balance for the association, which now sits at $1.6 million. Suggestions included giving money back to members, though Cox said it would be difficult to determine how to do that since the funds had been built over years. Another suggestion was to reduce dues in the future. Cox said the matter would be considered as part of budget planning.
Patrick Morgan addressed the Homes 4 N.C. initiative, with the association donating $6,000 to the Watauga County Habitat for Humanity. A portion of the money was received as a grant from the N.C. Association of Realtors. The money was presented to local Habitat president Alex Hooker.
The association has 467 members, and another 60 associate members, Cox reported, which she said reflected a slight decline as some members didn't renew.
The Community Action Committee is filling stockings to be distributed at adult-care facilities, with donations going to the Mountain Care facility in Boone this year. The association gave about $25,000 in the past year in scholarships and charitable support to community projects.
John Bailey, a 1992 Appalachian State University graduate, was recognized as a newly certified commercial appraiser in the area.
"We have some of the most caring, thoughtful, professional people around," Cox said. "We're working hard toward being the voice of real estate in the area."
She said there were many issues in the field, including the home tax credits, appraisals, and changes in the industry, and the association Web site is constantly under improvement.
Hope Harvey was installed as the association's new president, replacing Cox, who will stay on for another year to help Harvey. Harvey is a broker at Sugar Ski and Country Club, formerly working with Mountain Retreats Realty.
"We're going to offer services to all of us, even with declining numbers, and that is how you will get money back," Harvey said.
"We're members of a professional organization, and that's how I want us to conduct ourselves with each other and with the public."
Other new members of the association's board of directors include president-elect Charlie Burleson, secretary Dara Barnes, treasurer Robert Flanigan, directors Jessie Hicks, Jason Eldreth, Fred Blair, Debbie Clark, Carol Sommers-Isquith, Patrick Morgan and John Volpe, Marc White and executive officer Laurie Phillips.