When I began my presidency at the beginning of this year, I was already in complete awe of the resiliency of our nearly 20,000 members, our passionate volunteers, and our dedicated staff
for overcoming the setbacks of a global pandemic. Last year was difficult, and in many ways, 2021 has been equally if not more challenging than 2020.
But if 2021 was tougher, our collective strength was more evident than ever. Despite fluctuating COVID-19 case numbers and public safety ordinances, we continued to meet members where they are and found new ways to connect and thrive in our Year of Community. We helped thousands of homebuyers, sellers, and renters find a place to call home amidst one of the most complex housing markets in Austin’s history, while also taking massive action for our Association and our industry. Here are some of my favorite moments from 2021:
ACTRIS MLS Acquisition of Remine
In October, your MLS took groundbreaking steps to give you a seat at the table in creating the MLS of the future. Along with MLSs in Miami, Atlanta, and Kansas City, ACTRIS formed MLS Technology Holdings, LLC to acquire Remine. As the leading Pro Tool in our marketplace, Remine’s intuitive features and data intelligence are reimagining the real estate journey for both agents and consumers. Remine is building the MLS of the future, and over the next year, you will have the opportunity share feedback and ideas for the MLS you want to see. In the meantime, if you’re not already using Remine Pro, I strongly encourage you to register for a free ABoR On-Air Remine training at ABoR.com/Calendar.
New Association Management System & Member Portal
An unprecedented winter storm didn’t stop us from launching a new Member Portal and Tangilla Association Management System (AMS), which integrated membership records, event and class registrations, applications, and email communications into one seamless, intelligent platform. You can now update your information, reschedule classes, manage your MLS services and email preferences, download a Letter of Good Standing, and more, without ever having to contact our Member Success Team.
Just as important, the Tangilla AMS migration opened the door to new possibilities for member engagement. With membership, events, classes, email communications, and committees all in one platform, your Association now has the capability to send news, benefits, and alerts directly to you in the Member Portal, based on your exact interests and involvement. Bookmark Portal.ABoR.com and make a habit of checking in regularly for Association and MLS news curated just for you.
Taking Action for MLS Compliance
Another major victory for our marketplace this year was the implementation of new ACTRIS MLS Rules and Regulations (ABoR.com/ACTNow). With easier-to-understand compliance categories and clear escalation pathways for repeat rule offenders, the new ACTRIS MLS Rules are based on your feedback and part of our commitment for a renewed focus on MLS compliance in our marketplace. Simply put, when we ACT by prioritizing Accurate, Complete, and Timely data, we create a Reliable MLS marketplace that you and your clients can count on. As part of this new culture, we’re doing our part by prioritizing subscriber education on MLS compliance and the new ruleset. We’ve significantly expanded our MLS Team with a new Compliance and Product departments to serve you in more ways than ever before.
Building Community in New Ways
We resumed in-person service and REALTOR® Store sales at our facilities in June but kept our online REALTOR® store as well as curbside pickup services at ABoR Headquarters. We have offered more virtual classes and events than ever before. New events series like ThinkUp LIVE, MLS Power Hours, and High Stakes & Hot Markets kept you connected to the latest changes in the industry without leaving the field. And while we couldn’t have as many in-person events as we would have liked, the ones we did have in-person were incredibly well-attended and served as a purposeful way to reconnect with one another.
We also achieved record levels of member participation in both TREPAC and the ABoR Foundation. Over the last year, ABoR raised a record-breaking $536,030 for TREPAC and achieved a 38%-member participation rate, $100,000 more than our previous high-water mark in 2020. The ABoR Foundation awarded $72,000 in scholarships to 36 Central Texas students, donated $10,000 in donations to local disaster relief efforts following the winter storms in February, and resumed in-person service projects as part of our 10-year, million-dollar partnership with Community First! Village.
Finally, we released new content and initiatives deepening our commitment to professional standards and championing diversity, equity, and inclusion in our industry and our communities. This included a new Broker Toolkit Series covering anti-discrimination, risk reduction, and MLS compliance, a ScratchThat Podcast Season dedicated to Fair Housing and inclusion, community engagement with the Diversity Committee at the Shoal Creek Social event, and research for our upcoming Diversity Report.
Wishing You a Fantastic Year Ahead
I want to specifically thank the dedicated volunteers that put in countless hours of support and dedication to our Association and MLS. We could not have done what we did this year without you. I’d like to thank our members for always taking the high road and doing the right thing for the right reason – it’s what sets us apart as REALTORS®. And I’d like to thank ABoR and ACTRIS CEO Emily Chenevert and her amazing staff for always being there for our members.
The ABoR and ACTRIS communities are strong and filled with wonderful members, volunteers, and leaders. I am honored to have served as your 2021 President, for the immense leadership opportunities and relationships that involvement in ABoR provides, and this time of celebrating our accomplishments together.
As we move into 2022, let us rally together to support incoming President Cord Shiflet, our incoming 2022 Officers, and our 2022 Board of Directors. It’s going to be a fantastic year!