Centennial Conclusion: Looking Back and Looking Ahead
December 21, 2022
December always is a busy month as we scurry around shopping, gathering with friends and family, and thanking those who have contributed to our success throughout the year. This month also brings to a close the Alabama Association of REALTORS® centennial celebration. While the celebration comes to an end, our focus now is on the beginning of our next 100 years.
As the old adage goes, “Change is the only constant in life.” REALTORS® have certainly experienced more than their share of changes and challenges over the past century. The take away point, however, is Alabama’s REALTORS® have embraced changes and overcome challenges to survive and thrive as AAR enters its second century. Our ability to adapt is strengthened by our association and commitment to our mission.
Back in 1922, when AAR received its charter, the real estate industry looked quite different. Thirty-year mortgages didn’t exist. There were no requirements for sellers to disclose defects in a home. In the following years, affordable mortgages opened home ownership to more Americans and, still today, the mortgage industry greatly impacts the degree to which Americans enjoy the benefits and rights of private property ownership.
Over the past 100 years our industry has demonstrated its sensitivity other external factors: the overall national economy, employment conditions, new home supply, interest rates on savings and investments, tax policy, wars and civil unrest, and a global pandemic. Our response has been to work cooperatively with government leaders, the financial industry, homebuilders and health officials to mitigate obstacles to the buying and selling of real property. Again, our strength in negotiating challenges lies in our state and national associations speaking with one voice.
REALTORS® understand the cyclical nature of the business: recovery, expansion, hyper supply and recession. History has taught us how to not only endure less-than-favorable conditions but how to make those conditions work for their clients.
In recent years, as government policies more profoundly affect our industry and private property rights, AAR and NAR are both vigilant and proactive in protecting those rights. Promoting home ownership is a worthy goal, but protecting owners’ rights is vital to preserving home ownership. AAR successfully challenged government encroachment on private property rights winning legal battles at the highest levels.
Technology certainly has revolutionized how we list homes, market them and ourselves, and – especially during the pandemic – show them to potential buyers. From the first printed multiple listing books to virtual showings, technology continues to evolve and shape how we attract, retain, and serve clients. AAR and the National Association of Realtors® work hard to help Realtors® adapt to and embrace technology.
Our 100-year celebration is more than a recollection of history – it’s a reflection of our legacy. Every generation of AAR’s membership has contributed to the deep well of respect and honor Alabama REALTORS® enjoy today. Our responsibility as individual REALTORS® and as an association is to ensure the well remains deep and clear.
Here’s to our next century of service, advocacy and learning.