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A Hurricane as a Metaphor

Flying into a hurricane tends to create its own metaphors. Rough waters. Heavy winds. Flooding. Worse. You get the picture.

Yet that is what I and others did when traveling to the NAR NXT Annual Conference in Orlando, Florida, in November. The storm diverted my flight to Tampa, and from there I rented a car to head into the eye of Hurricane Nicole. But it wasn’t just me. Many other REALTORS® faced similar situa- tions as thousands of us converged on Central Florida for education, networking, important governance work, and more.

While the traveling was dicey at best, everyone who made the trip was glad they did. Like every NAR event I’ve attended, I came back energized with ideas that I could apply in my own work as a REALTOR®, along with ideas that can help our association and its more than 30,000 members.

We learned more about “Riding with the Brand” directly from its originator, NAR President Kenny Parcell. In talking with our colleagues nationwide, we learned that our “Riding with the Brand” event—the Maryland Homeownership Expo on June 17— will be one of the few events that not only strengthens the REALTOR® brand but also reaches out to consumers, leveraging Homeownership Month.

It was also good to hear from NAR’s Chief Economist, Dr. Lawrence Yun. As we’re all interested in what 2023 housing sales will look like, I appre- ciated Dr. Yun’s remarks, grounded in data and historical perspective, that low inventory—something we know well in Maryland—has helped to keep housing prices steady.

Speaking of the economy, here’s what’s inside our latest issue. As we’re all interested in what will come in 2023, we’ve compiled the findings from a few economists
to share their thoughts on 2023 home sales. Dr. Yun, Anirban Basu, and others have contributed their thoughts. You can find this on page 12.

Lisa May, our Director of Advocacy and Public Policy, has previewed what to expect from the coming legislative session in Annapolis. As we continue to search for solutions that help to alleviate Maryland’s severe housing shortage, we again will lend our support for legisla- tion that encourages Accessory Dwelling Units statewide. Turn to page 8 to learn more.

Another useful article features the voices of our various local Government Affairs Directors (GADs). Lobby Day in Annapolis is coming soon on February 7. Read the advice from our local GADs,so that you can put your best foot forward when working with legislators.

We’re also acknowledging our members who have volunteered to serve on NAR committees, boards, and councils. To that end, we’ve created four different covers for this issue of the magazine, honoring members who are making an impact nationally. Which copy do you have? If you want to see the four members who made it to our cover, turn to page 6.

So let’s return to this hurricane metaphor. Yes, Nicole messed up the travel of many REALTORS® heading to Orlando. We flew (or drove) into heavy rains and wind. Yet, the very next day served up beautiful Florida sunshine.

Perhaps Hurricane Nicole, quickly downgraded to a tropical storm, is our metaphor for 2023. Yes, it’s going to be a little rough heading into the year with interest rates
and inflation impeding sales, but if economists see signs of easing inflation with homes retaining their value or losing just a few percent- age points, then perhaps we are looking at a little less rain, a little less wind, and a little more sunshine than originally anticipated. ■

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