The 2019 leadership of the Cape Cod & Islands Association of REALTORS® and MLS had a fantastic start to the year with our annual Leadership Orientation & Training. We assembled all board members, Finance Committee members, committee chairs and vice-chairs, and MLS Tour chairs to set the stage.

This year, our facilitator and trainer for the day was Ron Phipps, a Rhode Island real estate brokerage owner who was the 2011 president of the National Association of REALTORS®. Ron brought great insight through his session the Geography of Leadership Genius about what it takes to be great leaders, and then followed it up with observations of where the real estate industry is going, and how Association leaders can be ahead of the curve.

In addition, I provided an overview of the plan for the Association and MLS this year, and that’s what I wanted to share that here with you. Below are the highlights from my presentation with commentary shaping that view.

In showing where CCIAOR fits in nationally it always helps to emphasize that we are considered a large Association of REALTORS®. At 2,556 Association members at the end of the year, we are the 125th largest Association in the country out of more than 800, and the third largest of 13 in the state of Massachusetts behind the Greater Boston Association of REALTORS® and just slightly behind the South Shore REALTORS®.

On the MLS side, we have more than 2,700 combined members and that puts us as one the largest 100 MLSs in the country out of more than 600, and the 2nd largest in Massachusetts among the six MLSs in the state.

I say that to point out that while some think of Cape Cod, Martha’s Vineyard, and Nantucket as a small place in the world of organized real estate: we are well organized and a large association and as such and we should be thinking big to provide services and benefits to advance both the level of professionalism and advocacy of the profession.

2019 Plan for CCIAOR

We have four major initiatives that we’ll be tackling in 2019. These take up a good portion of our leadership and staff capacity to create and manage, and we want to make sure they are done right. They are:

  • Launch Professionalism Programs
  • Enhance Our Advocacy Efforts
  • Address Short-Term Rentals
  • Improve the Member Experience

We will continue to build upon the major strides we have made in increasing our professionalism programs. We are policing the Code of Ethics more stringently; specifically emphasizing both illegal and unethical advertising. Our Ethics Citation and Ombudsman programs are working; providing members with guidance and resolutions to ethical issues.

Other existing successful professionalism programs will continue to be offered as well, including:

  • The CCIAOR Leadership Academy: There are only 12 spots available and already, we have 12 submitted applications. We encourage more as an alumni group of the program will be selecting this year’s class. Applications are due January 27, so get yours in soon;
  • The Cape Cod Real Estate Conference, which continues to grow year after year,  is highlighted this year by keynote speaker Valerie Garcia. The conference is scheduled for April 3rd at the Cape Cod Resort & Conference Center in Hyannis.
  • Expansion of our Empower Hour series with the first round coming up at the end of the month on federal income tax reform with CPA Steven McMahon.

That being said, we are not done! Over the course of 2019, you will see us re-brand and break out specific classes from previously bundled class to make them more relevant and engaging to the members. Our widely popular Stay Out of Trouble will be broken into three sessions: Understanding Agency & Disclosures, Transactions from Start to Finish, and Pathways to Professionalism that spins off from a NAR initiative from several years ago. The Designated REALTOR® mandatory orientation we implemented several years ago will be broken down into three classes as well – Office Policies 101, Case Studies for Brokerage Management, and Using REALTOR® Benefits to Power Your Brokerage.

All of this is leading up to launching the “Cape Cod Real Estate Specialist” designation in 2020 to identify those who actively do transactions in Barnstable County and have taken specific courses grounded in Cape Cod real estate to gain that knowledge. More information will be forthcoming on this designation later this year.

On the advocacy front, we see specific challenges REALTORS® will face in 2019 that we need to be aware of and focused on.

The short-term rental industry is changing, and the new state law is just the beginning. As such, our members that handle short-term rentals are going to need more tools and resources to run their business. We plan to launch a partnership to help brokers get special pricing on insurance to provide that for homeowners to comply with the new law. We will also continue to discuss s a REALTOR-only short-term rental website that advertises listings and seeks to get eyeballs back to REALTOR® listings and off of HomeAway.

The 2019 Plan for the MLS

We have specific goals in our MLS strategic plan as well that are set to be highlighted in 2019.

If you have thoughts or input into where our initiatives are headed, please contact me or any member of our Board of Directors with your thoughts, so we can ensure we’re responsive to your needs.