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President's Message - January 2012: Situation Awareness

posted Jan 27, 2012, 1:37 PM by Josh Hibben
As a private pilot, situation awareness is a key component to staying alive when flying an airplane. Situation awareness is the perception of environmental elements (all things around us) with respect to time and/or space, the comprehension of their meaning, and the projection of their status after some variable has changed, such as time. Situation awareness involves being aware of what is happening in the vicinity to understand how information, events, and one's own actions will impact goals and objectives, both immediately and in the near future. (Source:

As REALTORS® and leaders of our association, situation awareness is ever a part of our financial security, viability, respect, trust, and decision-making. Over the past months since the IAR Annual Convention and NAR Convention, we have received a great deal of information on rule changes, financing issues, pending legislation and problematic laws, cultural awareness, and political and personal involvements. Many of these have changed every day. As president, I have been in many informative meetings concerning these issues and every facet of our association, local boards, and our members.

Bottom line is, in order to be effective in our roles as REALTORS® and leaders, we need to be aware of all of these things in our surroundings - the industry, the market, the government, etc. And frankly, there’s a lot going on both statewide and nationally. We continually strive to keep you informed about the issues facing our industry and our association; and IAR continually adjusts our decisions and actions based on the information we receive.

There are several questions for you to consider: Are you aware? Do you care? How does the information you gain impact your decision-making and your actions? Are you involved in and does your mind “see” the things around you that can benefit or harm you or our association? What do you do with that information – share it with others on the leadership team? I challenge you to become more aware and active.

Politics. In the next few months we will be hearing more and more about politics, Iowa Politics. I am reminded of my leadership training in Chicago last August when we heard, “If you are in real estate, you are in politics.” February 21 is our Annual Legislative Bus-In. Every member of our leadership (Board of Directors, Executive Committee, RVPs, and regional delegates) needs to be in attendance. As a leader, please call those who you need to and invite them personally to be involved. I believe in commitment, passion and communication. How about you?

People. I am very proud of our IAR staff. You need to know that if you have a problem, they will work with you to find a solution. The IAR staff and all the new Board leadership have limitless skills that they share with all of us. As I have traveled around Iowa and met the new local Board leaders, I have found that they are the best and they are future leaders. We need to ask them to be more involved with IAR. Please ask them to come, and show them the way by example.

We recently made a change in the duties of the regional Board Delegates. Each region has two Delegates to the Board of Directors. We are now asking our Regional Vice Presidents (RVPs) to be in contact with these Delegates. These Delegates are the local face and voice of real estate in their areas. Whenever one of our state legislators is home visiting or having a local meeting, our Delegates need to attend and let them know that the voice of real estate is there and what our positions are. We will be stronger for this new strategy. When we go to the Capitol next month, our state legislators will already know REALTORS® are aware and that we care.

Market. The year-end statistics for home sales, which IAR reported a few weeks ago, show that we continue to recover and move out of the past downturn. Although they don’t show a huge increase, they are positive. I see 2012 with an upturn, which will be good for our business. Please remember as leaders that we need to communicate with a positive attitude – attitude is the key to our success.

Please be aware of your surroundings and the information that you receive; use it to guide your decision-making and actions; and be aware of our impact on those around us.

Dale Gross
President, Iowa Association of REALTORS®