February General Meeting… Here’s The Recap
I’m so excited to report that we have filled the room for two membership meetings in a row this year. 2013 is off to a great start!
If you were unable to join us today you missed a fantastic speaker. Mike Staples, Engineering Representative for Community & Economic Development with Georgia Power gave an outstanding presentation. In fact, I gave him his 10 minute warning and the crowd wanted more! Mike brought a ton of technology tools to help you with your business. Here are a few:
Prezi: This is an online presentation tool that’s an alternative to PowerPoint… only a lot more dynamic.
Google Earth: Most of you are familiar with this one already. Mike showed us a handful of hidden features you can take advantage of. For example, did you know there’s a historical data button that shows you how an area or town has progressed. This will take you from 1993 to today!
iPad Apps: Mike showed us a handful of apps. Some of these are great alternatives to older tools you may be using now and some were just, well… super cool! Mike demonstrated iMotion, 360 Panorama, MagicPlan, Houzz, Clickar, String and ESRI Business Analyst.
Brent Ellis, CAOR Local Director and RPAC Chair brought us up to date on several bills that directly effect our business and provided us with some feedback from the GAR REALTOR® Rally.
1. GAR and our Lobbyists heard from other lobbying groups and many of our elected officials after the Rally. All were impressed by our numbers and said our message was heard!
2. We will have the largest group of folks to visit the Capitol this year, unless the Nursing Association beats us…but they are mostly students getting class credit to participate with transportation provided.
House Bill 125: Proof of Citizenship for Professional Licensure – Changes to immigration Law now requires us to show proof of Citizenship every time we renew our license. This Bill will correct the ‘unintended consequences’ and we will only need to proof citizenship upon our initial licensing, but not upon renewals.
House Bill 142: Change Provisions in Georgia Government Transparency and Campaign Finance Commission – (Ethics Reform) This Bill was designed to limit unregistered lobbyists from engaging in lobbying activities without registering as a Lobbyist. Additionally, it was to limit gifts, addresses conduct, etc. As written it would make any REALTOR® discussing issues with elected officials that were not their own representatives a ‘lobbyist’. All of us at the Rally would have to register, originally for a fee of $300 and other provisions. Currently it is being suggested to allow Non-Lobbyist (US!) to visit the Capitol up to 5 times a year without registering and for those that do register the fee is being reduced to $25. THIS IS ALL TENTATIVE. But our Lobbyists and the elected leaders are working together to protect our rights to be able to engage in the process!
House Bill 128: Georgia Downtown Renaissance Investment Tax Credit Act – (GA Downtown Renaissance Act) This will provide statewide tax credits to certain downtown housing investments. We don’t expect this to gain strength this session but it will probably move forward next year. It is a great opportunity for us to partner with an often adversarial ‘Georgia Municipal Association’ and support our local downtown’s with some revitalization tax credits. Download the flyer for additional details.
And now for our HUGE announcement. The Cherokee Association of REALTORS® has decided to sponsor a Habitat for Humanity build. This means as a group we will raise the funds and supplies necessary to build a home from the ground up! This will be a major undertaking but will offer so many rewards. We want to make a difference in our community and we can’t think of a better way. Members of Habitat for Humanity joined us today to help us understand what’s involved. We had a separate meeting after the General Meeting to further discuss and strategize. We would love for all of you to participate with us and make this project a great success. Our next meeting will be Thursday, February 21st at 12:00 pm here at CAOR. Bring your lunch. More info will be emailed soon.
FYI… We will only have six general membership meetings this year. Our goal is to make them less frequent yet provide outstanding information to you. Our next membership meeting will be Tuesday, May 21st. I look forward to another packed house and I hope it includes you!