LETTER FROM THE CHAIRMAN
Dear Members,
 
Love is in the air. Love for an industry, and the love to make sure our members continue to excel in their business.
 
Special congratulations to Chris Carrillo, Metro MLS CEO, and Joe Horning, President of Shorewest Realtors, for their placement in the Swanepoel rankings of real estate’s most influentials! Well-deserved by two industry leaders and we are proud to have them represent our market. Of course, I wouldn’t be me if I didn’t challenge them to get in the top 10 next year!
 
Last month I attended the Inman Conference in New York City. There was a mutual feeling of excitement for real estate in 2020. Tech startups were energetic as they introduced their products in the Start Up Alley. CEO’s of the some of the largest brokerages in the US took the stage to give their take on the present and future of our industry. I love to see competitors share information with a full audience on what they are doing to be successful. Leaders understand competition creates innovation. It allows us to create a better experience for the consumer, but also better ways for REALTORS® to run their business.
 
I was not overly excited at what I heard, or the innovations presented this year, however, tech companies are beginning to understand how important agents are in the transaction. For years more startups have been working on platforms to eliminate the agents’ role and, as they say, “create a more streamlined experience for buyers and sellers.” With investors pouring millions into ideas around this, it’s easy to believe the product could reduce the roles the agent plays. ibuyers certainly have produced a model that reduces agent involvement. Unless you’ve been on the ground level working with buyers and sellers, it’s difficult to understand how complex the sales process really is. Instead of trying to eliminate the agent as if they are the problem, creating tools for agents to better serve the consumer is a smarter approach to real estate tech. Work with us to service the consumer by saving us time on simple tasks, providing information about, and for, our consumers and better branding options to get our message out there. The beauty in this industry isn’t just the properties, but the relationships agents have created and nurtured. No app can fully take away the need for our consumers to speak to a real live professional!
 
February is in Black History month, so it’s fitting we begin our GMAR history series with the first African American chairman of the Association, Ed Smyth. As stated last month, to understand the future we must learn from our history. GMAR staff have been preparing and taking input from our members. If you have any story topics or would like to get involved, please reach out to us here .
 
Thank you and make it a great February!
 
Kel Svoboda, Chairman
2020 GMAR Board of Directors
Keep an eye out for the next wave of NAR's national ad campaign That's Who We R®  There is a new launch of radio and digital audio spots, paid social ads, as well as new campaign materials you can leverage in your local market.

Visit www.ThatsWhoWeR.realtor to find downloadable social posts, digital banners, print ads, and links to campaign merchandise. For easy personalization and immediate social sharing in a few taps, download the new Photofy app with preloaded campaign materials at https://photofy.com/nar .

Remember, this campaign is a member benefit, and it becomes much more powerful when you associate yourself with the REALTOR® brand. Wear your REALTOR® pin with pride, and incorporate the REALTOR® logo into your promotional materials. That way, when potential clients are “looking for the R”, they will look to you!
GMAR BOARD ADOPTS POLICY TO PUBLISH NAMES OF ETHICS VIOLATORS

As of April 1, 2020, the GMAR will publish all instances in which Code of Ethics violators are disciplined with a letter of reprimand, fine, suspension and expulsion. Violators fined for allowing unauthorized access to properties (lockbox violations) will also be published.
The name of the violator along with the Article(s) violated, and description of the violation(s) will be published. 
REALTOR ®  & GOVERNMENT DAY 2020
Another fun and successful REALTOR & Government Day is in the books. Thanks to the many GMAR members who gave up the day to trek to Madison. Lawmakers took note of our impressive group and we were joined by many Legislators and staff at our Capitol Hill visits where we discussed WRA’s priority issues. (Improve Home Inspection Reports, Protect Waterfront Property Rights, Update Disclosure Reports, Prohibit Chasing Sales and Increase Workforce Housing Supply) Thank you to the bus sponsors; Chicago Title, Cinch Home Warranty, House to Home Inspections, Landmark Credit Union, Metro MLS and RE/MAX Realty 100 for the free (and fun!) ride to and from Madison.  Get out your calendars and add April 28, 2021 for the next Realtor & Government Day!
CONCEALED CARRY COURSE AT THE GMAR

MPD Training, LLC, will be providing the following Concealed Carry Firearms Safety Course at the GMAR office in February - Sign Up Today! 

FEBRUARY 25, 2020 | 12:00 NOON - 4:00 PM
Cost - $50/person
SHARE YOUR POSITIVE REALTOR ® STORIES
We're looking for good news stories!  
Throughout 2020, we're conducting PR to share positive stories about REALTORS. 
We need your help to find stories that stand out, catch people's attention and show the dedication of REALTORS® to their clients, community and profession.
We're looking for stories that are heartwarming, unusual or significant in some way.
For example:
  • Did you recently help a family find a new home after they learned they were having triplets?
  • Did you help a veteran get into his/her first home at age 50?
  • Or, is there something else?
If you have a story to share, please email Monica Baer .
WISPOLITICS.COM LAUNCHES NEW ELECTION SITE
The Wisconsin presidential primary, the state's first major party convention and a crucial general election will all take place this year. Yes, Wisconsin is ground zero for the 2020 campaigns. With that in mind, WisPolitics.com – Wisconsin’s premier government and political news source for nearly two decades -- has created a new site: Battleground Wisconsin 2020 . There, you’ll find video of recent events, historical features and updates from WisPolitics.com staff and the campaigns. WisPolitics also is launching a free weekly email newsletter.
THURSDAY TAKEAWAY VIDEO SERIES
Check out the most recent edition of WRA's Thursday Takeaway Video Series!
"Geofencing"
With Rick Corey
HOME & GARDEN SHOW VIP TICKETS NOW AVAILABLE
Order your personalized VIP tickets for the REALTORS® Home & Garden Show March 20 - 29.

Thank you to Allrite Home & Remodeling and S&E Insulation for sponsoring the VIP ticket program.

REAL ESTATE SUPPLY STORE NOW AT MINUTEMAN PRESS - BROOKF IELD
The real estate supply store is now located ONLY at Minuteman Press - Brookfield location (13680 W. Capitol Drive). Store hours are M-F from 8am to 5pm. Contact Minuteman Press-Brookfield for more info, (262) 781-9622!
GMAR SOCIAL EVENTS
SAVE THE DATE:
MARDI GRAS PARTY

Date: Thursday, February 20th, 2020
Location: Jug's Hitching Post, 5781 Main St, West Bend
Time: 5:30pm - 9:00pm

SAVE THE DATE:
GMAR WOMENSTRONG CONFERENCE
Date: Wednesday, March 4, 2020
Location: Italian Community Center, 631 E Chicago St, Milwaukee
Time: 8:30 a.m. - 11:45 a.m.

A conference devoted to giving powerful women bold tools to take their careers to the next level.

AFFILIATE EVENTS
WOMEN'S COUNCIL OF REALTORS MILWAUKEE METRO PRESENTS


Taste of Leadership: Insights and Experience from Milwaukee Women Leaders
Thursday, Feb. 20, 2020, 11:30am-1pm
100 Heritage Reserve, Menomonee Falls, WI

The landscape of leadership is changing, and women are at the forefront. Join us for lunch and to hear from a panel of exemplary Milwaukee women, changing our businesses and communities by leading from within.

Attendance is open to all Realtors and associated real estate industry professionals! REGISTER TODAY
STAND OUT AS A FOCUS ON ENERGY AMBASSADOR
Looking for new ways to bring added value to your clients? Consider becoming a FOCUS ON ENERGY® Ambassador. Focus on Energy partners with utilities across Wisconsin to provide resources and incentives for energy efficient home products, equipment and improvement projects.
 
For more information, visit focusonenergy.com/ambassador or email ambassador@focusonenergy.com. You can also call Nancy Alberte, local Focus on Energy representative, at 608.358.8212 with questions.   
Comments, Suggestions or Questions?...
Let us know how the GMAR can improve what we offer to you as members of our organization. Your feedback helps us to make quality improvements to our programs and benefits, so we appreciate it! Click here to e-mail your feedback to the GMAR .