Last week was the first milestone of our journey together as the Greater Bergen Association of Realtors. The strength of the Association comes from the participation and engagement of our members so I am proud that we had over 700 people attend the Circle of Excellence Luncheon. While we hold many wonderful events throughout the year, I believe that the celebration of the achievements of our members is one of the most important. In addition to the COE recipients, we also announced the first ever winner of the GBAR Rising Star Award, Steven Finkelstein, of Russo Real Estate - congratulations Steven! Thank you to all those who attended and thank you to our fantastic staff from both campuses for all their hard work in making the event a success.

At the Luncheon, I announced GBAR’s commitment to rolling out NAR’s Commitment to Excellence program. C2EX empowers REALTORS® to demonstrate their professionalism and commitment to conducting business at the highest standards. Over 100 years ago, REALTORS defined professionalism in our industry when they created the Code of Ethics. C2EX takes professionalism to the next level by enabling members to assess their expertise in areas ranging from customer service to use of technology. While you will be hearing more about this throughout the year, I encourage you to get started today at www.c2ex.realtor .
 
Finally, I’d like to ask you to think for a moment about the future of our profession. While it easy for us to stay focused on the day to day aspects of our job serving our clients, it is vital that we look at the big picture of what is happening around us. As one of largest trade association in America, we are tasked with the responsibility of protecting the rights of homeowners and the real estate industry. We have to stand up against governmental overreach when the state and federal governments try to balance budgets by trying to eliminate the mortgage interest deduction or proposing a sales tax on our commissions. It is each of our responsibility to be involved and to invest in the Realtors Political Action Committee. RPAC is our collective voice, help make our voice loud and strong!
 
Your next opportunity to invest is this Thursday. The RPAC Committee will be hosting their first fundraising event. It is a Wine and Cheese Silent Auction. All funds donated count towards your RPAC investment. Come out for a good time for a good cause. Register at bit.ly/rpacramsey .