We are MNR: A message from outgoing 2022 MNR President Jason Miller

By MNR News posted 11-29-2022 15:36

When I started my term as president of MNR in January, there was one thing I knew going in. This association belongs to you, the members. As leaders, it’s our job to listen and learn from you, and work with you to tackle the challenges, seize the opportunities, and set a brighter, bolder course for the future. 

Of course, things don’t always turn out the way we anticipate. You can count on that. But when we come together and pool our talents, we can respond creatively and with agility. 

At the beginning of 2022 when we held our joint conference with Minneapolis Area Realtors® and St. Paul Area of Realtors®, we prepared for another year of low inventory, stable interest rates, and market appreciation. None of us expected the rising rates and volatility that followed. Looking at the headlines, some buyers and sellers felt panicked about a “cooling market,” and have backed away. What they need to know is that despite the changes, the market remains robust. In fact, it is the first balanced market in several years. 

Insights like that come from looking beyond the immediate numbers to longer-term trends. This is the message we must relay to consumers. As Realtors®, we must be at the forefront, explaining the market to the public, and guiding them through the process. It’s vital to be an expert in your market area, know the data, and become a trusted advisor. Working together, we can shape perceptions, and encourage clients to stay in the game. That can have a very real and positive impact on the market. That’s the power of unity. 

Of course, even in the best of times there are Minnesotans who cannot afford a home. That’s why during events like Minnesota Housing Day and NAR Midyear in Washington, D.C., we urged legislators to continue supporting affordable housing. This includes programs like first-time homebuyers’ savings accounts, down-payment assistance programs, and converting previous commercial or retail spaces into residential housing. The reality is, we’re years behind on inventory levels, and our work is just beginning on finding solutions for Minnesotans who want to become homeowners. But if we maintain our commitment, and remain open to innovation and change, we can move a long way toward achieving this goal within the decade. 

Beyond the economy, there is the shifting nature of our industry itself. Some predict that it’s only a matter of time before the online model pioneered by Amazon will disrupt real estate as it has other industries. I’ve been licensed since 2005 and have heard about disruptors my entire career. Although technology is transformative and has increased consumers’ ability to virtually see and tour homes, it is also true that nothing replaces the person-to-person experience Realtors® provide. We are experts in our business, the market, and perhaps most importantly, our communities. As I remind clients almost daily, none of these online platforms have ever been in your home, and they do not know your neighborhood. So, while tools and technology change, people still buy homes from people. Realtors® are best equipped to facilitate these transactions and ensure equitable outcomes for everyone involved. 

As I prepare to step aside and fully focus on my real estate business, I encourage MNR’s new leaders to keep one thing top of mind—planning. Take the time to get it right—but not too much time! A year goes by fast. By the time you feel you’re just getting things going, it’s September, and the year is almost over. Lean on your leadership team and reach out to past leaders. We’re always here to lend an ear. 

Lastly, thank you to all the members of Minnesota Realtors® for your encouraging words and willingness to have productive conversations—even when the topic wasn’t fun. Remember, the association is yours. Please get involved and be part of the process. We all have a say in the future of MNR. Your time, talent and energy are vital parts of the equation. Serving as your president has been the honor of my professional life. I am forever grateful that you trusted me with this role.

Jason Miller | 2022 MNR President Premier Real Estate Services, St. Cloud, MN 

This article appears in the November/December 2022 digital magazine.