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    North of NYC North of NYC By Houlihan Lawrence By Houlihan Lawrence by

    U.S. CapitalHaving just returned from attending the National Association of Realtors® (NAR) Mid-Year meetings in Washington DC., I wanted to share some of the highlights of the meetings with you. There were over 8,000 Realtors® that descended upon our Nation's Capital throughout the week.

    I arrived Thursday morning and attended the Large Firm Directors meeting right after lunch. As an aside, did you know that if a waiter breaks an entire glass of water on you and covers you with shards of glass and water, you’ll likely get a free lunch? So yes, I made it to the meeting, albeit a little soggy. While the economic updates are always interesting, the presentation by Dale Ross on RPR (Realtors Property Resource) was pretty fascinating. RPR will serve as an online real estate archive that will provide Realtors® with data on every property and land parcel in the U.S. According to Ross, though RPR is currently being tested in about 12 markets around the Country, a full roll-out may take up to five years.

    Realtor USaturday morning I attended the NAR Board of Director's meeting. The most interesting new initiative presented there was Realtor® University. It’s the association’s answer for raising the bar in our industry. If you are on Twitter, you know that there has been a lot of discussion on this topic in the last 6 months. Realtor® University will be a fully accredited institution that will grant degrees in our field, though accreditation may take 2-3 years. The curriculum will be online, and in addition to master’s degrees, Realtor University will eventually offer internship and job-placement programs. The premise all sounds great, so I guess we’ll see what NAR does with it. I just hope the classes will be more challenging than some of the online license renewal classes I’ve taken over the years. That will be the only way this will truly raise the bar in our profession.

    All in all it was a great couple of days – packed with informative meetings and networking with great people. Now I'm looking forward to implementing new ideas in the Westchester, Putnam and Dutchess real estate marketplace.