2 min read May 2022 — In an interview with Invest:, CEO of MetroTex Association of Realtors Janet Kane talked about how the association innovated and adapted over the course of the pandemic to meet the changing needs of its membership. Kane shared her thoughts on the current market, the services MetroTex offers and legislation the association is following, such as property tax relief and HOA transparency.
What have been some highlights and milestones for the organization and the real estate industry in the North Texas region over the past 12 months?
Over the past year, the real estate industry throughout North Texas saw a considerable housing shift. We transitioned from a market where housing was attainable, to a market with extraordinarily low inventory and very high demand as a result of people and industries migrating to the region.
Companies like Tesla and Amazon are bringing their families to North Texas and obviously are in need of housing. The pandemic altered many aspects of our lives; in particular, it accelerated remote working capabilities. What people are looking for in a home, and also where they are willing to move, has been the result. Many people are coming from more expensive cities and states for the affordability aspect, and it is also having a huge impact on the housing market, with hundreds of people moving to DFW every day.
With these demands, housing prices also reached new heights. Housing prices rose 19.7% compared to last year, selling for a median price of $313,500. As for milestones for the organization, our membership numbers also took a leap. 2021 closed with an all-time high membership count of 25,910 members, a 9.87% increase over the prior year, and a total of 5,117 new members.
How has the pandemic impacted the way MetroTex operates?
The way we connect with our members has changed drastically. Networking previously took place “face-to-face,” as the norm. Now, we use technology to hold many of our events and professional development virtually, but we’ve also had to get creative. Holding virtual happy hours and fundraising cooking shows were just a few ways we continued connecting.
Our membership growth over the past two years has had a big impact on staffing and the services we provide. We focused on improving our technology, communications, and online services for members, including providing virtual classroom options for members who need ongoing education. We’ve been able to acquire speakers from all over the world, allowing for meaningful virtual programs, and increasing our engagement with Realtors even outside of the DFW area.
Additionally, adopting new technology has allowed us to provide a more automated process through online applications and shopping, creating better, more accessible options for members.
What training sessions and other services do you offer?
MetroTex advocates for Realtors and their clients to protect private property rights and homeownership. It is very important that the public is protected for the biggest transaction of their lives and the economic impact of real estate. Additionally, MetroTex provides key tools to enhance members’ education, to boost their productivity, and to help them prosper in the business. We also provide key networking opportunities with affiliate members who are essential partners in the real estate transaction.
What is the state of the real estate market in North Texas and how do you help your members in this regard?
Buyer demand remains incredibly high while the inventory shortage remains low. We continue to help our members find technology solutions to better serve their client’s home buying and selling needs. We provide members with the essential data to better communicate current market conditions.
What social engagement initiatives are you undertaking?
I’m proud to say that the association has intentionally boosted its diversity, equity and inclusion initiatives, making it our top strategic goal. We seek ways to ensure our leadership is inclusive and welcoming for all members.
Last year, the National Association of Realtors adopted changes to our code of ethics, which addressed discrimination and fair housing practices for Realtors outside of the real estate transaction. When members are found in violation, they may be immediately terminated from our membership.
We not only work with our staff, but we also collaborate with other community organizations to promote homeownership opportunities throughout DFW. Additionally, we are working toward educational programs that educate Realtors on first-time homebuyers and down payment assistance grant programs.
What legislation are you following?
Right now, our two most pressing items include property tax relief and homeowner associations (HOAs). We are working with other organizations to address ways to lower property tax so that it is not such a huge barrier to homeownership. We often receive complaints from homeowners regarding HOAs and their lack of transparency. Recent bills were passed that HOAs must submit information for homeowners into one centralized database that is accessible to the public. Both of these will remain high on our list of priorities.
What is your outlook for the MetroTex Association and the real estate industry in the next two to three years?
Despite the challenges, the future of real estate in Texas is bright. The real estate industry accounted for $285.3 billion, or 16.2%, of the state’s Gross State Product in 2020. Every home sale averages $89,600 in economic impact on the economy.
Texas real estate will remain strong but we hope that the supply and demand will start to balance out.
As an organization, we will continue to advocate for private property rights to ensure homeownership continues to be a viable option for people moving to DFW, invest in technology not only in our day-to-day practices but in our communication with members, and customize the information our members receive to meet their specific business needs.
Overall, we will continue to improve member experience, understanding that our membership is no longer geographically bound and that we need to think in terms of serving them wherever they call home.
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