Derek English: The Voice of Real Estate; That’s Who We R

Tuesday, February 1, 2022 – by Derek English, president, Greater Chattanooga Realtors

When people ask what I do for a living, I tell them that I’m a realtor. While most people have an idea of what that entails, they may not be aware of all that happens behind the scenes – property reports, market reports, inspections, lender and appraisal communications and many more daily routines in keeping our clients on track whether they are buying or selling a home. Something a little trickier that I am quickly learning to grasp is the role as President for Greater Chattanooga Realtors. 


Greater Chattanooga Realtors is the local realtor association representing more than 2,500 members in our area.

We service Hamilton and Sequatchie counties in southeast Tennessee and Catoosa, Dade and Walker counties in northwest Georgia. Greater Chattanooga Realtors is the voice for real estate in the greater Chattanooga market and the surrounding areas. Our mission is to “promote the highest ethical and professional standards and cooperation among its members; provide products, programs and services to meet the evolving needs of the real estate industry and consumers; and advocate for private property rights and community involvement.”


That last sentence in our mission statement is especially important to me, as it conveys what realtors do for consumers beyond a real estate transaction – advocate and engage in the conversations and decisions related to polices impacting all property owners, whether commercial or residential. Individually and collectively through our governance process, realtors take an active role in advocacy, regardless of party affiliation.


Through our staff and volunteer-driven Governmental Affairs Committee, we monitor proposed policies and legislation for issues that might affect property rights and values, positively or negatively. It’s not uncommon to see realtors engaging in the weekly City Council or monthly Regional Planning Commission and County Commission meetings. Realtors travel to the state and national capitol for this exact purpose on our annual Day on the Hill and whenever the need presents itself when issues arise that need our attention. 


I’m thrilled to be returning in person for this year’s Realtor Day on the Hill, where we will join realtors from across the state to visit with our elected officials at the state capital. And in May, Greater Chattanooga Realtors will travel to Washington D.C. to meet with our federal officials. Getting this one-on-one time with officials is how realtors ensure the needs of property owners across the city, county, state and nation remain top of mind. Our officials know that realtors see the community from a unique perspective, and we appreciate the opportunity to work alongside them.


So, what do we talk about during these visits? On the national level, realtors are watching legislation related to tax reform, natural disasters, mortgage and rental assistance and flood insurance, to name a few. In addition, realtors advocated for increased housing access to homebuyers by letting them utilize FHA loans, which they had not been able to do in the past.


During our upcoming Nashville meetings, our conversations will touch on a variety of topics important to property owners, such as broadband access, tax relief for disabled veterans and victims of recent natural disasters, opposing impact fees on residential development, monitoring building and construction standards, and legislation regarding subdivision regulations. This list touches on just a few of the issues realtors are monitoring in more than the 80 proposed bills for the upcoming session.


Leadership is not easy, but our roll representing the public and are industry is worth the effort. No member in a leadership or voluntary role for Greater Chattanooga Realtors is compensated for their time or efforts. We lead because we know our industry is stronger when we work together on behalf of all our neighbors, whether they own or lease their home or business. Through our advocacy efforts, Greater Chattanooga Realtors continues to be the voice of real estate in the greater Chattanooga area. That’s Who We R.


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