By Stacey Moncrieff, Editor in Chief, REALTOR® Magazine
Anyone who’s been involved in the REALTOR® organization for any length of time—either as staff or a volunteer leader—has likely heard about, worked with, or been influenced in by Houston Association of REALTORS® President and CEO Bob Hale. So it was no surprise to learn that, this month, the International Association of Business Communicators in Houston recognized Bob with its 2010 Communications Leadership Award. Previous winners include John C. Sheptor, President & CEO, Imperial Sugar Co.; Giuseppe Colasurdo, dean of The University of Texas Medical School at Houston; and John D. Hofmeister, president of Shell Oil Co.
Bob’s IABC colleagues in Houston recognize what REALTORS® around the country have observed throughout his 22 years with HAR. He’s a visionary who knows how to shake up the status quo if he believes it will result in better service to Houston’s 26,000 REALTORS®. Among HAR’s pioneering ideas: creating the go-to spot for Houston real estate listings at HAR.com; giving free Web sites and other Internet tools to members; offering dues rebates; and implementing an online rating system for consumers. HAR’s progressive communications include a Facebook page and a YouTube Channel featuring more than 300 videos. Just last week, HAR announced a new breakthrough, the adoption of Microsoft Tag, a technology that gives people instant access to online information when they scan printed tags with a mobile device. Readers of the association’s monthly Houston REALTOR® magazine this month will be able to link from the magazine to the association’s Web site.
The IABC honor is the latest in a string of recognitions Hale has received over the last decade. In 2003 and 2006, REALTOR® Magazine named Hale among the nation’s most influential leaders in real estate. Since 2007, Hale has also been cited annually in the Inman News organization’s “100 most influential” list.
For the IABC event, HAR staff produced a video that includes personal messages to Bob from, among others, former NAR President (and fellow Texan) Charles McMillan, RE/MAX Founder Dave Liniger, Keller Williams CEO Mark Willis, and Texas Governor Rick Perry.
The video is worth a look-see. One of my favorite tributes is from Governor Perry, who says: “IABC honors the best of the best, and you certainly fit that description in your tenure with the Houston Association of REALTORS®. Your commitment to telling the REALTOR® story and helping the greater Houston real estate market prosper is a true credit to your abilities and vision. You’ve set a high standard and inspired a whole lot of people in the process.”
I couldn’t agree more. On behalf of the entire REALTOR® Magazine staff, congratulations, Bob, on a well-deserved award!