By Lee Whitaker • 2018 President

As we get ready to close out 2018, builders and REALTORS alike are in the midst of making plans for 2019. The HBA of Greater Austin is excited to bring new events, educational classes and additional opportunities for those involved in the residential housing industry to engage with our association and each other. We have created a “Build Your Business” professional development series, focused on increasing our members’ external relations skills—public speaking, social media acumen and advocacy. We are increasing the number of Essential Building Skills classes offered, and have added the Remodeling and Design Summit to our already robust event schedule. We have created Wine-d Down Wednesdays, a monthly occasion for members to network in a casual environment.
I want to personally invite you to our Annual Housing Forecast on Jan. 17. Learn from real estate industry analysts about the trends from 2018 and gain local and national economic information to effectively plan your business strategy. Eldon Rude of 360º Real Estate Analytics will moderate the program. Tickets can be purchased at www.hbaaustin.com.

As this is my last column as president of the HBA of Greater Austin, I want to take the opportunity to introduce you to incoming president Becky Collins. She is a dynamic real estate development professional with more than 25 years of experience in real estate entitlement, development and construction experience in Texas and Hawaii. She has served at the HBA as the HomePAC Chair and helped create the new Developers Council. We are looking forward to Becky’s leadership in 2019.

Finally, I wanted to thank the 2018 HBA board of directors and staff for their work this past year. I am proud of all of the accomplishments they have made to elevate the home building industry in the greater Austin area. Our advocacy work helped to create a better building environment and our events brought new business partners together. Classes offered increased members’ knowledge base and the annual HBA Parade of Homes showcased the best in housing trends. Plus, our charitable work helped to support the new HomeAid chapter in the Austin area. 2018 was a great year in housing! RL