Awards to recognize Realtors who give back to community
WASHINGTON — Going beyond helping consumers buy and sell homes, many Realtors give back to their communities through volunteer work. In fact, according to the National Association of Realtor’s Community Aid and Real Estate report, nearly 70 percent of Realtors volunteer in their community each month. To recognize that commitment by Realtors across the country, the NAR is now accepting applications for the Good Neighbor Awards from Realtors who have made an extraordinary impact through volunteer service.
“This year, we celebrate the 20th year of the Good Neighbor Awards,” said NAR President John Smaby, a second-generation Realtor from Edina, Minnesota, and broker at Edina Realty.
“We are incredibly proud of the good work of nearly 200 Good Neighbor Award recipients in the U.S. and around the globe through their dedicated volunteer service since this program launched in 2000,” he said.
Ten finalists will be announced in September, and the public will have a chance to vote for the Web Choice Favorite. Judges will select five winners, who will be announced in the November/December issue of Realtor Magazine and will receive a $10,000 grant for their nonprofit organizations. The winners will be recognized at the 2019 Realtors Conference & Expo in San Francisco and receive travel expenses to the conference. Winners will also gain considerable national and local media exposure for their charitable cause. In addition to the five winners, five honorable mentions will each receive a $2,500 grant.
Since 2000, the NAR’s Good Neighbor Awards has donated more than $1.2 million to Realtor-led nonprofits. The Good Neighbor Awards is supported by Realtor.com and Wells Fargo Home Lending.
“We are proud to renew our commitment to the Good Neighbor Awards, particularly in the 20th year of the program,” said Ryan O’Hara, CEO of Realtor.com, the Good Neighbor Awards’ primary sponsor and the sponsor of the Web Choice Favorite, which gives additional grant money to the three finalists who get the most votes from the public.
“At Realtor.com, home is everything, and community is a big part of that,” O’Hara said. “We support this awards program because we think it’s important to shine a spotlight on the industry’s commitment to communities and the Realtors who take that commitment to the next level.”
Last year’s Good Neighbor Award winners contributed thousands of hours to their causes and raised millions of dollars. They drew a standing ovation from more than 5,000 Realtors and guests during the annual conference in Boston.
The 2018 winners were Omayra Borges of Reality Realty in San Juan, Puerto Rico, cofounder of Fundacion Mochileando 100x35; Chet Choman of Colorado Realty and Land Co. in Alamosa, Colorado, cofounder of La Puente Home; Jeremy Lichtenstein of RE/ MAX Realty Services in Bethesda, Maryland, founder of Kids in Need Distributors (KIND); Joy Nelson of Haugan Nelson Realty in Watertown, South Dakota, founder of Joy Ranch; and Elias Thomas III of EXIT Key Real Estate in Shapleigh, Maine, leader of a Rotary International project to build dams in rural India.
2018 Good Neighbor Award winner Joy Nelson said her charity continues to benefit from the media exposure that resulted from her winning the Good Neighbor Award.
“The incredible exposure the Joy Ranch received through the Good Neighbor Awards Program has brought people all over the nation to inquire more about the ranch,” she said. “People now understand all the quality-of-life issues that we address, and it motivates me to work harder to help even more.”
Nominees will be selected based on their personal impact on the community through volunteer work. To be eligible, nominees must be NAR members in good standing. Good Neighbor Award entries must be received by Friday, May 10. For more details, judging criteria and a nomination form, call 800-874-6500 or visit nar.realtor/gna.