Our Member: Northern Virginia
Association of REALTORS®
Member Since: December 2009
About NVAR: The Northern
Virginia Association of REALTORS® (NVAR) was established in 1921 as the
Alexandria-Arlington-Fairfax Real Estate Board. With about 40 members,
the association served a population of 60,250. Eighty-seven years later,
NVAR has grown to almost than 12,000 REALTORS® who carry out a $16
billion real estate industry in a community of over 2 million residents.
NVAR serves as The Voice For Real Estate in Northern Virginia and
provides a variety of services to its members including educational
opportunities, professional standards enforcement, market statistics,
legislative reviews, issues lobbying, multiple listing and lockbox
services, and more.
NVAR’s Chief Executive Officer, Christine Todd, has been with the
association for 20 years and a REALTOR® Association Executive for over
30 years. Todd was on the task force that took part in establishing the
REALTORS® Federal Credit Union, A Division of Northwest Federal Credit Union benefit and thinks that all REALTORS®
should take advantage of it.
The Credit Union: Why did NVAR
decide to join REALTORS® Federal Credit Union, A Division of Northwest Federal Credit Union?
Todd: We primarily joined to
show our support and to support our REALTOR® family. You also had
outstanding rates! We couldn’t find any reason why not to do it.
The Credit Union: How did you learn
about REALTORS® Federal Credit Union, A Division of Northwest Federal Credit Union?
Todd: I was actually on the task
force to help start it! Tom Stevens appointed me, as well as others, to
explore the advantages of creating a credit union for REALTORS®.
The Credit Union: What do you look
for in a financial services provider?
Todd: Now a day, everyone is
looking for financial stability, security and peace of mind that their
money is safe and well managed. Of course convenience is important too.
Since REALTORS® Federal Credit Union, A Division of Northwest Federal Credit Union is virtual, it’s very easy to
access. It’s a clean modern way
to do business in the 21st century.
The Credit Union: How is your
relationship with REALTORS® Federal Credit Union, A Division of Northwest Federal Credit Union different from your
relationship with other financial institutions?
Todd: Obviously it’s REALTOR®
friendly. You understand the nature of associations and the fact that
most REALTORS® are independent contractors or small business owners. We
don’t need to go through a lengthy explanation of who we are and what we
do every time we want to do business.
The Credit Union: How can real
estate professionals benefit from REALTORS® Federal Credit Union, A Division of Northwest Federal Credit Union
Todd: They can benefit by
knowing that REALTORS® Federal Credit Union, A Division of Northwest Federal Credit Union is a user friendly
institution. They are investing within the family and the family
understands their specific needs. It makes the whole transaction go more
smoothly with less hassle and makes REALTORS® feel that they are being
treated in a special and customized way.
The Credit Union: What are some of
the significant accomplishments of NVAR this year?
Todd: NVAR is in the midst of
building its new headquarters! It’ll be a 24,000 square foot office
building. We’re actually looking to the credit union to help with some
of the financing.
The Credit Union: What are some of
NVAR’s current challenges?
Todd: REALTORS® are having a
cash flow problem. We’re coming off of three very bad years. Members are
struggling just to make ends meet. We are turning the corner in our
market and it’s great to have a credit union who can offer our members
the help they may need to finance a new car, a computer or fix up their
office. It’s a great comfort to our members.
The Credit Union: What is your
future vision for NVAR?
Todd: NVAR has positioned itself
to be the voice of real estate for Northern Virginia. We are very
focused on trying to get the word out about the real estate market to
buyers and sellers so they can get their information from the real
estate community and not competing forces that are not as knowledgeable
as we are.
The Credit Union: Do you have any
words of advice for real estate professionals?
Todd: Always keep in mind that
the real estate market is cyclical. REALTORS® need to take a long term
view of their business and be prudent in their spending and saving since
so many live on a commission.
The Credit Union: What would you say
to someone who is reluctant to use a virtual credit union?
Todd: Just invest a small amount
and play around and see how easy it is to deposit money and use the
ATMs. For $100 you can use the credit union as a guinea pig to using a
virtual system. As soon as you do you will be as hooked as I am.
The Credit Union: In your opinion –
what can we do better?
Todd: The Credit Union may be one of the
best kept secrets that NAR has. Be aggressive in the marketing to
members and associations.