By Sandy Jamison

As I reflect back on this interesting year of 2020 I think back to my initial vision for the year: “A Strategic Vision For The Future.”  While there is no way I could have possibly visualized or predicted a year quite like this great pandemic, I can say however, that the challenges have created opportunities that will leave our association and many of our members stronger than before.  We have achieved some great advances throughout the year and we will come out of this stronger than we went into it.  You know the saying, “That which doesn’t kill you makes you stronger.”  This year has made the association stronger and we are very well positioned as we head into 2021.

It’s been an honor to be able to serve as your President through this fascinating year.  It’s a year to remember and one that I will never forget.  It’s been a year full of ups and downs personally and professionally.  We have new professional and societal norms that will become new ways of life.  This will become an iconic year of 2020 that will leave a lasting mark on all of our lives.

My goal this year was to make sure that I leave the Association in a better position than it was when I stepped into the role. I believe I have accomplished that mission with the help and dedication of the entire staff at SCCAOR, the Board of Directors, and all the volunteers who give of themselves tirelessly for the benefit of all of our members.

Looking back to the beginning of the year, my Top 3 Goals to have a clear vision for 2020 were:

1 – MEMBERS:  Provide Best-in-Class Member Benefits at the most Competitive Prices while Strengthening the Association.

2 – ADVOCACY: Develop and Implement Best-in-Class Communications Strategies to Enhance Member Engagement and Advocacy Impact.

3 – OPERATIONS: Focus on Operational Excellence through Process and Technology Implementations to Improve Productivity and Efficiency.

Despite COVID setbacks we actually accomplished quite a lot of our goals for the year.  Some people may believe we’ve been sitting around at home not working, but to the contrary, Neil and the entire SCCAOR staff have been very busy this year implementing a lot of great new systems and tools.  Let me tell you about a few of the behind-the-scenes projects we accomplished this year…

For the back office we implemented a new mobile payment and expense processing system.  We no longer have to drive to the office to sign checks or manually process the bills.  We rolled out TinyPulse, an organizational satisfaction tool for the staff.  We hired a financial consultant to assist SCCAOR with their assets and investments.  We implemented EveryActionCRM, which is an advocacy tool to manage key contacts, Red Alerts, campaigns, and key issues for our Government Relations team.  We also approved a new full time PR person for 2021 to help promote SCCAOR’s messages to the public in order to make a larger impact.  Along with approving the PR person to start in 2021, we also approved the implementation of a PR management and tracking tool to go complement our advocacy and communications goals.

For our members we finally found a web-based training solution, AgentEDU, and rolled it out to our members as a free benefit.  We had already rolled out Zoom room technologies before the pandemic to facilitate remote meetings – this was a savior when the pandemic hit as we were already set up.  We changed out our online storefront technology to make it more intuitive and user friendly.  Online sales have picked up significantly and now members can buy materials more easily.  We continued to allow photography appointments, drive-by store pickups and appointments with customer service for members needing assistance.  While all the nearby associations closed up shop and declined appointments, SCCAOR found a way to continue to serve our members needs both in San Jose and in South County.

SCCAOR reacted quickly and adapted the business swiftly to find ways to continue to serve our members and keep everyone informed of the constantly changing health order guidelines.

While we started off the beginning of the year looking at our MLS challenges and opportunities, that is the one project we were not able to complete due to the pandemic.  I truly hope the members and future board will take a close look at how our MLS solution could better service our members into the future.  Just know I will continue to advocate for all of our members and look for opportunities to make our industry stronger.

So what does all of this mean for you?  Well, we delivered on our theme…”a Strategic Vision for The Future”.  We improved our operational efficiencies, we strengthened our Advocacy effectiveness, and we delivered more value and resources to our members.  It’s been an amazing year of growth through the implementation of new systems across the board.  Through the implementation of these systems, we have more reporting available, more management capabilities and therefore a CLEARER MORE STRATEGIC VIEW OF THE FUTURE.

I feel like I am just getting started and I have so much more I want to accomplish for our members especially around new member tools…but sadly I only had 1 year as President and I was given ‘The Great Pandemic of 2020’.  So I will soon be rolling out and handing over the torch to Doug Goss in January.  I know that Doug will be a great President for next year and I hope he will continue to deliver on some exciting new resources for our members.  The best of all…is that we have an amazing staff at SCCAOR who really stepped up this year on so many levels.  I couldn’t be more proud of them and I want to give them a huge thank you for being so dedicated to our membership and mission at SCCAOR.  I also want to thank the entire membership and our Board of Directors for allowing me to lead this year.  It’s been an honor and a heartwarming experience.  I truly felt blessed and appreciated by so many of you throughout the year.  I can’t wait until we can gather again and I can start giving out hugs again.

Until then…Thank you and I wish you all a VERY MERRY CHRISTMAS, a HAPPY NEW YEAR and a big hug from me to all of you.