Where Real Estate Gets Its Dirt

The Passion Of Bob Hale

Bob Hale, CEO of H.A.R.
Bob Hale, CEO of H.A.R.
The fight to keep the option of associations and MLS providers to give their members a choice of providing a public facing MLS site could have no better hero than Bob Hale.

He seems to be everywhere. And when he isn’t there, his name is still on the lips of everyone. In D.C. you had a sense that Bob was fighting for much more than the right for MLS public facing websites, he was fighting for his legacy.

I can’t say that I know Bob all that well. But when first meeting him and his wife Susie you got a feeling that these were “good people”. From time to time he does send me a text or a quick email with an insightful comment on a blog post I have written. I think he gets my weird sense of humor. His name has been so prevalent in our industry a few years ago I came up with the Vendor Alley awards, and the top “Vendy” I dubbed “The Anyone But Bob Hale Award”. I was glad to hear he liked the homage.

A quick story. I was visiting Houston a couple months ago and had a chance to get a tour of the HAR Central Office. Sam Scott graciously led me around introducing me to staff members. Towards the end of the tour we stopped by Rene Galvan”s office. Papers with handwritten notes were strewn across Rene’s desk. Bob was seating at the end of Rene’s desk just finishing up a phone call. They had been working on the MLS policy back then, and it was apparent they had been working for hours (days) and more hours (days) to come. “Hey buddy,” he said, “How you doing? Welcome!” His phone rang again, “I gotta get this”, and he was back working the phones. Lyndon Johnson would be ashamed. My impression was its not easy being Bob Hale, it takes work. A lot of work.

When I walked in to the the MLS Policy committee meeting last week Bob was at the microphone. He was summarizing the importance of MLS public facing websites. Answering questions, fielding counter arguments, always with a glint in his eye….in the arena.

The fight isn’t over. More challenges lie ahead. His biggest yet might be finding a decent hotel room in Boise at the 2013 CMLS conference. But this year, if I had to give out the “Anyone But Bob Hale Award”, I would have to give it to…Bob Hale.

  1. Here, here Greg. I echo your sentiments exactly. Bob is not only one of the most articulate leaders in our industry, he also comes to the table prepared with facts, not anecdotes. He and his amazing team do their homework. They talk to consumers, they use important tools like Comscore and Hitwise to closely monitor the industry.

    And with all that, there’s one important focus that Bob always maintains – a dogged commitment to ensuring the long-term success and viability of his membership. He has their back. He does his homework, watching emerging trends, consumer behaviors and perspectives to get ahead of the curve and stay there.

    His organization has done more to drive innovative thinking in our industry than any other in my view. Whether it be agent ratings, HAR.com and even sharing transaction history, he has the guts to fight for what consumers are looking for – all for the goal of keeping REALTORS at the center of the transaction. Miraculously he is able to implement breakthrough programs and still operate in the highly political environment of one of the largest associations in the country.

    Whether you agree with Bob’b perspectives or not, I don’t believe there’s anyone that would argue that Bob Hale is not one of the shining lights of our industry. He and others like him are the ones that are going to lead us into a new definition of a cooperative and profitable relationship between agents, brokers, MLSs, associations and most important of all, the home buying public.

    Hats off to you Bob. NAR MId-year this year highlighted just how strong a leader you really are.

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