I’m very excited to begin my term as your 2015 C.A.R. President. First, I’d like to thank our outgoing president, Kevin Brown, for serving this organization so well over the past year. I know he put in many miles traveling around the state to meet as many of you as possible. Thank you, Kevin, for your enthusiasm and commitment to organized real estate.
Like Kevin, I also am a second-generation REALTOR®, working in my father’s real estate office during high school. I obtained my broker’s license in 1980, opened my own firm in 1988, and have been involved in organized real estate since 1976. My motivation for becoming C.A.R. president grew out of my service as treasurer and chair of the Strategic Finance Committee, working to introduce new member benefits and increase our outreach. I want to reach out to grassroots members and put money back into their pockets by providing the tools and education they need.
We’ll have many challenges in 2015, including making direct contact with legislators and congressional leaders to effect change, working to shape public policy to increase housing affordability, and helping REALTORS® adapt to new business models, regulations, and technology so they increase their productivity and professionalism. I also want to increase grassroots member participation in the REALTOR® Action Fund (RAF) to raise money to advance the goals of our REALTOR® political action committees (PACs) at the local, state, and federal levels of government.
I won’t be doing all this alone though. I’ll be joined by a very talented 2015 Leadership Team comprised of President-elect Ziggy Zicarelli, Treasurer Geoff McIntosh, and C.A.R. Chief Executive Officer Joel Singer. It has truly been a privilege for me to have served with three previous leadership teams, and I’m looking forward to serving you with this incredible 2015 team.
One of my first duties as president occurred last week when I had the pleasure of being one of the hosts of C.A.R.’s inaugural “Real Estate Summit: Partnering for Change in California,” a day-long conference to examine real estate’s role in driving the state’s economic future, as well as other issues beyond residential real estate. We brought together influential economists, policymakers, and business leaders to dissect and suggest solutions to the state’s biggest economic and real estate challenges, including infrastructure, foreign investment, consumer trends, housing finance, affordability, and business environment. Attendees of this exclusive, invitation-only event were comprised of industry leaders from financial institutions, government agencies, academia, real estate, public policy, business, and investing.
The highlight of the day was a keynote luncheon speech by HUD Secretary Julián Castro, a California-educated leader who, in a very short period of time, has made a significant impact on the communities he’s served. He spoke about the need for housing finance reform and expanding access to credit to help families who are recovering from the great recession—and doing everything right—rebuild the American dream. He added that it’s time to remove the stigma from promoting homeownership and wants to make helping responsible people buy their first home one of his top priorities.
If you were unable to catch the event as it was live-streamed, we’ve archived the video so you can view it here.
In just a few days, the state’s most widely used and trusted standard form, the Residential Purchase Agreement (RPA), will be released. The form was significantly revised to incorporate the evolving needs of California REALTORS® and include changes requested by members. There are three new features within zipForm® Plus that have been added to simplify your ability to automatically add addendums when field limitations are reached, attach forms when respective form checkboxes are selected, as well as programming that minimizes user error by having mutually exclusive checkboxes. For example, a user cannot check both “all cash offer” and another contradictory financing term. For resources from C.A.R. to help you with these new features and the many changes made to the RPA, visit on.car.org/rpa2014.
Again, I’m very excited to serve as your president in 2015. I hope you will join me and get involved with C.A.R. next year. I look forward to working with you!
CALIFORNIA ASSOCIATION OF REALTORS®