President’s Perspective: Ready for the Rebound – the best is yet to come!

I can’t believe it is 2012 already. Boy, how the time flies. It just seems like yesterday I was elected by your board of directors to be the CBR secretary and begin my journey as one of your officers.

It is a learning process. When you are the secretary you get in some extra meetings and find out what’s going on.

Then you step up to the treasurer’s position and really get to know the financial details of both companies (Columbus Board of REALTORS® and Central Ohio MLS Inc.).

It was fortunate I went to The Ohio State University and majored in real estate. As the real estate section is part of the finance department at the Fisher College of Business, I had two college level accounting courses. I’ve also been running a small business for 20 years.

Both experiences really helped me understand how good a job the leaders and staff that came before me have done to make us a strong and solvent association.

When you get to the President-elect position, you are preparing for your year and choosing the vice chairs. I am in awe of the leadership team we have assembled for 2012.

Both staff and committee leadership provided input on chair selections. And in almost every case the first person we asked stepped up to accept the challenge to help us run your Board. This volunteerism is what makes our association work.

About the time you’re reading this magazine, we will all be together at our leadership retreat down in Deer Creek State Park. During the retreat, we tweak and fine tune our 2012 goals. I’ll provide highlights in the February issue.

A REALTOR® since 1979, I got into the commercial area full time in 1981 – 30 years ago! Some of you know that both of my parents have been REALTORS®. I started with a large brokerage firm in the early 1980s, then went to a commercial developer that also had a construction company and, in 1991, started Coridan & Associates.

Real estate practitioners are an entrepreneurial bunch. We don’t sit around drinking coffee waiting for the next pay check to come on Friday. We don’t qualify for unemployment checks. We are hard workers, risk takers, problem solvers, and we are survivors.

Real estate is not as easy as it used to be. Clients are much more sophisticated and demanding. Real estate information is all over the internet, even in places that you don’t want it.

For some people the great American dream has become difficult because of foreclosures, short sales, declining values and vast amounts of vacant commercial space.

NAR’s 2012 president “Mo” Veissi from Miami said during his inaugural speech, “Real estate is the binding thread that keeps Americans together.”

Real estate is made up of the homes and apartments we live in, the hotels we stay at when we are away, the offices and industrial buildings we work at, and the retail space where we shop, eat and get entertained.

Your three tier REALTOR® organization is the voice of real estate and the only one protecting the American dream of home ownership and private property rights.

We can no longer just do business as usual.

This challenging real estate market in recent years, both residential and commercial, has not been what it was historically – and has not been kind to many of our members. The real estate associations on all levels are experiencing declining membership and budget challenges. We need to identify ways to cut costs both at our individual offices, companies and our real estate associations.

There are ways that you can help. Donate to CORPAC, buy supplies at the CBR shop, get your CE at the Board, or buy an EduCard Plus+.

The best kept secret is the full service print shop in the CBR basement (including our graphic designer – Erin Scaia).  Ninety nine percent of the Board’s printing is done in-house. You can even have wedding material printed.

We may be down but we certainly are not out. Despite the challenges, our most recent past presidents have done an amazing job with sustaining an active, growing association for our members.

In 2009, Gary Parsons selected the theme Surviving and Thriving Together; in 2010, Sue Lusk-Gleich said it was time to Get on Board; last year, Rick encouraged us to Come Together; and now we are Ready for the Rebound.

In the coming year, I can promise you I will do everything I can to promote the Board and the central Ohio real estate market.  We are ready for the rebound – and the best is yet to come!