Andrea L. Lupton, GRI
District #1 Vice President
Northwood Realty Services
8230 E. Market St.
Warren, OH 44484
330.856.6100 FAX 330.856.6107
The Ohio Association of REALTORS has embarked on a new year of service to Ohio’s real estate professionals, reaffirming a commitment to providing members with the necessary tools and resources to achieve a shared goal of making the American Dream of property ownership an attainable reality for our fellow citizens.
Nearly 500 REALTORS from all corners of Ohio convened in Columbus for three days in mid-January to celebrate the inauguration of President Chris Hall, thank immediate Past President Thomas J. Williams for his lasting contributions, tend to the business functions of the organization and get the year off to a fantastic start.
There are a number of Winter Conference highlights that I would like to share with you, including:
- Directors took a bold, progressive step forward in an effort to help the Association better serve the needs of Ohio’s REALTOR industry by overwhelmingly adopting a new plan to streamline and strengthen the various districts across the state. The newly adopted plan solidifies the state into five, common sense regional districts–Southwest, Northwest, Northeast, Southern and Central Ohio–that will be represented within the Association’s leadership by two vice presidents in each locale. The new district plan, which was debated and developed by a task force over the past few months and ultimately approved by the Board of Directors, was necessitated due to recent Board mergers and reflects the ever-changing dynamics of the Ohio marketplace.
- Ohio’s REALTOR community supported the REALTORS Political Action Committee in a BIG way in 2013–raising more than $640,000. Our success is directly attributable to our Local Boards/Associations who raised funds for this vitally important cause. The following Boards were honored at the Board of Directors meeting for their overall excellence in their respective categories–Dayton Area, Toledo, Medina County, Warren Area and Ashland. Additionally, the Cincinnati Area and Columbus Boards were honored for their outstanding efforts–raising $95,672 and $139,486 respectively–during last year’s campaign. The organization established a goal of $575,000 for the 2014 RPAC campaign, with a participation goal of 40 percent and 160 major investors.
- During the recent OAR Winter Conference, the Association took a comprehensive review of the Ohio Division of Real Estate’s License Structure Review report. This Task Force was appointed by the Ohio Real Estate Commission in 2012 to explore whether Ohio’s licensing structure should be modified.The OREC task force was comprised of active brokers, residential, property management and commercial licensees, as well as ODRE staff.
Meetings were held last year and the report of the Task Force was presented to the Ohio Real Estate Commission in December. OAR has taken a position on the various components, including: creating a principal broker and associate broker’s license, identifying the duties of a principal broker, requiring separate licensure/certification for property management practitioners, and establishing additional educational requirements. OAR will keep members posted on the Division’s progress to develop legislation to effect these changes, which will be a lengthy process as there are many details still to be addressed. OAR looks forward to working with the Division on these issues.
- Attendees at the popular Lunchbox Economics session gained insights on market trends and a forecast of the 2014 real estate market from Paul Bishop, vice president of research for the National Association of REALTORS.
- The highly-attended Legal Issues Forum featured Peg Ritenour and Lorie Garland, from the OAR Legal Hotline, discussing “An Electronic World” and the impact technology has on today’s real estate marketplace. Forum attendees also received continuing education credit.
- The Business Technology Forum heard Sam Herra, director of national accounts for Zillow, share insights on how to maximize exposure on the largest real estate network on the web.
- Congratulations to Ted Oatts of Columbus REALTORS for being honored with OAR’s 2013 Distinguished Service Award, which is presented to long-standing members who have demonstrated an extraordinary commitment to the goals and purposes of the REALTOR organization at all levels. Ted joins an elite group of only 30 other recipients of this prestigious award given by OAR.
- The Nominating Committee presented its slate of candidates for the 2015 OAR Treasurer position: Pete Kopf (Cincinnati) and Georgiana Nye (Dayton Area). Directors will vote on the position at the OAR Annual Conference & Expo, Sept. 8-10, in Cleveland.
- The MLS Forum held a panel discussion on MLS/Broker Relationship Challenges. Moderator Andrea Bushnell, CEO of the North Carolina Association of REALTORS, lead panelists Tom Hosack, president of Northwood Realty and chairman for The Realty Alliance; Terry Hankner, president of Comey & Shepherd REALTORS; and Michael Mahon, executive vice president and broker at HER, REALTORS.
- The Communications Committee, following the decision by the National Association of REALTORS to no longer support or promote the Nationwide REALTOR Open House Weekend in 2014, opted to forgo involvement in a statewide event in 2014. The Committee is also creating a working group to reevaluate the Association’s Promotion & Advertising Contest due to decreasing participation in the program in recent years.
- The Strategic Planning Committee urged President Hall to create a task force to explore the creation of a leadership academy program for use by Local Boards/Associations.
- The Residential Property Management & Investment Forum heard Craig Auberger, of Crestpoint Development Co., discuss the issue of representing residential property investors.
- Attendees were able to earn two credit hours of continuing education with “Listings by the Dozen,” presented by Jackie Leavenworth. Special thanks to the Ohio CRS Chapter for its co-sponsorship of the program.
While the bulk of our attention and effort was devoted to matters involving Association operations, public policy initiatives, professional development and a host of related issues, there was ample opportunity to mix a little pleasure into the proceedings as well.
As you can tell, the Association has hit the ground running and is poised to accomplish great things in 2014. OAR will continue to work hard to not only ensure that REALTORS are prepared to meet the challenges of today, but succeed tomorrow.
Thank you for your past and continued support!