Reflections on CAAR Leadership role

It’s been a great year!

It’s been a great year!

This Thursday I will hand over the gavel of CAAR leadership to Anita Dunbar. I know I’m feeling a little less pressure than Anita is right now but equally confident she will reflect comfortably as I am right now, next year. CAAR President is a great job. It’s a job that garners respect in the community, respect from peers and respect within the state and national scene at NAR and VAR meetings and conventions. It’s a job where one gets to represent an organization that is 1000 strong and already known for a high bar of professionalism, a great body of good works in the community and a full stable of volunteers filling out the board of the directors, the working groups and teams with talent and enthusiasm. It’s a job where a remarkable Association Executive and her staff wait with pricked ears for anything they can improve upon.

And it teaches you a lot about real estate, what’s hot and what’s not from the who’s who in the industry, mastering data reports for the press, knowing that you know much more than you did last year.

Mostly it teaches you a lot about leadership, about listening, about asking for help and getting a grasp on the bigger picture, about working with people, giving credit and thanks when warranted, about standing firm when necessary.

Back in the saddle.

Back in the saddle.

It’s been a year of learning for me, a year that I will always take pride in and a year I am happy to put behind me as I join my esteemed colleagues in the past Presidents Circle. I pass the gavel to Anita Dunbar knowing she is ready, willing and able and CAAR is healthy, wealthy and wise. My secret?? Just show up!

First Quarter Market Report from CAAR

I just wrapped up my third radio interview about the first quarter market report from the Charlottesville Area Association of Realtors. It’s a regular gig for the CAAR President and I was nervous about it at first but kind of like it now. It’s fine to read and get comfortable with the data but the richness comes from the discussions that ensue about what they really mean. First of all, having access to past presidents, current CAAR leaders, state and national movers and shakers and 30 of the finest minds in the business at the Nest Realty office is like having access to the Library of Congress when it comes to expertise in all the different market segments. What has become most obvious is that even in as small a market as ours, these broad statements cannot and should not be expected to apply universally. Each neighborhood, each region, has different dynamics and different levels of supply and demand. Ask the experts within those individual neighborhoods and you’ll learn even more about the best streets, the best builders,  the differences that truly apply to each home or property.

Audio not loading? Click here to listen to the interview on SoundCloud.

I have a few takeaways from not just this report but also my outlook, having soaked in CAAR leadership for a while. First, it’s a confidence that great Realtors are a vital part of our marketplace. When we have the opportunity to listen to true, experienced experts discourse on their area of expertise it’s obvious how much they can help the process and how blind one would be jumping in without that expertise at your side. Secondly, on a personal level I find myself much more of an expert than I was before I took on this leadership role. Being part of the process, looking over our market with a broad interest and even feeling some level of responsibility for it has turned me into a different Realtor, a better Realtor. There may never have been a more unlikely CAAR President than the John Ince most of my farm and estate colleagues have known for thirty years but I will say this now for anyone who thinks volunteering at CAAR is a waste of their valuable time: You’re missing something!

No news is good news!

Lawrence Yun and John Ince

John Ince and NAR Chief Economist Dr Lawrence Yun

Two days after I was installed as President of the Charlottesville Area Association of Realtors our year end market report came out. Suddenly I found myself as the source for this vital information for all the media outlets in and around Charlottesville. I had my first bout of red light fright when the cute, local TV gal popped the first question that wasn’t on my notes. I stared at the camera for what seemed like an hour then ducked aside to make them start over. I was OK after that and felt downright snappy with my answers by the end of the day. By Friday evening I think I really was the expert they had been hoping for but all my interviews were done.

This is the jist of it. 2013 marked the second year in a row of increased number of sales, increased median prices, lower days on the market, happier clients and happier Realtors. It’s nice to bring such good news forward but Channel 29 didn’t even call on the report. Not only is much of the drama missing from real estate news with foreclosures and short sales down but “Real Estate Back to Normal!” doesn’t make a very good headline.

Tomorrow morning our Realtor Association is hosting Dr. Lawrence Yun, the National Association of Realtors Chief Economist who will address our membership and share with us  his expectations for our nations economy and how it will affect real estate. We expect to hear more of the same. It’s not a great headline but it’s real good news.

UPDATE: Our Charlottesville Area Association of Realtors hosted Dr. Lawrence Yun this morning and was all ears as he gave us a broad perspective about economic trends that will affect the housing market. We should expect a trend of rising interest rates, continued supply deficits and reliable appreciation of housing stocks. One of the most impressive statistics was the relationship of individual net worth of home owners vs, renters indicating that home ownership is at the core of personal financial security in America.

John Ince installed as 2014 President of the Charlottesville Area Association of Realtors

I was honored on Thursday, January 9th by our Charlottesville Area Association of Realtors by being installed as their 2014 President. Thanks to decades of dynamic leadership by our dedicated members and tireless staff, CAAR is one of the most respected Realtor Association in the country. I will do my best to guide our Board of Directors and represent our Association during 2014.