By Craig Borner
2017 OCR President
Our Young Professionals Network has earned state and national accolades, our Global Business Alliance has developed beneﬁcial partnerships with several professional real estate organizations, we have added the Certiﬁed International Property Specialist (CIPS) Designation program to the list of classes we offer, and twenty of our members have graduated from the OCAR Leadership Academy.
One important part of our mission is advocacy. In May, I wrote an opinion piece for the Orange County Register to make readers aware of the risks associated with Property Assessed Clean Energy (PACE) ﬁnancing and to encourage Congress to pass H.R. 1958, known as the Pace Act of 2017, which would make PACE ﬁnancing subject to the federal Truth in Lending Act.
At the state level, one of our recent legislative successes was Senate Bill 173 (Dodd), which was signed into law by Governor Jerry Brown in mid-October. As of July 1, 2018, it removes the present California Bureau of Real Estate (CalBRE) from the Department of Consumer Aﬀairs; makes it a department within the Business, Consumer Services, and Housing Agency; and renames it the Department of Real Estate.
In addition, the California Association of REALTORS® (C.A.R.) Board of Directors has voted to work toward placing on the November 2018 ballot an initiative that would allow property owners over ﬁfty-ﬁve to move to a home of equal or lesser value anywhere in California while retaining the lower property tax base that has resulted from Proposition 13 (approved by California voters in 1978).
Proposition 60, passed in 1986, allowed seniors to keep their Proposition 13 property tax base when moving within the same county. Proposition 90, passed two years later, allowed individual counties to decide whether they would participate in this property tax base transfer for seniors who moved from one county to another. Only eleven of California’s ﬁfty-eight counties have opted to do so. The initiative sponsored by C.A.R., if approved by the voters, could make moving between counties once again aﬀordable for California’s retirees, thereby freeing up inventory, reducing prices, and encouraging home ownership.
Another important part of OCAR’s mission is to provide education to our members. For the ﬁrst time in our history, we oﬀered the entire highly coveted Certiﬁed International Property Specialist (CIPS) Designation program, which thirty OCAR members completed.
As of mid-October, when this column was written, OCAR had conducted 765 training classes at our Laguna Hills and Fountain Valley oﬃces covering 134 topics, many of which are listed in the centerfold of this issue of OC REALTOR®. In addition, members of the OCAR Management Team had taught 320 classes at various real estate oﬃces covering six topics and reaching approximately 4,422 agents.
We had conducted seventeen New Member Orientations, providing a “quick start” for OCAR’s 1,587 newest REALTOR® members. Twenty members had graduated from our ﬁrst-ever OCAR Leadership Academy, held in 2016–17, and another twenty members had enrolled for the 2017–18 Leadership Academy. We had sponsored nine Special Speaker events, featuring experts from across the nation, which were attended by more than 978 of our members.
Services to Our Members
Our newly established Young Professionals Network (YPN) has truly ﬂourished this year, earning accolades from both the California Association of REALTORS®(C.A.R.) and the National Association of REALTORS®(NAR). YPN’s educational and networking events have beneﬁtted members of all ages; and in September, its hugely successful “Aloha Nights” at the Balboa Bay Club raised $10,000 for the OCAR Cares Foundation.
In response to the rapidly emerging global economy, our new Global Business Alliance has developed partnerships with the Asian Real Estate Association of America (AREAA) and with the National Association of Hispanic Real Estate Professionals (NAHREP) and has joined these groups to sponsor several highly successful events, including AREAA-OC’s Luxury and International Event at the Pelican Resort at Pelican Hill in July.
Caring For Our Community
C.A.R. President Geoff McIntosh has said that, when disaster strikes, REALTORS® step up, whether it’s to deliver food, water, or other vital assistance or to donate money to those in need. In the wake of this year’s hurricanes, OCAR donated $5,000 to be divided equally between the NAR Relief Fund (in partnership with the American Red Cross) and the Houston Association of REALTORS® specially formed “Harvey” Relief Fund.
More recently, at an October blood drive in the Laguna Hills oﬃce, OCAR members donated twenty-eight pints of blood, enough to save the lives of up to eighty-four hospital patients.
Although the list of accomplishments does not end there, I am out of column space. In closing, I thank the chairs and co-chairs who took on the responsibility of leading OCAR’s committees, I thank the hardworking and dedicated members of OCAR’s Management Team for all that they have done each day, and I thank you—the members—for your involvement, your encouragement, and your support throughout this very busy and productive year. Together, we truly have made a diﬀerence in all the ways that matter most!