2017 Has Been an Amazing Year for OCAR

Craig Borner
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.

Advocacy

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.

Education

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!