By Sherri Butterfield
WRITER AND EDITOR
Forums attract top-notch speakers who regularly address topics such as business policies and practices, retirement income planning, and professional real estate license defense.
When Danielle Corliss and her husband Jim first became active in real estate, they worked for large brokerages, where they discovered that they truly enjoy helping people buy and sell homes. In 2006, they opened Corliss Realty because they wanted to work as a team, to put their collective experience into practice, and to customize the service they provide to their clients. For the third year in a row, Danielle is chairing the Orange County REALTORS® (OCR) Independent Broker Advisory, the committee that schedules OCR’s Independent Broker Forums and secures speakers for these gatherings. Recently, OCR President Craig Borner appointed Danielle to the OCR Board of Directors, where she serves as the liaison between the Independent Broker Advisory Committee and the Board.
What is an independent broker?
A broker who has fewer than one hundred agents and is not franchised.
How did the Independent Broker Forum get started?
Many years ago, when print advertising in newspapers was a really great way to sell homes, the large brokerages had a distinct advantage because they could afford to run full-page ads while the independent brokers could not. By pooling their resources, independent brokers were able to secure similar advertising space and to promote their listings more effectively.
What are the goals of the Independent Brokers Forums today?
Obviously, the goals have changed. Today, we are not about buying large amounts of print advertising space, but we still want to gain more exposure for independent brokers and to share information that will help them be more successful. Our bimonthly forums provide a place where independent brokers can meet one another, share ideas about best practices, gain a better understanding of the marketplace, and become aware of new trends and tools.
When and where do you hold the Independent Broker Forums?
We meet five or six times a year in the large auditorium at OCR’s Laguna Hills office. At one time, we met regularly on a specific day of the week during a particular week of the month, but that rigid schedule proved unsatisfactory because the meeting dates we chose seldom coincided with the days on which the speakers our members most wanted to hear were available. Recently, we have followed a more flexible schedule, one that revolves around the availability of top-notch speakers.
How many independent brokers attend the forums?
Attendance ranges from about eighty to one hundred twenty, but we would like to attract as many as two hundred or more.
When is the next Independent Broker Forum?
Our next forum will be on Tuesday, April 4, at 11:00 a.m. The speaker will be Mary Work, a former California Bureau of Real Estate (CalBRE) prosecution lawyer. Her practice is primarily devoted to professional real estate license defense. She has been a featured speaker at California Association of REALTORS®(C.A.R.) meetings, where her topic was “When CalBRE Knocks at Your Door.”
In addition, motivational speaker Terry Watson will be here in September. According to his flyer, he “delivers fast-paced, engaging, highly interactive, laugh-until-you-snort, uncannily relevant, immediately usable, real-world information.” Incidentally, he comes from a family of independent brokers.
What are the benefits of participating in Independent Broker Forums?
It’s an opportunity to utilize our peer experience and interactions to meet mutual challenges and solve shared problems—and we serve a really good lunch!