Lucky For You
Friday, February 7, 2014
Orlando REALTOR® | January/February 2014
ORRA Chairman Zola Szerencses
(the Hungarian word for "lucky")
sets about steering your association
with an international flair
Zola Szerencses may hail from Budapest and have a world vision, but this year his focus is all on ORRA.
The association’s 2014 chairman brings to ORRA a perspective shaped by years of involvement within the international real estate arena — from both the practical side and the diplomacy side. As director of international sales for RE/MAX 200 Realty, Szerencses helps international clients purchase homes in Orlando and Orlando clients purchase homes around the globe. And as NAR’s regional coordinator for Eastern Europe, he serves as an ambassador for real estate associations located in those reaches.
Zola is likewise involved in NAR’s International Local Council Forum (past chair) and in Florida REALTORS’® Global Business Committee (current chair).
Of course he’s a prominent figure in ORRA’s own Global Real Estate Council of Orlando (also a past chair). In fact, Szerencses’ leadership in the Global Real Estate Council of Orlando and a host of other ORRA committees through the years helped him land ORRA’s REALTOR® of the Year Award in 2011.
And as if Zola does not spend enough time at ORRA on official chairman and committee duties, he can often be found in the association’s conference room lecturing about international real estate as an accredited CIPS faculty member. He also teaches Graduate, REALTOR® Institute classes and REALTOR® Code of Ethics classes.
But as fortunate as ORRA and its members are to have Szerencses (the Hungarian word for "lucky”), from his perspective he’s the lucky one. "Even under trying circumstances, for example during the recent years when the real estate market struggled, it’s still a blessing to be living and working in the United States in general and in Orlando in particular,” says Zola. "There’s always an opportunity out there somewhere; for example, for me opportunity during the downturn was in the form of many Broker Price Opinions.”
Prior to taking office on January 1, Zola took the opportunity to sit down with Orlando REALTOR® and share his thoughts about what the upcoming year holds.
What factors do you see most affecting the future of Orlando’s housing market?
Orlando may have been one of the first to have experienced a declining market but we’re also among the first to have experienced dramatic improvements, and I expect our market will continue to improve. Orlando has three particular strengths: its geographic location, its employment opportunities, and its attraction as a destination for international homebuyers. That latter segment helped enormously in keeping our market afloat during the lean years.
What real-estate issues would you most like to see resolved during your term as chairman?
Raising the level of REALTOR® professionalism across the board is one of my primary objectives, and we’ve already initiated projects to help make that happen. ORRA puts a great deal of resources into public awareness campaigns that seek to improve the REALTOR® image; those campaigns would have even greater impact if we can increase the level of adherence to the REALTOR® Code of Ethics and demonstrate common courtesy.
What objectives would you most like ORRA to meet during your term as chairman?
I have three specific goals for ORRA that I think are both relevant and reachable:
- Promote participation in our many affiliated specialty groups and in our many real estate special interest committees.
- Encourage members to adhere to the REALTOR® Pathways to Professionalism and educate them about the standards; and
- Create a broker resource kit to help brokerages — especially the small shops — with issues such as agent hiring practices and agent oversight.
What would you like all members to know about ORRA??
ORRA exists for the purpose of keeping real estate professionals in business. From its educational programming to its governmental affairs initiatives, ORRA’s projects are intended to help you succeed in your personal business and to protect the practice of real estate as a whole.