Introducing 2015 ORRA President Sharon Voss
Tuesday, January 27, 2015
Orlando REALTOR® | January/February 2015
Education Is Key
New ORRA President Sharon Voss may be a 34-year REALTOR®, but underneath it all still beats the heart of a teacher. No doubt this is a helpful worldview to have for someone who is charged with educating the public about the desirability of Orlando and the value of a REALTOR®, and educating REALTORS® about the value of ORRA!
Prior to getting her start in real estate, Sharon earned a degree in elementary education from the University of Florida. And as a longtime residential agent with the Wekiva office of Watson Realty Corp, she is on the same page as buyers who target the area for its excellent school system. Now, as the spokesperson for all of Orlando’s REALTORS®, Sharon’s reach extends beyond a pocket of Seminole County.
“Orlando’s newest features — such as the Dr. Phillips Center for the Performing Arts, Medical City, and our new soccer team — make our area an easy lifestyle destination to promote,” says Voss, who takes on the association’s media interview duties this year.
Sharon will also use her public platform this year to ensure consumers are aware that REALTORS® are a resource for information about HOA rules and local government regulations, in addition to being local housing market experts and an invaluable asset to the transaction. Working with area community service agencies to improve the living condition and stability of Orlando’s homeless population rounds out Sharon’s community education goals for the year.
As for educating REALTORS®, Sharon has already taken a giant step with the January launch of ORRA’s newest certification program. ORRA’s Excellence in Professionalism – Gold Key Certification is designed to supplement the teachings and principles of the REALTOR® Code of Ethics. Gold Key Certification is available to agents, brokers, and even entire offices, and the cornerstone of the program is a single, all-day class that is worth seven continuing education credits and is also FREE to ORRA members. (For more information, visit orlandorealtors.org, search words “Gold Key Certification.)
Finally, as for REALTOR® education and for promoting the value of ORRA to its members, stay tuned in the coming months for Sharon’s announcement of a giant member benefit that will neatly tie her two key objectives together.
Prior to taking office as ORRA president, Sharon sat down with Orlando REALTOR® magazine and shared some additional thoughts about her upcoming year.
Q: What are the greatest challenges facing the real estate industry that ORRA should address?
A: Because of what we have gone through in our market, we need to stand united by bonding with mortgage brokers and appraisers to reduce the possibility of another devastating cycle of short sales and foreclosures. This has been one of the toughest markets I’ve been through, and I’ve been through a lot of them. The half-full perspective is that I was encouraged to see ORRA standing behind us with education and outreach, and during the crisis I realized how powerful the REALTOR® voice is both in Tallahassee and amongst our industry partners.
Private property rights is another one of my big-picture concerns. Wise utilization and widely allocated ownership depend on the survival and growth of free institutions and our civilization. REALTORS® should recognize that the interests of the nation and its citizens require the highest and best use of the land, and widest distribution of land ownership. These in turn require the creation of adequate housing, the building of functioning cities, the development of productive industries and farms, and the preservation of healthful environment.
Our obligations go beyond that of real estate sales. As REALTORS®, it is our patriotic duty to dedicate ourselves to staying informed and protecting our clients, customers, and the public interest on issues affecting real estate.
Q: What segment of the ORRA membership are your targeting for special attention this year?
A I really want to maintain a close relationship to ORRA’s broker members, so that we are very clear on what they want and need from ORRA. We’ve already gotten started on this objective, for example by planning and producing projects such as a helpful and informative video series that brokers can use during sales meetings with agents.
2015 ORRA President Sharon Voss, Watson Realty Corp, can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.