Learn a little about President Jeffrey M. Fagan and the rest of the 2019 ORRA leadership team
What comes first… success in ORRA leadership or success in real estate? For 2019 ORRA President Jeffrey M. Fagan, who transitioned into real estate after a 20-year career in the poultry agribusiness, the two are as intertwined as the fabled chicken-egg paradox.
“My involvement in ORRA has had an enormous impact on my real estate career by introducing me to mentors and other wonderful people who have taught me important lessons about not only real estate but life in general,” says Fagan. “I’ve learned from them, for example, that as REALTORS® we can positively or negatively influence and affect the lives of people in our communities by how we navigate what is to most people the largest investment of their life.”
“Ours is a massive responsibility, and the real estate business is not simply a series of transactions,” continues Jeff. “It’s a relationship business. As REALTORS® we need to reconnect to the consumer directly and deliberately.”
Jeff brought along this same philosophy when he served as chairman of the ORRA Professional Development Committee and oversaw the creation of ORRA’s Excellence in Professionalism – Gold Key Certification program, an achievement that earned him the association’s 2015 REALTOR® of the Year award. His additional involvement in ORRA includes years of service on the board of directors and a slew of committees, and Jeff puts in volunteer time as a director for both the National Association of REALTORS® and Florida Realtors® as well.
When Jeff isn’t busy handling the many responsibilities as president of a 15,500-member organization, he oversees 17 offices, 16 managing brokers, and 475 sales associates for Watson Realty Corp in his position as regional vice president, Central Florida. Jeff has held a real estate license since 2001.
He and his wife, Vicki (an agent with Watson Realty Corp), have four grown children, one granddaughter, and a new grandson. They reside in Sanford.
Read on to learn a little more about the goals and philosophies of the 2019 ORRA leadership team, starting below with Jeff.
JEFFREY M. FAGAN
Watson Realty Corp
My priorities as ORRA’s 2019 president include supporting the association in articulating its value to members and the public. We need to be open to alternatives that increase the efficiency in delivering that value. In addition, I’d like to work toward erasing artificial geographic boundaries and expanding services with the goal of ultimately delivering higher quality benefits to our members.
The most pressing real estate issue I would like to see ORRA address during my term as president is affordable housing, which is at or nearing crisis levels in the Orlando area. ORRA needs to spearhead an effort with area leaders from the business, government, and real estate/builder communities to mitigate and eventually reverse this problem.
The most valuable services that ORRA offers to members are education, leadership development, professionalism training, and advocacy on issues affecting our livelihood and our communities.
The best thing that has happened since I started volunteering with ORRA is witnessing the improvement of Orlando’s housing market. A close second is experiencing the current renewed vision and excitement around ORRA.
What I wish others knew about ORRA is that just one person or just one idea can make a difference, and that we have so many opportunities for members to get involved.
The factors most affecting the future of Orlando’s housing market are many. There’s the lack of inventory in general, and now some excess inventory in the upper end. There’s probably a market shift coming due to inventory and interest rate increases; industry disrupters who are funded by venture capital are having an impact; and there is — sadly, to me — what appears to be a shift away from relationship selling and toward transactional selling.
The most important real estate lesson I’ve learned is to ask questions and listen because it’s more important to DO right than BE right.
The best real estate advice I’ve received is to under promise and over deliver, and to set proper and achievable expectations.
The best way to stay competitive in real estate is to always listen, never stop learning, and always be open to change.
RE/MAX Properties SW Inc
The most valuable services that ORRA offers members are our many education programs and our communications platforms that provide information about our local housing market and about what is happening within the real estate industry on both the local and national levels.
I choose to be involved with ORRA because I want to give back to the profession that has been great to me.
ORRA has had an impact on my career by making me a better REALTOR®, broker, manager, and educator.
The best thing that has happened since I started volunteering with ORRA is that many of the members I have met over the years are now my friends and mentors.
What I think will be different about ORRA in five years is that we will be the REALTOR® association that other REALTOR® associations want to be.
The factor most affecting the future of Orlando’s housing market is affordable housing.
The best way to stay competitive in real estate is to be educated on all the issues that affect our business.
The best real estate advice I’ve received (and given in turn) is to not get attached to the outcome.
My favorite real estate technology is my mobile computer (i.e., my smartphone).
My favorite thing about Central Florida is everything! I am proud to be an Orlando native and love everything about my home town.
My favorite sports team is and always will be the Florida Gators.
My childhood ambition was to be a marine biologist.
My first job was as a car hop at the old Steak ‘n Shake by Colonial Plaza Mall.
My dream house has a wrap-around porch.
What makes me happy is seeing others happy.
Past President LOU NIMKOFF Brio Real Estate Services LLC
My three goals as an ORRA leader for 2019 are to support President Jeff Fagan, engage more members at Florida Realtors® as vice president of District 12, and help open another satellite office.
The most valuable services that ORRA offers members are education, networking, and advocacy.
I choose to be involved with ORRA because we accomplish more by working together.
What I think will be different about ORRA in five years is that we will know more about our members in order to serve them better.
The factors most affecting the future of Orlando’s housing market are interest rates, population growth, and new home construction.
The most pressing local real estate issue is affordable housing.
The most pressing national REALTOR® issue is educating consumers about the value of using a REALTOR®.
The most important real estate lesson I’ve learned is that the ability to have a 30-year fixed payment mortgage can help people plan for important things like children’s college and retirement.
The most rewarding part of real estate is helping people find the right place to live or work.
The most challenging part of real estate is a supply-constrained market.
The best real estate advice I’ve received is to buy in the best area you can. You can fix the property, but you can’t move it.
The best real estate advice I’ve given is to specialize in something.
The best ways to stay competitive in real estate are to read as much as you can and to get out and talk to other practitioners.
My three goals as an ORRA leader for 2019 are to start the process for a new headquarters building; to secure innovative, state-of-the-art technology in service to members; and to continue to promote professionalism in the industry.
The most valuable service that ORRA offers members is our fabulous education department, which provides top notch professional development opportunities. In addition, ORRA’s position as a shareholder in one of the best multiple listing services in the country is of enormous benefit to the members.
The best thing that has happened since I started volunteering with ORRA is that I’ve developed an amazing network of people I’ve been fortunate to meet. It always makes the transaction easier if you know the other REALTOR®.
What I think will be different about ORRA in five years is the technology that we use to educate and communicate with our members.
The factors most affecting the future of Orlando’s housing market are affordable housing and transportation.
The most pressing national REALTOR® issues are lack of professionalism and the public’s perception of REALTORS®.
The most important real estate lesson I’ve learned is to always speak the truth.
The most rewarding part of real estate is having grateful previous customers who after many years still send me referrals.
The most challenging part of real estate is dealing with many different personalities and being able to adjust your own approach accordingly.
The best real estate advice I’ve received is to never stay stagnant with your education or the market.
The best real estate advice I’ve given is to go into every transaction as if you were going to be sued.
My favorite things about Central Florida are the sunny days and that we are only 45 minutes from a beach.
Secretary TANSEY SODERSTROM Real Estate Firm of Orlando
My three goals as an ORRA leader for 2019 are to increase member engagement, learn more about real estate related technology, and make sure the members know we are the gatekeepers of the American dream.
The most valuable services that ORRA offers to its members are education, leadership development, and professionalism training.
I choose to be involved with ORRA because I want to give back to the profession that has been so good to me and my family.
ORRA has had an impact on my career by introducing me to awesome people.
What I think will be different about ORRA in five years is the age mix of REALTORS®.
The most pressing local real estate issue is the current lack of inventory.
The most important real estate lesson I’ve learned is to listen with the understanding that what someone said may not be what you heard.
The most rewarding part of real estate is growing agents and helping people to realize their dreams.
The best real estate advice I’ve received is that if you don’t know the answer, then find out. Don’t ever guess.
The best real estate advice I’ve given is to always do the right thing.
The best way to stay competitive in real estate is to continue to learn and grow every day.
My favorite real estate website is mfrmls.com.
My favorite real estate app is Realtors® Property Resource.
My personal motto is that one must always have the 3 Gs: gratitude, graciousness, and generosity.
Chief Executive Officer CLIFF LONG Orlando Regional REALTOR® Association
My three goals as an ORRA leader for 2019 are to increase member services; increase community collaborations; and attain our strategic plan goals.
The most valuable services that ORRA offers members are advocacy, education, a terrific multiple listing service, and lockboxes.
I chose to work at ORRA because I believe in what REALTORS® do for their customers and the community, because ORRA has the ability to support its members, and because Orlando is considered by so many to be the greatest city in the world.
The best thing that has happened since I started working at ORRA is seeing our staff blossom.
What I think will be different about ORRA in five years is that it will be not just a real estate trade organization. It will be a corporation that the Orlando business community looks to for leadership.
The factors most affecting the future of Orlando’s housing market are affordable housing, the lack of available land, and the economy.
The most pressing national real estate issue is flood insurance.
My goals as ORRA’s CEO in 2019 are to help staffers attain the REALTOR® Association Certified Executive designation and to relocate ORRA’s operations to a building and location that appropriately reflects the REALTOR® position in our community.
The most important association management lesson I’ve learned is to know when to be quiet.
The most rewarding part of association management is when an employee rises to become a staff leader of their own association.
The best advice I’ve received is to understand that people don’t care how much you know until they know how much you care.
The best way to be competitive in real estate is to stay current with technology and stay relevant in your community.
My favorite thing about Central Florida is its diversity in people, restaurants, and things to do on the weekend.