News & Information: Orlando REALTOR® magazine - President's Message

Open Minds, Open Doors

Friday, January 22, 2016  
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Orlando REALTOR® | JanuaryFebruary 2016

By John Lazenby

Welcome to 2016! It’s an honor and a privilege to serve as President of our Association this year, and it’s a responsibility I pledge to honor. The promise I’d like from you, the ORRA member, is that you keep your mind open in 2016, because with an open mind, open doors and opportunities are sure to follow.

Your entire 2016 leadership team is already working to make sure that ORRA provides you with plenty of opportunities, one of which will be education courses, at reduced or no cost, to improve your knowledge base and to increase your business.

I’m proud to say that ORRA members earned 19,000 hours of free CE in 2015. Our goal is to exceed 25,000 hours in 2016. We currently have 90 free CE courses planned, and additional classes are in the works. With all the free CE classes offered by ORRA in 2016, you can easily fulfill your licensure and comply with your REALTOR® Code of Ethics requirements.

New education-related member benefits for 2016 don’t end there. We are going to offer discounted rates on selected certification and designation courses, including those required for Accredited Buyer’s Representative (ABR) and Certified International Property Specialist (CIPS).

Excellence In Professionalism - Gold Key Certification

More than 1100 ORRA members earned ORRA’s brand new and very own Excellence in Professionalism – Gold Key Certification during the program’s inaugural year of 2015. This important certification is designed to delineate and promote the ultimate in REALTOR® professionalism and quality service. It supplements the teachings and principles of the REALTOR® Code of Ethics.

The Excellence in Professionalism – Gold Key Certification course is not only free, it’s worth seven CE credits. This is an opportunity to simultaneously earn CE credit and a certification recognizing your commitment to the highest level of professionalism - all for free, compliments of ORRA. And, based on member demand, we’re doubling the number of class offerings in 2016!

I have to take a pause here and give credit where credit is due. The Gold Key program was developed from the ground up by ORRA’s Standards Task Force, which in 2015 was led by Chairman Jeff Fagan. For all the time and effort he devoted to this project, Jeff, in my words, the “Father of the Gold Key Program”, was deservedly honored with the 2015 ORRA REALTOR® of the Year award.

As you might imagine, ORRA’s education offerings are extremely popular and seats fill up fast. The best way to stay on top of your opportunities is to regularly check the “Education” section of, and to register quickly.

When I was asked, “What is ORRA?” I answered: ORRA is more than 10,00 people – Realtor members, Realtor volunteer leaders, Affiliate Members, and professional staff – working together to serve the real estate industry and to promote Realtor service to the community.

Please make it your priority to attend at least one class offered by ORRA in 2016, and see where it takes you. And know that you can contact me, or any member of our leadership team or our Association Executive, at any time regarding any ORRA-related concern. We are here to serve, and our door is always open to each and every ORRA member.

ORRA President John Lazenby, Colony Realty Group, Inc., is available at


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