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

More Than A Meeting

Friday, July 1, 2016  
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Orlando REALTOR® | JulyAugust 2016

By John Lazenby

One ne of my favorite things about being President of ORRA is having opportunities to meet many interesting people. This past May, during the NAR REALTORS® Legislative Meetings & Trade Expo in Washington, D.C., I had the pleasure of spending time with two such special individuals.

My introduction to one of ORRA’s own members came on the eve of recognition of his own personal achievement. It was with great pride that I attended the graduation ceremony for Bart Peterson, St. Johns Realty Company, who was awarded a Master of Real Estate degree from REALTOR® University. Bart is one of only 30 REALTORS® nationwide to have completed the MRE program.

How about you? Are you up for the challenge of earning a real estate degree? It’s no easy feat to pursue a degree in real estate while working as a real estate professional, and anyone who accomplishes this has my admiration. Fortunately, NAR’s own REALTOR® University is specifically designed to address the concerns of working students, from its completely online delivery to course waivers for real life work experience.

For more information about REALTOR® University and other real estate degree programs which are suitable for Florida’s working real estate professionals, please see the article beginning on page 10. You’ll also find some valuable words of wisdom and encouragement from both Bart and ORRA member Drew Belani, Keller Williams Winter Park, who is currently a student in the University of Central Florida Master of Science in Real Estate cohort program. Drew was recently named a Notable Knight of the 2016 UCF College of Business Administration Business Hall of Fame. ORRA congratulates him.

The second individual I particularly enjoyed meeting during the REALTORS® Legislative Meetings & Trade Expo was Felix Carles, President of the Asociación Panameña de Corredores y Promotores de Bienes Raíces. ORRA serves as the “sister association” to Panama’s REALTOR® group, so my official duty was to serve as host to Felix and the Panamanian delegation. Our conversations — about the challenges and rewards of practicing real estate in our countries — were interesting and informative. I look forward to meeting again with Felix and our Panamanian counterparts in the near future, when a delegation of ORRA representatives will travel to Panama to learn about reciprocal business development opportunities for our respective memberships.

I sincerely hope that each and every ORRA member will make education a life-long priority, whether it’s through academic institutions, classes at ORRA, or the first-hand exploration of foreign possibilities.

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

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