News Releases

Please e-mail newsroom@orlandorealtors.org for news releases or housing market summaries distributed prior to 2018.

Media Contacts

Laura Haag
Vice President, Marketing & Communications
407.513.7272 | laurah@orlandorealtors.org

Lisa McDuffie
Communications Manager
407.513.7273 | lisam@orlandorealtors.org

 

ORRA Recommended Candidates - March 2019 Election (3/1/2019)

The Orlando Regional REALTOR® Association is pleased to recommend two candidates to office in the municipal election held on Tuesday, March 12, 2019.

The REALTOR® organization recommends candidates who are sensitive to issues related to real estate, homeownership, and private property rights. In addition, the association considers support of issue campaigns that address the rights of the property owners and/or improves the quality of life within our region.

Belle Isle

City of Belle Isle Mayor - Nicholas Fouraker

Winter Park

Winter Park City Commission, Seat 4 - Pete Weldon

ORRA considers candidates based on his or her past voting record and/or sensitivity to real estate issues. Candidates are invited to participate in a screening process by the ORRA Candidate Screening Subcommittee, which then makes candidate recommendations to the ORRA Board of Directors for final approval.

ORRA supported candidates who accept political action committee (PAC) funds are eligible to receive contributions from the REALTORS® Political Action Committee for use in their campaign.

The Orlando Regional REALTOR® Association, recognized as one of the most innovative local real estate associations in the country, represents more than 15,000 real estate professionals throughout Central Florida. It is the 8th largest REALTOR® organization in the country.

ORRA names Loren Gilbertson as vice president of technology (2/7/2019)

The Orlando Regional REALTOR® Association is pleased to announce that Loren Gilbertson has joined the organization as its vice president of technology. The newly created position is responsible for identifying and implementing the sophisticated technology that enhances ORRA’s ability to provide top-tier service to its 15,500-plus members.

“Technology has revolutionized the real estate industry and is constantly evolving at breakneck speed,” says ORRA Chief Executive Officer Cliff Long. “It’s imperative that ORRA be on the forefront of not only the technology that we use within the association to serve members and manage our operations, but of the technology that our REALTOR® members use to serve their homebuying and selling clients. This includes technology for transaction management, safety, marketing, and more.”

Gilbertson comes to ORRA from the Western Arizona REALTOR® Data Exchange, where he served as chief executive officer. Previously he served as multiple listing service director of the Greater Alabama Multiple Listing Service and Birmingham Association of REALTORS®.

Loren is able to provide staff training and support for a wide range of REALTOR®- and MLS-related products, including the Supra key and lockbox systems and REALTOR® Property Resource.

The Orlando Regional REALTOR® Association, recognized as one of the most innovative local real estate associations in the country, represents more than 15,500 real estate professionals throughout Central Florida. It is the 8th largest REALTOR® organization in the country.

ORRA announces 2018 REALTOR® of the Year and annual award winners (1/12/2019)

The Orlando Regional REALTOR® Association, which as the nation’s 8th largest REALTOR® association in the country represents more than 15,500 Central Florida real estate professionals, has announced its 2018 award recipients.

The honors were presented on January 12, 2019 during the ORRA Annual Inaugural & Awards gala at the Hilton Orlando. The event also included the inauguration of 2019 ORRA President Jeffrey M. Fagan, Watson Realty Corp, and the installation of the 2019 ORRA Board of Directors.

Fagan and the board took the stage just prior to the association’s yearly accolades program, which included the eagerly awaited REALTOR® of the Year award. Reese Stewart, RE/MAX Properties SW Inc., is the honor’s 2018 recipient.

“Reese stood out to us as someone who has demonstrated a high degree of competence in an ORRA leadership role,” says ORRA Awards Task Force Chairman and 2016 REALTOR® of the Year recipient Lisa Ford, Charles Rutenberg Realty Orlando. “He has humbly served in a multitude of capacities over the years, and in addition consistently displays unusual effort and initiative on behalf of ORRA.”

Additional honors presented during the gala include:

Association Educator of the Year Award – Cynthia Shelton, Cynthia Shelton Inc., for demonstrating excellence in teaching and in commitment of service to the association.

Chairman of the Year Award – Lesley Wilson VanGoethem, Innovative Realty Solutions Gr, for focusing on the association's goals; maintaining accurate committee records; conducting committee meetings in a professional manner; and demonstrating traits of a leader of the association.

Grant Clarke Volunteer of the Year Award – Rosie Papagiannakis, Keller Williams Winter Park, for demonstrating leadership and commitment to the fulfillment of the association’s strategic plan through volunteer committee work and activities.

Pillar of the Community Award – Megan Sladek, SunFlorida Realty, for demonstrating exceptional community service and outreach.

REALTOR® Rising Star of the Year – Ryan Ditmar, Lineage Real Estate, for offering exemplary contributions of service, time, and commitment to the association.

Walter Rose Lifetime Member – Maureen Golmont, Watson Realty Corp, for rendering exceptional and unusual service to the association.

Affiliate Member of the Year – Chris Atwell, First International Title, for providing outstanding contributions of service, time, and commitment to the association.

Affiliate Rising Star of the Year – Leslie Heimer, American Liberty Mortgage, for providing outstanding contributions of service, time, and commitment to the association.

The event also included presentation of the 2018 President’s Awards, which are awarded by ORRA’s outgoing president to those recipients who provided exception support during his or her term. Immediate Past President Lou Nimkoff, Brio Real Estate Services LLC, recognized the following individuals:

  • Chris Atwell, First International Title;
  • Cleberto Copetti, Real Estate Compass, LLC;
  • Deidre Graybill, Graybill Realty and Associates LLC;
  • Lee Nimkoff, Lee Anne Nimkoff;
  • Lori Rivera, Florida Int’nl Real Estate LLC; and
  • Chere Roane, Nicole-Hudson Realty Corp.

The Orlando Regional REALTOR® Association, recognized as one of the most innovative local real estate associations in the country, represents more than 15,500 real estate professionals throughout Central Florida.

ORRA names Amanda Ornelas as COO (11/11/2019)

The Orlando Regional REALTOR® Association is pleased to announce that Amanda Ornelas has joined the organization as its chief operating officer. The COO is a key member of the ORRA’s senior management team and oversees all functions of the 15,000-member association, including member services; professional development; and advocacy.

“Amanda’s energy and years of hand-on association management will contribute to flawless execution of ORRA’s internal operations,” says ORRA CEO Cliff Long. “In addition, her guidance will assist REALTOR® leadership flourish externally.”

Ornelas comes to ORRA from the Sun Valley (Idaho) Board of REALTORS®, where she served as chief executive officer. Ornelas also served as executive director of Sun Valley REALTORS® Give, the charitable arm of the board.

Amanda holds a bachelor’s degree in business management from Idaho State University. Her professional designations and credentials include REALTOR® Certified Executive; Professional Standards Administrator; and ae-PRO.

The Orlando Regional REALTOR® Association, recognized as one of the most innovative local real estate associations in the country, represents more than 15,500 real estate professionals throughout Central Florida.

Orlando remains in the #2 spot for Florida's international homebuyers (11/14/2018)

Orlando held steady in 2018 as the #2 destination of choice for Florida’s international homebuyers, according to the National Association of REALTORS’® 2018 Profile of International Residential Real Estate Activity in Florida. Nine percent of all of Florida’s international homebuyers opted to purchase a property in Orlando.

“The international real estate market is important to the sustainment of both Orlando’s real estate industry and its overall economy,” says Orlando Regional REALTOR® Association President Lou Nimkoff, Brio Real Estate Services LLC. "The profile’s results show that foreign buyers accounted for approximately 11 percent of the Orlando-Sanford-Kissimmee Metropolitan Statistical Area’s 44,000 home sales during the study period of August 2017 through July 2018.”

Orlando was Florida’s second most desired destination of foreign homebuyers in 2018 and captured 9.4 percent of the state’s market share (11 percent in 2017 and 12 percent in 2016). Only the Miami-Fort Lauderdale-Miami Beach area, which drew a whopping 53.7 percent of all Florida international transactions, topped Orlando. The Tampa-St. Petersburg-Clearwater area came in third with 9.0 percent. Those rankings are unchanged from both 2017 and 2016.

Buyer Originations

Orlando area international buyers in 2018 were mainly from Latin American and the Caribbean (47 percent), Europe (18 percent), and Asia (15 percent). From a nation-centric perspective, those from Brazil were involved in 20 percent of Orlando’s international transactions, while Canadian and Venezuelan nationals participated in 8 percent each. China, Columbia, and the United Kingdom each supplied 7 percent of Orlando’s international buyers in 2018.

Several countries made their first appearances on Orlando’s list of major foreign buyers in recent years: the Dominican Republic, Bolivia, France, and the Russian Federation.

Orlando was ranked as the #2 collective purchase location for international homebuyers from four of Florida’s six top foreign buyer markets in 2018. This year Orlando garnered the #3 spot from the United Kingdom, which in 2016 drew 29 percent of all of that country’s Florida real estate buyers and earned its #1 ranking.

Financial Matters

International buyers contribute significantly to Orlando’s dollar volume statistic. “Foreign buyer purchases tend to involve higher priced homes and accounted for 19 percent of Florida’s total residential dollar volume during the study period,” continues Nimkoff. “That same 19 percent equates to $1.9 billion when applied to ORRA members’ $10.1 billion worth of home sales during the study period.”

International buyers are also very apt to use cash because they might not have the required U.S. credit to obtain a mortgage from a U.S. source. In fact, about 67 percent of all Florida’s international transactions in the study period were all-cash (down from 72 percent last year), with Canadians (84 percent) and United Kingdom nationals (81 percent) most likely to have gone that route.

Orlando’s international buyers purchase properties for both vacation and residential rental purposes. Those from China, Columbia, and Venezuela in particular like to take advantage of Orlando’s steady stream of tourists and invest in a rental property while those from Canada and the United Kingdom were most likely to purchase a property for private vacation use.

With its mix of resort, urban, and suburban areas, Orlando is able to accommodate foreign buyers’ ever-changing location preferences. Thirty-seven percent of Florida’s international buyers selected to purchase in a central city/urban area, with another 37 percent selecting a suburban area. Only 15 percent purchased in a resort area during the 2018 study period, down from a high of 53 percent a decade ago. This drop is consistent with the declining share of Canadian and U.K. buyers, who have traditionally preferred such locations.

The Orlando Regional REALTOR® Association, recognized as one of the most innovative local real estate associations in the country, represents more than 15,500 real estate professionals throughout Central Florida.

Global Real Estate Council of Orlando earns Diamond Achievement Award (11/7/2018)

The Global Real Estate Council of Orlando — a special interest group of the Orlando Regional REALTOR® Association — has been presented with the Diamond Global Achievement Program Award from the National Association of REALTORS®.

The award recognizes the highest level of sustained service to REALTORS® who work with foreign national homebuyers and sellers. It was presented on November 3 during a festive evening gala for international real estate practitioners as part of NAR's 2018 REALTOR® Conference & Expo in Boston.

“The education and networking provided by the Global Real Estate Council of Orlando is invaluable,” says ORRA President Lou Nimkoff. “Orlando was the state’s second-most desired location for international homebuyers between August 2017 and July 2018, and they are involved in a significant percentage of the area’s home sales. It’s imperative that Orlando REALTORS® are able to offer the knowledge and expertise required of international transactions, and we’re proud to show that our council clearly fulfills this important function.”

This is the first year that the Global Real Estate Council of Orlando has received Diamond level recognition. The level is awarded to those councils around the country that for a minimum of six years have shown the highest level of service to its global members by consistently providing them with the tools they need to handle international real estate and by connecting the council to the global community in the Orlando area.

ORRA's council earned a Platinum level award each year from 2013 to 2018 and earned a Gold level award in 2012.

The awards program looks for high levels of achievement in the five categories:

  • Business planning;
  • Marketing and communication;
  • Events and education;
  • Outreach; and
  • Benchmarking.


The council hosts monthly education and networking sessions that feature discussion about doing business with those from featured areas of the world. In addition, the council sends representatives to international homebuyer expos in locations such as Toronto and the United Kingdom, where many of Orlando's international homebuyers originate.

The council produces a valuable guide to international investing in Orlando real estate, and this year the guide was translated into both Spanish and Portuguese!

The Orlando Regional REALTOR® Association, recognized as one of the most innovative local real estate associations in the country, represents more than 14,000 real estate professionals throughout Central Florida.

Orlando REALTORS® step into national "global ambassador" roles (10/31/2018)

The Orlando Regional REALTOR® Association is pleased to announce that two of its REALTOR® members have been appointed to serve as National Association of REALTORS® global ambassadors in 2019.

Christian Bohyn, Windmaker Realty, has been named global ambassador to Belgium and Netherlands while Zola Szerencses, Keller Williams Winter Park, has been named global ambassador to Central and Eastern Europe, the Middle East, and Africa.

Bohyn is currently a director on the ORRA Board of Directors, while Szerencses is a past president (2014) of the association.

"Global ambassadors play a dynamic role in maintaining and expanding the breadth of the REALTOR® organization," says current ORRA President Lou Nimkoff. "With REALTORS® on all continents other than Antarctica, global ambassadors and alliances help REALTORS® expand their business beyond domestic borders. This is an especially important function in Orlando, where international homebuyers were involved in 11 percent of property transactions in 2017."

The formal role of global ambassadors is to assist NAR in maintaining relationships with foreign real estate associations. Ambassadors are tasked with both strengthening existing relationships and creating new opportunities.

Their goal is twofold:

1. Promote the REALTOR® brand through international REALTOR® membership, education, products, services, and networking events; and

2. Drive international business to REALTORS® nationwide.

The Orlando Regional REALTOR® Association, recognized as one of the most innovative local real estate associations in the country, represents more than 14,000 real estate professionals throughout Central Florida.

ORRA Recommended Candidates - November 2018 Election (10/10/2018)

The Orlando Regional REALTOR® Association is pleased to recommend the candidates below for election to office on November 6, 2018. ORRA also supports a “yes” vote on Amendment 2, which would retain a 10 percent property tax assessment cap on non-homestead property.

The REALTOR® organization recommends candidates who are sensitive to issues related to real estate, homeownership, and private property rights. In addition, the association considers support of issue campaigns that address the rights of the property owners and/or improves the quality of life within our region.

United States

U.S. House of Representatives, District 7 – Stephanie Murphy
U.S. House of Representatives, District 8 – Bill Posey
U.S. House of Representatives, District 9 – Darren Soto

State of Florida

Governor – Ron DeSantis
Commissioner of Agriculture – Matt Caldwell
Attorney General – Ashley Moody
Chief Financial Officer – Jimmy Patronis
Florida House of Representatives, District 28 – David Smith
Florida House of Representatives, District 29 – Scott Plakon
Florida House of Representatives, District 30 – Bob Cortes
Florida House of Representatives, District 31 – Jennifer Sullivan
Florida House of Representatives, District 44 – Robert “Bobby O” Olszewski
Florida House of Representatives, District 46 – Bruce H. Antone
Florida House of Representatives, District 48 – Amy Mercado
Florida House of Representatives, District 49 – Carlos Guillermo Smith
Florida House of Representatives, District 50 – Rene “Coach P” Plasencia

Orange County

Orange County Sheriff – John Mina
Orange County Commission, District 2 – Christine Moore
Orange County Commission, District 3 – Mayra Uribe
Orange County Commission, District 4 – Susan Makowski
Orange County School Board, District 2 – Johanna Lopez
Orange County School Board, District 7 – Melissa Byrd

Seminole County

Seminole County Commission, District 2 – Jay Zembower
Seminole County Commission, District 4 – Amy Lockhart
Seminole County School Board, District 1 – Alan Youngblood
Lake Mary City Commission, Seat 1 – Justin York
Oviedo City Council, Group II – Keith Britton
Oviedo City Council, Group III – Bob Pollack
Oviedo City Council, Group IV – Jeff Chudnow
Sanford City Commission, Mayor – Jeff Triplett
Winter Springs City Commission, Mayor – Charles Lacey
Winter Springs City Commission, District 2 – Kevin Cannon
Winter Springs City Commission, District 3 – Ken Greenberg
Winter Springs City Commission, District 4 – Jack Hays

ORRA considers candidates based on his or her past voting record and/or sensitivity to real estate issues. Candidates are invited to participate in a screening process by the ORRA Candidate Screening Subcommittee, which then makes candidate recommendations to the ORRA Board of Directors for final approval.

ORRA supported candidates who accept political action committee (PAC) funds are eligible to receive contributions from the REALTORS® Political Action Committee for use in their campaign.

The Orlando Regional REALTOR® Association, recognized as one of the most innovative local real estate associations in the country, represents more than 14,000 real estate professionals throughout Central Florida.

Reese Stewart voted ORRA 2019 president-elect (9/28/2018)

Members of the Orlando Regional REALTOR® Association have elected Reese Stewart, RE/MAX Properties SW Inc., to serve as the association’s 2019 president-elect. Stewart will automatically succeed to the association’s president’s position in 2020.

Results of the 2019 ORRA Leadership Election were announced on September 28 during a reception in the ORRA Conference Center.

Members also elected Natalie Arrowsmith, Nexthome Arrowsmith Realty, to serve as treasurer and Tansey Soderstrom, Real Estate Firm of Orlando to serve as secretary. In addition, they selected the following individuals to fill five available REALTOR® director positions and one available affiliate director position:

REALTOR® Directors
Juliana Boselli Neves, Glasstone Group Inc
Gretchen Demps Simmons, Ferrell Realty, Inc.
Katherine Figueroa Santiago, Watson Realty Corp
Dan Lopez, Legends Realty
Vanessa Pierce, Coldwell Banker Residential RE

Affiliate Director
Cat Brower, Mortgagee Title Services, Inc

Current President-elect Jeff Fagan, Watson Realty Corp., will step into the association’s 2019 president position, and current President Lou Nimkoff, Brio Real Estate Services LLC, will stay with the board of directors for another year as immediate past president.

REALTOR® directors whose terms continue through 2019 include:

Dallas Ackley, ERA Grizzard Real Estate
Christian Bohyn, Windmaker Realty
Lisa Hill, Keller Williams Winter Park
Rose Kemp, RE/MAX Town Centre
Mike McGraw, RE/MAX Central Realty
Rigo Rodriquez, Lock N Key Realty LLC

Installation of the association’s 2019 officers and directors will take place at an evening event on January 12, 2019 at the Hilton Orlando.    

The Orlando Regional REALTOR® Association, recognized as one of the most innovative local real estate associations in the country, represents more than 14,500 real estate professionals throughout Central Florida.

ORRA foundation celebrates opening of Transformation Village Coffee Shop & Library (9/26/2018)

Residents of Bithlo can now kick back with a cup of coffee and conversation or offer the kids some extra reading materials thanks to the Orlando Regional REALTOR® Foundation and others who are helping to revitalize the underserved east Orlando community.

ORRF (the charitable arm of Orlando Regional REALTOR® Association) contributed nearly $8,000 toward the rehabbing of a single-family home to serve as the Transformation Village Coffee Shop & Library, which was celebrated with a ribbon-cutting ceremony and guest speakers on September 27, 2018. The foundation worked with project partners such as the Metro Orlando Builders Association and the United Global Outreach to ensure that the home met current building codes and Americans with Disabilities Act requirements.

The home will now serve as a safe place for local children to gather after school for homework and educational activities in addition to housing a library collection and coffee service. The facility is just part of the ongoing Transformation Village program, which seeks to address Bithlo’s environmental as well as community concerns.

The Transformation Village project is supported under Orlando Regional REALTOR® Foundation’s mission of improving the quality of life for Central Florida’s residents.

The Orlando Regional REALTOR® Association, recognized as one of the most innovative local real estate associations in the country, represents more than 14,500 real estate professionals throughout Central Florida.

ORRA announces FAIRWINDS Credit Union as new ORRA Diamond Partner (9/25/2018)

The Orlando Regional REALTOR® Association is pleased to announce that FAIRWINDS Credit Union is the association’s new Diamond Partner. As ORRA’s exclusive mortgage-lending Diamond Partner, FAIRWINDS is exhibiting the highest level of support for REALTOR® programs.

“Through its partnership, FAIRWINDS makes it possible for ORRA to produce initiatives that benefit both REALTORS® and, ultimately, the homebuyers and sellers that REALTORS® serve,” says ORRA President Lou Nimkoff, Brio Real Estate Services. “For example, FAIRWINDS’s support helps ORRA fill its calendar with low-cost educational opportunities for REALTORS® that address every aspect of real estate, from legal issues to transaction management to ethics.”

Diamond Partner is ORRA’s top tier of association-wide sponsorship. The year-long partnership allows real-estate related providers to take advantage of traditional, innovative, and exclusive marketing opportunities ranging from Orlando REALTOR® magazine advertising to recognition at black-tie REALTOR® events.

“We are proud to partner with the Orlando Regional REALTOR® Association, which is committed to elevating the professionalism and experience of REALTORS® throughout Central Florida,” adds Keith Bertrand, mortgage community outreach specialist at FAIRWINDS. “Empowerment through education is at the core of everything we do, and we’re excited to partner with an organization that shares our values and mission.”

The Orlando Regional REALTOR® Association, recognized as one of the most innovative local real estate associations in the country, represents more than 14,500 real estate professionals throughout Central Florida.

FAIRWINDS Credit Union, headed by President/CEO Larry Tobin, is one of the largest financial institutions headquartered in Central Florida, with assets of $2.2 billion, more than 177,000 members and over 500 employees. The financial cooperative established in 1949 is open to anyone living or working in Central Florida. For more information, visit www.fairwinds.org.

ORRA announces 2019 Good Neighbor Awards (9/7/2018)

Annual awards program recognizes Orlando REALTORS® for community service efforts and provides $10,000 in grants to local organizations

Orlando REALTORS® don’t just help people realize their dreams of homeownership, they also help build communities.

Now, 10 of those community-building REALTORS® have been honored for their efforts by the fourth annual Orlando Regional REALTOR® Association Good Neighbor Awards. Each of the nonprofit organizations helped by our GNA recipients’ volunteer efforts will receive a $1,000 donation from ORRA to support their missions.

“The ORRA Good Neighbor Awards recipients epitomize the REALTOR® dedication to improving the quality of life for all residents of our communities,” says ORRA President Lou Nimkoff, Brio Real Estate Services, LLC. “This year’s award winners – along with every Orlando REALTOR® who embraces the spirit of volunteerism – go above and beyond in their commitment to making our neighborhoods better places to live.”

The ORRA Good Neighbor Awards is a project of the ORRA Community Relations Committee, which is responsible for many of the association’s community service initiatives. It also organizes volunteerism activities for all members’ participation and considers requests for ORRA support by local nonprofit organizations.

2018 ORRA Good Neighbor Award Recipients

Zep Bholai-Lawrence, Fusilier Realty Group
Organization: Pipiol Angels Foundation

Zep’s volunteer work with the Pipiol Angels Foundation helps the organization address needs of the local Trinidadian community. She has spent more than one thousand hours in the past year supporting programs that provide training and supplies leading to sustainable employment and gathering clothing and household items for families in need.

Zep also provides high-level consulting on the foundation’s long-term strategies for empowering Trinidadians, in addition to raising funds and soliciting donated goods. She even helps the Trinbago Association of Central Florida Inc. with its annual Orlando Kiddies Carnival, which seeks to connect Trinidadian children with their cultural heritage.

Bob Caldwell, Caldwell Realty Services
Organization: Debbie Turner Cancer Care & Resource Center, Inc.

Bob is currently serving as volunteer president of the Debbie Turner Cancer Care & Resource Center, and when he’s done overseeing a Board of Directors meeting, he steps outside to work on the building’s maintenance or make repairs with materials that he donates.

Bob has donated thousands of dollars and spent more than a decade as a volunteer of the center, which assists cancer patients with their many day-to-day challenges. The center provides transportation assistance, Internet access, support and counseling, prosthetics, a food bank, and even hair and spa services. There’s even help for teens who want to attend their proms and graduations.

Tawain Davis, Olde Town Brokers
Organization: Habitat For Humanity of Seminole County & Greater Apopka

Tawain puts his professional knowledge to work in his role at Habitat for Humanity! He serves on the Family Selection Committee, which involves reviewing applicants who are interested in the homeownership program. He also conducts home visits of potential applicants and assists with application orientations.

Tawain has assisted in reviewing more than 300 applications and has performed 10 home visits. His efforts over the past year and a half have resulted in 15 new families joining the ranks of homeowners.

Gretchen Demps Simmons, Ferrell Realty, Inc.
Organization: Knights of Peter Claver Ladies Auxiliary, Catholic Diocese of Orlando

As an auxiliary volunteer, Gretchen is a key source of support for both local parishes and the bishop of the Diocese. She is currently a trustee, and in her 21 years with the organization has launched, organized, or participated in fundraisers and recruitment activities such as the Black History Month Prayer Breakfast.

Gretchen also jumps in to help the parish promote social justice and civic improvements, and she makes personal contributions to the parish’s causes and education/scholarship programs. You can usually catch her reading or singing at the 8:30 am Mass on Sundays.

Karlene Grimes, Keller Williams Advantage III
Organization: Clarita’s House Outreach Ministry Inc.

Karlene has gathered and donated more than 200 pairs of pajamas during her tenure as a volunteer Clarita’s House Outreach Ministry, which serves the homeless in Kissimmee. She’s placed a “donate now” tab on her website, reached out to business colleagues and vendors, and of course, spread the word via social media. Even her neighbors have taken up the pajama cause!

Karlene also helps out at Thanksgiving plus gathers toys and toiletries, all the while staying laser focused on her goal of donating 1,000 pairs of pajamas to homeless children in Orange and Osceola counties.

Amy Holobyn, RE/MAX 200 Realty
Organization: Autism Speaks

Amy Jo has spent six years volunteering with Autism Speaks, where she is involved with activities that range from community screenings to awareness festivals. Of course, Amy is an integral part of the organization’s annual Walk, which raises money to fund research and provide services to those with autism and their families. She takes on Walk-related tasks such as soliciting character appearances and (this is a biggie) running the registration table for 5,000-plus walkers on the day of the event.

She also initiates fundraising events such as a brokerage raffle and give-back days at local retail boutiques.

Madelyn Sally Kamrada, Real Estate Firm of Orlando
Organization: Rotary Club of Dr. Phillips, Inc.

Madelyn has been a Rotary volunteer for nearly 14 years and has contributed more than 2,000 hours to its many programs. In addition to serving in Rotary leadership positions, Madelyn participates directly projects that in turn benefit organizations such as A Gift For Teaching, Adopt-A-Precinct, and Give Kids The World.

Madelyn has served the lead organizer of many Rotary fundraising events over the years. Some of her events have supported education/scholarship programs while others have generated more than $50,000 for Arnold Palmer Hospital.

Rosie Papagiannakis, Keller Williams Winter Park
Rotary Club of Florida e-Club

Rosie’s participation in Orlando’s global real estate community and her social media contacts help to spread anti-human trafficking messages across two continents, all on behalf of the Rotary eClub of Florida (members of this chapter meet online and address Rotary six main focus areas). She is also deeply involved in the organization’s Little Free Library project and helps with fund-raising events in addition to sorting and preparing books.

Rosie previously served as elected treasurer of the eClub, and in 2019 will step up from her current role as president-elect into the president’s position.

Melissa Service, Service First Realty LLC
Organization: United Foundation of Central Florida, Inc.

With Melissa’s help, United Foundation of Central Florida, Inc., raised more than $21,000 to help its 2018 graduates attend college. In addition, Evans High School students who participate in this after-school mentorship program also benefit from Melissa’s real estate knowledge; she regularly speaks to the students about the field’s many career opportunities.

Melissa also plays a part in additional foundation activities such as arranging college tours, coordinating car pools and meals, and, of course, performing outreach and fundraising. In addition, Melissa frequently hosts home-buying seminars at the Pine Hills Community Center.

Chris Sileo, SunFlorida Realty
Organization: Wings to New Horizons

Chris isn’t afraid to get his hands dirty doing volunteer work at Wings to New Horizons, which is dedicated to fostering sick, injured, and neglected exotic birds. In addition to executing marketing and public relations efforts that result in donations and volunteer hours, he willingly helps by cleaning the birds’ cages.

Chris serves on the board of directors and has even connected Wings to New Horizons to local elected officials and other community leaders to ensure the organization’s continued wellbeing. He has contributed more than 500 hours to our feathered friends over the past year.

The Orlando Regional REALTOR® Association, recognized as one of the most innovative local real estate associations in the country, represents more than 14,500 real estate professionals throughout Central Florida.

ORRA Director Mike McGraw elected secretary of Florida Realtors® (8/22/2018)

Orlando REALTOR® Mike McGraw, a past president and current member of the Orlando Regional REALTOR® Association Board of Directors, has been elected 2019 Florida Realtors® secretary. The election took place during the 2018 Florida Realtors® Annual Convention & Trade Expo, August 8 – 12, in Orlando.

As secretary of the 180,000-member Florida Realtors®, Mike, RE/MAX Central Realty, will take on a significant role for the Sunshine State’s largest trade association.

"As evidenced by his years and years of continuous involvement with the REALTOR® organization and the REALTORS® Political Action Committee at all levels, Mike truly cares about REALTORS® and the homebuyers and sellers they serve," says ORRA President Lou Nimkoff, Brio Real Estate Services LLC. "I am fully confident that we will all benefit from his thoughtful and committed leadership."

Mike has a particular interest in efforts to advocate on behalf of REALTORS® and private property owners, and in fact ran his campaign on that platform. “The work of the REALTORS® Political Action Committee and the REALTOR® Party is critical to issues such as affordable housing and flood insurance,” explains Mike. “For example, REALTORS® in Florida are adamant about protecting the doc-stamp funded Sadowski Housing Trust Fund, which is intended to be a dedicated source of money for housing assistance.”

ORRA Chief Executive Officer Cliff Long points out that having a member elected to a state leadership position is a real achievement for a local REALTOR® association. And, Mike is the first ORRA member to be part of Florida Realtors® top-tier leadership team since Dean Asher, Don Asher & Associates, Inc., was president of the organization in 2013.

“Mike’s victory was a victory not just for ORRA members but for all Florida REALTORS®,” says Long. “Because of his willingness to visit every district during his campaign, he is familiar with the voices and the concerns of REALTORS® throughout the state.”

Mike received votes from Pensacola to the Florida Keys. He also received the recommendation of the Florida Realtors® Nominating Committee in addition to endorsements from eight local REALTOR® association (including ORRA, of course).

Additional ORRA members who were successful in their elections include:

*Lou Nimkoff, Brio Real Estate Services LLC – Florida Realtors Vice President, District 12
*Dick Fryer, Southern Style Real Estate – NAR Director
*Zola Szerences, Keller Williams Winter Park – NAR Director
*Christian Bohyn, Windmaker Realty – NAR Director Alternate

The Orlando Regional REALTOR® Association, recognized as one of the most innovative local real estate associations in the country, represents more than 14,500 real estate professionals throughout Central Florida.

ORRA names Paradise Advertising & Marketing as agency of record (8/10/2018)

The Orlando Regional REALTOR® Association has named Paradise Advertising & Marketing as its new agency of record, following an extensive review. The agency will create and manage brand development, strategic planning, traditional and digital advertising, consumer activation in addition to full social media and public relations efforts to support ORRA’s internal and external marketing goals.

ORRA stands as one of the most influential real estate thought leaders in the state. Paradise is tasked with strategic planning for ORRA member and communications. The agency will help them accomplish their goals of activating engagement within their expansive membership base as well as growing new membership through increased consumer awareness and brand partnerships.

“ORRA is a fantastic association, and one that we can apply our award-winning methodology to in order to realize growth and success for their stakeholders, members and communities alike,” noted Paradise CEO, Barbara Emener Karasek. “No matter what we are marketing, our process of research, discovery and creativity helps solve our client’s business challenges – driving them forward with purpose, achieving sustainable results.”

Founded in 1921, the Orlando Regional REALTOR® Association, or ORRA, is one of the largest local trade associations in the state, with more than 14,500 members in Orange, Seminole, and the surrounding counties. The association is comprised of REALTOR® members who are involved in residential and commercial real estate as brokers, agents, property managers, appraisers, and counselors plus affiliate members who are engaged in all aspects of the real estate industry.

“ORRA is excited to take advantage of Paradise’s high-level research and strategic planning services to elevate our REALTOR® aware campaigns to new heights,” says ORRA President Lou Nimkoff, Brio Real Estate Services LLC. “In addition, we are looking forward to Paradise helping us increase the members’ own engagement and involvement with the campaigns.”

Today’s announcement continues the momentum Paradise has gained over the past 12 months. In 2018 alone, the agency has successfully on-boarded the following accounts: the Hilton Daytona Beach Oceanfront Resort; Ocala/Marion County VCB; St. Pete-based handcraft icery, Beach Snoballs; and national non-profit organization, Project Hero. In addition, the agency has earned multiple industry awards for creativity and effectiveness. These include platnium, gold, silver and best of show recognition from the HSMAI Worldwide Adrian Awards and the VISIT FLORIDA Flagler Awards, as well as a silver the National ADDY, coverage in Communication Arts, and multiple Platinum and Gold Hermes Creative Awards.

ABOUT PARADISE ADVERTISING & MARKETING
Paradise Advertising & Marketing is an award-winning collective of experienced marketers, thinkers, public relations practitioners, and creatives who are committed to one thing and one thing only: Helping its clients succeed. Whatever the brand, whatever the challenge, the people of Paradise have a track record of delivering strategically driven solutions, breakthrough creativity, impactful media placements and more – leading to bottom-line results that have been proven to drive growth and success for our clients’ business. Headquartered in St. Petersburg, Paradise also has satellite presence in Naples, Jacksonville, New Smyrna Beach and New York City. To learn more, visit paradiseadv.com or follow us on our social channels.

ABOUT ORLANDO REGIONAL REALTOR® ASSOCIATION
The Orlando Regional REALTOR® Association is one of the largest local trade associations in the state of Florida, with more than 14,500 members in Orange, Seminole, and the surrounding counties. ORRA is composed of REALTORS® who are involved in residential and commercial real estate as brokers, salespeople, property managers, appraisers, counselors, and others who are engaged in all aspects of the real estate industry. The term "REALTOR®" is a registered collective membership mark that identifies a real estate professional who is a member of the National Association REALTORS® and abides by its strict REALTOR® Code of Ethics.

ORRA Recommended Candidates - August 2018 Election (7/19/2018)

The Orlando Regional REALTOR® Association is pleased to recommend election of REALTOR® Eric Rollings for Orange County Commission, District 3, along with its support of the Orange County School Board Ad Valorem Millage Election. ORRA recommends voting “YES” on this four-year local referendum that renews the current one mill ad valorem millage used by the school board for essential operation expenses in such areas as arts, athletics, and student activities.

ORRA supports the following candidates for the 2018 primary election:

U.S. House of Representatives

U.S. House of Representatives, District 7 – Stephanie Murphy
U.S. House of Representatives, District 9 – Darren Soto
U.S. House of Representatives, District 10 – Val Demings

Florida House of Representatives

Florida House of Representatives, District 50 – Rene “Coach” Plasencia

Orange County

Orange County Sheriff – John Mina
Orange County Mayor – Jerry Demings
Orange County Commission, District 2 – Fred Brummer
Orange County Commission, District 3 – REALTOR® Eric Rollings
Orange County Commission, District 4 – Susan Makowski
Orange County Commission District 6 – Victoria Siplin
Orange County School Board Chairman – Teresa Jacobs
Orange County School Board District 1 – Angie Gallo
Orange County School Board District 3 – Linda Kobert
Orange County School Board District 6 – Karen Castor Dentel
Orange County School Board District 7 – Melissa Byrd

Seminole County

Seminole County Commission, District 2 – Jay Zembower
Seminole County Commission, District 4 – Amy Lockhart
Seminole County School Board, District 1 – Alan Youngblood
Seminole County School Board, District 4 – Amy Pennock

The REALTOR® organization recommends candidates who are sensitive to issues related to real estate, homeownership, and private property rights. In addition, the association considers support of issue campaigns that address the rights of the property owners and/or improves the quality of life within our region.

ORRA considers each candidate based on his or her past voting record and/or sensitivity to real estate issues. Candidates are invited to participate in a screening process by the ORRA Candidate Screening Subcommittee, which then makes candidate recommendations to the ORRA Board of Directors for final approval.

ORRA supported candidates who accept political action committee (PAC) funds are eligible to receive contributions from the REALTORS® Political Action Committee for use in their campaign.

The Orlando Regional REALTOR® Association, recognized as one of the most innovative local real estate associations in the country, represents more than 14,000 real estate professionals throughout Central Florida.

ORRA announces 2018 YPN "20 Under 40" Rising Stars of Real Estate (7/10/2018)

The Orlando Regional REALTOR® Association is pleased to announce the ORRA Young Professionals Network’s “20 Under 40” Rising Stars In Real Estate Awards recipients for 2018. These notable young REALTORS® were selected by the ORRA Awards Committee for their demonstrated excellence in career and service to both community and the real estate industry.

“Our 20 Under 40 Rising Star Awards honorees epitomize the ideals of REALTOR® devotion to their home buyer and seller clients” says ORRA President Lou Nimkoff, Brio Real Estate Services LLC. “In addition, these individuals demonstrate incredible resilience by successfully persevering through Orlando’s challenging housing market conditions, such as today’s low inventory level. We can look forward to these individuals guiding the future of the association and the real estate profession with their leadership skills and commitment.”.”

The award recipients will be feted during the YPN "20 Under 40" Havana Nights celebration, held at Ace Café on August 15, 2018.

The 2018 ORRA Young Professionals Network "20 Under 40” Rising Stars In Real Estate Awards recipients are:

Daniel Araque, Fidelity Property Brokers LLC
Daniel Betancourt, RE/MAX Town Centre
Katie Bray, Mainframe Real Estate
Justin Core, Core Group Real Estate, LLC
Ryan Ditmar, Lineage Real Estate
Anthony Fiengo, Rencher Realty Group
Benjamin Gilbert, Keller Williams At The Parks
Elizabeth Adair Jones, Mainframe Real Estate
Amy Ladd Miller, All Real Estate and Investments, Inc.
Judy Julien, RE/MAX Town Centre
Mahdi Jaffer, Advanta Realty
Peter Luu, Premier Sothebys Int’l Realty
Kenneth Pozek, Keller Williams Realty Classic
Victoria Rice, Nicole-Hudson Realty Corp
Richard Sapp, Core Group Real Estate LLC
Melissa Service, Service First Realty LLC
Wendy Stewart, The Property Pros Real Estate
Li Xu, Areate Realty
Paul Young, Young Real Estate
Dave Zembala, Preferred Real Estate Brokers

The Orlando Regional REALTOR® Association, recognized as one of the most innovative local real estate associations in the country, represents more than 14,500 real estate professionals throughout Central Florida.

Orlando REALTORS® trek north to lure Canadian homebuyers (5/30/2018)

Canadian nationals spend millions, purchase hundreds of Orlando homes each year

Our neighbors to the north made up the second-largest population of Orlando’s international homebuyers in 2017. To entice more of those buyers, the Orlando Regional REALTOR® Association and the Global Real Estate Council of Orlando, an ORRA specialty group, sent a delegation of members to the world’s largest trade show for Canadian real estate agents.

Eleven Orlando REALTORS®, including ORRA President Lou Nimkoff, Brio Real Estate Services LLC, travelled to Toronto for REALTOR® Quest 2018, May 30 – 31, and set about touting the virtues of owning a vacation home in the City Beautiful.

"The international real estate market is crucial to Orlando’s real estate industry and overall economy,” explains Nimkoff. “Orlando captured 11 percent of Florida’s international homebuying activity in 2017, which for the second year in a row makes it the state’s second most popular location for foreign nationals from around the world to purchase a home.”

According to the National Association of REALTORS® Profile of International Residential Real Estate Activity in Florida, 2017 Report, Canadians made up 12 percent of Orlando’s global homebuyers in 2017, behind only Brazil (13 percent) and ahead of the United Kingdom (10 percent). The study findings also show that 55 percent of Canadians favor purchasing homes in Florida for vacation and investment purposes, furthering local REALTORS’® intent to make certain Canadian real estate agents are well aware of all that Orlando offers to their clients.

Of course, Orlando offers foreign-national homebuyers lots of sunny weather and ideal location with an international airport and easy access to both the beach and world-class theme parks. It also provides a variety of settings that are popular with Canadian homebuyers, from resort to urban.

Orlando also boasts a number of practical elements that attract international homebuyers. It has a healthy economy that supports a thriving real estate market, which reassures buyers that their home purchase is a good investment. In addition, home prices in Orlando are still below peak levels.

Finally, Orlando is home to a great many REALTORS® and affiliated professionals — such as attorneys, title and escrow providers, and lenders — who have experience and training in the complexities of a global real estate transaction.

The Orlando Regional REALTOR® Association, recognized as one of the most innovative local real estate associations in the country, represents more than 14,500 real estate professionals throughout Central Florida.

ORRA announces 2017 REALTOR® of the Year and annual awards winners (1/17/2018)

The Orlando Regional REALTOR® Association, which as the nation’s 8th largest REALTOR® association in the country represents more than 14,000 Central Florida real estate professionals, has announced its 2017 award recipients.

The honors were presented on January 17, 2018 during the ORRA Annual Inaugural & Awards Luncheon at The Ballroom at Church Street. The event also included the inauguration of 2018 ORRA President Lou Nimkoff, Brio Real Estate Services LLC, and the 2018 ORRA Board of Directors.

The following awards were presented:

Chairman of the Year Award - to Marilia Neri, Real Estate Compass, LLC, for steadfast commitment and service to the Global Real Estate Council of Orlando.

Grant Clarke Volunteer of the Year Award - to Lori Rivera, Lovera Realty Buy The Space Coast, for commitment of countless hours of service and dedication to the association and to the real estate profession.

REALTOR® of the Year Award - to Chere Roane, Nicole-Hudson Realty Corp, for exceptional commitment, service, and dedication to the ideals of the REALTOR® membership, to the Orlando Regional REALTOR® Association, and to the real estate profession.

Rising Star Award - to - Justin V. LaManna, Homevest Realty, for demonstrating exceptional potential and dedication in service to the association.

Walter Rose Lifetime Award - to Budge Huskey, Premier Sothebys Int’l Realty, for rendering exceptional or unusual service to the association.

Affiliate Member of the Year Award - to Josh Pennington, Title Professionals Of Central Florida LLC, for exceptional service and dedication in support of association programs.

The Orlando Regional REALTOR® Association, recognized as one of the most innovative local real estate associations in the country, represents more than 14,000 real estate professionals throughout Central Florida.

 

Events

14 May

Community Relations Committee Meeting

May 14, 2019 - 9:00 am
14 May

Member Services Committee Meeting

May 14, 2019 - 11:00 am