By Joey Henderson, Director of Public Affairs
The Legislative Strategy Townhall for Districts 5, 6, and 13 on November 1, 2019, was an excellent opportunity to network with leaders from other associations and gain insight on the multi-faceted legislative issues that our state association addresses on behalf of members.
An audience of more than 50 registered board executives, association members and employees converged at the REALTOR® Association of Sarasota and Manatee to participate in the town hall led by Barry Grooms, 2019 Florida REALTORS® president-elect and co-owner of Sarabay Suncoast Realty Inc. in Bradenton.
Along with Florida REALTORS® (FR) staff, Grooms has been traveling the state hosting town hall meetings to engage and hear the concerns from membership directly. Promoting the 2020 theme of Bigger, Stronger, Faster, Grooms seeks to use the town halls as a launching pad to gather areas of interest, points of view and recommendations that impact the real estate industry and focus on solutions.
Furthermore, he seeks to be pro-active as FR explores solutions to protect the industry, build upon technology and provide member organizations with more exceptional service to ultimately deliver the highest quality professional service to homebuyers and business communities.
Grooms welcomed everyone and introduced each senior FR staff who gave a brief synopsis of their role as it relates to the vision for FR. Trey Goldman, legislative counsel and staff liaison to the Insurances and Top Brokers Committees, discussed judicial and regulatory realty business issues and informed everyone that the remote online notary becomes effective January 1, 2020.
Andrew Rutledge, commercial legislation, gave highlights on Land Use / Property Rights, Commercial Legislation and Property Management Committees. Andy Gonzales provided an overview of the Appraisal and Resort / Second Homes Committees that he serves. Tom Butler, Communications Director, summarized the mission and goals of the Legislative Research Committee, and Danielle Scoggins, vice president of Public Policy, shared information about the Attainable/Workforce Housing group, state and local taxation and public policy.
Other topics of discussion included: embracing technology, serving on county affordable housing advisory boards and committees, working with affordable housing nonprofit organizations, reviewing statutes on condos and homeowners associations (HOAs), understanding transportation development decisions impact on the real estate industry, coalition building with groups of interest (e.g., Florida Housing Coalition) and increasing global activity (incidentally, it was also noted that Greater Tampa REALTORS® was awarded the Global Award for the third year in a row).
GTR member Teresa Morning’s question about flood insurance also generated a healthy conversation as far as disclosure to prospective clients and forthcoming legislation. In addition to Teresa, attending the townhall were Mari Colgan, Connie Johnson, Marie Gregorio, Barbara Jordan, Ellie Lambert, Gipsy Perry, and staff members Dennis MacDonald, Joey Henderson and Jacob Bruynell.
The take away for the townhall is that Florida REALTORS® leadership and staff are engaging multiple issues in support of the industry, enhancing professionalism and delivering top service. Barry Grooms stated as far as the beginning of professionalism, “If you have a good heart, that’s where it starts.”