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Introducing Robert Bailey, incoming 2017 liaison for Large Residential Firms Relations for the National Association of REALTORS®, in this month’s Power Broker Roundtable

Nicholas (Nick) D’Ambrosia

Broker of Record, The Long & Foster Companies, Chantilly, Va.; outgoing Liaison for Large Residential Firms Relations, NAR

Robert Bailey

Broker and Co-Founder, Bailey Properties Inc., Santa Cruz, Calif.; incoming Liaison for Large Residential Firms Relations, NAR

Nick D’Ambrosia: When I took over as Liaison a year ago, we faced limited inventory, mortgage financing issues, and newly enacted TRID regulations that were bogging down our closings. As I hand over the gavel today, inventory remains problematic, but financing issues are beginning to ease, and most of us have figured out how best to ward off closing delays. And the best news, according to recent reports from NAR, is not just that home sales are on the rise, but that sales to first-time buyers are at a high we haven’t seen in four years. With the uncertainty of the election now behind us, we see opportunity ahead, and it’s a good time to welcome a new Liaison. I’m delighted to hand the NAR Power Broker Roundtable gavel to a guy I’ve known for 15-plus years—Northern California broker Robert Bailey, whose Bailey Properties, Inc. has been a force in the Santa Cruz area for more than 40 years. Over the years, he has served on numerous NAR committees, and as president of the California Association of REALTORS®, which presented him with the Honorary Director for Life Award. Robert, it’s a pleasure to welcome you.

Robert Bailey: Thanks, Nick. I look forward to the opportunity.

ND’A: Every year this business brings its trials and rewards, but the best part of this job is working with brokers around the country—listening to their ideas and challenges, and working together to come up with meaningful direction for improving service, growing successful agents, and increasing the bottom line.

RB: You mentioned housing inventory, which is still a problem in most regions of the country. There’s lots of data out there on why sellers are staying in their homes. I’d like to kick around some ideas for bringing them back into the market…and I want us to talk about first-time buyers, millennials and others, who, according to most sources, are expected to make up more than half of next year’s homebuyers. I look forward to zooming in on how we can meet the needs of this specialized group.

ND’A: Incoming NAR President Bill Brown has some thought-provoking interests, as well.

RB: You’re right about that—improving the homeownership rate, protecting the tax status of residential real estate, adapting business practices to serve the most tech-savvy consumers—and issues affecting REALTORS® themselves, like financial solvency, building wealth, and creating practical exit strategies.

ND’A: We’ve only scratched the surface on how the power of the internet is changing the face of our business…

RB: I know. Consumers are “touring” homes without ever dirtying the carpets. On the up side, though, the latest NAR Profile of Home Buyers and Sellers says 92 percent of those consumers turn to an agent to guide them through the transaction.

ND’A: It’s a fast-changing industry, and there’s always a challenge. When I took this chair last year, I knew I had big shoes to fill. I can sense your enthusiasm as you begin to take these issues forward.

RB: I’m excited, Nick. I’ve been a Roundtable reader for years—and a panelist once or twice—and I have the same feeling that I have big shoes to fill. But I think you hit the nail on the head when you said that listening is key. So I thank you sincerely for the great year you’ve chaired, and the ideas you brought to our attention—and I’m putting the word out to our fellow brokers: I’d love to hear from you about topics you want us to tackle—and let me know if you’d like to join in as a panelist.

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