Well, it's official. This morning I was sworn in as president for the 2008 business year of Columbus Real Estate Exchangors (CREE). This is an incredible organization and the best ongoing place for keeping tabs on the best investment real estate being made available in Ohio. For many, it is ongoing training and far exceeds CE that is required of real estate agents by the State of Ohio.
One of our honorees today, Randall Jackson (award for best deal over $1 million) stated that CREE's weekly meetings have benefited him greatly since, as an independent broker, he does not have the luxury of holding a weekly company sales meeting in the manner that giant brokerages do each week. Randall is an incredibly successful developer and that he views CREE as a sounding board and learning tool for his projects speaks volumes. Others speaking today echoed the same sentiment.
CREE is a group of about 130+ brokers and agents throughout Central Ohio, all of whom are Realtors. All specialize in the brokerage of investment properties, with particular emphasis on counseling our clients to build wealth utilizing the numerous tax benefits of IRS 1031 exchanges. Meeting weekly, we conduct regular marketing sessions, present properties we have listed for sale or exchange, and generally brainstorm and problem solve to help each other help our respective clients, whether they be buyers or sellers.
I have learned much in my tenure as a member of CREE these past several years. Being asked to run for president of the organization is an honor. Being elected by my peers, more so. But as outgoing president Ted Oatts, in a presentation of CREE's first-ever "lifetime achievement award" to veteran Realtor and educator, Furman Tinon, its better to pay forward. Legendary football coach Woody Hayes used to say that a lot.
The coming year will be fun. It will be difficult. And this new role will be time-consuming. But in a small way, it is a means for me to pay forward and share continuing and ever-evolving investment knowledge with my clients, prospects, friends and family. My executive committee for 2008 is: Tony Yacoub, Ohio Commercial Real Estate, vice president; Amber Balo, Furman Tinon Real Estate, secretary; and Wendy Baldwin, Baldwin Realty Corp., treasurer.
I talk about the life-long learning that members of our unique organization gain each week, and paying forward. Being recommended at the top of the officers slate for 2008 by our nominations committee was a surprise. But it fits who I am in this way. Taking the reins for the next year is a way for me to finally pay back to this organization, to do something in return for the wealth of knowledge and education I have received. Education that has helped me help my investor clients -- no matter whether they own a twin single, or numerous shopping centers or multifamily complexes.
This may sound arrogant, but I am honored to have been asked to lead an organization that I believe is comprised of -- without question -- the most creative minds in commercial/investment real estate.
To my colleagues, thank you for your confidence. Cheers!
NOTE: I am headed to Cincinnati tomorrow for a meeting at our Pru CRES offices there on the RIISNet project. Over the weekend, I will post a brief writeup of the CREE Christmas Breakfast meeting from today, and give some insight into the award winners and why they were recognized by the organization this year for outstanding contributions to their clients