International Business Council

I’m pleased to be the next Advisory Board Chair for the International Business Council, at the Oregon Association of Realtors.  I’ll be meeting next week with colleagues at OAR to form a 2011 Plan.  As we all know, international commerce is crucial to our state’s economy – and real estate is a significant piece of that pie. Stay tuned!

About the International Business Council:

The Oregon Association of REALTORS® International Business Council works to expand awareness of opportunities in international real estate. Members learn how real estate practitioners around the world are developing strategies to succeed in a global economy, how cultural diversity can be a win-win for REALTORS® and clients, and how to provide added value to international clients in Oregon. The International Business Council increases understanding of worldwide investment opportunities in real estate through a combination of networking and education. Joining the International Business Council is the first step to adding a global scope to individual REALTOR® business plans.

The Oregon Association of REALTORS® is currently the ambassador association to the country of Vietnam, where new real estate licensing laws were recently adopted. Vietnam was granted unconditional normal trade relations (NTR) status by the United States through a Presidential Proclamation signed by President Bush on December 29, 2006. (Source, U.S. Dept. of State). In 2007, the Oregon Association of REALTORS® was named the International Ambassador Association of the Year by the National Association of REALTORS®.

For more information or to become a member of the International Business Council, please contact me at 503-490-4116 or email

Net Worth – owners vs. renters

Net Worth of Owners and Renters – Presentation Transcript

1. Net Worth of Owners & Renters November 11, 2010 Produced by NAR Research

2. Net Worth of Owners & Renters In the past 12 years, the net worth of the typical homeowner has ranged between 31 and 46 times that of the net worth of the typical renter. Homeowner equity is a substantial component of homeowner wealth. The Federal Reserve’s Survey of Consumer Finances, conducted once every three years, provides a snapshot of family income and net worth along with basic demographic details and more detailed information on where families keep the wealth they have accumulated. The most recent survey, concluded in 2007, offers a picture of the situation before home price declines and the tumbling equities market hit household balance sheets. At that time, median homeowners had well over $200,000 in net worth or 46 times that of the median renter who had just over $5,000. Furthermore, $200,000 was the median value of owners’ homes Looking at aggregate data, the National Association of Realtors® estimated the impact for renter and homeowner households through mid‐2010 taking home price and stock market performance into account. The result suggests that despite declines in equity and housing markets, homeowners have a net worth orders of magnitude greater than renters. How has the recovery of the stock market and a sluggish housing market affected owners and renters? For the first time ever, the Federal Reserve resurveyed the 2007 participants in 2009 to directly measure how the crisis and recession affected their finances. These results are expected later this year.

Produced by NAR Research

A Banner Day for Equality & Housing

This video was filmed by a colleague in the National Association of Gay and Lesbian Real Estate Professionals, as we attended the National Association of Realtors® Annual Delegate Meeting yesterday. The result of this vote is significant, as it holds Realtor® members to a higher standard than many state laws.

NAR Bars Sexual Orientation Discrimination

The change to Article 10 of the REALTORS® Code of Ethics passed in a roll-call vote by a greater than 9-to-1 margin. It had been previously approved by the Professional Standards Committee and the Board of Directors at the 2010 Midyear Meetings in Washington D.C.

Here is the amended language of Article 10:

REALTORS® shall not deny equal professional services to any person for reasons of race, color, religion, sex, handicap, familial status, or national origin, or sexual orientation.

REALTORS® shall not be parties to any plan or agreement to discriminate against a person or persons on the basis of race, color, religion, sex, handicap, familial status, or national origin, or sexual orientation.

REALTORS®, in their real estate employment practices, shall not discriminate against any person or persons on the basis of race, color, religion, sex, handicap, familial status, or national origin, or sexual orientation.

A related recommendation amending Standard of Practice 10-3 was approved as well:

REALTORS® shall not print, display or circulate any statement or advertisement with respect to selling or renting of a property that indicates any preference, limitations or discrimination based on race, color, religion, sex, handicap, familial status, or national origin, or sexual orientation.

The amendment was discussed prior to the vote. A few of the questions raised were:

1. Is “sexual orientation,” without qualifiers or any further explanation, the right phrasing?
2. Is NAR denying private property rights (ostensibly, the right of property owners to refuse to do business with people of a certain sexual orientation due to their moral beliefs)?
3. Should NAR precede the federal government in adding sexual orientation as a protected class?

In response to the third question, a delegate from Minneapolis pointed out that the purpose of the Code of Ethics was to hold REALTORS® to a higher standard. Another delegate who approved of the amendment said the Code of Ethics was a living document.

Delegates approved the Code change by voice vote, but one delegate called for a vote by ballot.

In ballot voting weighted by size of local association, the amendment passed by more than 93 percent.

– Brian Summerfield, REALTOR® Magazine