For the past several years Portage County Association of Realtors (PCAR) has been providing educational material to the public through press releases and now through electronic media as well. It occurs to me that many of you might not understand what this organization is, or what it does. I thought it would be helpful for me to take this opportunity to explain.
Portage County Association of Realtors was established in 1921, almost 100 years ago, in order to provide both Realtor support and education and to also be a resource for the community for information and advocacy, including political advocacy. Its members are also members of the Ohio Association of Realtors and the National Association of Realtors. Many of you might not realize that not all real estate sales agents are Realtors. Realtors are held to a higher standard of conduct and ethics, as well as more educational requirements.
Our organization is charged with providing professional resolution of grievances between Realtor members as well as serving the public in grievance disputes. If a member of the public has an issue with their Realtor in a real estate transaction, PCAR can help.
Our organization is charged with providing educational classes for its members including Real Estate Law, Ethics and Civil Rights. PCAR has recently partnered with the CE shop for online classes for continuing education as well as Real Estate Licensure classes. If you are interested in exploring the requirements for becoming a licensed real estate agent in the State of Ohio, or interested in registering for classes, please check out the PCAR website at www.portagerealtors.com.
PCAR is charged with community involvement and political advocacy. We have a heart for service and involvement. You might have seen some of the press releases for some of the events or causes that we support with our time as well as some of our funds. We have been conducting an annual coat drive for Portage County residents for about 30 years, providing more than 1000 coats to the County Clothing center for those in need every year. We have planned, sponsored and staffed the Vintage Venture Senior Citizen's Prom as a service to honor our Senior Citizens, along with Boy Scouts, support from Kent Roosevelt, The Garratones, and Guidos Catering. We support Kent Social Services with an annual "Christmas for Kids" fundraiser and toy/gift drive. Tens of thousands of dollars have been donated to helping our local community have a better holiday season. We have recently begun to partner with Habitat for Humanity of Portage County and have helped with homeowner classes, recycle extravaganzas and home dedications. We look forward to growing this relationship.
We are charged with being the local voice of real estate by helping the public be informed of market conditions and issues impacting the real estate industry. Our weekly articles are an attempt to help you be as informed as possible.
Behind the scenes, we are involved politically in contributing to political campaigns for candidates that are supportive of concerns impacting home ownership. Through the Ohio Association and National Association of Realtors, we are involved in lobbying for issues that impact homeownership. If you benefit from a mortgage interest tax deduction, please thank a Realtor. Our lobbying efforts were in full force in order to educate lawmakers of the importance of this perk of owning a home. Just recently, the National Flood insurance bill was passed through congress. Again, if you are a homeowner that requires flood insurance on your home, please thank a Realtor. There are many other examples of our political advocacy. At PCAR, we believed that this responsibility to our public was so important that we added a new position on our executive committee of the Board of Directors in order to be the political eyes and ears of our association and to be able to be educated in issues that we might be facing on the horizon.
We are truly "Helping Our Neighbors & Protecting the American Dream"
Thanks for reading and for being informed.
Carol Foote, is president of Portage County Association of Realtors.