Allen Norwood

Real estate ranks are rebounding

At the peak in 2007, the Charlotte Regional Realtor Association had 9,578 Realtor members. At the lowest point in 2012, there were 6,236. Monday, the figure had climbed back to 7,703.
At the peak in 2007, the Charlotte Regional Realtor Association had 9,578 Realtor members. At the lowest point in 2012, there were 6,236. Monday, the figure had climbed back to 7,703. AP

Cindy Chandler of Charlotte will take over as chairman of the N.C. Real Estate Commission as the ranks of licensed brokers rebound in the wake of the downturn. Handling that rapid growth is likely to command the commission’s time and attention during her term.

Drones, well, they’re on the back burner, which we’ll get to in a moment.

The industry hasn’t reached its former peak, she said when I tracked her down this week, but the line on the chart has quit falling and started rising. “There has been an uptick. More people are coming into the profession.”

Here’s a look at that uptick:

At the peak of the housing boom, there were 99,816 licensed brokers in North Carolina. That was right before the bubble burst in 2008. Thousands left the industry, and the bottom came in 2012/2013, when there were 83,563 individual licensees.

This summer, there are 85,018. The commission’s business year ends in midsummer; Chandler will take over on Aug. 1.

You’ll see the same pattern for the Charlotte Regional Realtor Association: At the peak in 2007, there were 9,578 Realtor members. At the lowest point in 2012, there were 6,236. Monday, the figure had climbed back to 7,703.

Chandler said the commission will focus on staying abreast of rapidly changing technology and looking for ways to use it to smooth the licensing process – perhaps with online continuing education classes. A new rule already requires brokers to renew their licenses online.

Chandler is a commercial real estate consultant with The Chandler Group. She’s a trainer and teaches at the Mingle School, the official school for the regional association. She will succeed Tommy Lawing Jr., president of T.R. Lawing Realty in Charlotte.

The nine-member commission’s primary role is to license individuals and firms. Its online site warns that it shouldn’t be confused with the N.C. Association of Realtors. (But it often is, as Chandler knows well – because she’s past president of NCAR.)

Have a question about the standard sales contract, or perhaps a complaint about that “due diligence” provision that tends to rub people the wrong way? Contact the NCAR. “That’s not a Real Estate Commission issue,” Chandler said.

Have a question about drones? Well...

On the commission’s online site, www.ncrec.gov, you’ll find a letter from the Federal Aviation Administration. Broadly, drones aren’t to be used for commercial purposes without special authorization. But you shouldn’t be surprised if you happen upon a property listing video that was taken by a drone.

Chandler has happened upon them, too. “I don’t think anybody is paying much attention to (the rule),” she said. “People are just doing it anyhow.”

If the FAA decided to crack down on the practice, she said, the commission would step in.

Meanwhile, when she sees an aerial video of a farm that’s for sale, her response is sort of like that of a mother of an adolescent. “Really? Really?”

Special to the Observer: homeinfo@charter.net

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