Florida's Realtor Convention - Politics and International Business!

Real Estate Agent with Beach & Luxury Realty, Inc.

I'm just back from the Florida Association Realtor's convention in Orlando, where Realtors from all over the state come to discuss  key issues affecting the profession and learn new strategies, while networking with Realtors statewide. Since Florida has the largest number of international buyers of any state in the US, many topics on Friday's "International Day" were very timely for the six of us  representing iPRO, the International Council of Pinellas Board of Realtors.

Alex Sink ready to Speak cropped                           Marco Rubio entering to speak

One of this year's highlights was the appearance at a SRO ballroom of two Florida's  gubernatorial candidates, Chief Finance Officer Alex Sink  (pictured upper left) and Attorney General  Bill McCollum. They were asked the same set of questions by 3 realtors including whether they supported taxation of services, which would include realtor commissions. Both candidates declared they would not support that type of taxation.                                                                    

Two candidates for the U.S. Senate seat from Florida spoke, and Marco Rubio (pictured upper right) brought the crowd to its feet during a lively question and answer session. 

I had the pleasure of meeting several realtors from around the state who were not only aware of, but also proponents of Fractional Ownership. This shows great possibilities for the shared ownership industry in Florida's ability to attact a broad range of international buyers.

Discussed widely at the International Forum was the "silver visa" which would proactively allow  immigration to the US for international retirees who could purchase businesses and bring cash. The visa process was declared in several meetings to be "broken", and revisions needed. The FAR International Operations Committee voted to institute as a priority the FAR legislative  initiative for a revised visa, permitting homeownership. While NAR had been pursuing this earlier, the FAR Board's vote  to support the federal creation of this visa is a big step forward. FAR is accepting responsibility for pushing this forward since Florida stands to benefit so greatly from a revision of the visa situation. This "Retirement visa" 
would open up housing opportunities for international clients seeking U.S. homes.

Comments (2)

Jim Palmer
Chipola Realty - Chipley Office (850) 638-2777 - Sunny Hills, FL
Washington County, Florida

Congratulations to you for attending! We need to pay attention to what we are doing as a group.

Aug 27, 2009 11:35 AM
Marge Coffing

Jim - Thanks so much for your comment! It was quite interesting to talk to agents from different parts of the state and learn what their challenges were. From my perspective, the vote to have Florida take up the challenge and responsibility to push the "Retirement Visa" was quite important. NAR has so many things on its plate at the moment...and Florida Realtors saw the  benefit clearly of accepting that legislative challenge.   

Aug 27, 2009 08:06 PM