On Oct. 3 Bradley Boland was named president of the Virginia Association of Realtors.
He has been in the real estate business since 1975. Most of that time was spent in the Pheonix, Ariz. area until he moved to Virginia with his family in 2001.
Boland started getting involved with the Dulles Area Association of Realtors as a way to start networking and meeting people.
The more he got involved the more he thought he could make a difference.
Boland and his wife Elaine own Fields of Athenry Farm. She is the operator, and according to him it's her brain child.
He has chaired the Dulles Area Association of Realtors and was the chairman of the board at the Blue Ridge Association of Realtors.
He has owned offices in Winchester and Reston.
The Loudoun Times-Mirror sat down with him to discuss his appointment and his vision for VAR.
What do you see as VAR's legislative agenda?
It's a pretty wide spread. We take input from all of the local associations and we have 29 in the commonwealth. We look at what their local issues are and how we might be able to help them make a difference. Every year we'll compile what their needs are and move forward. Right now we are in the middle of putting together our legislative agenda for next year. Professionalism will probably be on that agenda.
What is VAR's role?
Through our membership being an advocate for home ownership and the protection of property rights. That's our role. And what we do is we provide advocacy at the state level, we assist at the national level, and we support the local membership through the local associations with resources to help them carry on that charge. It's really helping to insure the protection of private property rights.
How are the challenges different for Loudoun Realtors than Realtors in the rest of the state?
Real estate is local. So things that are taking place down in Roanoke aren't necessarily taking place in Northern Virginia and specifically Loudoun County. I think we are very blessed as a real estate professional to be in Loudoun County, because of the growth potential, because of the past growth, because of the quality of life. We have a lot more to offer, and it's a perfect opportunity for our realtors if you will to capitalize on probably the richest market in the entire commonwealth.
Is the housing market in certain potions of the stte recovering quicker than others?
Absolutely. Northern Virginia has benefitted the most I believe. In both the amount of depreciation in years between 2007 and 2010 and the level of increase that took place since 2010. We have recovered in Northern Virginia a lot quicker. There are still areas in the state that may not have gotten hit as hard, but haven't really climbed out yet either. Although I think overall, pretty much all parts of the commonwealth are seeing an increase, but Northern Virginia by far has just blown away most other parts of the country and as we learned today a lot of it has to . What's so comforting is how we've diversified the employment base. We're not relying on, and we can't rely on.
What would you like most to accomplish during your time as president?
I have a real passion for raising the bar of professionalism within our industry. I want to increase the competency of the new agents that are coming into the market, as well as the existing licensees. I want to get them really educated and mentored so that they're no floundering after they get into the business.
In a time where so much information is available online to homebuyers, what is the value in using a broker?
Homebuyers need direction in working through the process of their mortgage, of the right house, of the right neighborhood, the right price. The role is critical and the face-to face contact and the relationship is critical. Information just elevates the level of the buyer and the seller.
With your experience with your farm, do you think that brings you a different perspective as a Realtor?
Absolutely. Especially as it relates to development issues. I've never been one to really focus much on the "not in my back yard" mentality. But when you have 600 or 700 acres that is abutting your farm – which is 32 acres – and there's a possibility that they may be building three acre lots of home there, you think a little bit differently. I think overall it gives me a good perspective.
How has the real estate industry changed since you started?
Prices. Also, close to 90 percent of all home buyers start their search on the Internet. That's a huge number. In 1975 that's not the case.
In so many ways it hasn't changed though. Except for prices and costs of mortgages, when it comes right down to it as real estate professionals we provide a service that is necessary to satisfying the goals of individual buyers and sellers.
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