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  • Powerhouse Q&A: Brad Owen, The Montgomery Area Association of REALTORS

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    As CEO of The Montgomery Area Association of REALTORS, Brad Owen’s primary job is to help area Realtors be the best they can in their job. It’s a responsibility he takes seriously and a role he finds immensely rewarding.
    What first got you interested in real estate? I actually didn’t come here with a background in real estate. I came from a governmental affairs background, but that makes sense for what we do. We are not listing and selling homes; we are providing the tools for our members to do that effectively, as well as doing governmental affairs work for our industry.
    What is the Association’s primary purpose? We are a trade association for Realtors, which means we assist our members with education requirements, provide the lock-box systems they use, provide and maintain the Multiple Listing Service (MLS) for the area and handle arbitration when needed. We basically provide all the necessary resources for Realtors to stay in the industry and be successful.
    How many members does the Association currently have? About 1,750. Our territory includes Montgomery and the River Region but also from Clanton to Troy and Selma over to Auburn.
    What is your role? I oversee operations and oversee the staff as we assist the executive committees of both boards [the association board and the separate MLS board] in their duties. So, I do a little bit of everything really.
    How have Realtors’ jobs changed in recent years? Technology has allowed the consumer to learn and know so much more about real estate and properties. Sometimes, they now know more than the Realtor does, at least in the beginning, because they have done extensive research online before even contacting a Realtor. In 2003, when I started in this job, the Realtor was providing the data. Today, a Realtor’s function has shifted to more customer service. The consumer already has the information; the Realtor is helping with the transaction.
    What’s on the horizon for residential real estate in our area? The biggest change coming is not really change but growth. I believe we will keep seeing more and more demand. Right now, demand is outpacing inventory, and hopefully, that translates into more sales but more construction too. I think there is pent-up demand to purchase a new home.
    What is the most rewarding part of your work? Keeping our members ahead of the curve. This industry changes a lot and changes quickly, and a lot of that is driven by the consumer. I love anticipating needs and ensuring our members have the latest tools before they even know they need them. That way, they are better at what they do, and helping Realtors help their customers is very fulfilling.
    What does Montgomery’s current business climate mean for Realtors and the industry? We think the city is in a good spot. The cost of living is relatively cheap. The work-from-home movement has opened eyes, and many are finding they can leave a higher-priced area and move to a spot like Montgomery and get a lot more house and more space for their money and enjoy a higher quality of life. The pandemic changed people’s mindsets about their homes; many realized they wanted different things: different layouts and spaces, a bigger yard, a pool. Our area affords the opportunities to have those things better than some other areas.
    Why do you choose to be so supportive of the Chamber? The Chamber gives our business community a great, strong voice, so that puts us on the same page and gives us common goals. What the Chamber works to do— create a better community—falls right in line with what we strive for too, so we are a natural fit.
    What are your interests outside of work? I play a little golf. I love hunting and fishing with my kids and traveling with my family. This job has blessed me with the chance to travel a lot and expose my kids to a lot, like seeing different scenery, trying different foods, even experiencing foreign countries. It’s nice to be able to show them what is outside of Montgomery, but it is equally nice to come home too.
    Team Work = Dream Work

    CEO of The Montgomery Area Association of REALTORS Brad Owen enjoys the multiple opportunities for travel his work affords, in part, because it allows him to better understand the value of the Association’s work. “There are 1,700 local associations like us around the country, so when I’m at national conventions and hear these other associations talk about the problems they are having that we are not or listing the tools they wish they had for their membership that we do have, it’s gratifying to know we are truly meeting our members’ needs,” he said. But he’s not patting himself on the back. “It’s my staff that does it. They are excellent at serving our members. We have six employees; two have been here double-digit years,” he said. “It really makes my life easier to know I have a staff I can trust to handle anything.”
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    Montgomery, Alabama 36101
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