Local members of the 31,000-member North Carolina Association of Realtors gathered at Scotia Village recently to install officers and to celebrate a year full of successes.
Joined by state board President Louis Baldwin, Scotland County association members enjoyed lunch and a “state of the association” message from both Baldwin and local President Debbie Evans.
A third-generation realtor and president of the Baldwin Realty Company, Baldwin touted the legislative and promotional successes of the association to the gathering.
“(The NC Association of Realtors) led the lobby to tighten up on copper theft … and it is a lot harder now to sell copper in the state,” Baldwin said. Thanks to new regulations, those wishing to sell copper are required to better document its provenance and to provide photo identification.
According to Baldwin, the association has also worked to reduce and eliminate taxes associated with real estate transfers, and to generally advocate for buyers and sellers of real estate.
“We also wanted to do something that helped people understand, ‘Hey, realtors are out there looking out for us,’” said Baldwin, describing the origins of the association’s 2012 public awareness campaign.
“Eighty jobs are touched every time a house is sold,” Baldwin noted.
As part of the ongoing awareness campaign the association had a substantial presence at this year’s Democratic National Convention in Charlotte, where they hosted a delegate breakfast.
Attending that breakfast was Laurinburg realtor Guy McCook.
McCook said that Baldwin has been involved in real estate at every level, from both the local and national level.
“He’s done a lot to increase the political profile of our association,” McCook said. “(Baldwin) was named by his colleagues in Winston-Salem as ‘Realtor of the Year’ … and recognized as one of the 40 most influential business men in the Triad area, as well.”
Laurinburg realtor Debbie Evans was sworn in by Baldwin for her second consecutive term as president of the Scotland Board of Realtors during the meeting.
Having also served as president in 1996, Evans said that she was proud to continue to serve Scotland County’s realtors and proud to be a realtor herself.
“It’s a wonderful group. Very caring, smart and basically everybody I work with always tries to be a good realtor and do a good job for all people in Scotland County,” Evans said.
And while competitive by nature, Evans said that realtors always make competition secondary to advocating for the people they serve.
“There’s always going to be competition, but the customer always comes first with all of us.”
Evans also said that the responsibilities of local realtors extend far beyond simply showing homes.
“Showing a house is the fun part of the job. We also work with local banks, attorneys offices, inspection departments – we have a lot of hats that we wear and there are many different aspects of our jobs.
“I hold the title of president, but there is an entire board and group that pulls everything together,” Evans said.