Despite a crippling Coronavirus pandemic now stretching into its ninth month, real estate in Pasadena is holding its own. Much of that is due to the strong alliances and policies forged by the PFAR, the Pasadena-Foothills Association of Realtors, which celebrates 114 years at a virtual luncheon Friday.
In an interview before his installation at the PFAR Inaugural, Barry Storch, the organization’s president-elect, talked about the reasons for the group’s success, even during today’s historic pandemic environment.
“When we came up with [the 2021 theme] ‘Leading Change,’ it was before the pandemic hit,” he said. “Now it seems like a perfect fit for the situation. We are learning to work in a totally different environment than before. Virtual training, virtual education and virtual events have shown us that we are flexible and eager to learn new technology and basically learn to do business in a brand new way. We are living life and work experience like ‘The Jetsons’!”
Storch also tipped his hat to the PFAR staff, who “stepped up to the plate on day one of the pandemic”
“Strategic Planning and foresight by our CEO, Carla Dane’s vision, enabled a smooth transition to virtual operations without missing a beat. We were up and running with phones and laptops for all staff team members to work at home and to continue to offer excellent customer service,” he said.
“I hear from agents at other local associations with concerns that no one answers their phone calls and emails,” but he emphasized, “Not PFAR. We are offering the best customer service to our members. PFAR’s main focus has always been to provide our members with the support they need to continue to run their business without delays. This business is centered on time-sensitive situations and we meet that every day with every member.”
The real estate organization was originally founded as the ‘Pasadena Realty Board’ in 1907 and incorporated in 1922. According to their website, their objectives have expanded ”to provide members with the tools, education and opportunities to succeed; to adhere to and enforce the Code of Ethics of the National Association of REALTORS®; to preserve and promote real property rights; and to serve as a constructive force in the improvement of the quality of life within the community.”
Ultimately the Pasadena-Foothills Association of REALTORS® was formed in 1997 as a result of mergers among three boards – Pasadena, San Marino-South Pasadena and the Foothills (comprised of La Cañada Flintridge, La Crescenta and Sunland-Tujunga).
Speaking to the current buzzing real estate market in the area, Storch said, “We now have 3 factors that are primary aspects of the current real estate market: Low inventory, buyer demand, and historically low interest rates.”
“The combination of all three factors has made the buying and selling process a bit challenging at times, but homes are selling quickly and the competition is welcomed.”
“With change comes opportunity. Embrace it!” Storch said.
More information on the PFAR Inaugural installation is available at https://pfar.org/inaugural/.