Marking PAR’s 100th Anniversary: Past President Ted Stefan

By Kim Shindle | June 4, 2020 | 3 min. read

Editor’s note: The Pennsylvania Association of Realtors® is celebrating its 100th anniversary this year. As part of our Member Profile feature, we’ll be highlighting some of the Realtors® who have served as president of the organization.

Name: Theodore “Ted” Stefan Jr.
Company: Realty ONE Group Unlimited, Lancaster
Years in real estate:  46 years
Local association: Greater Harrisburg Association of Realtors®
Year served: 2003 president

If you could go back in time, what advice would you give your younger self?
I think the most important thing that I have realized is I should have gotten involved with my local, state and national associations at an earlier age. I believed that by getting into the business at the age of 26 that I would not have been accepted.

Why should agents get involved in their local, state and national associations?
There are many reasons a young Realtor® should get involved as early as possible. One reason is the camaraderie. Another reason is the that you’ll learn about real estate issues by coming to the association meetings and working with other real estate professionals from across the state and nationally, if you get involved on a national level.

What advice would you give someone who was thinking of moving up through the offices in PAR?
One of my regrets in moving up through the chairs at my local association, as well as PAR, is that my personal real estate business should have been developed a little more in-depth then than I was prepared for. We do volunteer our time, so our businesses need to run in our absences, just as well as when we’re there on a day-to-day basis. I appreciated that fact in going through my local chairs and when I did get to the state level and went through the chairs, my business was more organized and was able to run without me other than being available by cell phone.

What’s the biggest change you’ve seen in the real estate market since you started?
I’ve joked that I started in real estate when we were showing homes using horse and buggy and dirt streets. Of course that’s facetious, but by the same token, when I started in the business, we had no multi-list services, we had no cellphones, we had no lock boxes, so all of our business had to be basically during the week reading the Sunday newspaper looking for properties to show on weekends and then picking up keys and making sure we were available on our pagers and that our pagers were fully charged.

Do you think the environment or technology will have a bigger impact on real estate in the next 100 years?
Technology, of course, will be one of the most important things for real estate professionals to maintain and stay up to date with, because if you’re not up to date with the technology, with the multiple listing services, as with the with the organization of your personal records in the cloud, you’ll be left behind. So, we must stay up to date with technology. The environment will also have an effect on our business in the future, in that the development of land will become more and more difficult with all of the environmental concerns.

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