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: Ron Croushore
Company: Former owner/CEO, Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices The Preferred Realty, Pittsburgh
Years in real estate: 46 years
Local association: Realtors® Association of Metropolitan Pittsburgh
Year served: 2015 president
If you could go back in time, what advice would you give your younger self?
I think the advice I’d give to my younger self, or anyone who I knew was working to grow a larger business, is to take the necessary steps to be more organized. My motto was always be prepared and while you can’t prepare for every situation, it’s important to hire phenomenal people who you can put in place to help run the business. When I gave a couple of people promotions, it freed me up to concentrate my efforts in specific areas of the business. It’s really important to build your team.
Why should agents get involved in their local, state and national associations?
I think the big reason you have to get involved, whether at the local, state or national levels, is because it helps you learn about all facets of the business. I can’t tell you how important it is to keep educating yourself. It helps you be at the top of your game.
What advice would you give someone who was thinking of moving up through the offices in PAR?
It you’re interested in serving as a leader, it’s important to organize your company and your personal business because you have to keep it going while you’re volunteering and you’ll be returning to it full-time after your term in office is completed. It’s a passion project for those who volunteer their service to PAR. I was operating a company with 1,800 agents, so I needed to make sure I had a team in the office who were able to keep the business moving forward so that I could serve as a leader and give my talents to benefit the state. Serving as president of PAR was also a benefit to me personally, because I grew from my time serving as a PAR leader. There are good days and bad days and schedules can be challenging, but it’s all worth it in the end.
What’s the biggest change you’ve seen in the real estate market since you started?
I think nowadays one of the biggest changes I’ve noticed is the size of the real estate companies. A lot of our salespeople start a company within the company, which are called “teams.” Teams have grown to 15 or 20 people on one team and the team may have a marketing person, people to do the detail work and then they may have people who show their listings. That’s a really drastic change that we’ve seen in probably the last 15 to 20 years. It’s such a big change and I think it’s going to continue because the teams are getting larger. The multi-lists are also changing and getting larger, because the companies are merging. Real estate is a constantly changing industry. We’re seeing new, different types of services daily, which I think really help the industry, but they can cause some challenges as well.
Do you think the environment or technology will have a bigger impact on real estate in the next 100 years?
Can I get back to that in about 60 years? I really couldn’t say either one of those two because I think they’re both going to change. One of the other significant changes I see is how Realtors® are going to get paid. How the profession is going to change and how Realtors® will get involved in avenues that we weren’t really involved in before. The way and how we market to consumers is changing drastically, both to buyers and sellers. The services we offer has changed tremendously in the last 15 years. What the agents need to be aware of and the legal end of it. I think that’s why education is so important and why the Pennsylvania Association of Realtors® and the National Association of Realtors® are so important. When you get involved in all these groups, you’ll find that at any given time they’re providing information a different topic and this will help you learn what you need to know to be on top of the game if you want to survive.