“Realtor Stresses Added Education”

More education. That’s the message from the incoming head of the local Realtor association.

“It is a changing business, and we need all the education we can have,” said Kathy Tucker, incoming president of the Chattanooga Association of Realtors.

Mrs. Tucker said she wants to redouble the association’s educational efforts, which include state-mandated continuing education, designation courses and seminars on topics of concern to Realtors. She still is formulating plans for new educational programs.

She said she wants to help clients gain more education and awareness of the home-buying process. She also encourages affiliate brokers to get their broker’s licenses, which are becoming harder to obtain with new regulations.

Mrs. Tucker will be installed as president of the Chattanooga Association of Realtors at the organization’s Dec. 10 meeting, although she won’t take office until Jan. 1.

“She’s already way ahead of the game,” said Francie Ryder, executive officer of the Chattanooga Association of Realtors. “I think it’s going to be a delight to work with her.”

Mrs. Tucker said she has seven years of management experience, including six years as manager of Crye-Leike, Realtors’ Hixson office. However, she said she still takes time to get out of the office and sell homes and share agents’ experiences.

A native Chattanoogan, Mrs. Tucker said her education consisted of public schools, including City High Schol, her alma mater. “I’m very sold on the area.”

She has been a Realtor for 26 years. She served on the board of directors for the association and was president of the Multiple Listing Service a couple of years ago. She is the 92nd association president, succeeding Realtor Steve Champion as the association’s leader.

Mrs. Tucker said she has seen several changes as a Realtor and predicts technology will continue to effect change.

Home listings once were printed in books; now, they are available online. There also are more disclosures about a property’s condition, which is a good change, she said. In earlier days, there were no disclosures.

“It was almost buyer beware,” she said.

She said she wants to work hard with association members, to discuss the pros and cons of fees-for-service, a sometimes controversial trend in real estate transactions that involves agents receiving payment in a form other than the traditional commission.

One change on the horizon is virtual office Web sites, which will eliminate the needs of some Realtors to have a brick-and-mortar office, she said. The “MLS is about sharing, and it’s easy for the public to access. That’s what it’s about, helping the public.

“For longtime Realtors it’s about getting used to show business is done these days,” she said.

The forecast for next year’s home sales is good, according to the economic data Mrs. Tucker said she has read. There was a forecast a few years ago that membership in the National Association of Realtors would drop because of technological advancements, but national membership actually is at a record level of nearly 1 million, she said. There are more than 1,200 members of the Chattanooga area association, which is close to an all-time high.

Although the number of local listings is down slightly this year, homes are selling at a higher rate, she said. Strong home sales this year has helped the struggling economy. “Real estate has been the one stable force in the economy,” And, she said, she expects next year’s home market to be similar.

E-mail Jason M. Reynolds at jreynolds@timesfreepress.com.