Tina turns over column to new GLVAR president

This is one of those columns where the person who is leaving a job turns over the reins to his or her successor and reflects on the year that was.

Except that in this case, I want to spend more time looking forward than back.

Moving forward, I know that readers of this column and the more than 11,000 members of the Greater Las Vegas Association of Realtors will be in good hands starting Jan. 1, when my friend Heidi Kasama officially takes over as president of GLVAR and author of this column.

Kasama has served our profession and our community very well as GLVAR’s president-elect during 2013 and was a valuable member of GLVAR’s board of directors for two terms before that.

She has a big job as the managing broker of the Summerlin office for Prudential Americana Group Realtors.

One of the first things you should know about her is that she pronounces her name like Hay-dee, as they do in Norway, where her parents were born.

Another interesting aspect of her background is that she is one of the few Realtors who has also been a certified public accountant. She has a degree in accounting from Central Washington University and worked as an accountant for insurance and energy companies and audited educational institutions and nonprofit groups in the Seattle area.

This experience and her nose for numbers will serve her well overseeing the largest professional association in Southern Nevada. It also will help her sort through the often-confusing statistics surrounding our topsy-turvy housing market.

While working as a CPA, she earned her real estate license in 1990 and began working as a real estate agent in the state of Washington.

Throughout the 1990s, she worked in accounting and real estate simultaneously.

After selling her accounting firm of Kasama &Co. in 2001, she decided to focus on her real estate career full time.

In 2002, she and her family moved to Las Vegas. By 2003, she earned her Nevada real estate license. By 2004, she opened her own real estate brokerage, which grew to include about 80 agents.

Kasama eventually merged her company with Prudential, where she now oversees about 150 local agents.

She has a real estate broker’s license, as well as her business broker and property management permits.

She’ll tell you she enjoys the “art” of real estate and the negotiating part of our business.

She’s also adept at offering advice, so I know she’s looking forward to answering your real estate questions in this space.

Looking back, I can tell you I was fortunate to preside over the GLVAR and answer your questions during a year when our local housing market began to bounce back in a big way.

For the past few months, our GLVAR statistics have shown that the median price of an existing home sold here in Southern Nevada has been up more than 25 percent from the same time last year.

I doubt we can sustain that kind of appreciation for another year, but I do think we’ll benefit from a more stable housing market in 2014.

I’ve really enjoyed interacting with Las Vegas Review-Journal real estate section readers and suspect Heidi Kasama will feel the same way.

Please welcome her by sending her lots of good questions to ask@glvar.org so she can answer them here.

Dave Tina is the 2013 president of the Greater Las Vegas Association of Realtors and has worked in the real estate industry for more than 35 years. GLVAR has more than 11,000 members. Email questions to ask@glvar.org. For more information, visit www.lasvegasrealtor.com.