Rick Shelton elected president for GVLAR

The new officers of the Greater Las Vegas Association of Realtors, due to take office Jan. 1, were installed during a special luncheon held Friday at the Four Seasons Hotel Las Vegas.

With a background in finance and real estate, Rick Shelton, owner/broker of RE/MAX Associates, is the new president for GLVAR in 2010.

Shelton, who moved to Las Vegas from Phoenix 24 years ago, worked as a financial advisor for five years before deciding to switch to real estate.

He said it was “to be my own boss.”

Shelton does credit his financial background in helping him by “understanding numbers, understanding trending, understanding profitability.”

Shelton has been active with GLVAR for years, first as a director and then vice-president in 2008. As president, he anticipates continuing with the current organizational structure. “I would tell you first and foremost that the Greater Las Vegas Association of Realtors is probably one of the better business structure environments I’ve seen, so I’m not sure there is a lot of change that necessarily is needed. It’s run very efficiently and quite effectively.”

As for what he wants to accomplish, Shelton has several goals.

“I would say watching the budget, tweaking the budget, … continuing to implement cost-cutting measures and probably introduce a larger value proposition to the members, increase the level of participating in our educational process and programs,” he said.

In October, GLVAR statistics showed an increase in sales and prices. According to Shelton, “(this) is a combination of different types of buyer profiles that are contributing to the stabilization of our market and the increase in sales in the past 18-24 months.”

Another factor in the increase is the federal tax credit for first-time buyers.

“Our first-time home buyers are a critical aspect because they’ll survive the investor buyers. The extension of the tax credit is, I believe critical to at least, if nobody else, the Sun Belt states.”

According to the Federal Housing Tax Credit Web site, federalhousingtaxcredit.com, the first-time homebuyer tax credit has been extended and a repeat homebuyer tax credit of $6,500 is now available.

Shelton encourages Realtors to put in extra time to get their name out to potential buyers and educating people since it is a buyer’s market.

According to Shelton, it is a market that encompasses distressed property due to short sales and foreclosures and Realtors must be aware.

“We need to support and educate our politicians, … local, state and national to (this) fact and what we can do, hopefully, (is to) correct or to help correct that situation. And in that process, I don’t think that unless we are educated to what’s occurring, how it occurs, what the process is and how to work with it, I’m not certain we can step forward with our politicians and try to educate them.

Shelton believes GLVAR needs to offer its members working knowledge of bank-owned properties, distressed properties and short sales. He said that the government needs to understand the nature of short sales. “A loss has taken place,” Shelton said, “and that loss is not going to change.”

There are challenges ahead in the real estate market and Shelton said he cannot forecast what will happen in 2010.

“I can say that I believe that the incidences of that (foreclosure) has started to arrest itself,” he said. “I think we have seen the worst of that. I think maybe as a community, as a government, as a country I think maybe we have been growing a lot over the last 24 months and everybody working pretty diligently to try to figure this thing out and catch up with it and I would tell you that I don’t know if we’ve caught it yet, but I think that collectively, we’re catching up with it.”

Shelton has won a number of awards and is active with several charities.

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