Q&A with a CEO

Editorial StaffOctober 30, 2020
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Michelle Lind of the Arizona Association of Realtors

Michelle Lind is not a real estate agent. She’s a real estate attorney. But she still has a vested interest in the professional health and prosperity of Arizona’s estimated 52,000 licensed agents as the CEO of the Arizona Association of Realtors.

Photo courtesy Michelle Lind
Photo courtesy Michelle Lind

Of those 52,000 agents, how many practice in the Valley?

I would say in the Valley metro, it would be somewhat more than 30,000, but [those] are all active licensees from all areas of the industry: commercial, residential, property management and so forth.

What’s your mission at the AAR?

Well, we have two main purposes. First, we’re the largest political action committee in Arizona, advocating for property rights, and laws and regulations that impact property owners and renters. Second, we also provide members with the tools needed to represent clients. For example: real estate forms… and standardized contracts. We also provide technical tools for transactions… and dispute resolution programs for renters and members and between members.

What qualities do you think are essential in a good real estate agent?

For starters, the knowledge and expertise to help buyers and sellers understand their rights and obligations in a transaction… that’s essential. [They also need] a working knowledge of the area and the local market, and to efficiently manage the transaction process:  pricing, financing, inspections, negotiating, repairs, title and escrow, etc. Good communication skills [are a plus] and high ethical standards in serving their clients during one of the most important financial investments of their lives.

Where does the AAR stand on the issue of rent and mortgage moratoriums during the pandemic?

Obviously, both tenants and landlords are facing hardship due to the pandemic, so we’re advocating to get available pandemic assistance to renters and to owners required to make [mortgage] payments and maintenance…  we’re asking the government to fund assistance programs for both, because there are a lot of mom-and-pop landlords out there who, if they can’t collect rent, will face foreclosure. It’s a two-fold problem.

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