Message from the President

By: Patricia A. Nugent, Esq.

Each day I walk in my office and am reminded how challenging our job as real estate attorneys is becoming.  I am fortunate to be surrounded by a fabulous team including my partner and the dedicated staff who have been with us for years.  Like you, we strive to obtain the best outcomes for our clients, all while dealing with an increasing number of challenges that don’t have much to do with practicing real estate law.  Today, technology evolves so fast that it is not enough to make one decision to buy a particular software application; it’s more like a constant evolution of change requiring daily updates like the ones that pop-up on my iPhone.  Then of course, there is the issue of cyber fraud where every email is a potential cyber-crime grenade.

As real estate attorneys we also face a marketplace where consumers either do not realize we perform real estate closings, or if they do, think they do not need or cannot afford our services.  Real estate agents are encouraged to send their transactions to title companies affiliated with their broker or other non-attorney title companies resulting in fewer than half of real estate closings in Florida being handled by a real estate attorney. 

So, what do we do?  We work together.

As President of the statewide Attorneys’ Real Estate Council of Florida (“Florida ARECS”) and former President of the Broward Attorneys’ Real Estate Council, it will come as no surprise that I support real estate councils (“RECs”)!  I believe working together through the RECs is one of the most effective ways to grow as professionals and to share the message of the value of real estate attorneys. 

Being a member of our local real estate council has provided me with the opportunity to network with accomplished real estate attorneys whom I can reach out to for advice, ideas and referrals.  I have also had the opportunity to mentor and support the next generation of practitioners who will carry our profession into the future.  These relationships have been the greatest benefit of my real estate council membership.

Real estate councils also magnify the voices of all of us - beyond what we can accomplish individually.  The entire Florida ARECS Board of Directors works with The Fund to provide you and your real estate council with tools to get the message out and help you promote yourself and attorneys in general to consumers and Realtors®.

Do you want to work with real estate agents?  Get involved in your REC’s Realtor® outreach efforts like monthly New Realtor® Orientations or Law Symposiums and Legal Summits.  Prefer to work on your own?  Check out the Florida ARECS Realtor® Education Library of ready-to-use Realtor® seminars.

Do you like to write?  Contribute an article for our advertising campaign in the Florida Realtors® Legal News, a monthly email newsletter that is distributed to about 120,000 Florida Realtors® members.

Are you a social media junkie?  Follow Florida ARECS on Facebook, LinkedIn and Twitter.  While you’re there, leverage our content for your own social media campaign.

I am not so naïve to believe we will change the flawed perceptions of our industry overnight, but I am sure nothing will change if we remain silent.