John M. Lee: Thanks for the support


Wow - what a start of 2010 for me. So many of you have called and e-mailed to congratulate me on becoming the president of the San Francisco Association of Realtors that I was literally speechless. I am overwhelmed by your responses and want to thank you for your support throughout the years.

I have been writing this column for 20 years; that is two decades. How time flies! I would like to take the time this month to share with you the changes that are occurring in my life and assure you that I will continue to write this column and service your real estate needs in your local neighborhood.

The SF Association of Realtors (SFAR) is a membership organization whose mission is to provide programs, products and services to its Realtor members to assist them in increasing productivity and realizing success in the real estate business, and to create a regulatory and legal environment conducive to the practice of real estate brokerage.

Members consist primarily of Realtors in San Francisco. Some of the products and services we provide include educational programs, networking opportunities, technological products, real estate forms, grievance hearings and legal enforcement of our rules.

We also own and operate the San Francisco Multiple Listing Service (MLS), where we consolidate the listing information from real estate offices in San Francisco and distribute them to our members and the public through the Web site at

In addition, we are charged with the mission of protecting private property rights and promoting the American Dream of attaining home ownership.

In my inaugural speech as president of SFAR, I shared the story of a courageous single mom, nearing retirement, who decided to sacrifice and purchase her own home so she could feel secure with her living situation as she reaches her retirement years. This was nine years ago, and every time I see or speak to her, she tells me that it was the best decision she has ever made. It was not always easy, but real estate provided her with stability, a secure future, and something that she can pass on to the next generation. That is the message we at SFAR would like to share with everyone in this new decade.

My installation dinner on Jan. 22, at the Four Seasons Hotel, was an exciting event with my family, friends, and others from all over the country attending. It felt like a large wedding!

San Francisco Supervisor Carmen Chu delivered a heart-warming speech and also thanked HUD Assistant Secretary John Trasvina (a San Francisco native) for his hard work in our nation's capitol.

As well, San Francisco Tax Assessor Phil Ting took a page from the David Letterman Show and rattled off the top five reasons why he was glad that I am the new president of SFAR.

And the mayor's office surprised me by proclaiming Jan. 22, 2010, to be John M. Lee Day in San Francisco!

All in all, it was a heartfelt evening for me to see so many people I have met throughout my career celebrating my success with me.

I am proud to be leading this prestigious 106-year-old Association into the new decade. There are challenges in front of the real estate industry and we intend to tackle the issues head on, be bold with our messages, and lead our industry and the economy back to the strong position that we have held for so long.

As for my time, the office of the president certainty is a high profile position and requires much work. But one does not attain this office overnight. I was the chief financial officer and president-elect the previous two years and have worked in different capacities for SFAR over the years. So, my time will be split between SFAR, serving clients, and all of you just as I have done the last 20 years.

Thank you again for being loyal readers and I hope to bring you some different perspectives in my new role.

As always, you can always reach me with questions at (415) 447-6231 or by e-mail at [email protected].