John Asdourian: Facing slower housing market 

John Asdourian, the Realtor elected to preside over the San Francisco Association of Realtors trade group as 2007 president, faces a number of challenges in his tenure, ranging from a slowing housing market to a major restructuring of how properties are listed for sale.

Asdourian, 49, is the top-producing salesperson at McGuire Real Estate, specializing in probate and trust sales, and income properties.

The residential real estate market in San Francisco decreased 12.9 percent in house sales volume last year. But according to Asdourian, San Francisco "continues to be a vibrant market" — mostly because of appreciation. The median price of a single family home in San Francisco in 2000 was $500,000; in 2006, it was $822,000.

According to Asdourian, a Realtor in San Francisco needs to sell between three and 12 houses each year to make a living, each of which takes between 90 and 120 days from pricing to closing.

Something that complicates the market further is the number of Realtors in San Francisco: there were 3,500 in 2000; last year, there were 5,500. According to Asdourian, the increase was because the real estate industry was hot and other industries were laying off workers. That increased competition has not yet become a problem, but it may.

The other major change Asdourian will shepherd during his presidency is the release of a combined Multiple Listing Service. An MLS is a database of properties for sale. There are many small, regional MLSs. By the second half of 2007, the various associations of Realtors hope to reduce that number to two: Quattro, encompassing the North Bay and Sacramento area, and NCREX, encompassing the East Bay and Peninsula.

According to Asdourian, the biggest issue faced by the combined MLSs is the fact a larger MLS system will compromise geographicly specific specialization.

Asdourian also sees resistance coming from security questions. Realtors subscribe to a certain code of ethics. Not all real estate licensees are Realtors, and don’t always follow the same strictures. Asdourian perceives questions about disclosure and false information as key concerns. He also notes that the loss of power and revenue by the different entities running the MLSs might also be dissuasive.

Also elected to the SFAR board for 2007 were Chuck Colliver of Century 21 Alliance in Daly City as president-elect and Bob Dadurka of Paragon Real Estate Group in San Francisco as chief financial officer. Jim Fabris will continue as chief executive officer.

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