An Interview with the 2023 SBAOR President

By Bob Walsmith Jr.
2022 President
Santa Barbara Association of Realtors

It is customary for the incoming president of the Santa Barbara Association of Realtors to write an article introducing himself/herself before the end of the year. Well, this year, we are going to be changing it up just a little bit.

I sent Todd Shea, the incoming 2023 SBAOR President a few questions for him to answer. Below are my questions and his answers.

What are you most looking forward to? Good Question, Bob. You have done a great job this year and I would like to build off of that and then pass it along to the amazing Michele Allyn in 2024, who will then lead our organization. Our association has been in good standing and has done an excellent job protecting homeowner rights and building goodwill in our community. I am most looking forward to continuing this and taking our impact and connection with our local community and local politics to the next level. All the while supporting our members and highlighting the amazing things they do. Our local Realtors do some incredible things outside of the already impactful role of helping families with the stability of home ownership, building wealth, and creating family legacies. I am proud to represent such a special area and the magic that is Santa Barbara. I am a super passionate and collaborative person. I take pride in being active instead of just reactive. Setting some goals and taking chances while not trying to bite off too much for my 1-year role, leaving it better than I found it is the ultimate goal!

Do you have specific agenda items for your presidency? Outside of continuing and highlighting this connection with our community. Working more with local charities, for example, Habitat for Humanity, to expand options beyond just financial and include REALTOR® workdays at their building sites. Utilizing our housing study to continue to be involved with all local governments and work toward enhanced homeownership opportunities and less onerous regulations. Then, of course, to support our members, new and experienced, at the local, state, and national levels.

Todd Shea, the incoming 2023 SBAOR President

Do you have any concerns for next year?  As we have seen in years past, you never know what is around the corner. However, we need to stay at the forefront of issues that could affect our clients at the state and national levels as we work with our elected officials and the California Association of Realtors (CAR), and the National Association of Realtors (NAR). Continuing to look at what is a housing supply crisis and working with the county and city on any options we have. Affordability and options for our over 15,000 people that commute into Santa Barbara County per day to work. Then look at our clunkier design review process to help our community keep its beautiful charm but allow our residents to move through the design, permitting, and building process more smoothly. Our SBAOR Staff, Board of Directors, and Committees are poised to react to anything outside of what we know now and shift focus if something unknown comes down the pipeline. We have a history of doing very well when these things happen.

Tell me a little about you outside of Real Estate?  That is what it is all about. I strive to be an authentic and approachable guy. So if you see me around town or want to talk, say hi and reach out! I have an amazing wife, Melissa, and 2 teenage kids, Kennan and Caitlin, who go to Dos Pueblos High School. We are in a fun phase of life with both of them looking at colleges, getting licenses (Watch out, SB!), and first jobs. For fun, I coach indoor volleyball at a local club and high school, enjoy watching sports, surfing, and playing golf. Travel is the best, but you know you are in an amazing town when you come home from a fabulous vacation and enjoy being home just as much as on vacation! Anyone who lives here can relate!

Bob Walsmith Jr. is a native to Southern California and a Realtor® with Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices California Properties in Santa Barbara. During his work with the Santa Barbara Association of Realtors, Bob has served on the CORE Committee, Education Committee, been Chair of the Budget & Finance Committee, and the Multiple Listing Service Committee. He also is on the Board of Directors of the Alpha Resource Center of Santa Barbara. Bob lives in Goleta with his beautiful wife Julie. When not working, Bob enjoys playing golf, fine wine, fine dining, and walking our beautiful coastline. Bob can be reached at 805.720.5362 and/or bob@bobwalsmithjr.com

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