Brian Johnson and Bob Hart wishing each other well upon Hart’s retirement from SBAOR.

By Todd Shea
2023 President
Santa Barbara Association of Realtors

Bob Hart retired from his position as Association Executive at the Santa Barbara Association of REALTORS® (SBAOR) this month, after 10 impactful years.

Throughout his career, Bob has made many significant contributions to the real estate profession and Santa Barbara community. As Association Executive, he led several efforts to improve SBAOR’s sustainability practices, provide valuable information to its members, and adapt to the changes brought on by the COVID-19 pandemic.

To improve sustainability practices, window screens were installed throughout the SBAOR building and all lights were changed to LED, which has reduced electricity costs and maintenance requirements. The front landscape was changed from grass to native plantings to reduce water usage, and downspouts were reconfigured to direct water flow to retention basins, improving ground water retention and reducing stormwater runoff. SBAOR also invested in a Solar Photovoltaic system for the building, which was installed concurrently with a new roof as a cost savings measure, and has saved a substantial amount of energy-costs.

To better provide valuable information to members, SBAOR launched a new website: The new site is mobile-friendly, easy to navigate, and full of useful information. This information is also available through regular newsletters provided by the association. Through an innovative partnership with Build-It-Green and the Utility Companies, SBAOR has been able to provide the Green Designation Course, aimed at helping members expand their knowledge and skills while being environmentally conscious.

Finally, the COVID-19 pandemic had a significant impact on the operations and activities of SBAOR, as it did for many organizations and businesses around the world. Under Bob’s leadership, the SBAOR staff responded to the pandemic’s challenges with resilience and adaptability, finding new and innovative ways to stay connected with members and support their business needs. SBAOR made a concerted effort to be responsive to member inquiries and provide daily updates to help them stay informed. Thanks to SBAOR’s commitment to learning new and innovative practices, its staff was able to quickly become proficient with Zoom and other virtual platforms, allowing them to continue offering educational opportunities, committee meetings, and other valuable events.

To celebrate Bob’s impact and his retirement, SBAOR recently held an event in his honor, where his successor Brian Johnson joked that he knew he had “big shoes” to fill. Brian has served as a commercial real estate agent on the Central Coast since 2002. He brings new and valuable insights to the role of Association Executive, due to his experience as a top performer in multifamily investment properties, as well as network planning and development projects for major US wireless telephone companies.

Learn more about the Santa Barbara Association of REALTORS® here.

Todd Shea is the 2023 president of the Santa Barbara Association of Realtors (SBAOR). He is a California licensed real estate agent with the Zia Group powered by eXp Realty here in Santa Barbara. He has served on and chaired several committees within the SBAOR and served on its board of directors. Todd can be reached at 805.453.7730 and or message and follow @toddshearealtor on Instagram. 


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