By Todd Shea
2023 President
Santa Barbara Association of Realtors

Ten years have passed since a new captain took the helm of the Santa Barbara Association of REALTORS®. The amazing Bob Hart stepped down this year, and we have a new AE, Association Executive, or Chief Executive Officer. The CEO oversees the organization’s staff and administration. Along with the staff, this position offers consistent leadership and direction supporting the yearly changes in the Volunteer President, leadership groups, and committees. I headed up a search committee composed of past presidents, directors, and other all-star REALTORS® and reviewed over 20+ Applicants from both local and outside of our area.

Please help me welcome our new CEO, Brian Johnson. Let’s learn more from Brian below as he answered some questions about the role, his passion, and life outside of work.

What is your background and previous experience? My background is in commercial real estate. I was involved with commercial leasing and sales from 2002 to 2022. My primary focuses were commercial leasing, commercial sales, and multifamily investment. Additionally, I had experience being General Manager for a local commercial real estate firm, Radius Commercial Real Estate, for over ten years.

What made you interested in joining SBAOR in this role? I first started volunteering on committees and on the Board at the Association in 2018. I was looking to be a bridge between the commercial and the residential sectors. I really enjoyed my time serving on committees and the board and traveling to represent our members at the state level. I was lucky enough to be the President of the Board in 2021 and although it was impacted by the pandemic, I’m proud of what we were able to accomplish for our members during that time. When I found out about Bob Hart’s retirement I decided to try and bring my combined skills in real estate and management to this role. I feel honored and privileged to have been chosen to serve our membership at this level.

What do you hope to accomplish in your role here? My immediate goals are to get to know our members better and find out what we can do as an association to best support them. I do have some ideas about trying to increase the resources that we have to offer through educational opportunities and similar programs. I also hope to do more to get our commercial practitioners involved. Our residential and commercial markets depend on each other to be successful, and we should be active in both to ensure the health and well-being of our community.

Is there anything specific you would like to learn or develop while working here? I am excited to learn about the challenges that our members face in a market like we have today. Our profession is always evolving and I hope that we can recognize that we should be prepared to embrace the future while at the same time remembering the overall mission of supporting our members.

Are there any particular goals or targets you have set for yourself in this position? Yes. I like to set short, medium, and long-range goals for myself at the beginning of any new assignment. One immediate goal that I have is to look at a redesign for our Association website. It’s already a great source of information for our members and the public but I can see it being a “one-stop” destination for everything that our members could need. I also have a goal of trying to harness the energy of our members through a revitalization of our Young Professionals Network. It is a place where our members who are new to the profession or who are just young at heart can go to network, get mentorship, learn, and be involved in our REALTOR community. One final goal would be to drive engagement with our membership to bring in more volunteers to our committees and Board. We are a member-driven organization and our success depends on our members being active and vocal.

Who is Brian Johnson outside of work? I’m a husband and father of two. I’ve got a son headed off to Purdue in the Fall and a daughter who is involved with VADA at Santa Barbara High. I love staying active in our community by hiking, going to concerts, and grilling a tri-tip or two during the summers.

Thank you, Brian for your dedication, and I am looking forward to another 10 years PLUS of solid leadership and I am excited to have you as the new CEO of the Santa Barbara Association of REALTORS®.

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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