"As Arizona continues its trend of growing, it requires leaders who understand the consumer and business needs that will make this growth possible,” Arizona Gov. Katie Hobbs said in a media release.
In February 2023, after 28 years working in the real estate industry, serving clients and growing my businesses, I inactivated my real estate license, closed up shop at my real estate school and transferred ownership of my brokerage to a longtime friend and colleague. This, in preparation to begin serving on Feb. 22, 2023 as the next Commissioner of the Arizona Department of Real Estate.
Like many of you, I found my passion in real estate and in serving and representing my clients. I spent my early career working for Marriott Vacation Club International where I learned how to build successful teams, manage employees, create and manage budgets, open new locations, create procedures and nurture team culture.
After starting a family and relocating to Arizona, I started my residential real estate career. I was hungry to learn everything I could so that I could best represent my clients and provide a superior level of real estate services. I earned numerous designations and certifications while achieving production targets and growing my own small business.
In 2018, I opened my own brokerage and real estate school where I became not only the administrator but also an instructor, qualified to teach in all categories of Continuing Education, instructor development, broker management clinics and pre-licensing. In addition to the regulatory side of education I was also credentialed by the Real Estate Business Institute with the ability to teach national designations and certifications and the National Association of Realtors to instruct the Code of Ethics.
Over the last several years, I became deeply involved in the industry serving the local, state and national associations of REALTORSⓇ in various leadership roles and in 2021, I earned the Tyler Strout Vision Award from the Arizona Association of Realtors, being recognized as the best prepared Realtor with the highest standards in the State.
Enough about me, what about you and the Department?
I can tell you the past few months serving as the Commissioner have been humbling and transformative.
The team at ADRE is among the best I’ve had the opportunity to meet and their dedication to serving licensees as customers is astounding. Seeing the commitment of our state’s workforce in their efforts to provide excellent customer service to licensees as well as protections to the public is inspiring.
Over the past three months and traveling from the Gila Valley to Prescott and Yuma to Tucson, I have enjoyed meeting and speaking with over 80 external groups, many associations and organizations, and hundreds of licensees.
I also have had the opportunity to assess the Department’s needs and how we can work proactively to better serve our licensees to better protect the public.
It is my intention and plan to bring clarity to many of the issues you’ve raised during my travels and for this office to serve as an active partner educating and ensuring you understand how statutes and regulations apply to the ever evolving business that is real estate.
Together, working with stakeholders and as a profession, we will tackle public confusion around teams and how team leaders can better meet their broker’s requirements. We will provide additional communication and expectations for how we can better protect the public from deed fraud and we will remove those from our profession who appear intent on harming Arizonans. There will be a significant focus on abiding by the Federal requirements of RESPA and Fair Housing. Property management presents challenges unto itself and we will work with stakeholders to ensure we’re doing what we can to support the industry. And finally, real estate education needs to be updated and ADRE will work with school administrators and instructors to ensure relevant, accurate and engaging materials are presented.
With an amazing staff committed and engaged and you as honorable practitioners of the profession, we will accomplish these goals and many more.
Thank you for the opportunity to serve as your Commissioner and please know ADRE and I will always be receptive to your suggestions for how we and the profession can be and do better.
Susan Nicolson, Commissioner
Arizona Department of Real Estate