Robert H. Elrod, a REALTOR® from Orlando, Fla., was the 1994 President of the National Association of REALTORS®.
As NAR president, Elrod focused on enhancing and refining the association’s services for REALTOR® members. During his tenure, a Presidential Advisory Group on member services was formed and tasked to move the association away from being an enforcer and toward being a provider.
An important result was the Board of Choice plan, which was approved by NAR’s Board of Directors at the 1994 Midwinter meeting. Board of Choice allows a principal broker to join whatever local board or association in his state best meets his firm’s needs, instead of being restricted to the local association where his principal place of business is located.
Board mergers, MLS regionalization, and more commercial overlay boards all followed, further improving service to REALTOR® members.
The National Association’s first appraisal designations were awarded in April 1994. 16 people received the General Accredited Appraiser designation and nine received the Residential Accredited Appraiser designation.
Elrod also encouraged members to embrace technology. In 1994 plans for two early online services for NAR members, the REALTORS® Information Network and NARLINK, were established, laying the groundwork for today’s realtor.com® and REALTOR.org.
Referring to the membership as the Association’s biggest unused asset, Elrod called for greater REALTOR® involvement in the political process. NAR fought to keep the mortgage interest deduction, and supported legislation that raised maximum home loans to veterans. Another action increased the number of borrowers eligible for FHA loans.
An Indiana native, Elrod entered the real estate business in 1971 after moving to Florida and settling in Orlando. Initially concentrating on residential real estate, he later opened a commercial firm and specialized in land sales. He was President of the Orlando Regional REALTOR® Association in 1978 and was honored as its REALTOR® of the Year in 1979 and 1981. He also served as president of the Florida Association of REALTORS® in 1985.
Keenly interested in politics, Elrod served in the Florida House of Representatives and the Florida Senate. As a senator in the 1960s he sponsored bills that permitted Disney World to be built in Orlando, giving Disney control over zoning and development of the property.
Source: National Association of REALTOR® Archives