We are so proud to announce that Franz Forster of FJ Forster Real Estate in Pittsfield has been named the 2009 REALTOR® of the YEAR! This award is given to the REALTOR® that best exemplifies professionalism and service to the industry.
Franz has contributed outstanding time and energy to the betterment of the REALTOR® organization, the real estate industry and our Berkshire community. He was elected by Berkshire Realtors to serve as the 2009 President of the 500 member board, having been actively involved in governance of the real estate trade association since 2002. He has served with distinction on the Multiple Listing
Service Board of Directors, which governs listing data online and for REALTOR® members, having been elected to serve as it’s President in 2005.
Most notably, Forster devotes considerable effort in community service events sponsored by the REALTOR® organization, political advocacy on behalf of Realtors and homeowners in Berkshire County, moderating real estate education, speaking to new members at Orientation and chairing hearings of the Professional Standards Committee to arbitrate business disputes or settle matters of alleged unethical conduct.
Franz received a Presidential Appointment to serve as a Massachusetts State Director in 2008 and 2009 and has many years of active involvement with Berkshire community organizations as well, with an emphasis on education-related associations, environmental advocacy and cultural institutions.
Currently, Forster serves on the Pittsfield Conservation Commission, as Treasurer of the Lakes and Ponds Association of Western Mass. (LAPA-West), as the PHS Representative on the Superintendent’s Parent Advisory Council, and is a member of the PHS School Co uncil, Berkshire Chamber of Commerce and is a Tanglewood Business Partner.
First licensed in Massachusetts in 1990, Franz went on to open FJ Forster Real Estate located in Pittsfield. He obtained his BA from Rutgers University and his Juris Doctorate from Western New England College School of Law. Born in Bern Switzerland, Franz came to the US as a child and currently resides in Pittsfield with his two children and his partner, and current mayoral candidate, Pam Malumphy.
Berkshire Board of REALTOR® Activities
- Member of the Berkshire County Board of Realtors (1996-Present)
- Berkshire County Board of Realtors Board of Directors (President 2009, President Elect 2008)
- Berkshire County Multiple Listing Service, Inc. (President 2005, Officer 2002-2009)
- Finance Committee (Chair 2004, member 2005-2007, 2009)
- Realtor Community Service Committee (Chair 2008, member 1996-Present)
- Government Affairs Committee (Member 2006-Present)
- Professional Standards Committee (1999-Present)
- Nominating Committee (Chair 2006, 2007 – Member 2005, 2009)
- Education & Events Task Force (2007-Present)
- Contract and Forms Revisions Task Force (Member 2006, 2008, 2009)
- Multiple Listing Service Task Forces (Member 2002-Present)
- Media & Communications Task Force (Member, 2008-2009)
- Site Search / Board Office (Chair 2009)
- Attend meetings and events held by the Board and MLS, including Designated REALTOR® Risk Reduction Series, Annual Meetings, Participant Meetings of the MLS, Continuing Education, Professional Ethics, Membership Breakfast Forums, Holiday Gala, etc..
State Association Activities
- Member of the Massachusetts Association of Realtors (1996-Present)
- Government Affairs Issues (2009)
Was the Berkshire Realtors representative in meetings with Congressman Olver regarding FHA loan limit modifications this year.
- MAR State Director (2008, 2009)
- Participant in Massachusetts Association of Realtors Legislative Action Center Calls to Action on legislative issues and Senate Bills affecting real estate transactions (2007-Present)
National Association Activities
- Member of the National Association of Realtors (1996-Present)
- Participant in NAR Legislative Action Center Calls to Action on legislative issues and Senate Bills affecting real estate transactions (2007-Present)
- Pittsfield Conservation Commission (2007-Present)
Mayoral appointee to the post, responsible for the application and enforcement of the Mass Wetlands Protection Act for the City of Pittsfield.
- Lakes and Ponds Association of Western Mass. (LAPA-West) (Treasurer 2005-Present)
Serves on the Executive Committee, working to preserve and maintain the lakes in the region, west of the Connecticut River. This body is comprised of regional organizations and representatives of all of the lakes in the area.
- Superintendent’s Parent Advisory Council, PHS Representative, (Appointee, 2009)
Appointed by the Pittsfield School Superintendent to meet monthly with the Superintendent and his Cabinet to discuss school issues including budget, school committee items and initiatives.
- School Council (Member, 2004-Present)
Review topics, problems and responses to internal issues at the Pittsfield High School, including monthly update with the principal. Initiatives to be launched are vetted and discussed.
- Berkshire Chamber of Commerce (Member, 2007-Present)
- Tanglewood (Business Partner, 2006-Present)
- Local Political and Government Involvement (present)
- Long history of active engagement in political matters, including field work and organizing for campaigns for a wide variety of public offices, including current mayoral contest. Attends many regional and local municipal meetings to stay current on the issues and attends political events and works with our Berkshire delegation and our local representatives.
- University of Massachusetts, Political Action Through the Office of the Chancellor
Is newly involved in the Political Action process for UMass, specifically as it relates to recent budget issues and college funding. Is a local UMass parent contact for matters which need to be brought to the attention of area legislative delegation.
First licensed in the State of Massachusetts in 1990, Franz opened F.J. Forster Real Estate located in Pittsfield. He has been actively licensed as an Attorney-Broker since 1990 and has developed two areas of strength of business that sets him apart from other Realtors in the region.
It was a conscience decision to combine his love for the beautiful outdoors of the Berkshires with his passion for responsible land use and water management into a real estate niche for water related properties. Through service on local boards and a personal lifelong learning commitment, he continues to develop and maintain expertise in water, land and environmental matters that affect living, building and enjoying life in our region. In this area, he studies and delves into state and local laws, serves in capacities where his knowledge can be expanded and offers his experience as an asset to local towns. Franz prides himself on providing buyers and sellers with specialized services for properties that are near, on or surrounded by water and affected by zoning and environmental restrictions.
He also brings a special perspective and background on representation of buyer and seller clients, having served for 10 years as the head of the Berkshire County Consumer Advocates, our regional consumer protection office working in conjunction with the Mass. Attorney General’s Office. Franz spent a considerable amount of time helping consumers that found themselves victims of unscrupulous business practices and preventing consumers from fraud and this gives his commitment to service standards a very high basis. While our Code of Ethics seeks to teach and guide REALTORS® on the Golden Rule, his background exemplifies his commitment to high standards and the importance of client representation.