2015 Realtor of the Year: Steve Ray

We are happy to announce that our President, Steve Ray, has been chosen 2015 Realtor of the Year by a committee of his peers.  This honor is bestowed on those that go above and beyond in their volunteer service in the REALTOR organization including local, state and national levels, those who give back to the community and believe in the ideals and importance of the REALTOR, the REALTOR organizations and our impact on the Berkshire community.  The award criteria reviews and recognizes service in the past 18 months.  Steve, broker-owner of Assist-to-Sell Realty in Pittsfield Massachusetts, first became actively involved in the Realtor organization four years ago, when first elected to serve on the MLS Board of Directors.  His understanding of the industry issues facing our association was apparent, and the following year, he was tapped to serve as President Elect of the Berkshire County Board of REALTORS.

In this capacity, Steve has spent countless hours traveling on our behalf, attending meetings and conferences, and serving as spokesperson in our meeting with legislators on both Beacon Hill in Boston and Capital Hill in Washington DC.  He has been instrumental in the formation of our new consumer awareness outreach to educate consumers, share the REALTOR’S good work in our community and be a resource for home buyers, home sellers and future homeowners in our beautiful county.  Below are just some of his contributions in the past 18 months:

REALTOR Spirit.  In his own words:

“I was presented with a very unique opportunity this year as the President. The timing was important – We had to renew our strategic plan and implement the new Core Standards from NAR.  In 2014, my President Elect year, gave me both the chance to not only shape the policies for the next five years, but also to begin to implement those very ideas, the following year as President. I also got to know much better, a very talented group of colleagues who shared the vision of our organization and our industry. One of the promises I made at the Installation breakfast was the creation of the Public Relations Committee, with the very goal of increasing the awareness of the Berkshire County Realtor Spirit. The committee members have been successful in creating relations with media outlets, sharing all our charitable work, posting pictures of Realtors in the field, engaging in government affairs issues that affect the Berkshires.  We also rolled out a new consumer facing website, and I was able to negotiate two free pages in the Book of Homes to highlight the tremendous work done by our volunteers. To highlight what we already do so well has been my mission.  I welcome new agents and share the principals of the REALTOR name and how we all, working together, make this community and industry what it is.

While I am  not sure if I am the 2015 Realtor of the Year, that will be for others to decide,  I can tell you that 2015 was the Year of the Realtor for me.

My father always told me” It’s what you learn after you know everything that makes you really smart”.

My first 20 years as a member of the BCBOR were spent with no involvement in any capacity. I saw no benefit to volunteering, attending meetings, taking advantage of education opportunities, or in any way be involved with leadership. Four years ago, I received a call from the nominating committee, asking me if I was interested in serving. After some deliberation, I decided to give it a try, see what it was about, and see if I could make a difference in our organization.

Well, I can tell you, it was a real eye opener for this veteran agent. Not only did become more aware of industry issues, I learned much more about how to run my business, met some great people,  and finally realized what this organization has done for me all of these years .I have a pride in being a Realtor that I never had before.

Between traveling, committee work and other various duties as president, I have been in more meetings than I can remember, involving a significant amount of time. Yes, I have given a lot to this organization in the last couple of years, and I will continue to do so going forward.  I know now, though, that no matter what I do, the Berkshire County Board of Realtors will have given me, far more than I can ever give back in return.”

Berkshire Board Activities within the last 18 months

Position Term
Agency Workgroup 2015
Board of Directors – President 2015
Board of Directors – President Elect 2014
Contract & Forms Task Force – Member 2015
Contract & Forms Task Force – Chair 2013-2014
DR Knowledge is Power – Inaugural Group – 2015
Finance/Audit Committee – Member 2012-2015
Government Affairs Committee – Chair 2015
State Political Coordinator (“SPC”) Downing 2015
MLS Board of Directors – Director/Ex Officio 2015
Orientation Presenter 2015
Past Presidents Club 2015
Personnel Committee 2014-2015
Public Relations Workgroup 2015
REACT: Real Estate Agent’s Charitable Taskforce 2015
MLS Board of Directors – MLS Director, 2 Yr 2013-2014
Strategic Planning Committee 2014-2015

State Association Activities within the Last 19 Months:

            Position Term
MAR State Directors – MAR Director, 1 yr 2015
MAR State Directors – MAR Alternate 2014
MAR Government Affairs Committee – Member 2014
Room Occupancy Tax Subcommittee 2015
MAR President’s / President Elect Group Meetings 2014-2015
REALTOR Day on Beacon Hill 2015
MAR Professional Awards Banquet & Conference 2015
RPAC Contributor 2015
MAR President Monthly Numbers Conference Call 2015

National Association of REALTORS Activities in the last 18 months:

Position Term
Attended 2 day NAR Leadership Summit 2014
Attended 5 day NAR Annual Conference & Tradeshow 2014-2015
Attended 4 day MAR Midyear Legislative Meetings 2015
RPAC Contributor 2015

Business Accomplishments In Brief

  • MA & NY Broker / Owner – Assist-2-Sell Buyers & Sellers Realty
  • MA Real Estate Instructor
  • Residential and Commercial Sales including leasing agent for the Berkshire Common
  • Built over 40 houses throughout the Berkshire, land development including subdivision Kathy Way, cluster developments on Nancy Ave and Glory Drive.
  • Currently in development – land in Pittsfield for senior housing using MA Smart Growth Principles
  • My past business experience in real estate has been a history of unique and innovative service to clients. As Berkshire County’s first exclusive buyer agency, and now today as Berkshire County’s first and only discount brokerage, every day is spent explaining to people what makes us different, it is imaginative, creative and offers choices for the consumer- which has been well received!

Civic Affairs within the last 18 months

Boys Varsity Head Coach- Pittsfield High School – 20+ hrs/wk in season

  • Berkshire County North Champions-last 4 years
  • Most wins in Western MA – last 4 years
  • Named 2015 Berkshire Courier – Coach of the Year

IAABO Certified Basketball Official

Boys and Girls Club of the Berkshires Board of Directors – avg 2+ hrs/wk

  • Program Committee Chair 4 years – current
  • Real Estate Committee Chair 1 year- current
  • Operating Committee 1 year
  • Travel team Coach 20+ years
  • Travel Team Coordinator – 7 years

LETR/Special Olympics – Basketball -2014-2015

  • Conducted basketball clinic/instruction with Special Olympic athletes on Saturday mornings all winter, along with players from Varsity team.