A Cortez Realtor says the real-estate industry should play a leadership role in building a healthy community by serving as a source of information and inspiration. This story is sponsored by Choice Building Supply Ace Hardware and Keesee Motors
All too often, small communities on the Western Slope lose their voice on statewide boards that tend to be heavy with Front Range interests. That will change on the Colorado Association of REALTORS Board of Directors in 2023 when Cortez realtor, Jason Witt, steps into the chairmanship. You're watching the Local News Network brought to you by Choice Building Supply, ACE Hardware and Keesee Motors. I'm Wendy Graham Settle. Cortez realtor, Jason Witt, says that realtors can play an important role in building healthy and sustainable communities. And he hopes to bring that aspiration to the state level as the Chairman-Elect of the Colorado Association of REALTORS. Witt, who moved to Cortez in 2009 to manage a car repair business, is the president of the Four Corners Association of REALTORS and is an agent with the region's real estate group. Witt says realtors can play a key role in building healthy communities by educating community leaders and homeowners about a wide range of topics from affordable housing programs to sustainable building practices.
Because we are the source of the source and that's what we have to be. We have to be knowledgeable enough to say, hey, listen, you know, there could be some benefits in selling your house from green energy or, you know, things of that nature, embracing that, which is are there. And also being a good steward of our community, you know? We as realtors, are out there all the time, people see us. And they see our behaviors, you know, are we those that are out there watering our weeds? Are we being conservative in our approach? Are we listening to what the city? And so we need to play ball, too. I think so often as community members that we hear the, oh, well the government's not going to tell me what to do. I'm going to do what I want. Well, you know, sometimes, especially when it comes to to resources, natural resources, they do have panels of experts that sit there and say, okay, here's what we need to do to help conserve energy. Here's what we need to do to help conserve water. Are we paying attention to that? Or we just thumbing our nose at it and saying, hey, listen, I'm going to do what I want to? So I think part of it is being a responsible citizen and understanding that. I'm not going to say that you can't, but hey, you know, are we doing this responsibly?
Montezuma County, like the entire state, suffers from a lack of entry-level housing, housing that teachers, police officers, healthcare workers and other professionals can afford. During the past legislative session, the Colorado Association of REALTORS supported a number of successful bills that will provide developer incentives to build affordable and entry-level housing, including tiny houses and manufactured housing. Witt says realtors have a responsibility to know and understand those kinds of programs so that they can serve as a resource to local developers and community leaders as their communities plan for growth. The state association is a strong advocate for planning and managing growth. And while them's fightin' words in some communities where change is a a dirty word, Witt says smart growth decisions make the community healthier for everyone.
We need to keep continuing to grow just like a muscle. If you don't work a muscle out the muscle atrophies and dies. And that's what I don't want to see in our small little town is to say, we pull back so hard saying we don't want to grow, we don't want to grow, to the point where all of a sudden the kids are graduating, they're leaving and nobody's coming back. There's nobody that's coming back to sustain our town and to grow our town, and worries me a little bit. But having a smart growth plan, the other part of that smart growth plan is creating a place where people want to live. Some of the studies that were done in the state, especially in the Front Range, and I'll pick on that, is making a place where people want to live. Smart growth is in that, you know, having those facilities, having the nice park system, having Phil's World, having a good golf course, you know, having McPhee, even though it's irrigation water, those are things that'll draw people. People will actually take a lesser salary, it's proven that they will take a lesser salary and pay a little bit more money for a house to live in a place that they love. You know, at one point in time, it was all about I'm going to move where I can make more money. Now they're willing to get paid a little bit less to live where they want and have what they want. And so how do we develop that? How do we, you know, develop that as a community and put that together so people will want to come here, they want to be here?
If you'd like to know more about the Colorado Association of REALTORS or the local realtors association, contact Witt at firstname.lastname@example.org. Thanks for watching this edition of the Local News Network. I'm Wendy Graham Settle.