Surfside Beach Realtor Randy Harrison will end his one-year tenure Friday, Sept. 19, as president of SC Realtors, but he has no intention of retiring as an active participant in the state association’s causes.
“The industry that has provided a good living for my family, I feel it’s very important to give back,” Harrison said.
A broker for 36 years, Harrison is the son of two people who worked in the business and has a son working for him who is continuing the family’s generational progression in real estate.
His term will officially end on the last day of the state Realtors annual conference at the Marriott resort when a new president is elected and ascends to the office. Harrison will then become the official past president, a title that itself carries some responsibility.
Harrison said the state association’s main task to protect and expand private property rights by working with the General Assembly in S.C. and with Congress through the National Association of Realtors.
He says the highlights of his year in office include insurance reform in South Carolina and a pause, at the very least, in the federal government’s drive to change flood insurance premiums.
The state insurance reform includes bringing more competition to the market which should lead to rate relief because of greater competition and a mandate that the state develop its own model for hurricanes, which is used to calculate rates in areas susceptible to the storms.
Harrison said that South Carolina insurance officials have been using Florida’s hurricane model, which he suggested could have meant homeowners in the Palmetto State have been paying more than necessary for hurricane protection.
He said that Donna Smith, a Greenville Realtor who is a past president of the state association, was among the leaders in confronting Congress about flood insurance rates that were so high they could have driven at least some homeowners out of their homes.
Besides a four-year moratorium on implementing the new rates, Congress said the federal government must do a study to show the new rates are justified. The study was to have been done before action was taken in the first place, Harrison said, but it wasn’t.
The state association will continue its work to protect private property rights going forward, Harrison said, but he didn’t want to comment on what the specific targets might be.
“We have a great legislative presence,” he said.
Harrison said he discovered during his tenure what a great network of volunteers the state association has.
He learned to appreciate, listen to and recognize them, he said.