Wil Riley made a name for himself in the Lowcountry’s real estate market by working through the ranks as a Realtor.
At a glance
Who: Wil Riley is the new CEO of the Charleston Trident Association of Realtors.Age: 52From: SummervilleEducation: Bachelor’s in accounting from Clemson UniversityBackground: Most recently the association’s vice president of operations.Family: Wife, Ann; daughter, Logan; son, Walker. Website: charlestonrealtors.com
The background in home sales, office management and other facets of the tri-county’s real estate market was a major plus when a selection committee recently tapped him to take the CEO post at the Charleston Trident Realtor Association.
“It’s important to have a leader who understands what the membership is facing on a day-to-day basis,” said Owen Tyler, the association’s president.
This month, Riley replaced Terry Hyde Ketchem, who retired as the group’s CEO on March 31 after 26 years.
Riley, 52, was promoted from his former job as vice president of operations, a position he had held since 2011.
Previously, Riley was director of finance and administration at the Coastal Carolina Association of Realtors in Myrtle Beach.
Riley, a native of Summerville, was also a Realtor in the Lowcountry for several years before shifting to administrative posts.
That included working at Prudential Carolina Real Estate and being broker-in-charge at Century 21 Properties Plus in Summerville.
Riley heads an association that dates back more than 100 years and calls itself the “Voice of Real Estate” in the Lowcountry.
In his newest role, the CEO manages a staff of 13 and oversees a $4 million annual budget for the North Charleston-based group, which has 3,600 members who work in various aspects of the residential and commercial real estate businesses.
The association also operates Multiple Listing Service sales database and compiles monthly housing reports for Berkeley, Charleston and Dorchester counties.
Riley cautioned that there will not be a major shift under his leadership, crediting Ketchem’s groundwork and unchanged marching orders coming from the association’s executive board and membership.
“It comes from the board and that has not changed,” Riley said. “What we do here as a staff is to basically implement what their vision is.”
Tyler, who also heads the association’s executive board, said the CEO post is very important “key role,” that must understand the needs of the membership that includes agents, property managers and appraisers.
“It’s interacting with our membership and there is a diverse business model among them,” he said.
“You have to understand that and meet their needs to continue and improve their business.”
The association is also an advocate for the industry in legislative and other governmental matters.
That currently has the organization busy looking into the impacts of the Biggert-Waters Flood Insurance Reform and Modernization Act of 2012.
The new law removes subsidies for second homes, rentals and businesses, as well as dwellings that have had repeated flood losses.
That means the premiums will rise as much as 25 percent yearly until they reflect full insurance risk.
The association is gathering survey information from its members and homeowners as it works with state and national counterparts to determine if the reform needs to be evaluated, Riley said.
“This is something we are battling now and they are rates set by the government,” Riley said.
“We don’t have much con-trol over that, so we have expressed our thoughts and are now gathering data to see how this is affecting current homeowners and how it might impact future homeowners”
Riley also is helping the association find a new headquarters since its current home within the S.C. Research Authority campus on International Boulevard was purchased by Boeing as part of its continued growth in the Lowcountry.
Riley also takes the CEO post as the Lowcountry’s housing market is recovering from the ills of the housing meltdown.
In addition to climbing home sales, that also means growing membership. That’s an about-face to the hemorrhaging of Realtors in the region years ago.
The association offers courses for members throughout the year, including Realtor introduction training and property management seminars. The group recently added an international sales training series due to an uptick in overseas buyers looking at the region.
Riley said he plans to make some “tweaks” to a few things done at the association, perhaps using his finance background to help members further understand issues such as the tax code and the financial impacts.
“Membership was declining, but this year we are seeing a slight uptick in membership and we are gearing up with their needs in mind,” Riley said. “As the market gets busier, we want to be there to make sure our members have the necessary tools.”
Reach Tyrone Richardson at 937-5550 and follow him on Twitter @tyrichardsonPC.
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