Sharon A. Millett, a REALTOR® from Poland Springs, Maine, was the 1999 President of the National Association of REALTORS®. NAR, The Voice for Real Estate®, is the nation's largest trade association, representing nearly 730,000 members involved in all aspects of the real estate industry.
Millett, a REALTOR® since 1979, is a broker/owner of Millett-Potvin Realty, in Auburn, Maine, a real estate brokerage firm specializing in residential and commercial properties. Millett has earned the professional designation of Certified Real Estate Brokerage Manager (CRB), awarded by the REALTORS® National Marketing Institute (RNMI).
As NAR president, Millett's busy schedule included taking on initiatives that helped NAR members keep up with changes in technology, international commerce, land use and agency rules. During her presidency, Millett played a key role in the strategic planning and development of One Realtor Place and the launch of NAR's national television advertising campaign to raise public awareness of the value REALTORS® bring to a transaction.
In an action that speaks to NAR’s commitment to homeownership, the association funded a Smithsonian Institution exhibit featuring the 300-year-old Ipswich House, now in the National Museum of American History in Washington, D.C. NAR was the sole sponsor of the exhibit, which showcased the centrality of homeownership to the country’s identity.
The headquarters for NAR in Chicago on North Michigan Avenue finished a year-long, $7 million renovation. The 12-story tower, which was built in 1963 and acquired in 1975, got a granite facade on its first two levels, along with a granite-and-steel lobby and a major new retail tenant.
On agency issues, NAR got out in front on setting reasonable standards of care in the growing buyer representation field. Steps were under way to implement recommendations of the Buyer Representation Liability Issues PAG. The PAG called for creation of an early-warning system to identify lawsuits related to buyer’s rep standards of care issues, and for developing model laws that define licensee duties for each type of brokerage relationship.
Meanwhile, the number and range of member benefits increased in 1999. REALTOR® Benefits Plus added two new programs to its list of insurance and retirement planning products. Members in all 50 states had access to competitive health insurance and lease insurance, which eliminated the need for property managers to collect security deposits. And NAR signed agreements with seven new Realtor Rewards TM partners in 1999. Members received discounts from more than a dozen partners on products and services ranging from computers to vacations.
In Washington, NAR chalked up a number of key legislative victories in 1999. One of NAR’s most far-reaching victories was passage of landmark financial services reform legislation. The law allowed banks own insurance and securities companies and vice versa, and it allowed insurers and securities companies to own one another. NAR helped prevent financial services providers from becoming directly involved in real estate—a key REALTOR® concern.
NAR also grabbed important wins in the law to fund HUD for fiscal year 2000. That law included NAR-sponsored language on fair housing accessibility, Section 8 rental subsidy funds, lead-based paint regulations, multifamily FHA loan limits, and senior housing programs. The law included a $5 million appropriation to develop a Federal Emergency Management Agency flood map modernization fund. NAR helped defeat a Clinton administration proposal for a $15 mortgage transaction fee to pay for the mapping.
As President-Elect, Millett represented the association in a series of meetings with the top Japanese real estate trade associations in Japan, Norway, Sweden and Argentina, with which NAR has partner agreements. The meetings focused on concepts for the new global property listings formats, avenues of cross-cultural training, and building the framework for exchanges between business people and real estate circles in both countries. Millett also represented NAR in similar meetings with the International Real Estate Federation (FIABCI).
Millett has served on NAR's Leadership Team since 1995 and has been a member of NAR's Board of Directors since 1984. In 1995, she served as NAR's Vice President and Liaison to Committees and as a member of the association's Member Services Presidential Advisory Group. In 1994, Millett was NAR's Committee Liaison for the Internal Policy and External Communications Group. In 1993, she chaired the Strategic Planning Committee and served as Vice Chair of NAR's Presidential Advisory Group on the Facilitator Concept. Millett chaired NAR's Presidential Advisory Group on Agency, which authored the association's recommended nine elements for state agency licensing laws, which provided the foundation of many state's revisions to their agency laws. In 1988, she was an NAR Regional Vice President for Connecticut, Maine, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, Rhode Island and Vermont.
Millett was the 1985 president of the Maine Association of REALTORS®, and she has chaired many of the state association's committees, including the REALTORS® Political Action Committee. She is a multiple-year RPAC Life Member.
Millett is a former chairman of, and has served as a member of the Maine Real Estate Commission from 1987 to 1993. She is a former member of the Association of Real Estate License Law Officials (ARELLO). She has served on the Fannie Mae National Advisory Council and is serving as a Trustee for Hebron Academy in Hebron, Maine, and has taught real estate courses at the University of Southern Maine, and has served as a litigation consultant to the real estate industry on standards of practice, misrepresentation and agency law.
Millett and her husband, Jerry, reside in Poland Springs.
Source: Archives of the National Association of REALTORS®, (Chicago).