Realtors association president feels right at home
Published: Sunday, January 23, 2011 at 6:01 a.m.
Last Modified: Friday, January 21, 2011 at 9:48 p.m.
Gia Arvin is more than the new president of the Gainesville-Alachua County Association of Realtors; she's an ambassador, a matchmaker, Realtor of the year, wife and role model.
Occupation: Realtor/manager, Matchmaker Realty of Alachua County Inc.
Personal: Married, no children.
Pets: Two horses, two dogs and two turtles as office pets
Dream Partner For Lunch: Benjamin Franklin
Last Book Read: "Good to Great" by Jim Collins
Favorite Movie: "Avatar"
Playing In Her Car: 93.7 K Country
Hobbies: Riding horses, watching Gator athletics, playing softball, bowling
Eduation: BS in psychology, 2002, University of Florida; AA Degree, Santa Fe College
Jumping right into her new role, Arvin has set 20 goals for the association to accomplish in 2011.
"I challenged every real estate office to invite us to hear concerns," she said. "And of course, we are going to continue to establish ourselves as the voice of real estate in Alachua County."
One of Arvin's main goals is to foster the association's partnerships with the Builders Association of North Central Florida and the Gainesville Area Chamber of Commerce, as well as to grow the Realtors Reaching Out community service campaign.
Despite rocky real estate sales the past few years, Arvin, who at 29 is the youngest president ever elected to the association, is confident Gainesville's demand is increasing.
"I feel that we're going to be stabilizing and keeping a level pace for the next 24 months," she said. "We've had such a rough overall economic forecast as a nation, but people need to remember real estate is local."
Gainesville is strong economically, and smart buyers will recognize the opportunity, seizing it before interest rates and prices increase, she said.
Arvin's real estate experience runs in the family. Her mother, Rosa Travis, started Matchmaker Realty of Alachua County Inc. before Arvin was born. Now, Arvin works alongside her mother, father, Roger Travis, and husband, Scott Arvin.
"She went from the womb to real estate," said Neely Davis, a past president of the association who installed Arvin in her new position.
After graduating in 2002 from the University of Florida with a bachelor's in psychology, Arvin thought about going to law school. She moved to St. Augustine while her husband was in school there only to fall in love with real estate and move back to her hometown to join the family business.
Before she shows a house, Arvin takes her clients to her favorite restaurants and gives them a community tour.
"You are their ambassador to the community," she said "They don't know anything about Gainesville besides the stuff they've read, and they don't have anyone to show them around."
It was this need to help others that drove Arvin to join the Association of Realtors in 2004. Without hesitation, she started devoting time to various committees right away.
"She was so energetic and jumped right in," Davis said. "She has such a passion for real estate as well as our association."
A few short years and many professional certifications later, Arvin was asked if she would step into the larger leadership role of vice president.
As she ascends to president, Arvin says she is less concerned with her title and more focused on what it means for the community.
"I hope we can communicate how entrenched the board is in this community and how proud we are to live in Gainesville and Alachua County and be contributing members," she said. "There's a lot more that goes into it than meets the eye. We are all family here."
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