PULLMAN, Wash. — Thanks to legislation signed into law by Gov. Gary Locke May 6, the
financial future of the Washington Center for Real Estate Research is assured. The center,
headquartered in the Washington State University College of Business & Economics, provides
research and information on real estate matters to citizens, real estate licensees and public policy
makers.
“We are thrilled and committed to take the center to an even higher level of activity,” said
Glenn E. Crellin, WCRER director.
The legislation provides that $10 from each new and each two-year renewal license for real
estate practitioners will be directed to real estate research at a state institution of higher learning.
WCRER is the only such center currently operating in Washington. With as many as 45,000
licensees in the state, Crellin said this could mean annualized revenue of about $215,000 — nearly
twice the amount available the past few years. Since the center’s inception in 1989, funding was
derived from interest on broker pooled trust accounts.
“Recently, as interest rates declined and the broker accounts dwindled, the WCRER board
of trustees and I became concerned over diminishing operating funds,” said Crellin. “We
thought about closing the doors, or beginning to charge significant research fees. But the
passage of the bill by the Legislature and Gov. Locke’s endorsement assure the financial survival
of the WCRER.”
WSU President Samuel Smith said, “We are very pleased that the state and the real estate
industry continue to place great confidence in the work of the WCRER, as this legislation
demonstrates. WSU, as the state’s land-grant university, has a long tradition of independence in
research and a commitment to widely disseminate learning. This aligns with WCRER’s goals. We
are proud of the WCRER’s service to Washington.”
At a September 1997 board of directors meeting, the Washington Association of Realtors
voted to support a license fee increase providing predictable funding for the WCRER.
“For two years our government affairs specialists have strongly supported legislation to
implement the funding law recently signed by Gov. Locke,” said W.A.R. President Sam Pace, a
realtor practicing in Bellevue. “Our support emphasizes our belief that the center provides a
valuable service to the people of Washington and the state’s real estate industry,” Pace
concluded.
Based on its research, the WCRER produces quarterly statistics on the Washington
housing market, including housing affordability. In addition, semi-annual surveys about state
apartment vacancies and rental rates outside the Puget Sound area have recently been added to
the research agenda.
Crellin, with interning WSU students from the real estate program in the business college,
also operates and updates a popular web site and database, maintains an extensive library,
supports research requests from industry licensees, produces online and printed newsletters,
prepares consumer-interest columns for newspaper use, and occasionally offers continuing
education programs to real estate brokers and salespersons.
“We also produce materials to help the clients of the real estate industry — such as property
buyers and renters,” said Crellin. A forthcoming publication addresses the question, “What
Services Can You Expect Your Licensee to Provide?”
For more information about the WCRER, go to its web site at .
bsm109-99