Message from the President

By: Jeffrey P. Zane, President 

I hope this issue finds you and your family well.  The past year has presented countless challenges to us all personally and professionally.  There used to be distinct boundaries between “personal” and “professional” but with remote work and remote learning for children, we are all adapting to this new hybrid environment, and the Real Estate Councils are no different.

Historically, the RECs have provided a unique opportunity for us to spend time with our colleagues and get to know each other better over lunch, dinner and possibly a few cocktails.  The COVID-19 pandemic brought those gatherings to a halt, so we’ve had to seek out new ways to deliver meaning and value to our members.  Some of the RECs have struggled to replicate what they had, while others have soldiered on and created new and different experiences.

  • The Broward and North Dade & Beaches RECs have done an amazing job of translating their regular Member Meetings to ZOOM. In fact, the latter group has been able to increase attendance since area attorneys can attend so easily – and not have to fight that infamous traffic.
  • CFREAC held a hybrid Holiday Party this past December and it went very well. Those who felt comfortable attending in person were provided a safe, socially distanced indoor/outdoor event, while those who preferred to remain at home were able to attend over ZOOM. Something for everyone!
  • Palm Beach REC held one of their largest meetings ever when they partnered with the Real Property, Probate & Trust Law Section to host a program featuring the Palm Beach County Clerk and her team who discussed how the court is handling foreclosures and evictions.
  • Online events can require just a little extra something to make them engaging, and the Jacksonville Area REC took that to heart. Their holiday party was exclusively online but they used every trick in the book to make it fun. First, they sent SWAG bags to all attendees that contained all sorts of goodies including cocktail kits and silly holiday headgear.  Then they hosted a holiday-themed Title Teasers presented by The Fund’s Steven Presley, Underwriting Counsel from the Broward Branch and offered lots of prizes.  It was a truly memorable event.
  • Florida ARECS is also offering an opportunity for engagement. Our Council of Presidents Meetings offer your REC’s leadership the chance to meet with other leaders and discuss ideas and challenges. Florida ARECS Board Member Erin Prete is leading these bi-monthly meetings, which have focused on the President’s role, yearly dues and program fees, and developing new leaders.  Because of these meetings, REC Presidents have begun collaborating and sharing resources like bylaws and attendance at each other’s events.  
  • The virtual world does have some benefits! In March, FIVE RECs in North Florida, Capital Region, Emerald Coast, Escambia, Jacksonville and North Florida (Gainesville), joined forces and held a joint meeting, which you can read more about later.

Finally, this is May and that means Fund Assembly.  I hope you will take advantage of the opportunities provided by The Fund to reconnect with your real estate attorney brethren across Florida.  The Fund is offering exciting new Expo and Social experiences this year that promise to provide creative new ways for us to visit with each other.  Be sure to stop by and visit us at the Attorneys’ Real Estate Councils of Florida booth in the Expo.  We would love to catch up with you!  For more information visit