Vote at the bottom of this blog on whether you think the next real estate division director will be as high-profile as Erin Toll. Also, information on how to apply for the job is at the end of the blog.
The person hired to replace Erin Toll as the director of the Colorado Division of Real Estate can expect to make about $80,000 to just under $121,000 annually, according to the job posting for the position released today.
Applicants have until 5 p.m. on July 12 to submit an application for the job, which has a salary of $6,662 to $10,067 a month, which equates to an annual salary of $79,944 to $120,804. Toll, who had been placed on a paid leave of absence following a highly publicized confrontation with a mortgage broker, State Sen. Ted Harvey, (R-Highlands Ranch), recently received about a $55,000 settlement agreement with the Department of Regulatory Agencies, which oversees the real estate division. Toll, now a real estate broker with Perry & Co., was paid slightly less than $115,000 in her position.
Observers said they expect a large number of people will compete for the job, especially considering the softness in the real estate industry. Several people think the Department of Regulatory Agencies, or DORA, will want someone less high-profile than Toll, who perhaps received more press on a fairly regular basis than any other department head of a state agency. After being placed on paid leave last spring, a great deal of criticism and anger against her surfaced from some people in the real estate industry, although others also lavished praise on her for aggressively going after the “bad actors” in the industry.
Director job carries a lot of responsibilities
The job requires overseeing the day- to-day operation of about 49 employees. The division , regulates real estate licensees, mortgage brokers, real estate appraisers, subdivision developers and conservation easements.
The director “analyzes, interprets and renders decisions on complex issues,” according to the job description. “One of the critical responsibilities,” of the director is to determine the extent to address regulatory or administrative issues and work closely with the of Real Estate Commission, the Board of Mortgage Loan Originators, the Board of Real Estate Appraisers, and the Conservation Easement Oversight Commission, according to a description of the duties. The director also needs to advise the executive director of DORA; testify and advise legislators when requested; represent the division publicly; and serve as the media contact.
The requirements include a college degree in business administration, pubic administration or a closely released field, as well as six years of experience as a senior or high-level management position in a regulated industry. A law degree is preferred.
Ideal candidate knows real estate
Observers said that the ideal candidate also should be well- versed in a wide variety of real estate practices.
“I think my ideal profile of a person for the job would be somebody who has a fundamental knowledge of all the parts of the real estate industry it oversees,” said Mike Rosser, a long-time mortgage official and consultant. He said the person will need to understand federal laws pertaining to real state and lending, as well as state statute.
Asked if he thought the state would want someone as high-profile as Erin Toll, he said he would assume that they want someone who runs the operation effectively and fairly, while being “transparent” to the public.
“I think I would characterize that question a little differently,”Rosser said. “I think there is a distinction there between courting the public light or getting the spotlight on you, but still getting your message out to the public.”
Marshall qualified, not interested
Former State Rep. Rosemary Marshall, who had received an award from Colorado Bankers Association for sponsoring consumer protection issues, which resulted in the passage of new laws regarding penalties for Identity Theft and Predatory Lending, read the qualifications online for the job after being contacted by InsideRealEstateNews.
“Clearly, with all my state government and management and state organizational work, I am really familiar with that industry,” Marshall said. “After reading through it, I would say there is not any part of it that I’ve missed. When I was in public office, I got along real well with consumes and people in the real estate and financial industries. But while you never say never, it is not on my radar.. .I have not been approached about the position and no one is inviting me to apply. So I would have to say at this time, I have no interest in that job.”
However, she thinks there will be a large number of people applying for the job, both from within the division and outside.
She agreed with Rosser than the ideal candidate would be very knowledgeable about every aspect of the real estate industry. And she said the person needs to be “political savvy” and be able work well with state legislator.
“I do think it is gong to be a very different environment,” for Toll’s successor, Marshall said. “The division is still committed to consumer protection and protecting people from unscrupulous people in the industry, and still will have to make sure people in the industry follow all of the laws regarding licensing. But I think the person who does this next, is going to be under a different kind of scrutiny.”
Although Marshall is not interested in the division director, she would like to serve on the new board that will oversee mortgage brokers for the first time. She said she hopes to be appointed to the board by Gov. Bill Ritter.
Williams says Ritter’s administration plays politics
Kathi Williams, who last year resigned as the head of the Colorado Division, said she thinks the Gov. Bill Ritter administration wants someone more low-key than Toll as the next director of the real estate division.
“My experience with this administration, is they want somebody who is going to follow orders,” said Williams, a Republican legislator in Adams County from 1984 to 1990. “I don’t know what Erin Toll did or did not do a far as Ted Harvey, and there was some criticism for how aggressive she was, but I would really have thought that the (Ritter) administration would really have come down on her side. I do not think they want people like Erin Toll. They pretty much want people who fly under the radar. I know in my position, you would have thought that (the Ritter administration) would have been very grateful for all the federal dollars we brought in for affordable housing and launching the Colorado Foreclosure Hotline. Even though we did things that made the administration look good and reflected well on them, we not get anything from them but being castigated. I don’t know how much of that Sen. Harvey issue was a driving force, but I know every time my name appeared in the press, I would be criticized by my boss. But since I was making them look good, you would have thought they would have been happy as a clam. They wanted to fire me, but they couldn’t, so they just made my life miserable.”
Although she was a Republican under a Democratic governor, she said that shouldn’t have been an issue. Evan Dryer, spokesman for Ritter’s office, did not immediately respond for a comment. “I dropped all of my Republican politics when I became the housing director and focused on affordable housing issues,” Williams said. “And even when I was a legislator, thought I was very bi-partisan.”
While Rosser and Marshall thought the salary range for the next director was very attractive, Williams said she was making about $125,000 when she left her position as the head of the housing division. “I think what they might have going for them in finding a very qualified person, is that the current state of the real estate industry,” Williams said. She said people who might not have considered the job at the proffered salary during the go-go days of real estate, might find the salary very enticing today.
Below is information regarding applying for the job as executive director of the Colorado Division of Real Estate.
To access the application on line, go to this link.
Submit all application materials to:
Department of Regulatory Agencies
1560 Broadway, Suite 1550
Denver, CO 80202
If you have any questions or need additional information, contact Carol Stahlberg at 303-894-2360.
NOTE: Faxed or e-mailed applications are not accepted.
To contact John Rebchook go to JRCHOOK@gmail.com or 303-945-6865.