LRRA’s Rick Bertram strives to keep human element alive in real estate
January 21-27, 2019
By Amber Quaid
A single father of three, Rick Bertram knows that the most important part of the real estate business involves interacting with an expert.
“Buying and selling a house is not that simple and that’s why it needs a human element,” said Bertram. “Technology can never replace what a Realtor does.”
This is the mindset Bertram has going into his 2019 term as the President of the Little Rock Realtors Association (LRRA) – keeping the human element alive in real estate.
He believes that technology is a “double-edged sword” for business. It gives the public access and information about a property, but unfortunately the public usually doesn’t know how to interpret everything correctly. This is part of what makes Realtors invaluable, according to Bertram, and why he wants to keep the Multiple Listing Services (MLS) robust for the LRRA.
“We want to provide them with all the skills, technology and information that makes them better at what they do,” said Bertram about the benefits of being a LRRA member.
Bertram will execute his plans for the association by leaning on his years of experience with the Little Rock Board of Adjustments, the Mortgage Bankers Association of Arkansas and through his own business, Bertram Realty Advisors.
Being on the Board of Adjustments allotted Bertram the opportunity to “commit my time to the city and not just sit around and talk about what needs to be done differently but participate.”
During his three year term he was able to garner first hand experience working with the mayor, getting involved in the growth of the city as well as growing urban projects.
The Mortgage Bankers Association of Arkansas allowed him the chance to collaborate with peers from different professional avenues in real estate. It also provided him with a solid foundation to, according to the association’s website, “acquire and disseminate correct and current information on pending legislation, rules and regulations affecting the real estate and mortgage business.”
His own business, Bertram Realty Advisors, was established in 2012. His experience with it has allowed him a unique situation on the board. “[The LRRA] now has a direct line to an appraisal evaluation professional,” said Bertram. “I’m not competing directly for listings. I can stand back and give some leadership that is unbiased.”
He said members can go to him about an appraisal issue so that they can gain knowledge about their situations. “It may not stop what’s coming but at least they are prepared for it,” he said.
Though Bertram had no ties to real estate growing up he started working hard and making a name for himself in the business nearly 16 years ago. He grew up in Little Rock, and currently lives just two blocks from his childhood neighborhood.
He managed to open his office up down the street from it – which has aided his success. He grew up loving the area he currently lives in, which is why his business deals in unique property listings.
What Bertram loves about the Little Rock area is the numerous outdoor activities, the minor league soccer team and the lower cost of living. “You can drive an hour and fish for trout, you can go hike the Ozarks, and you can see elk or go downtown and catch a baseball game,” said Bertram.
He thinks some improvements are needed, citing “the perception of high crime and a disorganized school system.” He doesn’t believe that the statements are true to the extent that the public perceives them and wishes to help change that perception.
“My kids are products of the public school system and we’ve had nothing but success,” said Bertram. “I’m proud of what Central High has done for my family.”
Hanging out with his kids is Bertram’s favorite thing to do outside of work, as he said, “I was meant to be a dad.”
However, kids aside, the “absolute center of his social universe” is co-ed recreational soccer, and he tips his hat to his neighbors in North Little Rock for offering such an opportunity. Bertram also enjoys reading and asking questions, so much so that he says, “it’s almost annoying.” He believes in encouraging future realtors, appraisers, and anyone connected to the world of real estate to join the LRRA.
“I think joining the association is one of the greatest decisions of my life,” said Bertram. “There’s a lot of hope for Little Rock.”
Rick Bertram is sworn in as the 2019 LRRA president by ARA President Angie Johnson this past November. (Photo by Becca Bona)