Oklahoma draws interest from out-of-state investors

President of Oklahoma Association of Realtors uses multimedia to spark interest in state
BY TIM FALL trfall@gmail.com Published: February 23, 2013
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— If you thought the only thing the rest of the world noticed about Oklahoma was tornadoes, touchdowns and the Oklahoma City Thunder, think again.

Joe Pryor, 2013 president of the Oklahoma Association of Realtors, is taking calls from investors who've got their eyes on the roofs over our heads — and they're willing betting that Oklahoma homes are sound places to invest.

Pryor, team leader of TheVirtuaRealEstateTeam.com and an associate with Edmond's Redbud Realty & Associates, guided both local and out-of-state investors through the late four-year downturn.

Finally, he said, he can show them that bluer skies are not just on the horizon, they're overhead right now.

Of course, it took a few years of pain to get here, Pryor said.

“In 2009, the market stopped,” he said. For three years “it's been a lot of short sales” and foreclosures, with a slow recovery “driven by investors absorbing distressed inventory.”

In Oklahoma, total closings, 40,765, and the average price of a home sold, $160,385, increased from 2011 — as well as 2009 and 2010 — according to 2012 year-end statistics from the Oklahoma Association of Realtors.

Pryor started out as a Realtor in the late 1980s.

“That was a repo market,” he recalled.

It was a lean time for anyone with real estate holdings, but it taught Pryor firsthand how to survive in a struggling market. His success selling foreclosures in those years drove him to ask questions.

“I could show my clients what made a property a good buy, but not what made a good investment,” he said, and that realization that led Pryor down a path of education.

Today, Pryor holds numerous professional certifications and distinctions, including Certified Distressed Property Expert, Certified Investment Analysis Specialist and Residential Financial Consultant. He is also pursuing the Certified Commercial Investment Member designation.

“I learned to define where real estate fits for an investor, in terms of (return on investment) and risk,” Pryor said.

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