William E. Brown

William (Bill) E. Brown, a Realtor from Alamo, Calif., is the 2018 Immediate Past President of the National Association of Realtors (NAR). He has been active in organized real estate for more than 35 years. Oakland-based Investment Properties was formed in Oakland over 50 years ago by his father. Bill is now the CEO of the family real estate business founded in 1964 by his father, William H. Brown, which focuses on the sale of existing apartment buildings to both institutional and private capital investors. Bill is also co-founder of Springhill Real Estate Partners, a privately owned multi-family investment company.

After graduating from the University of Santa Clara, Bill started the investment properties division of the family business. Since 1978, his sole brokerage focus has been the sale of existing apartment buildings, primarily in the Bay Area. Today, William H. Brown, Realtor exclusively handles apartment transactions for both institutional and private capital investors. He has been fortunate enough to consistently be one of the top apartment brokers in the East Bay over the course of his career.

Mr. Brown served as the Chief Executive Officer of Central Garden & Pet from 1980 to June 2003. From 1977 to 1980, he served as senior vice president of Vivitar Corporation, and from 1972 to 1977, he was with McKesson Corporation. He also served at McCormick Inc. He has been the chairman of Central Garden & Pet Company since 1980. He also serves as director of Four Paws Products, Ltd.

He is currently on the Board of Directors of the California Association of Realtors (CAR). He has had numerous committee chairmanships at CAR, including chairman of the Legislative Committee, which promotes pro-real estate legislation in the California State Senate and Assembly. He also has been chairman of CAR’s Commercial and Investment Forum. In June of 2006, he was elected President-Elect of the California Association of Realtors for 2007, and President of CAR in 2008.

At the local level, Bill served as president of the Oakland Association of REALTORS® in 1984 and served on numerous local association committees. He chaired successful campaigns to fight two rent control initiatives in Oakland, California – No on E and No on EE. Bill was also selected by then-Oakland Mayor Lionel Wilson to serve as the first landlord representative on the City of Oakland’s Residential Rent Arbitration Board. Bill and His wife Heather are proud parents of their son, Cole.

In his last column as NAR President, Bill said:

“When I was installed as president of the National Association of REALTORS® a year ago in November, my inaugural address focused on the revolution occurring within our industry and how REALTORS® must drive innovation and embrace change. With legislative, MLS, technology, and market forces advancing rapidly, I knew 2017 would be an unpredictable year for REALTORS®. What I didn’t anticipate was the personal revolution that lay ahead of me. The health struggles I endured this year have been no secret.”

Bill says that since he started his career over 35 years ago, NAR has been his rock, providing the foundation he needed to help build and maintain a successful real estate practice. Over the last few months, however, this relationship has become even more meaningful for him. The opportunity to serve as NAR president and help move the industry forward has powered him through his personal setback.

Market knowledge is the key to success in investment brokerage. William E. Brown is a great example for every leader in the industry in the way he has handled his health issue, even after surgery. His role as NAR president has been remarkable!