Rick Singh In Position For Mayoral Or CFO Bid

Trump sized crowds and support, sans the gaffes, make him a dangerous opponent in the political realm… it’s just up to him to decide how high he wants to reach.

By Jacob Engels

Earlier this month, Orange County Property Appraiser Rick held the State of Orange County Real Estate at the Wyndham Orlando Resort International Drive. Titled “Strategy for the Future,” Singh gave updates on everything from housing numbers to the value of commercial property in Orange County, which stands at nearly $72 billion dollars.

In giving his State of Orange County Real Estate address, Singh showcased important data about real estate in the county that cannot be found anywhere else but from his office. He talked about the residential real estate market and how sales of homes priced at $500,000 and more are trending upward and continue to grow.

Inversely, he mentioned that foreclosures are down nearly 25% from 2015 and 80% from 2010 when Orange County saw a high of 11,500 foreclosures in the county.

Other helpful information included foreign investment into real estate in Orange County hovers around $2 billion and includes investors from Brazil, China, Canada, and beyond.

Singh then pivoted to speak about how the advances in technology will change real estate in this county for the better. Bitcoin, a digital payment network, is starting to make its way into how real estate transactions are completed and how businesses like Realty Shares and Airbnb are altering how we traditionally view the role of real estate.

Overall, he gave a rousing presentation that captivated the audience and proved that his ‘state of’ events are a premier attraction for business leaders from the region, despite what others may say or think about his time as property appraiser.

This is the only event of this nature in the state of Florida and he netted more than triple the attendees of similar yearly addresses held by Orange County Mayor Teresa Jacobs… ouch!

Singh was able to gather this county’s best and brightest business leaders in one room to give breaking news updates on projects that will inject millions, and potentially billions, of dollars into our local economy.

He is the only elected official in the county that’s capable of pulling off such an enormous event with central business leaders and such a large audience – which is why so many want him to run for Mayor or even Chief Financial Officer.

You’ll remember during this last campaign season, there were vicious attacks against him by big business unhappy with their appraisals. They tried to derail Singh’s rise and failed miserably.

Taxpayers elected Singh to change the culture of how business was done at the property appraiser’s office, and based off of this year’s “State of Real Estate”; they are getting what they wanted.

Since being elected as property appraiser in 2012, Singh has held at least one ‘state of’ type of event and the crowds are always large.

Realtors, bankers, financiers, community leaders, and elected officials were out in full force to support and learn more about the value of real estate in the county, including Orange County Sheriff Jerry Demings, Orange County Tax Collector Scott Randolph, Orange County Commissioner, Emily Bonilla, Commissioner Jim Gray, Commissioner, Sam Ings, Osceola County Property Appraiser Katrina Scarborough, Orange County School Board member Christine Moore, and Orange County Soil and Water member Daisy Morales.

While these officials saw the importance in attending such a high profile event, both mayors—Buddy Dyer and Teresa Jacobs–were noticeably absent. Is it because they aren’t able to attract the same type of crowd to their own ‘state of’ events?

One realtor I spoke with noted that he knew that Orange County had a lot of new construction, but didn’t realize the economic impact it was having on the region.

“What stood out to me was that we have $9.3 million in construction in the county every day. That’s amazing and great for our county.”

Businessman Craig Ustler raved about the long-awaited Creative Village and the Florida Hospital Health Village.

Other heavy hitters, such as Daniel Neidich, CEO of Dune Real Estate and Partner of the Four Seasons. Neidich flew in from New York to appear and speak at the event and said that he planned to visit Orlando more often in the near future.

Audience members were also treated to words from John Lazenby, past president of the Orlando Regional Realtor Association as well as Jose Boyd, founder and CEO of Boyd Realty; a company that does business across the world. He spoke about how Orange County compares to the global real estate market and how foreign investment here is on the rise.

Overall, Rick Singh knows how to put on a good event.  This caliber of an event should not be casually dismissed. For him to be able to consistently pull these types of crowds, with this one being his largest ever at over 1,000 people, Singh is clearly a force to be reckoned with.

Just ask other elected officials in attendance who also seemed to be impressed with Singh’s ability to galvanize the audience. Some might end up facing off against Singh if the Mayor’s race gets crowded, and he won’t be easy to dispatch.

Don’t be surprised if Singh has more and more influence in the development of Orange County over the next few years. He was recently appointed to the board of the newly formed Orlando Economic Partnership Development Board, which is made up of heavy weight business leaders.

That gives him access to build relationships with high-level donors who have the power to make or break a candidate.

If Singh decides to run for Mayor of Orange County or wants to reach for something bigger, it’s hard to see who could match his crowds or fundraising ability.

Trump sized crowds and support, sans the gaffes, make him a dangerous opponent in the political realm… it’s just up to him to decide how high he wants to reach.


Jacob Engels is an Orlando based journalist whose work has been featured and republished in news outlets around the globe including Politico, InfoWars, MSNBC, Orlando Sentinel, New York Times, Daily Mail UK, Associated Press, People Magazine, ABC, and Fox News to name a few. Mr. Engels focuses on stories that other news outlets neglect or willingly hide to curry favor among the political and business special interests in the state of Florida.