Posts belonging to Category Communications



NAR Board OKs Mandatory Core Association Standards

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Editor’s Note: This is information taken from NAR Communications. The good news for the Tallahassee Board of REALTORS® is we meet or exceed all the Core Standards.

In a sweeping move to improve the professionalism of associations of REALTORS® across the country and the level of service they provide to members, the NAR Board of Directors passed a set of mandatory standards that touch on every aspect of association operations.

“This is an issue of professionalism in our industry,” said Andrea Bushnell, chair of the Organizational Alignment Presidential Advisory Group (PAG), which drafted the standards. “We want to ensure unity within—and the long-term viability of— the 100-year-old REALTOR® organization. All three levels of the organization must thrive together as a true and strong association, rather than acting as group of independent but federated organizations.”

Specifically, the country’s approximately 1,400 state, local, and territorial associations have to meet standards in six areas: 1) Code of Ethics education and enforcement; 2) advocacy; 3) consumer outreach; 4) organizational unification; 5) technology; and 6) financial solvency. Among other things, under the new standards, associations must:

  • Provide Code of Ethics training
  • Participate in Calls for Action
  • Make an effort to collect fair-share contributions to the REALTORS® Political Action Committee, or write a check to cover the fair share
  • Promote the value proposition of using a REALTOR®
  • Maintain a strategic or business plan
  • Maintain a website with links to other levels of the association
  • Meet minimum financial performance

Read more:

President’s Message, April 2014

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We are having a busy spring at TBR! 

Great American REALTOR® Day. Our CEO, Steven Louchheim; DVP, Debbie Kirkland; president-elect, Mariela Santurri; past-president, Bert Bevis; other TBR members, including Joy Woodruff; and I attended the Florida REALTORS® Meet & Greet with Governor Scott at the Governor’s Mansion. Governor Scott reinforced his support of Florida REALTORS®’ continued efforts to improve the state’s economy. He also mentioned how much he valued the Florida REALTORS®’ friendship and John Sebree keeping him informed of pertinent public policy issues. 

Each year, Great American REALTOR® Day provides an opportunity for delegation of TBR members to visit the Capital to talk to our legislators about REALTOR® Party issues. This year, we had meetings scheduled with Senator Bill Montford and representatives Alan Williams and Michele Rehwinkle Vasilinda.

As most of you know, we are advocates for our clients’ private property rights, as well as protecting the means of making a living for our REALTORS® and business partners. Some of the key issues this year include:

1. Taxes on commercial leases. This tax on Florida businesses is a deterrent to those looking to relocate to our state.

2. The Sadowski Fund. We have been paying into this fund with every closed transaction, specifically to help first-time homebuyers and other real estate buyers, and this fund has been raided by the State of Florida as a general revenue source. We are trying to either discontinue this fee or have it be used for its intended purpose. [Note: As of this writing, the Florida Senate has approved full funding for the Sadowski fund ($275 million). We are now waiting for the House to act on this issue.]

3. Clean water. We are trying to enforce laws to protect our waterways and ensure all communities have clean water. 

Springtime Tallahassee. TBR had our first professionally decorated float in the Springtime Tallahassee parade! While the weather started out raining (and threatening more bad weather), by the time the parade kicked off and started down the route, the skies opened up and the sun came shining through! Thanks again to the hard-working Communications Committee for bringing it all together. 

Habitat for Humanity. Our TBR/FSU Habitat Build is coming along nicely; we have had groups of 15 to 20 REALTORS® and affiliate business partners each Build Day. We’re looking forward to the dedication ceremony—stay tuned to eBoard Briefs for the announcement, and make plans to join us in presenting this beautiful new home to a happy new homeowner. 

#CTF2014. Our annual CATRS Tech Forum will be coming up May 8. You do not want to miss this opportunity—the event sold out last year! In addition to the latest tech tips and news, we’ll have over10 exhibitors—from cell phones and electronics, to Paragon MLS and REALTORS® Property Resource—and they are sure to have some fantastic door prizes for attendees. 

Professional Development. If you don’t already have your REP pass, we have so many great classes coming up that you may want to get it! April classes include one on home inspections, and an informative look at what it takes to make the leap from salesperson to broker. 

Another REP class is of interest to appraisers—the Florida Appraisers State Law Update on April 18. And we’re offering two other courses required for appraisers, with great tuition rates for TBR members: the USPAP National Update course on April 17 and Appraiser Supervisor/Trainee class on April 18. 

Interested in designation courses? At Home with Diversity on May 1 provides seven hours continuing education credit, and can be credited towards several real estate designations: ABR, CIPS, CRS, PMN, AHWD, RSPS. And after taking the class, participants can apply to NAR to receive the AHWD certification. 

Jeffrey D. Doxsee, Sr.
2014 TBR President
Capital Property Consultants

President’s Message, March 2014

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First of all, let me thank all of you who sponsored and/or attended our Annual TBR Awards & Officer Induction Ceremony at the Turnbull Center on February 27. Your support of our 2013 leadership and accomplishments, and of our 2014 goals—of your Association—is phenomenal. The enthusiasm, camaraderie, typical fun and friendly nature of our local REALTORS® never ceases to amaze me! Judging from the 2013production awards, I think we all can agree that after six long years, the real estate market is finally back!

Habitat. As you know, we are using all of TBR’s resources to promote charity and community events that our local REALTORS® are involved in. Our January spotlighted charity was Habitat for Humanity; chairman Sarah Kosturko and the Community Affairs Committee were able to raise all of the money for a half Habitat Build. We are in the process of building this home for a deserving family in Callen Woods, and can use YOUR help actually working to build this home! Remaining build days are March 14, March 28, and April 4. Register online to help, or call Sarah at 850-445-8760 for availability of open days for you to swing a hammer (make sure you have your safety goggles on!).

RPAC. Please don’t forget that your business’s profitability and viability is dependent on our REALTOR® Party advocating on our behalf. We really need everyone to pull their weight and at least donate $15—your “fair share”—to RPAC. Obviously we hope everyone participates more, with a $99 annual donation or maybe even as a Major Investor, but at least donate the minimum to have your participation count. Great American REALTOR® Day is coming up on March 19—let’s all go downtown to the Capitol and explain our REALTOR® Party issues to our legislators. We will be having our REALTOR® Block Party that evening on Adams Street; hope to see you there.

Springtime Tallahassee Parade. We are participating in the Springtime Tallahassee Parade again this year, although this year we are going to have a real, professional float! Please come out and support YOUR Association on Saturday, March 29 on North Monroe Street, as “REALTORS® Rally N Tally”! Thank you for all you do!

Jeffrey D. Doxsee, Sr.
2014 TBR President
Capital Property Consultants

Congrats to Our Contest Winner

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Congratulations to the winner of our November Tallahassee REALTOR® eZine contest, Barbara Fletcher (Fletcher & Company Realty). Barbara won a $50 Trader Joe’s gift card for submitting the correct answer: number of closed sales in 2011 (2,178) and 2012 (2,396). First, she found out about the contest by reading the November eZine articles, and then she found the answer by logging in to the TBR Member Login, and scrolling to “TBR Information > Market Statistics compiled by Florida REALTORS®.” Be sure to read our eZine articles so you don’t miss your chance to win—you never know when one will appear!

President’s Message, August 2013

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Annual convention. This week, TBR members will be joining REALTORS® from across Florida at Florida REALTORS®’ annual convention and trade show. Your Board leadership and several TBR staff members will attend and report back on various state committee meetings, updates, and education sessions with the latest news on our state association and industry.

RPAC. TBR has a participation goal of 29% percent of members contributing at the “fair share” amount of at least $15 or more. We’re just 43 members shy of the goal. A $15 contribution (the cost of lunch!) is a valuable investment in—and commitment to—your profession.

Habitat. We’re off to a great start toward our Habitat goal—to build a family’s home in Spring 2014. Pledge forms are available online and at the TBR office; consider donating a portion from each closing or a one-time donation. Affiliate members can pledge as well based on quotes, jobs, etc. Stay tuned for a family “fun”-draiser this November 9th and a plant sale currently in the planning stages.

Back to school. In the “back to school” rush this month, don’t neglect your own professional development. August is NAR Designation Month, and you can register at the “early bird” rates for two CRS referral classes we’re hosting at TBR in September. If your license renews in September, we have CE classes at TBR and online CE, for your convenience. And get up to speed on technology that you can use in your business with introductory and intermediate classes in Excel and Twitter.

Marketing opportunity for TBR members. Our latest member benefit is the exclusive opportunity to market your listings on a new weekly television program offered by TBR, Impact Visual Media, and WCTV: the Real Estate Weekend Showcase.

CRMC Open House. Capital Regional Medical Center is hosting a special Open House for REALTORS® on August 20th, 5:30 – 6:30 p.m. They’ll give you an overview of services and details of their “New Mover’s” marketing campaign.

Frank A. McClean
2013 TBR President
Community Property Management, Inc.

Public Relations Campaign: Your TBR Dues at Work

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There probably is not a charity, nor non-profit, in Tallahassee that doesn’t receive support from a Tallahassee REALTOR®. We tend to be generous with our time, as well as our monetary support. But in addition to individual efforts to give and even to promote ourselves, did you know that TBR also supports and promotes REALTORS® as professionals through its annual public relations campaign?

The Communications Committee at its March meeting approved the media buy for 2013 to give us more exposure to the public, to promote REALTORS® and Affiliates as the experts in our fields. Our media schedule for this year includes the following:

  1. Clear Channel to support FSU baseball from February through June on their radio schedule;
  2. Fox 49 will run TBR ads during the morning news, Daily Buzz, and Fox 49 News at Ten in August and September—to  include hurricane season and the  beginning of the school year to ensure greater viewer exposure;
  3. NPR WFSU radio during drive-time hours in May and June;
  4. Comcast Spotlight TBR-branded commercials, which will air in April, May, and June, targeting programs with higher viewer ratings;
  5. WTXL 27 “first week of the month” commercial package in August and September; and
  6. Cumulus Radio will feature ads during FAMU’s seven football games.

Our public relations campaign is designed to encourage the public to use professional REALTORS® when buying, selling or leasing real property. This is just another way that YOUR Board of REALTORS® is using your dues to promote you!

Ann Cleare
Capital Property Consultants

But Is It Spam?

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Adding to the clutter in your Inbox:

  • Several emails from TBR REALTORS® about new listings and/or open houses
  • An email from a member office welcoming a new agent
  • Emails from TBR announcing a socials/events/classes
  • An email from TBR informing you about a county commission meeting
  • And TBR’s weekly eBoard Briefs newsletter.

Whew! That’s a lot of email in the course of one week, generated from your TBR membership. But is it spam?

If you’re reading this (and you’re a TBR member), you’re a REALTOR® or an Affiliate. You’ve likely become a member for at least one or maybe a variety of reasons—which are benefits exclusive to TBR members:

(1) Networking;

(2) Marketing;

(3) MLS;

(4) Education;

(5) Advocacy

…etc.

As a TBR member, you’ve paid yearly dues for these membership benefits. You’ve paid for access to other members—networking opportunities and contact lists—that the public cannot receive. You’ve paid for access to TBR’s MLS (if you’re a REALTOR® member), and for education and advocacy—and to be kept informed about any changes or updates to any of these services as they happen.    

My point? Each of the emails mentioned in the first paragraph falls under the “membership benefits” categories listed in the second:

  • Several emails from TBR REALTORS® about new listings and/or open houses = Networking. Marketing. MLS.
  • An email from a member office welcoming a new agent = Networking. Marketing.
  • Emails from TBR announcing socials/events/classes = Networking. Education.
  • An email from TBR informing you about a county commission meeting = Advocacy.
  • And TBR’s weekly eBoard Briefs newsletter = Networking. Marketing. MLS. Education. Advocacy.

TBR strives to provide you with great member benefits and opportunities, and to keep you informed—that’s why we exist as an association, and why you joined! We respect your time and certainly understand if you don’t want to be included on the TBR roster that’s distributed to other members, and if you want to unsubscribe from TBR communications like advocacy messages and eBoard Briefs. But I urge you to reconsider. Sure, your Inbox can get pretty cluttered. I love my BlackBerry because I can “delete” before I ever sit at my desktop, so it’s not so overwhelming once I sit down to work. “Delete” is an option, short of “unsubscribe,” that’s easy for me to take advantage of—but I won’t miss messages that are important to me.

So I’ve tried to explain the why’s of what we do—including sending out email blasts and rosters. If you unsubscribe from a TBR list, or ask to be removed from the roster, we honor your request. We do try to limit the messages we send to you from the association, beyond the weekly eBoard Briefs newsletter. When we send an email from TBR, the subject line will always reflect what’s in the message—so you can easily see if it pertains to you; if not, “delete.” After all, we don’t want to bother you or for the message to get lost in your Inbox (but we do want to keep you informed—a delicate balance, I can assure you).

Members, if you use the TBR roster to send out emails, and someone asks to be removed from your list, honor their request—it’s the law (CAN-SPAM) and common courtesy (the Golden Rule). When you do send out emails, clearly identify your message in the subject line, thoughtfully consider your email marketing strategy, and limit the amount of emails you’re sending so as not to dilute your message (or annoy others to the point that they unsubscribe).

I’d like to hear what you think about mass email communications from members and association: Is it spam?

Susan

Why All the Fuss About Being a REALTOR®?

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A couple of days ago a REALTOR® was telling me a story and kept referring to a broker as a “REALTOR® that was not a member of TBR.” Of course there are plenty of REALTORS® that are not members of TBR (about 1.1 million); but I had the feeling that this person was not a REALTOR®. I checked it out and sure enough he is a broker in Florida, but not a REALTOR®. That is an important distinction to me. Not all real estate licensees are REALTORS®. REALTORS® adhere to a code of ethics as promulgated by the National Association of REALTORS®. The Marks are collective membership marks which serve to identify members of the National Association and distinguish them from non-members.

Knowing the trademark rules is vital to keeping the term REALTOR® specific to members and not letting it become a generic term of a licensee. Check out this short video from NAR that will further explain. For comprehensive guidelines on using the term REALTOR®:

It is in everyone’s best interest to protect and preserve the REALTOR® trademarks; make sure you do your part by keeping your use in compliance, assisting others, and reporting use by non-members to the Tallahassee Board of REALTORS®.

Steven

You Can Be a Star!

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Picture it: You, the Featured Expert, your photo and byline atop an article providing valuable information to the public—your potential customers! “But,” you think, “I’ve submitted press releases to my neighborhood gazette and the weekly news roundup, and I’ve never seen my articles in print.” 

Well, now’s your time to shine! TBR’s Communications Committee has saved a space for your article in the “Real Estate Corner” of the Sunday Tallahassee Democrat. Send your masterpiece and photo to Susan@TBRnet.org.

Make sure your article is: (1) Approximately 350 words long. (2) Informative. (3) Factual (cite sources when necessary). (4) Geared toward an audience of the public. (5) Written to promote the value of using a knowledgeable, professional REALTOR® or Affiliate member of the Tallahassee Board of REALTORS® (hey, just like you!).

Make sure your article isn’t: (1) Needlessly negative. Sure, we know it’s not always sunshine and daisies out there, but avoid negative word choices and pay attention to tone (it’s not all doom and gloom, either). (2) A direct advertisement of your services. Your byline and photo introducing an article brimming with useful information showcasing your knowledge is great advertising, isn’t it? And… it’s free!

Make sure you don’t: Miss this opportunity! Not a writer? Not a problem! An editor who loves to read and write is standing by (well, sitting in front of her computer, actually) to work with you every step of the way—from the conception of your idea through polishing your final draft. (In fact, everything you submit is subject to editing—it’s my job!—and deadlines, time constraints, and sometimes even subject matter mean that publication isn’t guaranteed.)

Call me—Susan—at 224-7713 and let’s discuss the possibilities for your Sunday feature!

Susan

How Do We Get Better?

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(Or, “The Incoherent Ramblings of Your AE”)

Most of us have watched a baby look like they want to say something; they are making faces and just look totally frustrated. I feel like that sometimes; I can’t find the right words, I don’t seem to be able to get something done that needs to be done (maybe I do not have the skills or I just keep putting it off). Anyone else ever feel that way?

I think we need that “stress” to grow and get better. Think of it like exercising; you only improve your cardiovascular system by pushing yourself, and that is stressful and somewhat uncomfortable to your body. Having sore muscles is their reaction to the stress you put on them and the way they grow.

You may be asking, “What in the heck is Steven talking about and why is this on the TBR blog?” I know as Susan reads this to edit, she wants to know that. Well as someone once said, “If you are not moving forward, you are backing up.” Do you challenge yourself enough?  Does TBR challenge itself and the “norm” enough? My answer to both those questions is probably not.

How are you growing personally and professionally? What new skills are you acquiring? Are you setting goals?

Let me answer for TBR. I always thought we were a “progressive” organization, trying out new things, continuously enhancing our member offerings, including education and communications. I still think that, but lately I have wondered if we do enough. Do we offer what I (read that “staff”) think you want or do we deliver what you truly want? Yes, we offer what we think you want, and through research, discussion, and collaboration we hope to offer what you truly want.

How about some examples: This blog is a new venture for us and I hope this is a dialogue that I can glean some information from the members to give you more. New education like the CRS Short Sales program. A brand new offering is the “free” CE being offered over the next few months—live video conferences that will air at TBR, where the audience will be able to ask questions and provide feedback to the instructor. These offerings are: Risk Management; Real Estate Investment Analysis Made Easy; Negotiating Skills for Today’s Real Estate Professional; and Roadmap to a Successful Closing

What about the technology help we provide to our members? First let’s look at NAR and Florida REALTORS®. NAR offers a lot of assistance and technology-related research to members; their Center for REALTOR® Technology (CRT) has cutting-edge information on a plethora of topics—check it out at www.realtor.com/crt. Florida REALTORS® has their wildly popular Tech Helpdesk, where you can talk to a live person Monday through Saturday about any technology issue you have. Looking to set up a wireless network in your home? Call them and they will walk you through the process from purchase to installation.

Now for the crème de la crème: the CATRS Technology Services. We have developed services specifically geared to you for a substantial discount by people who understand how you use technology. This is taking your computer to someone you trust for work that will always be done to your satisfaction. Call Paul at 224-7713 for more information.

A hybrid of technology and education is a just-announced Tech Forum that will be held on July 13th at the Board office. There is no charge for this informative program, a program that the participants will control. Those in attendance will set the topics to discuss and offer their own unique expertise so that everyone will benefit. To register, go to www.TBRnet.org and click on Event Schedule (Click Here). Even though there is no fee to attend, you must register.

Keep informed and get involved. TBR offers many avenues to keep you up to speed on the ever-evolving offerings here at your association. Read eBoard Briefs, refer often to this blog, peruse the monthly magazine, attend the weekly marketing meetings, and participate in a committee. It will take all of us to enhance the real estate profession. 

And…don’t forget to get a little exercise!

e-ya later,

Steven