Posts belonging to Category Membership



The Extra Mile Award

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The Tallahassee Board of REALTORS® has had the Extra Mile Award for some time—a way for members to give recognition to fellow REALTORS® and Affiliates who go “above and beyond”—but who do so without an expectation of award beyond a job well done: our hidden gems. In some ways, the award itself has been a bit hidden, and not actively promoted. The Member Resources Committee wants that to change.

We’ve posted a nomination form on our website, so if you catch someone going the Extra Mile, simply fill out the form and submit it to TBR—that’s all it takes! We’ll invite you to present the Extra Mile Award certificate at a Tuesday morning meeting, and we will announce their award in the eBoard Briefs newsletter under “Members in the News.”

Read below for Member Resources Committee members’ explanation of the award and what it means to recognize our members for going the Extra Mile:

“Being a REALTOR® in Tallahassee is a wonderful experience due to our real estate community that is filled with generous and caring individuals. Every day we face challenges to getting transactions closed. I would venture to guess that each of us has someone or many people we would like to thank for an act of kindness, going over and beyond in providing service to our customers. We all have stories about these experiences. Did you know that you can thank those people publicly by recommending them for an Extra Mile Award? This is a special way to say ‘thank you’ and communicates your appreciation for them.”
~Miriam Nicklaus, Armor Realty of Tallahassee

“There are some REALTORS® who consistently work to resolve issues and bring a spirit of cooperation to the table. Recognizing this attribute is one way to promote this type of work ethic.”
~Teresa Hatler, Hatler Realty   

“I think the Extra Mile Award has merit for this reason: most of the time the recipient has no idea what good they’re doing on a daily basis. They are just going about their workday, performing as they should be (which might be to a higher standard than most), and don’t realize the effect they have on others around them. They need to be commended for going that ‘extra mile’ to help others that are in contact with them look better.”
~Jim Butler, Coldwell Banker Hartung & Noblin 

“The power of positive recognition! What does it mean to be recognized? In this fast-paced world, it’s always a little hard to stop and ‘smell the roses’ or, in this case, to recognize a colleague. But when we do, the results that follow can be endless. You never know what is happening in someone’s day, and sometimes the simple act of positive recognition goes a long way. We have a wonderful program—the ‘Extra Mile Award’—that allows our Board Members to do just that. Please take the time to submit a nomination and give someone that positive recognition. You might be surprised the difference you can make in someone’s life.”
~Joy Blomeley, Coldwell Banker Hartung & Noblin

Member Resources Committee
Tallahassee Board of REALTORS®

REP: REALTOR® Enrichment Program

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If you plan on being an educated and informed REALTOR® then you will save money with a REP pass. A REP pass purchased at TBR gets you into the majority of the classes that the Board offers throughout the year, at no additional cost. It is a low-priced way to take as many classes you want, including CE and technology classes. The REP is less than the cost of paying for three classes out of pocket, and it’s only available to TBR members. Good for the calendar year, you can buy REP at any time. Our Board offers tons of classes throughout the year on a number of topics—and most of them are covered by the REP pass.

The classes included with a REP pass cover every aspect of real estate and the business of being a REALTOR®. This year, we’ve had classes on FHA and VA financing, appraisals, IRAs, and negotiating, and tech classes in Twitter, Outlook, Excel, and iPad. Thinking of getting into property management? There was a REP class on that earlier this year.

A lot of the topics covered in these classes change as they are updated with new information. So if you took a class on something like FHA and VA financing two years ago, it’s probably time for you to take it again. Even the two contract classes that the board offers and core law are covered with the REP pass. There is always something new to learn at the contract classes and you have to take core law to renew your license. Those three right there make the REP pass worthwhile!

So if you have taken three or more classes this past year and did not buy a REP pass, then that’s your loss. If you plan on taking classes in the future, take a look at getting a REP pass, if you like to save money. All of the classes that are covered by REP will say so on the registration page. And if you can’t find three or more classes to take in one year, then congratulations—you are smarter than I am.

Need education? Want the REP? Call TBR at 224-7713 and start 2014 with a REP pass.

Nicholas Mihalich
Thomas Acquisition & Property Specialists

The Power of a Team

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What is a team? Being part of a team provides a feeling of security. It embeds an image in our minds of a large group working together. But probably the most powerful feeling that a team provides is the feeling of accomplishment, knowing that as an individual, you are part of a bigger picture and that your individual contributions make an impact. The Wisdom of Teams asserts “[a]” team is a small number of people with complementary skills who are committed to a common purpose, performance goals, and approach for which they are mutually accountable” (Katzenbach and Smith, 1993).

Similar definitions of a team include:

People working together in a committed way to achieve a common goal or mission. The work is interdependent and team members share responsibility and hold themselves accountable for attaining the results. (MIT Information Services and Technology)

A team is a group of people working together towards a common goal. (Team Technology, 1995-2006)

A group in which members work together intensively to achieve a common group goal.  (Lewis-McClear & Taylor 1998)

The Tallahassee Board of REALTORS® defines “team member” as “a REALTOR® who is at least in part compensated according to the closing of a transaction.” So as we are approaching the end of our 2013 production year, keep in mind that if you are part of a team, please make sure your team’s production is recorded and that all members of your team are identified—and that you apply for team recognition by the posted deadline. We want to make sure that each member is recognized for their contributions and success. Look for applications online in December, and be sure to complete the application and return it by the deadline—teams must apply in order to be recognized.

Joy Blomeley
Coldwell Banker Hartung & Noblin
Chairman, Member Resources/Products Committee

FDA Services: Your Health Insurance Solution

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The Tallahassee Board of REALTORS® has partnered with FDA Services to provide insurance options for TBR members. FDAS is here to assist members with choosing the best healthcare options for themselves, their family, and their employees. We will be here through the implementation of the Patient Protection Affordable Care Act (PPACA), to help TBR members make the tough decisions and weigh all of their options.

Myth: Tallahassee Board of REALTORS® has a large group association health plan.

False! There is not, nor has there ever been, a large association plan. FDA Services offers small group health insurance plans with almost every carrier statewide, as well as individual/family insurance with Florida Blue.

Myth: My local agent can offer rates lower than FDA Services.

False! Health insurance companies file their rates with the state of Florida and no agent can offer rates different than what are filed. While rates can currently (changing in 2014) vary based on medical factor, FDA Services always shows the standard rates to clients and not “best case scenario”, we do not believe in setting false hope for clients. Additionally, your renewal rates with a carrier might be lower than the current rates for a new plan, however FDA Services is able to take over any plan on an agent of record and offer the exact same renewal rates.

Myth: Since FDA Services can offer the same plans as my local agent, there is no reason to use them.

False! FDA Services offers something that most local agents do not, expertise in your field and elite service. While your local agent is after larger businesses, we are here to serve the small businesses, the underserved. With dedicated in-house agents we are here when you need us and to give the advice that you need. We might not be able to offer a different product than a local agent but we can help you get the correct product that meets your needs and budget. Additionally, purchasing insurance through FDA Services is a non-dues revenue source for the association.

Myth: Once the health exchange opens up, there will be no need for an insurance agent.

False! As we look towards 2014, FDA Services will still be here to assist you in making decisions about your health insurance, determining your subsidy eligibility, and assist you through healthcare reform. More than ever you will need a trusted advisor that understands the options and has your best interest at heart.

FDA Services experienced staff is ready to get to work for you. If you feel you need a review of your current insurance policies – call 850-350-7155 or email carrie.millar@fdaservices.com

Carrie Millar
FDA Services

REALTOR®: The Value of the Mark

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Did you know that an independent marketing firm valued the REALTOR® trademark at $3 billion? Even in U.S. government terms, that’s a lot of money! In 1916, members of the then National Association of Real Estate Exchanges thought it was vitally important to distinguish real estate licensees that were practicing under a more stringent standard to protect the public (the Code of Ethics) from those who chose to continue to operate in, shall we say, a suspect manner of doing business.

As a member of the National Association of REALTORS® it is in your best interest to always and proactively protect the mark. Before you continue reading this, take this quiz and see how you do (enter to win a Whole Foods gift card; see details at the end of the article).

Okay, are you a REALTOR® trademark expert or could you use a little brushing up on what to do and what not to do? Have no fear! There is a pretty simple test that can help. Since “REALTOR®” means a member of the National Association of REALTORS®, just replace “REALTOR®” with “member” and see if it works. For example, your business card reads: Frank McClean, REALTOR®. You could also write “Frank McClean, member of NAR” and that is correct. Conversely, “your favorite REALTOR®” is a violation, an incorrect use of the trademark. In this example, the mark is used in conjunction with a descriptive word (“favorite”), and that is a violation. It is okay to use the term as part of your website domain name or email as long as it is used to identify you as a member of NAR; for example, www.johndoerealtor.com or johndoerealtor@email.com. In both cases, you are identified as a member of NAR.

Remember, it is important not only to adhere to the rules of the trademark but to educate the public about the difference between a REALTOR® and just a licensee. Here are two common mistakes I hear every day:

  • REALTOR® license (there is no such thing)
  • Real-a-tor (only two syllables, please)

Luckily, NAR’s website has a tremendous amount of information on trademark and logo rules. After you’ve checked out the rules, retake the quiz. I am sure you’ll improve your score.

Enter our contest! Simply take the trademark quiz and email a screenshot of your results to eZinecontest@TBRnet.org for a chance to win a $50 Whole Foods gift certificate. This will be a random drawing of all entries regardless of score. Entries must be submitted via email by October 4, 2013 to be entered; only one entry per person.

Steven Louchheim, CAE, RCE
Executive Director

CE Cinema

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If you are like me, my favorite part of going to the movies is the concession stand! Now you can experience that feeling at some of the classes we offer at the Tallahassee Board of REALTORS®. We offered our first CE Cinema break as a part of class on August 1 and what a nice surprise for the attendees.

Florida REALTORS® offers Internet Continuing Education (ICE) classes as a part of their virtual campus series. In total, six classes from this series are on TBR’s 2013 education schedule. Since the class is viewed on a screen and there is no sponsor for the class, TBR decided to add a little “spice” and fun to the break. Now when you attend an ICE class, you will get a CE Cinema Combo courtesy of your Board. The combo includes popcorn, movie candy of your choice, and a soft drink or water!

The ICE classes offer you an opportunity to get 3 or 4 CE credits (depending on the class) on topics and by speakers that would normally cost you a lot more than a REP pass ($69, or $25 per class without REP). Coming to TBR we have Roadmap to a Successful Closing on September 13, 12:30 – 4:30 p.m.; First Time Home Buyer Workshop (That Really Works!) on October 17 from 1 – 4 p.m. with our very own Patti Ketcham as the instructor; Tax Law Changes on November 15, 9 a.m.  – 12 p.m.; and Personal Assistants and the Law on December 12, 1 – 4 p.m. Sign up for any or all of these and experience CE Cinema for yourself –and get valuable information presented by instructors from all over the state. (Classes that you missed earlier this year were Negotiating Skills for Today’s Real Estate Professional; FHA/VA Financing, Markets and the Economy; and Risk Management.)

As of this date, we don’t have details of the topics for the ICE series for 2014. If there are specific topics that are of interest to you and you think would be valuable to our members, please let us know. The Professional Development Committee (PDC) is always open to hearing from our REALTORS® about classes they would like to see presented at the Board, and your input will be appreciated as we review the classes for the 2014 schedule. Feedback can be sent to the PDC Chairman, Miriam Nicklaus, by emailing miriam@armorrealty.com ; or you can contact me, Sonia Jewell at Sonia@TBRnet.org.

See you soon at CE Cinema!

Sonia Jewell
TBR Education & Events Coordinator

Professional Development Committee Update

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The Tallahassee Board is constantly changing and improving for your benefit. If you have not been on the TBR campus in the last couple of months, you have missed a lot.  There are weekly opportunities for learning, experiencing, and growing. Make learning a priority…talk to some of your peers and ask them if they went to any of these events and you will be disappointed you didn’t attend. Pick one a month, or, at a minimum, one a quarter. If you don’t see anything you like, let TBR know. Remember, they are here for you! These are some of the things you have missed, and future offerings you won’t want to miss:

CATRS 2013 Technology Forum & District 8 Summit. This sold-out forum included a fun way to breeze through some of the technology affecting and helping REALTORS®. There was a discussion on everything from iPads to IMAPP, and even some discussion on the most useful apps. It was a blast and only cost $5! There was a packed house of over 100 REALTORS®.  Don’t miss out on next year’s event which is already in the planning stages.

REP: Introduction to iPad. A discussion on how to use and make the iPad work for your business—if you missed the May class, don’t wait to register for the November 13 class.  It’s free with REP pass or $25 for members.
     “Having just purchased an iPad mini I was anxious to attend the class. I was not disappointed!! The information presented was thorough and pertinent. As always the instructor was well-informed and open to questions. The TBR classes are invaluable to me and the efficient operation of my business.”  Kathy Eubanks Rivenbark, PrimeSouth Fezler, Russell and Ferrie

Lunch & Learn: REOs and Foreclosures. Our own REALTORS® that are experts in the REO/foreclosure field showed how to present your best offer and the differences between the Big Three – Fannie Mae, Freddie Mac, and HUD properties. This one was so popular, we have scheduled another class on August 29 from 11:30 a.m. – 1:30 p.m.
     “I appreciated the open dialogue and structure of the lunch and learn. Each presenter did a nice job of presenting their materials and trying to associate with the other presenters. It’s always helpful to hear “real world” examples from both presenters and the audience.”  Your Fellow REALTOR®, Kevin Hattaway, Linda Dix Realty

Lunch & Learn: Hurricanes & Insurance. We had a great discussion on insurance and everyone learned a lot on how to assist clients to buy the property they want, without insurance getting in the way. Fantastic information about how to keep everyone informed on the many facets of insurance.
     “The most helpful thing to me was hearing how difficult it will continue to be to insure older homes. The need to bring them up to code on certain things and higher insurance costs. Clarifies that pre-listing four point inspections will be the way to go, and educating sellers and buyers on this, since I sell a lot of older homes.” Terry Kant, Kant Realty.

     “I’m so thankful for our TBR Affiliates hosting the recent Hurricanes and Insurance Lunch & Learn workshop. The host exceeded all expectations by serving us a southern style delicious lunch, plus, they offered unique wisdom and hands-on knowledge and even encouraged us to use these tools in our respective businesses. Personally, after attending the event, I suggested to a new home-buyer client: ‘You might want to consider ordering the classic home inspection and the four point home inspection at the same time.’ And, it saved them money. Because, later their insurance agency required the four point inspection. This one small suggestion resulted in a happy vendor and a happy client, too! Thank you, Lunch & Learn – TBR Affiliates!” Joan E. Smith, BuyerSide Realty.

     “Thank you for suggesting this luncheon. It was a great opportunity to hear Mary Katharine and Will speak about securing insurance in Florida during the hurricane season. Most of the situations and examples used during the discussion I had not previously heard of or encountered. I particularly enjoyed the outline of how to prevent buyers from losing out on their home purchase because of insurance inspections.” Rebecca M. Bollmann, Landmark Real Estate Company.

IMAGINE Tallahassee Visioning Forum. A group of REALTORS® met at the Tallahassee Board of Realtors® on June 20 for a two-hour visioning session of what they envision as greatness in Tallahassee in the future, and brainstormed ideas for how to achieve the ideas that the group agreed would make Tallahassee a more desirable place to visit and live.

Imagine Tallahassee is:

  • A grassroots citizens’ initiative
  • Financed with private funds
  • Supported by Leon County and the City of Tallahassee
  • Advisory to the Leon County Sales Tax Committee 

The Goal:  A long-term community vision and strategy for allocating up to 15% of future infrastructure sales tax revenues for economic development investment.

The Imagine Tallahassee Vision Plan will consist of three elements:

  • Existing Conditions Report Card
  • Vision Statement/Strategic Directions
  • Prioritized Economic Development Initiatives 

Once the branding process is complete, Imagine Tallahassee will provide the Sales Tax Committee, and ultimately the County and City Commissions, a compass for future economic development investment in our community.  Following the Imagine Tallahassee initiative, the Sales Tax Committee will determine its final recommendations relating to the allocation of funds toward economic development and infrastructure projects.”

You can view the recommendations from the TBR visioning forum exercise by logging in to the members-only portion of our website.

COMING UP IN JULY! Register right away for your favorites.

Lunch & Learn: Short Sales, Thursday, July 11, noon 1:30 p.m. Don’t be afraid of the BIG BAD short sale! Come have lunch and discuss how to approach short sales from both sides of the table with fellow REALTORS® Mike Carlos, Keller Williams Town and Country Realty, and Matt Hale, Capital City Real Estate Group, whose businesses thrive on dealing with short sales. Come with questions and stories! Enjoy lunch provided by Smith, Thompson, Shaw, Minacci & Colon, P.A.

REP: Contract I: Learn Our Sales Contract (6 hours CE), Thursday, July 18, 9 a.m. – 4 p.m. The class provides a clause-by-clause examination using “real life” situations and practical examples and focuses attention on the effective drafting of the Tallahassee Board of REALTORS® Contract for Sale and Purchase.

REP: Roadmap to a Successful Closing (4 hours CE), Friday, July 19, 9 a.m.- 1 p.m. This course will help real estate professionals understand the importance of knowing who is responsible for the various parts of the closing, how to overcome the problems that may be encountered, and getting to the closing table and ensuring that the REALTOR®’s fees are received without obstacles or road blocks.

Danielle Galvin
1st Choice Real Estate Service

The Relevance of the Real Estate Association

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This year I renewed my license for the start of year 11! Hard to believe that what seems like yesterday I left a career of 20 years and ventured into full self-employment. It was a big step for me as a single mother of two young girls. My story is not so different than that of so many people in our industry. I cannot imagine what my real estate world would look like without “The Association.” The gains both personal and professional I have made because of the participants in this support group I could have never re-created. Yet, for some we are on the brink of irrelevancy. How could that be? Why have we let it happen?

The profile of our associations has remained the same for many years. We serve as a member resource, providing education support; we merge support with a Multiple Listing Service that helps us communicate among ourselves and clarify compensation and terms of sales between seller and buyer; and we offer a means of networking with other industry professionals who desire to operate on a higher standard of practice. We, historically, have a limited number of members that take advantage of the services our membership dues provide. Across the state and nation, associations struggle to fill education classes with our own members, yet some members and brokers within associations, with the exception of registration or renewal, have never stepped foot in their board office, much less been involved in the support groups established for their members, and even less often advocate by donation to RPAC or in person for the very persons they serve, private property owners. Ever wonder why, or what you can do to be involved in the evolution of your association? Are you aware that despite a lack of involvement, your Board is still growing? So, why then is it irrelevant to most of its members?  These are the hard questions, friends.

What would your association look like to you? Again, where do you fit in that association? So, what if: your board addressed your financial success, bolstered your enthusiasm for your business, delivered tools and strategies that brought you value, monetary and motivation? What  if: your association inspired a sense of belonging that enabled you to provide an accelerated level of pride and confidence from early in your career, carrying forward to later years of investment? What other elements are important to you for your association to provide, or how should it represent you?

Associations serve a two-fold purpose: (1) they provide avenues for REALTORS® to prevail and to thrive in the marketplace of the transfer of real estate, and (2) they provide a safety net for consumers. That “security blanket” is our knowledge, expertise, and a personal connection and relationship. Ultimately, it is the REALTOR® that will revive the Association, for it is the REALTOR® who collaborates with consumers, with neighborhood organizations, politicians and community leaders, builders and developers—and it will be the REALTOR® determining the directions that will change the Association’s culture. New career specialties are arising, development of existing specialties are emerging stronger and changing with contemporary culture; our Association must rise to meet the needs of change. The status quo will stifle the success of your association, but is the status quo what you have grown to expect?

Three elements must be fully invested in the REALTOR® Association: leadership, staff, and you.  What’s your vision, what’s your challenge, who is accountable, who has the most to gain from a strong REALTOR® association? There’s a place for you at every table of discussion. There’s an avenue for you to express your needs, your vision, your challenges within this Board. Use your voice. Give your time. Share your talent. There is still time to be a part of the Race to Relevance in our local, state, and national associations.

Debbie Kirkland
Past President
Armor Realty of Tallahassee

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

Membership Renewals

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Every year TBR members want to know, “How were the dues renewals?”  Or, “How many members did you cut off?” To review, TBR mailed all its members a dues renewal invoice on November 1, 2012 and dues renewals were due on January 1, 2013. Members could still pay without penalty until January 31, 2013. As an added incentive, the Board of Directors instituted early payment discounts for most of the members (92% of the members were eligible). In just our second year of those discounts, more than half of all members (53.5%) paid early. Before offering the discount, only about one-third of the members paid in advance. Thank you goes to the Finance Committee for having the foresight to institute these member incentives.

Okay, on with the numbers: 

On November 1, 2012 we billed 1,389 members; included in that were 1,088 REALTORS®, 208 Affiliates, and 80 brokers and sales associates that only subscribe to the MLS. Through January 31, 2013, 89% of members had renewed compared to 85.6% in 2012. In fact 2013 renewals represent the best percentage renewed since 2005—see the chart below:

 

So what do we take from these renewals? Current members are a good barometer of the area’s real estate market. Members will not renew (see 2006 – 2011) when they do not think they can be successful in the real estate business. My take-away is that it’s positive for your business. Another indication is the new agents and Affiliates coming into the Board. Entrepreneurs see opportunity in the real estate industry and that speaks well for everyone. Of course, only time will tell if this is a trend or just a blip, but the evidence points to a recovery in our area. I know you all hope I am correct.

I welcome your opinion on this information, and hope you comment, below.

Steven Louchheim
Executive Director
Tallahassee Board of REALTORS®