By Nobu Hata
What a week! The energy and will YPN has been showing the last few months was on full display at Midyear. Between committee meetings, Association Executive strategy, and Diversity outreach plan, the buzz was all about YPN this Midyear. Were your ears ringing?
The one thing I’ll take away from 2010 NAR Midyear is NAR’s embracement of the YPN agent. Not necessarily a YPN member – mind you – but the REALTOR(R) who wants to try and make a difference, no matter the experience, income or past level of involvement. Just know, that if you have the desire to change the status quo, and the energy to be persistent about it, your voice will be heard. Not only will it be heard, but you’ve got others to reinforce it, and leadership that will listen, thanks to Ron Phipps and Moe Veissi. (Seriously, hit those guys up on Facebook!)
Those guys have been charged with carrying on the YPN torch from previous administrations, breaking down the walls, politics and bureaucracy of National involvement, and sticking their neck out in the process. From Diversity to MLS issues to Strategic Planning to Communications, there is a National committee for every YPN and the walls once there to exclude, aren’t there anymore – so let’s take advantage of it. What’s more: for 2011, three of nine liaisons to incoming President Ron Phipps will be a YPN member. Impressive, isn’t it? I’ve never been more inspired and proud of a group of REALTORS(R) in my life.
But let’s be patient. NAR is a 100 year old institution, and change will not happen overnight, cool with that? YPN is in this for the long haul and it’s going to be a hell of a ride.
Special thanks to all the NAR and REALTOR(R) Magazine leadership and employees who made the YPN Midyear experience possible, y’all know who you are!
Nobu Hata is a sales associate for Edina Realty in Minneapolis, and a founding member of the Minneapolis YPN group, the YoPros. Visit his Web site at www.nobuhata.com.
By Brian Copeland
I grew up in a hometown notorious for its horrible discriminatory history. In 1956, the high school was bombed when 12 students of color were desegregated into the school. Today, I look back on such acts and honestly cannot believe they happened. It seems like some goofy urban myth that someone would want to discriminate.
Today, from our country’s dramatic and rocky diversity history, we now find ourselves having to pass “rules,” “guidelines” and laws about how we should treat each other. While obviously we still have a long ways to go as a nation, the REALTOR(R) Party took a huge step at the Midyear meetings in D.C. to show this organization’s dedication to diversity and equal housing. I sat in my chair on the professional standards committee and watched a huge room of diverse people unanimously vote to add equal protection for sexual orientation to our Standards of Practice. There was no partisan bickering. There was no drama. There was no dissent. There was only a roll of applause when the chair announced it passed.
I could not be prouder to say I’m a REALTOR(R) today. Our organization took a step ahead of national policy and set the tone for others to follow. As YPN, many honestly don’t understand why we have to have these kind of words in our practice. I’m proud to say that sitting on the YPN Advisory Bward, hanging out with the “mindset” and being part of the amazing YPN culture, I never hear of, see or read anything that would raise a flag. As a former congressional race employee and growing up in the South, I’ve always heard “back door” discussions about races, genders, sexual orientation and the like; however, YPNers don’t seem to get it. YPNers are clueless. YPNers simply aren’t in the loop. What a wonderful compliment to be paid to our group! Continue reading »
By Michelle Flaherty Philbrook
This is my fourth year taking an active role in one of the most exciting aspects of the NAR Midyear meetings – personally meeting with our congressional delegation on Capitol Hill to discuss issues important to the real estate industry and homeownership. Each year, a group of 20 or so REALTORS(R) from the Maine Association come along, with 8-10 taking speaking roles in one or more of the meetings. We’re briefed on the topics in advance by NAR Government Affairs staff, and given official talking points to guide our conversations.
Effectively presenting a topic to our leaders requires knowledge of the topic, articulate delivery, and lots of confidence – the same qualities that serve us well when giving listing presentations, reviewing buyer agency agreements, and negotiating with fellow practitioners. Really, with the types of issues we deal with on a daily basis (short sales, anyone?), lobbying Congress is a piece of cake.
This year, I was asked to present the topic of GSE (Fannie & Freddie) reform and GSE loan limits to Congresswoman Chellie Pingree at our meeting with her yesterday. To prepare, I went through my normal ritual: Continue reading »
By Michelle Flaherty
TM: New York Times Bestseller! As Bill Clinton says “Terry, that book is better than the Bible!”
Ed Gillespie: Terry, I’m not sure he’s read either of those books.
Haha! Who says politics are boring? Looking forward to more political passion and discourse in the week ahead…
Michelle Flaherty is an associate broker with Prudential Northeast Properties, serving Greater Portland, Maine. Visit her Web site at www.michelleflaherty.com.
By Jeremy Williams
I have heard other real estate practitioners say, “If you don’t take the listing, someone else will end up listing the home, selling it and making a commission.” I recently fell into that mindset and regretfully so. After months of actively marketing a property using both my time and money, the seller pulled their listing agreement saying that they just needed a new set of eyes. Despite my early reservations following the listing appointment, in the back of my mind I kept hearing take the listing or someone else will.
Upon termination of the listing agreement, frustration set in, but then clarity shortly followed. I realized I had spun my wheels marketing a property that just was not going to sell because the sellers’ expectations were unrealistic. Being upfront throughout the listing period, I let them know that several changes cosmetically needed to be done to make their home competitive with other homes in the market. I also let them know that the market required being priced correctly. The sellers did not believe that I knew what I was talking about. They held firm and did not pay attention to the feedback received by those that toured, the fact that no one submitted an offer after multiple showings, and for several showings stayed on sight as opposed to leaving, making the prospective buyers and their agents uncomfortable. I knew I was in trouble when I once made a suggestion early on and was called out as being ridiculous. Continue reading »
By Bobbi Howe
This week, the Census Bureau started going door-to-door to follow up with households that did not return their Census form. If you have a vacant listing, chances are good that you will receive a call from a Census worker. The process is simple and only requires a couple minutes of your time.
First, the Census worker will want to know if the home has been vacant since April 3, 2010. If not, they will want the owner’s phone number so they contact the owner directly to do more follow-up. However, if the home has been vacant since then, they will want to verify your name, phone number, and work address. That’s it. It really is that simple.
I’ve received five calls this week from different Census workers on my listings and have never been on the phone more than 60 seconds. It’s worth taking that brief amount of time out of your day to help make sure that no households are missed. Here is more information about the door-to-door visits.
Bobbi Howe is a second-generation practitioner with Coldwell Banker General Properties in St. Joseph, Mo. She currently serves as outreach chair on the YPN Advisory Board and co-founded the Missouri YPN chapter. @bobbihowe