By Sam DeBord
The National Association of REALTORS® recently voted to approve updates to its operating agreement with realtor.com® and allow more flexibility for the Web site. There has been a wide range of reactions from REALTORS®. This blog is part one of my five-part series in which I will discuss the propriety of the agreement.
Let’s start with some background: NAR does not own the Web site. It merely owns the domain name, realtor.com®, which it has licensed to Move, Inc. to operate. Many discussions center on this issue still today. This agreement started in the mid-90s. Whether or not some members liked it, it is a 20-year old moot issue. NAR only owns about 2.5 percent of Move, Inc. They are merely a marketing partner with whom REALTORS® have regulatory clout because of our ownership of the domain name.
The new agreement between NAR and realtor.com® approves four major changes:
- Display unlisted new homes and new-home communities.
- Display unlisted rentals.
- Obtain listings from entities that are not REALTOR®-owned and controlled, as well as from brokers who are not REALTORS®.
- Identify properties where a notice of default has been recorded, auctions of distressed properties, short sales, foreclosures, and bank-owned properties. (Listing brokers will have the option to opt out by calling the realtor.com® customer care center.)
Individual consumer FSBOs remain precluded from the site, and the changes will be implemented in a way that preserves realtor.com®’s accuracy advantage, according to Move executives.
NAR directors are members—not some faraway body of executives. Continue reading »
By Anand Patel
“Why do you do this for free?”
“What do you get out of it?”
“When do you have time to make money?”
“Why do you waste your time with that?”
“What’s the point?”
If you volunteer some of your time and talents to National Association of REALTORS® (or any other organization) at the local, state, or national level, you have heard all of the comments above before. Obviously there needs to be a balance between giving of your time and working your business, but you and I both know the incidental benefits, rewards and satisfaction that come with giving back to our industry.
Do you have a spouse, a business partner, a friend or family member who takes on some of the burden while you are volunteering? I am not nearly as involved as many of my colleagues in the industry around the country and abroad, but with two young children at home I know my wife takes on a lot of burden while I am away at conferences, leadership academy sessions and other meetings. And I admit, many times I take it for granted. I am writing this post not only to serve as a reminder to each of you who also give of your time, but also really for me to never forget that we need to take the time and thank those who support what we do in helping improve our industry. They may not always understand why we do it as there are usually no visible short-term benefits, but they still support us. We travel for a few days, we attend events in the evening, we are working on the weekends on matters that do not seem to directly correlate to our businesses, but our friends, family, and spouses still pick up the slack for us.
Take a moment and say thank you to your business partner who stays back while you hit the annual conference, your family or spouse who helps with the kids while you are away, and anyone else who makes it easier for you to keep giving back. To my wife, today, I say thank you! Thank you for always supporting me. You truly are “Super Mom!” Oh….and by the way, I’ll be gone to San Francisco for a week in November for a conference…gotta run!
Anand Patel is broker and president of Pangea Realty Group based in Tampa, Fla. You can connect with Anand on Twitter: @anand_tampa, Facebook: www.facebook.com/prgtampa, or LinkedIn: www.linkedin.com/in/anandpatel1.
By Anand Patel
Having just returned from Great American Realtor Days (GARD) in my state’s capital of Tallahassee, Fla., I am energized for my first trip to Midyear Legislative Meetings & Trade Expo in Washington, D.C. this May. GARD is an annual event for REALTORS® from across the state of Florida to meet and discuss key real estate issues with our senators and representatives. It is an opportunity for our elected officials to hear the collective voices of REALTORS® as they come together in solidarity. With Midyear, I’ll be getting a second chance to do just that, only this time, on a national level, so I can only imagine how much more intense an experience it will be!
This year is also my first time serving on an NAR-level committee, and I am really looking forward to meeting some of my fellow committee members. Serving at the national level offers the opportunity to network and share ideas with some of the brightest and best in our business from across the country. This alone makes trips like this worth it.
Outside of committee meetings, Midyear offers ample networking opportunities and time to build upon existing relationships I’ve created at past conferences. With the YPN Reception and Capitol Hill visits, I think this is going to be an incredibly unique experience. I’ve also decided to turn this into a family trip, so my family and I will be spending some time in the city of Washington, visiting museums and the world famous Smithsonian’s National Zoo. There’s nothing wrong with mixing business with pleasure!
Who else is attending Midyear for the first time? Or are you still debating whether or not to go? I personally guarantee that if you make it a point to meet new people, come with an open mind, and observe and learn from those around you, it will be well worth the trip.
If you have attended Midyear in the past, please comment below and share your experiences so that those attending for the first time can know what they have to look forward to!
See you in DC!
Anand Patel is broker and president of Pangea Realty Group based in Tampa, Fla. You can connect with Anand on Twitter: @anand_tampa; Facebook: www.facebook.com/prgtampa; LinkedIn: www.linkedin.com/in/anandpatel1; or on the Web at www.anandsblog.com.
By Rob Reuter, YPN Manager
Since taking off in 2009, YPN posted a third consecutive year of increased membership numbers in 2012 adding 45 new networks and an estimated 10,000 new members for a total of 272 networks and 30,000+ members.
Here are more highlights from the past year:
YPN recognized three Networks of the Year in 2012: Seattle-King County for small/medium association, MetroTex for large association, and Illinois for state association. Seattle put on several very successful networking events including their “Death of Networking” event which drew major industry leaders to attend and serve on a panel. MetroTex has shown its ability to grow and sustain starting with 15 founding members in December 2009 to 42 YPN committee members and nearly 250 at large members. Aside from their monthly meetings, MetroTex hosts an annual phone-a-thon during which they raised over $6,000 in less than two hours for TREPAC in 2012. Illinois took home the state award for their “Border-to-Border” program during which the 2012 chair and vice chair literally travelled border-to-border across Illinois encouraging all local associations to create a network. The annual deadline to apply for the awards is August 31st.
For the third straight year, YPN chairs were invited to Chicago for NAR’s annual Leadership Summit in August, an event that’s generally attended by incoming association presidents and association executives. This year, about 150 YPN chairs made the trip and were asked to facilitate one of NAR’s Strategic Planning Committee’s REThink workshops for more than 1,600 attendees. They delivered in a big way and were praised by several members of NAR’s Leadership Team. We hope to be invited back to the Summit in August ‘13.
Moving into 2013, we’re pleased to announce that nearly 100 NAR committee positions have been given to YPN members this year, the highest it has ever been since NAR CEO Dale Stinton created the initiative in 2010 to appoint two YPN members to each NAR committee. The recommendation process for 2014 NAR Committees opens March 12th and closes May 23rd.
Also new in 2013 will be a third YPN session at the Midyear and Annual Meetings, in addition to the YPN Advisory Board meeting and YPN reception. We will be adding a 90-minute YPN roundtable session for the YPN attendees to get together in a business-type atmosphere and discuss various YPN and business-building topics. This session will be offered shortly after the YPN Advisory Board meets at each meeting.
During the 2012 NAR Conference & Expo, NAR’s Board of Directors approved several changes to NAR’s Committee Structure including the addition of a Data Strategies Committee, Consumer Communications Committee, and a Social Media Advisory Board. We hope to get YPN members involved with these groups moving forward. Also approved at this meeting was a Student Membership for the association in an attempt to reach a younger demographic. Many members of YPN have shown an interest in reaching out to this group, so YPN should play a major role in this initiative.
Finally, there are several other initiatives YPN hopes to be a part of in 2013, including growing the network globally, working with Second Century Ventures and their Tech Incubator Program REach, the REALTORS Property Resource® (RPR), and many others.
As you plan your network’s goals for the year, feel free to express interest in participating in any of the initiatives listed above. Have a great and successful 2013 and let’s keep riding the YPN wave into the New Year!
By Dave Robison
What is the difference between a REALTOR® and a regular old Joe with a real estate license? Can anyone you’ve asked from the public answer that question correctly? Better yet, can all of the REALTORS® in your office answer that question? I feel like it was indoctrinated in me through continuing eduction classes. So, from what I’ve been taught, a REALTOR® is this: A REALTOR® is held to a higher standard because they’re a member of NAR and must follow the Code of Ethics.
Our MLS recently had WAVgroup.com do a survey on behalf of our members. Marilyn Wilson from the WAV Group spoke at a recent meeting about the research they discovered regarding our industry. First, she said that 99.9 percent of the public doesn’t know the difference between a REALTOR® and a regular old Joe real estate licensed agent.
What does that say about our strategy for educating people about what makes REALTORS different? It says that it doesn’t work. Our Code of Ethics is what we think makes us stand apart from other real estate agents. But if the public doesn’t know… then it’s not working.
So why is it not working? She exhorted that the level of service from one REALTOR® can be drastically different from another REALTOR®. This is actually the reason why I never considered joining a big brokerage… I didn’t want to be in a group where my level of service was drastically higher than the guy/gal with the same brokerage name on his or her name-tag. There’s no minimum level of service at the big brokerages, and the service level varies between agents.
As long as there isn’t a minimum standard of service, no one is going to know what sets us as REALTORS® apart from licensees. The public doesn’t even recognize us as a club. We will continue to remain commodities.
Do we want to be recognized differently? Is it a benefit to be viewed differently? With all of the REThinking this year, it seems to me there could be a good opportunity for REALTORS® to figure out what they want to happen on this topic. I’ll admit, I’m not really sure what REThink is thinking about. Most the people I talk to are confused about it as well. But as an association, if the very reason why we are different isn’t working, maybe we need to adjust our vision on what we are trying to achieve that makes us different?
How would you adjust it?
Dave Robison, known as “Utah Dave,” is a broker/owner of Robison & Company Real Estate.
By Brian Copeland
This week, I turn 40 and my future with you is, well, uncertain. While we’ve never defined “under 40” as what the Young Professional Network’s age limit is, it has turned into an awkward elephant in the room no one is willing to talk about. So, let’s talk about it.
We’ve heard “young and young at heart” as the basis for who we are and who we want to be. Is this program of NAR about youth, leadership entry or new, bright attitudes? I don’t know, but hopefully in this dialog today, I’ll have a clearer picture.
What if YPN is in the middle of turning the statement “60 is the new 30” on its head? What if 30 is the new 60? Huh? We’re in the middle of equipping, training and inspiring a new generation to have the knowledge, street-smarts and tatters of a seasoned veteran to this industry.
I look at REALTORS® like Tiffany Curry who is 32 years old. Already, she has been the REALTOR® of the Year for one of the largest associations in America. She has served as president of a major metropolitan’s Women’s Council of REALTORS® chapter. She has chaired her local YPN, served on a heavy-weight NAR Presidential Advisory Group (PAG), and sat on numerous NAR committees.
I see Kenny Parcell. Kenny hovers below that 40 mark with a resume that would support the “30 is the new 60” hypothesis perfectly. He’s been his local president, state president, NAR Leadership Academy graduate, NAR liaison, and chair of several leadership groups.
Are these examples the exception? They could be, but I would argue that this type of mentoring and nurturing is part of a new breed NAR has started to grow. So, that leads me to the most troubling question, should we be called the Young Professionals Network? Continue reading »
By Peter N. Lamandre
While I was at the Rally to Protect the American Dream last Thursday during the NAR Midyear meetings in Washington, D.C., I had the opportunity to interview some of the YPNers in attendance. See what they had to say about the importance of homeownership.
By Chris Nichols
Approximately 60 REALTORS® from the state of Utah spent last Wednesday afternoon discussing issues vital to the housing market with their Congressional Delegation. The afternoon started with a state caucus meeting with Jamie Gregory, one of NAR’s chief lobbyists, walking us through the major talking points of the day. Then it was off to Capitol Hill to meet with Senators Orrin Hatch and Mike Lee, and Representatives Jason Chaffetz, Rob Bishop and Jim Matheson.
The meetings were a tremendous success and we are fortunate in Utah to have a congressional delegation that gets it when it comes to the importance of homeownership.
Following the close of the Senate session, we had the amazing opportunity of a private tour with Senator Lee’s chief of staff, Spencer Stokes. The Capitol was empty and we had the opportunity to enjoy the rotunda with no one else around. There is certainly something about standing in these hallowed halls and quietly soaking in the history and importance of this special place.
Spencer was such a gracious tour guide, showing us amazing places such as the President’s Room, the House Chapel, and a very special visit to the Senate Foreign Relations Committee Room. The staff there was wonderful and shared many interesting and insight stories about what happens in that room.
My evening ended on a high note with a private dinner at the Capitol Hill Club with my Congressman, Rep. Jason Chaffetz. I had a great time discussing a variety of things ranging from the presidential election to everyday life with him. As always, it’s a great opportunity to come to Washington, D.C., and spend quality time with our elected officials.
*Originally published on NAR’s Midyear Live Blog.
By Jason O’Neil
One of the places where I have focused my business is on referrals and past clients. This isn’t unique. But the way I look at it is unique, and it has to do with what I call “The Gap.”
Here’s what I mean: According to NAR, in 2011, 69 percent of all sellers said that they definitely would use their agent again, yet in that same year only 22 percent of all sellers had previously worked with their listing agent.
Knowing that the average person moves every four-to-eight years, and moves 18 miles …what happened? Why would so many agents end the relationship brilliantly (presumably with a sale) yet fail to get the listing later on? I think there are only two real reasons for this: the agents goes out of business or the agent fails to talk to their clients.
- Have and use a database
- Develop a client touch program
- Minimum two touches per year
- Anniversaries (Home sale anniversary)
- Daylight Savings time
- Monthly Touch Program
- Monthly Mailings involving quotes and/or give-aways
- Vendor Partner Programs
The key is to be mindful of “The Gap” and develop strategies to avoid it. What are you doing in your business to Mind the Gap?
Jason O’Neil is a broker-owner of McKenzie Real Estate in Indianapolis. Visit his site: www.McKenzieListings.com
By Brooke Wolford
I recently had a meeting for the Metro YPN committee of the St. Paul Association of REALTORS®. Ron Covert, chief executive officer, joined us to see what was going on with our newly-revamped YPN.
One of the questions he asked us was, “How do we get the younger generation involved with the association?” Seems like a relatively easy task from my eyes, however, I also remembered my perspective about committee involvement in the past.
Prior to ever getting involved with any committees, I always felt intimidated by the thought. I didn’t think that I could become involved or even how. Thankfully, after I became a blog contributor for the YPN Lounge, I was contacted by our fearless leader, Nobu Hata, asking me to come to a YPN event with the Minneapolis Association of REALTORS®. One thing led to another and I became one of the task force members for that YPN. It was from this involvement that my passion grew for being involved. I now serve on several local and state committees.
If you ever had any doubt about involvement, let me just tell you this: The association WANTS you to be involved. They need different perspectives. Whether you are a rookie or a veteran, getting involved is always within your reach. Your association wants and needs you!
Brooke Wolford is a real estate practitioner with Coldwell Banker Burnet in Woodbury, Minn. Follow her blog at adventuresinrookierealestate.com.