How to Prepare Your Home to Sell

Maybe you got a new job, or you have just outgrown your current home, either way you have to sell your house, what do you do?

Selling your home can be an overwhelming task, but with some knowledge and assistance it doesn’t have to be First and foremost – hire a REALTOR®. Whether its someone you know personally, someone your family has used in the past, or someone you found online. Hire a REALTOR®. Their knowledge and expertise is invaluable. A REALTOR® will guide you through every step of the pricing, from insight for pricing to staging and needed repairs. Remember, your goal is the same – sell your home quickly and for the best price you can.

Selling your home also requires you to prepare your mind along with your home. Your home holds a special place in your heart – all the firsts that have happened in this home, you know the “we got our first pet here”, “we brought our baby home here” and there are so many emotions connected to a home that will have more value to you than to your potential buyers. So, if you are aware of these you can look at the home with the eyes of the buyer and that will make staging and preparing your home so much easier.

Next, start your to do list. Walk to the curb and view your home what do you see? Overgrown shrubs? Flower beds in need of attention? Next walk through your house and notice things that you might not on a daily basis. Is your home easy to walk through? You may want to remove/store furniture to create a better flow, you want the potential buyer to see themselves living in your home, so you want to give them the space to do that. You may consider taking down and storing family pictures. Again, your objective is to sell your home and you want buyers to see the home and see themselves in it. Remember, your REALTOR® will walk you through this whole process you won’t be “in it” alone!

Think about what you will be looking for in a home, if you are selling you will be buying elsewhere, so what things do you notice about a home? Take that information and use it to prepare your home to be more attractive to buyers, because you aren’t the only one that will notice that the cabinet under the kitchen sink needs touching up. There are others who will notice too.

Through this whole process, remember, communication with your REALTOR® is extremely important. They can be the objective guide you need through this, from the listing to the closing. Before long, you will be into your next chapter, making new memories in a brand new home.

LaDonna Bryce
Bryce Realty Group

 

 

 

 

Listen to the Talking Real episode with Nicole Glenn (owner of Green Door Staging) where we talk about preparing your house to sell! Some great tips for DIYers as well.

Christmas Around Oklahoma

Tune your car stereo to a favorite Christmas music station and meander through rows and rows of holiday cheer!

Ardmore

Name: Ardmore Festival of Lights
Admission: Free
Location: Ardmore Regional Park (2704 N. Rockford Rd. Ardmore, OK 73401)
Dates: 11/28 – 12/30

This 1.5-mile drive through endless, vibrant Christmas lights is one of the largest holiday light displays in southern Oklahoma. More than 125 animated displays in a beautiful winter wonderland. The Ardmore Festival of Lights will delight visitors of all ages and is quickly becoming one of the most popular light displays in state.

More info: https://chickasawcountry.com/events/ardmore-festival-of-lights


Chickasha

Name: Chickasha Festival of Lights
Admission: Free (some activities cost additional)
Location: Shannon Springs Park
(From Hwy 81 turn West on Grand AVE, turn North on 9th entrance is on the west side)
Dates: 11/17 – 12/31

For 26 years, Chickasha Festival of Light, a volunteer-run, non-profit organization, has been transforming Shannon Springs Park’s 43 acres into a magnificent light display during the holiday season. What started out as a small group of local citizens with a dream to spark community spirit has become a nationally-recognized Christmas light display. In addition to a stunning light display visitors can also enjoy camel rides, carriage rides, a ferris wheel and much more!

More info: https://chickashafestivaloflight.org/


Edmond

Name: 2018 Holiday Hop
Admission: Free
Location: Victorian Rodkey House [410 S. Littler, Edmond, OK] & 1889 Territorial Schoolhouse [124 E. 2nd St., Edmond, OK]
Dates: 12/1 from 1pm – 4pm

Holiday activities, hot cocoa, and music at the Victorian Rodkey House.

Holiday crafts at the 1889 Territorial Schoolhouse.

More info: https://www.edmondhistory.org/event/2018-holiday-hop/

Name: Luminance
Admission: Free
Location: Mitch Park
Dates: 12/1 – 12/31

Luminance is the new walk-thru holiday light display that will be open to the public in Mitch Park during the month of December. The lights will be on Monday – Sunday from 5p – 10p. Luminance will kick off the holiday season and it’s grand opening on December 1, 2018. Residents and visitors will get to experience a one-of-a-kind holiday lighting event that will for sure get you in the holiday spirit. With Edmond being the premier city to have 3D lighted displays, you are sure to see something you’ve never seen.

More info: http://edmondok.com/1460/Luminance


Guthrie

Name: Historic Homes Tour
Admission: $15 for adults – Children 12 and under are free
Location: Historic Downtown Guthrie, Guthrie, OK  73044
Dates: 12/8 from 10am – 4pm

Guthrie’s finest homes, churches and the Carnegie Library will be dressed for the season and delighted to have visitors to enjoy tales of their beginnings in the early days of Oklahoma’s First Capital. The sights and sounds and the unmistakable fragrances of Christmas at home await your family and friends during our Historic Homes Tour.

More info: http://business.guthriechamber.com/events/details/historic-homes-tour-4096


Name: Guthrie’s’ Territorial Christmas Opening Night
Admission: Free
Location: Historic Downtown Guthrie, Guthrie, OK  73044
Dates: 12/8 from 5pm – 9pm

Enjoy what it was like to spend Christmas in the Territory, as it was in the early days when life slowed down to the speed of a horse and carriage, when family, friends and neighbors celebrated together in Oklahoma’s First Capital. Guthrie’s two Victorian Walk Evenings showcase their shop windows with live scenes reminiscent of Christmas past. Stroll the brick streets, get a taste of life when Guthrie was young.

More info: http://business.guthriechamber.com/events/details/victorian-walk-4094


Kingfisher

Name: Kingfisher Winter Nights
Admission: Free
Location: Kingfisher City Park (highway 33)
Dates: 11/24 – 12/24

Winter Nights feature over 60 animated displays, and over 200 lit trees. You can walk, drive or ride our train through the park. They also have a fully lit bridge that people can walk across that hangs over Uncle John’s Creek.

More info: http://www.kingfisher.org/winter-nights/


Midwest City

Name: Illumination Celebration
Admission: Free
Location:  Joe B. Barnes Regional Park (8700 E Reno Ave, Midwest City, OK 73130)
Dates: 11/16 – 12/24

This family tradition began in 1995 with just 44 displays and has grown to be one of the largest animated lights display in a five state region with more than 100 animated light displays. The 1.5 mile long drive boasts over one million lights in the heart of Joe B. Barnes Regional Park. Enjoy the amazing 118 foot Christmas tree illuminated with over 9,000 LED bulbs, the impressive tunnel of lights, Santa fly fishing in a 15 foot waterfall, elves baking in the candy factory and so much more! Illumination Celebration has been delighting families for the past six years with dancing lights choreographed to all-time favorite classic Christmas tunes. Be sure to see the full show by pulling over and tuning into the advertised FM station.

More info: https://midwestcityok.org/338/Holiday-Lights-Spectacular


Norman

Name: Downs Family Christmas
Admission: Free
Location: 2900 72nd Ave SE, Norman, Oklahoma 73026
Dates: 11/22 – 12/31

Similar to a drive-in movie. There is absolutely no cost to get in! When you come in, you pull off into the field on your right. You tune your radio to 107.1 FM and enjoy the lights and great music! Christmas memories are timeless, and we want to create special memories for our community. The combination of lights and music create a lasting memory for everybody who has seen the display.

More info: https://www.downsfamilychristmas.com/


Woodward

Name: Crystal Christmas
Admission: Free
Location:  Crystal Beach Park (108 Temple Houston Dr. Woodward, OK 73801)
Dates: 11/23 – 12/31

Crystal Beach Park lights up the night with over two million Christmas lights and displays during Crystal Christmas in Woodward. The opening night celebration includes fireworks, singing, concessions and a countdown ceremony. Bring the family to Crystal Christmas on Thursdays or Fridays for the park’s family nights, where family-oriented activities include lighted train rides, live nativity scenes and pictures with Santa Claus.

More info: http://www.woodwardchamber.com/


Yukon

Name: Christmas in the Park
Admission: Free
Location:  Yukon City Park
Dates: 11/17 – 12/31

Christmas in the Park covers 100 rolling park acres that are lavishly decorated top to bottom every year. It features one-of-a-kind light displays that change every few feet.  Many people enjoy parking their cars and taking a leisurely self-guided tour along the 2.2 miles of walking trails.  Various costumed Christmas characters are often in the parks and are happy to pose for photos. There is also a Santa Express Train that offers rides from 6pm to 10pm (weather permitting) and tickets are only $2/person.

More info: http://www.yukonok.gov/city-departments/parks-recreation/Christmas-in-the-park

The Importance of Pricing

When selling their home sellers are always looking for the most they can get, and who can blame them. The more they get out of their house the less they have to take out of savings for that bigger and newer house they will be buying. But sometimes what they don’t think about is, what it could actually be costing them to try for a little bit more money.

Good market or bad, updated or needs work, there is a right price for every property. That right price does not mean a cheap one. Sometimes the right price could be the highest for that neighborhood when the property is decked out with updates. But going too far above can make a house sit on the market I have seen it over and over in comps. Everyone thinks their house is the exception to the rule, if that was the case then that would be the rule and not the exception. There are not that many exceptions!!

There are exceptions for everything but here is the rule – or the facts – for people who started a little high in our market and then had to lower their price at a later date compared to ones who did not lower their list price before getting a contract. Out of a list of 59 existing homes closed. These numbers are based on the averages from that list.

The Starting List price for those price right was $267,500, the starting list price for those wanting to try for a bit more was $275,900. They were not trying for much more, just over $7000 more.

When the house sold the list price for the first group was of course still at $267,500, but the other group had lowered their list price to $266,500. Just a $1000 dollars below were the other group was out.

But here is the first kicker, the first group closed for $265,000, the I want to try for more group closed for $260,900. That “a little bit more” ended up costing $4100 compared to the pricing it right at the beginning!

Here is the second kicker, the first group sold in average of 27 days. The second group not only sold for $4100 less but they averaged 118 days on the market. 91 days longer!

Getting across to sellers the importance of pricing right will actually put more money in their pocket and in a lot less time. Pull up the stats in your area and see if they follow what has been the rule here for 20 years.

Brian Preston. GRI
RE/MAX At Home

 

 

 

 

 

Listen to the Talking Real episode with Brian Preston where he talks about the impact of pricing!

4 Misconceptions That Prevent Home Buyers

There are many things that might prevent someone from buying a home. It could be that they aren’t ready to own a home, don’t know where they want to live – the list goes on. One thing that shouldn’t hold them back though are misconceptions. Let’s clear some of those up right now.

“I need 20% down to buy a home”

No you don’t. There are PLENTY of options that let home buyers put down less than 20% while buying a new home. In fact, almost 60% of home buyers put down less than 6%. Here are some alternatives to putting down 20%:

  • FHA (Federal Housing Association) Loans allow you to get a loan with less than 3.5% down (if you qualify)
  • Some local and state agencies sponsor down-payment assistance programs. Follow the links to find any near you:
  • These three government-related lenders can get you going with as little as 0% down:
    • VA: For veterans and family members
    • USADA: For buyers in qualifying locations
    • Navy Federal Credit Union: For military, family members and some government employees

“My credit score it too low”

A less than perfect credit score doesn’t mean you can’t afford a home. You can qualify for an FHA loan with a score of only 500. However, in most cases a lower credit score will mean you’ll have to put down a higher down payment. An alternative is to have a co-signer who has better credit – but remember, if you don’t make the payments, the cosigner will be financially responsible which will impact their credit.

“I can’t afford the commission for the agent”

This is also something you don’t need to worry about. Typically, commissions are paid from proceeds of the sale via the seller.

“I definitely have the loan – I was pre approved”

Not exactly. Pre approval just means that all things remaining equal you’ll get the loan. However, if you purchase a big-ticket item between the pre approval and closing or your credit score suffers for any reason, you may not remain eligible for a loan. So, hold off on making purchases for that new home or buying that new car.

 

Source: Houselogic

How small is too small to start a small group health insurance plan?

By 3000 Insurance Group

Many business owners assume their small business is too small to start a group health plan. However, this might not be the case. In many cases, a small group can be set up with as little as two eligibles, even if only one of those eligibles enrolls!

As long as there are two people in your entity, you might qualify for a group plan. These two people can both be owners, or one owner and one employee (part-time employees may meet this requirement). Even if only one of you needs coverage, the group may meet participation requirements if the other waives coverage due to having coverage elsewhere.

The benefits of a group plan are:

  • More enrollment flexibility: You can start a new group plan at any time of year.
  • Employer paid premiums are tax deductible as an employee benefit.
  • More options: In Oklahoma, there are more carriers, networks and plan options available to employer groups.
  • Lower premiums: In most cases, the premiums are lower for employer group coverage than individual coverage.

 

The typical requirements for starting a group health plan are:

  • Proof of entity and ownership, such as articles of organization
  • For husband-and-wife-only groups, the only way to be covered on a small group plan is if they are owners in a partnership entity. A copy of the partnership agreement or K-1 1065s must be submitted as proof of entity and ownership.
  • Proof of employees on payroll, such as OESC quarterly wage and tax reports or payroll stubs
  • 75% participation of eligible employees*
  • 50% employer contribution to employee portion of premium*

*Most group plans are subject to a minimum 50% employer contribution and 75% participation requirement.  However, we can help you set up a group plan with these requirements waived during a special enrollment period between November 1 and December 15.

Please be aware that offering affordable coverage to employees receiving a subsidy may disqualify them for future subsidies.

Contact our success partner, 3000 Insurance Group, for more information and to see if your company is eligible. 405.521.1600 info@3000ig.com www.3000ig.com.

2019 Committee Appointments

Association Membership Committee

Jill Graumann [Chair]
Debbie Lynn Benton [Vice Chair]
Kathy Givens
Carolyn House
Janiece Vinson
Victoria Foutch
Wesley Johnston
Penny Klein
Tony Marbell
Claudette Thornton

Audit & Finance Committee

Julie Smith [Chair]
Axay Parekh [Vice Chair]
Amy Bladow
Bryan Sheppard
Kieth Gasaway
Brett Creager
Audra Montgomery
Lisa Weaver
Kathy Fowler

Communication & Outreach Committee

Johannes Revenboer [Chair]
Grady Carter [Vice Chair]
Axay Parekh
Gary Griffith
LaDonna Bryce
Tony Marbell
Steve Reese
Jerry Giordano
Holli Woodward
Renee Vance
Victoria Foutch
Stephanie Carter
Susan Root
Brian Allen
Robin Harris

Conference Committee

Scott Foster [Chair]
Axay Parekh [Vice Chair]
Tony Marbell
Amy Bladow
Susanna Lorg
Victoria Foutch
Gary Griffith
Sarah Carlsson
Becky Karpe
Jeff Shaffer
Debbie Lynn Benton
Randi Yocham
Renee Hoover-Payton
Mike Craddock

Contract Forms Committee

Martin Van Meter [Chair]
Keith Taggart [Vice Chair]
Jennifer Hicks
Barry Ezerski
Victoria Caldwell
Kenneth Snider
Bart Binning

Government Affairs Committee

Jeff Shaffer [Chair]
Chuck Perry [Vice Chair]
Scott Martin
Axay Parekh
Jennifer Hicks
Christopher Jones
Gary Griffith
Sherri Parker-Evans
Mike Craddock
Steve Reese
Andrea Frymire
Teresa Poindexter
Carolyn Sims
Arvella Wall
Ginger Thomas
Scott Foster
Pete Galbraith
Martin Van Meter
Penny Klein
Mary Terry
Pam Barton-Stober
Hope White
Amy Bladow
Renee Hover-Payton
Philip Quinn
Johannes Revenboer
Bradley Worster
Richard Johns
Carolyn Thompson
Lisa Weaver

Government Affairs Legislative Sub-Committee

Mike Craddock [Chair]
Andrea Frymire
Penny Klein
Lisa Weaver
Arvella Wall
Renee Hoover-Payton
Carolyn Thompson
Amy Bladow
Bradley Worster

Government Affairs Regulatory Sub-Committee

Scott Foster[Chair]
Jeff Shaffer
Jennifer Hicks
Mary Terry
Pam Barton-Stober
Carolyn Sims
Martin Van Meter
Sherri Parker-Evans
Axay Parekh
Teresa Poindexter

Life Membership Committee

Pam Barton-Stober [Chair]
Walter Givens [Vice Chair]
Kathy Fowler
Mary Terry

Lynne Siano
Bill Poertner
Chuck Harris

LOAR Governing Board

Claudette Thornton [Chair]
Chuck Wells [Vice Chair]
Amy Bladow
Mike Craddock
Mike Cotrill
Lisa Weaver
Kathleen Williams
Axay Parekh
Jeff Shaffer
Cindy Rodgers
Page Provence
Bryan Sheppard

Nominating Committee

Kathy Fowler [Chair]
Pete Galbraith [Vice Chair]
Mary Terry
Chuck Harris
Lisa Weaver
Brad Reeser
Chuck Perry

Oklahoma Housing Foundation

John Brown [Chair]
Melody Bush
Keith Taggart
Axay Parekh
Peggy Missel
Kay Lynn Johnson
Kelly Lewis
Ginger Thomas
Renee Vance
Amy Bladow
Logan Draves
Cathy Perez-Whiteside

Professional Development Committee

Jerry Boston [Chair]
Jeanie Wilson [Vice Chair]
Larry Starbuck
Renee Hoover-Payton
Richard Johns
Ted Newlin
Josh Woodward
Julie Smith
Jill Garumann
Steve Reese
Margaret Barton
William Palmeter
Randi Yocham
Andy Newman
Sandra Talley
Teresa Poindexter
Page Provence
Lisa Weaver
Audra Montgomery
Tara Annesley

Professional Standards Committee

Gail Scott [Chair]
Susan Woodward-Owens [Vice Chair]
Terry Franklin
William Briggs
Jennifer Standish
Jennifer Hicks
Lisa Weaver
Hope White
Teresa Ballenger
Teresa Young
Kristy Kowalski
Linda Brewer
Renee Hoover-Payton
Franchita Harrell
Cynthia Hucherson
Tammie Hiatt
Melissa Little
Debbie Dennis
Tenna Hubbs
Jessie Teehee
Ashley Schubert
Anita Land
Marsha Nation
Carlos Garcia
Scott Foster
Peggy Foster
Kelly Lewis
Gary Griffith
Susan Root
Darren Bridges
Linda Delay
Barry Taylor
Holli Woodward
Joyce Painter
Debbie Lynn Benton
Josh Woodward
Heidi Rose
Sheryl Spradling
John Jones
Cathy Perez-Whiteside
Lorna Koeninger
Shelly Howard
Shela Barnes
Cherryl Gardner
John Brown
Shelly Pickard-Riska
David Dobson
Lindsay Bippus
Angela Tinsley
Amos Radlinger
Michael Urie
J Carol Taylor
Shonna Barber
Frank Kell
Bryan Edwards

REALTOR® of the Year Committee

Joe Pryor [Chair]
David Momper
Mike Craddock
Debbie Lynn Benton
Mary Terry

YPN Advisory Board

Torrie Vann [Chair]
Jessica Thompson [Vice Chair]
Nakia Birnie
Renee Vance
Grady Carter
April Todd
Scott Ward
Kimberly Clark

Pending Home Sales Dip 1.8 Percent in August

Pending home sales fell slightly in August and have now decreased on an annual basis for eight straight months, according to the National Association of Realtors®.

The Pending Home Sales Index,  a forward-looking indicator based on contract signings, decreased 1.8 percent to 104.2 in August from 106.1 in July. With last month’s decline, contract signings are now down 2.3 percent year-over-year.

Lawrence Yun, NAR chief economist, says that low inventory continues to contribute to the housing market slowdown. “Pending home sales continued a slow drip downward, with the fourth month over month decline in the past five months,” he said.

“Contract signings also fell backward again last month, as declines in the West negatively impacted overall activity,” he said. “The greatest decline occurred in the West region where prices have shot up significantly, which clearly indicates that affordability is hindering buyers and those affordability issues come from lack of inventory, particularly in moderate price points.”

According to the third quarter Housing Opportunities and Market Experience (HOME) survey, a record high number of Americans believe now is a good time to sell. “Just a couple of years ago about 55 percent of consumers indicated it was a good time to sell; that figure has climbed close to 77 percent today.”

Instant Reaction: Lawrence Yun on Today’s FOMC Statement

The following is NAR Chief Economist Lawrence Yun’s reaction to the Federal Reserve decision to raise interest rates:

“The era of super-low mortgage rates is over and consumers will face higher interest rates over the next two years. Another rate hike by the Fed is almost certain before year’s end, along with three further rounds of increases in 2019. These interest rate increases are occurring for good reason: an improving economy. Therefore, home sales should hold steady as the opposing forces of higher rates and more jobs neutralize each other. Home price growth will surely slow, however, as higher interest rates limit the stretching of the homebuyers’ budget,” said NAR Chief Economist Lawrence Yun. 

Realtors Release 2018 Member Safety Report

As a part of Realtor® Safety Month, the National Association of Realtors® released its 2018 Member Safety Report, which surveyed over 3,000 Realtors®, members of the National Association of Realtors®, about how safe they feel while on the job, their personal safety experiences and the safety procedures they follow.

The report found that nearly a third of Realtors®experienced a situation that made them fear for their personal safety or the safety of their personal information, and that 43 percent of Realtors® choose to carry self-defense weapons.

“Realtors® understand better than anyone the safety risks associated with real estate transactions. Because of that,it is imperative for members to share safety protocols with home buyers so they can learn about what they may encounter during the home buying process,” said NAR CEO Bob Goldberg.

The most common circumstances that resulted in fearful situations were open houses, showing vacant and model homes, working with properties that were unlocked or unsecured and showing homes in remote areas.

Click here to read the full report.

https://www.nar.realtor/2018-member-safety-report

SLA Update: Three things you need to do as a SLA!

1. Sign up for SLA text alerts by texting “OklahomaSLA” to 95577. This is the fastest and easiest way to stay up-to-date on the latest political intel.

2. Read the runoff election results. You probably already saw the results for the statewide races, but did you know that 6 incumbent state reps lost to challengers? Make sure you’re up to speed on all of the results here.

3. Register for REignite. Part of being an SLA means staying up-to-date on the latest trends in real estate. REignite can help you do that AND let you catch up with friends. Register here.

SLA Update: National Political News FYI – Kavanaugh confirmation hearing set

Confirmation hearings for Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh are set to begin Tuesday, Sept. 4. The hearing will last three to four days with the timeline outlined by U.S. Senate Leadership of giving the high court seat to President Trump’s pick before the early October term.

The Judiciary panel is expected to complete Kavanaugh’s consideration within approximately two weeks following the close of the hearings. Once cleared, the nomination is expected to reach the Senate floor within a matter of days.

While many hot-button issues have been discussed, Kavanaugh could have a huge impact on the real estate industry from eminent domain to environmental restrictions. Read the realtor.com article on his nomination: http://bit.ly/2PtZ5XF

NAR Introduces the Center for REALTOR® Financial Wellness

The National Association of Realtors® is proud to introduce the Center for REALTOR® Financial Wellness, a new resource designed exclusively to meet the specific financial planning needs of Realtors® – members of the National Association of Realtors®. This comprehensive program includes education materials and resources for wealth building, business planning and investing in real estate.

Nearly nine out of 10 Realtors® are independent contractors and can face complex situations when it comes to personal finances. Unique attributes such as fluctuating incomes, tax issues, and lack of salary cap require a different perspective.

“The Center for REALTOR® Financial Wellness has something to offer all NAR members no matter their level of professional expertise or stage of financial planning. Members can get started by taking an online assessment, which will generate a set of personalized financial planning goals based on where they are today,” said NAR CEO Bob Goldberg. “It’s a priority for me and the association to ensure our members have the financial tools and resources they need to succeed in business and in life.”

Realtors® can visit www.FinancialWellness.realtor to assess their current financial profile, receive personalized financial planning goals, practice financial planning decisions in a risk-free way, and explore a robust library of budgeting, retiring, and real estate investing resources.

Proposed Bylaws Changes

It is that time of year again to review and update our Bylaws for the Oklahoma Association of REALTORS®. Read the proposed bylaws changes (that includes each change rationale):
2019 Proposed Bylaws Changes

Please contact Jessica Hickok with any questions or concerns at jmh@okrealtors.com.

We will be voting on this at our annual membership meeting, that will be immediately following the board of directors on Wednesday, October 10, 2018 at 9:00 a.m.The meeting will be held at the Sheraton Hotel Downtown OKC located at 1 North Broadway Avenue in Oklahoma City.

SLA Update: Runoffs on Aug. 28

The Aug. 28 runoff elections will decide the final slate of candidates for the Nov. 6 general election. Runoffs are scheduled on the Republican side for governor, lieutenant governor, attorney general, auditor and inspector, state superintendent of education and labor commissioner as well as the Democratic seat on the Corporate Commission and the Libertarian nominee for governor.

On July 31, GOP Attorney General candidates Gentner Drummond and Mike Hunter debated state issues such as auditing the state government, the testing of rape kits, firearms, SQ 788, immigration, opioids and more. Watch the debate here: http://bit.ly/2nt1XXK

Just three weeks before the runoffs, Republican gubernatorial candidates Mick Cornett and Kevin Stitt faced one another in a debate on Aug. 7. Candidates debated the direction of our state, educational funding, medical marijuana, constitutional carry and answered questions for the audience. Watch the debate here: http://bit.ly/2ntfChS

2019 Slate of Officers & Directors

The 2019 Slate of Officers & Directors is now available:
2019 Slate of Officers & Directors

Please contact Jessica Hickok with any questions or concerns at jmh@okrealtors.com.

Please join us for the election at our Annual Membership Meeting, immediately following the Board of Directors Meeting, held on Wednesday, October 10, 2018 at 9:00 a.m.
Location: Sheraton Hotel Downtown OKC (1 N Broadway Ave, Oklahoma City, OK 73102)

Instant Reaction: July Jobs Report

The following is NAR Chief Economist Lawrence Yun’s reaction to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) report on the employment situation in July:

The economy is rolling along and jobs are being created. Though the latest monthly net new job gains of 157,000 is a bit light compared to recent past months, the one-year total is still very solid at 2.4 million. Wages are picking up at 2.7% and housing demand will therefore continue to accumulate. What has been missing in many markets has been housing supply, partly due to acute shortage of construction workers. It is welcoming to see the construction industry boosting wages at swifter rate of 3.5%. This financial incentive is no doubt helping to draw more workers into construction as evidenced by 4.4% job growth rate in construction compared to 1.6% growth rate in all jobs. With housing supply to steadily rise, the broad housing market will be in a healthier balanced state in the future.

SLA Update: SQ 788 & Runoff Elections

The working group assigned to implement SQ 788 held its first public meeting at the State Capitol on Wednesday, July 25. Presentations were given by Green the Vote, Oklahomans for Cannabis, New Health Solutions and Chip Paul, SQ 788 author, on behalf of Oklahomans for Health.

The following lawmakers have been named to the group:

  • Sen. Greg McCortney, R-Ada, co-chair
  • Sen. Lonnie Paxton, R-Tuttle
  • Sen. Darcy Jech, R-Kingfisher
  • Sen. Julie Daniels, R-Bartlesville
  • Sen. Michael Brooks, D-Oklahoma City
  • Rep. Jon Echols, R-Oklahoma City, co-chair
  • Rep. Dustin Roberts, R-Durant
  • Rep. Scott Fetgatter, R-Okmulgee
  • Rep. Josh West, R-Grove
  • Rep. Carol Bush, R-Tulsa
  • Rep. Steve Kouplen, D-Beggs
  • Rep. Ben Loring, D-Miami
  • Rep. Jacob Rosecrants, D-Norman

Reminder: Multiple races in the June 26 primary are headed to runoff elections August 28. Get involved with the discussion by contacting your legislator today!

Hope to see you at the 2018 Brokers Summit on August 15https://bit.ly/2AgnxYY

Opt-in to receive updates via text message by texting “OklahomaSLA” to 95577.

Realtors® statement on House vote to extend flood insurance

National Association of Realtors® President Elizabeth Mendenhall released the following statement after the U.S. House vote on legislation extending flood insurance funding:

“Flooding is the most common and costly natural disaster in the United States. Without an extension of authority, the National Flood Insurance Program cannot write or renew flood insurance in 22,000 communities nationwide. The bill passed by the House today ensures the program remains available to those Americans who rely upon it, while enabling Congress to continue working toward a long-term reauthorization and reform measure. We urge the Senate to take swift action on this bill before the program expires on July 31.”

Existing-Home Sales Subside 0.6 Percent in June

Existing-home sales decreased for the third straight month in June, falling 0.6 percent to 5.38 million sales as declines in the South and West exceeded sales gains in the Northeast and Midwest, according to the National Association of REALTORS®. The ongoing supply and demand imbalance helped push June’s median sales price to a new all-time high at $276,900.

“There continues to be a mismatch since the spring between the growing level of homebuyer demand in most of the country in relation to the actual pace of home sales, which are declining,” he said. “The root cause is without a doubt the severe housing shortage that is not releasing its grip on the nation’s housing market. What is for sale in most areas is going under contract very fast and in many cases, has multiple offers. This dynamic is keeping home price growth elevated, pricing out would-be buyers and ultimately slowing sales,” said Lawrence Yun, NAR chief economist.

SLA Update: Defining Your Role

The Oklahoma Association of REALTORS® (OAR) is proud to have developed a strong, positive relationship with members of the legislature. Our State Legislative Advocates (SLA) enhance this connection by building our member’s personal relationship with their own state legislators. Outside the legislative session, OAR will send bi-weekly updates with insights, political notes and information specifically for our SLA’s so you can stay in the know about OAR’s advocacy for Oklahoma REALTORS®. During session, we will send weekly updates.

On the legislative front, there were 117 primaries for State House and State Senate. In those races, six incumbents lost re-election bids — Sen. Ervin Yen, Rep. Chuck Strohm, Rep. Scott McEachin, Rep. Steve Vaughan, Rep. Greg Babinec and Rep. Scooter Park. While 83 of those primaries led to a nominee, there will be 34 runoff elections in August (26 Republican and eight Democratic) including 10 House Republican incumbents:

Travis Dunlap
Tess Teague
George Faught
Bobby Cleveland
Mark Lawson
Sean Roberts
John Pfeiffer
Jeff Coody
Jadine Nollan
Mike Ritze

Additionally, when the dust settled, incumbent Rep. Kevin McDugle had a three-vote advantage over his Republican challenger, but the district had 10 provision ballots cast that will be examined and counted on Friday. Six races were decided and have no general election, including three new legislators:

Representative-elect Derrell Fincher (R – Bartlesville) will replace Earl Sears
Representative-elect Ken Luttrell (R – Ponca City) will replace Steve Vaughan
Representative-elect Mark VanCuren (REALTOR®) (R – Owasso) will replace Dale Derby
Rep. Harold Wright (R – Weatherford) won re-election
Rep. Rhonda Baker (R – Yukon) won re-election
Rep. Monroe Nichols (D – Tulsa) won re-election

Contact your legislators to let them know who you are: https://bit.ly/2mirCSN

Instant Reaction: June Jobs Report

The following is NAR Chief Economist Lawrence Yun’s reaction to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) report on the employment situation in June:

“A total of 213,000 net new jobs in June and 2.4 million over the past 12 months reflects a strong rolling economy. The latest month’s solid job additions mean further increase in housing demand. But inventory shortage and the consequent unaffordability have been a major challenge for potential home buyers. Part of the housing inventory shortage is due to the lack of construction workers. One encouraging aspect of the latest job report is the boost in the number of people seeking work. With more people entering the labor force and seeking work, some may turn to the higher paying construction industry. A typical non-supervisory worker in the private sector earns $22.62 per hour. In the construction industry, the pay is $27.56. Despite the low unemployment rate of 4%, the employment-to-population ratio is still soft with only 60.4% of American adults with jobs, compared to 63% before the Great Recession ten years ago. In other words, there is a potential for plentiful new workers coming into construction and that will help build more new homes and relieve the inventory shortage.”

Instant reaction: NAR’s Lawrence Yun on Case-Shiller

The following is NAR Chief Economist Lawrence Yun’s reaction to the Case-Shiller National Home Price Index report:

“Home price growth remains strong across the country as reflected in the Case-Shiller Home Price Index, with a 6.4 percent gain from a year ago. The ongoing housing shortage has been pushing up home prices well above income growth. Prices were generally rising more strongly in the lower price brackets, while the prices of expensive homes are beginning to level off; there are, however, unambiguous signs of home prices softening across the board. The month-to-month price appreciation in April was one of the softest in the past 18 months, with only 0.33 percent gain, which translates into only 4.1 percent annualized growth rate. Rising mortgage rates have also tampered some buying enthusiasm. Given the hit to affordability from the double whammy of rising prices and rising interest rates, it is more critical than ever to bring additional homes to the market to relieve affordability pressures.”

Instant Reaction: May Housing Starts

The following is NAR Chief Economist Lawrence Yun’s reaction to the release from the U.S. Commerce Department on May new home construction:

“New home construction activity soared to its highest level in over a decade, which is fantastic news as more housing inventory will be available as the year proceeds. Moreover, construction and real estate industry jobs are being created and boosting the economy. GDP growth of 4 percent to 5 percent is possible in the second quarter, as a result. The Midwest region experienced the biggest gain and hence the region will remain more affordable. The more unaffordable West region will continue to experience an intense housing shortage, as both housing permits and housing starts fell in that region. For the country as a whole, an additional 20 percent to 25 percent gain in home construction is needed to make the market more balanced.”

8 powerful resources for building a lead capture system

Building a high-converting lead capture system is appealing to many real estate agents, but the process of building the lead forms and pages can be a complex and daunting process. It’s doesn’t need to be this way. After all, as a REALTOR® you have access to RPR reports, which work great as a lead magnet—the offer you have for prospects in return for their contact Information.

If your goal is to attract people looking to sell a home, you may want to offer an RPR Market Activity Report, which highlights current market opportunities, or a request for a free home valuation. If you’re looking to attract buyers, try offering a Market Activity Report customized with an upcoming open house schedule or new homes on the market.

With that sorted, let’s explore eight different solutions worth considering before building your next lead capture system.

Form Builders

1.  Google Forms – Free

You probably already have a Gmail account, so this one isn’t much of a stretch. Google’s form solution makes creating and analyzing form results easy. Simply drag and drop your fields into place. Some of the benefits include it’s integration with Google Sheets and the ability to collaborate with others. Also, Google Forms is easy to embed into any site.

2.  Gravity Forms – ($59/yr)

The leading WordPress plugin for creating forms, Gravity Forms, builds your lead capture system by simply dragging fields into place. Use the conditional logic to show or hide fields, sections, and pages, or even the submit button based on user selections.

3.  Wufoo – (Free and/or $19/mo+)

Another simple solution for creating embeddable forms, Wufoo, offers both a free and paid version. The free version allows users to create up to five forms with fewer than 100 monthly entries. The tool includes an easy to use form designer. Paid plans, which start at $19 a month, include more sophisticated features and allow for more entries. Also, WuFoo provides over 60 integrations to other useful platforms.

4.  Form Tools – (Free)

For the techy agents out there, Form Tools is a complete form-hosting solution offered free as open source (GNU Public License). One installation of Form Tools can handle as many forms as you want, even on different websites.

Landing Page Tools

5.  Unbounce – ($79/mo+)

Unbounce is a powerful drag and drop landing page builder that will help you create mobile responsive pages without any help from a technical team. It comes with hundreds of templates to make getting started quick and easy, including integrations with some of the top tools on the web.

6.  Instapage – ($69/mo+)

Similar to Unbounce, Instapage is a landing page tool that can be used to building mobile responsive lead capture pages. Instapage has team collaboration features, drag and drop elements, and A/B testing. Instapage provides a fews ways to integrate with your site, including a WordPress plugin.

7.  LeadPages – (14-day free trial and/or $25/mo+)

LeadPages is a popular solution and one of the lower price points. The tool offers lots of template options which are mobile responsive, and integrates with the Facebook Ad Builder. LeadPages also supports A/B testing so you can see what changes are working and what are not. It also comes with a WordPress plugin.

Lead Form in Facebook

8.  Facebook Lead Form – Cost tied to ad

If the purpose of your form or landing page is to generate prospects, Facebook Lead Ads should be considered. Each ad comes with a simple form that’s ideal for capturing a prospect’s information, all within Facebook. The forms even pre-populate the prospect’s public information such as name, email or phone number.

Instant Reaction: May Jobs Report

The following is NAR Chief Economist Lawrence Yun’s reaction to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) report on the employment situation in May:

“Housing demand will be supported by the continuing job gains even as mortgage rates rise. The latest monthly job addition of 223,000 brings the total net new job creations over the past 24 months to 4.4 million. Over the comparable two-year period, however,  2.4 million new housing units were built. In a strong economy such as now, over 3 million homes should have been built. With the unemployment rate falling to 3.8%, the lowest in 18 years, wages are picking up. But more home construction is needed to better satisfy the rising demand. Otherwise, housing shortage will push up home prices out-of-reach even for households with good stable jobs.”

LeadershipOAR Application

Go back to LeadershipOAR page

We realize that this is a long application. If you would rather fill out a PDF and email it to us click here.

2019 LeadershipOAR

  • Personal Data

  • Drop files here or
  • Education

  • Begin with high school, college(s), advanced degrees and/or specialized training)
  • Work Experience

  • Please include local board of REALTORS® involvement as well as OAR involvement. Do not include include civic organizations, public office or political activities in this section.
  • Community Involvement

  • Please include community, civic, spiritual, political, government, social, athletic or other activities. Do not include business or professional activities. Also indicate major role in the organization at this time.
  • General Information

  • (One of the goals of LeadershipOAR is to build a network of Association leaders who can enhance their problem-solving and other leadership abilities through shared perspectives and working together)
  • Commitment

  • To graduate from LeadershipOAR, a participant is expected to attend all sessions.
  • All dates are subject to change:
    Retreat 1: February 6-7, 2019, Location TBD
    Retreat 2: April 17-18, 2019, Location TBD
    Retreat 3: June 19 - 20, 2019, Location TBD
    Retreat 4: August 21-22, 2019, Location TBD
    Retreat 5: October 1-2, 2019 in conjunction with REignite Conference, Location TBD
  • Tuition

  • If accepted into the LeadershipOAR program, you will be billed for the remaining $1,000 tuition fee ($1,195 - $195 application fee). This tuition includes training sessions, meals, overnight accommodations and instructional materials. Additional costs to the participants will include transportation from home to the meeting or retreat site and minimal expenses, which may be incurred during the field exercise phase of the program.
  • Note: If tuition is not paid in full by January 30, 2019, you will not be able to participate in the LeadershipOAR program.
  • Broker Commitment

  • Sponsor Commitment (if applicable)

Note: Your application will be incomplete without your $195 application fee. You can either pay the fee online
Pay application fee online
or mail a check to:
Oklahoma Association of REALTORS®
ATTN: LOAR
9807 Broadway Ext. Oklahoma City, OK 73114

2018 Community Rock Star

OAR is accepting nominations for the Community Rock Star Award which honors three Oklahoma REALTORS® who go above and beyond to fulfill the needs shown by their communities. This award is designed to seek out the brightest stars who give unselfishly to improve the world around them through community service.

Recipients of the award will receive a $1,000 grant in their name to their charity and be recognized at the REignite Conference on October 10-11 in Oklahoma City.

Be a star for your community or charity. Nominate yourself or a fellow rock star today!
DOWNLOAD NOMINATION FORM
Deadline for nominations is July 2, 2018.

Life Member Nominations Due July 2

If you have a member who has demonstrated significant service and involvement with OAR, you should nominate them for the OAR Life Member Award. Deadline for all nominations is July 2.

Download a nomination form
Life Member Request Letter/Criteria

 The Life Membership Committee will consider nominees for this prestigious award, and the awards will be presented during the REALTOR® Celebration Banquet on Thursday, October 11 as part of the 2018 REignite Conference in Oklahoma City.

 For more information, email Nabeel Jamal or call 405.848.9944.

2018 REALTOR® of the Year Nominations Due July 2

Debbie Lynn Benton, Marlow
2017 Oklahoma REALTOR® of the Year

The Oklahoma Association of REALTORS® is seeking nominations for its 2018 OAR REALTOR® of the Year. The OAR member selected for this incredible honor will be announced and recognized by his/her peers at the REALTOR® Celebration Thursday, October 11, held in conjunction with the 2018 REignite Conference in Oklahoma City.

Each local board has the opportunity to nominate a REALTOR® member deserving of such a special honor by submitting the nomination form to the:

Nomination Form

Oklahoma Association of REALTORS®
ROTY BALLOT — CONFIDENTIAL
9807 N. Broadway Extension
Oklahoma City, OK 73114

The deadline for returning the form to the OAR office is July 2.  We look forward to hearing from you soon!

2019 Committee Nominations

For a list of committee descriptions please click here.

2019 Committee Nominations

Instant Reaction: Q1 GDP

The following is NAR Chief Economist Lawrence Yun’s reaction to the morning’s U.S. Commerce Department report on Q1 GDP:

“The continuing economic expansion assures further job creations and household formations. However, the latest GDP growth rate (of 2.3%) is short of what is possible. Residential investment spending showed zero growth because single-family and condominium construction have not been growing meaningfully. In America today, there is a major housing crisis. Consumers are facing high rent growth and are having difficulty saving up for down payment because of fast appreciating home prices. The acute housing shortage in most parts of the country can easily be relieved with more construction. Therefore, regulatory relief for small-sized banks will facilitate more construction loans for small-sized homebuilders. Local governments need to balance out how zoning laws may be hindering home construction and thereby unnecessarily raising housing costs for local residents. Also many communities need to focus on providing training in trade skills like carpentry and wood framing. A solid growth in home construction will help boost future GDP growth to consistently run at 3% or higher.”

Existing Home Sales Grew Slightly in March; Supply Shortage Continues

After two straight months of declines, existing home sales climbed 1.1 percent in March but it was a familiar story as low inventory and high prices kept sales activity to a level lower than a year ago, according to NAR.

As NAR Chief Economist Lawrence Yun explained during this morning’s press conference, gains last month in the Northeast and Midwest – a reversal from the weather-impacted declines seen in February – helped overall sales activity rise to its highest jump since last November at 5.72 million.  Yet low supply and a median sales price increase of 5.9% since last year has home sales at a lower level compared to a year ago.

“Unsold inventory is at a 3.6-month supply at the current sales pace, compared to 3.8 months at this time in 2017. There is a spring seasonal ramp-up in buyer demand but without the corresponding increase in new listings coming onto the market,” said Yun. “As a result, the market is highly competitive and homes are going under contract in about a month, which is four days faster than last year and 17 days faster than March 2016.”

 

Instant Reaction: Q1 Homeownership Rate and S&P/Case-Shiller

The following is NAR Chief Economist Lawrence Yun’s reaction to the S&P/Case-Shiller release on February home prices:

“There is no let-up to rising home prices. The Case-Shiller Index and National Association of Realtors® median home price both show gains of roughly double the average wage growth. Even as the tightening job market is starting to boost incomes, those looking to buy are facing a double whammy of fast rising home prices and higher mortgage rates. The way to make housing more affordable is to build more homes, particularly smaller-sized entry level homes and condominiums. 

Regulatory relief to small-sized community banks will also help boost construction loans. Local governments need to speedily approve housing permits. And there needs to be a way to more easily acquire trade skills like carpentry, wood framing and other construction specialties for those wanting to earn good middle-income salaries without having to go to college. Such actions will boost economic growth and provide better access to homeownership.”

Instant Reaction: March Jobs Report

The following is NAR Chief Economist Lawrence Yun’s reaction to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) report on the employment situation in March:

“The March jobs report was a bit soft, and first quarter GDP growth rate also looks to be weak. Heavy snow in parts of the country, and the uncertainty related to potential trade war, may be (as of now) hindering companies from hiring.

Although fewer people worked in construction in March because of the unusually cold wintry weather, job openings in the construction industry do remain at a historic high. If home builders can readily fill those jobs, then home construction significantly ramps up, and thereby brings more housing inventory to the market. 

Looking ahead, 3% GDP growth does look easily possible in upcoming quarters, with more construction jobs leading to more job creations in other segments of the economy.”

Accidental Employee Breaches on the Rise

When it comes to cyber security, ransomware attacks made the most news last year. However, an almost equal threat comes from within an organization.

Accidental breaches caused by employee error and third-party suppliers accounted for 30 percent of all breaches during the first half of 2017, according to a report from Beazley. Breaches that resulted from hacking and malware attacks led by only 2 percent, accounting for 32 percent of all breaches.

The highest rates of employee security breaches were in the financial and health care sectors. Almost one-third of financial data breaches involved unintended disclosure—employees sending personal banking details to the wrong recipient. Unintended disclosure also accounted for 42 percent of health care breaches.

The following are key takeaways from the 2017 Cost of Data Breach Study:

  • Although the overall cost of a data breach decreased from $4 million to $3.62 million globally since last year, the United States saw a 5 percent increase at $7.35 million.
  • Having an incident response team reduced the cost of a data breach by nearly $1 million.
  • Health care is the most costly industry for data breaches, costing organizations $380 per compromised record.

The insurance professionals at 3000 Insurance Group can help you evaluate your insurance. As an independent agency and the endorsed agency for OAR, they have access to many companies and products, as well as plans exclusive to OAR members. Contact Lydia Christine Lydia@3000ig.com or Ashley Napier Ashley@3000ig.com today, or visit www.3000ig.com.  

5 simple steps to share your RPR Market Activity Report on Facebook

RPR’s Market Activity report is an ideal option for agents who want to create enduring and results-oriented relationships through social media. The report presents a snapshot of changes in a local real estate market based on listing and MLS information, and includes active, pending, sold, expired, distressed, new for lease, and recently leased properties, as well as recent price changes and upcoming open houses for a period of up to six months.

Here’s a quick tutorial on how to post your RPR Market Activity Report to Facebook.

Logon to narrpr.com …

1. Under My Reports, click on the orange plus sign.

2. Choose Share on Facebook.

3. For agents in “non-disclosure” states, be aware of rules prohibiting sharing certain property information.

4. Now choose where to share the report: your profile, a page or group.

5. Choose who can see your shared Market Activity Report. Then select Post to Facebook.

The truth about technology and the role of a real estate agent

According to a report by the National Association of Realtors®, despite the abundance of publicly-accessed property data, more homebuyers and sellers are seeking counsel from real estate agents. In fact, nearly 90 percent of buyers purchased their home through a real estate agent or broker in 2016 — a dramatic increase from 69 percent in 2001 (2016 National Association of REALTORS® Profile of Home Buyers and Sellers).

Interesting. In the last 15 years, the “golden age of consumerism” has ushered in unprecedented access to real estate data, empowering homebuyers and sellers to potentially or partially manage their experience, yet the positive perceived value of working with a REALTOR® has skyrocketed.

The success measure for REALTORS®, then, becomes how well they properly interpret the data on the client’s behalf, how responsive they are to inquiries, and how likely they are to seamlessly manage the total customer experience. All three of those assets require a commitment to adopting marketplace efficiencies through the use of technology.

The truth about technology

It’s a big sweeping word that basically encompasses nearly every aspect of our lives. And, in real estate, it can be daunting. The truth is, though, that technology is simply an electronic way of 1) accessing digital assets that help consumers make informed decisions, and 2) automating our business practices or tasks in order to make ourselves more available and more valuable to our clients. Compartmentalized, that is, broken down into bite size pieces and choosing only those tasks essential to our cause, is the key to taking those first steps toward making technology an agent’s friend, not foe.

In the real estate landscape, nothing has helped REALTORS® become more responsive than mobile technology. The anytime, anywhere access to property data and reports has afforded agents even more opportunities to convey their value to consumers.

One such digital asset is the app offered by Realtors Property Resource® (RPR® ). Available only to REALTORS® , the exclusive portal offers an unparalleled platform of nationwide property data on residential and commercial properties. For example, within seconds of getting a call or text from a client, users can jump into the app, create a report and text or email it back to the client. The Platform has also just released a CMA tool on its app. Other cool features include the ability to use your phone’s location to search on-and-off market properties, valuations, tax and mortgage info, distressed data, mapping, market trends and more.

In the end, real estate agents who recognize that technology is a tool that can and should be leveraged to support new ways of conducting business and building successful relationships will lead the way. Educating consumers has become our best asset. We should use it to our advantage.

REALTORS® share 10 RPR strategies for success

A look back at our 2017 REALTOR® stories reveals compelling and insightful strategies for creating workplace efficiencies, earning client trust, and generating new business –– all while leveraging the data and reports found within Realtors Property Resource® (RPR® ).

1. 5 ways to fight the good fight in real estate


The accuracy of the data obtained by consumers, and the availability of the most up-to-date data, is a point of concern for many REALTORS®. Here, an agent describes how he finds new opportunities to reinforce his value to consumers while leveraging challenges brought on by real estate’s “age of information.”

2. Mortgage data turns table in buyer’s favor


Knowledge is power in the real estate space, especially at the negotiating table. Here’s a quick anecdote from a REALTOR® who successfully turned the tides in his buyer’s favor just by checking the listing’s mortgage information in RPR.

3. Economic area report gives voice to association staffers


Staffer earns a voice among community leaders who now see her Association and REALTORS® as information providers who can help shape conversations about the future of their communities.

4. 3 ways to go over & above when working with referrals


America is on the move, and this Realtor is ready to roll with it. Learn how he capitalizes on the surge by building a robust referral market in one of the country’s hottest relocation markets.

5. Easy icebreaker ideas for creating new business


In supercharged real estate markets like the Denver metro area, every move counts. That’s why Jickson Chacko never overlooks an opportunity to shop for new clients, literally.

6. School report cuts sales cycle in half


According to this REALTOR®, an app only needs to do two things for her: “Prove that it’s going to help me make money and make my life easier. From there, we should be able to put our minds to using it.”

7. Client engagement leads to early buy-in


This Broker/Owner takes client engagement seriously. He believes securing an early buy-in from would-be homeowners gives them ownership for the process. And he uses the RPR app to do so.

8. An economist’s tour from Wall Street to Main Street


REALTORS® are often looked at by clients as local economic experts, with expectations to time markets precisely, identify opportunities before anyone else, and to determine the optimal purchase or sale price for projects. Having the right resources can vastly improve their odds at projecting things accurately.

9. Real estate’s most important four letter word is “next,” not “sold”


There’s somewhat of a science when using social media to generate new business. In all, follow the 80/20 rule. Here’s how one one flexible, easy-to-use social media platform, combined with the nation’s only REALTOR®-owned data and reporting platform, can help.

10. REALTOR® owned technology sweetens showings


Today, consumers have access to more real estate data than any other time in history so it’s an agent’s job to have the right data at the right time, and be able to both show and tell her way through a tour.

Introducing RPR Connect: a new Facebook Group

Introducing RPR Connect:  a new Facebook Group. RPR Connect is an interactive forum that connects REALTORS®, Brokers/Owners, and other industry leaders who want to keep ahead of the curve. RPR Connect provides an open, professional dialogue for real estate pros who want to share their RPR success strategies as well as those who want quick answers to their RPR-related questions. Contributors can also catch up on the latest and greatest tools from RPR, register for webinars, and link to other important learning resources.

Join like-minded agents who enjoy sharing business building tips and tricks, or try to stump an RPR pro with your question. It’s the perfect setting for any REALTOR® who knows the value of networking and has a desire to succeed.

RPR Connect is about you!

1. Get answers to your RPR questions

When RPR related questions come up, ask the group for answers.

2. See what’s new

Be the first to hear the latest RPR news. Get updates on new features and datasets, and learning opportunities.

3. Strategize with other REALTORS®

Network with other RPR users to hear how they leverage the system to their advantage. Tips, tricks and use cases.

4. Pick up tips to build your business

Scan how-to articles covering topics that drive awareness and action in your real estate business.

5. Uncover new learning resources

Find exactly the topic you want to know more about with brief tutorials and handouts like, How to Create an RPR Seller’s Report or Understanding the Realtor Valuation Model® (RVM®).

So what are you waiting for? Visit Facebook and request to join the RPR Connect group.

Aluminum, steel tariffs impact on residential real estate

Following is a statement from National Association of Realtors® Chief Economist Lawrence Yun on the proposal to impose tariffs on steel and aluminum and the potential impact on residential real estate:

“International trade requires reciprocal understanding of mutual interests. Trade has to be fair and intellectual property rights have to be respected on both sides. Still, the proposed tariffs could measurably raise the cost of building materials and hinder home construction of affordable homes. But more importantly, tariffs and restrictions to international trade will hold back economic growth and job creations. A better way to raise GDP growth is to produce more homes. Job growth and additional housing inventory will greatly help American workers and American consumers.”

Dos and Don’ts of Screening Tenants Legally

In October, a Massachusetts landlord who refused to rent to pregnant women or families with minor children was found guilty of violating the federal Fair Housing Act and fined $40,000. The same month, the Fair Housing Justice Center in New York sued a landlord for allegedly quoting higher rental rates to black prospective tenants, rejecting applicants with public rent assistance, and making children undergo unnecessary lead tests. Five months earlier, a federal jury in Montana fined a landlord $37,000 after she charged a disabled tenant $1,000 to have a service animal.

Cases such as these are stark reminders for property managers and landlords that neglecting to follow antidiscrimination rules designed to protect renters can come with big consequences. You know the fundamentals of fair housing: You shouldn’t ask any questions or base any housing-related decisions on an applicant’s race, color, religion, sex, national origin, disability, or familial status, and you mustn’t promote a property in terms such as “great building for single professionals.” But knowing the law and complying with it are two different things, which can be made difficult by the continual evolution of case law related to housing discrimination.

Tenant screening provides a first line of defense against discrimination complaints. That’s because differences in factors such as an applicant’s income, employment, references, and credit histories can help justify the selection of one tenant over another and thereby help landlords avoid discrimination charges. Here are eight recommendations for using the screening process to keep discrimination lawsuits at bay.

DO apply your policies and procedures uniformly. Avoid running a full tenant screening report on some applicants and only a credit check on others. If you have a policy of renting to applicants with the best credit, don’t make an exception for a would-be tenant with a better personality but a less positive credit report. Be consistent or be vulnerable to discrimination complaints.

DON’T get too personal on rental application forms. Ask about jobs, previous addresses, income, and references. But stay away from specific questions about spouses or children, as well as other protected characteristics under the Fair Housing Act. (You can provide space for an applicant to list all the individuals who would be living in the apartment.) Even asking the question may give the impression that you would limit housing access based on the answers.

DO choose a “colorblind” screening service. Some services have a scoring system that enables landlords to establish their preferred tenant profile based on specific parameters, such as income, past evictions, and credit score. The software then evaluates each applicant according to the criteria and returns a “recommend” or “not recommend” verdict completely independent of race, religion, or other potentially discriminatory factors. This ensures that applicants are evaluated equally, providing a strong defense, assuming you follow the software’s recommendations.

DON’T automatically reject an applicant with a criminal record. In 2016, the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development issued a memorandum on housing providers’ use of arrest and conviction records to make housing-related decisions. According to Jodie McDougal, a partner at the Davis Brown Law Firm in Des Moines, Iowa, these guidelines mean that you cannot have blanket policies excluding all applicants who are felons or consider arrest records. Instead, you should perform a case-by-case evaluation. Read McDougal’s explanation and recommendations.

DO stay abreast of new developments affecting screening. One of them is a pending amendment to the Fair Credit Reporting Act, introduced in Congress last August. Currently, eviction reports used in the tenant screening process can include records dating back seven years. Under the proposed amendment, called the Tenant Protection Act, only eviction records no older than three years and resulting in a judgment that is not being appealed would be allowed. Use of older records would be viewed as discriminatory.

DO keep all documentation for up to 10 years. That includes rental applications, signed releases, tenant screening reports, and any other data or documents collected during the screening process—even if you don’t rent to the applicant. This information may be crucial if a rejected applicant questions your denial or selection of a different tenant. A paper trail can help you prove that the person was not denied residency based on discrimination but because a more qualified tenant was selected instead.

DO send a declination letter when rejecting a potential tenant. This document, also called an “adverse action letter,” specifies the reason or reasons for rejecting a rental application, such as income, employment, or credit history. Some screening services provide free declination letters with all the federally required language, along with a checklist of legitimate reasons for turning down a candidate.

DO call your attorney when in doubt. With new legal challenges and decisions coming out on a regular basis, it’s wise to have a legal resource you can turn to with questions. Find an attorney who can periodically review your rental application form to make it sure it complies with the latest antidiscrimination requirements. It will help prevent you from making a mistake that may land you in court.

NAR President Elizabeth Mendenhall to USA Today: Homeownership Is a Good Financial Investment

The following is a submitted Letter to the Editor by NAR President Elizabeth Mendenhall addressing the highly debatable claim made last week by a USA Today guest columnist that homeownership is a lousy investment. This letter to the editor in support of homeownership was published in today’s print edition of USA Today:

(Click image to view readable version; full text below)

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Most Americans Agree: Homeownership Is a Sound Investment
By Elizabeth Mendenhall, NAR president
Submitted to USA Today
2/20/2018

The Feb. 18 guest column, “Why your home is a lousy investment when you think it’s great,” has two glaring omissions in it that would otherwise show that homeownership is indeed a solid investment for millions of middle-class Americans.

Outside of referring to it as “tiny,” Mr. Fisher’s column all but disregards one important thing: rent. His argument that investing in the stock market in lieu of owning a home conveniently omits the fact that an individual has to live somewhere. If they don’t own, chances are very good that they are renting at the mercy of another individual or company – their landlord – who clearly already realized the advantages of real estate as a great investment.

Being a homeowner means building equity over time and comes with tax incentives and a fixed monthly mortgage payment that acts as a forced savings plan, whereas rents – as almost every renter could tell you today – continue to climb far above incomes.

Mr. Fisher uses home prices in San Mateo County, Calif., for his example of the expected return a homeowner could have seen over a 10-year period before selling. Nowhere is it mentioned what the cost of renting is in that area. According to RentCafe.com, the average rent of a 3-bedroom apartment is currently $4,157, up 8 percent in the past three years.

During this same timeframe, local homeowners have seen the value of their home rise around 15 percent. While an 8 percent rent hike may be “tiny” to a billionaire like Mr. Fisher, it is very likely a cause of angst for a renter, who would have also missed the nearly double bump in wealth gains if they owned instead.

The second exclusion in the article is the fact that most middle-class Americans aren’t heavily invested in the stock market. Mr. Fisher makes it seem as if people have the time and knowledge to direct all of their cash into equities, watch it magically grow and retire as multi-millionaires. In reality, as this year’s volatility proves as a cautious reminder, the stock market comes with its own risks.

Countless studies show that most Americans aren’t saving enough for retirement. Thirty years from now, a retiring homeowner could very well have their mortgage fully paid off with the convenience of options, including living without monthly housing expenses or deciding to sell and using the sizeable equity gains towards fully (or mostly) covering their next home purchase. A renter after 30 years would have nothing, and would be relying on the unpredictability of a landlord and the stock market.

According to the Federal Reserve, a typical homeowner currently has a net worth of $231,400 versus only $5,100 for a renter. Diversification, including homeownership and a long-term savings plan that may include stocks, is the key to financial success.

Mr. Fisher does get one thing right: owning a home is great, it brings satisfaction and creates memories. There is a reason why 83 percent of homeowners think homeownership is a good financial investment: it works.

Source: NAR Newsline

Ep 3: Smart Home Tech & Contract Forms Update

   Listen on Google Play Music

We get a quick legislative session forecast for 2018 from our Government Affairs Director, Jessica Dietrich, discuss all the latest and greatest tech toys for a smart home and bring you all the key changes to the Oklahoma Real Estate Commission (OREC) Contract Forms going into effect on February 15th.


Jessica Dietrich – Government Affairs Director

  • [0:48] Listener feedback
  • [2:30] Special guest Jessica Dietrich (OAR Government Affairs Director)
  • [3:30] Legislative session outlook for 2018
  • [8:25] Capitol Conference Ad
  • [10:05] Tech Toys for a Smart Home
  • [25:58] Legal Line Ad
  • [26:39] Oklahoma Real Estate Commission (OREC) contract forms updates

Instant Reaction: 2017 Q4 GDP

The following is NAR Chief Economist Lawrence Yun’s reaction to the U.S. Commerce Department release on Gross Domestic Product (GDP) in the fourth quarter:

“The economy expanded at a respectable rate of 2.3% in 2017. That’s a good comeback considering a very weak start of only 1.2% growth in the first quarter.

The housing market performed reasonably well last year with decade highs in new and existing home sales. But housing construction still did not fully get back to historically normal levels. Only 1.2 million housing units were constructed compared to the historical average of 1.5 million starts a year. This underproduction is the principal cause of the ongoing housing shortage, and why the economy did not fully get back up to 3% GDP growth possibility last year. Even in the private business sector, spending for equipment and software soared, but not for commercial building constructions.

 For 2018, the tax cuts that go into effect will provide a lift, and GDP growth of 3% is likely. But to have even faster expansion, along with strengthening wage and income gains, real estate construction has to significantly ramp up and show robust gains. Liberating small-sized community banks from big-bank regulations will permit more construction loans, and could get us back to historical average conditions for construction. This would in turn lead to a spectacular gain of near 4% GDP growth in 2018.”   

Instant Reaction: December Housing Starts

The following is NAR Chief Economist Lawrence Yun’s reaction to the U.S. Commerce Department release on residential construction in December:

“The latest decline in the volatile housing starts data is disappointing, but surely not lasting. New home construction still closed out 2017 as expected, with 1.2 million units – the best since 2007. Given that the sales for both new and existing homes sold briskly throughout last year and at notably higher prices, housing starts should easily surpass 1.3 million in 2018.  Some relaxing of regulatory rules in small-sized community banks will help improve credit conditions for developers. Should more construction come about, the much needed additional inventory will help calm home price appreciation. That would be a good trend for housing affordability, especially in a likely higher mortgage rate environment later this year. 

The new tax bill, which caps mortgage interest and property tax deductions, was not the chief reason for last month’s decline. About 95% of new homes are priced below $750,000. Still, homebuilders will do well to focus on moderately-priced homes catering to first-time buyers. The entry-level price point is in dire need of new inventory heading into the spring.” 

NAR Statement on Federal Government Shutdown

National Association of Realtors® President Elizabeth Mendenhall issued the following statement in response to the shutdown of the federal government:

“The government shutdown will have an impact on real estate transactions should it continue for an extended period of time.  The National Association of Realtors® urges Congress to come together and reach an agreement to reopen the government and avoid any negative effects on our military, federal employees, housing markets and the economy.”

7 Habits to Boost Business in 2018

The New Year is almost here, and no doubt you’ve thought long and hard about your company goals for 2018. But are they SMART goals (S-specific; M-measurable; A-achievable; R-realistic; T-timely)?

In order to realize your SMART goals, you’ll have to get into a healthy business routine. Here are seven habits to consistently practice every day to make 2018 the best year for you and your brokerage.

 

1. Praise your team for their efforts, not results. Everyone thrives on praise. Praise encourages, motivates, and inspires people to achieve greater heights. But how you praise people is key.

  • Praise your agents on their individual and group efforts. Never assume their talents or smarts are a given. Otherwise, they may think, “What if I don’t get a deal done next time? Maybe I’m not as smart as you think. Next time I might fail.”
  • Praising effort creates a work environment that values growth and improvement. Strive to create a culture where agents think anything is possible.
  • Regardless of whether a deal closes, provide encouragement such as, “I have total confidence in you.  I’ve never seen you give up. I know you’re going to get there.”

2. Be calm and unflappable, regardless of what happened before you walked in the door. You are the broker—the leader. Your mood sets the tone in the firm every day. Being calm enables you to sit in the driver’s seat and focus on your priorities to get things done. Calm brains are hardwired to perform.

3. Do not check your email in the morning. If there is an emergency, you’ll know or find out about it immediately. No one finds out about an emergency in an email.

  • Give your best, most productive hours of the day to your own goals, not someone else’s as stated in their email.
  • Set yourself up to act on an email, not react to it.
  • Do not allow your priorities and goals to be hijacked by an email.

4. Only do what’s important.

  • Complete your planned activities first, and ask yourself whether anything else is essential.
  • There is a direct correlation between your use of time and your output, which is driven entirely by hours spent on your planned activities.

5. Make any and all distractions go away.  Distractions are “culturally-generated ADD,” according to Ed Hallowell, former professor at Harvard Medical School and author of Driven to Distraction.

  • Change your environment by changing your behavior. For example, try working for an hour at home in the morning so that you won’t be interrupted every five minutes with a question or email.

6. Create a consistent routine. Routines work because they become automatic; you don’t have to think about them.

  • Apply the 8-2 rule: Of the 10 things you do each day, only two of them are really responsible for the success of your company. Figure out what those two things are and do them every day. Try to eliminate doing the other eight things.

7. Define tomorrow’s one or two priorities or goals the night before.

  • Make those goals SMART.
  • Write them down.
  • Take that list with you in the morning.

As long as you are clear about your SMART brokerage goals for 2018, these seven daily habits will help your firm—and you—make 2018 your best year yet.

Tax Bill Passes; Tough Work Still Ahead

The U.S. House and Senate have passed sweeping tax reform legislation that is expected to have a major impact on housing markets. The bill will go to President Donald Trump now that the House has passed the bill a second time to accommodate small, last-minute changes made in the Senate.

The bill is an improvement for homeowners when compared to earlier House and Senate versions, because it makes several changes NAR sought. However the structure of the bill continues to raise concerns, and NAR President Elizabeth Mendenhall has said the association will look for legislative opportunities next year, as they arise, to improve the law.

 

In general, the bill lowers tax rates and almost doubles the standard deduction while making itemized deductions less attractive to use. The bill keeps the mortgage interest deduction in place, for both first and second homes, with a mortgage limit of $750,000 for each, down from $1 million. The bill also keeps deductions in place for state and local income taxes and property taxes, but limits the two deductions together to $10,000, an amount that will mostly hurt homeowners in higher-tax states like New Jersey, New York, and California.

The limitations on these and other deductions means many homeowners who itemize today will find it more attractive to take the newly increased standard deduction, although that deduction is less valuable than it initially appears because the bill also eliminates the personal and dependency exemptions.

“The new tax regime will fundamentally alter the benefits of homeownership by nullifying incentives for individuals and families while keeping those incentives in place for large institutional investors. That should concern any middle-class family looking to claim their piece of the American dream,” Mendenhall said.

In a win for REALTORS®, the bill keeps current law in place on the capital gains exemption on the sale of a home. The earlier versions of the bill would have made that exemption harder to take and added limits on higher-income households. In the end, those provisions were removed.

In a change that could affect many real estate professionals, the bill creates a 20 percent deduction for owners of pass-through entities whose income is taxed on the individual, rather than the corporate, side of the code. The deduction phases out after a certain income threshold is reached.

The bill keeps current law in place for many provisions of importance to commercial real estate, including 1031 tax-deferred exchanges.

Although the bill is improved compared to earlier versions, Mendenhall says REALTORS® will stay engaged and will seek to make further improvements for homeowners. “We still have some hard work ahead of us,” Mendenhall said. “Significant legislative initiatives often require fixes to address unintended consequences, and this bill is no exception.”

REALTOR® Magazine

Instant Reaction: November Housing Starts

The following is NAR Chief Economist Lawrence Yun’s reaction to the U.S. Commerce Department report on November housing starts:

“A welcoming trend is developing in the housing sector as builders are able to bring more supply to the market on a consistent basis. The latest monthly figure of near 1.3 million annualized housing starts is solid, and the growth is mostly coming both in the West and for single-family homes. 

There is still more room for improvement, as the latest figure is still not yet at the long-term 50-year average of producing 1.5 million units per year. If this rising trend continues, the worst of the supply shortage could soon end, which would help slow price appreciation in 2018. That would be a huge, welcoming relief for renters seeking to become homeowners.”   

November Sales Surprise to a Near 11-Year High; Contract Signings Also Rise

In what reflects the significant amount of pent-up demand in today’s housing market, existing-home sales surged in November to their strongest pace since December 2006. Good news was also found in November’s pending sales data. 

Whether it’s been weakening affordability, low supply or hurricanes, sales have been somewhat sluggish since the summer. That changed last month.

Looking at the data from the Realtors Confidence Index, it’s clear most of the jump in closings came from trade-up buyers with large down payments and those with cash on hand. All-cash and investor sales were both up, while first-time buyers made up only 29 percent of the market (32 percent in November 2016).

While November’s sales jump is great news heading into 2018, NAR Chief Economist Lawrence Yun reiterated during this morning’s press conference that supply is still way too low. Sales to first-time buyers will not improve meaningfully unless there’s a significant boost in new and existing listings next year.

We’ll find out soon…

10 standout features RPR added this year

Productivity was the name of the game for RPR users in 2017. The Platform introduced scores of new tools and features that make a real estate agent’s business day a little better, from simple solutions like voice-to-text transcription to the ability to create a CMA using your phone. Here are the most popular enhancements from 2017.

1. Search by Voice

Now, RPR makes it easier for REALTORS® on the go by introducing voice-to-text search capability in RPR Mobile™. Tap the magnifying glass icon from within any of the search fields to initiate voice to text transcription. This new feature is also available when using the Property Notes function on RPR.

2. A comp analysis on the fly

The app’s offerings have been expanded to include Comp Analysis Express––a simple, intuitive interface to create an on-the-go CMA using your phone or tablet. Update or install RPR Mobile™ to see for yourself.

3. Notifications on RPR Mobile™ 

Be the first to know about status, price, and estimated value changes on your saved properties or listed inventory. RPR’s new notification settings allow you the ability to control notification types you would like to receive. Visit the app’s Settings tool to get started.

4. SMR Commercial Tenant data

A recent integration adds data on more than seven million tenants, such as name, suite number, move-in date, type of business, and business start date. You can also add or edit tenant information. The data can be found on Commercial Property Reports as well as printed as a stand-alone report.

5. Add custom home facts

This newly added function allows users to add their own custom home facts. Items added to the RPR Property Details page will also be added to RPR Property Reports, Comp Analyses and Seller’s Reports.

6. Traffic count data arrives in RPR Commercial and mobile

Now, RPR offers the industry’s most current traffic measurement product to its website and app users with 24-hour average daily traffic counts for highways and roads throughout the United States.

7. Insert PDF templates into RPR Reports

Easily custom files into reports you create from RPR. The new feature is an excellent way to showcase your biography, testimonials, additional statistics, and specific marketing tools and methods you employ for clients. Brokers enrolled in RPR’s Broker Tool Set have the option to also include an additional five PDF pages for their agents to use as well.

8. Residential lease searches

RPR users now have access to more than 167,000 active lease properties and more than eight million off-market rental properties from their mobile phones.

9. Open Houses on the RPR app

Planning your open house tour just got a whole lot easier thanks to a significant upgrade to the RPR app. A new “Open House” feature on the app’s home screen provides a count of open houses, see properties in search results with upcoming open houses, search exclusively for open houses and to filter by date.

10. Good news for FPCs,GADs and Association staff

Now, NAR’s quarterly Congressional District Reports on housing trends can be easily inserted into RPR’s Economic Area Reports. RPR’s Federal Economic Area Report offers insights into the demographics, consumer behavior and economic activity of your congressional district or state.

Instant Reaction: November Jobs Report

The following is NAR Chief Economist Lawrence Yun’s reaction to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics report on employment conditions in November:

“November marked another impressive month for the labor market, adding up to now over 2 million net new jobs over the past 12 months.  From the deep recession in 2010, 17 million new jobs have been created. In fact, current employment levels are way above the pre-recession levels by nearly 10 million.

That means an abundance of new potential homebuyers in the near future. Yet, the construction employment is still slow in coming. Even the though the latest month’s job growth rate in the construction sector of 2.7% is twice as fast as the overall growth rate, total construction jobs are still well below the pre-recession levels by roughly 20%. Without more skilled construction workers and more hiring in the sector, the housing shortage will continue well into 2018.”

Instant Reaction: Lawrence Yun on Today’s FOMC Statement

The following statement is NAR Chief Economist Lawrence Yun’s reaction to the Federal Reserve’s decision today to raise short-term interest rates, as well as what it means for the economy and housing in 2018:

“There will be juice added to the economy in the months ahead as a result of the expected passage of a massive tax cut. It remains to be seen whether the effects are long-lasting or just for a short period of time. 

However, with the unemployment rate already at a low of around 4 percent, there is not much room to go further down. That means inflationary pressure will slowly develop. That is why the Federal Reserve today raised the short-term interest rates and will likely do so three more times in 2018. The longer-term interest rates, like the 30-year fixed mortgages rate, will therefore be nudged higher in 2018. Economic stimulus will help with job creation and housing demand, but higher interest rates threaten to cut into housing affordability next year.”   

Voter Registration Drive

We are launching a voter registration drive to increase REALTOR® participation and influence in the political process! Nearly 80 percent of all REALTORS® are registered to vote, but we can do better. While you may be registered, we would like you to consider taking one of the following actions:

  • If you know that you are NOT registered, and would like to REGISTER TO VOTE, it has never been easier. Just go to www.realtorsvote.org and register.  It’s that simple.
  • If you ARE registered to vote, congratulations! We would appreciate your help in keeping our files up to date by going to www.realtoractioncenter.com/vote and confirming your registration. Often we have only a business address on file, which explains why we could not match you to the state voter file.

The Oklahoma Association of REALTORS® is proud to join with the National Association of REALTORS® on this important civic effort to increase the number of registered voters and voter participation across the country.

Questions? Contact Jessica Dietrich  for more information.

LeadershipOAR Application

Go back to LeadershipOAR page

We realize that this is a long application. If you would rather fill out a PDF and email it to us click here.

LeadershipOAR

  • Personal Data

  • Drop files here or
  • Education

  • Begin with high school, college(s), advanced degrees and/or specialized training)
  • Work Experience

  • Please include local board of REALTORS® and/or OAR involvement. Do not include include civic organizations, public office or political activities in this section.
  • Community Involvement

  • Please include community, civic, spiritual, political, government, social, athletic or other activities. Do not include business or professional activities. Also indicate major role in the organization at this time.
  • General Information

  • (One of the goals of LeadershipOAR is to build a network of Association leaders who can enhance their problem-solving and other leadership abilities through shared perspectives and working together)
  • Commitment

  • To graduate from LeadershipOAR, a participant is expected to attend all sessions.
  • Retreat 1: February 21-22, 2018 at Shangri-La (Grove, OK)
    Retreat 2: April 25-26, 2018 at Quartz Mountain (Lone Wolf, OK)
    Retreat 3: June 18-19, 2018 at Embassy Suites (Oklahoma City, OK)
    Retreat 4: August 22-23 at Lake Murray Lodge (Ardmore, OK)
    Retreat 5: October 9-11 in conjunction with REignite at The Skirvin (Oklahoma City, OK)
  • Tuition

  • If accepted into the LeadershipOAR program, you will be billed for the remaining $1,000 tuition fee ($1,195 - $195 application fee). This tuition includes training sessions, meals, overnight accommodations and instructional materials. Additional costs to the participants will include transportation from home to the meeting or retreat site and minimal expenses, which may be incurred during the field exercise phase of the program.
  • Note: If tuition is not paid in full by February 15, 2018, you will not be able to participate in the LeadershipOAR program.
  • Broker Commitment

  • Sponsor Commitment (if applicable)

Note: Your application will be incomplete without your $195 application fee. You can either pay the fee online
Pay application fee online
or mail a check to:
Oklahoma Association of REALTORS®
ATTN: LOAR
9807 Broadway Ext. Oklahoma City, OK 73114

Instant Reaction: S&P/Case-Shiller September Home Prices

The following is NAR Chief Economist Lawrence Yun’s reaction to the S&P/Case-Shiller release on September home prices:

“Home prices, after multiple years of fast growth, still show no signs of cooling because of the ongoing housing shortage in much of the country. The latest Case-Shiller price growth of 6.2% on a nationwide basis marks the strongest rise in over three years. This fast appreciation over income growth is not sustainable over many years. 

Housing demand is clearly rising from the improving labor market, but supply is still not kicking higher. Homes for sale are quickly going under contract, and overall existing inventory has fallen for 29 consecutive months (on a year-over-year basis). Either demand will chocked off from weakening affordability, or more robust construction needs to take place to calm home prices. The latter is the much preferred outcome, and would be a win for homebuyers, a win for homebuilders and win for faster economic growth.”   

Instant Reaction: October Housing Starts

The following is NAR Chief Economist Lawrence Yun’s reaction to the U.S. Commerce Department report on residential construction in October:

“The South region is quickly getting back on its feet with a big jump in new housing starts, after a pause in the prior month from the aftermath of the hurricanes. The Midwest and the Northeast regions also made gains. Only the West region, the very region that is most in need of new supply, experienced fewer housing starts.

Overall, the total activity for the country is moving in the right path. More supply will boost future home sales. The West region, however, could experience slowing job growth as affordability conditions worsen from the ongoing inventory shortages that are driving up prices. This could ultimately force residents and potential job seekers to start looking to other parts of the country.” 

The Anatomy of a First-time Buyer in 2017

Prospective first-time buyers in recent years have had to navigate several obstacles on their path to homeownership, including higher rents and home prices, tight inventory conditions and repaying student loan debt.

These impediments are a big reason why first-timers were only 34 percent of all transactions in the National Association of Realtors®’ 2017 Profile of Home Buyers and Sellers, which is far below the long-term historical average of 39 percent since the survey debuted in 1981.

Amidst these ongoing supply and affordability challenges, here is the typical makeup of a successful first-time buyer:

  • Age – 32 years old
  • Household income – $75,000
  • Cost of home purchased – $190,000
  • Down payment amount – 5 percent
  • Student loan debt – $29,000
  • Type and location of home purchased – Single-family home in a suburban area

NAR HBS First-time Buyers

Source: NAR Newsline

YPN Organizes Toys For Tots Statewide Drive

The Oklahoma Association of REALTORS® YPN has organized a state wide toy drive for 2017. OAR will be an official drop off point for Marine Corps Toys For Tots along with several other local boards across the state. Please bring a new, unwrapped toy to OAR’s office by 12/1 or any of the others in the list below, and make a child’s holiday a little brighter.

Dates and drop off locations (list will be updated as more locations are finalized):

11/13 till 12/1 – Oklahoma City – Oklahoma Association of REALTORS® (9807 Broadway Ext, OKC)
11/30 – 12/15 – Enid – NW OK Association of REALTORS® (1625 W. Garriott, Ste G, Enid)
11/30 (6 to 8 pm) – Edmond – Boulevard Lanes (3501 S Blvd, Edmond)
11/13 till 12/8 – Ada – Ada Board of REALTORS® (1201 B Arlington Blvd, Ada)
11/20 till 12/15 – Grove – REMAX Grand Lake (2330 S Main St, Grove)
11/26 till 12/12 – Norman – Norman Board of REALTORS® (717 26th Ave NW, Norman)
Dates TBD – Duncan
Dates TBD – Tulsa – Greater Tulsa Association of REALTORS® (11505 E 43rd St, Tulsa)

OAR Wins 2017 State YPN of the Year

It was one of the most coveted tickets to nab during the REALTORS® Conference & Expo this week: The YPN speakeasy networking event in Chicago at a 1920s-era lounge cleverly named Untitled. About 400 members gathered face-to-face with their peers from across the country to celebrate the ninth annual Network of the Year Awards. A crystal trophy was presented to a small, medium, large association based on membership size, as well as to one state association during the evening event. The winners showed exemplary leadership skills, furthering the YPN mission of member engagement and education, community involvement, and advocacy for real estate and homeownership.

Here are the award winners:

Small Network: Gallatin Association of REALTORS®

5411_YPN_reception

Medium Network: Pikes Peak Association of REALTORS®

5412_YPN_reception

Large Network: Miami Association of REALTORS®

5413_YPN_reception

State Network: Oklahoma Association of REALTORS®

5415_YPN_reception

How to Keep Consumers Engaged

Leading power brokers shared their strategies for effectively reaching and engaging with consumers during a session titled, “New Strategies for Engaging Consumers,” during the 2017 REALTORS® Conference & Expo.

REALTORS® and brokers from across the country listened as the panel discussed the importance of utilizing new technology and social media , automating as many processes as you can and maintaining contact with previous clients. Here are some of the key takeaways:

Your personal realtor

Embrace technology:

“We are all trying to gain the attention of consumers, and where are we going to find that attention focused? It’s on their mobile devices,” said Gino Blefari, CEO of HSF Affiliates and co-moderator of today’s panel. “So we need to be engaging consumers on their cell phones.”

The panelists all touched on the importance utilizing social media as a direct marketing tool and warned against falling behind in the technological revolution. “What happens to your business when people start asking their Amazon Alexa ‘I want to go to an open house,’ and you are still debating if you should get a Facebook page?” said Blefari.

Automate what you can:                                

“If your core operation isn’t humming along, all the extra work you are doing to engage consumers is for naught,” said panelist John Murray, President of Realty Pilot and managing broker/owner for Key Realty. “Brokerages need to invest in tools that can help automate everything that can be automated.”

Many panelists recommended investing in a tool to automate daily posting on social media accounts. “We should all be posting content that is relevant and interesting to consumers,” said co-moderator John Featherston, founder, president and CEO of RISMedia. “But we aren’t content creators and finding that relevant content to publish each day can be a full time job. There are companies that, for a low price, will make sure that consumer.”

Stay in touch with previous clients:   

“It is so important that agents stay in touch with their previous clients, because without that continued relationship less than 13 percent of clients will go back to their agents,” said Helen Hanna Casey, President of Howard Hanna Real Estate Services. Panelists recommended group texting, sending cards and even something as ‘old school’ as making a phone call.

However, when making that phone call, panelist Paul Wells, President of The Wells Group and Broker at RE/MAX of Barrington, has his agents do a little research. “Before our agents call clients, we have them check the clients Facebook page,” he said. “If they just got back from Mexico, our agents talk with them about Mexico. They can connect personally before diving into real estate.”

Source: NAR Newsline

NAR’s 2018 Housing and Economic Forecast

NAR Chief Economist Lawrence Yun presented his 2018 economic and housing forecast at the 2017 Realtors® Conference and Expo in Chicago.

Yun expects existing-home sales to rise 3.7 percent next year. However, there are some caveats. Low supply could continue to suppress sales, especially to first-time buyers, and the passage of a tax bill that disincentives homeownership could handcuff what should be stronger activity.

Click on the links below for further insight on Yun’s expectations for the housing market and economy heading into 2018:

News release
2018 Forecast Table

Source: NAR Newsline

Instant Reaction: Q3 Homeownership Rate and S&P/Case-Shiller

The following is NAR Chief Economist Lawrence Yun’s reaction to reports on the U.S. homeownership rate in the third quarter and August home prices (S&P/Case-Shiller).

“The American Dream of home ownership remains elusive, as the third quarter figure shows little change in the overall  rate. The reason is simple. There is just not enough supply of homes to fully satisfy the desire to own. The lack of inventory has pushed up home prices by 48% from the low point in 2011, while wage growth over the same period has been only 15%.

The latest Case-Shiller constant quality price index further affirms strong price gains (7% in August), which is the third consecutive month of accelerating gains from already fast appreciating conditions.”

RPR: Mortgage data turns table in buyer’s favor

Every Realtor® has run into it once or twice. Encounters with sellers who are less than forthcoming about their property’s shortcomings, including withholding facts about the outstanding mortgage.

“Those kinds of surprises are detrimental to closing the deal,” says Andrew Balalovski, broker and owner of Balalovski Real Estate in Reynoldsburg, Ohio. “So before I ring a client’s doorbell, I’m two steps ahead of the seller. I know everything about the property’s worth, its past mortgage, deed history, loan amount, taxes, characteristics, and even how the market is doing in the neighborhood.”

Knowing where to access the data he needs is what make Andrew a storyteller of sorts. “The RPR app displays all of the data you need to tell a property’s story,” he said. “You can even press a button to call the listing agent, check out the neighborhood’s property values, see historical data, taxes, photos, and so much more.”

Andrew recalls a handful of scenarios in recent times when he used the RPR app to tell the real story about a property. One, in particular, was a standout.

“Commercial property owners consider themselves very market savvy so I knew I had to be on my game when I presented an offer for a gas station,” said Andrew. “We came in at $700,000, yet the seller claimed he needed more.” His basis? The station’s owner said his existing mortgage was more than the offer.

Andrew, an avid user of Realtors Property Resourcer® (RPR), knew he had leverage. He immediately signed into RPR and within seconds learned that not only had the owner bought the station for $500,000 but that he also had very little left to pay on the mortgage.

“It was a little embarrassing for the seller when I presented my data and then renegotiated the deal,” he said. “But without the RPR data, who knows which way the transaction would’ve gone.”

A second generation real estate executive, Andrew A. Balalovski entered real estate full time in 2005 to service the commercial, industrial and residential sales and leasing needs of individuals and businesses in the state of Ohio.

Prior to opening his brokerage, Andrew graduated from Capital University and has worked for three large Ohio brokerages where he achieved designations naming him a specialist in Commercial Real Estate and Property Management.

Specializing in brokerage, Balalovski Real Estate offers sales and leasing services for commercial, residential and industrial real estate buyers, sellers, landlords and tenants.

Instant Reaction: September Housing Starts

The following is NAR Chief Economist Lawrence Yun’s reaction to the U.S. Commerce Department release on September housing starts:

“The one month fall in new home construction, especially in the South region in light of Hurricane recovery, is understandable. What is frustrating and hard to comprehend is the drop in total permits in the West region. Home prices have been rising too fast in the West, and several metro areas are in dire need of new home construction. If housing shortages continue, along with the commensurate affordability challenges, then expect new job creation to begin shifting away from the West to other parts of the country.” 

Instant Reaction: September Jobs Report

The following is NAR Chief Economist Lawrence Yun’s reaction to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics report on employment conditions in September:

“The key statistic in the September jobs report is the fact that wages grew 2.9%. The tightening labor market, with unemployment at 4.2% and the number of job openings at high levels, assure more wage gains in the near future. Construction jobs, which did not change much in the latest month, will need to increase rapidly in order to relieve the housing shortage facing the country. But in the short term, there will be fewer construction workers building new homes, especially since some will be diverted to rebuilding areas impacted by the hurricanes. Unfortunately, housing shortages will last longer and home prices will no doubt continue to outpace wage growth for the foreseeable future.”

8 RPR App Tips and Tricks

You know that little thrill you get when you come across a tip or trick to help make your app experience just a tad more efficient? Like pressing the app button for a shortcut to a favorite feature, or swiping to the left to quickly save for later. Every app has tricks of the trade yet, for some reason, they don’t always appear magically on our radar. This post will give you 8 tips to make sure your next RPR app experience is a productive one.

1. Build a CMA on the fly

When the need arises for a quick CMA, turn to your RPR app. From any Property Details screen choose Create Comps Analysis to launch an express, four step wizard that will walk you through confirming the home’s facts, selecting comps, and identifying price. The completion of step #4 will generate the Seller’s Report.

2. Save properties for quick access later

Your activity is always in sync between the RPR website and mobile app. Which means when you save a property using the website, you can see that same property in your saved items by way of the app. This makes it a snap to recall key properties quickly. Try it for yourself.

3. Swipe property in list view for shortcuts

Next time you’re in the RPR app and see a list of properties, try swiping one of the properties to reveal shortcuts for saving the property, calling the listing agent, adding notes, and creating reports.

4. Zoom to parcel level when canvassing a neighborhood

The RPR app can display every home in the neighborhood on a map. Press Locate Me at the top of the app, then pinch and zoom the map to street level and press Redo Search in this Area. Now gray pins should appear. Each pin displays the Realtor Valuation Model® (RVM®). Press a pin to reveal home and owner information.

5. Send report by text message

Many consumers prefer communication by text message when appropriate. For agents, the benefit is clear, text messages are simple and have very high open rates. Next time you create an RPR report, use the app’s Share button to text a digital copy of the RPR report to your client. The link will be active for 30 days.

6. 3D Touch shortcuts

Next time you are standing outside a property you’re about to search, press and hold pressure on the RPR app icon to display a shortcut with buttons to This Property, My Listings, Recent Reports, Saved Searches and Share. Then choose This Property.This is an example of RPR’s new 3D Touch functionality available on qualified OS versions(iOS10 and above [Phone 6s and newer] and Android 7.1 and above).

7. Advanced search

Need to dig a little deeper on a particular property? Swipe the RPR app’s home screen and the Search screen will appear. Press Advanced Search to access recent searches, saved searches, and advanced search types such as by APN, owner name, schools, or even your own listings.

8. Full screen photos

If photos displayed on the app’s Property Details page aren’t large enough for your comfort level, try holding your phone in landscape mode. That will make the photo go fullscreen. Then simply rotate back and the property record appears again.

Xplode Conference Comes Back to OKC

REGISTER

Monday October 16, 2017
8:30 am – 4:00 pm
Embassy Suites Downtown OKC
741 N Phillips Ave,
Oklahoma City, OK 73104

Xplode Conference is coming BACK to OKC, and we wanted to personally invite you to join us again!

Xplode Conference is the largest national conference tour on real estate technology and marketing. Xplode features top speakers, leading technology products and services to amp up your business for 2018.

Join us on Monday, October 16th, at the Embassy Suites OKC for our full day Xplode Conference.

We promise you will walk away with a powerful, proven framework for technology and marketing success and a more powerful approach to your lead generation.

NEW THIS YEAR: Broker Track and Team Track!  Get information specific to your needs as a Broker or a Team Leader!

Get your full event pass now for only $29, through October 7! 

REGISTER

Regional Housing Forum Taking Place in Midwest City

REGISTER

Affordable Housing Toolkit to be presented at Regional Housing Forum

MIDWEST CITY, OK – The Oklahoma Coalition for Affordable Housing, in partnership with the Federal Reserve Bank of Kansas City – OKC Branch and the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation will host a Regional Housing Forum in Midwest City on Tuesday, September 26 at the Reed Conference Center. The free event will be held from 10:00 am through 3:30 pm.

The 2017 Regional Housing Forum will present an Affordable Housing Toolkit for community leaders.  Speakers will discuss Assessing Your Community’s Housing, Community Asset Mapping, and Financial Tools for Affordable Housing Development.  Special guest Michelle Tinnin, Housing and Urban Development will present a general overview of Tribal Housing Resources, service area, best practices and recent developments.

The curriculum is designed to benefit a wide range of parties including community leaders, bankers, city planners and managers, developers, nonprofits, attorneys and Realtors®.  Five hours of continuing education is available for Realtors® and social workers.

There is no cost to attend, however, space is limited and registration is required by September 21, 2017.  More information, including links to register, is available at www.affordablehousingcoalition.org.

Established in 2015, the Oklahoma Coalition for Affordable Housing seeks to ensure that all residents of Oklahoma have the opportunity to live in safe, healthy and affordable homes. With the goal of increasing the supply of affordable housing, the Coalition continuously connects communities with housing resources and services providers through its education programming and advocacy efforts.

REGISTER

Instant Reaction: Lawrence Yun on FOMC Statement

The following is NAR Chief Economist Lawrence Yun’s thoughts on today’s announcement by the Federal Reserve to start unwinding their balance sheet in October, and what that will mean for mortgage rates through 2018:

“As the Federal Reserve indicated today, the huge purchases of mortgage-backed securities and U.S. government bonds could not have continued and will unwind beginning next month. Looking within the statement, the pace of selling looks to be in slow motion. That means that mortgage rates would rise up only modestly over time. Given the pace of unwinding asset purchases with the fewer rounds of anticipated short-term rate hikes over the next two years, it’s expected that mortgage rates should still remain at historically attractive levels. The 30-year fixed rate may rise to slightly above 4% by the end of this year, and may only reach 4.7% by the end of 2018.”

Source: NAR Newsline

Instant Reaction: August Housing Starts

The following is NAR Chief Economist Lawrence Yun’s reaction to the U.S. Commerce Department release on residential construction in August.

“Following August’s decline in new home construction, there will no doubt be a further temporary setback to housing starts in upcoming months due to the impacts of Hurricanes Harvey and Irma on Texas and Florida, respectively. The shortage of labor in construction will further intensify as more workers concentrate on rebuilding rather than on new construction. The nation’s housing shortage unfortunately looks to be with us well into the next year.”

Source: NAR Newsline

5 social media strategies you should be using in your real estate business

A recent RPR study reveals that real estate agents using Facebook as part of their social marketing strategy post listings more than any other type of content, yet fewer than half report measurable outcomes. So what can REALTORS® do to consistently inform, engage, and grow their sphere of influence above and beyond posting listings? RPR asked survey respondents to share their top social media marketing tips. Here are the top five takeaways.

1. Build a 3Ps social media bucket

Building brand awareness is what successful agents do best. If you’re going to use social media, consistently share content from your “3Ps” bucket: professional content, personality-based content and passion-based content.

2. Position yourself as a subject matter expert

If agents really want to engage followers, they need to post less about listings and more about the market, like housing data and neighborhood activity. If clients see you as a market expert, your sphere of influence will grow.

3. Use Facebook to target custom audiences

Creating a custom audience on Facebook is incredibly easy and one of the most powerful social advertising tools around. In just a few minutes, you can create an ad, select a target audience, and have your message delivered to the exact group you want to reach.

4. Keep it simple

Spreading your brand across multiple outlets is exhausting and difficult to maintain. Instead, focus on one or two channels and make Facebook one of those. Also, join groups on topics that relate to you.

5. Don’t be camera shy

Video marketing is more persuasive, increases sales, and will boost your standing on Google search.

Free REALTOR® Safety Webinars

Safety: Do This Now

Free Safety Webinar
September 20, 2017 at 1:00 pm CDT
Instructor: Andrea “Andy” Tolbert
REGISTER HERE

Andy TolbertHow do REALTORS® walk the line of prospecting and self-preservation? Register for this free safety webinar from the National Association of REALTORS® to learn from Andy Tolbert, Founder, SaferAgent, as she shares simple steps you can implement right away to minimize risk in your day-to-day business interactions.

Andrea “Andy” Tolbert has been in the real estate and mortgage industry since 1995, a REALTOR® since 1998, and a partner in a real estate brokerage that focused on sales and property management. As the Founder of SaferAgent, she and her husband, Tim, train real estate agents across Florida on how to protect themselves and their clients in a way that they’ll immediately “get” and be able to implement the very same day.


Stay Safe by Building Better Business Relationships

Free Safety Webinar
September 27, 2017 at 1:00 pm CDT
Instructor: Tamara Suminski
REGISTER HERE

Tamara SuminskiAre you conducting your business in a way that keeps you safe? Sign up for this free safety webinar from the National Association of REALTORS® to learn from Tamara Suminski, Broker-Owner, Beach Real Estate Group and NAR REALTOR® Safety Course Instructor, as she explains how to mitigate risks by building better business relationships, and the importance of following safety protocols.

Tamara Suminski is the Broker-Owner of Beach Real Estate Group in Manhattan Beach, CA, is an industry expert, sought-after speaker, and instructor of NAR’s Safety Matters Course. She was the 2014 President of South Bay Association of REALTORS®, earned the 2010 REALTOR® of the Year Award, and currently serves on several committees for both the California and National Association of REALTORS®. Tamara is dedicated to improving the real estate experience through continuous innovation and the highest standards of service. She is passionate about REALTOR® safety, and is enthusiastic about sharing best practices with fellow REALTORS®.

REALTOR® Safety Survey: Majority Continue to Feel Safe on the Job

The National Association of Realtors® released the 2017 Member Safety Report on Monday.  The survey asked Realtors® from across the country how safe they feel while on the job, and nearly 3,200 answered questions about their personal experiences and the safety procedures and materials provided by their brokerage.

For the third year in a row, the report found that 9 in 10 Realtors® have never been the victim of crime, and less than 40 percent have found themselves in situations where they have feared for their safety or the safety of their personal information. Of those who more commonly found themselves in situations of fear, 44 percent were women and 40 percent were real estate professionals in suburban areas. The survey found that over half of surveyed members carry a self-defense weapon: female Realtors® are more likely to carry pepper spray, while male Realtors® more commonly carry a firearm.

The most common circumstances that resulted in fearful situations were open houses, showing vacant and model homes, working with properties that were unlocked or unsecured and showing homes in remote areas.

The survey found that 39 percent of real estate agents have participated in self-defense classes as a proactive safety measure, and 44 percent use a smart phone safety application to track their whereabouts or alert colleagues of an emergency. In addition, before showing a property, the typical Realtor® meets about half of their prospective buyers – whom they have not previously met – in a real estate office or other neutral location.

In September and throughout the year, NAR supports REALTOR® Safety with resources at www.NAR.realtor/Safety.

2017-member-safety-infographic-08-28-2017-1600w-3078h

Source: NAR Newsline

14 Best Apps for Real Estate Agents in 2017

Chances are you’re a busy REALTOR® who relies on word of mouth or happenstance to learn about the latest and greatest apps. If so, the RPR team is here for you. Here are 14 top trending real estate apps that we believe will support your core business activities. The list might even include apps for tasks or practices that you have yet to consider or procrastinated, concerned they are too expensive or too difficult to adopt. Fear not, almost all of these apps are free or have upgrades starting at just $5 a month.

1. Charlie App 

This app will put a smile on your face. With “Charlie,” you’ll enter every meeting with the who, what, when and where background of everyone in the room. The app researches your contacts, in particular, those with whom you’re about to interact with, and sends you information about their company, professional background, personal interests, and any news about them.

iOS only
Free for 30 days, then $19.99/mo

2. Cloze

If you suffer from inbox overload, and want a solution than can help keep track of it all, Cloze is worth considering. Shortly after setup, the Cloze app was integrated with my email accounts including my calendar, social accounts and Evernote (click here in case you’re not familiar with Evernote) The Cloze dashboard includes a daily agenda that aggregates your inbox, contacts, calendar and to-do list into an easy to manage list. The app even surfaces emails with mentions of follow-up activities on a specific day. Looking for related files and documents? Cloze also presents a clickable history of communication from each contact with related attachments.

iOS and Android
Free plan / Cloze Pro 13.33/mo. for annual plan

3. DocuSign

More than 200 million users can’t be wrong about this digital hero. DocuSign, the industry leader in electronic signature software, eliminates the costs, hassle, and lack of security in paper-based transactions. Use DocuSign to complete approvals and agreements in hours—not days—from anywhere and on any device. Quickly and securely access and sign documents. Easily upload and send documents for others to sign. Send reminders and check signing status any time.

For Android and iOS
NAR members exclusive rate of $20/mo

4. Microsoft OneNote

Similar to Evernote, OneNote allows you to take notes, clip images from the web, and scribble notes by hand. It’s free, and best of all, if you already have a Microsoft Office subscription, your notes will sync across all your devices and Microsoft apps. Ready to give it a try? OneNote comes with an easy to use import module that transfers your notes from Evernote right into the app.

WindowsMaciOSAndroid and web
Microsoft Office 365 Home: $99.99/yr

5. Expensify

Any money-related app that starts with “Expense reports that don’t suck” has our vote. But what really got our attention about this highly-rated app is its simplicity. Use your phone to scan receipts and Expensify will code and report the expense for you. It also keeps tabs on your spending, making it easy to itemize deductions when tax time rolls around. One click tells the app to track business miles through the GPS technology or odometer readings, which automatically records them for any kind of deductions or reimbursements.

Free trial, then starts at $5/mo
Web, Android, iOS

6. RPR Mobile

Realtor on the go? There’s an app for that. Built exclusively for Realtors, RPR’s app offers on-the-go access to a nationwide, parcel-centric database of both residential and commercial properties. Easily search properties, create and send branded reports, and view local market activity … anytime, anyplace. Use your phone’s location to view nearby sales activity; or take a deeper dive into any property and view tax, mortgage, historical and distressed data, flood zones, dynamic mapping, and more.

iOS and Android
Free

7. Facebook Ad Manager

By now we’re sure you’ve realized that Facebook Ads are a great opportunity for real estate agents. Which is exactly why the Facebook Ad Manager made this list. Agents will appreciate the mobile command and control center for all of their Facebook ad campaigns. Easily create ads, track the results, start and stop campaigns, even edit the ad budget and schedule all from a phone. Much like the Facebook mobile app, you’ll also see ad recommendations based on your top posts.

iOS and Android
Free

8. Adobe Premiere Clip

For quick and straightforward video creation on a mobile device, Adobe Premiere Clip is a must have. Start a new video by accessing footage on your phone, tablet, lightroom, creative cloud, dropbox or take video live. Once you’ve added your videos to a new project, choose whether to have Adobe Premiere Clip automatically generate a video for you, including cuts and sound track. Or use the freeform tool to manually trim and sequence your video. It’s even possible to start using the automatic method and then switch to manual methode for final clean up and publishing.

iOS and Android
Free

9. Matterport (3d Virtual Tours)


Everyone’s talking about virtual reality in the real estate realm, so why not us? Visually stunning and so easy to use, Matterport is a all-in-one “reality capture system” that gives REALTORS® realistic, virtual reality experiences that feel as real as being there, which is why it’s perfect for those who specialize in luxury properties and/or relocations. The app brings your listings to life with 3D photography, interactive floor plans and more. The price tag for a Matterport camera may make the system prohibitive for some real estate agents. On the flip side though, if you have a strong market and looking for something to get ahead with your clients, this might be it.

Android and iOS
$19 to $149/mo

10. Magicplan

No longer do you need to whip out the tape measure to create a floor plan for your next listing. With magicplan, you can survey and build a comprehensive floor plan detailing room sizes and dimensions, all from your phone. Do your clients need help with pre-listing work and staging? Magicplan enables you to assist clients with both generating work estimates and staging their furniture. All finished with your floor plan? Download a PDF of your final layout, and you’re good to go.

iOS and Android
Free to start; with varying levels of payment and features
Business account/full access: $24.50/mo

11. Facebook Live

Okay, we know Facebook Live isn’t it’s own app, but if you saw “Facebook,” would you have even stopped to read more? The fact is Facebook Live will complement just about any real estate agent’s existing digital media strategy. For most agents, it’s where their sphere of influence is already visiting. Going live is as simple as opening the Facebook app and pressing the Live button in the status update area. Use the privacy settings to choose your audience. Next give the video a description. This is what others will see so your content should motivate them to watch. Now you’re ready to go live! Your audience will see a notification that you’re live and, as they join and engage, you will see their notifications. Tapping Finish ends the session by saving the video so you can easily post, share, etc.

iOS and Android
Free

12. Swype

Swype lets you text faster and more efficiently. Say goodbye to typos and autocorrect nightmares. It’s as simple as Swyping your next text message or note. Start with the first letter of the word, slide your finger from each letter to the next and Swype recognizes what you are trying to type. Word prediction, and even emoji suggestions based on the words you type, is fully supported. Pre-program gestures that correspond with preset text messages customized by you.

iOS and Android 
Free / Purchase premium keyboard themes for .99 cents

13. SentriSmart

Here’s a cool scenario. You’re at the door, about to open a Sentri Lockbox and your client asks for info on the listing. Impress them with your tech savviness. SentriSmart, the app offered by SentriLock, integrates data from Homesnap, HomeSpotter, RPR. In just a few clicks, you’ll have all of the property’s information at your fingertips.

iOS and Android
Free

14. Zapier

Have you ever wished that when someone fills out a form on your website, that they would then be subscribed to your email list and immediately start receiving messages from your automated new client campaign? How about having that same person then added to your CRM, or given access to buyer and seller information, all customized from you? Then Zapier is for you.

Web
Free / Full Access with 3+ step automations starting at $20/month

How Much Life Insurance Do Realtors Need?

You hear stories every day about people of all ages, fitness levels, and health statuses dying suddenly from heart attacks, disease, or freak accidents. We urge all OAR members to take some time during September, which is Life Insurance Awareness Month (LIAM), to think what if that happened to me? Consider these reasons for owning life insurance:

  • Debts – What happens to your debts if you die right now? Existing bills, medical and funeral costs. It’s a debtor Mount Everest on which you strand your family without life insurance. Who covers the expenses you have amassed already and those you leave behind?
  • Your family may lose their home – Will they face foreclosure? Be forced to sell? They’ve just lost you now they may lose their home, too. Who will be there to pay the mortgage when you can’t be?
  • Your business – Do you need life insurance to fund a succession plan, such as a buy-sell-agreement, for your business?
  • Family lifestyle – Most couples in this day and age must both work to sustain their families. Think of the vacations and Christmas mornings your income provides.
  • Income for necessities – What about school for your children? Do you envision them going on to college? Who will pay when you’re gone?
  • The legalities – There may be taxes and legal and probate costs to cover. Life insurance can leave tax-free money to your beneficiary to cover such expenses.
  • Quality care for your kids – What about the expenses that health insurance doesn’t cover? Does your son depend upon asthma medication? Does your daughter need braces? Will they one day? If so, who pays for that without you?
  • Your extended family – With uncertain times, with retirement benefits vanishing, who will care for your parents as they are too old to care for themselves? Will you be there for them as they were there for you?
  • The Unexpected – A young mother killed in a car crash. Six months later, her husband dies of a heart attack. Their minor children are left behind. You may think “my spouse will take care of them” but what if he/she can’t?

How much do you need? Once you have evaluated the items above for your lifestyle, you might have an idea of how much you need. While there are some rules of thumb and calculations you can use, you are unique, and will have to take into consideration your family members who depend on you now or might in the future, how much debt you have now or you might take on in the future, what is your practice worth now and what will it be worth in the future, etc. Most people come up with a number that falls between 5 and 15 times their current income.

Have you wondered if you are even eligible for life insurance? At rates you can afford? As you age, health issues become paramount. Tomorrow you will be older than you are today. Tomorrow is promised to no one. Will you be remembered as someone who thought of their family enough to provide for them in your absence? The time to think of life insurance is today.

We urge you to start evaluating your life insurance needs today, and 3000 Insurance Group is here to help OAR members with the process. Complete this Life Quote Sheet or contact Ashley, Janice, or Lydia today.

2018 Slate of Officers & Directors

The 2018 Slate of Officers & Directors is now available:
2018 Slate of Officers & Directors

Please contact Jessica Hickok with any questions or concerns at jmh@okrealtors.com.

Please join us for the election at our Annual Membership Meeting that will be held on Tuesday, October 3, 2017 at 9:00 a.m.  at the OSU Alumni Center, 201 ConocoPhillips Road, Stillwater, Oklahoma, 74078

To view proposed bylaws changes for 2018 please click here.

To review the current, approved bylaws, click here.

Survey finds REALTORS® Plan to Spend More Time, Money on Digital Marketing Initiatives

CHICAGO (August 14, 2017) – Realtors Property Resource® (RPR), a wholly owned subsidiary of the National Association of REALTORS®, announces the results of its 2017 REALTOR® Social and Digital Media Report. The report includes findings from a survey of 265 REALTORS® about the way they use digital and social media to build their businesses.

Of REALTORS® surveyed, 74 percent cited awareness as the main outcome of their social media efforts. Looking ahead to next year, 64 percent of respondents plan to commit more time to social media and 60 percent plan to commit more money.

“Social media has become the new norm for reaching out and staying connected with friends, family, clients, and prospects,” said Reggie Nicolay, RPR Vice President of Marketing. “Not only do sites like Facebook and LinkedIn provide REALTORS® with an easy way to stay top of mind, but they now offer highly targeted advertising options with tremendous reach and analytical tracking.”

Facebook and LinkedIn are the most popular social media platforms for marketing among REALTORS®, with 94 percent of respondents reporting Facebook as most effective at building their businesses followed by LinkedIn at 57 percent. Listings are the most common type of content REALTORS® post to social media, closely followed by buying and home improvement tips. Yet of REALTORS® surveyed that use social media, almost half (48 percent) of those users reported achieving measurable results.

“Listings are the default post for many REALTORS®,” one respondent said. “If REALTORS really want to engage their followers, they need to post less about listings and become a true local area resource. If their clients see them as an expert, their sphere of influence will grow.”

Additional 2017 REALTOR® Social and Digital Media Report key findings include:

  • 76 percent of respondents cite email as the the most effective form of digital media
  • 65 percent of digital media section respondents plan to dedicate  more time to digital media in the future
  • 60 percent of digital media section respondents plan to spend more money on digital media marketing next year

REALTORS® surveyed indicated that market activity receives the the best engagement on social media, followed by listings and home improvement tips. School information sees the least amount of engagement.

Instant Reaction: July Housing Starts

Below is NAR Chief Economist Lawrence Yun’s reaction to this morning’s U.S. Commerce report on July housing starts:

“The housing shortage in America will intensify if new construction remains as lackluster as it was in July. The softening multifamily housing starts brought down the overall new housing unit addition to the second lowest monthly activity this year. Moreover, the latest 15% drop in multifamily housing starts and 0.5% drop in single family housing starts will hold back economic growth potential. Because of this continued shortage, expect rents and home prices to rise by at least twice as fast as the broad consumer price index.”  

Source: NAR Newsline

Instant Reaction: July Jobs Report

The following is NAR Managing Director of Housing and Commercial Research George Ratiu’s reaction to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics release on the July employment situation:

“The employment report showed solid gains in July, with 209,000 net new payroll jobs. With the unemployment rate unchanged at 4.3 percent, the data points to continued strengthening of the labor market. The figures moved in tandem with the traditional summer season, showing employment gains in restaurants, professional and business services, and health care. The moves translate into continued demand for commercial office space. On the residential side, housing demand will keep inventory at very tight levels until additional new construction relieves existing pricing pressures.”

Source: NAR Newsline

In Two Months, the National Flood Insurance Program Expires

As the House and Senate continue their work to reauthorize the National Flood Insurance Program, the countdown to the program’s expiration continues as well.

On September 30, the Federal Emergency Management Administration loses its authorization to write new flood insurance policies or renew existing policies for its customers. That means homeowners could potentially find their most important asset unprotected, while homebuyers may find themselves unable to get a mortgage at all.

It’s a scenario that’s played out before. Federally regulated or insured lenders must require flood insurance for mortgages on properties where flood risks are high, meaning some of the most common mortgage options are off the table without it. But, in many of those same areas, private flood insurance is either hard to come by or non-existent. That means without the NFIP, homebuyers may simply find themselves out of luck.

When the NFIP expired in 2010, the National Association of Realtors® estimated that for every month without it, 40,000 home buying and selling transactions would suffer.

With this in mind, Congress is hard at work to reauthorize the program. The House Financial Services Committee recently announced significant breakthroughs on its legislation to reauthorize the program, winning support from NAR for their efforts, while the Senate Banking Committee recently unveiled draft legislation for mark up in the coming weeks.

NAR President William E. Brown, a second-generation Realtor® from Alamo, California and founder of Investment Properties, said House Financial Services Committee Chairman Jeb Hensarling (R-Texas) and Housing and Insurance Subcommittee Chairman Sean Duffy (R-Wis.) “deserve high praise for working with Realtors®” to strike a deal.

But with only two months to reauthorize the program, Realtors® remain concerned about what expiration means for their business, their clients, and homeownership. Brown encouraged lawmakers to continue work on legislation that would reauthorize the program.

“The September 30 reauthorization deadline still looms in front of us, and Realtors® are eager to see this legislation progress quickly,” said Brown. “Leaders on both sides of the aisle are well aware that this issue touches 22,000 communities – in every state, both coastal and inland. We’re grateful for the committee’s support and look forward to their continued efforts on behalf of homeowners.”

Source: NAR Newsline

5Cs of a Successful Farming Strategy

Farming is a proven method of marketing your real estate business to a neighborhood in a way that raises awareness of your brand, captures leads, earns referrals and gains listings. When used effectively, farming provides an excellent opportunity to connect with potential sellers, as well as For Sale By Owners (FSBOs) whose listings might be dormant or struggling.

Here, RPR shares its five-point plan for creating and cultivating a solid neighborhood farming strategy. Learn how to target and calculate the marketability of a potential farm area, discover everything there is to know about properties in your zone, and use that data to build relationships with homeowners.

1. Create a customized farm area using RPR search tools and maps

RPR search and map tools provide a start-to-finish approach to identifying and then researching your farm area. No guesswork required; no need to pull from multiple sites to cross-populate your data. Beginning with RPR maps, you’ll use a ZIP code to map neighborhood boundaries or draw a customized target area based on market expertise and preferences. It’s up to you.

RPR’s heat maps will also reveal whether values in your farm area are increasing or decreasing over time, as well as the 12-month change in estimated values, list vs. sales price, and the density of distressed properties—which only scratches the surface of what you’ll garner from heat maps and your farming research.

2. Calculate the marketability of your target zone

You’ve chosen a potential farm area using RPR maps. Now, turn to the data within RPR to determine its turnover rate, a.k.a., how often homes are selling in your targeted area. According to the National Association of Home Builders, the average homeowner plans to move every 13 years, with younger first-time homebuyers relocating slightly more frequently. In general, you want to select a farm area with a turnover rate around 7 to 8 percent.

Check out this quick start guide, for instructions on where to find the RPR data you need to research a potential farm area, like identifying the number of homes in your targeted area vs. the number sold in the last 12 months, active listings, days on market, etc. The guide also includes an interactive worksheet that will auto-calculate your area’s turnover rate.

3. Converse with homeowners using RPR Mobile

RPR Mobile serves as a great resource while walking your neighborhood. With your phone or tablet in hand, the app quickly reveals each home in your farm area and relevant facts you’ll need to take your interaction from introduction to conversation to, possibly, a commitment.

Tap into your app to locate the following data (among hundreds of other data sets):

  • Owner’s name
  • Home’s status
  • Property’s details
  • Estimated values and sold price
  • Distressed information
  • Mortgage history

The app is also a great icebreaker. Here’s a script from a fellow REALTOR® who has had great success getting to know homeowners while canvassing neighborhoods.

“Hi, my name is Susan. I’m a Realtor® who specializes in marketing homes in this area. I have some info about how the real estate market is doing in your neighborhood and can even run a comp analysis on your home, if you’d like. I also have access to the most reliable valuation model in the nation and can give you an estimate as we speak.”

As you connect with homeowners and learn more about each home in your farm area, having a good place to put those property-centric notes is very helpful. Here’s where you’ll use the app’s note taking feature to store text, photos and audio notes for any property. These notes are accessible only by you, and can be easily included on RPR reports.

Even if the homeowner isn’t ready to sell, keep the conversation going by offering to send monthly or quarterly RPR Market Activity Reports. Perhaps the neighborhood has a few distressed properties your new client is concerned about or they’re thinking of selling when values increase. Here’s your opportunity to get in on the ground floor.

4. Convey your value to For Sale By Owners

With more than 35 percent of FSBO sellers opting to use yard signs as their primary source of marketing, canvassing agents using RPR’s vast repository of public records can instantly pull up the data they need to spark a conversation with the homeowner:

  • Homeowner contact information
  • Mortgage and tax information
  • Distressed data
  • The property’s physical characteristics, and more

With the RPR app at hand, ask the homeowners how they arrived at their list price, and whether they’d like to compare that value with RPR’s Realtor Valuation Model® (RVM®), the only REALTOR®-owned, automated valuation product that goes beyond the traditional AVM by incorporating listing and sales data from the MLS into a property’s valuation.

Offer to send them an RPR Property Report, Neighborhood Report or a Market Activity Report right from your phone, letting them know you specialize in marketing homes in their neighborhood. Better yet, what FSBO would turn down a free RPR comparative market analysis?

Conveying the pure data about how a REALTOR®, on average, can earn the seller a higher list price and also utilize his/her unlimited resources to bring the property to close at a faster pace can be a turning point for your FSBO seller, especially when you share the data and reports found within RPR.

5. Cultivate brand awareness with reports that pique homeowner interest

Most homeowners you encounter while canvassing will want a takeaway, which is good news for agents who also don’t want to walk away without capturing the lead. Here, bring all of your farming efforts full circle by letting the homeowner know you have a full arsenal of RPR reports at your disposal.

Right there at the curb, offer to email or text him/her an RPR Property Report, complete with the RVM, or a Market Activity Report––a snapshot of all the changes in a local real estate market. The Market Activity Report includes a list of active, pending, sold, expired and distressed properties, including recent price changes.

RPR’s Neighborhood and School Reports are also popular among area homeowners. Others, keenly interested in selling, would be impressed by RPR’s Comparative Analysis and Seller’s Report. It’s also good to let the homeowner know that, through RPR, you have the ability to refine the value of their home based on improvements made. A good way to keep the conversation going.

For more tips on how to successfully leverage RPR Reports in your farming strategy, see 3 RPR Reports You Should Have While Farming.

Tips for Hosting a Summer Open House that Sizzles

According to the National Association of Realtors®, 40 percent of all homes sold in 2016 sold during the summer months. There are many reasons why summer is the perfect time to sell your home – families are anxious to settle into a home before the school year starts and longer days mean showings can go later into the evening. So how can a home seller make their house stand out when everyone else is also putting their home on the market?

An open house that embraces all that is wonderful about summer can set a home apart. It can also help potential buyers picture themselves spending the lazy days of summer in a home surrounded by their friends and family; and the more a buyer a can picture themselves happily living in a home, the more likely they may be to put in an offer.

red wooden house on the grass

Here are a five tips to help plan a summer open house that will make a home a red hot property!

  1. Keep Your Grass Alive. Curb appeal is a home’s first impression, so it is important to make sure that the summer sun doesn’t turn the front lawn into a poorly planned desert landscape. Dead grass is not the first impression a home should give. Water your lawn frequently or redo your landscaping to something grass-free, such as a succulent garden or native plants.
  2. Keep them Hydrated.  When potential buyers walk through the door, have a cooler full of ice-cold bottled water waiting for them. This small act will help create the sense that the home is an oasis in the heat of summer. Having seasonally appropriate snacks available, such as watermelon or light-colored popsicles (to avoid accidental stains!), can also help make a home more inviting.
  3. Promote Outdoor Living. If your home has a pool, a large deck or a patio, summer is its time to shine! Home sellers should stage outdoor spaces and invite buyers to head outside to enjoy the weather.
  4. Keep the A/C Pumping. The heat of summer can cause houses to get warm and stuffy, especially when potential buyers are constantly opening and closing the front door. Make sure the air conditioning is running to keep the home cool but not freezing. It’s all about keeping buyers comfortable.
  5. Work With a Realtor®. It’s important to work with a Realtor®, a member of the National Association of Realtors®, who is familiar with your area. A Realtor® will know what open house techniques work best in your area and will be familiar with local buyer preferences, meaning better results for you!

Deck

Source: NAR Newsline

An Early Summer Cooldown for Housing

The 1.8 percent decline in existing-home sales in June should come as no surprise if you closely follow NAR’s Pending Home Sales Index, which have declined for three straight months.

Activity has been weaker lately because prospective buyers continue to struggle overcoming the severely restricted inventory conditions and consequent run-up in home prices.

As NAR Chief Economist Lawrence Yun pointed out during today’s press conference, the slide in sales is not a demand problem. There simply is not enough inventory for sales to grow at a pace that reflects the very healthy job market. Yun stressed the need for more inventory to alleviate the rapid price growth in some areas that far exceeds people’s incomes.

One tidbit of positive news from today’s release is that at least for one month, investors and cash buyers stepped away. If their activity withdraws even more in coming months, first-time buyers stand to benefit. Through the first six months of the year, they’ve only made up 32 percent of sales, which is not close to the long-term historical average of near 40 percent.

June EHS Infographic #1

Source: NAR Newsline

5 Things to Remember When A Deal Falls Apart

For new agents, it can feel like a personal defeat when a real estate deal falls apart. Here’s how one practitioner learned to pick herself up and move on after her first summer in the business was a wash.
One night in June 2015, I had three transactions fall apart in one evening. I remember laying on the floor of my Chicago apartment, trying to pull myself together. What did I do wrong? Why is this happening to me? Up until that point, almost every transaction I’d worked on had closed seamlessly. Granted, I’d had only eight sales at that point in my career, between January and June 2015. But it stung all the same.

So that was how my first summer in real estate started. After that night, I took my foot off the proverbial pedal and lost my motivation. I am a perfectionist, and the mere thought of failure made me want to run away from this career and do something safer. I was 21 years old at the time, and to me, my world was crashing down. If I couldn’t always succeed, then I didn’t want to try.

As it happens in life, time passed and things got better. I took almost two months off that summer, but by late August, I was back in the game. I’d gotten an out-of-the-blue phone call from a seller asking me to list her gorgeous condo. I leapt out of bed and didn’t look back.

That fall ended up being my most fruitful sales season yet, and by the end of the year, I received Coldwell Banker’s Rookie of the Year title for my 2015 sales volume. It was a complete gift from God, and I couldn’t believe how much had changed since that sticky night in June. Here are a few life lessons I learned about staying strong through rough patches in real estate.

  1. Enjoy the wins, but don’t take the losses personally. When I decided to try real estate, I was focused on the glamour: the showings, the branding, the opportunity to design my life and business. I didn’t realize that sales can also be hard and full of rejection. I’ve learned to remind myself every single day not to take it personally. It’s difficult because I want people to like me, but I’ve got to remember that most leads and potential clients don’t truly know me. To them, I’m just another real estate agent. First, I’ve got to make peace with that, and then I have to try to change their minds.
  2. Strive for something more than awards. It feels really, really good to be recognized for your hard work, especially when you’re new to the industry. In 2015, I wanted so badly to receive that coveted Rookie of the Year title. But as soon as I stopped focusing on the acclaim, my motivation shifted. I focused more on how I could provide the best possible service to my clients rather than how I could get my name on the map. Ultimately, this mental shift came down to my faith. I realized that my identity in God was what really mattered; the awards did not. He already saw me as an award-winner, no matter what I did, so it was senseless for me to let earthly recognition control my emotional well-being.
  3. Recognize when things are beyond your control. I want every single client to make it to the closing table, but in reality, transactions fall apart all the time. I had to learn to step back from each situation and understand that a sale will work out in the end if it is meant to. By now, I’ve had plenty of buyers and sellers whose deals didn’t come together, either because the buyer got cold feet or the seller had a change of heart about selling. There’s nothing I can do about that. It hurts a lot less these days, because I know that time will pass and things will eventually fall into place for them.
  4. Take a break. Though I probably wouldn’t take two months off from real estate again, it ended up being really healthy for me to step back from my business during that initial rough patch and surround myself with friends and family. At the time, I was graduating from college, and there were plenty of parties to attend. It helped to take my mind off my business for a season. Now that I’m 100 percent committed to my business, I make sure to take a day to myself when I really, really need it.
  5. It’s not about you. Ultimately, a career in real estate is a career in customer service. It’s about putting another person’s needs ahead of your own. Sometimes, I get wrapped up in my brand and my sales volume and my blah blah blah. I’ll scroll through Instagram, envying other agents’ new listings. But when I stop thinking about me and focus on truly serving my clients, the negativity goes away. There is no better feeling than calling one of my first-time buyers to say their offer was accepted on their first home. That is why I do what I do. And it’s why you do what you do, too.

By Melanie Stone

Source: REALTOR® Mag

Instant Reaction: June Housing Starts

Below is NAR Chief Economist Lawrence Yun’s reaction to this morning’s U.S. Commerce report of a June rebound in housing starts:

“Though a recovery in housing starts in June is welcome news, more consistent gains are needed to help rebalance the housing market. The latest 1.22 million in total housing starts is still well below the historical average of 1.5 million. That is why the country is experiencing a stubborn housing shortage. With rising population and steady job gains, drastically more new home construction is needed to fully and satisfactorily house new households that will be formed this year and upcoming years.”  

Source: NAR Newsline

Realtors®, House Financial Services Committee Reach Agreement to Move Key Flood Insurance Legislation Forward

WASHINGTON (July 20, 2017) – The National Association of Realtors® today said that significant improvements to the “21st Century Flood Reform Act,” key legislation aimed atstrengthening and reauthorizing(link is external) the National Flood Insurance Program, have cleared the way for endorsement of the bill. Among the changes, Realtors® support the House Financial Services Committee’s commitment to retaining “grandfathering” – a policy that protects homeowners from significant rate increases when a flood map changes.

The most recent draft will also limit proposed increases to fees and rate hikes that policyholders faced under previous iterations of the legislation. Earlier versions of the legislation included more dramatic cost increases for homeowners and eliminated grandfathering protections beginning in 2021.

NAR President William E. Brown, a second-generation Realtor® from Alamo, California and founder of Investment Properties, thanked the committee for working with Realtors® to strengthen the bill and announced NAR’s support for it:

“House Financial Services Committee Chairman Jeb Hensarling (R-Texas), as well as Subcommittee on Housing and Insurance Chairman Sean Duffy (R-Wis.), deserve high praise for working with Realtors® to improve this legislation. The changes to the 21stCentury Flood Reform Act will help give certainty to homeowners who have brought their property to code and have done their part to protect it against flood risk. It’s a fair and reasonable approach that recognizes the need for accessible, affordable flood insurance, while taking us one step closer towards reauthorization.

“This legislation protects taxpayers, as well as homeowners, which is no easy task. The September 30 reauthorization deadline still looms in front of us, and Realtors® are eager to see this legislation progress quickly. Leaders on both sides of the aisle are well aware that this issue touches 22,000 communities – in every state, both coastal and inland. We’re grateful for the committee’s support and look forward to their continued efforts on behalf of homeowners.”

The National Association of Realtors®, “The Voice for Real Estate,” is America’s largest trade association, representing 1.2 million members involved in all aspects of the residential and commercial real estate industries.

Source

RPR – School Report Cuts Sales Cycle in Half

Real estate apps claim to do it all and, most likely, some do. But for this West Michigan Realtor®, the only apps that matter are the ones that save her time and money.

“As a Realtor®, I spend a lot of money investing in my business,” said Michelle Gordon, Realtor® and founder of The Gordon Group, JH Realty Partners, based in West Michigan. “I need to make sure the tools or apps I buy live up to expectations.”

Michelle consistently evaluates apps for their ability to produce results and whether or not the data they provide overlaps with another app that she is also paying for. She claims her diligence to protecting dollars spent is one of several reasons she is loyal to the Realtors Property Resource® (RPR®) app.

“I will no longer pay for vendor tools that attempt to replicate RPR but fall short,” she said. “RPR is already paid for in our NAR dues. It offers everything I need to run searches, generate comps and run reports. It doesn’t spam me or advertise to me, and is constantly adding new features and tools. What else could I want?”

“Thanks to that beautiful RPR report, the home buying process for this client was shaved from five to two days,” said Michelle. “Within minutes of choosing their school district, we were able to jump back into RPR, search for properties in that district, and email them RPR Property Reports for each. The next day, only 48 hours into the process, we wrote an offer.”

Michelle Gordon, Realtor®
Michelle Gordon, Realtor®
Founder of The Gordon Group, JH Realty Partners

Michelle says that Realtors® only need to ask themselves one question when considering adoption of a new business tool: Does it show value? “All the app needs to do is prove to us that it’s going to help us make money and make our life easier. From there, we should be able to put our minds to using it.”

Yet, she says, many of her contemporaries avoid using real estate apps simply because there are too many choices or they lack the technical know how.

“We need to stop labeling ourselves. It’s too limiting,” she said. “When we convince ourselves that, because of age or perceived learning limitations, that an app is too complicated without even trying it, then we’ve shortsighted ourselves and our careers.”

“I’m 55 and proud of it,” laughs the recently inducted member of the Society of Distinguished Real Estate Professionals or SOD. “And I get a kick out of knowing that, at this stage in my life and career, I’m using all of the so-called ‘tech tools’ to my advantage,” said Michelle. “Unlike my daughter, who, as a Millennial, is conditioned to live in the tech world yet hates tech!”

According to Michelle, RPR’s app consistently proves its worth in the real estate realm. Here’s a recent example of how that happens.

“The Gordon Group specializes in working with relocation clients who have little time to waste when purchasing a new home,” she said. “These folks put a lot of work into coming to town, finding a home and school, mapping out amenities, etc. It’s a pretty intense few days.”

In this case, Michelle’s daughter and colleague, Amanda Gordon, hands off her week’s workload to her teammates, then turns to RPR. “It’s standard protocol for us to set aside an entire week to work with a relocation client,” said Michelle. “We get to know their priorities and then establish a timeline of activity such as visiting schools, touring the area, and viewing properties.”

This particular client’s first priority was to identify a few suitable schools for their children, visit them individually, and then begin a home search in the district of their choice. And they needed Amanda to steer them in the right direction. Yet, as all Realtors® know, guaranteeing a certain school district or sharing personal opinions about the quality of schools in an area can be construed as a violation of the Fair Housing Act.

To ensure compliance with her judicial responsibilities and to best serve her clients, Amanda turned to the RPR School Report––an in-depth portrait of student populations, testing outcomes, parental reviews, ratings, and contact information about a public or private school. The data can be compared among different schools within a district or a specified radius, and can include up to 20 nearby listings.

Gordon Group’s good news came sooner than later. Shortly after sending the School Report to her clients, they called to say they were so impressed by the depth and detail of the data, as well as the presentation, that they were able to choose a school that fit their criteria without having to set up appointments with three or four schools, as anticipated.

“Thanks to that beautiful RPR report, the homebuying process for this client was shaved from five to two days,” said Michelle. “Within minutes of choosing their school district, we were able to jump back into RPR, search for properties in that district, and email them RPR Property Reports for each. The next day, only 48 hours into the process, we wrote an offer.”

“RPR will continue to be an invaluable business asset moving forward,” said Michelle. “In fact, by year end, I predict I will save even more money simply because I’ve made RPR my exclusive go-to business tool.”

What to Do When Wire Scammers Strike

Consumers have a lot to think about when they’re buying a home, including wiring large sums of money, and protecting themselves from fraudsters might be the last thing on their mind. The National Association of Realtors® and the Federal Trade Commission are encouraging consumers to stay vigilant, while reminding victims that they have options.

The most common wire scam works like this: hackers break into an email account of someone involved in the transaction. With that information in hand, they send a fraudulent email to the buyer, posing as a real estate professional.

The scammer then sends fraudulent wire transfer instructions to the buyer, allowing the criminal to potentially steal a down payment or other funds if the buyer follows through.

That’s bad news for the consumer, but NAR and the FTC are offering some tips on what to do when scammers strike. Among them:

  • “If you wired money through your bank, ask them right away for a wire recall. If you used a money transfer company, like Western Union or MoneyGram, call their complaint linesimmediately.”
  • “Report your experience to the FTC and to the FBI’s Internet Crime Complaint Center at ic3.gov. Report as soon as you can and give as much information as you can. If your bank asks for a police report, give them a copy of your report to ic3.gov.”

The key is to act quickly, or home buyers might find themselves out of luck. Additional tips on staying safe from mortgage fraud are available from NAR and the FTC.

Source: NAR Newsline

2018 Committee Nominations

For a list of committee descriptions please click here.

Committee Nominations

NAR Senior Executive Will Be Next CEO

REALTORS® have selected Bob Goldberg to succeed current NAR CEO Dale Stinton, who is retiring in August of 2017 after 36 years at NAR and 12 as CEO. Goldberg currently serves as NAR senior vice president of Sales & Marketing, Business Development & Strategic Investments, Professional Development and Conventions.

NAR Incoming CEO Bob Goldberg.NAR’s leadership team chose Goldberg after an extensive national search. He has been with NAR since 1995 and will be NAR’s 12th CEO since the association was founded in 1908.

“Bob’s vision, business acumen, and unique ability to successfully leverage NAR’s technology investments will ensure REALTORS® remain at the center of the real estate transaction,” said 2017 NAR President William E. Brown, a REALTOR® from Alamo, California. “With extensive knowledge of the association and real estate industry, Bob brings with him a strong track record for future-based thinking and enacting change, which is why the NAR leadership team is extremely confident in his ability to lead the association and membership to continued future success.”

In his current SVP role, Goldberg is responsible for brand and strategic marketing and association non-dues revenue, and oversees the largest employee base at NAR, with 69 division personnel. He guides a broad range of association initiatives including business development, strategic planning and partnerships, association product and marketing services and management, member professional development, competitive brand positioning, marketing, advertising and promotions, and group conventions.

In addition to his NAR roles, Goldberg is SVP of administration for REALTOR® University, overseeing graduate school staff, day-to-day operations of the research center, curriculum development and budgets. He is also president and CEO of the REALTORS® Information Network, or RIN, an NAR for-profit and wholly owned subsidiary responsible for overseeing the realtor.com® operating agreement with Move Inc.

Goldberg said he’s “humbled and excited” to take on the role and is “looking forward to working with REALTOR® leaders and staff to advance the association and our members toward long-term success.”

Source: NAR Newsline

Existing-Home Sales Rise 1.1 Percent in May; Median Sales Price Ascends to New High

WASHINGTON (June 21, 2017) — Existing-home sales rebounded in May following a notable decline in April, and low inventory levels helped propel the median sales price to a new high while pushing down the median days a home is on the market to a new low, according to the National Association of Realtors®. All major regions except for the Midwest saw an increase in sales last month.

Total existing-home sales1https://www.nar.realtor/topics/existing-home-sales, which are completed transactions that include single-family homes, townhomes, condominiums and co-ops, climbed 1.1 percent to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 5.62 million in May from a downwardly revised 5.56 million in April. Last month’s sales pace is 2.7 percent above a year ago and is the third highest over the past year.

Lawrence Yun, NAR chief economist, says sales activity expanded in May as more buyers overcame the increasingly challenging market conditions prevalent in many areas. “The job market in most of the country is healthy and the recent downward trend in mortgage rates continues to keep buyer interest at a robust level,” he said. “Those able to close on a home last month are probably feeling both happy and relieved. Listings in the affordable price range are scarce, homes are coming off the market at an extremely fast pace and the prevalence of multiple offers in some markets are pushing prices higher.”

The median existing-home price2 for all housing types in May was $252,800. This surpasses last June ($247,600) as the new peak median sales price, is up 5.8 percent from May 2016 ($238,900) and marks the 63rd straight month of year-over-year gains.

Total housing inventory3 at the end of May rose 2.1 percent to 1.96 million existing homes available for sale, but is still 8.4 percent lower than a year ago (2.14 million) and has fallen year-over-year for 24 consecutive months. Unsold inventory is at a 4.2-month supply at the current sales pace, which is down from 4.7 months a year ago.

“Home prices keep chugging along at a pace that is not sustainable in the long run,” added Yun. “Current demand levels indicate sales should be stronger, but it’s clear some would-be buyers are having to delay or postpone their home search because low supply is leading to worsening affordability conditions.”

Properties typically stayed on the market for 27 days in May, which is down from 29 days in April and 32 days a year ago; this is the shortest timeframe since NAR began tracking in May 2011. Short sales were on the market the longest at a median of 94 days in May, while foreclosures sold in 48 days and non-distressed homes took 27 days. Fifty-five percent of homes sold in May were on the market for less than a month (a new high).

Inventory data from realtor.com® reveals that the metropolitan statistical areas where listings stayed on the market the shortest amount of time in May were Seattle-Tacoma-Bellevue, Wash., 20 days; San Francisco-Oakland-Hayward, Calif., 24 days; San Jose-Sunnyvale-Santa Clara, Calif., 25 days; and Salt Lake City, Utah and Ogden-Clearfield, Utah, both at 26 days.

“With new and existing supply failing to catch up with demand, several markets this summer will continue to see homes going under contract at this remarkably fast pace of under a month,” said Yun.

According to Freddie Mac, the average commitment rate(link is external) for a 30-year, conventional, fixed-rate mortgage decreased for the second consecutive month, dipping to 4.01 percent in May from 4.05 percent in April. The average commitment rate for all of 2016 was 3.65 percent.

First-time buyers were 33 percent of sales in May, which is down from 34 percent in April but up from 30 percent a year ago. NAR’s 2016 Profile of Home Buyers and Sellers — released in late 20164 — revealed that the annual share of first-time buyers was 35 percent.

Earlier this month, NAR hosted the Sustainable Homeownership Conference at University of California’s Memorial Stadium in Berkeley. A white paper titled, “Hurdles to Homeownership: Understanding the Barriers,”(link is external) was released, which honed in on the five main reasons why first-time buyers are failing to make up a greater share of the market.

“Of the barriers analyzed in the white paper, single-family housing shortages will be the biggest challenge for prospective first-time buyers this year,” said President William E. Brown, a Realtor® from Alamo, California. “Those hoping to buy an entry-level, single-family home continue to see minimal choices. The best advice for these home shoppers is to know what you can afford, lean on the guidance of a Realtor® and act fast once an ideal property within the budget is listed.”

All-cash sales were 22 percent of transactions in May, up from 21 percent in April and unchanged from a year ago. Individual investors, who account for many cash sales, purchased 16 percent of homes in May, up from 15 percent in April and 13 percent a year ago. Sixty-four percent of investors paid in cash in May.

Distressed sales5 — foreclosures and short sales — were 5 percent of sales in May, unchanged from April and down from 6 percent a year ago. Four percent of May sales were foreclosures and 1 percent were short sales. Foreclosures sold for an average discount of 20 percent below market value in May (18 percent in April), while short sales were discounted 16 percent (12 percent in April).

Single-family and Condo/Co-op Sales

Single-family home sales increased 1.0 percent to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 4.98 million in May from 4.93 million in April, and are now 2.7 percent above the 4.85 million pace a year ago. The median existing single-family home price was $254,600 in May, up 6.0 percent from May 2016.

Existing condominium and co-op sales climbed 1.6 percent to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 640,000 units in May, and are 3.2 percent higher than a year ago. The median existing condo price was $238,700 in May, which is 4.8 percent above a year ago.

Regional Breakdown

May existing-home sales in the Northeast jumped 6.8 percent to an annual rate of 780,000, and are now 2.6 percent above a year ago. The median price in the Northeast was $281,300, which is 4.7 percent above May 2016.

In the Midwest, existing-home sales fell 5.9 percent to an annual rate of 1.28 million in May, and are 0.8 percent below a year ago. The median price in the Midwest was $203,900, up 7.3 percent from a year ago.

Existing-home sales in the South rose 2.2 percent to an annual rate of 2.34 million, and are now 4.5 percent above May 2016. The median price in the South was $221,900, up 5.3 percent from a year ago.

Existing-home sales in the West increased 3.4 percent to an annual rate of 1.22 million in May, and are now 3.4 percent above a year ago. The median price in the West was $368,800, up 6.9 percent from May 2016.

The National Association of Realtors®, “The Voice for Real Estate,” is America’s largest trade association, representing 1.2 million members involved in all aspects of the residential and commercial real estate industries.

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NOTE:  For local information, please contact the local association of Realtors® for data from local multiple listing services. Local MLS data is the most accurate source of sales and price information in specific areas, although there may be differences in reporting methodology.

1Existing-home sales, which include single-family, townhomes, condominiums and co-ops, are based on transaction closings from Multiple Listing Services. Changes in sales trends outside of MLSs are not captured in the monthly series. NAR rebenchmarks home sales periodically using other sources to assess overall home sales trends, including sales not reported by MLSs.

Existing-home sales, based on closings, differ from the U.S. Census Bureau’s series on new single-family home sales, which are based on contracts or the acceptance of a deposit. Because of these differences, it is not uncommon for each series to move in different directions in the same month. In addition, existing-home sales, which account for more than 90 percent of total home sales, are based on a much larger data sample — about 40 percent of multiple listing service data each month — and typically are not subject to large prior-month revisions.

The annual rate for a particular month represents what the total number of actual sales for a year would be if the relative pace for that month were maintained for 12 consecutive months. Seasonally adjusted annual rates are used in reporting monthly data to factor out seasonal variations in resale activity. For example, home sales volume is normally higher in the summer than in the winter, primarily because of differences in the weather and family buying patterns. However, seasonal factors cannot compensate for abnormal weather patterns.

Single-family data collection began monthly in 1968, while condo data collection began quarterly in 1981; the series were combined in 1999 when monthly collection of condo data began. Prior to this period, single-family homes accounted for more than nine out of 10 purchases. Historic comparisons for total home sales prior to 1999 are based on monthly single-family sales, combined with the corresponding quarterly sales rate for condos.

2The median price is where half sold for more and half sold for less; medians are more typical of market conditions than average prices, which are skewed higher by a relatively small share of upper-end transactions. The only valid comparisons for median prices are with the same period a year earlier due to seasonality in buying patterns. Month-to-month comparisons do not compensate for seasonal changes, especially for the timing of family buying patterns. Changes in the composition of sales can distort median price data. Year-ago median and mean prices sometimes are revised in an automated process if additional data is received.

The national median condo/co-op price often is higher than the median single-family home price because condos are concentrated in higher-cost housing markets. However, in a given area, single-family homes typically sell for more than condos as seen in NAR’s quarterly metro area price reports.

3Total inventory and month’s supply data are available back through 1999, while single-family inventory and month’s supply are available back to 1982 (prior to 1999, single-family sales accounted for more than 90 percent of transactions and condos were measured only on a quarterly basis).

4Survey results represent owner-occupants and differ from separately reported monthly findings from NAR’s Realtors® Confidence Index, which include all types of buyers. Investors are under-represented in the annual study because survey questionnaires are mailed to the addresses of the property purchased and generally are not returned by absentee owners. Results include both new and existing homes.

5Distressed sales (foreclosures and short sales), days on market, first-time buyers, all-cash transactions and investors are from a monthly survey for the NAR’s Realtors® Confidence Index, posted at Realtor.org.

NOTE: NAR’s Pending Home Sales Index for May is scheduled for release on June 28, and Existing-Home Sales for June will be released July 24; release times are 10:00 a.m. ET.

Applications

June is application month! Remember to submit your name or the name of a deserving member for any of the following awards before July 2:

The Oklahoma Association of REALTORS® is seeking nominations for its 2018 OAR REALTOR® of the Year. The OAR member selected for this incredible honor will be announced and recognized by his/her peers at the REALTOR® Celebration Thursday, October 11, held in conjunction with the 2018 REignite Conference in Oklahoma City.

Nomination Form


If you have a member who has demonstrated significant service and involvement with OAR, you should nominate them for the OAR Life Member Award. The Life Membership Committee will consider nominees for this prestigious award, and the awards will be presented during the REALTOR® Celebration Banquet on Thursday, October 11 as part of the 2018 REignite Conference in Oklahoma City.

Download a nomination form
Life Member Request Letter/Criteria


OAR is accepting nominations for the Community Rock Star Award which honors three Oklahoma REALTORS® who go above and beyond to fulfill the needs shown by their communities. This award is designed to seek out the brightest stars who give unselfishly to improve the world around them through community service.

DOWNLOAD NOMINATION FORM

Recipients of the award will receive a $1,000 grant in their name to their charity and be recognized at the REignite Conference on October 10-11 in Oklahoma City.


Are you interested in serving on the Board of Directors for OAR? Contact your local AE and get your name submitted!


The Harriett Wagnon Association Executive Achievement Award is presented to an individual who has truly excelled in his or her role as an association executive of a local Oklahoma REALTOR® association and who is active in the REALTOR® organization at the time of nomination.

Nominate a deserving AE


Nominate yourself or a deserving member to serve on one of many OAR committees. You can also indicate whether you would be interested in a shorter term commitments with task forces and/or work groups as they are needed.

Committee Interest Form


Participation in LeadershipOAR is open to REALTORS® living in the state of Oklahoma and will be chosen by the LeadershipOAR Selection Committee based upon the information provided in this application. The Committee will be seeking representation from a cross-section of the profession. These leaders and potential leaders will be active in either business, education, the arts, spiritual groups, government, community-based organizations, ethnic or minority groups, or real estate specialty areas, and will reflect the diversity of the organization.

Apply Now