OAR Annual Membership Meeting Information + Proposed Bylaws Changes for 2020

It is the right of every member of the Oklahoma Association of REALTORS® to vote at the Annual Membership Meeting on October 5, 2020 at 1:00 PM.

Because of the COVID-19 pandemic the meeting will take place virtually, and all members who would like to attend and vote need to register. All registered members will receive credentials for the virtual meeting and information on the secure voting process prior to the annual membership meeting.

REGISTER FOR ANNUAL MEMBERSHIP MEETING

Among the topics to review and vote on at the meeting are the 2021 Slate of OAR Officers and a few proposed changes to the bylaws. The below listed bylaws proposals passed the OAR Board of Directors on March 3, 2020 and will now be presented for a vote of the full membership. Should you have any questions, please reach out: info@okrealtors.com.


SLATE OF OAR OFFICERS

Each year, members select the leaders sho will guide the Association forward in the following year, voting to approve the Slate of Officers who have been put forward by the OAR Nominating committee for the positions of President-Elect, Secretary, Treasurer (every-other-year), and District Vice Presidents. To review the 2021 Slate of Officers, click here.


PROPOSED BYLAWS CHANGES

In coordination with the OAR Strategic Vision (adopted in 2019), and following feedback from members across the state last year, a President’s Advisory Group (PAG) was organized at the beginning of 2020 to examine how OAR might be able to limit its fiduciary liabilities by reducing the size of the Board of Directors to a more appropriate size, while also ensuring equitable local board representation. The PAG also weighed other proposals which they felt could strengthen the association’s governance.

The below worksheet outlines each of the proposals adopted by the Board of Directors in March 2020, which is now recommended to the complete membership for approval. Please note, the first three proposals (one proposal per page) originated from the Life Membership Committee regarding a more streamlined process for weighing and approving Life Membership applications.

If you have any questions or feedback, OAR and the PAG will work to answer them and provide as much transparent feedback is possible.

ASK QUESTIONS & GIVE FEEDBACK HERE

Oklahoma Association of REALTORS® & COVID-19 Resources

This page will be continually updated with details regarding changes in event schedules and resources for REALTORS® and local boards in Oklahoma. 

Governor Kevin Stitt has announced plan to re-open Oklahoma businesses. The tentative 3-phase plan which outlines the plan and what needs to be accomplished to achieve a full reopening can be found here. We urge REALTORS® to use caution and understand that the Governor has said these are tentative and subject to revision based on evidence which will continue to be collected.


OAR Updates

Governor Stitt announced plans to begin re-opening Oklahoma businesses in a 3-phase plan called Opening Up & Recovering Safely (OURS). Click here to learn more about the steps which need to occur and what your responsibilities are in each phase. We urge REALTORS® to use caution and understand that the Governor has said these are tentative and subject to revision based on evidence which will continue to be collected.

A March 25th executive order to combat the spread of COVID-19 included provisions recognizing “Real estate and Leasing services” as an essential service. Watch OAR Legal Counsel Geoffrey Long’s Facebook Live discussing what it means for you business and find a link to an FAQ below:

Other updates from OAR:

  • Currently, the physical OAR office (9807 Broadway Ext) is closed, and the OAR staff is working remotely. Any questions or inquiries will likely be solved more quickly through email: support@okrealtors.com.
  • Talking Real Podcast Episode 111: Real Estate & COVID-19 covers what REALTORS® can do right now to adapt (and stay safe) to changes brought about by the Coronavirus.
  • See the section below titled Unemployment Assistance & Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) for resources and more information about filing for unemployment.
  • How has COVID-19 effected the upcoming elections in Oklahoma? Learn more here.
  • OAR Zoom backgrounds are available now for your online meeting. Get the backgrounds here.

National Association of REALTORS® Resources

NAR has produced several different resources during this time of uncertainty and is constantly producing more. All of NAR’s resources can be found at nar.realtor/coronavirus and a few, select resources are linked below:

NAR is also seeking to provide additional education resources and discounts on courses. Find more info on the RIGHT TOOLS, RIGHT NOW program at nar.realtor/education.

NAR is also promoting the Center for REALTOR® Financial Wellness, and encourages members who may be facing uncertainty to utilize their comprehensive resources for wealth building, business planning and investing in real estate.


Oklahoma Real Estate Commission

The OREC office is now closed until further notice, but work is being done remotely.

  • All occupational licenses issued by the Commission that expire during the COVID-19 emergency shall be extended until fourteen (14) days after the termination or withdrawal of Governor Stitt’s Executive Order 2020-07 (Amended).
  • If you are scheduled to host/teach any classes in-person, you may now teach them online. Reach out to OREC (orec.ok.gov) about letting them know.
  • For faster service, please email your name, license number and question/issue to Orec.Help@orec.ok.gov.

For more information, visit OREC.ok.gov.


Unemployment Assistance & Paycheck Protection Program (PPP)

The Federal CARES Act signed into law in late March provides additional federal unemployment assistance to already available state unemployment insurance and includes the provision to expand unemployment options to individuals classified as independent contractors. This assistance is accessed through the State of Oklahoma’s Oklahoma Employment Security Commission (OESC). 

One of OAR’s Industry Partners, the Oklahoma State Chamber of Commerce, has provided a great resource directly OESC to help guide individuals through the unemployment claim process:

The National Association of REALTORSⓇ has also provided information for REALTORSⓇ on eligibility requirements, assistance availability and longevity, and other information

Key Information for REALTORSⓇ right now:

  1. The OESC has recently been provided guidance by the U.S. Department of Labor on how the state is to administer the benefits outlined in the CARES Act. 
  2. OESC is in the process of updating its system to allow for the processing of independent contractor claims. They expect this system to go live in late April, but in the meantime they have launched a “Pre-Applicaiton” for independent contractors at ui.ok.gov.
  3. Independent contractors (REALTORSⓇ) are encouraged to fill out the “Pre-Application” until the new system is live, and not submit claims through the current OESC procedures for salaried employees.
  4. If an independent contractor applies for unemployment benefits right now, their claim will likely be denied, and it clogs the system for others who are currently eligible to receive benefits.
  5. All claims filed under the new independent contractor system will be backdated to March 30th, ensuring the extra weeks are accounted for and the independent contractor receives benefits for the weeks missed.
  6. When independent contractors are able to apply for assistance, REALTORSⓇ must mark themselves as “self-employed” on all unemployment documentation. 

 

The CARES Act also provided federal money money for small businesses through the Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) and the Economic Injury Disaster Loan (EIDL) through the Small Business Administration.

Both the Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) and Economic Injury Disaster Loan (EIDL) depleted all originally allocated funds. However Congress has allocated more funds ($310 billion for PPP and $60 billion for EIDL) which are available as of 9:30 a.m. on April 27. Businesses and independent contractors are encouraged to discuss options with their lenders regarding how to take advantage of these financial resources. More information about PPP and EIDL can be found below:

OAR Events

OAR Events are being rescheduled per guidance from the CDC: We will work to get these events reschedules soon, and provide you with links for registration when the details are finalized.

  • March 28-30 NAR Region 9 Conference in Oklahoma City: moved to June 27-29 (narregion9.com)
  • March 19 Professional Standards Training in OKC: postponed until TBD
  • April 29-30 GRI 201 in Tulsa: postponed until July 8-9 – Registration will open soon
  • April 30 Professional Standards Training in Tulsa: postponed until July 9 – Registration will open soon
  • June 3-4 GRI 202 in Oklahoma City: VRTUAL CLASS on June 3-4 – Registration will open soon
  • June 13 Oklahoma Housing Foundation Land Run 5K & Fun Run: cancelled

C2EX

As we are experiencing uncertainty in the industry and will have less opportunities to attend educational courses, now is the perfect time to check out C2EX. We’ve been challenged by our NAR Region 9 Vice President, Oklahoma’s own Dave Momper, to boost our C2EX numbers this year. Fortunately completing C2EX also fulfills your required NAR Code of Ethics training, so if you have any free time, get that knocked out!


EXTRA! EXTRA! New Marketing Practices Legal on Nov. 1

Jessica M. Hickok, CEO
Oklahoma Association of REALTORS

Can you give away a branded bottle of water at an open house?

Can you put out cookies or other snacks?

Can you give away a $25 gift certificate in a drawing for people who have recently like your social page?

These questions have tormented REALTORS® for years. And for years the answer from the Oklahoma Real Estate Commission has been, “no,” because the law did not allow real estate licensees to provide prizes or any other items of value to influence a purchaser or prospective purchaser of real estate.

That is, until TODAY (November 1, 2019) of this year when a new law takes effect. So, what happened? How did we get here? And what does it mean for your business?

Looking at the old law, the major issues are “any other item of value” and “prospective buyer.” Both of those terms could be, and have been, interpreted in such a broad manner that they could apply to the simplest of items (like a bottle of water) or any person who might someday buy a house (including a child).

Obviously, these laws have caused problems for REALTORS® to grow their businesses in ways that are afforded to nearly every other industry. So, beginning late last year, we set out to make a change for our industry, and making this change became a top priority in our Legislative Agenda for 2019. Fortunately for us, the Oklahoma Association of REALTORS® has 11,000+ members, and when we make something a priority and use the power of our members, we can make quite a splash.

Our government affairs team set out to find like-minded Legislators who understand our issues and could be authors of the bill that would be necessary to make the changes to the current law. It didn’t take long to find two members of the Oklahoma Legislature who would be the perfect authors of the new law: Senator Paul Rosino and Representative Mark VanCuren are both REALTORS!

Senator Rosino took the lead first and the bill originated in the Senate giving it the bill number SB 104. After he moved it masterfully through the Senate, Rep. VanCuren promptly moved it through the House of Representatives, and in April, Governor Kevin Stitt signed the changes into law, which took six more months before they went into effect.

The new law still maintains that “inducing buyers” is illegal, but the statute clearly outlines that giveaways for marketing purposes are permitted as long as receiving the item is not contingent on individuals making an offer or purchasing a specific property.

So, go back to the top, and ask those same questions again.

Water bottles? Drink up!

Cookies? Bake away!

Gift card drawings to increase your social media presence? Go for it!

How about that for a change that impacts your business? And all because an organization you are already a part of, utilized its potential to impact the industry for better. Of course, this is the short version, too. What you didn’t see are the long hours at the State Capitol or the late nights spent talking to Legislators and members and policy experts about how to ensure the best for you, our members.

And if you didn’t know, we did this two more times last session alone, giving us a perfect record in getting our request legislation passed in 2019.

And if you ask me, that’s a performance worthy of one of those delicious cookies you’ll baking for your next open house.

😉

-JMH

—-

JESSICA M. HICKOK, GRI, RCE, CAE

Chief Executive Officer

Oklahoma Association of REALTORS®

 

P.S. – Want to know more about the law and hear more examples? Check out the Talking Real Podcast wherever you subscribe to podcasts where we have even more information.

The Board of Directors of the Oklahoma Association of REALTORS® has called a special membership meeting for August 19, 2019 at 1:30 p.m. to consider a change to the OAR bylaws concerning the size and makeup of the Board of Directors.

WHAT: OAR Special Membership Meeting

WHEN: Monday, August 19, 2019 at 1:30 p.m.

WHERE: Central Oklahoma Home Builders Assoc., 420 E Britton Rd, Oklahoma City, OK 73114

Click Here to View the Agenda Packet
The agenda packet includes the order in which business will be discussed and the specific portion of the bylaws which are proposed to be changed. Amendments to propose changes will not be in order at the special membership meeting. To summarize the proposed changes:

  • Past Presidents will be represented by 2 members they elect, instead of all past presidents being automatic state directors
  • Each local board will get one automatic state director to be selected as they determine, and an additional state director for every 500 members of the local board
  • Instead of proxy-voters for individual state directors, local boards can elect an alternate director to represent the local board in the case of an absence of a state director from a board of directors meeting.
  • These proposed changes would reduce the size of the OAR Board of Directors from approximately 134 to 49 (including 14 total officers, District Vice Presidents and Past Presidents)
The proposed changes to the bylaws were generated from a Presidential Advisory Group (PAG) created by OAR President Lisa Weaver and were recommended to the Executive Committee. After approval by the Executive Committee the OAR Board of Directors amended and approved the proposed changes at the July 16 Board of Directors meeting. They are being considered at a special membership meeting so that if passed they may be implemented in time for 2020.

The recommend changes follow the guide of the OAR Strategic Plan: to have business structure which utilizes talent-oriented and project-based framework to facilitate effective business decisions. The PAG believed the core of that statement included a Board of Directors which was smaller, more engaged and ultimately more accountable in guiding the association to an effective and successful future.

Because there is no proxy voting at membership meetings, we highly encourage you to make plans to attend so your voice and vote will be heard! If you have questions, please reach out. We look forward to seeing you for the special membership meeting August 19 at 1:30 p.m.!

2016 NAR Member Profile Shows Younger REALTORS® Entering Industry

Yesterday the National Association of REALTORS® released the 2016 NAR Member Profile.

The report found that REALTORS®’ median age and experience has decreased, meaning new and younger professionals are entering the industry.

The typical member reported a median of 10 years of experience in real estate, down from 12 years in last year’s report. REALTORS®’ median age also decreased from 57 in 2014 to 53 in 2015, the lowest it has been since 2008, when the median age was 52.

According to NAR President Tom Salomone, “The median age of REALTORS® is younger than in the past because more people entered the real estate profession this year than in past years, with 20 percent of members reporting one year or less of experience. NAR is excited to have  young, fresh perspectives enter the industry, and we are proud to offer resources for our younger members to advance and grow, such as the Young Professionals Network and ‘30 Under 30’ recognition.”

Check out this infographic showcasing some of the report’s findings:

nar-member-profile-2016-infographc

 

Source: NAR Newsline

Louisiana REALTORS® Disaster Relief Sought

As you may know, Louisiana recently suffered disastrous weather recently, and there is more to come this week. Louisiana REALTORS® and their clients are in need. Many have been displaced by flooding in the northern part of the state.

The Louisiana Association of REALTORS® is currently working with NAR and have launched a donation page. Please consider making a donation to our REALTOR® family who have suffered damages or who have been displaced during the storms and flooding.

DONATION PAGE

If you have any questions, please contact them at:

larealtors-logo
821 Main Street
Baton Rouge, LA 70802
225.923.2210
info@larealtors.org

NWOAR Announces Benefit Golf Tournament

NWOAR Benefit Golf Tournament
Friday, May 6, 2016
Pheasant Run Golf Course
$75 per player
Registration 11:00 a.m. – noon
Shot-gun start at 1:00 p.m.
Steak Dinner when you come in.

Benefactor is Brynda Row of Covington, OK.
She was diagnosed with brain cancer. Her husband, who was raised in Enid, lost his job.
They have 4 school age children.

Join us for a FUN day and help a family out who is in need.
Contact NWOAR @ 580-242-1670 or nwoar@fullnet.net

DOWNLOAD FLIER

2017 NAR Committee Application Process Begins March 7

There’s an important change that will be implemented for the 2017 NAR committee appointment process, which opens March 7. The committee appointment process has been changed from a recommendation process to an application process.

You are invited to watch this two-minute video of 2016 NAR President-Elect Bill Brown and 2016 NAR First Vice President Elizabeth Mendenhall discussing the more streamlined, efficient committee appointment process for 2017.

NAR REALTOR Logo

Serving on an NAR committee is an excellent way to meet influential REALTORS® from around the country, build your referral base, be involved in the direction of your industry association, and grow professionally.

The online committee application form on REALTOR.org opens March 7. Please read the important information regarding the committee recommendation process in the timeline link below:

COMMITTEE SELECTION TIMELINE   NAR COMMITTEES

OAR 2015 Annual Report Video Marks Year of Continued Growth

oar-2015-annual-report-screenshotThe OAR 2015 Annual Report was previewed today at the OAR Board of Directors meeting in Oklahoma City.

The video captures the energy and momentum that made up a terrific year. Board members were enthusiastic about the report and eager to share with their colleagues when they return home.

Here you’ll see Lisa Noon, OAR Chief Executive Officer, tell some about various high points of the year. Among many others, they include political advocacy, community outreach and education.

We think you’ll agree this video annual report showcases OAR’s 2015 year in review succinctly and beautifully! You’re encouraged to share with your colleagues and other interested stakeholders in the organization.

For a comprehensive list of highlights of the year, visit okrealtors.com/2015.

Regional Conference Accessible to All Oklahoma REALTORS®!

nar-conference-crowd

This year, the Region IX Conference is hosted by NAR Regional Vice President Joe Pryor and is taking place in Oklahoma City!

March 6-7, 2016

This is your chance to meet some of the most influential REALTORS® and thought leaders in the country.

  • NAR leaders
  • OAR leaders
  • Social media authorities Nobu Hata and Patrick Kitano
  • Innovator & business strategist Alex Charfen
  • Stewart Title Chief Economist Ted Jones
  • Marketing architect & PipelineROI CEO Dustin Moore
  • Leadership & association champion Tom Morrison

chris-polychron-joe-pryor-david-momper-conference

You’ll learn the most important trends in the industry and the importance of adapting in Uber fashion!

Network with prominent REALTORS® from many different markets who’ll breathe new life into your business!

Plenty of fun built in too. Click on the box below to see more info and save your spot!

REGION IX CONFERENCE

Embassy Suites Oklahoma City Downtown/Medical Center
741 N Phillips Ave
Oklahoma City, OK 73104

January 1 Begins New zipForm® Benefit for All Members

In 2016, the National Association of REALTORS®, in partnership with zipLogix, will be providing NAR members zipForm® Plus and zipTMS™ as a member benefit – at no cost.

What does this mean for you?

Starting January 1, 2016, as a REALTOR® member, you will have access to zipForm® Plus and the industry standard in the transaction management systems: zipTMS™. No action will be required of Oklahoma REALTORS® as the Oklahoma forms are already set up. If you are not an existing zipForm® user, you will most likely be required to set up a new account

EXISTING USERS NEW USERS

featured-image-zipform-realtors-center-of-transaction

ZIPFORM NAR BENEFIT

OAR Made Great Achievements in 2015!

OAR has achieved greater heights in 2015, including the areas of legislative advocacy, member outreach, technology and public relations.

rpac-presidents-cupOf paramount importance was creating a stronger RPAC culture, which is evident in Oklahoma achieving President’s Cup status for the first time ever! The President’s Cup recognizes the hard work state REALTOR® leaders and association staff perform to advance the REALTOR® Party. The President’s Cup will be presented in May 2016 at the REALTORS® Legislative Meeting and Trade Expo in Washington, DC!

Among the successes in the State Legislature were fighting threats to overturn the Protect Property Rights Act of 2014. Our lobbying efforts combined with member involvement in The REALTOR® Party continue to hold the attention of our hardworking Oklahoma legislators.

2015-brokers-summit-nobu-hata-broker-profitability-digital-ageBetween continued work among OAR’s district vice presidents and creating a member outreach position on staff, OAR has tightened the bond among brokerages, local boards and the state association. The number of brokers signed up for the Broker Involvement Program has gone up 28%, meaning more effective messaging on calls for action are being received by members around the state. Plus another successful Brokers Summit held in November was an active forum for brokers to learn more about managing teams within their companies, seeing an intro to the RPR broker dashboard and then finding ways to be more profitable in the digital age.

oklahoma-gri-301-oct-2015

Oklahoma REALTORS® seeking the GRI designation have been so plentiful that modules have been selling out this year. The blend of sharp statewide experts and varied perspectives from national speakers build great excitement during these two-day sessions!

featured-image-download-okrealtors-mobile-appThis year we launched an instructor rating website. It will be a vehicle for local boards, schools and brokers to identify content experts who are available to teach in their area plus allow students to publish feedback to help make hiring decisions. In conjunction with the REignite education conference & trade show in October, we pushed out a new mobile app, making the most needed items and news alerts available more quickly. Local board implementation of a text messaging component is next.

In the area of public relations, OAR has had 137 media placements in the first 11 months of 2015, with a total audience reach of more than 98.2 MILLION, increasing the positive perception of Oklahoma REALTORS.

media-relations-results-jan-nov-2015

SEE THE WHOLE 2015 LIST

Top 5 Oklahoma Real Estate Trends from 2015 Revealed

The most impactful real estate trends from 2015 may empower homeowners in 2016

The state’s homebuyers, homeowners and real estate professionals experienced a big year in 2015 marked by positive growth in many areas. Influential trends affected a variety of dimensions for Oklahomans from interior style to shifting market conditions. OAR is sharing the year’s most relevant developments as a useful overview to empower consumers as we transition into a new year.

“The numerous real estate changes across Oklahoma can overwhelm and confuse even the most seasoned homebuyers and sellers,” said OAR 2015 President Kacy Bell. “That’s why we want to help Oklahomans understand the past year’s biggest takeaways, so they may maximize the value of their homes as we enter into 2016.”

Homeowners can learn from these notable real estate trends from the past year:

transitional-decor-kitchen-gray-stainless

  • Transitional decor.
    This style has gained momentum by striking a clean, bright compromise between traditional and contemporary décor. The minimalist approach to home decorating balances comfort with formal elegance, utilizing white and gray color schemes. Homeowners can borrow cues from transitional décor to add appealing touches to their home’s living spaces for peak effect.
  • featured-image-homebuyers-coupleEducated buyers.
    Today’s homebuyers increasingly use a variety of online resources to educate themselves about the real estate market and compare their choices. Educated buyers understand interest rates, comparable home prices, the loan process and inspections. Oklahoma home sellers should prepare to answer savvy and direct questions from prospective buyers.
  • Low inventory and multiple offers.
    Oklahoma’s residential housing market has consistently favored home sellers this year since homebuyers outnumbered the supply of houses available to purchase in many communities. As a result, hopeful homebuyers must often compete against multiple offers for the same home — requiring a strong first offer catering to seller preferences.
  • Contract changes.
    A November change to Oklahoma real estate purchase contracts removed a longstanding requirement called the Treatments, Repairs and Replacements Cap that set a maximum amount home sellers agreed to spend on post-inspection repairs. For today’s home sellers and buyers, the inspection will precede negotiating the repairs budget to remove guesswork and concentrate on more substantial issues.
  • Increase in Millennial buyers.
    Oklahoma Realtors expect home purchases by millennials to continue to rise with an estimated 46 percent buying their first home in the next one to two years. Low mortgage rates, a reasonable cost of living and a diverse economy all contribute to an expected increase in first-time millennial homebuyers across the state.

Kacy Bell“Taking time to understand the current real estate climate and adjusting accordingly will go a long way to help Oklahomans ensure their next transaction goes smoothly,” said Bell. “But when in doubt, consult the professionals who are daily engrained in the details of residential real estate and passionate about guiding their clients through one of the biggest decisions they may make in their lifetime.”

NAR Board Approves zipForm Plus As New Member Benefit

OVERVIEW | FAQ

The National Association of REALTORS® board of directors today voted to give all NAR members free access to electronic forms and transaction management tools from REALTOR Benefits® Program partner zipLogix.

featured-image-chris-polychron-ziplogix-zipform-plus-nar-member-benefit“The association is committed to making sure REALTORS® have the latest technology tools to succeed in today’s dynamic real estate environment,” said NAR President Chris Polychron, a broker from Hot Springs, Arkansas. “I hope our members take advantage of this new benefit to help them save time and money and better succeed in their business.”

Members will get zipLogix Plus, which includes various forms libraries, as well as zipTMS, the company’s transaction management system with unlimited document storage. In areas where local and state associations license their forms to zipLogix, REALTORS® will also have free access to local and state forms libraries.

Already, more than 600,000 REALTORS® use zipLogix applications, according to the company, which is operated as a joint venture between NAR and Real Estate Business Services (REBS), a subsidiary of the California Association of REALTORS®.  The company offers other products, including mobile touch signatures and broker and team editions that assist with transaction oversight and risk management.

“As a REALTOR® association-owned company, zipLogix is committed to REALTORS®’ success,” said zipLogix Chairman of the Board Mark Peterson. “We look forward to expanding our partnership with NAR and helping facilitate transactions for even more REALTORS® and their clients.”

“In Texas, we have had this as a member benefit for years,” said Ryan Bokros with Realty Associates – The Woodlands, in The Woodlands, Texas. “Obviously, the financial benefit is great as it’s a vital tool to our business. So those who don’t have it as a member benefit now will enjoy this decision.”

The zipLogix member benefit will be available to REALTORS® in early 2016. Members of an association that is currently a zipLogix customer may begin accessing the NAR Member Benefit Program as of 1/01/2016.

Source: REALTOR® Magazine

OREC: SoloPro a No-Go in Oklahoma

ored-logo

The Oklahoma Real Estate Commission recently learned of the partnership between Lowe’s Home Improvement and SoloPro, Inc. Solo Pro is a service that unbundles real estate services and give buyers a three percent rebate from the licensee’s commission when they buy a home through the service. Even though this service may be promoted in Oklahoma, please remember that such programs are illegal in Oklahoma, and any offer of a buyer rebate is a violation of the Oklahoma Real Estate License Code & Rules.

Oklahoma is one of 10 states with a prohibition on buyer inducements and rebates. Additionally, our Code & Rules prohibit splitting a commission with an unlicensed person. SoloPro’s business plan and programs violates both of these provisions.

OREC encourages all licensees to be aware of these restrictions when considering any new marketing plan or program, as well as any new company that enters the marketplace and promotes these types of business tools.

If you have any questions on OREC’s Code & Rules, please don’t hesitate to call the commission offices at 405.521.3387, 1.866.521.3389 or orechelp@orec.ok.gov. If you need a quick refresher, check out the Code and Rules online at orec.ok.gov .


STATES WHERE REBATES ARE ALLOWED

CONTACT CONGRESS NOW: Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac Funding Under Attack

Here they go again … Congress may consider taking credit risk guarantee fees (g-fees) from Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac for programs NOT related to real estate! Watch this 2-minute video from real estate expert Leigh Brown to see what’s potentially happening to OUR industry and how you can help in about 42 seconds!

Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac assure the 30-year mortgage are performing how they were intended and their funds MUST remain protected! Homeownership and affordability always help stabilize a struggling economy. We all understand how important roads and bridges are, but “Robbing Peter to pay Paul” is NOT the answer!

Text okrealtors to 30644 so you’ll know quickly when your voice is needed.

CLICK HERE MAKE SURE YOUR MEMBER OF CONGRESS RECEIVES THAT MESSAGE!

Bonus: This feisty little Leigh Brown will be back in Oklahoma for the OAR Brokers Summit November 4 in Oklahoma City to show you how to embrace teams to maximize profitability. Read more about this great broker event and RSVP quickly!

OAR Announces 2015 Annual Award Winners

featured-image-2015-realtor-celebration

OAR congratulates the 2015 winners of the Community Rock Star Awards, the Life Member Award and the Legislator of the Year Award. All winners will receive their honors at the REALTOR® Celebration banquet held during REignite, the OAR annual conference and trade show Wednesday, Oct. 14 at the Embassy Suites Norman Hotel and Conference Center, located at 2501 Conference Dr. in Norman.

REALTORS® from across Oklahoma will come together for the conference to learn about new products and services that will enhance their careers as well as attend educational classes with topics ranging from the latest technology and marketing skills to new rules about mortgage disclosures.

“Our members and partners are devoted to their communities and work tirelessly to improve their cities, through excellence in their industry and volunteerism,” said Kacy Bell, 2015 OAR president. “Each award recipient this year deserves recognition for exceeding the expectation and truly making a difference.”

Community Rock Star Award Winners

This award honors three Oklahoma REALTORS® who go above and beyond to fulfill the needs of their community. It is designed to seek out members who give unselfishly to improve the world around them through community service. Each winner receives a $1,000 grant in their name to the charity of their choice, recognition in the REALTOR® Connection newsletter and on OAR’s website, and a complimentary ticket to OAR’s REALTOR® Celebration Banquet where they will receive their award. This year’s winners are:

Bow-Bailey-100px-sqBow Bailey is a volunteer at the Craig County Salvation Army in Vinita where he helped provide school lunches for many students in need and planned several community events, including chili and BBQ cook-offs. He is a member of the Northeast Oklahoma Board of REALTORS® and works for Solid Rock, REALTORS®.

 

Shelley-Carson-100px-sqAs a member of the Greater Tulsa Association of REALTORS®, Shelley Carson has dedicated 10 years to supporting GTAR’s Backpacks for Kids program in Tulsa. Under her leadership, the program has raised more than $140,000 resulting in over 3,750 backpacks for children in need. She is also a senior account representative with Old Republic Home Protection.

 

Brad-Reeser-100px-sq

Brad Reeser is a member of the Edmond Board of REALTORS® and an agent for Keller Williams Realty. For 12 years, he has served KW Cares, a public charity created to support Keller Williams associates and their families with hardship as a result of a sudden emergency, by planning fundraisers and raising large sums of money for Keller Williams families, the American Cancer Society and the Alzheimer’s Association.

 

Harriett Wagnon Association Executive Achievement Award

carolyn-house-100px-sqCarolyn House, association executive for the Northwest Oklahoma Association of REALTORS®, has been named the first recipient of the Harriett Wagnon Association Executives Achievement Award. The Oklahoma Association of REALTORS®’ association executives committee created the award to honor one who has excelled in his or her role. The award was named for the late Harriett Wagnon, Edmond board of REALTORS® executive.

House has been with the Northwest Oklahoma Association of Realtors for 27 years, facilitated the only board merger in the state during the past year and has been a lifetime supporter of RPAC. She attends state and local sessions and provides assistance to other association executives.

Life Member Award Winner

To be chosen as a Life Member Award winner, the REALTOR® must have been a member of the organization for at least 30 years, been nominated by their local board and demonstrated unusual meritorious service at OAR.

Brad-Reeser-100px-sqThis year’s winner is Brad Reeser, an OAR member for 33 years. Reeser is a past president of the Edmond Board of REALTORS®, and was honored as their 1998 REALTOR® of the Year and the 2007 Lifetime Achievement Award recipient with the Edmond Board of REALTORS®. He also previously served as a board member for the Oklahoma Association of REALTORS® and on the Oklahoma RPAC Trustees in 2014. Reeser is also a devoted member of the community volunteering with the Girl Scouts of America Western Oklahoma District, Project Woman Coalition and KW Cares.

Legislator of the Year Award Winner

David-Brumbaugh-100px-sqRepresentative David Brumbaugh, of Broken Arrow, will receive OAR’s Legislator of the Year Award. Rep. Brumbaugh was a steadfast leader in supporting property rights during his tenure in the Oklahoma House of Representatives, and his significant involvement with OAR during the 2015 legislative session was essential in supporting real estate issues.

Are You Using the Correct Property Condition Disclosure?

Oklahoma Real Estate Commission

We have a friendly reminder from the Oklahoma Real Estate Commission! OREC has brought to our attention some REALTORS® have attempted to use the new Residential Property Condition Disclosure Form. The one on the Commission’s website dated “11/15” is not valid until November 1, 2015 and cannot be used for transactions until then.

The new form is part of the Amended Rules Effective November 2, 2015. If you have any questions, please contact OREC at 405.521.3387.

 

2016 OAR Committee Recommendations Now Open

OAR is accepting recommendations for participation in statewide committees. Committees are a wonderful opportunity to network with other influential professionals throughout the state and serve your REALTOR® community.

banner-image-roundtables

How can you get involved?

Any OAR member can serve on an OAR committee. Find something that interests you from the complete list of OAR committees and send in a committee recommendation form by October 15.

The OAR president and president-elect will then meet to discuss each request to appoint committee chairs, vice-chairs and members. Finally, at the February 17, 2016 OAR Board of Directors meeting, the list is ratified.

A member currently serving on a committee, whose term expires in 2015 MUST submit a request if he/she would like to be considered for service in 2016; members are NOT automatically considered for re-appointment to a committee.

SUBMIT COMMITTEE INTEREST FORM

The deadline for submission is October 15, 2015.

Email Sabrina Tyree with any questions or for more information.

2016 OAR Slate of Officers Announced

In accordance with Article VII, Section 2 of the Bylaws of the Oklahoma Association of REALTORS®, notice is hereby given of the nominations made by the OAR Nominating Committee for 2016 OAR officers and the 2016-17 OAR elected state directors.

Please note that Article VII, Section 2 of the Bylaws also provides that “any member may nominate a qualified candidate for any office, except the office of president, provided the nomination is in writing signed by thirty (30) additional members in good standing and the nominee and delivered to the office of the Association at least twenty (20) days prior to the Annual Membership Meeting. The names of all nominees shall be mailed by the Association to member boards in care of their presidents for dissemination to their members and to all members who are members at large prior to the Annual Membership Meeting. The names of all nominees shall be posted in at least two (2) places in the meeting room at the Annual Membership Meeting. The election shall be held during the Annual Membership Meeting by secret, written ballot where there is more than one (1) nominee for an office.” The deadline to receive additional nominees in the OAR offices is September 22, 2015.

featured-image-annual-membership-meetingElection for the offices noted above will be held at OAR’s Annual Membership Meeting, October 13, 2015, at the Embassy Suites Norman Hotel & Conference Center, Norman, Oklahoma. To register for REignite, OAR’s education conference and trade show, please visit okrealtors.com/conference.

Download Slate

Stillwater Board Plans Affiliate Event, Reports New Members

The Stillwater Board of REALTORS® had a relatively quiet 2nd quarter. We were excited about getting all of our Core Standards completed on time. The RPAC Committee planned a fun fundraising event for the 3rd quarter. The Affiliate Committee met to discuss ideas for a get-together possibly in October. With dues payments coming up for July 1st, we lost a number of members but also gained several new. New members include Kearsten Vaughan, Ashley Snow, Jenifer Sprayberry, Josh Barnett and Rebecca Weiland. Two of the new members are Brokers who have brought new offices to SBOR – Oklahoma Real Estate Crew and eXp Realty.

Enid Metro Association of REALTORS® expands territory, changes name

featured-image-enid-board-luncheon8-April-9-2015

The changes in the National Association of REALTORS® (NAR) core standards for associations is resulting in some smaller boards and associations consolidating with other associations. On April 1, the merger between the Woodward Board of REALTORS® into the Enid Metro Association of REALTORS® became official. Then effective June 1, their name change was approved by NAR, creating the Northwest Oklahoma Association of REALTORS®.

These changes increases their coverage to 12 counties in Oklahoma: Garfield, Grant, Kingfisher, Alfalfa, Major, Woods, Woodward, Cimarron, Texas, Beaver, Harper and Ellis. In covering more counties, they will encompass the entire northwest part of Oklahoma. This increased coverage will bring more opportunities for REALTORS® in that area of the state to serve the public as the “Voice of Real Estate”.

2015 District Meetings Bring You Closer to OAR

Give your membership a boost by getting involved in your professional association! OAR is hosting Town Hall-style meetings around the state to share news and information from local boards and hear updates from OAR.

After the lunch meeting, you’ll be treated to perennial favorite Larry Starbuck teaching the NAR Code of Ethics in the afternoon.

  • Noon-1:00p Lunch/District Meeting
  • 1:00-4:00p Code of Ethics ($10 fee)

5Districts

Choose your District and reserve your spot now!

June 3 | District 1

  • Enid Metro Association
  • North Central Board
  • Stillwater Board

June 10 | District 3

  • Ada Board
  • Shawnee Board
  • Southeastern Oklahoma Association
  • Southern Oklahoma Board
  • Texoma Board

June 24 | District 4

  • Bartlesville Association
  • Cushing Board
  • Northeast Oklahoma Board
  • Greater Tulsa Association

July 8 | District 2

  • Altus Association
  • Duncan Board
  • Lawton Board
  • Western Oklahoma Board

July 22 | District 5

  • Edmond Board
  • El Reno Board
  • Midwest City-Del City-Moore Association
  • Norman Board
  • Oklahoma City Metropolitan Association

NAR Announces New REALTOR® Safety Course

2015 NAR President Chris Polychron announces the new 3-hour REALTOR® safety course—Real Estate Safety Matters. It was premiered April 20 for the Arkansas REALTORS® Association and will be presented at the REALTORS® Legislative Meetings & Trade Expo on May 12, 2015 in Washington, D.C.

dale-carlton-crsThe class is taught by Dale Carlton, current national CRS president, who will be the luncheon keynote speaker at this fall’s OAR education conference & trade show in Norman.

Are You or Someone You Know Doing Great Work Serving the Community?

featured-image-realtor-magazine-good-neighbor-award-nomination-deadlineNAR wants to hear about it! Don’t miss the Good Neighbor Awards deadline on May 15.

Good Neighbor Award winners receive $10,000 grants for their charities, as well as national and local publicity for their cause. Winners will also be flown to the National Association of REALTORS® annual conference in San Diego this November where they will receive their award in front of thousands of fellow REALTORS®. Past winners all report that their charity benefited from additional donations and volunteers as a result of the exposure.

GOOD NEIGHBOR AWARDS

Questions? Contact Sara Geimer, Good Neighbor Awards program manager, at 312-329-8296 or via e-mail at sgeimer@realtors.org.

NAR Code of Excellence Process Is in Motion

Joe PryorI had the great honor to be appointed to a National Association of REALTORS® (NAR) Presidential Advisory Group recently. This is a diverse group of 15 REALTORS®  from around the country serving on the advisory group that will create a Code of Excellence for NAR. This code will be an addendum to the Code of Ethics that we now follow as members.

The Code of Excellence that this committee will be creating is a way of raising the bar in real estate.

We had our first in-person meeting last week at the NAR headquarters in Chicago. Although the details of the meeting are confidential, there are some things I want to share with you about how this works.

First, this is a totally independent group for NAR leadership. Leadership gave us the freedom to advance the Code of Excellence document voted on by the NAR Board of Directors at the November 2014 meeting in New Orleans. Let me explain how far-reaching our freedom is. We could recommend to the NAR leadership not to do this at all. The vote in November was to have a Code of Excellence that include required education along with the Code of Ethics and that they both be taught every two years to all REALTOR® members.

Think about this for a moment. The Code of Ethics is now 102 years old, and a dynamic document that has been updated and improved and serves as our code of conduct. The task of creating a Code of Excellence always has the pressure of knowing how important and outstanding that Code is. Just reading the preamble for me is inspirational and gives me the sense that we are a part of a grand tradition, and the responsibilities we have to the public are great.

Can we create something that rises to that level of importance?

We now live and practice real estate in a post-2008 world that was a great recession with real estate at its center. Many people lost wealth and dignity in the meltdown. But speaking from personal experience at the national level, NAR has done a tremendous job to help restore owning property as the centerpiece of the American dream. They have given us the task of saying to the American public, “This is what we stand for and just being okay is not enough when we are given the responsibility of handling the biggest transaction of your life.”

We have to establish a higher standard and as the leadership said, this is an aspirational code. If we do our job correctly as a PAG, we can start this dialogue for you. Understand that this won’t be perfect right out of the gate, but excellence once initially defined not only needs your commitment, it also needs your voice. So then you can say, “This is my Code, and I am a part of its vision.”

I am very grateful for this opportunity. It is a tremendous honor and easily the biggest honor I have ever been given in real estate. Having the chance to produce something that will outlive me and create such positive change is truly amazing.

If you have any questions or input, I would love to hear from you.

2016 NAR Committee Recommendation Process Underway

NAR REALTOR LogoAre you or someone you know interested in serving on an NAR committee in 2016? This is an excellent way to meet influential REALTORS® from around the country, build your referral base, be involved in the direction of your industry association, and grow professionally.

The online Committee Recommendation Form on REALTOR.org is now open and accepting recommendations. Please read the following important information regarding the committee recommendation process:

Re-appointment to Committees & Continuing Terms

Committee members are not automatically considered for reappointment. A member currently serving on a committee whose term expires in 2015 MUST submit a recommendation via the Online Committee Recommendation Form if he/she would like to be considered for service in 2016.

Members who have a continuing term that expires in 2016 or 2017 do not need to submit a recommendation to remain on the committee; they will remain until the term expires.

Process for 2016 Committee Recommendation Process

The deadline for submitting committee recommendations is May 22, 2015. All recommendations must be submitted via the online form.

Using the form, you can recommend yourself or another suitable candidate. When submitting a recommendation, you are required to include relevant comments that highlight the candidate’s skills and qualifications for the position. All comments are confidential.

We encourage you to seek recommendations from colleagues with whom you have worked closely, in particular members of state and national leadership.

Click the button below to access the recommendation form directly on realtor.org.

RECOMMENDATION FORM

Things to Consider when Submitting Recommendations

Please review the committee structure, which lists each committee’s purpose statement, composition (how many members), length of term, and specific qualifications for consideration to see what committee you would best serve.  Please note that if appointed to a committee you will be expected to attend all of its meetings and serve the full length of the term.  Furthermore, please note that forums are open to all members; so recommendations need not be submitted for forums unless you are seeking the position of chair or vice chair.

The committee structure* can be found by clicking “View Committee Information” on the committee recommendation homepage (link provided above).

*Note: The content is from the current (2015) committee structure. The 2016 committee structure will be approved at the REALTORS® Legislative Meetings & Trade Expo in May, 2015.

Expertise Profiles

NAR’s Expertise Profile Database was designed to provide all levels of the REALTOR® family (including the local, state and national associations) with key information about you and your professional experience. The information you will provide in this profile will be used as a resource in a variety of ways, including identification of members with certain expertise to serve on committees, working groups, presidential advisory groups; also, to respond to surveys about association issues, products, services, etc.

Individuals interested in serving on NAR committees are encouraged to create and/or update their expertise profiles. However, they are not required. Please note: completing an expertise profile is NOT the same as submitting a recommendation for yourself! If you wish to serve on an NAR committee, you still must submit a recommendation via the online Committee Recommendation Form on REALTOR.org.

EXPERTISE PROFILE

Turn to REALTOR.org for the Latest Information

Use of electronic mail and the NAR Governance page on REALTOR.org serves as the vehicle for promoting and publicizing information related to the Committee Recommendation/Selection process. Therefore it is imperative you adjust your email spam filter settings so you receive important emails from NAR.

NAR GOVERNANCE NAR COMMITTEES

*Members need to have a REALTOR.org login and password to access these pages.  Contact Information Central at (800) 874-6500; InfoCentral@realtors.org for login and password assistance.

Meet the Notorious R.O.B. April 8!

OAR is proud to introduce Rob Hahn, a/k/a the Notorious R.O.B. to you! He will be having a conversation with us at the upcoming Legislative & Economic Summit April 8 in Oklahoma City.

He will get into real-life issues facing real estate professionals every day, from the fundamentals to topics for brokers, the latest MLS trends, associations, technology and much more.  Rob is a  true thought leader in the real estate industry, and Oklahoma is thrilled to have him!

See the full schedule and REGISTER NOW for the summit April 8. There’s a full day of high level information and activities designed just for you.

UPDATE: If you need a hotel room, do not delay. The special OAR pricing goes away March 17!

Oklahoma Real Estate Commission Requests Public Comment

Oklahoma Real Estate Commission

The Oklahoma Real Estate Commission (OREC) has developed a revised draft of the Residential Property Condition Disclosure Statement as well as a Draft of Permanent Rules dealing with 2015 OREC Draft of Permanent Rules. All proposed new language for your review and consideration is underlined in the documents.

A public hearing to consider these documents will occur during OREC’s March 25 commission meeting. The rules will then be sent to the State Legislature for approval. Upon approval, these measures would take effect November 1, 2015.

Please review these documents and provide OAR with your input ON OR BEFORE FRIDAY, MARCH 20. Please send feedback to Matt Robison or Stephanie Carter. We will then compile those requests for submission to OREC.

Of course, you are welcome to attend the OREC public hearing as well. OAR is proud to serve you and appreciates your input!

Did You Know Usernames Must Meet NAR Trademark Guidelines?

NAR REALTOR Logo

Social media channels are an ever-growing medium for REALTORS® to connect with their clients and prospective business, and identifying themselves with the real estate profession is part of it. Do you know if your usernames comply with NAR trademark usage rules? We are continually being alerted to social network usernames claimed by members—and non-members—that are in violation.

Just like with domain names, usernames must conform to the NAR trademark standards. Those using descriptive or geographic words are prohibited, for example.

To learn more about proper use of the REALTOR® trademarks online, contact your local board or one of us here at OAR. Additional information is also available on the Law & Policy page of realtor.org.

Be sure to also see an article What’s Your Username on realtor.org.

OAR Past President Don Moody Dies

Don Moody, president of OAR in 1977, passed away last Friday in San Antonio. He was named Oklahoma REALTOR® of the Year in 1987 and also an OAR Life Member.

Surviving Moody are his wife, Beverly, three children, Gary Moody of Shawnee, Monica Moody Anderson of Tiburon, California, and Collie of San Antonio, six grandchildren, three great-grandchildren and a brother. A memorial service will be held at 11:00a on Thursday, December 18 at First Presbyterian Church, 704 West Ash Ave, Duncan.

The leadership and staff of OAR send their sincere condolences to Don’s family and friends.

OAR Announces 2015 Leadership

The Oklahoma Association of REALTORS® (OAR) congratulates REALTORS® Kacy Bell, Chuck Harris, Pete Galbraith and Bryan Sheppard on their elections to OAR leadership for 2015. In their roles, they will oversee the organization’s membership and help guide statewide policy throughout the next year.

“This year’s leadership team brings valuable knowledge of the real estate industry to this statewide organization,” said Mary Terry, 2014 OAR president. “After a successful 2014, we believe the leadership team will continue that work through new initiatives in 2015.”

Mo Anderson installs 2015 OAR president Kacy Bell.

Mo Anderson installs 2015 OAR president Kacy Bell.

As president, Bell will represent OAR to the public, government entities and other organizations, as well as attend National Association of REALTORS® events. She will also be responsible for installing directors at local boards of REALTORS® throughout the state and managing committees within OAR.

Bell has been licensed in Oklahoma since 1985 and currently serves the Tulsa area. Her professional designations include Accredited Buyer Representative Manager (ABRM), Certified Real Estate Brokerage Manger (CRB) and Performance Management Network (PMN). She received the Greater Tulsa Association’s REALTOR® of the Year award in 2007 and the OAR Outstanding Service award in 2010.

“Oklahoma has a burgeoning real estate industry, and as a leadership team, we are excited to lead OAR members through this time of growth and opportunity,” Bell said. “We are all experienced in the industry and organization, so we look forward to using our knowledge and the great platform shaped by our predecessors to offer a vision for the future of Oklahoma real estate.”

NAR Region IX VP Elizabeth Mendenhall swears in 2015 secretary Pete Galbraith, president-elect Chuck Harris and treasurer Bryan Sheppard.

NAR Region IX VP Elizabeth Mendenhall swears in 2015 secretary Pete Galbraith, president-elect Chuck Harris and treasurer Bryan Sheppard.

Harris will serve as the 2015 president-elect and will be the officer responsible for acting on the president’s behalf during her absence. Other duties include service to a number of OAR committees and initiatives, including those related to finance, real estate issues, legal action and strategic planning.

Since entering real estate in 1970, Harris has served the Anadarko, Enid and Oklahoma City metro markets and is currently a Broker Manager with Century 21 All-Pro Realty. He is an OAR Life Member, and has served as president of the Enid Metro Association of REALTORS® and vice president of the Oklahoma City Metropolitan Association of REALTORS®. Additionally, Harris was awarded REALTOR® of the Year from both organizations in 1993 and 2012, respectively.

Galbraith will serve as secretary, and his primary duty will be to assist the treasurer, along with serving on a number of committees. A Tulsa resident for more than 40 years, Galbraith is president of Coldwell Banker Select, the largest real estate company in Oklahoma, which serves the Tulsa and Oklahoma City metro areas. He served for 10 years on the Oklahoma Real Estate Commission, is a past president of the Greater Tulsa Association of REALTORS® and a director for the National Association of REALTORS®.

Sheppard, incoming treasurer for a two-year term, will serve as chairman for the organization’s audit and finance committee as well as keep records and conduct regular reporting on OAR finances. He is the CEO of Coldwell Banker Select and has worked in real estate for 11 years. He is a 2010 LeadershipOAR graduate and has served on several OAR and GTAR committees, including OAR Audit and Finance Committee and the OAR Board of Directors for more than three years.

View more photos from the REALTOR® Celebration Banquet and other events from this year’s Sellapalooza.

Tulsa’s Kacy Bell to be Installed as 2015 OAR President

Kacy Bell, Tulsa, will be installed as the 2015 OAR President September 24 at the REALTOR® Celebration Banquet during SELLAPALOOZA, OAR’s Education Conference & Trade Show in Midwest City.

Kacy BellAs president, Kacy will represent the association to the public, government entities and other organizations, as well as attend National Association of REALTORS® events. She will be responsible for installing directors at local boards of REALTORS® throughout the state and managing OAR committees. The president also serves as the official spokesman for the association for all media.

Her professional designations include Accredited Buyer Representative Manager (ABRM), Certified Real Estate Brokerage Manager (CRB) and Performance Management Network (PMN) through the Women’s Council of REALTORS®. She received the Greater Tulsa Association’s REALTOR® of the Year Award in 2007 and the OAR Outstanding Service Award in 2010.

Come out to celebrate Kacy with your colleagues from around the state and four-state region as we paint the ballroom red, white and blue!

Friday $99, Saturday $125

sellapalooza-early-birdAfter Friday, your cost for Sellapalooza—OAR’s Education Conference & Trade Show—goes up to $125. The special conference hotel rate goes up too! Register NOW while you’re thinking about it and save some cash. It’s still the biggest bargain for the largest gathering of Oklahoma’s most influential real estate professionals.

You’ll experience a lineup of important education classes and networking events, including the annual REALTOR® Celebration banquet. It all takes place again in the center of the state—Midwest City!

Here’s some of what you’ll get

  • 2 lunches included  [Make new referral connections!]
  • Real estate visionary Mo Anderson  [Inspirational!]
  • Mustache Bash  [It’s lunch. But with panache!]
  • Commercial & Property Management classes [You asked for ’em!]
  • Fast paced 1-hr courses [Everybody got time for that!]
  • Club 99 VIP Lounge [Hang with the RPAC pack for a a little relaxation!]
  • Cool giveaways and extras [Nobody leaves without some swag!]

Lineup


speaker-lineup

Schedule

Register at the cheaper price NOW!

$99 Early Bird  ($125 after Friday, Sep 5)
Register NOW

Hotel – special discounted rate expires Friday too!

Reserve Your Room

Location

Reed Conference Center
5800 Will Rogers Rd
Midwest City, OK

 

Education Conference Is SELLAPALOOZA for 2014!

featured-image-sellapalooza-lg

NEW THIS YEAR!

Download our Sellapalooza mobile app!
Choose your operating system:
iOS Android Web
Special Thanks to App Sponsor RPR!
Print

Register Now – the Early Bird Deadline is September 5
OAR’s special hotel rate also ends September 5

This year’s lineup includes


Brand new commercial and property management courses, as well as Agent Plugin: several fast-paced, short sessions on technology, blogging and easy video marketing.

agent-plugin-speakers

  • Albie Vas will teach you ways to rev up your SEO to drive your business farther.
  • Dreading the selfie? Jacy Riedmann will show you how to shine through photography apps and tips.
  • Too much paper can weigh you down. Mobilize your business with David Patterson.

speaker-mo-anderson-100

  • Special keynote from co-founder and vice chairman of one of the largest international brokerages
  • Named one of real estate’s 25 Most Influential Thought Leaders by REALTOR® Magazine
  • With a focus on the higher purpose of business, Mo’s astute business acumen and leadership abilities are uniquely matched by her faith and compassion

speaker-laurie-guest-100

  • Find out that one action that will make you indispensable in your industry
  • Fine tune the techniques for getting your ideas accepted
  • Enhance your x-ray vision to identify misleading silent signals

speaker-mark-polon-100

  • First-time ever partnership with OAR and CCIM, OKCMAR RCA and The Ward Center
  • Improve your negotiating, speaking, listening, telephone, and presentation skills, and in the process, become more profitable
  • Thinking about commercial real estate? Deal in resi-mercial? Learn the foundations that pave the way for commercial success

speaker-paul-dizmang-100

  • Learn how to deal with the not-so-normal situations in the world of property management
  • Paul loves to talk about money. Find out the proper way to handle management fees, escrows and rent so you’re in full compliance with state laws

speaker-mike-lyon-100

  • Discover the concept of “Inbox Zero” and how to manage your virtual desktop
  • Implement the top ten “tech” tools to increase productivity
  • Find out what has changed in the consumer landscape and buying behavior

Reserve your space now online – we look forward to seeing you!


Sellapalooza!

September 24-25
Reed Conference Center
5800 Will Rogers Rd
Midwest City, OK

Sellapalooza, You Ask? There’s an App for That!

featured-image-sellapaloozaSellapalooza is OAR’s 2014 Education Conference & Trade Show! It’s the business building and largest networking event of the year for Oklahoma’s most influential real estate professionals.

First on the Set List, even before the conference begins, is a big Party on the Patio! That’s reason enough to check in the hotel a day early.

New this year!

Download the Sellapalooza mobile app!
iOS Android Web
featured-image-sellapalooza-app-page-iosEverything you need for the conference, the latest speaker line up, schedules, green class materials—and a social timeline—are all right in your hand!
Special Thanks to App Sponsor  RPR!
Print

Also!

  • 2 lunches included  [Make new referral connections!]
  • Hear real estate visionary Mo Anderson  [Inspirational!]
  • Mustache Bash  [It’s lunch. But with panache!]
  • Commercial & Property Management classes [You asked for ’em!]
  • Fast paced 1-hr courses [Everybody got time for that!]
  • Club 99 VIP Lounge [When you need a break from all the palooza!]
  • Cool giveaways and extras [Nobody leaves without some swag!]

Reserve your space now. Download the app. Turn up the volume on your career!


featured-image-conference-marketplaceSellapalooza!

.REALTOR Domain Coming in October

featured-image-dot-realtor-domainOctober 23 is the day. NAR is offering a free one-year license to the first 500,000 members who register for a .REALTOR domain.

The .REALTOR domain will help REALTORS® stand apart from other real estate professionals, creating a more positive online experience for consumers who are searching for information on buying or selling property. Having a .REALTOR domain will inform consumers they are working with a REALTOR®, a trusted real estate professional who subscribes to NAR’s strict Code of Ethics.
Read Article

2015 OAR Slate of Officers Announced by Nominating Committee

In accordance with Article VII, Section 2 of the Bylaws of the Oklahoma Association of REALTORS®, each member board/association president is hereby notified of the nominations made by the OAR Nominating Committee for 2015 OAR officers and the 2015-16 OAR elected state directors.

Please note that Article VII, Section 2 of the Bylaws also provides that “any member may nominate a qualified candidate for any office, except the office of president, provided the nomination is in writing signed by thirty (30) additional members in good standing and the nominee and delivered to the office of the Association at least twenty (20) days prior to the Annual Membership Meeting. The names of all nominees shall be mailed by the Association to member boards in care of their presidents for dissemination to their members and to all members who are members-at-large prior to the Annual Membership Meeting. The names of all nominees shall be posted in at least two (2) places in the meeting room at the Annual Membership Meeting. The election shall be held during the Annual Membership Meeting by secret, written ballot where there is more than one (1) nominee for an office.” The deadline to receive additional nominees in the OAR offices is September 5, 2014.

Election for the offices noted above will be held at OAR’s Annual Membership Meeting, September 24, 2014, at the Reed Convention Center, Midwest City, Oklahoma. To register for the Education Conference and Trade Show, please visit okrealtors.com/conference.
Download Slate

Proposed Bylaws Changes

OREC Online CE Status, Other Services Unaccessible Through August

Oklahoma Real Estate Commission

The Oklahoma Real Estate Commission (OREC) is in the process of transitioning to a new licensing system known as AMANDA. In order to complete the necessary conversion work, OREC’s system, including all Web-based services through www.orec.ok.gov, will be unavailable beginning at 4:30 p.m. this Friday, July 25. They anticipate online services offered through their website will be unavailable for several weeks.

The OREC office will be providing full services beginning Monday morning, July 28 at 8:00 a.m.; however, processes currently conducted online will be unavailable through August. If you need to check a licensee status, check your current continuing education status or update personal licensee information, please contact the OREC office directly at (405) 521-3387 or 1-866-521-3389 during regular office hours (8a–5p, Monday through Friday.) Renewal applications, as well as original applications, should be mailed to OREC with a personal check, or they can accept cash payments and applications at their office during business hours. Please note that credit card payments cannot be accepted until the Web site is fully functional, which may be a period of several weeks.

Your patience during this period of transition is appreciated, and they anticipate new and improved services once AMANDA is fully implemented. Meanwhile, please contact the OREC offices if you have any questions or need further information.

Want fresh ideas to engage your students?

If you teach or aspire to teach, you must attend this event to get equipped to connect with your students in a meaningful way.

Topics:

  1. Understanding the Language of the Learner
  2. The Trainer’s First Aid Kit: 15 Ways to Manage Difficult Behaviors and Situations

When and Where:
Aug 15, 2014 | 9a – 3p
Save $20 by registering before August 1!

Register Now

Instructor Marc Ratcliffe

Marc Ratcliffe is an experienced keynote speaker in the areas of education, learning and teaching, employee engagement and motivation of others. He combines his extensive knowledge of the subject matter with a dynamic and engaging delivery style.

Marc’s organization MRWED is Australia’s leading provider of trainer training and has been rated as a five-time Australian Best Place to Work by the Great Places to Work Institute and BRW Magazine. In addition to this, the organization extended its employer-of-choice credentials by being named as one of Asia’s best employer brands in 2011 and winning Australian Business Awards for recommended employer, outstanding financial success and consistent growth between 2009 and 2012. Most recently, MRWED was named as a finalist in the category of Employer of Choice <1000 at the Australian HR Awards in 2013.

OREC Notice On Rules

Letter from Patricia Wheeler, OREC Director of Education

Oklahoma Real Estate Commission

The letter reprinted below was sent to education providers, including OAR. Please share with your colleagues.

As you may recall, any changes to the administrative rules of the Oklahoma Real Estate Commission have to be approved by the Governor and the Legislature. This year, the process for approving administrative rules changed. The OREC has always submitted rule changes to the House and Senate for approval; prior to this year, if the legislature took no action on the rules, they were considered approved and adopted. A law change in 2013 now requires the legislature to actually TAKE action for rules to be considered adopted, and all of the agency‐proposed rules were to be considered in one omnibus bill. While the House approved this omnibus bill, the Senate failed to take action during the final days of session. As a result, no agency-administrative rules were approved – including OREC’s.

However, there was another way for our proposed rules to successfully go into effect. By declaration of Governor Fallin, our rules were approved on June 19, 2014. Although the rules were originally drafted to go into effect on July 1, 2014, they will now go into effect on September 12, 2014.

For a brief review, here are a few high points of the new rules:

  • Licensees will now be required to take at least one hour each in six required topics, with remainder being made up in elective hours. The required topics will be Broker Relationships Act, Fair Housing, Professional Conduct, Current Issue or “hot” topic and two new required topics: Contracts and Forms and Code and Rules. These new requirements will NOT apply to any licensee who has completed the continuing education for their current license term prior to June 30, 2014, or for any licensee that renews their license prior to September 12, 2014.
  • Another change in education deals with out‐of‐state licensees. Beginning September 12, 2014, every non‐resident licensee will be required to take Oklahoma‐specific classes each license term, regardless of the education they’d had in their home state. These new required courses include Oklahoma‐specific Contract and Forms, Code and Rules and the Broker Relationship Act.

You can view a complete copy of the rules changes on our website at www.orec.ok.gov.

Additionally, OREC is excited to announce that after extensive work, the new licensing system “AMANDA” will be implemented internally beginning August 1, 2014. We are very excited about moving onto this new database platform, as it will greatly increase the services available online to licensees through our website; however, this means our existing database will go offline for a few days starting on July 25, 2014.

NOTICE: While our database is down, all CE rosters will need to be faxed to OREC at 405‐522‐8564 or e‐mailed to Connie King at connie.king@orec.ok.gov. All forms received at our office while the database is down will be time- and date‐stamped and processed according to date of receipt. We expect to return to full functionality on August 4, 2014.

Please call Patricia Wheeler at 405‐522‐8540 if you have any questions, and we appreciate your patience during this time of change.

Do You Know a Community Rock Star?

Make yourself heard

Tell us about them!

OAR is accepting nominations for the Community Rock Star Award (formerly known as the Open Door 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.

featured-image-Community-Rock-Star-Award-graphic

Recipients of the award will receive a $1,000 grant in their name to their charity and be recognized at the Education Conference & Trade Show September 24-25 in Midwest 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 28, 2014.

AEs, Change the Communication Channel

Frustrated that your members aren’t responding to, or even reading, your emails? Check out a fellow AE’s, Laura Kruse (Northwest Wyoming Board of REALTORS®), advice. 

Change the Channel

One of the most frustrating things every AE has to deal with is trying to get members to actually read communications from the board.  We try everything… Facebook posts, text messages, emails… Lots and lots of emails! Nothing seems to work. What should we do next?

Answer: Change the channel. Really, it’s often that simple. If we look at the communications we send out as “TV stations”, we often find that the members just aren’t interested. In other words, they change the channel and move on to something that is more important to them.  So, now you’re probably saying “That’s easier said than done. Members don’t care about board matters…”  Okay, I’ll give you that one. Often, they don’t.  But they DO care about you, probably more than you think. So, your job is to let them know that everything you send out is important to them, whether they realize it or not. If they don’t trust the message, at least they should trust the messenger… you.

I have been an AE for a very long time (going on 16 years), and one thing I can tell you is that you define your role in the association. If you send out emails that aren’t really that important to you, don’t expect them to be important to your members. Try to keep communications (whether emails, texts, Facebook posts, tweets, etc.), short and sweet and only send out items you would want to receive if you were an agent. Now, I know that you’re probably thinking agents don’t necessarily see RPAC as being as important as we do; they may not want to hear about this month’s general membership meeting, etc. True enough, but if you’re doing your job, they will see the benefits of RPAC, and if your meetings are good, they’ll want to come. Busy agents can’t always do that, but at least they’ll read your correspondence – and that‘s a great first step.

So, think like an agent, try to keep your communications relevant to their world and develop the trust that will make them want to read what you’re sending. It can be done.

-Laura Kruse
Executive Officer
Northwest Wyoming Board of REALTORS®
P.O. Box 2714
Cody, WY 82414

Arkansas Tornado Victims Asking for Aid

Arkansas is going through a situation similar to what happened here in Oklahoma last May. Severe storms ripped through Arkansas on April 27 and left behind a lot of damage. Now is our time to help our next door neighbors.

Hearts and Homes of Arkansas, Inc., the charitable arm of the Arkansas REALTORS® Association is working with volunteers from across their state to provide relief to those impacted by the devastating storms. They now have a place for us to join their efforts by making a tax deductible donation that will directly benefit those touched by this recent disaster.

In addition to monetary contributions, the Arkansas REALTORS® Association is collecting bottled water, batteries, flashlights, diapers and formula, toiletries, trash bags, work gloves, tarps, etc. to assist in the immediate comfort of those touched by the storms and in the recovery efforts over the next days, weeks and months. All donations are welcome and may be delivered to the ARA at 11224 Executive Center Drive, Little Rock, AR 72211 Monday through Friday between the hours of 8:30 a.m. and 4:45 p.m. We know from last year’s tornadoes in Oklahoma that gift cards from Walmart, Lowes, Home Depot, etc. are a big help too.
Donate Now
For more information about items needed and where to donate, call 888.333.2206. Thank you in advance for your support and helping your REALTOR® family.

Arkansas donation info

Life Member Nominations Due May 2

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

Download a nomination form.

 The Life Membership Committee will consider nominees for this prestigious award, and their recommendation(s) will be presented for consideration at the June 12 meeting of the OAR Board of Directors. The awards will be presented during the REALTOR® Celebration Banquet during the 2014 OAR Education Conference & Trade Show at the Reed Center in Midwest City September 25.

 For more information, email Sabrina Tyree or call 405.848.9944.

District Meetings Coming Your Way!

At our district meetings, learn about becoming a leader and enhancing leadership skills, including strategic planning, risk management, staff/volunteer relationships and conflict resolution. Please RVSP for an accurate lunch count.

District (with registration link)  Location Date
District 1
(Enid, North Central, Stillwater, Woodward)
 
Autry Technology Center, Enid Monday, April 14
District 2
(Altus, Duncan, Lawton, Western OK)
 
Music Hall, Medicine Park Wednesday, May 7
District 3
(Ada, Shawnee, Southeastern OK, Southern OK, Texoma)
 
Pontotoc Tech, Ada Thursday, April 3
District 4
(Bartlesville, Cushing, Muskogee, Northeast OK, Tulsa)
 
Tri-County Tech, Bartlesville Tuesday, April 15
District 5
(Edmond, El Reno, Midwest City/Del City/Moore, Norman, Oklahoma City)
 
Francis Tuttle – Rockwell Campus, Room D1750 Wednesday, April 9


IMG_0925

PHOTOS: Board Leadership Workshop Well Received

Ryan UnderwoodTake a look at some moments from today’s Board of Directors Leadership Workshop in Oklahoma City.

Members of OAR’s Board of Directors heard some excellent speakers and have great information to take away, making them more effective leaders in the organization.

An Q&A session wrapped up the day, giving members and local association executives new information on topics like places to draw young, new members and non-dues revenue sources.

OAR Offices Closed Feb 14 for Board Workshop

Sorry we're closedThe OAR Offices will be closed February 14 for the Board Leadership Workshop. The event was originally scheduled for February 7 but was postponed due to forecasted winter weather.

If you haven’t already, register with the link below and mark your calendar for Friday, February 14.
Moore Norman Technology Center, South Penn Campus, OKC
13301 S Penn, OKC, OK 73170
No cost for members of the OAR Board of Directors; $15 for Non-OAR board members (as space available)

OAR Directors
No Cost
Register Now Button

Non-OAR Board Members
$15

Register Now Button

Weather Postpones RPAC, Leadership Events

icy weatherMother Nature has done us in this week, but we will overcome.

The storms coming in next are predicted to be a “two-parter” with 80% chance of light to moderate snow and bone-chilling temps on Thursday, with a second wave moving in late Friday producing moderate snow. Forecasters say the majority if not all of the state will see significant snow with these two waves.

man snow ski streetWe don’t want to put you in danger by asking you to travel on icy roads, nor do we want you to leave your school-age kids home alone to wreak havoc while you attend.  

So here’s our plan:

This Thursday’s FPC and RPAC Training will move to next Thursday, Feb. 13, same times, same location.  (Yes, there will still be bowling!) Info:  Stephanie@OklahomaRealtors.com.

This Friday’s Board of Directors Leadership Workshop will move to next Friday, Feb. 14, again same times and location.  (We know that’s Valentine’s Day, but we sincerely hope you love OAR as much as your sweetie!)

And just in case you were wondering, next Thursday and Friday’s weather is predicted to be in the upper 40s to 50s and sunny!!!

We know this will not be convenient for all of you, and we sincerely apologize, but we believe it’s the right call.

Please re-mark your calendar, and if you are able to come next week, just send an email to me saying “I’m IN! So THERE, Mother Nature!” and we will make sure you are registered. No fuss, no muss.

Thanks, and be safe!

Vacant Properties Not Necessarily Abandoned, Neglected

matt-robison-speakingThe Oklahoma Association of REALTORS® firmly supports dealing with abandoned and neglected property in a productive manner. Creating an environment that encourages an active, free market for residential homes and commercial buildings is important. The City of Oklahoma City recently passed an overreaching ordinance placing well-maintained vacant properties in the same category as abandoned, neglected and dilapidated properties.

There are many unforeseen or unintended reasons for property to remain vacant, yet the city wants the owner to “pay for the right” to maintain vacant property. The ordinance is not totally clear yet about the cost to the city. In addition, if the owner does not pay the registry fee, they can be deemed a “criminal” of the city.

Ordinances like this go too far and do not adequately address the problem of dilapidated properties, and therefore OAR is finding ways toward protecting private property rights in all of Oklahoma.

Read this editorial written by 2013 OAR president Joe Pryor that appeared in The Oklahoman on January 11. We invite your participation in the discussion by commenting on the NewsOK site. If you have any questions, please contact me at 405.848.9944 or by email at Matt@OklahomaRealtors.com.

Board Leadership Workshop February 7

OAR is hosting a Leadership Workshop Friday, February 7, in Oklahoma City for members of its Board of Directors. Those not on the board who wish to attend may do so, space permitting, for a cost of $15.

  • The Nuts and Bolts of Leadership
    Marnie Taylor, President and CEO of the OK Center for Nonprofits
  • Antitrust: What it Means for REALTOR® Leaders
    Rick Martin, Esq, OAR Attorney
  • Lunch and Building a Leading Reputation
    Shannon Warren, Founder of the OK Business Ethics Consortium
  • Trends in Association Leadership and Board Governance
    Keynote Speaker, JP Moery, President of MoeryLAI

MarnieTaylorMarnie Taylor is a graduate of Leadership Oklahoma and Leadership Oklahoma City and the founding director of Youth Leadership Exchange. She received The Journal Record’s 2013 Woman of the Year award for her leadership in business and her community.

 

 

 

JP MoeryJP Moery is President of Moery, LAI, one of the most dynamic and exciting consulting firms in the non-profit market. Moery provides business development and strategy advice for some of the nation’s leading organizations and organization executives.

 

 

 

Register with the link below and mark your calendar for Friday, February 7
Moore Norman Technology Center, South Penn Campus, OKC
No cost for Oklahoma Association of REALTORS® Board of Directors Members; $15 for Non-OAR Board Members (as space available)

OAR Directors
No Cost
Register Now Button

Non-OAR Board Members
$15

Register Now Button

2013, My Favorite Year

2013 OAR President Joe Pryor

As we look forward to 2014, I will look back at 2013 with gratitude. Gratitude for what we accomplished and gratitude for what we have put into motion that we will complete down the road. For me, as I have finished my 24th year in real estate, this has been the best year of my real estate life. As I celebrated this joyous Christmas and now ringing in the New Year, this is what I will think about.

First, leadership is never a sacrifice it is a privilege. When I talk to people who ask why anyone would spend the time doing this, I always emphasize it is a choice of doing what we think is important and putting effort into what we are passionate about. I speak for everyone who is on the leadership team, and we all feel the same way: it is about being in a position to make a difference and to make this industry better as we work together.

Second, I am grateful for what we have done with shifting the nature of real estate education, redefining what it means to protect the public and hopefully turn education into a want-to system from a have-to system. We have started that with the one-hour minimum continuing education course hour change. Now we can target specific needs and passions and deliver them in a way where you can go home and implement immediately the change. It is also about changing the required education in a way that it is more meaningful and memorable. As Al Jolson said in the first talking picture, “You ain’t seen nothing yet.” Expect more good changes to come.

Last year we had district webinars to better prepare and discuss what was important to know about in the upcoming board of directors meetings. This year we went one better by holding face-to-face meetings in the districts, not only to discuss what was important but also to open the discussion about what the needs are of all REALTORS® in cities large and small, rural and urban so we would be understood as the association that represents diversity.

I am proud to say that next year in these district meetings, we will be training up to 250 local leaders in the NAR REALTOR® Leadership Program 200 and 300 courses. We want to spread the word about how the three-way agreement works with national, state and local, and to educate all with a better understanding of the structure of this industry and what it means to lead.

I am exceptionally proud of the co-creation, collaboration and the cooperation we have had at all levels of OAR leadership. The team effort I saw at the director, committee, task force, leadership team and staff levels raised the bar that I would put up against any state organization, large or small.

As we head into 2014, the momentum that has been built up in the last few years will propel this association to higher levels, and the beneficiaries will be our members and the public we serve.

The president of OAR is a title, a responsibility, a job description, and for me, a complete joy. I loved getting to know so many people better, to laugh with you, argue with you, share your anger when there is no justice, to fight together with you for what is right, to mourn with you when we lose real estate brothers and sisters, and to applaud with you when our brethren are honored.

It is with a certain amount of sadness for me to see this year over, but it is also filled with hope, confidence and continued commitment as your new president, Mary Terry, has the honor of this office. Having the pleasure of getting to know Mary, I know you are in for a great leadership. And knowing you, I know she has your full support. And as we face new obstacles and challenges, she will need that from you.

I cannot thank you enough for allowing me to do this in 2013, and I wish you good health, happiness and success in 2014. You deserve it! But more than anything, thank you for being a friend.

Updated Listing Agreement, Disclosures Now in zipForm

We were notified the updated Listing Agreement and written disclosure forms, which reflect the new Broker Relationship Act, were posted yesterday and are now available in the OAR library for zipForm users.

You may log in as a first-time or existing user by visiting the zipForm page at OklahomaRealtors.com.

OAR provides zipForm as a free member benefit through the Northeast Oklahoma Real Estate Services (NORES). The Help Desk number is 918-663-7500. If you have questions about any of the contract forms, please contact OAR Vice President of Government Affairs Matt Robison.

Changing Real Estate Education

OAR MeetingThis year we formed a joint OAR/OREC education task force that I chaired with the assistance of Mike Cassidy from the real estate commission. Every facet of education was represented, including commissioners, the OAR leadership team, teachers, schools, brokers and agents. This was truly a collaborative effort, and the only way true change can be implemented is with the voice of everyone heard and decisions made from all sides. It was a bit daunting at times, but that made the accomplishments even more satisfying and laid the groundwork for more changes to come.

In our first year, we reduced the minimum continuing education course hours from two hours to one hour. This gives us the ability to target and highlight specific topics, and we believe it will be easier for local boards to get their members to increase the level of education to ensure exceptional service.

orec-seal

In 2014, the real estate commission will work on a rule change for license renewal education that would make required hours more memorable and concise, and may also expand it to include hours for contracts and real estate rules and regulations.

Another goal is to increase the post-license education requirement while possibly increasing the one-year provisional license period. Next year, the task force will create the curriculum for these hours and present it to OREC for their 2015 legislative agenda.

This is where I get a bit more personal about my desires for what I would like to see changed, and I hope as I lead the task force again in 2014, I can have consensus for what is needed. This next part you can treat as my New Year’s resolutions for real estate education.

How can we go about our business when we don’t know what the three-way agreement means or what NAR really does? How can we take pride in being a part of a grand tradition when we don’t know the history of this industry? We need education that instills pride in being a REALTOR®. We teach a lot of good things that new folks need to know to survive and thrive, but part of my vision is to teach more about how real estate functions as an overall structure.

Chris Bird at GRIWe also need to do more to emphasize real estate is a business, not just a vocation. Business training is something very few of us bring with us when we start. Too often there is no training at the brokerage level about the importance of making a profit, only closing a sale. The day will come when we either do not want to practice real estate or maybe we can’t practice real estate, and will need to have something besides social security to live on. I believe we have a responsibility to those in our industry to at least bring this kind of training forward, and many of us believe a profitable REALTOR® is one who is more willing to walk away if something in a transaction is not right. The result will be a public who is better served.

This blog post is not meant to criticize what we teach now. The Code of Ethics, Fair Housing, Broker Relationships, and Professional Standards are essential building blocks. It is not only my belief but also my passion to do all I can to help raise the standards of all REALTORS®, and the other task force members are equally passionate.

In closing, I will also say I am tired of hearing about the low barriers to entry into real estate. And yes we need to raise the education hours, but it is not just about filling hours with information. We need to format the right and best content that matters. I don’t care that a hair stylist needs 1,500 hours to practice, because I have received my share of bad haircuts.

Let’s focus on quality over quantity, content put into the right context, make education relevant but also enjoyable to sit through, and let’s help to ensure the public sees this, understands it and applauds us for being a part of American exceptionalism.

When Leadership Works Well

On December 9 and 10, OAR had its annual Leadership Retreat at The Artesian Hotel in Sulphur, Oklahoma. In attendance were the 2014 leadership team, district vice presidents, and OAR senior staff. The goal of these annual retreats is to review what has been accomplished, what still needs to be done, and the goals our incoming presidents want to see us move forward with. This was my last official meeting of the year, and I want to share with you why I believe that our leadership team works so well and why 2014 will be our finest year ever.

A Positive culture
For good things to happen, a group that moves together for a common purpose functions best when it is surrounded by a positive atmosphere. This is harder than you might think because in leadership you have strong personalities that can often clash. A positive culture is knowing when to bend to common good and always to know what is most important for the best interest of membership and the public we serve.

Balance works
We are a membership that is diversified and exists in different environments. Recently the leadership team was trying to decide on the best course of action, and I had very strong opinions. As it turned out my ideas were a bit biased by my Oklahoma City real estate experience which colored my thinking a bit. But in leadership, small communities that have different needs were represented. The good news is we were able to incorporate the needs of both types of communities and made the right call.

I can be right but not completely right
Being right is not always something you should get too invested in or ego-oriented about. At the retreat, we were on a very important part of the agenda. We all had strong opinions and everyone’s voice was heard. In this discussion, no one was wrong. But in this spirited discussion, a common thread arrived and what was decided on was better than anything one person brought to the table. It takes a village to make leadership work. And when it works, it is because of what you have already read.

Concentric circles
Decision making always starts with a small group. It can be the leadership team, committees, or at staff meetings. All of us in the leadership team know that if an idea we have costs money, it goes to Audit and Finance Committee, and then it moves forward to Executive Committee and then the full Board of Directors. We understand that it may be modified or even denied at some stage, but the will of the members is always our first concern, so we invest our passion and hope that membership will know that the largest circle creates rules.

All leaders are expendable
That may sound harsh, but it is the essence of any fully functioning organization. No one person should be so important we have to depend on him or her. It has been my experience with OAR the object is to move forward, and it is never about one person. I had a great president in front of me with David Momper, and next year, Mary Terry will move us further along.

It’s the staff, stupid!
I couldn’t resist paraphrasing the old Clinton War Room statement. It is about the staff, and there is an obvious reason why. As leadership, we are the volunteer army. And despite the time we spend for OAR, we have a real estate career and families, so we do not do the day-to-day work. I can never resist praising our staff, because every day they live the positive culture, and they execute what we want to do for our members. This organization would be stuck in neutral without them.

2014 Leadership TeamIt’s a two-way conversation
The final piece to successful leadership is you. Even if you don’t serve as a director or on a committee, your voice is heard. It is motivating to us that we hear from you. Many decisions get made either because you suggested it or because we got your feedback. You can always contact a member of the leadership team, a member of the OAR staff, your elected state director or your district vice president to discuss an issue important to you. Don’t ever think that it is just a small group of people making the choices. Speaking for the leadership team, I want you to know that you matter and you can effect change. It has been our privilege to have these conversations with you. Thanks for caring and don’t stop.

Edmond's Jilian Gardner Wins REALTORS® Got Talent in San Francisco

Jilian Gardner-Foreigner

Jilian Gardner with the Edmond Board of REALTORS® recently took first place at the “REALTORS® Got Talent” 2013 competition November 10 in San Francisco.

One of six finalists performing live, Jilian belted out a rendition of Journey’s “Don’t Stop Believin'” to the audience of 5,000 real estate professionals and guests. This was the fourth annual event as part of the NAR REALTORS® Conference & Trade Expo. The contest was held just prior to the Foreigner concert.

The live performances at the show were evaluated by a panel of judges who rated each performance, however the audience determined the winner through text voting at the conclusion of the performances. Jilian won $2,000, complimentary registration to the conference and an opportunity to meet members of Foreigner.

Our Thanksgiving Wish to You

Happy-Thanksgiving-OAR-TowerWhat a difference it has been to experience a real estate Thanksgiving in 2013. We have so much to be thankful for. And so from all of us at OAR, we want to celebrate the blessings with you and thank you for all that you have done this year.

Oklahoma Is More than OK.
The last 5 years have brought bad tidings to so many homeowners and Americans and the recovery is not completed in many parts of the country. Oklahoma however, has much to be grateful about. Our economy is strong, our membership is stable, and you have made it a banner year for buyers and sellers throughout the state. You should be proud.

No Bad Legislation.
That might be a bit of a stretch, but when it comes to real estate, this has been a great year for us and those we serve. We monitored more than 100 bills this year, and if anyone asks you what we have accomplished this year, tell them it is not so much about what we defeated; it is more about what we prevented from coming up in the first place.

RPAC.
We so appreciate how our membership stepped up this year for record investments. We had 75 Major Investors of $1,000 or more, and we raised a record dollar amount. Remember that 70% of this stays our state, and the 30% helps NAR fight Washington when they want to make our homeowners bear the brunt of bad decisions and policies at the federal level.

Volunteers.
I have tried to make every committee and task force meeting this year, and I just about made all of them! I saw you taking big chunks of time out of your schedule to make a difference. I hope you feel like your voice was heard, because it was. On behalf of the leadership team, I want to say if we take pride in what we accomplished this year, it is because so many REALTORS® and affiliates worked so hard for our association.

Staff.
I would like to ask a favor of you. When you run into or talk to a staff member over the phone this holiday season, please say the magic words, “Thank you.” This team led by Lisa Noon is as close to miracle workers as I have seen in real estate. I won’t be sad to pass the reins of president to Mary Terry but I will be a bit melancholy about my changing role because of the staff. I am truly grateful for their support they give to us, and how much they care about you.

Generosity of Spirit.
When I had my cancer battle in 2008, I learned something about REALTORS® I didn’t fully understand before. This is a group of individuals who are unsurpassed in compassion, empathy and the will to act when misfortune happens. I know that those affected by the May tornadoes feel this way also.

Let us never forget we are so much more than real estate professionals who become successful helping people buy and sell real estate. We are successful because of what drives us to service. It is not a perfect industry and never will be, but I will put us up against any other service-oriented industry for the work we do for our community outside of our business, and all those in dire need of financial help, battles against overwhelming odds, and a shoulder to cry on.

2013 OAR President Joe PryorWhen we gather with our friends and families this week, remember all the good things to be thankful for, pray for those less fortunate, and say those wonderful words, “It is more blessed to give than receive.”

From all of us at OAR, we thank you for giving so much.

Enjoy a Serenade for Your RPAC Investment

RPAC-Piano-Recital-FlierYou are invited to an evening of music by Keith Taggart, OKCMAR president and GiGi Faulkner, MLSOK president. They will be tickling the ivories to raise money for RPAC.

December 12
5:00-7:00 p.m.
All Souls’ Episcopal Church
6400 N Pennsylvania Ave
Oklahoma City

Performance begins 5:30 with wine and hors d’oeuvres to follow.

REALTORS®: admission is $15 RPAC investment*
Please RSVP to Andrea Tanner.


Investments are not deductible for income tax purposes. Investments to RPAC are voluntary and are used for political purposes. The amount suggested is merely a guideline and you may invest more or less than the suggested amount. You may refuse to invest without reprisal and the National Association of REALTORS® or any of its state associations or local boards will not favor or disfavor any member because of the amount invested. 70% of each investment is used by your state PAC to support state and local political candidates. Until your state PAC reaches its RPAC goal, 30% is sent to National RPAC to support federal candidates and is charged against your limits under 2 U.S.C. 441a.

Presidential Food Suggestions for San Francisco

2013 OAR President Joe PryorOAR President Joe Pryor loves San Francisco. It seems a little bit of his heart–and his wife Charlene’s–remains here just so they’ll return often. If you know Joe, you know he’s a fellow foodie. Joe and Charlene haven’t been in San Francisco since 2009, so they’ll be making tracks to delicious dining spots in between meetings and conference sessions!

Below are some of their suggestions for eating your way around the City by the Bay this week at the NAR REALTORS® Conference & Trade Expo.

  • Ferry Building Market (this is the place at the end of Market Street that is on the water. If you make it to only one place in SF, this should be it).
    Incidentally, this was Joe and Charlene’s first stop after arriving in SF!

    • CowGirl Creamery Sidekick- best grilled cheese you will ever have (lunch)
    • Mijita – fast, fresh authentic Mexican food (lunch). Sit outside & take in the views of the Bay Bridge.
    • Miette – delicious desserts next to Ciao Bella in the Ferry Building
    • Out the Door – fast
    • Slanted Door (Vietnamese Fusion) – I love the porridge on a cold day.
      They now have a fast food section for those who want to consider lunch.
    • Plus there are plenty of artisan shops in this fun building. It’s a must hit on Saturday morning between 8 am and 1 pm when the Farmer’s Market is thriving. There’s nothing quite like in the US. There’s also a lunchtime Farmers Market at the Ferry Building on Thursdays. I highly recommend the tacos from Tacolicious (one of the many food stands).
    • Also has a great wine shop if folks want to stock their rooms.
  • Boulette’s Larder – great view of the bay, a nice quaint spot for breakfast – French press coffee and really nicely made food. It’s a unique place – best I can put it.

Other San Francisco food recs:

  • Zero Zero – great dinner spot not too far from Union Square (5-7 minute cab ride). This place is a real treat. Pizza, amazing salads, meatballs, homemade pasta, etc. They have a really fun soft serve ice cream dessert that is a must (you pick the ice cream flavor & artisan toppings to order). Not far from Moscone Center/Westfield shopping center in a cab
  • Cotogna – rustic Italian cuisine, up near North Beach, not too far from your hotel in a cab
  • Not to eat at, but in North Beach are some famous places like City Light Books (amazing if looking to kill time)
    (Personal comment from Steve: The Stinking Rose is a real treat if you’re a garlic lover!)
  • Blue Barn – great salad & sandwich shop in the Marina where a lot of young people live (Chestnut Street – I used to live down in this area, great boutique shopping) or on Polk Street (their newest location)
  • A16 – also on Chestnut Street – great Italian cuisine, great atmosphere (Chestnut is a 12-15 min cab ride from Union Square but great night or day to walk around, shop, eat). If you are in the area, Union Street a few streets away from Chestnut also has fun shopping that isn’t completely commercial like Union Square. It is close to the golden gate bridge and Crissy Field, one of my favorite places to people watch and catch the views of the fabulous San Francisco bay.
  • Perbacco – great Italian food in the Financial district. They have a sister restaurant called Bar Bacco, which is great too.
  • Tadich Grill – old school San Francisco seafood. Great for lunch, sit at the counter and enjoy a huge crab Louie salad. Amazing sourdough bread too. An institution.
  • Blue Bottle Coffee – just around the corner from the Westfield Shopping center – it’s quite a coffee experience. Worth checking out. Not a far walk from your hotel if in Union Square. There’s also one in the ferry building.
  • RN74 – dinner spot downtown
  • Pizzeria Delfina on California in Pacific Heights (SF’s tony neighborhood): great pizza & salads, open all day. Great shopping on Fillmore Street between Post and Broadway but don’t go further south than Post. Post is a long street – this isn’t walking distance from your hotel.
  • Cafe Gratitude  and Greens – brunch, lunch or dinner – at Fort Mason (near the Golden Gate Bridge & Cow Hollow). Gorgeous views of the bay. Vegetarian institution in SF!
  • b. patisserie – if you are in Pac Heights, it’s a must stop & find something sweet to treat yourself too even if it’s just a bag of homemade granola.
  • Pesce is one of my all times favorites. Fish and tapas, great wine, and it is 3 miles away on Market Street. I think it is in The Castro and it moved out of a small neighborhood location.
  • Cafe Claude (French) – lunch or dinner close by.
  • Walking distance from hotels at Pier 1.5 next to the Ferry building is La Mar, a Peruvian place with ceviche to-die-for and some of the most creative mixed drinks on the planet.
  • Bix is also one of those unknowns to tourists and is an Art Deco fave. Great martinis.
  • For those who want to do some shopping, The Westfield Mall is in walking distance and has a 4 or 5 story Bloomingdales among others, and there is a Singapore restaurant called Straits, which is exceptional for lunch or dinner.
  • My favorite Sushi is Ozumo, which is also walking distance and ask for a table with a view of the bay bridge. Great traditional sushi, their Hawaiian yellowtail sashimi is killer, and they have wonderful rolls.

Brunch:

  • Absinthe – good for sitting at bar in Hayes Valley where there’s decent window shopping to be done on Hayes Street.
  • Foreign Cinema – brunch or dinner in the Mission
  • Park Tavern – North Beach
  • Nopa – I like it for brunch & dinner – probably a 10 min cab ride from downtown
  • Slanted Door now has a fast food section for those who want to consider lunch.

So there you have it! If you’re in San Francisco this weekend for the NAR REALTORS® Conference & Trade Show–or just want to bookmark this list for another trip–you have a taste for some excellent San Francisco food by a foodie of presidential proportions!

New .REALTOR Domain Revealed This Week

REALTOR-domain-logo

The world of online domains is opening up. Soon hundreds of new domains will be available on the Internet and companies are starting to market new domains. To create a name space where property buyers, sellers and investors can go to find a REALTOR®, the most credible, trusted real estate information, resources and professional services online, the National Association of REALTORS® applied with ICANN in 2011 to operate a new branded .REALTOR top level domain. Only members of NAR and the Canadian Real Estate Association can call themselves REALTORS®, and only real estate professionals who are REALTORS® will be allowed to use the .REALTOR domain.

The launch of NAR’s awareness campaign for the .REALTOR top level domain will be revealed at the 2013 REALTORS® Conference & Expo in San Francisco this week. The campaign will bring awareness to the new domain, showcase its benefits to members and encourage them to sign-up new to receive advance notification to claim their domain as soon as it becomes available. Beginning Thursday, November 7, members can sign up at www.SignUpForDotREALTOR.com to receive advance email notification for priority registration of .REALTOR domains, one day prior to general release. Members attending the Conference may visit NAR Booth #5644 to register and ask questions.

Meanwhile, GoDaddy, and other domain sellers are beginning to promote a list of top level domains which will become available, including .REALTOR. These domain sellers have no relationship with NAR, nor the sale of .REALTOR domains. Members should not pre-register or pay an outside company for a .REALTOR top level domain, because NAR will oversee registrations for .REALTOR when it is approved by ICANN. Additionally, NAR will provide members who register with a FREE one-year license for a .REALTOR domain name of their choice.

Visit www.REALTOR.org/Domain for additional talking points, FAQ and an informative short video.

 

Thanks and Gratitude to our 2013 RPAC Investors

I Am The Realtor Party and I ActWhat a great year this has been to raise money to fight for home owner’s rights and the rights of our industry. I know we seem to be a bit pushy at times, and yes we do get that way, but when issues are before us that are so important to fight against, then extraordinary times call for extraordinary measures. Most importantly you responded and we cannot thank you enough.

This has been the greatest year in Oklahoma for RPAC, especially for major investors. Our NAR President’s Circle goal was six and we had 11 who gave $3,000. Our goal for the Triple Crown level was 56 $1,000+ Sterling R investors and we had 75! And I would add that last year we had 53. All you can say is wow.

A special wow goes to Mo Anderson of OKCMAR who became Oklahoma’s first Platinum R investor, which means you either gave $5000 a year for the last three years or made a one-year $10,000 investment in 2013. Mo, thank you for your commitment and for the dedication of our other major investors.

One goal we did not meet is the participation goal. And for that we were about 500 investors short. I should note that this is the first year where the minimum investment was $15 instead of the $1 allowed in the past. The total dollar amount increased in this category but the number of investors did not. This I believe is still a huge victory for RPAC.

When you take the total membership and hone it down to those full-time REALTORS® who derive their primary income from real estate, then you have more like 75% participation, and that is why I feel like celebrating. Thank all of you who invested the $15 fair share amount; this was voluntary and you stepped up.

Finally I want to give a big shout out to two people: Kathy Fowler is the Oklahoma RPAC Trustees Chair, and she did her usual great work! Get some rest Kathy. Stephanie Carter, formerly Gaddy, is OAR’s RPAC staff liaison and kept me up to date about our progress almost daily. Both of you showed great leadership, and this would not have succeeded without you. For those of you who took on the local work, and those REALTORS® and affiliates who stepped up to get others to invest, you are the best.

To quote the old NFL football coach who said this about the Super Bowl and using it for the new goal of getting to the RPAC President’s Club next year, “This year we knocked on the door. Next year we are going to kick it down!”

October Update from OAR

Things don’t slow down at OAR for ANYTHING, not even a shattered kneecap. But that’s another story. Here’s a quick rundown of what’s been happening this fall:

First, the September financial statement summary showed us at a very healthy 71.21% of current budgeted income for the year-to-date, and at 62.79% of budgeted expenses for the year. The Association Meetings Committee under Chairman Shohreh Woessner blew the doors off on September’s Education Conference & Trade Show exhibitor and sponsor income this year (thank you!!), with exhibitors at 120% of budget and sponsors at a whopping 296% of budget! Remember, the sponsors and exhibitors are what keep our registration fee as low as it is and allow members from all over the state to hear top-notch speakers and earn continuing education credit!

We’ve begun the process of reviewing proposed concepts for rebranding OAR, which will include not only a new logo and “look” but also a redesign of our website and member (and public) facing presence. Stay tuned; this promises to be a very exciting process under the direction of our Communications & Outreach Committee led by Anne Wilson.

OAR Social Media Graphics - September-04Did you know home sales in Oklahoma are up 15% for September? If you haven’t yet seen our home sales infographics, you’re missing out. These one-page summaries of Oklahoma home sales can be used in your sales presentations, at office meetings and more. See the latest report at OklahomaRealtors.com.

We just held a very successful GRI class with Amy Smythe-Harris, followed by a networking happy hour – these GRI folks really know how to work their connections! The next class on Nov. 13-14 features Pat Strong on the topics of Short Sales & Foreclosures and At Home with Diversity.

Congrats to Mo Anderson of the Oklahoma City Metro Association; Mo is among the first class of Platinum Rs—a brand new investment level for RPAC in 2014 that was voted into place by the NAR RPAC Fundraising Trustees last month. These investors have shown their unwavering dedication to RPAC by investing either $15,000 over the past three years or $10,000 in 2013.

Staff Update: Returning to our staff next month after a brief absence is Melissa Rawlings, who will be working with our Professional Development team. We are so excited to have Melissa back at OAR!

Task Forces and Committees continue their hard work: upcoming meetings include:

  • OAR/OREC Property Manager Certification Task Force – Oct. 31
  • Association Membership Committee – Nov. 5
  • NAR Convention, San Francisco – Nov. 7-11
  • Government Affairs Committee – Nov. 19

Committee appointments will be finalized on October 30; if you have not yet made your requests or interests known to us, please send an email to President-Elect Mary Terry and let her know of your interest. Her email address is: MaryTerry@cableone.net.

Have a great weekend,

Lisa Noon
CEO

P.S. Shameless plug: Did you know you can save 8% of thousands of products from OAR Partner Lowen Signs? Click here to get your discount!

Oklahoma Housing Data Tracker for September 2013

553_OAR_Infographic_SEP2013-01In Oklahoma, preliminary trends show upward momentum in average sales price in September. Prices went up 2.43% to $161,992. The average number of days homes spent on the market before selling decreased by 9.40 days to 71.80 in September 2013 compared to last year’s same month at 81.19.

Use the infographic for a quick look at current housing sales trends in the six regions of the state.

A complete report can always be accessed at
OklahomaRealtors.com.

Committee Volunteers Still Sought

OAR MeetingHello everyone. As your incoming president for 2014, I would like to challenge each and every one of you to step up and sign up for a committee.

We will be selecting chairs and committee members in a couple of weeks, so please visit the OAR website or email me at MaryTerry@cableone.net before October 30. I encourage all of you to sign up just one time; we need input from all over the state, so please volunteer and get involved for the up coming year. Together we can make things happen!

Thank you!
MaryTerry
Mary Terry
2014 OAR President

Tetsworth Sworn In as Newest Real Estate Commissioner

Julie TetsworthJulie Tetsworth was sworn in as the newest commissioner to the Oklahoma Real Estate Commission today during their monthly meeting. In her role, Tetsworth will belong to a board of seven members that grants real estate licenses to Oklahomans and safeguarding the public interest. Commissioners are appointed by the governor to serve four-year terms on the board.

“I’m honored for the opportunity to continue to give back to the real estate profession,” Tetsworth said. “I’m looking forward to serving real estate licensees across Oklahoma by upholding the highest standards when it comes to the licensing process.”

Tetsworth, who has called Oklahoma home for 33 years, serves the state’s residential realty needs through her work at Coldwell Banker Select in Tulsa. She has held many positions, including current Northeast Oklahoma Real Estate Services (NORES) president, 2004 Oklahoma Certified Residential Specialists (CRS) president, two terms as CRS regional vice president, 2010 Greater Tulsa Association of Realtors (GTAR) treasurer, GTAR and NORES board of directors member and GTAR education committee member.

In 2005, Tetsworth was awarded with Certified Residential Specialist of the Year in Oklahoma. She also received accolades for being the top Coldwell Banker Sales Associate for Oklahoma for four consecutive years, 2006-2009.

“We’re always glad to see Oklahoma Realtors giving back to the real estate community,” said Joe Pryor, OAR president. “We are enthusiastic that Julie will make great progress in her role as commissioner and be a positive role model for Realtors throughout the state.”

Tetsworth will serve as interim commissioner until her position is confirmed by the Oklahoma Senate in early 2014.

 

Oklahoma Housing Data Tracker for August 2013

553_OAR_Infographic_AUG2013In Oklahoma, average prices are up and days on market decreased in August. There were 6,339 new listings, up 1.62 percent from last year. Furthermore, there were 4,278 closed listings this month compared to 4,127 last year indicating a 3.66 percent increase.

Use the infographic for a quick look at current housing sales trends in the six regions of the state.

A complete report can always be accessed at OklahomaRealtors.com/HomeStats.

Service to Property Owners, Members an Ongoing Tradition

“It was the best of times, it was the worst of times, it was the age of wisdom, it was the age of foolishness, it was the epoch of belief, it was the epoch of incredulity, it was the season of Light, it was the season of darkness, it was the spring of hope, it was the winter of despair, we had everything before us, we had nothing before us, we were all going to heaven, we were all going direct the other way”.

If you didn’t recognize that as the opening to Dickens’ A Tale of Two Cities, you would think that a writer was poetically describing the recent history of the housing industry. The meltdown centered on real estate was so great and the crash of our economy so large that the government decided to rescue the banking industry, Wall Street, and later the automobile industry. But in no large measure did they rescue the American home owner.

But a group did come to the rescue and that group has the right to use the title REALTOR®. In no small way have Oklahoma REALTORS® helped create a recovery that even the most optimistic of economist thought would happen. We cannot take all the credit, but without us, it would not put us where we are today. Tonight we want to celebrate this best of times and pay tribute to those who gave so much more here in Oklahoma.

There are so many to thank that I don’t have the time, but we do need to mention many who did exceptional work. First we have stabilized our membership at around 8350. This is not as many as we would like, but we have stemmed the tide of losses from 2008. We still have work to do especially getting Millennials to join our ranks, but we will get that done. And to those 8350, we say thank you for setting all-time sales records in so many places and boosting the Oklahoma economy. Let’s keep working hard to end the year on a high note.

On November 1, the years of work on Broker Relationships will see the new law take effect, one that we will embrace and the public will understand and trust. In education, we are working to reduce continuing education classes to one-hour minimums, and consolidating a 3-hour refresher course for those who qualify from the standard 9 core subjects so you can use 6 hours to better your expertise. More work is being done to improve our educational system as well as more business classes online at OAR. The Government Affairs Committee thanks you for your work on this and the hard work monitoring more than 100 bills per year that affect our industry. My special thanks goes to OAR Vice President of Government Affairs Matt Robison. Coming into the OAR family, you had to replace Charla, which is a little like being the next coach after Bear Bryant, but you did not flinch, hesitate or become intimidated. Instead you led with your experience and dedication to excellence and we thank you.

Audit and Finance Committee, as I have said before, you have a tough job and make extremely difficult decisions trying to deal with the money we have and the needs of the membership. You go where angels fear to tread.

Thank you to our housing foundation that had a difficult year with the May tornadoes and helped the communities and our REALTOR® family. Your praises should be sung.

In the Public Awareness Committee, you made a great choice in Saxum, our public relations firm. We have started on a massive campaign to not only create awareness about housing issues and benefits, we have also—with their help—begun to establish ourselves as the Oklahoma voice of real estate through traditional and electronic media. Now, work has begun to rebrand us in a way that is recognizable as a force for doing what’s right and make clear our value to those we serve.

To all other committee chairs, members and of course our Directors, thank you for your outstanding commitment to service. Let us also not forget the numerous task forces assembled this year for education, leadership, contract issues, abandoned and neglected property, and more. You did great work. This is the best of times.

I would be remiss if I did not honor our Leadership Team. As president, I have a role and responsibilities, but never without this incredible team could I get anything done on my own. It should give you confidence that next year Mary, then Kacy, then Chuck, then Pete will put their unique signatures on OAR with new leadership teams. And the best of times also means we have great leaders waiting in the wings.

But yearly transitions cannot work without a sense of continuity. That constant is given to us by the most incredible staff. It has been my pleasure to work with and led so well by Lisa Noon. These folks are the engine that makes this association go.

But the worst of times still could be before us, and we cannot relax or take a minute’s break in defending the right and privilege of property ownership. At this moment, there are elected officials and PAC forces that have before Congress the elimination of the MID, the end of the capital gains exclusion for home sales, the end of the 1031 tax deferred exchange. Many would like to see Fannie and Freddie completely gone with no government backstop for loans—a complete move to the private sector that would raise rates 3% without the backstop and cripple our recovery. Some continue to blame the American property owner and not those who cynically manipulated mortgages into a false asset class. Their solution is to eliminate low and no down payment mortgages, calling them a moral hazard and ignoring the fact that zero-down VA loans currently have the lowest default rate. Maybe they should focus on the fact banks are doing their due diligence again. And maybe they should look at statistics that show we are down more than 750,000 owner-occupant households and up more than 2.1 million rental households since 2007.

Please stay out of our way and let us finish this recovery. On state and local levels we are fighting many battles about transfer taxes, limiting the size of home deductions, and taxing commissions. Last year I spoke of a battle won when the banks tried to take over our industry, but how this enemy spawned the many sons and daughters that represent the many battles we are now fighting. Well in one year it looks like they have given birth to grandsons and granddaughters.

How do we fight on so many fronts and come out victorious? The obvious answer always seems more money to RPAC and more of us answering the associations’ calls to action. I don’t disagree, but I think to win this battle, we need to go deeper than that. It is not just money; it is not just clicking on a button to send a message. It is more like the 1960’s Pogo cartoon statement, “We have met the enemy, and he is us.”

Victory starts with us, and that will happen when our membership not only understands how all the industry parts work together but also when more of us take pride in being apart of a grand tradition. This grand tradition goes back 100 years when the Code of Ethics was created to tell the world we hold ourselves to a higher standard. This grand tradition goes back to the 19th Century when New York real estate practitioners formed the first board knowing the power of working together for the public’s benefit.

This grand tradition more importantly goes back to the origin of this country when in the Declaration of Independence, it says, “We hold these truths to be self evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their creator with certain inalienable rights, among these life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness.”

The significance for us in those words starts with a previous draft Jefferson wrote where it said life, liberty, and the pursuit of property. Jefferson did not change the meaning, he expanded it, because for these young Americans, property ownership free of the crown was happiness. And that was an individual right that affected how we feel about ourselves. It was a right they were willing to fight for.

When this conference is over and we go back to our communities, tell all those in our business we are in a serious fight, and a unity of purpose and pride is our starting point. This is a fight we should win. It is one we can win. And together, it is one we will win for those we serve.

Thank you for letting me do my part this year as your president.

Marolyn Pryor Named 2013 REALTOR® of the Year

2013 Oklahoma Realtor of the Year Marolyn PryorMarolyn Pryor of Mustang has been awarded the 2013 Oklahoma REALTOR® of the Year. She was recognized Wednesday, Sept. 25 at a ceremony as part of the OAR Education Conference and Trade Show at the Embassy Suites Hotel and Conference Center in Norman, Okla.

“How lucky can someone be to work in real estate for 38 years and still love it?” Pryor said. “I don’t know what to say, I can’t quit!”

In 1977, Pryor left a career as a schoolteacher to build her own start-up residential real estate firm, Marolyn Pryor, REALTORS®, which grew quickly. She merged her company with Coldwell Banker Select in 2008 to form the state’s largest real estate firm, where she continues to work as a Realtor.

Pryor has served as Oklahoma City senior vice president of The Prudential Properties of Oklahoma, a trustee of Oklahoma Housing Finance Agency, the Oklahoma City general manager for Coldwell Banker Select and president of OKC Metro Association of Realtors. She is presently an OAR director and an Oklahoma Housing Finance Agency trustee.

Previously, Pryor has been named the Oklahoma City Realtor of the Year and one of the Top Ten Business Women in Oklahoma City. She has received the Oklahoma Association of Realtors Life Member Award as well as the National Association of Realtors Outstanding Award for Realtor Active in Politics. Pryor also served on the Governor’s Advisory Committee on the Status of Women.

Pryor boasts a strong family tradition of in real estate. Her son, Keith Taggart, is the current president of the Oklahoma City Metro Association of Realtors.

“We’re so pleased to announce Marolyn as Realtor of the Year,” said Lisa Noon, OAR CEO. “She sets such a great example for the real estate community and goes above and beyond not just for her clients but the community, as well.”

Your RPAC Investment Can Win You Swag

NAR Conference 2013 rectangle
You pay for your vehicle, home
and health to be insured.
Why not make a $15 investment to protect your career AND win a chance for some awesome swag?

InvestInRPAC.jpg

For investing $15 or more in RPAC by September 25,
we’ll include you in a
very special drawing to be held at the
OAR Education Conference & Trade Show in Norman.

Prizes include:

One NAR Conference Registration and Travel Voucher ($1,000 value)
Four OAR Legislative & Economic Summit Registration and Hotel Vouchers ($250 value each)

Two – 32GB iPad Minis
Five – $100 Apple Gift Cards
Five – $100 Visa Gift Cards

Your chance of winning depends on your investment level: 

Investor ($15–$98):
99 Club ($99-$249):
Capitol Club ($250–$499):
Leadership Club ($500–$999):
Sterling R ($1,000–$2,499):
Crystal R ($2,500+):
Golden R ($5,000):
President’s Circle* ($2,000+):


1 Ticket

3 Tickets
5 Tickets
10 Tickets
25 Tickets
50 Tickets
75 Tickets
100 Tickets
 For more information contact Stephanie Gaddy, OAR Government Affairs & RPAC Liaison, via email or phone: 405.848.9944.
RPAC donations will be accepted through September 25, 2013. Drawing will be held September 26, 2013. You need not be present to win.
*Click here to view more information about President’s Circle requirements.

Contributions are not deductible for income tax purposes. Contributions to RPAC are voluntary and are used for political purposes. The amount suggested is merely a guideline and you may contribute more or less than the suggested amount. You may refuse to contribute without reprisal and the National Association of REALTORS® or any of its state associations or local boards will not favor or disfavor any member because of the amount contributed. 70% of each contribution is used by your state PAC to support state and local political candidates. Until your state PAC reaches its RPAC goal, 30% is sent to National RPAC to support federal candidates and is charges against your limits under 2 U.S.C. 441a; after the state PAC reaches its RPAC goal it may elect to retain your entire contribution for use in supporting state and local candidates.

Oklahoma Housing Data Tracker for July 2013

JULY2013-STATE-SUMMARYAverage prices are up and days on market decreased. There were 7,095 new listings in July 2013, up more than 10% from last year. Furthermore, there were 4,562 closed listings this month compared to 3,958 last year, a 15.26% increase.

Use the infographic for a quick look at current housing sales trends in the six regions of the state. A complete report can always be accessed at OklahomaRealtors.com/HomeStats.

2014 OAR Committee Nominations Are Open

OAR is currently accepting nominations for participation in statewide committees. Committees are a wonderful opportunity to network with other influential professionals throughout the state and serve the REALTOR® community.

How can you get involved?

Any OAR member can serve on an OAR committee. Find something that interests you from the complete list of OAR committees and send in a committee nomination form before October 1.

In mid-October the OAR president and president-elect meet to discuss each request and appoint committee chairs, vice-chairs and members. Finally, at the following OAR Board of Directors meeting in March, the list is ratified.

***A member currently serving on a committee, whose term expires in 2013 MUST submit a nomination if he/she would like to be considered for service in 2014; members are NOT automatically considered for re-appointment to a committee. The deadline for submission is October 1, 2013.***

Contact Ginger Booth for more information.

Is the 30-Year Mortgage Dead?

The answer is … it could be.

I have previously talked about the debate in Washington over mortgage interest deductions, capital gains exemptions, and other home owner benefits being in danger. But Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac loom at an even higher percentage that change may make the 30 year mortgage at least unaffordable or non-existent, and here is why I think so.

There are three bills pending in Congress that involve reforming or eliminating Freddie Mac and Fannie Mae, despite their huge profitability now that lenders are doing their jobs properly again. The three are The Housing Finance Reform and Taxpayers Act, The Corker-Warner Plan, and The PATH Act. It is possible that those two institutions will be reformed and there will still be a government guarantee the private sector will have, but most of our D.C. elected officials from Oklahoma favor the outright elimination of any government involvement in mortgage lending, and many more agree so let’s explore what that would mean.

Bill Gross, the founder of PIMCO, a global money management company, has said government guarantees on loans like with Fannie Mae keep rates down about 3%. We are quickly heading toward 5% 30-year rates, so the outright elimination of government guarantees in this scenario means 8% rates on 30-year mortgages. Ask yourself how this would affect your clients? A first-time buyer may be out of the market or jumbo borrowers may decide to just stay put.

Another possibility is we would go to a Canadian system where the maximum amortization schedule is 25 years and fixed rates are not guaranteed and are reset every 5 years. How would this affect the confidence in your buyers and sellers knowing rates could adjust dramatically?

Now I have a question for you. Do you care?

We struggle every year to get even one-third of our statewide members to give as little as $15 to RPAC so we can have a voice to keep the 30 year mortgage and preserve VA and FHA loans. For the price of two drinks at a bar, a couple of Happy Meals, a few lottery tickets or a trip to one movie (popcorn excepted), you could help preserve home owners’ rights. You might also save your career. Because if we lose these: the interest deduction, and the capital gains exception on selling a home, or if we do what D.C. did and others are trying to do which is to charge buyers and sellers an added 1.45% transfer fee that translates to $300 million a year taken from citizens, you just might be embarking on a new career.

Don’t be complacent and think, “Well, this is not the banks taking over and eliminating 90% of REALTORS® in the process like we successfully fought before.” No, it is not, but if we lose 10 battles, or even five, the right and privilege of owning a home may be put out of reach of the average American. If banks can charge 3% more on a loan, or reset at their pleasure, don’t you see the banks just found the back door to controlling this trillion-dollar business?

The leadership team at OAR are major investors, and even employees at OAR are major investors to RPAC. If you can’t give at least $15, why are you here? Your investment tells the world you support candidates and policies that benefit you, your clients and the real estate industry.

Go ahead. Make your investment today!

 

Investments are not deductible for income tax purposes. Investments to RPAC are voluntary and are used for political purposes. The amount suggested is merely a guideline and you may invest more or less than the suggested amount. You may refuse to invest without reprisal and the National Association of REALTORS® or any of its state associations or local boards will not favor or disfavor any member because of the amount invested. 70% of each investment is used by your state PAC to support state and local political candidates. Until your state PAC reaches its RPAC goal, 30% is sent to National RPAC to support federal candidates and is charged against your limits under 2 U.S.C. 441a.

News from the NAR Frontlines

Realtor_Building_Nick_Ulivieri_Photography-HI-2

Photo Credit: Nick Ulivieri Photography

I was privileged to attend with the other Oklahoma directors for a historic vote yesterday in Chicago at a special meeting of the NAR Board of Directors. If you were not aware, yesterday’s special meeting was only the second in the organization’s history.

In full disclosure, I have not always agreed with everything NAR has done, because what organization is perfect? I also still remember the launch of realtor.com, so I have had to work hard to let go of my anger at how that turned out. And I have. On this occasion, I was happy with both organizations, as were almost all of the directors who voted yes.

What has been lost in the initial articles about the vote is what NAR extracted as concessions from realtor.com; so let me start with those:

  1. That realtor.com make changes in their pricing structure to REALTORS® that is easier to understand and fair to us. Those are coming in August.
  2. That realtor.com create a better and more user-friendly interface the public will embrace. We saw what it looked like and we approved.
  3. That the REALTOR® logo is not only more prominently used but that it has hover-over capability giving the public more knowledge about what makes us REALTORS® and not just simply real estate licensees. Hint: a strict Code of Ethics, for one.
  4. That realtor.com allows our members to use a .realtor web domain address that is coming. (Example: this would allow me to use joepryor.realtor as a URL.) I really like this concession because of how it helps emphasis the brand.

Now let’s go through the changes to realtor.com we voted on.

  1. Leasing information is now allowed. This was not a difficult one. In Oklahoma, you need to be licensed, but most of these folks don’t put leasing into MLS systems like we have in OKC. This will help bring more licensees to our side knowing that MLS leasing gets put on realtor.com.
  2. Notice of default, foreclosure, auctions and bank-owned can now be displayed. Again, the more we know, the more we can advise the consumer on procedures.
  3. Non-REALTOR® listings can be on the site. This is not a case of an individual putting a home for sale on realtor.com like they can on Zillow. No one wants to lose accuracy of data as we move to comprehensive data; so for instance, there are MLS systems that allow licensees to post listings. Truth be told, we have FSBOs in our systems already via limited-service entry-only agreements.
  4. Builders and new-home communities can be on realtor.com. This is a bit more controversial, but I think in the long run, it will show our value to national builders especially. Most will pay a commission, and the site will do more to enhance our status and give reasons why the public should not buy a property without us.
Realtor_Building_Nick_Ulivieri_Photography-HI-1

Photo credit: Nick Ulivieri Photography

It is important to understand NAR has never owned realtor.com and currently has a 3% stake in move.com, its owner. If we had tried to own it, keeping up with the technology and other changes would have required more funding than we could have taken from your dues.

The fact is Trulia and Zillow could care less if you stay in this business. And if you do, they want to sell you the leads. Realtor.com has been sinking in the rankings, and Tulia and Zillow have been making billions off the REALTOR® community. Remember, the founder of Zillow was the creator of expedia.com, which put 90% of travel agents out of business. He arrogantly said in public that we will never win this fight and we are an easy victory.

By no means did we win the battle with these changes, but we are now in the fight with both hands. I expect more changes coming. Like with the looming legislative battles coming up, we are in a fight for survival as an industry as we know it. We need a strong NAR and we need a strong realtor.com.

Just think a minute about what the realtor.com web address means. We are not zillow.com, we are REALTOR.com. And it is a fight we can win.

Photo credit: Nick Ulivieri Photography

NAR Board Votes to Give realtor.com More Flexibility

OAR President Joe Pryor attended the board meeting in Chicago and will have a follow-up blog post soon with his observations and commentary. Stay tuned!

In a nearly unanimous vote today, the NAR Board of Directors approved recommendations that will help realtor.com compete head-to-head with third-party listing aggregators on building a comprehensive site, including more unlisted new homes and rentals. Although the realtor.com domain is owned by NAR, the site is operated by San Jose, Calif., based Move Inc. under an operating agreement between two subsidiary companies: NAR’s REALTORS® Information Network (RIN) and RealSelect, a subsidiary of Move. The site has been an undisputed leader in engaging consumers who are in the market for homes, but over the last several years, third-party sites such as Zillow and Trulia have drawn heavy attention from a wider range of consumers—from the merely curious to current homeowners looking to case their neighborhood for recent sold properties. As a result of today’s vote, the RIN board approved amending the operating agreement with RealSelect in three fundamental ways:

  1. Amending the restriction that says Move may display only listings that have been sourced from REALTOR®-owned and controlled MLSs or from REALTORS®. Under the revised agreement, Move will be able to obtain listings from entities that are not REALTOR®- owned and controlled and from brokers who are not REALTORS®.
  2. Amending the restriction on unlisted properties. The revised agreement will allow the display of unlisted new homes and new home communities and will allow the display of unlisted properties that are for rent.  Individual consumer FSBOs remain precluded from the site.
  3. Amending the requirement for listing broker’s consent for the foreclosure status of a listing to be displayed. Under the revised agreement, unless the listing broker objects, Move/RealSelect will have the ability to identify:
    • Properties where notice of default has been recorded
    • Auctions of distressed properties
    • Short sales
    • Foreclosures
    • Bank-owned properties

The 673-member NAR board represents the nation’s 1 million REALTORS®, and more than 600 attended today’s historic meeting in Chicago, the first special meeting of the board since 1996, when the original operating agreement was executed between RIN and RealSelect.

Since May, when the special meeting was announced, people have been speculating about what changes might be in the offing. Because Move is a publicly traded company, however, NAR maintained silence about the proposed changes until today, providing board members with only general meeting information in advance and requiring that they check their smartphones at the door to avoid having the proposal broadcast and debated via social media before the vote. Security guards were posted outside the closed-door meeting to prevent journalists from entering.

For directors who weren’t at the 1996 gathering, NAR CEO Dale Stinton opened the meeting with a “walk down memory lane,” a slide show juxtaposing NAR’s 20-year history with what was happening in the world and in technology. At the outset of the commercial Internet era, he said, there was great uncertainty about whether REALTORS® would maintain their roles at the center of the real estate transaction.

Indeed, in a REALTOR® Magazine Q&A published in 1998, Move Chairman Joe F. Hanauer (a member of the RealSelect board then and now) argued that as Internet technologies evolved, it would be critical to have an entity that protected REALTORS® in the online space. Without it, third parties could easily change the rules, making it harder and more expensive to do business.

“Every real estate broker and salesperson knows what it’s like when a new newspaper, magazine, or TV home show is launched in their market. They’d rather not support it because, if they do, it will gain acceptance and need to become a permanent part of their promotional budget,” Hanauer said. “Yet they’re offered special terms and a preferred position as part of the new venture, and if they don’t take it, their competitors will, and they’ll have to live with a secondary position for a long time.”

By the same token, agents and brokers who’ve actively positioned themselves as content providers for today’s third-party aggregators have accrued advantages in the form of increased visibility, credibility, and leads. That’s great for them and for consumers. But it doesn’t negate the need for a partner that can meet consumers’ needs while protecting REALTORS®’ interests, according to Hanauer’s argument. “If a site can capture your listing data until it has strong consumer acceptance and then change its policy regarding protections, you’ve simply bought into tomorrow’s problems.”

At today’s meeting, directors had a chance to see the danger of such a scenario. Curt Beardsley, vice president of business development for realtor.com, showed practices that demonstrate Zillow’s attitude toward the industry. The site, he said, leaves the real estate practitioner out of its advertising; puts inaccurate Zestimates next to list prices; encourages consumers to sell without an agent; posts inaccurate, out-of-date information; and buries basic listings behind pages of “featured” (paid) listings.

OAR President Joe Pryor, who attended the meeting in Chicago, said, “Good changes are coming, and by the end of August, we should have a more agent-friendly pricing structure. Hopefully we can take back some of what we lost with Trulia and Zillow.”

Brian Boero of 1000 Watt Consulting then took the stage to talk about the meaning of brand and the value of the REALTOR® brand, recently valued at $4.5 billion, according to NAR CEO Dale Stinton.

In the world of technology, Boero said, “you can innovate or be innovated on, and 17 years ago, when you started realtor.com, you chose to innovate. And because you chose to innovate, you set the standard for how listing sites operate in the United States. In the U.S., brokers do not pay to display listings on aggregator sites; the rest of the world is “pay to list.”

“And realtor.com is more than a technology partner,” Boero said. “It is a brand partner. It is an instrument of the REALTOR® brand, generating 450 million brand impressions every month through its web site, mobile apps, and social media. Brand equals meaning, and real estate today equals REALTORS®. It’s in consumers’ minds. What’s happening here today is deepening that.”

Before the proposal was put before the board, Samuelson took the stage to show how realtor.comis incorporating the brand into its listings, mobile apps, and advertising, and he shared some of the innovation that’s underway. He said realtor.com is preferred by consumers in the home sales space two times more than Zillow and 28 times more than Trulia, but the site is facing an eroding share of Internet traffic, particularly in markets where there are many non-REALTOR® practitioners.

“REALTORS® have invested a lot of time and millions of dollars in building information technology to give consumers online access to real estate information, and we know that consumer demand for all things ‘home’ has never been greater,” said NAR President Gary Thomas. “We want realtor.com to have the resources and flexibility it needs to give consumers what they want while ensuring that today’s buyers and sellers can continue to rely on REALTORS® for the most accurate, credible market data. We think the proposed changes achieve both goals.”

Tell Senators to Preserve Home Ownership

Tax Reform is underway on Capitol Hill. The Senate has adopted a “Blank Slate” approach that initially eliminates every provision in the tax code, including those that encourage real estate ownership and investment. Senators must submit their tax reform priorities to Senate leaders by July 26. The REALTOR® Party needs to make its voice heard now so real estate provisions are on the top of the Senators’ lists. Contact your Senators today!

When approaching tax reform, Congress needs to be careful not to adversely affect the unique legacy of home ownership and real estate investment. It is precisely this legacy that has contributed to our country’s historical prosperity and the revitalization of today’s economy.

REALTORS® must stand united that tax reform should above all “Do No Harm” and encourage Congress to retain tax provisions vital to real estate. Please click here to follow through now. Act, Act, Act!

OAR Experiencing Server, Email Issues

scream at computerIf you have emailed someone at OAR and have not received the usual quick response, you ought to give us a call. OAR’s email and file server is limping along and is keeping staff from sending and receiving emails in a timely manner.

This challenge has caused an existing plan to move everything into “the cloud” to get on the fast track. Later this week, OAR will be migrating all files to and email to web-based programs, giving the association more stability and security with its electronic property.

Meanwhile if you need a quick reply from OAR staff, please call 405-848-9944.

Seeking nominations for community service rock stars

OAR is accepting nominations for the Open Door 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 Education Conference & Trade Show September 25-26 in Norman.

Be a star for your community or charity. Nominate yourself or a fellow rock star today. The deadline for nominations is July 5, 2013.

Legislative Session Closes; Interim Studies, Task Forces Begin

This has been an extremely successful session and we would like to thank Oklahoma REALTORS® for your involvement and support as Matt Robison stepped into the position of OAR Vice President of Government Affairs.

The following is a recap of our issues of interest during the 2013 session:

Supported Legislation:

HB 1355 (Cooksey/Paddack) – OREC Education Bill

Requires that the 90 coursework hours of educational study currently required before taking a real estate license exam will only be valid for a period of three years after receiving the course completion certificate. If the applicant does not take the license exam within three years of completing the educational requirements, the instructional prerequisite begins again. This measure becomes effective November 1, 2013.
Signed into Law

HB 1245 (Martin, Steve/Marlatt) – OAR/OREC Broker Relationships Act

Provides clean up language to the Broker Relationships Act passed last year. New language developed by the Broker Relationships Act Task Force better explains the legally required relationship and discloser requirements brokers have with their client(s) and customers. The Broker Relationships Act becomes effective November 1, 2013.
Signed into Law

 

Interim Studies and Task Forces in which OAR will participate

Abandoned and Neglected Properties Task Force

OAR will continue working with the Abandoned and Neglected Properties Task Force, the Cities of Tulsa and Oklahoma City as well as the Oklahoma Municipal League (OML) and other organizations to develop language for future consideration. The City of Oklahoma City also recently conducted an Abandoned and Neglected Property Study which will be considered during Task Force discussions.

Property Manager Certification Task Force

OAR and the Oklahoma Real Estate Commission (OREC) have agreed to combine efforts to address the issue of property management. Each year, several complaints are filed with the state regarding the efficiency and effectiveness of property management. This is an extremely important aspect of the real estate profession. The Property Manager Certification Task Force will consider methods to enhance the quality of this facet of our industry.

Residential Property Condition Disclosure Task Force

OAR will participate with OREC in a Task Force reviewing residential property condition disclosure responsibilities for those involved in such real estate transactions.

Trash Collection Service Accounts

Legislation considered this session would have allowed municipalities to apply liens on certain property when trash pick-up service fees were not paid over a specified time period. OAR has helped work on language assuring that the property owner would be fully aware of any delinquent payment for services provided. The legislation was revised several times during the last weeks of session and eventually was not supported by OAR. We will work with the supporters of this measure in an effort to negotiate agreeable language.

Licensing for Title Companies

Currently, title companies which only provide closing services are not required to be licensed and bonded in order to protect the customer and consumer. OAR supports the licensing of such title companies and will work with those in this profession in addressing this issue.

Licensing of Commercial Contractors and Sub-Contractors

This session featured a measure that would have required all contractors and sub-contractors to hold an Oklahoma contractor’s license. The unintended consequence of the language would have required commercial property owners and building managers to also hold a contractor’s license in order to arrange for remodeling services on their own property.

Broker Branch Offices Task Force

The issue of requiring direct management oversight within all Broker Branch Offices is currently being considered by an established Task Force.

If you are interested in being considered for one of these Task Forces or Interim Studies, please contact Matt Robison at Matt@OklahomaRealtors.com or 405-848-9944.

Agent Beware: Monitor Your Listings for Rental Scams

As with any natural disaster, a variety of fraudulent activity follows hoping to slip in under the radar and profit illegally from unsuspecting consumers.

Because so many Central Oklahoma residents are displaced because of the May 19 and 20 tornadoes, there’s been an increase in rental scams appearing on Craigslist.

These crooks search for listings in active, popular areas with good online marketing, they scrape the photos and then write ads that sounds just a little too good to be true. The price is just below rental market value but almost believable. They know  most people are in the rental market for a short time and not often, so it’s easy to reach new innocent, open-minded renters—especially after a tragic event like last week.

Here’s what happens: prospective renters may drive by the home and see a real estate sign in the yard and think the home is actually available. Some renters call the agent to get inside, and the scam ends there when the agent tells them it is actually not for rent. However, some renters go through the bogus steps and potentially compromise their privacy and lose money in the process.

The Federal Trade Commission put together a video explaining how to report scams like this.

Look at the FTC website for more tips on spotting and avoiding rental scams.

Additionally Oklahoma Attorney General Scott Pruitt has issued a consumer alert and warns consumers of potential fraud. Download a copy of the AG’s Oklahoma Disaster Scam Prevention Packet; or to fill out a consumer complaint form, go to www.oag.ok.gov or call (405) 521-2029.

Oklahoma Average Home Sales Prices Going Up

April 2013 Housing Market ActivityAccording to the preliminary trends, Oklahoma has experienced some upward momentum with the increase of average prices last month. Prices went up 5.42% in April 2013 to $159,749, compared to the previous year at $151,537.

Closed versus listed trends yielded a 9.52% upswing from last year, creating pressure on a decreasing month’s supply of inventory in the months to come.

See the full report at OklahomaRealtors.com/HomeStats.

Supplies Pick Up Available TODAY

We are expecting a semi truck from Joplin today. Anyone with donations that need distributing, we are happy to coordinate the pick-up for you. We expect them in Midwest City about 3:00ish, depending on stops they make on the way.

You can call
Blair Calvo 405-623-7204
Steve Reese 405-596-6561
Pam Barton-Stober 405-833-5005

Get your people in motion NOW! Thanks!

Karen Hutchison Honored at Retirement Reception

Karen Hutchison Retirement Reception

Karen Hutchison, Lisa Noon and Jerry Boston

Karen Hutchison retired from the Southern Oklahoma Board of REALTORS® May 1 after 14 years of dedicated and expert service. Members hosted a retirement reception today at the Ardmore Train Station in her honor.

Karen says, “I will miss all of you, but it is time to spend time with my husband and family. We hope to do some camping and watch our grandchildren in their growing up years.” She still plans to see her REALTOR® friends as much as possible though.

As for REALTOR® business, Samantha Landeros has been working closely with Karen to become acclimated with the job and carry on the work of the association.

The OAR family wishes Karen a rich and fulfilling retirement!

Federal Updates from NAR, Four-State Region

2013 Region 9 Spring Conference Chris Polychron, Sharla Lau, Steve Brown, Jerry GiovanielloRecently the four states that comprise our NAR region met in Bentonville, Arkansas at the wonderful museum known as Crystal Bridges. Last year, our Region 9 Vice President Theresa Stewart resurrected this meeting after it had taken a hiatus. So for the second year, the CEOs, Presidents, Presidents-elect and other invited guests gathered to talk about how we can use our combined strength to improve the work we’re doing in our states and influence policy with NAR. Also in attendance were three incoming NAR presidents, the NAR CEO Dale Stinson, and NAR Chief Lobbyist Jerry Giovaniello. From Oklahoma, I attended as well as our Treasurer Kacy Bell, CEO Lisa Noon and VP of Government Affairs Matt Robison.

Much of the discussion was centered on the upcoming Midyear Legislative Meeting in Washington, D.C., pending legislation and issues we believe to be on the horizon. The highlight of this discussion was the mortgage interest deduction (MID) and the real possibility of losing it in some or all forms. The scenarios go from abolishing it completely to indexing it with a cap—or a limit of the first 5 years—for deductions, among others.

The next discussion was on the non-binding budget resolutions coming from Representative Ryan in the House and the President’s proposal. This and discussions on tax reform are not just issues of differences in the parties, they are also differences within the parties as well as the two chambers of Congress. For instance, the senate wants tax reform and the house wants budget cuts within the republican party. Democrats are split between Congress and the President. This kind of chaos can breed some very bad decisions, and NAR is closely monitoring anything that can affect benefits disappearing for home owners.

NAR is concerned about the pattern of approaching arbitrary deadlines that seem to disrupt confidence in the economy going into robust recovery with so much uncertainty in funding government functions and some agreement on long-term solutions.

NAR is also vigilant on protecting FHA and preventing any legislation that would require a 20% minimum down payment, including interpreting Dodd-Frank as requiring this as a safeguard to avoid “moral hazard”. NAR hopes that extraordinary profits last year for Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac will protect the institutions of secondary mortgage money even if reforms are used to merge or alter them. They are vital to keeping mortgage money flowing to our clients.

Many other issues that are important to us are immigration reform with the obvious shortages in labor on new construction, revitalizing Rural Housing Section 502 in a way like the 5-year flood insurance program extension targeted and won by NAR last year instead of the band aids allowing it to lapse, and much more.

The need to raise money through RPAC and maintain our good record of responding to NAR calls for action are essential to protect our clients as well as our industry. So many issue are in front of us nationally, regionally and locally; the four-state Region 9 consisting of Oklahoma, Arkansas, Missouri and Kansas are working together to not only communicate about, but to also work toward solutions that protect the American dream of home ownership.

If you haven’t already contributed to RPAC, which is also an investment in your business, please do now. It doesn’t matter whether you give $15 or $1500; the important thing is to join with us in leadership that leads to a better way of life for those we serve. It is meetings like this that bring the issues home. And home is where we want all Americans be.

Good Neighbor Nomination Deadline Approaching

REALTOR® Magazine is seeking your help identifying nominees for the 2013 Good Neighbor Awards. The program—now in its 14th year—recognizes REALTORS® whose extraordinary commitment to community service has helped make their communities better places to live.

In October, five winners will be announced and will be recognized at the 2013 REALTORS® Conference & Expo in San Francisco. The winners will receive a $10,000 grant for their community cause, travel expenses to the convention and extensive publicity to benefit their cause. In addition to the winners, five honorable mentions will receive $2,500 grants.

You can find FAQs, entry form and more at www.realtor.org/gna.

Deadline for entry is Friday, May 20, 2013.

OAR Meets with District 2 Members in Lawton

District 2 Meeting (Lawton)In a meeting today with District 2 members representing Lawton, Duncan, Altus and Western Oklahoma, 2013 OAR President Joe Pryor filled REALTORS® and local association executives in on happenings at the state legislature, changes in the works for continuing education, online education revenue-sharing opportunities, the statewide housing statistics program and the professional standards program provided to all local boards.

Concerns voiced were primarily about out-of-area appraisers and issues with home inspections. Members were excited to hear about new one-hour continuing education classes and more business training for REALTORS®.

District 2 Broker Relationships Act Class - Joyce Painter (Lawton)A free Broker Relationships Act class followed the District meeting, and proved to be standing room-only attraction for area members.

Additional District meetings will be held in Enid (Apr. 24), Tulsa (Apr. 29), Ada (May 2), and OKC (May 3).

Robison Attends NAR Government Affairs Orientation

US Capitol and Redbud TreeThis week, Matt Robison, newly-hired OAR VP of Government Affairs, attended a two-day training for government affairs directors (GADs) at the National Association of REALTORS® Washington, D.C. headquarters.  GADs and Association Executives from across the country participated in this outstanding event that featured nearly two dozen staff and leadership members from NAR.

The orientation gave an in-depth opportunity to discover:

  • How the NAR Government Affairs Division works with state and local associations to promote the REALTOR® federal agenda;
  • How NAR’s lobbyists and political representatives work with their state and local association counterparts;
  • How NAR’s legislative and regulatory issues staff work with state and local associations to educate REALTORS® on the important issues facing their business;
  • Which resources are available through the NAR Community and Political Affairs Division to assist state and local associations in obtaining assistance with their advocacy activities; and
  • How NAR RPAC helps local associations raise more money.

The program also featured updates about the variety of resources and programs offered by NAR. If you have interest in becoming more involved with OAR government affairs or RPAC, please contact Matt Robison by email or by phone at 405-848-9944.

Hit the Open Road for RPAC

vintage bike and roadNAR Region 9 (of which Oklahoma is one-fourth) is planning a Ride for the American Dream this summer where motorcyclists (cars allowed too!) will ride to benefit RPAC. You’ll be hearing more about this, but if you think you might be interested in joining the group, you’re encouraged to contact OAR Government Affairs & RPAC Liaison Stephanie Gaddy right now so we can begin to get an initial estimate of attendees (no obligation!). Here are some details:

  1. Ride Date – July 22-28, with the strong likelihood that the Ride will be held near the end of that period closer to—or over—the weekend.
  2. Ride Duration – The Ride will be a one-day ride with a night before and a night after.  All meals will be included, and hotels will be secured for the group.
  3. Ride Schedule – Riders will convene at the starting point the night before the ride for an evening social event. The “Ride Day” will likely start in Missouri and end in Arkansas. The second night will also include an evening event. Riders will have breakfast together the second morning and then return home.
  4. Ride Route – The Ride will be through Missouri and Arkansas with the actual ride route presently being determined.
  5. Ride Cost  – The Region 9 states will be fundraising to help keep the costs low. Based on initial estimates, the hard costs for each rider will be about $200 (subject to change), in addition to their RPAC investment of $1,000. The cost for spouses/guests has not yet been determined.

PLEASE FEEL FREE TO SHARE THIS MESSAGE WITH ANY REALTOR® BIKERS YOU KNOW!

REALTOR® Day at the Capitol Included Senator Visits, Ice Cream Social

This week—Wednesday, April 10—marked OAR’s REALTOR® Day at the Capitol. Although the weather was icy outside, the capitol was full of ice cream inside! OAR traditionally hosts an old fashioned ice cream social for all those inside the capitol during this special day.

We filmed a special edition of Capitol Insider with Rep. Steve Martin (Bartlesville) as our guest. See what happens–>

 

View photos from the event here:
[fsg_gallery id=”1″]

 

Thursday, April 11 was the Oklahoma Legislative deadline whereby measures had to be out of their assigned committee in the opposite chamber. OAR continues to be actively involved in the legislative process. Here is a list of those issues important to us:

ACTIVELY SUPPORTED MEASURES:

HB 1355 (Cooksey/Paddack) – OREC Education Bill (Support)
This bill provides that the 90 hours of education to obtain a real estate license will only be valid for a period of three years from the date of successful course completion certification. If the applicant does not take the license exam within three years of completing the educational requirements, the 90-hour instructional requirement process begins again. On the Senate Floor Calendar

HB 1245 (Martin, Steve/Marlatt) – OAR/OREC Broker Relationships Act Bill (Support)
This bill provides clean-up language to the Broker Relationships Act passed last year. New language developed by the Broker Relationships Act Task Force better classifies the relationship brokers have with the parties. Passed the Senate Floor 43-0 during REALTOR® Day at the Capitol! The bill now heads to the House Floor for Senate Amendment consideration and then to the governor.

HB 1884 (Armes/Johnson, R.) – Licensing for Title Companies (OAR request bill)
This measure requires the licensing of companies that only provide closing services. This measure is scheduled for the Senate Floor but still need some clean-up language. OAR supports the measure to continue through the legislative process while new language is considered. On the senate floor calendar

OTHER MEASURES OF INTEREST:

HB 2095 – Residential Property Condition Disclosure
This bill has been pulled back for this legislative session. OAR and OREC will create a task force to work on clean-up language for consideration next year.

HB 1860 – Abandoned and Neglected Properties
This issue was not considered this session. OAR has agreed to continue working with the task force as well as Tulsa, OKC and other organizations to clean up language for next year. Oklahoma City will be releasing their Abandoned and Neglected Property Study in late April, which will be included in the discussions.

HB 1933 – Solid Waste (Trash Collection) Service Accounts
This would allow cities to apply liens on certain property when trash pick-up service fees are not paid in four consecutive months. OAR is working on language that clearly states that the property owner, if different than the tenant, must receive timely notice in order to address the issue of non-payment before a lien is applied.

SB 1068 – Licensing of Commercial Contractors and Sub-Contractors
This would have required all contractors and sub-contractors to hold an Oklahoma contracting license. The language would have required commercial property owners and building managers to also hold a contractor’s license in order to provide remodeling services. A Legislative Interim Study will be created to address this issue.

Stay up to date on OAR’s government affairs and other news at OklahomaRealtors.com.

Are You a Good Neighbor?


GoodNeighbor
REALTOR® Magazine’s Good Neighbor Awards recognize REALTORS® who have made an extraordinary impact on their community, or on the national or world stage, through volunteer work.

Five winners are announced each fall in REALTOR® Magazine. Oklahoma has never had a winner – let’s make this the year!

Winners will be recognized at the REALTORS® Conference & Expo in San Francisco and will receive $10,000 grants for their charities. Winners also receive travel expenses to the conference and national and local media exposure for their community cause. In addition to the winners, five honorable mentions each receive a $2,500 grant.

Read the profiles of past Good Neighbor Award Winners and Honorable Mentions.

This year’s Good Neighbor Award deadline is May 20. Nominations are received from REALTORS® around the country, as well as through local and state Good Neighbor Award programs—like the OAR Open Door Award—that serve as feeders to the national program. Applicants must be members of the National Association of REALTORS®.

NAR REALTORS® Conference and Expo Registration Opens May 6

2013 NAR Realtors Conference and ExpoAfter eight years, REALTORS® from all over the country—and the world—will be back in San Francisco November 8-11 for the REALTORS® Conference & Expo!

The theme this year is “Rise to New Heights.” There will be 100 education sessions featuring renowned industry speakers and an expected 400 exhibitors to take your career higher.

Registration opens May 6. There are a number of registration changes in 2013:

  • The early bird registration fee will not be offered this year.
  • The following registration categories have been renamed this year:
    • Full Conference will now be “Premier Access”
    • Spouse/Guest will now be “Friends & Family”
    • Session Plus Expo will now be “Single Session Pass.” This registration option still provides access to one education session of an attendee’s choice, plus access to the expo floor all four days of the event. Multiple single-session passes may be purchased.

2013 registration rates are as follows:

  • Premier Access Pass: $400 for members/$500 for non-members
  • Friends & Family Pass: $300 for those attending with a member or non-member
  • One-Day Pass: $180 for members/$220 for non-members
  • Single Session Pass: $50 for members/$75 for non-members
  • Expo-Only Pass: $25 for members/$50 for non-members

You’re encouraged to enter the 2013 REALTORS® Conference & Expo Trivia Contest with the possibility of winning one of four free Premier Access registrations to the conference by answering all trivia questions correctly.

Keep 'em Current!

Can you hear me?OAR would like to take this opportunity to remind all local boards/associations that keeping your members’ information current on NRDS is very helpful for everyone.

When you update a member’s information in NRDS, the update travels down to OAR’s membership system, RAMCO, instantaneously. While there have been a few glitches in the bridge between NRDS and RAMCO, the “powers that be” are aware of the challenge and are currently working on a solution.

So let’s remember to also update NRDS as you are updating your board’s records so OAR can avoid any missed opportunities with your members due to inaccurate contact information, etc.

A big thank you to our association executives, membership staff and everyone involved in “keeping the wheels oiled” for better communication between OAR and your members!

Duncan First Board to Hit 100% RPAC Participation

GoalThis year Oklahoma RPAC has challenged all of our local boards to reach specific participation goals based on their membership numbers.  The Duncan Board of REALTORS® was the first board in the “small board” category to reach their 100% goal.  Congratulations Duncan! They actually exceeded their goal by having a few family members invest, so they are officially at 101.59% participation as of March 25. We want to give a special shout out to Debbie Lynn Benton, Duncan Board RPAC Chair for all her hard work.  The Duncan Board and their leadership will receive an award and recognition at OAR’s February Conference.

Don’t forget that we still have three more boards that will take first place in the medium, large and jumbo categories. Don’t wait until the last minute; start making the “ASK” today!

 

For more information on the Local Board Participation Challenge and to view the updated participation scoreboard check out our website.

Local Board RPAC Challenge Is On!

New in 2013, we are creating a Local Board RPAC Participation Challenge. We are determined to make all of our goals for 2013 and would love to see a little friendly competition among local boards. We have split the local boards into four groups; small, medium, large and jumbo. We are challenging each board to reach their participation goal outlined below. Of course, we would love to see ALL boards at 100%, but this groups local boards by size to make attaining the goal more realistic for each board.

Group Members Boards/Associations Participation Goal
Small Boards 0-100 Ada, Altus, Bartlesville, Cushing, Duncan, El Reno, Muskogee, North Central, Texoma and Woodward 100%
Medium Boards 101-200 Enid, Lawton, Mid-Del-Moore, Northeast, Shawnee, Southeastern, Southern, Stillwater and Western OK 85%
Large Boards 201-999 Edmond and Norman 70%
Jumbo Boards 1,000+ Oklahoma City and Greater Tulsa 55%

The first board from each category to reach their specific goal will receive recognition on OklahomaRealtors.com, news and social media outlets. The four boards that win the challenge will receive extra recognition at our 2014 Legislative & Economic Summit, where we will present a Challenge Goal Award to the association executive and your leadership.

Don’t forget that new in 2013, only those who invest $15 or more will be counted as participants. Keep in mind the RPAC solicitation rules: you can ONLY solicit REALTOR® members, state and local board affiliate members and REALTOR® family members. RPAC defines family as a spouse, child who is 18 years or older or parent who lives in your household. We have created special contributor cards for family members who wish to contribute. PLEASE make sure the family member completes the investor card in full and turns it in with their contribution. We will again this year depend on the contributions of affiliates and family members to meet our goals.

Check out the Local Board RPAC Challenge page at OklahomaRealtors.com for the most updated information. You can also access both contributor cards and the participation scoreboard from the link.

Please contact OAR Government Affairs & RPAC Liaison Stephanie Gaddy at Stephanie@OklahomaRealtors.com or 405.848.9944 if you have any questions. If you would like a speaker for your membership or committee meetings, let us know that too!

Get Involved in a 2014 NAR Committee

The Committee Recommendation Database on REALTOR.org is now open and accepting recommendations.

Members currently serving on a committee whose term expires in 2013 must submit a recommendation via the Online Committee Recommendation Database if he/she would like to be considered for service in 2014. Committee members are not automatically considered for re-appointment.

Members who have a continuing term that expires in 2014 or 2015 do not need to submit a recommendation to remain on the committee; they will remain until the term expires.

Please note:

  • NAR refers to the request process as a “committee recommendation.” You recommend yourself for the committees you want to serve on. You may also recommend other members for committees they wish to serve on.
  • You can apply for up to 3 Committees/Advisory Boards.
  • Recommendations for 2014 committees closes May 24, 2013.
  • All recommendations must be submitted through the online database.
  • Complete or update your Expertise Profile with key information about you and your profesional experience.
  • Have your REALTOR.org login and password to access these databases.  Contact Information Central at 800-874-6500, InfoCentral@realtors.org for login and password assistance.

If you have any questions, contact Adrienne Kather at 312-329-8434, AKather@realtors.org.

A New Season of InSession Coming Your Way

Richard_Matt_InSessionToday we filmed the first webisode of InSession, OAR’s weekly video blog updating you on what’s happening at the State Capitol that affects our real estate business.

You’ll see new OAR Vice President of Government Affairs Matt Robison jump right in and recap the week with contract lobbyist Richard Phillips. When the video hits your inbox, click on the short video for some great legislative info!

Matt will be a regular contributor to the OARHotsheet, so you’ll see frequent updates and calls for action from him. You’ll get to know him in no time at all.

Congratulations to the 2012 GRI Designees!

Last year, 41 Oklahoma REALTORS® completed the GRI designation. The six courses are taught throughout the year and feature in-state experts like Joyce Painter and Ken McBride and national instructors like Karel Murray, Chris Bird and Amy Smythe-Harris.

OAR wishes to congratulate  these recent graduates and encourage you to join the ranks of industry professionals.

Altus Association of REALTORS®
Renae Pretty

Duncan Board of REALTORS®
Tracy Atkinson

Edmond Board of REALTORS®
Susan Arie
Annette Collier
Tressa Fillmore
Stephanie Hodges
Paula Jones
Mike Melchert

Lawton Board of REALTORS®
Glenn Christiansen

Midwest City-Del City-Moore Association of REALTORS®
Mandy Gulley
Shelly Moore

Norman Board of REALTORS®
Jana Christian
Grace Dwyer
Jill Halloran
Philip Holden-Moses
Linda Rodriguez
Mary Eve Summer

Oklahoma City Metro Association of REALTORS®
Jamie Barnes
Michael Cassettari
Diane Grisham
Greg Hall
Juan Hernandez
Kimberly Houston
Elizabeth Richardson
Daniel Stephens
Claudine Warner

Shawnee Board of REALTORS®
Stan Brown
Shelli Sparkman
Tim Vanlandingham

Southeastern Oklahoma Association of REALTORS®
Connie Campbell
Diana Due

Southern Oklahoma Board of REALTORS®
Jerry Boston

Stillwater Board of REALTORS®
Beverly Carter

Greater Tulsa Association of REALTORS®
Susie Genet
Sandra Haesloop
Margo Krass
Susan Manning
Linda Nelson
Betty Wilhite
Becky Zarecki

Woodward Board of REALTORS®
Michelle Murray

The REALTOR® Institute requires a commitment of time and money that is shown to pay off with higher median income, according to a recent NAR survey. The results show REALTORS® with a professional designation such as GRI, earn  a median income of 74% more than those without.

OAR remains committed to supporting your business. Log on to the Oklahoma GRI page to read more about the program, discount opportunities and a scholarship program. Give serious consideration to adding the GRI designation to your credentials—along with more cash in your pocket.

Mergers: 10 Questions to Begin the Discussion

From all indications, nonprofit organizations continue to explore mergers with other nonprofits at a strong pace. But there were reports in 2012 of several attempted nonprofit mergers that, having been investigated to varying degrees, ultimately failed to result in combinations of the organizations. Why? Perhaps, as in the famous first line of Tolstoy’s Anna Karenina about unhappy families, all of these nonprofit mergers failed for different reasons. But it may be that the “failure rate” can be reduced, or at least the commitment of resources to pursue unlikely mergers could be lessened, if the chances of success were realistically assessed early in merger discussions. To that end, here are some questions for the leadership of each organization to ask as merger discussions get under way.

1. Do the advantages of merging overwhelm the advantages of continuing separately? A few nonprofit mergers are clearly propelled by the existing or prospective decline of one organization or the field it serves; that organization is seeking a “white knight” or “any port in a storm.” But those situations are rare. More often there are just one-too-many organizations serving similar constituencies and incurring inefficiencies through unnecessary competition. If it seems obvious to leaders on both sides at the beginning of nonprofit merger discussions that the two will clearly be “better together,” the chances for eventual success are high.

2. Is there a singular triggering point or special circumstance that makes a merger particularly opportune at this time? Many merger discussions between the leaderships of nonprofits are prompted by unique factors. One organization’s longtime CEO is retiring. Formidable competition to the trade show is appearing on the horizon. Headquarters leases are expiring. The legislature is cooking up an unpalatable meal for the industry, profession or field. It is common for two nonprofits to parlay these kinds of factors into widespread support for a combination.

3. Does support for a merger emanate from only discreet segments of the membership or leadership? An organization with members that have voting rights – on electing leaders, on bylaws changes, on dues increases, or on almost anything – will most likely need the approval of …  Continue reading >>

Download the PDF

Used with permission. Copyright © 2013 Association TRENDS magazine
 AssociationTRENDS.com

NAR Begins REALTOR® Party Campaign

Over the past few years, NAR leadership has taken the necessary steps to help our organization continue its metamorphosis from esteemed trade organization to America’s premier advocacy group. In three short years the REALTOR® Party has taken root and we have begun to fundamentally change the way we see ourselves and our role in society as REALTORS®. This is no small feat and as a member of the Broker Involvement Program we need your help, and the help of your agents, to continue this work. This change is as deep as it is profound.

So, what is the REALTOR® Party? Good question! Many of your agents still aren’t sure what we are talking about. Or what is being asked of them. Or how they join.

The REALTOR® Party Awareness Campaign just launched last week to answer these questions. The goal is to provide  members with easy-to-understand fliers to help them understand what the REALTOR® Party is and what it does for their business. Over the next six weeks we will roll out these new materials on our websites and social media channels. They have been designed to be shareable on Facebook and other social media outlets. It is our hope the materials NAR is providing will help you and your agents better understand how critical it is for REALTORS® across America to come together and speak with one voice.

Here are some ideas:

  1. Visit www.realtoractioncenter.com/realtorparty each week to access the new infographic. There is a downloadable PDF you can print and share with your agents each week.
  2. Post the materials on your internal networks or Facebook/Twitter/Pinterest boards.
  3. Encourage your branch managers and colleagues to share the materials. We want the materials to get in every member’s hand and you are one of our best avenues to do that.
  4. If you have an in-house newsletter or intranet, please share the link there as well.
  5. Share the Week Five infographic. It is specifically tailored to be shared with your clients, if you choose. It helps explain how consumers and REALTORS® work together to protect the dream of home ownership, build vibrant communities and promote a strong U.S. economy.
  6. We also encourage you to use each week’s theme as talking points in your weekly sales meetings with your agents.

Our collective goal is to have everyone understand how critical it is for REALTORS® across America to come together and speak with one voice. Please do your part and share the awareness on the REALTOR® Party.

The REALTOR® Party leadership and the Broker Involvement Council are interested in your feedback, so please don’t be shy about dropping a line to let NAR know what you think or what the reaction has been of your agents.

We look forward to seeing and hearing about the success you had in raising the awareness of what the REALTOR® Party and how it can help build your business and strengthen your community.

If you are not already following us on Facebook, Twitter and Pinterest please do so, and encourage your agents to do so too. It will be the fastest and easiest way to share the materials to their own networks.

Summary of New Qualified Mortgage (QM) Rule

NAR has been actively involved in shaping the debate and structure of the Qualified Mortgage (QM) Rule issued by the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) created by the Dodd-Frank Reform Act.  NAR achieved a significant victory in obtaining a safe harbor in the QM rule for loans underwritten to the automated standards of Fannie Mae/Freddie Mac, the Federal Housing Authority, Veterans Administration and Rural Housing Service (within their respective loan limits) for up to seven years.

For Fannie and Freddie, the safe harbor is for seven years or whenever they leave conservatorship, whichever comes first.  Additionally, loans outside of those backed by the government that do not have risky features and do not have a total debt to income (DTI) of greater than 43 percent will receive safe harbor protections.

The 43 percent DTI cap basically means that if all your debt expenses (including total mortgage payment) do not exceed 43 percent of your gross income (before taxes are withheld) you will qualify for a QM.  Other more risky loans that meet the other criteria but exceed 43 percent DTI will only receive rebuttable presumption protections.

Highlighted below are some of the issues contained in the 804-page QM rule that were of particular concern to NAR.  There are many more provisions that could affect the cost or access to credit.  As the industry and public absorb the implications of various provisions additional issues may arise.  Some elements of the rule will require additional commentary as well.  The interaction of other rules to be issued in the coming weeks may affect the QM rule and its impact on the industry, consumers, or both.  NAR will continue to work with CPFB, Congress, and industry partners to address issues such as the definition of fees and points that are critical to consumers, our industry, and the real estate market overall.

The rule is scheduled to be effective January 10, 2014.

Key Elements in the QM Rule

Fees and Points

The rule requires numerous items to be considered in fees and points when determining for purposes of meeting the 3 percent cap.  Most depend on circumstances too numerous to mention here.

Two items jump out:

  1. There will be circumstances when all or part of appraisal fees will be included; and
  2. There will be times when private mortgage insurance will be included (but not FHA and other government guarantee or insurance fees).

Finally, with regard to the three major elements of HR 4323 “The Consumer Mortgage Choice Act” (112th Congress, Huizenga, Royce, Clay, Scott) or the “3% Cap Bill,” as we often call it, the Bureau addressed two elements directly and the third implicitly.

Double-counting of Loan Originator Compensation

The CFPB has asked for more information.  They recognize the harm of double-counting but apparently view the fees and points cap as a total compensation limit.  In other words, they seem to want to count all revenues from both consumers and secondary market participants toward the 3 percent cap or find a way to account for all of this under the 3 percent cap at least with regard to the loan officer’s compensation.  This could have serious potential to affect quality of service and access to credit depending on how it comes out because it will restrict how much and the manner in which loan officers and mortgage brokers can be compensated beyond loan officer compensation rules.  It would also affect the bottom line on mortgage transactions.

Seller Financing

Seller financers will not be covered by the rule as long as they do five or fewer transactions in any given year.  This is a NAR victory though seller financing may be implicated in other Dodd-Frank rules yet to be released.

Balloon Loans in Rural Areas

The rule allows for limited balloon payment loans to be made in rural areas.

Small Community Lenders

Another provision that would apply to rural areas, but could apply to others, would allow greater flexibility for small community lenders.

Smaller Loans

In a partial victory, the CFPB upped the small loan threshold from the proposed $75,000 to $100,000 and established a tiered fees and points approach that raises the 3 percent as loans get smaller in size from $100,000.

Title and Escrow for Taxes and Insurance

Although the CFPB sympathized with NAR and other industry participants’ concerns regarding title charges, CFPB cited the statutory language in Dodd-Frank as the reason not to address this issue. CFPB failed to address the issue of escrow for taxes and insurance. This issue would be corrected by new legislation in the 113th Congress similar to HR 4323.

Underwriting Standards for some Jumbo Loans

The biggest area of concern with regard to the underwriting standards for QM will be jumbo loans with DTI in excess of 43 percent.  Although loans with these characteristics represent a relatively small percentage of the market, the new QM rule could affect lending in some high cost areas.  Another area of concern regards manually underwritten loans for all loan amount levels with DTI in excess of 43 percent may also suffer.   Manual underwriting can be an effective tool for scenarios where the buyer has some defect that fails them in the automated system but has many compensating factors that indicate they are credit worthy.  Manual underwriting was a common tool, especially in FHA loans, to help borrowers qualify.

Download Summary of Rule

 

OAR Launches Member Web Portal

Portal_screenshotOAR just became more interactive! Today we launched the Member Portal, a member-focused dashboard on OklahomaRealtors.com. The web Portal is a basic interface that allows members to securely update and manage their profile information, view their committees, apply to serve on new committees, peruse the Portal Member Directory and register for conferences and other events. In the future, functionality will be added to manage news subscriptions and search by additional fields like designations and areas of specialization.

The Portal is part of the membership database system, RAMCO (REALTOR® Association Management system COoperative), which OAR adopted earlier last year. The two systems “talk” with each other. For example, registrations for events through the Portal flow into the database system automatically and keep association staff up to date on member activity.

“We’re very excited to be able to offer this added functionality to our members,” said Lisa Noon, OAR CEO. “Through the Portal, members will be able to engage with OAR in a more convenient way and be in control of their membership profile.”

Start using the Portal now!

MyOAR_screenshotClick here to get started. You can also access the Portal anytime you’re on OAR’s website by selecting “My OAR” at the top right of any page. It is only necessary to complete the registration process once, and then log in with your chosen username/password in the future to register for a meeting or class.

And by the way, have you heard of the new Legislative and Economic Summit next month in Oklahoma City? You can register for the Summit through the Portal! Just have your NRDS ID handy to start the Portal’s New User Registration, select “Meetings” from the top menu bar and you’re on your way. (If you don’t know your NRDS ID, don’t worry; you can retrieve it here!)

After you go through the Portal registration, let us know what you think below in the comments.

 

Underused Legal Information Line Ending

At the October 17 Board of Directors meeting of the Oklahoma Association of REALTORS®, it was decided to discontinue the OAR Legal Information Line at the end of 2012.

This decision was not made lightly. Based on an extensive search last year for a new provider, we know that the program we had offered the best service at the best price available. Surveys to designated users of the service indicated a general satisfaction with the program, but no strong desire to keep it in place.

This service has shown a sharp decline in usage over the years. We reached our highest usage in 1999 and 2000 when the program was launched, but the number of calls has dwindled ever since. In fact, we received only 221 calls last year, equating to about $145 per call, making the cost-per-call the highest ever.

Service will be provided through the end of this year, and we will still provide a list of commonly asked questions and answers under the Member Tools section of OklahomaRealtors.com. In addition, you may not be aware that NAR offers an expansive library of legal knowledge at Realtor.org under the Law, Ethics & Policy tab with legal case summaries and a legal trends report.

If you were one of the registered users of this service, we thank you for accessing it, and we appreciate and value your membership in the Oklahoma Association of REALTORS®. Please don’t hesitate to contact OAR if you have any questions about this or any member service.

Membership Dues Explained

Every REALTOR® member pays them every year. But do you know how your annual dues rates are determined?

When you became a REALTOR®, you joined your local board/association and wrote them a check. That check included dues to your local board, the Oklahoma Association of REALTORS® (OAR) and the National Association of REALTORS® (NAR). The convenience of writing one check for all three has its perks. But it could also lead to some confusion about where your money goes and who determines how much you’re paying.

The Local Level

Your local board is usually your first point of contact when it comes to your REALTOR® membership. Many local boards offer education, MLS services and other benefits specific to your area of the state. We asked Mike Cotrill, CEO of the Greater Tulsa Association of REALTORS®, how the Tulsa board’s dues are set:

“Every year our Finance Committee meets to review the proposed budget for the year, which is prepared by staff.  The Finance Committee makes any adjustments they feel are necessary. The budget includes everything we think we will possibly do that year; we strive to reach a balanced budget so when we look at our revenue vs. expenses, if expenses exceed revenue, we then increase dues by the amount necessary to cover the difference. The committee then makes their recommendations to the Board of Directors.  The Board has the final approval of budget and dues amount.”

Tulsa’s Finance Committee is made up of seven Tulsa REALTOR® members, the board’s Chief Financial Officer and Cotrill. Their Board of Directors’ makeup consists of 14 REALTOR® members and three non-voting ex-officio members.

The Norman Board of REALTORS® has a process much like Tulsa’s. Association Executive Shirley Holland said, “Our Board of Directors makes any changes necessary and approves our dues rates.” Norman’s Board of Directors also includes several REALTOR® members.

The State Level

The process at the state level is pretty much the same. “OAR’s Finance Committee makes recommendations to the Board of Directors, which includes REALTOR® members,” states Kacy Bell, Vice Chair of OAR’s Audit & Finance Committee. The OAR Bylaws define the qualifications and how many REALTOR® members each local board can designate as elected state directors:

(1)  Each Member Board shall be entitled to at least one (1) State Director;

(2)  Each Member Board with a total (REALTORS® and REALTOR-ASSOCIATE®s) membership of 150 or more shall receive one (1) additional Director per each 150 members;

(3)  The number of State Directors elected under this Paragraph B for each succeeding year shall be determined by the number of REALTOR® and REALTOR-ASSOCIATE® Members of the Association and each Member Board as shown on the records of the Association on the preceding June 1;

 (4)  For purposes of this Paragraph B only, all REALTOR® and REALTOR-ASSOCIATE® Members-at-large of the Association shall be aggregated and shall be treated as a single, additional Member Board.

Qualification standards are as follows:

A State Director shall be a REALTOR® or REALTOR-ASSOCIATE® Member of a Member Board who is nominated by a Member Board and elected by the Association’s membership at the Annual Meeting as a State Director of the Association and shall be entitled to vote as a Member of the Board of Directors.  Secondary REALTOR® Members and secondary REALTOR-ASSOCIATE® Members may not serve as State Directors.  

The National Level

The pattern continues at the national level. NAR’s Finance Committee, currently made up of 18 REALTORS® who have gone through a rigorous background review for financial experience, makes suggestions to the 800-member Board of Directors for approval.

“We are constantly revisiting member projections in order to set appropriate rates for our members,” said Bill Armstrong, NAR’s 2013 Treasurer. Before assuming the role as treasurer, Armstrong served on the NAR Finance Committee for 8 years.

“Three times per year we meet with Chief Economist Lawrence Yun to go over the financials and anything else that would impact our membership and dues. Obviously if membership is steady or rising, dues rates probably won’t be affected. But if there is a decline in the membership numbers, we have to look at raising dues rates or cutting other programs to compensate.”

It is noteworthy to mention that NAR dues have only increased twice since the mid-90s. Odds are you’re familiar with the latest $40 increase in NAR dues to fund the My REALTOR® Party Initiative. “We had to stay relevant in today’s industry. The $40 is used for political advocacy and two-thirds goes back to the local board for their efforts. These funds ensure we are looking out for the REALTOR® member and the homeowner at the Capitol.”

What is a Special Assessment?

Included in your dues invoice you’ll find what’s called a Special Assessment from NAR. This $35 fee is used for NAR’s Public Advocacy Campaign (2,000 television/5,000 radio spots annually, advocating for REALTORS® and homeownership). Formerly the Public Awareness Campaign, NAR’s national advertising efforts are now focused on the advocacy issues that affect REALTORS® and their clients’ ability to buy, sell and own real estate. Click here to find out more details about this important program.

What happened to OAR’s Special Assessment?

It is true that OAR has charged a $39 Special Assessment in the past. This fee no longer exists on your dues bill because it was only to remain temporarily. The assessment funded what’s known as the Public and Political Survival Fund, which, much like NAR’s Public Advocacy Campaign, funded public awareness campaigns to enhance the image of Oklahoma REALTORS® and OAR’s legislative efforts.

What’s the Takeaway?

As you can see, REALTOR® members just like you are involved in the dues rate setting process every step of the way. They are sitting on finance committees and boards of directors, and are evaluating their boards’ needs along with yours. This is where your voice is heard; including REALTOR® members on committees and boards ensure your fellow members are looking out for your interests.

OAR Makes Contribution to Hurricane Sandy Relief

The Oklahoma Association of REALTORS® recently made a $5,000 contribution to the REALTORS® Relief Foundation for Hurricane Sandy. During the REALTORS® Conference & Expo earlier this month in Orlando, NAR began collecting donations. NAR President Moe Veissi announced NAR would match members’ donations up to $500,000.

NAR created the Foundation within hours of the September 11, 2001 terrorist attacks to provide assistance so that surviving family members could stay in their homes. Since then, more than $22 million has been raised for victims of disasters, including wildfires, tornadoes, floods and hurricanes. Today it exists to provide housing-related assistance to victims of disasters and for other charitable purposes.

Click here to make a donation online.

Oklahoma Wins Two GABBY Awards

OAR has won two separate GABBY awards (NAR’s awards for political advocacy messages and campaigns). LeadershipOAR’s RPAC video won for Best State Newsletter, and our RPAC fundraising e-mails won in the Best Online Fundraising Campaign category.

The awards were announced during NAR’s Conference & Expo in Orlando. OAR Senior Vice President of Government Affairs Charla Slabotsky accepted the awards at the luncheon ceremony.

The 2012 NAR Member Mobilization Liaison John Smaby awarded five state and local associations a GABBY for their achievements in using Convio to deepen member political engagement in REALTOR® Party activities around voting, acting and investing in RPAC. The goal of the GABBY is to highlight the great work associations are doing with powerful tools in support of the REALTOR® Party and shared member engagement goals, and to hopefully inspire peers with new possibilities and best practices.

A big thank-you goes out to everyone who voted!

 

OK State Chamber CEO Fred Morgan Talks About SQ 766

Fred Morgan, President & CEO of the State Chamber of Oklahoma appears on a special webisode of InSession, OAR’s legislative video blog. OAR Senior Vice President of Government Affairs Charla Slabotsky and Contract Lobbyist Richard Phillips talks to Morgan about State Question 766 and the importance of its passage on Tuesday, November 6.

State Question 766 Myths and Facts

The response to our emails on SQ766 has been overwhelming. We appreciate your excitement and enthusiasm to vote YES and help prevent the largest tax increase in Oklahoma’s history. This resource page will help combat some of the misinformation on SQ766.

There are rumors out there that SQ766 will hurt Oklahoma’s education system, or that property taxes will increase if SQ766 passes. These rumors are simply NOT TRUE. You’re encouraged to read the Myths & Facts About SQ766 flier linked from the right, and also a graph which details Oklahoma’s education funding. Simply put:

  • SQ766 will NOT impact school funding; right now intangible personal property taxes make up less than 1% of Oklahoma’s education funding;
  • Oklahomans will pay MORE property taxes if SQ766 fails;
  • If SQ766 fails, it WILL result in the largest tax increase in Oklahoma’s history;
  • If SQ766 fails, Oklahoma will be THE ONLY STATE IN THE UNION that allows ALL intangible personal property to be taxed.

Visit the OAR SQ766 Resource Page: OklahomaRealtors.com/YesOn766

Download this graphic to use on your Facebook and Twitter profiles:

Please share this information with your friends and colleagues, and remember to VOTE YES ON SQ766!

Vote for Oklahoma in NAR GABBY Awards

OAR is a finalist for two separate GABBY awards (NAR’s awards for political advocacy messages and campaigns.) LeadershipOAR’s RPAC video is nominated under Best State Newsletter, and our RPAC fundraising e-mails are nominated under Best Online Fundraising Campaign.

You can vote for both in each separate category by clicking the five stars under the ballot. Go to http://tools.realtoractioncenter.com/gabby. Voting is open through Friday, November 2, and you can vote daily! So PLEASE help us out. Oklahoma REALTORS® have done a great job exceeding the 2012 RPAC goals; this would just be icing on the cake to be recognized for some of the work that went into it!

Remember to vote daily! Here’s what to look for on the NAR Gabby Award Finalists voting page:

Meet Your OAR President

“As OAR President, I wanted to “look under the hood” of this association and assure myself and my fellow members that OAR  is on the right track and being a good steward of our dues.  I am happy to report that I am completely convinced that OAR is a dynamic, well-managed organization that is enjoying growing awareness and respect in Region 9 and the nation as an association on the move.”

It’s a given that being president of the Association is no small task. A peek at the bylaws gives us the nuts and bolts of David Momper’s role:

The President shall preside at all meetings of the Association and at all meetings of the Executive Committee and the Board of Directors.  The President shall appoint all committees unless otherwise directed by the Bylaws or the Board of Directors.  The President shall serve as an ex-officio, non-voting member of all Association committees but shall not be a member of the Nominating Committee nor the REALTOR® of the Year Committee and shall perform all duties and responsibilities as may be directed by the Executive Committee or the Board of Directors.

But does that say it all? Of course not. We spoke with David about his role as OAR President:

OAR: What do you feel is your role in the state association as president?
David: I feel my role as President is to preside over all meetings of the Executive Committee and the Board of Directors, to give direction and support to committees, to uphold the bylaws of the Association, to advance the objectives of our Strategic Plan, and to be the spokesperson for the Association.

David Momper and Governor Mary Fallin on the day the Broker Relationships Act was signed into law. It goes into effect November 1, 2013.

OAR: How is 2012 going for you in that role so far?
David: 2012 is going magnificently! I have a great leadership team, great committee chairs and members and an excellent staff supporting me. We had a great legislative year, thanks to Charla Slabotsky, Gary Griffith and the Government Affairs Committee. We are knocking out most of our Strategic Plan, and thanks to our Association CEO Lisa Noon, we have renegotiated our banking, accounting and benefit programs and made many operational improvements. We are rewriting our governance documents, which is long overdue and reviewing just about everything we used to do. Many of you have heard me say in my appearances around the state that Lisa Noon really makes me look good. She’s the one who really deserves credit for a great year.

OAR: Why is it important to you to be in a leadership role?
David: I believe it is important to be in a leadership role for self preservation. Just as it is important to invest in RPAC and to be aware at all times of issues affecting the real estate industry, it is also important that one participates in the governance process of his business and profession. Decisions are made every day locally, statewide and nationally that affect my livelihood. Who better than me to oversee and participate in the process and control the outcome? If you snooze, you lose.

Secondly, I just feel a sense of duty to give back to an industry that has been very good to me. Teddy Roosevelt said it best, “Every man owes a part of his time and money to the industry in which he is engaged. No man has a right to withhold his support from an organization that is striving to improve conditions.”

OAR: Do you have any funny or interesting moments you’ve experienced as president?
David: There have been many memorable moments in my journey through the leadership chairs. As president, I will always remember joining Governor Mary Fallin at the State Capitol for the signing of the Revised Broker Relationships Act, being on stage in Washington, D.C. for the REALTOR® Rally at the Washington Monument, and I will never forget the night in D.C. that NAR President, Moe Veissi, surprised me and the rest of the Oklahoma delegation at dinner to wish me a happy birthday. He’s a great leader!

2012 NAR President Moe Veissi wishes David a Happy Birthday in Washington during the NAR Midyear Legislative Meetings.

Your Help Could Push Us To Our Goal

We only need 755 NEW RPAC investors to reach the coveted Triple Crown Award! This is a goal that Oklahoma has never met, and this year, we’ve reached all other goals except this one. Our goal for member participation is 37 percent of our membership contribute at least $1 to RPAC.

It’s very simple. You can click this link to make an online investment OR you can just attach $1 to your business card and turn it in to your broker, local board office or to OAR. If you have any questions, call 800.375.9944.

Remember: we need NEW INVESTORS!

Ask your spouse to give $1 – yes, they count, too!

And keep in mind the following deadlines so you can be sure to make it count for 2012!

Friday, October 12
Deadline for RPAC Recognition at OAR Education Conference & Trade Show

Friday, October 19
Year End Deadline for 2012 RPAC funds

 

*Contributions are not deductible for income tax purposes. Contributions to RPAC are voluntary and are used for political purposes. The amount suggested is merely a guideline and you may contribute more or less than the suggested amount. You may refuse to contribute without reprisal and the National Association of REALTORS® or any of its state associations or local boards will not favor or disfavor any member because of the amount contributed. 70% of each contribution is used by your state PAC to support state and local political candidates. Until your state PAC reaches its RPAC goal, 30% is sent to National RPAC to support federal candidates and is charges against your limits under 2 U.S.C. 441a; after the state PAC reaches its RPAC goal it may elect to retain your entire contribution for use in supporting state and local candidates.

ABR® Is Advertising on HGTV for You!

Be sure to visit HGTV.com today and tomorrow because you and everyone else that visits the site will see ads encouraging consumers to use an ABR® designee for all of their home buying needs. When the advertisement is clicked, the viewer is directed to the consumer area of REBAC.net. In addition, there is advertising all over the site throughout the month of October. Check it out and let us know what you think!

Time to Register for Oklahoma’s Biggest REALTOR® Education Blitz

October 17-18 are the dates to plan to be in Tulsa for the OAR Education Conference & Trade Show. You’ve waited all year since last year’s smash hit; now make it a big hit in Tulsa where we’re “Putting the Home in Oklahoma!”

Keynoting will be personal safety expert Andrew Wooten talking about “Sex, Drugs and Open Houses.” Other speakers like Amy Smythe Harris and Mike Lyon will take your business higher through technology and prospecting techniques.

Other conference highlights are local experts Joyce Painter and Larry Starbuck, core class fave Pat Strong, economist Mark Dotzour and tax guru Chris Bird.

You’ll ring in the “New Year” as Joe Pryor of Edmond is inaugurated as your 2013 president. The evening includes recognizing the 2012 Open Door Award and REALTOR® of the Year recipients too. It’s a dressed up, glitzy affair!

Pick up cool giveaways and valuable referrals on the Trade Show floor plus a number of other events sprinkled throughout the conference.

See the whole picture and register TODAY. Follow the conference conversation on Twitter: 

RPR Opens to All REALTORS® November 1

Have you heard of the REALTORS® Property Resource® (RPR)? It is a national property database from NAR designed to provide REALTORS® with advanced technology tools and features needed to provide your clients and customers with dynamic reports and analytics. These features can assist you in helping your clients and customers make informed decisions when buying or selling property.  With access to hundreds of datasets on over 147 million properties nationwide, RPR allows you to remain at the center of the transaction, and to keep ahead of your technology empowered consumers.

RPR is

  • Exclusive technology only for REALTORS®
  • One site, hundreds of datasets on 147 million properties
  • Allows no public or consumer access

We are thrilled to announce that beginning on November 1, 2012, RPR will be available to all REALTORS® across the country. That means that over 147 million properties nationwide will be at your fingertips!  Imagine being able to access the following in one location:

  • Tax assessment / public records on 147 million parcels of property in the U.S.
  • Mortgage and lien information
  • Nationwide school data, test scores and parent reviews
  • Dynamic mapping: School Zones, Neighborhoods, Zip Codes, Cities, FEMA etc.
  • Geo-spatial data including aerial photography, street level and bird’s eye view
  • Census, demographic and lifestyle data
  • Neighborhood information

Awesome, right? If your MLS has partnered with RPR to include your MLS data in the system, you also will have access to:

  • Your listings, photos and virtual tours
  • Largest national database by county of foreclosure, pre-foreclosure, REO and default
  • MLS active, sold, pending, expired, withdrawn and canceled statuses
  • Historic listing comparison tool
  • REALTOR® Valuation Model® (RVM®)
  • Refine property facts, comparables and RVM® for custom valuation report
  • Charts and graphs will include trends calculated from MLS data

Excited? We are too! Starting November 1, these features will be available to you at no additional cost. We want to encourage you to take advantage of RPR, and all it has to offer. Not sure if your MLS has partnered with RPR? Click here to find out.

See how other REALTORS® across the country are successfully using RPR with their clients and customers at www.myrpr.com Here’s one example:

You will receive additional information as the launch approaches. Meanwhile, please feel free to visit the RPR Blog for more information or sign up for a training class. And mark your calendars for November 1!

Meet Your President-Elect

“Leadership to me is learning more about what you don’t know than what you do know.”

This year’s president-elect is Joe Pryor, Redbud Realty & Associates, Edmond. Known for his tech-savvy online videos, Pryor brings so much more to the Association than catchy sales pitches.

When asked what he hopes to accomplish in his leadership role at OAR, Joe replied, “To uphold the values of traditional real estate that should never change, but adapt to a technological world that sometimes seems to move at the speed of light. I also want to place a special emphasis on expanding education for real estate as a business–not just a profession–and to excite this new generation about the opportunities that come from an industry that sets no limits on you and is all about equal opportunity.”

Joe has been in real estate for 22 years. Previous to that, he owned home electronics stores for 16 years. So much of his adult life has been devoted to running a business and servicing the community. He has been a featured speaker in meetings outside the state and is also an approved instructor for real estate continuing education.

“Leadership is all about helping to make a difference and hopefully make it easier for those who follow in leadership. It is also a privilege and a pleasure to be around others who feel the same way. You have the ability to collaborate with great people, and it also benefits you personally by surrounding yourself with those who care enough to make the time to contribute.”

We asked Joe how 2012 has treated him so far and if he had any unique experiences to share: “2012 has been an intense learning experience, which has been made easier by the leadership team and the great staff that OAR is lucky to have. It makes me look forward to 2013 with optimism and confidence.

“And, this may sound like an inside joke, but because of the REALTOR® Rally and a regional caucus at the NAR Midyear Meetings last spring in Washington, I may become known as the ‘Dancing President’. If the Olympics ever has a freestyle dancing event, I may be a contender.”

How to Not Be a Stalking Victim

September is REALTOR® Safety Month and a time to highlight one of the 2012 OAR Education Conference’s speakers. Andrew Wooten  is a nationally known trainer in personal safety, teaching you how to live, work and play more safely. He has some terrific ideas on not being a victim of stalking.

Stalking is the number one crime against women in the real estate industry. We often work in unfamiliar areas and with strangers. It’s part of our job to be nice to everyone. However, often your niceness is often misinterpreted as suggestive behavior. I can’t tell you how many agents have told me that the day after working with new clients the spouse has shown up in their office parking lot, their favorite lunch spot or their supermarket, making them feel uncomfortable. While maintaining our professionalism, we need to take precautions to ensure our safety.

Stalking generally starts out being nice and complementary. But once the stalkers advances are rejected they often become angry and hostile. Be prepared! Here are five quick preventative stalker tips.

1. Examine your social media pages.
How much information are you sharing? Can someone easily track your schedule and figure out where you are or will be?
2. Find your local fire station.
If you feel like you are being followed on your way home, go to the fire department. Even if the fire trucks and EMTs are out on calls, there is still someone there.
3. Lighting
Criminals love well lit houses, it lets them see what they are doing. However, they have shared with me that motion detector lighting is their biggest enemy. Motion detector lights make people look and criminals don’t want to be noticed.
4. Establish a buddy system.
When you do open houses, listing appointments, showings or visit vacant properties, take someone with you. Remember our mothers told us there was safety in numbers? If this is impossible, be sure to check in with your buddy and that someone knows where you are, when you are supposed to return and who you are with at all times.
5. Be proactive!
Find you local resources; like domestic violence centers, victims service centers and mentor. Spending four hours a month at one of these facilities will provide you knowledge and skills along with paying it forward and remember, the best defense is a good offense.Should you find yourself a victim of stalking, visit the resource page at JustBeSafe.com for the steps to take.

To see Andrew and other fantastic real estate speakers at this year’s OAR Education Conference & Trade Show, log on to OARConference.com!

 

Nominations for OAR 2013 Officers and Directors Announced

In accordance with Article VII, Section 2 of the Bylaws of the Oklahoma Association of REALTORS®, each Member Board/Association president is hereby notified of the nominations made by the OAR Nominating Committee for OAR 2013 officers and the OAR 2013-14 elected state directors.

Please note that Article VII, Section 2 of the Bylaws also provides that “any Member may nominate a qualified candidate for any office, except the office of President, provided the nomination is in writing signed by thirty (30) additional Members and the nominee and delivered to the office of the Association at least fifteen (15) days prior to the Annual Meeting.  The names of all nominees shall be mailed by the Association to Member Boards in care of their Presidents for dissemination to their Members and to all Members who are Members-at-large prior to the Annual Meeting.  The names of all nominees shall be posted in at least two (2) places in the meeting room at the Annual Meeting.  The election shall be held during the Annual Meeting by secret, written ballot where there is more than one (1) nominee for an office.”  The deadline to receive additional nominees in the OAR offices is October 2, 2012.

Election for the offices noted above will be held at OAR’s Annual Membership Meeting, October 17, 2012, at the Renaissance Tulsa Hotel & Convention Center, Tulsa, Oklahoma. To register for the Education Conference and Trade Show, please visit www.OARConference.com.

By action of the Nominating Committee of the Oklahoma Association of REALTORS® the following slate of nominees is presented:

2013 OAR Officers

2013 OAR President-Elect: Mary Terry, Ada
2013 OAR Treasurer: Kacy Bell, Tulsa
2013 OAR Secretary: Chuck Harris, OKC
2013 District 1 Vice President: Tom Andrew, Enid
2013 District 3 Vice President: Jerry Boston, Southern OK
2013 District 5 Vice President: Steve Mann, OKC


State Directors (2013-2014):
(Nominated by their individual local board/association as noted below)

Ada Mary Huckeby
Bartlesville Larry Stumpff
Duncan James Livingston
Edmond Patricia Ayling
Tonya Coffman
Karen Blevins
Kathy Sparger
GTAR Pete Galbraith
Lee Chinowth
Neil Daily
Kelly Simmons
Kenny Tate
Muskogee Sherri Jones
Norman Tony Graham Kathy Williams
OKCMAR Andrea Frymire
Gigi Faulkner
Lorna Koeninger
Marolyn Pryor
Barbara Harris
Bart Binning
Larry Starbuck
Maggie Shirk
Stillwater James McCollom
Woodward Ted Rose

Help Oklahoma Reach the RPAC Triple Crown Award

Every year the National Association of REALTORS® challenges Oklahoma RPAC to meet specific goals, including major investor, fair sharePresident’s Circle and participation goals. This year Oklahoma RPAC has met every goal EXCEPT for member participation.

Our goal for member participation is 37 percent of our membership contribute at least $1 to RPAC. We have never received the Triple Crown Award in the history of Oklahoma RPAC.

We are SO close and need your help!

We are asking for your help today reaching our goal.  All you need to do is attach $1 to your business card.  You can turn the contribution in to your broker, local AE, RPAC Trustee, mail it in to the OAR office or contribute online.  We want to make this as convenient as possible.

If you have any questions, please contact Stephanie Gaddy at the Oklahoma Association of REALTORS® by email at Stephanie@OklahomaRealtors.com or call 405-848-9944.

Remember: it takes RPAC to keep our industry strong!

Decisions Impacting Your Business Are Made Here

At the head table for OAR Board of Directors meetings, you’ll see the leadership team—president (who leads the meetings), president-elect, secretary, treasurer, the CEO and parliamentarian. Each one plays a role in the meeting, seeing that the important business matters are property presented and explained.

But there are many more volunteers behind the leadership team who all play an important role in the governance of this 8,300-member association. For example, serving on the OAR Board of Directors are:

  • One representative from each of the 23 local boards plus one additional director per each 150 local members;
  • Local board presidents;
  • Two members appointed by the OAR president;
  • All OAR past presidents;
  • All Oklahoma members who serve on the NAR Board of Directors;
  • The current REALTORS® Commercial Alliance (RCA) chairman and vice chairman;
  • And the OAR chief executive officer, in an ex-officio, non-voting capacity.

“Anyone is welcome to attend meetings,” says OAR CEO Lisa Noon. “We have board seating area for voting members and a gallery section for guests.” Immediately following the October board meeting is the Annual Membership meeting where bylaws changes are ratified by the general membership.

So how does the leadership of an organization 8,300 members strong hear the needs of both today and tomorrow? According to Past President Theresa Stewart of Ada, “You give them a voice through a viable board of directors. And as leaders, it’s our job to know what the needs of the members are.”

Between the Board and the local associations are six District Vice Presidents (DVPs) who serve as liaisons. One of these DVPs represents the commercial members statewide, and the other five represent geographic areas. DVPs play an important role, hearing concerns and ideas at the local level, and then bringing these to the state level.

The composition of the board allows for varying levels of experience to be represented on the board. Local board presidents may be attending their first meeting and bring with them the new perspectives while a number of past presidents temper that standpoint with years of state business experience.

Finally, members serving in volunteer committee and work group positions each year make recommendations to the finance and executive committees who then evaluate and pass on motions to the directors. Typically the committee’s chairman presents the motion and is available to answer questions during discussion. “Committees are the engine of OAR,” commented OAR President David Momper of Tulsa. “They have very specific goals and areas of responsibility to oversee the many programs and services that bring value to the REALTOR® membership.”

Stewart sums up by saying, “When I was president of OAR, my ability to implement tools of value would not have been possible without those on the board. Each member throughout the state had representation sitting in the room, and the decisions affecting their everyday business took place. Our Board of Directors has proven to be a fair and effective means to our state’s continued progressive success for its members.”

See the members of the OAR Board of Directors on OklahomaRealtors.com.

OAR Committees Give Members a Voice

You might say OAR committees are the “glue” that holds the Association together, that shape its future. Committees brainstorm ideas, discuss opportunities and help make decisions on important issues, such as political, legislative, educational and various other areas that affect your everyday job as a real estate professional.

How can you get involved?

Any OAR member can serve on an OAR committee. Find something that interests you from the complete list of OAR committees and send in a committee request form before October 1. In mid-October the OAR president and president-elect meet to discuss each request and appoint committee chairs, vice-chairs and members. Finally, at the following  OAR Board of Directors meeting in February, the list is ratified.

What’s it like to serve?

We asked a couple of our committee chairs to share their thoughts on serving on an OAR committee:

“Committees are what makes OAR an organization where the members have a voice. Without them, it would just be a business. Each person who serves brings with them their own unique experiences, expertise and knowledge. That individual and unique perspective is what challenges our organization to grow as a whole and our members to learn from each other.  When we push for change and improvement, it helps all of us.”

Carolyn Thompson, Association Meetings Committee Chair

 

“I am proud to say that the Government Affairs Committee has had a near perfect success rate, both in getting wanted and needed legislation passed and also successfully defeating issues we see as threatening or bad for our industry and the general population. The OAR staff is phenomenal in this area; they are fantastically effective.

To me, it is vital for our members to serve on committees. If we do not fulfill our obligation to add our insight and voice, we will lose that voice and decisions will be made by an ever-shrinking few.  We lose our relevance and fall out of touch to what is really happening and important to our industry.  The more diverse the participation in the life of OAR, the better the decisions will be and the better the service to members will become.”

Gary Griffith, Government Affairs Committee Chair

GSEs to Raise Mortgage Fees Later This Year

Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac will raise their single-family-mortgage guarantee fees by an average of 10 basis points—aka 1/10 of a percent—by the end of the year. So called g-fees are essentially insurance against borrower defaults. (For comparison’s sake, F&F raised their g-fees by 26 basis points in 2010 and 28 basis points in 2011.)

Two reasons for the raise: First, to increase the cost of GSE loans closer to that of private ones, hopefully encouraging lenders to enter the market. Second, to help pay for tax cuts — essentially raising a fee to lower a tax.

HousingWire explains:

Lawmakers voted last year to raise g-fees in order to pay for a previous round of tax cuts. The Congressional Budget Office estimated at the time the increases would bring in $3.3 billion and $4.6 billion in revenue lost from the tax cuts per year.

Lenders pass these costs to the homebuyer, meaning taxpayers are essentially paying for their own tax cuts.

And, it reports, the fee increases may not be over, as Congress looks for ways to raise money as it approaches the “fiscal cliff” it created for itself, which will trigger higher taxes and lower spending in January.

Oklahoma Real Estate Commission Revises Contract Forms

The Oklahoma Real Estate Commission (OREC) recently made changes to some existing forms and added new contracts and addenda, which will be effective November 1. You will see them noted on the commission’s website as revised.

There will be no caravan education sessions on the contracts this year as there were very minor changes made to the base contracts (Residential Sales, New Home, Vacant Lot, Commercial Improved and Commercial Land).  The changes to these contracts are as follows:

  1. The lead-in paragraph was amended relating to Contract counterparts to mean (carbon, photo, fax or other electronic copy);
  2. Paragraph 1. Legal Description water rights was removed as it was insinuating that water rights could be reserved by the Seller;
  3. Paragraph 10. Taxes, Assessments and Prorations paragraph changes were made relating to Homeowner’s Association assessments and dues to include governmental and municipal special assessments;
  4. The Seller Financing form had formatting changes;
  5. Standard Clauses had number 16 added relating to reservation of oil and gas mineral interest; and
  6. the Contract Pamphlet had changes to reflect the above amendments.

The new contracts developed by the Contract Committee this year will be noted as new on the OREC website as follows:

  1.  Residential Lease
    • Residential Lease Application
    • Residential Lease Agreement Deposit Receipt
    • Flood Notice Form (Notice to Tenant)
    • Landlord and Tenants “You Need to Know” Information Guide
  2. Farm, Ranch and Recreational Land Contract
    • Exhibit A
    • Exhibit B
    • Conventional Loan
    • Accessories
    • Removal of Livestock
    • Legal Description

The Commission determined that no education sessions would be offered on the new forms since these forms were developed for those licensees who specialize in those particular areas.

View the Uniform Contract and Related Addenda page of the OREC website. Any questions about the forms may be directed to the OREC office: 405-521-3387 or orec.help@orec.ok.gov.

10 Ways to Avoid Procuring Cause Disputes

By Don and Alice Martin,
Martin Consulting Solutions

1. Dismiss all the myths you have held to be gospel for years,
such as: “he who writes the contract is the procuring cause of the transaction” or “he who shows the house is the procuring cause of the transaction.”

It’s probable that most of the time the one who writes the contract IS the procuring cause. However, when there is a competing claim for the commission, all rules and probabilities are out and the merits of the particular situation determine the outcome. The only “rules” about procuring cause that are relevant is that there are “no rules” about predetermined entitlements to compensation.”

Many people say, “It isn’t the way it used to be; the rules have changed about procuring cause.” Actually, they haven’t. What has happened is that REALTORS® are learning what procuring cause is and isn’t. Its definition has been around for a long time.

2. Learn and understand basic procuring cause definitions.
Procuring cause is defined legally and in the NAR Code of Ethics and Arbitration Manual as: A broker will be regarded as the “procuring cause” of a sale, so as to be entitled to commission, if his efforts are the foundation on which the negotiations resulting in a sale are begun. A cause originating a series of events which, without break in their continuity, result in accomplishment of prime objective of the employment of the broker who is producing a purchaser ready, willing, and able to buy real estate on the owner’s terms. Mohamed v. Robbins, 23 Ariz. App. 195, 531 p.2d 928, 930.

3. Don’t ignore your buyers or make them angry.
Avoid those “breaks” in the transaction by providing your buyers with good service. For example, accompany them when they look at property — always.

Do you know what “abandonment” and “estrangement” mean? If you do, you will likely do what’s necessary to prevent them from happening. Each is a major “break” in the transactional process which could change who the procuring cause could be. The Code of Ethics and Arbitration Manual says:

Panels will consider whether, under the circumstances and in accord with local custom and practice, the broker made reasonable efforts to develop and maintain an ongoing relationship with the purchaser. Panels will want to determine, in cases where two cooperating brokers have competing claims against a listing broker, whether the first cooperating broker actively maintained ongoing contact with the purchaser or, alternatively, whether the broker’s inactivity, or perceived inactivity, may have caused the purchaser to reasonably conclude that the broker had lost interest or disengaged from the transaction (abandonment). In other instances, a purchaser, despite reasonable efforts by the broker to maintain ongoing contact, may seek assistance from another broker. The panel will want to consider why the purchaser was estranged from the first broker. In still other instances, there may be no question that there was an ongoing relationship between the broker and purchaser; the issue then becomes whether the broker engaged in conduct, which caused the purchaser to terminate the relationship (estrangement). This can be caused, among other things, by words or actions.

Have you abandoned or estranged a buyer lately? If you have and you are expecting a commission in that situation, you will probably not have earned it.

4. Review the NAR fact scenarios and arbitration guidelines
(Code of Ethics and Arbitration Manual) for examples of common situations which often lead to disputes. Recognize any similarities to ascertain the probable outcome in your transactions and take steps to avoid mistakes that could lead to an unfavorable result in your own situation.

5. Make sure you have been offered a commission by procuring the buyer in the first place.
This normally happens through MLS, wherein the listing broker offers cooperation and compensation to any MLS Participant who is the procuring cause of the sale. If the property isn’t listed in your MLS, then you need to obtain permission from the listing broker to show it and to ascertain whether and how much you’ll be paid if you are the procuring cause. Do this before you show it!! Get it in writing.

6. Talk to your buyers
about how commissions are generally paid. If they know that you may not be paid a commission under certain circumstances, they may be more inclined to stick with you.

7. Understand that your agency relationship with a buyer (whether exclusive or not) does not affect procuring cause.
Procuring cause is “property specific”, not “agent-specific.” If you think that merely because you have an agency relationship with the buyer it guarantees that you will or should be paid the cooperating compensation from the listing broker, think again. Again, you must have taken the necessary steps to be identified as the broker who was responsible for the buyer buying that property without a break in the process.

8. Encourage your buyers to enter into an exclusive buyer broker employment agreement with you.
While this will not guarantee you to be identified as the procuring cause of a transaction, it may help your buyer to understand the benefits of working with just one agent and will give you an option to collect compensation from the buyer should you not be the procuring cause.

9. COMMUNICATE!!
… with the other agents involved, your buyer, the seller, anyone who is involved in the transaction or potential transaction with regard to compensation. If you see there may be a potential problem or you have a “live” problem, get on the phone (usually to the listing agent or the other cooperating agent) and discuss the problem. Be prepared to share the commission if it appears it’s appropriate. Solve the problem before it becomes one.

The typical situation arises when you discover that “your” buyers have seen the property you are ready to write an offer on with another agent. You knew nothing about that showing and have followed all the “rules” about educating your buyers, etc., etc. But, your buyers go off and do something many buyers do – they don’t want to “bother” you and stop at an open house or a new home subdivision or call on a sign, JUST to see what they think of the property. They don’t think that will affect the relationship between you and them. The agent at the open house tells them all kinds of neat things about the house plus a couple of things no one else knew about. They are ready to buy and come to you to write the contract. This is the time for you to call the listing agent and say, “What can we do about this?” It won’t always prevent a future dispute, but it usually goes a long way to doing so.

10. MEDIATE!!
If all of the suggestions above have not been successful and you find yourself involved in a formal dispute, give mediation a try before you go to a formal hearing. Mediation is a win-win method of dispute resolution. You may not get everything you think you’re entitled to, but you may get more than you might receive through the hearing process. And, most importantly, you have resolved the dispute relatively amicably as opposed to the more adversarial arbitration option. You have a definite voice in a mediation resolution whereas in arbitration, you have none.

If the mediation results in a resolution, you will share the commission; if you lose in an arbitration hearing, you get nothing. And, if you don’t like how a mediation conference is progressing, you can stop and go on to arbitration. Mediation doesn’t result in a binding resolution unless EVERYONE agrees.

Don’t Miss NAR’s National Workforce Housing Forum

You are invited to join the National Association of REALTORS® along with your peers and colleagues on Wednesday, October 10 at the historic Congress Plaza Hotel in Chicago for the Bring Workers Home: 2012 Workforce Housing Forum.

As the nation continues to seek solutions to the housing crisis facing our country, the need to help working families live in an affordable home near their workplace is more important than ever. Workforce housing is a key part of the real estate market, particularly first-time home buyers.

The Forum, which takes place from 8:30 am to 4:30pm, will focus on the importance of workforce housing in today’s market and in the future; workforce housing challenges in communities; and strategies and best practices to address these challenges. You’ll be given access to a wealth of information, resources and contacts.

Bring Workers Home will feature an outstanding lineup of speakers, including:

  • Eric Belsky, Harvard Joint Center for Housing Studies
  • Paul Bishop, NATIONAL ASSOCIATION OF REALTORS®
  • Randi DeHollander, Tri-Valley Home Ownership Center
  • Samantha DeKoven, Metropolitan Planning Council
  • Chis Estes, National Housing Conference
  • Jim Flaherty, City of Philadelphia
  • Jacky Grimshaw, Center for Neighborhood Technology
  • Kim Herman, Washington State Housing Finance Commission
  • Mary Kenney, Illinois Housing Development Authority
  • Donald Manekin, Seawall Development
  • John Mcllwain, Senior Resident Fellow, Urban Land Institute
  • JoAnne Poole, NATIONAL ASSOCIATION OF REALTORS®
  • Antonio Riley, HUD Regional Administrator, Region V
  • Dawn Stockmo, National Community Stabilization Trust
  • Brenda Torpy, Champlain Housing Trust
  • Maurice “Moe” Veissi, 2012 NAR President

See the complete agenda at www.realtor.org/housingforums.

Don’t miss out on this opportunity to learn from workforce housing experts, connect with your peers and share your story in a dynamic learning environment. It’s full of examples of great programs associations can learn from.

Special Training Opportunity: Employer-Assisted Housing Class
Maximize your forum experience by participating in NAR’s Employer-Assisted Housing Class Thursday, October 11 from 9:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m.

Designed for real estate professionals and their partners, this class will help you understand the benefits of employer-assisted housing and how to work with employers to assist them to implement an EAH benefit plan at their workplace.

Space is limited in the class, so register early! You are encouraged to register as soon as possible to confirm your participation. Online registration will close on September 28.

Questions?
Please contact Holly Moskerintz at hmoskerintz@realtors.org.

Bruce Aydt to Teach New Broker Relationships Act Course

OREC has approved an expenditure of $14,250 from the Education and Recovery Fund to contract with Bruce Aydt for Broker Relationships education. Bruce is an attorney and REALTOR® from Missouri who developed the original Broker Relationships Act course. The contract includes development of course content and education materials, one presentation to OREC staff and all BRA instructors, and four presentations to licensees (two in Tulsa and two in OKC.)

OREC expects staff and instructor training to be held in January and the licensee courses to be held in April. We will post updates as we receive them.

New OREC Forms Available November 1

At their August meeting, OREC approved new and revised forms effective November 1. Many of the new forms focus on rentals and property management, something our members have been asking for in recent months.

New forms include:  Residential Lease Application; Residential Lease; Residential Lease Agreement Deposit Receipt; Flood Notice Form; “You Need to Know” Information Guide for Property Management; Occupancy Agreement; Farm, Ranch and Recreational Land Contract; and Farm and Ranch Supplemental Forms.

Amended forms include:  Residential Sales; Commercial Improved; Commercial Land; New Home Construction; Vacant Lot and Land; and Standard Clauses.

After being approved by OREC, these forms have been sent to members of OREC’s Contract Forms Committee.  Once we receive the final version of the forms, OAR will distribute to each local board/association.

Unsung Partners

While we don’t often write about the men and women who run REALTOR® associations and/or MLSs at the state and local level, through a group of CEOs of 14 such organizations, we have had the opportunity to get to know them intimately and to critique their operations and management. Despite what many brokerage leaders think, many of these association leaders are as competent, if not more competent, at organizational effectiveness than many of the brokerage firms we deal with.

For the most, part they are extremely well organized, have detailed plans and strategies, well developed staff roles and responsibilities and have worked well with shrinking budgets and higher service demands. They are smart about what is going on in the business and have strong beliefs in their role in the brokerage industry. [Personally, I think] brokerage firms would do well to spend some time observing up close how these leaders run their organizations and how to be more organizationally effective themselves.

Continue reading this REAL Trends article.

Win One of Two Prizes

In an effort to better serve our members, OAR is reviewing its long-term priorities and current programs, services and communication tools. Our goal is to contribute to your success by providing the most valuable, cost-effective services and benefits you need and want as OAR members.

We need your help! The OAR Board of Directors and staff have prepared a survey to assess how well we are serving you and to help us improve on our impacts, member benefits and services in the future. This survey was emailed to all OAR members on July 8 and reminder emails were sent July 15. We’ve already received a great number of responses; thank you to those who have already given us your feedback. Additional reminder emails will be sent in the next couple weeks to members who have not yet completed the survey.

PLUS, by completing the survey by July 31, 2012, your name will be entered to win one of two prizes: A $100 Lowe’s gift card and a $50 Staples gift card!

OAR thanks you in advance for your feedback; we value your opinion as loyal OAR members.

Bartlesville AE Wins Legal Information Line Survey Drawing

Congratulations to Shelly Oakley, Bartlesville Association of REALTORS® Association Executive, for winning the Target gift card giveaway from OAR’s recent Legal Information Line survey! The survey was developed for subscribers to the information service in order to gather opinions on the quality of information provided by the new attorney, Tyler Leonard of Riggs, Abney, Neal, Turpen, Orbison & Lewis, of Tulsa.

Almost 70 percent of the respondents thought their recent calls to the Line were answered satisfactorily. Although an overwhelming majority of them had to leave a message, their calls were returned within 24 hours.

Seventy-five percent said they thought the attorney was an expert in the field of real estate law, and most said there was no difference in quality between the previous and the new attorney fielding calls.

OAR strives to offer the best services available to further the success of Oklahoma REALTORS®. The Legal Information Line is available to the broker and one assigned caller in each office. This structure encourages agents to work through their broker with potentially volatile situations, allowing for adequate supervision. If you have any questions about any of the benefits you receive as an OAR member, please contact us.

See If You Still Need NAR Quadrennial Code of Ethics Training

The National Association of REALTORS® says you must take it! The Code of Ethics is not just a required course for NAR membership; it sets REALTORS® apart from a regular real estate licensee. December 31, 2012 is the end of another four-year cycle in which you must complete Code of Ethics training for your REALTOR® membership. OAR offers it continually online and will also be available at the Education Conference & Trade Show in Tulsa October 17-18! To access the online class, click the “Recent Classes” tab on our online education portal.

If you’re not sure if you’ve taken the Quadrennial Code of Ethics, here are the steps:

  1. Sign in to REALTOR.org with your NRDS username and password
  2. On your account page, click on “Change your member data profile (NRDS)” under “Update Other NAR Accounts”
  3. Click on “View My Education Records”
  4. If there are no records listed, contact your LOCAL Board of REALTORS®
  5. If you see classes listed, verify that one of these course numbers is there:
    1. 2009C3
    2. 20091
    3. 2010C3
    4. 20101
    5. 2011C3
    6. 20111
    7. 2012C3
    8. 20121

If you have one of these eight course numbers, you have completed your Code of Ethics training and comply with the third quadrennial requirement. If you have a class number of 20092C2, 20102C2, 20112C2 or 20122C2, the class record is for the second quadrennial cycle and does not qualify for this cycle. Don’t worry—there’s still time to complete the requirement!

What Grabs Your Interest?

Are you passionate about education? Does government affairs get you excited? Maybe you have a niche for public relations and awareness. Here’s where you can turn your interest into a working passion: OAR committees.

There is a large amount of work and decision-making at OAR that is carried out by standing committees. We depend on volunteers with the insight into the issues affecting REALTORS® today and in the future. If you feel you have ideas to contribute and the time to give, you are encouraged to serve on a committee.

Please fill out and submit this form by October 1, and we will contact you when the time comes to select new committees. The process of forming committees begins in October every year.

If you have any questions about committees, contact OAR Association Liaison Ginger Booth.

Seeking Community Service Rock Stars

OAR is now accepting nominations for the Open Door 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 and the best 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 the charity of their choice.

Be a star for your community or charity. Nominate yourself or a fellow rock star today. The deadline for nominations is July 27, 2012.

Join OAR and Celebrate RPAC Spirit Day

It’s likely at some point in your involvement with your local board/association and OAR you’ve heard about the importance of RPAC.  You know that RPAC plays an important role in our Association and the real estate industry to remove obstacles and make you more successful.

OAR is declaring July 5 RPAC Spirit Day as a way to encourage its employees to contribute to RPAC! What’s more all-American than supporting the PAC that supports your industry?  We invite all local associations to join us and declare your own RPAC Spirit Day for your employees. We’re offering our team some fun incentives to make our goal of 100% employee participation: anyone who’s contributed to RPAC can take an extra “casual day” and wear jeans or Friday attire on July 5, and of course OAR will have patriotic snacks as part of the celebration. What could your local association offer to reach 100% staff participation? Be creative and have fun!

To your employees who have already contributed, tell them to consider this a “Thank you.” And if they haven’t contributed yet, what are they waiting for?

Another incentive to invest in RPAC is the iPad giveaway! Your chances of winning start with a $25 investment and go up from there! Thanks for supporting Oklahoma RPAC!

The 3.8% Transfer Tax Myth Debunked

Rumors continue to swirl that the health care reform law enacted two years ago includes a 3.8 percent transfer tax on real estate starting in 2013. That rumor is not true. NAR has material available for you to explain how that 3.8 percent tax works. It’s a tax on a very narrow band of investment income for high-wealth households (those who earn $250,000 in a joint return or $200,000 as an individual) that could come into play on the sale of a house if the sales gain is more than $500,000 for a married couple or $250,000 for an individual.

Even in the unlikely event the sales gain is more than that amount, the tax would only apply based on other considerations having to do with the household’s income and tax situation. The bottom line is that the tax, which was imposed to help shore up Medicare, will hit only some portion of investment income. NAR 3.8 Percent Tax Brochure.

Take a look at the video below produced by the Washington REALTORS® that shows their Myth Blasters blowing up the 3.8% transfer tax myth!

State Chamber Research Foundation Launches New Data Website

Oklahoma’’s economy is outperforming many other states, yet often the national economic news overshadows the good news here. In order to better communicate Oklahoma’’s economic data, the State Chamber Research Foundation has created the website OklahomaScorecard.com.

Designed as a clearinghouse of both primary and secondary research on the Oklahoma economy, OklahomaScorecard will also be a publishing platform for research articles that advance the ongoing narrative of Oklahoma’’s economy. “Oklahoma weathered the national recession better than most of the rest of the country,” said Fred Morgan, President and CEO of the State Chamber of Oklahoma. “But, until we do a better job advertising our success with quality research focused on the state of Oklahoma’’s economy, we will continue to miss opportunities as companies use national economic forecasts to determine whether they will invest in our state.”

GTAR Receives NAR Grant

This week the Greater Tulsa Association of REALTORS® (GTAR) received word they have been awarded $500 from NAR’s Housing Opportunity Program. GTAR plans to use the funds toward their Fair Housing Partnership by sponsoring a home buyer event June 23 where they’ll be giving away five $50 Lowe’s gift cards.

NAR’s Housing Opportunity Program was created in 2002 with the vision of positioning, educating and assisting REALTORS® to create housing opportunities for all. The Housing Opportunity Program offers programs, grants, trainings and resources that help REALTORS® and REALTOR® associations expand housing availability and insure an adequate supply of rental housing and home ownership opportunities in their communities.

New AE Joins Duncan Board

Menta Freel

The Duncan Board of REALTORS® has had a change in Association Executives. Veronica Ibarra is passing the baton to Menta Freel, who’s worked in the real estate industry for 12 years.

Menta began her career as a loan processor at Arvest Bank then moved on to Stewart Abstract and Title where she worked as an order entry clerk, escrow assistant and a closer. “I am very excited to transition into this position and look forward to working with the area REALTORS® in a different aspect of this business,” said Freel.

Menta and her husband, who is in the Air Force, have two little girls and three rescued dogs, and confess to being big NASCAR fans and love to go the the races as much as they can.

Proration of Dues Reminder

Remember that NAR policy states that for someone who has not been a member, their NAR dues are prorated per the month they join as shown by the Join Date field in their member record.

If someone was a member in the previous year and did not pay dues before they were dropped, when they return that same year or the next year, they are not considered new members and thus owe the entire NAR dues amount.

NAR and OAR bylaws state that membership dues shall not be prorated if the licensee held REALTOR® or REALTOR-ASSOCIATE® membership during the preceding calendar year.  In these cases, make sure you do not change their Join Date when they return so the dues are not prorated.

4 Code of Ethics Changes You Need to Know for 2012

The NATIONAL ASSOCIATION OF REALTORS®’ Board of Directors last year made several enhancements to the NAR Code of Ethics that took effect this year to help ensure the Code remains up-to-date as practitioners confront new situations. Here are four changes you’ll want to make note of.

  1. Authorized use of property
    The duty of fidelity to clients’ interests was advanced through a new Standard of Practice interpreting Article 1 as prohibiting members from accessing or using, or permitting others to access or use, listed or managed property on terms or conditions other than those authorized by the owner or seller.
  2. False statements against others
    Article 15’s obligation to refrain from knowingly or recklessly making false or misleading statements was expanded to cover “other real estate professionals, their businesses, and their business practices.” These changes are also reflected in Standards of Practice 15-2 and 15-3.
  3. Mediating disputes
    The dispute resolution scope of Article 17 was enhanced to include the duty to mediate otherwise-arbitrable disputes in cases where the association of REALTORS® has established a duty to mediate.
  4.  Waiving mediation and arbitration
    Standard of Practice 17-2 (which interprets and explains Article 17) was amended to make it clear that REALTORS® are not obligated to mediate or arbitrate in cases where all parties to the dispute choose not to have it mediated or arbitrated through the association.
Reprinted from REALTOR® Magazine, March 2012.

Don’t Wait Until the 11th Hour…

Dec. 31, 2012, is the deadline for completing your NAR Code of Ethics training. All REALTORS® must complete the training every four years to maintain their membership. An online training course at OklahomaRealtors.com fulfills the NAR requirement and 3 core continuing education hours, or you may take it live in the classroom during GRI 201 and also receive GRI credit!

 

NAR Board of Directors Report

Below is a report from the Board of Directors meeting at the close of the 2012 NAR Midyear Legislative Meetings & Trade Expo in Washington, D.C., May 19.

Rally to Protect the American Dream

President Moe Veissi recounted the success of the May 17 Rally to Protect the American Dream, at which 13,800 REALTORS® gathered at the Washington Monument to celebrate home ownership. The rally showed consumers that, when it comes to something as important as home ownership, “you’re in it with them and for them. Whenever you do those things in life, you know you’ve accomplished something great.”

In addition to the members and others who attended the rally, more than 15,000 attended virtually at RealtorRally.org, and more continue to experience the rally online. Twelve members of Congress attended, including Sen. Johnny Isakson (R-Ga.,) and Rep. Steny Hoyer (D-Md.), both of whom spoke at the rally, and 29 major media outlets, including CNN and CNBC, covered the event. And in a satellite media tour one day earlier, Veissi spoke with another 24 media outlets.

REALTORS® Federal Credit Union

Members of the REALTORS® Federal Credit Union approved the merger of the $75 million, 8,000-member REALTORS® FCU, launched in 2008, with the $2.1 billion, 100,000-member Northwest Federal Credit Union, with the goal of expanding services and products. Under the merger, the credit union remains virtual, but members gain access to 4,600 branches across the country. The name REALTORS® Federal Credit Union remains unchanged.

IDX policy changes

The board approved a set of comprehensive amendments to NAR’s Internet Data Exchange (IDX) policy and MLS rules to clarify that “participant websites” are those in which MLS participants have actual and apparent control of the sites. The changes also recognize the growth in the use of mobile devices by permitting IDX information to be displayed in mobile devices as long as MLS participants control the displays. “Control” means participants can add, delete, modify, or update their information, and a reasonable consumer would recognize the information as the participant’s.

The board took a number of other actions on issues such as IDX policy, professional standards, real estate-related visas and more. Continue reading.

Oklahoma REALTOR® Building Taking Green Steps

This week, your association is taking steps to be a little greener. It’s been about eight years since the Oklahoma REALTOR® Building underwent its extensive renovation, and there have been a few energy-saving elements missing since then.

Just like the typical household, the staff at OAR is rather predictable. We arrive anywhere from 8-8:30 in the mornings and leave around 5:00. (We rarely sleep there however.) Nobody thinks about being the last one out, so the thermostats may or may not be adjusted for the night.

The fine folks at Handyman Matters have installed programmable thermostats in all zones of the building. Now we’ll only be running the heat and air while the building is staffed during the weekdays.

According to the government’s Energy Star program, households that use a programmable thermostat can save about $180 a year on their energy bill.

The other upgrade we’re making is to light switches in the restrooms. Built-in motion sensors will turn the lights (and fans) off when vacant.

If you have any other green tips for OAR and other readers, jot them down in the comments below!

Local Association Executives Attend Retreat, Sharpen Skills

Staff executives from local REALTOR® associations attended a retreat recently at the Residence Inn Hotel in Bricktown, Oklahoma City. Sessions and discussions were programmed specifically on topics that help local associations stay up to date on trends. This means as an Oklahoma REALTOR®, you have greater access to a better run organization.

Association Executives meet regularly as a committee for professional development to increase member benefits. At this retreat, attendees heard updates from OAR staff and were able to use the informal setting to provide valuable input and engage in productive dialogue.

Because some local association executives do not have the opportunity to attend national governance meetings that help them carry out membership policies and MLS rules, the group really wanted this to be a focus of the retreat.

NAR Vice President of Board Policy and Programs Cliff Niersbach presented the group with the latest information from NAR on member policy, and Saul Klein, CEO of Point2 Technologies and InternetCrusade, spoke on listing syndication and data rights management.

Your local association staff have a substantial responsibility to ensure your organization is run correctly and consistent with NAR policies. Oklahoma REALTORS® are lucky to have these staff members who take the initiative to improve their skills at retreats like these.

The recent AE Retreat was made possible by generous donations from the Greater Tulsa Association of REALTORS®, Norman Board of REALTORS® and the Oklahoma City Metropolitan Association of REALTORS®.

Longtime Tulsa REALTOR® Passes

Tulsa real estate icon, OAR Past President (1964) and GTAR Past President Tom Grant, Jr. passed away over the weekend. In 1978, Grant served as president of the National Association of REALTORS®, so far the only Oklahoman holding that office. His more than 50 years in real estate was rich with service and accomplishments.

A wake will be held at Christ the King Church on Tuesday, May 22 at 6:30 p.m. A Funeral Mass will be celebrated at Christ the King Church on Wednesday, May 23 at 1:00 p.m. Donations may be made to the Early Childhood Development Center (ECDC) at Christ the King Parish.

Read More from the Tulsa World

OAR REALTOR® of the Year Nominations Due July 2

The Oklahoma Association of REALTORS® is seeking nominations for its 2012 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 18, 2012, held in conjunction with the 2012 Education Conference & Trade Show at the Renaissance Tulsa Hotel & Convention Center in Tulsa.

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

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

You may also find a list of past winners and a letter from Barbara Harris, Chair of the REALTOR® of the Year Committee, on the AE Resources page.

Please send your form by certified mail, return receipt requested, in an envelope marked “ROTY BALLOT — CONFIDENTIAL.”  

The deadline for returning the form to the OAR office is July 2, 2012.  We look forward to hearing from you soon!

Oklahoma REALTORS® Rally to Protect the American Dream

An estimated crowd of 13,800 REALTORS® from around the country rallied in the shadow of the Washington Monument Thursday to show support of protecting the American dream of home ownership.

Oklahoma’s delegation of REALTORS® were unified in the message, “We put the HOME in Oklahoma!” Oklahoma Association of REALTORS® President David Momper of Tulsa said, “There was such energy and momentum in the crowd. We’re committed to helping Oklahomans achieve the dream of homeownership.  Part of that is removing obstacles that may make it more difficult for people to buy or sell real estate.” REALTORS® are concerned about two major issues: the loss of flood insurance and the Mortgage Interest Deduction.

Congressional action is needed to reauthorize the National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP) to ensure access to affordable flood insurance. Millions of American taxpayers rely on the NFIP for flood protection. REALTORS® are urging the Senate to pass a 5-year flood insurance reauthorization bill before the current temporary extension of the current flood bill expires on May 31.

The mortgage interest deduction (MID) is a remarkably effective tool that facilitates homeownership. NAR opposes any changes that would limit or undermine current law. In a public statement to the Administration, National Association of REALTORS® President Moe Veissi said, “The MID must not be targeted for change. Any modifications to the deductibility of mortgage interest will harm housing and homeowners, and until housing markets have stabilized, there cannot be a robust economic recovery. REALTORS® are actively engaged to ensure that America’s 75 million home owners will continue to receive this important benefit.”

Rally speakers from across the country, including members of Congress, stressed that homeowners improve communities.  “No one aspires to be a renter!” said Gerardo Ascencio, National Association of Hispanic Real Estate Professionals.

According to the National Association of REALTORS®, the Rally represented the largest gathering of REALTORS® ever in one place.

View photos from the rally here.

New Broker Relationships Bill Signed by Governor

Oklahoma Governor Mary Fallin late yesterday signed House Bill 2524, legislation that reforms Oklahoma’s Broker Relationships Act.

Under the 2001 law, real estate licensees provide services under two roles: Single-Party Broker and Transaction Broker. This has been the object of confusion among agents and consumers and prompted a joint task force of the Oklahoma Association of REALTORS® and Oklahoma Real Estate Commission.

The new law—authored by Rep. Steve Martin, R-Bartlesville and Sen. Dan Newberry, R-Tulsa—will further outline how real estate licensees will perform when working with only one or both parties to a transaction. Licensees will no longer be a Single-Party Broker or Transaction Broker. Everyone will be simply a broker with the same duties and responsibilities. Licensees may continue to represent one client and work for their benefit.

OAR President David Momper, Owner-Broker RE/MAX Executives, Tulsa, says, “The new broker relationships law will provide better transparency in real estate transactions and help consumers better understand the level of service they’re receiving.”

With this law being at the root of how real estate is transacted, there is considerable education and forms that need to be updated. To allow for the transition, the new law will take effect November 1, 2013.

Agents whose license expires before November 1, 2013 and need continuing education in the Broker Relationships (BRA) Core category will take the current curriculum. Follow OAR on Facebook and Twitter to see the law’s progress and be among the first to sign up for new Broker Relationships classes as they become available.

Attend Virtual REALTOR® Rally Thursday

Oklahoma is sending a delegation of almost 50 people to Washington, D.C. this week for the NAR Midyear Legislative Meetings & Trade Expo. The rest still have the opportunity to attend one of the highlights, The Rally to Protect the American Dream, on Thursday, May 17.

About 13,000 REALTORS® from across the country are expected to be at the Washington Monument for the rally. You can participate virtually—and we hope you do. Participating in the virtual rally is easy and should be fun, too. But more than that, it’s important for advancing REALTORS®’ federal legislative and regulatory agenda in the months ahead. Because you can contact your members of Congress from the virtual rally site. Letting them know you care about home ownership is a big part of what the Rally is all about.

Here’s how the virtual rally works. On Wednesday, May 16, go to RealtorRally.org and add your name to a map of the United States. You’re basically checking in to the virtual rally and letting your colleagues and friends know you’re participating with the 13,000 REALTORS® who will be at the Washington Monument.

On the site you can do a lot of things, including tweeting and adding posts to Facebook. And you can let your senators and congressperson know you’re as much a part of the Rally as those who are in Washington in person.

On the day of the Rally, there will be lots to do—videos, pictures, and more

On the day after the Rally, there will be a fun FanCam image posted. If you’re not familiar with what that is, it’s a wide-angle image that essentially captures every person at a big event like the Super Bowl. Even if there are 100,000 people at the event, the image captures each one, so on RealtorRally.org you can click on each person to get a snapshot of each one.

We hope to see you at the Rally—in-person or virtually. Your participation is a great way to show you share your colleagues’ effort to protect home ownership as central to our country’s priorities.

Midyear Hill Visit Talking Points

NAR lobbyists will talk about priorities when REALTORS® visit members of Congress during the Midyear Legislative Meetings in Washington later this month. To hear from the lobbyist representing Oklahoma, view the five-minute video below.

REALTOR® Day at the Capitol a Success

Oklahoma REALTORS® made their mark on the State Capitol yesterday. The day began with OAR Senior Vice President of Government Affairs Charla Slabotsky and contract lobbyist Richard Phillips briefing attendees on the issues at the forefront and preparing everyone with talking points on the Broker Relationships Bill.

REALTORS® then met one-on-one with their senators, helping them understand the bill and answering any questions. Very soon after, the senate heard the bill and then passed it 40-1. The next step will be for the amended version to go back to the house floor, and then to the governor.

The day ended with OAR hosting an ice cream social for legislators, their staff and REALTORS®, an event that’s become a tradition at the State Capitol.

Visit the OKRealtors Flickr page to view photos from the day.

Deadline for Good Neighbor Awards Nominations Approaching

Deadline May 18: Nominate Good Neighbors in Your Community

Don’t miss out! Nominate a REALTOR® for the 13th annual Good Neighbor Awards, which recognize REALTORS® who impact their communities through volunteer work. Five winners will be recognized at the 2012 REALTORS® Conference & Expo in Orlando and will receive travel expenses to attend the show and a $10,000 grant for their community cause. Volunteer work might include affordable housing initiatives, youth mentoring, homelessness prevention, or anything else that makes a community a better place to live. Entries must be received by May 18, 2012. For an entry form go to REALTOR.org/gna or contact Sara Geimer.

And while you’re at it, send your nomination’s information to OAR for our Quality of Life in Oklahoma campaign. We want to highlight REALTORS® who are making a difference in their Oklahoma communities.

Cutting State Income Tax Could Result in Higher Property Taxes, Say Democrats

Cutting and eventually eliminating Oklahoma‘s personal income taxes will not only mean less money for state services, but also could result in increasing local property taxes as state funds dry up for counties and public school districts, House Democrats warn.

Oklahoma House minority leader Scott Inman, D-Del City, (AP FILE Photo/Alonzo Adams)

“I’m convinced that when the income tax is eliminated in Oklahoma, those monies that were once used for roads and bridges and education won’t be there from the general revenue fund,” said House Minority Leader Scott Inman, D-Del City. “The counties in order to fund their schools and roads will have to increase property taxes to make up the difference. An income-tax cut at the state level will invariably lead to a property tax increase at the county level.”

The state constitution forbids a statewide property tax, and lawmakers are not proposing to replace the money lost by reducing the personal income tax by increasing another tax. Personal income taxes bring in about a third of the state revenue that is appropriated by lawmakers.

 

Read more.

New Guidelines Might Speed Up Short Sales

The Federal Housing Finance Agency has released a new set of “timelines” (read: rules) for mortgage servicers.

Here’s the important part:

The new, aligned timelines include the requirement that mortgage servicers review and respond to requests for short sales within 30 calendar days from receipt of a short sale offer.

So if a bank is servicing a loan owned by Fannie or Freddie (and that’s most of them), it has 30 days to respond to a short sale request. If it can’t respond within 30 days — say, it needs time for an appraisal or has to get a mortgage insurer’s approval — it can take up to 60 days, but it must provide the owner with weekly status updates.

NAR president Moe Veissi praised the guidelines: “REALTORS® greatly appreciate FHFA’s efforts in establishing a timeframe for responding to sellers and potential buyer offers to help streamline the short sales process.”

Read more.

See Oklahoma Attorney General Scott Pruitt explain our state’s recent mortgage settlement and restitution procedure.

2012 Membership Marketing Benchmarking Report

Association TRENDSThe global recession that began in 2009, and the slow-moving economic recovery since, severely affected most membership organizations. Recovery, however, appears to be continuing as the findings show in the fourth annual Membership Marketing Benchmarking Report.

More than half of the associations surveyed said membership has increased over the past 12 months, and most relied on new member acquisition to drive overall association growth.

Preliminary data analyzed for the soon-to-be released report, reveals that 52 percent of associations surveyed experienced member growth (Chart 1).

At the same time, 60 percent of those surveyed said new member acquisition increased during the past year. These results come on top of a strong 2011 when 57 percent of respondents said the number of new members had increased (Chart 2).

Significantly fewer – 35 percent – reported an increase in member renewals, though this was an improvement from the 32 percent recorded the year before.

Both acquisitions and renewals showed steady improvement in 2012, with member growth bouncing back from a low of 36 percent in 2010.

Read more.

REALTOR® Rally in Washington Grown Monumentally

Back in February NAR President Moe Veissi announced the Rally to Protect the American Dream to be held during the NAR Midyear Legislative Meetings in Washington in May. The response and support have been overwhelming. Members sprang into action immediately and as a result, REALTORS® from across America have heeded the call to be in Washington on May 17.

In fact, it has turned out to be so successful that we have outgrown our original rally location at the Upper Senate Park!

We have made a “monumental” change and are now holding the rally at the Washington Monument. Our REALTOR® sea of blue will gather at the foot of our finest tribute to America’s First Father, on the National Mall, home to so many historic marches and rallies. To our back will be the Lincoln Memorial and the Reflecting Pool, to our side the White House and Treasury Building, and ahead of us the U.S. Capitol. Our visibility will be greater and impossible to ignore.

Oklahoma REALTORS® will be gathering at the Marriott Wardman Park Hotel to shuttle to Capitol Hill. Look for the group holding “We Put the Home in Oklahoma!” signs! Follow @OKGAD on Twitter for the most up-to-the-minute updates on the event. Contact Charla Slablotsky, OAR Senior Vice President of Government Affairs, with any questions.

Stay tuned for information about needed adjustments to bus logistics. NAR will be in touch with all of you  planning to take public transportation to the rally with an updated list of Metro stops. If you are attending the Midyear meetings, you will be bused to the proper location or given directions for taking Metro to the National Mall.

Watch the Mondays with Moe podcast about the rally location change. An email notification will be sent to all rally registrants tomorrow along with some new fun tools to help REALTORS® get excited about the rally. We appreciate your support as we continue to build the buzz. It is working because every day we get more and more REALTORS® signing up to be here!

Oklahoma Attorney General Explains Mortgage Settlement

This special extended edition of InSession features Oklahoma Attorney General Scott Pruitt giving a thorough explanation of the Oklahoma Mortgage Settlement. He talks about unlawful lending practices and wrongful foreclosure processes, information that’s important to know when talking to consumers with questions for their real estate professional. Oklahoma has a procedure for recovery that offers a better outcome than the federal remedy.

Past Mid/Del/Moore AE Dies

Helen TaylorHelen Taylor, former association executive for the Midwest City-Del City-Moore Association of REALTORS® passed away early this morning.

Helen was a valued member, serving as the association’s executive for more than 20 years. Helen was also a MDMAR past president, 1998 REALTOR® of the Year, Life Member, OAR Life Member and NAR Emerita. She will be greatly missed.

The memorial services will be held Friday, April 13, 2:00 p.m. at the First Christian Church of Midwest City, 11950 E. Reno, Midwest City.

The family requests that in lieu of flowers, a contribution be made to the REALTOR® Scholarship Fund. To make a donation, please contact Blair Calvo at the Midwest City-Del City-Moore Association of REALTORS®, AE@MDMRealtors.com or 405-737-3023.

New RPAC Major Investor Brochures Available

My Realtor PartyNAR is proud to announce they have brand new brochures for Major Investors. Each association can order 50 free of charge on the REALTOR® Action Center. Don’t forget, through the RPAC Fundraising Partnership Program, associations can apply to have customized fundraising brochures and dues inserts created featuring their local issues and branding. The REALTOR® Action Center has information on how to apply and available templates.

Order RPAC Brochures

Contact Bethany Vensel (202.383.1166)

This is the Year for Code of Ethics

All REALTORS® must complete their Code of Ethics training by December 31, 2012. For resources in understanding and meeting the requirements from the National Association of REALTORS® click here. One thing to note: whereas the NAR online course will satisfy the quadrennial training requirement, it is not offered for continuing education credit (PSC—Professional Standards of Conduct) in Oklahoma.

OAR has two opportunities for Code of Ethics that do provide CE credit. One during GRI 201 June 20 and the other during the Education Conference & Trade Show in Tulsa October 17-18. Both events will be rich with interaction and networking among agents from around the state!

For more information about Code of Ethics courses, contact Jennifer Williams, OAR Director of Training and Development.

New OREC Rules Effective July 1

At the Oklahoma Real Estate Commission’s (OREC) March 14 meeting, the Commission gave their final approval on new rules slated to go into effect July 1. To read a complete version of the full rules, click here.

The change that will be most noticed, perhaps, by our members is the addition of earthquake damage to Question 20 in the Residential Property Condition Disclosure Statement. Click here to view a version of the new form.

The other big news from OREC is that they’ll be moving to their new location April 1. They will be in the Denver Davison building (1915 N. Stiles, Suite, 200, Oklahoma City, OK 73105), very close to the State Capitol. Their phone numbers and fax numbers will remain the same. Please remind your members the OREC will be in a transition period for moving from March 23 – April 1. During this time, if your members need to visit the Commission, please remind them to call to confirm the correct location for business.

If you have any questions or need further information, please contact OAR’s Senior Vice President of Government Affairs, Charla Slabotsky (Charla@OklahomaRealtors.com).

Moving On Up: Oklahoma's Economy Named 4th Best In The Nation

Oklahoma’s economy has gone up two spots to rank #6 best in the nation, we’re not doing too well with workers’ compensation and attracting new businesses, but our job growth holds a spot in the top ten list.

That’s all according to the recently-released 2012 Accountability for a Competitive Economy. It’s a book published by the State Chamber’s research partner and aims to give a snapshot of where the Sooner State stands.

The gist of it is that Oklahoma is succeeding economically, but faces some continued challenges — namely, attracting more businesses and investment.

The book ranks Oklahoma #4 in the nation for best economies — that’s up two spots from a previous report. It also indicates that our strong economy is reflected in the fact that our job growth in the past decade ranks 9th in the nation.

It’s not all good news though — Oklahoma received a “D” for our workers’ compensation system and our exports continue to rank among the lowest in the nation.

And overall, Oklahoma was ranked as the 28th best state for business in the country by CNBC in 2011, falling behind many states in the region, including Texas, Colorado, Kansas and Missouri.

“Texas was ranked as the 2nd best state in the country to do business, and companies looking to relocate take notice of the states on the top of that list,” said State Chamber President Fred Morgan.

“We have to continue to improve our business climate in Oklahoma so we can not only compete with Texas and other states in our region, but with the rest of the country and world. Business retention and recruitment result in Oklahoma jobs that we need to grow our great state.”

You can read the complete report, complete with charts and tables, online here.

Source

Rally to Protect the American Dream

A Message from NAR President Moe Veissi

Our industry is facing a crucial moment. Never before in the history of our great nation have housing and real estate been forced to defend the benefits they provide our country. The very foundation of civilization is no stronger, nor more enduring than the integrity of the homes on which they rest.

We must have a sustainable, durable housing economy for generations to come. Congress and the President should see their job as bolstering the housing economy and strengthening our commitment to the country’s health. If the housing market continues to falter, the economy cannot fully recover. Over the next 18 months Congress will begin reshaping the role of housing in achieving the dream of owning a home. That is what we are facing. REALTORS® have something to say about this. And this is our opportunity to to ensure housing remains the fiber that binds together the fabric of America.

Realtor RallyWe are going to defend the American Dream from the doubters who say home ownership and real estate have run their course. That is why we are holding the Rally to Protect the American Dream on May 17 in Washington, D.C. I am asking you to be there and stand with your fellow REALTORS® from every corner of America — from Alaska to Illinois to Texas to Guam.

We are going to show Congress that no one cares more about revitalizing real estate for future generations than REALTORS® do.

It is critical that you register to let us know you are attending the rally. We want to plan a great event and make sure we have enough food, water, lunches, t-shirts and buses. If you would like to come, we will help you connect with transportation via your state or local association. Just complete our Rally Registration. If you request transportation, we will forward that request to your association to follow up with how they can help you get to Washington, D.C. Note that if you plan to stay longer than one day, NAR is not able to cover or reimburse for lodging expenses.  However, if your room is over $300/night, NAR will reimburse $100/night up to two nights ($200) to help defray housing costs to attend. Simply bring your hotel confirmation with your room rate and NRDS ID (members only) to the NAR Registration desk at the Marriott Wardman Park hotel, and NAR will initiate a refund. For housing requests, please visit our housing resources information page.

This is our time. This is our moment. We can’t do it without you. Join us.

Legislative Update: Three Causes to Watch

The second year of Oklahoma’s 53rd legislative session is in full swing, and it’s going to be a busy one for Oklahoma REALTORS®. OAR’s three main legislative priorities are changes to the Broker Relationships Act, clarification to last year’s square footage law and municipalities who require landlord and rental property registration.

Broker Relationships Act

HB2524 by Rep. Steve Martin, R-Bartlesville and Sen. Dan Newberry, R-Tulsa, is the result of a two-year joint effort between OAR and the Oklahoma Real Estate Commission (OREC). Oklahoma switched from the common law of agency to Broker Relationships more than ten years ago, and since that time we’ve had numerous complaints that the law is difficult for consumers and licensees to understand. One of the most common complaints? Licensees acting as single-party brokers when they claim to be operating as transaction brokers. OAR and OREC appointed a dedicated task force to tackle revisions to the law, resulting in HB2524.

The major change in this proposed law is doing away with single-party broker and transaction broker; instead, all licensees will have the same duties and responsibilities to all parties in a transaction. There’s a bigger distinction in this version between duties and responsibilities vs. brokerage services. HB2524 was well received at OAR’s recent Brokers Summit and received unanimous support from OAR’s Board of Directors, as well as consistent support from legislators at the State Capitol.

As of this writing, HB2524 passed the House Economic Development, Tourism & Financial Services Committee with a unanimous vote and passed out of the House with an 86 – 4 vote. The next stop for the bill is a hearing in Senate Committee. The joint task force continues to work on a couple of clarifying amendments to this bill, and we’ll keep you posted as this bill continues through the legislative process.

Square Footage Law

You might recall one of OAR’s legislative goals last year was known as the “square footage law” and clarified a licensee’s responsibilities and liability when disclosing property measurement figures. The new law added “protected sources” for licensees and went into effect last August.

However, after the new law was passed, we realized that the protected sources were mainly used in residential transactions and there might not be sufficient protection when dealing with commercial properties. A suggested amendement was drafted by the Oklahoma REALTORS® Commercial Alliance (RCA) to add ” a plan, drawing or stated square footage provided by the owner or agent of the owner as it relates to commercial buildings or structures for sale or for lease only” to the list of protected sources. This language is in HB2200 by Rep. John Trebilcock, R-Broken Arrow and Sen. David Holt, R-Oklahoma City.

HB2200 also passed unanimously out the House Economic Development, Tourism & Financial Services Committee and awaits a hearing before the complete House of Representatives. It will be heard by the House before March 15.

Landlord and Rental Property Registration

Our final bill deals with a growing problem in Oklahoma:  municipalities requiring landlords to register with the city, sometimes requiring a separate registration fee for each rental property. The most concerning of these regulations require the property owner, if living in a different county, to appoint a “resident manager” within that county. SB1867 by Sen. Newberry and Rep. Lee Denney, R-Cushing, prohibits the registration of real property owners by any municipality and prohibits any ordinance, rule or regulation requiring the registration of residential real property. The bill also prohibits all municipalities from charging a fee to own residential real property or for the lease or rental of property, and would declare any existing ordinances null and void.

The bill received unanimous support from the Senate Business & Commerce Committee, but on March 13 Sen. Newberry requested that rather than moving forward with the bill, the issue be examined by an interim study later this year.

“Due to concern from fellow legislators regarding the potential of unintended consequences associated with Senate Bill 1867, I am proposing we further examine the issue in an interim study,” said Sen. Newberry, R-Tulsa.  “Municipal regulations that adversely affect owners of real property are a growing problem, and I am determined to find a solution in the best interest of all parties.  A study will give the Legislature an opportunity to gain a better understanding of the concerns faced by property owners and municipalities.  I’m confident a thorough study of the issue will yield an effective legislative solution.”

While we’re disappointed that the bill won’t be moving forward this year, we look forward to participating in the interim study and will continue to work toward resolution of this issue.

You can keep up-to-date on these bills and all the other ones we’re watching – including the ones we’re opposed to – by checking out our Legislative Tracking List updated every Friday. Also, be sure to check out InSession, the weekly video blog on the latest legislative activities and the Government Affairs Facebook page and Twitter account.

Reserve Your Room for AE Retreat

Mark your calendars for the AE retreat scheduled May 3-4, 2012. Location is the Residence Inn Oklahoma City Downtown/Bricktown. More information about the agenda will be coming soon. Meanwhile, you’ll want to go ahead and book your room.

The link below will allow you to make individual reservations within our block. The dates and rate code for our block will pre-populate.  Simply confirm the dates and click on the Find button and create your reservation online.

The deadline for making reservations within our block is a month prior to arrival dates.  Please ensure all needed reservations are made prior to that date.

You may also make reservations via the toll-free number at 800-217-9905, using the rate code OKRR.

Contact Sabrina Tyree for more information.

Leadership Conference a Hit

Roundtable Discussions

This year’s Leadership Development Conference was well-attended and offered two days packed with personable face-to-face networking, entertaining sessions and for the first time in Conference history, a Brokers Summit which focused on the dynamic Broker Relationships Act.

Roundtable discussions started off attendees on the right foot by leading them to sharing and receiving ideas from their peers on subjects like broker issues, successful fundraising, demonstrating member value and social media communication. Tables were buzzing with thought-provoking conversation between participants.

Next, the Brokers Summit panel held everyone’s attention by going over the recent changes to the Broker Relationships Act, which outlines the types of relationships that Oklahoma-licensed brokers can have with the public. The proposed legislation was well received by members in attendance, and HB2524 continues to move forward through the legislative process.

Bill Malkasian, NAR's VP of Political Strategic Planning, addresses the Brokers Summit.

After pouring over the details of the Broker Relationships Act, members welcomed the opportunity to relax, enjoy a cocktail and speak with their legislators during the Legislative Reception. The reception brought record attendance by Oklahoma legislators, giving members more chances than ever to meet with their districts’ representatives about the issues important to them and their businesses.

LeadershipOAR alumni also held a reception which offered plenty of networking opportunities and reminiscing with former classmates.

Richard Flint

The second day of Conference started with two exclusive breakfast events; the President’s Breakfast and the FPC Breakfast. Next, Richard Flint, one of America’s top personal development speakers, lead the group session, Wanted! Leaders That Lead! Attendees learned how to be better leaders and how to build a “leadership bridge of strength.”

Lunch offered savory food and an Oklahoma economic report from Oklahoma State Treasurer Ken Miller. After the break, members joined Richard Flint for a second session, The Power of Being Connected, where they left with the knowledge of understanding connection and partnership.

To conclude the Conference, the OAR Board of Directors met and approved several motions, including the following on February 9, 2012: 

  • The Board approved the change of Elected State Directors from Diane Dyken to Betty Dosher for  2011-2012, Altus Board of REALTORS®.
  • It was approved to extend the GRI 2-for-1 promotion through 2012.
  • It was approved to allow GRI students up to 30 days from the GRI class date to re-take exams.
  • The proposed OAR Statewide Professional Standards Cooperative Program, Ethics Citation Program and Agreement to establish the Statewide Professional Standards Cooperative was approved as presented.
  • It was approved to raise affiliate membership dues from $134 to $150 annually on a pro-rated monthly basis.
  • It was approved to endorse revisions to Oklahoma’s Broker Relationships Act as presented.

A final reception for Major RPAC Investors celebrated those members who have invested more than $1,000 in the powerful tool of RPAC, and those members who are interested in investing even more. NAR staff member Jane Saunders was on-hand to recognize and encourage increased RPAC participation.

Test Drive NAR's New Website Today

Realtor.org is being redesigned to give you access to the most authoritative, timely and useful information about your business as quickly and easily as possible. The new My.Realtor.org is being reorganized by topic to reflect how you use information in your business. And only the most timely and relevant information will come up in your searches; older information will stay accessible in an easy-to-use archive. Most conveniently for you, you can customize the site to highlight the information that you want to see so it’s always at the top of the page. The site is currently in its beta stage as NAR continues to make improvements, but now through its launch at the end of March you can take a sneak peek and share your feedback on what works, what doesn’t and what you want to see that’s not there yet. Take your test drive now.

NAR to Administration: Do No Harm to Housing

National Association of REALTORS® President Moe Veissi shares how REALTORS® are taking action to ensure Congress does no harm to housing.

[ Watch podcast now ]

“As the leading advocate for housing and homeownership, NAR is strongly opposed to elements of President Obama’s budget proposal that would limit itemized deductions, including the mortgage interest deduction, for thousands of families.

“NAR firmly believes that the mortgage interest deduction is vital to the stability of the American housing market and economy. We urge the president and Congress to do no harm.

“While progress has been made in bringing stability to the housing market, the recovery has been slow. The nation’s homeowners already pay 80 to 90 percent of U.S. federal income taxes. Raising taxes on them, now or in the future, could critically erode home values at all price levels. This would destroy middle-class wealth accumulation and trillions of dollars in home values nationwide.

“The MID must not be targeted for change. Any modifications to the deductibility of mortgage interest will harm housing and homeowners, and until housing markets have stabilized, there cannot be a robust economic recovery. Realtors® are actively engaged to ensure that America’s 75 million home owners will continue to receive this important benefit.

“NAR also strongly opposes eliminating capital gains treatment for any carried interest of a real estate investment partnership. The loss of capital gains treatment for income from a carried interest could disrupt the conventional business model and places an unfair tax burden on general partners – ultimately this would negatively impact commercial real estate investment.”

Your Legal Questions Answered

Following is a sampling of some of the recent questions posed to OAR’s Legal Information Line, a free member benefit offered to all brokers and an associate in their offices. For more information about the Legal Information Line, visit our Website.

Contracts

I am selling 60 different properties in a subdivision; they don’t have addresses yet. Do I need separate listing agreements for these?

I don’t know that you need to have separate agreements for them, but I would recommend it. If a problem arises over one, it may be a simpler problem to solve if each property has its own listing agreement.

 

Landlord/Tenant

Tenant has ordered Landlord to appear and inspect premises at a certain time and date. Usually we do this after the tenant moves out and then refund deposit along with itemized statement if we keep some of the deposit within 30 days of moving out.

You are doing it correctly. The tenant cannot dictate the exact time for you to appear, especially if they are doing it 60-90 days in advance. They may just want to give you plenty of notice so you can find a new renter.

 

How do I return a security deposit to a couple that is now divorced?

If they can’t agree on how to divide, get a copy of the divorce decree and divide it up thusly.

 

Miscellaneous

When I sell new homes to HOA, am I required to provide every tax return, invoice, etc., from the time developer began?

I am unaware of any statute requiring that, but if the HOA is simply requesting it, it is likely negotiable.

 

There is a repair to do to a home. The seller wants to just give the buyer $125 at closing, but not on settlement statement. Is this OK?

Generally, a large amount needs to be on statement. However, this is a minimal amount which would cause more damages to postpone closing and redraft settlement statement. It is OK to do this time, but generally (especially with significant amounts) needs to be on statement.

  

Offer to Purchase

I had an offer that was good until 5:00 p.m. Now, the other side is trying to revoke this offer. Can they do this before 5:00 p.m.?

Generally, offers can be revoked any time before they are accepted. If you paid or gave something for the offer to stay open until 5:00 p.m., then they would be required to give you until 5:00 p.m.