Oklahoma City Bus Rapid Transit Resources

Public transportation options will change the way future community redevelopment is viewed.

The City of Oklahoma City is in the process of developing Bus Rapid Transit (BRT) routes. The first BRT route in OKC is being built with a federal grant, will be approximately 8 miles in length, have about 16 BRT Stations, and run from the downtown transit center, up Classen Blvd, terminating at NW Expressway & Meridian. One of many key observations about BRT Stations is that 75% of the users of a BRT system typically live within ¼ mile of a BRT Station. Typically BRT Stations serve as hubs for the redevelopment of walkable micro-communities where people live, work, and play.

One of the focuses of the 2019 Commercial Real Estate Summit was to provide information about current best practices of typical BRT systems and associated Transit Oriented Developments (TOD) that evolve around a BRT Station. As community and industry leaders, we are providing several documents relating to the 2019 CRE Summit’s sessions on BRT-TOD:

Needs Assessment Document Transit Oriented Development 101 Transit Oriented Development 202 TOD-BRT letter Project Overview

The BRT-TOD sessions of the 2019 CRE Summit were presented by Chris Zimmerman, SmartGrowth America’s Vice President for Economic Development, and Director of the Governors’ Institute on Community Design. The BRT-TOD sessions were made possible, in part, from a Smart Growth Grant from the National Association of REALTORS®. Scholarships were made available to students, city officials, and neighborhood association leaders to attend.

The Commercial Real Estate SummitTM is a joint production of the Central Oklahoma Commercial Association of REALTORS® and the University of Central Oklahoma Real Estate Program.

For more information, contact Jessica Dietrich (JDietrich@okrealtors.com) Commercial Services Director for the Central Oklahoma Commercial Association of REALTORS® and the Oklahoma Association of REALTORS®.

LeadershipOAR Application

Go back to LeadershipOAR page

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

2020 LeadershipOAR

  • Personal Data

  • Drop files here or
  • Education

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

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

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

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

  • To graduate from LeadershipOAR, a participant is expected to attend all sessions.
  • All dates are subject to change:
    Retreat 1: February Retreat 2: April Retreat 3: August Retreat 4 October
  • Date Format: MM slash DD slash YYYY
  • Tuition

  • If accepted into the LeadershipOAR program, you will be billed for the remaining $1,500 tuition fee ($1,695 - $195 application fee). This tuition includes training sessions, meals, overnight accommodations and instructional materials. Additional costs to the participants will include transportation from home to the meeting or retreat site and minimal expenses, which may be incurred during the field exercise phase of the program.
  • Note: If tuition is not paid in full by January 30, 2020, you will not be able to participate in the LeadershipOAR program.
  • Broker Commitment

  • Date Format: MM slash DD slash YYYY
  • Sponsor Commitment (if applicable)

  • Date Format: MM slash DD slash YYYY

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

RPAC Local Candidate Campaign Request Form

RPAC Local Candidate Campaign Request

  • Check requests must be submitted to OAR a minimum of 2 weeks in advance of your check presentation date. OAR may contact you and ask you to modify your request to comply with state or federal campaign finance rules.

    Check requests for elected offices that overlap association jurisdiction boundaries will require acknowledgement and approval by the other associations in that office’s jurisdiction. If the associations in question cannot come to an agreement, OAR may be available to moderate the dispute.
  • Date Format: MM slash DD slash YYYY

RPAC Event Form

RPAC Event

  • Events must be submitted to OAR a minimum of 3 weeks in advance of your event date. OAR may contact you and ask you to modify your event to comply with state or federal campaign finance rules.

    All event investments that occur outside of the webform must be transmitted using the RPAC Transmittal Document with a note stating those receipts should be credited towards the event.
  • Date Format: MM slash DD slash YYYY
  • :
  • Date Format: MM slash DD slash YYYY
  • :

  • All event receipts are to be tracked through our PAC management system, Aristotle. We will provide you with a webform to charge cards before and at your event.

2019 Commercial Industry Advocate Award

2019 Commercial Industry Advocate Award Nomination Form

  • PURPOSE: The Commercial Industry Advocate Award is presented to an individual who has worked to support, connect, and further the commercial real estate industry in Oklahoma. Only those nominees for whom a written nomination form has been received by the deadline date will be considered. This award may or may not be presented annually.

    NOMINATIONS: Nominations may be submitted by any person. The nominee shall be notified of nomination to provide additional information regarding local/state/national committee work, community involvement, etc. There shall be no campaigning on behalf of a candidate, by the candidate, the nominator, a REALTOR® member, REALTOR® affiliate member, state, or local association.

    THE AWARD RECIPIENT SHALL RECEIVE: 1. Recognition in OAR’s newsletter and on OAR’s website.
    2. A complimentary ticket to OAR’s REALTOR® Celebration Banquet held during the October conference.
    3. A prestigious award presented during OAR’s REALTOR® Celebration Banquet.
    4. A press release to distribute to his or her local media outlets.
    5. A $500 stipend to attend the REALTORS® Conference and Expo within two years of award receipt.

    SELECTION TIMELINE: Selection shall be made by the OAR Executive Committee. If a recipient is chosen for that year, the recipient will be recognized and presented with a personalized recognition award at OAR’s inaugural banquet.

    ELIGIBILITY: 1. Nominees must be OAR members in good standing.
    2. Nominees should have contributed to an organization/program that improves or supports the commercial real estate industry in Oklahoma.
    3. Nominees should be active volunteers with their local, state, or National Association of REALTORS®. Volunteer experience with more than one level of the association is a plus.
    4. Nominees will be judged on level of personal contribution, impact of personal contribution, broadness of impact.
    5. This award is intended to recognize individual contributions, not association or company-wide efforts. However, if an individual within your company can be singled out as instrumental to the success of a group effort, he or she is eligible. If the achievements of two people (such as a married couple or cofounders of an organization) absolutely cannot be separated, they can enter as a pair and their entry will be considered as one.
    6. Some portion of the nominee’s work should have occurred in the year in which they are being nominated.
    7. Nominees are encouraged to document the results of their individual involvement through published reports and/or testimonials from the organization(s) they served.
    8. Nominations must be accompanied by a complete entry form to be considered. OAR members may nominate themselves or may be nominated by a colleague or peer.
  • Drop files here or
    If you need to attach extra supporting documents please do so here.

2019 Harriett Wagnon Association Executive Achievement Award

2019 AE Award Nomination Form

  • PURPOSE AND ELIGIBILITY: The Harriett Wagnon Association Executive Achievement Award is presented to an individual who has truly excelled in his or her role as an association executive of a local Oklahoma REALTOR® association and who is active in the REALTOR® organization at the time of nomination. Only those nominees for whom a written nomination form has been received by the deadline date will be considered. This award may or may not be presented annually.

    NOMINATIONS: Nomination may be submitted by any person other than the candidate and must be accompanied by a letter prepared by the person making the nomination, setting forth the details of the nominee’s accomplishments and contributions consistent with criteria. The nominee shall be notified of nomination to provide additional information regarding, state/national committee work, community involvement, etc. There shall be no campaigning on behalf of a candidate, by the candidate, the nominator, a REALTOR® member, REALTOR® affiliate member, state, or local association. All letters of support must accompany this application submission. Letters of support not accompanying this form will not be considered. Carry over nominations shall be subject to a follow up questionnaire.

    SELECTION TIMELINE: Selection shall be made by the OAR Executive Committee. If a recipient is chosen for that year, the recipient will be recognized and presented with a personalized recognition award at OAR’s annual inaugural banquet and announced at the first OAR Board of Directors meeting the following year.
  • Employment History
  • Previous Employment History
  • (i.e., PAC involvement, educational opportunities, products, services, etc.)
  • (i.e., Major accomplishments, their involvement; their leadership or explain a project they were responsible for that made a difference)
  • If you need to add any additional information please do so here.
  • Drop files here or
    If you need to attach extra supporting documents please do so here.

2020 Committee Nominations

For a list of committee descriptions please click here.

2020 Committee Nominations

2019 REALTOR® of the Year Nomination Form

2019 REALTOR® of the Year Nomination Form

  • Date Format: MM slash DD slash YYYY
  • Achievements & Contributions

  • Please upload additional documents if necessary.
  • (faithfulness to the principles of organized real estate, laws, and regulations of his/her Board/Association and the NAR Code of Ethics; efforts to encourage good real estate practice among other real estate brokers; time spent with the media and the general public explaining the real estate profession)
  • (local, state, and national participation in civic and service clubs, charitable activities, political action, fraternal, or religious groups)
  • (Board/Association office and committee work, special assignments, seminar activity and education work, membership and offices held in local chapter of Institutes, Societies & Councils)
  • Same as [c] but on a state level
  • Same as [c] but on a national level
  • (public recognition of business conduct; service to clients; imaginative and creative advertising programs; rehabilitation work; land utilization, etc.)
  • If you need to add any additional information please do so here.
  • Drop files here or
    If you need to attach extra supporting documents please do so here.

2019 Life Member Nomination Form

2019 Life Member Nomination Form

  • The OAR Bylaws require that nominees for life membership in the Oklahoma Association of REALTORS® must have demonstrated unusual meritorious service to the State Association and must have held membership in the association for a period of thirty years.
  • Please submit two statements or other documents from a local REALTOR®, an OAR member, or a local board/association executive officer stating that the nominee has been a REALTOR® for a period of 30 years.
  • Drop files here or
  • Special emphasis will be placed on the nominee’s level of activity in the State Association. List offices held, committee work, special assignments, seminar activity, education work, and unusual meritorious service. Please list dates of service.
  • Please list offices held, committee work, special assignments, seminar activity, education work, and unusual meritorious service.
  • List offices held, committee work, special assignments, seminar activity, education work, and unusual meritorious service. Please list dates of service.
  • If you need to add any additional information please do so here.
  • Drop files here or
    If you need to attach extra supporting documents please do so here.

2019 Good Neighbor Award Nomination Form

2019 Good Neighbor Award

  • Date Format: MM slash DD slash YYYY
  • If you are completing this application and your are NOT the nominee, please also provide your:
  • Community Program(s) Served: This organization will receive the grant money if you are selected as a Good Neighbor Award winner. It must be a 501(c)3 nonprofit. If there is more than one organization, please attach an additional sheet.
  • Drop files here or
  • Who may we contact at the nonprofit to verify the nominee’s involvement?
  • Personal Contribution: (Nominees should have made a significant contribution of personal time, but contributions of money, materials, or other resources will be considered by the judges.) Important Note: This information is required. Although you may not keep exact records of your contribution, we must have your best estimate in order to evaluate the entry.
  • Essay - Explanation of Contribution: In no more than 500 words, describe how the nominee’s efforts have made the community a better place to live. Upload file below:
  • Drop files here or
  • Verification of Involvement: Please attach published reports or testimonials from the organization or individuals served that document the nominee’s activities. These documents should attest to the individual involvement of the nominee. Please highlight the nominee’s name in documents where it is not immediately evident. Upload files below:
  • Drop files here or
  • If you need to add any additional information please do so here.
  • Drop files here or
    If you need to attach extra supporting documents please do so here.
  • 1. Nominees must be members of the Oklahoma Association of REALTORS® in good standing.
    2. Nominees should have contributed to a program that improves the livability of a community. Those activities aren’t limited to real estate or housing issues.
    3. Nominees should have made a significant contribution of personal time, but contributions of money, materials, or other resources will be considered by the judges as well.
    4. Nominees will be judged on level of personal contribution, impact of personal contribution, broadness of impact, and the project’s suitability as a role model for other REALTORS®.
    5. The award is intended to recognize individual contributions, not association- or company-wide efforts. However, if an individual can be singled out as instrumental to the success of a group effort, he or she is eligible. If the achievements of two people (such as a married couple or co-founders of an organization) absolutely cannot be separated, they can enter as a pair and their entry will be considered as one.
    6. Some portion of the nominee’s community work must have taken place between during the time period indicated, but judges will also consider ongoing efforts outside that time frame that demonstrate a depth of commitment.
    7. Nominees should be able to document the results of their individual involvement though published reports and/or testimonials from the organization they served or the people they helped.
    8. Nominations must be accompanied by a completed entry form to be considered.
    9. REALTORS® may nominate themselves or may be nominated by someone else, such as another NAR member, a state or local association, or the community organization they served.
    10. Grant awards will only be issued to a 501(c)3 nonprofit organization.

Housing Foundation Helps Oklahomans In Need

OKLAHOMA CITY – The Oklahoma Housing Foundation (OHF), a non-profit organization created and sustained by the Oklahoma Association of REALTORS®, has funds available to Oklahomans who have been impacted by recent storms in Oklahoma.

“Whether you’re a homeowner whose property has been damaged or you’ve been displaced and need help paying a deposit for rent in a new or temporary home, our foundation is committed to serving Oklahomans in this time of crisis,” said JT Brown, an Oklahoma City REALTOR® and chairman of the OHF’s Board of Trustees.

An application for a deposit or repair grant can be found at oklahomahousingfoundation.com and must be submitted for review by the foundation. Applicants must have a REALTOR® sponsor to qualify for a grant. For those who do not know a local REALTOR®, the Oklahoma Association of REALTORS® has a tool for finding one at okrealtors.com, and any REALTOR® should be able to help. Applicants need not be homeowners or have any existing relationships with a local REALTOR® to qualify for a grant.

“REALTORS® across the state are eager to serve our neighbors in this time of desperation and tragedy for so many,” Brown said. “All of our fundraising efforts for the organization help us prepare for moments like this. And it is critically important we can get information to those who are affected, whether by a transition in life, or most likely right now, a natural disaster.”

One such fundraising effort is the OHF’s inaugural Land Run 5K & Fun Run coming up on June 15th at Stars & Stripes Park in Oklahoma City. Registration is open to members of the public and REALTORS® alike at oklahomahousingfoundation.com. The event has been highlighted as especially family friendly, as children 12 and under may participate in the Fun Run for free.

Get More info about the run

For questions regarding grants applications, OHF in general, or the Land Run 5K and Fun Run, call the Oklahoma Association of REALTORS® at 405.848.9944.

The Oklahoma Housing Foundation was created in 2006 by the Oklahoma Association of REALTORS® and is maintained by donations from individual REALTORS® and partnerships with local associations, as well as the proceeds from the special REALTOR® license plate.

Editor’s Note: The Oklahoma Housing Foundation is a non-profit organization separate from the Oklahoma Housing Finance Authority (OHFA), a state government agency.

Proud CEO Moment

This moment.

This one: http://okrealtors.com/podcast/ep-68-sb-104-marketing-clarifications-w-josh-cockroft/

Listen to it. (And subscribe to it! More info below)

Yes, it’s just a podcast. This one happens to be the 68th podcast Nabeel and Geoff have hosted and produced. But it’s also the 68th weekly Talking Real podcast… IN A ROW. Every week. Regardless of vacations, holidays, conferences and events, these two have taken on a new adventure for our association, and they have exceeded expectation.

Also, listen to what they’re talking about. We helped get a bill passed, SB104, which clarifies marketing practices for our industry and changes one of the most frustrating and perplexing rules for REALTORS® across the state.

We did it.

We did it because of our great government affairs team and fantastic members who pour themselves into their committees. Special shout-out to President Lisa Weaver, Government Affairs Committee Chairman Jeff Shaffer, members of our staff government affairs team Josh Cockroft and Jessica Dietrich.

And it isn’t all we did.

Home Buyer Savings Accounts? Passed those, too, after three years of effort. Now, Oklahoma, is one of the first ten states (#TopTen, Governor Stitt? 😉) to have created them. And yesterday afternoon, we made it 3 for 3 in getting our request bills signed into law, with remote online notarizations now authorized to be set up and regulated by the Secretary of State.

How’s that for an Oklahoma turnaround?

Obviously, we owe huge thanks to the Legislators who made it happen, too: Sen. Paul Rosino, Rep. Mark VanCuren, Sen. Jason Smalley, Rep. Tammy West, and Rep. Chris Kannady.

This moment isn’t just about government affairs, or the podcast, or communications, or even the Oklahoma Housing Foundation’s Land Run (which you should sign up to run or volunteer for!)… it’s about all of it. It’s about the value we’re providing to you, the members of the Oklahoma Association of REALTORS®.

I hope you can see the value, because this team is great, and I’m amazed with where we’re headed.

This is a proud CEO moment, and I just had to share it with you.


Chief Executive Officer
Oklahoma Association of REALTORS®


Not subscribed yet? Subscribing to the podcast is easy!

  1. Go to your favorite podcast app (iTunes, Google Play Music, Spotify, Overcast, and many others).
  2. Search for “Talking Real” by the Oklahoma Association of REALTORS®.
  3. Hit the subscribe button and enjoy the show!

   Listen on Google Play Music

Ep 61: Disruption Part 2 – FSBO

   Listen on Google Play Music   

For Sale By Owners (FSBOs). What does that mean to REALTORS®? We talk about the potential of disruption by FBSOs and how you can best prepare to fight it. Josh Cockroft also joins us for a legislative update and the status of bills we are tracking down at the Capitol.

  • [1:40] Legislative Update w/ Josh Cockroft
    • SB 104 – Buyer Inducements and Marketing Clarifications
    • SB 915 – Remote Online Notarization
    • SB 961 – Home Buyers Savings Account
    • Other legislation
    • OAR’s bill tracking process
  • [13:25] FSBOs
  • Leave us a review!
  • Sign up for alerts – Text “OKRealtors” to 95577.
  • Send us your real estate related stories – good, bad, scary and funny and feedback to podcast@okrealtors.com!

Selling Homes Faster in 2019

Why is early 2019 a good time to consider listing your home for sale?
Buyers are looking! The showing activity shot up the week before Christmas and minus the occasional bad weather day, continues to be busy. The old adage that serious buyers are looking in the winter months still rings true. They are ready to make an offer if a home meets their want list. Less homes on the market in winter than in spring equals less competition.

What should prospective sellers consider carefully before listing their home?
Where they will go? If their home sells quickly, it is important to have a plan in place whether that’s buying another house or leasing. It’s important for sellers to understand list price vs sale price. A REALTOR® can provide the range between the two. Do not exceed that or longer days on the market are ahead for that seller. It is also important to know a realistic sale price for your home to plan for your next move and the funds you will need for that.

What’s different about selling a home today than last year or in recent years?
The market is now balanced. It was a seller’s market the past few years and while most people think that is all good, it comes with a downside of its own. In a balanced market, prices appreciate at a steady pace, inventory should increase some and give buyers more choices. Buyers might look at a home two to three times before submitting an offer, if time allows. There will still be multiple offers on some houses so it’s important for REALTORS® to communicate with each other on their buyers’ behalf.

In a multiple offer market, buyers can be quick to offer on a house. They want to lock in a contract and then sometimes get cold feet or back out over inspections when they realize it’s not the house for them. The hot market and low inventory segment: Baby Boomers and Millennials are competing for the same houses and they are two groups large in numbers. Millennials are upsizing to this type of home and Boomers are downsizing. *

What tips do you have for sellers wanting to get their home sold faster?

  • During the winter and early spring months, curb appeal is still important. Summertime, we focus on perfect lawns and landscaping. Winter is about maintenance: gutters cleaned, branches picked up, sidewalks and driveways swept and mulch in the beds, evergreen in pots, etc. If you have a pool, it’s good to keep it uncovered and clean so buyers can imagine what it will look like during the warmer seasons.
  • Interior presentation needs to be as close to perfect the day of photos and first showing. Buyers’ expectations of how a home looks has dramatically increased the past couple of years. They don’t look past a paint color, unattractive or excessive furniture, accessories or lack of maintenance. Ask your REALTOR® for handyman recommendations, landscaping, professional organizers, stagers, etc. The financial return on doing what needs to be done on the front side of listing your home pays off!
  • Provide photos showing gardens, pool, etc in other seasons. Leave these on the kitchen counter or somewhere for a buyer to see when touring your home. It helps them to get a year-round feel of the home. They do not need to be in the MLS listing. It interrupts the consistency of the photos.
  • Leave certain lights on in your home so it looks warm and welcoming for buyers driving by and for those coming to look. You want your house to be inviting in hopes they will linger and imagine themselves living there.
  • Ask your REALTOR® to schedule listing photos for a forecasted sunny day. It’s worth rescheduling if weather turns dark and dreary. If not possible, have a second shoot done and replace photos in MLS and marketing materials as soon as possible.

What realistic/reasonable expectations should sellers have in the current market?
The average days on the market has increased some but values have continued to see steady appreciation. Sellers should ask their REALTOR® for realistic pricing advice. There is a difference between houses and why some sell for higher than others. A REALTOR® can give educated, unemotional direction on how your home compares. Also, REALTORS®  understand the formulas appraisers use and can help you avoid the pitfalls sellers often fall into: Zillow estimates, what a family member thinks your house is worth, comparison to a neighboring house that isn’t a compassion at all.

Final thoughts?
National Realtor advisers are predicting that the Seller- REALTOR® -Buyer relationships will be more important than in years past. The consumer is best served by skilled, educated and prepared REALTORS®. They will help them navigate through the changes in the market with success. Collaboration between a prepared REALTOR®  and seller will be key in 2019.

In 2018, 90 percent of all buyers and sellers used a real estate agent – highest number of all time. For Sale By Owners are at an all-time low.

Pair up with a REALTOR® who is a trusted, professional advisor. They know how to navigate market changes and work on your behalf to get you to closing.

Heather Davis

Join the OK REALTORS® Young Professionals Network!

  • Date Format: MM slash DD slash YYYY

RPAC Major Investor Pledge Form

RPAC Major Investor Pledge Form

    Note: You will not receive a jacket until the first $300 of the pledge has been given.
  • Please type in your full name.

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

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

“The softening home price appreciation in the latest Case-Shiller index will continue in the upcoming months as housing inventory builds. But it is unlikely for the national median home price to actually decline given the housing shortage of moderately priced homes and from job additions in the economy.  In 2019, home prices in many markets look to trail income growth for the first time since 2012. That is a healthy development of keeping housing affordability in check.”

2019 Legislative Policy Agenda

Economic Development & Taxation

Premise: Investment in real estate is an essential ingredient in the economic development of our state. The Oklahoma Association of REALTORS® (OAR) Legislative Agenda includes pro-economic development legislation aimed toward expanding existing and attracting new business, thereby increasing investment activity in real estate. The foundation upon which economic growth is based should be ad valorem tax reform; continued tort and workers’ compensation reform; enhancing our state’s workforce development structure; and attracting the development of research & technology.

Infrastructures for Business Growth

  • Support reforms in the workers’ compensation laws while ensuring real estate licensees paid on a commission basis remain exempt.
  • Promote housing opportunity and affordability throughout the state and seek new resources.
  • Support significant tort reform.
  • Monitor legislation restricting the business use of telecommunications systems
  • Monitor tax incentives and tax credits for corporations and small businesses to ensure continued economic and housing growth.

Tax Structures

  • Support meaningful ad valorem tax reform to assure fair and accurate assessment, levy and collections procedures that encourage real estate investment.
  • Support the repeal of taxation on the transfer of business personal property in commercial real estate transactions.
  • Support the repeal of the estate tax.
  • Assist local boards and associations in any manner to ensure local governments do not impose additional licensing/signage/transfer fees on REALTORS® as a condition of doing business within the jurisdiction.
  • Oppose any sales taxation of professional services including those of REALTORS®.
  • Oppose any effort to increase the documentary stamp tax for any purpose.
  • Monitor and strive to analyze all tax-related legislation and tax increases coming before a vote of the people on a real estate and business impact basis. Study any proposal that would eliminate the state income tax and any impact on the real estate industry.
  • Support legislation creating home buyer savings accounts designed to help save for a down payment and closing costs for first-time participants in the “American Dream”.
  • Monitor the Tax Credit Incentive Evaluation Commission recommendation process.


  • Support efforts to prohibit private real estate transfer fees.
  • Support efforts to increase financial literacy education in Oklahoma’s secondary school system.
  • The Oklahoma Association of REALTORS® will provide staff and membership support to the National Association of REALTORS®’ lobbying efforts on national issues.
  • Monitor the development of ethics rules and laws that affect campaign contributions and regulation of political action committees. OAR shall work to ensure restrictions are not unduly cumbersome and exclusionary.
  • Monitor legislation regarding data and privacy breaches.
  • Monitor burdensome laws that negatively affect home affordability.


Land Use & Environmental Issues

Premise: Protecting the quality of our air, water and land, as well as reasonable preservation of natural resources, must be balanced by the impact legislative and regulatory protection has upon private property owners. Unnecessary government interference restricts a property owner’s freedom to enjoy the uninterrupted use of their own asset. The Oklahoma Association of REALTORS® recognizes the balance of property development, management and preservation of natural resources is vital to the future of housing as well as the supply and quality of marketable real estate.

  • Protect private property rights and support the elimination of impediments to property ownership.
  • Support just compensation for the confiscation of private property including unreasonable dedication, wetlands or exclusionary zoning.
  • Support voluntary conservation measures to increase the energy efficiency of existing buildings.
  • Support private property rights laws that require state agencies to analyze rules and regulations to determine whether those rules and regulations result in a “constitutional taking” that require just compensation.
  • Support state programs that provide tools to local governments that encourage collaborative and regional comprehensive planning while supplementing, rather than displacing, local control and decision making.
  • Oppose legislation that unduly and unnecessarily restricts the use of private property or imposes unreasonable financial burdens on property owners.
  • Monitor proposed legislation and/or regulation relating to further disclosure of any known moisture and mold problem or condition by real estate brokers and property managers.
  • Monitor proposed changes to termite treatment standards and applicator regulations.
  • Monitor legislation regarding surface; water; mineral; natural resources; or, air rights issues.
  • Monitor and analyze legislation and/or regulation relating to growth management strategies of urban areas that restrict the use of private property.
  • Monitor the list of endangered species for Oklahoma and possible impact on private use of land.
  • Monitor legislation and/or regulation relating to remediation standards and additional disclosures for properties used for the manufacturing of methamphetamines.
  • Monitor proposals dealing with eminent domain.
  • Monitor legislation regarding earthquake damage to real property and evaluate the potential effect on property owner’s insurance and property value.


State Regulation of the Real Estate Industry & Real Estate Law

Premise: An increase in consumerism will result in continued efforts to regulate the real estate industry and support services. The Oklahoma Association of REALTORS® is aware of the increasing consumer scrutiny of REALTORS® and the cost and necessity of services provided. Our efforts will continue to improve the public image of REALTORS® by supporting high quality license education requirements, enforcing strict ethical standards, and increasing awareness of the laws and regulations pertaining to the real estate industry. OAR, in conjunction with the Oklahoma Real Estate Commission (OREC), will work to ensure licensing laws balance the needs of the consumer with the economic concerns of licensees.

Real Estate Licensing Laws

  • Support current licensing laws as they relate to applicants with felony convictions.
  • Support license reciprocity with other states.
  • Oppose the consolidation of OREC functions with other state agencies.
  • Oppose the creation of any specialty permits under real estate licensing laws as restrictive and unnecessary.
  • Monitor legislation and/or regulations relating to unbundled services in the real estate industry.
  • Support the registration of approved broker associate “team” or group” names.
  • Monitor the Broker Relationship Act as needed.

Real Estate Business Activities

  • Support sustaining licensing requirements for closing companies that allow real estate licensees to close their own in-company transactions.
  • Support state law allowing the utilization of an electronic notary public.
  • Support open ownership of title insurance agencies that encourages competition and protects the public interest.
  • Support changes to the abstracting laws of Oklahoma to ensure they are fair and affordable to Oklahoma property owners.
  • Support changes in the title insurance laws that eliminate the requirement for an abstract in the issuance of a title insurance policy.
  • Support efforts to digitize county records.
  • Oppose any mandatory requirement that an attorney or attorney’s representative be present or involved in any aspect of the real estate transaction.
  • Oppose state-imposed limits or restrictions placed on “controlled business arrangements” regulated under RESPA.
  • Oppose efforts that would inhibit access to public records.
  • Oppose state legislation and/or regulation that attempts to erode the definition of “independent contractor” relating to exemptions available for REALTORS®.
  • Oppose legislation that would allow banks and other financial institutions entry into the real estate brokerage or property management business.
  • Monitor legislation and/or regulation that would potentially impact the availability and/or affordability of property insurance.
  • Monitor legislation regarding the activities involved in the closing of a real estate transaction. Such activities include but are not limited to: inspections; appraisals; abstracting; title insurance; mortgage origination; mortgage companies and homeowner’s insurance; and, other related trades.
  • Oppose legislation making property owner/manager liable for criminal activity occurring on their property.
  • Support real estate licensees to be utilized to provide real property market valuation for “sheriff sales”.
  • Monitor legislation regarding the commercial use of drones.

Real Estate Law

  • Support legislation that requires unrepresented sellers (FSBOs) to comply with the requirements of the Residential Property Condition Disclosure Act.
  • Support the innocent landowner defense.
  • Monitor efforts to mandate property registration and/or inspections of rental properties.
  • Oppose required inspections on properties in conjunction with the issuance of occupancy permits.
  • Monitor legislation that would require property owners to provide storm shelters and/or evacuation plans to tenants.
  • Monitor legislation regarding disclosure.
  • Oppose buyer inducements.
  • Monitor legislation regarding property management and the Oklahoma Landlord Tenant Act.

50th Anniversary of the REALTOR Party

On May 7, 1968, The Board of Directors of the National Association of REALTORS formed the REPEC, the Real Estate Political Education Committee and was formally announced by NAR President on January 26, 1969.

At the beginning, just 300 investors that invested $28,000. Today there are over 453,138 investors raising $9 Million on the federal level and almost $36 million between, Local, State and National levels.  The #1 trade association in the world is the most Bi-Partisan major PAC in the country. This why RPAC is call the REALTOR® Party, they don’t see red party, blue party or green party, they only see the REALTOR® Party.

The REALTOR® Party will release videos highlighting some of their achievements over the last 50 years, and will have a large celebration with a gold and white theme for the 50th Anniversary at the REALTORS® Legislative Meetings and Trade Expo in May. If you are going to be in Washington DC, for these meetings, save Thursday, May 16th for the incredible celebration to be held at the National Museum Building.

For the 50th Anniversary of the REALTOR® Party, lets show our Oklahoma Pride and show our support!

Axay Parekh
AxTulsa Realty Grp – Re/Max Life




SPC Update: A Government Shutdown & OK Turnaround

OAR Expands Team

We are thrilled to announce the addition of two public policy veterans to our team. Josh Cockroft and Will Gattenby will serve as Senior Director of Government Affairs and Senior Director of Membership and Communications, respectively.

Cockroft is a former Republican member of the Oklahoma House of Representatives, who represented District 27 from 2010 to 2018. He has served as a member of the House leadership under two speakers, as assistant majority whip, as a presiding officer in the House, as the chairman of the House Rules Committee and as the chairman of the House Special Investigative Committee.

Gattenby brings nearly ten years of experience in communications and policy. His previous roles include director of communications for Mick Cornett’s gubernatorial campaign and a U.S. Senate campaign in New Jersey, press secretary for former Oklahoma Attorney General Scott Pruitt and account services coordinator for Sagac Public Affairs.

Be sure to say hello at the next OAR event!

What Does the Government Shutdown Mean for REALTORS®?

The federal government has now been shut down for 28 days with no end in sight. The partial shutdown has included some federal housing, mortgage and more real estate-related industries.

According to a survey conducted by the National Association of REALTORS®, 11 percent of REALTORS® have reported an impact on current and potential clients. The most common impact at 25 percent was the buyer deciding not to buy due to general economic uncertainty even though they were not federal government employees. In addition, as 17 percent who reported closing delays because of a USDA loan.

Visit the NAR website for more details.


Oklahoma’s Turnaround Begins

Oklahoma’s 28th Governor, Kevin Stitt, was inaugurated into office this week and OAR is eager to be a part of “Oklahoma’s Turnaround.” If you missed it, click here to catch his inauguration speech.


Legislative Session on the Horizon

With the inauguration officially behind us, a new legislative session begins. The first regular session of the 57th legislature convenes on Monday, Feb. 4. With so many freshmen this year, it’s important to be sure you know your legislators and begin building connections as you represent OAR in the new year.

Yesterday was the deadline for legislation to be filed for the 2019 Legislative session, and here is a little breakdown:

  • House: 1733 bills filed, 21 joint resolutions
  • Senate: 1040 bills filed, 21 joint resolutions
  • Combined: 2773 new bills filed and 42 joint resolutions

That is a lot of information to sort through, and the OAR Government Affairs Committee will be meeting on Jan. 28 to break out and read through each new bill looking for things that will potentially impact our industry.

We’re also watching three specific bills that were filed at the request of OAR. Click on the bill number to read it:

  • SB104 by Senator Paul Rosino – Marketing Clarification/Inducement
  • SB915 by Senator Paul Rosino – Remote Electronic Signature
  • SB961 by Senator Jason Smalley – Homebuyer Savings Account

New Member Benefit from 3iG

3000 Insurance Group is pleased to announce several new Long Term Care services available to all OAR members. Members who register for LTCRplusSM will have access to the following services, if and when they need them:

LTC FundingSM – Today, there are many life and annuity riders in addition to stand-alone Long Term Care Insurance policies. With LTCRplusSM, you’ll have access to the most current and cost-effective solutions in the market, plus you may qualify for group-rated association protection and discounts not available to the general public!

LTC NavigationSM – It’s hard to know where to start finding quality care. With LTCRplusSM, you’ll have access to professionals who can consult with you or your family member about the type of care needed, available budget, geographic limitations or desires, quality ratings, facility reputations, and much more. If you or your family member already have a Long Term Care Insurance policy, LTCRplusSM can provide claims assistance to help you maximize coverage payments and minimize hassles.

LTC CareAuditSM – LTCRplusSM can reduce your stress and worries for you and your family by providing a detailed assessment and regular auditing of care to assure your family member is receiving optimal care.

LTC LegalSM – With LTCRplusSM, you’ll have access to online documents such as medical directives, powers of attorney, and wills you can tailor to your needs.

These valuable resources are backed by over 20 years of expertise in the long-term care arena. Visit https://info.ltcrplus.com/web-okreal or call 1-844-582-7587 to register at no cost today! For more information about other OAR Insurance Programs, visit 3000ig.com or call 405.521.1600.

Oklahoma Association of REALTORS® Expands Team


Oklahoma Association of REALTORS® (OAR) has announced the addition of two experienced policy and communication professionals to the association’s team. Josh Cockroft and Will Gattenby will help further OAR’s communication efforts and government relations as Senior Director of Government Affairs and Senior Director of Membership and Communications, respectively.

“The Oklahoma Association of REALTORS® is committed to having the most experienced and professional team in place to help further serve Oklahoma REALTORS® through advocacy and education,” OAR President Lisa Weaver said. “We continue to grow and add knowledgeable and skilled professionals to our team which enables us to be a united voice and first source of information, expertise and advocacy for all who practice real estate in our state.”

Cockroft is a former Republican member of the Oklahoma House of Representatives, who represented District 27 from 2010 to 2018. He has served as a member of the House leadership under two speakers, as assistant majority whip, as a presiding officer in the House, as the chairman of the House Rules Committee and as the chairman of the House Special Investigative Committee.

As the Senior Director of Government Affairs, Cockroft will provide professional service, expertise and government affairs representation to more than 11,500 members represented by OAR. He will educate and mobilize members on government, regulatory and policy issues as well as develop policy initiatives.

Gattenby brings nearly ten years of experience in communications and policy. His previous roles include director of communications for the Mick Cornett for Governor and Lonegan for U.S. Senate campaigns, press secretary for former Oklahoma Attorney General Scott Pruitt and account services coordinator for Sagac Public Affairs. Gattenby also co-founded William & Lauren, Inc., an online-based, custom clothing business, in 2015. He serves on the advisory board for the University of Central Oklahoma’s Strategic Communications Program and is a member of Edmond Young Professionals.

In his role as Senior Director of Membership and Communications, Gattenby will be responsible for administering and managing event and program planning as well as membership and data quality. He will develop member leadership volunteer activities and serve as staff support for local board relations.

OAR provides members with information and a forum for participating in the conversation while working to promote favorable policies for real estate property owners. More information about OAR’s work with the Oklahoma Legislature can be found at http://okrealtors.com/government-affairs/.

SPC Update: House and Senate Committee Chairs Filled

House Speaker Charles McCall has announced the standing House Committee chair and vice chair assignments and Senate President Pro Tempore-designate Greg Treat has announced committee chair assignments for the 57th Legislature.

The list of House leadership and committees are as follows:

Administrative Rules:
Rep. Tom Gann, R-Inola, Chair
Rep. Denise Crosswhite-Hader, R-Piedmont, Vice Chair

Agriculture & Rural Development:
Rep. Dell Kerbs, R-Shawnee, Chair
Rep. Jim Grego, R-Wilburton, Vice Chair

Appropriations & Budget (A&B):
Rep. Kevin Wallace, R-Wellston, Chair
Rep. Kyle Hilbert, R-Depew, Vice Chair

A&B Education Subcommittee:
Rep. Mark McBride, R-Moore, Chair
Rep. Toni Hasenbeck, R-Elgin, Vice Chair

A&B Finance Subcommittee:
Rep. Scott Fetgatter, R-Okmulgee, Chair
Rep. Brian Hill, R-Mustang, Vice Chair

A&B General Government Subcommittee:
Rep. Charles Ortega, R-Altus, Chair
Rep. Judd Strom, R-Copan, Vice Chair

A&B Health Subcommittee:
Rep. Marcus McEntire, R-Duncan, Chair
Rep. TJ Marti, R-Broken Arrow, Vice Chair

A&B Human Services Subcommittee:
Rep. Mark Lawson, R-Sapulpa, Chair
Rep. Randy Randleman, R-Eufaula, Vice Chair

A&B Judiciary Subcommittee:
Rep. Rande Worthen, R-Lawton, Chair
Rep. Robert Manger, R-Oklahoma City, Vice Chair 

A&B Natural Resources & Regulatory Services Subcommittee:
Rep. Carl Newton, R-Cherokee, Chair
Rep. Logan Phillips, R-Mounds, Vice Chair

A&B Public Safety Subcommittee:
Rep. Ross Ford, R-Broken Arrow, Chair
Rep. Stan May, R-Broken Arrow, Vice Chair

A&B Non-Appropriated Agencies Subcommittee:
Rep. Kevin West, R-Moore, Chair
Rep. Ken Luttrell, R-Ponca City, Vice Chair

A&B Transportation Subcommittee:
Rep. Todd Russ, R-Cordell, Chair
Rep. Nicole Miller, R-Edmond, Vice Chair

Banking, Financial Services & Pensions:
Rep. Mark Lepak, R-Claremore, Chair
Rep. Jeff Boatman, R-Tulsa, Vice Chair

Business & Commerce:
Rep. Ryan Martinez, R-Edmond, Chair
Rep. Rusty Cornwell, R-Vinita, Vice Chair

Children, Youth & Family Services:
Rep. Carol Bush, R-Tulsa, Chair
Rep. John Talley, R-Stillwater, Vice Chair

Common Education:
Rep. Rhonda Baker, R-Yukon, Chair
Rep. Mark Vancuren, R-Owasso, Vice Chair

County & Municipal Government:
Rep. Brad Boles, R-Marlow, Chair
Rep. Lonnie Sims, R-Jenks, Vice Chair 

Energy & Natural Resources:
Rep. Terry O’Donnell, R-Catoosa, Chair
Rep. Trey Caldwell, R-Lawton, Vice Chair 

Government Efficiency:
Rep. Mike Osburn, R-Edmond, Chair
Rep. Daniel Pae, R-Lawton, Vice Chair 

Health Services & Long-Term Care:
Rep. Chad Caldwell, R-Enid, Chair
Rep. Marilyn Stark, R-Bethany, Vice Chair 

Higher Education & Career Tech:
Rep. Jadine Nollan, R-Sand Springs, Chair
Rep. Derrel Fincher, R-Bartlesville, Vice Chair 

Rep. Lewis Moore, R-Arcadia, Chair
Rep. Chris Sneed, R-Fort Gibson, Vice Chair 

Rep. Chris Kannady, R-Oklahoma City, Chair
Rep. Danny Sterling, R-Tecumseh, Vice Chair 

Public Health:
Rep. Sean Roberts, R-Hominy, Chair
Rep. Cynthia Roe, R-Lindsay, Vice Chair 

Public Safety:
Rep. Justin Humphrey, R-Lane, Chair
Rep. Johnny Tadlock, R-Idabel, Vice Chair 

Rep. Zack Taylor, R-Seminole, Chair
Rep. Lundy Kiger, R-Poteau, Vice Chair 

Rep. Avery Frix, R-Muskogee, Chair
Rep. Ronny Johns, R-Ada, Vice Chair 

Rep. Mike Sanders, R-Kingfisher, Chair
Rep. Kenton Patzkowsky, R-Balko, Vice Chair 

Veterans & Military Affairs:
Rep. Tommy Hardin, R-Madill, Chair
Rep. Ty Burns, R-Morrison, Vice Chair 

Rep. Kevin McDugle, R-Broken Arrow, Chair
Rep. David Smith, R-Stuart, Vice Chair 

Rep. Josh West, R-Grove, Chair
Rep. Mickey Dollens, D-Oklahoma City, Vice Chair

The Floor Leader Team includes:

State Rep. Jon Echols, R-Oklahoma City, Majority Floor Leader
State Rep. John Pfeiffer, R-Orlando, Deputy Floor Leader
State Rep. Dustin Roberts, R-Durant, Deputy Floor Leader
State Rep. Mark McBride, R-Moore, Assistant Floor Leader
State Rep. Shelia Dills, R-Tulsa, Assistant Floor Leader
State Rep. Garry Mize, R-Guthrie, Assistant Floor Leader
State Rep. Jay Steagall, R-Yukon, Assistant Floor Leader

The Whip Team includes:
State Rep. Terry O’Donnell, R-Catoosa, Majority Whip
State Rep. Ryan Martinez, R-Edmond, Assistant Whip
State Rep. Mike Osburn, R-Edmond, Assistant Whip
State Rep. Jadine Nollan, R-Sand Springs, Assistant Whip
State Rep. Lewis Moore, R-Arcadia, Assistant Whip
State Rep. Tammy West, R-Bethany, Assistant Whip
State Rep. Tammy Townley, R-Ardmore, Assistant Whip
State Rep. Sherrie Conley, R-Newcastle, Assistant Whip
State Rep. Dean Davis, R-Broken Arrow, Assistant Whip
State Rep. David Hardin, R-Stilwell, Assistant Whip
State Rep. Jim Olsen, R-Roland, Assistant Whip


The Senate committee chair list are as follows:

Agriculture and Wildlife Committee
Senator Casey Murdock, Chair
Senator Roland Pederson, Vice Chair 

Retirement and Insurance Committee
Senator Marty Quinn, Chair
Senator Ron Sharp, Vice Chair

Public Safety Committee
Senator Wayne Shaw, Chair
Senator Lonnie Paxton, Vice Chair

Health and Human Services Committee
Senator Jason Smalley, Chair
Senator Greg McCortney, Vice Chair

Education Committee
Senator Gary Stanislawski, Chair
Senator Joe Newhouse, Vice Chair

Judiciary Committee
Senator Julie Daniels, Chair
Senator Darcy Jech, Vice Chair

Finance Committee
Senator Stephanie Bice, Chair
Senator Chuck Hall, Vice Chair

Transportation Committee
Senator Rob Standridge, Chair
Senator Micheal Bergstrom, Vice Chair

Appropriations Committee
Senator Roger Thompson, Chair
Senator Dave Rader, Vice Chair

Appropriations Subcommittee on Select Agencies
Senator Tom Dugger, Chair
Senator Paul Scott, Vice Chair 

Appropriations Subcommittee on Health and Human Services
Senator Frank Simpson, Chair
Senator Paul Rosino, Vice Chair

Appropriations Subcommittee on Natural Resources and Regulatory Services
Senator Darcy Jech, Chair
Senator Wayne Shaw, Vice Chair

Appropriations Subcommittee on General Government and Transportation
Senator Gary Stanislawski, Chair
Senator John Michael Montgomery, Vice Chair

Appropriations Subcommittee on Public Safety and Judiciary
Senator Adam Pugh, Chair
Senator Julie Daniels, Vice Chair

Appropriations Subcommittee on Education
Senator Dewayne Pemberton, Chair
Senator Chris Kidd, Vice Chair

Rules Committee
Senator Greg McCortney, Chair
Senator Mark Allen, Vice Chair

Energy Committee
Senator Mark Allen, Chair
Senator Lonnie Paxton, Vice Chair

Business, Commerce, and Tourism Committee
Senator James Leewright, Chair
Senator Joseph Silk, Vice Chair

Veterans and Military Affairs Committee
Senator Frank Simpson, Chair
Senator Larry Boggs, Vice Chair

General Government Committee
Senator Nathan Dahm, Chair
Senator Tom Dugger, Vice Chair

If any SPCs have relationships with career chairs or any insights, please let OAR’s Government Affairs team know so we can help leverage for the best of our profession.

2018 NAR Annual Conference Recap

The National Association of REALTORS® held their annual conference in Boston at the beginning of November. This year’s conference featured the first ever REALTOR® Relief Run that raised over $100,000 for the REALTOR® Relief Foundation and many local charities, a General Session with Actor and Entrepreneur Mark Wahlberg, and Exhibit Hall with hundreds of vendors from across the country.

The NAR Annual conference is an opportunity for REALTORS® from across the country to meet with, share with and enjoy the company of over 20,000 REALTOR® colleagues from large firms, small firms and firms that face the same challenges that they encounter every day. The largest trade show and conference in the real estate also features national Speakers such as Leigh Brown and Nobu Hata to speakers you will soon discover are the leading voices in Real Estate. Attending this NAR Annual conference should be in everyone business plan. It will allow you to be exposed to ideas and concepts that may be in its maturation or just taking off. The next conference will be held in November 2019 in San Francisco. Get more information about that here:

One of the big takeaways from this year’s conference was the introduction of C2EX – the Commitment to Excellence. An initiative started many years ago that will allow REALTORS® from across the country to log into and online portal to increase their professionalism. By logging into www.C2EX.realtor, REALTORS® can take a self-guided path to raising the bar in real estate. The goal of the Commitment to Excellence program is to raise the professionalism in Real Estate and provide an addition resource to state and local association to help improve the professionalism for dedicated REALTORS®.

For more information about the events at the Boston NAR Conference, log onto https://www.conferencelive.realtor. There you can see pictures videos and articles written by REALTORS® from across the country.

Axay Parekh
AxTulsa Realty Grp – Re/Max Life






Listen to the Talking Real episode with Stephanie Carter (Edmond AE) & Robin Johnson (Norman AE) where we recap the 2018 Annual Confernce.

How to Prepare Your Home to Sell

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

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

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

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

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

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

LaDonna Bryce
Bryce Realty Group





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

Christmas Around Oklahoma

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


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

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

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


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

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

More info: https://chickashafestivaloflight.org/


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

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

Holiday crafts at the 1889 Territorial Schoolhouse.

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

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

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

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


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

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

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

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

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

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


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

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

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

Midwest City

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

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

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


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

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

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


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

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

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


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

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

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

The Importance of Pricing

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Brian Preston. GRI
RE/MAX At Home






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

4 Misconceptions That Prevent Home Buyers

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

“I need 20% down to buy a home”

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

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

“My credit score it too low”

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

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

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

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

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


Source: Houselogic

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

By 3000 Insurance Group

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

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

The benefits of a group plan are:

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


The typical requirements for starting a group health plan are:

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

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

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

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

2019 Committee Appointments

Association Membership Committee

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

Audit & Finance Committee

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

Communication & Outreach Committee

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

Conference Committee

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

Contract Forms Committee

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

Government Affairs Committee

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

Government Affairs Legislative Sub-Committee

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

Government Affairs Regulatory Sub-Committee

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

Life Membership Committee

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

Lynne Siano
Bill Poertner
Chuck Harris

LOAR Governing Board

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

Nominating Committee

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

Oklahoma Housing Foundation

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

Professional Development Committee

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

Professional Standards Committee

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

REALTOR® of the Year Committee

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

YPN Advisory Board

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

Pending Home Sales Dip 1.8 Percent in August

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

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

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

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

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

Instant Reaction: Lawrence Yun on Today’s FOMC Statement

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

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

Realtors Release 2018 Member Safety Report

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

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

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

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

Click here to read the full report.


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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

NAR Introduces the Center for REALTOR® Financial Wellness

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

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

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

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

Proposed Bylaws Changes

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

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

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

SLA Update: Runoffs on Aug. 28

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

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

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

2019 Slate of Officers & Directors

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

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

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

Instant Reaction: July Jobs Report

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

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

SLA Update: SQ 788 & Runoff Elections

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

The following lawmakers have been named to the group:

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

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

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

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

Realtors® statement on House vote to extend flood insurance

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

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

Existing-Home Sales Subside 0.6 Percent in June

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

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

SLA Update: Defining Your Role

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

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

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

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

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

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

Instant Reaction: June Jobs Report

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

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

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

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

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

Instant Reaction: May Housing Starts

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

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

8 powerful resources for building a lead capture system

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

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

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

Form Builders

1.  Google Forms – Free

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

2.  Gravity Forms – ($59/yr)

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

3.  Wufoo – (Free and/or $19/mo+)

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

4.  Form Tools – (Free)

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

Landing Page Tools

5.  Unbounce – ($79/mo+)

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

6.  Instapage – ($69/mo+)

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

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

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

Lead Form in Facebook

8.  Facebook Lead Form – Cost tied to ad

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

Instant Reaction: May Jobs Report

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

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

LeadershipOAR Application

Go back to LeadershipOAR page

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

2019 LeadershipOAR

  • Personal Data

  • Drop files here or
  • Education

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

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

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

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

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

  • If accepted into the LeadershipOAR program, you will be billed for the remaining $1,000 tuition fee ($1,195 - $195 application fee). This tuition includes training sessions, meals, overnight accommodations and instructional materials. Additional costs to the participants will include transportation from home to the meeting or retreat site and minimal expenses, which may be incurred during the field exercise phase of the program.
  • Note: If tuition is not paid in full by January 30, 2020, you will not be able to participate in the LeadershipOAR program.
  • Broker Commitment

  • Date Format: MM slash DD slash YYYY
  • Sponsor Commitment (if applicable)

  • Date Format: MM slash DD slash YYYY

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

2018 Community Rock Star

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

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

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

Life Member Nominations Due July 2

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

Download a nomination form
Life Member Request Letter/Criteria

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

 For more information, email Nabeel Jamal or call 405.848.9944.

2018 REALTOR® of the Year Nominations Due July 2

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

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

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

Nomination Form

Oklahoma Association of REALTORS®
9807 N. Broadway Extension
Oklahoma City, OK 73114

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

2019 Committee Nominations

For a list of committee descriptions please click here.

2019 Committee Nominations

Instant Reaction: Q1 GDP

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

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

Existing Home Sales Grew Slightly in March; Supply Shortage Continues

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

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

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


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

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

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

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

Instant Reaction: March Jobs Report

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

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

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

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

Accidental Employee Breaches on the Rise

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Logon to narrpr.com …

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

2. Choose Share on Facebook.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

The truth about technology

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

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

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

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

REALTORS® share 10 RPR strategies for success

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

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

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

2. Mortgage data turns table in buyer’s favor

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

3. Economic area report gives voice to association staffers

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

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

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

5. Easy icebreaker ideas for creating new business

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

6. School report cuts sales cycle in half

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

7. Client engagement leads to early buy-in

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

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

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

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

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

10. REALTOR® owned technology sweetens showings

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

Introducing RPR Connect: a new Facebook Group

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

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

RPR Connect is about you!

1. Get answers to your RPR questions

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

2. See what’s new

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

3. Strategize with other REALTORS®

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

4. Pick up tips to build your business

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

5. Uncover new learning resources

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

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

Aluminum, steel tariffs impact on residential real estate

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

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

Dos and Don’ts of Screening Tenants Legally

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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



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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Source: NAR Newsline

Ep 3: Smart Home Tech & Contract Forms Update

   Listen on Google Play Music

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

Jessica Dietrich – Government Affairs Director

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

Instant Reaction: 2017 Q4 GDP

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

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

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

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

Instant Reaction: December Housing Starts

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

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

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

NAR Statement on Federal Government Shutdown

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

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

7 Habits to Boost Business in 2018

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

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


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

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

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

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

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

4. Only do what’s important.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Tax Bill Passes; Tough Work Still Ahead

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

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


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

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

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

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

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

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

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

REALTOR® Magazine

Instant Reaction: November Housing Starts

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

We’ll find out soon…

10 standout features RPR added this year

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

1. Search by Voice

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

2. A comp analysis on the fly

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

3. Notifications on RPR Mobile™ 

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

4. SMR Commercial Tenant data

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

5. Add custom home facts

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

6. Traffic count data arrives in RPR Commercial and mobile

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

7. Insert PDF templates into RPR Reports

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

8. Residential lease searches

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

9. Open Houses on the RPR app

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

10. Good news for FPCs,GADs and Association staff

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

Instant Reaction: November Jobs Report

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

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

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

Instant Reaction: Lawrence Yun on Today’s FOMC Statement

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

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

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

Voter Registration Drive

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

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

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

Questions? Contact Jessica Dietrich  for more information.

LeadershipOAR Application

Go back to LeadershipOAR page

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


  • Personal Data

  • Drop files here or
  • Education

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

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

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

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

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

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

  • Date Format: MM slash DD slash YYYY
  • Sponsor Commitment (if applicable)

  • Date Format: MM slash DD slash YYYY

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

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

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

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

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

Instant Reaction: October Housing Starts

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

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

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

The Anatomy of a First-time Buyer in 2017

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

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

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

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

NAR HBS First-time Buyers

Source: NAR Newsline

YPN Organizes Toys For Tots Statewide Drive

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

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

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

OAR Wins 2017 State YPN of the Year

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

Here are the award winners:

Small Network: Gallatin Association of REALTORS®


Medium Network: Pikes Peak Association of REALTORS®


Large Network: Miami Association of REALTORS®


State Network: Oklahoma Association of REALTORS®


How to Keep Consumers Engaged

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

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

Your personal realtor

Embrace technology:

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

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

Automate what you can:                                

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

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

Stay in touch with previous clients:   

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

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

Source: NAR Newsline

NAR’s 2018 Housing and Economic Forecast

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

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

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

News release
2018 Forecast Table

Source: NAR Newsline

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

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

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

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

RPR: Mortgage data turns table in buyer’s favor

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Instant Reaction: September Housing Starts

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

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

Instant Reaction: September Jobs Report

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

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

8 RPR App Tips and Tricks

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

1. Build a CMA on the fly

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

2. Save properties for quick access later

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

3. Swipe property in list view for shortcuts

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

4. Zoom to parcel level when canvassing a neighborhood

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

5. Send report by text message

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

6. 3D Touch shortcuts

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

7. Advanced search

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

8. Full screen photos

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

Xplode Conference Comes Back to OKC


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

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

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

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

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

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

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


Regional Housing Forum Taking Place in Midwest City


Affordable Housing Toolkit to be presented at Regional Housing Forum

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

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

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

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

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


Instant Reaction: Lawrence Yun on FOMC Statement

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

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

Source: NAR Newsline

Instant Reaction: August Housing Starts

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

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

Source: NAR Newsline