Capital Area REALTOR March/April issue

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Women in Real Estate | Green Living | Energy-Efficient Homes

Official publication of the Greater Capital Area Association of REALTORS®

March/April 2020


























Energy-Efficient Homes – p. 12

March/April 2020

Green Real Estate – p. 14

Women in Real Estate – p.16

Work-Life Balance – p. 33


in every issue


Make the GCAAR Offices Work for You


A Letter From the President


Sponsorship Opportunities at REALTOR® Fest


Association News


Economic Outlook & Forecast


Midyear Meetings Update


How to Make Homes More Energy Efficient


What You Need to Know About Green Real Estate


Member Services Corner


From the GCAAR Classroom

Women in Real Estate


Coach’s Corner


Legal Hotline


RPAC Investors


Education Calendar


Welcome New Members!


33 REALTOR® Toolbox: How to Achieve Work-Life Balance in Real Estate

<xx<of directors board

A Letter from the president

President-Elect Jan Brito

President Danai Mattison Sky

I hope all of you are staying safe and well. Can you believe that spring is here already? We often think of spring as a time to refresh. When the landscape becomes greener, we certainly see consumers putting more thought into being “green” in what they do, including in real estate! That’s why this issue has plenty of tips and tricks for you to add to your arsenals around energy efficiency and green real estate. You never know when you are going to encounter a client who has these as priorities, and we certainly want to be a trusted resource, am I right?

Secretary Harrison Beacher

Treasurer Frank Snodgrass

Immediate Past President Koki Adasi

Chief Executive Officer Edward Krauze

Directors Avi Adler Thom Brockett Samantha Damato Carlos Evans Jody Goren Gwen Henderson

Marcus Jaffe Daniel Schuler Andres Serafini Sandra Stewart Christopher Suranna Kirsten Williams




Managing Editor Kat Jercich

Advertising Representative Arlene Braithwaite

Design & Layout Sharon Thorpe 4 CAPITAL AREA REALTOR ® — March/April 2020

“Going green” in real estate isn’t all we’re covering in this issue, however. I encourage you to get to know some of your colleagues through our “Women in Real Estate” feature. I have loved finding out more about our members, including how I might incorporate some of their unique strategies into my own day-to-day business. There’s always more to learn, and we are lucky to have the opportunity to do so from each other. Plus, don’t miss the expert tips for work/life balance as part of our REALTOR® toolbox. Who doesn’t need that?! This business allows us the freedom of our time, which can be both enjoyable and difficult in terms of working toward an efficient schedule. Finding our personal work/life balance is possible, though, and I know I want all the tips. I know you will find value in this issue. If there are topics or members that you would like to see in an upcoming issue, please let me know. Capital Area REALTOR® is for you, and we want it to be a resource you enjoy! I can’t wait to see you at many of our upcoming events, including our biggest event of the year, REALTOR® Fest (July 6). Wishing you all a happy and healthy spring! Best,

Danai Mattison Sky Danai Mattison Sky




Capital Area REALTOR® Volume 7, Issue 2, March/April 2020 (USPS 017-467) is published five times a year by the Greater Capital Area Association of REALTORS® (GCAAR), 15201 Diamondback Drive, Suite 100, Rockville, MD 20850-3779. Corrections, etc., can be sent to Periodicals postage paid at Gaithersburg, MD and additional mailing offices. Member subscriptions account for $10 of each member’s annual dues. Annual subscriptions are available to non-members for $25. Subscription inquiries may be sent to Capital Area REALTOR® at the above address. POSTMASTER: Send address changes to Capital Area REALTOR®, ATTN: GCAAR, 15201 Diamondback Drive, Suite 100, Rockville, MD 20850-3779. The Greater Capital Area Association of REALTORS® makes no warranties and assumes no responsibility for the accuracy of the information contained herein. The opinions expressed herein do not necessarily reflect the opinion of the officers, directors, or staff of the Greater Capital Area Association of REALTORS®.

Did you know? A mature tree can absorb 48 pounds of carbon dioxide a year.

The Greater Capital Area Association of REALTORS® accepts submissions of articles and photographs and the items become the property of the Greater Capital Area Association of REALTORS®. The publisher reserves the right of full editorial authority and to decline publication of any article not deemed proper. Reprint with permission only. Reprints may be obtained by contacting the Greater Capital Area Association of REALTORS® at 301.590.2000, or send an email to REALTOR® is a registered collective membership mark that identifies and may be used only by real estate professionals who are members of the National Association of REALTORS® and subscribe to its Code of Ethics. Copyright© 2020 by the Greater Capital Area Association of REALTORS®. All rights reserved.


CAPITAL AREA REALTOR ® — March/April 2020 5

association news <xx< Update: GCAAR February 2020 Forms Release GCAAR’s February 2020 forms release focused on editorial updates to our Sales and Rental libraries. It included updating terms, such as “Regional Sales Contract” to “GCAAR Sales Contract” and “MRIS” to “Bright MLS,” throughout the libraries. All checklists were also updated to streamline their usage. We then made legislative updates to account for the new 8 percent Maryland non-resident seller withholding tax in both GCAAR Form 909, the Jurisdictional Addendum to the Listing Agreement in Montgomery County, and GCAAR Form 914, Seller’s Estimated Costs Worksheet. GCAAR Form 909 also clarified language for video monitoring. Finally, we added a new form, GCAAR Form 875, Adverse Consequences, as a tool to be used in situations where buyers are submitting offers that may have terms and/or conditions that may be classified as having certain adverse consequences. The form is not meant to be submitted with the offer, but for the broker/agent to have as transparent documentation that the agent made the buyer aware of the potential adverse consequences with the offer. If you have any questions about these forms, please email

GCAAR members gather for a YPN Committee event.

Mark Your Calendars for These Upcoming Events! May 13: GCAAR & NVAR Boat Cruise (Washington, DC) July 6: REALTOR® Fest (Bethesda North Marriott)

6 CAPITAL AREA REALTOR ® — March/April 2020

Did you know ... that the GCAAR offices can work for you? It’s true! The Greater Capital Area Association of REALTORS® has two office locations: one in DC steps from the Dupont Circle metro station, and one in Rockville, conveniently close to Highway 270. Consider renting in our offices for the perfect spot to hold sales or team meetings, set up company networking events, or connect with others in the industry. Contact to learn more. Both our office locations hold continuing education classes and designation courses, many of which are conveniently listed at the end of this issue. If you’ve been procrastinating on taking the classes needed to renew your license, or a certification course that can help you get ahead and make you stand out among your peers, now’s a great time to sign up and check out the space. Visit to register for classes and check on licensing requirements. We also have a REALTOR® store for you to purchase SentriLock products, REALTOR®-branded items, open house marketing tools, sign riders, and more. Come by to see what we have to offer.

CAPITAL AREA REALTOR ® — March/April 2020 7


Sponsorship Opportunities at REALTOR® Fest As the region’s largest REALTOR® trade show, our signature conference REALTOR® Fest offers networking and continuing education classes to provide opportunities for career growth. With 1,000 attendees, REALTOR® Fest can also help you achieve your marketing and business goals—whether you are just starting out, looking to expand your company’s client base, or seeking qualified business leads. REALTOR® Fest offers GCAAR members and non-members the opportunity to sponsor at many different levels that work within budgets for all company sizes.

Platinum | $10,000 for GCAAR members As a Platinum-level sponsor, you receive: • a 16x16 booth with a guaranteed premier location • your company’s logo on the front cover of the program • one full-page fold-out ad in the program • your company’s name listed in the program • your company’s logo and website link prominently featured on the GCAAR website • the opportunity to have your company’s staff help run the registration desk • the opportunity to use a breakout room for your company’s own purposes • signage in the hallway leading into the trade show • 10 trade show passes to attend the day of the event • recognition as a lunch sponsor • inclusion in the REALTOR® Fest passport book • the opportunity to announce your company’s prize during the raffle

8 CAPITAL AREA REALTOR ® — March/April 2020

Gold | $5,000 for GCAAR members As a Gold-level sponsor, you receive: • an 8x16 booth with a guaranteed prime location • your company’s logo on the front cover of the program book • one full-page ad in a prime location in the program book • your company’s name listed in the program • your company’s logo and website link on the GCAAR website • the opportunity to use a breakout room for your company’s own purposes • signage in the hallway leading into the trade show • eight trade show passes • recognition as a breakfast sponsor • inclusion in the REALTOR® Fest passport book • the chance to announce your company’s prize during the raffle

Silver | $2,500 for GCAAR members As a Silver-level sponsor, you receive: • a standard booth • your company’s name listed in the program book • one full-page ad in the program book • your company’s logo and website link displayed on the GCAAR website • six trade show passes • the opportunity to provide a prize during the raffle

Amenities offered on a first-come, first-served basis:

• signage as audio/visual sponsor • branded cups, plates, napkins, etc. during breaks (sponsor provides) • highlighters/pens at registration (sponsor provides) • charging station with signage

Bronze | $1,500 for GCAAR members As a Bronze-level sponsor, you receive: • a standard booth • your company’s name and website link listed in the program and on the GCAAR website • your logo on the program notes page • four trade show passes

Amenities offered on a first-come, first-served basis:

• classroom with signage • branded highlighters/pens at registration • parking signage

• the opportunity to provide a prize during the raffle

Exhibitor | $625 for GCAAR members As an Exhibitor-level sponsor, you receive: • a standard booth • your company’s name listed in the REALTOR® Fest program and on the website • two trade show passes REALTOR® Fest will take place on Monday, July 6 at the Bethesda North Marriott. You will have the opportunity to set up your booth the evening before on Sunday, July 5. GCAAR will pay for all Wi-Fi, electricity at the booth, and chairs and tables for your booth set-up. There will also be free first-come parking at the hotel the day of the event. This year, the trade show will give all booths improved exposure and will feature innovative small segments onstage to draw attendees to the room at all times of the day. If you are interested in learning more about REALTOR® Fest, please reach out to Kayla Neiderer, events manager, at 301.590.8776 or CAPITAL AREA REALTOR ® — March/April 2020 9


Bethesda BethesdaNorth NorthMarriott Marriott

July July6,6,2020 2020 Details Details coming coming soon! soon!

GCAAR’s GCAAR’sannual annualeducation educationand andtrade trade show showfeatures: features: • •More Morethan than13.5 13.5hours hoursofofcontinuing continuing education educationcourses courses • •Affordable Affordableregistration registrationfees fees

• •One Oneofofthe thelargest largesttrade tradeshows showsininthe the DMV DMV • •Plenty Plentyofofopportunities opportunitiestotonetwork network with withmore morethan than1,000 1,000REALTORS® REALTORS®

Interested Interested inin getting getting great great visibility visibility forfor your your company? company? Contact Contact Kayla Kayla Neiderer Neiderer atat forfor sponsorship sponsorship details. details. 12 CAPITAL AREA REALTOR ® — Spring 2020

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How to make homes more Energy Efficient


ave your clients ever been part of a “thermostat war” in their households? Maybe one of them thinks the office is too cold, but the other is way too warm in the game room downstairs—so they go back and forth a degree or two for the entire weekend. This is more than just a comfort issue, says Cynthia Adams: It’s a sign their home may not be energy efficient. Taking action to fix it can help the planet, save them money, and cut down on their temperature territory troubles. Cynthia, the co-founder of Pearl Home Certification, has been in the energy efficiency business for nearly 20 years. After she and her husband renovated a 1770s home, she realized that energy efficiency is as much about indoor air quality as it is about lower energy bills. “Many of us put up with our homes instead of recognizing we don’t have to live like that,” she says. A well-built, energy-efficient home is a comfortable home, a healthy home, and a convenient home.

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One of the least-understood home improvements, Cynthia says, is air sealing. Most people’s minds go to windows and doors when they think about making their homes less permeable to outside environments, but that’s not really where the biggest bang for your buck is. Rather, she says, it’s a matter of sealing where the foundation meets the walls of your house, or the walls meet the roof. That will keep warm air from escaping out the top of your home and cool air from seeping into the bottom—making your home a better environment overall. “You can think of a home like a body,” says Cynthia. “It’s composed of different systems, and those systems work together. We typically recommend that homeowners who have comfort problems or high bills consult with a professional who thinks of the house from a whole-home perspective.” When a house is insulated and sealed properly, owners can then install a smaller heating and cooling system. The downsizing of equipment might lead to fancier systems, which in turn improve air quality or comfort. Heating and cooling themselves are important. If an air conditioning duct runs through a poorly sealed 140-degree attic, it’s going to take more energy to keep that air cool, costing more money and draining valuable natural resources. Every little bit helps. The U.S. Department of Energy estimates that most homeowners can achieve 20% savings on energy bills through cost-effective measures, such as switching out the lighting in their homes from traditional bulbs to LEDs, improving their insulation and air sealing, or purchasing smart thermometers or ENERGY STAR®-rated appliances. All these steps add up to real results—not just in a monthly bill, but in a home’s value. Today’s buyers, Cynthia says, want energy-efficient homes. Millennial buyers, in particular, think of energy efficiency as common sense in terms of sustainability. After all, the Department of Energy estimates that buildings in the United States account for about 40 percent of the country’s total energy use.

it’s going to have to compete on the market with what is becoming industry standard. “Our appraiser studies have consistently shown the same thing: There is anywhere from a three to nine percent increase in home value when sellers identify, document, and explain to buyers the homes’ high-performing energy features,” says Cynthia. For sellers, she recommends certification by a third party to validate a home’s efficiency. She also recommends explaining to prospective buyers why high-efficiency homes are going to cost less to own and operate. Buyers with infants may want reassurance that their babies will be cozy in an upstairs bedroom and not exposed to drafts. On the buying side, Cynthia recommends REALTORS® engage buyers on sets of questions that go beyond school districts and commute times. “Did your last house have funny smells?” she recommends asking. “Were the heating bills bad?” Questions like these can encourage buyers to think about how investing in energy efficiency can improve their experiences in the long term. Plus, for people living on the edge of paying a mortgage bill, she points out, finding an efficient home is a kind of insurance policy. “A hot summer or cold winter won’t cause an unexpected spike in energy bills,” she says. Cynthia says that Pearl has an app called Certify My Home, which agents can use to pre-qualify a listing for certification. It can help REALTORS® identify a house that is worthy of a potential certification— which in turn can help them market it better, price it better, and sell it better. “There are things you can do to raise the bar for your professionalism and reputation,” she says, and focusing on energy efficiency is among them. “I always say that real estate agents have an important role to play in climate change,” Cynthia says. “Many of them just don’t know it yet.”

“The largest group of homebuyers these days believes in walking the talk,” says Cynthia. “They want homes that represent their values.” Cynthia also points out that many residential codes require new homes to meet certain energy standards. If a home was built before those codes were passed,

cynthia Adams

CAPITAL AREA REALTOR ® — March/April 2020 13


When you think of “green” home design, what do you imagine? Solar panels, tankless water heaters, and maybe high-performance glazing on windows? Sure, all of these are ways for your clients to make their homes a bit more environmentally friendly. But it doesn’t have to be that complicated. Vimal Kapoor, who has been in the business of making homes greener for 32 years, says that green building is the future—and the more you know about it as a REALTOR®, the better equipped for that future you’ll be. Vimal, the chief home inspector at Prime Property Inspectors, LLC, says that the key to green building is an integrative and collaborative approach among the different stakeholders. “Historically, when we build houses, we build them in a linear manner,” he says. “The foundation, framing, systems—mechanical, electrical, and plumbing—and the like.” “But people like myself involved with the design and construction of green buildings realized there was a benefit in taking a collaborative approach—where all parties involved with a particular aspect of building come onboard at an early stage,” he continues. That means, for example, that when a home’s plumbing system is being designed, the hydrologists, landscapers, engineers, and plumbers consult with each other to make sure the system is as efficient as possible.

There are five tenets of green building. First, it should be environmentally friendly. When you’re looking to build a house, consider the site and the community. Are there green spaces, or nearby transit? Are you building on a hillside, meaning soil erosion will eventually be a factor? Are the plants around the building native to the area? How do you plan to water those plants, and where is the excess water run-off going? Vimal points out that nearby deciduous trees, for instance, will shed their leaves in winter and grow them in summer— helping heat and cool the house. 14 CAPITAL AREA REALTOR ® — March/April 2020

Orientation of the house is also important, says Vimal. “We want a long, south-facing building to maximize the benefits of natural ventilation, solar energy, and daylight,” he says, which will also help with energy consumption. Placement of thermal mass such as concrete, brick, or stone that will absorb daytime heat during peak hours in summer and return it back to the environment is an important factor. Second, the house should be energy efficient. “No amount of fancy gadgetry is going to help you if your house isn’t sealed right or properly insulated,” warns Vimal. He also urges people to change their habits and behaviors around energy use inside the home. Third, it should minimize water consumption. The plumbing fixtures should be efficient, with venturi design shower heads, dual-flush toilets, and touchless kitchen sink faucets. Homeowners may not have considered how long it takes for hot water to get to their bathroom’s fixtures; if it takes a while, water will be wasted in the meantime. Vimal also advises minimizing pavement and driveways, thereby allowing surface water to uniformly infiltrate the ground. “Mother Nature,” he says, “is the best for removing the contaminants and replenishing groundwater.” Fourth, the house should have healthy indoor environments. Mold or mildew, for instance, can be harmful to the occupants, as can any pollutants that can be drawn into the house from depressurization. Vimal points out that if a building’s “envelope,” or outside layer, is not properly sealed, the building could have problems with water intrusion. Demand-controlled ventilation also allows for the dilution of pollutants. Finally, a house should be built from sustainable materials and products, such as wood floors, trim, and siding. The more reusable and recyclable materials, the better, says Vimal. Plus, some building materials are prone to releasing chemicals that can be harmful to the occupants and should not be used.

“The future is in advanced framing,” says Vimal. “In the last 100 years, we’ve been making steady progress in that regard. New materials are on the horizon that will address problems relating to energy performance, structural performance, space-age insulation, and bendable concrete.” Overall, he says, “I think green building is the future.” An informed REALTOR® with the most up-to-date information can offer themselves as a resource on green building. “REALTORS® must know more than their clients and always be one step ahead of the game, even if you don’t know yourself how to make buildings more efficient or environmentally friendly.” “The key is to know what is there and available so you can provide people with the right information,” Vimal says.

CAPITAL AREA REALTOR ® — March/April 2020 15


Jessica Evans

• REALTOR®, RLAH Real Estate • 2016 Young Professionals Network Chair • 2019 GCAAR Award Winner Jessica has been a real estate agent since 2009, when she graduated from college. “I studied economics and decided it wasn’t a career path for me,” says Jessica. “I liked that in the real estate industry, you can create your own operations and systems to determine your clients’ experience.” “I’ve always liked working with people and helping people,” she says. “Working in a service industry really appealed to me. Having a direct impact on people’s lives has always been a priority.” Jessica says that when she first became a real estate agent, most—if not all—of her clients were older than she was. “That changes more every year,” she laughs. “But I focused on building personal relationships and gaining trust first, and then the real estate relationship second.” “That experience taught me how much consumers can judge a book by its cover or jump to conclusions based on appearance,” she says. “I had to figure out how to convey my value to potential clients.” Jessica says she’s had many influential relationships in the industry, which has helped her improve her own business in turn. “I look at other top producers in the industry and see what they’ve done and how they do it, and see if their methodologies would align with my own,” she says. Gmail and Google Drive are critically important tools for Jessica in terms of staying organized. Gmail’s scheduling function, which allows users to “pause” their inboxes or remind themselves to follow up on an email, has been particularly helpful. She also listens to hours of podcasts every day. “I love hearing about how different successful team leaders run their businesses, and what has influenced them. It’s interesting to hear their stories.” Staying well-informed in this way, she says, helps her to continue growing and changing. “Professional growth comes from personal growth, so working to be open-minded and always pursuing opportunities to learn are building blocks of my business.” At the same time, she points out, consistency is key to success in the real estate industry. “You have to be innovative in marketing, but the fundamentals of real estate stay the same,” she says. “Technology is not a replacement for those fundamentals.” “I’m committed to making a difference in the industry,” she says. “Consumers I work with will have a positive experience and, in turn, value real estate professionals. If a consumer has a poor experience, that makes it harder for all of us to do our jobs—and buying and selling a house is a complex transaction!” “Clients have an idea of what they want their outcome to be, and I’m able to objectively listen and understand their needs,” she says. “I hope I’ve shown my clients the importance and value of using a real estate agent, and that knowledge will spread, one person at a time.” 16 CAPITAL AREA REALTOR ® — March/April 2020

Women in Real Estate According to the National Association of REALTORS®, two-thirds of all REALTORS® are women. Here at GCAAR, we’re especially lucky to have as members and affiliates thousands of powerhouse women, who bring a diversity of strengths, backgrounds, and talents to their clients. Capital Area REALTOR® spoke to six of these women about how they ended up in the industry, what they’ve learned, and what excites them about the future of real estate.

Angela Jones

• Associate Broker, Long & Foster Real Estate Inc. • 2016 District of Columbia Association of REALTORS® President • 2017 DCAR REALTOR® of the Year Angela got her real estate license in 2004, and she’s been with Long & Foster ever since. She’s also been involved with GCAAR’s Events Committee and the Forms Committee. Real estate is Angela’s third career: She was a broadcast journalist for 12 years, and then worked in public relations for 16. But all three of these roles involve building relationships, Angela says, and that’s where she shines. “Broadcast journalism and public relations are about building trust with sources and being able to communicate with them. They’re about investigating and figuring out the best people to connect with—and all of that figures into real estate,” Angela says. When she first started as a REALTOR®, Angela says, the main challenge she had to overcome was the idea that everyone she knew would want to use her services. “I had the thought in my head that everyone who knew me and loved me would want to use me as their REALTOR®,” she says. “But my best friend and my sister-in-law both used someone else, and it did knock the wind out of my sails a little bit. I was down in the dumps and questioning what I was doing.” Then, she says, she had an “aha” moment: “I can’t be everyone’s REALTOR®, and that’s OK!” Still, Angela says, she takes her work personally: “It’s not a transaction for me. It’s me trying to help a family member or a friend, and I lose sleep when things don’t work. To me, that’s what sets me apart from a lot of people. I’m tenacious: I anticipate issues and I try to resolve them. My mantra is, ‘how can we work this out?’” “When there’s a problem, you want me around,” she laughs, “Because I’m going to solve it.” Angela’s favorite tech shortcuts are HomeSnap and the SentriLock app; she loves how convenient they both are. And when it comes to staying on top of the industry, she advises, “Get yourself involved with your association.” “This industry is about more than selling real estate. It’s about knowing what legislation and other issues are going to affect you. If you’re not involved, unforeseen forces will take over your business,” she warns. “Don’t be passive. “ Ultimately, Angela says she’s motivated by being able to hand the keys to someone who didn’t think they could buy a house. “I bought my first house in 1990. I’d been living here since 1987 and renting. And I worked and saved and did some things to position myself to be able to buy a house. I didn’t think that I’d be able to do it,” she says. “But I did.” “Being able to give that chance to someone else—that’s what drives me.” CAPITAL AREA REALTOR ® — March/April 2020 17

“I love the feeling of helping to guide [homebuyers] home because I know how important that is.”


Gitika Kaul

• Principal, Kaul Home Group of Compass • 2019 GCAAR Award Winner • REALTOR® since 2016 Real estate is Gitika’s second career after being a TV journalist at ABC News for 17 years. “During my time as a journalist, I covered both domestic and international conflicts, worked on crazy tight deadlines, and learned to operate under immense pressure in an environment where you not only had to be fast, but accurate. There was no room for error. I also learned how to read between the lines,” she explains. ”I use each and every one of those skills nearly every day as a REALTOR® in this intense marketplace!” Gitika, who is licensed in Maryland, Virginia, and DC, says she was lucky to learn from the best in the business: Hans Wydler and Christy Bakaly. “My two secret weapons—or maybe not so secret,” she says. “I value the ethics, business, and marketing-savvy and data-driven approach set by Hans, and Christy really helped me through the day-to-day when I was starting out, always answering my calls no matter the hour,” she continues. “I am eternally grateful to them both.” As a wife and mother of two small children, Gitika says her greatest challenge is always time management. “I take a very client-focused approach to my business and have always put clients’ needs ahead of my own. But I have learned that clients do respect boundaries and that they do not want a burned-out advocate!” Gitika says she tries to take two-and-a-half hours in the evenings for her family: “Of course, I break this rule all the time, but I do try!” In Gitika’s view, the real estate industry is ripe for disruption. “I am always looking for better ways to serve my clients, so I make a consistent effort to stay on top of trends, always trying to determine how to leverage changes for the benefit of my clients.” That said, “I’m a big believer of quality over quantity so while I value efficiency, I’m not in support of change that undercuts the value every client deserves when buying or selling real estate.” One of her favorite tech shortcuts is the Compass app, as it allows her to conduct so much business from the road—since so many REALTORS® live in their cars. “At the end of the day, what we do is guide our clients through often-intense business transactions,” she says. “I stay laser-focused on my clients’ goals of netting the best sales price on a listing, and getting the most value on a property by taking a very data-driven and thoughtful strategic approach to a sale.” “My goal is always to provide the highest level of service, ease the inevitable stress of buying and selling, and most importantly, ensure we knock it out of the park with a strategy that will provide the best return on investment for the client,” she continues. Gitika says she’s driven by impact. “In my last career, millions of viewers saw my work on television every day. When I came to real estate I wondered: How would I positively impact as many people?” While the number may be different, she says, “I certainly feel the impact of my work much more directly and that is deeply fulfilling.” “As we know, working with buyers and sellers can be pretty intimate. I love that I get to experience the impact of my work firsthand, whether that is with first-time homebuyers, new families, downsizers, or folks who are new to the area,” she says. “I love the feeling of helping to guide them home because I know how important that is.”

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“I love what I do. I love the law. I love negotiating and resolving problems, I love settlements, and ultimately, I love making people happy.” Jill Michaels

• Founder and Chair, Jill Michaels Law and Michaels Title & Escrow • Contracts and Clauses Committee and Education Committee, GCAAR • 2009 Affiliate of the Year Jill Michaels is a lawyer who also holds a broker’s license. Jill has a long history of service on committees for GCAAR, including chairing the Rookie Society, and currently teaches a weekly class at GCAAR on real estate contracts, a Graduate, REALTOR® Institute class in DC, and classes at REALTOR® Fest with a “laugh while you learn” style. And on a personal note, Jill is excited that she recently became engaged! “In 2001, I graduated from The George Washington University Law School and passed the Maryland Bar. Shortly after I began my legal career as a litigator with Saul Ewing,” says Jill. When she was pregnant with the first of her four children, she realized something had to change; she was working around the clock and sleeping under her desk at 6 a.m. She went into real estate law, first managing the two Bethesda offices for Fountainhead Title, then one inside of the Bethesda Avenue Long & Foster. When she first started at Fountainhead Title, the owner Ed Brush gave her some advice: “Focus on the real estate purchase business—the REALTORS®. The refinance business is up and down. But the real business is with real estate agents.” On June 15, 2007, Jill took a major leap of faith and opened her own business—right at the start of the Great Recession. She jokingly remarked about remembering thinking to herself: “Either I’m going to be successful, or I’m going to file for bankruptcy!” When the market tanked, one of her real estate agents asked her for help with his client who lost his job, could no longer pay his mortgages, and whose home was underwater. “I had no experience with short sales. No one else would help him or his family. He was desperate. I took his case on pro bono under my law firm. I said to myself, ‘Just this one time.’ So I rolled up my sleeves, figured it out, and I fought the banks hard. I got the deficiency waived,” she says. “Next thing you know, people are calling me non-stop for help.” “REALTORS® in Maryland, Virginia, and DC aren’t allowed to negotiate short sales; in Maryland, it is actually a crime,” she says. “So, that’s where I come in. And since that day in 2007, I’ve helped over 15,000 homeowners with short sales through the law firm.” Jill built her title company business around adding value to real estate agents and their clients. She runs a free legal hotline and focuses on teaching real estate agents how to understand, write, and navigate contracts as well as the important legal consequences that can occur. Her advice to others in the industry is to stay flexible in terms of sales, to go where the market goes—and to learn how to protect themselves and their clients. “You’re negotiating a six- or seven-figure contract, so you can’t afford to make mistakes,” she says. As for what drives Jill, she says, “I love what I do. I love the law. I love negotiating and resolving problems, I love settlements, and ultimately, I love making people happy.” “Women are often made to feel shame and guilt around their careers—either they’re doing too much at work and should be at home, or not doing enough,” Jill says. “But once a teacher told me that she overheard my oldest daughter, Georgia, talking to her friends about how proud she was of her mom, and telling them about my career. And it made me feel good that I was setting an example for my kids about what a woman can do: run her own business, be a single mom of four kids, work hard, and be independent.” “I don’t need to have it all,” Jill says. “But I feel good about what I do, simply because it makes me smile!”

CAPITAL AREA REALTOR ® — March/April 2020 19

“Seeing those glowing reviews of how my agents impacted people personally makes me so happy.”


Margaret Plumly • Market Manager, Redfin • Community Service Committee, GCAAR • Maryland REALTORS® Legislative Committee Margaret loved real estate even before she became an agent.

“I lived in Atlanta during the building boom, and a friend of mine and I would walk through the houses under construction,” she says. “I always loved it.” So when it came time for her to make a career change, real estate seemed like a natural fit. At first, after getting her license, Margaret tried to keep her full-time job, but soon realized that wasn’t sustainable in an industry where you need to pick up the phone and be available throughout the day. That’s when she moved to Redfin, where she’s been for the last eight years. “I remember the first week at work—I had a convertible at the time. I was just driving up 270, looking around, and thinking, ‘Wow, is this really my job?’ ’’ Margaret says. Karen Parnes, who currently has her own brokerage, became Margaret’s mentor. Margaret now manages a team of her own as a Maryland market manager, using the skills she perfected in government consulting and her graduate certificate in project management to help her agents shine. Margaret says technology allows her and her agents to make the home-buying and selling process as easy as possible for clients. She notes that, for example, when a potential buyer signs up for a showing with her brokerage, their booking syncs up with agents’ calendars automatically. “Technology has changed the way we as agents work, but it’s also changed the way consumers search for homes,” she says. “They live in an ‘Amazon world,’ where they expect service delivered to them on their doorstep the same day. How do you adapt to that? How do you give people instant, great service?” “That’s part of why Redfin syncs up with how I like to do business,” she explains. “We heavily invest in tech and we’re constantly making changes to anticipate what people expect,” she says. She also loved the changes to Bright’s MLS system. Margaret urges other REALTORS® to get involved with their own associations. “Being a REALTOR® is so important because of the professional standards that we have to live up to, both in knowledge and in ethics,” she says. “That’s a big push on me and my agents: Do the right thing, and you always know what the right thing is.” Although Margaret no longer helps people buy and sell, she sees every single one of her agents’ surveys, and clients often reach out to her directly as well. “Seeing those glowing reviews of how my agents impacted people personally makes me so happy,” she says. “There’s nothing better than hearing about the first-time homebuyer who never thought they could do it, and hearing about how one of our agents walked them through the process and held their hand. That’s making a difference in people’s lives,” she says.

20 CAPITAL AREA REALTOR ® — March/April 2020

“The clients, and the journeys they’re on, and the life-changing decisions they’re making. It’s so beautiful to be invited into their homes.” Cris Sgrott • Founder, Organizing Maniacs • Started business in 2007 • 2017 National Association of Productivity & Organizing Professionals Founders Award nominee In 2007, the remodeling contractor that Cris was working for went bankrupt with the housing market crash. As part of that job, she knew a few subcontractors; she’d been to their offices, and she’d seen how messy they were. “I said, ‘Why don’t you let me help you?’” One person gave her the keys and full rein—and Cris has been organizing ever since. When she founded Organizing Maniacs—a GCAAR affiliate that serves the entire DC area—a decade ago, she says, she noticed that “a lot of people coming to me were very smart. They had an education. They had careers. But they just couldn’t stay organized.” “I started looking into it: What is happening in people’s brains that prevents them from doing this?” Cris continues. The majority of her current clients have ADD, ADHD, OCD, or hoarding tendencies, meaning the team at Organizing Maniacs often works with them for the long term. Cris says 60 percent of her business is repeat business—organization is not a one-and-done deal. “My biggest challenge is finding really good people who are aligned with who we are and what we do,” she says. “It takes a lot of compassion and love to be in this business—not just love for organizing, but love for people.” The last person she hired, she says, struck up a conversation with her at Goodwill after seeing the name on her van. “The questions she was asking were really interesting,” Cris says, “and they made it clear she was on the same page.” As with other industries, the organizing industry has been changing rapidly—and, Cris says, it’s been for the better. “When I started 13 years ago, there were a couple TV shows about organizing, but no one really knew how to work with a professional organizer. Now, because of people like Peter Walsh and Marie Kondo, there’s been greater public awareness of what organizing as a profession looks like,” says Cris. Even so, she says, the industry is still in its infancy. “I imagine one day many people will have an organizer the same way we have personal trainers,” she says. Organizing is a process that takes time and energy—which many people don’t have access to. “To maintain an average home, it probably takes about 40 hours in the spring and fall,” Cris says. “And who has that kind of time on their own?” Cris says clients tell her how much they appreciate her team’s gentle and constructive attitude. “They improve their lives, they feel better, they get goals accomplished, and there’s no judgment,” she says. Although sometimes people describe her as organizing things, Cris says that’s not the whole story. “I love the human interest part of my work,” she says. “The clients, and the journeys they’re on, and the life-changing decisions they’re making. It’s so beautiful to be invited into their homes.” “It’s about more than just ‘stuff,’” she says. “There’s so much more behind the ‘stuff.’”

CAPITAL AREA REALTOR ® — March/April 2020 21


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ERNIE DILL I joined Samson Properties in June of 2015, leaving a large corporate brokerageto do so. As a significant producer, keeping 100% of my commissions was an enormous plus! Ideas for your growth are prevalent throughout the company—in sales meetings, on the administrative sites, and directly from Samson Family hands-on management. I am honored to recommend this stellar and fast-growing company!”


Before any of us agents came to Samson Properties we asked ourselves if it was really as good as advertised. Truth is, it’s way better. Danny has given us all the framework to build a business as big as we can dream! I feel like I’m a dreamer, but the tools and support Samson Properties continues to add outpace what I could envision. In my near six years with the company, our family has benefited from his kindness, generosity, vision, support, encouragement, and all the tools to build a sustainable and growing business. For that we are forever grateful.”




I’ve been with Samson Properties for almost two years and it’s been absolutely incredible. What you see and hear from Danny Samson is exactly what the company is all about. Agents gain respect; we are respected for what we do, and there’s more support than you could ever need. I was with another company for 32 years, so it was a hard decision to make, but it was the best move I’ve ever made.”


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Promoting Green Features in Residential and Commercial Listings By Nadia Evangelou, NAR Research


co-friendly home features have broad appeal among homebuyers and can play a valuable role in the real estate market, according to the 2019 Sustainability Report from the National Association of REALTORS®. NAR surveyed REALTORS® about sustainability issues in the residential and commercial real estate markets, and the preferences they are seeing among consumers.

• 59 percent of the respondents found that residential consumers were very or somewhat interested in sustainability. • 41 percent of the survey respondents said that their multiple listing services included fields where they can input data about a property’s energy efficiency and other eco-friendly features. • Seven in 10 residential and commercial agents and brokers reported that promoting energy efficiency in listings is either somewhat or very valuable.

24 CAPITAL AREA REALTOR ® — March/April 2020

The survey also asked respondents about renewable energy and its impact on the real estate market.

• A majority of agents and brokers (83 percent) said that solar panels were available in their market. • 36 percent said solar panels increased perceived property value. Indeed, multiple studies have shown that homes with solar panel systems are valued and sold at prices above similar homes in their area. Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory, a research laboratory affiliated with the U.S. Department of Energy, conducts continuous research on the impact of solar power across the country. Specifically, the Lab’s Selling Into the Sun report analyzed sales of solar-equipped homes in eight different states over 11 years with the goal of determining just how much value solar adds to a home’s sale price. The key finding: On average, homebuyers are “consistently willing to pay photovoltaic (PV) home premiums” of approximately $4 per watt of installed solar capacity1. This means a standard six-kilowatt solar power system can add $24,000 to the home’s resale value. According to NAR, solar panels are most prevalent in the Northeast (available in 94 percent of markets), and respondents in the West were the most likely to report they increase perceived property value (41 percent). The top three issues and considerations cited by agents and brokers in NAR’s sustainability survey were:

1. Understanding lending options for energy upgrades or solar (38 percent) 2. The lack of information and materials provided to real estate professionals (32 percent) 3. Improving the energy efficiency of existing housing stock (31 percent) Builders are also going green, choosing to build new homes that feature ENERGY STAR® appliances and windows, programmable thermostats, and sustainable materials. Data from the National Association of Home Builders2 found that the most desirable green attributes in homes today are:

Most Wanted Green Features

All in all, there is an increasing demand for green living. More than 80 percent of buyers now say energy-efficient features are important in selecting their home. As REALTORS®, it’s important for us to stay ahead of those trends and help interested clients to add those features to their home. This study only covered homes where the solar PV system was owned, not leased.


2019 What Home Buyers Really Want, National Association of Home Builders (NAHB)


CAPITAL AREA REALTOR ® — March/April 2020


An<xx< update from nar The NAR Midyear Meetings Are Going Digital


he National Association of REALTORS® (NAR) Legislative Meetings and Trade Expo is scheduled for May 11 through May 16. Usually, this event, sometimes called the “Midyear Meetings,” takes place in Washington, DC. However, in response to guidance from the federal and local governments, the meetings will be held virtually this year. This is a great opportunity to get to know fellow REALTORS® over the internet while maintaining the social distancing that will help keep everyone safe. And now, you can check it out from the comfort of your own home! The virtual experience will include, among other components: • Committee meetings • Key sessions • Elections • Coordination to secure alternate avenues for participation for state and local associations

If you’ve already made arrangements to head out to the area, check out the information below regarding payment and refunds: • Registration: The majority of registrations required no fee and will be cancelled. Individuals who paid for the meetings, expo, pre-conference courses or special events will be refunded in full. This will be an automated process, and you will not need to request a refund. Refunds may take up to 60 days to be processed back to your credit card. An email confirmation will be sent upon cancellation of your registration. • Hotel: Those who booked a hotel through NAR will have their reservation automatically cancelled; no deposits have been processed. • Airfare: Please contact your airline or travel agency as soon as possible and seek a refund or credit. The details of the virtual event are still emerging, but as REALTORS®, it will be so helpful to get a chance to connect with each other using technology while recognizing that plans and details can quickly change. If you have any questions, email or call 1-800-650-6893. For additional information, please visit or

26 CAPITAL AREA REALTOR ® — March/April 2020

Member Services Corner

How You Benefit From Being a Member of the National Association of REALTORS® Being an NAR member goes beyond invaluable access to networking and resources. Here are some additional benefits to your membership you might have forgotten about. • REALTORS® Insurance Marketplace: Shop, compare, and enroll for insurance online. Visit for health, dental, vision, pet, auto, home, and/or Errors & Omissions (E&O) insurance coverage. • Back At You!: Promote yourself and your listings on social media with this innovative service that automates your posts, at your chosen times. Find out about this service and the special pricing for NAR members at • FedEx: Save 20 percent on core printing and copying, and 10 percent on signs, banners, direct mail services, and more. Also, save up to 26 percent on select FedEx shipping services. Learn more at and be sure to provide passcode LCRS8p01. • CyberPolicy®: Protect your real estate business from cyber-crimes and fraud. Recoup revenue lost, recover stolen data, and restore your operations quickly. Discover how to protect your business at

CAPITAL AREA REALTOR ® — March/April 2020



FROM THE GCAAR CLASSROOM GRI Courses at GCAAR Start in May! Starting in May 2020, DCAR and GCAAR are proudly offering a full schedule of courses for REALTORS® to earn the Graduate, REALTOR® Institute (GRI) Designation. The GRI is a nationally recognized National Association of REALTORS® (NAR) designation, which is administered through state associations. Earning the GRI is a way to stand out to prospective homebuyers and sellers as a REALTOR® who has gained in-depth market knowledge, and increased expertise in a broad array of subjects to enhance professionalism and business success.  We’ll offer courses at the 100-, 200-, and 300-level from May-November 2020, and the top-level 400 courses in early 2021; each is 6-7 hours long. They’ll take place every other Wednesday in our Washington, DC office, located at 1615 New Hampshire Avenue, NW. The cost is as follows: 100, 200 and 300 series courses: • Member price is $60 per course if registered more than two weeks prior, and $75 per course within two weeks of the course date. • Non-member price is $75 per course if registered more than two weeks prior, and $90 per course within two weeks of the course date. 400 series courses: • Member price is $75 per course if registered more than two weeks prior, and $95 per course within two weeks of the course date. • Non-member price is $95 per course if registered more than two weeks prior to the course, and $115 per course within two weeks of the course date. Ready to sign up? Visit Not sure which designation is right for you? Check out the real estate designation and certification descriptions at – Education & Events – GRI & Other Designations for a list of all the options.

28 CAPITAL AREA REALTOR ® — March/April 2020

COACH’S CORNER We Can All Make a Difference Do you want to make your listing more environmentally friendly? Why not help your seller play a larger role in making a conscious decision to reduce their carbon footprint and slow down the rate of climate change? REALTORS® are in a unique position to help the planet be better. As we help our clients prepare their home to put on the market, we can offer tips on how they can make their house environmentally friendly. These tips can be used if they are thinking about major repairs or just have a bit of tweaking to do. Here are a few easy ways your seller can power down, save money, and help Mother Earth.


Replace the lightbulbs. This sounds like a no-brainer, but it’s surprising how often this simple exchange gets forgotten. Research has shown that LED bulbs are 80 percent more efficient than traditional lighting, and they last 25 times longer. Something as simple as changing to LED lightbulbs reduces the demands on power plants and decreases greenhouse gas emissions.


Install smart heating controls or a programmable thermostat. Did you know that the thermostat controls about 50 percent of the total energy bill? Yes, that’s more than the appliances and electronics combined. Installing a smart thermostat is easy and cost-effective—and they’re definitely noticed by buyers. You should also recommend they get the HVAC and furnace serviced on a regular basis. An easy way to remember is to service them when the time changes in the spring and fall. The more efficiently they run, the less energy they use, and that’s good for the planet. Since this is an item that comes up on most home inspection reports, have your seller do it from the get-go.


Updating a bathroom? Ask your seller to consider low-flow or dual-flush toilets. Dual-flush toilets save about 70 percent more water than low-flow toilets. Sellers can also save water and money by installing a low-flow showerhead. Research has shown that you can save at least 50 percent in your water usage.


If the kitchen could use an upgrade, have the seller install energy-efficient appliances. Not only will they save energy, but they’ll make the kitchen look better. Last, but not least, is my favorite: Install outlets that actually draw zero energy when turned off. How cool is that? They plug into your standard outlet, they are under $20, and they help save the planet.

CANDY MILES-CROCKER “The Real-Life REALTOR®,” coaches, mentors, and trains new and experienced real estate agents to transform their business by mastering her proven systems for success. She is a firm believer in managing expectations and her goal is to elevate the perception of real estate agents among the general public through education so every client has an amazing real estate experience. Candy’s unique training methods have shown agents what it takes to be successful! Inman News selected Candy as one of the Top 25 Real Estate Coaches in 2016. Learn more at CAPITAL AREA REALTOR ® — March/April 2020 29


Legal Hotline

By Chris Darby, Tom Muldoon, and John Nalls of Counselors Title, LLC, and Pardo & Drazin, LLC, General Counsel

30 CAPITAL AREA REALTOR ® — March/April 2020

QUESTION: I have switched brokerages. My former brokerage has an active buyer brokerage agreement in the District of Columbia with a client who was formerly working with me and wants to do so again at my new brokerage. My former broker indicates that the buyer brokerage agreement is active with them. They wish to enforce the seller’s obligations under the presently existing agreement. Can anything be done in order for the seller to sign a buyer brokerage agreement with my new brokerage? ANSWER: An exclusive listing or buyer brokerage agreement with a client is the property of the broker with whom it is made, not any individual agents of that broker. Every agent (and broker) also has an ethical obligation to not interfere with another’s existing exclusive brokerage agreement. Thus, when an agent changes brokers, they do not have the right to have the client change with them. Unlike in Maryland, which allows for either party to an agency agreement to terminate the agency relationship (but not the contractual obligations), District of Columbia agency law requires that both parties (broker and client) to an agency agreement must consent to terminate it. Accordingly, in order to terminate the brokerage relationship under the buyer broker agreement, both the buyer and the former broker would have to execute a Termination of Buyer Agency Agreement (GCAAR Form 1348). You would then be free to have the buyer execute a buyer brokerage agreement with your new broker.

QUESTION: I have sellers who are married, but the home’s deed is only in one of their names. Should I still have both of them sign disclosures and the sales contract?

QUESTION: I need clarification/guidance on sellers’ responsibilities for radon disclosure in Montgomery County. The buyers requested a copy of the radon results, but were informed there is no report to provide. The seller’s agent said that since the buyers did not request a radon inspection, the sellers did not need to provide one. ANSWER: Effective October 1, 2016, Montgomery County enacted Section 40-13C of the Montgomery County Code, requiring all single family homes to be tested for radon before the sale of the home can be completed. The required test must be conducted less than one (1) year before the settlement date. The seller must either perform the test or permit the buyer to perform the test, with both parties receiving a copy of the results of the radon test.

QUESTION: Are REALTORS® able to legally provide non-REALTORS® with finder’s fees or referral fees in DC, Maryland, or Virginia? If so, what is the maximum they are able to provide and is there a protocol for providing a referral to non-REALTORS®? ANSWER: Brokers are prohibited, per agency and licensure laws, from sharing commissions with non-licensed individuals. Moreover, the payment of anything of value with the expectation or anticipation of future business would be a Real Estate Settlement Procedures Act (RESPA) violation. We must however, provide you with a caveat on this question as well: As GCAAR is not the appropriate association for Virginia, we cannot provide advice outside of the GCAAR purview.

ANSWER: If only one of the individuals is on the deed, then they would be the only one to sign the contract, disclosures, closing documents, and the like. Despite being married, the other spouse would have no ownership interest in the property unless they are included on the deed.

DISCLAIMER: The answers provided here are the opinion of the authors, are for informational purposes, and are only for GCAAR members. Neither Counselors Title, LLC, nor Pardo & Drazin, LLC, is providing legal advice, but rather providing a general statement of law. No lawyer/client relationship is – or will be – established as a result of this material. Readers are encouraged to retain their own counsel for their specific questions. Answers may have been edited for formatting purposes.

CAPITAL AREA REALTOR ® — March/April 2020 31

<xx< Realtor Party ®

Golden “R”

Ed Krauze Carole Maclure Bonnie Roberts-Burke Dale Ross Chris Suranna Crystal “R”

Jamie Coley Mike Moran Sterling “R”

Koki Adasi Avi Adler Wendy Banner Stacey Barton Fred Bates Lisa Bosse Jan Brito Charles Burger Catherine Czuba David DeSantis

Thank You to Our 2020 Major and Large RPAC Investors Melinda Estridge Greg Ford Scott Goldberg Katherine Gordon Franklin Jamison Angela Jones Peg Mancuso Danai Mattison Sky Samuel Medvene Bo Menkiti Philip Raskin Leigh Reed Marj Rosner Bradley Rothstein Rob Rothstein Daniel Schuler Andres Serafini Dianah Shaw Ellie Shorb Brenda Small Frank Snodgrass Marty Stanton Kirsten Williams

Capital Club ($250-$999)

Abeer Abou Elmakarem M. Jacqueline Bennett Russell Brazil Carolyn Burns Kevin Brunell Lori Connor Samantha Damato Lauren Davis Joe Detrick Tony DeVol Lauren Donnelly Carlos Evans Michael Fowler Jennifer Frewer Jeffrey Ganz Lee Goldstein Gwen Henderson Robert Jenets Michael Joseph Linda Kibunja

Peter Locker KT Maclure Tony Mancuso Hank May Thomas Muldoon Barbara Nalls Betty Pair JD Teitelman Stephen Withrow

As of February 26, 2020

WHY SHOULD YOU INVEST IN RPAC? “Investing in RPAC was the next logical progression for me after deciding to make being a REALTOR® my career. After finding out the true length, support, and impact RPAC has on our daily lives, it was a no-brainer. Continuing to back the REALTORS®’ voice in the various levels of government and political platforms has proven to be a pivotal factor in not only our local markets, but nation-wide. The footprint that RPAC has made in my local market, District of Columbia, has been immense—most recently, in rolling back the strict tenant/landlord TOPA rights. As the ever-changing political atmosphere continues to develop, now it’s more important than ever to extend REALTORS®’ reach and influence, securing the future of the industry.” - Samuel Medvene, Century 21 Redwood Realty

Make the investment today! Invest online at: 32 CAPITAL AREA REALTOR ® — March/April 2020


By Melissa Dittman Tracey, REALTOR® Magazine Contributing Editor

Long work days, weekends packed with appointments, a phone buzzing at all hours—it’s not easy to work in real estate while carving out precious “me” time too. But here’s how real estate pros can find peace within the chaos.

1. Don’t fly solo. As your business grows, call in help to avoid missed messages or overlooked details that could put your reputation at risk. Consider taking on a partner or joining a team. Or, think about hiring a virtual assistant on a temporary or ongoing basis to help with any number of tasks, such as blogging, web design, writing listing ads, coordinating marketing efforts, and more. (You’ll find plenty of channels to find one, such as the International Virtual Assistants Association or the REVA Network.)

2. Prioritize and conquer. Don’t let limitless distractions lead your day astray. Identify your “core four” priorities of that day. Which tasks are the most urgent? What will push your business forward? Focus on completing one of those tasks at a time. A study from the IT firm Basex Inc. shows workers get distracted every three minutes when trying to complete a task. It then takes about 20 minutes to refocus. Turn off potential distractors. Also set specific times of the day when you’ll take care of everyday priorities, such as replying to email, text, and phone messages. Convey those times to clients.

3. Add in an “hour of power.” Take time to recharge. It’ll actually make you more productive. For example, go for a walk, meet up with friends, or consider taking a nap. says the optimum nap duration should be no more than 20 minutes to reap the benefits of higher alertness and better productivity.

4. Break from routine. It can be good for your brain to not be so ingrained in routine, according to research from the University of Texas at Dallas’ Center for Brain Health. “We tend to fall into the same routines and do the same things over and over again,” says Jennifer Zientz, head of clinical services. “Our brain gets excited by change. It gets tired of the same tried and true status quo. We can pump it up by doing something different.” Explore a new hobby—one that also could be used to prospect—or join a business networking group to meet new people.

5. Make technology your wingmate. OK, we get it: You have nomophobia (the fear of being away from your phone). But use technology to fill in the gaps when you need to break away. Use contact management systems that send automatic responses as leads flow in to buy more time to respond. Seek out tech programs that also offer a human touch in your absence. For example, Better Voicemail will automatically change your customized voicemail greetings based on who is calling by using their caller ID information, area code, or a call group you’ve pre-set (such as first-time callers). Once you have a tech safety net in place, take time to unplug. Tuck your phone into a sleeping bag—yes, that’s an actual thing—and keep your device out of reach to eliminate temptation. Finding a balanced life isn’t an excuse to stop working hard. You’ll actually start working at a higher, more productive level. You’ll rid yourself of time-busters and focus your energy on what matters most—both in your work and personal life. CAPITAL AREA REALTOR ® — March/April 2020


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Terms,and conditions and fees for accounts, programs, subjectThis to change. is not a commitment to lend. loanstoarecredit subject credit and property approval. Certain may restrictions apply on all programs. , conditions fees for accounts, programs, products andproducts services and are services subject toare change. is not a This commitment to lend. All loans are All subject andtoproperty approval. Certain restrictions apply onmay all programs. cannot be combined with any other mortgage offer. This offer contains about information about U.S. domestic financial services provided N.A. by Citibank, N.A. andfor is intended for use domestically cannot Offer be combined with any other mortgage offer. This offer contains information U.S. domestic financial services provided by Citibank, and is intended use domestically in the U.S. in the U.S. 1 A Citibank deposit andmonthly automated monthly transfers of the mortgage payment from a Citibank personal deposit account usingdrafting automated will to bereceive requiredCitibank to receive Citibank mortgage relationship bank deposit account and account automated transfers of the mortgage payment from a Citibank personal deposit account using automated will drafting be required mortgage relationship pricing. Ask pricing. Ask a mortgage representative detailsbalances on eligible and the qualifying closingorcost or rate discount.ofAvailability of the Citibank mortgage relationship pricing account for Citibank account holders subjectwithout to change without notice. tgage representative for details onfor eligible andbalances the qualifying closing cost credit ratecredit discount. Availability the Citibank mortgage relationship pricing for Citibank holders is subject to ischange notice. foraclients withofa $500,000 minimum or of $500,000 or more inpost-close investableassets, post-close and at least $50,000 inassets traditional assets must bewith on deposit with10 Citidays at least priorThis to closing. part of the $500,000 able for2Available clients with minimum more in investable and atassets, least $50,000 in traditional must be on deposit Citi at least prior10todays closing. amount This mayamount be part may of thebe$500,000 eligibility requirement. Realproceeds, estate, loan proceeds, options, restricted stock and personal will notasbepart counted part of the or morepost-close investableassets post-close or the $50,000 inassets. traditional assets. Net cash ility requirement. Real estate, loan stock options,stock restricted stock and personal property willproperty not be counted of theas$500,000 or $500,000 more investable or theassets $50,000 in traditional Net cash value of life canasbepart counted part of the butthe nottraditional part of theassets. traditional assets.assets Investable assetsas aredeposit definedaccounts as deposit accountssavings, (checking, savings, money market, of Certificates of Deposit), unrestricted of life insurance caninsurance be counted of theas$500,000 but$500,000 not part of Investable are defined (checking, money market, Certificates Deposit), unrestricted stocks, non- stocks, nonstock and restricted bonds andaccounts retirement held by the individual who isliable personally on theasset loan. types Theseheld assetintypes held in revocable be used the trustmeets document meets the Trust Policy. d stock vested and restricted stock, bonds stock, and retirement heldaccounts by the individual who is personally on the liable loan. These revocable trust may betrust usedmay provided theprovided trust document the Trust Policy. 100%value of theofface value of all assets, exceptstock non-vested stock and restricted be used the to calculate thefunds amount of funds available to meet the eligibility criteria. Forstock non-vested stock and restricted stock, the borrower must be of the face all assets, except non-vested and restricted stock, may bestock, usedmay to calculate amount of available to meet the eligibility criteria. For non-vested and restricted stock, the borrower must be 1 year andof a maximum of 70% be used qualifying to calculate qualifying equity.conditions Additionalapply. conditions apply. 100% vested 100% withinvested 1 year within of closing andofaclosing maximum 70% of value mayofbevalue usedmay to calculate equity. Additional ©2020 N.A. NMLS# 412915. Member FDIC and Equal Housing Lender. Citi, Citi and Arc Design and other marks used herein are service marks of Citigroup Inc. or its affiliates, used and registered throughout the world. ©2020 Citibank, N.A.Citibank, NMLS# 412915. ®Member FDIC and Equal Housing Lender. Citi, Citi and Arc Design and other marks used herein are service marks of Citigroup Inc. or its affiliates, used and registered throughout the world.

34 CAPITAL AREA REALTOR — March/April 2020

“We do not inherit the earth from our ancestors, we borrow it from our children.” – David Brower

Be sure to THINK GREEN and celebrate Earth Day on April 22, 2020!

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CAPITAL AREA REALTOR ® — March/April 2020 35

Education <xx< Calendar April


Monday, April 27

Tuesday, May 5

New Member Orientation

On The Go: Maryland Fair Housing

Instructor: Mary Chieppa Time: 10:30 a.m. - 12:00 p.m. Location: DC Classroom

Instructor: Stu Reynolds Time: 1:00 p.m. - 4:00 p.m. Location: Redfin: Rockville

Monday, May 11

Monday, April 27

Wednesday, May 6

MD Code of Ethics

GRI 101: Building a Real Estate Business

Instructor: Thom Brockett Time: 1:30 p.m. - 3:00 p.m. Location: DC Classroom

Instructor: Mary Chieppa Time: 1:00 p.m. - 4:00 p.m. Location: DC Classroom

Instructor: Roger Carp Time: 9:30 a.m. – 4:30 p.m. Location: DC Classroom

Tuesday, April 28

Advanced Real Estate Finance Instructor: Alex Jaffe Time: 1:30 p.m. - 4:30 p.m. Location: Rockville Classroom Wednesday, April 29

MREC Brokerage Relationships Instructor: Bob Pettis Time: 9:30 a.m. - 12:30 p.m. Location: Rockville Classroom Thursday, April 30

Homebuyer Financing (12939) Instructor: Michelle Mathews Time: 6:00 p.m. - 7:30 p.m. Location: Rockville Classroom

Wednesday, May 6

Virginia Ethics Instructor: Tara Houston Time: 8:30 a.m. - 11:30 a.m. Location: DC Classroom Wednesday, May 6

Virginia Agency Instructor: Tara Houston Time: 11:45 a.m. - 12:45 p.m. Location: DC Classroom Wednesday, May 6

Virginia Fair Housing Instructor: Tara Houston Time: 1:45 p.m. - 3:45 p.m. Location: DC Classroom Wednesday, May 6

Virginia Legal Update Instructor: Tara Houston Time: 4:00 p.m. - 5:00 p.m. Location: DC Classroom Wednesday, May 6

Virginia Contracts Instructor: Tara Houston Time: 5:30 p.m. - 6:30 p.m. Location: DC Classroom

MD Legislative Update Instructor: Thom Brockett Time: 9:30 a.m. - 12:30 p.m. Location: DC Classroom

MD Fair Housing

Tuesday, May 12

On the Go: Comparison of RE Contracts Instructor: Greg Flynn Time: 1:00 p.m. - 4:00 p.m. Location: Redfin: Columbia Thursday, May 7

Rental Property Management Instructor: Jean Poitevien Time: 1:30 p.m. - 4:30 p.m. Location: DC Classroom Saturday, May 16

New Member Orientation/ Maryland Ethics Instructor: Sandra Stewart Time: 8:30 a.m. - 1:15 p.m. Location: Rockville Classroom Monday, May 18

Credit Report and Credit Score Instructor: Michael McNamara Time: 9:30 a.m. - 11:30 a.m. Location: Rockville Classroom Monday, May 18

Risk Management Instructor: Robert Moses Time: 12:30 p.m. - 3:30 p.m. Location: Rockville Classroom Tuesday, May 19

Thursday, May 7

MREC Required Supervision

New Member Orientation/ Maryland Ethics

Instructor: Valerie Huffman Time: 9:30 a.m. - 12:30 p.m. Location: Rockville Classroom

Instructor: Thom Brockett Time: 10:30 a.m. - 4:00 p.m. Location: Rockville Classroom Thursday, May 7

Dealing With Death: Who’s The Client

36 CAPITAL AREA REALTOR ® — March/April 2020

Monday, May 11

Instructor: Andrew DiPaola Time: 1:30 p.m. - 3:00 p.m. Location: DC Classroom

Tuesday, May 19

DC Legislative Update Instructors: Tom Muldoon, Chris Darby Time: 9:30 a.m. - 12:30 p.m. Location: DC Classroom

Tuesday, May 19

DC Ethics Instructors: Tom Muldoon, Chris Darby Time: 1:30 p.m. - 4:30 p.m. Location: DC Classroom Wednesday, May 20

GRI 102: Prospecting/ Listing Techniques Instructor: Mary Chieppa Time: 9:30 a.m. – 4:30 p.m. Location: DC Classroom Thursday, May 21

DC Fair Housing Instructor: Dana Hollish Hill Time: 9:30 a.m. - 12:30 p.m. Location: Rockville Classroom Thursday, May 21

Financing Issues Update Instructor: Tom Biegler Time: 1:30 p.m. - 4:30 p.m. Location: Rockville Classroom Wednesday, May 27

New Member Orientation/ Maryland Ethics Instructor: Dana Hollish Hill Time: 10:30 a.m. - 4:00 p.m. Location: DC Classroom Thursday, May 28

Working with the Senior Client (13098) Instructor: Thom Brockett Time: 9:30 a.m. - 12:30 p.m. Location: Rockville Classroom Saturday, May 30

MD Legislative Update Instructor: Thom Brockett Time: 8:30 a.m. - 11:30 a.m. Location: Rockville Classroom Saturday, May 30

MD Fair Housing Instructor: Thom Brockett Time: 12:30 p.m. - 2:00 p.m. Location: Rockville Classroom Saturday, May 30

MREC Brokerage Relationships Instructor: Thom Brockett Time: 2:30 p.m. - 5:30 p.m. Location: Rockville Classroom

New classes are being added daily. Please visit the GCAAR Education and Events Calendar at: *Locations: Rockville Classroom – 15201 Diamondback Drive, Ste 100, Rockville, MD 20850 DC Classroom – 1615 New Hampshire Ave, Suite C-4, Floor 3, Washington, DC 20009 OTG: “On the Go” Classes are held at locations other than GCAAR Classrooms. Please visit to view the location of OTG classes. CAPITAL AREA REALTOR ® — March/April 2020



NEW MEMBERS january Jean C. Abels

Weichert REALTORS®

Folahanmi Adunola Taylor Properties

Kyra E. Agarwal Real Broker LLC

Sergio A. Orellana

Long & Foster Real Estate Inc.

Kimberly N. Allen

SRG National Harbor LLC

Robert E. Allen

Home Resource Realty HRR

Jazzmine D. Alston

Keller Williams Capital Properties

Florian E. Amega

Rory S. Coakley Realty Inc.

Pamela J. Andross

WELCOME to the Greater Capital Area Association of REALTORS® !

We are pleased that you have chosen to join our organization. GCAAR is your voice for real estate issues in DC and Montgomery County, Maryland. It offers venues for networking and allows you to connect with your peers and exchange best practices. We invite you to take full advantage of your benefits as a member. Michelle Coles

Damien Hillyer

Angelina A. Panasyuk

Maria D. Contreras

Dale J. Hu

Sarah Pastoriza

Manyuan Jin

Hughes E. Paul

Greeta O. Johnson

Samuel A. Pierre II

Elizabeth M. Jones

Judith D. Portney

Kendall A. Jones

Patrick R. Reynolds

Agapit Kamga

LaVar B. Rich

Ali Khan

Roberto N. Rosales

Scott A. Kilgore

Edward J. Ross

Adrian M. Klein-Hebron

Jennifer Ross

Da Li

Patricia A. Rowe

Jamie A. Lilly

Megan L. Ryan

Yue Liu

Katherine K. Sanson

Ashley L. Llanos

Rachel P. Scott

Alejandra Lopez

Matthew J. Scott

Fausto Loria

Tasneem M. Sharaf

Geoffrey Mackler

Betty B. Sintayehu

Nima Masoumi

Nancy Slomowitz

Boban Mathew

Esteban Soto

Kirsten E. McGarvey

Paul R. Starks

Ann M. Meehan

Carmen M. Suazo

Emma B. Mickens

Maria Sula

Dianne R. Ohori

Layla Tannous

Alex R. Pacheco

Kassahun A. Tesemma

Keller Williams Capital Properties Realty Advantage

Toni A. Cooper

KW Metro Center

Samantha W. Corrigan

Washington Fine Properties

Raquel M. Davis

Keller Williams Capital Properties

Kay A. DeFranceaux Leonard eXp Realty LLC

Gabrielle B. Defrancois-Saiz Compass

Felicia D. Denman

Keller Williams Capital Properties

Timothy C. Dillon

Timothy C. Dillon Real Estate

Thai Doan

Keller Williams Capital Properties


Melese D. Duressa

Andrew J. Ascienzo

Marcel L. Emerson

Long & Foster Real Estate Inc.

Briseida Avelar

Executive Investment Realty LLC

Andres Aviles

Long & Foster Real Estate Inc.

Susie Barford

TTR Sotheby’s International Realty

Israel Beeko

Weichert REALTORS®

Norma E. Benitez

Long & Foster Real Estate Inc.

Sanford S. Booth II

Keller Williams Capital Properties

Drew D. Bradham

Long & Foster Real Estate Inc

Treverne Brown-Thomas Redfin Corporation

Bellorh M. Byrom Classic Realty

Mohamed Camara

Long & Foster Real Estate Inc.

Sally O. Charnovitz

Long & Foster Real Estate Inc.

Ekaterina Christopherson Ikon Realty Inc.

38 CAPITAL AREA REALTOR ® — March/April 2020

HomeSmart LLC

The Real Estate Experts

Chad A. Fleschner Samson Properties

Heather Foley Go Brent

Jacob A. Foreman

Long & Foster Real Estate Inc.

Kallie H. Forman

Long & Foster Real Estate Inc.

Natasha Furnadzhiska

Long & Foster Real Estate Inc.

Maria E. Galvan Calderon

Keller Williams Capital Properties

Alicia Gartrell

Keller Williams Capital Properties

Sandra E. Gayle

Samson Properties

Natoe L. Goba HomeSmart LLC

Mukesh R. Hargun

Old Line Properties LLC

Tiffany Harris

Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices PenFed

Sylvia M. Hevesi Day

Keller Williams Capital Properties

Coldwell Banker Residential Redfin Corporation Evergreen Properties Weichert REALTORS®

Long & Foster Real Estate Inc. Long & Foster Real Estate Inc. Taylor Properties Ali Khan

Suited Realty LLC

Long & Foster Real Estate Inc. Evergreen Properties Keller Williams Capital Properties Prudence Realty LLC RE/MAX Town Center Long & Foster Real Estate Inc. Long & Foster Real Estate Inc. H & R Leasing LLC

RE/MAX Realty Services Nest Real Estate

RE/MAX Allegiance Compass

Samson Properties

Long & Foster Real Estate Inc Allison James Estates & Homes

Long & Foster Real Estate Inc. eXp Realty LLC

Long & Foster Real Estate Inc. Pearson Smith Realty ERA Realty Group

Long & Foster Real Estate Inc. Keller Williams Capital Properties Wright Brokerage

Monument Sotheby International Keller Williams Capital Properties HomeSmart LLC

Branches Realty Compass

Keller Williams Realty Chantilly Ventures LLC Long & Foster Real Estate Inc. Long & Foster Real Estate Inc. Fathom Realty

Long & Foster Real Estate Inc. Weichert REALTORS® Long & Foster Real Estate Inc. HomeSmart LLC

Long & Foster Real Estate Inc. Long & Foster Real Estate Inc. Fairfax Realty Premier

Kristina A. Thomas

Raphael J. Chevry

Donald S. Jodrey

Marcella Oakley

John W. VanDaley

Gwendolyn E. Childs

Anthony Johnson

James R. Polhemus

Charlestine A. Vann

Errin M. Coates

Megan E. Jones

Travis C. Reed

Luis R. Villatoro

Kristina A. Coleman

Carry Joseph

Ayesha Reyaz

Sean K. Vithidkul

Chantel R. Collins

Nahida Kapadia

Pablo V. Sagnay

Eunice Vizcay

Nikki T. Cooper

Amarpreet Kaur

Rose Salla

Afton D. Walters

Williams M. Crick

Irvin C. Kenny

Thomas J. Santucci

Ethan S. Werkeiser

Raegan Dabney

Abraham T. Kla

Sarah A. Schutten

Marcus D. White

Eric Z. Dong

Tarra C. Kruzan

Lewis M. Silber

Yordanci Yefriadi

Zacary D. Duboff

Soo K. Lee

Phillip O. Stringfield

Steven S. Zhang

Henry Fadojutimi

Sylvia L. Leggette

Kendra E. Taft

Charmaine P. Fisher

Jordan K. Long

Kara L. Taylor

Calleigh Fletcher

Sara N. Lowe

Donna Kerr Group

Long & Foster Real Estate Inc.

Pearce Then

Brittany Freeman

Sheila O. Maggin

Keller Williams Capital Properties

C H Kay Realty Inc.

Suzanne C. Gaibler

David R. Maldonado

Pearson Smith Realty

Keller Williams Capital Properties

Craig Gilbeaux Jr

Devin R. Maroney

Douglas Realty LLC

Long & Foster Real Estate Inc.

Patrick D. Grantham

Nicole M. Mayhew

Long & Foster Real Estate Inc.

RE/MAX Town Center

Mirna M. Guevara

Vernell G. Maynard

HomeSmart LLC

Keller Williams Capital Properties

Lawrence E. Harley

Doretha C. McCallum

Keller Williams Capital Properties

Exit Deluxe Realty

LaMonica Harrison

Stephanie N. McNutt

Caldwell Thompson Co. Inc.

Redfin Corporation

Julio R. Henriquez

Jeanne M. Mendelson

Keller Williams Capital Properties

Realty 2000 Plus Inc.

Anabel Hering

Milton B. Meredith

The ONE Street Company

Weichert REALTORS®

Mirako Z. Hickman

John R. Meyer

Real Living Reserve REALTORS® eXp Realty LLC

Coldwell Banker Residential RE/MAX Elite Services Living In Style Real Estate Long & Foster Real Estate Inc. Keller Williams Capital Properties Weichert REALTORS®

Century 21 New Millennium Long & Foster Real Estate Inc. CapStar Properties

FEBRUARY Franklin O. Agboola HomeSmart LLC

Kayhahn M. Alikhani

Coldwell Banker Residential

Diego Alvarado Giron NBI Realty LLC

Carolina J. Ampuero Fairfax Realty Select

Jonathan R. Anderson

Long & Foster Real Estate Inc.

Anne M. Arrington

Coldwell Banker Residential

Macgregor S. Bailey

McWilliams Ballard Inc.

Karen M. Belt

Weichert REALTORS®

Michelle L. Boback Versant Realty

Alexandra J. Brice United Real Estate

Maria D. Broussard Weichert REALTORS®

Michael R. Brown

Gallagher & Co. Real Estate Inc.

Courtlandt D. Buchanan Smart Realty LLC

Kara T. Carpluk Compass

Vania S. Charles

Samson Properties

Sophia Chedrauy

RE/MAX Realty Group

Weichert REALTORS® -Blue Ribbon LLC Realty Pros

Keller Williams Capital Properties Ransom Realty Inc.

Keller Williams Capital Properties Exit Flagship Realty Keller Williams Capital Properties Redfin Corporation Fairfax Realty of Tysons Inc. RE/MAX Metropolitan Realty Exit Landmark Realty Keller Williams Capital Properties

Keller Williams Capital Properties Redfin Corporation RLAH Real Estate

Neighborhood Assistance Corp. of America Capitol Real Estate Long & Foster Real Estate Inc. Bennett Realty Solutions Omni Properties

Keller Williams Capital Properties Realty One Group Capital Properties Long & Foster Real Estate Inc. Pearson Smith Realty

Keller Williams Capital Properties

Redfin Corporation

Edmund A. Hill

Astrid J. Motz-Hammond

Washington Fine Properties

Keller Williams Capital Properties

Stacy G. Holleman

Cierra L. Neville

TTR Sotheby’s International Realty

Coldwell Banker Residential

Stacy Holscher

Karen Nicolini

Redfin Corporation

The ONE Street Company

Edward E. Hunt

Melissa B. Nixon


Fairfax Realty Elite

Timothy M. Hursen

Edwin Nolasco

RLAH Real Estate

Long & Foster Real Estate Inc.

Pascal Iraola

Jack Nourieh

Keller Williams Capital Properties

Long & Foster Real Estate Inc.

RE/MAX Distinctive Real Estate Coldwell Banker Residential KW Metro Center Coldwell Banker Residential Weichert REALTORS® Hagan Realty LLC Long & Foster Real Estate Inc. Washington Fine Properties Lewis M. Silber

Coldwell Banker Residential Coldwell Banker Residential Keller Williams Capital Properties Douglas Realty LLC

Vincent C. Tran HomeSmart LLC

Edwin R. Vasquez Gil Fairfax Realty Premier

Ana Y. Ventura Fuentes Samson Properties

Yashvir Virk

Long & Foster Real Estate Inc.

Salena Weekly

Redfin Corporation

Amber Wellington Compass

Mahelia N. Whittier Exit Landmark Realty

Abbey J. Wilkowski

TTR Sotheby’s International Realty

Maurice Wright

Home Towne Real Estate Inc.

Juan Zabala

Long & Foster Real Estate Inc.

Dian Zhang

Redfin Corporation

Angela Zhang

Evergreen Properties

Roger L. Zuniga

RE/MAX Town Center

CAPITAL AREA REALTOR ® — March/April 2020



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