FA L L 2 0 0 7
A publication of the Kentucky Association of REALTORS速
What Do You Sell? BUILDING YOUR BRAND EQUITY
KY Housing Statistics RPAC 101 RESPA
Volume 1, Number 1, Fall 2007
IN THIS ISSUE A publication of the Kentucky Association of REALTORS®
President Carl Tackett, CRS, GRI Lexington-Bluegrass Association of REALTORS®
What Do You Sell?
President-Elect Robert Damron Eastern Kentucky Association of REALTORS® Treasurer Chad McCoy, ABR, GRI REALTOR® Association of Southern Kentucky
Treasurer-Elect John Smither, GRI Lexington-Bluegrass Association of REALTORS®
Executive Vice President Susan Helm, RCE email@example.com
Tools You Can Use
Marketing/Communications Director Hunt Cooper firstname.lastname@example.org
Address letters and inquiries to: Kentucky REALTOR® 161 Prosperous Place Lexington, KY 40509 TF 800.264.2185 T 859.263.7377 F 859.263.7565 www.kar.com email: email@example.com KAR members should always send address changes to their local board/association first. S u b s cri p ti o n rat e s : $10 per year (included in dues) for members, $25 per year for nonmembers.
Kentucky REALTOR® is published quarterly (Fall, Winter, Spring, Summer) by the Kentucky Association of REALTORS®, 161 Prosperous Place, Lexington, KY 40509. Application to mail at periodicals postage rates is pending at Lexington, Kentucky. P O S TM A S T E R : Send address changes to Kentucky REALTOR®, 161 Prosperous Place, Lexington, KY 40509. All articles represent the opinions of the authors and do not necessarily represent the opinions of Kentucky REALTOR® or KAR and should not be construed as a recommendation for any course of action regarding financial, legal or accounting matters by KAR or Kentucky REALTOR® and its authors.
Local Association News
From the Helm
Code of Ethics
A Day in the Life of...
Reproduction prohibited without permission. Copyright © 2007 Kentucky Association of REALTORS®, Inc. All rights reserved.
FALL 2007 KENTUCKY REALTOR® 3
KAR News Board of Directors
Rick O. Baumgardner
Carl Tackett President
William D. Bramble
Robert Damron President Elect
Chad McCoy Treasurer
John S. Davis
John H. Chandler Linzie T. Craig
John Smither Treasurer Elect
Alfred T. Dent
Carolyn Edwards Immediate Past President
Doug C. Gibson
Joe Guy Hagan
Larry Gillette Reg. I Director
Jesse H. Kinman
Kevin Farris Reg. II Director
Robert D. Massey
Santosh Bhatt Reg. III Director
Linda M. Moore
Ann McDonald Reg. IV Director
Charlie L. Murphy
Carolyn Edwards John T. Graham
Portia R. Leftin Dot M. Miller Becky Murphy
Jack Hoffman Reg.V Director
Evelyn J. Pusateri
Deborah Godby Reg. VI Director
Glenn E. Thomas
J. Charles Ballard
Wayne G. Thomas
Ralph T. Waldrop
Kenneth W. Warden
C. Gale Fulton
John J. Weikel
Local Board Delegates
Ashland Area BOR Albert D. McDowell
David P. Schoepf William P. Snyder
Central Kentucky AOR Sandra S. Statom
Cumberland Valley BOR Patsy J. Smith
At-Large Delegates Carl E. Adams Barbara B. Flannery Leslie D. Heath Bonnie L. Roberts Don Sebastian Donald G. Sims Ashley M. Trautner Janie Wilson
Cynthiana-Harrison Co. BOR Geneva Dennis Dix River BOR Danetta F. Allen Eastern Kentucky AOR Brenda G. Gooslin
Greater Louisville AOR Mary M. Ballard Matthew B. Ballard Linda Gibson B. Cecil Nelson Collins Donald E. Davis Louise Edelen Steven A. Elmore Donna M. GordonWilloughby Linda M. Hill Paul J. Ogden Lisa L. Presley-McGrew Pat M. Pride Andrew Pruitt Betty Radford Kristian Ruble Betty A. Schutte Joseph E. Simms Suzanne Smith
Jim J. Schack Alvena Stanfield
Heart of Kentucky AOR Marsha L. Booth Erika C. Gudenkauf
Henderson-Audubon BOR Bob Legate
Becca Baxter Member Services Coordinator
Hopkinsville-Christian BOR Rebecca W. Johnson Kentucky-Barkley Lakes BOR Roy D. Kidd Lexington Bluegrass AOR Jenny Bradley Bridgett Collier Judy A. Craft Barbara A. Curtis Shirley A. DeBoor LaDonn Egbert Mark A. Fulton Bobbie Johnson Linda J. Wiley Madison County BOR Dianna Ackerman Helen Fardo Madisonville-Hopkins BOR Angela S. Slusher Mayfield-Graves Co. BOR Robert Sparks Murray-Calloway Co. BOR Earleene W. Woods Northern Kentucky AOR Jennifer Harris John A. Hodge Donna Hoffman George P. Marsh
Old Kentucky Home BOR Fredrick Hamilton Owensboro BOR Judy Lambert Paducah BOR Dwight F. Swann Pennyrile BOR Steve D. Hiland Pioneer Trace BOR Lloyd G. Schiltz REALTOR速 Assn of SKY Lynn T. Caudill Dotti B. Lawrence South Central KY AOR Karen W. Fox
Susan W. Helm Executive Vice President
Jim Carloss KAR Lobbyist Hunt Cooper Marketing/Communications Director Anetha Dunn Professional Development Director Cinda Hatfield Executive Assistant Julie Johnson Professional Standards Director Patricia Kirk Member Services Coordinator Roberta McCormick Finance/Operations Director James Sharp Governmental Affairs Director KAR Legal Counsel Douglas Martin
Welcome KAR Members
want to thank each and every association executive, delegate, director, chair and co-chair, staff and member of the leadership team for the work that has been completed this year. Your willingness to volunteer your time and energy to serve KAR only helps move the association forward. The 2007 strategic plan called for the Kentucky Association of REALTORS® to attend large brokerages and local associations to advise them as to the purpose and goals of the association. KAR has been well received by the offices we have visited and believe through these meetings, KAR is better perceived as a provider of information, educational and leadership opportunities for all members. In addition, the strategic plan called for a structural audit of the association to find better and more efficient ways to manage the association, diversify with the constant changing market and to provide enhanced amenities to the membership.
Show support for your industry and give to RPAC today. Then tell your fellow REALTORS® to do the same. As many of you know this May, the National Association of REALTORS® unanimously voted a dues increase from sixty four dollars to eighty dollars. The increase will create roughly twenty million dollars in new revenue with which NAR is proposing many new programs. A national property database is on the horizon, which, if launched, would include all properties for sale including for sale by owner. KAR leadership and staff will monitor this closely and inform the membership of changes that might affect association procedure or MLS structure. Many of you attended NAR’s Midyear Meeting and visited with our Congressmen. The hospitality shown by our members for our statesmen at this important meeting was appreciated and strengthens our voice when issues arise and we need political support.
Carl Tackett, 2007 KAR President
On state legislation, the fact we were able to get methamphetamine legislation passed this session was a real win for our association. In June, NAR Region 4, which includes Kentucky, Tennessee, North Carolina and South Carolina, met in Ashville for a region summit. North Carolina expressed an interest in trying to get a bill passed on the same issue. Don’t forget to contribute to the Kentucky REALTOR® Political Action Committee (RPAC) – it is your insurance policy. This election year will begin and end with policies that directly affect you as there may be attacks on our industry by those who want to see the real estate industry changed. Show support for your industry and give to RPAC today. Then tell your fellow REALTORS® to do the same. Communication with our membership has always been a priority for the association and with the new magazine you are reading, the lines will continue to be strengthened. As you will also notice in the magazine, KAR has also adopted a new image that is easier to identify by the membership and the consumer. This image is also being carried over to RPAC and the Kentucky Real Estate Education Foundation (KREEF). I want to thank the communications committee and staff for the first publication of our magazine. This is an exciting time for our association and membership. Our current market has changed and our staff is willing to do whatever it takes to create a better business model for KAR and its members. Please take advantage of the information that is available through KAR. Who knows, it may make the difference in your success.
Carl Tackett, CRS, GRI 2007 KAR President
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Tools You Can Use
NEW FEATURES ON ACTIVERAIN ActiveRain (www.activerain.com) – a social networking site that's attracted more than 35,000 real estate professionals – has rolled out a new tool to make it easier for members to refer clients to each other. The ActiveRain Referral Exchange will allow real estate agents, mortgage lenders, appraisers and title company officers who want to make a referral to post details about their client's needs. They can then choose among ActiveRain members who step forward to receive the referral. Although there is already a huge amount of referrals happening behind the scenes among ActiveRain members, many of whom get to know each other through their posted bios, blogs and blog comments, the Referral Exchange is designed to take some of the work out of the process. The ability to leave feedback will also help ActiveRain members assess the track record of colleagues they are considering making referrals to.
New Chrome REALTOR® License Plate Frames The REALTOR Team Store®, NAR's official supplier of REALTOR® premium incentive products and over 100 items with the REALTOR® logo, is now offering REALTOR® license plate frames in chrome. Sign up to receive bi-weekly emails with updates on new REALTOR Team Store® items. For more information, visit www.realtorteamstore.com/ chromeframes or call 1-888-750-3343. On Your Mark – A Trademark Pocket Reference for REALTORS® A must-have! This glossy pocket guide covers the rules for use of the REALTOR® marks and name. It outlines the five limitations on the use of the REALTOR® marks and logo and provides graphic representations on correct and incorrect uses of the REALTOR® logo. The guide also includes new information on using the REALTOR® marks and logo on the Internet, and provides reference for downloading materials online from the Graphics Standards and Style Guidelines at www.REALTOR.org. Sold in packages of 100, the member cost is under $45. Find them in the NAR REALTOR store online or place your order by phone by calling 1-800-874-6500 and select '1' from the menu. USPS creates website and resources for REALTOR® use The United State Postal Service has created a series of resources for REALTORS® to use in assisting their clients (or potential clients) deal with the stress of moving. Included are downloadable, customizable marketing materials such as fliers and postcards, wording for e-mail messages, checklists, and information about the online address change process.
Bits and Bytes Changing an address online is quick and easy and can be done in five simple steps, with no more filling out forms or standing in line at the post office. For more information, please visit www.realmovevalue.com. Oh, How We So Easily Forget www.ohdontforget.com This simple and easy to use tool was included on Time magazine’s best websites of 2007 list. Just go to this great site, enter your cell number and a reminder. Then schedule the time you would like it delivered and your cell phone will alert you by text message automatically. There is, however, a 160-character limit on messages so keep it brief. You can set up a variety of reminders for the rest of the year and get your "to do" reminders right on schedule, such as picking up your laundry or meeting with that new buyer or seller. You can also use this service to remind others about an event at a specific date and time. Its uses are only limited by your imagination and won’t cost you a thing – it’s free! The Spoken Word www.naturalreaders.com Tired of reading articles and news off the internet? Well, have the computer do it for you. This software takes any text you highlight on the web and converts it into spoken words so you can listen instead of reading from the screen. And as long as you have this software running, you can hear the text you’ve selected by pressing the program’s “hot” button on your keyboard. NaturalReader 6.5 is a free program with only one voice type offered, Microsoft Mary, however, upgrades with additional features – and voices – are available for a cost.
USB FLASH DRIVES MAKE GREAT COMPANIONS As a mobile real estate professional, you are always on the go and usually have tons of information to take with you. You need to have a copy of your work that can be continually updated with contract changes, signatures, forms, etc. You can do this quickly using a USB Flash Drive, one of the greatest data storage inventions since the floppy disk. Backup and archiving Backing-up the entire contents on your computer, or at very least, your most prized documents, should be performed on a regular basis, but how often do you do it? Until Flash Drives came along, it was a painfully slow process, requiring external drives or disc writers, which were costly, cumbersome and a pain to use. However, with a USB Flash Drive, it couldn't be easier: simply plug the drive into your USB port and go. Transferring files has never been easier. File sharing In the real estate world, sharing, printing and using forms and contracts is a way of life. Simply copy your files to a Flash Drive and you have them with you at all times, ready to be put to use. Working in several locations at once Flash Drives provide a simple way to complete that last minute contract revision at the office when you received the update in the car after leaving from home. Convenience and compatibility These tiny devices come in many storage capacity limits (some as high as 4GB) and are so compact they can easily be carried with you wherever you go. And connecting a Flash Drive to any computer is simple: plug it in and use the drive instantly without the hassle of having to load any additional software. These small wonders are lifesavers and provide a convenient way to keep your most important information on you at all times. If you are not using a Flash Drive yet, try one out and you’ll be surprised how efficient your life can become.
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Kentucky Law Developments A Federal court in Louisville has struck down portions of several Kentucky laws governing the conduct of brokers licensed by other states. The issues behind this decision are very significant for all Kentucky REALTORS®.
Doug Martin is Legal Counsel for the Kentucky Association of REALTORS® and is a member of Murphy & Martin, PLC in Lexington, KY.
River Oaks Management, LLC v. Brown, 3:06-CV-00451 (W.D.Ky) In September of 2006, Marcus & Millichap Real Estate Investment Brokerage Company and several of its clients and employees filed a Federal lawsuit against the Executive Director and Commissioners of the Kentucky Real Estate Commission (KREC) alleging that KREC unconstitutionally prohibits cooperation between Kentucky licensed brokers and brokers licensed by other states. The plaintiffs’ complaint alleged that Kentucky’s “turf state policy” violates the Commerce Clause of the United States Constitution by unfairly discriminating against brokers that are licensed outside Kentucky and thus unlawfully burdening interstate commerce. In January 2007, KAR filed an amicus curiae “friend of the court” brief in support of KREC’s motion for summary judgment. KAR argued that Kentucky, like all other states, has the sovereign authority to require that persons who broker property in Kentucky possess valid Kentucky real estate licenses and observe Kentucky's professional standards, in the very same manner as most all professionals in Kentucky and throughout the nation are licensed. Also at issue was whether the U.S. Constitution requires that Kentucky allow out-of-state licensees to operate within Kentucky’s borders without holding a Kentucky real estate license. On June 20, 2007, attorneys for the parties participated in oral arguments before the U.S. District Court in Louisville, each presenting their best case in support of their motions for summary judgment. On September 4, 2007, the U.S. District Court in Louisville issued an Order and Memorandum Opinion, which struck down portions of two Kentucky laws governing fee splitting and aiding and abetting, after
first upholding Kentucky’s right to require that individuals engaging in real estate brokerage within Kentucky’s borders must hold a Kentucky real estate license. KRS 324.020(2) In its Order and Memorandum Opinion, the Court found that KRS 324.020(2) requires that individuals engaging in real estate brokerage within Kentucky’s borders must hold a Kentucky real estate license, and that this license requirement is valid under the Commerce Clause of the United States Constitution. KRS 324.020(2) states: (2) No person shall practice real estate brokerage unless the person holds a license to practice real estate brokerage under this chapter. In reviewing the constitutionality of this statute, the Court found that KRS 324.020(2) burdens interstate commerce only minimally, and that licensure ensures that “persons brokering in the intrastate brokerage of Kentucky property while in Kentucky have the level of competency and professional responsibility necessary to engage in complex real estate transactions.” Moreover, the Court found that licensure enables the Commonwealth of Kentucky to impose disciplinary measures on those individuals who act in a manner unbecoming the real estate profession. KRS 324.020(4) & 201 KAR 11:101(1)(9) The Court next found that Kentucky unconstitutionally prohibits the splitting of real estate commissions with out-of-state licensees, and unconstitutionally prohibits the “aiding and abetting” of out-of-state licensees in real estate brokerage, both in violation of the Commerce Clause of the United States Constitution. According to the Court, these
“The Kentucky Association of REALTORS® is pleased that the Court has confirmed Kentucky's authority to regulate within its own borders the brokerage activities of unlicensed individuals and brokers licensed by other states," stated Carl Tackett, KAR President. “We will continue to carefully review the implications of these decisions.” prohibitions have a discriminatory and unconstitutional effect on interstate commerce by restricting access to the national brokerage markets. KRS 324.020(4) states: (4) No broker shall split fees with or compensate any person who is not licensed to perform any of the acts regulated by this chapter, except that a broker may pay a referral fee to a broker licensed outside of Kentucky for referring a client to the Kentucky broker. 201 KAR 11:101(1)(9) states: (1) The following shall be improper for any licensed agent: . . . (9) A broker licensed in Kentucky to aid, abet, or otherwise assist any individual who is not actively licensed in Kentucky in the practice of brokering real estate in this state. This prohibition shall include a Kentucky broker assisting an unlicensed individual with the listing, selling, leasing or managing of any Kentucky property or assisting an unlicensed individual in representing any buyer or lessee seeking property in Kentucky. An unlicensed individual shall include an individual who may be affiliated with a national franchise and may have a license in another state but who does not have an active Kentucky license. The U.S. District Court in Louisville held that these laws effectively force both owners and purchasers of Kentucky real estate to work with only Kentucky licensed brokers, which burdens interstate commerce by preventing clients of Kentucky brokers from having access to the national brokerage market, and by inhibiting clients of out-of-state brokers from accessing the Kentucky real estate market. Quoting from an earlier Federal Court decision in Marcus & Millichap Real Estate Inv. Brokerage Co. v. Skeeters, the Court
found that “the complete exclusion of [a buyer’s] regular broker from a transaction may well render the foreign buyer / lessee more vulnerable to fraud.” Finally, the Court issued a preliminary injunction enjoining and prohibiting the Executive Director and Commissioners of the Kentucky Real Estate Commission from (i) enforcing the prohibition against splitting fees with a real estate broker licensed in another state for the interstate brokerage of Kentucky real estate, and (ii) enforcing the prohibition against aiding and abetting a real estate broker licensed in another state in the interstate brokerage of Kentucky real estate. While a closer reading and the passage of time will increase our understanding of how the Order and Memorandum Opinion will affect Kentucky REALTORS®, it is clearly a victory for KAR and for Kentucky that the U.S. District Court in Louisville has upheld Kentucky’s authority to require that individuals engaging in real estate brokerage within Kentucky’s borders must obtain a valid Kentucky real estate license. What remains to be answered are what activities occurring outside of Kentucky’s physical borders fall within the jurisdiction of the Kentucky Real Estate Commission, and whether KREC (or any other governmental body) has the authority to supervise and discipline individuals for the unscrupulous brokerage of Kentucky real estate while physically located outside of Kentucky’s borders. Now that the Court has handed down its Order and Memorandum Opinion, one or more of the parties may elect to appeal the Court’s decision to the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit. At the time this article was written, no appeals had been filed in this case.
FALL 2007 KENTUCKY REALTOR® 9
What Do You Sell? Building Your Brand Equity
hen someone asks you what you do for a living, what do you tell them? Do you say “I sell real estate” or do you reply with a more direct statement such as “I help homebuyers in the downtown area find exactly what they are looking for” or “I assist sellers of luxury homes market their properties to the appropriate clientele.” The first is your run-of-the-mill statement as to your career choice. The latter two are direct responses to what you can help your clients achieve. In short, it defines who you are and helps shape your individual brand. To work towards creating the “you” brand, you will need to discover your identity. There are many other aspects to your brand but this is a good place to start. In real estate, you have to know what you stand for – what your area of expertise truly is. Not everyone is going to be the expert on 100 acre horse farms or downtown condos, however, someone will claim that niche and ultimately, through time, develop that as their brand. To understand your brand identity, you first have to know what your competitive advantage is or what it can be. Tom Peters, a popular author and expert on business management practices, said it best in an article a few years ago, “You're every bit as much a brand as
by Hunt Cooper, Marketing/Communications Director for KAR
Nike, Coke, Pepsi, or the Body Shop. To start thinking like your own favorite brand manager, ask yourself the same question the brand managers at Nike, Coke, Pepsi, or the Body Shop ask themselves: What is it that my product or service does that makes it different?” Take a good, hard look at yourself and decide how you are going to succeed in the larger picture. Using this perspective, you will understand where you are and, ultimately, where you want to be. Differentiation is the key to making yourself stand out from the rest of the crowd. As an example, let’s take a look Oprah. Yes, Oprah. The wealthiest woman in the world. The entertainment empire who goes by only her first name and, in most cases, is known around the world by only her first initial – “O”. How did she manage to become such a powerhouse in the industry? In the beginning, she said “You are responsible for your own life” and the foundation was laid for the Harpo brand (by the way men, Harpo is Oprah spelled backwards). By never straying from her goals, earning trust from her friends and collegues and maintaining a positive image in the eyes of her worldwide audience, she has managed to conquer every media market she has entered since beginning her entertainment career twenty years ago. Now the brand consists of her
To understand your brand identity, you first have to know what your competitive advantage is or what it can be. syndicated talk show as well as a satellite radio station, movie production and a magazine, the cover of which always features a picture of, whom else, but Oprah. The question is how are you going to become the Oprah, or better yet, the “O” of real estate? Let’s take a closer look into what defines a brand and how to develop yours. According to Wikipedia, a brand includes a name, logo, slogan, and/or design scheme associated with a product or service. A brand often includes a logo, fonts, color schemes, symbols, and sound, which may be developed to represent implicit values, ideas, and even personality. Some may say these things don’t contribute much to the value of a brand. Some may be right. But think about some of the most successful companies in the world i.e. McDonalds, Harley-Davidson or Google, for example, and what is the first thing that comes to mind. This above list of visible assets is often a good way to start building your brand, but first you must define yourself. By defining yourself and, therefore, creating your own personal identity, you are learning how to differentiate yourself in the mind of the consumer. Along with this differentiation, you must commit to hard work, obtain competent skills and prove to have good decision making, among other things, for your image to remain untainted. In other words, your brand is the result of a) the overall visual appearance of the image you want to people to see and b) all the intangible things you do during the course of day that add up, over the long term, to a positive experience for every one of your clients. As a way of tying this all together, here are steps to follow to create a successful brand for you and your business: Discover Yourself A great brand doesn’t happen overnight – it is the outcome of hard work and dedication to your craft. You need to measure what works and doesn’t work for you. Determine your most positive attributes, learn what’s important to buyers and sellers and then find a way position your brand in their minds.
To do this, you need to understand many areas – the industry, your particular market and your competition – so you can create a strategic advantage that will make you stand out from the crowd. The key to this discovery process is to be open and honest with yourself. You need to have a true picture of who you are so you can accurately position your brand to your potential clientele. Streamline Your Focus Companies that fail usually subscribe to the notion that they must be all things to all people. That same notion, unfortunately, won’t work for real estate professionals either. As the first question in this article points out, you need to understand what you bring to the table. This short statement should sum up your unique qualities and strongly position you in the market. Think of this as your slogan or mission statement. Make sure it says what you believe because once you commit to it, consumers will take you for your word each time they have encounter with you. You will be held to the standards you set for yourself. Use It Wisely For your brand to work, you must dedicate to living the standard you set for yourself. Put everything you created into action. If you believe in yourself, others around you will put their confidence in you. Clients will be excited to work with someone who lives and breathes the values they represent, not someone who only provides “lip service.” Establishing this loyalty is what will bring you repeat business and referrals. If you have clearly demonstrated your identity and developed your brand, people will not think twice as to where you stand. Home sellers and buyers will seek you out when they know that working with you will benefit them more than if they chose to work with someone else. Everyone around you, whether it is a colleague or client, will know what they see is what they get. However, if at any time you fail to deliver, it could take longer to repair the damage done than it initially took to get where you were in the first place. Your
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Building Your Brand Equity The goal is to keep your message simple, focusing on a few key benefits you can offer potential clients. By narrowing your focus to what your brand stands for, you can reach through the noise and deliver on your brand promise. Think about other real estate professionals who are respected in the industry. What do they do differently than everyone else to stand out? Successful people in the business analyze their strengths and focus on the market that best fits their strategy. By eliminating efforts that are not productive and building on the ones that are, they maximize their resources across the board – effective marketing, controlled costs and higher productivity. That’s the goal, right? Remember to deliver your message and live your brand.
reputation is at stake every time you leave the house. Don’t believe it? Take a look at Martha Stewart. Communication Rules Throughout the day, think of how many messages you are exposed to - from the radio commercial that always seems to end with “restrictions apply, see store for details” to the newspaper ad highlighting “door buster sales before 7am,” and the colorful advertisement that covers the entire bus like a three cheese burrito to the billboard that instructs you to “turn left for great savings.” The number of messages the average American is exposed to on a daily basis is staggering. A Consumer Reports article several years ago stated that the average American is exposed to 247 commercial messages each day. A study by Texas A&M’s Digital Library put the number closer to 850. Even today, that number is exponentially higher given the explosion of the internet and online media. Every company, including your competition, is continuously trying to build a better brand in the minds of purchasing consumers. So how are you going to cut through clutter to be noticed and, better yet, remembered?
The Market, It’s A’ Changin’ It’s easy in today’s changing environment, with all the technological advances and fancy marketing gimmicks being offered to real estate professionals, to find yourself wanting to do more. It’s also natural to want to keep pace with everything going on around you. Stay up on current developments, but utilize only the ones that will help you deliver a better brand. Don’t sway from your strengths simply to keep up with the Jones’. You want to be an expert in the industry and to the clients you serve, not the local Inspector Gadget who brags about having every new trend that hits the market. At some point, you will get bogged down. Sure, there will be times that your strategy will change. Your marketing avenues will shift and your advertising outlets will have to be restructured. You may already be seeing this happen. But don’t let these choices affect your long-term goal – creating a solid brand. Keep It Going You invest a lot of money, whether you are just starting out or a veteran in the industry, marketing your services to a target audience. This investment in building a successful business must continue even as your brand strengthens.
If you believe in yourself, others around you will put their confidence in you. Clients will be excited to work with someone who lives and breathes the values they represent, not someone who only provides “lip service.”
Did you know it can take upwards of seven contacts to create viable brand awareness before someone even remembers who you are? Don’t get discouraged and throw your focus out the window because your initial efforts don’t seem to be generating tons of business right out of the gate. As the old saying goes, Rome wasn’t built in a day. In many cases, for Fortune 500 companies, the first few years were tough, but over time, as their brand became more trusted and recognizable, they took their business to the next level – think Bill Gates and Microsoft. You, hopefully, can do the same, but the point is the top companies never change their game plan. They learn what works, capitalize on their successes and sustain their brands. So, the moral of the story is: As a real estate professional, to be successful, as Tom Peters explains, you have to manage the “you” brand and become the CEO of your own company, affectionately known as Me, Inc. Own your brand in your actions. Support your brand by delivering what you promise and be repeatedly consistent. You will find over time, your name, i.e. your business, will become synonymous with the brand you create.
Out with the old, in with the new
Kentucky Association of REALTORS® reveals new identity The Kentucky Association of REALTORS® embarked on a journey to to rebrand itself and bring consistency to all three branches of the organization – KAR, RPAC and KREEF. The association has freshened up its look with a new identity package that better represents its role to its membership and in the Kentucky housing market. The color scheme has remained on par with the old look with a slightly more formal approach taken with the addition of an elegant gold accent. The character style, you will notice, duplicates the old style as well, using the same font as was used in the “KAR” lettering of the old logo. To play off that identity, RPAC and KREEF have adopted the same look and feel with emphasis on the functions they provide within the association – political affairs and education. With the growth of the association to over 11,400 members, KAR is positioned to be a stronger resource to its members. To accomplish this role, several new steps are being taken to make the KAR brand stand out. For example, the strategic plan has the association looking further into the future to find ways to redefine and meet the goals of KAR. Members will see new initiatives being developed – this magazine, for one – and put into place to help communicate with the membership. As the Kentucky Association of REALTORS® moves forward with its new branding efforts, members will undoubtedly notice a renewed sense of excitement within the organization and a resource that helps increase business for all.
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The Secret to Your Success Getting Active and Staying Involved
James Sharp is Director of Governmental Affairs for the Kentucky Association of REALTORS®.
s the Director of Governmental Affairs for the Kentucky Association of REALTORS®, my role is to provide timely, accurate information on the issues that affect you, your clients, and your communities. Whether it is monitoring legislation, bills, proposals, regulations, or politics in general, the ultimate goal is to help ensure your job as a Kentucky REALTOR® is as prosperous and hassle-free as possible. As you might imagine, keeping abreast of the important and relevant political developments in Kentucky is a significant and continuous task, but fortunately it is a challenge made easier by REALTORS® who get active and stay engaged on the issues. Your participation and involvement will assure KAR continues to have a strong and decisive influence in local, state, and federal government affairs. If you would like to find out how you can become more involved or need any additional information about items in this article, please give me a call at 1800-264-2185 or email me at firstname.lastname@example.org.
REALTORS® and Politicians---Separated at Birth? Perhaps the old adage that you have to spend money in order to make money is applicable regarding the contemporary REALTOR® profession. To be an effective and successful REALTOR®, you must market yourself to potential clients, using all the resources at your disposal – like the internet, direct mailing or other marketing tools. You must clearly articulate why someone should choose you and your business over all the other choices available. The more you get the word out about your credentials, education, and experience, the more clients you can attract. And, once you have established
yourself in the industry, you must conduct yourself with the same integrity, professionalism, and customer service that people have come to expect. This entire process is not unlike what politicians running for elected positions experience. Regardless of the elected position or level, candidates for political office must market themselves to voters, spread the word about their positions on the issues, and set themselves apart from their opponents. Running a successful political campaign – and being a top performing REALTOR® – often require significant commitments of money and time. As you are aware, effective communication and marketing can be an expensive endeavor. No politician or candidate I have known really liked or was even comfortable with the idea of asking for money, yet the fact remained that if they were to continue representing their constituency, they had to raise money and run an informative campaign. PAC 101 How do candidates for any political office get money to run an effective campaign? A Political Action Committee (PAC), or Permanent Committee as they are referred to under Kentucky law, is a common campaign funding resource. Essentially, a PAC is a group of people from an association, corporation, labor union or other membership organization that solicits voluntary contributions from members. The purpose of a PAC is to provide limited financial donations to political candidates for election and campaign related expenses. Because a PAC is generally comprised of like-minded individuals and can focus on local, state, or federal issues, there are a significant number of PACs in America, some of which support candidates of particular ideological or political views while others focus on a set of issues. Every dollar of money that flows into and out of a PAC must be an accessible public record and is strictly regulated and monitored by government agencies. On the federal level, all PAC activity is strictly regulated by the U.S. Federal Election Commission. Here in
In Kentucky, individuals may contribute no more than $1,500 dollars to a Kentucky PAC in a calendar year. Kentucky, PACs and elections are administered by the Registry of Election Finance. The Registry makes sure that all PACs, politicians and their related agents adhere to the strict reporting and disclosure requirements set forth in Kentucky law. There are severe penalties for both PACs and politicians who fail to follow these campaign finance laws. Fortunately, Kentucky has one of the most stringent set of laws governing elections, PACs and campaign contributions. The goal is to assure complete election fairness, objectivity, and transparency for voters in the Commonwealth. Thus, a PAC in Kentucky cannot contribute more than $1,000 dollars to any candidate for each election in which they are running. PAC contribution limits also affect the maximum amounts that you can give to a PAC in a year; in Kentucky individuals may contribute no more than $1,500 dollars to a Kentucky PAC in a calendar year. The important things to keep in mind regarding PACs are that politicians are aware of two fundamental things: 1) PACs can give money to candidates, and 2) a PAC is an organization made up of many members who very likely vote in elections. Although campaign money is critical to a politician, votes are absolutely, positively essential. Therein lies the true measure of PAC power – more contributing members equate to more voters and a more influential PAC. For example, while a PAC with 100 members who have contributed $20,000 thousand dollars is certainly impressive, to a savvy politician, a PAC with 1000 members who have contributed $10,000 thousand will command far more attention and respect because of the voters in that PAC. That’s not to say that money is not important to both PACs and politicians. The more funds a PAC has in the bank, the more attention to their issues and positions they can generate. In summary, more contributing members give a PAC greater power and influence; money gives a PAC increased ability to effectively distribute and wield that power. Strict rules ensure the integrity both individual and PAC contributions throughout the process.
Who and What is RPAC? As a REALTOR®, your PAC is the RPAC – REALTOR® Political Action Committee. It is extremely important to note that RPAC is completely nonpartisan – it is not a Republican, Democrat, Independent or other politically affiliated organization.We support local, state, and federal candidates who support issues that affect REALTORS® in Kentucky.
Generally, RPAC is working towards four main goals: • Preserve private property rights, • Reduce unnecessary and burdensome regulations on you, the small businessperson • Insure tax code fairness that does not penalize investment in real estate • Protect and enhance the American Dream of homeownership. First and foremost, we understand REALTORS® are small business people who work hard to earn a living. Did you know that in America, small businesses pay more than 45% of the total payroll for U.S. private firms? Over the past decade, small businesses have been responsible for 60% to 80% of net new job growth annually. Significantly, according to U.S. government data, government actions drastically impact small businesses – in fact, the overall cost of all federal regulations on small businesses with 20 or less employees amounted to over $7,000 per employee! When you contribute to RPAC, you can be assured that 100% of your donation is used to elect pro-REALTOR® candidates at all levels of government. 70% remains in the state to be used in state and local elections while the remaining 30% of your contribution will be forwarded to National RPAC to fund key U.S. House and Senate races. Obviously, your time and money is extremely important to your business and family.We make sure that politicians not only appreciate the face value of any RPAC donation, but more importantly, we make sure they understand the significance of who is behind those donations. RPAC is not some faceless mega-million dollar corporation; it is you and others like you right here in Kentucky. – continued next page –
FALL 2007 KENTUCKY REALTOR® 15
Who and What is RPAC? (continued)
As mentioned before, RPAC is a nonpartisan entity.Working in conjunction with the Kentucky Association of REALTOR® Government Affairs, a team of your fellow REALTORS® monitor current and emerging political issues, establishes official positions on state issues, and recommends appropriate actions from your Legislative Team.We identify the policymakers who are behind the issues that affect us and reach out to them to learn more about their goals and concerns. After meeting and discussing the issue and if appropriate, your RPAC Legislative Team may decide to contribute to that politician.We make sure that lawmakers are well aware of the position the Kentucky Association of REALTORS® has adopted on the issues. What has RPAC done for me lately? One way that REALTORS® work with elected officials on all levels is by sitting down with them one on one to discuss issues important to the real estate industry.We maintain positive and open communication with policymakers The 2007 Kentucky General Assembly regular session was a short session this year and ended in March. Despite to shorter duration of the 2007 regular session, the House and Senate still considered 795 bills, of which 123 were passed. Kentucky REALTORS® scored two major victories with the passage of House Bill 94, the Methamphetamine Production and Contamination bill and the defeat of Senate Bill 190, Imposing Fees on Independent Contractors. Many other significant issues that were not considered due to time are very likely to be reintroduced in the upcoming 2008 session. This upcoming session is a longer session and will give greater opportunity to introduce issues and bills that affect REALTORS® in both a negative and positive way. Towards the end of this year, we will take an in-depth look at legislation that we may come up in the 2008 session, examine how it will affect you and your business, and let you know what you can do about it. We encourage each and every one of you to get active and stay involved in REALTOR® government affairs.With over 11,000 members, Kentucky REALTORS® are well-positioned to become a significant force for positive change in the Commonwealth. As a REALTOR®, you have committed yourself to be the very best in the real estate profession.Why not take your commitment to the next level and become active in Kentucky REALTOR® Government Affairs? Donate to RPAC, run for office, call or write to see how more ways that you can help take Kentucky REALTORS® to the next level!
s of July 31, the following REALTORS® have contributed to the REALTOR® Political Action Committee (RPAC) at the major designated levels. By contributing to RPAC, you are able to support REALTOR®-friendly legislators who believe in our industry and protecting private property rights, preserving the American dream of home ownership, fighting for tax reforms and reducing burdensome regulations on our business. For more information on the value of RPAC and how it works for you, contact James Sharp at email@example.com or 800.264.2185.
Big Blue R ($1,500 and up) Ann D. McDonald Jerry McMahan Mary Anne A. Simmons Gwynn Stewart Harrell N. Tague Jr. Sterling R ($1,000 - $1,499) Dennis R. Anderson Donna M. Gordon-Willoughby Todd Hyatt Donald M. Kepple Rue O. McFarland John Miranda Guy Montgomery Charlie L. Murphy Delbert K. Perry Betty A. Schutte* John W. Smither William P. Snyder John J. Weikel II* Danny R. Willis
*sustaining Golden R
Thoroughbred R ($500 - $999) John E. Aubrey Nelson Collins Robert A. Damron Ray DeSlover Brad DeVries Carolyn S. Edwards Michael Farrar Jane Hayes Kim Hayes-Ricca Bobbie Johnson Gerri Jones Jacqueline W. Klein Jonah Mitchell Karen S. Mundy Janet L. Perkins Russell V. Quick Don Sebastian Joseph E. Simms Carl M. Tackett Kenneth W. Warden
New RPAC Contributors Patsy Eddins Tony Clark Realtors, Owensboro
Richard Beck Thomas Smith Real Estate Service, Paducah
“I know my contribution will help protect and promote REALTOR® interests, that I could never do as an individual… more can be accomplished when we work together.”
“Considering the relevant issues that will impact our ability to provide for our families now and in the future, RPAC needs our support more than ever. It is vital we have a voice and RPAC speaks for us. We should give our fair share because RPAC is there for us all.”
Pearl R ($250 - $499) C. Gary Adkinson Santosh Bhatt Alfred R. Blevins Jenny Bradley Jason Brunstetter Linda Gibson B. Cecil Judy A. Craft Barbara A. Curtis Joe Cusick Diana Davis Stephen R. Early Donna Ensminger Kevin R. Farris Debra L. Fitzgerald Rodney P. Fussinger Larry R. Gillette Brenda G. Gooslin John A. Groft Jr. Leslie D. Heath Susan Helm
Ronald E. Hughes W. Wade Hurt Elias Mashni Dot M. Miller Mark E. Mitchell Jane Allen A. Offutt Danielle Prost Becky Reinhold Janet S. Robinson Jeff Sherry Lisa Stephenson Karen K. Stevenson Tom Thieneman Jr. Dan Thompson Colleen E. Walker Obey T. Wallen Mike M. Wheatley Joan Z. Whitman Linda J. Wiley Janie Wilson
Karl Burger Keller Williams Bluegrass Realty, Lexington “You need to be involved with the business you are in as well as forces that govern you. RPAC is your vehicle to the key issues that dictate our industry. If we don’t support this organization it can not represent us on a local as well as national level.”
RPAC HALL OF FAME
Charlie L. Murphy Lexington Bluegrass Association of REALTORS®
William P. Snyder Greater Louisville Association of REALTORS®
Hall of Fame members have contributed to RPAC a cumulative amount exceeding $25,000.
FALL 2007 KENTUCKY REALTOR® 17
Important RESPA Considerations Helping you in your daily real estate practice
Lee Harris is General Counsel for the Kentucky Real Estate Commission
n their daily practices, real estate licensees may run into both state and federal law issues. The Real Estate Settlement Procedures Act of 1974 (RESPA) is perhaps one of the most complex laws that a real estate licensee must understand and abide by. RESPA, which is enforced and overseen by the Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD), has many facets that are important for real estate practitioners to know, as this knowledge will help all of you in your daily real estate practice. The law is so detailed and specific that many portions of it are unwittingly being violated quite often. These violations put real estate licensees in harm’s way, as there is no requirement that a real estate licensee act knowingly or intentionally to violate RESPA. What’s more, a violation of RESPA is a considered a felony, which is punishable by prison time and large fines. Section 8 is probably the most well-known part of the RESPA prohibitions. Section 8 prohibits any kickbacks between settlement providers, such as real estate agents, mortgage brokers or loan originators and closing attorneys. Congress realized that these types of referral fees were causing consumer fees to be increased even though no service was being provided to the consumer for that fee. Therefore, in an effort to reduce consumer mortgage costs, Congress outlawed such referral fees. But RESPA goes much farther than that. For example, RESPA also prohibits mortgage lenders from providing any “thing of value” to real estate licensees. HUD defines the term “thing of value” very broadly. For instance, mortgage lenders are not allowed to provide real estate licensees with free tickets to sporting events, free continuing education courses for credit, free advertising space, free virtual home tours on the
A violation of RESPA is considered a felony, which is punishable by prison time and large fines. Internet, free vacations or trips or free legal services, just to name a few. The Kentucky Real Estate Commission (KREC) often receives inquiries from real estate agents who want to share advertising space with a mortgage lender. If a real estate licensee shares an advertisement, the real estate licensee must pay his or her pro-rata share of the advertising costs. For example, if the ad is a full-page flyer and the real estate licensee’s promotion takes up half of the flyer, the real estate licensee must pay 50% of the advertising fee. If the mortgage company were to pay for the entire advertisement, HUD will consider that a kickback under Section 8 of RESPA. Please keep in mind that RESPA is regulated by HUD. Therefore, HUD will always have the final say about what constitutes a violation. If a real estate licensee has a question about whether certain practices would violate RESPA, the licensee can contact HUD directly by e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org or call one of their staff attorneys at 202-708-4560. HUD also has a very informative website located at www.hud.gov. In addition, real estate licensees may find it helpful to attend a class on RESPA-related issues or to review Chapter 7 of the KREC textbook entitled Kentucky Real Estate Professionals and the Law. Included is a detailed explanation of numerous RESPA provisions in that Chapter. This textbook can be found online at www.krec.ky.gov.
Going Global Helping KAR membership reach a diverse population
by Debra Fox, LeadershipKAR, Class of 2007
hen it comes to globalization, Kentucky is no exception. REALTORS® must constantly communicate with clients from different cultures with diverse languages, backgrounds and needs. This particular task is not always easy, which prompted the Kentucky Association of REALTORS® strategic planning committee to take action. The goal is to increase diversity within KAR’s leadership and provide education programs on diverse cultures to the membership. The 2007 LeadershipKAR class, which consists of 15 REALTORS® from across the state, took on the project as a way to develop an outreach program for KAR and make it available for local associations to increase diversity within their own membership ranks. After much thought and consideration on how to best accomplish this task, the class chose to design and implement a searchable database of multilingual agents in Kentucky and make it available to the membership by way of the KAR website. So, LeadershipKAR would like to ask all members, “How do you say real estate?” To answer that question, the LeadershipKAR class has come up with this way for members to let other members know the languages they speak, read and understand. By providing this database, Kentucky REALTORS® will have a quick resource to find a colleague who can help navigate the complexities of dealing with diverse clients. For example, if REALTOR “A” has a buyer who speaks only Japanese, REALTOR “A” can search the database for someone who can help with the transaction. REALTOR “B” has a thorough understanding of the Japanese culture and would hopefully have his or her information listed in the database. When REALTOR “A” searches the database, REALTOR “B” will be listed as someone who can provide the necessary assistance through the transaction.
As you can see, offering language as a search option has several meaningful benefits. First, it will allow members to better communicate with clients from different cultures. Kentucky communities are much more diverse than even 10 years ago, and the database will allow KAR to cater to a larger number of clients. Second, the database provides another resource tool for current members plus encourages participation from a broader spectrum of the membership. Finally, the database encourages more profile activity by allowing members to update their profiles based on language as well as other criteria. The process is simple. Go to http://www.kar.com, click on the "Members Only” link and log-in to the site. Click on “Personal Information.” At the bottom of the page under languages, select “Add Item” and follow the instructions. Your profile will be updated in the database and you will appear under the selected language when someone searches the database. While you are adding your language, please take the time to update other information in your profile. Another option to complete the language section is to email email@example.com with the languages you speak. A member of KAR will update the information for you. Through several discussions, ongoing research and plenty of feedback, the group realized how great the need is for this program. We hope all members will take a few seconds to update their profile and enjoy the benefits it brings. The Kentucky Association of REALTORS® LeadershipKAR program recognizes that leadership development is an essential element in the process of improving our Association and profession. The application deadline is December 1, 2007, and tuition for the program is $600. (If necessary, KAR can offer suggestions for financial aid). For more information on how to become a part of LeadershipKAR in 2007, including a detailed agenda for each of the retreats, please contact Anetha Dunn at (800) 264-2185. An application can be downloaded at www.kar.com. FALL 2007 KENTUCKY REALTOR® 19
Fight or Flight? Consider the Best Response to a Physical Attack
f you were to find yourself alone in a property with a client who indicated they wanted to harm you or rob you, what would you do? Would you put up a fight or try to escape? It isn’t pleasant to think about, but it’s important to know the facts. Experts agree that when escape is an option, that is the route you should take. Remember, your primary goal in any incident is to escape from the danger and call for help. When faced with menacing behavior, you should first try to find a discreet way of removing yourself from the situation. Try to avoid triggering the emotion a predator might use to justify an attack. For example, you can say that you need to step outside to make a phone call and then don’t come back inside. If an attack does occur, trust yourself and stay as calm as possible. Think rationally and evaluate your options. There is no single right way to respond to a confrontation, because each situation is different. Your response should depend on the circumstances: the location of the attack, your personal resources, the characteristics of your assailant and the presence of weapons. There are many strategies that are effective, but you must rely on your own judgment to choose the best one. No resistance: Not resisting can be the proper choice in a given situation. An attacker with a gun or a knife may put you in a situation where you think it is safer to do what he or she says. If someone tries to rob you, give up your property, not your life. Stalling for time: Appear to go along with the attacker. This might give you time to assess the situation. When his guard is down, try to escape. Distraction and then flight: Obviously you should try to get away, but whether you can depends on many things, including your shoes and clothing, physical stamina, the terrain and your proximity to your attacker.
Verbal assertiveness: If someone is coming toward you, hold out your hands in front of you and yell “Stop!” or “Stay back!” Criminals have been known to leave a victim alone if he or she yelled or showed that he or she was not afraid to fight back. Physical resistance: If you decide to respond physically, remember that your first response should be to flee the area or the home. Act quickly and decisively to throw the attacker off guard while you get away. Your personal safety is your first priority. Property can be replaced, but the value of your life and health is beyond measure. Also, you should familiarize yourself with your state’s laws concerning self-defense, including the issue of what is proper or improper use of force to defend yourself during an attack. Observation: Be sure to make an effort to get an accurate description of your attacker. Even the smallest details may give authorities a clue to finding the suspect. Sources: Washington Real Estate Safety Council; A Woman’s Guide to Personal Safety
If an attack does occur, trust yourself and stay as calm as possible. Think rationally and evaluate your options. There is no single right way to respond to a confrontation, because each situation is different.
Enter the Education Matrix
nter the Education Matrix – the place to find information about all the designations and certifications offered by the National Association of REALTORS®, the Kentucky Association of REALTORS® through KREEF and your local association/board of REALTORS®. By entering the Education Matrix, you have the opportunity to learn valuable information to: • Increase your income • Build your skills to provide specialized expertise • Increase your marketability, proficiency and productivity • Add prestige to enhance your professional image • Increase professionalism in real estate
A GRI designation holder typically earns 40% more annually than REALTORS® not holding the designation. The Graduate REALTOR® Institute (GRI) is a great way to begin your path into the Education Matrix. This designation is the most recognized professional designation available to real estate professionals nationwide. A GRI designation holder typically earns 40% more annually than REALTORS® not holding the designation. The GRI program will expand your network of real estate professionals through course contacts and generates more leads and referrals across the nation. The GRI encourages you to begin work on a second designation by allowing the required elective credits to include any NAR recognized designation. Other designations in the Education Matrix provide a wide-ranging menu of programs and services that will assist you in your real estate career. Take a walk through the Education Matrix and make a mark of distinction that gives a clear signal that you are ready and willing to become the best in your industry. To find out more about NAR’s family of designations, visit realtor.org and search for designations.
REALTORS® Required to Complete Ethics Training for Second Cycle - Deadline December 31, 2008 Between January 1, 2005 and December 31, 2008, every REALTOR® is required to complete 2 1/2 hours of Code of Ethics training. REALTORS® who have completed this training as a requirement of membership in another association are not required to complete additional ethics training until the next four year cycle. There is also an accompanying ethics orientation training requirement for REALTOR® applicants that must be satisfied after applying for membership. Resources have been developed by the National Association of REALTORS® to help members and associations better understand and meet the ethics training requirements. Visit www.realtor.org to get more information.
FALL 2007 KENTUCKY REALTOR® 21
Local Association News
Around the State... Local boards/associations are encouraged to submit information for this section. Pictures must be at least 300dpi. Send all association news to firstname.lastname@example.org.
The 50th Anniversary Committee looking over memorabilia from the past. Left to right: Board President Vicki Moore, Bonnie Byerly, Loretta Jobs, Bill Kopperud
Murray-Calloway County Board of REALTORS® The Murray-Calloway County Board of REALTORS® is celebrating its 50th anniversary this year. Although the official date is in November, the occasion is being highlighted with various events throughout the year. To date, a “Hot Dog We’re 50” picnic has been held as well as a lemonade and ice cream social. Members of the public, affiliate members and former REALTOR® members were invited to share in the festivities. In addition, the local newspaper interviewed the oldest living former board president, Wayne Wilson, about the changes that have occurred since 1957. “When I first got started (in real estate), all anybody wanted was a handshake and promise,” Wilson said. “Now you can have an attorney write you a contract and somebody will still want out of it.” On November 9th, the Board will host an anniversary ball inviting former presidents of the Murray Calloway Board of REALTOR® to attend. Pictures and mementos from the years’ past are being collected to display at the event. Hopkinsville-Christian County Board of REALTORS® On Sept.18, the Hopkinsville-Christian County Board of REALTORS® assisted in hosting a Housing Summit titled “Understanding Our Housing Market.” The purpose of the Summit was to develop ideas and
an action plan to ensure the region is able to meet the needs of current and future citizens with a diverse housing stock and affordable housing options. Kentucky Association of REALTORS® President Carl Tackett and Homebuilders Association of Kentucky Executive Vice President Bob Weiss gave an overview of the regional housing market which included new housing starts and sales. The H-CC Board of REALTORS® Strategic Plan Committee is putting the finishing touches on its first ever strategic plan to present to the Board of Directors and membership. The significance of the plan is twofold. First, it will help the board improve member services, increase collective marketing, improve advocacy efforts, increase buyer education and awareness and secure resources to achieve future goals. The plan will also allow the board to participate in NAR’s Housing Opportunity Program grant process. Local boards with active strategic plans that apply must show how the funds will be used to complement the overall plan. H-CC is looking into the “Home from Work” program as well as the Smart Growth Action grants.
Digital rendering of NKAR’s new building.
Northern Kentucky Association of REALTORS® The Northern Kentucky Association of REALTORS® is anxiously awaiting completion of their new building in 2008. The new building will be a two story building of approximately 21,000 sq. ft. with the Association and MLS occupying the first floor (approx 10,500 sq. ft.). NKAR has established a new Barb Holman Hope Fund, named for one of NKAR’S top agents who succumbed to cancer several years ago. The fund is
Kentucky Board Jurisdictions by Counties
designed to provide relief of dues to REALTORS® who are ill and unable to work. As the fund grows, the plan will provide other financial relief to deserving REALTORS®. Madison County Board of REALTORS® For the past 12 years, the Special Olympic Summer Games have been held on the EKU campus in Members of the MCBOR team up Richmond. As part of to support the Special Olympics. the festivities, a setup known as “Olympic Town” is erected featuring food, music, games for prizes, crafts and fun activities. The Madison County Board of REALTORS® joined Special Olympics this year, for the first time, and set up a booth called “Photo Fun.” The tent consisted of various character cutouts. All the ideas, designs, cutting and painting were done by REALTORS®. Signs for the tent entitled “Photo Fun” were painted in Special Olympic colors of red and teal. REALTORS® supplied the digital cameras and printers and took pictures of the athletes with the scene of their choice. There were 1,200 athletes in attendance and 650 photos were taken by REALTORS®. Pictures were taken of family members, staff and volunteers, at their request. The booth was a huge success and Special Olympic staff complimented the REALTORS® saying “You guys are awesome!” and “You guys rock!” A fun day was had by all and seeing the smiles it brought was worth every second.
Association Executives & Secretaries Region One Becky East Gay Wilson Christine Quick Shelley Cates Shirley Baldree Twilla Williams Rick Brown Teresa Harris Gina Allen
Henderson-Audubon Board of REALTORS® Hopkinsville-Christian Board of REALTORS® Kentucky-Barkley Lakes Board of REALTORS® Madisonville-Hopkins Board of REALTORS® Mayfield-Graves Board of REALTORS® Murray Calloway County Board of REALTORS® Owensboro Board of REALTORS® Paducah Board of REALTORS® Pennyrile Board of REALTORS®
Region Two Sissy Fowler Margie Harper Michelle Harbin Meg Manning Patricia Taylor Lora Paschal Linda Flickinger
Central Kentucky Association of REALTORS® Heart of Kentucky Association of REALTORS® Old Kentucky Home Board of REALTORS® REALTOR® Association of Southern Kentucky Russellville-Logan Board of REALTORS® Shelbyville Board of REALTORS® South Central Kentucky Association of REALTORS®
Region Three Lisa Stephenson
Greater Louisville Association of REALTORS®
Region Four Elaine Hangis
Lexington Bluegrass Association of REALTORS®
Region Five Cindy Dobias
Northern Kentucky Association of REALTORS®
Region Six Diane Ruby Alecia Elwell Beverly Cooper Gracie Gilbert Kim Sanders Jana Smith Wayne Beazley Lloyd Schiltz Tracy Cary
Ashland Area Board of REALTORS® Cumberland Valley Board of REALTORS® Cynthiana-Harrison County Board of REALTORS® Dix River Board of REALTORS® Eastern Kentucky Association of REALTORS® Frankfort Board of REALTORS® Madison County Board of REALTORS® Pioneer Trace Board of REALTORS® Somerset-Lake Cumberland Board of REALTORS®
FALL 2007 KENTUCKY REALTOR® 23
By The Numbers
The average closing cost in Kentucky for 2007 on a $200,000 mortgage, ranking the state at 35th (compared to 9th in 2006), according to Bankrate. These costs tie Kentucky for second as the biggest move for all states in the rankings, behind Alabama who jumped from 10th to 39th. The average closing cost in the U.S. for 2007 was $2,736 and $3,024 in 2006.
The amount spent on technology by realtors over a one year period, according to the 2006 survey by the National Association of REALTORS®’ Center for REALTOR® Technology. 30 percent of REALTORS® spent $2,000 or more. Among some of the more popular devices they’re using: • 95 percent, digital cameras • 90 percent, cell phones • 77 percent, a desktop personal computer • 62 percent, a notebook personal computer • 27 percent, a Palm PDA • 24 percent, a Global Positioning System • 21 percent, a PDA/ Smartphone with Internet • 5 percent, a pocket personal computer PDA • 3 percent, a tablet personal computer • 2 percent, an Apple notebook • 2 percent, an Apple desktop
Percent of REALTORS® who have a blog, according to the 2007 NAR Member Profile. Claim your spot in the blogosphere and increase search engine rankings for your website.
The typical REALTOR® age, according to the 2007 NAR Member Profile. The typical realtor has also been in the business 7 years and works a 40 hour week.
Percent of all international buyers who purchased homes exclusively for vacation purposes, according to research in the 2007 NAR Profile of International Home Buying Activity. Only 22 percent were motivated primarily by investment. The median sales price of homes purchased by international buyers was $299,500 over the past year, which is higher than the U.S. median of $221,900 during the same period.
Percent that body language plays in overall communication. Nonverbal cues seem to be more important than the words you actually say. Psychologist Albert Mehrabian did research to find out which factors affect the likeability of a person delivering a message. The results: words account for a slim 7 percent of likeability, while tone of voice accounts for 38 percent and body language accounts for 55 percent.
The increase in e-mail use on portable devices since 2004, according to an online survey from AOL, in partnership with Opinion Research Corporation. The average e-mail user checks mail about five times a day, and 59% of those with portable devices are using them to check e-mail every time a new message arrives. Forty-three percent of e-mail users with portable devices say they keep the device nearby when they are sleeping to listen for incoming mail.
Kentucky Housing Affordable Compared to Nation Correct Pricing Remains Key
ctivity in Kentucky home sales is down slightly according to June figures. Statewide sales of new and existing homes dipped during June 2007 compared to June 2006. According to the data, 5,154 homes were sold in June 2007 versus 5,801 homes in June 2006. KAR President Carl Tackett said the news brings positive light to what the national media has touted as a dismal market. “Although home sales are down slightly this year, homes priced correctly are going to sell. When facing a slower selling market, pricing is the most important aspect - making sure sellers have up to date information about the environment they are facing. Buyers have more inventory to choose from in many of the markets across Kentucky so pricing strategy becomes critical to pull interest from buyers.” Buyers across the Commonwealth seem to be holding out due to the reports of rising foreclosures and the mortgage crisis currently plaguing much of the country. “Kentucky doesn’t see as many of the problems as other states and the larger metropolitan areas. I’m not saying these problems don’t affect us, but serious buyers should get all the facts on their local market before making a decision not to move into the market. Kentucky’s median home prices are less than what they are on a national level (national existing home price is $229,200), making us extremely affordable compared to the rest of the country,” explained Tackett. As an investment, purchasing a home should remain a consideration. Even in this slower market, the average home price edged up almost 2% in June 2007, another strong indicator that Kentucky housing is remaining steady.
B o a rd / A s s o c i a t i o n
# So ld 6 /07
# So ld 6 /06
Kentucky-Barkley Lakes BOR
# Sold %
M e d i a n P r i ce 6 /07
M e d i a n P r i ce 6/ 06
Med i an P r i ce %
Region On e 68.00%
Murray Calloway County BOR
Central Kentucky AOR
Heart of Kentucky AOR
Old Kentucky Home BOR
REALTOR® Assn of SKY
South Central Kentucky AOR
R e g io n Tw o
R e g io n T h r e e Greater Louisville AOR
Regi on F our Lexington Bluegrass AOR
Region F ive Northern Kentucky AOR
R e g i on S ix Ashland Area BOR Cumberland Valley BOR
Cynthiana-Harrison County BOR
Dix River BOR
Madison County BOR
Eastern Kentucky AOR
Pioneer Trace BOR
Somerset-Lake Cumberland BOR
Based on information from local REALTOR® associations/MLSs for the periods of June 1-30, 2006 and 2007. FALL 2007 KENTUCKY REALTOR® 25
A Spotlight on... Midway Midway is a Tourist’s Secret Shhhhhhh!
hat’s the first thing that comes to mind when you think of Midway? Many people may conjure up images relating to a naval battle during World War II that took place on the small island located to the northwest of Hawaii. Others may think of Kentucky’s first railroad town located in the northern section of Woodford County. Midway, once also known as “Middleway,” got its name from the fact that it sits directly midpoint between the cities of Lexington and Frankfort, and also directly between Versailles and Georgetown. The quaint town of just over 1,600 residents maneuvers around the single railroad track that, still to this day, remains active. “I thought the track was from days gone by,” said Lizette Fitzpatrick, a REALTOR® with Prudential Don Foster in Richmond. “As I pulled onto Main Street, the lights flashed and the train, tooting its horn loudly, sped right through the middle of town. It was amazing to be that close as it barreled down the line. How interesting if you were sitting out on one of the numerous patio restaurants enjoying a meal or glass of wine.” “I don’t know of another place in Kentucky that has that kind of excitement going on right on Main Street,” she continued. The appropriately named downtown Railroad Street serves as a constant reminder of the deep influence the railroad industry has had on the area. Fitzpatrick, who wrote about her most recent trip to Midway on her Activerain blog, has been a frequent visitor to Midway lately, taking the occasional client to a relaxed lunch. “What draws me to Midway is that it makes me slow down and enjoy what we have here in Central Kentucky. The hustle and bustle of life seems to fall away and I imagine what life was like here many years ago.” Downtown has a newly renovated streetscape, a project completed through Main Street Kentucky. This
revitalization brought with it new structures including the addition of period lighting and sidewalks that have brought new life into the town. Within the boundaries of its downtown, Midway’s streets, named in honor of the railroads first officials, are lined with antique and specialty stores and eateries mixed among the 176 buildings listed in the National Register of Historic Places. “Businesses don’t leave Midway, they just move to better locations,” said Fitzpatrick. “Main Street has seen local businesses move addresses to take advantage of larger or more convenient spaces.” Historic buildings line the streets, many undergoing restorations with updates, such as stonework walls, bringing about a look that is more turn of the century. Many of these buildings are for sale or lease giving new or up and coming businesses options to lay down roots in the community. On the outskirts of Midway, beautiful, lush horse farms line the country roads that provide a gorgeous scenic drive leading into downtown. The farms encompass acres upon acres of some of the most beautiful land, not only in central Kentucky, but in the world. A common element with many of these farms is the proximity to the secluded banks of Elkhorn Creek, which runs through much of the land surrounding Midway. Central Kentucky is known for its renowned horse farms and Midway is no stranger to this group. Derby winning horses and grade stakes winners have been born and raised on the farms in this area, many of which still stand and are passing their DNA to offspring who will carry on the rich tradition of thoroughbred racing. Some prominent horses such as Smarty Jones, the undefeated Derby winner and 5th richest American thoroughbred of all time, and Point Given, voted Horse of the Year in 2001, are still making names for themselves on Midway farms.
All Midway photos courtesy of Lizette Fitzpatrick.
Another industry that has seemed to find a place in Midway has been wineries, contributing much of the attraction to the land’s favorable conditions. The soil quality, which has been described as loamy, along with ample limestone deposits and the aridity of the climate has allowed the growth of the grape to thrive. This new found crop will continue to prosper, spreading Kentucky’s appeal as the wine aficionados’ go-to place in the southeast. Midway is also home to Midway College, Kentucky’s only women's college. Founded in 1847, it operates today as a fully accredited four year institution. In the past, Midway College, founded by Dr. Lewis L. Pinkerton, served as the Kentucky Female Orphan School and later developed into a high school and then a junior college. The school is best known for its pillar programs in business, equine, nursing and teacher education. New development is also in the pipeline to accommodate the growing population and increase in tourism to this small, historic town. Property located near the I-64 exit was recently purchased and reported plans are said to include 500 single family houses. It is now in planning and zoning for discussion. In addition, the I-64 exit is slated for a hotel, two new restaurants and a gas station. More and more people want to get away from the stresses of everyday living. Many are searching for that place that exhibits a low key and laid back attitude – a place that feels like part of the family. Take the time to
explore Midway and you may find exactly what you were looking for. “The locals are extremely friendly and want people to sit down and tell them their story,” said Fitzpatrick. “It’s becoming a well-heeled tourist hangout.”
Midway, once also known as “Middleway,” got its name from the fact that it sits directly midpoint between the cities of Lexington and Frankfort, and also directly between Versailles and Georgetown. The quaint town of just over 1,600 residents maneuvers around the single railroad track that, still to this day, remains active.
FALL 2007 KENTUCKY REALTOR® 27
From the Helm
Dreaming Big Dreams KAR Executive Vice President Susie Helm stands outside the Lexington Convention Center, site of the 2007 Convention & Expo. To see pictures from the event, visit kyrealtors.smugmug.com
our 2008 National Association of REALTORS® President Dick Gaylord closes many of his speeches with The Ten Commandments of Leadership. These Commandments encourage the audience to ignore pessimism and persevere toward their goals. The Commandments decree to “do it anyway” despite setbacks, discouragement and disappointments. The Sixth Commandment states: “The biggest people with the biggest ideas can be shot down by the littlest people with the littlest ideas. Think big anyway.” I like that idea. I like big thinkers, big dreams and big dreamers. Dreaming makes things happen. When I was a young girl, I dreamed of being happily married … and I am. In high school, I dreamed of my career as an investigative reporter. But, later worked for a REALTOR® Association and dreamed of being an Association Executive for a State Association… now I am one. I dreamed of winning an Olympic medal in swimming … didn’t quite make that one … but I dreamed I could at one time. Have you ever heard this saying -- “You can’t achieve it unless you can dream it”? Well, that certainly seems to be true. How can you accomplish something you didn’t envision in the first place? This world has known a lot of big dreamers. I appreciate their visions and the fruits of their dreams. I truly appreciate the BIG dreamers, like Thomas Edison, who helped us light our homes; and Alexander Graham Bell … I’ll bet he never dreamed about anything like the cell phone … but we all use one … thanks to the dreams of Mr. Bell. You never know where your dreams might take you … or where they might take someone else.
These days, I am dreaming that we can reach our RPAC goal of $170,000 and be a political force in the Kentucky legislature. I’ll bet 20 years ago, the RPAC Trustees never dreamed they could raise that much money for RPAC. Today, it is just a dream, but it can be a reality – with your help. I am dreaming we can accomplish all of the things we have planned in our 2008 business plan. It is an ambitious plan, but after we all dreamed it … we planned it. That is the next step after dreaming … planning. Dreaming is imagining … seeing yourself in a place where you currently are not, but would like to be. I am imagining myself at a beach right now… okay … back to work. But seriously, dreaming is good. It helps you see a better place, a better job, even a better You. I am dreaming that everyone who reads this doesn’t think I am corny … but, I hope you are dreaming big dreams right now. Sweet dreams …
Susan W. Helm, RCE Executive Vice President, KAR
Code of Ethics Article 12: Present a True Picture in your Advertising and Other Public Representations
Case Interpretation REALTOR® A, a residential specialist in a major metropolitan area, spent several weeks each year in a cabin in the north woods he had inherited from a distant relative. Always on the lookout for investment opportunities, he paid careful attention to “for sale” signs, newspaper ads, and local brokerage websites in the area. Returning from the golf course one afternoon, REALTOR® A spotted a dilapidated “for sale” sign on an otherwise-attractive wooded lot. Getting out of his car, he was able to discern REALTOR® Z’s name. Returning to his cabin, he used the Internet to locate REALTOR® Z and REALTOR® Z’s company website. Visiting REALTOR® Z’s website, he found detailed information about the lot he’d seen that afternoon. Using REALTOR® Z’s e-mail address function, he asked for information about the lot, including its dimensions and asking price. Several days later REALTOR® Z responded, advising simply, “That listing expired.” The following day REALTOR® A, hoping to learn whether the lot was still available, contacted REALTOR® X, another area real estate broker. “As it turns out, we have an exclusive listing on the property you’re interested in,” said REALTOR® X. In response to REALTOR® A’s questions, REALTOR® X advised that he had an exclusive listing on the property for almost six months. “That’s funny,” responded REALTOR® A, “REALTOR® Z has a ‘for sale’ sign on the property and information about it on her website. Looking at her website, I got the clear impression that she still had that property listed.” While the wooded lot proved to be out of REALTOR® A’s price range, REALTOR® Z’s “for sale” sign and website were still on his mind when he returned home. Ultimately, he contacted the local association of REALTOR® and filed an ethics complaint alleging that REALTOR® Z’s “for sale” sign, coupled with her offering information on her website made it appear as if the wooded parcel was still listed with her firm, when that had not been the case for over six months. REALTOR® A noted that this conduct, in his opinion, violated Article 12 since REALTOR® Z was not presenting a “true picture” in her public representations and was, in fact, advertising without authority, a practice prohibited by Article 12, as interpreted by Standard of Practice 12-4. At the hearing, REALTOR® Z claimed that failure to remove the “for sale” sign was simply an oversight, and if
C a s e # 1 2 - 1 9 : Remove Information about Listings from Websites Once Authority to Advertise Ends
anyone was to blame, it was her personal assistant who was responsible for removing signs and lockboxes from expired and sold listings. “If you want to blame anyone, blame my assistant since he’s supposed to bring back our “for sale” and “sold” signs. Turning to the stale listing information on her website, REALTOR® Z acknowledged that information about her former listing had continued to appear for more than six months after the listing had expired. REALTOR® Z analogized the continued presence of that information to an old newspaper advertisement. “It’s possible someone might come across a six month old newspaper with my listings in it. Those ads were true when I ran them but how could I ever control when and where someone will come across them, possibly months or even years later?” she asked. “Besides,” she added, “REALTORS® have better things to do than constantly inspect their websites to make sure everything is absolutely, positively up-to-the-minute.” “If we did that, none of us would have time to list or sell,” she concluded. The hearing panel disagreed with REALTOR® Z’s reasoning. While reasonable consumers can expect newspaper advertisements to be current and accurate on the date of publication, they also understand that information in months or even years old newspapers will be obsolete. Information on REALTORS®’ websites is clearly different from newspaper ads since it can be updated on a regular basis, and corrected if mistakes occur. The panel concluded that the continued presence of information about REALTOR® Z’s former listing six months after expiration on her website, coupled with the continued presence of her “for sale” sign on the wooded lot, did not present the true picture required by Article 12, and was inconsistent with the obligation to have authority to advertise contemplated by Article 12 as interpreted by Standard of Practice 12-4. REALTOR® Z was found in violation of Article 12.
View the full Code of Ethics and Standards of Practice at www.kar.com. Click on Consumer Information and the Code of Ethics link. You can also search “Case Interpretations” at www.realtor.org for more information.
FALL 2007 KENTUCKY REALTOR® 29
A Day in the Life of...
A New Agent Meredith Lyster Jones, REALTOR® Louisville, Kentucky
n this column, Hunt Cooper, Marketing/ Communications Director with the Kentucky Association of REALTORS®, highlights a day in the life of someone in real estate or a related field. On August 7, he talked with new agent Meredith Lyster Jones, a REALTOR® with Semonin, who had been on the job for two days. Meredith decided to start actively pursuing a job in the industry on the advice of her father. “He told me why wait another day, go out and try it and if it’s not for you, it’s not the end of the world.” As Meredith settles in to her new career, here is her take on what it’s like to just be starting out: How did you start your day? I started training at our head office on Brownsboro Road. I took my lunch break at home to let my dog out because it’s too hot to leave him out all day. How many hours a week do you plan on working? At first, as many as I can. Being new, I will be working more than the typical 40 hours a week so I can meet buyers, sellers and other agents. This job requires all types of crazy hours so I expect to work a lot of nights and weekends. What do you think people are looking for in a REALTOR®? People want someone who is knowledgeable in the field and knows their market areas. They want someone who understands their needs. Someone who will work hard for them, ultimately getting the most financially if they are selling and finding the right home match if they are buying. What unique quality do you bring to the business? My family has been in real estate for many years – my mother is a real estate agent in Lexington, my brother is a real estate agent in Jackson Hole, Wyoming and my other brother has his real estate license in escrow.
What is your biggest fear in getting started in the real estate profession? My biggest fear is not being able to get clients. Ultimately, not being successful and not having people list their properties with me.
What are you the most excited about? I’m excited about being my own boss and being in control of what I do. It really comes down to how hard you are willing to work and what you are willing to put into the job. I also love working with people, not being behind a desk all day. I enjoy knowing that I am creating my own success. What was the first thing you did or thought about today relating to real estate? I had to pick the branch office where I was going to work. We have several offices in town and my decision had to be made quickly. I went to bed thinking about it, a little nervous, and I woke up thinking about it. I was actually the last agent to pick an office and I got the one I wanted. It’s the closest one to my house and really convenient. Have you bought any real estate related products yet? No, I haven’t actually purchased anything yet. I already have a computer and a phone, but tomorrow I am going to get a Blackberry. If you didn’t become a REALTOR®, what would you have done instead? I’ve been working for the family business for a while so I would’ve continued to do that. It’s a thoroughbred horse farm in Versailles. The other career I would have considered would be a teacher, which I know sounds odd. What kind of car do you drive? A 2005 Toyota Highlander. It’s a great size for this type of business and provides enough room for clients if needed and storage in the back for signs. Last question, what is the best piece of advice you ever received? My father, who lives his life to the fullest, once told me, “You only get to take this ride once so be excited about your life and don’t live with regrets.”