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2012 End of Year Edition

Manatee Association of REALTORS, Inc. 10920 Technology Terrace, Lakewood Ranch, FL 34211 941.747.1818 / Fax: 941.745.2978

Nurturing clients with social media can pay off EAST NORRITON, Penn. – Nov. 13, 2012 – Small-business owners usually have their hands full just handling day-to-day operations. But Jeff Cooper can find time to send an e-mail wishing a client good luck on his daughter’s wedding. “I’m genuinely interested in how it went,” he says. “But I can’t keep things like that in my head. I rely on technology tools to remind me of that.”

“We’ve had some customers for over 20 years,” Cooper says. “We heavily rely on that repeat business.” Social media and the Internet have leveled the playing field for small-business owners, helping them foster closer relationships with clients and identify potential customers. Although small-business owners are under much pressure to generate new customers, they should spend time nurturing and maintaining their existing clients, says Tory Johnson, founder of Spark & Hustle, which creates conferences for women-owned small businesses. In the past, many small-business owners gathered personal information on the phone or during company meetings, then stored it in a paper Rolodex or on an Excel spreadsheet. Johnson uses Facebook and Twitter to stay connected with clients and uses the Red Stamp cards app to send them digital cards. But not all small businesses take advantage of the tools for social connections. In New York City, for example, fewer than 20 percent of small businesses are capitalizing on technology, says a Smarter Small Business report released in August by the Center for an Urban Future (CUF). In particular, they found that there is a technology gap among neighborhood-based mom-and-pop firms.


Today, it not only manages bar code badges and tickets that can be displayed on mobile phones, it relies on tools such as Google alerts and customer relationship management, or CRM, to keep strong customer relationships.


As CEO of Expo Logic, based in East Norriton, Pa., Cooper’s business handles online registrations for trade association conventions. The small, family-owned business, which was founded in 1979, has changed much since it entered the high-tech world.

“It’s more important than ever for small-business owners to bridge the gap, because they are facing more competition, and this can differentiate them and have them stay relevant with existing customers,” says Jonathan Bowles, director of CUF. Being able to stay in touch with customers and connecting to them in a personal way makes a difference. Jill Nelson, founder and CEO of Ruby Receptionists, relies on social media to tap into her clients. As virtual receptionists for small businesses, such as attorneys, she uses Twitter, Facebook and Google Alerts to follow their businesses and offer assistance. She started the business, based in Portland, Ore., in 2003 and gradually learned that it was important to have a personal connection to the small businesses she serves across the country. “They have to understand that we really care about them,” Nelson says. “We learn things like somebody’s car has gotten broken into or somebody has added a new employee, and we’ll reach out to them. If we hear an attorney has won a big case or anything newsworthy, we congratulate them.” Today, most small businesses are aware of social media and high-tech tools but are often slow to jump into using them. One reason is that they’re spread too thin and wonder how they can find time to do one more thing, says Avery Horzewski, interim president of Women in Consulting, a network of consultants and small-business owners. Others simply don’t get it and think it’s a waste of time.

Another mistake is when small-business owners try to venture into several social-media tools all at once. They’re likely to feel overwhelmed and discouraged when they don’t quickly build client relationships, says Horzewski. Instead, she says, the most natural tool for those who deal with business professionals is LinkedIn. Small mom-and-pop restaurants are likely to benefit most by using Twitter or Facebook to connect to customers. “We live in a relationship economy,” says Scott Steinberg, CEO of business consulting firm TechSavvy Global. That means it’s important for small-business owners to smartly use social media to personalize their business and build trust. Technology now makes it easy for them to keep track of facts about clients such as birthdays and buying habits. But that’s not enough. They have to act on it. As Steinberg puts it: “It is the high-tech equivalent of the old barbershop or local bar where they greet you by name when you walk in the door.” © Copyright 2012 USA TODAY, a division of Gannett Co. Inc., Christine Dugas. Contributing: Laura Petrecca.


Others are plowing ahead without a good plan. That can cause problems. One mistake is when small businesses use social media only to promote themselves. “That does nothing,” says Stewart. “Customers don’t want to hear about promotions. They want to be talked with and cared about.”


Business owners sometimes are not willing to move ahead with social media until they see how it works out for someone else in their industry, says Nika Stewart, CEO of Ghost Tweeting, which provides social-media services for small businesses such as authors and self-help coaches.

2012 at MAR

Golf Tournament 2012

Tech EXPO 2012


Oktoberfest 2012

Florida Realtors 2013 Mid-Winter Meetings: Jan. 23 - 27, 2013

Florida Realtors® News:

What Are Great American Realtor Days? Great American Realtor Days (GARD) are two days during Florida's legislative session when Realtors visit the Capital

The legislative session dates for 2013 are March 5 – May 3. Great American Realtor Days will be April 9 – 10.

Rally in Tally! On Wednesday, April 10, Florida Realtors will hold its first ever "Rally in Tally", where Realtors will converge on the Capitol Courtyard in Tallahassee to promote Realtor issues and let their collective voices be heard. A historical turnout is expected. Stay tuned for more details.


FAR-9 replaced by CRSP-12 ORLANDO, Fla. – Aug. 30, 2012 – Florida Realtors’ new Contract for Residential Sale and Purchase (CRSP-12) replaces and updates the old FAR-9 starting tomorrow. Along with the contract change, the CRSP-12 addenda will replace the FARA-10. The names were changed to minimize confusion because Florida Realtors no longer uses the FAR acronym that referred to Florida Association of Realtors (FAR). The CRSP-12 looks very similar to the FAR-9 – many of the changes are minor. However, one noteworthy change was made to the CRSP-12: The seller’s warranty regarding permit-related items has been deleted, and now the buyer must provide written notification to the seller – before the end of the inspection period – what permit-related items the seller must remedy. In addition, an appraisal addendum was added and three stand-alone forms were revised and added to the CRSP-12 addenda: • Chinese-Defective Drywall Addendum to Contract (CDA-1) • Mold Inspection Addendum to Contract (MIAC-1) • Short Sale Addendum to Purchase and Sale Contract (SSA-3).

Florida Realtors®

2013 GARD Dates


city to meet with and lobby Legislators on pending real estate legislation.

Consumers hesitant on Windows 8 SEATTLE – Nov. 21, 2012 – Most Windows users in the U.S. know about Windows 8 but few have immediate plans to upgrade to Microsoft’s newest operating system. What’s more, a third of Windows 7, Windows Vista and Windows XP users who are ready to buy a new personal computer say they intend to switch to an Apple product. Those are the findings of a broad survey of Windows PC users conducted by anti-virus firm Avast and released exclusively to USA TODAY.

“It doesn’t surprise me that people wouldn’t be in a rush to buy a new PC just because it has a new operating system,” says Gartner analyst Steve Kleynhans. On Oct. 25, the day before Windows 8 went on sale, Avast polled 1.6 million users of its PC anti-virus product and got 350,000 responses, including 135,329 from U.S. Windows users. Some 65 percent of U.S. users replied from PCs running Windows 7, while 22 percent still used Windows XP and 8 percent, Windows Vista. Six of 10 respondents were aware of Windows 8, indicating Microsoft did a good job of marketing the product in the months leading up to the Windows 8 launch, says Jonathan Penn, Avast’s director of strategy. But only 9 percent of U.S. respondents said they would accelerate a decision to buy a new computer just to have Windows 8, while more than 70 percent said they planned to stick with what they have. Reports of software applications designed for earlier versions of Windows not working well on Windows 8 haven’t helped, says George Otte, CEO of repair service Geeks on Site. Microsoft’s large corporate customers are expected to be even slower than consumers in embracing Windows 8. Many are still deploying Windows 7 PCs, the 2009 upgrade


In years past, Windows software upgrades have coincided with improvements in computer processing speed, memory and graphics.


The survey results underscore lukewarm response to Windows 8, which introduces a radical new PC user interface involving a touch-screen in addition to a keyboard and mouse. On Monday night, Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer fired Steve Sinofsky, head of the Windows division, raising questions about design flaws or personality conflicts.

from Vista. “Not having a ‘Start’ button will be a hurdle,” says Karl Volkman, chief technology officer at Internet provider SRV Network. Microsoft is not releasing sales figures for Windows 8. But a few days after the Windows 8 launch, Ballmer announced that the company sold 4 million Windows 8 upgrades and tens of millions of licenses to businesses. Avast’s poll of U.S. Windows users found 16 percent planned to purchase a new computer. While 68 percent indicated they would get a Windows 8 model, 30 percent planned to buy an Apple iPad, and 12 percent, an Apple Macintosh. © Copyright 2012 USA TODAY, a division of Gannett Co. Inc., Ron Acohido

About Peter Minarich Peter Minarich graduated from the University of South Florida and has more than 20 years of experience in home financing. He is committed, qualified and equipped to implement mortgage, cash flow and real estate equity management strategies that help you build and conserve wealth, become debt free sooner and achieve financial freedom. Peter enjoys educating buyers throughout the mortgage process and sharing in the excitement of closing on a new home. In the end, his innovated approach to business, commitment to working as an integrated team and dedication to providing outstanding service makes the mortgage process easy and enjoyable for everyone involved. Active in the industry, Peter is a member of the Manatee Association of Realtors where he serves on Affiliate Committees and is a past Affiliate Chairman. He was “Affiliate of the Year” for outstanding service and support to the Realtor Association.





REALTOR® Business Hour

January 16th: RBH (East) at Tara Golf & Country Club Wednesday –

$10 in Advance/$15 at Door

Speaker: Paul Blackketter, Executive Director Planning of Benderson Development. Topic: Grand Opening of New University Town Center Mall Layout, Concepts & Nathan Benderson Park Update.

February 6th: RBH (West) at Bradenton Country Club Wednesday – $10 in Advance/$15 at Door Speaker: John Osborne, County Planning/Zoning Official. Topic- How Will We Grow?

Speaker: Aaron Corr, Owner of TreeUmph Adventure Course. Topic-TreeUmph Adventure Course. Networking 8:30 - 9:00 [] Meetings 9:00 - 10:00 [] Register online at

MLS Training January 14th 9-12: MLS Basic January 14th 1-2:30: MLS Compliance 101 January 14th 3-4:30: Adding/Modifying Listings January 24th 9-12: iMapp Tax January 24th 1-2:30: System Settings & Defaults January 24th 3-4: Hotsheets Register online at

—————————————————————————— iCE (VIRTUAL) Courses The Virtual Campus series provides brokers and agents with the skills and tools to build their business. Come sit back, kick off your shoes, and earn CE. No better environment to learn how to be the best! All classes held at MAR in a virtual classroom format. Register online at

January 10th 1-4pm – Goal Setting February 8th 9-1pm - Property Management March 14th 1-4pm - Advanced Communication Skills




February 20th: RBH (East) at Tara Golf & Country Club Wednesday – $10 in Advance/$15 at Door

DECEMBER 2012 Message from the President THANK YOU FOR ALLOWING ME TO SERVE 2012 has been quite a year for me and one of the highlights of my career! After more than 37 years in the real estate business in Manatee County, I was elected last December to serve as President of the Manatee Association of Realtors. I had always had the attitude that I was “too busy” and a million other excuses not to become involved.

With the help of the 2012 Board of Directors and the tremendous staff of MAR, we have been able to accomplish many of the tasks set before us in strategic planning. Our technology is advancing daily, we are able to offer a wide variety of classes to improve our skills and we are in the process of selling off one of our buildings to achieve greater financial stability for our members. Thank you to my fellow Realtors for your trust the opportunity to serve this association. I am truly humbled and honored. I hope you will join with me working with President Deeana Atkinson in 2013. Happy Holidays to all of you and your families. ...Leslie

From the President

Although, it seems as though there have been endless meetings, I have gained so much more than I ever thought possible. I have had the opportunity to work beside some of the most dedicated professionals in the industry. REALTORS® give so much of themselves for the betterment of our chosen field. Special thanks to those of you that work in this business serving on the local, state and national levels. Thank you to all for adhering to the Code of Ethics and bettering yourselves through continued education, allowing you to operate under a higher standard of professionalism. Through all of these things, we assure the public that we are truly looking out for their best interest and there are many reasons to use a REALTOR® in real estate transactions.


Well, I finally ran out of excuses, the kids were grown and out of the house, and I felt that it was my time to give back to the industry that has afforded me an amazing life. I accepted the position and was glad that I did. Outside of one other job I had out of high school, real estate has been my life. I always knew that I didn’t have a 9 to 5 personality always being a free spirit of sorts.

...thank you for a wonderful year! It has been a pleasure and an honor to serve, -Leslie Wells, 2012 President


Manatee Association of REALTORS速, Inc. 10920 Technology Terrace, Lakewood Ranch, FL 34211 941.747.1818 / Fax: 941.745.2978


Manatee Association of REALTORS® End-of-Year Newsletter.


Manatee Association of REALTORS® End-of-Year Newsletter.