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VOL 93 NO 1 | WINTER 2014

WE ARE FAMILY

2014 NCAR PRESIDENT TOMP LITCHFIELD

+

2014 INAUGURAL RECAP 5 GREAT NETWORKING SOURCES NCREALTORS.ORG


Click here to view the Executive AccessTM web magazine.

Tom Esdale

Executive Vice President Office: 888 540­5300 Cell: 864­979­5951 thomasesdale@realtyexecutives.com 2  INSIGHT • Winter 2014

www.realtyexecutive.com

If you have a brokerage relationship with another agency, this is not intended as a  solicitation. All information deemed reliable but not guaranteed.


WINTER 2014

Contents In Every Issue 4

President’s Message

5

Numbers to Note

6

Meet the Staff

NCAR’s Communications & Business Development Departments.

8 Calendar

See photos of the Inaugural Gala and the 2014 installation.

16

21 Commercial Connection

Learn about the Smart Growth Action Grant program.

Features

10

We Are Family

Meet our incoming president Tomp Litchfield as he gears up to lead our REALTOR® family into 2014.

14

Introducing the Leadership Academy Class of 2014

Meet this year’s group of emerging leaders.

18

5 Great Networking Opportunities for REALTORS®

These networking sources will help you build better relationships in 2014.

22

Government Affairs

2014 Resolutions — Advocate: Vote, Act, & Invest.

23

Partner Program

25

The Forms Guy

Forms Guy wrestles with difficult issues raised when a buyer changes agents.

29

Technology Tips

Cloud Computing for Real Estate.

Join us for our FREE Webinar Series designed for REALTORS® in every stage of the profession. Learn more on page 31. ncrealtors.org • INSIGHT  3


President’s MESSAGE

Happy New Year Family Members! First, I want to thank you for this opportunity to serve NCAR. Our association takes many giant steps each year to improve all aspects of their goals, and 2014 will be no different with your help. As we take out our binoculars and look into this year’s upcoming months, we see exciting opportunities for improving our skills and knowledge in this ever-changing industry. The NC REALTORS® Leadership Academy is back in full force. Last month, the class of 2014 was introduced at Vision Quest and had their first of five meetings. Please be aware that this academy is not a prerequisite to become a local, state or national officer or director. However, it will sharpen leadership skills that you already possess, and teach new influential techniques. I am a firm believer that you can teach an old dog new tricks. Think about your potential as a leader and fill out an application for the 2015 class. Mid-year Legislative Meetings in Washington, DC and Raleigh: NAR and NCAR are “Movers and Shakers” in the legislative arena. Advocacy is one of REALTORS® greatest strengths and those who are involved on the local, state and national scene make the loudest statement. REALTORS® from across the US will fill the Washington, DC offices of our lawmakers in May, and our NCAR members will follow their lead in Raleigh in June. I encourage you to get involved in legislative issues that reinforce or possibly cause catastrophic damage to the needs of property owners. Know the issues and get involved. Convention: This year’s Convention venue is in Hot Springs, VA at the Omni Homestead Resort. This national historic landmark has served presidents and princes over the years. Not only is it known for its ambiance and healing springs, it is a sought after recreational retreat that offers amazing hiking trails, indoor and outdoor pools, three championship golf courses and much, much, more. They even have an award-winning KidsClub in which you can enroll your children. Nan McLendon and Jarma Khoury , the chairs for this year’s Convention, along with Deb Hays and Kathy Carpenter, vice-chairs, are diligently working long hours to ensure this will be “The Convention” you will always remember. Staff members Mandy Lowe and Keri Epps-Rashad have negotiated a discounted price about 50% below the standard rate. You may reserve your room two days prior, and/or two days after the scheduled event for the same low rate. Do not forget, you can write this fun and educational package off on your taxes. Put September 14-17 on your calendar and plan to register early.

Insight Magazine, Volume 93, Issue 1 President Tomp Litchfield

Treasurer Treasure Faircloth

President-Elect Tony Smith

Immediate Past President Patrice Willetts

REGIONAL VICE PRESIDENTS Region 1: David Perrot, Kill Devil Hills; Region 2: Jody Wainio, Wilmington; Region 3: Steve Cohen, Fayetteville; Region 4: Kim Dawson, Chapel Hill; Region 5: Amy Hedgecock, High Point; Region 6: Patrick Morgan, Boone; Region 7: Marsha Jordan, Lincolnton; Region 8: Alison Royal-Combs, Laurie Knudsen, Charlotte; Region 9: Billie Green, Asheville; Region 10: Teresa Pitt, Jose Serrano, Raleigh; At-Large: George Bell

Executive Vice President Andrea Bushnell Editor Blair Wilburn Assistant Editor/Designer Mckenzie Hamrick Contributors Robert Broome Adair Collins Bridget McCrea

Ellie Edwards Tyler Helms Will Martin

For Advertising information, contact Mike Buescher at 336-808-4229 or mbuescher@ncrealtors.org.

Insight (USPS 017602) is published four times a year during the months of February, May, August and November by the North Carolina Association of REALTORS®, 4511 Weybridge Lane, Greensboro, NC 27407. Member subscriptions of $2.89 are covered by annual membership dues. Periodicals postage rates paid at Greensboro, NC. POSTMASTER: Send address changes to Insight Magazine; 4511 Weybridge Lane, Greensboro, NC 27407. This publication is designed to provide accurate and authoritative information regarding the subject matter covered. Articles which appear in Insight are an informational service to members. Their contents are the opinions of the authors alone and do not necessarily represent those of the North Carolina Association of REALTORS®. Advertising of a product or service does not imply endorsement, unless specifically stated.

Again, many thank for this wonderful opportunity. I ask for your commitment to making our REALTOR® family a huge success in 2014. 4511 Weybridge Lane, Greensboro, NC 27407 Phone: (336) 294-1415, Toll Free: (800) 443-9956

NCRealtors.org

4  INSIGHT • Winter 2014


SOMETHING TO TALK ABOUT

Numbers to Note

25.3 The average

percentage increase North Carolina could see on homeowners insurance.

70 The percentage of the U.S. housing stock that was built prior to 1990.

6.6m The number

of work days lost during the government shutdown.

75 The percentage of Americans aged 25-34 who were employed in September.

67 The percentage of Americans who say now is a good time to buy a house.

ncrealtors.org • INSIGHT  5


Meet the Staff Ever wondered who answers your calls at NCAR? Curious as to who is the friendly face at event registration? In each issue, we will introduce you to a group of NCAR staff members. First up — the Communications and Business Development departments. SAMANTHA ASHBURN Title: Electronic Communications Manager Contact me for: Members can contact me with questions about any of NCAR’s electronic communications (emails that they receive, social media sites, website, videos, etc.) Joined the team: December 1998 What are you currently reading? The Phryne Fisher Mystery Series by Kerry Greenwood. What’s your favorite song on your iPod right now? Southern Girl by Tim McGraw MIKE BUESCHER Title: Director of Business Development Contact me for: I create business relationships and nondues revenue through the sale of sponsorships, advertising and exhibitor space. Joined the team: June 2013 Where were you before? Director of Marketing & Promotions for Tanger Outlet Centers. Education: Bachelor of Business Administration, Marketing from The University of Toledo, Ohio Experience related to your current position: During my career, I have developed national marketing partnerships with brands such as General Motors, Coca-Cola, Sony Music and American Express. Guilty pleasure: Watching college/pro hoops 24-7 6  INSIGHT • Winter 2014

From left to right: Mike Buescher, Samantha Ashburn, Tyler Helms, Blair Wilburn, Mckenzie Hamrick and Robin Cooper.

When you were little, what did you want to be when you grew up? An artist What is the best piece of advice that you’ve ever received? Don’t try to become an artist! – Mrs. Brown, 4th grade art teacher ROBIN COOPER Title: Partner Program Manager Contact me for: Any questions regarding the Partner Program and the benefits and discounts available to NC REALTORS® Joined the team: November 2013 Where were you before? Self employed

MCKENZIE HAMRICK Title: Communications Specialist Contact me for: I produce and distribute the REALTOR® Report, Broker eBrief and press releases. I also manage media requests for existing home sales statistics and handle all graphic design needs for the association. Joined the team: June 2013 Where were you before? The Jewell Agency, Charlotte Education: BA in Journalism and Mass Communication from UNC Chapel Hill Experience related to your current position: I have worked on all sides of media relations in my career

from publication and website design, to corporate brand management, to covering college athletics and writing game recaps. In high school, you were voted: Best Dressed Guilty pleasure: Snoozing TYLER HELMS Title: Technology Manager Contact me for: My job is to maintain internal IT, assist with technical marketing and manage website functionality. Joined the team: August 2013 Where were you before? NC State University, graduating magna cum laude in Technology, Engineering, and Design Education.


SOMETHING TO TALK ABOUT

Experience related to your current position: My degree focused on a wide variety of subjects, including video/ audio production, graphic design and engineering design, all the while encompassing education principles to prepare me to become a professional educator. Guilty Pleasure: Playing guitar and writing my own music. I play in a band and we are currently playing shows around North Carolina. What is the best piece of advice that you’ve ever received? Don’t sweat petty things, and don’t pet sweaty things. It seems goofy but it is 100% accurate.

BLAIR WILBURN Title: Director of Communications and Marketing Contact me for: Media and public relations inquiries, editorial content of Insight magazine, interest in scheduling interviews with key staff and officers, or marketing NCAR as the voice of real estate in N.C. Joined the team: November 2011 Where were you before? Alamance County Area Chamber of Commerce as VP of Membership Development Education: BA in Communication Studies from UNC Wilmington Experience related to your current position: NCAR is

the third membership-based organization I’ve worked for in my career. This summer, I completed a four-year certification for my IOM designation (Institute for Organizational Management), a program put on by the US Chamber of Commerce for chamber and association professionals to expand their leadership skills. In high school, you were voted: Prom Queen What are you currently reading? Insight magazine! When you were little, what did you want to be when you grew up? Marine Biologist, mostly because I liked dolphins. Now most sea creatures terrify me.

Next issue: Meet the Government Affairs Department

NCAR STAFF CONTACTS Members of the NCAR staff can be reached by telephone at 800-443-9956 during normal business hours Monday through Friday, from 8:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. Staff members are listed below, by department, with their respective email addresses. Greensboro Office: 4511 Weybridge Lane, Greensboro, NC 27407 Raleigh Office: 421 Fayetteville Street, Suite 1109, Raleigh, NC 27601

Administration Andrea Bushnell Executive Vice President abushnell@ncrealtors.org Direct Dial: 336-808-4222 Bryan Jenkins Chief Financial Officer bjenkins@ncrealtors.org Direct Dial: 336-294-3112 Donna Peterson Executive Assistant dpeterson@ncrealtors.org Direct Dial: 336-808-4221 Phyllis Lycan Financial Manager plycan@ncrealtors.org Direct Dial: 336-808-4224 Denise Daly Membership Records Coordinator/ Bookkeeper ddaly@ncrealtors.org Direct Dial: 336-808-4223

Sherry Harris Administrative Assistant sharris@ncrealtors.org Direct Dial: 336-808-4230 Amanda Lowe Accounting Assistant alowe@ncrealtors.org Direct Dial: 336-808-4236 Mike Buescher Director of Business Development mbuescher@ncrealtors.org Direct Dial: 336-808-4228 Robin Cooper Partner Program Manager rcooper@ncrealtors.org Direct Dial: 336-217-1047 Caroline Main Receptionist cmain@ncrealtors.org Direct Dial: 336-808-4220

Communications & Marketing Blair Wilburn Director of Communications and Marketing bwilburn@ncrealtors.org Direct Dial: 336-808-4228

Keri Epps-Rashad Meeting Planner and EXPO Manager kepps-rashad@ncrealtors.org Direct Dial: 336-217-1049

Kristin Miller RPAC Manager kmiller@ncrealtors.org Direct Dial: 919-573-0995

Professional Development

Adair Collins Director of Political Communications acollins@ncrealtors.org Direct Dial: 919-573-0992

Mckenzie Hamrick Communications Specialist mhamrick@ncrealtors.org Direct Dial: 336-808-4227

Ellie Edwards Director of Professional Development eedwards@ncrealtors.org Direct Dial: 336-808-4231

Samantha Ashburn Electronic Communications Manager sashburn@ncrealtors.org Direct Dial: 336-808-4226

Monica Huckaby Professional Development Coordinator mhuckaby@ncrealtors.org Direct Dial: 336-217-1051

Tyler Helms Technology Manager thelms@ncrealtors.org Direct Dial: 336-808-4225

Government Affairs

Events

Cady Thomas Director of Government Affairs cthomas@ncrealtors.org Direct Dial: 919-573-0996

Mandy Lowe Events Director mlowe@ncrealtors.org Direct Dial: 336-808-4236

Robert Broome Director of Regulatory Affairs rbroome@ncrealtors.org Direct Dial: 919-573-0994

Nicole Arnold Local Government Affairs Director narnold@ncrealtors.org Direct Dial: 336-808-4237

Legal Will Martin General Counsel wmartin@ncrealtors.org 336-808-4238 Kay Bailey Legal Assistant/Legal Programs Coordinator kbailey@ncrealtors.org Direct Dial: 336-808-4235

ncrealtors.org • INSIGHT  7


CALENDAR

Calendar Mar. 11-12

Leadership Academy, Pine Knoll Shores

Mar. 21-25

AE Institute, Baltimore, MD The Institute provides professional development opportunities so that AEs across the country can better serve the REALTOR® organization and its members. Register online at www.realtor.org

May 12-17

NAR Midyear Legislative Meetings & Trade Expo, Washington, DC The REALTORS® Midyear Meetings & Trade Expo is where NAR members take an active role to advance the real estate industry, public policy and the association. Join your peers for special issues forums, committee meetings, legislative activities and the industry trade show. Register online at www.realtor.org N C

R E A L T O R S

®

LEADERSHIP A CADEMY

May 22-23

Leadership Academy, Charlotte

Jun. 16-18

2014 Legislative Meetings, Raleigh Make your plans now to attend the NC REALTORS® 2014 Legislative Day Meeting. It is important to attend this year’s meetings as we will be visiting legislators in their offices and discussing issues significant to REALTORS® and the real estate industry. Visit www.ncrealtors.org for more info. 8  INSIGHT • Winter 2014


The North Carolina Association of REALTORS® Would Like to Thank Our Sponsors PLATINUM

DIAMOND

®

GOLD

SILVER

America’s Preferred Home Warranty Two Men And A Truck Systel Business Equipment zipLogix

CoreLogic MarketLinx J.Y. Monk Real Estate School


“A dedicated leader who puts all his efforts into a positive outcome, “ says WashingtonBeaufort Board of REALTORS® AE Star Credle.

10  INSIGHT • Winter 2014


We On January 23, Tomp Litchfield was installed as the NC Association of REALTORS®’ 2014 president. Earlier this year, we sat down with him in his hometown and learned about when he first became acquainted with the NC REALTOR® family. BY BLAIR WILBURN

Family It was the Inaugural Meetings in 1997. A fellow REALTOR®, Star Credle, took him by the arm, pulled him around, and introduced him to the newly installed president, the past president, the immediate past president and the presidentelect. From that day on, Credle, a then competing REALTOR®, and now his local Association Executive, took him under her wing and helped push him to become the REALTOR® and leader he is today.

L

itchfield was born and raised in Washington, a small eastern town in Beaufort County, North Carolina. Established in 1776, the charming historical area sits on the shores of the Pamlico River as a place he is proud to call home. Litchfield describes his parents as being his biggest cheerleaders during his youth. His mother and father attended every sporting event they could to show their loving support. His father owned a sawmill and put emphasis on learning a strong work ethic at a young age. Litchfield worked with his father and then as lifeguard at the Washington Yacht and Country Club up until his teenage years. Around that time – 1965 or so – Time magazine came out with a cover story on the superiority of New England prep schools. The article really caught the attention of both Litchfield and his brother and that very next week, they were interviewing at a slew of potentials. After a handful of visits, the two decided on the Proctor Academy in Andover, New Jersey, mainly because the underclassmen there were the friendliest. “Being from the South, my brother and I were used to speaking to anyone that passed by. This was the only school where when we spoke to any of the other underclassmen, they spoke back.” After two years at prep school, he returned to North Carolina to attend North Carolina State University — even playing on the football team his freshman year. It took Litchfield a while to decide where to plant his interests. After starting out in pre-veterinarian medicine, he later transferred to textiles, before finally landing in forestry. One of the most pivotal moments in his life was when he took a year off to go into the service. “I am a firm believer that every male out of high school should go into service for ncrealtors.org • INSIGHT  11


a year, for at least the basic training to learn about discipline, chain of command, and love for your country,” he says. No stranger to hard work himself, Litchfield’s father was a fighter pilot who was shot down and captured during WWII. He helped dig the tunnel for the Great Escape, fortunately being transferred three days before the escape took place. Litchfield returned to N.C. State University to finish school and after graduating, he had his first encounter with the real estate business. He started out with the oldest real estate company in Raleigh, Williams and Haywood REALTORS®, later teaming up with Dillon and Company REALTORS®. Although his first job in real estate was short-lived, he enjoyed his time there and recalls the great fun he had learning the business. But then the bank rates climbed to 18-20 percent, and Litchfield decided it was time to move home and return to work in the lumber business with his father. Being thrown into managing a sawmill of over a hundred people, Litchfield quickly discovered the importance of leadership skills. “I found out that you use the same guiding examples that REALTORS® do outlined in the Code of Ethics - ‘do unto others as you would have them do unto you’.” He recalls an instance in which he caused a seasoned employee to quit because of a misunderstanding. He later drove to that man’s house to ask for forgiveness. “The man quickly let me know that he had been there for thirty years

“I found out that you use the same guiding examples that REALTORS® do outlined in the Code of Ethics - ‘do unto others as you would have them do unto you’.”

Clockwise from top right. Litchfield poses with his beloved wife, Martha Ann. They have been married almost 40 years. The Litchfield children, from left, Katie Litchfield, Tomp Litchfield III and Hayden Litchfield Carter, with her husband, David Carter. Litchfield shares the podium with 2013 President Patrice Willetts and NCAR staff member Donna Peterson at the 2013 Legislative Meetings in Raleigh.

12  INSIGHT • Winter 2014


and that he knew exactly what we has doing. I had been there for just a month and didn’t have a clue. He was right.” That experience made Litchfield look at things very differently. Many years later, the sawmill was liquidated and Litchfield was left without a job or a plan. Bob Rich, owner of the Rich Company, invited him to lunch in 1991 and asked him to join him in business and he’s been there ever since. He calls the experience a joyous ride. “Bob Rich has taught me so much about not only real estate and management, but more importantly, about how to treat people and how to do for others.” Described by one of his peers as the proverbial southern gentleman, Litchfield is the epitome of a family man. Sitting down with him and his wife, it is clear they share a special bond. A tale worthy of a Nicholas Sparks’ novel, Litchfield met his future wife Martha Ann when he was 13 and she was 10. They were at summer camp in Black Mountain. His good friend’s grandmother lived in Greensboro, and it just so happened that she was also a grandmother to Martha Ann. A decade went by before their next chance encounter in Raleigh. Litchfield stopped in at a bank in preparation for a ski trip out west. After looking at his check, the young teller asked if he was the same Tomp Litchfield from Washington. He says, “I am,” and she replies, “I met you when I was 10 years old.” The rest, as they say, was history. After his ski trip, he asked Martha Ann on a date. She said no. He asked her out a second time, and again she said no. A third led to a forth, and six “no’s” later, he called her up and said, “I’m going to give it the old college try. If you don’t want to date me, I promise I’ll never call you again.” It was this time that she finally said yes. After six weeks of dating, they were engaged. “Now we’re getting ready to celebrate our 40th anniversary,” he says. Not one to hide his spiritual side, Litchfield calls Martha Ann one of the Lord’s best gifts to him. He’s an avid believer in looking towards the blessings he has been given and being thankful for each and every one. He counts their children, daughter Hayden and her husband David Carter, daughter Katie, and son Tomp III, as well as his four grandchildren, as part of those special blessings. Litchfield’s emphasis on family does not stop at his blood relatives. His strong beliefs tie into his theme as we embark on a new year. “REALTORS® have a commonality. We are all family members and when we work together towards common goals, we can accomplish more successes. Let’s be able to look back on this year and celebrate what we accomplished together as a family unit.”

A SNAPSHOT OF TOMP LITCHFIELD’S CLIMB TO PRESIDENCY FIRM: The Rich Company SPECIALTY: Residential, waterfront, commercial and agricultural LOCAL LEADERSHIP: Washington-Beaufort County Board of REALTORS® since 1992 • President, 2000 & 2011 • Board of Directors, since 2005 • REALTOR® of the Year, 2000, 2003, 2004 and 2012 STATE LEADERSHIP: North Carolina Association of REALTORS® • Bylaws, Diversity, Finance and Budget, Legislative Committees • Advisor for the NC Real Estate Educational Foundation • RPAC Trustee, since 2007 • Major Investor, Golden R and President’s Circle member • Member of the inaugural Leadership Academy, Class of 2002 NATIONAL LEADERSHIP: National Association of REALTORS® • Board of Directors • Consumer Communication Committee, RPAC Participation Council and Public Policy Coordinating Committee CIVIC LEADERSHIP: • Washington Chamber of Commerce • Director for the Washington Yacht and Country Club

“I am a firm believer that NCAR should have a contested race for every leadership position.  I cannot think of a past president of NCAR who I haven’t sat back, watched and marveled at their leadership ability.  Becoming President was never on my radar, but I was one of the very fortunate ones to fall into this role.  I am very humbled to have this opportunity.” ncrealtors.org • INSIGHT  13


We’re gearing up for the start of the NC REALTORS ® Leadership Academy with the announcement of our new class of extraordinary leaders in training at January’s Vision Quest event. Meet the Class of 2014. BY ELLIE EDWARDS

CHRISTINA ASBURY Topsail Island Association of REALTORS® Christina works with land, residential, investment and commercial properties for Lewis Realty Associates Inc. She is the 2014 president-elect for her local association and her main goal for the Leadership Academy is to acquire the necessary skills to be a great leader for her association during her term as president. WADE CORBETT Johnston County Association of REALTORS® Wade was licensed in 2010 and has shown dedication to being one of the best in the industry by earning five professional designations within three years. He is currently a broker for RE/MAX Southland Realty, on the board of directors for his local association and is serving his second term as chair of the Johnston County Young Professional Network. CIRILA COTHRAN Carteret County Association of REALTORS® As the owner of Cirila Cothran Real Estate and immediate past president of her local association, Cirila has demonstrated strong leadership capabilities within her community. She is currently serving on the NCAR Legislative Committee and strives to broaden her overall knowledge of the real estate industry and its impact on economic development across the state. 14  INSIGHT • Winter 2014

JAY DOWDY Fayetteville Regional Association of REALTORS® Jay has a passion for helping others recognize their own potential and serves as a positive role model in his community as a coach. He has been an active member of his local association and NCAR for several years, and has served on numerous committees. In 2009 Jay was president of his association and was also awarded as Fayetteville’s REALTOR® of the Year in 2010. Jay’s leadership goal is to increase the respect and integrity of the real estate industry in North Carolina through education and motivation. TREVOR FOOTE Rocky Mount Area Association of REALTORS® Trevor has been a broker for Moorefield Real Estate since receiving her license in 2009. An active member of her local association since 2011, she now serves as its president. She is motivated to find creative ways to capture the attention of members and encourage their involvement, which she feels will result in a combined REALTOR® “family” voice. WENDY HARRIS Fayetteville Regional Association of REATLORS® As a second generation REALTOR®, Wendy purchased her family company, Team Harris, and became the broker/ owner in 2008. She is the immediate past president of her local association and very active within her community. Wendy feels that making the clear distinction


between real estate as a “career” rather than just a “job” is essential for personal and professional growth in this industry. Her goal is to continue growing as a leader for her family, company and associations at the local, state and national level. JARMA KHOURY Washington-Beaufort County Board of REALTORS® After earning her real estate license in 2011, Jarma went on to receive the Rookie of the Year award from her local association. She has been on the NCAR Convention Committee since 2012, and is this year’s Convention co-chair at the Homestead. Her Leadership Academy goals are to increase her professionalism and sharpen her leadership skills so she can better serve her state and local associations. MOISES MIRANDA Gaston Association of REALTORS® Moises has been the broker/owner of Miranda Realty since 2001 and served as president of his local association in 2012. He feels that a lack of member engagement is a threat to our industry, and strives to use his leadership influence to encourage members with the message that anything can be accomplished with hard work and determination.

BRIAN TYSON Charlotte Regional Association of REALTORS® Brian is a broker at Coldwell Banker United, a managing partner at Tyson & Tyson Enterprises Realty and the real estate transaction manager for the Law Offices of Paul H. Bass. He feels that NCAR is faced with the challenge to provide a comprehensive vision that reflects the diversity of its entire membership. He also aspires to serve at the state level to help resolve these challenges facing future generations. TIM VENJOHN Pinehurst-Southern Pines Area Association of REALTORS® Tim is broker and co-owner of Rhodes & Co. and specializes in residential sales and subdivision development. As an active member of his local association, Tim serves as secretary/treasurer, is involved on several committees and is the current MLS president. He believes that the real estate industry is threatened to remain relevant in a market where the consumer thinks that everything they need can be found online. He would like to see NCAR develop a plan to improve the public perception of REALTORS® and protect the integrity of the industry.

ERIN NIXON Albemarle Area Association of REALTORS® Licensed in 2005, Erin dove into leadership just four years later by serving on the board of directors for her local association. In 2012 she became president and was awarded as Albemarle’s REALTOR® of the Year. Today, she continues her service as secretary/treasurer. Erin’s strives to give back to NCAR by serving on committees at the state level and contributing to the positive growth of the organization. MIKE SLOCUM Greenville-Pitt Association of REALTORS® After receiving his license in 2010, Mike continued his professional growth by earning seven NAR designations and becoming the owner of his company, The Slocum Group Real Estate. Mike has aspirations of becoming a GRI instructor because he feels that a significant challenge facing the real estate industry is a lack of education and on-the-job training. He’s interested in learning how the state association functions, and is looking to broaden his scope of awareness about the real estate industry in North Carolina. ncrealtors.org • INSIGHT  15


Inaugural in Greensboro More than 300 NC REALTORS® celebrated the formal installation of Tomp Litchfield as the state association’s 2014 president on Jan. 23 at the Grandover Resort in Greensboro, N.C. The 2014 officers were installed, and Patrice Willetts, NCAR’s outgoing president, was recognized for her leadership during the past year. Food, drink and smiles were aplenty throughout the gala, which wrapped up three days of education and meetings. We remember the night in pictures.

Clockwise from top 2014 NCAR President Tomp Litchfield stands with his wife, Martha Ann, as REALTOR® Wendell Bullard leads the installation ceremony. REALTORS® Bonzie Everson and NCAR Treasurer Treasure Faircloth join the celebration. Tomp Litchfield and his REALTOR® friends dance the night away in Greensboro.

For more photos of the 2014 Inaugural events, please visit our Facebook page, Twitter feed, Google + account and NC REALTORS® Talk blog. Remember to use #NCARInaugural to search directly. 16  INSIGHT • Winter 2014


Clockwise from top left REALTOR® Sheila Pierce, Eleanor Bell, NCREC Executive Director Miriam Baer and NCREC Chair and REALTOR® Vic Knight enjoy the evening’s festivities. REALTOR® George Bell entertained as the master of ceremonies. The Grandover Convention Center ballroom was filled with hundreds of NC REALTORS®, family and friends. Tomp Litchfield stands proud alongside his wife and children under the “We are Family” slogan for his 2014 term. Larry A. Outlaw, Director of Education and Licensing for the N.C. Real Estate Commission, was an honored guest.

ncrealtors.org • INSIGHT  17


5

Great Networking Opportunities

for REALTORS®

These networking sources will help you build better relationships in 2014 Traditionally, networking has served as one of the most popular business generation strategies for REALTORS® who want to attract new clients, mingle with existing customers and get face-toface with potential prospects. After all, relationships are the backbone of the real estate industry and many of those connections are initiated and maintained 18  INSIGHT • Winter 2014

at professional, trade association, community and other networking events. “If you’re not networking, you aren’t going to be in business for very long,” says Allen Wyde, team leader and broker-in-charge at Redfin in RaleighDurham. “It’s a very important activity that all agents should have in their marketing toolkits.”

BY: BRIDGET MCCREA

With only so many hours in the day to get involved with face-to-face networking opportunities, deciding which ones to attend and which to bypass can be downright daunting for busy agents. To help you whittle down your own list, we came up with these five potentially profitable networking sources that you’ll want to explore:


1.

Meet-ups with Service Providers. The mortgage bankers and home inspectors you work with on a regular basis are a great source of referrals. “They’re in the same business as you, and they can help you build credibility and find new buyers and sellers to work with,” says Wyde, who stays in touch with these potential networking targets via email, phone and occasional lunch outings.

How to Make the Most Out of Your Networking Here are seven ways to get the biggest bang from your networking efforts: •

Know what you’re getting into before you become involved. Talk to other members, find out what the atmosphere is like, and understand the time commitment.

Pick the right format and crowd. Decide on your individual strategy and pick events, venues and groups that blend well with this approach.

Let others know who you are. Wear a polo shirt, nametag, or other item that clearly identifies you as a real estate professional with so-and-so company.

Get ready to give and get. If you don’t bring business opportunities to the table for your peers, it won’t take them long to dole out their leads to other real estate professionals.

Break out of your shell. If getting up in front of a room and telling the crowd “what you want” isn’t your style, consider starting with a few Toastmasters meetings to warm up to the idea of public speaking.

Keep the sales talk to a minimum. Depending on the setting (like Wilburn’s client appreciation party), other attendees may not be open to hearing about your latest real estate listing. By taking a less direct approach you’ll be able to put yourself in front of potential clients and sources of referrals without putting them off.

Always follow up. Deals don’t come together overnight and neither do longterm networking relationships. When you meet someone at an event who shows interest in your business, be sure to get his or her business card and follow up a few days later via email or phone.

2.

Business Networking Groups. Newer agents that are just beginning to build their referral pipelines should check out their local Chamber of Commerce, networking groups like BNI, and other business associations (Kiwanis, Rotary, etc.) for potential connections. “Our agents are immersed in four different Chambers of Commerce and very active in all of them,” says Brian Kwilosz, broker/owner at EXIT Real Estate Partners in Downers Grove, Ill. While at those events, Kwilosz advises REALTORS® to not shove their business messages down fellow members’ throats. Instead, he says, “focus on building longterm relationships, sharing useful information and creating potential customers for life.”

3.

Industry Conferences & Seminars. Every year, Nick Jackson attends at least two or three major conferences and participates in various investor seminars in the counties where he works. He also attends a number of trade association meetings and gatherings. Jackson has been doing that for the last 20 years and says the efforts nearly always translate into real estate sales. “Networking is my most important business strategy,” says Jackson, a broker with Exit Realty The Global Group in West Palm Beach, Fla. “A lot of agents like to use modern technologies and social media to connect with clients and with each other, but I think the old fashioned networking strategies still yield the best results.”

4.

Restaurants, Grocery Stores & Other Gathering Places. While at networking events – or even in grocery stores or at his local Starbucks - Jackson says he talks to contractors, attorneys, accountants, and other professionals who nearly always have leads to share once they learn that he’s a broker who specializes in bank-owned and high-end properties. He hands out business cards, wears a shirt with his company’s logo on it and pins a nametag to his chest to make sure the folks he’s networking with know that he’s a REALTOR®. “I put myself out there at all times,” says Jackson. “I’m pretty much networking on a 24/7 basis, whether it’s at a restaurant, event, or an official networking gathering.”

5.

Client Appreciation Parties. Craig Wilburn, senior vice president and broker-associate with Bosshardt Realty Services in Gainesville, Fla., started holding annual client appreciation events three years ago in an effort to get out in front of as many past customers as he could in one place. “It’s basically a big ‘ole party and my way of saying thank you for the business and ongoing referrals,” says Wilburn. Last year, one of Wilburn’s past clients attended the event and then referred her home-seeking sister to him. In total, he racked up about $900,000 in sales volume on that transaction plus several others generated from the same referral. “I may not be networking directly with prospects at my parties,” says Wilburn, “but I’m definitely connecting with a large group of people who are quick to give out my name when they need a REALTOR®.”

ncrealtors.org • INSIGHT  19


BUNDLE UP for the RPAC Technology Raffle Make a $25 investment to RPAC for your chance to win this incredible iPad Bundle! limit 10 entries or $250 per person

iPad Air/32GB (wifi/3G phone service) iPad Mini/retina display/16 GB (wifi only) iPod Touch/16GB Apple TV Keyboard Cover for iPad Keyboard Cover for iPad mini Apple Store/iTunes gift card

Raffle ends April 25th

Winners will be announced on May 6th. Visit www.ncrealtors.org and log-in to make an online investment. For more information, please email Kristin Miller at kmiller@ncrealtors.org.

20  INSIGHT • Winter 2014

DISCLOSURE: Paid for by NCAR, NC law requires political committees to report the name, mailing address, job title or profession and name of employer or employee’s specific field for each individual whose contributions aggregate is in excess of $50 in an election cycle. Contributions are not deductible for income tax purposes. Contributions to RPAC are voluntary and are used for political purposes. The amount suggested is merely a guideline and you may contribute more or less than the suggested amount. You may refuse to contribute without reprisal and the National Association of REALTORS® or any of its state associations or local boards will not favor or disfavor any member because of the amount contributed. Please be advised that 70% of each contribution is used by your state PAC to support state and local political candidates. 30% is sent to National RPAC to support federal candidates and is charged against your limits under 2 U.S.C. 441a.


COMMERCIAL Connection

Put Your NAR Dues to Use in Your Market

H

ave you ever wished that your local association of REALTORS® was doing more to promote smart growth and sustainable development? Are you concerned that local legislators do not understand how their land use decisions impact the commercial real estate market? Do you have an idea for revitalizing an underutilized public space into a vibrant, thriving commercial center, but just do not know where to begin? The National Association of REALTORS® created the Smart Growth Action Grant program to support a wide range of land-use related activities that address all of these concerns and more. Although the majority of grant funds over the years have been used to address residential real estate issues, several state and local associations secured funding to promote the activities and goals of commercial REALTORS®. The program is funded by NAR membership dues. The leadership of the NCAR REALTORS® Commercial Alliance (RCA) promoted the use of the Smart Growth Action Grant program during the NCAR Inaugural Meetings in January. To be considered for a grant, activities should support the core purpose of NAR’s Smart Growth Program: to support REALTOR® engagement in land-use related issues with the primary goals of affecting public policies that support a more sustainable development paradigm while raising the profile of REALTORS® as community leaders and enhancing REALTOR® relationships with elected officials. There are three levels of Smart Growth Action Grants. Level One makes up to $1,500 available for the purpose of hosting NAR’s “Smart Growth for the 21st Century” course or other educational activities. Level Two grants provide seed funding of up to $5,000 that enables a state or local association to make the initial efforts to engage local land use issues with other stakeholders and elected officials. For example, commercial REALTORS® in Iowa City received a $1,500 grant last year to host a forum with city planners regarding development vision and opportunities in the region. In 2012, the Wisconsin Commercial Association of REALTORS® used $5,000 to assist the state in developing a smart growth strategy. Level Three grants support in-depth projects with multiple partners and funding sources, such

as a Charrette, or to sustain a previously initiated effort that has proven fruitful enough to warrant further investment. The maximum Level Three grant is $15,000. In 2013, the High Point Regional Association of REALTORS® received two Level Three grants. The first grant funded a Charrette to develop “Ignite High Point,” a plan to turn under-utilized portions of the city into a thriving downtown. The second grant is helping to fund two of the recommendations from the Charrette: Redesigning the green space around the downtown library and redeveloping an underutilized parking area as an open-air festival venue. More information, including a list of previous grant recipients and examples of successful grant applications, is available online at www.realtoractioncenter.com/smartgrowth. You may also contact NCAR RCA staff liaison Robert Broome at rbroome@ncrealtors.org for assistance with grant applications.

ROBERT BROOME Director of Regulatory Affairs

The High Point Regional Association of REALTORS® received a Level Three grant to fund a Charrette to develop “Ignite High Point,” an initiative to promote the growth and revitalization of the downtown area. http://www.highpointnc.gov/cityproject/

ncrealtors.org • INSIGHT  21


GOVERNMENT Affairs

A New Year, New Resolve

W ADAIR COLLINS Director of Political Communications

e know this is an exciting time of year for NC REALTORS® as you’ve been making New Year’s resolutions and plans for the coming year. It’s an exciting time for state legislators and NCAR as well, as they prepare for the 2014 session of the North Carolina General Assembly kicking off on May 14. State lawmakers have appointed several study committees that are meeting to make interim recommendations on issues to the 2014 NCGA as well as a final report to the 2015 General Assembly. The NCAR Government Affairs team is currently monitoring and working with the committees that are studying issues impacting current and future homeowners, the housing market, the real estate industry, the real estatebased economy and property rights.

Resolution #1: Advocate We anticipate this year will be an important one for NC REALTOR® advocacy efforts, so we encourage you to include “Advocate” in your resolutions. We’ll keep you posted on specific ways you can vote, act and invest throughout the year. Four initial ways to jumpstart your resolution: 1. Register: Make sure you are registered to vote. Go to NCSBE.gov to check your status.

Download the REALTOR® Action Center Mobile App, currently available for both iPhone and Droid platforms.

22  INSIGHT • Winter 2014

2014

Resol ution

Advoc

ate:

s

Vote, Act & Inv est

2. Connect: Continue your ongoing efforts to connect and strengthen your relationships personally and in your community. 3. Listen: Stay abreast of critical issues affecting real estate and prepare to act--download the mobile app from RealtorActionCenter.com. The app will alert you to take action, now and in the months ahead. 4. Invest: Visit NCRealtors.org to make your RPAC investment now, and be entered into a statewide raffle!

Taking Action on Flood Insurance On October 29, the U.S. Congress introduced a bipartisan bill, the “Homeowner Flood Insurance Affordability Act”  (H.R. 3370 and S. 1846/1610), aimed at providing immediate relief to millions of homeowners facing unforeseen and exponential increases in flood insurance premiums. The legislation was proposed to address increased rate structures in the National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP) that have caused confusion and hardship for many across the country, including North Carolina property owners, both on the coast and inland. The legislation proposes to defer rate increases until FEMA completes a study on their impact, which was mandated by the NFIP reauthorization law. NAR supports the bill as a crucial first step to rectifying the problem. As of press time, NAR, NC REALTORS®, NCAR 2013 President Patrice Willetts, North Carolina local associations, and other REALTORS® and state and local associations around the country had contacted Congress to urge immediate action on the bill. For the latest news and resources on the legislation, please visit Realtor.org and stay tuned for announcements from NCAR and NAR. If you or your clients have experienced difficulties with flood insurance, please contact NCAR’s Cady Thomas  at cthomas@ncrealtors.org. Sharing your story will help NAR to address the ongoing issue with Congress.


QA

FORMS GUY

+

A Tangled Web

BY: WILL MARTIN | GENERAL COUNSEL

DEAR FORMS GUY, An agent in my firm named Wally had an exclusive buyer agency agreement with a buyer. After the agreement had been in effect for three months and Wally had shown the buyer umpteen different properties, the buyer called Wally and told him that she didn’t like the “vibe” and just felt like she needed to make a change. Wally tried to persuade the buyer to see the agreement through the 90 days remaining on the term of the buyer agency agreement, but the buyer wouldn’t change her mind. A few weeks later, Wally noticed that one of the properties he had shown this buyer was under contract. Turns out, an agent with a different firm named Eddie was the buyer agent on the contract. Wally called Eddie for more details and Eddie revealed that the buyer who Wally had originally shown the property to had contacted Eddie about becoming her new buyer agent. Wally asked Eddie if he understood that Wally had not agreed to a termination of the exclusive buyer agency agreement, and Eddie said that he did. Wally then told Eddie that his refusal to recognize the sanctity of the agency agreement was a violation of Article 16 of the REALTOR® Code of Ethics, and that Wally was going to file an ethics complaint against Eddie with the local association. In addition, I contacted the broker-in-charge of Eddie’s firm today. I told her that I think Wally is the procuring cause, and that if the sale closes and her firm is paid the compensation offered by the listing agency, I intend to file a request for arbitration with the local association to recover the fee from her firm. This BIC said that the buyer could work with whomever she chooses, and that since she had chosen to work with Eddie, her firm rather than our firm would be entitled to the compensation offered in MLS if the deal closes. What do you think about this, Forms Guy? SINCERELY, June

DEAR JUNE: Wow—that’s some question! Lots of moving parts. I normally only answer questions about forms but what the heck— it’s a new year! I’ll give it my best shot. Sincerely, Forms Guy JUNE: Thank you! FORMS GUY: June, your question involves several related, but different issues. There’s a legal issue about a principal’s right to end the agency relationship with an agent. There’s an ethical issue about the circumstances under which a REALTOR® has the right to enter into an agency agreement with someone who has been represented by another REALTOR®. And there’s a contractual issue

about entitlement to compensation offered in MLS. Let’s take them one at a time, okay? JUNE: Okay. FORMS GUY: First, regarding a principal’s right to end the agency relationship with an agent, there is an important distinction between the rights and duties of the parties under the law of agency and under the law of contract. Under agency law, either the principal or the agent has the power to terminate the agency relationship at any time, even though they have previously agreed that the agent’s authority will continue for a definite period. If the principal exercises this power, the agent has no right to continue

Contact Will Martin at wmartin@ ncrealtors.org if you have a question or a suggested discussion topic for Forms Guy.

acting for the principal, and could be subject to liability for continuing to hold himself or herself out as the principal’s agent if it causes loss to the principal. JUNE: But if that’s so, what use is an agency agreement? FORMS GUY: That’s a fair question, June. Just because a party has the power to terminate the agency relationship doesn’t mean they also have the right to terminate the contract by which the agency relationship was established. Under contract law, if either party’s termination of the agency agreement is a breach of the agreement, that party may be held liable for any damages that the non-breaching party may be able to prove. JUNE: So what does that mean as far as Wally’s agency agreement with the buyer? FORMS GUY: The way I see it, the buyer agency agreement between your firm and the buyer ended when the buyer clearly indicated to Wally that she didn’t want Wally to be her agent anymore. It doesn’t sound as though the buyer had any cause to terminate the agreement, and if that’s so, the buyer’s decision could be characterized as a breach of contract. JUNE: So are you saying that my firm should go after the buyer for damages? FORMS GUY: No, not necessarily. The point I am trying to make is that in my opinion, the buyer’s action in making a change of agents, even though it may well have been ncrealtors.org • INSIGHT  25


FORMS GUY

a breach of the agency agreement she had with your firm, effectively terminated the agreement. JUNE: Why is that so important? FORMS GUY: The status of the buyer agency agreement is important in considering the second issue I identified, which is the ethical issue about whether Eddie had the right to enter into a buyer agency agreement with the buyer. JUNE: Okay. FORMS GUY: Article 16 of the Code makes it unethical for a REALTOR® to engage in any practice or take any action inconsistent with the exclusive representation agreement that another REALTOR® has with his or her client. In reading the various Standards of Practice under Article 16, I would say as a general proposition that so long as a REALTOR® doesn’t do anything to induce the client of another REALTOR® to terminate the representation agreement the other REALTOR® had with their client, it’s okay for the second REALTOR® to enter into an exclusive agreement to provide the same type of service after the agreement between the first REALTOR® and the client has ended. JUNE: So what does that mean in our situation? FORMS GUY: As stated above, in my opinion, the buyer agent agreement between your firm and the buyer had been terminated by the buyer prior to the time that she contacted Eddie. Since Eddie does not appear to have had anything to do with inducing the buyer to terminate the agreement, I do not think it was unethical for Eddie to have entered into an exclusive buyer agency agreement with the buyer. JUNE: You’re kidding! Wally worked his tail off for that buyer 26  INSIGHT • Winter 2014

and you’re telling me that she can just kick him to the curb and go get another agent who’ll get paid to write a contract on a property that Wally had already shown to her? That’s not fair!

JUNE: If it went to a hearing and my firm was awarded the commission as procuring cause, would Eddie’s firm have any rights to recover anything from the buyer under the buyer agency agreement?

FORMS GUY: Hold on, that’s not what I ‘m telling you. The issue about entitlement to compensation offered in MLS is a different issue altogether. As it says in the “Arbitration Guidelines” in the NAR Code of Ethics and Arbitration Manual, “[a]gency relationships, in and of themselves, do not determine entitlement to compensation. The agency relationship with the client and entitlement to compensation are separate issues.” “Procuring cause shall be the primary determining factor in entitlement to compensation” according to the Manual. Therefore, even though the buyer terminated the buyer agency agreement with your firm, your firm may well have a good claim to recover the fee from Eddie’s firm if the transaction on the property closes and the listing agent pays Eddie’s firm rather than yours. But you should understand that just because Wally introduced the buyer to the property doesn’t necessarily mean that your firm would be the procuring cause of the sale. There is no “predetermined rule of entitlement.” A hearing panel of your association’s Professional Standards Committee would consider the entire course of events in making a decision about which firm was entitled to the cooperative compensation. The “Arbitration Guidelines” in the Manual contain an excellent summary of the factors that an arbitration hearing panel should consider, and is available on the NAR website at www.realtor.org under Law, Ethics & Policy/NAR Code of Ethics/2013 Code of Ethics and Arbitration Manual/ Part Ten, Appendix II.

FORMS GUY: Possibly, depending on how the compensation section of the agreement was filled out. That’s a good question and it raises another point I should make. When the buyer contacted Eddie about becoming her buyer agent, I think Eddie had an ethical obligation to recognize the potential for a commission dispute if the buyer bought a property that had already been shown to her by Wally, and have a discussion about it with the buyer. If Eddie expected the buyer herself to pay him for his services if his firm did not receive the MLS commission offered by the listing agent, the buyer needed to understand that in order to make an informed decision about whether to buy that property. JUNE: I’m beginning to understand what you said about there being a lot of moving parts to my question! Any other words of wisdom, Forms Guy? FORMS GUY: One last thing. Notwithstanding everything I’ve said, I would encourage you to make a good faith effort to work these issues out with Eddie’s firm. It’s almost always better to reach a compromise if at all possible. That will enable both parties to put the matter behind them and move on to the next transaction, rather than getting involved in a difficult dispute that will take up precious time and resources, and potentially generate bad feelings between the firms and the agents involved. JUNE: Okay, thanks Forms Guy! FORMS GUY: You’re welcome, June. Give my best to Ward. Happy New Year!


SAVE BIG WITH OUR FEBRUARY PROMO


Tech

TIPS

TECHNOLOGY TIPS

Cloud Computing: The Paperless Office Would you be interested in a system that allows you to access important business files practically anywhere, for free? Then leave that briefcase full of papers at home, and take a trip up to the cloud! We’ve got tips to help you make the transition to this new business system. BY: MCKENZIE HAMRICK & TYLER HELMS The cloud is a way for businesses and individuals to store and share information on the Web via platforms operated by Google, Microsoft and others. With cloud computing, individuals can easily collaborate with colleagues inside their office, out at a showing or even in the car (of course not while driving -- safety first!). Because of the cloud’s convenience and accessibility, businesses are getting accustomed to working with it. Here’s a look at some of the key advantages, available resources, mistakes to avoid and security measures you should consider.

Why Cloud Computing? Here are the main advantages of cloud computing for real estate: 1. It’s easy. If you’ve uploaded a photo to your Facebook account or attached a document to an e-mail, you’ve worked in the cloud. Cloud computing is nothing more than moving documents from your base computer to the Internet, where you can get them no matter where you are, provided you have access. 2. In many cases, it’s free. One of the best features of cloud computing is that in many instances, it costs little or no money. Google Drive, Microsoft’s SkyDrive, Dropbox and other sites allow consumers to create accounts and store files up to a certain size for free. 3. You can share documents. Today, many people are involved in transactions. Appraisers, lenders, escrow agents and others may need an important document in order to expedite the closing process. Having the ability to access the file from the Internet and then share it can help keep everything running smoothly. 4. You can customize it for your needs. Just as you set up your standard office file cabinet to work the way you work, your “file cabinet on the Internet” can also be customized to fit your needs. Create

folders for clients, active listings, sold transactions or any other category you need. It’s your system, so you can make it fit your business requirements. 5. It’s the future. As the Internet gets faster and the smartphone continues to be more commonplace, the information stored in the cloud will grow. In fact, some prognosticators expect cloud computing to double in popularity over the next few years. Just consider some of the applications that consumers can use their smartphones for today: They can check in for airlines, record TV programs, watch videos, read books — the list goes on and on. As consumers continue to get used to all of the conveniences mobile computing offers, they’ll come to expect the same from you.

5 Mistakes to Avoid When Building your Paperless Office Here are five common mistakes to avoid as you begin to experiment with and employ cloud computing. 1. Not having a back-up plan. If you’re going to make your office paperless, your first step should be to implement a good back-up plan. Make ncrealtors.org • INSIGHT  29


TECHNOLOGY TIPS

sure you have data backed up to at least three locations, one of those being off-site. You never know when a catastrophe could strike, and having all of your data in one location is a risk you don’t want to take. Consider using a service — such as Backblaze or Crashplan — that will monitor your computer systems and back up the data in real time at offsite locations. Second, use a local hard drive to back up files regularly. Finally, keep your files on your personal computer so they’ll be easy to access in a jam. 2. Thinking you have to scan everything. Don’t feel like you have to scan every single document. Instead, choose the files that you feel you’ll need to retrieve from the cloud. 3. Lacking consistency. Many people will begin a paperless office but not have a consistent system for where the data is filed, what method and format documents are stored in, and how other agents can access the information. Build consistency into the process to eliminate a lot of headaches and encourage your team to get on board. 4. Lacking training. Having a paperless office is great, but if no one knows how to access or use it, it won’t work. Make sure that you have adequate and ongoing training for your team members. There are many good screen-capture tools where you can record short how-to videos for your team to watch. 5. Having poor security measures. Storing data in the cloud is wonderful, but just like with your file cabinets at work, security measures need to be in place to keep the records confidential. Have secure passwords and require those passwords to be changed at regular intervals. One good tip for a secure password is to require all passwords to be a minimum of 12 characters, including uppercase and lowercase letters, symbols, and numbers. Also, limit access to files to only those who need it. Cloud computing can be a rewarding and profitable experience for the real estate pro. It’s important to remember to have a game plan when you’re ready to go paperless, enact the proper security measures and have a back-up solution for your data. By following these few simple rules, you can begin using and enjoying the benefits of cloud computing today. Mayfield, J. (2011, January). The Paperless Office: Learning to Work in the Cloud. Realtor Mag. Retrieved from http://http://realtormag.realtor.org/

30  INSIGHT • Winter 2014

Free Resources for Cloud Computing Take a look at this comparison of some of the most popular free cloud storage services.

Google Drive (https://drive.google.com) • • • • •

Free space: 15GB Premium space: $59.88 per year for 100GB File size limit: 10GB Platforms: Windows, Mac, iOS, Android Best for: Storage space and web apps

SkyDrive (https://skydrive.live.com/) • • • • •

Free space: 7GB Premium space: $50 per year for 100GB File size limit: 2GB Platforms: Windows, Mac, iOS, Android, Windows Phone Best for: Windows/MS Office integration

DropBox (https://www.dropbox.com/) • • • • •

Free space: 2GB (plus up to 16GB for referrals) Premium space: $99 per year for 100GB File size limit: Unlimited (via desktop app) Platforms: Windows, Mac, Linux, iOS, Android, BlackBerry Best for: Seamless document syncing

Apple iCloud (https://www.icloud.com/) • • • • •

Free space: 5GB Premium space: $100 per year for 50GB File size limit: 25MB free/250MB paid Platforms: Mac, iOS, Windows Best for: Heavy iTunes/Mac users

Amazon Cloud Drive (https://www.amazon.com/clouddrive/) • • • • •

Free space: 5GB Premium space: $52 per year for 100GB File size limit: 2GB per file Platforms: Mac, iOS, Android, Windows Best for: Photos and music


NC Association of REALTORS®

WEBINAR

WEDNESDAYS Join us every second Wednesday for a FREE online educational experience, designed to increase your confidence and help you succeed at any stage of your real estate career. All you need is your computer - so register today!

NEED HELP WITH ZIPFORM® & DOCUSIGN?

Mark Saunders

Did you know that zipForm 6 has been upgraded to zipForm Plus? NC REALTORS® YPN Vice Chair Mark Saunders will show you how to utilize these programs from both the agent perspective and the client experience. He’ll also take you through a transition in real time. March 12, 10:00am

INNOVATION WORKSHOP

Zach Schabot

Are you looking to rebrand yourself? Do you want to freshen up your image? Join Zach Schabot, founder of Go Realty and GoConnect in Cary, to discover innovative marketing strategies and techniques. He’ll teach you how to write a great bio and will also share some creative uses for social media and video - all centered on branding yourself as a REALTOR®. April 9, 10:00am

Visit ncrealtors.org for more details and to register today!


When you join us, the sky’s the limit. Not surprising, since we are now second among real estate franchises as ranked by Entrepreneur Magazine.* ENTREPRENEUR MAGAZINE

2013 500 # FRANCHISE

2

With a growing presence in more than 230 markets and 35 states, the independently owned and operated Weichert® franchised offices of Weichert Real Estate Affiliates, Inc. are always looking to add knowledgeable sales associates. Today, in the words of our president, Martin J. Rueter, “Our systems and the strength of the Weichert brand represent an unusually promising opportunity for real estate professionals to represent our company around the nation.” The Weichert commitment to our innovative Internet strategy and our unparalleled agent training have all helped to build Weichert’s reputation as an industry leader in the support of sales associates. Our offices continue to look for ways to grow, so call your local Weichert office today or 800-301-3000. We’d be glad to explain all we can do to send your own fortunes skyward.

Information about Weichert franchises is available on www.weichertfranchise.com or by calling 800-533-9007.

www.weichert.com/careers

*2013 Franchise 500®, Entrepreneur Magazine, January 2013 ©2013 Weichert, Realtors®. Weichert® is a federally registered trademark owned by Weichert Co. All other trademarks are the property of their respective owners. REALTOR® is a federally registered collective membership mark which identifies a real estate professional who is a Member of the NATIONAL ASSOCIATION OF REALTORS® and subscribes to its strict Code of Ethics. Each WEICHERT® franchised office is independently owned and operated. This advertisement is not an offering. An offering can only be made through a Uniform Franchise Offering Circular and in states where authorized. In New York State, an offering can only be made by a prospectus filed first with the Department of Law of the State of New York. Such filing does not constitute approval by the Department of Law. If you are presently under contract with a real estate franchise, please disregard this solicitation. OUR ADVERTISEMENT HAS NOT BEEN REVIEWED OR APPROVED BY THE CALIFORNIA DEPARTMENT OF CORPORATIONS. ANY COMPLAINTS CONCERNING THE CONTENT OF THIS ADVERTISEMENT MAY BE DIRECTED TO THE CALIFORNIA DEPARTMENT OF CORPORATIONS at www.corp.ca.gov.

32  INSIGHT • Winter 2014


Insight | Winter 2014  

We Are Family Meet our incoming president Tomp Litchfield as he gears up to lead our REALTOR® family into 2014.

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