SPOTLIGHT: NC REALTOR® DONATES HER KIDNEY TO SAVE A LIFE
THE VOICE OF REAL ESTATE IN NORTH CAROLINA
VOL 96 NO 1 | FEBRUARY 2017
REAL IMPACT NC REALTORS® Pour Into Action for Hurricane Matthew Flood Relief
TOGETHER WE WILL THRIVE: 2017 LEADERSHIP TEAM HONORING HISTORY WITH THE HECK-ANDREWS HOUSE BUILDING TRUST THROUGH SOCIAL MEDIA NCREALTORS.ORG
As we embark on a renovation journey, we want to take you back to see the history of the Heck-Andrews House, NC REALTORS®’ role in the state capitol and what the future holds.
8 Honoring History
The Heck-Andrews House returns to its roots
12 Artistry in Leadership
Get to know your 2017 Leadership Team
14 Real Impact
COVER: Discover behind-the-scenes stories from Lumberton
20 Building Trust Through Social Media
Why REALTORS® should invest in a social media strategy
24 Know Where the Planes Are
Aircraft noise pollution detection tools for you and your buyers
26 The Ultimate Gift
SPOTLIGHT: This NC REALTOR® gave the gift of life to a friend
2017 AE SCHOLARSHIPS AWARDED
6 LEGAL TALK The importance of getting a home inspection 11 XCHANGE '17 Get ready to break the rules at NC REALTORS® annual conference 19 REALTOR® Partner Program Special discounts on the products and services you use most
TALK TO US
Have something to talk about? Sure you do — and we want to hear it! Send us your comments, ideas or success stories to firstname.lastname@example.org and you could be featured in the next Insight. ncrealtors.org • INSIGHT 3
Insight, Volume 96, Issue 1 President Treasure A. Faircloth, GRI, E-PRO, CRS
2017. This is the year of you — the person, the REALTOR®, the savvy, businessminded entrepreneur. It is absolutely my pleasure to serve you this year as your 2017 NC REALTORS® president. But let’s not talk about me, let’s talk about you. This is the year where we come together — where we unify, reconnect and empower each other to be the best we can be. Through bigger and better, signature NC REALTORS® events to high-caliber content to celebration of the impact REALTORS® have on a daily basis in your communities and industry, we will honor you in everything we do. From the best and the brightest businessminded speakers in the region and country to powerful, hands-on workshops where you can learn real-world strategies to position you for success, NC REALTORS® is the place, the association, the professional community — the family — where every one of you can thrive. We kicked the year off in a big way at Inaugural, recognizing our outgoing and incoming leaders from across the state. We welcomed a new William C. Bass Leadership Academy class. “XCITEMENT” grew about our new and improved 2017 Conference & Expo – XCHANGE '17. We danced, laughed, dined, worked and celebrated — together. That’s what it’s all about, right? Doing this together? Together, we are elevating our association — the eighth largest state association — to new heights. We aspire to be the model that all other associations emulate. And we will get there one step at a time, building on the NC REALTORS® vision and leadership from recent years. One way we are raising the bar is with the content shared in Insight magazine. NC REALTORS® staff and industry leaders are writing more original content targeted to consumers that you can share. In this issue, you will discover noise pollution detection tools, unveil the history and future of the Heck-Andrews House, discover behind-the-scenes stories from Lumberton post-Hurricane Matthew and admire one NC REALTOR® who made the ultimate sacrifice and gifted one of her kidneys to a friend in need, while learning the benefits of living organ donation. It can’t get much better than this. I challenge us to all hold ourselves to a higher standard. It starts with you and me. Stephen Covey, one of the great business leaders of our time, once said, “What you do has far greater impact than what you say.” I challenge us all to put action behind our words and strive to do something daily that increases the perception of REALTORS®, raises the bar with consumers and makes a positive impact.
President-Elect Amy Hedgecock, CPM, GRI Treasurer Kelly Marks, ABR, CRS, GRI Immediate Past President Kim Dawson, ABR, CRS, GRI, SRES REGIONAL VICE PRESIDENTS Region 1: Kathy Perry, Emerald Isle; Region 2: Deb Hays, Wilmington; Region 3: Lisa York, Sanford; Region 4: Wade Corbett, Raleigh; Region 5: Lolita Malave, Greensboro; Region 6: Stephen Long, Winston-Salem; Region 7: Todd Pierceall, Gastonia; Region 8: David DeSilva, Steven Bryant, Charlotte; Region 9: Randall Blankenship, Asheville; Region 10: Asa Fleming, Harriette Doggett Raleigh; At-Large: Danny Brock, Wilmington Chief Executive Officer Andrea Bushnell, Esq., CIPS, RCE Director of Communications & Marketing Tracey Gould, M.S. IMC, CPSM Editor Mckenzie Allen Contributors Christina Dick Jeff Straub For advertising information, contact Keri Epps-Rashad at 336-217-1049 or email@example.com. INSIGHT (ISSN 24714127) (USPS 17170) is published four times a year in February, May, August and November by NC REALTORS®, 4511 Weybridge Lane, Greensboro, NC 27407. Periodicals Postage Prices paid at Greensboro, N.C. and additional mailing offices. POSTMASTER: Send address changes to INSIGHT, 4511 Weybridge Lane, Greensboro, NC 27407-7877. 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 and consumers. Their contents are the opinions of the authors alone and do not necessarily represent those of NC REALTORS®. Advertising of a product or service does not imply endorsement, unless specifically stated. To opt-out of paper copy mailings, email firstname.lastname@example.org with a subject line of “Insight opt-out.”
Thank you for being simply you.
Treasure A. Faircloth 2017 President 4 INSIGHT • February 2017
4511 Weybridge Lane, Greensboro, NC 27407 Phone: (336) 294-1415, Toll Free: (800) 443-9956
2017 AE SCHOLARSHIPS AWARDED
C REALTORS® is proud to recognize the accomplishments of our members. These association executives (AEs) have been honored with scholarships to attend annual events for professional development. The following association executives will receive a $750 scholarship to the 2017 Regional AE Conference: • Tiffany Daugherty, Lincoln County • Carol Hinson, Union County • Gwen Huss, Cleveland County • John Orr, Highlands-Cashiers • Laurie Ridenhour, Lexington-Davidson County • Fay Wright, McDowell
The following association executives will receive a $1000 scholarship to NAR’s 2017 AE Institute: • Brittani Cowles, Wilkes County • John Orr, Highlands-Cashiers • Chris Triepke, Roanoke Valley Lake Gaston The following association executives will receive a $500 scholarship to NAR’s 2017 Leadership Summit: • Elizabeth Hensley, Burke County • Fay Wright, McDowell Recipients were selected based on financial need, commitment to professional development, time in present position and participation.
New year, new roles JORDAN FORREST,
Political Fundraising Specialist Jordan serves as political fundraising specialist for NC REALTORS® PAC and is based in the Raleigh office. She attended UNC – Chapel Hill where she earned her bachelor’s degree in political science and communications. Upon graduating, she worked as a political fundraiser and campaign finance director in North Carolina.
State Grassroots Coordinator Colton serves as the state grassroots coordinator for the North Carolina Homeowners Alliance and NC REALTORS®, and is based out of the government affairs office in Raleigh. Colton is an alumnus of Western Carolina University and earned a Bachelor of Science in political science and sociology with a minor in international affairs. Upon graduation, Colton served as a congressional aide to U.S. Representative Mark Meadows and U.S. Representative Richard Hudson, worked on Congressman Meadows’ re-election campaign and was the western regional director to Concerned Veterans for America. Most recently, Colton served as the western regional representative to U.S. Senator Thom Tillis. Colton enjoys the outdoors, has a puppy named Copper and is a chef extraordinaire.
Visit ncrealtors.org for a full list of NC REALTORS® staff and contact information.
Junior Designer Raquel assists the communications and marketing team with a variety of graphic design and marketing projects. She graduated from East Carolina University (ECU) and earned a Bachelor in Fine Arts with a concentration in graphic design. While attending ECU, she served as the graphic designer for the Office for Equity and Diversity and The East Carolinian (ECU’s student newspaper). Furthermore, Raquel was a graphic design intern at Eye Integrated Communications in Greenville.
OTHER STAFF CHANGES
NC REALTORS® continues to improve and grow within its existing operations. Take note of these recent title changes: • Keri Epps-Rashad, director of business development • Susanna Hailey, grassroots specialist and shared government affairs director • Chelsea Hughes, education manager • Amy Kemp, events manager
REMEMBERING THOSE WE LOST THIS YEAR
Robert M. Lovell Jr. Peggy L. Dry Timothy Fulcher NC REALTORS® salutes each individual for their respective contributions to our industry. As of 1/31/17
ncrealtors.org • INSIGHT 5
CALL THE LEGAL HOTLINE: NC REALTORS® have free, unlimited access to our Legal Hotline and lawyers with more than 25 years experience. Call 800-443-9956 or email email@example.com with any questions regarding contracts, forms, fair housing, disclosure and more.
Scheduling a Home Inspection In North Carolina, a home inspection done for compensation must be prepared by a home inspector or contractor licensed by the North Carolina Home Inspector Licensure Board (NC HILB). If two or more components of a residential building (heating system, cooling system, plumbing system, electrical system, structural components, foundation, roof, masonry structure, exterior and interior components or any other related residential housing component) are to be reviewed, the inspector must be licensed. All licensed home inspectors in North Carolina are required to provide a written contract that describes the services to be performed, standards of practice, limitations and the cost of the services. This contract is required to be signed before the home inspection is performed. A buyer should carefully review the inspector’s proposal to determine the scope of the inspection, and be sure to review what components will be inspected. A buyer can also review state home inspector requirements on the website of the NC Home Inspector Licensure Board (NC HILB). Additional information about inspections and inspectors is available on the websites of the North Carolina American Society of Home Inspectors, the North Carolina Licensed Home Inspectors Association and the International Association of Certified Home Inspectors.
Reviewing the Home Inspection Report
THE IMPORTANCE OF GETTING A HOME INSPECTION Obtaining a professional home inspection is perhaps the single most important thing a buyer can do to protect him or herself. Here are a few tips when arranging and reviewing a home inspection.* BY: WILL MARTIN | GENERAL COUNSEL 6 INSIGHT • February 2017
A professional home inspection report provides detailed information about the home’s physical condition, its systems and fixtures and usually notes any potential future problems. The buyer should read the report itself and not just the summary page to ensure he or she understands all aspects of the inspection and report. The summary page is intended to cover the major concerns found during inspection, but may not be the only issues discovered. A buyer should not rely upon reports done for others (the seller and/or previous buyers) because the report may not be current and/or accurate and the buyer likely would have no recourse against an inspector he or she has not retained.
Let a REALTOR® Guide You Inspection of property is beyond the scope of expertise of a REALTOR®, but REALTORS® can provide a buyer with a list of local inspectors. A buyer may check with the NC HILB to obtain information about inspectors in the area, determine an inspector’s current license status and whether there has been disciplinary action against the inspector.
2017 Annual Sponsors PLATINUM
SILVER NC REALTORS® would like to thank all 2017 Annual Sponsors.
The Contract and Due Diligence Period The standard form used in many residential real estate sales in North Carolina is the Offer to Purchase and Contract (form 2-T) (the “Contract”), which is jointly-approved by NC REALTORS® and the NC Bar Association. The Contract permits the buyer to investigate the property for an agreed-upon period of time (known as the “Due Diligence Period”), and to terminate the Contract for any reason or no reason during the Due Diligence Period. A buyer should take advantage of this important right by obtaining his or her own professional home inspection report from a licensed professional inspector during the Due Diligence Period. If a professional inspection shows defects in the property, the buyer may attempt to reach an agreement with the seller to repair the defects, or may terminate the Contract. Remember, unless otherwise provided for in the Contract, the cost of the inspection will not be refunded to the buyer if he or she terminates the Contract. If a sales contract other than the standard Contract is used, it is important that it contain a clause allowing the buyer to terminate the agreement if a professional inspection shows defects in the property. A real estate agent may assist a buyer in completing a pre-printed sales contract form and is expected to possess a basic understanding about the buyer and seller’s rights and responsibilities under the standard Contract form. However, a real estate agent is not qualified to give a buyer advice about his or her rights and responsibilities under a nonstandard sales contract form. A buyer should consult a North Carolina real estate attorney under such circumstances.
LEARN MORE Want more information on inspections and inspectors? Try these resources: NC Home Inspector Licensure Board NC American Society of Home Inspectors NC Licensed Home Inspectors Association International Association of Certified Home Inspectors * The information in this article was taken from the North Carolina Buyer Advisory, a consumer information publication of the NC REALTORS®. NC REALTORS® provides articles on legal topics as a member service. They are general statements of applicable legal and ethical principles for member education only. They do not constitute legal advice. The services of a private attorney should be sought for legal advice. © Copyright 2017. North Carolina Association of REALTORS®, Inc. This article is intended solely for the benefit of NC REALTORS® members, who may reproduce and distribute it to other NC REALTORS® members and their clients, provided it is reproduced in its entirety without any change to its format or content, including disclaimer and copyright notice, and provided that any such reproduction is not intended for monetary gain. Any unauthorized reproduction, use or distribution is prohibited. ncrealtors.org • INSIGHT 7
THE HECK-ANDREWS HOUSE
HONORING HISTORY BY: SETH PALMER | POLITICAL COMMUNICATIONS AND REGULATORY AFFAIRS DIRECTOR
The Heck-Andrews House returns to its roots
1 1. View of the house from the south lawn circa 1900 (Charles Heck, great grandson of Colonel Johnathan Heck) 2. Engraving of Col. Heck. (State Library of North Carolina) 3. Parlor (Charles Heck) 4. Invoice for French window glass. (State Archives of North Carolina)
f you take a walk along Raleigh’s historic Blount Street, you will notice multiple examples of architecture depicting the different eras that have spanned the city’s life. Among those is one of the city’s clearest and well-defined examples of the Second Empire style: the Heck-Andrews House. Across the street from the lieutenant governor’s office and just steps away from the governor’s mansion, the Heck-Andrews House was completed in 1872 and occupied until the late 1980s. Since then, the house has stood vacant, preserved in time, all but for the exterior renovation completed by its last owner, the state of North Carolina, in 2014. But now the house and its new owner, NC REALTORS®, stand on the precipice of a new adventure. Preserving the house’s history is an important part of cementing NC REALTORS®’ position, not just in Raleigh, but also across our state. As we embark on the renovation journey to bring the house back to its original glory, while also creating a top-flight event and office space, we want to take you back to see the history of the house, NC REALTORS®’ role in the state capitol and
8 INSIGHT • February 2017
what the future holds. For up-to-date information on the renovation, check out ncrealtors.org. We will be launching a blog in mid-March to give you an inside look at the progress.
Heck-Andrews: Then and Now When the land for the home was purchased in 1869 by Colonel Jonathan Heck and his wife, Mattie, Raleigh was a much different place than it is today. For starters, Blount Street terminated just past the house at North Street. This meant that the home they proposed would stand as a pillar of the growing community and as a landmark for the area. The construction followed exacting specifications, set forth by Mattie Heck, to follow in the traditions of the Second Empire design aesthetic. Col. Heck was himself a lawyer, industrialist and a real estate developer who had a strong interest in development, both on a personal and civic level. From its very
Interior views of the house as it stands today, pre-renovation. (Ian F.G. Dunn)
design, the house was intended to be built in the best manner possible, using top-of-the-line materials, including window glass imported from France. The home was completed in 1872 and inhabited by Col. Heck and his descendants until 1921 when the home was purchased by Alexander Boyd Andrews, Jr. During the early part of Andrews’ residency, the house underwent significant renovations, including the installation of modern plumbing and electrical systems. Andrews lived in the house for just shy of 30 years, selling it in 1948 to Julia Russell and her daughter, Gladys. During the Russells' residency, the house was entered into the National Registry of Historic Places in 1973. However, very few upgrades or renovations were made to the house between 1948 and the 1980s, and when Gladys Russell moved out in the late 1980s, the house had fallen into a state of significant disrepair. The house was later acquired by the state of North Carolina in 1987 and generally sat vacant ever since. The state did approve and begin a significant exterior renovation of the property in 2012, which was completed in late 2014. This
project repaired many of the exterior features, which were damaged from years of limited upkeep, and also restored the house to its original period color scheme. Though long speculation existed about the house’s future, it was not until Governor Pat McCrory proposed a project to sell state properties and improve the aesthetic of downtown Raleigh that it became clear. Project Phoenix During a press conference in 2014, Governor McCrory unveiled what he referred to as “Project Phoenix,” an aggressive plan to sell or revitalize unused state assets throughout the Raleigh area. The plan proposed the sale of many of the properties along Blount Street, including the Heck-Andrews House. Governor McCrory’s goal was to see the area around the state government complex restored to an enviable position, as well as to allow private interests to utilize these properties. Monies to support Project Phoenix were also included in the governor’s $1-billion Connect NC Bond package, which was approved by voters in early 2016. ncrealtors.org • INSIGHT 9
THE HECK-ANDREWS HOUSE
The Heck-Andrews House will soon serve as the NC REALTORS® government affairs office, as well as rental space for weddings, receptions and corporate events. (NC REALTORS®)
With the Heck-Andrews House listed for sale, NC REALTORS® leadership considered the opportunities the house would provide for the association and its members, including easy access via proximity to legislators and other elected officials, plus a high-profile location to host decision makers and influencers. Additionally, the property’s location affirms the REALTOR® brand as the most powerful real estate association, associates the brand with historic preservation and adaptive reuse and makes NC REALTORS® more accessible to consumers and corporate partners through prime, urban event venue space. With that in mind, the NC REALTORS® Board of Directors approved the purchase of the house during their meeting in January 2016, setting the association on a path forward to reclaiming this historic property and restoring it to its original glory. NC REALTORS® in Raleigh As one of the leading trade associations in North Carolina, the presence of NC REALTORS® staff in the state capitol cannot be understated. The Raleigh office of NC REALTORS® was first opened in January 1995, staffed by a small, but effective, government affairs team. Since then, the staff has grown to more than eight Raleigh-based individuals housed in the One City Plaza Building on Fayetteville Street. Comprised of lobbyists, political operatives and political fundraising experts, the NC REALTORS® government affairs team supports the association’s advocacy efforts and ensures that the voice of real estate is clearly heard by decision-makers at 10 INSIGHT • February 2017
all levels. Soon the team will have a physical, front-row seat to the center of North Carolina’s political action — all from Blount Street — now that the Heck-Andrews House is officially part of the NC REALTORS® family. The Future of Heck Andrews In addition to serving as the home for the NC REALTORS® government affairs team, the Heck-Andrews House will soon serve as a boutique event space for both association events, as well as rental by the general public. Given the property’s unique architectural and historic characteristics, it will be the perfect location for everything from small wedding receptions to pop-up dinners, receptions and much more. The NC REALTORS® events and communications teams are developing a comprehensive marketing plan for the property to promote the space for consumer use once renovations are completed in November 2017.
Given the original builder/occupant’s affinity for real estate development, one may believe that Col. Heck would be proud the Heck-Andrews House has come full-circle, returning to its real estate-owner roots, while being restored to its original glory. Be sure to monitor NC REALTORS®’ website and social channels for updates on our progress, and plan to visit us in Raleigh later this year for our grand opening event. It’s slated to be one “Heck” of a party.
CHANGE NC REALTORSÂ® CONFERENCE 17
Leadership Team Treasure Faircloth GRI, E-PRO, CRS PRESIDENT
GET TO KNOW YOUR LEADERSHIP TEAM
Artistry in Leadership
Amy Hedgecock CPM, GRI PRESIDENT-ELECT Kelly Marks ABR, CRS, GRI TREASURER Kim Dawson CRS, GRI, ABR, SRES IMMEDIATE PAST-PRESIDENT Andrea Bushnell, Esq. CEO
Together we will thrive in 2017
ne of the hallmarks of great leadership is the ability to build, empower and support a stellar leadership team, which serves as the ultimate support system and “north star” for an organization. They are advisors and analysts who help to keep perspective, big picture thinkers who keep their eye on the horizon and self-motivated, driven decision makers and influencers who have a lasting impact on day-to-day decisions to maintain momentum. Building a highlyeffective team requires brutal honesty and internal reflection of a leader’s strengths and weaknesses, along with the organization’s short- and long-term goals. The end result is a team that complements the leader’s innate abilities and fills the talent and skill sets required by the mission and vision. Teams built on this principle are nearly invincible, as they naturally fill a piece of the puzzle — each offering a unique talent and ability. NC REALTORS® witnessed such artistry in leadership dozens of times over its history, including several examples in recent years, such as in 2016 when Kim Dawson 12 INSIGHT • February 2017
and association leaders successfully proposed bold moves and gracefully handled fierce debate and opposition surrounding the REALTOR® of the Future PAG. The 2016 leadership team thrived in maintaining perspective, dared to look deep into the horizon to propose changes that would position the association for years to come and built momentum and consensus (even though all initiatives didn’t move forward) with some tough and innovative proposals. Effective and passionate leadership at different levels made this possible. In 2015, Tony Smith and his leadership team secured approval of the Heck-Andrews House and witnessed a monumental legislative year. And in 2014, the “heart and soul” was brought back to the industry, which struggled post-recession, with Tomp Litchfield’s leadership. 2017 will continue NC REALTORS’® long tradition of successful vision under the leadership of Treasure Faircloth who will ignite passion in our members about our mission, our industry and our association, while radiating positivity that inspires others to work together in
ways we’ve perhaps never experienced before. An NC REALTOR® with over 40 years of experience in the real estate industry, holding active roles in her local, state and national association, and the National Certified Residential Sales (CRS) Council, Treasure has been in many ways working towards the role of NC REALTORS® president since she joined the association. Her dedication to the industry, to NC REALTORS®, to her craft and to her fellow members is evident by her long-standing, hands-on commitment. She served as past-president of the Winston-Salem Regional Association of REALTORS® (WSRAR), served as regional vice president twice for Region 6, NC REALTORS® treasurer from 2012-2015 and president-elect in 2016. She served on NC REALTORS® executive committee for several years and has represented NC REALTORS® as an NAR director for three terms to the present. She was also president of NC CRS Chapter. It comes as no surprise that Treasure has been honored with numerous awards for her service, including the NC REALTORS® Regional Service and Hall of
Above, from left: Kim Dawson, Kathy Perry, Steven Bryant, Harriette Doggett, Wade Corbett, Deb Hays, Asa Fleming,
Lisa York, Randall Blankenship, Treasure Faircloth, Amy Hedgecock, Andrea Bushnell, David DeSilva, Kelly Marks Left: Lolita Malave, Stephen Long, Todd Pierceall, Danny Brock
Fame Awards, CRS of the Year, President's Award and WSRAR Tom Lambe Hall of Fame Award, REALTOR® of the Year and ARTuttle Service Award. She also received REALTOR® Emeritus status for 40 years of service as a member of the National Association of REALTORS®. She is dedicated to the real estate business and feels it takes the whole association to make it a thriving and productive success. Treasure clearly has demonstrated artistry in leadership throughout her career, and she and the 2017 Leadership Team will undoubtedly make their mark on NC REALTORS® history. Without our fierce and dedicated leadership over the years, NC REALTORS® wouldn’t be the respected organization it is today. This year, your 2017 Leadership Team is no different. They will approach our mission with a fierceness and tenacity you’ve never
seen. They will demonstrate inclusivity, encouraging member engagement at all levels, while emphasizing member growth. Through collaboration, their efforts on behalf of the association and each member will be transparent, and expectations will be established up front and made clear to all members. They aspire to reconnect the disconnected, re-engage the disengaged and inspire the uninspired. We know NC REALTORS® care about their profession, the industry and the association, and the 2017 Leadership Team wants you to know we’re listening. You’re encouraged to reach out to each one of the Leadership Team members and discuss ideas and challenges, and if by some chance you’re not familiar with who comprises the Leadership Team, we want to introduce you to them personally during an NC REALTORS® event in the very near future.
Regional Vice Presidents REGION 1
Kathy Perry Emerald Isle
Todd Pierceall Gastonia
Deb Hays Wilmington
David DeSilva Steven Bryant Charlotte
Lisa York, Sanford REGION 4
Wade Corbett Raleigh REGION 5
Lolita Malave Greensboro REGION 6
Stephen Long Winston-Salem
Randall Blankenship Asheville REGION 10
Asa Fleming Harriette Doggett Raleigh AT-LARGE
Danny Brock Wilmington
ncrealtors.org • INSIGHT 13
The city of Lumberton suffered immense damage to critical infrastructure, in addition to washed out roads, bridges, businesses and homes.
REAL IMPACT 14 INSIGHT • February 2017
NC REALTORS® pour into action for Hurricane Matthew flood relief
NC REALTORS® CARE
Members Wendy Harris of Fayetteville and Phyllis Furr St-Clair of Charlotte have been on the ground since day one, organizing relief efforts and processing applications for thousands of residents.
Phyllis FurrSt. Clair
BY: NICOLE ARNOLD AND TRACEY GOULD, NC REALTORS®
A SNAPSHOT OF NC REALTORS® ACTIVITY ON THE SCENE
IN LUMBERTON, KINSTON, GREENVILLE, NEW BERN AND FAYETTEVILLE
volunteers distributed applications to flooding victims
3,200 residents reached
2 clothing drives of supplies 3 trucks
ctober 2016 started relatively quiet for North Carolinians. There was a hint of fall in the air, and Hurricane Matthew was a very distant, but powerful, storm. Meteorologists kept a watchful eye on the weather and storm’s path when Hurricane Matthew gained strength over the eastern Caribbean as a Category 5 storm on October 1, 2016. The odds of a United States landfall were becoming more probable. When the storm made landfall as a Category 4 storm in Haiti and Cuba on October 4, and looked to hit the eastern seaboard, the east coast took notice. With each passing day, it became more likely the United States would take a direct hit. But where? This uncertainty ultimately kept the entire southeastern seaboard on pins and needles until October 8 when Hurricane Matthew made landfall in the U.S. as a Category 1 storm with 75 mph winds at McClennanville, SC. Then we all held our breath. NC REALTORS® jumped into action and developed a storm preparedness communications strategy for its members and consumers, gathering helpful disaster planning contacts, agencies and checklists, sharing them through various communications channels. One of these resources included creating a Hurricane Hotline for members, which was a direct line to NC REALTORS® President Andrea Bushnell, Esq. The weekend of the storm, she stood by and patiently waited for possible member impact and needs. ncrealtors.org • INSIGHT 15
COVER | REAL IMPACT
A REALTOR® member shares photos of her attempts to access her home after the flooding.
This dramatic drone footage from Nelson Aerial Productions shows the devastation across the region.
16 INSIGHT • February 2017
The Impact North Carolinians extended thoughts and prayers to the residents of our beautiful beaches, which expected to receive the brunt of the impact after Matthew grinded up the Florida, Georgia and South Carolina coasts. Initial reports of the storm's progress gave North Carolinians hope that our coastal areas, while battered, largely escaped massive damage. Hearts soon palpitated, however, as Matthew lingered significantly inland over eastern North Carolina, unleashing heavy rainfall over areas upwards of 40 miles from the coast. One of the hardest hit areas of the storm, which was a result of the onslaught of rain and not the storm itself, was Robeson County in eastern North Carolina. In fact, when the mayor of Lumberton, N.C., Bruce Davis, woke up on Sunday, October 9, his initial thoughts were they escaped without a lot of damage. “We had a lot of wind and rain during the hurricane, and when I woke up on Sunday morning and looked outside, it was a beautiful day,” he remembered. Moments later, he would get the phone call that would change his life — and the lives of thousands of his City’s residents — forever. Mayor Davis was quickly summoned to City Hall, which turned into a 24/7 Emergency Operations Center, housing the City Council, including NC REALTOR® LeRoy Rising, members of the city’s administrative and operations teams and even first responders. Sleep and rest were the least of their concern, as they tried to save their beloved city from rising flood waters. Mayor Davis soon realized, “people are going to lose their homes,” which motivated him and others into action. Soon after arriving at City Hall that Sunday morning, Mayor Davis received a call from Governor Pat McCrory, who was flying over the flood-impacted areas across the eastern part of the state, “I’m looking down on your city right now, mayor, and it’s not a pretty sight,” Davis recalls the governor informing him. To this day, McCrory's quick action, immediate response and generosity with state resources was largely the reason Lumberton was able to recover as quickly as it did — relatively speaking — from a government and operations perspective. The governor’s gift of water pumps, which helped to pump 800 million gallons of water out of the city and back into the river, “helped to save our city,” Davis stated, fighting back tears. The city of Lumberton suffered immense damage to critical infrastructure, in addition to washed out roads, bridges, businesses and homes. Understandably, it’s not challenging to realize that basic utilities — such as running water and electricity—– would be impacted for some time. In Lumberton, the main pump stations were under water and damaged, which meant running water was not available for many city residents for potentially weeks. In fact, it would be over two weeks before running water was available in most homes at the faucet. However, boil water and water rationing advisories were not lifted until October 25, 2016 — weeks ahead of schedule. The North Carolina Department of Insurance estimates that the storm dumped 17 inches of rain over ground already saturated by the previous Hurricane Hermine. Inland rivers rose to levels never recorded, washing away homes and lives with unexpected force and devastation. The death toll in the United States as of mid-October was estimated at 43 and rising with 28 of those deaths reported in North Carolina.
Dealing with the Aftermath While FEMA and other relief organizations were trying to mobilize and find access routes to reach impacted areas immediately following the storm, NC REALTORS® called a special session of the Executive Committee and approved funds to be dedicated for immediate needs in local communities, as well as funds to be sent to the National Association of REALTORS® (NAR) REALTOR® Relief fund, which would then be available for impacted North Carolina residents for temporary housing expenses. Within days of the storm’s landfall, after damage reports and needs from members flooded in, NC REALTORS® members and staff arrived on site, delivering dry goods, cleaning supplies and other commodities to areas such as Lumberton, New Bern and Fayetteville. Volunteers rented moving trucks, filled them with supplies, drove through flood-ravaged areas — sometimes with a police escort to guide around blocked and washed out roadways — and delivered them to local residents. Most residents of the hardest hit areas were already on day three and four without power, food and even drinking water or medical supplies. Thousands of people lost everything on October 8 except the clothes on their back, and NC REALTORS® were there to say, “We see you, and NC REALTORS® care.” In fact, this phrase — “NC REALTORS® care,” became an internal motivational mantra and call to action tagline (#NCREALTORScare) to mobilize our staff and members to give back to neighbors across the state. Perhaps no one lived up to this mantra more than Wendy Harris, Fayetteville REALTOR® of the Year, who has been on the ground since day one after the storm and has since immersed herself in the greater eastern North Carolina community as somewhat of a disaster recovery specialist. Rightfully so, she now serves on the governor’s Hurricane Matthew Recovery Committee. This started, in part, when Harris volunteered in the Lumberton and asked Linda Oxendine, the city's Director of Public Services, what the city’s needs were and how could she and NC REALTORS® help with recovery efforts. One thing led to another, and within two days, Harris and NC REALTORS® mobilized dozens of volunteers on site in Lumberton to assess damaged homes and survey residents regarding their needs. Meanwhile, NC REALTORS® used this as an opportunity to increase awareness of the REALTOR® Relief Fund and the grant money available to qualified residents to cover temporary housing expenses. Over the course of a month, 600 plus of the most damaged homes were surveyed and documented and hundreds of grant applications were collected. Just as soon as relief agencies gained access to flood-ravaged areas (or so it seemed), many relief organizations were leaving two to four weeks after the storm. Yet, many North Carolina authorities were still grappling with the effects of Hurricane Matthew, prompting Governor McCrory to call for a special session of the state legislature in November to discuss and understand the destruction left in the storm's wake. Housing remains an urgent and ongoing need.
APPLICATION PROCESSING & APPROVAL $204,790.30 NAR-provided funding
Approved $269,046.70 worth of requests for 273 applicants
NC REALTORS® CONTINUES TO COORDINATE ASSISTANCE EFFORTS WITH NAR.
Applicants APPLICANT DEMOGRAPHICS
State officials released estimates of $1.5 billion in damage to over 100,000 homes, businesses and government buildings. The impact to agriculture, the key industry of eastern North Carolina, has yet to be tallied.
25% RENTERS As of 2/6/17
Members and staff delivered truck loads of goods, cleaning supplies and other commodities to areas in need.
Volunteers collected hundreds of grant applications for diaster relief assistance with NAR's REALTOR® Relief Fund.
ncrealtors.org • INSIGHT 17
COVER | REAL IMPACT One of the saddest elements in this tragedy is that Matthew hit the most poverty-stricken areas in the nation. U.S. Census officials named Robeson County, N.C., as "persistently poor," and post-2010 Census analysts named Lumberton as the poorest city in the United States in 2013. Many displaced residents had few resources prior to the flooding, and during Matthew, many lost the few resources they had. The Situation on the Ground is Dire As you can imagine, most affected residents do not have flood insurance. Many elderly residents own their home outright and lack the resources (phone, transportation, internet access) to complete applications for temporary housing assistance. Others rent and have now expended all their FEMA temporary housing funds. They must find shelter and pay rent on their damaged housing. NC REALTORS® volunteers also talked with victims whose homes were filled up to the second floor with flood waters. These families pay over $1600 per month in mortgage obligations and are paying for a temporary rental property, while contractors attempt to assess their damages. Many residents have not been allowed to enter or come near their properties because municipal governments have expressed safety concerns. Many volunteers comforted victims who were denied federal temporary housing funds and are attempting to live in mobile homes with disintegrating particle board flooring, no functioning wiring and roof and crawlspace damage. Put in the simplest terms, the need is great. The Relief Fund efforts in NC In response to the need, the NC REALTORS®' Executive Committee generously donated $80,000 to NAR's Relief Fund, NC REALTORS® members have begun matching the $80,000 commitment and NAR has specifically earmarked $300,000 from the Relief Fund for North Carolina victims. So how does this work in practical terms to positively impact local residents who have been affected by Hurricane Matthew? The temporary housing grant awards up to $1,000 per qualified applicant, which can be utilized for mortgage payments, rent payments or temporary housing assistance for applicants demonstrating need. NC REALTORS® and Homes4NC Impact To give you a snapshot of NC REALTORS® activity since Matthew hit, here are some statistics. Over 50 volunteers distributed applications to flooding victims. While man hours on the ground were countless, they volunteered for at least 19 days in Lumberton, Kinston, Greenville, New Bern and Fayetteville. NC REALTORS® estimates that at least 3200 residents were reached, two clothing drives were conducted and at least three trucks full of supplies were delivered to affected areas. As of December 13, 2016, Homes4NC volunteers, including former Homes4NC President Phyllis Furr-St. Clair and NC REALTORS® staff, have been on the front line, working in conjunction with NAR’s REALTOR® Relief Fund, in this major 18 INSIGHT • February 2017
undertaking. For St. Clair, assisting with REALTOR® Flood Relief efforts was a no-brainer, “I get personal satisfaction out of selling homes to people,” she said. “When people lose their homes, as many did with Hurricane Matthew, it takes a piece of you.” To date, NC REALTORS® has approved $269,046.70 worth of requests for 273 applicants. NAR has provided funding of $204,790.30 for 208 applicants. Thanks to the tireless efforts of volunteers, we continue to coordinate assistance efforts with NAR on behalf of flood victims. Of the applicants, we estimate that 25 percent are homeowners, 65 percent are renters and 10 percent own their property outright and seek temporary housing. What’s Next For Mayor Davis and the city of Lumberton, priority number one “is getting people back in their homes.” Unfortunately, Davis recognizes that hundreds — if not thousands — of Lumberton residents don’t have homes to return to due to the strongest hurricane to hit the United States in a decade. As of mid-December, hundreds of displaced Lumberton residents were still scattered across the region in hotels covered by FEMA vouchers, which are set to expire in early January. Other priorities for Davis and City officials include mitigating damage and locating Lumberton residents, “It’s critical for us to know where our residents are.” At the height of the storm’s aftermath, thousands of residents were forced to evacuate, and some left the region. Not all of them returned. Davis won’t rest until every resident is accounted for. Looking forward, Davis and other city officials are exploring long-term solutions with the state and the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, among other agencies, to prevent a disaster like this from happening again. Homes4NC and NC REALTORS® will continue to field needs from impacted residents, as long as the need exists, and grant funding is available. NC REALTORS® members and staff continue to be involved in the hands-on long-term recovery of the impacted areas, including shaping state disaster planning efforts to managing local municipality Facebook recovery pages. NC REALTORS® have a long tradition of being involved in their local communities, and responding after Hurricane Matthew was just another day “on the job” and opportunity to show NC REALTORS® care.
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Social media can get a bad rap. It's said to be isolating, fake, time consuming. So why should REALTORS® invest precious time and money? BY: CHRISTINA DICK, TFB AGENCY
20 INSIGHT • February 2017
Eric Morehouse of The Morehouse Group in Richmond, Va. admits that one of the biggest challenges REALTORS® face is a lack of trust. Buying a home is a very significant life purchase, and trusting a REALTOR® to be a partner in that transaction doesn’t happen overnight. There’s no single post, ad or photo that will immediately win over potential buyers or sellers. But, you’ve got to start somewhere. Here are a few tips for starting and maintaining a social media presence that builds trust through consistency and community.
There are a few initial steps you’ll need to take to set your social media strategy up for success. Analyze your current plan Start by auditing your current social media plan and strategies. Take a look at what’s working for your business, and also what’s not. Examine what you’re posting, and more importantly, how your audience is reacting. Is there any piece of promotion that doesn’t feel true to your values? If you’re just getting started, you might not have much to analyze — and that’s OK.
With a good strategy and proper planning, you can overcome the offenses to make social media a tool for marketing success and business growth.
Do your research It’s important to look to your competitors and others in the industry for inspiration. This will give you an idea of what’s out there, and will ultimately help you to determine what differentiates you from others in the market. You must also analyze your audience. What are your buyer’s pain points? What are the frequently asked questions? What always comes up in conversations? Evaluate your goals Ask yourself: Is my current social media plan helping me to achieve my business goals? This answer will help you decide what adjustments you need to make. What’s important to you? Obviously, showcasing your listings and educating the public on the real estate industry is a must. But what else will you add in to make your approach unique? What about your business do you want highlight? Knowing your goals will help you determine what kind of content you should create and share. Decide what channels you want to be on and why Do you want to maintain a Facebook and a Twitter account? What about Instagram, Pinterest and YouTube? It’s important to consider your bandwidth — how much time do you have to maintain each of these channels? You don’t need to be on each one of them, but if you’re going to be, you’ll need to dedicate enough time and resources to make the most of it. You’ll also need to consider what channels your audience prefers. Talk to your buyers and sellers about how they use social media. Maybe you’ve traditionally used Facebook to market and connect, but your clients prefer Instagram. Meet your audience where they are. ncrealtors.org • INSIGHT 21
BUILD TRUST WITH SOCIAL MEDIA
In marketing, we talk about “touch points,” referring to every interaction your customer/client/audience has with your business/brand. Everything you say or do is a chance to make an impression, or as Seth Godin says in his blog, a “chance to either raise or lower your average.” Use this same strategy with social media to build lasting, trusting relationships with your clients. Here are a few things to keep in mind:
MAKE THE BIG 5 WORK FOR YOU
Be consistent: Make sure you seem like the same person on social media as you do in your print ads or at networking events. Social media is your opportunity to reinforce that you are who you say you are on a regular basis. Infuse your personality: Be you! But, remember to resist revealing too much of your personal information. Be part of your chosen community: Just as you support others in real-life, make an effort to show your support on social media. Dedicate time to commenting, liking and sharing to reflect the things you care about. Know what results you want: Are you trying to drive people to your website, to build awareness, to engage or entertain your audience or to strengthen your relationship with them? If you’re just posting and sharing to check off a box, that will come across to your audience. Instead, ask for information through comments and replies. Just make sure you know what you’re going to do with the information you receive, and show your audience you appreciate their engagement by continuing the conversation. Make successful client stories work for you: To help buyers overcome the intimidation/hesitation of working with a REALTOR® they don’t know, highlight the stories of those who you’ve already worked with. Your past clients can become advocates for you through testimonials. This tactic has always been a great business strategy, but it’s even more powerful in the age of social media. Want to make an even bigger impact? Encourage your past clients to submit video testimonials and post those on your social media channels. Analyze and optimize: My favorite thing about social media is the ability to explore new opportunities and improve. Most of us are intimidated by change, but it’s important to try new things and watch how our followers react. Your social media community will give you clues to determine how your content should evolve. Remember to use social media as a tool to amplify the things you and your business are already doing well. Social media should not be an extra thing you have to do or learn. It should be a tool you can use to make the most out of all of the hard work, energy and passion you’re putting into all parts of your business. Focus on this, and your clients will see this passion and will trust your expertise to lead them through the home buying and selling process. 22 INSIGHT • February 2017
ABOUT CHRISTINA Christina Dick is the founder of TFB Agency, a marketing consultancy with a focus on social media.
It’s no secret that social media is one of the most effective complements to a REALTORS®' business, and indeed, 65 percent of agents use social media for their business, according to NAR’s latest Member Profile. In order for social media to work effectively, agents require a thorough understanding of how it works and what kinds of consumers use each network. To assist in that understanding, take a look at these important findings from a recent Pew Research Center survey. Use this information to help streamline your social media strategy and appeal directly to your clients. Facebook Remains King An incredible 79 percent of online adults use Facebook, making it far and away the most-used social network. And while younger Americans are the most likely to use the site (88 percent of those aged 18 to 29), older Americans are still quite active — among those aged 50 to 64 and 65-plus, 72 and 62 percent, respectively, are logged on. Tweet Tweet At 24 percent, a relatively small amount of people use Twitter, with those in higher income groups being more likely to use the platform.
NEW: FACEBOOK 360
The Young and the Instagrammed Thirty-two percent of online adults use Instagram, and unlike Facebook, there are clear generational divides. While 59 percent of Millennials use Instagram, only 33 percent of Gen Xers do, and among Baby Boomers and the Silent Generation, usage falls to 18 and 8 percent. Pew also uncovered three other interesting nuggets about Instagram — more women use it than men (38 to 26 percent), as do more urban dwellers than suburbanites (39 percent to 28 percent). Locked On and Linked In Though it’s hardly surprising that LinkedIn would prove popular with college grads and higher-net-worth individuals, the breakdown in Pew’s study is still surprisingly stark. Regarding education, 50 percent of college grads use LinkedIn, compared to 27 percent of people with some college and 12 percent of those with no college experience. Similarly, while 45 percent of upper-class Americans use the site, only 13 percent of middleclass and 32 percent of upper-middle class Americans do. Ladies are Pinterested Among Pinterest users, there are fairly even splits along geographic, income and education lines. For instance, 35 percent of upperincome Americans use the platform, compared with 32 percent in the middle class. The big break turns out to be by gender. Only 17 percent of men use Pinterest, compared with 45 percent of women.
Photos have been shared on Facebook for more than a decade now, and they are one of the main ways REALTORS® showcase their business. Buyers look to REALTORS® to be their eyes and ears and Facebook’s new 360 photo feature allows you to do just that. Simply take a panorama with your phone or capture a 360-degree photo using a photo app like Google Street View or a 360 camera and then post it to Facebook as you would any normal photo. Facebook then converts it to an immersive 360 photo that people can explore and experience as if they were standing in the space the photo is representing — like a listing for instance. But you don’t have to use 360 photos just for views inside the house. Get creative and show a 360-view from the bus stop, the neighborhood park, etc. You can also incorporate 360 photos into the other types of content you share. Think about taking beautiful shots of your community/city to get buyers to picture themselves living there.
@themorehousegroup of Richmond, VA utilized Facebook 360 to showcase this updated kitchen.
Use a 360 camera or your mobile phone to take a panorama of the city or neighborhood you're promoting, like @creativedogmedia did in this post.
ncrealtors.org • INSIGHT 23
AIRCRAFT NOISE POLLUTION
BY: JEFF STRAUB | CHIEF TECHNOLOGY OFFICER AT LIBREWORX
Why you and your buyers should know exactly where lowflying and noisy aircraft are traveling.
ith 110 airports in North Carolina alone (four international, 30 municipal/regional and 75 private), there’s a very good chance that some of the properties you’re showing (and your clients are considering buying) are going to have low-flying aircraft nearby. And with the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) making changes to the flight paths of dozens of airports around the country, properties that have been historically quiet may soon have some noisy flights overhead, thus lowering property values and upsetting buyers. Knowing where low-flying aircraft are not only helps you and your buyers avoid any surprises, it also provides you with the information needed to help your clients make the best housing decision possible.
Planes aren’t where they used to be Starting in 2010, the FAA set out on a 20-year endeavor to improve the aviation infrastructure of the United States with their NextGen program. The changes include a variety of benefits like increased safety, reducing fuel usage and shortening flight times. But unfortunately for a great number of communities, a large part of the program 24 INSIGHT • February 2017
consolidates existing low-altitude flight paths and creates new ones. As a result, many homeowners are finding a drastic increase in aircraft noise with no way to combat it. Take Phoenix, Ariz. — with over 1.5 million flights each month, Phoenix Sky Harbor International airport (PHX) is the one of the top 10 busiest airports in the country. When the FAA started rerouting landing and departing aircraft at PHX in 2014, it created issues for entire communities whose homes had never been subject to aircraft noise. The city tried everything it could to rectify the situation for its residents, including bringing a lawsuit against the FAA and convincing Senators to file an amendment to try and force the FAA to get input from the community before changing flight paths. Despite their efforts, nothing worked, and the changes remain in place. PHX is just one of the 70-plus airports included in the FAA’s NextGen program. Closer to home, North Carolina’s NextGen changes are currently underway for Charlotte Douglas International, Piedmont Triad International, Raleigh-Durham International and others in the area. Being aware of current and historical aircraft noise for a property is more important than ever.
CLEAR QUIET SKIES
Although there are several tools on the market that help to inform property owners and prospective buyers about aircraft noise pollution, the most comprehensive is Clear Quiet Skies. This application offers free aircraft noise evaluations for any address in the country. If you’re a homebuyer or renter and want a quick overview of air traffic patterns in your home-search area, use the Air Traffic Evaluation too. Or, if you need more detailed information, utilize custom Air Traffic Assessment Reports for a look into actionable scenarios based on historic flight information, current trends and proposed FA changes. Learn more at clearquietskies.com.
Don’t rely on the airports You may have noticed the noise exposure maps put out by airports, but these can be extremely conservative when it comes to actual aircraft noise levels. That’s because the larger the area the airport identifies as affected, the more money the airport (and the FAA) has to pay homeowners to mitigate the noise. This money can come in the form of providing sound insulation to homes that are minimally affected or offering to purchase properties of those for whom aircraft noise is at its worst. Since it’s beneficial for the airports to set what they consider “bad” noise levels to be as high as possible, their noise ratings often don’t tell the whole story
The noise can be more than just annoying Along with the general annoyance that can come with being in the flight path of low-flying aircraft, there can also be health issues involved. Awareness of the negative health effects of noise pollution has been around for some time. In fact, the World Health Organization named noise pollution the second biggest environmental cause of health problems after air pollution. A recent study from Harvard School of Public Health
found that exposure to aircraft noise may actually result in an increased chance of cardiovascular disease. In the study, they found that towns with a 10 decibel increase in aircraft noise had a 3.5 percent increase in cardiovascular hospital admissions.
A top reason to cancel an offer We’re all familiar with the main reasons buyers lose interest in a property: price, living space, schools, inspection results, etc. A recent survey of home buyers conducted by SellingUp — a UK-based real estate company — focused on learning more about the non-typical reasons buyers might move on. Of those surveyed, 41 percent said that discovering a property is subject to aircraft noise would be enough for them to withdraw an offer and/or lose interest completely. When you consider that this lies somewhere between a third and half of your buyers, it’s too large of a percentage to gamble with. Whether you are a homebuyer, renter, property developer or real estate investor, knowing where low-flying and noisy aircraft are going to be is key. That’s where Clear Quiet Skies comes in.
ABOUT JEFF Jeff Straub is the CTO at LibreWorx, a North Carolinabased software development company and developer of Clear Quiet Skies. With a background in software and aviation, Jeff founded Clear Quiet Skies to provide accurate and unbiased information to the general public about where aircraft noise really is, and who it affects.
ncrealtors.org • INSIGHT 25
When friends and neighbors need help, NC REALTORS® are known for rolling up their sleeves and diving headfirst into the cause. Whether it’s in response to floods, collecting backpacks for students, coming to the aid of a co-worker in need or donating a kidney for a friend...wait, what?! BY: TRACEY GOULD
26 INSIGHT • February 2017
ncrealtors.org • INSIGHT 27
es, donating a kidney for a friend, and in essence giving the gift of life — the ultimate gift — to someone in need. This is exactly what Kathy Haines, NC REALTOR® and president of Greensboro Regional REALTORS® Association, did before Thanksgiving 2016. This sacrifice and selfless gift of generosity gives a whole new meaning to the term “giving back,” and she has set the bar high for REALTORS® and humanity when it comes to gift giving. What started in Christmas 2015, when she attended her friends’, Kathryn and Cliff Miller, holiday party, turned into a 12-month adventure no one ever expected. It was during this party when Kathy discovered Cliff was in need of a kidney, and no one in his immediate family was a match. He was already on daily dialysis and awaiting the next step — whatever that may be — but hopeful he would receive a transplant soon. However, in the United States, there are currently over 100,000 patients awaiting kidney transplants, according to the National Kidney Foundation, and the median wait time for a kidney is over 3.5 years. Unfortunately, 13 people die on average each day, waiting for a kidney. In 2014, this number equated to nearly 5,000 patients. Another 3,638 patients became too sick to receive a kidney, making them ineligible, due to the wait. Kathy did not want her friend to become one of these statistics. She left the holiday party that night inspired to make a difference and just knew that she was meant to donate a kidney to her dear friend, “I thought — I have two kidneys, and I only need one, so why not give my extra one to someone who needs it more than I do?” Over the next few months, Kathy quietly started the kidney match process by getting a blood test, determining she was O positive — a match. The following February, she returned to the doctor and endured 3.5 days of testing — all while keeping the biggest secret of her life from her friends. She didn’t want to tell them her plans, as she was afraid of instilling false hope when more testing and information was needed. When asked why and how she persevered, Kathy confidently stated, “It became a competition with myself. I would pass one test, then face the next. I was determined to pass them all and accomplish my goal.” In the end, all of poking and prodding and hiding from her friends paid off, “In early 28 INSIGHT • February 2017
I thought — I have two kidneys, and I only need one, so why not give my extra one to someone who needs it more than I do?
September of 2016, I was notified I was a perfect match,” Haines gleamed. This was the day that would ultimately change the rest of their lives forever. The next two months were a whirlwind. She wanted to break the news to her friend and her husband, but Kathy wanted to do it in a special way. She made an excuse to visit their home and casually asked Cliff, “Do you still need that kidney?” Needless to say, it was an emotional and life-changing moment that no one saw coming, and the response on his face validated her decision to make a living organ donation. “You could tell the burden was lifted,” she recalled. “Suddenly, there was real hope.” The transplant was scheduled on November 8, 2016. There were only two months to prepare and plan. As with any surgery, there are certain risks to be cognizant of, and most REALTORS® who are actively practicing have healthy schedules to work around — especially those who are as involved with NC REALTORS® as she is. Kathy spent the following month wrapping up business items and intentionally not taking on any additional clients, so follow ups, showings, listings and closings would not be scheduled during the hospital stay or recovery period. When asked how she prepared for the “big day,” Kathy replied, “How do you prepare for something like this? You simply get all of your affairs in order.” Prepare for the worst and absolutely hope for the best. And thankfully, the best outcome was about to happen. “I believe in my life being predestined. I believe in a higher being and want to make sure my life has a higher purpose,” Kathy exclaimed confidently. “What better way to do that than to give someone the gift of life?” Through this experience, Kathy has become an unwitting advocate for living organ donations. “Most people are simply unaware that living organ donations are safe and available. Several such donations can be made, such as living liver donations. Most people don’t know that a healthy person can donate a piece of their liver to another person in need, and the human liver will grow and restore itself.” According to the American Transplant Foundation, a patient whose liver is diseased and experiencing failure needs a liver transplant. When this happens, the patient’s entire liver is removed and replaced with a portion of a donor’s healthy liver. Typically, a liver from a living donor lasts longer than that from a deceased donor — further validating the need and benefits for living organ donations. Today, both patients are recovering nicely. Kathy has resumed most normal activities, including being active in GRRA in her new role as president, and she has returned to selling homes — just in time for a knee surgery the week before Christmas. Cliff is also recovering well, and fingers crossed, his body continues to accept the kidney without challenges. As an added benefit, Kathy has since become more focused on healthy and purposely living, and she has even incorporated this into her GRRA presidential tagline and platform for 2017 — MIND, BODY, & SPIRIT.
INTERESTED IN BEING A LIVING ORGAN DONOR? Are there different types of living donation? There are two main types of living donation:
• Directed donation This is when the donor names a specific person who will receive the kidney. It is the most common type of living donation. • Nondirected donation This is when a person does not name a specific person who will get the kidney. Instead, the donor is matched with someone in need.
Are transplants from living donors always successful?
Although transplantation is highly successful, and success rates continue to improve, problems may occur.
Who can be a living kidney donor? To donate a kidney, you must be.. • In good physical and mental health • 18 years or older • Have normal kidney function
There are some medical conditions that could prevent you from being a living donor, check online for more info.
How long does a transplanted kidney last?
On average, a kidney from a living donor lasts about 15 to 20 years. Some will last longer; others might last less.
Where can I find more info?
Learn more at kidney.org or call the National Kidney Foundation hotline at 1.855.653.2273.
ncrealtors.org • INSIGHT 29
EVENTS March 3 GRI: Technology Tools & Resources Cape Fear - Wilmington
Register at ncrealtors.org/gri
March 9 GRI: Business Planning McDowell County - Marion
Register at ncrealtors.org/gri
NC REALTORS® is mixing it up with the launch of MIX Sessions - a series of meetings across North Carolina designed to reach you (the member) where you live, work and play.
2017 Professional Standards Program Cape Fear REALTORS® - Wilmington
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March 22 2017 Professional Standards Program Raleigh Regional - Cary
Register at ncrealtors.org Triad – February 22-23, 2017 MIXup* – February 22, 11:30 a.m.–1 p.m. MIXer* – February 22, 6:30 p.m. MIXing – February 23, 10 a.m.–2 p.m. Triangle – March 13-14, 2017 MIXup* – March 13, 11:30 a.m.–1 p.m. MIXer* – March 13, 6:30 p.m. MIXing– March 14, 10 a.m.–2 p.m. Charlotte – March 15-16, 2017 MIXup* – March 15, 11:30 a.m.–1 p.m. MIXer* – March 15, 6:30 p.m. MIXing – March 16, 10 a.m.–2 p.m. Fayetteville – March 21, 2017 MIXing – March 21, 10:30–11:30 a.m. Lunch – March 21, 11:45 a.m.–1 p.m. Asheville – March 28-29, 2017 MIXup*– March 28, 11:30 a.m.–1 p.m. MIXer* – March 28, 6:30 p.m. MIXing – March 29, 10 a.m.–2 p.m. Wilmington – April 11-12, 2017 MIXup* – April 11, 11:30 a.m.–1 p.m. MIXer* – April 11, 6:30 p.m. MIXing – April 12, 10 a.m.–2 p.m. Outer Banks – April 27-28, 2017 MIXing – April 27, 10 a.m.–2 p.m. MIXer* – April 27, 6:30 p.m. MIXup* – April 28, 9 a.m.–11 a.m. *By invitation-only
MIXup Shape the future of NC REALTORS® by participating in invitationonly focus groups.
Connect with brokerage leaders from across the state at exclusive, broker dinners.
MIXing Experience a regional meeting with exclusive content from local and national business leaders.
March 23 2017 Professional Standards Program Hickory
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March 28 GRI: Technology Tools & Resources Greensboro Regional - Greensboro
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April 4 GRI: ABC's of Financing McDowell County - Marion
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April 24-26 2017 NC REALTOR® Legislative Meetings
Sheraton Raleigh Hotel
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April 25 GRI: Technology Tools & Resources Lexington-Davidson County - Thomasville
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