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HAS YOUR BACK Getting to know President Asa Fleming and his goals for 2019

VOL 98 NO 1 | FEBRUARY 2019


Changing the way we look at real estate


Stories from NC REALTORS®

Plus: • State of Real Estate & XCHANGE'19 previews • Honoring NC REALTORS® PAC Major Investors


February 2019


features 14 NC REALTORS® Has Your Back

Get to know President Asa Fleming and his 2019 goals.

18 Virtual Reality

Learn how to embrace virtual reality technology in your real estate business today and in the future.

22 Hurricane Florence

Read stories of hope, service and support from members and volunteers impacted by the storm.



11 5 INSIDE NC REALTORS® Updates on the Heck-Andrews House, the NC REALTORS® William C. Bass Leadership 12 Academy class of 2019 and AE scholarship recipients.

WHY I TOOK THIS JOB Mark Zimmerman explains why he made the move from broker/owner to NC REALTORS® staff member. 2018 NC REALTORS® PAC MAJOR INVESTORS

7 LEGAL QUIZ 17 STATE OF REAL ESTATE Do you know how to handle a Contingent Sale Addendum? 26 XCHANGE '19



Have something to talk about? Sure you do — and we want to hear it! Send us your comments, ideas or success stories to mallen@ncrealtors.org and you could be featured in the next Insight. ncrealtors.org • INSIGHT  3

Insight, Volume 98, Issue 1 President Asa Fleming, SFR, AHWD President-Elect Maren Brisson-Kuester Treasurer Kelly Marks, ABR, CRS, GRI Immediate Past President Amy Hedgecock, CPM, GRI REGIONAL VICE PRESIDENTS Region 1: Sandy Hurst, Jacksonville; Region 2: Jim Goodman, Oak Island; Region 3: Connie Corey, Greenville; Region 4: Julia Tucker, Chapel Hill; Region 5: Laurie Edwards, High Point; Region 6: Penny Boyles, King; Region 7: Marsha Jordan, Lincolnton; Region 8: Geena Fie, Denver and Jennifer Frontera, Indian Trail; Region 9: Renee Cooney, Franklin; Region 10: Mollie Owen and Mark Parker, Raleigh. Chief Executive Officer Andrea Bushnell, Esq., CIPS, RCE Vice President of Communications & Marketing Mckenzie Allen Graphic Design Coordinator Raquel Stubblefield Contributors Noah Corbett, Aliyah Ross and Mark Zimmerman Cover/Feature Photography Doug Klesch For advertising information, visit ncrealtors.org/advertising or contact Keri Epps-Rashad at 336-217-1049. 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 hello@ncrealtors.org with a subject line of “Insight opt-out.”

As I begin to serve as your 2019 president, I am so grateful for the opportunity to work with REALTORS® who continue to fight for and support our clients, community and industry. I have learned from the excellent examples of past leadership that volunteerism is what makes our association effective. Getting engaged in leadership at the local, state and national levels has really helped me understand how much of an excellent job the leaders and staff that came before me have done to make us a strong association. That’s why my slogan this year is “NC REALTORS® has your B.A.C.K.” B.A.C.K. stands for: Building on the past leadership of this organization; Advocating in the present for our clients, community and industry; Creating our future together, will be the Key to our success. I was taught at an early age that we must contribute before we complain. It is interesting to see that when a person is engaged and involved, the tendency to complain about something they feel strongly about is diminished. Instead, they are working with other like-minded individuals to influence change. My initiatives this year include working with our Young Professionals Network (YPN) to increase our REALTOR® Political Action Committee (RPAC) participation efforts. We need as many REALTORS® as possible investing in their business to affect public policies at all levels. To accomplish this goal, I plan to form a YPN presidential advisory group to gain insight on how to keep our association relevant and to prepare for where our industry is going in the future. I also plan to engage more diverse REALTOR® leaders around the state in order to be more inclusive and to involve as many different perspectives as possible. It is our differences that make us the great country that we are, and our association can only benefit from these efforts. When advocating for our clients, community and industry, we need to be as equitable in our approach as possible to ensure we are reaching and influencing as many of the legislators as we can. Equitable lobbying and RPAC funding distribution are other initiatives I will be concentrating on to make sure we are moving in that direction. Lastly, I hope to increase our exposure at the National Association of REALTORS® (NAR) to ensure we are consistently engaged at the national level. I also plan to work with our president-elect, Maren Brisson-Kuester, on creating synergy with rural and urban areas around the state to foster economic development and more business opportunities. I look forward to working with all of you to have a great year. I feel so grateful to have the opportunity to serve. I realize that we are all entrepreneurs who work hard to ensure that homeownership and private property rights are protected in this country. Real estate is not as easy as it used to be. Today’s clients are very sophisticated and have high expectations. Real estate data is all over the internet, and there are many different models of the real estate business entering the market. Through it all, just remember, NC REALTORS® has your back!

4511 Weybridge Lane, Greensboro, NC 27407 Phone: (336) 294-1415, Toll Free: (800) 443-9956


Asa Fleming, 2019 President





The Work Begins Renovation of the Heck-Andrews House starts as NC REALTORS® works to preserve history


fter more than two years of waiting, the renovation of the historic HeckAndrews House has commenced. Supported by the team of architect James Grady, Progressive Contracting and an army of specialize subcontractors, work began in late 2018 to restore the property to its historic character and to provide functional space for events and the work of the NC REALTORS® Government Affairs office. FOLLOW THE PROGRESS As the project moves forward, we invite you to follow @HeckAndrewsHouse on Instagram for updates on the restoration process and a unique glimpse into the details and craftsmanship of the property's past. Discover more about the history of the house and NC REALTORS® involvement at heck-andrewshouse.com.

n spite of natural disasters, bad weather and a canceled convention, NC REALTORS® had a successful year in 2018 and is growing its staff with the intent to serve the members better than ever. Jessica Hughes joins NC REALTORS® as the new vice president of operations, having worked previously as the executive director of ASGCLA and RUSA, divisions of the American Library Association. She said that she was drawn to NC REALTORS® because she is passionate about helping strong associations grow. “NC REALTORS® has a great reputation and considerable influence. I’m thrilled to be a part of helping our volunteer leaders and staff accomplish their goals.” When not working, she loves to play with her dog and visit her nieces and nephews. Mark Zimmerman, who spent the majority of the last 20 years as a REALTOR® in Chapel Hill, joins NC REALTORS® as senior vice president of external affairs. Zimmerman splits his time between Chapel Hill and a lake in Caswell County, a “city mouse/country mouse life.” Read more about his move to the staff side of the association on page 11. Katharine Wendt grew up in Senoia, Ga. near the set of the award-winning TV series The Walking Dead and stayed close to home when working previously for the IHG in Atlanta as a corporate responsibility specialist. She joins the team as our state grassroots coordinator and is also currently enrolled in the University of Massachusetts’ master’s program for public policy. Stephen Bradford is the new local government affairs director in the Mid-Carolinas area. He last worked as a market center administrator for a Keller Williams office of nearly 200 agents in South Florida. According to Bradford, he’s from a real estate family, he’s interested in politics and has been looking for a reason to come to the Carolinas for years. When he’s not busy working, he likes to get away to his family cabin on the Tennessee line in Avery County. “I’m an avid outdoorsman and love ditching the modern world and just disappearing into the mountains.” Aliyah Ross interned for NC REALTORS® last year and is returning as the new content marketing coordinator. “I interned with NC REALTORS® February 2018 - May 2018 and fell in love with the organization. The passion and teamwork put forth by the staff to support our members is extremely inspiring.” As an avid reader, she enjoys spending her free time escaping to used bookstores in search of great deals on new books to enjoy. In addition to the four permanent staff additions, two interim staff members were hired to assist with the NC REALTORS® Housing Foundation’s disaster relief efforts—Julie Freeman and Noah Corbett. “It has been gratifying to see the generosity of the REALTORS® in our state and across the nation who have given so selflessly to the Disaster Relief Fund,” says Freeman. Corbett is a recent graduate of Elon University’s English department and has been assisting the NC REALTORS® communication team as well as the Housing Foundation when needed. ncrealtors.org • INSIGHT  5


Meet the class of 2019



ANNOUNCING 2019 AE SCHOLARSHIPS These association executives (AEs) have been honored with scholarships to attend annual events for professional development.


CRISTINA GROSSU Charlotte Regional

PHILLIP JOHNSON Winston-Salem Regional

TIM MCBRAYER Raleigh Regional

DAVE NOYES Hendersonville Board

MELISSA POLCE Charlotte Regional


SANDY STEWART Mid Carolina Regional

LISA THOMAS Triangle Commercial

ADAM UPCHURCH Topsail Island

KATIE J. WANGRIN Land of the Sky

This leadership development program identifies, inspires and mentors emerging leaders. Learn more at ncrealtors.org/thrive

The following association executives will receive a $750 scholarship to the Regional AE Conference: • Coleen Curtis, Albemarle Area • Mot Davis, Cleveland County • Lillian Threlkeld, Mountain Lakes • Carla Rose, Salisbury Rowan • Abbey Wood, Triangle Commercial • Carol Hinson, Union County The following association executives will receive a $1000 scholarship to NAR’s AE Institute: • Elizabeth Hensley, Burke County • Abbey Wood, Triangle Commercial The following association executives will receive a $500 scholarship to NAR’s Leadership Summit: • Elizabeth Hensley, Burke County • Bonnie White, Johnston County

Thank you Annual Sponsors Diamond




6  INSIGHT • February 2019

legal QUIZ Do you know how to handle a Contingent Sale Addendum? Take our latest quiz on the Contingent Sale Addendum and how it's applied to your real estate practice. BY: WILL MARTIN,GENERAL COUNSEL


A buyer’s existing property is not under contract at the time of entering into a contract with a seller, so the Contingent Sale Addendum is added. If the buyer’s existing property does not go under contract by the end of the due diligence period in the contract with the seller, either the seller or the buyer may terminate the contract. True False


A buyer’s existing property is not under contract at the time of entering into a contract with a seller, so the Contingent Sale Addendum is added. A second buyer makes an offer to the seller containing better terms than those accepted from the first buyer. The seller may "kick out" the first buyer if they do not waive the contingency within three days. True False


If a buyer’s property is under contract at the end of the due diligence period, but that buyer’s property doesn’t close by the settlement date in the contract with the seller, the buyer may terminate the contract and get their earnest money deposit (EMD) back so long as they terminate within three days following the settlement date. True False


If a buyer’s property is under contract at the end of the due diligence period, but that buyer’s property doesn’t close by the settlement date in the contract with the seller, the buyer would have up to 14 days following the settlement date to close on the seller’s property. True False


A buyer’s existing property is under contract as of the effective date in the contract with the seller, but the contract on the buyer’s property falls through. The buyer notifies the seller that the contract on the buyer’s property has fallen through. (a) The buyer may terminate the contract with the seller and get a refund of the EMD. True False (b) The seller may terminate the contract and return the buyer’s EMD. True False (c) The seller may terminate the contract and return the buyer’s EMD whether or not the buyer has put their property under contract with a second buyer. True False (d) If the seller elects to terminate the contract, the seller must in any event also return any due diligence fee the buyer may have paid. True False

HOW DID YOU DO? Turn the page to discover the answer.

ncrealtors.org • INSIGHT  7

answers: 1. False. The contract is null and void. The parties do not have the option to keep the contract in effect. See paragraph 1(a) of the Contingent Sale Addendum, second sentence. 2. False. Although at one time the Contingent Sale Addendum contained such a "kick-out" clause, that clause has not been a part of the Addendum since 2011. 3. True. See paragraph 1(b) of the Addendum. 4. True. See paragraph 13 of the Offer to Purchase and Contract. (Note that if the buyer is unable to close on the buyer's property within the 14-day permitted delay period, the seller may elect to terminate the contract, in which case the buyer would lose their EMD.)


If you’re not doing so already, be sure to read the Q&As that appear in the REALTOR® Rundown every Monday. It’ll help you on the next quiz!

5. (a) True. See paragraph 2 of the Contingent Sale Addendum. (b) True. See paragraph 2 of the Contingent Sale Addendum. (c) False. Seller's termination right is "cut off" by the buyer's delivery of another contract for the buyer's property. See paragraph 2 of the Contingent Sale Addendum. (d) False. The seller is obligated to return any due diligence fee only if the seller terminates the contract during the due diligence period. See paragraph 2 of the Contingent Sale Addendum, last sentence.

SPRING MIXERS bartaco, Chapel Hill Wednesday, March 27 • 4–6PM Island Way, Oak Island Tuesday, April 9 • 4–6PM Duck’s Grille & Bar, Jacksonville Wednesday, April 10 • 4–6PM Brother’s Restaurant, Murphy Wednesday, May 1 • 4–6PM Wise Man Brewing, Winston-Salem Thursday, May 2 • 4–6PM FALL MIXERS Growler USA, Gastonia Wednesday, October 16 • 4–6PM Pitt Street Brewing Company, Greenville Wednesday, October 23 • 5–7PM Tobacco Road Sports Café, Raleigh Thursday, October 24 • 4–6PM

8  INSIGHT • February 2019





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The following NC REALTORSÂŽ have completed the full program and received their endorsement:

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Connie Corey Michele McCubbins Christina Asbury Sandra Hurst Brook Sparks Stephanie Walker

Carol Bradley Fred Gainey Kristina Farrell As of 2/25/19.

Homeownership. Private property owners’ rights. Productive regulation. That’s our charge.



t’s not often a REALTOR® member leaves the profession to work for the association which serves it. But last May, after fourteen years as a broker/owner in Chapel Hill, I sold my firm and joined NC REALTORS® to work on government affairs. This marks the first time I had worked for someone other than myself since 1995. Not unexpectedly, the decision has prompted many to ask why I made the move. Let me explain. For years I volunteered on NC REALTORS® Legislative Committee, serving three times as chair. When given the chance to work full time on issues which significantly affect our customers, clients and REALTORS®, I jumped at the opportunity. We can all recite what those issues are. As REALTORS®, we work to expand homeownership opportunity, bolster private property owners’ rights and foster productive regulation of our profession. But do we all truly understand why these are so fundamentally important? It’s instinctual for REALTORS® to appreciate homeownership. We see its impact on the faces of customers every day. A home is the nesting place of our lives. It provides a psychological and emotional sanctuary. It’s been described as a place “where our feet may leave but not our hearts.” A home serves as a vessel for our personal expression. We make our world within its walls. Over time, it reflects who we are. It is, as someone once remarked, our third skin. Beyond those personal benefits, a home also imparts more tangible value. Home equity is far and away the largest component of household wealth in our country. The security and stability of homeownership contribute to better health and greater achievement for families, especially children. Communities profit from higher levels of civic engagement from homeowners. Is it any wonder why we, as REALTORS®, strive to give as many people who want to own a home the option to buy one? Of course, homeownership wouldn’t be possible if people didn’t have the right to own private property. But the importance of private property owners’ rights extends much further. Private property owners’ rights are so integral to our way of life they can be traced all the way back to the Magna Carta— the birthplace of our liberty. Who owns the fruits of your labor? Who controls your life? For millennia, someone else did. A king, a dictator, an oppressive regime. That remains the case for many around the world today. But this is not true in America, where our freedom is preserved by the rule of law protecting our property rights.

We work. We create. We enjoy. What we own is our property, by right. Private property owners’ rights are also required for a free economy. Who would invest in a venture if it can be expropriated at the whim of another? Protecting these rights is the first step to economic vitality. As this principle has spread around the globe, hundreds of millions of lives have been lifted out of poverty. Conversely, look at the destitute nations today and they all have one thing in common—property is the province of the rulers, not the people. Moreover, private property owners’ rights underpin our other rights. We cannot enjoy freedom of speech if government can arbitrarily take the property of the press. Similarly, freedom of religion is smothered when places of worship aren’t safe from government confiscation. All our rights, property at the center of them, are inextricably tied together. At the conception of our nation, Thomas Jefferson memorialized its bedrock doctrine: life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness. It is not a coincidence that his phrase captures our principles. Without private property owners’ rights, we have no liberty and many choose to pursue happiness by exercising those rights through homeownership. As REALTORS®, let us not forget that what we work so hard to promote and defend are central to the way of life we are privileged and fortunate to enjoy. The last aspect of our government affairs work is to preserve our profession. While our Code of Ethics provides self-imposed regulation, the government's duty to protect the public prompts it to regulate us as well. Regulation, by definition, curtails freedom and too often can get out of hand. We strive to keep government rules focused on its worthy goal and away from unnecessary restriction on our worthy work. We want government regulation to be complementary, not constraining. Homeownership. Private property owners’ rights. Productive regulation. That’s our charge. I took this job to join a dedicated team which marshals the many resources you provide in defense and promotion of these critical issues. We work hard every day on behalf of you and those you serve. I can't think of anything I’d rather be doing. Thank you for the opportunity and thank you for the support you give NC REALTORS®. # ncrealtors.org • INSIGHT  11



Hall of Fame

$50,000 LEVEL Danny Brock Leigh Brown Tony Smith $25,000 LEVEL Hadri Atri Lou Baldwin Margaret Bishop Doug Brindley Maren BrissonKuester Ray Burton Andrea Bushnell Bob Carter Cindy Chandler Bradley Cohen Connie Corey Michael Davenport Asa Fleming Bill Gallagher Swayn Hamlet J. Alan Holden Tessa Hultz Tommy Lawing Tomp Litchfield Valerie Mitchener Sandra O’Connor Jerry Panz Scott Rooth Buddy Rudd Allen Tate Linda Trevor Cady Thomas Ronnie Thompson Stephanie Walker Patrice Willetts Mary Edna Williams Myra Zollinger

Platinum Rs In 2018, NC REALTORS® PAC raised $854,821, reaching 105 percent of our $815,200 goal. More than 12,010 members invested in the PAC, bringing our statewide participation to 29 percent. We also ended the year with 240 major investors, 34 President’s Circle members and 36 of the 48 local associations met or exceeded goal this year. The leadership and staff of NC REALTORS® greatly appreciate your voice, time and investments and would like to give a big “thank you” to each of you. Learn more at ncrealtors.org/invest. 12  INSIGHT • February 2019

Hadi Atri Maren BrissonKuester* Leigh Brown* Bradley Cohen* Asa Fleming* Valerie Mitchener Billy Shugart Tony Smith

Golden Rs

Douglas Brindley* *Indicates President's Circle members

Randall Blankenship* Andrea Bushnell* Brenda Carroll Cindy Chandler* Wade Corbett* Kim Dawson* David Deal Bill Gallagher* Bruce Gates* Jason Gentry Swayn Hamlet Tony Harrington* Wendy Harris* Tessa Hultz* Tiffany Johannes Phillip Johnson* Tommy Lawing* Tomp Litchfield John McPherson* Steven Norris* Sandra O’Connor* Buddy Rudd Renee Smith Cady Thomas* Leland Thomas* Linda Trevor* Stephanie Walker* Patrice Willetts* Mary Edna Williams Myra Zollinger*

Crystal Rs

Lee Allen Mary Burt Allen Brendan Bailey Lou Baldwin* Margaret Bishop Diana Braun Nancy Braun Shannon Brien Brett Bushnell Robert Carter Brooke Cashion* Clifton Cheek* Michael Davenport Anne Marie DeCatsye Crystal FranklinCopas Amy Hedgecock Christi Hill Dan Kingsbury Victoria Mitchener Eric Norman Joe Padilla

Emily Phipps* Elijah Pitman Teresa Pitt Robert Rabon Thomas Rempson Brooke Rudd-Gaglie Kourosh Sharifi Wilson Sherrill Elisabeth Shuey Joshua Tucker Cynthia Walsh Russell Wing Shaleen Young

Sterling Rs

Bill Aceto* Ray Alexander Eddie Alie Jim Allen Dawn Allred Chilon Anderson Marvette Artis* Edward Baesel Dennis Bailey Tema Barnes Michael Barr Chester Bartlett Kelly Benton Cub Berrian Linda Beverley Andrew Blackburn Beth Blevins Kirk Booth Deana Bowen Bo Bromhal Phyllis Brookshire Tanya Brown Rosemary Buerger Wendell Bullard Janice Carlisle Kathy Carpenter Randall Carson Jacob Cashion Dorothy Ciarrocchi Jamie Cooper Runa Cooper Mary Corbett Stephen Corbin Connie Corey David Costner Cirila Cothran Daniel Cottingham Diana Davis James Dawson

Melissa Dillon Charisma Dockery Smith Harriette Doggett Laurie Donofrio Rosemarie Doshier John Dowdy Ellie Edwards Anita Emery Kimberly Endre Timothy Ertzberger Bonzie Everson Treasure Faircloth Kristie Ferguson Regina Fie Margaret Fisher Danica Fletcher Peter Frandano Susan Franks Jennifer Frontera Amy Gamble Melanie Gates Thomas Gongaware James Goodman Heather Gool Kevin Green Lewis Grubbs Kathy Haines Mary Halter W. Neal Hanks Donald Harris Chanel Hart D’Aprix Joseph Hartsell Leasa Haselden Zanthia Hastings Cindi Hastings Brenda Hayden John Head Stacy Hiers Renee Hillman Wanda Holsclaw Davis Holt Diane Honeycutt Bruce Hubbard Ruth Hudspeth Tony Jarrett Regina Jenkins Charles Jetton Larry Johnson Angela Kalamaras Willo Kelly David Kennedy Deborah Key Amber King

Dolores Knudsen Julie Kohlenberg Tache Scott Korbin Jemmy Kreller Marcus Larose Laurie Linder James Lipscomb Stephen Long Lolita Malave Kelly Marks Pamelia Matthews Sandra McAlpine Tim McBrayer Jonathan McBride James McCook Paul McGill Gina Miller Frances Miller Jamie Moss-Godfrey* Elizabeth Motsinger Rob Nanfelt Kristin Nash Christina Norman Chet Oehme John Ogburn Nicole Orringer Mollie Owen Denise Pagano Mark Parker Darryl Peebles Marlene Peeler Daryl Pendry Jean-Paul Peron Laurie A. Phillips Katherine J Pierce Todd Pierceall Erika Pitman Nicole Rafferty Michael Regan John Register Ward Ricke Catherine Robertson Raymond Ruais Ea Ruth Tracy Santrock James Sherrill Allen Smith Tom Smith Cassandra Snyder Kristi Snyder Margaret Sophie Jennifer Spencer Dorothy Stark

April Stephens Glenn Strickland Ben Styers Jeffrey Sweyer Ida Terbet Grady Thomas Caitlin Thompson Heather Thompson James Townsend Kathleen Turner Stephen Votino Ryan Wall Donald Walston David West Kristina White* Leslie Williams Bruce Williams John Wood Scott Wurtzbacher David Zeitz Mark Zimmerman

Corporate Major Investors

NC REALTORS®, Platinum R Raleigh Regional Association of REALTORS®, Platinum R Land of the Sky Association of REALTORS®, Crystal R Investments made through the NAR PAF or CAP programs.

#InvestforImpact in 2019 ncrealtors.org/invest Contributions to RPAC are not deductible for federal or state income tax purposes. Contributions are voluntary and are used for political purposes. Suggested amounts are merely guidelines and you may contribute more or less than the suggested amounts. The National Association of REALTORS® and its state and local associations will not favor or disadvantage any member because of the amount contributed or a decision not to contribute. You may refuse to contribute without reprisal. Your contribution is split between National RPAC and the State PAC in your state. NC RPAC supports the efforts of National RPAC and contributes a portion of its contributions to National RPAC. Contact your State Association or PAC for information about the percentages of your contribution provided to National RPAC and to the State PAC. The National RPAC portion is used to support federal candidates and is charged against your limits under 52 U.S.C. 30116. In-kind contributions/donations are not included for the purposes of the National RPAC State PAC split. 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 can only be accepted from individuals in the form of personal checks or credit cards. Contributions from corporations or business entities cannot be accepted. This solicitation was paid for by NC RPAC.

ncrealtors.org • INSIGHT  13

14  INSIGHT • February 2019


eet 2019 NC REALTORS® President Asa Fleming. Born in New Haven, Connecticut, Asa lived in New York City and went to high school in Wilson, N.C. After graduating from NC State University, Asa returned to New York City, where he began his real estate career. Eventually finding his way back to North Carolina, Asa currently lives in Raleigh with his wife, Tangie, two children, Deuce (Asa II) and Alexis, and their dog, Holly. With over 20 years of experience in the real estate industry, Asa has been on quite the journey to becoming the passionate leader he is today. He is a Raleigh Regional Association of REALTORS® past president and was named the local association’s REALTOR® of the Year in 2016. He credits his strong leadership qualities to the impact of his family. "My parents have been a vital influence in my life. They have taught me how to be patient and trust a higher power to light my path in life." As the incoming president of NC REALTORS®, Asa is looking forward to collaborating with epic NC REALTORS® who have the backs of their clients, community and industry. “I have learned from the excellent examples of past leadership that volunteerism is what makes our association effective,” he said. Other initiatives Asa has on his agenda are boosting RPAC investments through the Young Professionals Network (YPN), diversifying leadership across the state and increasing our exposure at the national level. Insight caught up with Asa in between his busy life as NC REALTORS® president, entrepreneur, volunteer, husband and father to get to know him a little better. Here’s what he had to say:

GETTING TO KNOW ASA What are your hobbies or favorite pastime? I love to travel, spend time with my family, read and play chess. What is your favorite app or technology device? I love watching YouTube on my phone. It is so nice to have so much information right at my fingertips. I love perusing Realtor.com as well as playing chess on it, too. What about Podcasts, TV Series or Books? Any favorites? I love Audible. My favorite books are “It Works,” “The 12 Week Year” and “The Power of Your Subconscious Mind.” Why real estate? I chose real estate as a profession because I wanted to make my own way in life, and help people find shelter for themselves and family. I also wanted to educate others on the importance of owning a home in America. Tell our readers about your current company? I work with Allen Tate REALTORS® and love their slogan “We are Home.” The leadership as well as the fantastic REALTORS® there have treated me like family and have been very supportive. I appreciate them giving me the opportunity to conduct business with their company. ncrealtors.org • INSIGHT  15

Our association slogan, “Be Epic. Be an NC REALTOR®,” emphasizes the super-human qualities that make NC REALTORS® so epic. Like superheros! What would your REALTOR® superpower be? Our association slogan is a true depiction of what being a REALTOR® is all about. REALTORS® advocate for their clients, community, industry and each other. They care about educating the consumer, and protecting the right to own private property. Going above and beyond is a characteristic of a REALTOR®. The commitment and dedication is tremendous and is an example for other industries to follow. And, my superhero power would be the “Advocator”. Any other key notes about your life or career? I am always seeking to give back and increase my awareness. I'm vice chair for Southeast Raleigh Promise, an organization that believes in the promise of the people of Southeast Raleigh and works with other partnerships to enhance the quality of life in Southeast Raleigh. I'm a founding board member and treasurer of Central Wake High School, a charter school that focuses on dropout prevention and gives students a second chance. I serve on the board of The Carying Place, which is a nonprofit that help homeless people learn how to manage their finances and secure housing. I also serve on the Wake County Planning Board.

LEADERSHIP AND PRESIDENCY What is one characteristic you think every leader should possess? Emotional intelligence is a must if you are a leader. Having the ability to control and direct feelings and emotions to ensure the best outcome and results is key. Is there any memorable leadership advice that you’ve received in the past and want to pass along today? You can only keep what you give away. Give first before you receive, and do not think about receiving. You have to breathe out to breathe in to stay alive. Tell us more about why you chose the slogan “NC REALTORS® Has Your Back”: It is a play on words in that the association supports REALTORS®, and the REALTORS® have their clients' backs as well as their community and industry. It serves as an acronym as well: Building on the past leaders of the association; Advocating in the present for property ownership, private property rights and our industry; Creating a future with a multitude of diverse engagement and ideas, will be the Key to our success. Now that you are president, what kinds of opportunities do you find promising and which do you wish more NC REALTORS® knew about or would help support? I would love to engage diverse

groups to lead our association into the future and to help influence the public policies we advocate for at the General Assembly. I also want to increase participation in RPAC by educating as many REALTORS® as possible on the importance of investing in their business. Is there an obstacle or problem that you find REALTORS® facing today that you’d like to work towards overcoming during your tenure as president? We as REALTORS® must redefine and reshape our value proposition. With the advent of technology in our industry, as well as the various new business models entering the marketplace, we must ensure that the value of having a professional involved in the transaction, operating under a specific code of ethics, is not overlooked. Not sure if this will be done during my tenure but will definitely be helped along. Any other thoughts for our members/readers? Thank you to all members and affiliates for the opportunity to serve this association at this level. Let’s have a fantastic and extraordinary year. We need your input and ideas to flourish and prosper. Remember, NC REALTORS® has your back! #

Asa on Podcast & Video

This year, Asa is traveling the state to highlight epic NC REALTORS® who have your back. In our first episode, he visited the Triad to learn how Housing Consultants Group founder Sofia Crisp supports the Greensboro and High Point communities. Crisp is a REALTOR® of 25 years who is passionate about providing education for first-time home buyers and assisting those through disaster relief. Catch the interview on YouTube or listen via the NC REALTORS® REdefined podcast on Apple Podcasts or Google Play.

16  INSIGHT • February 2019

A focused discussion on the opportunities and challenges facing the state’s housing industry.

APRIL 11 & 12, 2019

Join thought leaders from across North Carolina and nationally recognized experts for a conversation on the opportunities and challenges facing our state now and into the future. The inaugural NC REALTORS® State of Real Estate is a can’t miss event. Bringing together public and private sectors, REALTORS® and consumers, influencers and regulators, and visionaries and implementers, this year’s forum is designed to examine the state’s housing industry.




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Center at the Urban Institute

Builders Association

ncrealtors.org • INSIGHT  17 REGISTER TODAY AT STATEOFREALESTATENC.COM // #stateofrealestate #stateofRE

VIRTUAL REALITY Changing the Way We Look at Real Estate BY: NOAH CORBETT


f you have seen or followed headlines about Facebook, Microsoft or Google in the last five years, it’s likely that you’ve come across something regarding virtual reality. Even if you aren’t a regular reader of the news, it’s possible that you might have seen the technology without recognizing it. But, what is virtual reality, exactly? Immersive Virtual Reality (VR) uses sensory aids to transport you to another, virtual world. VR headsets are equipped with screens, and often have headphones to immerse you into the world. Sometimes, gloves or chest harnesses are integrated into the experience to mimic weight, textures and impacts. Think about it as if, when you put on the headset and gloves, you are instantly placed in the center of your favorite movie. You can interact with, touch, see and hear the other characters in the scene. Many of the technologies that have come out in recent years for VR have been slated towards entertainment or playing games; however, there are many promising and practical applications of virtual reality coming to light now in a number of different industries including 18  INSIGHT • February 2019

real estate. The barrier to entry—it’s price—has been lowering and it’s more affordable than ever to begin looking at VR as yet another tool in your belt as a REALTOR®. Provided that the statistic “one in three home buyers never step foot in a property before buying” holds, then virtual reality technologies are ideally situated to bridge that gap, and in doing, so may also boost your marketing efforts and attract new clients.

Virtual Property Showcasing Property photos have been a crucial part of real estate marketing for decades, but thanks to VR and other advances in technology, we are no longer restricted to just two dimensions. “We would like to see VR replace still photography in the future,” says AerialLook CEO Robert Koenkamp. “Why look at real estate when you can experience it?” With the help from companies like Matterport, GeoCV and NC REALTORS® partner AerialLook, REALTORS® can promote online listings and allow clients to experience properties through three-dimensional,

guided walkthroughs either at the click of a button or through a headset. Take Laurie Weston Davis for example. A REALTOR® at Better Homes and Gardens Real Estate Lifestyle Property Partners in Pinehurst, Davis serves many military families—clients who are often partially overseas and aren’t available to check out properties in person. Virtual reality, specifically 3D tours, have enabled her to move past those obstacles. Not only has it helped to showcase homes to clients abroad, but it also helps them “narrow their focus, rule out issues [or] things they don’t like in various houses and save time.” Virtual walkthroughs, she finds, are particularly important for midrange and lower-end homes because

Think About This According to REA Group, buyers were 60 percent more likely to email an agent, and 95 percent more likely to call an agent after viewing a property with a 3D walkthrough. Redfin states that homes sell on average 10 days faster and for $50,100 more than comparable homes if they have a virtual walkthrough with the listing.

homebuyers of higher-end homes often have the means and desire to travel to and see them in person.

Virtual Staging Moving beyond virtual showcasing, virtual staging, when integrated with VR, is becoming a popular alternative to traditional house staging. Open houses and tours are a great way to explore a property but also pose some challenges. Clients are forced to look beyond the current owner’s furniture or empty rooms, and staging can require a hefty investment. Today, with the help of companies like roOomy, REALTORS® can market a staged property with comparatively

little investment. RoOomy currently offers over 100,000 furniture and household items in their virtual catalog, so clients can choose pieces of furniture that might look similar to the ones they already own. Then, view the furnished room on a computer screen, or by utilizing a VR and roOomy's new app, step into the room and look around.

Privacy Concerns It may be apparent at this point that virtual reality has permeated the real estate industry and its proliferation will continue in the future. Davis is a prominent supporter of new technology and its applications in real estate, and she finds that virtual walkthroughs are

Over 81 percent of buyers find it “easier to visualize the property as their future home” when it’s staged, according to the National Association of REALTORS®.

“no longer a perk of a house listing but a necessity to stay ahead.” But, she also cautioned the need to be considerate of your clients. “You have to make sure there’s nothing visible in the home that’s personal [or] has any sort of personal information about the client,” says Davis. Unlike with photos where you may only get one perspective of a room ncrealtors.org • INSIGHT  19

According to Goldman Sachs, by 2025 the industry around VR will be worth $80 billion and it’s projected that VR applications in real estate will be worth $2.6 billion alone.


Robert Koenekamp Chief Executive Officer AerialLook

Laurie Weston Davis CEO/Broker/Principle Better Homes and Gardens Real Estate Lifestyle Property Partners

from a distance, a virtual walkthrough is significantly more personal and can expose the kinds of things a client may not want the world to see. “If you see tax information, for example, on their refrigerator, you can literally ‘walk’ over to it and see it.”

Costs In recent years, the access to virtual reality has increased dramatically in no small part to the distribution of relatively inexpensive headsets that use your phone to enable your VR experience. Unfortunately, that doesn’t mean that the price for the hardware used to create VR experiences and 3D walkthroughs has decreased in that 20  INSIGHT • February 2019

same time. As of today, the price for a Matterport camera hasn’t changed for years. Plus, you’re locked into image hosting which costs between $500 and $1,500 per year. To skirt this particular cost, a number of brokerages hire professionals, like AerialLook, to shoot virtual tours for them which can sometimes afford them extra perks or a more complete package (drone footage, still photos, etc.). But again, that may not be particularly affordable, either. GeoCV is still beta testing right now, but they provide a different approach to 3D walkthroughs and virtual tours. Instead of using expensive cameras and hosting services, GeoCV relies on your phone, provided it can shoot 3D photos.

This model costs much less upfront and gives the REALTOR® the ability to shoot the virtual walkthrough themselves. “[VR has] never been more affordable. Users can access VR from their mobile phones and inexpensive headsets,” says Koenekamp. And, as VR has developed, “we have been able to reduce the overall cost of implementing VR by increasing the [number of] VR tours we produce.” In other words, even if you can’t reasonably afford virtual reality technology today, in the future, the price will continue to drop and become more affordable to everyone.

Technology Changes Koenekamp is optimistic about the future of VR in real estate, and he has

Learn more about AerialLook and the REALTOR® Partners Program at ncrealtors.org/save.

walking through a house itself, and not just jumping from one camera location to the next, which is what the technology is limited to today. The prospect of future advancement, and the founding of competitors to companies like Matterport, just goes to show that this business sector is still emerging. Therefore, when the price goes down and new competitors enter the market, VR in real estate has a strong and healthy future.

The Future for the REALTOR®

Best VR Headsets BEST OVERALL Oculus Rift | $350-400 MOST IMMERSIVE HTC Vive | $500 BEST MOBILE VR Samsung Gear VR | $70-120 BEST FROM GOOGLE Daydream View | $50-100 BEST UNDER $45 Pansonite 3D VR Glasses | $33

reason to be. The rate of development for VR and like-technologies is increasing, and many of the ideas once thought improbable are likely only a few years away. Historically, there were no significant individual hardware or software improvements in the VR space between the 1960s and 2012, but since 2012 there has been an explosion of innovation. Advancements in VR, both software and hardware, are significant enough that there’s now a multibillion-dollar industry surrounding its development. Matterport and AerialLook are just two examples. Given the potential future for the technology, it’s not unreasonable to presume that it might be possible to explore a virtual walkthrough as if you were actually

A developer (currently working on Oculus’ Bigscreen VR) is working on the ability to have a virtual representation of yourself present in a 3D space. So, for example, if you were to take this technology and apply it to a virtual walkthrough, both the REALTOR® and the client could interact with one another, just like a traditional walkthrough, but with the added benefit of being able to do it from anywhere in the world. This potential improvement has significant implications for REALTORS® because you can keep existing business while subsequently growing your online and outside of local clientele. Fundamentally there are a few things to take away from all of the information above. Virtual reality technology has arrived on a cultural and consumer level and will likely not disappear in any significant way soon. It’s also more affordable than ever to get into the VR space. Keep an eye on this technology as it matures over the forthcoming years. Finally, VR technology is not something to shy away from. The experiences you get now with VR will only get better with time, and it seems like a multi-billion-dollar industry in real estate has real promise to change how REALTORS® do business. # ncrealtors.org • INSIGHT  21

22  INSIGHT • February 2019

HURRICANE FLORENCE Stories of Hope, Service and Support

For the second time in one year, the NC REALTORS® Housing Foundation was called into action to undertake a significant assistance effort after a natural disaster. More than double the amount set aside for previous mortgage and rental assistance efforts, the foundation’s Hurricane Florence effort has aided 830 North Carolinian families with more than $800,000 in direct relief aid. Since the disaster, we reached out to a number of our members and volunteers who were affected by the storm. These are their stories.

From The News & Observer. © 2018 McClatchy. All rights reserved. Used under license.

ncrealtors.org • INSIGHT  23

HURRICANE FLORENCE At 9 a.m. on September 10, 2018 after serving only six months as CEO of the Outer Banks Association of REALTORS®, Willo Kelly activated the association’s crisis management plan as reports of Hurricane Florence brought the path of the devastating hurricane over the Outer Banks of North Carolina. “There was an eerie quiet that settled over the staff as hurricane shutters were lowered, valuable items were stored, videos of the building were taken and a National Flood Insurance press release was issued to residents of the barrier islands.” Kelly continued, “We left in tears because we had no idea what would happen over the next few days—to our homes, our community and our office.” Thankfully, the area was spared, "but suddenly tourists quit coming to the Outer Banks and completely abandoning their deposits because the nation thought we had been destroyed along with New Bern and Wilmington. Our property management companies reported noticeable losses during our ‘shoulder season’.” Earlier in the summer, the Outer Banks had already been hit with record rainfall. Even though the area was spared the devastation that Hurricane Florence brought to many areas of North Carolina, the remnants of Hurricane Michael caused sound side flooding one month later. In spite of that, the Outer Banks Association of REALTORS® held a very successful blood drive in December in response to earlier drive cancellations caused by Hurricanes Florence and Michael. It was co-sponsored with a local church and was recognized as the No. 1 drive for donations in our region and second best nationwide. Immediately after the hurricanes, we had members drive to New Bern and Wilmington to gut houses and deliver canned goods. They really stepped up and made a difference. Leah Holmes for Willo Kelly Outer Banks Although I am thankful my home was not destroyed by Hurricane Florence, it was undoubtedly a close call. If the 24  INSIGHT • February 2019

tree that fell on my house landed a couple of feet one way or the other, it would have likely been catastrophic. The huge limbs helped the blow from this multi-trunk water oak when the branches hit the ground. However, it still caused incredible destruction including three large holes and rafter damage that left the attic exposed to the rain for several days before I could safely access the property. Due to the sheer size of the tree, it took two crane trucks and $8,500 to remove it off the house. The water intrusion and subsequent damages generated an additional $50,000 in repairs. Although I was well insured, I learned several lessons. Because the tree hit the house and caused damage, the removal of the tree was insured, but other fallen trees and stump removal were not covered. The flooding in the basement was also not covered because I didn't have flood insurance (not in a flood zone). Building costs and contractors, particularly reputable ones, are much more expensive than the insurance companies estimate. Therefore, I had to get multiple estimates and forward them to the adjuster, wait for them to review and constantly follow up which is not only frustrating, but incredibly time-consuming as well. Thankfully, my REALTOR® family assisted me with $1,500, which was a blessing when you are already out of pocket more than $12,000. Patrick Doherty Cape Fear REALTORS® My account of the recent Florence Hurricane was nothing like I've ever experienced before. I remember how very quiet it was around here [in Southport, N.C.]. Like being in a ghost town. We were told to evacuate, [but] I could not afford to leave my home. Money was very tight, so I bunkered down in my closet. It was very frightening. I should not have stayed, but I didn't know what else to do at the time. Even though the damage to my home was minimal in comparison to others that were affected by the

hurricane, I was without power for three days and without water for two days. I'm forever grateful for the assistance and the professionalism portrayed by Nicole Arnold and her staff at NC REALTORS®. What a blessing to have been a recipient of the disaster relief grant so I could pay one month’s mortgage. Gail Clements Brunswick County I was fortunate that my area [Clayton N.C.] was not impacted by the hurricanes this fall. Personally, I have never experienced anything more than a short power outage and a small pine tree on the house. However, it’s nerve wracking to prepare for the unknown during these storms and such a relief once the storm passes and you’ve been spared. I was happy to get the opportunity to do what I could to help the victims by volunteering with the NC REALTORS® Housing Foundation. Initially, I was assigned to call relief applicants and answer questions regarding the process. It was very sad to hear about the devastation they experienced. They sounded hopeful, but at the same time a little skeptical that we’d be able to help. A few weeks later I was assigned to call dozens of relief applicants and let them know their checks for full mortgage payments were on the way. More than two months had passed between the storm and these calls, but every single person I spoke with was almost moved to tears because they were so thankful. I said to one lady “I’m sorry it took so long, but we’ve been working diligently through the long list. Hopefully you’re getting back to normal by now.” She said, “actually I’m still living in a hotel—the repairs haven’t even started on my home yet!” I know those relief checks made a huge impact on these people’s lives. What a truly humbling experience. I am so happy to have the opportunity to be a part of the relief efforts, even in such a small way. Angelina Corro Raleigh Regional

From The News & Observer. © 2018 McClatchy. All rights reserved. Used under license.

In April of 2018, the Housing Foundation anticipated that the tornado would not be the foundation’s last natural disaster assistance program, but to have that prediction proven so quickly was something we weren’t expecting. However, it has reinstalled our appreciation for the volunteers that have spent countless hours helping people around them, and redoubled our dedication to the Housing Foundation’s vision: REALTORS® are the voice of community strength. When REALTORS® come together, housing victims can regain their hope and their home. NC REALTORS® should take pride in their public example of endurance and compassion in the face of nature’s wrath. To learn more about disaster relief and the Housing Foundation, visit ncrealtorshf.org.

Thank you, volunteers Elaine Anderson Marvette Artis Bob Bates Jen Bell Kelly Benton Olita Boone Jennifer Brown Nancy Brown Edie Caudill Jane Cavanagh Gail Clements Jamie Cooper Angelina Corroo Sofia Crisp Coleen Curtis Diana Davis Genetta Gray Wendy Harris

Deb Hays Mark Lindsey Heather Moore Robin Morgan Sandra O'Connor Amanda Parmer Shashi Patel Jennifer Pennell Teresa Pitt Ruby Smith Kathy Trimble Tammy Troop Jody Wainio Rosemary Waters Patrice Willetts Resea Willis Kathy Wood Alec Wren

ncrealtors.org • INSIGHT  25


Where Leaders Become Legends

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Insight | February 2019  

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