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VOL 95 NO 2 | MAY 2016


Tips on how to work through real estate's most pressing obstacles.


2016 Homes4NC President Heather Bowers Cross



NAVICA Products & Services • Your Partner For Success

May 2016


features 8 5 Top Industry Challenges Solved

COVER: A look at some of the most pressing obstacles

in today’s market and tips on how to work through them.

14 Culture Eats Strategy for Lunch

BROKERS: Invest at least as much time in your company

culture as you do your strategy.

16 Tips for Getting Better Results from Facebook Ads

TECH TOOLS: Learn how to promote your real estate


business with Facebook advertising.

Leadership Academy Class of 2016


16 21 2015 Innovation Grant

26 NC RPAC Help Us Reach President's Cup

22 COMMERCIAL National Becomes Local

27 THE ALLIANCE NC REALTORS® Hold Key to Alliance Success



10 Millennial Affordability Challenges from the Banking Perspective

29 FORMS GUY Curtis Crushes True-False Test



2016 Homes4NC President Heather Bowers Cross

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



As REALTORS®, we take great pride in our state’s economic growth which is so closely intertwined with the housing industry. And so far, 2016 has greeted us with strong momentum. According to a recent report from the National Association of REALTORS®, 75 percent of Americans believe that now is a good time to buy a house. Higher rent costs, lower interest rates, more stabilized home prices and clearer mortgage terms are all factors making this spring a great time to be in real estate. And, our association is continuing to experience similar momentum. We are now over 35,000-members strong! As our powerhouse presence grows across the state, our association strives to evolve and adapt to members’ needs and an increasingly changing environment. It’s important that we elevate awareness of our positive, professional image as REALTORS®. Beginning this year, you’ll notice the introduction of an updated version of our association name, NC REALTORS®. We’re not altogether dropping “Association of,” but we will be integrating the usage of NC REALTORS® in most places. Why the change? We think NC REALTORS® sounds more modern and relatable. We want our members (you) and our consumers (clients, neighbors and community partners) to view us as people. It’s who we are and we think it’s the smart move. In the last issue of Insight, we gave you a peak into our new consumer awareness campaign: “NC REALTORS®: The Smart Move.” This is all part of a bigger push to brand ourselves as advocates, partners, advisors and neighbors. And while we’re on the topic of smart moves, I encourage you to mark your calendars to join us for the NC REALTORS® Legislative Meetings in Raleigh this June. It is critical that we reinforce the REALTOR® message to legislators and influencers across our state. Legislative Day gives us the opportunity to do just that — to walk the halls and speak to our elected officials about topics of importance to real estate, our communities and our livelihoods. As I’ve traveled around the state over the past few months, I’ve been humbled by the warm greetings from our membership. I’ve heard your stories and been a witness to many of your successes and celebrations. Throughout these adventures, you’ve reminded me why I’m so Proud to be a North Carolina REALTOR®. Thank you.

Insight Magazine, Volume 95, Issue 2 President Kim Dawson

Treasurer Kelly Marks

President-Elect Treasure Faircloth

Immediate Past President Tony Smith

REGIONAL VICE PRESIDENTS Region 1: Kathy Perry, Emerald Isle; Region 2: Deb Hays, Wilmington; Region 3: Bruce Gates, Goldsboro; Region 4: Brett Bushnell, Chapel Hill; Region 5: Lolita Malave, Greensboro; Region 6: Phil Rector, Pfafftown; Region 7: David Pierceall, Gastonia; Region 8: David DeSilva, Leslie Fisher, Charlotte; Region 9: David Wall, Asheville; Region 10: Linda Trevor, Asa Fleming, Raleigh; At-Large: Sandra O’Connor, Greensboro. Chief Executive Officer Andrea Bushnell Editor Blair Wilburn Assistant Editor/Designer Mckenzie Allen Contributors Nicole Arnold Katie Lance Mike Landes Larry Kendall

Will Martin Bridget McCrea Kristin Nash Seth Palmer

For Advertising information, contact Mike Buescher at 336-808-4229 or mbuescher@ncrealtors.org. INSIGHT (ISSN 24714127) (USPS 17170) is published four times a year in February, May, August, and November by the North Carolina Association of 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. Their contents are the opinions of the authors alone and do not necessarily represent those of the North Carolina Association of REALTORS®. Advertising of a product or service does not imply endorsement, unless specifically stated.

Kim Dawson 2016 President

To opt-out of paper copy mailings, email ncar@ncrealtors.org with a subject line of “Insight opt-out.”

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


4  INSIGHT • May 2016


the scene INAUGURAL



The amount some couples have borrowed in educational loans for their millennial children. (pg 11)


The percentage of your Facebook ad image that can include text. (pg 16)

2 6


The number of local associations who received the 2015 Innovation Grant. (pg 21)





In January, NC REALTORS® gathered in Durham at the Washington Duke Inn to celebrate the formal installation of Kim Dawson as the state association’s 2016 president. Here are a few highlights: 1) 2016 President Kim Dawson stands with her husband Jim as she is sworn in by REALTOR® Ace Robbins. 2) REALTORS® Geena Fie, Champ Claris, Maren Brisson-Kuester, John Ogburn and Zanthia Hastings enjoyed dancing at the Gala. 3) Dawson and NC REALTORS® CEO Andrea Bushnell stop for a quick photo after the installation ceremony. 4) REALTORS® Kathy Olsen, Stephanie Walker, Kirk Booth, Deborah MacKie and Wade Corbett pose for a quick photo at the President's Reception. 5) Dawson hugs REALTOR® Sandra O'Connor during reception festivities. 6) Dawson presents the NC REALTOR® audience with her "Proud to be an NC REALTOR®" mission. Photos by Robin Cooper Photography and NC REALTORS® staff.

Text "NC REALTORS" to this number to begin receiving text notices of CFAs through the REALTOR® Party Mobile Alert program. (pg 23)


The number of NC RPAC Major Investors needed to reach President's Cup in 2016. (pg 26) ncrealtors.org • INSIGHT  5


[SOMETHING TO TALK ABOUT] May 9-14 REALTORS® Legislative Meetings & Trade Expo Washington, DC

May 11 Webinar Wednesday: America's Preferred Home Warranty


Join Gold Sponsor America's Preferred Home Warranty as they discuss what home warranties are, how they work and how you can grow your business by using them.

Register at www.ncrealtors.org

Jun. 8 Webinar Wednesday: NC REALTOR® Advocacy Hear more about the NC REALTORS® legislative agenda and how our team of lobbyists work to protect you, your clients and your business.

Register at www.ncrealtors.org

Jun. 20-22

May 19 GRI: Business Planning High Country

Jul. 26 GRI: Business Planning Lexington/Davidson County

May 20 GRI: Technology Tools & Resources High Country

Aug. 16 GRI: Business Planning Mountain Lakes

May 25 GRI: ABC’s of Financing Charlotte Regional

Learn more at www.ncrealtors.org

Aug. 24 GRI: Balancing Business Risks & Ethics Catawba Valley

Jun. 8 GRI: ABC’s of Financing Outer Banks

2016 NC REALTOR® Legislative Meetings

Sheraton Raleigh Hotel Attend the 2016 NC REALTORS® Legislative Meetings, and specifically Legislative Day on June 22, when we visit legislators and discuss issues significant to REALTORS®.

Aug. 23 GRI: Technology Tools & Resources Raleigh Regional



DID YOU KNOW? REALTORS® with a GRI earn about two times more than those without. The GRI can help YOU! Learn more and register for classes at www.ncrealtors.org/gri.




6  INSIGHT • May 2016

JOIN US IN SHARING YOUR SMART MOVE STORY. Whether a client is a first-time homebuyer or downsizing empty nester, working with an NC REALTOR® is “The Smart Move.” Whether a business owner is opening her first bakery or expanding a Fortune 500 company, working with an NC REALTOR® is “The Smart Move.” Regardless of the real estate venture, NC REALTORS® have the professionalism, passion and know-how to help their clients make the best next step, whatever that step may be. So we’re starting the Smart Movement with an exciting contest. We want to hear how using an NC REALTOR® has been a smart move for your clients. Be on the lookout for an email with details on how to enter the contest. We hope you’ll join us in sharing your smart move story.


industr y


A look at some of the most pressing obstacles that agents and brokers are dealing with in today’s market and tips on how to work through them. BY BRIDGET MCCREA


n its most recent REALTORS® Confidence Index, the National Association of REALTORS® pinpointed the new mortgage disclosure rules, difficulty obtaining condo financing, tight housing inventories, credit requirements and appraisal issues (namely late and low evaluations) as its members’ top concerns heading into 2016. As markets throughout North Carolina continue to see higher sales and rising property values, issues like affordability and accessible financing come into play. Concurrently, agents are also having to choose from a larger pool of online and offline marketing methods — not all of which are paying off — and 8  INSIGHT • May 2016

otherwise ensuring that every dollar is being spent wisely. To help agents and brokers work through these issues, Insight spoke with two real estate coaches and one North Carolina REALTOR® who are out on the front lines dealing with these issues. They shared their top five concerns and some advice on how to work through these problems. Navigating a difficult 1. lending environment. “The mortgage lending process has been brutal and it’s getting worse by the minute,” says Lisa Jackson, broker at Nest Realty Inc., in Asheville. Helping clients understand the value of improving their creditworthiness, saving for

a down payment, getting pre-approved and responsibly managing their current debt and finances is an ongoing struggle for agents nationwide right now. And while they may not be mortgage brokers or lenders, a growing number of agents are finding themselves involved in this aspect of the home-buying process. “I try to keep up to speed on all of the new requirements and regulations impacting the lending environment, so that I can help make the experience as smooth as possible for my buyers,” says Jackson, who sees the documentation and underwriting processes as the most challenging areas. To help, she makes

up checklists (i.e., key steps to getting pre-approved or tips for self-employed applicants) and shares them with her clients. She also preps them in advance for a potentially long and prying underwriting process. “I just had a client from Florida who was still being asked for more documentation on the day of the closing,” says Jackson. “That’s getting to be a pretty common occurrence.” Not maximizing past 2. clients and referrals as sources of new business. There’s a plethora of places where agents and brokers can spend marketing dollars


Broker, Nest Realty Inc. Asheville

referrals — two categories that don’t always get the attention that they deserve. Agents work their tails off to ensure a great home-buying or home-selling experience for their clients, yet few of them use a thorough follow-up plan to keep in contact with their past clients. “Allocate 30 minutes a day to call past clients and say, ‘Hello, how is the family?’” says Mills. “Then say, ‘Don’t forget that if you have any friends, family or co-workers who have any real estate needs, have them give me a call and I will make sure they have the same great experience you had.’” Getting buyers 3. to act quickly. The most marketable homes

right now — both online and offline. Figuring out the best approach has become more challenging in recent years, according to Bubba Mills, CEO of Corcoran Consulting and Coaching Inc., in Chicago. Past clients, referrals, online lead generation, social media, walkins and sign calls populate the bulk of the average agent’s new business pipeline, Mills says. The best strategy is to calculate the percentage of business that each of those categories brings in every month. Then, put more effort into past clients and

in Asheville and other parts of the state are selling pretty quickly right now. That trend is putting pressure on agents like Jackson, whose buyers aren’t always ready to pull the trigger quickly enough. “Desirable properties are selling quickly and out-ofstate buyers don’t always understand that that they have to make fast decisions if they want a particular home,” says Jackson. “It can be pretty daunting to find out that you have to make a buying decision same-day or risk losing out.” To help, Jackson spends a lot of time educating buyers on the current market dynamics and serves as the “eyes and

“It’s not easy telling someone that they have to be ready to spend hundreds of thousands of dollars at a moment’s notice, but I work through that by educating my buyers and building trusting relationships with them.”

ears” for out-of-state buyers who may not even get to see the home in person before making an offer. “It’s not easy telling someone that they have to be ready to spend hundreds of thousands of dollars at a moment’s notice,” says Jackson, “but I work through that by educating my buyers and building trusting relationships with them.”

this problem,” says Sanford, “brokers needs to develop a system that brings the top agents into the training and recruiting business.” your 5. Prioritizing time for maximum effectiveness.

more top 4. Getting producers to train new agents. For its 2015 report on industry challenges, NAR solicited input from members, some of whom complained about working in a field that’s “saddled with a large number of part-time, untrained and/ or incompetent agents.” On the brokerage side, Walter Sanford, president of Sanford Systems in Kankakee, Ill., credits a lack of top producers to train “green” agents as one of the main culprits. “Many times, the agent that was ‘average’ in production but great at the process is groomed to be a training manager,” says Sanford. There are broker/owners and top producers in the office that do not have the time or motivation to train. To fill those gaps, managers are often tasked with the role. As a result, agents don’t receive the “super star” training that their predecessors may have been privy to. “To solve

Jackson loves her work, but she also realizes that operating in a 24/7/365 environment can take its toll on her personal life. To avoid this trap, she organizes her schedule in a way that allows her to interact with her nationwide client base without sacrificing too much sleep or family time. For the last two years, she’s had an administrative assistant who answers calls, manages paperwork and takes care of other tasks on short notice. “As a buyer’s agent, I have to basically be on call from nine to five, plus extra hours for my West Coast clients,” says Jackson, who regularly receives emails at 11 p.m. from buyers located in California. She monitors email until at least midnight and works from anywhere, as needed. “I can’t tell you how many deals I’ve negotiated while mountain biking in the national forest,” she says, laughing. “I enjoy being there for my clients and communication is top priority for me, so I’ve learned how to combine my personal life and work life in a way that allows me to do both.”

ncrealtors.org • INSIGHT  9

Those REALTORS® willing to provide a lot more conversation, partnering and specialization will be the ones who break down the barriers to the millennial client.


Millennial Affordability Challenges from the Banking Perspective Community Outreach Director Nicole Arnold sat down with 2016 Homes4NC President Heather Bowers Cross and discussed homeownership rates and economic challenges in North Carolina. BY NICOLE ARNOLD, COMMUNITY OUTREACH DIRECTOR

10  INSIGHT • May 2016

The US Census just released data warning that homeownership levels are at their lowest in about 40 years. In fourth quarter 2015, 63.8 percent of Americans owned their homes. As a banker, are you concerned about the drop in ownership rates? Yes, the value of a home is of fundamental importance to the economy. I'm concerned about this as a banker, but also as an American. It does not feel like there’s been an uptick in our economy. The Triad market has been flat in its recovery, and we are not alone in the state. When people aren’t buying homes, it tells the world, “We aren’t doing as well as we’d like.” When you buy a home, you are improving the economy around you. Your

inventory or a millennial buyer. So, if they sell their starter home, they will likely not get the true value out of it. NAR published a report last fall called "Paycheck to Paycheck" that detailed the difficulties millennials face in purchasing a home. Although they tend to be highly educated, they face a tight job market. In your work with these buyers, what types of professions do they come from? They come from an array. Many who qualify for a home have white collar professions with at least 10 years of experience. Bankers, doctors and attorneys have salaries and career paths that can support or offset their student loan burden. Even among this segment of professionals, young buyers can be hesitant to purchase and be tied down. They fear they will lose their jobs, just as they saw their parents and loved ones lose theirs. They also know they may have to uproot to get a decent job. This is so distinct from Generation X, who bought a home, settled down and generally moved farther and farther out into the suburbs. Millennials, on the other hand, typically do not commute very far to work; they would prefer to walk or take public transportation.

Photo by Robin Cooper Photography

investment impacts industries and creates jobs for plumbers, furniture manufacturers and home improvement companies. The same Census data saw that only about 35 percent of those who own their home are aged 35 or younger. How is this different from the past? Today I see young buyers — millennials — who are covered in debt. In some cases, their educational debt may be up to $50,000, versus around $10,000 in the early 2000s. This is one reason why millennials delay buying their first home until their late 30s or early 40s. What’s troubling is that it’s not just the millennials in debt, but also their parents. Some couples have borrowed

up to $75,000 in educational loans for their children. In fact, baby boomer debt is largely composed of debt that helped educate their children. In some situations, home equity supports millennial student loans. This trend discourages the possibility of a sale for the parents, too. Baby boomers are also opting to move their own parents into their homes. There are fewer “empty nesters” because elder care has taken the place of child care. When boomers can’t sell their homes and downsize, they cannot help create the necessary turnover in the housing market. Another example I’m seeing is a lot of folks in starter homes would like to upgrade, but have not found suitable

Buying a home is considered to be “affordable” if the cost of the payment on a 30-year fixed mortgage does not exceed 28 percent of a worker’s income. In your opinion, is this definition of affordable housing out of reach for most millennials? Why or why not? It depends on the millennial. I don’t feel that ratio should increase. The owner has to be able to afford it. This is where the value of the banker and REALTOR® come in. They need to work together to make sure the client is in the right home. Too much house is not the right decision for these clients. Millennials need coaching and direction from professionals who tell them honestly, “Let’s stay below this amount. We cannot let you get into a situation that could be harmful for you.”

ncrealtors.org • INSIGHT  11

If current trends continue, how will the decline in homeownership change the housing industry? If millennials don’t get the confidence they need to buy a home, new building starts will stagnate. I also foresee starter homeowners unable to upgrade and empty nesters unable to sell. For the average American community, the potential implications are concerning. We have to provide millennials with opportunities to pay off their debt quicker. Our society needs to provide job training opportunities that invest in a young workforce by helping pay down or forgiving their student debt. Parents have already begun redirecting some behaviors regarding college loan debt — for instance, sending their children to community college for the first two years or choosing different schools. Recently, I read an article that described the positive economic implications of paying down an estimated two trillion dollars of student loan debt. Without the debt, the U.S. economy would witness rapid growth. The article mentioned that the impact of one million new homebuyers would fuel our economy in a way that we have not seen a quite a while. Some estimates predict, in that event, more than three million jobs could be created. I believe it’s a goal that bankers and REALTORS® should work toward every day for our industries and our economy. How can REALTORS® prepare their real estate businesses now for the potential of a very different ownership landscape in the future? REALTORS® should learn millennial communication preferences and build them into their practices. Relationships are very different from previous generations. I may have three or four conversations with a young professional over the computer before I ever see him or her face to face.

12  INSIGHT • May 2016

REALTORS® can help bridge the gap with young clients. Developing a trusting relationship with the client can alleviate and overcome the client’s fears and lead them to the right housing decision. Those REALTORS® willing to provide a lot more conversation, partnering and specialization will be the ones who break down the barriers to the millennial client. One thing is for sure: we can’t ignore this important group of potential homebuyers. We can’t continue to conduct business as usual, or we will be out of business. We must work very hard to build trust. As you know, the mission of Homes4NC is to provide affordable housing opportunities and disaster relief for deserving homeowners. Under your leadership, what do you see Homes4NC doing in 2016 to educate the public and legislators about the need to keep housing affordable? During the NC REALTOR® Legislative Meetings June 20 - 22 in Raleigh, we will conduct advocacy efforts and explain to legislators why our mission is important and why we established a charitable foundation in the first place. We will spread the message that housing affordability is important to a sustainable economy in our state. I want our leaders in Raleigh to understand that it’s not just people with very low income or disabilities who cannot afford a home. It’s a large segment of young professionals. If we continue to think this problem is not affecting our state now and will only become a problem far in the future, then we are deceiving ourselves. What else does Homes4NC do to invest in communities and make homeownership attainable? Homes4NC has a certification called the Workforce Housing Specialist. These REALTORS® dedicate themselves to helping clients jump the hurdles that stand in the way of homeownership. It is an excellent model for our state. Bankers, REALTORS® and legislators need to be willing to acknowledge our housing affordability problems and work hard to overcome them.

SPOTLIGHT HEATHER BOWERS CROSS Senior Vice President Market Executive in the High Point region for Carolina Bank Homes4NC’s first-ever public member President of the Board of Directors Almost 20 years experience in the banking industry, including: Carolina Bank Bank of America-Merrill Lynch RBC Centura Deeply involved in community investment in the Triad and throughout the state: Rotary Youth Leadership Program World Relief of High Point Purple Heart Homes Community Leadership: Board of Directors, Laurel University Alumni Board of Directors, High Point University President, Board of Directors, Homes4NC

Why do you volunteer your time for Homes4NC and other organizations that invest in their communities? Growing up, we had a comfortable home, but not a grand one. My parents had to learn how to do everything on their own. Going from renting to owning a home was a huge jump for them. As a result, I grew up with enormous stability and not a lot of worries. My parents had pride and taught me how important it is to provide for your family. I want other North Carolinians to have that experience and to be able to provide that same stability for their family. Today, younger people may feel that this is out of reach or not an important piece of their lives. Homeownership provides a sense of purpose and stability. When you have that in a community, it’s a better environment. You take care of a home, and your neighbors do the same. You benefit the state, the economy and your family. It’s why private property ownership is so foundational to our society.

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Culture Eats Strategy for Lunch The above was said by management consultant Peter Drucker and holds true for real estate, as well. BY LARRY KENDALL, CHAIRMAN OF THE GROUP, INC. AND AUTHOR OF NINJA SELLING HIGH



he culture of an organization is one of those business concepts that is critical to success, yet hard to grasp. An organization’s culture consists of widely shared values, symbols, behaviors and assumptions. Put simply, it’s “the way things get done around here.” Culture comes down to an unspoken set of assumptions and a common way of thinking that drives a common way of acting on the job and in our companies. The result: "Culture eats strategy for lunch," according to management guru Peter Drucker. What are the best parts of your company? What is the culture of your company? Do you know? What parts do you want to keep and strengthen? Are there parts that you would like to change? Let’s start with helping you identify and measure the culture you have. First, we recommend you read the excellent book, “The Character of a Corporation,” by Rob Goffee and Gareth Jones. The subtitle of their book, "How Your Company’s Culture Can Make or Break Your Business," tells you how important culture is to your organization. Their research shows that every company’s culture revolves around just two dimensions:






Solidarity (Results)

The Communal Culture is big on sociability (having fun) and is also very focused on results (making money). Research by Goffee and Jones shows that only about 10 percent of companies are in this culture.

Solidarity: results orientation, performance and common goals.

The Networked Culture places more emphasis on the people and the fun than on the results. The older and more successful your company, the more likely you are to gravitate to the Networked Culture.

The combination of these two dimensions results in the four types of culture shown on the chart above.

The Mercenary Culture is all about the results and making money. It’s strictly business, with very little

Sociability: a measure of friendliness both on the job and outside the office.

14  INSIGHT • May 2016


emphasis placed on fun. Players tend to look out for themselves and are very competitive. The Fragmented Culture is neither social- or results-oriented and is the most common culture in the real estate industry right now. Why? There are currently about 2.1 million real estate licensees in the United States, and only about half of them are serious enough about their career to join the National Association of REALTORS® and their local and state REALTOR® associations. Even among REALTORS®, many are part-time and don’t have an office. They are fragmented.

Building a healthy culture and a high-performance company starts with organizational clarity. For what do you stand? What are your company values?

1. Why do we exist? The organization’s core purpose, beyond making money. 2. How do we behave? The limits of diversity that can exist within the organization — the core values that all employees must share to thrive. 3. What do we do? A simple statement that defines the organization’s business. 4. How will we succeed? The anchors that define the strategy of the organization. 5. What is most important right now? The organization’s rallying cry and overarching objectives that are shared across the team. 6. Who must do what? The role of each of us in achieving those objectives. We recently took our entire organization through this six-question exercise, starting with our senior management team, then all of our managers and finally our sales team, at our annual retreat. We did each group separately and discovered an amazing alignment in the results. It dramatically improved our company focus going into this year. Did it take some time? Yes. Was it worth it? Absolutely! Invest at least as much time in your culture as you do your strategy. Remember, “Culture eats strategy for lunch!”


I observe that most of the REAL Trends 500 companies are in the Communal, Networked and Mercenary cultures. How do you discover your organization’s culture? Start by buying the book, “The Character of a Corporation,” and administer to your company the short questionnaire in the book. If you have multiple offices, I recommend you administer the survey at each office. You may even discover that each of your offices has a different culture. Once you’ve identified your culture, how do you change, improve or reinforce it? Building a healthy culture and a high-performance company starts with organizational clarity. For what do you stand? What are your company values? What are your rules of the game or standards of practice? Forty years ago when we started our company, we had not taken the time to articulate these values and rules. The result was that we had great people going in different directions, marginal results and a fragmented culture. Two years later, we finally sat down and got clear on what we were doing — writing down our company values, rules of the game and working philosophy — and then walking our talk. The result was that the next five years was the greatest period of productivity and growth in our history, even though we were in the recession of the early ‘80s. It’s amazing what can happen when you take your people’s energy and get it focused. In his book, “The Advantage,” Patrick Lencioni recommends you start clarifying your business by asking six critical questions:

This article originally appeared in the January and February 2016 issue of the REAL Trends Newsletter and is reprinted with permission of REAL Trends Inc. Copyright 2016.

ncrealtors.org • INSIGHT  15

TECH tools



pro tip: One thing to remember, with Facebook advertising, only 20% of your image can be text. Use Canva.com to create images for your Facebook ads. Canva offers specific sizes for Facebook ads, allows you to put text or your logo on an image and it's free.



s d a k o o faceb


Lately I’ve been rolling up my sleeves and really digging into Facebook advertising. Facebook ads have changed so much in the last five years and I have spent a ridiculous amount of time and money on advertising in this space. I’ve learned a ton over the years through my own trial and error as well as working with many different companies, both large and small, on their paid Facebook marketing. So today, I’d love to share a few of my biggest tips with you. BY KATIE LANCE | CEO/OWNER KATIE LANCE CONSULTING 16  INSIGHT • May 2016


Utilize targeting through Facebook’s ad platform. A lot of times when people get started with Facebook ads, they begin by boosting a post. While that’s certainly not a bad place to start, I think the biggest opportunity for people is to go to Facebook’s ad platform at facebook.com/ads and use the targeting tool. The reason I say this is because the reach with boosting a post is pretty limited. But when you’re using the ad platform, you can target many things including age, gender, zip codes, income, net worth, millennials, people who have kids at home, people on their birthdays, people who have iPhones, etc. — the amount of connecting you can do through this platform is robust.


Create a custom audience. If you are doing any sort of email marketing, you can actually download your database and then upload it to Facebook so it becomes a custom audience. This is a huge benefit because now you can run ads that target people who already know you. One of the ways we get people to buy from us is the know, like and trust factor. So if people already know, like and trust you enough to be on your email marketing list, running ads that will only be seen by them is going to be highly effective.


Use Facebook’s conversion pixels. This may sound complicated but it’s actually really easy. When you go to facebook.com/ads you can create what’s called a custom pixel. Basically, you push a button and Facebook is going to shoot back this long piece of code. Then, all you need to do is copy and paste that code into your website. If you have WordPress, it’s very easy to do. If you work with a webmaster or someone else who manages your website, simply email them the code and have them drop it into your website. When you have a conversion pixel on your website, every time someone visits your website and then goes back to Facebook, they will see your ads. This is a small thing that can make a really big difference. Just like any other marketing tool, the more people see you the more likely they are to contact and work with you.

pro tip: Look at your Facebook Insights to see statistics on your target market. Use this knowledge to improve your ad targeting. For even more in-depth information, try the Audience Insights tool where you can get some amazing information on people you're already connected to on Facebook.


Split test. Split testing is something I do almost every time I run a Facebook ad. This is basically running the same ad/offer, only you change out the text, the headline and/or the image to create different versions. Generally speaking, every time I run an ad I try to split test five to seven different versions. My personal favorite method is to keep the text the same but change out the image. The beauty of split testing is it allows you to really see what is working.


Images are everything. As we all know, a picture is worth a thousand words. Especially on Facebook, images and video are huge. Organically uploaded videos to Facebook can work really well for your brand. Creating powerful images using tools such as Canva can have a great return on your time and money investment.

LEARN MORE Visit www.katielance.com for more on this topic and to find tips on the latest tools and strategies in social media, mobile and technology trends.

ABOUT KATIE Katie is the Founder of Katie Lance Consulting — a social media and marketing firm. Katie’s clients include RE/MAX International, DocuSign, RPM Mortgage, SmartZip and many others. Katie is also a frequent keynote speaker, a contributor to The Huffington Post and former Chief Strategist for Inman News.

The biggest thing with Facebook ads is you want to experiment. Test what works and what doesn’t work. And of course, things are always changing. Don’t be afraid to spend $5-$10 and try something out. ncrealtors.org • INSIGHT  17


Class of 2016

Specialty: Residential Highest career achievement to date: Being a member of one of the highest grossing sales teams at Allen Tate in the Triad.

Specialty: Residential Highest career achievement to date: A successful real estate firm based on referrals and serving as president of my local board this year.

RAY ALEXANDER Greensboro Regional Broker – Allen Tate Realtors

ANITA EMERY Mid Carolina Regional Broker/Co-Owner – Area Real Estate Partners, Inc.

CLIF CHEEK Brunswick County Broker-In-Charge/Owner – Resort Brokerage and Consulting, Inc.

ROSEMARY BUERGER Fayetteville Regional Broker Associate – ERA Strother Real Estate

Specialty: Residential Highest career achievement to date: My nomination and selection as one of the Future 10 of Brunswick County, announced in September 2015.

Specialty: Residential Highest career achievement to date: Having happy, satisfied home owners and sellers. Aside from that, being asked to present on a panel at ERA International Business Conference about the ins and outs of social media.

Specialty: Residential Highest career achievement to date: Presidency of my local board. It is an honor to be elected by fellow agents and for them to trust in my capabilities to lead in a manner that will enable our membership to achieve a successful year. CRYSTAL COPAS Sanford Area Broker/Owner – RE/MAX Real Estate Service and LAMCO Property Management, LLC

Get ready to meet the next wave of NC REALTOR® leaders. Although they come from different stages of their careers, they all demonstrate the potential to rise to the highest ranks of leadership in our state and our communities. Take a look as they reflect on career accomplishments and look forward to tackling the industry's most challenging issues.





18  INSIGHT • May 2016

ALTON COOPER Winston-Salem Regional Sales – Cooper Realty Specialty: Residential Highest career achievement to date: Management of REO properties from several REO companies, and on average, handling between 25 to 35 REO properties at any given time

Specialty: Commercial Highest career achievement to date: My election as President of the Greensboro Regional REALTORS® Association. BOB BATES Greensboro Regional Sr. Vice President/Broker – Total Care Realty, LLC

Specialty: Residential Highest career achievement to date: Helping a family friend find the house of their dreams just in time for his wife to get her U.S. visa.

Specialty: Residential Highest career achievement to date: Coming from a technology background and integrating it into real estate. During my presidency of the Rolesville Chamber of Commerce, our membership grew from 75 to 186 members.

MICHAEL WHITE Durham Regional Broker – Keller Williams Chapel Hill

RICH PONZIO Raleigh Regional Agent – InTrust Realty

UP TO THE CHALLENGE See what this year’s class considers as the most significant challenges facing the industry today: • Communicating and reinforcing the value of working with a REALTOR® • Protecting private property rights for homeowners as new laws are introduced which impact our industry • Concern of protecting MLS data with third party aggregators and other online marketing portals • TRID comprehension, interpretation and the changing roles of the agent, lender and attorney

RANDY DOCKERY Mountain Lakes Associate Broker – Re/Max Mountain Properties Specialty: Residential Highest career achievement to date: 15 years of service to my board, five-year top producer in my board and serving as a mentor to new agents.

RENEE KING SMITH Raleigh Regional VP/Sales Manager – Fonville Morisey Specialty: Residential Highest career achievement to date: Managing one of the largest and most productive real estate offices in the Triangle area.

JOHNNY WEHMANN Orange Chatham Real Estate Advisor/REALTOR®– Sperry Van Ness International Corp., The Wehmann Team - Coldwell Banker Howard Perry and Walston Specialty: Commercial Highest career achievement to date: Property Manager of the Year in 2012 for Ticon Properties, after increasing occupancy from 93 to 99-100 percent for a portfolio of apartments.

• Managing technology and understanding the growing role of information available to consumers • Student debt and the growing concern of affordable housing ncrealtors.org • INSIGHT  19


NC Home Advantage Mortgage™ Makes Dreams of Home Ownership Affordable in North Carolina If obstacles like saving for a down payment are keeping your clients from purchasing a home, the North Carolina Housing Finance Agency may be able to help. Each year, the NC Home Advantage Mortgage™ — administered by the North Carolina Housing Finance Agency and offered by participating lenders statewide — helps hundreds of hopeful home buyers achieve their dreams. The NC Home Advantage Mortgage™ offers competitive interest rates along with down payment assistance of up to 5 percent of the mortgage loan amount — fully forgivable after 15 years — for first-time and move-up home buyers. Available with 30-year, fixed rate FHA, VA, USDA and conventional mortgages, the NC Home Advantage Mortgage™ is a perfect match for your clients looking for safe, affordable financing. These loans can be obtained from participating lenders in nearly 700 offices around the state. Each year, the North Carolina Housing Finance Agency recognizes the top lenders and loan officers across the state to our who provide the highest number of NC Home Advantage Mortgage™ loans.


Top 10 Lenders for 2015 • Movement Mortgage, LLC • Fairway Independent Mortgage Corporation • On Q Financial, Inc. • Gateway Bank Mortgage, Inc. • River Community Bank, N.A. • Atlantic Bay Mortgage Group, LLC • BB&T • First Mortgage Company, LLC dba Cunningham and Company • Allen Tate Mortgage Services, Inc.

Top 5 Loan Officers • Ashley McKenzie-Sharpe, Fairway Independent Mortgage Corporation • Karl Hoeferlin, Fairway Independent Mortgage Corporation • Della McDowell, On Q Financial, Inc. • Denise Maroldy, Fairway Independent Mortgage Corporation • Mary Brouillette, Movement Mortgage, LLC

• TowneBank Mortgage

These lenders and loan officers are a great resource for REALTORS® whose clients need a home buying boost. To find a list of preferred loan officers and participating lenders, visit www.nchfa.com/applications/IncomeSalesLender. 20  INSIGHT • May 2016

Top Producing Lenders of 2015 • • • • • • • • • •

Movement Mortgage Fairway Independent Mortgage On Q Financial, Inc. River Community Bank, N.A. First Mortgage Company, LLC dba Cunningham and Company Gateway Bank Mortgage, Inc. TowneBank Mortgage BB&T Atlantic Bay Mortgage Group, LLC Allen Tate Mortgage Services Help your home buyers with our NC Home Advantage MortgageT M by referring them to one of these top lenders or a participating lender in your area. Visit www.nchfa.com to learn more.

nchfa.com • 1-800-393-0988 •


NC REALTORS® STAFF CONTACTS NCAR staff can be reached by telephone at 800-443-9956 during normal business hours, Monday through Friday from 8:30 a.m. to 5 p.m.

Innovation Grants


C REALTORS® has developed a new Innovative Grant Program available on an annual basis to local associations across North Carolina. We are looking for new programs, events or plans that change the way business is typically thought about, made or conducted. A total of $15,000 will be available for the Innovative Grant Program every fiscal year (up to $5,000 per applicant per cycle). The deadline for applications is July 1, 2016. Meet 2015’s Innovation Grant recipients: The Carolina Smokies Association of REALTORS® was awarded $2,500 to fund their Participation Point System (PPS), which was developed to encourage more participation and involvement from their members. This incentive program is designed to create cohesion among membership, fundraisers and local media resources, as well as to increase involvement within the community.

Greensboro: 4511 Weybridge Lane, Greensboro, NC 27407; Raleigh: 421 Fayetteville Street, Suite 1109, Raleigh, NC 27601 EXECUTIVE Andrea Bushnell Chief Executive Officer abushnell@ncrealtors.org Direct Dial: 336-808-4222 Donna Peterson Executive Assistant dpeterson@ncrealtors.org Direct Dial: 336-808-4221

ADMINISTRATIVE Caitlin Thompson Compliance Counsel cthompson@ncrealtors.org Direct Dial: 336-217-1042

Lee Ann Martin Accounting Manager lmartin@ncrealtors.org Direct Dial: 336-217-1048

Caroline Main Receptionist cmain@ncrealtors.org Direct Dial: 336-808-4220

Ashley Orange Accounting Assistant aorange@ncrealtors.org Direct Dial: 336-808-4224

Kay Bailey Legal Assistant kbailey@ncrealtors.org Direct Dial: 336-808-4235

Denise Daly Membership Coordinator ddaly@ncrealtors.org Direct Dial: 336-808-4223


The Greensboro Regional REALTORS® Association was awarded $5,000 to start a community involvement initiative, the Future Real Estate Professionals (FREP). The purpose of the program is to find young people interested in real estate, educate them on industry issues and then help them engage leaders on those topics of concern.

Mckenzie Allen Creative Development Manager mallen@ncrealtors.org Direct Dial: 336-808-4227

Congratulations to the four recipient associations. For more information on how your association can receive an innovation grant, contact Caitlin Thompson at cthompson@ncrealtors.org.

FINANCE & BUSINESS DEVELOPMENT Bryan Jenkins Chief Financial Officer bjenkins@ncrealtors.org Direct Dial: 336-294-3112

The Mid Carolina Regional Association of REALTORS® received $2,500 to host an event featuring NAR Chief Economist Dr. Lawrence Yun. The goal of this program was to increase not only the REALTOR® perception of their local community, but also the local community’s perception of REALTORS® as a resource and vital part of the area.

The High Point Regional Association of REALTORS® received $5,000 to support their community involvement program to help advance real estate-related public policies and increase the awareness and support of association and real estate-related issues. The Real Estate Awareness Program (REAP) contains a few key components: marketing/promotions, education/ opportunities and engagement/advocacy. The implementation of the REAP will create a group of educated and engaged individuals who can be utilized to create a larger presence when advocating on real estate issues at the local and state level.

Amy Kemp Events Assistant akemp@ncrealtors.org Direct Dial: 336-217-1045

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

Samantha Ashburn Electronic Communications Manager sashburn@ncrealtors.org Direct Dial: 336-808-4226 Tyler Helms IT Manager thelms@ncrealtors.org Direct Dial: 336-808-4225

EVENTS & MEMBER ENGAGEMENT Mandy Lowe Director of Member Engagement & Projects mlowe@ncrealtors.org Direct Dial: 336-808-4236 Keri Epps-Rashad Events Manager


Direct Dial: 336-217-1049

Sherry Harris RPAC/Accounting Assistant sharris@ncrealtors.org Direct Dial: 336-808-4230 Mike Buescher Business Development Director mbuescher@ncrealtors.org Direct Dial: 336-808-4229

GOVERNMENT AFFAIRS Cady Thomas Director of Government Affairs cthomas@ncrealtors.org Direct Dial: 919-573-0996 Kristin Nash Political Fundraising Director knash@ncrealtors.org Direct Dial: 919-573-0995 Shanell Smaw Political Fundraising Specialist ssmaw@ncrealtors.org Direct Dial: 919-573-0991 Nicole Arnold Community Outreach & Local Government Affairs Director narnold@ncrealtors.org Direct Dial: 336-808-4237

Seth Palmer Political Communications & Regulatory Affairs Director spalmer@ncrealtors.org Direct Dial: 919-573-0992 Mike Landes Political Operations Director mlandes@ncrealtors.org Direct Dial: 919-573-0984 Isabel Villa-Garcia Legislative Affairs Manager ivilla-garcia@ncrealtors.org Direct Dial: 919-573-0983 Susanna Hailey Field Representative shailey@ncrealtors.org Direct Dial: 919-573-0989 Jason Evans Shared Local Government Affairs Director jevans@ncrealtors.org Direct Dial: 336-808-4234 Paul Mott Shared Government Affairs Director & Field Representative pmott@ncrealtors.org Direct Dial: 919-573-0988 Robin Cooper Shared Government Affairs Director & Partner Program Manager rcooper@ncrealtors.org Direct Dial: 336-217-1047

LEGAL Will Martin General Counsel wmartin@ncrealtors.org

PROFESSIONAL DEVELOPMENT Ellie Edwards Director of Professional Development eedwards@ncrealtors.org Direct Dial: 336-808-4231 Monica Huckaby Professional Development Coordinator mhuckaby@ncrealtors.org Direct Dial: 336-217-1051 Chelsea Hughes Professional Development Assistant chughes@ncrealtors.org Direct Dial: 336-808-4239

ncrealtors.org • INSIGHT  21




hen you’re living in one of the fastest growing states in the nation, articles discussing trends in commercial real estate sound like they were written after the authors took a look in your backyard. Since 2000, North Carolina has grown at a rate almost double that of the rest of the nation. During that time, we’ve gained two million new citizens, and we’re expected to gain nearly two million more by 2030, according to the North Carolina Office of State Management and Budget. Most of these new citizens will move to the state’s urban centers, seeking jobs in our office parks and downtown areas. Commercial real estate practitioners stand at the center of this growth as they hold the crucial role of an advocate for the businesses seeking to better serve the expanding workforce. Here’s where national trends meet North Carolina’s environment. Secondary market cities — dubbed “18-hour cities” — are more and more attractive to job seekers and local investors. Cities like these include Austin, San Diego and Denver. Locally, they’re analogous to Raleigh, Greensboro, Wilmington and Charlotte. As millennials look for more affordable housing to accompany entry-

level jobs, a newer type of suburban community has begun to spring up in transit-oriented and mixed-use properties all over the country. We saw this trend emerge in North Carolina ages ago with its thriving Triangle and Triad communities. The office sector has grown alongside the population as new technology and office environment trends appear with the changing workforce. North Carolina’s urban areas have already become a seller’s and renter’s market for the businesses interested in modernizing their accommodations. Local commercial brokers feel the effects of change in their municipalities and markets. Marty McLaughlin, a broker based in Charlotte and vice chair of the REALTORS® Commercial Alliance, wholeheartedly agreed that nationwide trends feel remarkably personal to North Carolinians. “Major metropolitan areas of North Carolina are leading the surge,” McLaughlin said. “Millennial apartments, the advent of light rail, walkability of cities and downtown areas — we’re seeing it all over the state.” Commercial real estate is growing by leaps and bounds with these nationwide and local trends. The Wharton Real Estate Review has named commercial real estate as the fourth asset class behind stocks, bonds and cash, and the S&P Dow Jones is expected to formalize that designation sometime this year. NAIOP has predicted that commercial real estate will reach an investor allocation threshold of 10 percent for the first time in 2016. As the industry grows, NC REALTORS® are maintaining their focus on protecting the rights of property owners and advocating for commercial-friendly legislation. A robust commercial sector in North Carolina is critical to maintaining our state’s continued growth and establishing a new status quo.

Contact Mike Landes at mlandes@ncrealtors.org.

22  INSIGHT • May 2016

COMMERCIAL TRENDS FOR 2016 1. Success in 18-hour cities. These hot secondary markets appeal to a variety of buyers because they offer the urban amenities at a more affordable price. 2. Suburban spree. 84% of all jobs in the top 40 metros are located outside the center-city core, "and that’s the basis for optimism for the suburban future." 3. Evolving office sector. Coworking or shared working spaces have become a major office leasing force in some markets. 4. Parking lots a thing of the past? Probably not in the near future, but with expanding mass transit, fewer drivers will hit the roads. 5. Infrastructure innovations. Due to the failure in traditional practices to fix the nation's struggling infrastructure, some groups and cities are starting to find more creative solutions. 6. Food in your backyard. Real estate professionals are encouraged to consider city space for fresh food production as one of a coming wave of innovative uses for urban land. 7. To merge or to specialize? There has been an increasing trend of midsized companies choosing whether to grow through consolidation or to downsize and specialize in a niche area. 8. New capital raises questions. It is an extremely competitive market for placing capital right now and that competition is driving money more into a discovery process. ConstructionDrive.com



CEO , Leigh Brown & Associates Charlotte

“The thing about government and changes is that we have far more effect when we are proactive instead of reactive.”

The REALTOR® Party toolkit The National Association of REALTORS® provides numerous tools to foster the strength of the REALTOR® Party and to ensure advocacy efforts are supported and encouraged on the national level.



ith election season ramping up and the North Carolina General Assembly session just underway, it is necessary to consider the power of advocacy for REALTORS®. It underlines the very definition of your profession. Whether you’re fighting to get your buyer the best house for their budget, or to make sure your seller can get their house closed in time, you lobby and encourage the various parties engaged in your business to accomplish your clients’ goals. But what about your political advocacy efforts? How involved are you in achieving those goals? “The thing about government and changes is that we have far more effect when we are proactive instead of reactive,” says Leigh Brown, NC REALTOR® and consummate advocate for the REALTOR® brand across the country. You may have been to one of her seminars or seen her YouTube videos encouraging advocacy

to benefit REALTORS® and their clients, but did you know that she ran for the N.C. House of Representatives in 2014? Although she wasn’t successful in that election, the experience taught her a lot about advocacy and its power for REALTORS®. “Running for N.C. House in 2014 was the best thing I could have ever done for all REALTORS®. It sounds crazy, but during my campaign I became known to legislators across the state. That means they now take my phone calls and my office visits, so I can share REALTOR® issues with them eye to eye.” Don’t worry, you don’t have to run for office to make an impact. As a REALTOR®, you have a unique perspective on the issues that are important to your work and your industry. You have a voice, now make it heard! Luckily, there are many resources available to help make your advocacy efforts as simple and as effective as possible.

Calls For Action. Do you regularly respond to Calls For Action (CFAs) when you get an email? If your answer is yes, thank you! Your voice is heard by the members of Congress and definitely appreciated. If you don’t, please consider this valuable resource in your advocacy toolkit. It takes less than a minute to respond, but your voice can have a huge impact on the direction of policy decisions. Just ask Brown: “You may think that investing 30 seconds in responding doesn’t mean anything — but it does!” REALTOR® Party Mobile Alerts. Have you signed up for the REALTOR® Party Mobile Alert program? It’s simple — text “NC REALTORS” to the number 30644 to begin receiving text notices of CFAs before anyone else. You’ll even be able to respond right away from your mobile device. This is one our best advocacy tools and helps connect you with members of Congress more effectively through technology. NAR Midyear Legislative Meetings. Held annually in Washington, D.C., the NAR Midyear Legislative Meetings give you the opportunity to hear about national advocacy efforts and meet your Congressional representatives. Contact Seth Palmer at spalmer@ncrealtors.org.

ncrealtors.org • INSIGHT  23


VOTE 2016

Tools close to home As an NC REALTOR®, you have access to numerous tools that are exclusive to our state and designed to improve your advocacy efforts. Government Affairs Update. In order to effectively advocate for the real estate industry, you need to know what’s going on. That’s where our NC REALTORS® Government Affairs Update comes into play. This newsletter provides information about action alerts, issue updates and other happenings on the political landscape. Check your inbox for this weekly publication during session, or bi-monthly during the remainder of the year. NC REALTORS® CFAs. Responding to national CFAs is an important task in voicing the opinions of REALTORS® across the country, but it is also crucial to respond to NC REALTOR®-initiated CFAs when issues arise on the state level. Our state legislators need to hear from you so they know when to take actions related to the real estate industry in North Carolina. NC REALTORS® Legislative Meetings. Our legislators also need to see you and hear from you in person! Being involved in the NC REALTORS® Legislative Meetings, June 20-22 in Raleigh, not only gives you the chance to interact with REALTORS® from across

Federal Political Coordinators (FPCs):

PATRICE WILLETTS, FPC for Congressman David Rouzer

the state, but also puts you in front of your legislators so that your voice can be heard loud and clear. NC RPAC. Don’t forget about the North Carolina REALTORS® Political Action Committee (NC RPAC), the best investment a REALTOR® can make and one of our strongest advocacy tools. NC RPAC efforts back candidates, both in local governments and at the General Assembly, who support REALTOR® issues and work to protect your industry and your clients.

As a REALTOR®, Brown understands the value and the power of being a strong advocate for her business, her industry and her clients. She also sees the value of using the tools provided by NAR and NC REALTORS® to get her message out. “The bad changes can and will happen if we are not all vocal about what makes sense.” The REALTOR® voice is necessary to continue to protect the industry from changes that could have a negative impact on you and your clients. Make it your goal in 2016 increase your advocacy efforts so that the REALTOR® community is heard.

Are key NC REALTORS® who are assigned to maintain relationships with specific members of Congress to keep them up-to-date on REALTOR® issues. North Carolina is fortunate to have the best team of FPCs. Here's what some had to say about the importance of REALTOR® advocacy.

REALTORS® see firsthand how regulations or legislation can impact private property rights. When a new idea is presented at any level, our members should be in on the conversation.

24  INSIGHT • May 2016

It is imperative that REALTORS® across North Carolina and the United States are registered and participate in every election. Nationwide, more than 1 million REALTORS® are registered to vote, representing almost 82 percent of the National Association of REALTORS® entire membership. And in North Carolina, that number exceeds 32,000, or 88 percent of our membership. While this is a great accomplishment, there is more work to be done. Make sure that you, your fellow REALTORS® and your clients are registered to vote. When you complete a new home sale, make sure you remind your clients to change their voter registration to reflect their new address. Check out our NC REALTORS® Vote 2016 page on www.ncrealtors.org for the most up-to-date information about election dates, polling locations and printable voter registration forms. 2016 is a pivotal election year and voting is your most powerful advocacy tool. Make your voice heard on November 8.

GLENN COBB, FPC for Congresswoman Virginia Foxx

Just jump in — the water is fine! We always need more voices, more perspectives and more real life applications.

REALTORS® touch so many people in their daily business which gives them the opportunity to share information relevant to their private SHEILA PIERCE KNIGHT, property rights. FPC for Congressman Walter Jones


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inside NC RPAC


Help Us Reach President's Cup



ast year, you helped us achieve the Triple Crown Award for the first time in NC REALTORS® history. We’ve received acknowledgment and kudos from across the country — thank you for making North Carolina shine. Because of your success, we've set a new goal, even shooting to exceed last year’s accomplishments. In 2016, we’re aiming for the prestigious President’s Cup honor, and we need your help. REALTORS® do so much more than list and sell property. You are advocates, dedicated to improving your communities and the livelihoods of your neighbors. When you invest in NC RPAC, you help elect real estate-friendly candidates to public office — those very people who can help protect your industry and your community. Check out the numerous tools available to you and get ready to invest in NC RPAC, in yourself and in your industry. Help us reach President’s Cup in 2016.


$525,000 35 PRESIDENT'S CIRCLE MEMBERS 347 MAJOR INVESTORS 37% PARTICIPATION To inquire about new NC RPAC materials and 2016 goals, email Kristin Nash at knash@ncrealtors.org.


We have loaded USB keys with tons of helpful information about NC RPAC including talking points, the new 2016 NC RPAC handbook, forms for hosting your own fundraisers and submitting local candidate requests, new videos (commercial and residential) and the new fundraising playbook which will guide you step by step through past NC RPAC fundraising events.

NC RPAC is excited to showcase our newly designed state-level award pins. Qualifying investors will receive pins based on the following recognition levels: $100 - $249 – Cardinal Club $250 - $499 – Capitol Club $500 - $999 – Governor’s Club

AFTER YOU GET IN THE GAME, YOU'LL NEED A WARM UP JACKET RPAC Major Investors consist of an elite and passionate group of REALTOR® investors who give a minimum annual investment of $1,000. As a thank you to our record-breaking 175 Major Investors last year, NC RPAC distributed embroidered fleece jackets to all major investors at the 2016 Inaugural meetings.

GLAD YOU HAVE NC RPAC? If you're interested in learning more or spreading the word about NC RPAC, request some of our new marketing brochures. There's even a tear-off investment card to make your 2016 investment so easy.

APPLY TO BE AN NC RPAC TRUSTEE The NC RPAC Trustees are taking applications for candidates in Regions 1, 8 and 10 for three-year terms. They are also accepting applications for one (1) At-Large position for a three-year term. Elections will be held at the NC REALTORS® Board of Directors meeting in September and positions will be appointed in October by the incoming 2017 RPAC chairman. For more information and an application, please email knash@ncrealtors.org. Application deadline is Friday, July 15th. 26  INSIGHT • May 2016

inside THE ALLIANCE This is why every REALTOR® is crucial to the Alliance cause. We hold the power to invigorate the property owners of this state and to remind them of the importance of their voice in the political landscape.



ver the past two years, the NC Homeowners Alliance has laid an important foundation for its future: a database of over 55,000 homeowners and REALTORS®, a robust and active leadership committee and a public profile at events and local REALTOR® associations around the state. With this infrastructure in place, the Alliance is about to take its next step toward becoming a household name in North Carolina. Over the next two years, the Alliance and its adherents, members and supporters will work to place the Alliance and its representatives in the media: newspaper, television and radio. Any grassroots movement with any record of success needs leaders willing to take charge on behalf of the organization. The Alliance is fortunate to have such leadership within the Homeowners Alliance Committee, a group of committed homeowners and REALTORS® who have stepped up to represent the

Alliance and its mission. The committee members demonstrate familiarity with the NC REALTORS® legislative agenda, willingness and ability to capably represent the Alliance in earned and public media and an interest in and enthusiasm for the focus on grassroots organization to support property rights in North Carolina. The Connect NC Bond Campaign provided an excellent opportunity to test the Alliance’s ability to influence state political attitudes. The Alliance came out in support of the bond referendum, focusing its efforts upon raising awareness about the importance of the referendum and its provisions for the state. Our messages reached thousands of voters, helping to shape the public conversation surrounding the bond and its merits for the livelihoods of North Carolinians. The NC Homeowners Alliance is better known in North Carolina now for the effort it has made in the public eye to support the Connect NC Bond Campaign. The Alliance’s work doesn’t begin and end with statewide campaigns, however. Our members’ role will increase in importance and efficacy during the

General Assembly’s legislative session, which began on April 25. Homeowners will have a stake in the legislature’s discussions of tax reform and changes to insurance and housing affordability policies. The Alliance is prepared to give homeowners the voice they need to make an imprint on the General Assembly’s considerations of legislation that will affect property owners’ bottom lines. Remember, REALTORS® represent the vanguard of the NC Homeowners Alliance membership. REALTORS® remain the most educated and engaged among the Alliance’s ranks, and REALTOR® leadership drives the Alliance’s success. REALTORS® are the face of the Alliance to the vast majority of North Carolina’s home buyers. When the real estate industry takes a stand on behalf of its clients and its professionals, the legislature listens. This is why every REALTOR® is crucial to the Alliance cause. We hold the power to invigorate the property owners of this state and to remind them of the importance of their voice in the political landscape. If the past two years are any indication, our REALTORS® give the Alliance a bright future as we embark on our next endeavor to reach the public consciousness.

Contact Mike Landes at mlandes@ncrealtors.org.

ncrealtors.org • INSIGHT  27

Here’s to you for loving what you do. Nationwide® salutes your commitment and passion for being a member of NC Association of REALTORS®.


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Nationwide Insurance has made a financial contribution to this organization in return for the opportunity to market products and services to its members or customers. Products underwritten by Nationwide Mutual Insurance Company and Affiliated Companies. Home Office: Columbus, OH 43215. Subject to underwriting guidelines, review, and approval. Products and discounts not available to all persons in all states. Nationwide, the Nationwide N and Eagle and More Than a Business are service marks of Nationwide Mutual Insurance Company. © 2015 Nationwide AFR-0236AO (10/15)

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SILVER CoreLogic Realty Executives Southern Region

The North Carolina Association of REALTORS® would like to thank all 2015 Annual Sponsors.


Dear Forms Guy, I really liked the “Top Ten Q&As” article you did in the last issue of Insight. What if you give me a test on the weekly Q&As that have come out since then? Sincerely, Curtis DEAR CURTIS: Sure, why not? I’ll give you a quick True/False test on the 11 weekly Q&As my partners and I have written since the last Forms Guy article. Are you ready? CURTIS: Ready! FORMS GUY: First question: If a buyer gives the seller a copy of an inspection report and then terminates the contract, the listing agent must give a second buyer a copy of the first buyer’s inspection report. True or false? CURTIS: False. FORMS GUY: Correct. The listing agent is required to disclose any material facts contained in the inspection report but is not required to disclose the report itself. Question #2: If there’s a zero in the due diligence fee blank in an

Offer to Purchase and Contract, the buyer does not have any due diligence rights. True or false? CURTIS: False. FORMS GUY: Correct. The Offer to Purchase and Contract clearly states that the absence of a due diligence fee does not constitute a waiver of the buyer’s right to conduct due diligence. Question #3: A back-up contract only becomes binding when the contract between the seller and the first buyer is terminated. True or false? CURTIS: False FORMS GUY: Correct. It becomes binding when it has been signed by the seller and the back-up buyer, but the parties’ obligations to perform the back-up contract are contingent

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

Take the Quiz Try taking the quiz without referencing the answers in this Forms Guy article. Circle the correct answer below. For help, refer to the original Q&A., archived on the Legal Department page at www.ncrealtors.org. 1. If a buyer gives the seller a copy of an inspection report and then terminates the contract, the listing agent must give a second buyer a copy of the first buyer’s inspection report. TRUE FALSE (November 24, 2015: Disclosure) 2. If there’s a zero in the due diligence fee blank in an Offer to Purchase and Contract, the buyer does not have any due diligence rights. TRUE FALSE (December 1, 2015: Forms/Offer to Purchase and Contract) 3. A back-up contract only becomes binding when the contract between the seller and the first buyer is terminated. TRUE FALSE (December 8, 2015: Forms/Addenda to Offer to Purchase and Contract) 4. If a lender instructs the closing attorney not to give the buyer agent a copy of the buyer’s closing disclosure, the buyer agent will get in trouble with the Real Estate Commission for failing to deliver a copy of the closing disclosure to the buyer. TRUE FALSE (December 15, 2015: Real Estate License Law and Rules) 5. If someone questions the mental capacity of a broker’s client, a medical professional must be hired to evaluate the client’s mental condition. TRUE FALSE (December 29, 2015: Other Laws and Rules) 6. If an expiration of offer provision is added to a buyer’s offer, so long as the seller responds to the offer by the date and time in the blank, the seller can accept the offer after that date and time has expired. TRUE FALSE (January 6, 2016: Forms/Addenda to Offer to Purchase and Contract) 7. A broker can operate a drone or hire a drone operator to take aerial images of a real estate listing. TRUE FALSE ( January 12, 2016: Other Laws and Rules) 8. If a broker is charged with driving while impaired, he or she is required to report the charge to the Real Estate Commission. TRUE FALSE (January 19, 2016: Real Estate License Law and Rules ) 9. A broker representing a seller who has property under a short sale contract must always inform the seller’s lender of any additional offers that are made on the property. TRUE FALSE (January 26, 2016: Real Estate License Law and Rules) 10. A buyer agent must never deliver a letter to the seller with an offer from his or her client because it would violate fair housing laws. TRUE FALSE (February 2, 2016: Other Laws and Rules) 11. A person appointed as another’s general guardian can sell the ward’s real estate just like the ward could if they were competent. TRUE FALSE (February 9, 2016: Other Laws and Rules )

ncrealtors.org • INSIGHT  29

FORMS GUY as a Section 333 waiver from the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA).



Question #8: If a broker is charged with driving while impaired, he or she is required to report the charge to the Real Estate Commission. True or false? CURTIS: False.

on the contract with the first buyer being terminated. Question #4: If a lender instructs the closing attorney not to give the buyer agent a copy of the buyer’s closing disclosure, the buyer agent will get in trouble with the Real Estate Commission for failing to deliver a copy of the closing disclosure to the buyer. True or false? CURTIS: That’s false. FORMS GUY: Correct, assuming the lender or closing attorney has provided a copy of the closing disclosure to the buyer. Question #5: If someone questions the mental capacity of a broker’s client, a medical professional must be hired to evaluate the client’s mental condition. True or false? CURTIS: False. FORMS GUY: Correct. A broker should take appropriate steps under the particular circumstances to confirm




30  INSIGHT • May 2016

that his or her client has legal capacity to buy or sell property, but a medical exam would not necessarily be required. Question #6: If an expiration of offer provision is added to a buyer’s offer, so long as the seller responds to the offer by the date and time in the blank, the seller can accept the offer after that date and time has expired. True or false? CURTIS: False. FORMS GUY: Correct. As written, the expiration of offer provision requires acceptance of the offer, not just a response to it, by the date and time inserted in the blanks. Question #7: A broker can operate a drone or hire a drone operator to take aerial images of a real estate listing. True or false? CURTIS: True. FORMS GUY: Correct, provided that the operator has obtained what is known

FORMS GUY: Correct. Charges do not have to be reported; however, if a charge results in a criminal conviction, the conviction must be reported to the Commission within 60 days of the conviction date. Question #9: A broker representing a seller who has property under a short sale contract must always inform the seller’s lender of any additional offers that are made on the property. True or false? CURTIS: False. FORMS GUY: Correct. Notifying the short sale lender of any additional offers is ordinarily required, but there’s an exception when the seller has hired a lawyer to negotiate the short sale with the seller’s lender. Question #10: A buyer agent must never deliver a letter to the seller with an offer from his or her client because it would violate fair housing laws. True or false? CURTIS: False. FORMS GUY: Correct. A letter

from the buyer would not automatically be considered a violation of fair housing laws. Such a determination would depend on the content of the letter and the surrounding circumstances. CURTIS: I’m 10 for 10! FORMS GUY: You’re doing very well so far. But there’s one more question, Curtis. Are you ready? CURTIS: Yes! FORMS GUY: Question #11: A person appointed as another’s general guardian can sell the ward’s real estate just like the ward could if they were competent. True or false? CURTIS: True. FORMS GUY: No, I’m afraid the correct answer is “false.” A general guardian can sell the ward’s real estate, but unlike a competent person who sells their own property, the guardian first has to file a special proceeding and obtain authority and approval of the court. CURTIS: Shucks! That was sort of a tricky question. FORMS GUY: Still, you did very well, Curtis. Ten out of 11 is not too shabby. You must be reading the weekly Q&As in the REALTOR® Report. CURTIS: Every Wednesday! FORMS GUY: Great. Keep up the good work.

NC REALTORS® lawyers write weekly Q&As and those appearing in Insight based on calls they receive through the Legal Hotline. As a member of NC REALTORS®, you have free, unlimited access to the Hotline! Have a legal question? Call 800-443-9956 or email ncarlegal@ncrealtors.org to get started.


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WHAT’S BETTER THAN FOUR AWARDS FOR CUSTOMER SATISFACTION? EIGHT. For the second year in a row, the CENTURY 21® brand ranked “Highest Overall Satisfaction for First-Time and Repeat Home Buyers and Sellers” by J.D. Power. Congratulations again to our many driven agents.

C21.COM The CENTURY 21® brand received the highest numerical score among full service real estate firms for first-time and repeat home buyers and sellers in the proprietary J.D. Power 2014-2015 Home Buyer/ Seller StudiesSM. 2015 study based on 6,059 total evaluations measuring 5 firms and measures opinions of individuals who bought or sold a home in the past 12 months. Proprietary study results are based on experiences and perceptions of consumers surveyed February - April 2015. Your experiences may vary. Visit jdpower.com © 2016 Century 21 Real Estate LLC. All Rights Reserved. CENTURY 21®, the CENTURY 21 Logo and SMARTER. BOLDER. FASTER.® are registered service marks owned by Century 21 Real Estate LLC. Century 21 Real Estate LLC fully supports the principles of the Fair Housing Act and the Equal Opportunity Act. Each office is independently owned and operated.

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