Insight | May 2018

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VOL 97 NO 2 | MAY 2018

Commercial & Residential Trends Shaping Curb Appeal


NC REALTORS® Global Network

Building a brand overseas

Women in History

Celebrating fearless leaders and REALTOR® legends

REALTOR® Roundtable

Does a house really need a fireplace?

Do you think outside of ‘outside the box’? Call us to earn your spot.


©2018 Century 21 Real Estate LLC. All Rights Reserved. CENTURY 21® and the CENTURY 21 Logo 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.

May 2018



14 NC REALTORS® Global Network NC REALTORS® is building North Carolina’s brand overseas at MIPIM 2018.

16 Women in History

Celebrating the fearless women who shaped the association, their communities and the real estate industry.

20 What's Trending in Landscape Architecture?

COVER Learn more about landscaping trends


that help shape a property’s first impression.

25 REALTOR® Roundtable: Does a house really need a fireplace? NC REALTORS® weigh in on Facebook.

28 MOOCs: The Future of Education

Take a class from your couch for a low monthly fee.

20 5

INSIDE NC REALTORS® NC REEF promotes its mission, members making headlines and new staff profiles.

8 LEGAL QUIZ A recap of our most popular weekly Q&As. 10

XCHANGE '18: INVINCIBLE VIDEO: NC REALTORS® explores affordable housing challenges and successes in N.C.



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

Insight, Volume 97, Issue 2 President Amy Hedgecock, CPM, GRI President-Elect Asa Fleming, SFR, AHWD Treasurer Kelly Marks, ABR, CRS, GRI Immediate Past President Treasure A. Faircloth, GRI, E-PRO, CRS REGIONAL VICE PRESIDENTS Region 1: Sandy Hurst, Jacksonville; Region 2: Jim Goodman, Oak Island; Region 3: Lisa York, Sanford; Region 4: Wade Corbett, Raleigh; Region 5: Laurie Edwards, High Point; Region 6: Stephen Long, Winston-Salem; Region 7: Marsha Jordan, Lincolnton; Region 8: Maren Brisson-Kuester, Steven Bryant, Charlotte; Region 9: Randall Blankenship, Asheville; Region 10: Harriette Doggett, Mollie Owen, Raleigh. Chief Executive Officer Andrea Bushnell, Esq., CIPS, RCE Vice President of Communications & Marketing Tracey Gould, M.S. IMC, CPSM Editor/Director of Creative Development Mckenzie Allen Graphic Design Coordinator Raquel Stubblefield For advertising information, visit 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 with a subject line of “Insight opt-out.”

Can you feel it? Spring fever is definitely in the air. Existing home sales for March 2018 (the latest NAR data available at the time of this writing) inched up 1.1 percent (month-over-month) nationwide with 30 percent of sales resulting from first-time homebuyers and 43 percent of all sales occurring in the south, according to the REALTORS® Confidence Index. While inventory still remains a challenge across most of the nation, it was reported to improve slightly in some markets. NC REALTORS® is definitely celebrating spring fever by venturing out to breweries across the state and hosting members at our regional MIXers. This season, we visited Durham, High Point and Boone, N.C. We hope you joined us for some brew, food, and great networking. If not, don’t worry— you can catch us later this fall where you live, work and play. This is just one way we stay connected to our members, learn what’s important to you and your business, and discover what issues and successes are happening in your community. Visit to register. Another way we stay connected to our members and keep you informed is through Insight magazine—your quarterly NC REALTORS® print publication. We strive to cover trends, news, industry and association updates that matter to you—with content you can share with your clients. In the May issue, we kick off with seasonal features that are certain to inspire and inform you about how to create and maintain landscapes by design. Whether your goal is to have a functional, attractive lawn for your home or a showstopper landscape for a corporate campus that differentiates your development over others, spring is definitely the time to make it happen. We also dive into other topics, including affordable housing, XCHANGE ’18 updates, recap NC REALTORS®’ impressive representation in the global property market this past March at MIPIM and much more. Whether you’re a BIC, an agent or consumer, Insight has content you can use. Did you know? May was REALTOR® Advocacy Month. Perhaps most important each spring in North Carolina for REALTORS® is our presence in Raleigh during Legislative Meetings. While it doesn’t align nicely within the official month NAR celebrates advocacy, every month is advocacy month for REALTORS®. This year, NC REALTORS® is in Raleigh between June 4-6 at the Sheraton Raleigh Hotel. This event presents the opportunity to learn about the issues NC REALTORS® advocates for, visit with legislators, learn how you can make a positive impact at the local and state level and network with your peers. After all, together we can rise.

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

4  INSIGHT • May 2018

Amy Hedgecock 2018 President

of the largest REIT’s, one of which sold for $39 billion in 2007. The remainder of the day was filled with speakers, panel discussions and networking sessions. Overall, the conference provided very informative insight into the future of investment strategies in the real estate industry. Royce Bennett, 2018 NC REEF president, said: “This really was a highlevel conference. While some of the material was over my head, I learned a lot, met a lot of investors and business executives and found opportunities to promote the mission of NC REEF during networking sessions.”


Recap | 2018 UNC Real Estate Conference NC REEF promotes its mission at this well-attended real estate conference.

Sam Zell, Keynote Chairman, Equity Group Investments

Royce Bennet, NC REALTOR® 2018 NC REEF President


n April 12, 2018, members of the North Carolina Real Estate Education Foundation, Inc. (NC REEF) attended and sponsored the 2018 University of North Carolina Real Estate Conference coordinated by the Leonard W. Wood Center for Real Estate Studies, Kenan-Flagler Business School, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. Over 875 individuals attended, including business school students, REALTORS®, developers, vendors and other real estate professionals. Sam Zell, author, global entrepreneur and investor,

headlined the event as keynote speaker. Known for taking over distressed companies and revitalizing them into profit-making entities, the founder of the modern Real Estate Investment Trust (REIT) industry spoke about how supply and demand has helped him make a career of finding businesses and industries that can fill a supply deficit in their given area. Zell created three

IMPACT: NC REEF is the real estate educational resource for REALTORS®, non-licensees and consumers in North Carolina. Through original video tutorials, scholarships and other content, NC REEF elevates the real estate profession through education. Learn more at


MEMBERS MAKING HEADLINES NC REALTORS® is proud to honor the accomplishments of our members. Please join us in congratulating the following individuals: RCE DESIGNEES The following NC REALTORS® recently earned the REALTOR® Association Certified Executive (RCE) designation. This is the only professional designation designed specifically for REALTOR® association executives who demonstrate the drive, experience and commitment to achieve professional growth. Elizabeth Campbell-Hensley, Burke County Sheree Higgins, Carteret County Kristin Nash, NC REALTORS®

CAE CERTIFICATION Shane Johnson of Cape Fear REALTORS® earned the Certified Association Executive (CAE) credential from the American Society of Association Executives (ASAE). The CAE is the highest professional credential in the association industry with less than five percent of all association professionals having achieved this mark of excellence.

NC REALTORS® salutes these individuals for their respective contributions to our industry. Rodger Blaine Robert Bromhal Gale Earley Phillip Edwards Herbert Fisher Cromer Grubbs Robert Haverkamp Allen McRimmon David Motley Jeffrey Peoples Patricia Sandifer Jose Santiago As of 5/17/18 • INSIGHT  5

Getting to Know You



NC REALTORS® announces the hiring of four new staff members, spanning administration, communications and member engagement departments. We hope you enjoy getting to know some fun facts about these individuals.



Social Media & Multimedia Intern

Social Media & Multimedia Coordinator

IT Manager

GRI Coordinator

When did you join the staff? February 2018

When did you join the staff? March 2018

When did you join the staff? March 2018

When did you join the staff? March 2018

Educational background: I received a B.A. in Communication and Media Studies from WinstonSalem State University

Educational background: Western Carolina University & Center for Documentary Studies at Duke University

Educational background: Attended

Experience related to your position: While in college, I volunteered as a photographer and videographer for a non-profit organization in Forsyth County.

Experience related to your current position: Freelance Multimedia Professional since 2009

Experience related to your position: 15+ years’ in the IT Field. I’ve carried roles and responsibilities in a majority of the aspects of the technology industry. I’ve held responsibilities as an administrator, project manager, developer, tech support and software developer.

What do you enjoy doing when you are not working? Reading books and thrift shopping What are you reading right now? A Series of Unfortunate Events by Lemony Snicket. Where did you grow up? Where else have you lived? I am a military brat. My father served 22 years in the U.S. Army which caused my family to relocate every 3-5 years. I have lived in Texas, Colorado, Georgia, South Carolina and North Carolina. What’s your hidden talent? I enjoy writing songs/poetry. When I was in college, one of my friends had a makeshift recording studio in his dorm and actually produced one of my songs.

6  INSIGHT • May 2018

What do you enjoy doing when you are not working? Hiking, running, yoga… and collecting vinyl. What are you passionate about? Equality. Respect. Honesty. What is your favorite food? It could be tater tots. What are you currently watching on Netflix? Just finished Better Call Saul. Starting Lost in Space. Where did you grow up? Where else have you lived? New Jersey & New York. I’ve also lived in Connecticut, Boston, Durham, Nags Head and Asheville. If you could go back in time to any era, which would it be? The 1970s, but I’d rather see the future… What was your first job? Cutting down trees to sell for firewood.

What’s the best piece of advice you’ve ever received? When someone has or achieves something you want, you have two options: get jealous or do it better. What was the best concert you ever attended? All American Rejects What are you passionate about? My kids and racing cars What is your favorite food? Noodles Where did you grow up? Where else have you lived? I was born in Thailand, lived in Rohnerville, Calif. for a short while and now Greensboro. If you could go back in time to any era, which would it be? I’ve always loved the culture and simplicity of the 1960’s.

Elon University and became a REALTOR® in 2007.

Experience related to your position:

My career has revolved around marketing and project management. Prior to this position, I worked four years in the Office of the Provost at Elon University, helping to develop and manage the Center for Writing Excellence. Prior to that, I was the design coordinator at Glen Raven, Inc., the makers of Sunbrella® fabrics. What is your guilty pleasure? Homemade bread, I could eat an entire loaf! You have to sing karaoke, what song do you pick? I’m a karaoke observer, no singing here (I promise, it’s for the best). If you could visit anywhere in the world, where would you go? I would love to visit New Zealand. What was your first job? My first job in high school was working at Hursey’s Bar-B-Q in Burlington, NC. This is where I met and fell in love with my husband, Ned!

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legal QUIZ A recap of our most popular weekly Q&As. BY: WILL MARTIN, GENERAL COUNSEL

Access all of our weekly Q&As by signing in to, locating the Resolve Library and searching by question title.


In oral buyer agency, do you have to get something in writing before you can show a buyer any of your firm’s listings?


Technically, no, but it’s a very good idea to confirm the existence and terms of an oral buyer agency agreement in writing, including the buyer’s permission for you to act as a dual agent. A sample letter confirming the establishment and terms of an oral buyer agency relationship is available on the NC REALTORS® website. Members may modify it to create their own version of such a letter or email. (10/5/17)

If a buyer pays an Additional Earnest Money Deposit (EMD) with a personal check, can the seller terminate the contract, and if so, when? A buyer’s failure to pay an Additional EMD in a form of payment specified in the Offer to Purchase and Contract prior to the expiration of the date inserted in the blank in paragraph 1(d) is a breach of the contract that likely would give the seller the right to terminate the contract immediately following the agreed date. A personal check is not a permitted form of payment. (11/16/17)

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Can I use the term “REALTOR®” in the name of my real estate firm? No. You may use it in connection with the name of your real estate business as an indicator of your membership in the REALTOR® organization. However, the term must be separated from the business name by appropriate symbols or punctuation. “REALTOR®” may not be included as a part of the business name itself. (10/12/17)

Do I have to let clients out of a listing agreement just because they ask?


No, you don’t have to agree to terminate the listing agreement just because a seller asks you to, but you can’t force them to continue with the listing if they want to discharge you as their agent. The discharge may be a breach of the listing agreement, in which case you could hold the seller liable for recoverable damages for breach of contract. (10/26/17)

RESOLVE: NC REALTORS® have free, unlimited access to our Legal Hotline and lawyers with more than 30 years experience. Call 336-294-1415 or email with any questions regarding contracts, forms, fair housing, disclosure and more.


When filling in the blank in paragraph 1(j) of the Offer to Purchase and Contract to specify the expiration of the Due Diligence Period, must a specific date be inserted or is it okay to insert a timeframe instead? Inserting a specific date in paragraph 1(j) is typically the best practice for agents and their clients. However, there are certain circumstances where inserting a time frame instead of a date may be desirable. In such a case, the buyer and buyer’s agent should take great care in the wording used in describing the timeframe in order to minimize the potential for uncertainty. (11/02/17)

Do I have to file a new certificate for the assumed name I use for my business under the law that went into effect December 1, 2017?


Yes, you—and anybody else who filed an assumed name certificate before December 1, 2017—must file a new certificate no later than December 1, 2022 in order to keep your assumed business name filing effective. (12/07/17)

If someone who has recently listed their home with another broker contacts me for assistance in finding them a new home, is there anything unethical about me entering into a buyer agency agreement with them? No, since (1) the service you would be providing as a buyer agent is not inconsistent with the service being provided by the other firm as a listing agent, and (2) you did not use information obtained from MLS to create a relationship with the listing agent’s client. (12/14/17)


When my firm is acting as a dual agent and a buyer and seller are negotiating the terms of a contract, can I give advice to either of them regarding negotiation strategy?


No, unless you are acting as a designated agent for one of them. An agent acting as a dual agent owes the same fiduciary duties to both parties. Because of these identical yet competing fiduciary duties, the agent’s ability to advise and advocate for either client becomes much more limited. In the Real Estate Commission’s words, unless the firm practices designated dual agency, dual agency “effectively neutralizes agents as to their advocacy roles.” (01/25/18)


Is there a power of attorney designed especially for the purchase or sale of an identified parcel of real property? Yes. On January 1, 2018, a new chapter of North Carolina’s General Statutes took effect changing the law as to all powers of attorney executed on or after that date. Part of the new law includes a new form to use in real property transactions. It is anticipated that this new power of attorney form will prove very useful for real estate transactions in North Carolina. (01/04/18)

If a Due Diligence Fee (DDF) is delivered to a listing agent and he or she signs the last page of the Offer to Purchase and Contract acknowledging receipt of the DDF, should the listing agent also seek to obtain the seller’s signature acknowledging receipt of the DDF when it is delivered to the seller?


Yes. Although the listing agent’s acknowledgment of receipt of the DDF is sufficient for purposes of establishing the buyer’s compliance with the contract, the seller’s acknowledgment of receipt of the DDF is important evidence that the listing agent has complied with the license law obligation to timely deliver the DDF to the seller. (01/18/18) • INSIGHT  9



ne of the most important investments Americans can make is investing in a home. However, due to various potential barriers, homeownership is out of reach for some deserving people and families. Even renting a home or apartment is out of reach for some in the very communities they serve due to high rent rates. Some communities are burdened by extremely high costs of real estate, driving people who work in those communities away from homeownership to live far away or to live in non-traditional living arrangements such as with friends and family. Families who pay more than 30 percent of their income for housing

10  INSIGHT • May 2018

are considered cost-burdened, according to the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development, and may have difficulty affording necessities, such as food, clothing, transportation and medical care.” Yet, more than 12 million households pay more than 50 percent of their income for housing. This isn’t a community-level issue; it’s a nationwide pandemic. NC REALTORS® is exploring affordable housing challenges, solutions, opportunities and successes around North Carolina as part of our XCHANGE ’18 storytelling campaign. We interviewed non-profit organizations making a positive difference in local communities,

REGISTER ONLINE September 15 – 18, 2018 | Wilmington Convention Center

like Family Promise in Cary, North Carolina, which provides transitional housing for up to a year for families. With a commitment to keeping the family unit together, Family Promise is one of the rare organizations that strives to keep families in tact—especially during time of instability, while also educating the parents on managing money, creating a budget and building a savings account. We also interviewed families who were able to locate and move into affordable housing properties, those in search of affordable housing and families who are in transitional housing hoping to move into permanent housing, like a charming young family of four who are current residents of Family Promise. The parents, Chris and Jessica, were struggling to provide for their two children with special medical needs. Chris, having his own medical needs, is unable to work to help financially provide for his young family. This unfortunate circumstance puts a certain burden on Jessica to provide for her entire family. When she lost her job some time ago, and they lived two hours away from Cary in a small town, they suddenly found themselves in a desperate situation. They needed housing, she needed a job and they needed help fast. Time was running out. After calling shelter after shelter, non-profit after nonprofit, none of the solutions worked for them. Their family just couldn’t be split up, which is what nearly every temporary housing provider wanted to provide. Family Promise was the only option for them that kept their family—and their hope—intact.

Today, Jessica and Chris and their children are thriving. Jessica is working. They have a stable home for up to twelve months. They are saving money and resolving some of their financial obstacles, which is positioning them well for independent, permanent housing when they graduate from the Family Promise program. More important, their children are at home—and at peace—for the first time in a long time. They are settled, they feel safe and they are happy. And that is the ultimate positive outcome of transitional housing programs like Family Promise and ultimately what affordable housing options provide for families like Chris and Jessica. As part of XCHANGE ‘18’s storytelling campaign leading to Wilmington this September, we also interviewed REALTORS® who are engaged in their own communities and making a positive impact on consumers to help make their dreams of homeownership— and even adequate housing—

BE THE STAR of our next story We're crafting stories on these topics: Creative Use of Real Estate, Economic Development/Smart Growth, Advocacy/Legislative Impact, Education Visit to learn more and to share your story.

come to life, such as the REALTOR® Foundation of Wake County. Together with REALTORS® from the Raleigh Regional Association of REALTORS® and the surrounding area, they furnished 12 apartments and helped over 100 families live a better life in 2017. Together, with the help of decision makers, influencers, government leaders, politicians, builders, REALTORS®, consumers and more, we will work collaboratively and tirelessly to dive into the root of the issues surrounding affordable housing and devise innovative strategies to provide adequate and affordable housing for all North Carolinians. Now more than ever, it’s critical we all tackle this humanitarian issue—affordable housing. It’s important to building communities and families and to keep the American dream of homeownership alive.

NOW SHOWING: Watch the full video at • INSIGHT  11


Vernice “Flygirl” Armour


FEATURING September 15 – 18, 2018 | Wilmington Convention Center

Special Events

NEW Rob Hahn

state of real estate*


Saturday, September 15

We’ve revamped our convention education offerings. It’s no longer about selling. It’s about solving — any, and every real estate-related challenge you face. Come with questions, leave with solutions.

Specialized TRACKS Sunny Lake

• Commercial Education • Property Management • Brokers-In-Charge • Association Executives


• Marketing • Business Planning

Juanita McDowell


HOW-TO Tracks

*Ticketed event

inaugural installation* Monday, September 17

• Run Your Business • Manage Technology • Avoid the Brown Envelope

expert consultations • Legal • Technology • Marketing

1 of 10 VIP PASSES

Celebrating Asa Fleming & 2019 Officers *Ticketed event


Club X Dance Party 70+ EXHIBITORS REd-Carpet Receptions Oscar-Style Awards

Enter monthly for a chance to win an exclusive VIP Pass to XCHANGE ‘18 and the Grand Prize - a trip for 2 to Hollywood, California. Enter online at

Registration Types & Fees

Mark Saunders

A day-long forum featuring panels, workshops and tours with key real estate influencers.

Early Bird


3/1 – 6/6

6/7 – 9/7





$249 per day

Expo, Reception, Dance Party Only




$249 per day





$249 per day

**Daily registration includes entire day’s activities. Optional events are an additional fee.

Full On-site


9/16 – 9/18 9/16 – 9/18



ON REAL ESTATE IN North Carolina Saturday, September 15, 2018 | Wilmington Convention Center

If you have a role in public policy, legislation, development, real estate and economic development, among others, join us for a day of positive problem solving, and put your thumbprint on solutions that will help shape the real estate industry in North Carolina for years to come.

State of Real Estate forum, premiering September 15, 2018 at the Wilmington Convention Center. This day-long event is comprised of

Learn more at • INSIGHT  13


BUILDING A BRAND OVERSEAS NC REALTORS® is building North Carolina’s brand overseas through the Global Network and its recent attendance at MIPIM 2018. 14  INSIGHT • May 2018

GLOBAL NETWORK REPRESENTATIVES AT MIPIM 2018 from left: Cady Thomas, Esq., Senior Vice President of Government Affairs, NC REALTORS®; Tony Harrington, CIPS, AHWD, ABR, Chair, NC REALTORS® Global Network; Andrea Bushnell, Esq., CIPS, RCE, Chief Executive Officer, NC REALTORS®; Guy McCook, Chair, NC REALTORS® Economic Development Committee

MIPIM is an annual conference in which attracts the most influential players in international property markets. Established in 1990, the conference attracts worldwide investors, developers, brokers and others representing the office, residential, retail, healthcare, sport, logistics, hotel, redevelopment and industrial sectors for four days of networking, learning and transaction. With a goal of making international connections and building opportunities for

LEARN MORE: If you’d like to learn more about the MIPIM Conference and how to get involved with NC REALTORS®’ efforts at global and economic development, please contact Mike Landes at

economic development through real estate, NC REALTORS® Global Network, a subcommittee of the Economic Development Committee, incorporated MIPIM attendance in its strategic plan. The Global Network specifically, and the three-year old Economic Development Committee, more generally, play an integral part in bringing investment, companies and jobs to North Carolina—all to the benefit of NC REALTOR® members. When businesses relocate or expand, it opens up opportunities for our members to participate in the many levels of real property transactions that come with businesses and industry thriving in North Carolina. “NC REALTORS® showed they will not be left on the sidelines of economic development any longer, nor should we be cast aside as a ‘small player’ in this space,” said Tony Harrington, Global Network chairman. Thanks to the dedication of the volunteer leadership, an open partnership with the Economic Development Partnership of NC (EDPNC) and planning by staff, the delegation was well prepared with information, handouts, an integrative megasite website, pins and highly coveted business cards. The delegation is excited about the potential for investment in North Carolina based on the amount of people that sought us out to discuss investing in our state. There were a number of very specific inquiries from potential investors, which were immediately sent to the EDPNC and its executive director, Christopher Chung. While the actual value is still intangible, the reputational benefits by presenting so well are already paying off for NC REALTORS®. NAR is doing a story on us for their next magazine and other REALTOR® associations have reached out to learn from us. Andrea Bushnell, NC REALTORS® CEO, hit the nail on the head when talking about the benefits, “This experience helped the delegation understand the players, the field and the game. The amount of investment funding available worldwide is simply remarkable.” Sending a delegation to MIPIM also sent a message to the legislature and local political entities that NC REALTORS® is committed to our state’s economic prospects for the future. Attendance at MIPIM is part of the NC REALTORS®’ broader goal of providing leadership in North Carolina’s economic development efforts and an opportunity for NC REALTORS® to engage with foreign investors in a capacity that state-based organizations like EDPNC cannot. EDPNC and its affiliates have neither the budget nor the authority to create their own booth at MIPIM. The NC REALTORS® booth at MIPIM served as a vehicle for the North Carolina government to attract business and investors, while furthering both NC REALTORS®’ mission to support economic development and our members’ opportunities to increase their professional prospects. “Next year, we will encourage even more participation by our members and the EDPNC,” said Guy McCook, NC REALTORS® Economic Development Committee chair and a commissioner with the Scotland County Economic Development Partnership. “We will identify industries and companies targeted by the state in advance and set meetings to start upon arrival.” MIPIM represents an opportunity for NC REALTORS® to step into the global marketplace on behalf of our state and raise the profile of real estate professionals in North Carolina in the eyes of international investors. With a plan in place, a partnership with EDPNC and the Department of Commerce and an enthusiastic membership, NC REALTORS® future participation can only bring more value to our state and the REALTOR® brand.

“NC REALTORS® showed they will not be left on the sidelines of economic development any longer, nor should we be cast aside as a ‘small player’ in this space.” TONY HARRINGTON,GLOBAL NETWORK CHAIRMAN

join us for MIPIM 2019 NC REALTORS® is excited to be sending a delegation to attend the 2019 MIPIM Conference in Cannes, France. MIPIM is an opportunity for NC REALTORS® to engage with foreign investors, bring new business to North Carolina’s commercial sector and take the lead on encouraging local and statewide economic development. Representatives from NC REALTORS® will attend MIPIM from March 12 – 15, 2019. For more information visit • INSIGHT  15

16  INSIGHT • May 2018

Amy Hedgecock, NC REALTORS® President Fowler & Fowler, REALTORS®, High Point

Angala Macy The Macy Group, Monroe

Angie Baker The Chesson Agency, Wilson

Brooke Cashion Allen Tate, Winston-Salem

Cindy Chandler The Chandler Group, Charlotte



from left: Wendy Harris, Lisa York, Kim Dawson, Angala Macy, Jean Moore, Lolita Malave and Amy Hedgecock.

n March, NC REALTORS® celebrated the fearless women who, throughout our history, shaped the association, their communities and the real estate industry into what they are today. These women are legends in their own right, serving as REALTOR® leaders at the local, state and national levels. They had the courage to stand tall in the face of adversity against disruptors, obstacles, naysayers and non-believers. They advocated on behalf of fellow REALTORS®, homeowners, association staff, the trade and each and every one of you. They tackled sensitive issues with grace, built consensus, motivated the masses and sacrificed personally to do what, in their heart, they believed was the smart move at different times. NC REALTORS® was thrilled to honor these women throughout the month of March during National Women’s History Month through features, personal story telling and a networking and celebratory lunch with female staff to cap it off. Along the way, we discovered new things about each other that makes each and every one of the honorees unique. We learned what inspires them, the root of their passion for real estate and helping consumers achieve the American dream and what lessons they learned throughout their storied careers. Together, we laughed, shared and committed to actively celebrate the women in our association, lives, networks and industry every day of every month—not just during National Women’s History Month. Enjoy this snapshot of our NC REALTORS® Women in History profiles.

WORK, LIFE AND FAMILY Amy Hedgecock: I am lucky enough to work in a company that my grandfather started. My mother and uncle have both worked here. My greatest accomplishment has been being able to take the reins and run the company. There are different challenges every day, but there is nothing better than being your own boss and putting your ideas in action. Angala Macy: After 25 years, I feel I've grown up in this industry. It has helped me raise my children as a single mother. As hard as it was, to me, that was a huge accomplishment. Maren Brisson-Kuester: I know the extreme hard work that’s necessary to build your

own business from nothing, and the pressures that come from having to support your family both emotionally and financially. The struggles were real, and I’ve had to earn everything I’ve ever gotten through a lot of hard work. Wendy Harris: So much of my community changes over every few years because of our strong military presence. My father retired at Fort Bragg, and while my experience as an army brat gives me a special understanding of military homeowners and renters, I could not rest my career in real estate on his past military experience. As a REALTOR®, you are constantly at risk of having to re-build your business. • INSIGHT  17

Kim Dawson Coldwell Banker Advantage, Chapel Hill

Leigh Brown RE/MAX Executive, Concord


dissemination of information among a variety of platforms and keeping info up to date and relevant.

Amy Hedgecock: More than anything, the regulations that are imposed on our industry can be so challenging. It seems that every year there are changes that affect us in either real estate sales or property management. Keeping up with changes—and making sure the agents in my office stay up-to-date—often feels like the bulk of my job. I'm glad that NAR and NC REALTORS® have made it very easy to help advocate for our industry and our members. I try to never miss a call for action. I use the legal hotline regularly, just to make sure I'm keeping on the right path. Angie Baker: My greatest accomplishment is that I have survived a very tough time for this industry. The recession brought so many challenges to my local area, and I’m happy to say that we have rebounded in the last 18 months. Brooke Cashion: Expenses for health care as a 1099 employee, lack of professionalism among other REALTORS®/licensees, 18  INSIGHT • May 2018

Cindy Chandler: Early on, it was being female in a male dominated career (commercial real estate). Later on, it was dealing with the many aspects of real estate and trying to see that all were recognized. Kim Dawson: The low inventory of the current market. Buyers are frustrated with trying to find a home, having to spend way over list price, thinking sellers are being greedy or not preparing their home for sale and losing money over repairs. Leigh Brown: Learning to overcome negative back hallway talk. But remember: those who fight change are the ones who need it most. Lisa York: My greatest challenge was coming into the business at the downturn. However, somehow I made my first sale within the first three months of having my license. As bad as the market seemed then, it gave me the opportunity to build my business to the success it is today.

Lisa York Adcock & Associates, Sanford

Lolita Malave: The recession was so difficult. I was dealing with an aging parent, a growing child and no business to speak of to support either. It was a couple of years of reaching back to the basics and rebuilding a business out of the ashes. Maren Brisson-Kuester: Feeling legitimized. I'm a young woman from Charlotte, and that hasn’t made things easy. It's taken over a decade for me to feel like I'm finally taken seriously, and I’ve accomplished that through persistence. I cared too much to give up. I kept my head down and my chin up, ignored the naysayers, put a smile on my face and continued doing what I was doing. Mary Arey: Overcoming prospective clients’ lack of trust after negative experiences with previous agents and constantly working to improve the public's perception of REALTORS®. Stephanie Walker: Serving as NC REALTORS® president during financial restructuring and the Biggert-Waters Flood Insurance Reform Act.

Lolita Malave Allen Tate, Greensboro

STAYING ENGAGED Amy Hedgecock: I love being involved in the REALTOR® association because I feel like we take people as they are. Women or men, no matter your origin, we embrace anyone with a passion for this industry and a willingness to improve it. Do we always agree? No, but we debate issues and work together for resolutions. In that way, we are far more progressive than the rest of the world, it seems. Brooke Cashion: I was lucky to have members in WinstonSalem Regional Association of REALTORS® that were willing to identify my willingness to serve and then mentor me. However, I am sure that is not the case statewide and in every association. I find it challenging at times to know where I belong on the state level. There are a lot of layers, moving parts and overlapping pieces. Lisa York: My greatest challenge as a member was forcing myself to volunteer for committee positions early

Mary Arey Arey Realty, Salisbury

in my career. But, I have enjoyed volunteering my time and getting to know our members.

Remembering our Legacy

Maren Brisson-Kuester: I make it my priority to get people engaged and to make people realize that their voice matters. Everyone needs to be engaged. I'm a no one from nowhere, and now our state’s political leaders know who I am and what I think because I got engaged. If I can do it, anyone can! Wendy Harris: Prior to going through the NC REALTORS® William C. Bass Leadership Academy, I would say my biggest challenge was finding my place within NC REALTORS®. I was involved and wanting to be more involved, but was still struggling with the hows and whys. The William C. Bass Leadership Academy changed everything. The relationships I developed have done more for me in a shorter period of time than any other period of my life. # Read all Women in History profiles at

Stephanie Walker Stephanie Walker & Associates, Kitty Hawk

Wendy Harris Team Harris Real Estate, Fayetteville

Maron Brisson-Kuester Cottingham Chalk Hayes, Charlotte

Dorothy June Dinkins was born in Yadkin County and graduated from Yadkinville High School. She went on to receive a B.S. degree from Appalachian State University, M.S. degree from the University of Tennessee and did graduate study at Northwestern. She worked as the Athletic Director of R.J. Reynolds High School for 12 years, then in 1962, she began her career in the real estate industry, forming Twin City Investment Company. June was very passionate about real estate and dedicated much of her time during her 40 years in the business to mentoring young REALTORS®. June Dinkins Twin City Investment Company, Winston-Salem

Mary Ann Parrish Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices Carolinas Realty, Winston-Salem

June Dinkins was nominated by NC REALTOR® Lou Baldwin of The Baldwin Companies in Winston-Salem. Mary Ann Parrish was born in West End Winston-Salem and graduated from Salem Academy and Salem College. She married Fred Parrish in 1948 and had two daughters before he died of a malignant brain tumor at the age of 47. Upon Fred’s death, Mary Ann decided to begin a career in real estate. She was indebted to her friend Henry Nading, who in the mid1960s encouraged her to join his firm. Later, she formed her own company, Helms-Parrish Properties. Through hard work, love of people and perseverance as a “woman working in a man’s world,” Mary Ann watched her small company grow and later be purchased by Merrill Lynch, then Prudential and finally Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices. She continued to go to her office daily until well into her 90s. Mary Ann Parrish was nominated by NC REALTOR® Lou Baldwin of The Baldwin Companies in Winston-Salem, and Chrissy Shifflett Kincheloe, Director of Marketing for the Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices Carolinas Realty Family of Companies. • INSIGHT  19

What’s trending in




hen most people think of architecture and design, they naturally gravitate towards grand images of the physical building. They see the façade, layout, number of stories, windows, roofline, intricate details, materials and front entry. If welcoming and striking, the landscaping will often catch the imagination, spurring fantasies of rolling in the grass, swinging from a tree swing or fishing in a pond. In fact, landscaping helps to shape a property’s first impression. It can make the difference between a passerby or a person buying. Rarely does the average person consider the landscaping as being integral to the structure, site, performance and occupant experience—all more important than just curb appeal. Landscape architecture, a technical professional service requiring a four-year degree and official license and/ or registration in most states, is so much more than trimmed grass and trees. Designed, strategically executed and integrated as part of commercial and residential design at the very beginning of the process, landscape architecture can serve as a solution to social challenges, environmental issues, security concerns, medical conditions and more. Thomas R. Travella, FASLA, a contributor for TriplePundit, highlighted these high-level benefits and more in a 2012 article, Landscape Architecture is Not Just Decoration. He commented, “landscape architecture provides essential infrastructure that does much more” than decorate. Some landscapes contribute to water conservation efforts and prevent soil erosion. In some cases, it can even clean storm water runoff, as some plants can serve as filtration tools, and landscaping materials and features can reduce erosion and flooding. With such a big role in overall design and the built environment, as well as communities as a whole, let’s look at some of the latest trends that are influencing and shaping landscape architecture in real estate today.


Perhaps the biggest demand for true landscape architectural services are with commercial and government campuses and properties. In these cases, the landscape architect works with the area’s surrounding landscape to develop a site solution based on the owner/occupant needs and goals, geography, topography and natural environment. One of the most popular commercial development types today is mixed-use property, which poses unique challenges and benefits from a landscape architecture perspective. “When you start mixing commercial with residential and office, the focus of the site is now more dependent on pedestrian traffic and less dependent on vehicle access,” stated Neal Beasley, PLA, • INSIGHT  21

landscape architect and horticultural specialist with Timmons Group. “Obviously, there is still a need to plan for cars, since that’s how most people to travel to and from, but developers need to plan for people and wayfinding after people park their cars. Bike and walking paths also need to be planned well in advance. This is where landscape architecture comes into play from a masterplanning perspective.” WALKABILITY As a whole, commercial developments and communities are becoming much more walkable by design. Connectivity is important in residential and commercial developments and multi-use trails that bridge developments with community amenities, as well as connect larger corporate campus buildings, are popular. Localities are also trying to connect people and space throughout the community and are integrating these trails into their new masterplans, which are serving to drive traffic to revitalized areas, such as Main Street retail areas, and Neal Beasley also spur health and wellness. If there’s a network of trails the Neal P. Beasley, PLA, Landscape county is trying to achieve, developers may need to integrate Architect and Horticultural a trail into the site design. This only benefits the developer Specialist with Timmons and community in most cases, as it translates to more people Group and has nearly 20 years accessing the development and driving more traffic. of experience. He is based in The integration of trail elements to developments drives a Richmond, VA. greater need to focus on safety, especially for aging employees and residents who aren’t as confident on their feet. Trails need to be paved and large enough to allow bikes to cruise safely past pedestrian traffic. is an active activity, but four out of five people won’t participate in whitewater activities. They will, however, be an WATER FEATURES active spectator and experience other people doing it. People While water features aren’t as popular with commercial can get a beer, sit back and watch people do crazy things in developments today as they used to be—at least in Virginia the water. That’s real entertainment value.” due to stricter regulations, according to Beasley—on-site Entertainment value also drives interest from other areas. stormwater features are now being integrated into the design Restaurants want a piece of the action and want to be located up front and becoming part of the site experience. Kingsley, a at the end of the strip with an outdoor experience to go with it, new commercial and residential masterplanned community in including a pergola, live band and specialty lighting. Suddenly Fort Mill, South Carolina, is centered entirely around the lake, a restaurant isn’t just a restaurant—it’s an experience. “This is which is being used as a vista complete with trails and bench really popular with the craft beer industry, where most of the seating. “We’re seeing these features a lot in the commercial social and drinking areas are outdoors.” sector,” stated Beasley. This live-work-play community includes What drives developers to make these types of investments in two hotels, 120,000 square feet of restaurant and retail space, their sites? It’s all about competition and the bottom line. Just like 1.2 million square feet of office space and multifamily housing. retail businesses, developers compete with other developments for traffic and tenants. If one development has added amenities ENTERTAINMENT and entertainment value, and a similar development down the Many mixed-use developments are looking beyond traditional street does not, the development with added features becomes common spaces, amenities and social gathering spaces and highly sought-after—even commanding a premium price. creating entertainment venues. “The creation of outdoor spaces While incorporating these components is easier with new for people is important,” stated Beasley. “There’s a renewed developments because developers are working with a blank emphasis to get back to the outdoors and back to nature.” slate so to speak, existing sites can include similar features. Integrating activities in outdoor spaces is trending right now and Developers, owners and designers simply need to get creative, run the gamut from bocce ball courts, outdoor chess boards and embrace the development and let the landscape and site active sports venues, including whitewater rafting. really influence the design. With the right approach, renewed One such development in Richmond, Virginia, has a lake developments can include terraces, green roofs and green with a whitewater feature that blends an exciting level of areas, such as courtyards, that add to the overall usability of a entertainment in the mix of the site, which has townhomes, site. The secret is for planners to understand this and actively high-end multi-family apartments and first-level commercial seek opportunities before the property is redeveloped, so with upper-level office and/or residential spaces. “Whitewater opportunities aren’t overlooked. 22  INSIGHT • May 2018


Residential developments have their own unique challenges and opportunities with landscape architecture. For larger, single-family, masterplanned communities, the biggest goal is to design spaces that are usable for all people, including senior citizens, and are not ordinary, common spaces, either. Developers and designers need to incorporate features and equipment that homeowners can’t include in their own backyard. In a 2018 survey conducted by the American Society of Landscape Architects (ASLA), Residential Landscape Architecture Trends, three must-have design elements stood out for residential spaces by consumers, including fire pits, outdoor yoga spaces and charging stations, and the hottest landscape and garden elements include native plants, low-maintenance landscapes and rain gardens. Let’s explore two of the most popular and luxurious landscaped areas in residential developments. PLAY Buyers want the coolest community playground—not the discount warehouse wooden set. Standard recreation pools are no longer desired by the developer or the consumer. Consumers still want water play but in the form of splash pads, and developers want more maintenance-free options. DINING Outdoor dining is all the rage today. Small outdoor areas are being integrated into the design with small plazas where people can gather and socialize over food. Complete with fire pits, fireplaces, landscaping, flexible seating, lighting and access to multimodal trails, landscape architects are accommodating more social spaces into masterplans than ever before.

What’s driving this new, higher-end standard for common spaces? According to Beasley, the trends are in part being influenced by millennials, “College students are graduating, entering the workforce and moving into their own place. Their quality of life during college—for most of them—was much more luxurious than baby boomers and even Gen Xers,” Beasley stated. “Think back to your college dorm life. It was likely bare bones. We didn’t even have air conditioning. Today’s dorms are fullon, hospitality-style suites with all the amenities.” These are the adults transitioning into single- and multifamily units, demanding luxury amenities as the standard. # • INSIGHT  23

Learn how you can be the superhero of your own story at


24  INSIGHT • May 2018

REALTOR® Roundtable

Does a house really need a fireplace? Nicole Arnold: If you could design your ideal home for today’s market, would you include a fireplace or kill it?


Recently, NC REALTORS® Community Outreach Director Nicole Arnold posed a question to real estate professionals on the topic of fireplaces. This fun discussion on Facebook proved that even a small feature, like a fireplace, can cause a lot of debate and potentially impact a homebuyer’s decision to buy or not to buy a home.

Lolita Malave: I would have a fireplace in the dining room or master bedroom. The den would be the very last option. Nicole Arnold: Interesting, Lolita. Yet most homes place the fireplace in the den or living room. Do you think house designers are realizing that this placement is a poor option? Are people tired of looking up so high at the TV over the fireplace? Jeff Benfield: I would have a fireplace, but not in the center of the room. Nicole Arnold: Jeff, I have a friend who is a teacher who complains that we all watch too much television and give the TV too much importance. She would like your design. I am seeing more corner fireplaces and some house layouts without fireplaces altogether, perhaps because of this sentiment. Sandra O’Connor: You always have to have a fireplace.

Stacy Hiers: I’m not a fireplace fan, personally. Nicole Arnold: Wow! There are two opposite opinions from REALTORS® with deep buyer-client experience. I can do without a fireplace because I am a lover of efficiency. Like

Comment • INSIGHT  25

REALTOR® Roundtable

Marcia Bradford (Palm Beach REALTOR® and NC vacation homeowner): In your state, I’ve noticed that people really want fireplaces.

Nicole Rafferty: I love a fireplace! Nicole Arnold: I am totally outnumbered on this. Tradition is winning in this unofficial fireplace survey. Connie Corey: In our market, buyers like the fireplace and will hang the television over top. Some buyers still like the mantel area for portraits, art and so on. I don’t think the chimney is a big deal anymore. Nicole Arnold: Connie, that is a big insight, and brings up a separate but related topic. What about chimneys? We live in an age where chimneys and fireplaces are not absolutely tied together. Does the ideal home need a chimney today? Losing the chimney could free up a small amount of square footage. Maurice Brown, NC REALTORS® Partners Program Coordinator: A ventless natural gas fireplace is the way to go. Nicole Arnold: I like the cost-savings of natural gas fireplaces, and they can heat up rooms very quickly. Jeff: I have a ventless fireplace. Without a vent of some kind, the exhaust goes into the house. This isn’t good and can cause the fire alarms to go off once in a while. Nicole Arnold: Good point, Jeff. So ventless, although pretty and seemingly convenient, may turn out to be inconvenient. Nicole Rafferty: I have a vent on the side of the house for my natural gas fireplace. However, I would love to have a wood burning fireplace with a chimney. Nicole Arnold: Real fireplaces provide authenticity that can’t be beat. But they can be really messy to clean up after. Nicole, you and I will go in together and buy a mountain home with a “real fireplace” and chimney for our families, okay? Nicole Rafferty: I'm in! 26  INSIGHT • May 2018

If you have an idea that would make for a great discussion for a REALTOR® Roundtable, please contact Nicole Arnold at In the meantime, Nicole is researching a new trend in selling homes. Have you ever had a seller who installed cameras or activated nannycams in order to spy on potential buyers during an Open House? Let Nicole know what you think about this trend.

Connie Corey: The exhaust for fireplaces needs to be where someone cannot get burned. Nicole Arnold: Great point. Connie Corey: I find that buyers would rather spend money on interiors than on a chimney. Nicole Arnold: I see the logic of that sentiment, Connie. I’m trying to think of drawbacks to losing the chimney. I can’t think of any. Marcia Bradford: Nicole, you have small children. How will Santa Claus get in the house? Nicole Arnold: I did not see that argument coming, but now I realize that yes, small children may be very concerned that Old Saint Nick cannot come down through a chimney. Maurice Brown: There are magic keys for that. Nicole Arnold: Maurice, this is ingenious! So, now we know that you don’t need a chimney or a fireplace to have a modern home. But REALTORS® must listen to their clients to see if they want traditional options or if they can forget this amenity. REALTORS® have a hard job, trying to balance so many competing buyer desires. Thanks to all who participated in this roundtable discussion. # • INSIGHT  27

MOOCs The Future of Education

Take a class from Harvard from your couch, for a low monthly fee.

28  INSIGHT • May 2018

BY: SHANE JOHNSON | CHIEF OPERATING OFFICER FOR CAPE FEAR REALTORS® What’s a MOOC? Massive Open Online Courses, aka the wave of distance learning that is transforming both brick-and-mortar and online education. MOOCs are websites that offer courses, certificates and degrees “in bulk.” Many courses have 25,000 enrollees in this digital approach that cuts out the classroom. Along with the MLS, education usually tops the list of values delivered by REALTOR® associations to members. As education evolves, it is important for members to be aware of these new options as they gain traction. MOOCs began in 2010, triggered by technology, with the goal of providing educational opportunities to anyone with a keyboard, sans the high-priced tuition. Harvard, Georgia Tech, Stanford, UNC and Georgetown University, each offer courses through online platforms such as edX and Coursera.

Coursework ranges from single class business applications for improving Microsoft Excel skills, to certificates in HR, to full degrees. The playing field is somewhat chaotic, as the medium adjusts to the growing high degree of interest. Fees range from monthly subscription rates, to a course fee, to a degree fee, depending on the platform. Coursera offers unlimited classes for $49 monthly, while edX charges a fee per class or series, with many courses being offered without cost, and some at $99 per course or $400 for a certificate.

“Professional development is critically important for maintaining relevance in today’s work environment,” said Taylor Oldroyd, CEO of Cape Fear REALTORS® in Wilmington, N.C. “One class at a university is costly, and instructor fees are on the rise. That’s why we’ve been looking for options, such as MOOCs.” Cape Fear REALTORS®, which has 14 staff, recently piloted Coursera with one staffer. With a favorable result, the entire staff has been enrolled in the enterprise program for businesses and nonprofits. “The enterprise program allows each staffer to take one course at their own pace during the year, and is costeffective,” said Oldroyd. Coursera’s year-long enterprise program costs $100 per employee for one course, or $400 for unlimited access. MOOCs attract a wide range of students globally, based on a 2017 study by Harvard and MIT. Tech courses are the most popular, yet of the 4.5 million enrollees, only 244,000 received a certificate or completed a course, representing 5.5 percent of enrollees. Further, some people simply do not like the online approach that lacks classroom interaction. Still, as university tuitions continue to rise, education options off campus increase in popularity. In a recent survey, 72 percent of Coursera participants reported career benefits, and 61 percent reported educational benefits. This trend fits well with existing REALTOR® association education efforts, and may provide a powerful synergy in the future. “MOOCs are a useful educational option for leaders in the REALTOR® profession to grow their knowledge base,” said Oldroyd. “We plan to continue looking into other applications, for instance, the delivery of industry designations or real estate continuing education.” Positioned correctly, MOOCs could assist not only with the building of exemplary staff, but broadening educational options for REALTOR® members. This, in turn, adds to the industry knowledge base, which will be an important key to maintaining relevance in the next decade. “Looking farther down the road, as associations partake in knowledge-building programs, they need to evaluate how to capture that knowledge,” said Cheryl Ronk, president, Michigan Society of Association Executives. “It is important for organizations to consider creating a knowledge management system—of which MOOCs can be a part—that keeps documents, webinars, video training, MP4, quizzes and self-assessments to both advance the industry and enhance the value of an association.” #


25,000 Potential class size for MOOCs.


The monthly rate for a Coursera unlimited class.


Cape Fear REALTORS® staff members who enrolled in the Coursera enterprise program.


The percentage of Coursera participants who indicated career benefits from MOOCs, as reported by the Harvard Business Review in 2015.

ABOUT SHANE Shane Johnson, JD, CAE, is the Chief Operating Officer for Cape Fear REALTORS® in Wilmington. • INSIGHT  29

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