Insight | May 2019

Page 1

THE VOICE OF REAL ESTATE IN NORTH CAROLINA

VOL 98 NO 2 | MAY 2019

IS IT TIME TO

REBRAND? Reasons for rebranding and the steps needed to successfully give your brand a complete makeover.

Plus

CLIENTS FOR LIFE

Nurture your client connections to drive business back long after the deal is done.

PODCASTS ARE HEATING UP PART 2

NC REALTORS® are using podcasts to boost their businesses—and you can too!

#WINNING WITH SOCIAL MEDIA

Tips on how to embrace social media and use it to build your real estate business. NCREALTORS.ORG


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[CONTENTS]

features

May 2019

16 Is It Time to Rebrand?

Reasons for rebranding and the steps needed to successfully give your brand a complete makeover.

20 Clients for Life

Nurture your client connections to drive business back long after the deal is done.

24 Podcasts are Heating Up Part 2

NC REALTORS® are utilizing podcasts to take their business to the next level.

26 Epic Insight: #Winning with Social Media

16

Tips on how to embrace social media and use it to build your real estate business.

24

20 4 PRESIDENT'S LETTER

10 THE ABC'S OF ADVOCACY

5 INSIDE NC REALTORS®

NAR's new consumer campaign, NC REALTORS® Gives Back Day, AEI Accolades and new staff.

8 WHY MIPIM?

12 MEMBER PROFILE

Elia Gegorek, Broker/REALTOR®

This annual conference gives North Carolina a chance when global real estate investment decisions are being made.

TALK TO US

Breaking down Government Affairs and how you support our lobbying and advocacy efforts.

13 XCHANGE '19 14 LEGAL QUIZ

A recap of our most popular weekly Q&As.

26

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


Insight, Volume 98, Issue 2 President Asa Fleming, SFR, AHWD President-Elect Maren Brisson-Kuester Treasurer Kelly Marks, ABR, CRS, GRI Immediate Past President Amy Hedgecock, CPM, GRI Regional Vice Presidents Region 1: Sandy Hurst, Jacksonville; Region 2: Jim Goodman, Oak Island; Region 3: Connie Corey, Greenville; Region 4: Julia Tucker, Chapel Hill; Region 5: Laurie Edwards, High Point; Region 6: Penny Boyles, King; Region 7: Marsha Jordan, Lincolnton; Region 8: Geena Fie, Denver and Jennifer Frontera, Indian Trail; Region 9: Renee Cooney, Franklin; Region 10: Mollie Owen and Mark Parker, Raleigh. Chief Executive Officer Andrea Bushnell, Esq., CIPS, RCE Vice President of Communications & Marketing Mckenzie Allen Graphic Design Coordinator Raquel Stubblefield Social Media & Multimedia Coordinator Doug Klesch Content Marketing Coordinator Aliyah Ross Contributors Mark Zimmerman, Lee Nelson, Cicely Walker For advertising information, visit ncrealtors.org/advertise or contact Keri Epps-Rashad at (336) 217-1049. INSIGHT (ISSN 24714127) (USPS 17170) is published four times a year in February, May, August and November by NC REALTORS®, 4511 Weybridge Lane, Greensboro, NC 27407. Periodicals Postage Prices paid at Greensboro, N.C. and additional mailing offices. POSTMASTER: Send address changes to INSIGHT, 4511 Weybridge Lane, Greensboro, NC 27407-7877. This publication is designed to provide accurate and authoritative information regarding the subject matter covered. Articles which appear in Insight are an informational service to members and consumers. Their contents are the opinions of the authors alone and do not necessarily represent those of NC REALTORS®. Advertising of a product or service does not imply endorsement, unless specifically stated. To opt-out of paper copy mailings, email hello@ncrealtors.org with a subject line of “Insight opt-out.”

The first quarter of 2019 was a very busy one for REALTORS® across North Carolina. As I’ve traveled the state, I’ve seen and met many REALTORS® who are working hard to protect homeownership and private property rights in this country. Insight magazine is one tool NC REALTORS® provides to support you in these efforts. It’s one way NC REALTORS® has your back! Today’s clients are sophisticated, and there are so many different models of real estate entering the market. In this issue, we’ve featured an article on how to maintain and nurture clients for life. NC REALTORS® across the state are going above and beyond to make valuable and lasting connections with their clients, and it is paying off in more ways than one. We’ve also looked in-depth at a few rebranding initiatives that real estate firms across the country are implementing in an effort to keep up with today’s changing market. Thinking about your image and your brand are important steps in maintaining a relevant business and resonating with consumers. We also take another look at an emerging technology tool: podcasts. This time, we’re featuring our very own members and a local association who use podcasts to promote their businesses. NC REALTORS® has a podcast, too. The REdefined podcast is a brand new initiative and a way to showcase incredible members across our state. REALTORS® do so much more than sell houses—they are influencing and shaping the future of our industry and redefining what it means to be a REALTOR®. This fits so well with my 2019 initiatives, and I’m proud to be a part of this podcast series. I hope you will subscribe and listen to my interviews with Sofia Crisp, founder of the Greensboro-based nonprofit, Housing Consultants Group, and also Linda Trevor, team leader at REMAX/United in Raleigh and a Federal Political Coordinator for the National Association of REALTORS®. I’m so grateful for the opportunity to serve you this year. I look forward to interacting with more of you as we tackle some of the important issues at hand. There is strength in numbers. Together, nothing is out of our reach. NC REALTORS® has your back.

4511 Weybridge Lane, Greensboro, NC 27407 Phone: (336) 294-1415

ncrealtors.org

Asa Fleming, 2019 President


AWARDS & RECOGNITION

NC REALTORS® MAKING HEADLINES NC REALTORS® is proud to honor the accomplishments of our members. Please join us in congratulating the following individuals. RCE Designee NC REALTORS® Compliance Counsel Caitlin Thompson (pictured first from left) 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. Thompson was recently recognized at the Association Executives Institute along with AEs Elizabeth Campbell-Hensley (2nd from left) and Sheree Higgins (4th from left), and NC REALTORS® Director of Political Fundraising Kristin Nash (3rd from left).

NAR LAUNCHES “THAT’S WHO WE R®” New ad campaign promotes REALTORS® as advocates and advisers. While many people know that a REALTOR® helps buy and sell homes, they may not know that only a REALTOR® is a member of the National Association of REALTORS® (NAR) and subscribes to its Code of Ethics. It’s the REALTOR® Code of Ethics that inspired the association’s new “That’s Who We R®” campaign. The campaign aims to reinforce REALTORS® as advocates for property owners, engaged community members and trusted advisers with in-depth knowledge of the industry. “That’s Who We R®” reinforces that partnering with a REALTOR® delivers the peace of mind that can only come from working with a real person who is committed to their clients’ futures and neighborhoods just as much as they are. “That’s Who We R®” serves as a reminder of what NAR has always stood for, while signaling where the organization is heading. For REALTORS®, the campaign is a rallying cry that instills pride in their everyday actions. For consumers, it’s an education about the REALTOR® difference. Share your story! The “That’s Who We R®” campaign shines a spotlight on REALTORS®, and ‘R Stories’ gives you another way to get involved! Learn more at T hatsWhoWeR.realtor.

NAR Commercial Services Accreditation The Greensboro Regional REALTORS® Association’s REALTORS® Commercial Alliance (RCA) received a 5-star Commercial Services Accreditation from the National Association of REALTORS®. Association Executive Michael Barr accepted the award at AE Institute this spring. To earn the Commercial Services Accreditation, an association must achieve the minimum twenty (20) required benchmarks, and each additional benchmark earns you additional points. GRRA earned 60 total points for the 5-star rating. Congratulations! IMPACT

NC REALTORS® GIVES BACK DAY IS JUNE 19 Make a difference in your community and participate in NC REALTORS® Gives Back Day on Wednesday, June 19, 2019. NC REALTORS® Gives Back is a way for local associations and members to come together and participate in a housing-related service project in their area. Get Involved If you don’t have a project or event in mind, don’t worry! We’ll be keeping a running list of all events on ncrealtors.org/ncrgivesback and on the Facebook event page, so check back often. Or, contact your local association to see if anything is planned in your area. If you have any questions or want to share your event details, please email Caitlin Thompson at cthompson@ncrealtors.org. #NCRGivesBack | Share your work on social media We want to see the meaningful work you are doing in your community. Join the conversation on Facebook and be sure to post a picture/video of your housing-related service project using the hashtag: #NCRGIVESBACK. ncrealtors.org • INSIGHT  5


Getting to Know You

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

MICHAEL MCKINNEY | NC REALTORS® Housing Foundation Director When did you join the staff? February 2019 Educational background: Masters of Art in Nonprofit Management with a Concentration in Leadership from High Point University; Masters of Science in Banking and Finance from Boston University; Bachelor of Arts in Political Science with a

Concentration in Public Administration and a Minor in Sociology Experience related to your position: I was an agent for Better Homes and Gardens® Real Estate. I also have 16 years of banking and finance experience in addition to over 16 years of nonprofit experience.

MIKE BUTRUM | Local Government Affairs Director When did you join the staff? March 2019

Sky Association of REALTORS® in Asheville, N.C.

Educational background: Studied at the University of Michigan and Wayne State University in Detroit

Where did you grow up? Where else have you lived? Detroit is my home town. I have lived in Washington, D.C. (Army); New York City; Greenville, S.C.; Cincinnati; Dallas; and Asheville, N.C.

Experience related to your position: For 11 years, I worked as the Local Government Affairs Director for Land of the

MARCUS SLADE | Government Affairs Assistant When did you join the staff? March 2019 Educational background: Bachelors in Political Science from Lenoir-Rhyne University; Masters in Public Administration with a focus on domestic policy from Appalachian State University

Experience related to your position: I worked on a political campaign for a state representative and I was also a Management Fellow for Rockingham County. What are you currently watching on Netflix? Stranger Things

HANNAH BRINSON | Regional Government Affairs Director When did you join the staff? April 2019 Educational background: Bachelor of Arts in History from UNC-Charlotte Experience related to your position: While in college, I obtained two political internships and began

volunteering for a nonprofit. Volunteering for the nonprofit ultimately led me to gaining a full-time position with them working in fundraising. What do you enjoy doing when you are not working? Reading, hiking, spending time with my family and running. I am training for my first half marathon!

PORTER GRAHAM | Local Government Affairs Director When did you join the staff? April 2019 Educational background: Bachelor of Arts in History from George Washington University Experience related to your position: My prior work for the U.S. House of Representatives necessitated the

6  INSIGHT • May 2019

communication of nuanced, technical material in ways relatable to diverse audiences. You have to sing karaoke. What song do you pick? Caribbean Queen by Billy Ocean


OWN YOUR PRESENT. EMPOWER YOUR FUTURE. You can lead the way. Commitment to Excellence empowers you to enhance and showcase your high level of professionalism. It gives you an advantage in an increasingly competitive market and shows consumers you’re committed to conducting business at the highest standard. Be committed to excellence.

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

Christina Asbury Louis Baldwin Carol Bradley Ikhlas Brais Leigh Brown Michele Clark

Connie Corey Cirila Cothran Rosemarie Doshier Kristina Farrell David Fialk Fred Gainey

Donald Harris Wendy Harris Scottie Hundley Sandra Hurst Michele McCubbins John McPherson

Jean Moore Sarah Moss Teresa Pitt Thomas Potratz Lori Shultz-Moore Brook Sparks

John Trapaso Stephanie Walker Lisa York

As of 4/8/19.


“MIPIM gives North Carolina a chance when global real estate investment decisions are being made.”

Why MIPIM? BY MARK ZIMMERMAN SENIOR VICE PRESIDENT OF EXTERNAL AFFAIRS As REALTORS®, our members realize that business doesn’t magically appear at their doorstep. If prospective clients and customers don’t know about you, they will take their business elsewhere. The same is true for our state, its many communities and the increasing number of real estate projects that need investment to take advantage of our state’s growing economy. If real estate investors don’t know about North Carolina, they will invest elsewhere. In 2017, $8.5 trillion dollars was invested in real estate worldwide. The United States is perhaps the most attractive market for foreign investment. Unfortunately, most of the people responsible for making those investment decisions do not have any awareness of North Carolina or why it is a safe, productive market for their dollars. 8  INSIGHT • May 2019

NC REALTORS® wants to encourage real estate investment in our state. It is good for our economy, our communities and our members who engage in commercial transactions and sell to homebuyers who want good amenities nearby. One annual conference brings together a majority of global real estate investors. It is called MIPIM and has been held in France for the last 29 years. Over 5,000 developers and local authorities from around the world promote themselves to over 20,000 eager investors. Until last year, North Carolina has had no presence at MIPIM. Neither the North Carolina Department of Commerce nor the Economic Development Partnership of North Carolina work on this kind of economic development. However, the National Association of REALTORS® (NAR) does have a presence at MIPIM, and state associations are invited to participate at subsidized costs. About 10 states take advantage of that each year.

Beginning last year, NC REALTORS® joined NAR at MIPIM. We have a commitment to promote North Carolina economic development because a healthy general economy is necessary to a healthy real estate market. NC REALTORS®’ objective is to raise awareness of North Carolina as an opportunity for global real estate investors. When I attended this year, I was not prepared for the scale of this conference. There was so much real estate activity on display that it was almost overwhelming. Same for the investor community in attendance. Thousands of serious real estate investors with huge funds at their disposal to deploy. Most of the people we talked to had never heard of North Carolina. Now they know. If NC REALTORS® wants to have impact on North Carolina economic development, raising our state’s flag at MIPIM is one concrete way to do that. Who better than us—the leading real estate organization in the state—to promote North Carolina as a great place in which to invest? MIPIM gives North Carolina a chance when global real estate investment decisions are being made. Without NC REALTORS® presence, we wouldn’t even be in the running. Pictured above is the 2019 MIPIM delegation including from left, Tony Harrington, Chair, NC REALTORS® Economic Development Committee; Sledd Thomas, CCIM North Carolina; Andrea Bushnell, Chief Executive Officer, NC REALTORS®; Mark Zimmerman, Senior Vice President of External Affairs, NC REALTORS®; and Jake Cashion, Vice Chair, NC REALTORS® Economic Development Committee.


Get to Know Your 2019 NC REALTORS® PAC Trustees The mission of the NC REALTORS® Political Action Committee (NC REALTORS® PAC) is to

NOT PICTURED:

raise and disburse funds to promote homeownership, protect private property rights and

Samuel Aubrey AE Trustee

increase political awareness for the real estate industry. The NC REALTORS® PAC Trustees

Maren Brisson-Kuester NC REALTORS® President Elect

are dedicated volunteers from the association membership that recognize the importance of NC REALTORS® PAC and are fully invested in its mission. Collectively, trustees make

David Noyes Large Board Trustee

funding decisions based on recommendations/input from local associations, voting

Todd Pierceall Immediate Past Chair

records for incumbents and a candidate’s support and/or knowledge of issues of concern to the real estate profession. Meet your 2019 NC REALTORS® PAC Trustees:

Randall Blankenship Chair

Bradley Cohen

Region 8 Trustee

Wendy Harris

Legislative Committee Chair

Bruce Gates

Kim Endre

Bill Aceto

Diana Braun

Vice Chair

Treasurer/Region 1 Trustee

Region 6 Trustee

Region 10 Trustee

Tom Colley

Michael Davenport

Rosemarie Doshier

Bonzie Everson

Region 4 Trustee

Nick Hinton

Region 9 Trustee

At-Large Trustee

Neal Johnson

Region 2 Trustee

At-Large Trustee

Marcus Larose

Region 5 Trustee

Region 7 Trustee

Paul McGill

At-Large Trustee

Clif Cheek

Large Board Trustee

Asa Fleming

NC REALTORS® President

John McPherson

Golden R/Platinum R Trustee

HOW CAN YOU GET INVOLVED?

Sandra O’Connor At-Large Trustee

Tony Smith

At-Large Trustee

Lisa York

Region 3 Trustee

The NC REALTORS® PAC Trustee Credentials Committee is taking applications for candidates for Regions 2, 3, 4, 7, 8, 9 and 10 for three-year terms and one candidate from Region 10 for a two-year term. Elections will be held at the NC REALTORS® Board of Directors meeting in September. The deadline for applications is August 2. For more information and an application, please email Kristin Nash at knash@ncrealtors.org.

Contributions to RPAC are not deductible for federal or state income tax purposes. Contributions are voluntary and are used for political purposes. Suggested amounts are merely guidelines and you may contribute more or less than the suggested amounts. The National Association of REALTORS® and its state and local associations will not favor or disadvantage any member because of the amount contributed or a decision not to contribute. You may refuse to contribute without reprisal. Your contribution is split between National RPAC and the State PAC in your state. NC RPAC supports the efforts of National RPAC and contributes a portion of its contributions to National RPAC. Contact your State Association or PAC for information about the percentages of your contribution provided to National RPAC and to the State PAC. The National RPAC portion is used to support federal candidates and is charged against your limits under 52 U.S.C. 30116. In-kind contributions/donations are not included for the purposes of the National RPAC State PAC split. NC law requires political committees to report the name, mailing address, job title or profession and name of employer or employee's specific field for each individual whose contributions aggregate is in excess of $50 in an election cycle. Contributions can only be accepted from individuals in the form of personal checks or credit cards. Contributions from corporations or business entities cannot be accepted. This solicitation was paid for by NC RPAC.


The ABC’s of

Advocacy

CHAMPIONS NC REALTORS® PAC Property Rights Fund (Independent Expenditures)

BY MARK ZIMMERMAN SENIOR VICE PRESIDENT OF EXTERNAL AFFAIRS From the very beginning, REALTORS® have supported expanding homeownership opportunity, bolstering property owners’ rights and constructive regulation of the real estate industry. These are our core values. They are also among the primary reasons we have joined together as an association, since there is strength in numbers when we are promoting these issues. NC REALTORS® takes our responsibilities to advocate for these values very seriously. Fortunately, our members have consistently supported giving us the tools and resources we need for this work. Since this investment is substantial, we thought we should explain how the process works and why each element is important to give us the best chance for success. The chart on this page summarizes how everything works together in our Government Affairs department. Legislators and regulatory agencies make the laws and regulations under which we have to live. Therefore, we need to convince the rule makers to take our position to ensure those laws and regulations are helpful (or at least not harmful). Lobbyists do the daily work of that education. In contrast to Hollywood’s characterizations of lobbyists, their job is to provide information, explanation and reasoning why our position on an issue should be adopted. They are an integral part of the debates leading to good policy. We employ several experienced, professional lobbying firms who have relationships with the legislature and executive branch to present our case for us. Without them, groups that oppose our issues would have free rein to influence the government in ways that would hurt our clients, customers and industry. Everything else we do is designed to help our lobbying efforts be more persuasive. There are three segments to providing support: finding and assisting lawmakers who champion REALTOR® issues, organizing grassroots pressure for our issues and building an organizational reputation that commands respect for those issues. Let’s break each of those down. 10  INSIGHT • May 2019

State Political Coordinators

Finding AND Assisting our REALTOR® Champions First, it is easier for our advocacy to be successful if we are lobbying folks who already agree with us. So, we support candidates running for office who think homeownership is a good thing, that property owners’ rights are important and that the real estate industry shouldn’t be hampered with unnecessary regulation. One way we do that is through the NC REALTORS® Political Action Committee (RPAC). The RPAC Trustees decide which candidate campaigns get direct contributions from the fund to which you contribute. Your RPAC investment helps us help our friends, regardless their political party. Another way we build champions is through our Property Rights Fund (PRF). The PRF is funded by member dollars. Its member board uses those resources to run advertising in key candidate races. These efforts are independent from the candidate campaign itself. Finally, we have a group of State Political Coordinators (SPCs). These are REALTOR® members who have, or will, build close relationships with state elected officials. The SPCs communicate directly with their legislators on issues or bills on which we need help. If you know a legislator well either personally or professionally, we’d love to have you as an SPC.


LOBBYING

GRASSROOTS

REPUTATION Homeowners Alliance

Public Relations

Field GADs

Sponsorships

Issues Mobilization

Calls for Action

Broker Involvement Program

Organizing Grassroots Activity The next segment of lobbying support is grassroots activity. It helps to have constituents contact officials to persuade them on our priorities. There are many ways we accomplish this. First is through the North Carolina Homeowners Alliance, an organization of about 75,000 homeowners across the state. We don’t ask them to get involved with elections. Instead, we ask them to engage their legislators or other public officials on issues important to homeowners. The Alliance has been very helpful, most recently by emailing the N.C. Insurance Commissioner to fight exorbitant home insurance rate hikes. We also have an Issues Mobilization Fund (IM), which is also funded with member dollars. We can tap into the IM to create media campaigns on major issues to direct public opinion and get legislators’ attention. We also engage you, our REALTOR® members. Sometimes you’ll get a Call for Action (CFA) from us or the National Association of REALTORS®. By clicking through that email or text, a message is sent to your legislator on a key issue under consideration. Many brokerage firms help with CFAs by having the broker get the message to you. We don’t do CFAs often, so if you get one, you know it’s a very important issue. Please take a few seconds to respond. It helps a lot. We are also expanding our Government Affairs Directors (GADs) program to help local associations across the state. More on that program in a subsequent issue, but the objective is to help all local associations be more engaged with our issues.

Mark Zimmerman is Senior Vice President of External Affairs at NC REALTORS®. If you have questions, comments or want to get involved, contact him at mzimmerman@ncrealtors.org.

Building our Reputation Finally, our advocacy depends on having a top notch reputation. REALTORS® do important work to better the lives of your clients and customers and improve the communities in which you live. We also respond to needs; hurricane disaster relief being the most recent example. We try to publicize your good works so people understand that we are a key component of the economy and strong supporters of the citizens of this great state. We also sponsor other related organizations in their work supporting our issues. All our government affairs activities work together to make it easier for our lobbyists to get legislators and regulators to support our issues. We want to help elect legislators who are understanding and appreciative of the importance of our core values. We want those legislators to hear from their grassroots constituents—folks across the state who have a stake in what we are fighting for. We also want them to be open to work with REALTORS® because of the respect our reputation engenders. As you can see, a lot goes into making advocacy successful. It only happens because of your support. Without that, we’d be at the mercy of those who want to defund affordable housing, keep people from fully enjoying their homes and properties, make development more expensive and difficult and put unnecessary restrictions on the way you do business. ncrealtors.org • INSIGHT  11


MEMBERPROFILE

Elia Gegorek HOMETOWN: Gonzales, CA CURRENT LOCATION: Rockwell, NC TITLE: Broker/REALTOR® NUMBER OF YEARS IN THE INDUSTRY: 17 Why I Love What I Do: Every time I have a closing, just seeing the excitement of my buyers is priceless. Helping someone become a homeowner is a wonderful feeling, especially with the Spanish community in my area. Most families have jobs outside our town, but when they decide to buy a home for their family, and they request my help, I work very hard to help them achieve that dream.

Why I’m A Member of NC REALTORS®: I have been an NC REALTOR® since I started. There are a lot of opportunities and benefits if you want to take advantage of them. You have to invest in yourself, and by becoming an NC REALTOR® you are investing in being the best of the best.

Fun Facts About Me: I'm very involved in my community, but I am also a family member and proud of my family. I have three grandchildren; one in Florida and two in Charlotte. Spending time with my grandkids means the world to me.

What I’m Most Proud of in My Career: I speak two languages, English and Spanish, and this allows me to communicate with two worlds. Helping my Spanish community, who is like my family, makes me so proud.

Do you want to be a featured member in Insight and on the NC REALTORS® website? #MemberMonday is a weekly feature that spotlights our epic NC REALTORS®. For more details, please contact Mckenzie Allen, NC REALTORS® Vice President of Communications and Marketing, at mallen@ncrealtors.org. 12  INSIGHT • May 2019


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Where Leaders Become Legends NC REALTORS® Convention & Expo | September 14 – 17, 2019 | Pinehurst Resort

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ROUND 1

18 DAYS OF SAVINGS, JANUARY 14 – 31, 2019 Member: $299 | Non-member: $375 | Spouse: $200

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EARLY BIRDIE, FEBRUARY 1 – MAY 3, 2019 Member: $350 | Non-member: $425 | Spouse: $200 KEYNOTE: DIANA NYAD

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ROUND 3

REGULAR RATE, MAY 4 – SEPTEMBER 6, 2019 Member: $375 | Non-member: $450 | Spouse: $200

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Supporting disaster relief and community programs

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legal QUIZ A recap of our most popular weekly Q&As. BY: WILL MARTIN, GENERAL COUNSEL To learn more about each Q&A listed here, visit ncrealtors.org/resolve-library and search by the Q&A title or browse by category. Both are referenced in the parenthesis at the end of each question.

Q A

Q A

If a buyer’s agent submits an offer to a listing agent, and that offer is rejected by the seller, are the listing agent and buyer’s agent required to keep a copy of the rejected offer for three years? Yes. North Carolina Real Estate Commission Rule .0108 provides in part that brokers “shall retain records of all sales, rental, and other transactions conducted in such capacity, whether the transaction is pending, completed, or terminated.” Subsection (b) of the same rule specifically says that “offers to purchase” are included within the definition of “records” that should be preserved. (See Do rejected offers need to be retained for three years? 1/10/2019, Real Estate License Law/Rules)

Q A

Is a listing agent required to confirm with a buyer’s agent that the buyer’s offer has been presented? Yes, if the buyer’s agent requests confirmation in writing. Effective January 1, 2019, Standard of Practice 1-7 of the REALTOR® Code of Ethics was revised to provide that a listing agent must, upon the written request of a cooperating agent who submits an offer to the listing agent, provide a written affirmation to the cooperating agent stating that the offer has been submitted to the seller (or landlord). (See Is a listing agent obligated to confirm that an offer has been presented? 1/17/2019, Code of Ethics.)

14  INSIGHT • May 2019

Q A

Is it OK for an NC REALTOR® member to provide a blank copy of the Offer to Purchase and Contract to a friend who is selling her unlisted property to an unrepresented buyer? No. Giving a blank standard form to anybody, whether that person is a client, customer or friend, would be a violation of NC REALTORS®’ Forms Policy. Paragraph 4 of the Forms Policy provides that: “[p]ermitted users may use NC REALTORS®’ standard forms in connection with a transaction in which the permitted user is involved as a broker or a principal. Permitted users may not distribute blank NC REALTORS®’ forms to clients, customers or others, either gratuitously or for a fee, except that they may distribute specimen copies of any NC REALTORS® form to their clients or customers for review purposes.” (See Can I give a blank form to one of my friends? released 1/24/2019, Forms/ Miscellaneous.)

If a developer/builder has all its listings placed with Firm A, may an agent with Firm B solicit the company’s future business? Yes, provided that Firm B’s agent solicits listings on projects that the developer/builder may develop/build in the future, and does not solicit listings on any of the properties that the developer/builder currently has listed with Firm A. (See Soliciting future business of another REALTOR®’s client 2/7/2019, Code of Ethics.)


RESOLVE: NC REALTORS® have free, unlimited access to our Legal Hotline and lawyers with more than 35 years of experience. Call 336-294-1415 or email legalhotline@ncrealtors.org with any questions regarding contracts, forms, fair housing, disclosure and more.

Q A

Q A

Q A

If an agent dies, may the commissions for his pending transactions be paid to his family or estate if they are not licensed real estate brokers? The commissions may be paid to the deceased agent’s estate. Section 93A-2(c)(1)(4) of the Real Estate License Law waives the ordinary requirement that someone be a licensed real estate broker in order to receive compensation for brokerage activities. The exception applies to anyone “while acting as a receiver, trustee in bankruptcy, guardian, administrator or executor or any person acting under order of any court.” (See Who can receive the commission of a deceased agent? 1/31/2019, Real Estate License Law/Rules)

Can a broker-in-charge (BIC) face discipline for losing track of a provisional broker’s license anniversary date? Yes. North Carolina Real Estate Commission Rule 58A.0110(g)(1) requires that a BIC “assure that each broker employed at the office” has a current and active license. In its Broker-in-Charge Guide, the Commission states that the BIC must verify that the provisional broker has: (1) taken at least one 30-hour post-licensing course during the year prior to their license anniversary date; (2) paid the license fee by June 30; and (3) completed at least eight hours of continuing education credit by July 1. (See Can a BIC face discipline for losing track of a provisional broker’s license anniversary date? 2/21/2019, Real Estate License Law/Rules.)

Is it ethical for a REALTOR® to offer incentives to prospective buyer and seller clients? Yes, provided that, in the words of Standard of Practice 12-3 of the REALTOR® Code of Ethics, “any party interested in receiving or otherwise benefiting from the REALTOR®’s offer will have clear, thorough, advance understanding of all the terms and conditions of the offer.” (See Is it ethical for a REALTOR® to offer incentives to prospective buyer and seller clients? 2/28/2019, Code of Ethics.)

Q A

Q A Q A

So long as it is disclosed to a prospective buyer that a property they are interested in contains unpermitted improvements, is there anything else the buyer should be aware of? Yes. The buyer should be aware that they could, at a later date, be required by the local governmental authority to obtain approval of the improvements at the buyer’s cost. It is also possible that a taxing authority could reassess and impose increased ad valorem taxes on the buyer for a period of time previous to the buyer’s ownership, if it concludes that the unpermitted improvements increased the property’s value. (See Should a buyer be concerned about unpermitted improvements? 3/14/2019, Disclosure.)

If the parties to a contract need to amend it a second time, should they sign a second Agreement to Amend Contract form or should they just revise the Amendment form they already signed? Either alternative can be used, and both would be equally effective. There are advantages and disadvantages to each method. (See How should I document a second amendment to an Offer to Purchase and Contract? 3/7/2019, Forms/Offer to Purchase and Contract/Miscellaneous.)

May a REALTOR® set up and advertise a program where she would donate a portion of her commission to a charitable organization on behalf of any person who buys or sells a property using her as their real estate agent? Yes, provided that: (1) the advertising, marketing and other representations about the program meet the “true picture” requirements of Article 12 of the REALTOR® Code of Ethics; and (2) the charity does not become involved in any way in referring the REALTOR® business or promoting the program. (See May I set up and advertise a charity donation program? 3/21/2019, Code of Ethics.)

If you’re not doing so already, be sure to read the Q&As that appear in the REALTOR® Rundown every Monday. It’ll help you on the next quiz! ncrealtors.org • INSIGHT  15


Is It Time to

Rebrand? 16  INSIGHT • May 2019

An overview of the reasons for rebranding and the steps needed to successfully give your brand image a complete makeover.


you need to revisit and redefine what your promise is to your customers. Once you answer that, it will indicate if you need to rename your organization, have a new visual identity or design a new logo for it.” But many organizations that rebrand put a lot of attention on the logo, he adds. “But that’s not the most important thing to customers.” When Heininger sits down with his clients, he tells them the first step is to answer fundamental questions. What has changed in the marketplace for you do to a rebranding? Why is your brand still not relative for return or new customers? Where is the industry going? Can a new technology application help better service your customers? How do you represent that in your brand? What about your current brand is limiting your business growth? In a survey about rebranding success by The Dixon|James Co., Heininger’s public relations’ firm, it showed 81 percent of organizations which rebranded introduced an entirely new logo, 69 percent introduced an entirely new name and 75 percent staged an external launch event and public announcement.

Most Recent Rebranding in Real Estate

BY LEE NELSON Rebranding has become the hopeful catalyst for many organizations— including many real estate companies —to grow, become more modern and resonate with consumers. Some have been successful, and some, not so much. “Your brand is the heart, soul and promise of what you are to your customers,” said Jim Heininger, rebranding strategist at his company Rebranding Experts in Chicago. “But

In March, Coldwell Banker Real Estate LLC announced a new vision when it kicked off Project North Star. Included in that was a new logo with a star in the top right corner, symbolizing the company’s consistent, reliable presence guiding everyone home. The company also announced its new mission statement: “We empower our people to leave their mark on the world of real estate.” This was the first time in nearly 40 years that it changed its logo and adopted a fresh mission. The brokerage’s box logo was limiting in this digital media era. In research, the mission statement had an 80 percent approval rating, and consumers said the new logo represented an innovative brand 80 percent more often than the exiting logo. “I love it. I think it still contains all the Coldwell Banker heritage with a new

twist,” says Rosemary Buerger, broker associate at Coldwell Banker Advantage in Cameron. She read about the changes via social media. She will have to order new business cards, but the cost will be minimal such as $60-$150 for the changes at most. “As an agent, it gives me the opportunity to sing the praises of my company further by showcasing the rebrand,” she adds. “It’s really about staying present in business and showcasing what we do, from the logo to sort of boots on the ground working with clients. Overall, the response has been positive toward the rebranding in her circle. “It will be rolled out over the next year, so the hard launch date is not here yet. It’s about staying in front of the changing footprint of real estate and keeping current,” Buerger explains. “A logo is one part of who I am as an agent, so it’s part of my marketing tools. I love that my brand is forward thinking and embraces change as it’s needed.” Kent Hanley, CEO of Coldwell Banker Howard Perry and Walston, headquartered in Raleigh, has 15 offices in central North Carolina. “We had a feeling there was going to be a big announcement this year, and that was it,” Hanley says. He learned about the new logo and branding at the opening event of the Coldwell Banker GenBlue Conference in Las Vegas in March. “There was a lot of excitement around it, and I was very thrilled about the new logo. We are looking at the logo as a new, crisp representation of the CB brand,” he adds. “The logo will scale better now in our marketing. Coldwell Banker is giving us two years to implement these changes, which will be good.” He doesn’t know yet how much all of this change will cost his company with letterheads, yard signs and more. “Currently, we are using and replenishing the materials that are vital for our day-to-day needs, but are not going out and ordering thousands of business cards or yard signs. We will wait for January 2020 to start the rebrand,” Hanley states. ncrealtors.org • INSIGHT  17


What it takes for companies to rebrand Back in 1978, when RE/MAX came up with its balloon logo, there was no digital or social media advertising. So, the company decided in the fall of 2015 to bring the idea of changing it to the CEO. “When we were changing the logo, it was very important to test it in different mediums so it shined through, and it had to adapt to whatever size and font that went into the creative mediums,” says Abby Lee, senior vice president of marketing and communications for RE/MAX. The company did a lot of testing for more than two years with more than 20,000 consumers surveyed in Canada and the United States. “We weren’t in a desperate situation. We just wanted to update the logo but not go too far,” she says. “We realized it didn’t have to be a complete rebrand or reposition ourselves, but just a refresh.” So, they decided on removing the stripes on the balloon, sticking with the original colors and changing the lettering slightly. There’s still the balloon with subtle changes. When Hadi Atri was apprised of RE/MAX going through a rebranding, he questioned why they were doing this—and he was on their advisory board. “I knew quite a while back. It was not an easy decision. You are used to seeing the balloon in one way. I questioned why we are doing this,” says Atri, president and CEO of RE/ MAX Executive in Charlotte. With more than 350 agents and 11 locations, Atri continues to get new signage. It has been a costly change. It will cost $15,000 or more to just replace the lighted sign in his main office in Charlotte. When he opened that office in 2012, the sign was $12,000. “We have four new offices since the rebranding started. We’ll eventually get them all redone. It will be expensive,” he says. It has taken about 1 1/2 years to get through all the former agents 18  INSIGHT • May 2019

RE/MAX's Balloon Logo (1978)

RE/MAX's Balloon Logo (2005)

RE/MAX's Current Balloon Logo and Wordmark (August 2017)

signs, and since the rebranding, he has added 22 new agents. “Since I was involved with the rebranding from the beginning, I told them that it won’t happen overnight. A yard sign costs $500. The agents won’t just throw them away,” he adds. “The change isn’t that extreme that you can really differentiate it right away. That’s a good thing.” He says he is very conservative and when it comes to branding, he likes it clean cut with not too many sharp colors or extreme changes. If you have a successful brand, you have to be convinced the change is for the good, he says. “New generations and clients have changed. The new logo is much more clean and better for production on paper. My marketing department and the people in that division say it does come out better,” Atri says.

Reasons to Rebrand Heininger says there are eight top reasons a company should rebrand: 1. To more accurately reflect its expanded scope of services or product line. 2. The mission no longer accurately represents the work or service lines. 3. Current brand elements are no longer relevant and limiting business success. 4. A merger or acquisition. 5. Transformative changes to the business model, product line or services. 6. Realign with changes in the marketplace or external influences. 7. The business has lost its meaning and its key differentiators to rally around. 8. Negative reputation makes it difficult to operate successfully.


Some rebranding efforts fail

Coldwell Banker's Former Logo

Coldwell Banker 's Current Logo (March 2019)

Century 21's Former Logo

Century 21's Current Monogram and Logo (2018)

Heininger has observed that a lot of real estate companies have been named after original families that founded them. “Those names might not be relevant in the community. The founding members may not have any involvement anymore, and the brand does not explain what the business is all about,” he adds.

Every place your brand is portrayed needs to change, from advertising to car logos to jackets. You can even have an event for your customers and leaders in your community, and explain why you are doing the change. He has seen failures with execution when the rebranding wasn’t strong enough to achieve a positive outcome or the new brand was not well thought through, didn’t make sense or wasn’t relevant to their customers who couldn’t support it. “If rebranding is done correctly, thoughtfully and all proper planning is done, and you get employees on board and effectively tell your customers, it can translate into increased sales,” he states.

Recommendations for a great rollout Heininger encourages a real estate company to do a one-day flip the switch announcement. Everything should flip over, from the signage to social media to all the materials updated and used from that day on. “Everything old is discarded so it is not confusing." He suggests building internal excitement the week leading up to it.

Lee Nelson is a freelance journalist from the Chicago area. She has written for Yahoo! Homes, TravelNursing.org, MyMortgageInsider.com, and REALTOR® Magazine. She also writes a bi-monthly blog on Unigo.com.

Just a year ago, the National Association of REALTORS® unveiled a brand evolution and logo redesign. But within a very short time after that, NAR leaders halted the rollout to gather more input. On its Facebook page, then NAR President Elizabeth Mendenhall and Chief Executive Officer Bob Goldberg explained that “We are a member-centric organization, and this decision to postpone the brand transformation demonstrates that your national association is listening.” What happened was a deluge of diverse opinions that they said “ranged from strong support to outright disapproval.” The organization began the brand transformation in 2016 with a Presidential Advisory Group who wanted to expand, modernize and elevate the REALTOR® brand. The process continued for the next year and included research and data collected from consumers, members, leadership and NAR staff. “But we are also mindful that an association with 1.3 million members has 1.3 million opinions, especially about an identity that represents our commitment to our clients,” the NAR leadership team said in an official full statement to its members.

National Association of REALTORS® Current Logo (adopted in 1973)

New Logo Concept (unveiled April 2018)

ncrealtors.org • INSIGHT  19


REALTOR® Nicole Rafferty and her son deliver a gift to a client.

20  INSIGHT • May 2019

REALTOR® Ryan Fitzgerald and The Bat Attitudes softball team.


Clients for Life Your best leads are the clients you already have. Nurture those connections to drive business back long after the deal is done. BY LEE NELSON Every spring and fall since 2015, Ryan Fitzgerald gathers his softball team filled with many former and present clients for fun and exercise. As owner of Raleigh Realty, which is expanding into Charlotte, he sponsors the team with T-shirts, snacks, bats and balls, and invites all of his clients to play. A lot of folks use it as a great way to make new friendships. “My real estate attorney is even on the team, and she works with most of my clients. The Bat Attitudes, our team name, has been known to win championships,” he remarks. Most agents will tell you that nurturing your clients from the moment you meet them to years and years after the transaction will solidify a client for life. NC REALTORS® give their clients creative closing gifts, send them birthday and anniversary cards and bring them dinner on moving day. They go beyond the call of duty to help them when they need extra help or a comforting voice. Those thoughtful gestures might be just why 90 percent of buyers said they would use their agent again or recommend their agent to others, according to the 2018 National Association of REALTORS® Profile of Home Buyers and Sellers. Keeping your name fresh on your clients’ minds comes from building personal relationships with them. Plus, you get the benefit of having them refer you to their friends, family, co-workers and neighbors time and time again throughout your career. “You just can’t be fake or do things that are outside of your personality,” adds Fitzgerald, who was one of the 2018 REALTOR® Magazine’s 30 under 30.

CONNECTING WITH CARE AND AUTHENTICITY For a quick hello to past clients, Nicole Rafferty sends out a monthly postcard with different recipe printed. “I also drop off birthday cards with a balloon and a little candy for my clients whose birthdays I know,” adds Rafferty, REALTOR® at RE/MAX Realty Consultants in Greensboro.

To continue that nurturing, once a year she pops by to every past client in her database whether they are home or not. One year, she even put two muffins in a bag dropped at their doors. She also has given Redbox codes with popcorn and seed bombs for them to plant in their yards.

CLIENTS FOR LIFE CAN HELP BUILD YOUR BUSINESS Rafferty asks each client after a transaction for a Zillow review. “I’ve collected over 160 reviews on this site which helps to show people the true character I display in my business without it just coming from my mouth,” she adds. But she does think some agents can be quite overbearing in their pursuit for personal connections. “This is not how I want to ever come across. I want my clients to feel that I care more about our relationship and them as a person than I do the commission at the end of the deal. Keeping in touch with them and truly caring about their personal celebrations are good ways to show them you’re genuine,” she states.

OTHER WAYS TO BOND Fitzgerald and his team write blog posts so when folks Google things like “Moving to Raleigh” or “Living in Charlotte,” they get information about a myriad of subjects important to them. “We live in a digital age now and too often, pamphlets get lost, where as the top result on Google gets clicked on and read 100 plus times daily,” he says. Giving potential clients an added value and/or important information before they even come to you for help can begin the relationship. His company also offers a Facebook group where clients can participate and join in on any local happenings or real estate conversations. “Connecting with clients on social media is one of the best ncrealtors.org • INSIGHT  21


Rafferty sends her past clients a monthly postcard with a recipe as a quick "hello."

ways to remain engaged in their lives as well as staying connected to them,” he explains. "Whether you’re engaging with them or they are engaging with you, you remain top of mind when the time comes for them to sell their home or even to recommend you to family and friends.” Kristina Farrell, REALTOR® for the Fran Johnson Team of Keller Williams Realty in Kernersville, meets clients for lunch or coffee, or even calls to keep in touch. She also sends newsletters, emails with home tips and postcards. “We send out a satisfaction survey, or I ask the client or other agent face to face as well. We have become involved in each other’s lives, and I feel that if I ask them to honestly tell me they will,” she says. Here are some other ways NC REALTORS® build lifelong clients: Being available at weird hours—Many of Regina Drury’s clients work during the day and can’t talk until late into the evening. As founder of Regina Drury Real Estate Group in Wilmington, she answers their messages even at midnight when they send her messages—if she’s awake. She also has a yearly client appreciation party along with several other events such as a Halloween costume party, picnics with their dogs, an Easter egg hunt and summer gingerbread building party. Giving meaningful closing gifts—A young couple with two toddlers purchased their first home, so Farrell sent them a free subscription to Parents magazine. NC REALTORS® offers The Magazine Gift Program for members at discount through its REALTOR® Partners Program. “I always get clients a magazine subscription as part of their closing gift, and they love it. I get something that appeals to their interest because after all, I know them very well by the time our transaction closes.” Charlie Moody, assistant director of regulatory affairs for the North Carolina Real Estate Commission, says that the commission doesn’t have a concern with agents giving flowers or simple gifts at the closing table. However, if it is something that is of great value—such as a car or diamond bracelet that might affect a buyer’s loan—it needs to be discussed with the lender. “Some lenders don’t care, especially those dealing with vacation properties. In other areas, some lenders do care. 22  INSIGHT • May 2019

We don’t usually get many complaints about closing gifts, just promises made that weren’t kept,” she says. Going beyond the call of duty—When a client recently had the house flood from a broken pipe, Drury and her staff gutted the house and coordinated the water restoration. She’s also been known to drive three or four hours to an attorney’s office to pick up documents and record them at the local courthouse. She’s dropped by clients’ homes to bring vegetables from her garden or a bottle of wine. She’s sent over a cleaning person to help out new homeowners once and another time, she hired a babysitter so the mother of several young children could relax in her new home. “It’s someone you care about, and someone you want to help.” Providing added information—Drury sends out a monthly market update so her clients know what has gone under contract or sold in their neighborhood. “Many are curious after they sell their house about what their future house value is,” she says. Laura Hewett, broker/owner of Carolina Elite Properties LHR in Sunset Beach, puts a professional vendor list on her website that she and her other clients recommend. It lists painters, home inspectors, termite experts and even dog groomers. “That lists constantly changes. If you have a good experience, the clients let me know. I need to keep hearing about their experiences. I do remove vendors if they get a bad review from a former client.” Getting them on TV—Hewett and several of her clients have appeared on HGTV’s Beachfront Bargain Hunt and House Hunters shows. “They like it. It’s like a memory capsule for them, and HGTV does a good job with the families.”

LISTENING TO YOUR OWN VOICE & BEING HONEST A lot of real estate gurus tell you how to stay close to your clients, “but there’s no right way to do it,” says Hewett. “If you can’t get your client to trust you, you won’t be in this business long. Just be their advocate. It’s a game sometimes to find the right house. But it’s a very serious game. I take it very personally.” Farrell says you need to be patient and sensitive to the other parties’ needs. “It is best to let people know up front how you do business, and how you return your calls and emails. Let the other person know your work hours, family timeouts and other obligations up front. They will respect you more,” she says. “This is my full-time career and the way that I support my family,” Rafferty says. “Keeping relationships alive and making sure I’m top of mind when someone sees a friend or family member who needs a REALTOR® referral is very important.” Lee Nelson is a freelance journalist from the Chicago area. She has written for Yahoo! Homes, TravelNursing.org, MyMortgageInsider.com, and REALTOR® Magazine. She also writes a bi-monthly blog on Unigo.com.


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ncrealtors.org • INSIGHT  23


PODCASTS ARE HEATING UP Part 2

A look at how NC REALTORS® are utilizing this media platform to take their business to the next level.

BY ALIYAH ROSS

CONTENT MARKETING COORDINATOR

In 2018, the number of podcast downloads crossed 2.6 billion globally. There is no doubt podcasts are growing in popularity. In our November 2018 issue, we highlighted the resurgence of podcasts and how to get started producing your own. This month we shed light on REALTORS® right here in North Carolina who are using this medium to take their business to the next level. We talked to two NC REALTORS® and one local association to discover how they started their podcast journey and the benefits they have experienced since. To learn more about the benefits of podcasts, how to use them to build relationships and basic tips and tools to create your own, refer to Podcasts are Heating Up, Part 1 in the November 2018 issue of Insight. 24  INSIGHT • May 2019

Beer and Real Estate With managing a real estate business and personal life, it’s hard work to produce a podcast on a consistent schedule. But, REALTORS® and friends Bryan Colquitt and Ryan Wall have found a way to make it work. They are the hosts of the podcast Beer & Real Estate, inspired by their two favorite things: beer and real estate. The quirky title helped Colquitt and Wall cultivate a sense of personability with their clients. “It creates a different dynamic in a client relationship when they realize that you are like them and enjoy the same things they do. You become a person to them as opposed to just another licensed agent,” says Wall. The duo launched Beer & Real Estate in early 2019 on YouTube, but quickly realized that venturing into the podcast arena would cater to an on-the-go REALTOR® audience. Because of that change, they have not only seen positive impacts on their business, but also on the connections they formed with others in the industry. Subscribers to the Beer & Real Estate podcast can expect Colquitt and Wall to cover topics from Inman headlines to situations all REALTORS® experience every day. They interview real estate industry leaders, international real estate coaches and agents that are making waves in the industry. Of course, don’t forget about the beer. In each episode, they also feature a North Carolina brewery and enjoy sipping on a draft of choice as they talk business.


Be Unlikely In 2014, Tiffany Williamson earned her real estate license after working 10 years in the cosmetic industry. However, she quickly realized that the world’s infatuation with appearances extended beyond her previous world in cosmetics. On her website, Williamson writes that “we live in a world where many people operate on the surface-level, masking inadequacies because the appearance of “normal” is far easier than revealing who we truly are.” It was under that type of thinking that empowered her to do things she never thought possible. And, encouraged her to start the Be Unlikely movement, blog and podcast. “I started a podcast to be a voice for the people who were told they would never be successful; for the people who made poor choices; for the people who suffer from limiting beliefs and self-doubt; for the people who have been through the struggle,” says Williamson. On her podcast, you can expect to hear inspiring stories of real estate industry professionals who had to overcome extreme adversity to get to where they are today. You’ll also hear real-life tactical actions you can use to not only jumpstart your business, but live a bolder life. Williamson encourages everyone who is interested in starting a podcast to avoid giving in to the typical excuses. “I waited far too long to launch my podcast because I was too busy or I didn’t have the perfect setting or just the right equipment. If you’re passionate about a topic or have something to contribute, do it today!”

Welcome Home

NC REALTORS® REdefined

In search of how to better engage their members, Orange Chatham Association of REALTORS® discovered podcasts were a cost-efficient way to deliver educational and engaging content. “REALTORS® are working hard to put food on their table and don’t always have the time to come in for classes or attend conventions, so we decided to take the information to them,” says CEO Cub Berrian. “REALTORS® always want to learn; the podcast allows them to learn onthe-go, on their own time.” Orange Chatham is the first local association in North Carolina to tap into podcasts. The podcast, called Welcome Home, provides value for Orange Chatham members and also shares quality information for homeowners. Berrian says, “I would encourage other associations to use modern advances in technology to their advantage and to serve their members. Jump right in the water; don’t be afraid to swim.” Orange Chatham promotes Welcome Home on social media and even had help from the National Association of REALTORS® in their launch.

As you can see, podcasts are kind of our thing. So much so, that we actually started our own this year. The NC REALTORS® REdefined podcast takes a look at our epic members and how they are shaping and influencing the industry. We’re redefining the term REALTOR® and proving that our members do more than buy and sell houses. Look for a new episode each month and get ready for in-depth interviews led by 2019 President Asa Fleming, event recaps and even book reviews.

Moving Forward The 18-34-year-old demographic makes up 44 percent of global podcast listeners. In January 2017, this same demographic was responsible for the newest mortgages. The proof is in the data, so why wouldn’t REALTORS® use this growing technology platform to connect to consumers and build their business. The NC REALTORS® listed above have jumped right in. So, what are you waiting for?

HEY, WHAT ABOUT ME?

Are you utilizing podcasts in your real estate business? We want to know and help you promote it! Share your podcast on Facebook and use the hashtag #NCRPodcasts.

ncrealtors.org • INSIGHT  25


EpicInsight

#Winning with Social Media NC REALTOR® and broker Cicely Walker shares tips on how to embrace social media and use it to build your real estate business.

BY CICELY WALKER 26  INSIGHT • May 2019

The times they are a-changin’. REALTORS® need to stay current, relative and ahead of the curve. One of the best ways to keep your finger on what is current in the real estate market is through social media. For some of us, social media in its various forms is daunting, intrusive, intimidating and perhaps even frightening. However, if you don’t embrace it, you might get left behind. In the last two years alone, mobile marketing has grown over 500 percent. REALTORS® have the ability to capitalize on this forward momentum and ride the wave to success. Studies show that 44 percent of homebuyers use the internet to search for properties. Many go through Realtor.com, Zillow.com or Trulia.com, just to name a few. Consumers are also researching their REALTORS® online with as much vigor as they are looking for homes. And

then, there are millennials. Did you know that 66 percent of homebuyers are millennials and 76.8 million millennials use social media in the United States alone? REALTORS® need to harness these powerful facts by controlling the content consumers are digesting online. How? By using social media! Think of it as your free online referral network that grows as long as you nurture it effectively and continuously. But where do you start? Every month, 700 billion minutes are spent on Facebook, and one billion tweets are posted on Twitter weekly. That is a lot of activity! So, why not embrace your clients where they are and use social media platforms like Facebook and Twitter to build your brand, showcase your credentials and create a solid referral network. Chat with followers, respond to questions, post pictures and especially share video. Marketing experts recommend video to increase visibility and the overall understanding of a REALTORS®’ value. Also remember that not all posts have to be real estate-related. Diversity is the key. Share local events, news and points of interest. Give people an idea of who you are with a few personal details. People buy from people. Then, once you’re ready, expand to Instagram, Facebook Live, Snapchat and 360 posts. Varying the type of posts you create keeps your content fun and fresh. Social media can make or break a career. REALTORS® don’t have to reach Kardashian status, but why not learn from their success and effectively maximize the benefits of social media. Hashtag yourself into popularity. Post frequently. Have fun with it. You might not become an overnight success, but you will see an increase in your business. Cicely Walker formerly worked in mental healthcare. Currently, she is a real estate professional wondering if there’s a difference between the two. Most days the answer is no.


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