Insight | May 2021

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Defuse Arguments with Clients Plus What is FIRPTA? How Economic Development Helps REALTORS® and Their Communities Remembering Garth Dunklin

VOL 100 NO 2 | MAY 2021

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May 2021 8 Remembering Garth Dunklin

Dunklin’s involvement in NC REALTORS® and the real estate industry positively impacted many people.

12 Legal Talk: What in the World is FIRPTA?

Richard Poe dives into a fictional scenario of when FIRPTA law needs to be applied.

15 Brilliant Steps to Defuse Arguments with Clients Learn the right scripts and attitudes to positively resolve disputes with clients.


Photo Credit: Stephanie Chesson Photography

22 Help REALTORS® & Your Community Through Economic Development Economic development and real estate share a natural connection.



RPAC Hall of Fame Induction, Meet the Newest NC REALTORS® Staff



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 100, Issue 2 President Kelly Marks, ABR®, CRS, GRI

Treasurer Laurie Knudsen, GRI

President-Elect Wendy Harris, ABR®, CIPS, CRS, MRP

Immediate Past President Maren Brisson-Kuester

Regional Vice Presidents Region 1: Kim Endre, Kitty Hawk Region 2: Tony Harrington, Wilmington Region 3: Bruce Gates, Goldsboro Region 4: Jon Fletcher, Durham Region 5: Kathy Haines, Greensboro Region 6: John McPherson, Clemmons Region 7: Dennis Bailey, Shelby Region 8: Brenda Hayden, Charlotte Region 8: John Ogburn, Charlotte Region 9: Katie Wangrin, Asheville Region 10: Teresa Pitt, Fuquay Varina Region 10: Renee Smith, Apex At Large Representative: Sofia Crisp, Greensboro Chief Executive Officer Andrea Bushnell, Esq., CIPS, RCE Vice President of Communications & Marketing Mckenzie Allen Graphic Design Coordinator Raquel Stubblefield Content Marketing Coordinator Aliyah Ross Contributors Lee Nelson, Richard S. Poe, Nick Scarci 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.”

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

We made it through the first quarter of 2021 and have hope as our state works towards getting our lives back to “normal.” Vaccines continue to roll out across our state, which is such great news for NC REALTORS®. We thank you all for working professionally with best practices during the pandemic. You’ve demonstrated how much REALTORS® care about your clients, your communities and the North Carolina economy. We are very happy that you will now have the protection of these vaccines. NC REALTORS® has been busy this year. We successfully pulled off another virtual Legislative Meetings event and informed you of important policy issues affecting your business. We provided disaster relief to neighbors affected by tornadoes in Brunswick County through your support and the NC REALTORS® Housing Foundation’s great work. We provided value through virtual professional development opportunities and new REALTOR® Partners that help you do business more effectively. Meanwhile, I know you’re also busy. The real estate market continues to thrive in many parts of our state. In a heated market, things may also get heated with clients. In this magazine, you’ll find tools to handle disputes positively, including NC REALTORS® mediation and Ombudsman programs. You’ll also discover ways that economic development benefits REALTORS® and helps you grow your business. I’m so proud to see you all out there making a mark in your communities and helping people find homes and properties—all people. April was Fair Housing month, but our commitment to building thriving, inclusive communities extends beyond just one month of recognition. Remember, Fair Housing isn’t just a law. It goes to the core of what we stand for as REALTORS®. Please take the time to educate yourself and hold yourself accountable. NC REALTORS® offers numerous programs, training and resources to ensure you avoid discrimination in real estate. We even launched a Fairhaven Challenge that includes some great swag. Have you visited Fairhaven? Now is the time. Learn more at I look forward to having more conversations with you this year, either on a Zoom call or hopefully in person soon. I’m proud to serve as your president and lead you through these times of transition and transformation.

Kelly Marks, 2021 President


10 NC REALTORS® Inducted into the National Association of REALTORS® RPAC Hall of Fame NC REALTORS® is proud to announce its newest members of the National Association of REALTORS® RPAC Hall of Fame. The RPAC Hall of Fame recognizes dedicated members who have made a significant commitment to RPAC over the years by investing an aggregate lifetime amount of at least $25,000. The class of 2020 includes four members at the $25,000 level, five members who have achieved the $50,000 level and North Carolina’s very first $75,000 level member. Among the Hall of Fame benefits are name plaques on the RPAC Hall of Fame wall located on NAR’s Washington, D.C. building rooftop, a personal plaque commemorating the installation and recognition pins with the Hall of Fame designation. The 2020 class, which will be inducted in May during the 2021 NAR Virtual Legislative Meetings, joins a prestigious group of fellow REALTORS® from across the state and nation that have gone above and beyond in demonstrating leadership and commitment to advancing the interests of the profession and protecting property rights. Congratulations to our 2020 NAR RPAC Hall of Fame inductees!






Central Carolina $75,000 Level

Outer Banks $50,000 Level

Charlotte Commercial Region $50,000 Level

Canopy $50,000 Level

Greensboro Regional $50,000 Level






Raleigh Regional $50,000 Level

Land of the Sky $25,000 Level

Raleigh Regional $25,000 Level

Durham Regional $25,000 Level

Goldsboro Wayne County $25,000 Level • INSIGHT  5

Welcome to the Team! Meet the Newest NC REALTORS® Staff In just over a year, NC REALTORS® added several phenomenal staff members—five in the government affairs department and one in the administrative department. We hope you enjoy getting to know some fun facts about these individuals. For a complete list of NC REALTORS® staff and leadership, please visit

ANNA HARVEY | GOVERNMENT AFFAIRS ASSISTANT When did you join the staff? January 2020 Educational background: Bachelor of Arts in Communication and a minor in Spanish from Southeastern University in Lakeland, Florida

If you could go back in time to any era, which would it be? The 1990s Which historical figure would you most like to meet? Francis Schaeffer

What was the best concert you ever attended? It is a tie between Jack White and The Avett Brothers!

DALTON CLARK | REGIONAL GOVERNMENT AFFAIRS DIRECTOR When did you join the staff? April 2020 Educational background: Bachelor of Arts in Political Science from North Carolina State University You have to sing karaoke, what song do you pick? I’ll let the crowd pick—I will do it all.

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What do you enjoy doing when you are not working? I love watching sports and playing golf. I am a big NC State, Atlanta Braves and Carolina Panthers fan. Who inspires you? Anyone and everyone who shows up each day with a big smile and tries to be the very best at their trade

EMMA SOWDER | SHARED GOVERNMENT AFFAIRS DIRECTOR When did you join the staff? September 2020

What’s the best book you’ve read recently? The Invisible Life of Addie LaRue by V.E. Schwab

Educational background: Bachelor of Arts in Public Management, Leadership and Policy from The Ohio State University

Who inspires you? Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg is my biggest inspiration as I work in advocacy.

What is your favorite food? Wood fired pizza or homemade sourdough bread

LEIGH MORGAN | LEGAL ASSISTANT When did you join the staff? September 2019 Educational background: Paralegal Technology Degree from Guilford Technical Community College What show are you currently binge-watching? The Crown on Netflix

What do you enjoy doing when you are not working? Reading, putting puzzles together and camping with my husband in our RV What’s the best piece of advice you’ve ever received? Everyone you meet is going through something you know nothing about, so just be kind

MICHAEL COOPER | SHARED & REGIONAL GOVT. AFFAIRS DIRECTOR When did you join the staff? July 2020 Educational background: Bachelor of Science in Communications from Appalachian State University What was the best concert you ever attended? Flaming Lips on the Mall in D.C. for Earth Day

What are you reading right now? JFK: Coming of Age in the American Century, 19171956 by Fredrik Logevall and The Splendid and the Vile: A Saga of Churchill, Family, and Defiance During the Blitz by Erik Larson Where did you grow up? In North Wilkesboro

PAM MELTON | DIRECTOR OF POLITICAL & EXTERNAL COMMUNICATIONS When did you join the staff? July 2020 Educational background: Bachelor of Arts in Communications from The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill What is your favorite food? Ceviche – I could eat it daily

What are you passionate about? Enjoying life, making the most out of every day, doing things to challenge myself and doing things that take me outside of my comfort zone Where did you grow up? Where else have you lived? I grew up in eastern North Carolina. I have lived in Washington DC, Pennsylvania and Tennessee. • INSIGHT  7

Remembering Garth Dunklin December 3, 1962 – January 14, 2021 NC REALTOR® Garth Dunklin passed away on January 14, 2021. Garth was a friend, mentor and inspiration to many. He contributed so much to NC REALTORS® and the real estate industry at large. Garth helped form the REALTORS® Commercial Alliance (RCA) group to ensure commercial REALTORS® have a voice. Garth also chaired the RCA Forms Committee for over 25 years and was a commercial real estate educator for over 20 years. His impact was immense and his warm smile and expertise will be deeply missed.

Photo Credit: Stephanie Chesson Photography

8  INSIGHT • May 2021

Photo Credit: Stephanie Chesson Photography

“I communicated with Garth regularly about various aspects of NC REALTORS® commercial forms. I also worked with him on a number of special projects over the years, including such esoteric subjects as NC REALTORS® forms policy and the relationship between the NC Revised Uniform Arbitration Act and the procedures used by associations of REALTORS® to conduct arbitrations. His intelligence, deep experience, willingness to get involved, good humor and commitment to doing things well made him a real pleasure to work with. His contribution over many years to NC REALTORS® can’t be overstated. I will miss him very much, both professionally and personally.” – Will Martin | NC REALTORS® General Counsel “I remember many years of sitting around the conference table with Garth and the other commercial forms guys. Garth always made the meetings fun, light and enjoyable.” – Monica Huckaby | NC REALTORS® Legal Programs Coordinator

“Garth and I worked well as a team and were great friends for many years. He was precise and exact, and I was more of a headlines gal. He would patiently fix my bad grammar and mixed font, never complaining. He treated me like a peer but warned me that I might eventually lose my real estate license for UPL (unauthorized practice of law). He would rant about the proper use of colons and semi-colons when I used a hyphen. He’d just shake his head and smile. We’ll miss that smile, the twinkle in his eye and his wicked sense of humor. Such a huge loss for so many of us. He left a hole that I doubt will be filled.” – Cindy Chandler, CCIM, CRE® | CEO of The Chandler Group “I can’t even describe the impact this has been felt by not only myself, but the entire commercial real estate community. I could always count on Garth to keep those commercial forms meetings fun. He once asked me to always order cookies when I ordered lunch for the committee, so we could take those back to the conference room to munch on in the afternoons. He served as a great mentor to me when I first started at NC REALTORS® and was getting my feet wet. He would always stay late after the meetings to explain everything to me. I never felt rushed or talked down to. I am going to miss his big smile and big laugh most of all.” – Leigh Morgan | NC REALTORS® Legal Assistant “I served on the Commercial Forms Committee with Garth for well over a decade. When Garth spoke, you could tell immediately that he was extremely intelligent. He was a true student of life and tried to learn from every encounter. When you spoke with Garth, he gave you his undivided attention, and you knew that he truly cared what you had to say. Even in the most serious of conversations, Garth always found a way to inject some levity. Garth would leave you more enlightened and with a smile on your face.” – F. Spruill Thompson, SIOR | Senior Vice President for Cape Fear Commercial “The late Pete Chenery introduced me to Garth Dunklin at one of our real estate conferences and suggested to Garth that I be invited to one of the Commercial Forms Committee meeting to discuss Land and Land disclosures. Garth invited me to the next meeting. After my presentation, he asked me if I would like to be on the committee. That is when the fun began. I looked forward to being with Garth and some of the brightest commercial agents at our NC REALTORS® conference table. With this distinguished group, you just felt Garth was the smartest guy in the room. I always admired the way he would never acknowledge that status. His humility was genuine, even if it couldn’t hide his brilliance.” – Lou Jewell | Broker/Instructor, ALC • INSIGHT  9

Tell Us Your Story

Gives Back

GET INVOLVED • Visit • Tag NC REALTORS® (@NCREALTORS) in your social media posts doing good deeds, also including the #NCRGivesBack hashtag in your post

Presented by the NC REALTORS® Housing Foundation Make a difference in your community and participate in NC REALTORS® Gives Back Day on Thursday, June 24, 2021.

10  INSIGHT • May 2021

ADDITIONAL INFORMATION Contact Michael McKinney, NC REALTORS® Housing Foundation Director, at 336.550.4420 or

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WHAT IN THE WORLD LARRY: Well, Betty, there is a law known as the Foreign Investment in Real Property Tax Act of 1980 (FIRPTA). In certain circumstances, a settlement agent is required to withhold a portion of the sales price from the seller at closing if the seller is not a U.S. citizen. There are many possible scenarios and many exceptions to the general rule, but it might be required. BY RICHARD S. POE PARTNER, LANCASTER, TROTTER AND POE, PLLC

The following is a fictional (but very plausible) conversation between Betty Broker and Larry Lawyer: BETTY: Hello, Larry. This is Betty. I hope your New Year is going well, and you and your family are dodging COVID so far. LARRY: Thanks, Betty! How can I help you today? BETTY: Well, I have a closing coming up with you in a few weeks in which I am the listing agent for Manuel and Consuela Ramirez, a lovely couple from Ecuador. They plan to return to Ecuador after selling their home here, and a friend recently told them that part of the sales price might be withheld from them at the closing. Why would that be?

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BETTY: How do my folks find out if there will be withholding on their transaction? LARRY: I am not a tax lawyer, so the Buyer and the Seller in this situation should be advised to seek tax advice from a qualified tax professional. However, here are several basic rules: 1. If the seller is selling to a buyer who intends to occupy the property as his or her principal residence and the purchase price is $300,000 or less, no withholding is required. 2. If the seller is a resident alien (holder of a green card), he or she is treated the same as a U.S. citizen and no withholding is required regardless of the purchase price. 3. If the seller applies for and obtains a FIRPTA Withholding Certificate from the IRS prior to closing, no withholding is required. Eligibility for a Withholding Certificate would be determined by a tax professional. BETTY: Well, my sellers do not have green cards, and the house is selling for $500,000, so does that mean they will not get part of their proceeds following closing?



LARRY: Probably so, unless they qualify for a Withholding Certificate for some reason. But even if they do qualify, it’s unlikely the IRS would issue a Certificate in time for a closing in a few weeks. So, in all likelihood, I am going to have to withhold 10% (or $50,000) of the purchase price from the sellers’ proceeds and send it to the IRS. Once the sellers file the last tax return they are required to file, my understanding is they can apply for a refund of any of the withheld amount that exceeds their final tax liability.

BETTY: Wow! So, what do I need to put on my checklist so I adequately warn my clients in the future? LARRY: Here are the questions that you need to know the answers to every time: 1. Is the seller a citizen of another country? 2. If so, does the seller have a green card? 3. Is the buyer going to use the property as his or her principal residence? If so, is the purchase price $300,000 or less? 4. Is the buyer going to use the property as investment property? In this case, if the seller is a citizen of another country and doesn’t have a green card, withholding is required no matter the price. 5. Does the seller qualify for a FIRPTA Withholding Certificate in the opinion of a tax professional? BETTY: Thanks for the heads up. This is definitely going on my checklist. Is the anything else I should know?

LARRY: Just a couple of things to keep in mind: 1. If the sales price exceeds one million dollars and withholding is required, the withholding increases to 15% of the sales price. 2. The way the law is written, the buyer is responsible for making sure the withholding is done properly. So, if the withholding is not done properly or not delivered to the IRS within 20 days from closing, the buyer will be penalized and charged with late fees by the IRS. As a practical matter, since closing attorneys usually represent buyers, this liability would fall on the closing attorney. 3. Buyers and sellers in this situation are both advised to seek professional tax advice and not simply depend on your real estate attorney unless he is also a qualified tax expert. Have a great 2021, and stay safe and well!!!

Working with International Buyers? The Certified International Property Specialist (CIPS) designation gives you the tools to complete global transactions seamlessly and with reduced risk. Join us for the CIPS Institute on August 2 – 4 and 9 – 10. For more information or to register for the CIPS Institute, please visit • INSIGHT  13

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14  INSIGHT • May 2021

Brilliant Steps to Defuse Arguments with Clients T


wo years ago, Stephanie Walker dealt with a client selling her home. The closing got delayed a couple of times. The buyers scheduled another home inspection after the first one was completed to find more problems they could use in negotiations. “The seller felt like she was ramrodded into fixing things she didn’t want to fix,” says Walker,

broker/owner of Stephanie Walker & Associations in Kitty Hawk. She also does mediation and Ombudsman trainings for NC REALTORS®. “She’d call and just yell. She didn’t have to fix those things, and those people didn’t have to buy her house,” Walker states. Eventually, her home sold. “I think she just needed to be • INSIGHT  15

heard,” Walker explains. “I knew her frustrations weren’t at me. It was much more about the situation. She was very privileged and used to getting her way.” REALTORS® run into difficult clients and other agents all the time. But learning the right scripts and attitudes to positively resolve disputes can help your business and give you a stronger reputation among potential clients and those you face across the table. How Far Is Too Far When Clients Go Awry “Probably the two biggest reasons for disagreements between a client and REALTOR® are lack of communication or lack of education,” says Alyssa Hellman, broker with Lynn Johnson & The My Southern View Real Estate Team and founder of Compass South Consulting in Raleigh. “Buying or selling a home is often an emotionally charged experience, and so, it is only natural to have emotions about their experience,” she explains. “I normally welcome that and try to understand the why of what they’re feeling and help navigate the situation through that lens.” “Keep in mind, as a REALTOR®, you’re in the middle of buyers and sellers, so you’re often their only outlet to share frustration, dissatisfaction and more,” Hellman explains. “So, as long as they understand that you’re on their side and advocating on their behalf, you can normally avoid the ranting and raving.” However, it does happen. Brian Pate has had it happen a few times in his long career. “One time, a client cussed at me. That is one thing I will not tolerate,” says Pate, owner of Pate Realty Group at Keller Williams Preferred Realty in Wake Forest. He also is president and owner of Brian Pate Seminars. Hellman agrees that disrespectful language or actions simply are unacceptable. When should a REALTOR® walk away or fire their client? Hellman is a big believer that you have to be the one who determines the level of respect that you’re given. “I would not accept feeling threatened, 16  INSIGHT • May 2021

“The best thing to do is listen, summarize what they [the clients] have said and have an agreement for the path forward.” – Caitlin Thompson, NC REALTORS® Chief Legal Officer

unsafe or disrespected, nor do I believe any other professional should. But ultimately, folks have to decide this for themselves,” Hellman reveals. Increase Communication To Avoid Disputes “I jokingly say in my classes that no clients complain that I talked too much to them,” Pate adds. Keeping the lines of communication open throughout the process of selling or buying a home remains top on the list of Pate’s teachings to other agents. “The second most stressful thing, besides buying a home, is the death of a loved one,” he states. “As long as an agent communicates on a regular basis, that’s the key.”

Many people get frustrated with the negotiations of house buying and selling. “The goal of the seller is to get the best price, and the buyer is to pay the least amount of money. In the classes, I teach it’s rare that everyone will get what they want,” Pate explains. “When the client gets upset, it’s usually because the agent has stoked the fire a little bit. But agents cannot create adversarial relationships in the negotiations,” he says. “This is about finding a price that is comfortable with everyone.” “The best thing to do is listen, summarize what they have said and have an agreement for the path forward,” says Caitlin Thompson, Chief Legal Officer for NC REALTORS®.

Learning the right scripts and attitudes to positively resolve disputes can help your business and give you a stronger reputation among potential clients and those you face.

“Probably the two biggest reasons for disagreements between a client and REALTOR® are lack of communication or lack of education.” – Alyssa Hellman, Broker with Lynn Johnson & The My Southern View Real Estate Team and Founder of Compass South Consulting

Ombudsman and Mediation Programs Many of Walker’s mediation students end up taking the Ombudsman training after their mediation training. “The skill set isn’t all that different,” she ways. “In mediation, you are in front of both parties. As an Ombudsman, you make phone calls, and typically both parties aren’t on the same call.” An Ombudsman is used before mediation, trying to keep it from escalating into a formal complaint. When someone from the public complains about a REALTOR®, an Ombudsman is brought in. REALTOR® boards and associations have the responsibility to resolve

ethics complaints and requests for arbitration. The NC REALTORS® Ombudsman program helps avert these complaints with good communication and problem-solving at a local level. “A lot of the times, it is just people misunderstanding,” Walker states. “Typically, it’s a lack of communication. A lot of times REALTORS® will assume the client understands their business the way they do.” But she believes that a REALTOR®’s duty is to get their client knowledgeable by explaining how the markets work, how REALTORS® get paid, how closings work, how open houses and tours happen and a whole lot of other things that will be occurring. She feels the Ombudsman program

is needed in real estate because she’s seen how it truly helps situations from escalating into something bigger and more formal. Sometimes, it’s just an apology that can help. Many times, it doesn’t take much, just listening to the story, then testing what they really want. Thompson says even if you aren’t interested in serving as an Ombudsman or a mediator, the courses offer many skills that help navigate difficult situations and disputes. “During those trainings, we roleplay different scenarios and talk about how different resolutions are reached,” she says. NC REALTORS® also offers an annual Professional Standards Training and participates in the Code of Ethics day. Many training courses and designations • INSIGHT  17

cover many aspects of the real estate business as well as the Mobile Monday Facebook Live sessions held monthly on other hot topics. As the chief legal officer, Thompson receives calls from clients and/or REALTORS® on the other side of the transaction that are having a dispute. “Our role is to educate the complaining party on the options that are available to them,” Thompson says. She recommends to REALTORS® who are dealing with arguments or a ranting client to listen and remain calm. “Real estate transactions are complex and require time to explain,” she adds. “I’d recommend getting your broker-incharge involved early. They may be able to provide guidance about how they have dealt with a similar situation.” Getting To The Deeper Reasons Sometimes, you have to query a little more with some clients to see what’s really affecting their moods and their wants. For instance, Hellman had a client insisting that a loose handrail get repaired before buying the home. “While this is a low-cost repair, it also is one that is fairly subjective and difficult to confirm because loose to you may be different than loose to me,” she says. Normally, Hellman would advise a client to focus more on safety issues. This client explained, “This is a safety issue. I have a father with mobility problems, and I don’t want him to fall.” “In that instant, it gave me reason enough to fight for that repair on behalf of my client. Ultimately, the sellers understood that the buyers were not being nitpicky, but rather had reasons for feeling that way,” Hellman explains. “This could have ended up drastically different had we not tried to come from a place of understanding.” Lee Nelson is a freelance journalist from the Chicago area. She has written for Yahoo! Homes,, and REALTOR® Magazine. She also writes a bi-monthly blog on

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Great Ways To Resolve An Escalating Argument With Clients: Listen, listen “If you truly listen to what they are saying, you may find the resolution they couldn’t find themselves,” Walker explains. “They might be saying the same thing but in a completely different way. You have to take yourself out of the ‘I would have done it this way’ attitude.” Don’t tell them to chill out “Nobody has ever calmed down when you tell them to calm down,” Pate explains. “That usually escalates it.” Test the desired outcome “Just talking through why a solution will or won’t be realistic might bring them around,” Walker says. Use resources from NC REALTORS® “If you receive a call from an Ombudsman, consider using the service to attempt to resolve the dispute early before it escalates any further,” says Thompson. Let the air out of the balloon “If a client is angry, they are like a balloon full of air,” Pate states. “You need to let them fuss and complain for a while. Most of the time, they just want to be heard and have their concerns recognized. You can isolate the concern and ask for more details about why they are upset about that particular thing.” Prepare, prepare, prepare “The more a REALTOR® can educate and inform themselves, the better,” Hellman shares. “You should ensure that you fully understand the contract language and navigate it appropriately so that you can advise your clients.” Admit your wrongdoings “It is important to own your mistakes in this profession,” Hellman adds. “I’ve missed things before and been surprised. But when I own it and try to make it right, I believe clients accept it. Ultimately, we’re all human.”

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The NC REALTORS® Housing Foundation certifies REALTORS® as Workforce Housing Specialists so that these real estate professionals can better understand the important issues and economic barriers facing those entering the housing market. The Housing Foundation provides educational programs, housing resources, and downpayment assistance that help more North Carolinians affordably purchase a home of their own. The Housing Foundation has been working to enhance this certification and increase the benefits to this very special group of REALTORS® and their clients. For more information and to become a Workforce Housing Specialist, visit


Property Management Division WHY YOU SHOULD JOIN


Navigating The Pandemic We know your life and your profession have been impacted by COVID-19. Property managers are on the front lines, keeping our businesses clean and safe, and working with tenants on rent solutions that will keep communities intact. Times are challenging, and we’re here to help. NC REALTORS® PMD provides advocacy, education and tools to support North Carolina’s professional property managers during this time of uncertainty.

+ PMD Legal Handbook + Interactive Webinars & Training + Legislative Participation + Legal & Regulatory Updates

20  INSIGHT • May 2021

How to Join Any member of NC REALTORS® may join PMD. Visit or contact Amy Kemp at for more information on PMD.

Keep Your Mind & Skills Sharp

NC REALTORS® wants to help you build skills and adapt to changing times. Our website contains a roundup of broadcasts, webinars, courses, tools and programs to help you succeed. Visit for more information. + Live Virtual Courses

+ On Demand Webinars

+ Online Courses

+ Discounts

+ Live Webinars

+ Resources

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Help REALTORS® & Your Community Through Economic Development Every local association should be involved with economic development. Economic development and real estate share a natural connection. Your member benefits and community benefits have made it easier for you to play a role. What is Economic Development? Economic development is the process by which a community grows by attracting good-paying jobs and desirable amenities. Economic developers work to sell their community to a business, developer or investor. They bring new life to town. BY NICK SCARCI Political Operations Director

How Does Economic Development Help the Community? Economic development benefits the community as a whole; strengthening its economy and vitality. It creates an opportunity to improve peoples’ lives. It increases tax revenue so the government can provide more services with less reliance on residential property taxes. How Does Economic Development Help REALTORS®? As economic development brings more jobs into the community, there is an increase in people who need to buy a home. Thus, residential REALTORS® gain new buyers and inventory. Likewise, commercial REALTORS® gain new buyers and development opportunities as businesses need land or to repurpose existing facilities. Additionally, new development needs management, which leads to property managers gaining new clients. How Can REALTORS® Help? There are many ways REALTORS® can help local economic development succeed. First, economic developers need sites 22  INSIGHT • May 2021

for businesses to use. Commercial REALTORS® are experts at selling sites. Second, most economic developers need government financial support to operate and make deals. REALTORS® are a strong voice for advocacy to support economic development activity. Finally, economic developers sell their community to new businesses. REALTORS® are the experts in selling their community. How Do REALTORS® Get Involved? Make 2021 the year you help your community grow by getting involved with economic development. NC REALTORS® made a simple step-by-step process available. Late last year, the NC REALTORS® Economic Development Committee updated its economic development toolkit to encourage more local associations to participate in this vital field. Luckily, North Carolina already has great people working across the state to make sure our local communities continue to grow and thrive through economic development. Additionally, our associations have wonderful people who can help them achieve success. Our NC REALTORS® Regional and Shared Government Affairs Directors (GADs) are trained to help you through this process. GADs can make an introduction to your local economic development organization and educate your members about how economic development works. Your members can then build relationships that will help both economic development and themselves. The revamped economic development toolkit covers these topics and many more. We encourage you to check out the toolkit at and consider participating in Economic Development at your local association this year. For more information about economic development, please contact Nick Scarci, the Economic Development staff liaison, at or contact your local NC REALTORS® Government Affairs Director.




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