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The RACC Newsletter The REALTORS® Association of Citrus County, Inc exists to inform, educate and uphold the high standards set forth in the REALTOR® Code of Ethics enhancing our members professionalism and image while fostering cooperation among our members and serving our communities. We provide education and leading-edge technology to better safeguard private property rights and promote equal housing opportunities REALTORS® Association of Citrus County, Inc.


Business Partner Show- 6-7 case RPAC


Florida Realtors® Leadership Academy


Aug. GMM


Realtor® Safety


Legal Q & A


Sept. GMM/Elections 17 Six “E’s” of Success


Habitat For Humanity 20-22 MLS Stats


Citrus Lending


Tech Times


Education Flyers


Form Simplicity


Business Partners


On the Move


Warnings & fines 38


Volume X, Issue 9

Did you miss the Florida Convention? No worries. Here is a recap…

Inside this issue: Convention Recap

September 2013


This year by far was the best Florida Realtors® Convention yet. The week started off with over 500 Realtors® participating in the REBAR Camp. What’s this you ask, this is where throughout the day where there are a total of 10 different breakout sessions that allows for you to participate in open dialog on the subject that you selected. Once the session starts it lasts for a total of 20 minutes, at which time upon the conclusion you then switch to the next session and so on. You continue to do this for the course of the day. What is great about this is it is not instructor led by presentations, but more on dialogue on the pro and cons of the subject matter. This way you can hear what other agents in different areas may be utilizing the software, or whatever the subject matter is about. After the rebar camp, we gathered for the 59 ½ minute session where President Dean Asher set the stage for the week. Immediately following, was the YPN Reception. And boy was it a reception. The synergy in the room was dynamic and exciting. On Thursday, there were numerous YPN & WCR meetings and education sessions. Again, it was awesome to see the participation of the group and what energy it brought to the convention. While in committee meetings, and YPN and WCR events and education classes, the trade show opened. Even though the trade show was not as large as past years, they had great items to

share. Ask Donnie Bass, he won KISS Concert Tickets at one of the vendor booths. You will have to ask Donnie how the concert was. (I know he has pictures …) Anyway back to the convention. I participated in meetings most of the day, but one of the meetings I would like to share some of the discussion points. The committee was on forms and contracts, and I am pleased to say that the committee had recommended two additional forms that will be going to the executive committee for request of adoption. These will be additional disclosures that will only help with the new flood insurance, and negotiations. Thursday evening after a long day, we all went to hear the band Chicago, what a great night and a lot of fun unwinding and networking. On Free Friday, there was not a parking spot available. Florida Realtors® was claiming that over 2000 Agents in addition to those with full registration had come for the special day. During this time, again there were different education sessions, and committee meetings being held. I must take a minute, to send a very special thank you to John Holloway Sr. for participating in the “train the trainer” session on the New Contracts that will be rolling out.

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John took the time to participate in this four hour session so that he can bring it back to you, the membership. The contract classes are scheduled for September 5 from 9 – Noon and 1-4. Make your reservation today. Saturday, we began the day with more meetings and the last of the education sessions. And finally wrapping the day with our District Caucus to discuss the new 2014 Florida Realtors® President, Sherri Meadows and her agenda for next year. 2014 will be a strong and membership centric Leadership Team. They have such synergy and truly work collectively as a team. (Together we Effectively Achieve More), and that I truly believe will be the case next year. Stay tuned for the big induction of President Sherri Meadows in January, as she will be the second Florida Realtors® President to serve from our district. Then onto the RPAC Jamboree where they raised over $13,000.00 through live and silent auctions throughout the evening. Sunday at the Board of Directors Meeting, we had the opportunity to vote for the new officers serving for 2014, bylaw changes, and finally the 2013 Florida Realtors® Leadership Academy class project –Organ Donation. Awareness was voted in for adoption to support the cause and be backed by Florida Realtors®. Boy was that a busy but wonderful week. I encourage you all to reach out to those who participated in different education classes, and meetings to find out what they learned. Keep an eye out for Tomika and Kim, our YPN Co-Chairs for new education/webinars courses to be added to the calendar, and the YPN events that they are putting together. Again, I cannot stress enough, to see John Holloway Sr. presenting the new contract, and for the TECH TALK sessions that will be back on the calendar monthly for the remaining of the year, not to exclude RACC’s very

own 2nd annual Rebar camp being scheduled for January. Now for an update on our membership business. I hope I kept my promise to you from last month’s newsletter, about great news; and if you do not know; we have entered into a new lockbox contract – SUPRA. I am so excited about what a wonderful job the PAG committee did with the negotiations and recommendation to the Board of Directors. And for the Support of the Board Directors with moving forward with solidifying the deal by passing the vote of the committee’s recommendation. Great Job everyone. So what does this mean to you? With the new lockboxes, this will allow for us to go and show property without worrying about trying to get a key for that particular county. This allows for you, the membership, to have ease of use and hopefully by saving you time, allowing for more sales. I encourage you all to say Thank you to your Board and the PAG Committee members, Sherri Orendorf, Greg Younger, Sarah Spencer, Barbara Banks, Karen Cunningham and Bonnie Rosenberger. At the end of the month I was asked to participate in the as a Stake Holder for Citrus County in the Duke Energy Stake Holder Meeting, as this was the first discussion about the future decommission of the Crystal River Nuclear Plant (CR3). During this meeting there was much discussion about the steps being taken, the time frame for the decommission, the impact to the community, and the public safety. There was also discussion about the additional charges that were collected from customers over the years to purchase additional equipment for the repair of CR3, so being that the decision was

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to decommission; they are in the process of developing the asset recovery team in which they will try to redeploy equipment purchased and give back to the customers. I have asked Phyllis Dixon, Decommission Support Manager, and Terry Hobbs, Decommissioning Director if they would like to come to our November Meeting to present to all of you. So plan on attending the November meeting scheduled November 14 at 11:30 a.m. Next, our annual meeting, I wanted to take a minute to explain once more the request to change a bylaw in regards to standing committees. With the ever changing times, the Board of Directors is requesting that some of the committees come out of the bylaws and be placed in policy and procedures. This will allow for the Committees to be adjusted based on the need and direction of the Realtors® Association of Citrus County. By not having these as standing committees, will allow for more project centric committees to be formed that may not need to be a full year. By doing this will assist in better participations based on what all of you may want to be involved in without the worries of a full year commitment. And finally, the voting in of the new directors and officers. The nomination committee spent an afternoon

interviewing the candidates and named the recommended slate of directors and officers. I must thank those who submitted applications, and participated. For those who were not selected, please know that every single one of you qualified for the roles you had applied for. It is unfortunate that we were limited this year with seats available, however there is always next year. So I encourage you to try again, and continue to support and participate in the different committees, as we so appreciate everything you do for the association. As a reminder, remember to make reservations, as Lunch will be provided for FREE as this is our annual meeting September 12, 2013 at 11:30 a.m. By Making reservations will allow us to make sure there is plenty of food for everyone. Keep an eye out as you never know when there may be more news coming out, or a call to action. See you then!! Respectfully, Cheryl

Social Media Safety Tips Don’t Give Away Passwords Consider this: One way that hackers manage to crack personal passwords is by searching Facebook for easy answers. They know they may find answers to common security questions such as “What high school did you attend?” and “What are the names of your children?” So keep information about family members, household details, and past events to a minimum in order to help prevent this.

Guard Against Identity Theft These days, anyone can find all kinds of personal information about anyone else. That doesn’t mean you have to make it easy! For example, if you who want to post your birthday, don’t include the year. (And delete any public comments that indicate their exact age.)

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Florida Realtors Convention It pays to go to the Florida Realtors Annual Convention. Not only do you have the chance to attend State Committee Meetings, awesome Education Classes and a great Trade Show...there are also tons of fun networking events like the RPAC Jamboree, WCR Banquet, Awards Luncheon, Concerts and more.

YPN (Young Professionals Network) Chairs Tomika SpiresHanssen and Kim Fuller attended the YPN Events. They learned a lot and had fun doing it!

Tami Scott had their picture taken with them.

Members who attended the awards luncheon had the opportunity to hear from the Property Brothers, Tyler Vaughn, Bonnie Rosenberger and

Were you unable to attend the Florida Realtors Convention? Don't worry! Visit http:// NewsAndEvents/2013-Ed -Session-Handouts.cfm

for handouts to all the classes!! Some of the classes presented were: Putting your iPad to

work, Goal Setting, Rock You Blog, Niches means Riches, The Perfect Real Estate Days, YPN (Young Professionals Network) Top Producers, Overcoming

KISS Concert While attending the Florida Realtors Convention, Donnie Bass won free tickets to the KISS Concert. Donnie will also tell you that networking pays off. After meeting some new friends at the Convention, he was also able to upgrade his seats to front row and secure backstage passes. Way to go Donnie!!

Objections, 50 Apps in 50 Minutes, YPN Panel: Bridging the Gap, Marketing Mondays and so much more!

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The 10-Second Rule One of the most common reasons that people find themselves in dangerous situations is that they weren’t paying attention. Take a few precious seconds during the course of your day to assess your surroundings. Take 2 seconds when you arrive at your destination. • Is there any questionable activity in the area? • Are you parked in a well-lit, visible location? • Can you be blocked in the driveway by a prospect’s vehicle? Take 2 seconds after you step out of your car. • Are there suspicious people around? • Do you know exactly where you’re going? Take 2 seconds as you walk towards your destination. • Are people coming and going or is the area unusually quiet? • Do you observe any obstacles or hiding places in the parking lot or along the street? • Is anyone loitering in the area?

Take 2 seconds at the door. • Do you have an uneasy feeling as you’re walking in? • Is someone following you in? Take 2 seconds as soon as you enter your destination. • Does anything seem out of place? • Is anyone present who shouldn’t be there or who isn’t expected? Safety in Just 10 Seconds It takes just 10 seconds to scope out your surroundings and spot and avoid danger. Make this “ten-second scan” a habit in your everyday work as a Real Estate Professional Then share it with someone else. (Source: “What You Can Do About Safety,” REALTOR® Magazine, September 2000. Courtesy Night Owl/Vector Security, Landover, MD.) This article is part of the NATIONAL ASSOCIATION OF REALTORS®’ REALTOR® Safety Resources Kit.

Broker Roundtable Event In August Brokers, Office Managers and Administrative assistants were invited to attend a Broker Roundtable. At the event President Cheryl Lambert discussed highlights of significant changes to the FAR/BAR Contract, new member benefit RPR and the Supra Lockbox Conversion.

The day after the Broker Roundtable event, all members received an email covering these items as well. RPR is now available to our members. We will offer 2 webinars and 2 live trainings, please watch the calendar for these dates.

In September we will make the change to the Supra Lockboxes. All members will be notified of a date and time they can come to the Association to switch their keys. If you have any questions please call 746-7550.

“In September we will make the change to the Supra Lockboxes”

Does Your License Expire 9/30/2013? Remember, there are two (2) parts to renewing your license: 1) pay the renewal fee and 2) Education (14hours or 45 if it is your first renewal). Please remember that 3 of the 14 hours MUST be Core Law. You can find out how many hours you have by visiting or calling the DBPR at 850.487.1395 For your convenience, RACC offers lots of CE courses throughout the year.

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and RACC Office

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Statesmen’s Award ($500+) Bonnie Rosenberger Capital Club ($250+) Gitta Barth

Linda Cridland

Cheryl Lambert

Tami Mayer

Cheryl Nadal

Debbie Scott

Gene Wade

Greg Younger $99 Club

Roy Bass

Karen Baxley

Gary Baxley

Linda Bega

Debi Beltz

Theresa Boozer

David Bramblett

Joe Cappuccilli

Mark Casper

John Conroy

Barry Cook

Gail Cooper

Brogan Cunningham

Karen Cunningham

CJ Dixon

Ali Endicott

Stephan Finegan

Jason Gaffney

Robin Hite

Kathie Jarrett

Nancy Jenks

Holly Jones

Bob Kane

James Ledsome

Marco Macaisa

Lori Mendoza

Dick Naylor

Sherri Parker

Kelley Paul

Marilyn Pearson Adams

Dennis Pilon

Deb Rector

Myriam Reulen

Monica Saldarriaga

Jack Schofield

Tasia Seijas

Sarah Spencer

Katie Spires

Scott Stevens

Trista Stokes

Deb Tannery

Peggy Taylor

Jane Tessmer

Rob Tessmer Jr

Susan Troy

Jim Wade

Jacqui Watkins

Ray Wernicke

Nancy Wheeler

John Wheeler

Sally Cure

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All other Donors Gary Altman

Bonita Amonte

Nancy Ayres

Gary Ayres

Wim Berndsen

Laura Bickford

Ryan Bishara

Ben Branch

Jerry Brinkman

Vinny Brown

Brenda Buta

Natalia Carey

Hazel Carlson

Karen Carnes

Annette Carr

Kathy Chapman

Fred Clark

Mickey Cridland

Kevin Cunningham

Jackie Davis

Kim DeVane

Richie DeVita

Jennifer Duca

Sherry Edwards

Megan Ennis

Cat Farrell

Tracy Fero

Jim Ferrara

John Finley

Sarah Fitts

Jack Fleming

Todd Freeman

Sue Fullerton

Susan Gatto

Jeyte Gilson

Mary Gulling

Melonie Haag

Bob Hard

Lori Haussey

Bob Hedick

Jodie Holder

Marvia Korol

Peter Korol

Allison Koster

Tonya Kramer

Lorelie LeBrun

Rhonda Lestinsky

Cindy Lewis

Ron Lieberman

Dennis Loger

John Maisel

Sharon Malm

Carl Manucci

John Marqua

Gwen Martone

Ron McEvoy

CJ McNeil

Karen Morton

Dene Moyer

Becky Norman

Teri Paduano

Tony Pauelsen

Mary Petrucci

Candy Phillips

Anne Pope

Betty Powell

Peggy Price

Randy Rand

Jenice Reichenbach

Bob Ringo

Doris Rodriguez

Karen Ropes

Amanda Rowthorn

George Rusaw

Martha Sather

Tami Scott

Melissa Seney

Charlene Sestito

Gailen Spinka

Tomika Spires Hanssen

Barry Stafford

Nancy Stumpf

Eric Swart

Rob Tessmer Sr

Lisa VanDeBoe

Steve Varnadoe

Tyler Vaughn

Sally Wade

LaWanda Watts

Ruth Wedeman

Ed Weeks

Paul Wikle

Dorothy Williams

Nancy Wilson

Todd Workman

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The Florida Realtors Leadership Academy Class of 2013 is bringing important awareness to such a vitally important program. As Realtors we make positive impacts on families lives all the time, but what if you could save a life. Sign up today! You may save up to 8 lives through organ donation and enhance many others through tissue donation. Last year alone, organ donors made more than 28,000 transplants possible. Another one million people received cornea and other tissue transplants that helped them recover from trauma, bone damage, spinal injuries, burns, hearing impairment and vision loss. For more info visit:

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August General Membership Meeting The August General Membership Meeting provided a full agenda for over 70 Realtors, Business Partners and guests. After calling the meeting to order, all the Business Partners were given the opportunity to stand up and introduce themselves before President Elect Greg Younger inducted our new members. Congratulations and welcome to RACC Gene Beghtel~ Coldwell Banker Next Generation Realty,

“Margy updated the Members with a summary of contract changes that will take effect in September “

Megan Ennis of Citrus Lending was the Business Partner of the month. Randy Rand was the lucky winner of the $50 gift certificate to Outback. Dennis Loger, Sarah Spencer, Vinny Brown, Donnie Bass, Rob Tessmer Jr, Karen Morton, Tyler Vaughn, Deb Rector, Deb Thompson, Debi Beltz, Gloria Reagan

Sara Denny~ ERA American Realty, Audere Inman-Boll~ EXP Realty, Kristina Kydd~ Bayside Realty, Judy Long~ Hometown Realty, William Poletz~ EXIT Realty Leaders, Gloria Reagan~ Plantation Realty, Frances Swain~ Tropic Shores and Mary Wallis~ Plantation Realty. Next President Cheryl Lambert took a few moments to encourage members who could not attend the entire Florida Realtors Convention to at least take advantage

of Free Friday to visit the Trade Show and network with Agents from across the State. Margy Grant, VP of Florida Realtors General Counsel was the first guest speaker of the day. Margy updated the Members with a summary of contract changes that will take effect in September and explained that the forms are revised every three years.

Vince Cautero, Citrus County Development Services Director was the last speaker of the day. Vince spoke about the postponed meeting regarding the 491 Project since the County is still working with property owners at this time. Vince also stated the Vacant Registry Ordinance is in the final stages, this ordinance is intended for homes owned by a lending institution after

Margy also warned against advertising other Agents listings and recommended everyone read the featured article in the next Florida Realtor Magazine regarding this issue and to view the Legal Take 5 Video on Debra Burden, Water Conservation Coordinator discussed water conservation, a copy of her power point is available at library.php?display=17

the foreclosure process. Members also learned that the Suncoast 2 Parkway will most likely not break ground until 2014, the state is in the process of acquiring property and the proposed interchanges are creating a lot of discussions. President Cheryl took a moment to thank the Nominating Committee for their hard work regarding the slate of 2014 Officers and Directors. Cheryl also

discussed the proposed Bylaw changes that will be voted on at the September meeting. Members of the Affordable Housing Committee (Habitat Golf Tournament) collected donations to purchase items that will be placed in rolling coolers and raffled off at the Golf Tournament on October 6, 2013. A huge thanks to everyone who opened your wallets and make a donation!!

and Sherri Parker all won flower centerpieces. Thanks Megan for all the door prizes! Lastly, Peter Korol had a chance to draw for the Queen of Hearts; unfortunately he drew the 6 of hearts. Next month’s drawing will be worth $40.

Randy Poletz, Judy Long, Gloria Reagan, Mary Wallis, Kristy Kydd, Gene Beghtel, Audere Inman– Boll, Fran Swain & Sara Denny

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Showing Properties the Safe Way When you are showing an empty property, you can take these simple steps to empower yourself against attack or theft. Be sure to use the lockbox property-key procedure that has been established to improve real estate agent safety. A reliable, secure lockbox system such as those made by REALTOR Benefits® Program partner SentriLock ( ensures that keys don’t fall into the wrong hands. Show properties before dark. If you are going to be working after hours, advise your associate or first-line supervisor of your schedule. If you must show a property after dark, turn on all lights as you go through, and don't lower any shades or draw curtains or blinds. Try and call the office once an hour to let people know where you are. If you think it may be some time before a property sells (and you may, therefore, be showing it often), get acquainted with a few of the immediate neighbors. You will feel better knowing they know your vehicle, and they will feel better about the stranger (you) who frequently visits their neighborhood.

In showing a property, always leave the front door unlocked for a quick exit while you and the client are inside. As you enter each room, stand near the door. It is better to not display purses while at a property. Lock your purse in the car trunk before you arrive. Carry only non-valuable business items (except for your cell phone), and do not wear expensive jewelry or watches, or appear to be carrying large sums of money. Park at the curb in front of the property rather than in the driveway. You will attract much more attention running and screaming to the curb area. It is much easier to escape in your vehicle if you don't have to back out of a driveway. Besides, parked in a driveway, another vehicle could purposefully or accidentally trap you. (Sources: Louisiana REALTORS® Association; Washington Real Estate Safety Council; City of Albuquerque, NM; Nevada County Association of REALTORS®; City of Mesa, AZ) Visit NAR’s REALTOR® Safety Web site at

Prepare a scenario so that you can leave, or encourage someone who makes you uncomfortable to leave. Examples: Your cell phone or beeper went off and you have to call your office, you left some important information in your car, or another agent with buyers is on his way.

Typo’s In Texting Are OK– But Not To A Client To be considered a professional, you must sound like a professional. And texting style, which normally excuses a range of typos, reflects on an agent’s image. When text messaging leads, real estate agents frequently make five mistakes that can put a dent into their online reputation, and perhaps send that lead to a competitor who appears more professional: 1. Use texting correctly. Texts and emails are not interchangeable, and it

generally makes more sense to send videos, files, links and long messages via email. 2. Don’t include disclaimers. A message like “sent from my iPhone, please excuse any typos,” asks the reader to forgive mistakes – but it also implies that typographical errors don’t matter to the sender, making him or her appear unprofessional. 3. Have a text signature. But it should be shorter than the one in an email.

4. Use a salutation. Use “Hello” or “Good morning” in texts to set the tone of the message and let recipients know they’re important to the sender. 5. Identify yourself. Clients may not have added an agent to their list of contacts yet. Without something that identifies the agent early on, it could appear to be spam. Source: Inman News (08/19/13) Monroe, Laura © Copyright 2013 INFORMATION, INC. Bethesda, MD (301) 215-4688

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Legal Q & A Q: A FREC investigator

interviewed me as a witness to a transaction that resulted in a complaint against a broker in my area. I don’t want any trouble, so I cooperated and told the investigator what I know about the transaction. The broker was suspended and is threatening to sue me for talking to the investigator. May I be sued for being a witness? A: Section 455.225(11), Florida Statutes, provides that a privilege against civil liability is granted to any witness to an investigation,

“FREC may impose is $5,000 for each count”

unless the witness acted in bad faith or with malice in providing such information.

Q: How can I file a complaint with the Florida Real Estate Commission (FREC)? A: All complaints must be in writing. Although you may write a letter, the Department of Business and Professional Regulation provides a Uniform Complaint Form that is available from various sources, including and http:// Q: A former client informed me that he was unhappy with

If DBPR determines they would constitute a violation, it will initiate an investigation. DBPR is required by law to notify the licensee or his or her attorney by promptly providing a copy of the complaint or other document that prompted the decision to investigate.

Q: An administrative complaint has been filed against me. The complaint

my performance in handling his transaction, and he is going to file a complaint against me with the Florida Real Estate Commission (FREC). What happens once a complaint is filed?

A: Once a complaint is filed, the Department of Business and Professional Regulation (DBPR) determines whether or not the allegations in the complaint would, if true, constitute a violation of Section 475, Florida Statutes or the rules promulgated by the FREC.

contains two counts. If I'm found in violation of both counts and the Florida Real Estate Commission (FREC) imposes a fine as part of the penalty, what is the maximum fine that could be levied against me? A: According to 475.25, the maximum administrative fine that FREC may impose is $5,000 for each count or separate offense a licensee

A: Yes. Section 475.25(6), Florida Statutes, provides that the DBPR or FREC "shall promptly notify a licensee's broker or employer … in writing when a formal complaint is filed against the licensee alleging violations of this chapter or Chapter 455." Q: When will this notification be sent to the broker? A: According to Section 475.25(6), not until 10 days after the finding of probable

cause by the Probable Cause Panel or DBPR or until the sales associate waives his or her privilege of confidentiality, whichever occurs first.

Q: Will the customer who filed the complaint be notified about the status of the complaint against the licensee? A: Yes. The DBPR is required, per Section 455.225(9), Florida Statutes, to periodically notify the person who filed the complaint of the status of the investigation, whether probable cause was found and the status of any administrative proceeding or appeal.

is found to be in violation of.

Q: I’m a real estate broker. I recently heard from one of my sales associates that another sales associate in the office had an administrative complaint filed against him by the Florida Real Estate Commission (FREC). Will I be notified by FREC that an administrative complaint has been filed against my sales associate?

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Stay Safe With Social Media Problem: Savvy real estate professionals like yourself frequently update your presence on Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn. However, because of the nature of your work, you are likely to have “friends,” followers, and connections whom you don’t know. Solution: Following these basic steps can help you avoid exposing yourself or your data to risk through social media tools. It is vital to consider what you are sharing through the Internet!

Keep Business Separate Our condolences and deepest sympathy are extended to REALTORS® Karen and Gary Baxley on the loss of Karen’s dad, REALTOR® Hazel Carlson on the loss of Roger’s sister, REALOTR® Debra Cleary on the loss of her Mother and REALTOR® Manny Lopez on the loss of his mother. Please keep these members in your thoughts and prayers.

One way that you can make sure you are not revealing too much personal information is simple: set up a business account on each platform. Sure, anyone can figure out that Sally Field, REALTOR®, is the same person as Sally Field—but Sally will only accept requests to connect to strangers on the business account, whether Facebook or Twitter. Her personal account stays private (especially once she familiarizes herself with privacy settings), protecting her family photos, links to her kids’ pages, and personal posts from people she doesn’t know.

Tag... You’re It! When a friend posts your photo, you may be “tagged” against your will. If you don’t want clients or others to find a reference like this—such as a less-than-flattering photo taken at a late night party—you can remove the tag and/or ask the person who posted it to do so. And be sure to follow up and ask friends to check first before tagging.

FHA Cuts Mortgage Wait Times After Hard Times WASHINGTON – Aug. 19, 2013 – The Federal Housing Administration (FHA) is making it easier for once-struggling homeowners to qualify for a mortgage backed by the agency. For borrowers who meet certain requirements, the FHA is trimming to one year the amount of time that homebuyers must wait after

a bankruptcy, foreclosure or short sale before they may qualify for a FHA-backed mortgage. The waiting period had been two years after the completion of a bankruptcy and three years after a foreclosure or a short sale. But only certain consumers who’ve been in those

circumstances will be able to meet the criteria attached to the eased restrictions. Borrowers must be able to show their household income fell by 20 percent or more for at least six months and was tied to unemployment or another event beyond their control. They also must prove they have had at least one hour of approved housing counseling and,

“FHA is trimming to one year the amount of time that homebuyers must wait “

FHA, Cont. among other things, have had 12 months of on-time housing payments. “FHA recognizes the hardships faced by these borrowers, and realizes that their credit histories may not fully reflect their true ability or propensity to repay a mortgage,” said FHA Commissioner Carol Galante, in a letter to mortgagees announcing the changes. FHA-backed mortgages are a popular option for first-time buyers and for consumers with lower credit scores who might not otherwise qualify for a loan backed by Fannie Mae or Freddie Mac. However, the agency has recently increased the fees tied to FHA-backed loans. Taken from

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LEGAL UPDATE FROM FLORIDA REALTORS® LOCAL BOARD ATTORNEY COUNCIL MEETING Association Attorney Don Perrin is the Chairman and below you will find minutes held on August 16, 2013 regarding flood insurance, Fannie Mae, Copyright Law, and Commercial Sales Tax. 1. F l o r i d a R e a l t o r s ® L e g a l C o u n s e l Margy Grant reported that there are companies trolling the internet looking for ads using copyrighted pictures. One such company is Getty and you can see their name superimposed on the pictures. If used, a lawyer will threaten suit unless $900 $1500 is paid. Her suggestion is to simply take your own pictures to avoid this scenario. 2. We had an interesting presentation from Brad Loar who is a FEMA Director. He stressed the fact that flood insurance rates are going to be escalating. All rates must now be actuarially sound and government subsidies of the rates are going to end. It is suggested that if you are in a situation where flood insurance is involved, that a Realtor® should make disclosure to a buyer that the rates may be increasing. Note: NAR has legal guidance on 3. We had a presentation from Rick Murphy of Fannie Mae. He seems to be an individual that would be a good to contact if anyone is having a problem with a Fannie Mae closing. He also indicated that there was going to be a method soon whereby you could bypass the servicer and go directly to Fannie Mae on the loans which they have. A Realtor® can find out whether it is a Fannie Mae or Freddie Mac loan by simply going to either "Fannie Mae Lookup" or "Freddie Mac Lookup" and putting in the last four numbers of the owner’s social security number. This would be applicable to short sale situations. He provided us with his phone number and contact information which is: Rick Murphy (954) 745 - 6857 and his email is rick w Again, he seemed to be very interested in trying to assist in Fannie Mae short sale situations. 4. Lastly, Trey Goldman did advise us on pending legislation which FAR is enthusiastically promoting which is to end the sales tax on commercial business leases. Apparently, Florida is the only state that charges sales tax on commercial leases. It is anticipated that it may become a gradual decrease in the sales tax from 6% to may be 0% over a period of five to six years.

NAR has legal guidance on disclosure of Flood Insurance Requirements, Rates and Rate Increases by Brokers and Agents. Go to:

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How to Apply the Six “Es” of Success By putting these six success strategies to work in your business, you can reap the financial and personal rewards associated with healthy growth. I’m no cheerleader, but when it comes to selling real estate I know that having a high level of energy and enthusiasm shines through. I also know that the cornerstones of education, ethics, experience and empathy work together to form the very foundation of my real estate career.

I talk with other sales associates about these six “Es” of success, which I practice myself while helping other real estate professionals integrate them into their own businesses. Some are easier to get and use than others. Experience, for example, will come naturally as you progress through your career. Enthusiasm, however, must be found and cultivated on a daily basis, even when things aren’t working out in your favor.

Here’s a breakdown of my six “Es” and some advice on how to fold them into your own business: 1. Education I didn’t start out as a real estate salesperson. For the first year, I was everything from the receptionist to advertising manager to bookkeeper. I had an insider’s view on how the most successful agents operated, and learned quickly that the best ones weren’t in the office very much and were instead out doing presentations and networking.

Success, Cont.

“you have to enroll in classes and get involved ”

When I got licensed, I learned from my broker that while pre-licensing education helps you stay out of trouble, it doesn’t teach you how to run a real estate business. For that, you have to enroll in classes and get involved with online education. Knowing this, I’ve earned my CRS (Certified Commercial Investment Member), GRI (Graduate, Realtor® Institute), PMN

(Performance Management Network) and e-Pro designations—the Internet certification program sponsored by the National Association of Realtors (NAR) —and continue to enrich myself by frequently taking updated and new designation courses. Recognized by other sales associates and brokers, as

Success, Cont. cards, not understanding how everyone around me could be so busy. Not wanting to “miss the boat,” I volunteered to accept the “overflow” business from the office’s top sales associates. These were the customers that everyone felt were too much of a long shot in which to invest their time and money trying to cultivate as buyers or sellers. I also volunteered to cover for them when they were out of town, and took their floor duty when they were busy. It was then that I learned there is no substitute for experience. From the beginning, new licensees must constantly strive to gain as much of it as quickly as possible. In your early years, avail yourself of every opportunity to accompany an experienced sales associate or work with a mentor. Don’t be afraid to ask questions or call a help desk. As your business matures, the experience gained from exposure to multiple real estate scenarios and advice from seasoned veterans will help you become a confident, knowledgeable sales associate.

well as many consumers, these designations set me apart in an otherwise crowded field. I know that to be successful I have to keep learning and continuously hone my skills in areas like international real estate, technology and marketing. 2. Experience Back in the 1980s I was a young, inexperienced sales associate sitting at a desk sending out announcement

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Success, Cont. 3. Ethics I’ve worked with real estate professionals who were oblivious to NAR’s Code of Ethics and Standards of Practice publication. They failed to call ahead when they’re not going to show up for scheduled appointments, they left the thermostat turned down to 60 degrees in a home that they’ve just shown, and otherwise ignored the need for a professional demeanor. They may be able to get away with this behavior for a while, but it all catches up to them and eventually translates into a failed business, complaints and even fines. I see ethics as a lifestyle choice. I listen to that inner voice that tells me I’m doing what’s right in a given situation. Professional ethics and personal ethics are so intertwined that they cannot be separated. The Realtor Code of Ethics simply defines and reiterates what I already know is proper business behavior. 4. Energy When someone calls from Oklahoma looking for a home in Tampa, I’m always ready to serve as an ambassador for my area. I’m their link to Tampa, and if I’m not upbeat and energetic, it shows. Multivitamins and Coca-Cola help me through the day, as do frequent glances in the mirror to remind myself that I have to put on my game face or I won’t convey the right attitude to the buyers and sellers that I work with.

Success, cont. It’s not always easy to wake up in the morning feeling energized, but this is something we must strive for as often as possible. Whether you work 20 hours a week or on a 24/7 basis, you must have energy in order to prosper. Getting it could mean taking a half-hour off work every

day to go for a walk in the park, recharging with a good book in the evening, or taking part in a group meditation class. Eat right, take care of yourself and be sure to balance your workday with enough personal enjoyment to stoke your fires for selling real estate. 5. Enthusiasm

I constantly remind myself that I’m in a “helping” business rather than a “selling” business. I firmly believe that people want to do business with people they know, trust and like. So every time a former customer calls, or another sales associate sends a referral, I get enthusiastic because that means those people like and trust me. I don’t want to let them down, and I always strive to exceed their expectations.

“you must have

energy in order to prosper“

Success, Cont. No matter how experienced you are, occasionally a deal falls apart. If it goes awry because of something you can’t control, stifle your disappointment, throw yourself into the next deal and resolve to work twice as hard to usher that one to the closing table. If you really enjoy the business and the challenges that come with it, your enthusiasm will shine through. 6. Empathy Putting yourself in someone else’s shoes isn’t always easy, particularly when your buyer is downsizing due to illness, death, divorce or other life-altering situations. No one really wants to leave that spacious waterfront home for a villa, but sometimes he or she knows it’s the right thing to do. I have to be empathetic to these situations, even when the client is moving against his or her gut feelings and wishes. When I’m empathetic, I can detect my clients’ wants and needs and try to fulfill their requirements. I always listen and understand what degree of handholding or assistance a particular client needs to get through the home sale or purchase process. When I have empathy, I can help clients manage life situations like divorce, accidents, job loss and even a loved one’s death while remaining professional and ethical. Mary McCall, CRS, is a broker associate at RE/MAX ACR Elite Group in Tampa. Taken from

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Tickets available at Habitat Restores ad RACC office

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July and August Residential and Vacant Land MLS Stats These statistics were taken from the MLS on

These statistics were taken from the MLS on

July 31 , 2013

August 31, 2013

























































Withdrawn 77

Withdrawn 23

Chart displays Closed listings

700 600 500 Single Family







100 0 1st Qtr

2nd Qtr

3rd Qtr

4th Qtr

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Get $40 off on a one-year individual subscription to the Ultimate Edition (regular price begins at $99), for a price as low as only $59. That's 40% off the regular price! The Ultimate Edition includes everything in the Professional Edition PLUS unlimited eSign for electronic signatures and unlimited document storage. Offer ends October 14, 2013 and includes a 30-day-moneyback guarantee.

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MLS WARNINGS AND FINES FOR August In August the MLS issued the following to ParƟcipants and/or Subscribers: Warnings: Duplicate LisƟng (3) Wrong Category or Area (8) Pending and Closed (1) Lender owned (0) No Photo (3) Branded Virtual Tour (2) Lockbox Code in LisƟng (0) Name/Phone# (2) Sign in Photo (1) Fine: (0) Violation of the same offense will be subject to the following: 1st offense:

Written Notice

2nd offense:

$50.00 Fine

3rd offense:

$100.00 Fine

 Failure to submit contingent, pending and closed information within two (2) business days.  Failure to enter a photo. Note: The seller may request in writing a photograph of the property not be included.  Failure to enter a listing in the correct category.  Duplicate address and/or alternate key for the same property.


ember to To the first m w. question belo


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September 2013 Sun














8:00am Board of

Closed for Labor Day





1pm RPR Webinar

8:30am Education Committee Meeting

16 9am Budget Committee



Autumn Begins


Noon Habitat Meeting (Golf Tournament) 9-12 or 1-4 Contract Changes






9am Habitat (Golf Tournament)

Contract to close

9am iCE Class~ Risk Management 3HR CE



9am Realtors 5 Step Safety Plan 3HR CE

1pm Tech Comm. 1pm USDA Loans 3HR CE

11:30 Membership Meeting & Elections

12:30pm iCE Class~ Roadmap to a Successful Closing 4HR CE






8:30am MLS Board of Managers 9am Tech Talk 10am RPR Webinar 1:30pm Legislative Committee

9am Habitat (Golf Tournament)

9am On Course for Success 3HR CE





9am Ask the Experts~ Property Appraisers Website

Supra Lockbox Conversion

Supra Lockbox Conversion

9am Habitat Meeting (Golf Tournament)

Sept 2013 Newsletter