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					2007-2008 FLORIDA ASSOCIATION OF REALTORS® SCHOLARSHIP/ESSAY
CONTEST FOR HIGH SCHOOL SENIORS


TOPIC: “How Does a Realtor® Professional Benefit the Community?”

Scholarship materials also can be found at http://media.floridarealtors.org
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CONTEST RULES AND DEADLINES

• This essay contest is open only to high school seniors who reside in the state of Florida
and plan on continuing their education at a college, university, technical school or other
institution of higher learning; however, children of licensed real estate practitioners are
not eligible for contest entry, nor are children whose parents or guardians are employed
by any local Realtor board/associations or by the Florida Association of Realtors®.

• All essays must be 500 words or less.

• All essays must be typed and double-spaced.

• If other books, research materials or sources are used or quoted in an essay, that essay
must follow the Modern Language Association (MLA) format for cross-referencing the
source material, including parenthetical references and a works cited page.

• All essays, accompanied by the Essay Cover Form, must be postmarked on or before
March 7, 2008, and mailed to the Florida Association of Realtors, 7025 Augusta
National Drive, P.O. Box 725025, Orlando, FL 32872-5025.

• In April, a panel of district judges will choose the top essay from each of the Florida
Association of Realtors’ (FAR) 13 regional Districts. Each of these 13 winning essays
will receive a district-level scholarship award of $5,000; second-place winners will
receive a $1,500 scholarship award; third-place winners each will receive $500.

• The 13 district-level winning essays will go on to compete for three top state FAR
scholarship awards of $5,000 each. A panel of experts will judge the district winning
essays to determine the three state winners. Students who win the three state-level
scholarship awards will receive individual notification either prior to or during FAR’s
annual Convention & Trade Expo in September 2008.




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JUDGING PROCESS
FAR will use a double-blind scoring system for its 2007-2008 Scholarship/Essay Contest
for High School Seniors. This system is designed to make the process of judging as easy
and impartial as possible.

• Each judge will receive copies of the essays from which the names and schools of the
students have been removed.
• The panel of experts selecting the three state-level winners will read and score each
essay individually.
• The total points for each of the essays will be added together, and the essay with the
highest cumulative points wins. This judging system is used for both the district and state
level competitions.

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POINT SYSTEM

The following system will be used through all levels of the competition to judge the
essays:

• Understanding of the topic = 0 - 30 points
• Clarity and effectiveness of style and organization of essay = 0 - 20 points
• Originality in approach and treatment of the topic = 0 - 30 points
• Ability to establish a coherent, convincing response to the essay topic = 0 - 10 points
• Adherence to format and length rules = 0 - 10 points

• TOTAL POINTS = 100 points

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GUIDELINES FOR THE COUNSELOR OR TEACHER

There are no photocopying restrictions on this material, which also can be found at
http://media.living.net. It can be reproduced as many times as necessary. However, the
applicant is required to have a completed Essay Cover Form attached to his or her essay.
The rest of this FAR Scholarship/Essay Application Kit, including the rules, judging
point system and other information can be placed in a prominent place in the counseling
office or classroom. Students likely will find it useful to have individual copies of the
application kit materials and the District Vice Presidents’ list on hand as they work on
their entries, however.

It may be useful to contact local Realtor organizations or groups that could offer
information on the essay topic. Remember, students must cite any books, research
materials or other sources of information.

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THE ROLE OF YOUR DISTRICT VICE PRESIDENT AND FAR

Students’ essays on the local/district level will be judged by a panel of experts selected
by the current District Vice President serving the district in which the participating
student’s school is located. That information is included on the District Vice Presidents’
list. If you have problems locating your district, contact the Florida Association of
Realtors® at (407) 438-1400, ext. 2326 for local contact information and assistance.

District Vice Presidents, with the help of FAR, are responsible for receiving students’
essays and forming a panel of experts to judge the local/district level competition. The
panel should consist of no less than three individuals from the district area community
and may include a Realtor member, business or community leader and/or representative
of the local media. Once each district’s judges have selected the first-, second- and third-
place winning essays from the 13 FAR districts -- sometime after the March 7, 2008,
deadline for entry and before the end of April -- each top district-winning essay will be
sent on to the Florida Association of Realtors at 7025 Augusta National Drive, P.O. Box
725025, Orlando, FL 32872-5025. Envelopes containing essays and the Essay Cover
Form should be labeled with 2007-2008 Florida Association of Realtors
Scholarship/Essay Contest and addressed to the attention of FAR Communications.

After FAR has received the 13 district-winning essays, a two-tier panel of community
leaders will be formed to judge the essays and select the top three essays that will each
win one of the $5,000 state-level scholarship awards. The state panel of experts will
consist of three or more judges and may include a Realtor member, business or
community leader and/or representative of the media. Students who win the three state-
level scholarship awards will receive individual notification either prior to or during
FAR’s annual Convention & Trade Expo in September 2008. State winners also are
required to make plans to attend FAR's annual convention to read their winning
essays and receive their scholarship award checks in person.

FAR reserves the right to publicize information about the student winners and also their
winning essays from the district-level and state-level competitions. By entering the
contest, students agree to abide by the judges’ decision and allow FAR to disseminate
their essays to the media for promotional and publication purposes.




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OVERVIEW OF THE 2007-2008 Essay Topic:
“How Does a Realtor® Professional Benefit the Community?”

What is a Realtor®?

The buying of real estate is often the largest financial investment many people make.
Whether a client is buying for the first time or selling a family estate, Realtors® take a
complicated maze of requirements and, with their knowledge of the local real estate
market, simplify the process. If you’re looking for the perfect location to start that small
business you’ve always dreamed of building, a Realtor can help you find the site that’s
right for you and your commercial needs. Looking for a property management company
to handle part-time rentals for that vacation residence you’ve just purchased? A Realtor
can help. Or maybe you’re thinking of investing in real estate -- there’s a Realtor who can
advise you on the market and the options available to you. Realtors put their knowledge,
experience and expertise to work for you.

All individuals licensed to sell real estate are not Realtors -- only those practitioners who
have made the decision to abide by the Realtor's Code of Ethics and to belong to
professional Realtor associations on the local, state and national levels earn the right to
call themselves Realtors. As professionals, Realtors take pride in their work and the
expertise and experience they offer to clients.

Realtors uniquely understand legal issues that affect real estate transactions, and they’re
trained to negotiate the price, terms and conditions in a contract that are mutually
acceptable to both buyer and seller. Perhaps more importantly, they offer professional
advice and objective insight into a process that, for many, is very emotional.

On the nuts-and-bolts level, Realtors have access to complete and thorough lists of
properties available, as well as all the data buyers and sellers need to know; they stay
abreast of changing market conditions that can affect local real estate prices. Realtors can
also recommend reliable local lenders, real estate evaluators and insurers to help the
transaction process proceed smoothly.

Why use a Realtor?

Realtors adhere to a strict code of ethics approved by the National Association of
Realtors® (NAR). The code assumes that people conducting a real estate transaction who
earn the right to be known as Realtors must adhere to a higher set of standards in terms of
their business dealings. Realtors are, according to the Realtor Code of Ethics and
Standards of Practice, “zealous to maintain and improve the standards of their calling.”
• In addressing the essay topic, “How Does a Realtor® Professional Benefit the
Community?” students have the freedom to write about the full range of Realtor
professionals who work in a variety of fields, including residential brokerage;
commercial brokerage; industrial and office brokerage; farm and land brokerage; real
estate appraising; property management; land development; and real estate counseling, to
name some of the general specialties. And essays may also address such points as the
benefits of homeownership on an individual basis and/or societal level, or how the selling
of commercial real estate encourages economic growth. Or, a student may choose to tell
how a Realtor benefits the community through a personal story or anecdote.

More information about the real estate industry and Realtors may be found in materials at
your local library or through the Internet. One possible resource could be the National
Association of Realtors (NAR) Web site at http://realtor.org; the Florida Association of
Realtors® Web site at http://floridarealtors.org; or check with your local Realtor
Board/Association.