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									     SW REALTOR®
January 2010
                                                         TENTS
                                            CON
                                       President’s Message                       1
                                       Quick Hits                             2-3
                                       Treasury’s Short Sale Guidance            2
                                       Home Affordable REO Alternatives          2
                                       FHA Condo Rules                           3
                                       FHA New Lending Rules                     3

                                       Profile of Buyers & Sellers               4
                                       Cold Calling Statistics                   5

                                       January & February Classes                5
                                       Social Networks                           6
                                       New Homebuyer Tax Credits                 7
                                       Installation/Awards Banquet 8
                                       2010 Committees                           9
                                       Managing Risk                       10-11
                                       MLS Enhancements                         12
                                       Florida Growth Projects                  13
                                       RPAC Working for You                     14
                                       CE Class Package                         15
                                       FAR Scholarship Program                  16




               Mission: To stand a s a REALTOR® Assoc ia tion o f E xce l l e n ce by
               collec tivel y promoting member business intere s t s t h ro ug h
               educa tion, communica tion and proac tive man a g e m e n t o f
               industr y issues.
Board of Directors                         Association Staff
                  President                          Chief Executive Officer
               Christie Knight                     Peggy Hummel, Ext. 222
           Preferred Choice Realty                  peggy@swflrealtors.com

               President Elect                     Chief Operations Officer
                                               Grazyna Bartoszynski, Ext. 231
                Gary Verwilt                      grazyna@swflrealtors.com
     Realty Executives Southwest Florida
                                                    Chief Information Officer
                  Treasurer                          Beate Jones, Ext. 226
             Doreen Falcone                         beate@swflrealtors.com
            Alliant Realty Group
                                            Director of Communications & Marketing
                  Secretary                        Doreen Herring, Ext. 240
                                                    doreen@swflrealtors.com
              Marion Briggs
        Sun Country Realty of Florida           Director of Knowledge Services
                                                  Sharon Hoydich, Ext. 234
               Past President
                                                  shoydich@swflrealtors.com
              Suzanne Sherer
            RE/MAX Realty Team                     Director of Membership
                                                   Andrea Crites, Ext. 230
            Two-Year Directors                     andrea@swflrealtors.com

              Jim Maginness                    Director of Multiple Listing Service
             Exit Realty Sunrise                   Sharon Jenkins, Ext. 229
                                                    sharon@swflrealtors.com
              Cindy Roberts
            Realty World Roberts                    Director of Public Policy
                                                  Stephanie Keyes, Ext. 243
            Karen Swanbeck
                                                  stephanie@swflrealtors.com
     Coldwell Banker Residential Realty
                                                Customer Service MLS Specialist
               John Toney
                                                  Cindy Cornman, Ext. 233
         Century 21 Sunbelt Realty
                                                    cindy@swflrealtors.com

            One-Year Directors                           Accounting
                                                   Debbie Bishop, Ext. 223
              Jeanne Armin                         debbie@swflrealtors.com
     Coldwell Banker Residential Realty
                                                    Executive Assistant
               Ron Carpenter                      Monica Arrondo, Ext. 227
     Realty Executives Southwest Florida          monica@swflrealtors.com
             Connie Gustafson
                                                     Knowledge Services
          Prudential Florida Realty
                                                  Gloria Creighton, Ext. 225
              Marge Mathers                        gloria@swflrealtors.com
        Sun Country Realty of Florida
                                               REALTOR® Store/Customer Service
              Deborah Murray                        Nettie Miller, Ext. 232
      Keller Williams World Class Realty           nettie@swflrealtors.com


ii
President’s Message
                                                                                              Christie Knight
                                                                                              2010 President



W
               e’re in the midst of our strategic planning process    We need to change public perception of REALTORS®. Currently,
                and I wanted to bring you up to date on what          our profession is ranked below accountants and attorneys as a
                we’ve been doing, and what information has been       trusted service provider. Since we are commission based, we are
                gathered thus far. Our first step in this process     not seen as professionals, thus perhaps our role needs to move
was a membership survey, sent to all members by email. We had         from a sales agent to an advisor or consultant capacity to raise
a solid response with over 14% of our membership completing           our value as fees will continue to be challenged by the empow-
the survey.                                                           ered consumer.

Our advisor, Jerry Matthews, then conducted focus groups with         Consumers are more savvy, informed and smart. They are de-
members representing large, medium and small market brokers,          manding more performance, and getting it, from REALTORS®.
independents, multi-lingual agents, top producers, agents under       They want control of the transaction thus, our job is to figure
35 and new agents. The purpose of these groups was to gather          out how clients can participate and“feel in control”, but add
confidential input on current trends and future directions of the     value by using our skills to manage the transaction process to
real estate business.                                                 meet contract terms and timelines. Consumers want competency,
                                                                      market knowledge and experience when they collaborate with
Last week, the Strategic Planning Committee met over two days         a REALTOR®. They also want communication—social media
for a Trends Session, where Jerry and six experts provided us with    platforms are becoming more essential in the communication
their perspective on the economy, shifts in demographics and          process. They allow for speaking, connecting and acting — it is
business ethics, as well as projections for the future. We’ve taken   through this expanded communication process that real estate
notes from these presentations that we’ll be posting on Facebook      transactions are moving to a transparent and collaborative process.
and our member website. But for now, here are some highlights
of the discussions that will be used in pulling together our Goals    Did you know that for the first time in history there are currently
and Objectives for 2010.                                              four generations in the real estate marketplace? Civics, Boom-
                                                                      ers, Gen X and Millenniums. Each generation is totally different
Four major themes keep emerging throughout this planning              from each other. We’re going through a generation shift as Xer’s
process:                                                              will outnumber Boomers in our population for the first time.
•   Technology has impacted every area of our lives                   Xer’s are much more value-conscious and frugal than Boomers
                                                                      and this is evidenced by consumers saving 8-10%, vs. spending
•   Real estate business changes are dramatic                         more than they earn. As a result, lots of businesses won’t make it
•   Consumers expect much more from REALTORS®                         back after this recession ends.
•   Our surrounding environment has experienced massive
                                                                      The desire for homeownership has changed due to how short
    changes
                                                                      sales, foreclosures and unemployement have affected us. Many
Due to technology and the Internet, the power shift has moved         consumers are challenging homeownership: some have seen
to the consumer as they can obtain information on anything,           their equity roll back a decade, others have lost their home to
anywhere, anytime. This is impacting our role. Since informa-         foreclosure and many are choosing strategic defaults to improve
tion is shared, and we are no longer in control of it, we need to     their standard of living. While mortgage rates are low and homes
collaborate with clients and not be threatened when they collect      affordable, banks are inclined to accept cash transactions over
their own information, do their own comparisons and source            financed deals, thus many potential homebuyers are not able to
opinions virtually from friends, family and peers. Instead, we        make a purchase. They’re also questioning whether they can have
need to be facilitators in providing clients with accurate data,      a better quality of life renting, and not paying a mortgage.
and be a value-add in the transaction by helping clients obtain
financing and/or negotiate on their behalf with lenders. In ad-       Next up, our Strategic Planning Committee will use what we
dition, we need to provide sellers with a broader-based Internet      learned to develop programs, classes and methods for sharing
marketing plan (i.e., specialized listings, website, virtual tours,   INFORMATION with you to help build your credibility and
home staging, etc), be knowledgeable about market conditions to       value with buyers and sellers. Our goal is for information to work
ensure the best price, and adjust our response so that we commu-      for you, not against you — information is power and this coming
nicate with clients in their preferred method (text messages vs.      year, our goal is to keep sharing what we learn to make you more
email) and on their preferred timeline (minutes, not hours).          successful and relevant.


                                                                                                                                   
 Q UICK
 H I TS
Treasury sets guidance to
simplify “short sales”



 O
              n November 30, 2009 the U.S. Treasury set long-        Second lien holders in recent months have begun demand-
              awaited guidance on a plan for mortgage compa-         ing more money from the first lender, seller, buyer or agent in
              nies to speed “short sales” of homes and other loan    exchange for releasing their claim, agents have said. Because
              modification alternatives to stem a rising tide of     primary lenders would face larger losses in a foreclosure, some
              foreclosures.                                          subordinate lenders have felt empowered, the agents said.

              The Home Affordable Foreclosure Alternatives           The largest second-lien holders are Bank of America Corp, Wells
Program (HAFA) provides financial incentives and simplifies          Fargo & Co, JPMorgan Chase & Co and Citigroup Inc. Second
the procedures for completing short sales, a growing practice in     lien holders may proceed with a short sale outside of the Trea-
which a lender agrees to accept the sale price of a home to pay      sury program, if they felt the cap was too low, a Treasury official
off a mortgage even if the price falls short of the amount owed,     said in October.
according to an announcement on the Treasury’s Web site.
                                                                     Source: Reuters
Guidelines address barriers that have often sidelined short sales
by setting limits on the time it takes a bank to approve an offer,
freeing borrowers from debt and capping claims of subordinate        New Home Affordable Foreclosure
lenders.                                                             Alternatives Program
The incentives, first announced in May, expand on the govern-        Details for servicers of mortgage loans that are not owned or
ment’s Home Affordable Modification Program (HAMP) that              guaranteed by the GSEs are provided in Supplemental Directive
has seen limited success in lowering payments for distressed         00-09: Introduction of Home Affordable Foreclosure Alterna-
homeowners. The Treasury earlier stepped up pressure on mort-        tives — Short Sale and Deed-in-Lieu of Foreclosure, available
gage companies to make permanent the 650,000 trial modifica-         on HMPadmin.com, the administrative Web site for servicers.
tions they have started.                                             Fannie Mae will provide guidelines for servicers for Fannie Mae
Financial incentives for completing short sales or similar deed-     loans shortly.
in-lieu transactions — in which the deed is simply transferred       Real estate professionals working with short sales should review
to the lender — include a $1,000 payment to servicers, and a         the Short Sale section of the Supplemental Directive (pages 5-
maximum of $1,000 to go to investors who sign off on payments        9) and review the forms and letters in Exhibits A and B.
to subordinate lien holders, the Treasury said. Borrowers would
receive $1,500 in relocation expenses.                               Supplemental Directive 09-09 is effective April 5, 2010, however
                                                                     participating servicers may elect to implement HAFA prior to
Among requirements, mortgage servicers have 10 days to ap-           April 5, 2010, in accordance with the Supplemental Directive.
prove or disapprove a request for short sale, and when done the
transaction must fully release the borrower from the debt. It        The HAFA program simplifies and encourages short sale and
also prohibits mortgage-servicing companies from reducing real       DIL options by:
estate commissions on the sale, a practice that has dissuaded
many agents from taking short sale listings.                         •   Offering eligible borrowers viable alternatives to avoid fore-
                                                                         closure;
In one of the most contentious issues gumming up negotiations
between lenders, the guidance caps the aggregate proceeds to         •   Providing a standardized process and time frames for han-
subordinate lien holders at $3,000.                                      dling viable alternatives;



   
•   Allowing pre-approved short sale
    terms before a property is listed;                                         DESIGNATIONS
•   Preventing servicers from attempt-
    ing to reduce real estate commissions         Congratulations to the following Association members who
    established in the listing agreement as       earned designations in December:
    a condition for short sale approval;
                                                  1.      Robert Riordan, RE/MAX Realty Group — REALTOR®
•   Releasing borrowers from future li-                   Emeritus
    ability for the debt; and
                                                  2.      Gary Eidson, Access Real Estate —Graduate REALTOR®
•   Providing financial incentives to bor-                Institute (GRI)
    rowers, servicers and investors.
                                                  3.      Judith New, RE/MAX Realty Team — Accredited Buyer’s
Borrowers should be (or request to be)
                                                          Representative
considered for a Home Affordable Modi-
fication Program (HAMP) modification
and other retention programs before being
considered for HAFA.

For more information about HAFA, read
the Supplemental Directive using the
link above or find this and other Making
Home Affordable information at HMPad-
min.com.

Source: Fannie Mae


FHA Condo Rules                               •   No more than 50 percent of the units
                                                  can have FHA insured financing on
                                                                                           stringent requirements if they want to
                                                                                           receive an FHA loan. HUD chief Shaun
The Federal Housing Administration put            them. FHA doesn’t want to “concen-       Donovan outlined three options for rais-
its long-awaited new financing rules for          trate its risk” in any single project.   ing borrowers’ skin in the game: Increase
condominium units into operation in                                                        the downpayment requirement, currently
                                              •   No more than 15 percent of the units     at a minimum of 3.5%; raise the up-
December — immediately affecting sales
                                                  in a project can be 30 days or more      front insurance premium from 1.75% to
in hundreds of condo projects across the
                                                  delinquent on their monthly pay-         as much as 3%, which the FHA already
country.
                                                  ments to the condo association.          has the authority to do; and decrease the
Among the key make-or-break rules that                                                     allowable seller concessions for closing
                                              Although some developers in urban areas
condo marketers, buyers, lender and RE-                                                            costs, which are now 6%, to 3%.
                                                      welcomed the new rules, indus-
ALTORS® now need to know about
                                                         try critics say they will                         That, sponsor Rep. Scott
are the following:
                                                           actually curtail the                             Garrett, R, N.J., believes,
•   FHA won’t insure mortgages                              availability of low-                              would make borrow-
    in buildings or complexes                                downpayment FHA                                  ers more committed to
    where less than 30 percent                               financing for many                               maintaining their mort-
    of the units haven’t already                            individual buyers.                                gages. FHA is soliciting
    been sold.                                                                                              comment for 30 days on
                                                          Source: Kenneth R. Har-
                                                                                                          its proposals and the com-
•   At least 50 percent of the units                    ney, Realty Times
                                                                                                       ments received will be consid-
    in a project must be owner-occupied                                                    ered in the development of a final rule.
                                              Note While other states are now allowed
    or sold to purchasers who intend to
                                              to independently approve FHA mortgages,
    occupy them.                                                                           Critics of increasing the up front borrow-
                                              Florida is still required to have projects
                                                                                           ing costs claim it’s both unnecessary and
•   No individual owner or investor can       submit applications to HUD.
                                                                                           could imperil the weak housing market
    hold title to more than 10 percent of                                                  recovery. The National Association of
    the units in the entire project.          FHA Proposes New                             REALTORS® has come out in opposition
                                                                                           of this bill, citing that the bill would not
•   No more than 25 percent of the
    square footage of a condo project can
                                              Lending Rules                                add anything to FHA reserves but would
                                                                                           put homeownership out of reach for many
    be non-residential—in other words,        Under proposals to change lending            creditworthy borrowers.
    used for commercial purposes.             practices borrowers will be facing more
                                                                                           Source: REAL Trends


                                                                                                                                  
2009 Profile                                    • The median price of a Florida home
                                                purchased was $176,500, compared to
                                                                                               Home sellers and their selling experience
                                                                                               • Real estate agents assisted 85 percent
                                                $185,000 nationwide.
of Homebuyers                                   • Three in four buyers (77 percent) consid-
                                                                                               of sellers in Florida, the same percentage
                                                                                               nationally.

and Sellers
                                                ered commuting costs as “very” or “some-
                                                                                               • Recent sellers typically sold their homes
                                                what” important.
                                                                                               for 93 percent of the listing price, and 65
                                                The home search process                        percent reported they reduced the asking
                                                                                               price at least once. Among all sellers nation-




T
                                                • More than one-third of homebuyers            ally, sellers typically sold their homes for 95
                                                started their home search process by looking   percent of the listing price, and 60 percent
            he real estate market constantly
                                                online for listings.                           reported they reduced the asking price at
            evolves, and REALTORS®
            must continually have a clear                                                      least once.
                                                • Seventy-five percent of buyers used the
            picture of today’s homebuyers       Internet to search for homes.                  • Forty-two percent of sellers offered incen-
            and sellers. The “2009 Profile of
                                                                                               tives to attract buyers, most often assistance
            Homebuyers and Sellers, Florida     • Buyers had a high opinion of real estate
                                                                                               with home warranty policies and closing
            Report” describes the character-    agents, with 81 percent of those who used
                                                                                               costs.
istics and motivations of the state’s recent    an agent saying they received very useful
homebuyers and sellers.                         information.                                   Home selling and real estate professionals
Characteristics of homebuyers                   • The typical homebuyer searched for 12        • Thirty-four percent of sellers who used a
                                                weeks and viewed 15 homes, compared to         real estate agent found their agents through
• Forty-one percent of recent homebuyers
                                                12 weeks and 12 homes nationwide.              a referral by friends or family, and 24
were first-timers, compared to 47 percent
                                                                                               percent used the agent they worked with
nationwide.                                     Homebuying and real estate professionals       previously to buy or sell a home.
• The typical first-time homebuyer was 31       • Sixty-seven percent of buyers purchased
                                                                                               • Eighty-six percent of sellers reported that
years old, while the typical repeat buyer was   their home through a real estate agent or
                                                                                               their home was listed or advertised on the
54 years old. Nationwide, first-time buyers     broker.
                                                                                               Internet.
were typically 30 and repeat buyers were
typically 48 years old.                         • Sixteen percent of buyers purchased a
                                                                                               • Among recent sellers who used an agent,
                                                home in foreclosure. Nationally, 10 percent
                                                                                               84 percent reported they would definitely
• The 2008 median household income              of buyers purchased a home in foreclosure.
                                                                                               (57 percent) or probably (27 percent) use
of buyers was $71,100 – lower than the
                                                • Thirty-nine percent of buyers found their    that real estate agent again or recommend
median income of buyers nationwide at
                                                agent through a referral from a friend or      that person to others.
$73,100.
                                                family member.
                                                                                               For-Sale-by-Owner (FSBO) sellers
• The median income was $59,300 for first-
time buyers and $83,300 for repeat buyers.      • Sixty-four percent of buyers would defi-     • FSBOs made up 10 percent of Florida
                                                nitely use their real estate again or recom-   sales, which is slightly less than the national
• Single females made up 18 percent of          mend the same agent to others.                 rate of 11 percent.
recent homebuyers, and single males made
up 11 percent. Nationwide, 21 percent were      Financing the home purchase                    • Almost half of the FSBO sellers (40 per-
single females, and 10 percent were single      • Florida had more cash sales, with 81 per-    cent) knew the buyer prior to the home sale.
males.                                          cent of buyers financing their recent home
                                                                                               • If a seller wasn’t dealing with a buyer he
• For 29 percent of buyers, a desire to own a   purchase. Nationwide, 92 percent financed
                                                                                               already knew, the primary reason (62 per-
home was the primary reason for the home        their recent home purchase.
                                                                                               cent) for going FSBO is that the seller did
purchase.                                       • The typical buyer financed 93 percent of     not want to pay a fee or commission.
Characteristics of homes purchased              the home purchase price.
                                                                                               • Over half of FSBO sellers took no action
                                                • Nearly half (45 percent) of homebuyers       to market their home, and 58 percent did
• New home purchases dropped to their
                                                reported they made some sacrifices to buy      not offer any incentives to attract buyers.
lowest level in eight years nationwide –18
percent of all recent home purchases. But in    the home, such as reducing spending on
                                                                                               • Fifteen percent of FSBO sellers reported
Florida, new homes made up 26 percent of        luxury items, entertainment or clothing.
                                                                                               that completing a transaction within their
purchases.                                                                                     planned timeframe was the hardest part of
                                                • Thirty-one percent of first-time buyers
                                                reported their mortgage application and        selling their home.
• The typical home purchased was 1,850
square feet in size and built in 2000.          approval process was “somewhat” more
                                                difficult than they expected, and about one-   Source: 2009 Florida REALTORS®
• Seventy-eight percent of homebuyers pur-      in-ten reported it was “much more” difficult
chased a detached single-family home.           than expected.

   
         Cold                                January & February Classes
                                           January 12 - Tuesday                        February 2 - Tuesday

         C alling                          2010-New Business Model
                                           9:00am - 11:00am
                                                                                       Understanding 1031 Exchanges
                                                                                       9:00am - NOON/3CE

         Statistics
Want to get the best possible re-
                                           Passport-Free; Members-Free
                                           Non-Members-$10
                                                                                       Passport-Free; Members-$20
                                                                                       Non-Members-$35

sponse to your sales phone calls?          January 14 - Thursday                       February 2 - Tuesday
Consider this information from a re-
                                           FAR?BAR Contract and Key Addenda            Self Directed IRAs
cent study from MIT and Insidesales.
com-Lead Response Management                                                           1:00pm - 4:00pm/3CE
                                           9:00am - 1:00pm/4CE
Study.
                                           Passport-Free; Members-$20;                 Passport-Free; Members-$25;
•   Wednesdays and Thursdays are           Non-Members-$35                             Non-Members-$35
    the best days to call in order to
    contact and qualify leads. Thurs-      January 21 - Thursday                       February 9 - Tuesday
    day is the best day to contact a       FHA/VA Financing                            Buy in to Buyer Brokerage Before Putting
    lead in order to qualify that lead.                                                Buyers into Your Car
                                           9:00am - 1:00pm/4CE
•   The best time to call to make                                                      NOON - 2:00pm/Lunch & Learn
                                           Passport-Free; Members-$20;
    contact is between 4-6 p.m. From
                                           Non-Members-$35                             Passport-$10; Members-$15;
    8-9 a.m. and 4-5 p.m. are the best
                                                                                       Non-Members-$30
    times to call to qualify a lead.       January 26 - Tuesday
                                           Core Law                                    February 11 - Thursday
•   Time is of the essence. While
    there are better days and times        9:00AM - NOON/3CE                           Conventional Loan Financing
    to call leads, the best time to call                                               9:00am - 1:00pm/4CE
    is immediately. When a person          Passport-$10; Members-$25;
    submits a lead in a Web form,          Non-Members-$40                             Passport-Free; Members-$20;
    you know where they are at that                                                    Non-Members-$35
    exact moment-at their computer         January 26 - Tuesday
    desk, probably right near the          Ethics                                      February 16 - Tuesday
    phone. If you call them imme-                                                      Tax Implications of Short Sales & REOs
                                           1:00PM - 4:00PM/3CE
    diately, they answer. If you wait,
                                                                                       9:00am - 1:00pm/4CE
    they move on to something else,        Passport-$10; Members-$25;
    often away from their phone.           Non-Members-$40                             Passport-$10; Members-$25;
                                                                                       Non-Members-$40
                                           January 28 - Thursday
                                           Federal Legislative Changes                 February 19 - Friday

                                           NOON - 2:00PM/Lunch & Learn                 How to Stand Tall, Others Are Falling Down
                                                                                       NOON - 2:00pm/Lunch & Learn
                                           Passport-$10; Members-$15;
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                                           MLS CLASSES - FREE TO MEMBERS!
                                                                                       February 25 - Thursday
                                           MLS One - Basics                            Contract Addenda & Miscellaneous Forms
                                           Jan. 8 & Feb. 5 - Friday   1:00-3:00pm      9:00am - 1:00pm/4CE
                                           MLS Part 2 - Fundamentals                   Passport-Free; Members-$20;
                                           Jan. 15 & Feb. 12 - Friday; 10:00am-12N     Non-Members-$35

                                           MLS Part 3 - Tax & Public Data
                                           Jan. 15 & Feb. 12 - Friday; 1:00pm-3:00pm



                                                                                                                              
   Can Yo u Te l l M e H ow
   To G e t Busines s
   From S o c i a l Ne wo rks?
                                                      by   Bernice Ross

A
          t NAR, there was a strong undercurrent of frustra-       ways for them to work. The key is to discover what works for
          tion among this year’s attendees. Surprisingly, it       you.
          wasn’t the market, the foreclosure situation, apprais-
          al rule changes, or the lack of credit that had the      While there is no single way to achieve social media success,
REALTORS® seething. Instead, it was the lack of an answer          the following are specific strategies that can put on the road to
to a simple question.                                              generating and converting leads from these important tools.

Imagine that you’re sitting in a session at NAR with five of       1. People from your past are golden.
the most talented social media experts in the business. An
                                                                      Have you kept up with your old friends from school? How
agent stands up and asks a simple question: “I have a Face-
                                                                      about the people you worked with before you began your
book account and I am on Twitter and LinkedIn. Can you
                                                                      real estate career?
tell me how I am supposed to get business from them?” The
crowd applauds. Now imagine that every panel member an-               These past relationships provide a strong foundation for
swers by saying, “We don’t have an answer for that question.”         successful social networking. An easy way to find them is to
                                                                      use LinkedIn.
It’s easy to understand why agents are frustrated. They know
they should be involved in the social media, but exactly what         Complete your profile including when and where you
are they supposed to do?                                              worked as well as where you went to school. LinkedIn will
                                                                      search for people who were in the same places at the same
The answer is simple, but not necessarily easy to implement.
                                                                      time that you were. When LinkedIn finds an old friend or
The first step is to understand that the social media are sim-
                                                                      acquaintance, reconnect. In terms of staying in contact,
ply another way in which you can engage in a conversation
                                                                      dash off a quick note periodically just to stay in touch. See
with potential clients.
                                                                      the person face-to-face when possible. It’s much easier to
Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn are tools that allow us to            maintain an old friendship than it is to create a new one.
communicate with each other. In fact, the best model for
                                                                   2. Write testimonials.
working with the social media is the same skill set that you
would use in a face-to-face situation. In other words, if you         One of the best ways to use LinkedIn is for testimonials. If
were introduced to a new neighbor or if you met someone               someone in your sphere of influence has a business, write a
who shares your passion for travel, how would you build a             testimonial for that person. In most cases, the person will
friendship with that person? It certainly wouldn’t be by send-        reciprocate by writing a testimonial for you. This approach
ing them email after email containing information about               is sometimes called “give-to-get-marketing.” Another term is
you, your listings, and your business. Instead, relationships         “building social capital,” or as Tara Hunt calls it, “Whuffie.”
grow from similarities, shared experiences, and trust. In other       Regardless of the name, when you give to others, they gen-
words, to succeed using the social media, you must approach           erally give back to you.
the process the same way you would if you were building a
friendship. Put simply: make a friend now, do a deal later.        3. Social networking is the 21st Century version of door
                                                                      knocking.
The reason the speakers and panelists at NAR could not pro-
vide a concise answer to the question, “What should I do?” is         If you have ever cold-called or knocked on doors in an
that no one can tell you what will be the best strategy for you       effort to find buyers and sellers, you know that it takes
to make friends offline. The same thing is true online. Social        persistence, hard work, and time to create results. The social
media are nothing more than tools. There are thousands of             media allow you to engage with like-minded others online.


    
                                               FAQ s o n t h e New Ho m e
                                                 B u ye r Ta x C r e d i t s
   In contrast to unwelcomed door            How does the extension of the first-time         and who close on the new home between
   knocks or cold calls, your Facebook       buyer credit work?                               November 7, 2009, and June 30, 2010.
   friends and Twitter followers are ac-     It’s simple. The old credit was scheduled to     To qualify, you must have continuously
   tually interested in what you have to     expire November 30, so folks who hadn’t          owned and lived in a home for at least
   say. Again, the face-to-face model is     already signed a contract faced a daunting       five of the eight years leading up to the
   instructive. If you stand in the corner   task to get a deal closed by the deadline.       purchase of a new home. If you have
   by yourself at a networking event,        Some real estate agents were writing provi-      owned and lived in your current home
   you aren’t going to meet anyone.          sions into contracts making the purchase         for at least five years, for example, you
   If you engage with others and help        contingent on closing in time for the buyer      can qualify. If you bought the home
   them in some way, there’s a good          to get the credit. Failing to do so would kill   you’re living in now less than five years
   chance they will be eager to help you     the sale.                                        ago, however, you can’t qualify.
   with your business as well.
                                             Under the new law, the credit is available       The credit is 10% of the purchase price,
4. Make your social media time a priority.   to qualifying buyers who sign a binding          up to a maximum credit of $6,500. As
                                             contract by April 30, 2010, and who close        with the first-time buyer credit, this
   The old adage regarding prospect-                                                          one is available only for the purchase of
                                             by June 30, 2010. The 60-day period should
   ing used to be, “The only time you                                                         a principal residence – not a vacation
                                             offer plenty of time for last-minute buyers to
   should cancel your prospecting                                                             home or rental property – and if you sell
                                             get to the closing table.
   time is if you would cancel a list-                                                        the place or move out within three years,
   ing appointment under the same            Are the rules exactly the same, except for       you have to pay back the $6,500 on your
   circumstances. If you don’t feed the      the later deadline?                              tax return for the year you sell or move
   prospecting pipeline, you won’t have                                                                     away. Homes that cost more
                                             There are a few differences that
   any future business.” Make a point of                                                                    than $800,000 are ineli-
                                             apply to deals closed after Novem-
   allocating a minimum of one hour a                                                                       gible for the credit.
                                             ber 6th, the day President Obama
   day to the social media.
                                             signed the bill into law.
                                                                                                           Income-eligibility rules are
   Treat it as part of your regular pros-                                                                  the same as for the first-
                                             You don’t get a credit if the
   pecting time and schedule it.                                                                           time buyer credit. The
                                             house you buy costs more than
                                             $800,000. (There was no price cap                             right to claim the credit
5. Become engaged and be engaging.
                                             for deals closed before Nov 7.)                               disappears as adjusted
   One of the best ways to use the social                                                                  gross income rises between
   media is to comment on what others        More important, the new law in-                               $125,000 and $145,000 on
   are saying. In other words, become        creases how much buyers can earn                              a single return and between
   engaged. Be engaging by posting           and still claim the credit. For deals                         $225,000 and $245,000 for
   links to interesting online articles or   closed before Nov. 7, the right to                            married couples who file
   to pictures you may have taken. Share     the credit gradually disappeared as                           joint returns.
   fun resources.                            adjusted gross income (that’s basically your
                                             income before subtracting your personal and      What do I have to do to claim a credit?
   When it comes the social media,           dependent exemptions and your standard or        The procedure is the same for both the
   the most important guideline is to        itemized deductions) rose between $75,000        first-time buyer and longtime resident
   be you. The social media demand           and $95,000 on single returns and between        credits. Once you close on a qualify-
   authenticity. If you meet someone         $150,000 and $170,000 for married couples        ing house, you claim the credit on your
   face-to-face and you are completely       who file joint tax returns. Now the phase-out    federal income-tax return. If you close
   different from how you act online,        zones are $125,000 to $145,000 for singles       in 2009, you can choose whether to
   the person will probably elect to not     and $225,000 to $245,000 for married             claim the credit on the 2009 return you
   do business with you. On the other        couples.                                         file next spring or on an amended 2008
   hand, when your online and offline                                                         return.
   personas are consistent, the social       How does the new $6,500 credit work?
   media can be your ticket to referrals     This credit is available to qualifying buyer-    Source: Kevin McCormally, Editorial
   and plenty of future business.            swho sign a binding contract by April 30,        Director, Kiplinger.com.


                                                                                                                                 
Installation & Awards Banquet:
Lt. Governor Jeff Kottkamp with     President Suzanne Sherer    President Suzanne Sherer      President Suzanne Sherer
2010 President Christie Knight      & REALTOR® of the Year      & Humanitarian of the         & Lifetime Achievement
                                    Marion Briggs               Year Molly Whalen             Honoree Dolores Stevenson




Middle Row: Courtney Wright - Affiliate of the Year; Dawn & Dave Roberts (MC); 2010 President-Elect Gary Verwilt with
NABOR 2010 President-Elect Brenda Fioretta. Missing: Bob Myers - Winner of the New Member Participation award.

Bottom Left — 2010 Board of Directors with Liz Paul (District V Trustee); from left: Gary Verwilt, Marion Briggs, Doreen
Falcone, Marge Mathers, Christie Knight, Suzanne Sherer, Liz Paul, Jeanne Armin, Jim Maginness, Deborah Murray, John
Toney, Cynthia Roberts, Ron Carpenter. Missing: Connie Gustafson & Karen Swanbeck.

Bottom Right — 2010 Committee Chairs, Board of Directors and Association Staff with 2010 President Christie Knight




   
2010 Committees
COMMITTEE/SUB-COMMITTEE         CHAIR                CONTACT PHONE #                STAFF LIAISON
BUDGET/FINANCE                  Doreen Falcone       239-482-3141                   Grazyna Bartoszynski, ext 231
GRIEVANCE                       Kathy Mouyos         239-415-9300, ext. 103         Sharon Hoydich, ext. 234
KNOWLEDGE SERVICES              Craig Dorfman        239-482-5700                   Sharon Hoydich, ext. 234
MULTIPLE LISTING SERVICE        Suzanne Sherer       239-242-200                    Sharon Jenkins, ext. 229
PUBLIC POLICY                   James Williamson     239-242-2000                   Stephanie Keyes, ext. 243
RPAC                            Karen Swanbeck       239-463-4488                   Stephanie Keyes, ext. 243
PROFESSIONAL STANDARDS          Dolores Stevenson    239-989-0111                   Sharon Hoydich, ext. 234

TASK FORCES & WORK GROUPS       CHAIR                CONTACT PHONE #                STAFF LIAISON
AFFORDABLE HOUSING              Molly Whalen         877-649-1990                   Doreen Herring, ext. 240
AWARDS                          Deborah Murray       239-425-4900                   Beate Jones, ext. 226
BYLAWS                          Christie Knight      239-321-6000                   Peggy Hummel, ext. 222
COMMUNICATIONS                  Connie Gustafson     239-482-5700                   Doreen Herring, ext. 240
CORE BIZ                        Bob Wade             239-275-3321, ext 101          Peggy Hummel, ext. 222
CORE MIX                        Gwen Martin          239-549-7981                   Sharon Hoydich, ext. 234
EVENTS                          Marge Mathers        239-995-6001                   Doreen Herring, ext. 240
LEADERSHIP ACADEMY              Liz Paul             239-489-0444                   Doreen Herring, ext. 240
MLS FORUM                       Jeanne Armin         239-945-1414                   Cindy Cornman, ext. 233
NOMINATING                      Suzanne Sherer       239-242-2000                   Peggy Hummel, ext. 222
ORIENTATION                     Donna Guido          239-437-6577                   Andrea Crites, ext. 230
STRATEGIC VISIONING             Christie Knight      239-321-6000                   Peggy Hummel, ext. 222
TECHNOLOGY & TRENDS             Drake Bliss          239-936-5316                   Beate Jones, ext. 226



                                           Are you suffering from
                                           Short Sale Exhaustion?
                                           > Tired of sitting on hold with lenders with little or no results?
                                           > Tired of struggling to compile the necessary documentation
                                             from your sellers and sending 100 page faxes multiple times?
                                           > Tired of relentlessly consistent follow up only to discover that
                                             “the file has been closed” or “there is no record of your fax”?

                                                                   Let us HeLp!

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                                           or visit www.shortsaletitlesolutions.com
                                                    today to find out how we can help.


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     Orchestration services help
    realtors do what they do best -
         Sell real eState!                        8695 College Pkwy., Suite 1041 | Fort Myers, FL 33919
                                                239.985.4142 | Fax 239.425.3518 | www.wingedfoottitle.com


                                                                                                                
     Managing Risk in the
    New Brokerage Business
       Model Jeremy Conaway                                          by




2
        010 is so much more than just a new year. It is the          1.   The Risk Management Officer (RMO)
        beginning of a whole a new decade, a new national
        economy, a new American demographic, a new                   In the traditional brokerage business model (TBBM) the only
        consumer culture and, for the American real estate           official and effective risk monitors were likely to be legal
industry, a whole new way of doing business. It will be a year       counsel and/or the financial auditor. This is not to suggest that
in which: information will reign supreme, REALTORS® will             the broker was not involved in looking for risk, but it does
be rated, consumers will control and real estate services will       suggest that “management by wandering around” didn’t turn
be redefined. It will be a year in which absolute attention to       out to be an effective risk management tool. In most cases, risk
detail will represent the minimum standard, conversational           was a condition that was discovered when a critical incident
knowledge of the global condition will earn a position in the        occurred, a suit was filed or a negative comment appeared on a
race and a total lack of assumption and legacy thinking will         periodic audit. In essence the discovery was made when it was
merit a winning finish.                                              too late for the broker to manage out of its consequences.

Over the past few months this column has discussed the role          The contemporary approach to risk management includes the
of profitability, accountability and consumer centricity mov-        designation of a Risk Management Officer (RMO). In the
ing forward onto this new brokerage landscape. This column           majority of firms whose size will not allow for a dedicated
will focus on a factor that will be universal to all of the above.   individual, the RMO will be “another duty as required.” The
We are focusing on risk, risk acceptance, risk avoidance, and        benefit of designating a full-time or part-time function isn’t the
risk management.                                                     designation so as much as the tools that go with the assign-
                                                                     ment. Most importantly, risk management now becomes an
This column will have one thing in common with each of the           automated function with periodic reporting and testing, rather
others. Moving forward it is critical for brokers to appreci-        than something that happens when business is slow and other
ate and understand that the period of change that they have          duties don’t beckon.
survived over the past several years has now produced a new
wisdom. This is not to suggest that the industry’s institutional     2.   Risk Mapping
wisdom during the 2002 – 2009 period wasn’t appropriate.
                                                                     In the new world of risk, monitoring takes the place of early
It does, however, call our attention to the fact that the net
                                                                     detection. Where the previous system was deemed successful
deliverable of this now eight year period of change, including
                                                                     when it discovered risk at an early stage, the new approach
pain and progress, is a whole new set of circumstances and
                                                                     looks for circumstances or benchmarks that are likely to lead
precedence and, accordingly, a whole new set of rules regard-
                                                                     to risk. Jim Collin’s recent book “How the Mighty Fall” also
ing business policies and procedures.
                                                                     provides a useful review of this concept. This new tool is called
Our inspiration for this column comes from the good folks at         “risk mapping.” In its simplest format, the broker identifies
the Harvard University Business School. Harvard has recently         each unique area of business and establishes a “risk profile”
produced a number of knowledge products, lectures, and pub-          that, firstly, identifies probable risks and causes and, secondly,
lications addressing a new approach to risk in business. The         uses operational benchmarks to monitor business activity levels
stars of this show are Professors Kaplan, Mikes and Tufano.          in order to determine when and where the risk situation might
Each offer in-depth examinations of specific elements within         arise.
the new study of risk.
                                                                     While a number of very sophisticated risk mapping models ex-
This article will cut through to the big picture and offer six       ist, perhaps the simplest one can be found in how a NASCAR
management tools that can get the real estate broker on the          race team monitors drivers, cars and track conditions during
road to meeting the “new risk” challenge.                            the race to project when the probable risk factor moves beyond
                                                                     the risk acceptance performance mark.


   0
3.   Benchmark Trending (instead of extreme events)

As indicated above, the RMO will be searching operational data
                                                                       APPROVED BOARD MOTIONS
                                                                       •   Accept as presented October 2009 BOD minutes.
in order to determine the probability of risk, rather than try-
ing to predict extreme events. In some cases this management           •   Ratification of email vote 2010 FAR/NAR Directors
technique will result in adjusting company behaviors to avoid          •   File preliminary October 2009 Financial Statements
the risk. In others, the risk will be allowed to occur, but the firm
                                                                       •   Continue banking relationships: Eric Negron as Financial
will be prepared to take actions to sharply avoid the full conse-
                                                                           Advisor with Ameriprise Financial Services, Inc. and Todd
quences of the risk.
                                                                           Kluener at BB&T.
4.   Statistical Analysis (over a reliance on history)                 •   Approval of Lunch & Learn Program to be presented by
                                                                           Richard Fryer from IFREC in February, 2010.
Traditional risk management practices relied heavily on spot-
ting similar historic situations and then predicting that the same     •   MLS listings that are part of the Neighborhood Stabilization
result would occur. The reality of today’s rapidly changing busi-          Program must state in the first line of the Public Remarks
ness environment is that there is, generally, a whole new set of           section – “This is an NSP Property: specific guidelines apply”.
circumstances in play and the chance of the same risk outcome          •   Change Association Policy to cover the ticket cost for the
occuring is quite rare. Perhaps unfortunately, perhaps not, this           officers and directors being installed at the Installation
is yet another example of the new reality in which past experi-            Banquet each year
ences are not necessarily beneficial to current operations because
                                                                       •   Allocate $75,000 from the 2010 budget line item for mar-
not enough of the circumstances of the two events are similar
                                                                           keting Snoopzone for search engine optimization with
or even related. While industry experience will remain valuable
                                                                           Google ad-words, with independent consultants of Dranchak
in the management mix, it will not be as important as ‘out of
                                                                           Consulting.
the box’ thinking and benchmark analysis – a bad omen for the
boomer generation executive but great news for the up and com-         •   Approve funding for Liz Paul expense reimbursement (up
ing X and Y generation “Technofused benchmark junkie.”                     to $1,000) for the 2010 NAR Mid-Year Meeting as RPAC
                                                                           Trustee Vice Chair for FAR.
5.   Focus on What to Do (rather than what not to do)
                                                                       •   Approval of sign off by Christie Knight, 2009 President-Elect
The historic evidence suggests that too many risk managers                 on 2009 Goals & Objectives Compliance document.
focused their attention on what shouldn’t be done, rather than         •   Affirmed that sold data is not to be sent to realtor.com.
what could be done to reach the firm’s objectives. Success in risk
management, moving forward, will not be measured by a lack of
critical events but rather how close the firm comes to reaching
its goals and objectives without having a critical event. This is
the alternative opportunity theory that will place a bull’s eye on
the foreheads of the classic corporate legal counsel whose advice           Highest Quality! Most features! Lowest prices!
sought to keep clients far away from risk, even if that meant far
away from success.                                                         $67 Cape Coral! $77 Ft Myers/Lehigh!
6.   Incorporate redundancy that wins out over economy.

The new real estate brokerage business model will run at a sig-
nificantly higher “RMM” (Risk Measurement and Management)
level than its predecessor. It will incorporate many more “risk
generation” points. The success of risk management will not be
measured on the basis of critical events, but rather on how pre-
pared one is to face the possibility of negative social media com-
ments. Overall, this will result in a much faster flow of events.
In the traditional system, risk management involved keeping the
firm’s operations away from risk. The new system will focus on
accepting the risk that supports the firm’s goals and objectives,
but providing many more instant solution resources when a risk
event occurs or draws close. Redundancy will be a critical design
factor within this environment.

These then are some of the issues, features and performance
characteristics of risk management in 2010. The prescription is
simple. Read the current literature, identify who is going to play
what role, align the firm’s risk management program with the                       360vtour.net
upside rather than the downside and, finally, use redundancy in
tandem with a more aggressive “win win” approach.
                                                                           Call Mike 239-699-7125
                                                                                                                                       
MLS Enhancements & New Options
New “Your Recent Searches” Home Page Module

The new “Your Recent Searches” Home page module provides convenient links to the last twelve
searches you have run. Hover over a search to see the date and time the search was run. Click the
name of the search to automatically run the search again.

Listing Detail Page Improved
Several elements of the Listing Detail page have been updated and enhanced:

•   Links to third-party applications, such as tax information and appointment software, are easily
    located in the new “Links” section of the page.
•   The link to open the full Picture Gallery is now located immediately above the “Pictures”
    section heading.
•   Links to features such as the Interactive Map and Virtual Media are now located near the top-right corner of the page.
The following diagram is designed to provide a general overview of changes.




Payment Calculators Combined Into New Amortization Calculator

Loan and payment calculations are now accomplished through one tool,
the new Amortization Calculator. Use the Amortization Calculator to:

•   Enter Loan Amount, Interest Rate and Loan Term to calculate an
    amortization table showing monthly payments.
•   Enter Monthly Payment, Interest Rate and Loan Term to calculate
    the necessary loan amount.

CMA Reports Now Display Bathroom Breakdown
Where the MLS breaks down the number of full and half bathrooms in parenthesis after the total number (for example, “3 (2 1)”)
you will now see this breakdown on the following standard CMA reports: CMA Portrait, CMA Landscape, CMA 2 Line and the 3-
Up Comparison Report. Previously, the breakdown displayed only on the 3-Up Comparison Report.

New Option: Copy Listing Feature – Virtual Media

A new option allows the MLS to specify who can copy Virtual Media based on listing ownership. This new option complements the
existing option to control who can include Property Pictures when copying a listing. The following options are available:

•   Not used: Do not allow copying of virtual media MLS wide.
•   Agent: Allow agents to copy virtual media only for their own listings.
•   Within your Company: Allow agents to copy virtual media only for listings within their company.
•   Within your Office: Allow agents to copy virtual media only for listings within their office.
•   Yes: Allow agents to copy virtual media for all listings.

New Option: Control Status Based on Transaction Type
Our MLS uses Sale and Lease transaction types for commercial properties; now you can specify which statuses can be assigned to
listings based on transaction type. For example, you may not want to allow a Sold status to be assigned to a Lease property.


    
Florida Growth Projects
The following summarizes stimulus package projects, upcoming       2010 Ballot Initiative: “Amendment 4” - The Florida Home-
legislation (including Amendment 4) and dollars going into vari-   town Democracy Referendum Initiative
ous transportation-related projects as reported by NAR’s Smart     After failing to make the ballot in 2008, Florida Hometown
Growth e-News.                                                     Democracy’s ballot initiative seeking to require voter referendum
                                                                   approval of all changes to local comprehensive plans (both mu-
State Level Activity: Florida and the Federal Stimulus Package
                                                                   nicipal and county) appears to have gathered enough signatures
According to FlaRecovery.org’s summary of funding availabil-       to appear on the 2010 general election ballot. Implications for
ity, preliminary estimates for transportation funding in Florida   the Real Estate Industry:
are $70 Million for airport projects, $1.35 Billion for high-
way and bridge projects and $316 Million for transit grants.       Although the 2010 general election is still more than a year
According to Florida DOT, the factors for prioritizing “shovel     away, a wide variety of governmental, non-profit, for-profit,
ready” projects to be funded by the American Recovery and          construction, environmental, real estate industry, and planning
Reinvestment Act (ARRA) include projects which:                    groups, including FAR, have joined together under the ban-
                                                                   ner of Floridians for Smarter Growth, to oppose Amendment
•   Have been deferred by the state                                4, dubbing it a “Vote on Everything” provision that would hurt
                                                                   Florida’s economy and imperil the state’s future.
•   Are tied to concurrency where development is being held up
                                                                   FAR Priorities for 2010
•   Have the potential to generate revenues and jobs
                                                                   FAR’s website indicates that their legislative priorities for 2010
•   Are geographically balanced                                    will include the following related to Smart Growth:

•   Provide congestion relief                                      •   Promoting smarter growth initiatives while protecting
                                                                       Florida’s environment;
•   Are located in economically distressed areas
                                                                   •   Continuing to advocate for housing assistance for Florida’s
•   Can be completed in 3 years                                        neediest residents;
Florida has also signaled that it will be seeking approximately    •   Opposing legislation that would hinder Florida’s real estate
$2.53 Billion of the $8 Billion in funding available nationwide        market recovery, while supporting proposals that encourage
under ARRA’s High-Speed Rail Initiative. As indicated in the           further economic growth; and
pre-application filing submitted by Florida DOT to the Federal
Railroad Administration (FRA), $2.5 Billion of those funds         •   Partnering with NAR on federal legislative priorities includ-
would be used to help cover the $3.5 Billion total cost of the         ing energy labeling of properties.
Tampa-Orlando segment of the state’s system, which has been
planned as the first segment to be developed. The remaining
$30 Million would be used to complete the Final EIS and reach
a record of decision on the Orlando-Miami segment, which is
estimated to cost $8 Billion total construct. If the funds are
awarded, Florida DOT indicates that it would start construc-
tion on the 95-mile Tampa-Orlando segment would commence
in November 2011, with completion planned for October
2014. The top operating speed would be 150 mph for this seg-
ment, with average speed estimated at 86 mph. Major stations
would be located in downtown Tampa, Lakeland, Disney/Or-
ange County Convention Center, downtown Orlando, and
Orlando International Airport.

Like all applicants, the state continues to wait for funding
decisions out of Washington regarding Florida’s project submit-
tals under the ARRA High-Speed Rail Initiative. Recent infor-
mation suggests the decisions will now be made in early 2010.
Florida’s ARRA website is not presently carrying information
on the state’s grant applications submitted to USDOT under
the competitive $1.5 Billion Transportation Infrastructure
Generating Economic Recovery (TIGER) grant program.


                                                                                                                                 
         RPAC W O R K I N G F O R YOU!
               2 0 0 9 N A R P U B L I C POLIC Y ACCOMPLISHMEN TS
For 2009, NAR’s primary public policy goal was to focus on efforts        Protecting the Mortgage Interest Deduction — The Administration’s
that stimulate, stabilize and strengthen real estate markets across the   proposed Fiscal Year 2010 budget included a recommendation that
nation while also protecting the business interests of members. As        health insurance reform be “paid for” by limiting the value of the
of the end of 2009, NAR has made significant progress on both the         mortgage interest deduction (MID) and other itemized deductions
legislative and regulatory fronts. The successes highlighted below        for upper income taxpayers. The Administration proposed limiting
represent a small portion of the activity conducted on behalf of          the value of the deductions to 28% for all taxpayers paying more
REALTORS® in 2009.                                                        than 28%. Accordingly, those in the 33% and 35% brackets would
                                                                          receive less value for their deductions. NAR aggressively fought off
As we look ahead to 2010, NAR will continue to advocate policy            changes to the MID through grassroots, advertising and similar ad-
initiatives that benefit REALTORS® and consumers in the residen-          vocacy tools. To date, no version of health reform has included any
tial and commercial real estate industry.                                 provision that would limit the MID.
Protecting REALTORS®’ Business Interest and Activities                    Expanding Commercial Real Estate Opportunities
Banks in Real Estate — After 8 years of continuous struggle to con-       Insurance Surplus Lines — The U.S. House of Representatives
vince Congress that real estate is not financial in nature and banks      passed H.R. 2571, the Non-admitted and Reinsurance Reform Act,
should not be allowed in the real estate brokerage business, NAR          a bill that seeks to modernize the insurance regulatory system by
achieved its objective. On March 11, the Omnibus Appropriations           providing a uniform approach to regulating the commercial surplus
Bill, H.R. 1105, was signed into law, and with it a declaration that,     lines market. More than 25 percent of commercial insurance in the
going forward, neither real estate brokerage or real estate manage-       United States is placed in the surplus lines market, also known as
ment can be classified as a financial activity.                           the non-admitted insurance marketplace. This legislation is a key
                                                                          component in overhauling insurance regulation and will help ensure
Home Valuation Code of Conduct — Citing a lack of guidance
                                                                          the availability of non-admitted and surplus lines of coverage in
from the GSEs, among other things, NAR is calling for an 18
                                                                          areas of the country where admitted property and casualty coverage
month moratorium. Staff from both Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac
                                                                          has grown costly and may even be unavailable.
met with the Appraisal Committee at NAR’s 2009 Midyear Meet-
ings. The conversation focused on the implementation of HVCC.             Term Asset–Backed Securities Loan Facility — The “Financial Sta-
With the Code set to expire in November 2010, NAR supports an             bility Plan” announced in early 2009 by Treasury Secretary Geithner
amendment to H.R. 3126 that will effectively sunset HVCC.                 included a major expansion of the Term Asset-Backed Securities
                                                                          Loan Facility (TALF) program to include commercial mortgage-
Short Sales — After many months of advocating by NAR, on No-
                                                                          backed securities (CMBS). To further ensure the stability and
vember 30 the Treasury Department finally released the guidelines
                                                                          recovery of the commercial credit markets, NAR was successful in
and forms for its new Home Affordable Foreclosure Alternatives
                                                                          advocating for the extension of TALF loans from 3 years to 5 years,
Program (HAFA), which is part of the Home Affordable Modifica-
                                                                          as well as having the TALF program extended through 2010.
tion Program (HAMP). HAFA provides incentives in connection
with a short sale or a deed-in-lieu of foreclosure (DIL) used to avoid    Eliminating Barriers to Homeownership
foreclosure on a loan eligible for modification under the HAMP
                                                                          Flood Insurance — NAR successfully worked to extend authority
program. Program features include pre-approving sales terms before
                                                                          for the National Flood Insurance Program while Congress continues
listing the property, releasing borrowers from future liability for the
                                                                          to consider important reforms to improve the program’s long-term
unpaid of the first mortgage, and imposing deadlines at each stage.
                                                                          viability. Without this program, property owners in thousands of
Expanding Housing Opportunities                                           communities across the U.S. would not be able to obtain the insur-
                                                                          ance necessary for them to obtain a mortgage in federal designated
First-time Homebuyer Tax Credit — On November 6, President
                                                                          floodplains.
Obama signed legislation that extended and expanded the home-
buyer tax credit. NAR was the leading advocate for the extension          Energy Efficiency Incentives — NAR eliminated time-of-sale energy
and expansion of the home buyer tax credit as an important incen-         efficiency requirements from H.R. 2454: the American Clean En-
tive to help stabilize the housing market and stimulate the economy.      ergy and Security Act before passing the House of Representatives.
REALTORS® sent more than 550,000 letters to Members of Con-               Those provisions would have prescribed energy audits and recording,
gress and Senators.                                                       public disclosure and MLS listing. NAR also succeeded in exempt-
                                                                          ing existing residential and commercial buildings from state building
FHA and GSE Loan Limits — Congress passed legislation to extend
                                                                          labeling programs in the bill. The House bill also includes additional
the current loan limits for FHA, Freddie Mac and Fannie Mae
                                                                          funding and guidelines for state governments to offer financial and
through December 31, 2010. This extension was the third time in
                                                                          other incentives to property owners who voluntarily improve the en-
2009 that NAR successfully advocated to retain limits of 125% of
                                                                          ergy efficiency of homes. NAR is working to retain those exclusions
median home price (at 2007 levels), capped at $729,750.
                                                                          as the Senate considers the House-passed legislation.

   
                                                2010
                                           January – March

                    14 Hour CE Class Package
    Select any of the classes listed below to meet the 14 Hours of CE required for license
    renewal. Add the total amount of the classes selected; then, fax completed form and
    payment to 239/936-2836 – you’ll be registered for all classes with one easy form.
Date                Course                   Time        CE       Passport   Member   Non-     Select
                                                         Credit                       Member   Class

Jan. 14 Thursday    FAR/BAR Contract         9AM-1PM     4CE      Free       $20      $35
Jan. 21 Thursday    FHA/VA Finance           9AM-1PM     4CE      Free       $20      $35
Jan. 26 Tuesday     Core Law                 9AM-NOON    3CE      $10        $25      $40
Jan. 26 Tuesday     Ethics                   1PM-4PM     3CE      $10        $25      $40
Feb. 2 Tuesday      Understanding            9AM-NOON    3CE      Free       $20      $35
                    1031Exchanges
Feb. 2 Tuesday      Self Directed IRAs       1PM-4PM     3CE      Free       $20      $35
Feb. 11 Thursday    Conventional Loan        9AM-1PM     4CE      Free       $20      $35
                    Financing
Feb. 16 Tuesday     Tax Implications –       9AM-1PM     4CE      $10        $25      $40
                    Short Sales & REOs
Feb. 25 Thursday    Contract Addenda         9AM-1PM     4CE      Free       $20      $35
                    & Misc. Forms
Mar. 2 Tuesday      Safety Awareness &       9AM-NOON    3CE      $10        $25      $40
                    Firearms Education
Mar. 2 Tuesday      Identity Theft           1PM-4PM     3CE      $10        $25      $40
Mar. 4 Thursday     FAR Contract & Key       9AM-1PM     4CE      Free       $20      $35
                    Addenda
Mar. 10-17 (W-W)    GRI 1- Standards of      8AM-5PM     14CE     $285       $300     $315
                    Practice                 Daily
Mar. 23 Tuesday     Core Law                 9AM-NOON    3CE      $10        $25      $40
Mar. 23 Tuesday     Ethics                   1PM-4PM     3CE      $10        $25      $40


Name:       __________________________________________________________________________________
Address:    ____________________________________________________ Zip Code: __________________
Phone:______________________         Email:________________________      License # __________________

Total Amount: _______        Cash        Check # ______ Credit Card: ______________________________
  MC         VISA      AMEX              DISCOVER VC Code _____________ Exp. ____________________
Signature: __________________________________________________________________________________
Payment must be made at time of registration. Registrations are not transferable.
Call: 239/936-3537, ext. 225/Gloria Creighton with any questions. Fax form to: 239/936-2836
We want to help you
Florida Realtors® Offer $28,000
in College Scholarships
Marking a 10-year milestone, Florida Realtors® continue to sponsor
their Scholarship/Essay Contest for High School Seniors. Be sure to
sign up for the easy-to-understand 2009-2010 contest, which
offers individual students the chance to win up to $6,000 in
scholarships.

How to Enter: Students must write a typed,
double-spaced essay (500 words or less) on
the topic, “How Does a Realtor® Professional
Benefit the Community?”

Deadline: All essays, accompanied by the official Essay Cover Form,
must be postmarked no later than Feb. 8, 2010, to the Florida Realtors®
Orlando headquarters, 7025 Augusta National Drive, P.O. Box 725025,
Orlando, FL 32872-5025.

Visit http://media.floridarealtors.org to download the contest rules
and find scholarship materials.

								
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