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					                             News and Views
                                                                        Dakota Chapter CRS

                                                                                           Spring 2008

                                                                                           Volume 2, Issue 1

President’s Message                                                                  2008
    Have you heard “home sales                          stay current on market       Leadership
for existing homes fell in 45 states                    conditions. We are their     President
during the October-December                             best source of information      Bruce Curington
quarter, 3 states didn’t report,                        and can help them under-
North Dakota remained un-                               stand local market condi-    President Elect
                                                                                        Sandy Meyer
changed, and South Dakota sales                         tions. We all know that         701-775-0013
rose 8.9%.”      That information                       mortgage rates are great
comes from the Rapid City Journal                       and that the supply of          Carol Lawhun
                                         2008 President
and wire services. This is really Bruce Curington housing is at least ade-              605-343-8800
good news for us here in the Dako-                      quate but we need to get
tas not just because our markets are that word out to the public. Addition-             Ninetta Wandler
doing better than “national markets” ally, we need to keep a positive atti-             701-225-8183
but because our media has decided to tude and communicate it to our clients.
                                                                                     SD Director/Membership
print good news.                                OK! The winter vacation is over         Kim Smith
    When we get this type of article we and it’s time to get out there and sell
need to thank the publisher and make houses!                                         ND Director/Education
sure that the public is aware of it. It is                                             Steve Lunde
extremely important that consumers Bruce

                                                                                     Immediate Past President
                                                                                       Diana Zietz

                                                                                     Regional Vice President
                                                                                        Hap Hilbish

                                                                                     In This Issue…
                                                                                     • New Technology Tools

                                                                                     • Looking for CRS Classes?

                                                                                     • Upcoming Events

                                                                                     • Sell-a-bration News

                                                                                     • New CRS Designees

                                                                                     • More!
New Technology Tools Allow CRSs to Work Out of
the Traditional Office
     Wearing shorts and a New York       system called SureClose from Stewart         Using a soft-
City Police Department T-shirt,          Realty Solutions, allowing him to scan       ware program
John Pinto, CRS, is stretching out       in and access clients’ documents at a        c a l l e d
his legs on a chair perched on the       secure Web site. “When I travel, I no,
dock of his second home in Califor-      longer have to carry file folders for        the CRS Des-
nia’s Napa Valley. He is looking at      pending transactions,” says Fujita with      ignee can tap
the blue water and watching the          Harbor Bay Realty in Alameda, Calif.         into        his
hawks circle and then dive for prey.     “As long as I have Internet access, I        phone calls
But he’s not on vacation.                can find every document I need for my        while on an
     Pinto is making business calls      clients’ transactions.”                      Alaskan
on his cell phone and Bluetooth              On the flip side, Fujita gives his       cruise. He’s literally cut the cord of a
wireless headset, and has fired up       clients a special password to access         physical phone line or the need for
the wireless connection for his Red      their own documents, which is another        power cells to run a cell phone. Through
Tablet PC — checking on new e-           big time saver. “About 75 percent of, a headset, Tablet PC and a
mail messages as he chats. If his        my clients are Internet savvy, and they      wireless connection, he receives and
client on the phone needs to review      love being able to access their own          sends phone calls and instant messages
a home inspection report or review       transaction,” he says.                       from anywhere in the world.
a contract, Pinto can send it over           Fujita finds the disclosure docu-             “This system allows me to do busi-
instantly.                               ments and other information also is          ness wherever I am,” says Serkes with
     By using the right technology,      handy for helping to answer buyers’          RE/MAX Executive in Berkeley, Calif.
you can take your work anywhere.         questions up front and mitigate prob-        He also counts himself blessed that
For Pinto, his goal is to spend every    lems before they happen later. And           technology allows him to work with a
Thursday evening through Tuesday         now instead of a bulky transaction           virtual assistant living on a ranch in
in Napa Valley and come back to          folder, he can hand his clients a CD         Texas. They share the same server-
San Jose, his formal business base,      with all the documents at the end of the     based database, so they can work to-
as little as possible. Of course, when   transaction, including the home war-         gether easily.
he does, almost every minute is          ranty and HUD forms to file with their            That’s a business relationship Pinto
scheduled for face-to-face meetings      taxes.                                       calls “inside-outside.” When he’s out-
with clients.                                Mark Porter, CRS, GRI, uses many         side, his assistant is inside, or stationary,
     “You can run your real estate       technology tools for his own paperless       and can facilitate operating his business
career, or it can run you,” says Pinto   office and teaches those techniques to       most efficiently.
with Realty World, John Pinto &          CRS students in the Advanced Tech-                “Never underestimate the inside-
Associates. “Successful REAL-            nology CRS Course (CRS 206). For             outside relationship,” Pinto says. In his
TORS® have very lucrative careers        his clients, he uses a Hewlett-Packard       own business, he has two other sales-
— some making more money than            7310XI, a multifunction printer, fax         people and 15 support staff. Comparing
doctors and lawyers — and can still      machine and scanner all-in-one.              salespeople’s independence to cats,
have a great life.”                          “I can scan and save documents,          Pinto says, “Have you ever tried to herd
                                         and get rid of those manilla folders I       100 cats? They don’t listen. You have to
Creating the Paperless Office            used to have for every client,” says         have those who comply with directions
    Pinto and other CRS Designees        Porter with Keller Williams Realty in        helping to run your business too.”
can work without traditional desks       Carrollton, Texas. He loads the docu-             Or for another analogy, he turns to
and file cabinets. That allows them      ments into his H-P 4000 Notebook             sports. “What would Walter Payton
to work in the car, at road stops, or    with a 12-inch screen. With his lighter      have been without his offensive line?”
in homes or hotels in any location       than average notebook slung over his         Wireless and other technology tools that
— from Italy to their backyards.         shoulder in a bag, Porter can set up his     allow salespeople out of the office are
The paperless office is not just a       office on any café table in any spot         efficient and time-saving. But as Pinto
dream anymore; it’s their reality.       with WI-FI.                                  says, he needs people in his back office
    Gregg Fujita, CRS, GRI, uses             Traveling is Ira Serkes’s second         or he’d have to stay in San Jose most of
an online transaction management         love after selling residential properties.   the time instead of Napa Valley.

                Page 2                                                                                        News and Views
Get to Know CRS Member Connect
     True success doesn’t happen         industry and Council news as well as                news, trends and market data
overnight. Whether you’re building       links to current market research and            Look for Member Connect to
a highly productive real estate ca-      data. It will also provide useful profes-   evolve over time as new content and
reer, constructing a dream home or       sional resources, such as:                  resources are added in the coming
creating a new online resource cen-          •   presentation and marketing tem-     months. CRS Director of Member
ter for CRS members, it takes time,              plates;                             Services, Colleen McMahon, man-
energy and proper planning to real-                                                  ages the Council’s virtual commu-
ize your vision. After months of             •   sample marketing materials;
                                                                                     nity project. “Member Connect will
planning and development, CRS                •   audio clips of interviews with      serve as a central destination where
members now can enjoy the bene-                  industry experts;                   members can find a broad range of
fits of the CRS Member Connect               •   archived articles from The Resi-    resources, tools and professional
v i r t u a l    c o m m u n i t y               dential Specialist;                 connections to help them succeed,”
(                                                             she says.
                                             •   CRS member discussion fo-
   This valuable resource provides               rums; and                               Visit
members with the latest real estate                                                  today!
                                             •   a CRS blog covering real estate

Looking for CRS Classes in the Region??
    Are you looking for a way to    ule every week…OR as a member or                 every month you will be notified via
                                    past student of CRS you have access to a
differentiate yourself from all of the                                               e-mail if a course has been scheduled
other REALTORS® in your mar-        convenient tool called the Course Noti-          in your allotted area in the next 45
ket? Has your business slowed       fier! To activate Course Notifier, just          days. Remember to save your set-
down and you want to find strate-   log-in to your Advantage Account (from           tings!
gies to give you an edge? Are you   any page on and look under                  That’s all you have to do! No
looking for tips and refreshers on  “Designee Action Menu” (for desig-               more worrying about when a course
how to deal with your specific mar- nees), “Candidate Action Menu” (for              is coming to your town! Once a
ket?                                members) or “Student Action Menu”                month you will be notified of every
    Then now is a great time to at- (for non-members). Under this heading            course opportunity in your area.
tend one of the hundreds of CRS you will see a bullet point for “My                       So customize your Course Noti-
courses or Approved One-Unit Course Notifier Settings”.                              fier now to make a difference in your
Courses that have been scheduled in     Just click on My Course Notifier             career today!
2008! But how do you locate a Settings and you will be taken to a page
course when new offerings are be- where you can choose the distance you                  Questions? Contact a Customer
ing scheduled every day? You would travel to take a CRS Course (up                   Service Representative at 1-800-462-
could check the CRS Course sched- to 999 miles) and at the beginning of              8841 or email

 Calendar of
                     New CRS Designees
 Upcoming CRS Events
                                                        Congratulations to those who have earned
 Oct 14-15 CRS 210 Course in Fargo, ND
                                                             the CRS Designation in 2008!
           Watch website for more details              Peggy Mahar, Fargo                Mavis Winkels, Grand Forks
                            Kevin Fisher, Fargo               James Tharp, Huron
                                                       Daniel O’Hara, Sioux Falls        Emma French Laird, Yankton
 Click here for National CRS Classes available

News and Views                                                                                     Page 3
Dakota Chapter Re-Certified
     Your Dakota CRS Chapter received notification that the re-certification process has been completed. Here is the
letter the Chapter Administration received:

Dear Dakotas CRS Chapter,
    The 2008 Chapter Policy Review Board has just completed the CRS Chapter re-certifications for 2007. We are
happy to inform you that the Dakota CRS Chapter has been re-certified due to their fulfillment of the minimum manda-
tory requirements for Chapter re-certification in 2007. Congratulations on a job well done!

Jennifer L. Williams
Chapter & Regional Program Coordinator

The registration fee for Sell-a-bration®, the annual conference sponsored by the Council of Resi-
dential Specialists, has remained the same for six years. At the same, time the costs to put on
this event have increased significantly. In order to offer the same quality experience that Sell-a-
bration® attendees have come to expect and still meet our financial obligations, it is necessary
for CRS to increase the registration fees for Sell-a-bration® by $75.

This increase will take effect April 15, 2008. If you plan to register for Sell-a-bration® 2009,
which will be held in San Francisco from February 5 – 7, and do so before April 14, you can still
take advantage of the current registration fees.

                                    Received by         Received after          Received after
                                    04.14.08            04.14.08                11.17.08

CRS Designee/Member                 $545                $620                    $670
Nonmembers                          $700                $775                    $825
New members                         $605                $680                    $730
One-unit course                     $100                $125                    $150

Fun Night ($100 Value!):
                                    $65                 $65                     $65

To register, call CRS Customer Service at 800-462-8841 or REGISTER ONLINE at

               Page 4                                                                              News and Views
Protecting the CRS Designation
    Most REALTORS® who proudly                  “The strength of our Designation is   those same organizations before a
market themselves with the CRS Des-        only as good as our policing of it,”       complaint will be filed with the state
ignation have worked long and hard to      says Renninger. “CRS Designees need        real estate commission. During the
earn it. But some non-CRSs who claim       to learn how to follow up on these im-     course of this process, approximately
to be Designees “are holding them-         postors and verify that they have re-      half of all terminated Designees choose
selves to a higher standard as a CRS       moved the CRS Designation from their       to reinstate their Council membership.
than they have achieved,” says CRS         materials.”                                    Designees themselves are often the
Regional Vice President Dorothy                                                       best protectors of the CRS Designa-
Reinecke, CRS.                                                                        tion, Simmons says. After all, the Des-
    The Council strives to protect the                                                ignees who report violators often “feel
Designation from misuse, either by                                                    like it isn’t fair that they’re paying
REALTORS® who have not earned it                                                      their dues every year, and there are
or by former Designees who have let                                                   others out there who are getting a free
their memberships lapse. Maintaining                                                  ride.”
the integrity of the Designation is criti-                                                 Reinecke points out that in some
cal because “clients make a choice be-                                                cases, people make an honest mistake.
tween agents,” says Reinecke, with                                                    For example, some who have joined
RE/MAX Around Atlanta Results. “If                                                    the Council and taken a CRS Course
they are evaluating my abilities against                                              may think they are entitled to use the
Agent X, who is an impostor CRS,              The Council urges CRSs to report        CRS Designation. Most of these peo-
then it’s not a fair comparison.”          any misuses of the Designation to          ple remove the CRS from their Web
    Although it is difficult to deter- Sharese Simmons, the member ser-               sites as soon as they find out they are
mine exact numbers of agents who vices assistant, who can be reached at               in violation of the rules, Reinecke says.
misuse the Designation, Ralph Ren- 800.462.8841, ext. 4459, or ssim-                      On the other hand, there are some
ninger, CRS, with RE/MAX Premier Whistle-blowers will                   unscrupulous agents who try to get
Choice in Powell, Ohio, estimates that be kept completely anonymous                   away with using the Designation after
20 percent of those using the CRS ei- throughout the process, which begins            they have dropped their Council mem-
ther never earned it or are no longer when violators are notified by phone            bership. “With anything like this,
paying Council dues. Renninger, who that they must remove the CRS from                you’re always going to have people out
is the Ohio CRS Chapter Immediate their marketing materials or pay $170               there who are trying to abuse the sys-
Past President, estimates that 25 to 50 to reinstate their membership within          tem,” says Indiana CRS Chapter Im-
percent of those misusing it had never two weeks.                                     mediate Past President Michael Li-
earned the CRS Designation, while 50           If the person does not comply, the     tchin, CRS, with Resource GMAC
to 75 percent had earned it in the past    Council sends them a letter, with cop-     Real Estate in Fort Wayne, Ind.
but had stopped paying their annual        ies going to the agent’s broker, state     “That’s why it’s so important for the
dues and neglected to remove the CRS       association and local REALTOR®             Chapters and for individual CRSs to be
logo from their Web sites, business        boards, and the CRS Chapter Presi-         alert to make sure people who are us-
cards, signs, riders and other marketing   dent. If they do not respond to that no-   ing the Designation are in good stand-
materials.                                 tice within two weeks, the Council         ing with the national Council.”
                                           sends a final letter to the agent and

News and Views                                                                                       Page 5

      Your 2008 Dakota CRS Chapter Board of Directors

Bruce Curington, President      Sandy Meyer, President Elect       Carol Lawhun, Secretary          Ninetta Wandler, Treasurer
Rossum & Neal Real Estate       Crary Homes & Real Estate          The Real Estate Group            Everett Real Estate
Rapid City, SD                  Grand Forks, ND                    Rapid City, SD                   Dickinson, ND
605-342-9112                    701-775-0013                       605-343-8800                     701-225-8183   

Diana Zietz, Past President     Steve Lunde, ND Director           Kim Smith, SD Director           Hap Hilbish, Regional VP
Continental Real Estate         Re/Max Realty 1                    Thē Real Estate Company          C21 Beutler & Associates
Dickinson, ND                   Fargo, ND                          Sioux Falls, SD                  Coeur D’Alene, ID
701-483-9107                    701-239-5990                       605-351-8340                     208-665-3915       

Local Board Representatives:
Aberdeen Board of REALTORS®                                          Lewis & Clark Board of REALTORS®
  Craig P. Mickelson, Mickelson Realtors, Aberdeen, SD                 Sue Navrat, Premier Real Estate, Ltd, Vermillion, SD
Badlands Board of REALTORS®                                          Minot Board of REALTORS®
  Diana Zietz, Continental Real Estate, Dickinson, ND                  Denise Vormestrand, Brokers 12, Minot, ND
Bismarck Mandan Board of REALTORS®                                   Mitchell Board of REALTORS®
  Lynnell Strothman, Bianco Realty, Bismarck, ND                       Ellie Everson, C21 Fischer, Round & Assoc, Mitchell, SD
Black Hills Association of REALTORS®                                 Northeast Board of REALTORS®
  Carol Lawhun, The Real Estate Group, Rapid City, SD                  Andrew Mahowald, Watertown, SD
Central South Dakota Board of REALTORS®                              Northern Black Hills Association of REALTORS®
  Cathy Sonnenschein, Burke & Associates Real Estate, Pierre, SD       Alexa Elwood, Century 21 Spearfish Realty, Spearfish, SD
East Central Board of REALTORS®                                      REALTOR® Association of the Sioux Empire
  Lorna Nohava, C21 Gustafson Krogman & Assoc, Brookings, SD           Kim Smith, Thē Real Estate Company, Sioux Falls, SD
Fargo Moorhead Area Association of REALTORS®                         Southern Black Hills Board of REALTORS®
  Steve Lunde, ReMax Realty 1, Fargo, ND                               Cathy Brickey, All American Realty Group, Hill City, SD
Grand Forks Board of REALTORS®                                       Wahpeton Breckenridge Area Board of REALTORS®
  Sandy Meyer, Crary Homes & Real Estate, Grand Forks, ND              Kathy Hammer, Hammer Realty, Wahpeton, ND
Huron Board of REALTORS®                                             Williston Board of REALTORS®
  Pat Kisely, Pro Realty, Huron, SD                                    Nancy Hoffelt, Basin Brokers, Williston, ND

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