Monday, May 31, 2010

Put Your Dues Dollars to Work for You

I am often asked what do members get for their dues dollars? I always find that question a bit of a paradox because if the member was aware of the incredible advantages being an OKCMAR member entails there would be no need for the question. The OKCMAR luncheon & Summer Management Conference is paid for with dues dollars and affiliate sponsorships. If members do not avail themselves of the benefits such as this it is easy to understand the origination of their question. This conference is a true "must attend".
If you have never had the opportunity to see Terry Watson in person you are missing the opportunity to bring your business up to the next level. We are so fortunate that we have Terry for the day (remember he is an NAR favorite and REALTORS spend a $1000 or more just to see him at NAR conventions). OKCMAR has Terry presenting the opening session and then 3 hours of the most entertaining and useful CE a member could ever want- I know this because I have been fortunate enough to see Terry twice in my real estate career. Watch a video of Terry in action to see what I am talking about- click here
But you can't benefit from your dues investment if you don't make the time to attend. This conference is only $39 ($25 of which goes directly to the Marriott for your OKCMAR luncheon). I urge you to attend Next Tuesday June 8th for the entire session 9-4 (9-5pm for our commercial friends as their CE course is 4 hours and features the NAR RCA signature speaker). Register today by clicking here!

Sunday, May 30, 2010

Connect the Dots

Don't forget the summer membership luncheon at the Marriott is June 8th! It is part of the summer management conference. For $39 you get the luncheon, free CE, inspiring and practical advice for increasing your business, and an update on NAR legislative policy, a hands on demo of the NAR's new REALTORS Property Resource (some say it may become a national MLS) meet the OKLAHOMA REALTOR seeking national office, learn about OAR's legislative agenda this year and so MUCH, MUCH, MUCH More! To attend the luncheon only email Leslie Miller at or register for the conference

A significant part of this conference is the theme of assisting you, the member, in connecting the dots as to how we function in advocacy issue with our state and national association. Brad Viatar, one of our NAR lobbyists will do a presentation about how your RPAC dollars work on the National level followed by Oklahoma REALTOR Candidate Mike Thompson (meet the person the entire national association of REALTORS and the Oklahoma Associations will be asked to support) who is running for federal office. Over lunch learn how your dollars are being used at the state level as we listen to a brief update from OAR lobbyist, Charla Slabotsky. Learn how everything we do as REALTORS is connected - from advocacy to stimulating the US economy.

Saturday, May 29, 2010

Hurry and Register - RPR Demo at the June 8th Conference

This conference is critical! Members are always asking me why they are not asked or get a vote before MLSOK or OKCMAR does something. HERE IS YOUR OPPORTUNITY, OKCMAR! RPR, the REALTORS Property Resource, will be in OKC at our conference to do a hands-on demo of their new system. RPR is an NAR product- in exchange for the product NAR will sell your listing data to third parties but specifically, Fannie Mae, Freddie, FHA and the whole gang. Neither you, the MLS or OKCMAR will receive any compensation for the use of your data but you will get the product free. Please attend the conference and give the board guidance through a short evaluation after the demo. NAR is sending one of their top RPR people to OKC to show you this product- please be a part of shaping the future of our MLS and our association.

For more info about RPR Click Here  

To Sign Up For the Conference Click Here

Friday, May 28, 2010


Please remember that the management conference is also our OKCMAR summer membership luncheon. We are having several NAR representatives in attendance and this is a wonderful opportunity to get questions answered. The luncheon only cost is $25 but why just attend the luncheon when you can get TONS of new ideas to streamline and improve your business for only $14 more- the entire conference with the luncheon is only $39! Free CE is included too at the conference. Get a sneak peek at Terry Watson- not only is he teaching afternoon CE but he is leading the morning session- view the video here:

To register for the full conference click here

To sign up for the lunch only email

Sunday, May 23, 2010

An additional short sale alert

Please also remember that in addition to the REALTOR being bound by the Code of Ethics anyone entering a property into the MLS database has a contractual obligation to follow its rules & regulations.

Remember that for a property to be eligible for entry into the MLS database compilation the MLS Subscriber MUST have an Exclusive Right to Sell/Representation agreement signed by the owner of the property on record at the appropriate county. This means representation agreements signed by the holder of an option to buy in a short sale transaction (not the actual owner) are ineligible for entry in the database.

Saturday, May 22, 2010

Potential Short Sale Problems

One of the things that I see that pops up every so often when doing a home search are the Short Sale Listings that utilize a Third Party Negotiator as a Facilitator of the Short Sale. This Facilitator apparently is involved in direct negotiation with the Lender of the Short Sale, Homeowner, and you, the Listing Agent/Broker, are relieved of that responsibility. I will not comment on who I have seen this from, nor will I comment on the Listings I have seen this with, but I DO ask every REALTOR to think about the Code of Ethics in relation to your Listing and your responsibilities to your Listing.

Whether this practice is right or wrong are for the Courts to decide, but I do not think that Freddie Mac would devote a lot of space on their website, if this was not a concern. Please read the attached link:

If you want to list Short Sale properties, I urge you to become educated in the Short Sale Process before diving into a situation that could cause more grief to all concerned parties. If you, the Listing Agent, are educated in the process, you may not care to utilize, or need, a Third Party Negotiator. Additionally, have your Broker check your files for accuracy, completion, necessary disclosures, and the perception of potential fraud.

Managing Brokers should remember that Fraud is not covered by E&O insurance, and when Lenders see “back to back closings” on the same property, they know that REALTORS and Title Companies are involved.

What I learned at Mid-Year

Again, there was a tremendous focus on RPR (REALTORS Property Resource) and on the REALTORS Federal Credit Union. I think what NAR is trying to do is to encompass the real estate industry from creating mortgages to provided valuation services. At the Management Conference this June 8th NAR will be here at OKCMAR to do a live demo and Q&A of  RPR. Member really cannot afford to miss this session as the board will be voting later this summer on whether or not OKCMAR & MLSOK will participate- YOUR EDUCATED INPUT IS NEEDED AND BEING ASKED FOR- attend the conference!

I spent a lot of time perusing the trade show and I can say with confidence MLSOK has the core services covered with its top of the line systems. While many of the tech tools being displayed were awesome I believe that these are programs REALTORS or firms can use to set themselves apart and should not be offered to all through the MLS.

At the MLS Executives Session, we were treated with many presentations about tools MLS's have developed and different things MLS's are doing. The one that tweaked my interest the most was a new group (Association of MLS's) that were purchasing a top level domain (like. com, .net, .org) called .MLS to be available only to Association/Broker Owned MLS's. The idea is to ensure that MLS can distinguish the real MLS from companies that pretend to be MLS's but are private sites. An example is a REALTOR member site that calls itself an MLS or a web search company that promotes "Search the MLS" but only provides a small sub-set of data provided by a cooperating MLS.

I focused quite a bit on the social media classes, attended RETS Training, and attended the Supra training session. Big news.... Supra has developed an Ibox that is operated by Bluetooth (OKC probably will not see until 2013) and the release of an I Phone app device for sale at $54.95 so that your Iphone can open the boxes. We will be ordering the app device and it will be available for sale in the R-Store soon.

Unfortunately, the OK hill visits were scheduled at the same time as the MLS Executives session. After speaking with my counterparts in Tulsa and Norman the decision was made that it was far more important to attend the session geared for preparing our MLS's for the future and knowing what is out there and its pitfalls than attending the hill visit. However, OK had a great turnout to speak to legislators without its Association staff members.

Usually when I attend an event I have a whole bunch of tools and programs for the boards and the committees to look at and ideas I can implement at the offices right away however DC never really is that type of conference. It is much more about governance at the national level and about national committee meetings. Its more of an educational event to prepare us to work with NAR to accomplish national objectives.

Reason #7 to Love Oklahoma City

Everything is laid out on a grid. It is very difficult to stay lost in Oklahoma City as all the streets are laid out in a giant grid, like a checkerboard with two diagonal streets that criss-cross the grid. While in Washington, DC last week, I walked to the subway station every day to get to the main hotels where the convention was held. I was doing great until the Supra welcome event. I walked to the subway station and got off at the right stop, what I did wrong was I exited at the wrong end of the subway. I didn't realize there were two exits. An hour and a half later, after walking in circles, I gave up and called my daughter in OKC to help me navigate back to my hotel. After another 20 or so many minutes I was finally where I needed to be. I have GPS on my phone but it would not work. Part of the problem is that DC isn't laid out on a grid- there are many one way streets and a large circle (similar to Madison where I have also been lost) that dominates the area and where many streets dead end.

The experience confirmed how grateful I am to live in the wonderful city of OKC!

Tuesday, May 11, 2010


OK REALTORS®, here's your chance to show the community you serve just how much they mean to you. Let's get out together and make this work!!

Please call your clients, family & friends TODAY and ask them what household items they can donate to help the victims of yesterday's horrible tornadoes. Bring any household items, furniture, clothing, etc to the drop off points (any of the OECU branches) as quickly as you can!! You can also stay up-to-date on the efforts by watching the twitter stream below.

HUGE PROPS to those who worked so hard to put this all together!!

Saturday, May 8, 2010

Reason #32 as to why to love Oklahoma

From the Associated Press from my home town of Rhinlander yesterday:

Spring snowfall expected in northern Wisconsin

RHINELANDER, Wis. (AP) -- Most native Wisconsinites know you don't put the snow shovels away until June, especially if you live to the north.Snow is expected to return to northern Wisconsin late Friday. The National Weather Service issued a "winter" weather advisory for parts of north central and northeastern Wisconsin.
Forecasters say three or four inches of snow is possible to the north. With buds and leaves on the trees, the snow creates a potential hazard. Heavy tree limbs can fall and get tangled with power lines.Other parts of the Badger State are expected to get rain.

Ohhh.,,, did I mention tornadoes are a regular occurence- look at this one right in the middle of ice and snow in Central Wisconsin!

I count my blessings every single day that I live in the wonderful state of Oklahoma where today my family is at an outdoor fair in Muskogee and I have been enjoying the sunshine and the peace & quiet.

Thursday, May 6, 2010

Busy, Busy, Busy!

Dear Readers-

It has been two weeks since I have posted on the blog- Thank You Dave Moeller & Ryan Hukill for filling the blog in the vacuum! April & early May have been jam-packed with activity and as Friday looms I am preparing to leave for Washington DC to promote the interests of OKCMAR & Oklahoma City to our federal legislators. I will be at our national capital for the entire work week.

I am versed in the OKCMAR legislative agenda (hope you all received and read the quarterly magazine in your mailbox this week which outlines our legislative goals) BUT am very interested in any messages that YOU, the OKCMAR member, would like me to deliver to our federal legislators. Please comment if there is an issue you assert needs to be addressed that is not covered in the OKCMAR legislative agenda.

While I look forward to participating in representing you at this high level I also am anxious with all that will remain on my desk while I am in DC. I have been focusing a great deal of effort in selling sponsorships for the golf tournament and management conference. Remember that the management conference is for ALL MEMBERS and is about running your small business as an Independent Contractor. I have pretty much put this effort to bed but wish to acknowledge the premier sponsors of this event which is two day- first day golf- second day education.

Please if you do business with these businesses let them know how much it means to you that they are making it possible for you to increase your base of business as a result of their investment in you and OKCMAR! Also consider using those ancillary service providers that are willing to invest in you. Premier sponsors include: Rausch Coleman Homes, First Mortgage,, Cornerstone Mortgage, Stewart Title, Oklahoma City Abstract & Title, &  Cornerstone Planning Group. On a national level the sponsors are the National Association of REALTORS ($5000) and the National REALTORS Commercial Alliance ($2500). Of course ALL our sponsors make these events possible and a complete list will be published in the conference program and in the quarterly magazine-thank you to all these sponsors as well!

On a final note, this year's strategic plans for OKCMAR & MLSOK are so aggressive that I am literally going as fast as I can and pushing your staff as hard as I can. Please continue to send us your positive comments, it energizes everyone! Thank you Gail Smith for your comment today- you changed a very stressful day into a smile with your acknowledgement of our effort!