Sunday, November 28, 2010

Beaujolais Nouveau A French Tradition Gone American

Although  the last Thursday of the month of November is always Thanksgiving, there is another tradition in our fair city in November, it is the arrival of Beaujolais Nouveau. Every third Thursday of November at midnight cases and cases of Beaujolais Nouveau are opened to be sold all across the USA. Every purveyor agrees not to open their shipments or sell them until the midnight hour so that literally the world opens the Beaujolais Nouveau at the same midnight hour (although different time zones) as the residents of the French Province of Beaujolais. Beaujolais is just fun as witnessed by the bright colorful labels reminiscent of Mardi Gras. Beaujolais is also important- it is the first press of the first harvest of the season. The flavors of Beaujolais Nouveau are thought to be predictors of what this year's harvest will be. A great Beaujolais Nouveau year can mean big dollars as investors/wine collectors purchase wine that has not even been bottled yet! I have been taking a part of the Beaujolais celebration for the last 25 years. I always buy the wine for Thanksgiving for a happy year ahead. To find Beaujolais while there is some left Cellar Wine & Spirits on 90th and North May is a great store. They even bring items out to your car for you and their manager picks have never disappointed.

As my family gave thanks this holiday while toasting with Beaujolais Nouveau my thoughts turned back to OKCMAR. I thought about how the OKCMAR/MLSOK strategic planning retreat followed by the OAR membership conference are just like Beaujolais, a precursor of the harvest and year ahead. For OKCMAR 2011 the first press will be greater involvement in legislative advocacy but more in terms of building relationships to be looked at as the source of everything real estate in Oklahoma City. Since the retreat over 25 townships and OKC legislative leaders have received an individualized by township state of real estate report with an analysis. This is a much shorter (1 page) version of the comprehensive report available to brokers. If you are a broker and are not receiving this report you are missing a huge broker member benefit. To sign up for the e-report (delivered to the broker via email) click here!

When I attended the OAR conference I saw an organization poised to maximize its main asset, the membership. The strategic plan features many initiatives to link the locals (OKCMAR included) with the state. I saw this outreach earlier in August at the NAR Leadership Summit, where our incoming National President, Ron Phipps, gave a thoughtful and quietly powerful speech about our responsibility to "Seize the Day" and as REALTORS® comprehending that our actions, how we work within this market and change it, can change the world. His speech is on REALTOR® TV just click to watch. I see this as a year where REALTORS® come together to turn our economy and our industry into a new opportunity. We need to look at ourselves and the market differently.

It was understanding that a subtle shift in how we view our world could change it that was the impetus of 2011 President Steve Mann hopes to bring to the OKCMAR membership in his year. That is why he chose "Perspectives in Real Estate" as his theme for his year. If you haven't signed up yet for the free inaugural celebration there are only a handful of seats left so please register as soon as possible. The event, thanks to member Marilyn Torbett, will be held at the OKC Golf & Country Club this year. While at the inaugural reach out to your future leaders- let them know your perspective. So as I wrap up this post I leave you with the list of your 2011 Leaders.

2011 Past-President Dave Moeller
2011 President Steve Mann
2011 President Elect Lorna Koeninger
2011 Vice President Ryan Hukill
2011 Sec/Treas Mike Malone
Director- Cindy Cheatwood
Director- Gigi Faulkner
Director- Barbara Harris
Director- Jennifer Johnson
Director-Art Kastner
Director- Nels Pederson
Director- Shelly Pryor
Director- Kelly Willis
Commercial Director- Andrea Frymire
Affiliate Director- Max Dugan

President- Chuck Harris
Vice President-Jerri Shepherd
Sec/Treasurer- Gigi Faulkner
Ex-Officio- Steve Mann
Director- Julie Buthion
Director- Cyndi Cheatwood
Director- Barbara Harris
Director- Joe Pryor
Director- Keith Taggart
Director- Pat Townsend

Saturday, November 13, 2010

NAR Convention 2010

Having recently returned from the National Association of REALTORS (NAR) Meeting in New Orleans, I wanted to pass along some information and insight of the meeting to our membership.

Besides all the entertainment and keynote speakers, I must say that the Trade Show portion of the meeting is quite impressive. There was over 400 Exhibitors present on the Expo floor showcasing their real estate resources, including mobile computing, wireless communications, first time home buyer programs, listing services, marketing tools, and specialized software.

Speaking with Realtors from across the country, I must say that our Association and MLS stands at the forefront of technology and Board resources available to members. Our own Dawn Kennedy, CE of OKCMAR/MLS was chosen to make a presentation to all Association Executives across the nation, and was appointed to the NAR AE RCE Sub-committee. This is the group that puts together the course materials and the tests for Assn Execs to get their Realtor Certified Executive (RCE) designation.

I was able to attend many seminars that were offered by NAR. I brought back information on the 3.8% Home Sale Tax that Congress voted on in the last minutes of the Health Care debate, and was never introduced, discussed or reviewed. This will begin January 1, 2013 unless changed. I have scanned this information and will be glad to email it to anybody desiring this information.

Other interesting seminars that I attended were:
• Green Labels Sell Homes
• Developing Successful Luxury Home Marketing Plans
• Lead, Empowerment, Accountability, and Development of Realtors
• Negotiating the Commercial Lease
• Data Security and Privacy
• Emerging Technologies
• The Evolution of Real Estate Marketing
• Short Sales: Is HAFA the answer?
• RESPA Guidance: Home Warranties, GFE, and HUD1

I also brought back a packet of Committee Recommendations from the Board of Directors meeting.

One seminar that was very informative, as well as entertaining and humorous, was Mid-Term Elections-What just happened? It was a packed room to listen to Paul Bogala, a CNN commentator, and Tucker Carlson, a FOX News commentator.

It is amazing how much work goes on behind the scenes in all of OKCMAR, OAR, and NAR that helps us in our daily activities. It is nice to know that it all fits together.

Monday, November 1, 2010

Woof! Woof!

DISCLAIMER: THIS POST IS THE PERSONAL OPINION OF THE CEO and is no way to be read as a statement from the Board of Directors of OKCMAR. OKCMAR is not endorsing this message and claims no liability for its content.

Now that we have that over with, lets get to talking! As many of the regular readers may know, my daughter, Paige "GiGi", attends Bishop McGuiness High School, where community service is a requirement of attendance. Last Saturday we volunteered at the OKC animal shelter, the SINGULAR shelter in our large two-tier city. We were able to get a special pass, as GiGi is not 18, to work for the day as long as I accompanied her at all times.

Even though I have three, yes three! dogs (all beautiful cocker spaniels- we now have Copper as my other daughter, Megan, was not allowed to keep him in her new rental) I had a blast! This was one of the most rewarding days I have ever spent. We spent 3 hours walking the dogs of the pound and just playing with them. They are all so precious, such a gift to us humans! My heart broke for little Tatoo who was so timid she didn't want to go out of her cage. But once she was out and finally started walking with us, I am happy to report that she frolicked and crawled in our lap and ran and gave us hundreds of kisses. It was very hard for me to leave her there. I am extremely happy to report that she was adopted!

While we were there we saw Kelsi (who we also walked) and an unnamed puppy that we walked were adopted! We took out this older little charmer Henri- who did somersaults in his cage to get our attention and he too was adopted. Kibbles a beautiful gray blue brindle pup who was the sweetest thing also now has a home. However, one of my favorites, Gremlin "Grim" a black boxer mix who was incredible is still at the shelter waiting for a home. Gremlin was such an amazing walker- we walked him the longest. When we stopped, he stopped. If we stopped for longer than a minute to talk he sat down and waited for us to start. He gave us a gazillion kisses and sat in our lap. I wish I could take Gremlin home but I can't - our subdivision has a limit on how many dogs you can have.

I hope that maybe one of you will go visit Gremlin- you might just fall in love, like I did. Here is his information:
I am a neutered male, black and white Boxer mix.
The shelter thinks I am about 1 year and 7 months old.
I have been at the shelter since Oct 20, 2010.

This information is 1 hour old.
All are  encouraged to visit us  the Oklahoma City Animal Shelter, 2811 SE 29th Street (1.5 miles East of I-35 on SE 29th), between the hours of noon and 5:45 p.m. every day except holidays.The shelter pets are looking forward to seeing you!

For more information about this animal, call:
Oklahoma City Animal Shelter at (405) 297-3100
Ask for information about animal ID number A067718

And please if one of you does fall in love, tell us all about it through the blog comments and send me a photo of the two of you to post at 

OKCMAR Elects its Officers

Each year the OKCMAR Board of Directors elects its officers. I am proud to announce the 2010 OKCMAR officers: Vice President:  Ryan Hukill- Sec /Treasurer: Mike Malone- President-Elect: Lorna Koeninger- President: Steve Mann- Past President- Dave Moeller.

We welcome the new incoming directors: Andrea Frymire (Commercial Seat) Art Kastner , Nels Pederson, Shelly Pryor & Kelly Willis!

However for every new director that means a director who has given years of service is rolling off the board. I wish to personally thank those outgoing directors who gave of their time, talent, energy and personal resources. Each of you have meant a great deal to me and to OKCMAR. Your contribution was significant as we kept dues at the same low $125 per year but increased services. Under your guidance OKCMAR now offers post licensing, designations and community outreach CE days. With your leadership we have seen the formation of the Green Resource Council, GenNext and the Leadership Tommorrow 7. During your term OKCMAR now is involved in all the channels of social media and prints a newsmagazine.

The greatest gift (in my humble opinion) that the board of 2010, led by the fearless OKCMAR President, Dave Moeller, gave to the membership was transparency. OKCMAR minutes are now posted in the e-blasts and a complete financial report including all account balances/balance sheet and income/expense sheet were posted for every member to see and print out if they desired. MLS financial reports were mailed to all the MLS Participants (Broker-Mangager & Broker-Owners).
Many of you gave far more than your fair share to RPAC including three Sterling "R"'s (Dave Moeller of Redbud Realty, Bijan Babollah of Coldwell Banker Select & Mary Berry of C-21 All Pro).

Thank you again to the wonderful 2010 OKCMAR Board of Directors!
If you happen to be involved in a transaction with these amazing REALTORS® please thank them for all they have done to raise OKCMAR to the highest professional standards and for their contribution to the real estate industry!

Our outgoing directors: Bijan Babollah (Commercial) Mary Berry, Julie Buthion, Karen Johnston, & Morrie Shepherd.
Like Dorothy said, "I will miss you all!"