June 3, 2012
Dear CAR Associates and Friends:
It was such a dark and foggy morning I couldn't see a car length ahead as I drove to the airport for my flight to Washington for the NAR Midyear conference. By the time we took off the fog was lifting but still present.
|Early morning at DIA
||View of Washington Monument from my hotel
Monday, May 14, 2012
After Kay Watson's early meeting, we went to Washington National Cathedral in time for an organ mini-concert which was thrilling. The organ has over 10,600 pipes. We also had a tour of the cathedral which I highly recommend.
Tuesday, May 15, 2012
CIPS Advisory Subcommittee Frank Kowalski, Chair; Zola Szerencses, Vice-Chair
- This is my first year as a Committee Member.
- Approved 153 new CIPS Designees who were pinned at the breakfast 5/16.
- Discussed course information update and membership program update.
- Reviewed membership around the world: how many take CIPS classes, how many apply for membership, how many renew one year later.
In 2005-2012 US: of 2400 students 1452 applied for the designation. Outside the US there were 1116 students, 465 applied and 122 actually got the designation. The application rate from country to country varies widely. Some people don't realize one must be a REALTOR® to be a CIPS. Committee members contributed ideas of how to emphasize the value of the designation and keep it active. The ticket to global success is the CIPS. Advised checking out the CIPS quarterly webinars. Discussion of people in other countries who have a business model and perhaps can't afford the yearly dues. US billing 100%, getting about 85-87% renewals.
Staff person Jennifer just had a new baby, Drake Allen.
Good committee participation in RPAC. Howard Leino introduced "Jukka" from Finland who was visiting to see how we do things in the US.
Mr. Jukka Malila is CEO & Director for the Central Federation of Finnish Real Estate Agencies (Finland's national assn. of real estate professionals), a position similar to Dale Stinton at NAR.
Pres. Moe Veissi said "This is our moment in time." Cassandra Bersach (FL) sang the song "One Moment In Time".
VP Steve Brown said Moe is the right president at this moment in time.
Home Ownership is the issue of our time. It is something to celebrate, protect and embrace. The ongoing goal of the NAR campaign is to protect the American dream. In 2011 the bus tour garnered 55.1 million positive media impressions. Our responsibility is to take a stand for home ownership.
NAR is in the process of developing our new web site www.MyRealtor.org.
There is a new program called MVP (Member Value Program). Member value-added products are free with participation in the program in a timely manner.
Scott Lauser talked about Advocacy 2012. Two RPCs received the Meritorious Service award: Greg Herr from Gilbertsville, IN and Richard Rosenthal from Marina Del Ray, CA.
Matt Vernon, Bank of America; Pat Shoehey, J.P. Morgan Chase; Joe Rogers, Wells Fargo EVP presented a panel discussion of how lenders are responding to bank efforts.
1. Wells has remained in the market especially by using FHA and has several new programs to allow borrowing.
2. JPMorgan Chase said 20% down is not the rule, there are other plans. The repurchase frequency has been unbearable; they lose 50 cents on the dollar when they have to repurchase. He predicts 5 million people will be locked out of the market in 5-7 years. They have two principles:
a. Ownership has to be sustainable
b. Everything must be in order on the loan They have a risk meeting every month. Have an exception desk where underwriters are on call. They are looking for local, qualified appraisers.
3. Bank of America: looking at loans to be sure they are different than the last 5 years for that person. Taking control back of the underwriting process. Short sales are the most recent efforts to streamline the process
a. The worst thing is to foreclose
b. Loan modification is better
c. Might use a deed in lieu
They have quadrupled their staff. In 2008 had less than 1000; now have 22,000 employees. Have programs and incentives to transition borrowers from one situation to another. In July 2012 going on the equator program which is almost 2 years old and focuses on short sales and deeds in lieu. This year had 30,000 short sales. Short sales initiated by the end of this year will be closed by the end of next year.
Why is Bank of America different than FNMA and FRMAC?
1. Lender, not investor
2. Availability is limited
3. Obligation and desire to take greater control back
1. Not limited to same restrictions
2. Are profitable
3. Market share about 16% but have third party market
4. Provide liquidity in the market
All agree that Realtors are having an effect. Ways we're advocating:
1. Public advocacy ad campaign in DC this week, nationwide in June
2. Legislative priorities
a. National Flood Insurance Program, set to expire May 31 (was extended for 30 days)
b. Tax relief; could have to pay tax on money that has not been received. Expires 12/31; need an extension.
c. Role to expand importance of FHA
d. Commercial real estate role
NAR President-Elect Gary Thomas introduced Elizabeth Mendenhall to present "Rethink Real Estate" which is about new ideas for preparing for the future. Why this initiative at this time? Members want to be involved and take action. How can members participate? Live internet workshops across the country will be launching at Leadership Summit. Afterwards there will be at least 20 events between August and May. Leadership programs will be hosted by lottery. There is no cost to host or participate.
1. Regional or state
2. Local if 1000+ members
3. Specialty groups
4. Industry partners The process is as important as the results. www.Rethinkfuture.com
Treasurer Bill Armstrong discussed the general program for the week, especially the Rally.
Tom Salomone gave a Rally preview.
Wednesday, May 16, 2012
153 new CIPS Designees; those present received their pin. Lovely buffet breakfast with time for networking.
|Frank Kowalski directs new CIPS pinning
||George Harvey networking
|Gail Lyons at breakfast
||Howard Leino and Jukka Malila from Finland
Global Business and Alliances Committee
To find out more about global issues including immigration, go to Realtor.org then to Business Specialties then to Global. The international web site launched November 2011. There are 4.2 million listings from 18 countries. 26 data providers are signed up and 25 more being reviewed. The information is in Spanish, Chinese and English with Russian and German coming soon. 28% of REALTORS® report working with an international client. Go to www.Realtor.com click on Find a Home, then International.
Meeting format was interesting. The committee covers so much that each speaker was given 3 minutes to
present a topic. They had to sign up in advance to be on the agenda. The format really moved the meeting along.
a. Overview of NAR Convention and Global Highlights (Sue Gorley). REALTOR® promotional materials are
published in several languages. Re Orlando, the Peabody Hotel is now doubled in size. There will be some
seminars given in other languages on Friday. Expecting about 2000 international attendees. The general
session will have Navy Seals and fighter pilots speaking. Universal Studios will be open Friday night for
REALTORS®. The Sunday night concert will feature Glenn Fry and Joe Walsh. There will be 6 finalists in
REALTORS® Have Talent. The convention will be very affordable this year.
b. REALTOR® University updates and impact to Global (Jonathan Salk). Now open for business. True Masters of Real Estate program. 24 students in present session. New sessions begin July 9, September 3, October 29. Entirely online. For more information contact JSalk@Realtors.org. Scholarship money is available. First 40 students get grants of $500.
c. Resort survey (George Harvey). 7% more sales in 2011 than 2010. Investment homes improved 65%.
Resort and Second Homes group has almost 2000 members.
d. Local Councils Update (Brett Brown). 92 global councils; 24 states have them and there is a 55% program
growth. Author of "Kiss, Bow and Shake Hands" will be speaking and doing a book signing 3-4:30 PM. Her
program usually costs $10,000.
e. International Homebuyer Survey and 2012 Preliminary Findings (Jed Smith). Florida gets 31%, CA gets 12%, TX 9%. Canadians are the largest customer base. Jed will have a full report by June.
f. Houston International Member Survey Findings (Oscar Gonzales). Of 24,000 members 5% do international
business but less than 10% of their total business is international.
g. Working with Diversity Groups (Francisco Angulo). AREAA is the Asian Real Estate Association of America.
12% of NAR is Spanish or Asian. There are 20 chapters in the US and 1 in Canada.
h. New Referral Contract Forms (Carla Rayman). Go to NARGlobe@Realtors.org (eventually). The form is
available but not yet on the web site.
i. CIPS Enhanced Benefits and Update (Frank Kowalski). Make sure your photo and bio is updated on the site.
j. RPAC Participation and Importance of Full Committee Participation (Furhad Waquad). 2012 goal $7.6
million. Need money to get a seat at the table and take our point of view to members of Congress.
k. IRPF Update and Brazil Exclusivity MLS Training Update (Norm Flynn). IRPF is International Real Property
Specialist. There are 180,000 members.
l. IHC Update (Susan Corts-Hill). International Housing Corporation is dealing with HOAs in Eastern Europe
and former Soviet Union countries. They are trying to learn what to do about common areas. Also involved
in the World Forum which will be in Naples in September. www.IMCLht.org. Getting ready to start a blog.
Sign up for membership.
m. Global Alliances Update and PL Activities (Judy Sykes). If you want to be a President's Liaison, use the form to apply. Be sure your events are on the calendar at Realtor.org/global. 7 CIPSs instructed outside the US.
There are almost 2000 international members.
n. Singapore 2013 Conference (Jeff Foo). 22 hour flight to attend the NAR meeting in Washington. Have 5
million population, 32,000 real estate agents, rated second for casino destinations. Land is $2000/sq. ft.,
condos are $6800/sq. ft. (this is not a typing error). The agents get about 1-2% commission. March 20-24,
2013 will be their first international real estate conference.
o. Canada Update (Richard Silver). Montreal has 147 "crane" projects. There is a shortage of listings in major
p. Mexico Update 2 million Americans and Canadians live in Mexico in the winter. 43% of their market is
second homes. 30% are international buyers.
Equal Opportunity – Cultural Diversity Committee
I was able to sit in on only part of this committee but a discussion was in progress about Sexual Orientation, Gender and Gender Identity and the importance of understanding the differences. Gender Identity, according to HUD, means actual or perceived gender-related characteristics. Many states and localities prohibit discrimination on the basis of Gender Identity. The committee is discussing these issues and may make recommendations regarding the Code of Ethics for referral to the Professional Standards Committee. Check documentaries on the internet about transgender transitioning. Effect and action are two different things. For example, a parish in New Orleans wanted to make a law that houses could only be sold to relatives. It sounds innocent until you learn that the parish is 97% white. NAR supports nondiscrimination in housing opportunities.
Having been a member of CC for the past 6 years, I stopped in to listen to part of the meeting. Due to suggestions made last year they met in a round table format and gave summary reports after general updates from staff. Everyone said there was much more interchange of ideas. Watch for new advertising videos to be shown on TV.
Unfortunately I was not able to attend my scheduled participation in the group which met with Cong. Mike Coffman (R-6) (See next paragraph). This year instead of a large-group meeting, REALTORS® were divided according to their Congressional Districts and selected REALTORS® met with individual elected representatives in their congressional offices. Most seemed to feel it was a more effective way to have better discussions about REALTOR® Party issues.
Embassy of the Netherlands
As a CIPS I was privileged to be invited to be part of a small group of 9 people who attended the Embassy of the Netherlands located at 4200 Linnean Avenue NW in a wooded residential neighborhood.
Our guide was NAR Global Staff person Bruno Crosby. We were buzzed into the gated parking lot, buzzed into the building entry, buzzed through into an interior lobby, then had to enter through a revolving door one at a time to get to the office part of the building. Electronic surveillance was everywhere although not readily evident (no visible guards). We were offered tea or coffee and met in a conference room. Our gracious hostess was First Secretary Suzanne de Groot, an attorney, diplomat and Policy Director for the Business Division of the Embassy. She will be leaving this position soon to be sent to Pakistan for two years. They promote trade and have counselor generals in several areas.
We asked such questions as:
a. their philosophy toward property ownership
b. about special restrictions for their citizens to invest abroad
c. how we can help their business expand in the US
d. what are some tax restraint on trade
e. what are the current economic conditions 7
f. how we can facilitate the exchange of information with regard to real estate and business. The Netherlands supports 625,000 American jobs, is the third largest foreign economic investor in the US ($217.1 Billion), the 9th largest export partner of the US, the largest destination for US Foreign Direct Investment ($521.1 Billion). A few of the major Dutch companies in the US are Heineken, ING, Philips and Shell Oil. Some of the major US companies in the Netherlands are Boeing, Cisco Systems, Coca-cola, Forever 21, Heinz, IBM, Nike, Starbucks and Verizon. Their largest port is Rotterdam and they have a large airport, good climate and a population of about 60 million.
Ms. De Groot talked about how people live and how homes are much smaller than in the US and very expensive. The cheapest apartment would be about 200,000 Euros to buy and it would be 60 square meters. It is very hard to buy private property there. Due to lower wages, most people rent. She told us about paying into a life insurance policy for 30 years and getting some kind of tax deduction, then the mortgage would get paid off all at once instead of monthly as we do. In getting a mortgage you can have a 3-year contract or have someone give a warranty or have large savings. Amount would be about four times annual earnings before taxes. Can get 100% financing. They have "protected city view" to keep the look the same. Some are protected by laws as far as historical style.
One difference between the Netherlands and US is that in the US people are very friendly but don't invite foreigners to their homes. The Dutch are very direct in business but then take foreigners to their homes and socialize. They rarely use first names initially. In business women are still more traditional and rarely rise above lower-ranking jobs. To be a Dutch citizen, one parent must be Dutch and you automatically get citizenship or if you are born in the Netherlands or you can become a naturalized citizen after 7 years and speak the language. As far as education, they have both private and public schools but they are very similar. Primary school is 6 years; high schools have different levels, 4 years usually then become university students. At the age of 12 students are already on different levels.
She was very friendly and answered all our questions with grace, humor and much factual information. We spent about an hour with her. Here are photos of the courtyard with "tulip" chairs, the license plate on what I assume is the car of Ambassador Renee Jones-Bos (a lady) and Joan Alipo and April Gayle pointing to a building sign. Everything was very calm and low-key. It was a privilege to be part of this group.
Region 11 Reception
Our well-attended 6-state regional reception was held on the Omni Empire Patio. The weather was absolutely perfect and the attendance excellent. I'll let the photos speak for themselves. "A good time was had by all."
Global Networking Reception
This reception overlapped the Region 11 Reception but I was able to attend parts of both. This reception was in the Omni Blue Room. Lots of networking. I talked at length with Tony and Nancy Macaluso from West Palm Beach, FL. He is a CIPS instructor and she is the President's Liaison to the Netherlands.
Thursday, May 17, 2012
Thursday began by meeting Sunny Banka for a chartered bus ride to the Mall, arriving there around 9 AM.
We were given a box breakfast, found the space allotted to Region 11 (in front and just to the left facing the stage) and joined 13,800 REALTORS® for an incredible gathering to promote Home Ownership. We had been given a Rally packet earlier in the week so everyone had on blue tee-shirts with big white R logos. There was a huge sound stage, discjockey, flags flying, beach balls being tossed through the crowd and videos shown on the big screen. The whole area was on the north side of the Washington monument, quite visible through the open stage frame. Everything was well organized and clicked along right on schedule. At 10 AM Tom Salomone called everyone to attention for the National Anthem sung by Cassandra Bersach. Veteran Tom Davidson led the pledge of allegiance. There was nothing more awesome than to stand with that many like-minded REALTORS® united for a great cause and to pledge allegiance to the flag of our country. It was a proud moment! Tom Salomone opened the Rally.
President Moe Veissi and NAR Chief Economist Lawrence Yun spoke briefly. I have never heard Dr. Yun so enthusiastic. California REALTOR®/Treasurer Chris Kutzky spoke on homeownership benefits to the family and community structure. Florida State. Rep. /REALTOR® Matt Hudson spoke about communities and the role of the state legislature on homeownership. Greg Hrabcak CCIM from OH spoke about commercial real estate in maintaining and growing communities and how real estate is a job creator in economy. Rep. Steny Hoyer from Maryland and Sen. Isakson from Georgia each spoke briefly but passionately about home ownership. We then heard from the National Association of Real Estate Brokers President Julius Cartwright, the Asian Real Estate Association of America President Kathy Tsao and the National Association of Hispanic Real Estate Professionals President Gerardo Ascensio. The last speaker was probably the most popular: the event disc jockey is a homeowner and he told in his own words what being a homeowner means to him: with all his jobs and late nights he loves walking into his home at the end of the day and knowing it's his home. If I recall it was President Moe who said "No one grows up dreaming about being a tenant." Box lunches were handed out as we left the staging area and headed for the buses or to have a picnic on the mall.
If you haven't yet watched the video, please go to www.realtor.org and watch it on the NAR web site. It was an incredible historic event to have so many of us in one place united for a cause. I wish all of you could have been there.
Back to the hotel for a change of clothes and onto another bus to the Capitol for a late afternoon Congressional Reception in one of the Senate meeting rooms. It was well attended and those who didn't get to attend the Hill visits the day before were able to hear several of the elected officials speak. We also did a lot of state networking in between the arrival of the officials.
Friday, May 18, 2012
President-Elect Keith Kanemoto conducted the meeting. Reports were given from various committee members and attendees.
Region 11 Caucus
(Arizona, Utah, New Mexico, Wyoming, Nevada and Colorado)
(L to R) UT Pres. Lori Chapman, NV Pres. Blane Johnson, CO President Scott Matthias, NM Pres. Debbie Rogers
Region 11 VP Michael Labout chaired the caucus.
There were several policy manual changes suggested; a motion was made, discussed and tabled regarding the region governing documents. Anyone who attended the Region 11 meeting in Scottsdale who hasn't already responded to the Survey Monkey survey about the meeting is asked to please do so.
One person at the caucus won a comp registration to the next Region 11 meeting which will be in Santa Fe February 27-March 1, 2013. A committee was formed to work on funds for candidates of NAR Regions to help them get NAR positions. Some of the members are Wes Graham, Russ Booth, Vicki Cox Golder, Scott Matthias, Keith Kanemoto, Connie ?, Bob Golden, Michael Labout and Pat Pipkin. BOD action items having to do with MLS were announced. 2015 RVP Candidates George Harvey (CO) and Linda Rheinberger (NV) spoke briefly. Motion was made and passed that Region 11 endorse Tom Salomone for NAR 2016 President. RPAC state chairs were introduced. Strategic Planning: Bonnie Smith and Linda Rheinberger helped secure financing for 20 seminars for future challenges and opportunities forums. There will be money available to help locals and states November through May. Someone suggested next time having the Region 11 Reception after the Caucus. Karen Valentine Pond will be the 2014 RVP.
Saturday, May 19, 2012
Board of Directors:
Here are just a few of my notes from the meeting. One item of special note is that Ingrid Glancy from CO was introduced as an Executive Committee Representative from an Outside Organization (CRS). Personal remarks from President Moe Veissi:
"No one moves to the United States to rent." $18,400 was raised during the week for RPAC. Realtor Rally will be on YouTube and the NAR web site.
Dick Gaylord discussed the 12 Second Century Initiatives which were approved May 2008. Some examples are the Credit Union, RPR, HouseLogic and the radio show.
Martin Edwards: NAR had the first virtual credit union. The $75 million Credit Union is now merging with the Northwest Federal Credit Union and will total $2.1 billion. There will be 4,571 shared branch locations. The goal was to be part of a billion dollar credit union in 5 years and it is now year 4 and on track. SentriLock has 20% market share in 5 years and is well on its way to 25% market share.
The William Nagel award was given to Teresa Penza of Northbrook, IL. Treasurer Bill Armstrong gave his report.
1. NAR purchased the 41% remaining share in SentriLock in 2011 and now owns 100% of the company. They had $12.4 million in revenues with $1.6 million net income.
2. 437 Rush Street in Chicago was purchased for $1.45 million and has a $200,000 net income. NAR now owns a whole city block in Chicago. The Rush Street property is behind the Michigan Avenue property.
3. The annual audit was completed and approved by BOD.
4. There are now 975,000 members, down 4%. 962,000 have paid so far this year. $120 dues continues to include the REALTOR® Party $40.
5. 2013 budget was approved as well as the revised 2012 budget.
Representatives of multicultural organizations will be added to the Realtor Party and other committees. There are name changes on a few committees. Regarding Meeting & Conference Committee, the past chair will be added to the committee. The host state always has the chair but a co-chair will be added from elsewhere since our meetings are limited to just a few locations. An MLS tech subcommittee was created to address MLS issues. It will have 15 members made up of 8 REALTORS® and the balance MLS administrators. They plan to meet by phone.
Two new Distinguished Service Award winners will be inducted in Orlando. These are people who have the experience and qualifications to be national president but chose not to seek that office. This year they are Bruce Ayd from O'Fallen, MO and Paula Savart from Lancaster, MA.
Several MLS changes were passed.
Pro Standards had several items:
1. CA Pilot Program: members who are in more than one association can be subject to discipline in another association also.
2. Offer mediation before arbitration.
3. Training for new members will satisfy the 4-year NAR training.
Realtor.com is in its 17th year and now have sold listings. Also have a mobile web site with QR codes. There is a Realtor.com channel being launched this year. Pininterest is for photo sharing. Check out Realtor.com International.
Move, Inc. Director Cathy Whatley spoke about Realtor.com. Look up www.socialbios.com/create Dale Ross spoke about RPR. There is a commercial beta test going on. There are 900 MLSs and RPR has contracts with about 380.
Tom Salomone said there have been 1430 requests from local associations re use of the $40 Realtor Party dollars. Interesting statement I heard: "Those who are too smart to be engaged in politics are governed by those who are dumber." There was a 30% increase in major donors the week of the meeting; now have 2,120 investors. Major RPAC donors were recognized. Two people have given over $75,000 (lifetime), one (Harley Rouda, Sr.) is over $100,000. Colorado reached the rising star level. Vote, Act, Invest.
Realtor University said there are 23 students in 3 classes now in the second class. 16 more still start in July or September and hope to have 50 by December.
The meeting adjourned at 12:25 PM.
Click Here to download a full PDF copy of this report
It was my privilege to represent you in 2006-2011 as an NAR Director and I hope to do so again in the near future. Please mark you calendar for the Orlando NAR Conference in November, the Region 11 Meeting next February and the NAR Midyear in May 2013. The meetings are so informative, much more than a written report could ever cover.
Westwind Realty, 15150 East Iliff Avenue, Aurora, CO 80014