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Briefing: Realtor® Association News, Events & People

March 4, 2014

Power of ‘R’ Campaign Amplifies Outreach

In a world where a growing number of voices on a growing number of platforms are speaking on real estate topics, the National Association of REALTORS® is developing new ways to communicate to REALTORS® and consumers that the REALTOR® organization—at the national, state, and local level—is the leading advocate for the real estate industry and the nation’s 75 million property owners.

To tie together REALTOR® communications from members and associations, NAR is encouraging the use of a single slogan,  “Power of ‘R’,” along with the hashtag  #PowerofR on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and other social media platforms. The hash symbol turns any group of words that directly follow it into a searchable topic.

Through the Power of ‘R’ campaign, the work of REALTORS® and associations can be shared and amplified throughout an array of electronic platforms.

Whenever your association posts items demonstrating how you serve home owners, better your community, or meet with elected officials, include #PowerofR. And search for #PowerofR on any socialmedia platform to see posts that relate to REALTORS® inter­acting with local, state and national officials, supporting their communities, and helping people become responsible home owners.

In addition to the hashtag, there are several Facebook banners that associations and members can use. For more on the campaign, visit realtor.org/topics/powerofr/about-the-powerofr.

RPR Launches Dashboard

The RPR dashboard, launched in January, provides associations the ability to easily generate reports they can use to answer questions from members, boards, politicians and news outlets.

Where MLS data is available from an RPR partner, the dashboard provides market data as well as details of how members are using RPR, including how many members are visiting the site and what RPR features and reports they use. The dashboard displays upcoming training opportunities to enhance members’ RPR skills and has links to articles associations can republish.

All associations have access to a key feature of the dashboard: the Federal and Local Economic Area Reports. The federal report can be generated by congressional district boundaries, or by an entire state. The local report can be generated for a city, county, or zip code. Association staff can allow association volunteers, such as NAR’s FPCs or elected leaders to generate reports, which complement housing statistics already provided by NAR. For more details on dashboard features for associations, visit http://blog.narrpr.com.

Online National Orientation Module Now Available

NAR, in partnership with the 2013 AE Committee’s online orientation work group, has developed a new orientation option for all associations. NAR has negotiated preferred pricing with Learning Library Inc. to offer REALTOR® associations an online orientation national module for their new members. Associations can choose to offer the NAR national module only or develop and add local content and work with their state association to develop a custom online orientation covering all three levels of the REALTOR® family, at a reduced rate. Learning Library will host webinars monthly to answer questions about offering the online national module as well as how to add local content. In addition, the hard copy Orientation Toolkit, including the new Orientation Video on DVD, was sent to all associations in early February. Visit realtor.org/orientation for more information. Attend the AEI session on the platform, 8 a.m.–8:45 a.m. Tuesday, March 25. For more, contact Kim DiGangi at kdigangi@realtors.org.

Association Tech Fair ‘Smack Down’ Pits Tradition Against Tech

Two nationally known real estate experts, Dan Elzer, president of The Training Academy, and Bill Lublin, CEO of the Social Media Marketing Institute, faced off on the importance of social media and technology versus old-school skills and sales techniques at the Greater Manchester/Nashua Board of REALTORS®’ 6th Annual Tech Fair and “Smack Down,” Oct. 17, 2013. The event was open and free to all New Hampshire REALTORS® and association affiliates.

The two hosts passionately defended their positions by offering solutions to everyday market challenges. “It was a very lively Smack Down with contrasting ideas offering attendees insight as to where to focus their efforts to make the biggest impact on their real estate careers,” says Jessica Perry, the association’s communications and marketing coordinator. The event also featured tech vendors providing information on products and services members can use to enhance their real estate business.

Nebraska Awards Mark of Excellence

Winning the Nebraska Association of REALTORS®’ Mark of Excellence Award has nothing to do with production or sales. The award’s criteria includes taking continuing education classes, participating in political action, volunteering in the community, serving on committees, and attending local, state, and national REALTOR® events. The purpose of the recognition (represented with a lapel pin) is to honor professionalism and inspire members to reach higher.

Customize NAR’s Consumer Advertising Campaign Materials to Your Local Market

NAR’s Consumer Advertising Campaign launched a new commercial, “Make Your Move,” the third in a series of television commercials as part of the Market Momentum ­focus—advertising that encourages consumers to take advantage of the opportunities in today’s market. This latest commercial encourages consumers to stop waiting, start considering, and make a move by calling a REALTOR® and visiting realtor.com®. In addition to the new TV and radio ads that will run as part of NAR’s national media buy, the campaign includes print and digital materials that you and your members can use in your local market. Visit the online ad generator at REALTOR.org (search for “ad generator”) to access these latest advertising materials as you plan your own consumer outreach.

Local Association Misuse of REALTOR® Logo

Mary Newill, the National Association of REALTORS®’ trademark administrator, is kept busy alerting members (and others) of their misuse of the association’s registered marks and logos. In the Fall issue of REALTOR® AE magazine, Newill spotted two misuses by a local association that all associations may want to take note of.

A local association of REALTORS® runs a consumer-oriented Web site with its own unique name and branding. The REALTOR® block logo was displayed on that site in the lower left corner. The problem was that, according to Newill, it was not clear that this Web site was owned or operated by the local association. “Member boards are licensed to use the REALTOR® marks, including the REALTOR® logo in connection with their name. Therefore, it’s not appropriate to use the REALTOR® logo on the site without also using the association’s name in connection with the trademark.” This is important to note as more associations launch Web sites and online services that are aimed at consumers and may not have association branding.

In addition, the association had created a video graphic on the site using the block R as a letter in the word “start,” as in, start your home search with a REALTOR®. Yet again, this turned out to be an inadvertent misuse of the block R logo because 1) the REALTOR® logo must always appear with the “REALTOR®” identifier right below the block R and 2) it is never appropriate to use the block R as a substitute for an R in a word.

The rules regarding proper format of the REALTOR® logo are available at realtor.org/mmm. Also, Newill says she’s happy to review any use of the marks associations come up with. Contact her at mnewill@realtors.org.

Centennial Successes: Code of Ethics 100th Anniversary Year Ends with Trove of Promotion Ideas for Associations

REALTOR® associations across the country marked the 100th anniversary of the REALTOR® Code of Ethics in 2013 with an array of awareness materials, events, contests, and other resources.

In Pennsylvania, the state Association of REALTORS® celebrated the centennial with a video contest encouraging members to share what the Code means to them. Three members won prizes—including an Apple iPad and a Samsung Galaxy Note 10.1—and had their videos shown at the PAR spring business meeting.

In July, in San Marcos, Texas, Mayor Daniel Guerrero and the City Council presented a proclamation honoring the Code of ­Ethics’ 100th anniversary. Members of the San Marcos Area Board of REALTORS® showed their REALTOR® pride with Code of Ethics centennial banners created by the Texas Association.

In June, the Delaware General Assembly approved House Resolution 13, recognizing the Code of Ethics centennial and the Code’s work in protecting consumers. Rep. Briggs King sponsored the resolution, and state and local REALTOR® associations in Delaware contributed toward getting the resolution passed.

The Greater Albuquerque Association of REALTORS® developed the Code Kiosk, an online Code of Ethics resource for members. The main goal of the Code Kiosk, an interactive Web site, was to support GAAR’s members in conveying the ideals and relevance of the Code to the public during open houses, marketing presentations, and other consumer outreach. Users can easily click through the site and read key facts about NAR’s Code of Ethics.

Adding its new Code of Ethics image to a custom postage stamp enabled the Missouri Association of REALTORS® to promote the centennial on all its mailings. MAR also created T-shirts and custom graphics. To educate members and the public about the Code’s centennial, MAR planned articles for its e-newsletter and member Web site as well as a public awareness campaign. The Virginia Association of REALTORS® published a special centennial edition of Commonwealth, its quarterly magazine. The issue is full of articles on the Code of Ethics, including a handy cheat sheet about the types of information that must be disclosed online. A feature story discusses NAR’s Code of Ethics in relation to Virginia state law. Another feature outlines specific scenarios where the Code of Ethics might come into play during real estate transactions.

These innovative ideas are also great ways to keep the code in front of members anytime. For links to all of these resources and more, visit NAR’s centennial page at realtor.org/coe100.

Professional Conduct Video Highlights Respect

Chances are that you’ve seen NAR’s 10-minute video “A Pathway to Professional Conduct: Respect Starts Here,” which offers members six tips to professionalism and conducting business with the utmost respect for peers, the public, and property. It’s included in the annual New Member Orientation Toolkit mailed to associations. But did you know you can also post it to your association Web site, include it on your YouTube association page, and link it to your Facebook groups? The companion brochure highlights all the tips in the video. View it online or purchase a pack of 100 for $39.95. See these resources and more at REALTOR.org (search for “Pathway to Professional Conduct”).

See You at the AE Institute in Baltimore!

No AE should miss the AE Institute, the annual event that delivers real estate industry insights and provides a wide range of education designed to help AEs across the country better serve their members.  The conference kicks off ­Saturday, March 22, at 8:15 a.m. with 2014 NAR President Steve Brown and a keynote address from Connie Podesta, comedian and motivational speaker. The REALTOR® Party Luncheon on Sunday features a keynote address by Donna Brazile, veteran Democratic political strategist and syndicated newspaper columnist. On Monday, NAR CEO Dale Stinton, RCE, CAE, hosts the popular Q&A update on NAR ­issues. New this year, the REALTOR® Party Immersion Day (Friday, March 21) is a workshop to help AEs identify their role in the REALTOR® organization’s strengthened focus on state and local advocacy and outreach. Pre-registration is required. Full details are online at realtor.org/events/ae-institute.

Cummings Receives McDermott Award

Dave Cummings, communications director for the New Hampshire Association of REALTORS®, is the recipient of the 2013 Terry McDermott Community Leadership Award. The award honors an AE who goes above and beyond his or her service to the community. Cummings founded the Hoops For Heroes initiative, which raised roughly $95,000 for the Intrepid Fallen Heroes Fund for wounded veterans. Pledging to shoot 1 million basketball free throws as a fund-raising event, Cummings solicited donations on his Web site and Facebook and through word of mouth. His efforts ­gathered a strong social media and national media following. He made a shot during the second quarter of a Celtics game at the Boston Garden (pictured above) and reached the midway mark on the flight deck of the USS Intrepid aircraft carrier on Veterans Day 2010.

Cummings will be formally recognized at the 2014 AE Institute in Baltimore on March 22, at which time NAR will make a $500 donation to the Intrepid Fallen Heroes Fund.

AEs on the Move

Sandy Naragon is the new CEO for the Akron Cleveland Association of REALTORS® after the Akron and Cleveland boards merged in October to form a 4,500-member association serving REALTOR® across Northeast Ohio.

Jarron Springer, CAE, joined the Greater Nashville Association of REALTORS® as CEO in February. Springer comes to the REALTOR® family from the Tennessee Grocers & Convenience Store Association. Don Klein, former GNAR CEO, stepped down in January after 16 years with the association and launched his own leadership and communications consulting company.

Meet the New RCEs

These 21 REALTOR® association executives earned their RCE (Realtor® association Certified Executive) designation after an extensive course of study and exam in November.

RCE is the only designation created specifically for REALTOR® association executives. It exemplifies goal-oriented AEs with drive, experience, and commitment to professional growth. Candidates earn the designation by accumulating points through experience, education and a comprehensive written exam.

  • M. Steven Anaya, RCE, REALTORS® Association of New Mexico
  • Amanda Arwood, RCE, CAE Virginia Association of REALTORS®
  • Kipp Cooper, RCE, Huntsville Area Association of REALTORS®, Ala.
  • Della Csehoski, RCE, Cambria Somerset Assoc. of REALTORS®, Pa.
  • Modene Gaulke, RCE, Montrose Association of REALTORS®, Colo.
  • Marc Gould, RCE, National Association of REALTORS®, Ill.
  • Tina Grimes, RCE, Rogue Valley Association of REALTORS®, Ore.
  • Debra Hansen, RCE REALTOR® Association of Southern Minnesota
  • Phil Hawkins, RCE, Pacific West Association of REALTORS®, Calif.
  • Nicci Haynie, RCE, Texas Association of REALTORS®
  • Jessica Hickok, RCE, Greater Springfield Board of REALTORS®, Mo.
  • Kathleen Hinman, RCE, Nevada County Association of REALTORS®, Calif.
  • Nicole Jensen, RCE, REALTORS® Association of Lincoln, Neb.
  • Melissa Maldonado, RCE, South Metro Denver REALTOR® Association, Colo. 
  • Lindsey Martinez, RCE, South Padre Island Board of REALTORS®, Texas
  • Mary Martinez-Garcia, RCE, National Association of REALTORS®, Ill.
  • Sue Pyzynski, RCE, Mid-State Association of REALTORS®, Conn.
  • Regina Tubre, RCE, New Braunfels/Canyon Lake Assoc. of REALTORS®, Texas
  • Jon Weber, RCE, Minneapolis Area Association of REALTORS®, Minn.
  • Janie Weston, RCE, Greater Lakes Association of REALTORS®, Minn.
  • Robert Wigton, RCE, Nevada Association of REALTORS®