The Wichita Area Association of Realtors® will host its first summit of Realtor® association education directors, Feb. 1-2 in Wichita, Kan. The summit aims to teach attendees how to design and deliver avant-garde education programs that are valuable in a fluctuating market.
“We’re excited to do our part to ‘connect the dots’ in support of NAR ’07 President Pat Vredevoogd Combs’ strategic plan,” says Karen Becker, event organizer and professional development director at the Wichita association. “We want to provide education directors and their staff with the knowledge they need to be effective in their jobs.” More than 150 real estate professionals are expected to attend.
Becker describes the 2007 summit courses as the foundation in the building blocks to a successful education program. Subsequent summits will build on the foundation with increasingly complex topics. The 2007 courses will cover designing an education program, finding the right instructors, learning how to work with vendors, working with real estate commissions, and education marketing. Speakers include Terry Watson, Oliver Frascona, Lisa Templin-Rayburn, and Karel Murray.
In addition to courses for education directors, the event also will feature an instructor summit for industry speakers, educators, and real estate commissioners covering adult learning concepts, how to teach technical topics, and presentation skills. Tuition for the summit is $129 for association education staff and $299 for instructors.
For more information, contact Karen Becker, 316/263-3167.
Band Raises Funds for Home Building
Realtor® associations in the New England region developed this blue Realtor® wristband to raise funds for Operation Home Delivery, which benefits Habitat for Humanity house construction in the Gulf Region. Imprinted with “Realtors® Support Operation Home Delivery,” the bands sell for $5. To order bands to sell at your association, contact Paul Chasse of the Massachusetts Association of Realtors® at email@example.com.
As of Oct. 1, NAR’s Operation Home Delivery now has 19 state associations each contributing $70,000 to sponsor a Habitat for Humanity house. For more information on the program and fund-raising tools, contact Wendy Penn, 202/383-7560, or visit REALTOR.org, search: “Operation Home Delivery.”
Guiding AEs Through Changing Times
As 2007 chair of NAR’s Association Executives Committee, Walt Baczkowski, rce, brings 27 years of Realtor® association management with him. According to Baczkowski, his new role will center on providing AEs with up-to-date information on issues in the industry as well as examples of how other associations are meeting members’ changing needs.
What are some of the toughest issues facing AEs today?
“Developing programs that can serve new members and veterans is one of the toughest challenges facing AEs today. We read about how three generations—Baby Boomers, Generation X and Y—in the market at the same time has affected the housing market and the real estate profession. However, these same factors need to be considered when developing services or expanding association programs. Associations need to communicate with members at the level they are comfortable, provide programs that meet their diverse needs, and ensure that events, programs, and services are where they want them, when they want them. Many associations have developed weekly e-mail newsletters and educational programs online to meet these changing needs.
“The decline in volunteer involvement in associations is an additional concern for AEs today. We are seeing fewer committees with smaller sizes, particularly at the local level. This trend is putting greater emphasis on the AE and association staff to research and develop the programs, products and services to recommend to the directors for consideration. To help AEs develop new programs, the AE Committee will continue to provide exceptional programming at the annual AE Institute, along with strong content at the AE Forum and other sessions that are offered for AEs during the Midyear Legislative Meetings and the Realtors® Conference.”
What has been the most challenging aspect of your AE career, and how have you managed it?
“The most challenging aspect I have found is negotiating the yearly transition in association leadership. Each year, AEs have a new president, president-elect, directors, and committee chairs to work with to meet the association’s goals and objectives. Volunteers often arrive with preconceived ideas or visions for the association that may not mesh with the goals outlined in the strategic plan. On the other hand, many volunteers arrive having had very little involvement with the association and may not be aware of policies or procedures, or know who has authority to take action for the association. During my 27 years as an AE, I have found a leadership orientation to be very valuable. At these sessions, each director, officer, and committee chair receives a copy of the association's strategic plan along with the budget and bylaws. Training starts with how a committee develops an action plan and moves to who has authority to commit the association to a project and approve action items.
If you had to choose three principles by which you manage your association, what would they be?
“1) Treat all members fairly and with equal attention. 2) Make sure that the association’s finances, policies, and bylaws are clear, followed, and open for review by the leadership and members. 3) The association should have a clear strategic plan reviewed annually and should develop programs and services based on that plan.”
When Baczkowski isn’t “being a chauffeur and ATM for my kids,” he says, he enjoys auto racing, golfing, and fishing. E-mail him at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Nominations Sought for HOPE Awards
Across America, thousands of individuals and organizations are helping remove the barriers to minority homeownership. Help bring recognition of these contributions by nominating individuals and organizations in your area for the 2007 HOPE Awards (Home Ownership Participation for Everyone).
NAR, along with a partnership of real estate associations, established the HOPE Awards in 2001 to raise public awareness of the issues surrounding minority homeownership and to share inspiring and enlightening stories with others who want to help the nation achieve the goal of homeownership parity.
Individuals, nonprofit and for-profit organizations, and state and local agencies are eligible. There are seven submission categories: Homeownership Education, Finance, Project of the Year (Builders/Developers), Media, Brokerage, Leadership, and Public Policy. Self-nominations are encouraged. Up to seven awards are given every other year. Winners receive $10,000, national media coverage, an opportunity to speak at a minority housing symposium at the National Press Club in Washington, D.C., a prestigious HOPE Awards statue, and expenses paid to attend a black-tie awards gala at the National Building Museum on May 15, 2007, in Washington, D.C.
To access entry forms, submission guidelines, and gala sponsorship opportunities, visit hopeawards.org, or call 202/383-1192. Deadline is Dec. 4.
Realtor® AE Leads Trade Mission to China
Gary Clayton, CEO of the Illinois Association of Realtors®, led a delegation of Illinois Realtors® to China in September to showcase the state’s commercial investment opportunities. The State of Illinois and IAR co-sponsored a trade show booth in the American Real Estate and Services pavilion at the MIPIM Asia Conference and Exhibition, which brings together the world’s leading real estate development decision-makers in the Asia Pacific region.
The booth showcased commercial investment opportunities within Illinois. The National Association of Realtors® also was an exhibitor at the conference.
“The increasing strength of the Asian markets makes this a very attractive opportunity for promotion of real estate resources in Illinois,” says Robert Zoretich, president of the Illinois Association of Realtors® and broker-owner of the Zoretich Realty Group in Chicago.
In all, 19 representatives of the Illinois Association of Realtors® participated in the mission, visiting Beijing, Shanghai, and Hong Kong. Illinois Realtors® also delivered presentations about the residential and commercial Illinois real estate market at an International Real Estate Forum in Beijing. In Shanghai, Realtors® met with representatives of the Shanghai Real Estate Broker Association. They also toured specific real estate projects in each city on the trade mission.
“Through this mission, we plan to offer resource sharing, present details of the diversity of the Illinois real estate market, and facilitate opportunities for joint ventures and future business exchange,” says Zoretich.
Association Launches Real Estate TV Show
The Bay East Association of Realtors®, (Calif.) debuted the first installment of “The Real Estate Show,” its new cable television show, in September to a packed open house of members.
Association President Gib Souza developed the show and pitched it to the local community television station, which had been looking at real estate-related content. Each episode focuses on local real estate, buying and selling tips, real estate trends, and other issues of interest to consumers.
The first episode of the show, which focused on home improvement, was taped over four weeks in August. Bay East has a commitment of five episodes over a five-month period, and each episode will be replayed approximately 15 times a week. The second episode covers how Realtors® earn their commission.
To pay for the cost of filming the show, the association sells advertising and hopes to fill the commercial spaces with spotlight ads featuring members’ listings, says Toni Wilson, director of member programs.
“At some future date, we’d like to be able to offer this program to other associations around the country, where they can use most of the show as is and add a couple of local features to have a complete 30-minute show,” says Wilson.
To view the show online, visit: http://tv30.org/realestateshow/default2.asp?ddy=24&yy=2006
Hurricane Guide Helps Members Brace
After spending a year recovering from Hurricane Katrina, the Mississippi Association of Realtors® in August launched an online hurricane-preparedness guide to help members and homeowners prepare in advance for this year’s hurricane season. The guide, at
http://hurricaneguide.msrealtors.org, compiles information from various hurricane and government agencies with tips and tools.
The Web site also features a message board and hurricane forum area where members can keep track of each other before, during, and after a storm, and exchange information.
Mississippi Association CEO Angela Cain hopes members will link to the guide from their own Web sites and share the information with customers and clients.
“We will continue to tweak the guide,” says Cain. “Eventually, we believe this will evolve into a natural-disaster site, not only focused on hurricanes.”
In September, NAR joined with the U.S. Department of Homeland Security to launch National Preparedness Month, a nationwide effort to encourage Americans to be prepared for emergencies of all kinds. NAR hosted a Federal Natural Disaster Policy Symposium to help identify appropriate federal policies for dealing with a potential crisis. For more information and resources, visit the Field Guide to Disaster Preparedness and Recovery at REALTOR.org, search: “disaster.”
Congratulations, New CAEs
Prescott Area Association of Realtors®’ ( Ariz.) Association Executive Karla J. Roberts, rce, e-Pro,
and North Carolina Association of Realtors®’ Education Specialist Pam Haire completed the American Society of Association Executive’s Certified Association Executive (CAE) designation exam, administered nationwide on May 5. These newly minted CAEs were honored in August during the society’s 2006 Annual Meeting & Exposition in Boston.
One Association’s Coffee Solution
From the storefront association office with one part-time staffer to the bustling metro association headquarters, free coffee is an expected member perk.
For the past six years, members of the Raleigh Regional Association of Realtors®, N.C., who visit the association office are treated to hot coffee, although the staff has never had to brew a pot. No, they didn’t buy a Starbucks franchise to service their building’s 500-member capacity, they invested in a coffee machine made in England that uses a combination of hot water and highly concentrated coffee syrup to make 500 cups of coffee (250 regular and 250 decaf) at a time.
“Imagine having 100 to 400 members in your building at any one time and then having to make coffee to keep everyone happy at 8:30 a.m., and through the balance of the morning. It was an enormous drain on staff time,” says Raymond Larcher, EVP of the Raleigh association.
The machine represented a sizeable investment of about $3,000 (smaller, less expensive machines are available), but it has proved to be worth it, says Larcher. In the past six years, the machine has been serviced only once, and staff performs minor maintenance.
The taste of the “instant” coffee is excellent, assures Larcher, adding, “It’s a great little service our members have come to expect, and it makes us look great, yet it requires minimal staff time.”
AE Professional Development: Successful Students
The following students successfully completed Realtor® Association Management Self-Study courses between Mar. 31 and Oct. 8, 2006. Students are eligible to receive points toward their Realtor® association Certified Executive (rce) designation.
• Realtor® Association Management Self-Study Course
James Abele, Cincinnati Board, Ohio
Jamie Beasley, Greater Tyler Assoc., Texas
Isabelle Beaumont-Frenette, Greater Las Vegas Assoc., Nev.
Kiddy Boswell, Abilene Board, Texas
June Clark, Monroe County Assoc., Mich.
Glenn Cobb, Winston-Salem Regional Assoc., N.C.
Jenni Dellerba, Portland Metro. Assoc., Ore.
Pauline Dickson, Realtor® Assoc. of the Palm Beaches, Fla.
Trudy Hammond, Colorado Assoc.
Kristine Hettinger, Aurora Tri-County Assoc., Ill.
Ellen Hill, Vermont Assoc.
Janene Inzer, North Pulaski Board, Ariz.
Kristi Jerkovich, Southwest Iowa Assoc.
Larry Johnson, Arlington Board, Texas
Gail Katz, Realtor® Assoc. of the Palm Beaches, Fla.
Patricia Killoch, Lake Havasu Assoc., Ariz.
Denise Ryckman, South Dakota Assoc.
Deborah Walker, Cheyenne Board, Wyo.
Janet Webster, Greater New Milford Board, Conn.
Milly Williams, Realtor® Assoc. of the Palm Beaches, Fla.
• Advanced Professional Standards Self-Study Course
Phyllis Bartosh, El Dorado County Assoc., Calif.
Mike Cotrill, Greater Tulsa Assoc., Okla.
Susan Kurtz, Door County Board., Wis.
Elizabeth MacDonald, Melbourne Area Assoc., Fla.
• Advanced Professional Standards Self-Study Course
Noelle Adams, Paradise Assoc., Calif.