Show cover of NAR’s Center for REALTOR® Development

NAR’s Center for REALTOR® Development

NAR’s Center for REALTOR® Development podcast focuses on education in the real estate industry and is hosted by Monica Neubauer, an award-winning industry leader, speaker, and instructor based in Nashville, TN. The podcast discusses formal and informal sources of industry knowledge, including NAR education and credential programs. This podcast is for REALTORS®, REALTOR® associations, real estate and allied professionals, real estate educators, education providers such as schools, and consumers.


074: REALTOR® Safety Tips with Tracey Hawkins
Did you know that September is Safety Month at NAR? This month, we are talking with Tracey Hawkins about being intentional regarding safety in the general course of business. REALTORS® can be at risk when meeting strangers at empty houses, or meeting sellers at their houses alone. It is key to be prepared and use proactive solutions. Even though the likelihood of something happening may be small, the fact is the risk does exist. Our guest will inform you of these risks and will share some information that may surprise you, including stories of crimes against agents. You may not realize who the majority of the victims are. In this episode, you will find out and will learn so much more. This episode shares crucial information to keep you safe on the job.   Disclaimer: Some topics discussed in this episode may not be suitable for children.     [2:23] Monica introduces Tracey Hawkins and shares her biography. [3:20] Monica welcomes Tracey to The Center for Realtor® Development Podcast to talk about safety and security. [4:17] Tracey says that we’re more aware of incidents with REALTORS® thanks to social media and more reporting. Incidents have always happened and continue to happen. Tracey talks about these crimes on social media. There are many forums where real estate agents talk about these crimes, so we’re just more aware of them. [5:18] The most important part of Tracey’s message is “Let’s prevent these crimes,” using lessons learned. Tracey talked at the 2021 NAR Conference about lessons learned. She looks at the crimes against real estate agents, and without blaming the victim, let's learn from what happened in those crimes and let’s pledge to do better. [5:53] In the last two-and-a-half years, there has been a focus on male agents being victimized and the question is, why? In 2017 for REALTOR® Magazine, Tracey wrote an article about crimes against male agents. It was the most-read article of the year. She rewrote the article for RIS Media. In the last while, in almost every crime against REALTORS®, a male agent has been the target. [6:43] Most recently, a male agent was murdered by his 85-year-old client. The agent had only communicated with the client online. It seems the client had bought the home after only seeing it virtually. After he closed on the house and moved in, he decided he didn’t want it and wanted to “return” it. When the agent met the client at the home, the client shot and killed him and then shot and killed himself. [7:55] Tracey talked to an agent who knew the situation. The agent’s opinion is that the solution is that no one should be able to close on a house without seeing it in real life. But in the pandemic, that was not realistic. Many homes have been sold virtually without any problems. This was a case of a disturbed person. We can prepare but we can’t prevent everything. [9:30] Tracey shares a story from California. A brother and sister had inherited a property. The sister wanted to sell it but the brother didn’t. Two real estate agents and a home inspector met them both at the property. The brother pulled out a gun and shot the two agents and the home inspector. The agents were wounded and the home inspector died. [9:57] Tracey has always recommended agents follow the CITO (Come Into The Office) protocol for the first meeting. Failing that, the first meeting should be virtual, on Facetime, or similar. The pandemic made agents more apt to use virtual meetings. During the virtual meeting, you can gauge the disposition of the client, such as if there is a conflict between the sellers. [11:06] Tracey suggests being more productive during a virtual meeting. Share your screen and show a few properties virtually. You can rule out properties without driving to them. [12:34] The stories Tracey shared were not random strangers showing up. They were a client and potential clients. This opens up awareness beyond what we have been taught. Tracey has talked to thousands of agents and is active on social media. She has conversations with agents who think they have nothing to worry about. Criminals have cars; there’s no such thing as a safe neighborhood. [13:45] In the “nicer” neighborhoods, where you think you’re safe, that’s where criminals assume that the rich agents are. Tracey shares a recent story from Las Vegas of an assault against a female agent in a model home in broad daylight. It can happen anywhere, anytime. Always be alert and aware. [14:27] Tracey’s job is somewhat challenging. She works hard to get the message out to male agents. You may not think you need to hear what she has to say but it could save your life or save them some trouble. [14:54] Monica returns to the idea of showing properties virtually, especially for clients who cannot conveniently come into the office. It’s a great first step for safety and also for having a conversation about where the client wants to live and what kind of house they want. Before getting in a car and driving around, the agent will get a better vibe of what the client wants. It builds the relationship. [16:03] Burglaries also happen. An agent in Tennessee was opening the door for clients. A gunman approached and said, “Run for your life!” The agent trusted his gut, threw his keys, and ran. He was not shot. The gunman stole the car, which was later recovered by police tracking his iPad still in the car. [17:05] In Florida, a male real estate agent was in front of a listing and a gunman approached and abducted the agent. They drove to two ATMs where the gunman stole $500 at each ATM and then shot and killed the agent. Be aware, be alert, and know that it can happen. The male agents always tell Tracey how big they are, but they can be victimized, too. [18:59] Tracey teaches agents to lead with safety and be the agent who is constantly talking about safety. When a caller asks you to come to their property, inform them that company procedure requires you to check them out and get some background information before you visit a property. That’s for everyone’s benefit. [20:06] Don’t assume that the person in the house is fine because they own a house. It might even be someone who has “jacked” the listing and is pretending to be the owner. [20:34] Forewarn® for Real Estate is an app for REALTORS® that does a basic background check in a few minutes. Tracey has interviewed them for a couple of her articles. If some of the agent victims had used Forewarn®, they might never have met their assailants. Forewarn® reports on criminal convictions, but many criminals have not been caught. So Forewarn® is a layer in your safety process. [21:28] The U.S. Department of Labor considers real estate sales and leasing a high-risk, hazardous occupation. You meet strangers in empty houses. Build safety into your business. Let clients know safety requires you to check them out before going to meet them. Let clients know they have to get valuables, guns, envelopes, and prescriptions out of sight in an open house. Be the safety agent for your clients. [23:17] The agent must say out loud to the seller, that the agent cannot be responsible for belongings in the house. The agent can make a waiver for the seller to sign. Provide a checklist of things for the seller to lock away or hide to keep them safe. Tell the seller, no one should know who lives in this house. Take down family photos. You will represent safety to that seller and stand out from other agents. [26:50] If the house is empty, you can offer to go by and check that it is locked and secure. But you may be taking on liability with this offer. [28:40] Monica asks Tracey about these practices: Before going to meet someone at a house, on the phone get their full name, phone number, email address, their REALTOR® if they have one, and who is coming with them to the showing. Also, tell them you will be checking their driver’s license outside the house. If unexpected extra people show up, you have a chance to find listen to your gut feeling. [30:58] Tracey loves that Monica is listening to her gut feeling, instinct, intuition, or whatever you want to call it. All agents need to do that. If your gut is telling you you’re not safe, believe it and get out of the situation. If you do not have the first meeting in your office, meet at a coffee shop where you are known, where if something happens, it will be noticed. Or borrow vendor meeting rooms in different parts of town. [33:59] Tracey’s sister, an agent for 34 years, only meets new people at her office. You meet a professional at their office. Wherever you meet, let the client know you have a safety plan that includes knowing whom you are meeting and that you will need some information. Be consistent for one and all, so you don’t get into trouble with fair housing discrimination. Make it your everyday safety practice. [35:40] When you rented a movie at Blockbuster, you showed your ID. Of course, it is reasonable to show an ID to make the largest financial transaction of your life. A legitimate client will accept safety practices. It needs to be a part of your safety plan and it needs to be consistent. [36:20] Tracey’s tools for safety include smartphones and smartwatches. You can call for help or show your location from your watch. Set up the safety settings of your smartwatch and smartphone. Google Maps has a free location-sharing feature. Every agent needs to use it. Google Calendar can be shared with your office for your work appointments. Google View can show a street view of where you are. [38:30] Someone should always know where you are. But, whenever there is Bluetooth or Wi-Fi connectivity, your information is being shared, so be on alert. You might be playing golf, but somebody knows where you are. [39:55] Tracey’s suggestions about carrying weapons. The number one defensive weapon agents use is pepper spray. Next are firearms, and then knives. Know the difference between tear gas, Mace, and pepper spray. Mace is a brand name. You want pepper spray. Look for OC (Oleoresin Capsicum) on the label. The spray has an expiration date. Test it. Know how it’s going to spray when you need it. [41:17] Any safety tool, whether it’s your phone, or whether it’s a gun, or your pepper spray, needs to be accessible. In some cases you want it to be visible, like pepper spray, as a deterrent. Practice and test the pepper spray every six months. [42:24] Tracey sells pepper spray to agents. She tells them to take it outside and practice with it, become familiar with it, and test it every six months. [43:04] Some agents tell Tracey their husband wants them to have a gun but they are afraid of it. If you are afraid of a gun, you’re not going to carry it. If you are not comfortable using it, it is more likely to be taken from you and used against you. If you are comfortable with a gun, take care of the legalities first. NAR does not have a policy on guns. They refer you to your regional or local association. [43:57] If you get the clearance of your local board or association, talk to your company and find out if they have restrictions on carrying a firearm. Then, don’t just get a license and call it a day. Enroll in firearm safety classes and be there regularly. Practice regularly so it becomes muscle memory and when it becomes time to use it, you are confident. Tracey shares a Colorado story where an agent had to shoot. [45:18] If you are going to take martial arts or self-defense classes, you need to be committed. You need to do it. Tracey shares a Virginia story where an agent was hit 10 to 12 times in the head area with a wrench. She was a black belt. She put up a fight. She survived, with a long road to recovery. Enroll in self-defense classes, take more than one class, and take them regularly. Get muscle memory. [45:59] All of these things are layers in your safety plan. First, be proactive. Then have weapons of pepper spray or firearms. Take self-defense classes. Tracey wishes proactive safety education was mandated. Monica believes proactive safety education is working for some of us and shares a story of an alert agent who protected herself from a potential assault from someone lurking around an open house. [47:54] Tracey says that 71% of REALTORS® surveyed have not taken a safety class. Tracey wants to change that. Meanwhile, she tells agents to rely on their gut, but also not to judge a book by its cover. Look at photos of Sam Walton and Ted Bundy. You would not know from looks which was the richest man in the world and which was a serial killer. Look at behavior. Judging wrongly could cost you your life. [50:30] Monica recommends a book, Verbal Judo, and asks for Tracey’s recommendations on de-escalation. Tracey tells of an agent who showed up for a listing appointment and walked into a sibling dispute. She said she would go back to her car and when they reached a decision they could come out and invite her back in. Tracey also suggests a fake phone call to retreat from an uncomfortable situation. [52:29] Having an implied witness to whatever may happen is helpful. Tracey has group discussions and role-plays in her classes. Agents learn from each other when they hear the different stories and the techniques others have used. Role-playing prepares you for situations that might take you off-guard when it’s hard to think on your feet. [53:54] Safety education needs to be a part of new agent orientation. New agents have no clue what they don’t even know. [54:54] Tracey’s last words for the episode: Agents are interested in putting video content on social media. Use those platforms to talk about safety! Be the safety agent for your area. Post safety tips. Be a resource. Provide safety content for people to copy instead of sending out the same email every other agent is sending. Lead with safety. Use expert-created content that Tracey and others have curated. [56:25] Monica thanks Tracey for caring about us and sharing this important safety information. [58:14] Monica invites the listener to listen to Donny Allen’s episode on safety, Episode 44. He discusses different things than Tracey discussed. Monica invites you to share Tracey’s episode with your friends to help them be safer in these crazy times. [58:52] Check out the new Center for REALTOR® Development website at Learning.REALTOR.   Tweetables:   “I live and breathe real estate safety.” — Tracey   “I think one of the reasons there are not more [crimes against REALTORS®] is the proactive preparation that agents are making.” — Monica   “There are things that we can do but we can’t prevent everything.” — Tracey   “Use that virtual opportunity to be more productive. … Take that time in your first meeting to share your screen and show a few properties and you can rule out properties that just are not a fit, right there virtually, so you’re more productive and you’re working safely. So the two go together.” — Tracey   “My job, without inducing fear, is to let agents know that it happens everywhere. It happens at all times. And if one more person says anything to me about ‘I only go to good neighborhoods,’ I’m going to scream!” — Tracey   “Ask the police about ‘good neighborhoods’ and how many times they go there for domestic violence!” — Monica   “The nicer neighborhoods, … that’s where the good stuff is and that’s where criminals assume that the rich agents are. So when I look back at crimes against real estate agents, I see them happening in model homes. … It can happen anywhere, anytime. You need to always be alert and aware.” — Tracey   “My job is always challenging. People don’t think they need to hear what I have to say when what I have to say could save their lives.” — Tracey   “When you hear that the U.S. Department of Labor considers real estate sales and leasing a high-risk, hazardous occupation, then that makes you pay attention. You make a living sitting in empty houses waiting for strangers to walk in. You make a living meeting strangers in empty houses.” — Tracey   “Someone should always know where you are when you are working, no ifs ands or buts about it. That means open houses.” — Tracey   “Any safety tool, whether it’s your phone, or whether it’s a gun, or your pepper spray, needs to be accessible. In some cases you want it to be visible, like the pepper spray as a deterrent.” — Tracey   “Enroll in [firearm safety] classes and be there on a regular basis so that it becomes muscle memory; when it’s time to use it, you are confident.” — Tracey   “If you are going to take a martial arts or self-defense class, you need to be committed. You need to do it.” — Tracey   “That’s one of the things about proactive education, that when people are applying it, we don’t know what we’ve thwarted. So, we have to just believe that it’s working even though we don’t know it and that’s the good news is we believe that it’s working for some of us.” — Monica   “It easy to put [safety] off. Until it isn’t. We don’t want any of you to be a statistic. So if you don’t have a policy already, I would encourage you to set it this week. Put that on your goal list. And attend a class this month.” — Monica   Guest Links:   Tracey, the Safety Lady — Tracey Hawkins   Verbal Judo: The Gentle Art of Persuasion, by George J. Thompson and Jerry B. Jenkins   Forewarn for Real Estate   Additional Links:   Micro courses found at Learning.REALTOR   Learning.REALTOR for NAR Online Education — List of Classroom Courses from NAR and its affiliates   Host Information: Monica Neubauer Speaker/Podcaster/REALTOR®   Monica’s Facebook Page Instagram   Additional Bio:   “Tracey, the Safety Lady” Hawkins is a former real estate agent who has taught thousands of agents across the country to live and work safely for over 27 years. Hawkins is the real estate safety writer for The Close and a safety expert and contributing writer for the National Association of REALTORS® REALTOR® Magazine, MNNews,, contributing writer for the National Association of Residential Property Managers/NARPM, Houston REALTOR® Magazine, and RIS Media.   Tracey, the Safety Lady” was selected to speak at the National Association of REALTORS® national conference in 2021 and 2022! Tracey has also presented at the Triple Play REALTOR® Convention and EXPO. She has been recently selected as a 2022 RISMedia Newsmaker in the Crusader category.   She was selected to speak nationally for the National Association of Residential Proper Managers (NARPM) and in 2021.   She has created the country’s only real estate agent safety designation, the Consumer Safety and Security Specialist (CSSS). She also created the only broker, manager, and owner office safety policy certification workshop with an office safety policy handbook and the property management safety certification program.
59:43 09/06/2022
073: The Shifting Real Estate Market with Leigh Brown
In this episode, Leigh Brown asks if you believe we are in a new market shift in real estate. You will be able to get some great insights and suggestions from Leigh as she is one of the most well-known speakers and thought leaders in the real estate industry. She has been selling real estate for several years and is the founder of One Community Real Estate® in Concord, NC. She has written three books, hosts two podcasts, and speaks all over the country. Leigh and Monica discuss the information REALTORS® can get from their MLS, their Chamber of Commerce, as well as the news, in order to inform their clients of the most up to date information. They also discuss the importance of networking, and using data to help make decisions. Leigh insists that REALTORS® need to keep current on changing conditions and educate their buyers and sellers with the most relevant information in order to navigate this market shift.   [2:35] Monica welcomes Leigh Thomas Brown to The Center for Real Estate Development Podcast to talk about The Shift. Leigh compares the shift in real estate now with the shift in ’07. [5:23] You have to figure out the new conditions in a shift. In March of 2020, a house that earlier would have sold in minutes was sold in seven days. Now it takes longer. The busiest REALTORS® see the changes in the marketplace first. Once you see them, you need to educate sellers and buyers or you will get behind the REALTORS® who will figure out the shift and leapfrog you. [7:16] In the big recession in 2007, REALTORS® didn’t see the shift, didn’t get educated quickly enough, and didn’t adapt their expectations quickly enough. If you’re not dialed in, you can hurt people. [8:11] Monica watches her local group's Facebook pages to stay current with local market conditions. It’s also great to see local REALTORS® supporting newer REALTORS®with their experience. [10:43] Going to in-person events allows you to build relationships that will last through your career. Take classes to network with long-time mega-listing agents. There is no better resource for an early-career REALTOR® than a long-time agent who has been through a shift. They know how to conduct themselves when the phones stop ringing and everything seems to be coming apart. [12:46] Leigh tells how she acted in 2007 when her phone stopped ringing. Going to events would have helped her. An experienced agent would have reassured her that houses will still be bought and sold. [13:56] Leigh defines a shift as market conditions that cause people to behave differently in real estate. She notes several market conditions that have happened together. An agent can see a shift first by keeping track of Days on Market and price reductions on MLS. [17:04] Leigh lists some of the conditions defining the current shift, showing how complex the real estate market is. Being a real estate professional doesn’t mean being a financial/business expert but you need to be aware of what’s happening. It helps you talk to your clients who are also reading the news. Real estate is a financial tool as well as a living and home tool. [17:50] Monica refers to Episode 70, featuring Josh Cadillac, about the different areas that affect the real estate market and how to talk to clients about them. [19:43] Leigh tells how an agent in her office used statistics from MLS. MLS is much more than bedrooms, bathrooms, and prices. Put the best information possible into the MLS so every agent has the information for their clients to create a match. Check out the History button on every comp property. Print it out and attach it to the comp. Highlight all the times it has changed price. [23:55] Let people know markets are fluid in a shift. Also, every house is a combination of condition and price. Look at Feedback on the listing to see more about the house. [26:02] Call your MLS and ask the data person to do training at your brokerage. Learn how to use the Statistical Analysis Module (SAM) to look at the month-over-month of ZIP Codes or neighborhoods to come up with an accurate market value price. You will be the most educated REALTOR® at the table. Most listings occur at the end of the month. Things change every day. [30:01] The future is coming at us quickly. Dig into the data now. Take classes at your MLS or have them come to your brokerage. Learn it now. Only REALTORS® can dig in and analyze the last six weeks of data. The three-month data doesn’t matter. Monica shares an anecdote about how they first saw this shift. Using the data is a skill all agents need to have right now. Train your client with the data. [32:30] Look at the NAR profile of home buyers and sellers. Clients want greater transparency. They wish we told the story better. When you’re discovering all the data points, explain what they mean to your client. You will have a client that understands where you’re coming from. [33:32] Train your clients to understand the data. They will receive it, own it, and make informed decisions about what to do. This is what Monica calls proactive real estate work  If you will set up the systems and do the work proactively, then you won’t have a problem later. Leigh reminds us that everything we do has to center on the best outcome for the client and it’s up to the client to determine the best outcome. [34:39] One of the top complaints to any state Real Estate Commission is “My REALTOR® made me…” When clients understand the decision they are making, they will not feel pressured to make a bad decision. Give them as much information as possible in writing so they can decide. This also protects you from going against Commission guidelines. The client wants to trust you to act in their interest. [37:18] Leigh shares some best practices. Human behavior, when something doesn’t feel right, is to pull back and stop. Agents don’t have that luxury. Right now in our marketplace, there are people who need to sell. If we do not effectively tell them how to get out of the market, then we are hurting them. Learn the language of short sales and foreclosures. Leigh explains why. [39:55] Prospecting is not about you. Leigh’s father taught her that if you take care of people the right way, money will find you. That's what REALTORS® must remember, going into a market change. Stop thinking about money; think about somebody else’s best interest and the money will find you. Pick up the phone and call your contacts to say, “Hi! If you need something, I’ve got you.” You don’t need a script. [44:01] If this time has afforded you a pause and you need to take a month if you have money in the bank and you’re OK, then take a break. REALTORS® have worked seven days a week since COVID-19 started. You have to be a businessperson when it comes to your time. That includes putting up guardrails. If you’re not rested, you’re not capable. Find your balance between work and rest. [47:45] Real estate is not going to stop being wildly competitive. Every pre-licensing school is full. If you want to maintain or grow, you have to make specific business choices. [48:30] Leigh explains how to talk to buyers in a shift. Buyers have a built-in need to win. They’ve been getting beat up. You have to explain to the buyer that sellers and even banks are not accepting 20%-off offers. They have to get their equity. Banks also sell in bulk deals that exclude individual buyers. Don’t wait for a repo.[51:54] Inflation is not over; the monthly payment is lower now than it will be later! Tell buyers to focus on the monthly. The buyer needs to get a pre-approval letter updated for every property they look at. Talk to your buyers about PITI-plus. The “plus” is a buffer for inflation for fuel and food. Talk to your buyers about how they can stay in that house. Your job is to help people think logically about an emotional transaction. [53:41] You should know how long people stay in their houses, on average, in your ZIP Code. Ask your local Chamber of Commerce. Be the person who has the data for your clients. With the right data, people can buy houses. [54:36] If your client insists on making offers at 30% off, refer them to a REALTOR® who is willing to do that; which is why you show up at networking events, to build a stable of amazing REALTORS® who have different business models and mindsets so that, at the end of the day, the client is best served by the REALTOR® who fits what they're looking for. [55:04] Leigh’s final word is, Do the work; pay attention to the information, take the classes, train your clients, train your sellers, and keep moving. Without REALTORS®, home ownership dies; the American Dream dies; REALTORS® are the ones doing the work in the field, every day, giving some neighbor the hope that they can buy their first house. [55:48] Monica thanks Leigh Brown for joining the Center for REALTOR® Development podcast! [55:56] Leigh shares three takeaways from this episode: Get education in person, to network. Build your knowledge of statistics and how to use MLS data. Call and care about your clients![56:23] The Center for REALTOR® Development has migrated all of its educational tools to one website: Learning.REALTOR. Contact your local association to see what’s happening in your area!   Tweetables:   “We have been through some changes in all of these years and so, when they say The Shift, I’m like, ‘Well, all right, let’s see where this new road’s going. You know, not a big deal, maybe I’m even glad!’ But a lot of our listeners, as crazy as their lives have been, they’re not necessarily excited about this!” — Monica   “That was what I felt like on March 13th of 2020. Of course, the COVID-19 lockdown started on Friday the freaking 13th. The phones stopped ringing for a minute and then they started ringing and it was, ‘What do we do?!’” — Leigh   “I got you, baby! I know what to do when the market goes stupid and sideways because I’ve been through this and frankly I would rather not think about how many years it’s been since the shift last time, in ’07!” — Leigh   “The managing of expectations is the hardest thing for REALTORS® to adapt to because we see it first. The busiest REALTORS® see it first.” — Leigh   “It’s one of the under-sung beauties of REALTOR® world is that there is an actual desire to work together; not collusion,… but from a knowledge, information, expertise, and competence standpoint.” — Leigh   “If you’re an early-career REALTOR®, there’s no better resource than somebody who has been through this. … They know how to conduct themselves. They know how to maintain a sense of calm and confidence when everything … looks like it’s just coming apart at the seams.” — Leigh   “There’s a new problem. I’m going to define it and I’m going to help my clients get where they want to go. 100%!” — Monica   “[A shift is] anything in the external market that causes people to behave differently in real estate.” — Leigh   “When you call your MLS, that data person will come to your brokerage and do a training session and show you inside scoops and they love it.” — Leigh   “Because markets are fluid, all you have is your data. So if you take in that month-over-month view of the ZIP Code, you’re going to be the most educated REALTOR®at the table.” — Leigh   “When everything goes smoothly, it’s not because it just went smoothly, it’s because you prepared well and everybody joined in the journey together.” — Monica   “Everything we do has to center on the best outcome for the client.” — Leigh   “Be curious. Ask better questions. What’s their need?” — Monica   “Care about your people. Genuinely care about your clients, your friends, and the business will come.” — Leigh   “Until interest rates are higher than the rate of inflation, we’re not at the end of the pain for buyers. You've got to tell your buyers, right now is still a good time to buy! It’s not going to get easier! It’s cheaper, monthly-payment-wise than it will be later! … Focus on the monthly.” — Leigh   “Go back to that [average stay in houses] data and MLS may not have it but your Chamber of Commerce will. … So you know that number, you know the interest rate, you’ve got your lender on speed-dial, and you’re focused on PITI-plus, people can buy houses.” — Leigh   Guest Links:  |  |  704.507.5500 Facebook: leighbrownspeaker YouTube: leighbrownspeaker Instagram: leighthomasbrown LinkedIn: leighthomasbrown On the Clubhouse app: @leighbrown Twitter: Podcast: Crazy Sh*t In Real Estate   Great Recession Days on Market MLS ZIP Code Episode 70 with Josh Cadillac Josh Cadillac's website Chamber of Commerce   Additional Links:   Micro courses found at Learning.REALTOR   Learning.REALTOR for NAR Online Education — List of Classroom Courses from NAR and its affiliates   Host Information: Monica Neubauer Speaker/Podcaster/REALTOR®   Monica’s Facebook Page Instagram   Additional Bio:   Leigh Thomas Brown Certified Professional Speaker™ (CSP®) international keynote speaker who happens to be hilarious in an almost-inappropriate-but-still-family-friendly way. Leigh uses her decades of experience as the go-to expert for REALTORS® to help any organization get on track with goal setting and achievement. She knows the secret to solid relationships with clients to ensure that they keep coming back again and again. She talks fast, and every word of it is gold. Leigh’s messages are bold, powerful, and full of a contagious energy that breaks through barriers and skyrockets your organization towards success.   A wife. A mama. A runner, singer, and pianist, who enjoys cooking, gardening, and needlepoint. A child of God and a follower of Jesus. Trying to get life right, one mistake at a time.
57:28 08/02/2022
072: Best Practices for Using a CRM System with Chris Linsell
This episode, with Chris Linsell, covers one of real estate's most popular topics: CRMs. Chris is an expert reviewer of customer relationship management systems, or CRMs, the organizational tool that all real estate professionals need to have in some form. He discusses how to use a CRM, why you should use one, and the benefits of having this system in your business. Chris and Monica discuss many important tools for real estate professionals, including broker-centric systems that many of you have access to in your brokerage firm, as well as their favorite independent systems for you to consider. Listen in for timely expertise on CRMs and more office tech.   Announcement: The Center for REALTOR® Development has migrated all of its educational tools to one website: Learning.REALTOR. [1:51] Chris Linsell is an expert and reviewer for customer relationship management systems. [4:09] As a consultant, Chris stays up with tech and real estate trends; he needs to know a lot about a lot of things. [8:18] We all must manage customers and relationships. Most agents think of a CRM as difficult technology and software. Technology provides the tools we use to create the business that we want. Those tools are often based on the internet. But don’t overcomplicate things. [11:01] If you want to scale, you are going to need better technology. You cannot share a spiral notebook or an Excel sheet with your associates. Agents need to keep up with leads and current clients, their deals, and their client database. [14:21] Chris’s top CRM recommendations for real estate professionals. [23:56] Compared to general-purpose CRMs, these real-estate-based CRMs give you an amazing number of tools in one piece of software, Chris explains how CRMs substitute for tech stacks. [27:22] What are CRM best practices? [31:30] Chris advises Monica to commit to one consistent place to enter contacts, so she will have all her contacts together. Also, get tech support. Your brokerage may offer you a CRM, but have an exit plan in case you leave. [37:11] Chris always coaches agents considering a CRM to ask themselves three questions: Can they commit to it for at least one year of subscription? It takes time for a CRM to build value. Does this tool solve one major problem? Does this tool provide the opportunity to effectively exit it if needed? [39:53] The software is constantly upgrading. [42:38] More best practices for CRM use. [50:35] Additional tasks: Set up an automated branded text messaging and email message combination for new contacts. Look at how your CRM integrates with other tools, like ringless voicemail drops. The CRM has a list of tools that can be used. [54:14] A CRM is only as valuable as the time you put in on it. In the beginning, you will put more time into it while you learn to use it. [55:17] What do agents need to know about predictive analytics? Predictive analytics is the use of big data to understand better and make better predictions about what’s going to happen next. Chris shares an example of predictive analytics for lead generation for the next 12 months. [57:50] Big data sells predictive analytics to real estate companies; small companies can access the same insights as large corporations. Chris gives an example of how you have already used predictive analytics over small sets of data. Predictive analytics tools use larger data sets for greater accuracy. [59:44] Chris lists some predictive analytics tools for real estate agents. He predicts that predictive analytics will be pretty mainstream within a year. Monica has been watching the vendors for a while! [1:04:00] Chris’s final word of advice! [1:05:21] Monica thanks Chris Linsell for bringing his wisdom, experience, and a willingness to call her out for the flaws in her systems! Who is helping you learn and level up in areas of your life? Every day is an opportunity to learn something new in business or life. Are you looking for those nuggets and the people who will share them with you?   Guest Links: The Matrix Excel “The Best Real Estate CRM for 2022: In-depth Reviews & Pricing” LionDesk® MarketLeader® Zillow® BoldLeads BoomTown Elevate Social ProTM AI Elevate Real Estate CRM Review + Video Walk-through Jasper IxactContact® TopProducer® PropertyBase WiseAgent Follow Up Boss Tech Stack (Solution Stack) Facebook MLS Gmail ReMax Coldwell Banker Real Estate One Keller Williams EXP “Compass acquires Contactually” Outlook MailChimp SlyBroadcast Slydial Offrs Revaluate NAR Annual   Additional Links:   Micro courses found at Learning.REALTOR   Learning.REALTOR for NAR Online Education — List of Classroom Courses from NAR and its affiliates   Host Information: Monica Neubauer Speaker/Podcaster/REALTOR®   Monica’s Facebook Page Instagram   Additional Bio:   Chris Linsell is a REALTOR®, real estate coach, writer, technology analyst, and content strategist based in the United States. He is a hands-on real estate professional with more than 10 years of experience buying and selling anything from modest starter homes to massive waterside compounds. As a digital and content strategist, he’s worked with teams (real estate and non-real estate alike) to realize their lead generation and overall business goals by finding new ways to demonstrate their expertise and authority in their local markets. Chris is a Writer and Technology Analyst for The Close, the internet’s leading source of actionable, strategic insight for and by industry professionals. At The Close, his job is to be up-to-date on the latest and greatest technology platforms, real estate strategies, and best practices that the leaders of our industry are using to buy and sell more homes every year. He is a thought leader in the real estate space, regularly hosting webinars and group coaching calls, as well as being a featured speaker at events like the National Association of REALTORS® Annual Conference. Linsell is also a contributor to publications like Apartment Therapy, Bank Rate, The Simple Dollar, EOE Journal, Mashvisor, and Constant Contact. He is also a regular contributor to industry-leading media like the Keeping It Real Real Estate Podcast
67:12 07/05/2022
071: Succession Plans and Maximizing Financial Opportunities with Renee Williams
Do you have a succession plan for your business when you want to leave it? Whether you have created a business that you wanted to do for life, or you decided, “I’m going to move on and take a different direction for my life, or for my business,” this conversation on phasing out of your business, and creating long-term financial resources and assets, is for everyone. Our guest, Renee, will help you see ways to invest in yourself and your business to meet your long-term goals.​ [2:32] Renee Williams is passionate about holistic business success, which includes finances, strategic planning, and retirement with passive income. She hosts the Agent Exit Podcast. Exit Strategy is huge! [3:43] Renee and Monica talk about bucket lists, plans for retirement and Monica’s current Big Why. [5:05] Renee talks about “someday” goals and being intentional in making them happen. [6:42] Research shows that anticipation and planning for something can provide as much enjoyment as the activity itself. Take a phone video of yourself telling what your ideal exit strategy would be. Watch it in a year and see what steps you’ve taken. [10:15] It’s a lot easier to make the transition to exiting production when you have a written plan! What does exiting production look like if you want to keep some income after your last commission check? [11:50] Ways to exit production: Sell your business. Invest in rental properties. Revenue share or profit share, depending on your brokerage. Receive equity in the brokerage if offered or in another business. Draw down on your Solo 401(k), IRA, funds you have already set aside, and savings. [13:11] 1. How to sell your business. Renee recommends Nick Krautter’s book, The Golden Handoff. Nick shares step-by-step instructions to sell your book of business to a known broker. [15:57] Selling your entire business includes the database, assets, name, logo, team, and more. You may need a business broker to help you. [18:53] As part of your planning, hire a third party to look at your business and tell you what needs to be renovated or fixed. [22:03] If your brand is your name, it will be hard to sell your business. Rename it long before you sell it. [25:58] Renee tells how she refers clients to other agents when she is busy. [30:10] 2. Real estate investing is low-hanging fruit and there are many ways to invest. [32:50] Monica invites you to listen to her episode on referrals with Gary Rogers and her episode on cash-based investing with Rich Arzaga for information. [35:17] 3. If your brokerage offers revenue-sharing or profit-sharing, take advantage of it! [38:12] 4. Are you with a brokerage that will allow you, if you are a top producer, to own equity in the brokerage? Ask. Times are changing for brokerages, too. They may be looking to share the burden. [41:55] Get someone to represent you in selling your business. There are many ways to structure a sale. [43:10] 5. Savings — when you have a transaction complete, you need to put some into the business, use some for personal expenses, set some aside for taxes, and put some into savings until retirement. [44:51] Renee is heavily into real estate investments; her husband has stocks and some crypto. Solo 401(k)s and self-directed IRAs can both be invested in real estate. [46:18] Monica suggests listeners listen to the Rich Arzaga episode linked below for information about finding an investment advisor who is knowledgeable about real estate. [47:23] Renee’s advice: go to There are great tools to help you figure out what your financial goals are for your age and what kind of plan you need. [52:07] Knowing your “number” so that you can sustain the lifestyle you want after you exit production. [52:30] Looking at what debt you can pay off now so you can get to your exit number. Social Security may not be enough for you. [54:04] Renee’s final word is you don’t need anybody’s permission to plan your exit! Write a plan and make it plain. It is absolutely doable! [55:05] Monica invites you to go back through past episodes to find topics you need to help you be more successful in your business. Use this podcast as a library! The earlier episodes are as relevant today!   Tweetables:   “We have to be intentional if we want ‘someday’ to actually happen. … Have an actionable plan so someday occurs. … Planning is free! It doesn’t cost you anything to write a plan!” — Renee   “If you think real estate is expensive now, just wait! Just wait! It’s going to get higher! So, there is never a bad time to buy a duplex … a triplex, or a quad!” — Renee   “Get a property manager. If you get too many [units], then you hire a property manager.” — Monica   “The equity is just going to be phenomenal. There’s just really no reason for us not to be purchasing some sort of real estate.” — Renee   “It’s good for us to get help … because we don’t know everything!” — Monica   Guest Links:   Renee Williams Group Renee on LinkedIn Agent Exit Podcast with Renee Williams NAR's Center for REALTOR® Development Podcast: Gary Rogers NAR's Center for REALTOR® Development Podcast: Rich Arzaga NAR's Center for REALTOR® Development Podcast: Melanie McLane and Rob Mehta NAR's Center for REALTOR® Development Podcast: Bryan Bergjans and Juanita Charles   Additional Links:   Micro courses found at Learning.REALTOR   Learning.REALTOR for NAR Online Education — List of Classroom Courses from NAR and its affiliates   Host Information: Monica Neubauer Speaker/Podcaster/REALTOR®   Monica’s Facebook Page Instagram   Additional Bio:   Renee Williams is a former loan officer and corporate strategy administrator turned investor, REALTOR®, Director of Operations, and small business coach. For over a decade, she provided organizational support on billions of dollars in mergers, acquisitions, joint ventures, and divestiture transactions for her corporate job, all while having a real estate license and investing on the side. Now she’s leveraging that experience to help seasoned women entrepreneurs create a business they love and secure the future for themselves and their families.
57:00 06/06/2022
070: What Are You Selling? How to Know Your Product and Communicate Your Expertise with Josh Cadillac
Real estate is intertwined with the economy in so many ways, and real estate agents can sometimes have a hard time connecting these external factors with the home buying process. Our guest, Josh Cadillac believes in closing customers for life, which means building expertise on a deeper level that goes beyond the specifics and square footage of a home. When you give your clients context within the home buying process, not only does it help their future, but it means you’re on a path to creating a lifelong customer.   [3:00] Josh and his background in real estate. [5:30] Josh talks about his motto, “Close for Life.” [6:45] It’s an important part of Josh’s life to do work that you’re proud of, to have a life you’re proud of. [7:40] Diving./, into the actual raw product real estate agents sell. [10:20] Sometimes there’s a disconnect between real estate agent and customer. Why is that? [14:55] Real estate agents need to make the case on why a customer should trust them. [20:45] Sometimes just talking to your customer about the market and reciting facts can provide a lot of insight and trust with them. [25:45] Older real estate agents need to understand that the world, and the market, are much different than when they first started selling properties. They need to provide context to the younger homeowner. [32:50] Homeowners in distress still can grab an amazing price for their property. A real estate agent has to set the frame right so that they get the most out of the property. [33:25] We are not in a 2008 bubble. There are not a lot of people in negative equity positions. [34:00] Why do investors love real estate in times of high inflation? [39:35] Real estate has always been a good hedge against inflation. [44:00] Josh shares his thoughts on motivation and how you can motivate your customer to be more excited about the home buying process. [50:35] We need to stop trying to close deals and start trying to close customers for life.   Tweetables:   “A path to a fulfilled life is to take every part of your life, and have it /./.be something you do with excellence.” — Josh   “Because of the inflation we’re seeing, real estate tends to be more attractive to investors. The reason for that is real estate tends to appreciate when there’s inflation and rents tend to go up.” — Josh   “A house tends to be the perfect hedge for inflation. If you’re renting, your rent will go up, but your wages usually won’t go up. Wages tend to trail inflation.” — Josh   Guest Links: Josh on LinkedIn   Additional Links:   Microcourses found at Learning.REALTOR   Learning.REALTOR for NAR’s Online Education — List of Classroom Courses from NAR and its affiliates   Host Information: Monica Neubauer Speaker/Podcaster/REALTOR®   Monica’s Facebook Page Instagram   Additional Bio:   Joshua Cadillac ACE, CCIM, CDPE, MCNE, CRS, CRB, ABR®, GRI, RSPS, CSSA, CCFA, CIAS, MRETE, e-Pro, SFR®, BPO-R, CFA Master, TRC, LMB, AHWD, C-Rep, M-rep, CPMS, CIPS, DPP, PSA, ASP, SRS, LGC, CAM, LHI, Leed AP, RRP, LMA, LMR   Prior to entering the real estate industry as an agent, Josh was a commercial real estate investor and business owner of restaurants and other related companies. He started in real estate full time in 2008 and within the first two years, earned his broker license and many of the most prestigious real estate-related designations that exist. After a few years, Josh transitioned into a leadership role at the brokerage where he worked, assisting, training, and even mentoring agents to help them achieve success and reach their full potential in real estate. During this time, he learned the mistakes that many agents make that successful agents avoid and developed his philosophy of “not just closing deals but closing customers for life.”   Investors are one of Joshua’s specialties and one of the many clients he enjoys working with. Joshua has a robust knowledge of the financial aspect of real estate and has worked as an investor himself, successfully flipping numerous properties both distressed and non-distressed. Josh took his passion for investing and helping agents close more deals (and customers) they already had and put together the ACE 2-day training course. Recognizing the tremendous lack of financial literacy that exists in popular culture he also wrote an easy-to-understand guide to how money works called The Roadmap to the American Dream.   Since then Josh has written several courses on how to achieve excellence in the various parts of the real estate business. He continues to work with clients in buying and selling their property, honing his skills, and making sure the information he provides is the most accurate and relevant it can be for the agents he teaches.   When he isn’t busy closing deals and teaching, Josh enjoys a number of interests and hobbies including writing, ballroom dancing, reading, playing board games, watching a great movie, and traveling the world
54:42 05/02/2022
069: Visions and Tools for Homeownership with Lydia Pope
The National Association of Real Estate Brokers (NAREB) was formed in 1947 by nine African American Founders as a response to the denied access African American brokers were experiencing when it came to selling homes. With 75 years in existence, the association lives by five important pillars: 1) Civic and Faith-Based Engagement. 2) Women Invested In Real Estate — WIRE. 3) Diversity, Equity, Inclusion of Small Business. 4) Multigenerational Wealth. 5) Government and Policies. Our guest and President of NAREB, Lydia Pope, explains further why these five pillars have been foundational towards everlasting change in the community.   [2:45] A bit about Lydia and her background in real estate. [4:40] The history behind why the NAREB was founded. [7:10] What are the five pillars of black ownership? [9:10] Homeownership has dropped for black homeowners. Why is that? [10:15] African Americans and blacks still face loan discrimination today. [11:50] As a broker, it’s important that you be a champion for your clients in all areas of their home buying process, not just the physical house itself. [17:00] Women have been at a disadvantage when it comes to applying for loans. [20:35] NAREB has a program to educate real estate agents on all facets of the real estate industry, not just being a licensed agent. [23:15] How is NAREB thinking about multigenerational wealth? [27:30] It’s important to educate our seniors so that they have programs to fall back on as they get older. As homes have repairs, seniors might not be as aware of how to fix these damages. [32:30] Lydia shares ways people can connect with their local community partners. [37:00] If people can’t afford to be a homeowner, it hurts everyone in the community. [40:00] What are some of the different ways you can access capital? [44:50] If real estate agents don’t know, then they are unable to inform and educate the community. [47:50] Everyone should be passionate about closing the wealth gap.   Tweetables:   “Women have challenges with loans. Actually, black women have one of the highest rates when it comes to loan declines and higher interest rates and loan pricing.” — Lydia   “Real estate is not about being a licensed real estate agent. There are more pieces to a real estate business. There are so many areas people can branch off to.” — Lydia   “The voices are being heard through America. It takes groups getting together. We all have one thing that we’d like to accomplish: homeownership and being in support of closing the wealth gap, especially when it comes to African American ownership” — Lydia   Guest Links:   Lydia Pope 2021 State of Housing in Black America   Additional Links:   Microcourses found at Learning.REALTOR   Learning.REALTOR for NAR Online Education — List of Classroom Courses from NAR and its affiliates   Host Information: Monica Neubauer Speaker/Podcaster/REALTOR®   Monica’s Facebook Page Instagram   Additional Bio:   Lydia Pope has been in the Real Estate Industry since 1995. She is Owner/President of E & D Realty & Investment Co, Inc. (, E&D Realty Property Management Division, and E&D Construction Company. Some of her past and current accomplishments are 1st Vice President of the National Association of Real Estate Brokers, Inc. (NAREB), Past President of the Women’s Council of NAREB, Mt. Pleasant Advisory Board, Ohio Housing Finance Agency Committee, Cleveland Realtist®Association Past President & Chair, Cleveland/Akron Legislative Committee, NAACP Member and more.
51:57 04/04/2022
068: The Consumer-Centric Brokerage Approach with Chris Whitten
This episode covers some of the great ways you can engage agents and consumers with the support of the brokerage. Every brokerage has its unique way of doing things, so it’s important to really understand the culture of the organization you’re in and the benefits you have access to. Chris Whitten breaks down his consumer-centric brokerage model that empowers his agents to be well-connected in the community. What do you need to know about joining a brokerage? Chris answers all of this and more!   [6:30] How do you have both a customer and agent-centric approach? Chris knows you can have both. [7:45] In business, you have to have hedgehogs! Chris explains his analogy. [9:05] Chris has a giving back program for his office to help and support the community they serve. [13:50] How can you take the spotlight off of yourself on social media and shine it more on the people you serve? Chris offers an example. [17:20] Chris talks about another ‘hedgehog’ incentive he does within his business. He’s taking advantage of the lack of inventory! [19:05] You have to understand fully what your brokerage is providing. [25:10] Because Chris spends his time in the community and building the relationships, agents do not need to shift through a lot of leads to get to one yes. [30:05] Being part of the community is really rewarding work. Yes, it’s great you sold a house, but it’s even better to know you are helping the charities around you. [32:25] How do you build better relationships? [39:00] Sounds simple, but you have to treat everybody like people. [39:40] People are buying you at the end of the day. They’re hiring you, so what makes you interesting? [41:40] Chris’s model that he’s built is about being a REALTOR® for life for the family. [45:20] How does Chris encourage his agents and helps them with their goals? [47:55] Find your why, even if it’s not real estate related!   Tweetables:   “Every listing in our office for ten years now has had a professional photoshoot and a video guided tour.” — Chris   “I love real estate because it’s a vehicle to pay your bills, but also do what you’re passionate about and do good. I am doing a lot of my non-profit work through my real estate business and both are thriving.” — Chris   “The line between agent and customer is --- we’re all people!” — Chris   “Subtle branding. A lot of REALTORS® don’t understand that. You want customers to feel warm and fuzzy.” — Chris   Guest Links:   Chris Whitten     Additional Links:   036: Brokerage Basics and Beyond with Keith Davis   Microcourses found at Learning.REALTOR   Learning.Realtor for NAR’s Center for REALTOR® Development, home to NAR’s Online Education — List of Classroom Courses from NAR and its affiliates   Host Information: Monica Neubauer Speaker/Podcaster/REALTOR®   Monica’s Facebook Page Instagram   Additional Bio:   Chris Whitten is the 2021 Rhode Island Realtor of the Year he has been active in Rhode Island leadership for many years – He has Been on the local and State Boards of Directors and was the MLS president for 2019 and 2020.  He has awards in Real estate and from his community. You will hear more about his work in the community and his background as a Radio Personality. He is the owner and broker for Premeer Real Estate in Smithfield, RI and 2 offices in Massachusetts.  
50:39 03/07/2022
067: Social Media Optimization and Mindset With Harrison Beacher
We all know that social media can be a time-wasting black hole. We also know it can be an amazing tool to connect with loved ones, friends, and potential clients. How do you balance both without feeling overwhelmed? Today’s guest, Harrison Beacher knows how to get the most out of your social media presence, without the overwhelm! In this episode, he offers strategies to create a comprehensive social media plan so that you can build connections with intention.   [1:30] A little bit about Harrison and his background in real estate. [5:00] What social media platform should you choose? [8:20] Harrison shares some of his favorite ways to optimize social media. [8:40] What was the last thing that made you stop scrolling? What kind of content do you like to consume? [10:30] Consider taking a quick 101 photography class to better understand what makes a good picture. [11:20] Should you have people in your photos or should it be a selfie? [14:40] How do we increase the engagement we currently have on Instagram? Hashtags! [19:10] Remember, we need to have an abundance mindset. Engage with other people using your hashtag. [24:50] It’s okay to make mistakes or have typos. Harrison sometimes goes back to reword things in a better way. It’s just important to be intentional with the content you’re sharing. [30:50] Public posts, whether business or otherwise, should be welcoming and open to everyone. [35:35] Are you struggling to create a social media plan? Harrison has some tips for you! [41:35] What topics can you/should you talk about as a REALTOR®? [45:15] With your photos, use it as an opportunity to tell a story. People do read the descriptions! [48:05] When you become a local expert, there’s so much opportunity available to you. [48:40] Instead of thinking about social media as a sales tool, think of it as a community-building tool. [50:15] Harrison talks about the importance of a good mindset and why it’s key to your success. [54:25] Create good routines and systems, and those will carry you forward during the days you feel slow or down.   Tweetables:   “It’s okay to rip off and duplicate some of the best practices other people have. Take the idea or concept and create something similar.” — Harrison   “The mindset we need to have to help consumers and grow our businesses is an abundance mindset. When we connect, we build community.” — Harrison   “Social media is free to tag that location, be intentional about the story you tell, and attract more people to that story. It lets the people who live there be reminded of you.” — Harrison   Guest Links:   Harrison Beacher Instagram   Additional Links:   Microcourses found at Learning.REALTOR for NAR Online Education — List of Classroom Courses from NAR and its affiliates   Host Information: Monica Neubauer Speaker/Podcaster/REALTOR®   Monica’s Facebook Page Instagram   Guest Bio:   A native Washingtonian and washed up D1 college football player, Harrison Beacher is a Managing Partner of the Coalition Properties group, serving the entire DC metro area Affiliated with KW Capital Properties. Harrison was honored by the National Association of REALTORS® and included in REALTOR® Magazine’s 30 under 30 Class of 2016. Harrison currently serves as 2022 president for the Greater Capital Area Association of REALTORS® (GCAAR), and also serves as an at-large director for the DC Association of REALTORS® (DCAR). Harrison serves as a 2022 Chair for the Broker engagement council and serves as a National NAR Director. A retired DJ, Harrison loves making playlists for his team events, sharing funny memes & Tik-toks, and traveling to places with delicious food, drinks, great music, nightlife, warm weather & culture. Harrison is a national speaker and coach on the topics of social media optimization, mindset, Diversity, and inclusion
60:13 02/10/2022
066: Agent-to-Agent Referrals with Gary Rogers
Gary Rogers knows a thing or two about networking. The saying might be overdone but it is true: Your network is your net worth. But, did you know a lot of REALTORS® do networking the wrong way? Instead of trying to spin your wheels, here’s how you can leverage agent-to-agent referrals that create a collaborative relationship with you and your colleagues and not a competitive one. The ripple effects are immense. Gary shares his expert tips in this month’s episode!   [1:30] Gary Rogers is very intentional in networking with the goal of giving and receiving referrals. How do you become a great resource? Gary has some advice for you. [3:55] Gary shares his overview process for finding agents and why referrals are important to him. [4:40] He explains further on referrals as a true business source and shares some of his own experiences. [7:20] How do we meet or find these agents? Gary shares some tips on how to be an agent someone wants to refer. [11:40] When considering someone for a referral, what kind of criteria do you look for? Gary shares his insights. [13:21] Taking the time to interview the client, knowing what’s important to them; always works in matching them with the right agent. [16:15] In rural areas where there are not a lot of agents, what are some of the ways to get good referrals? Gary shares more tips. [19:50] Getting the right agent with the right expertise comes in handy. It sets the right expectations from both the agent and the client. [20:55] Gary is currently working on a project for residential agents wanting to move into commercial and shares a sneak peek of what’s in store with that. [21:35] Referrals don’t need to be from across the country. Gary also talks about how to get great local referral opportunities. [35:15] Has Gary ever been in a situation where he made a bad fit? What did he do in that situation? [39:10] Gary talks about how early-career agents should be reaching out to get referrals and why it is very important. [42:55] How can you market yourself and get your name out there? Gary tells his story of traveling for classes and meeting agents in that way. [46:10] Making the effort to go to the sources goes a long way in marketing yourself. There’s a two-way street in referrals. [47:05] Gary shares more tips on how we market ourselves. What should you put on your website to attract your market? [52:25] Gary also talks about business cards and how we can make use of them more effectively when we network. [57:30] Sending referrals vs drawing more income. Gary closes the episode sharing his key principles.   Tweetables:   “What do we look for when we network or look for an agent? We’re looking for some commonality, either between us or more importantly between the receiving agent and the client.” — Gary   “Even if you’re an introvert, you become an extrovert the minute you put your REALTOR® hat on.” — Gary   “If you really do think how we’re supposed to help each other, what better way than drive referrals back and forth.” — Gary   “Focusing on sending out referrals pays off quicker and is more sure because you have a trusted audience.” — Gary   Guest Links:   Gary Rogers LinkedIn   Examples of Social Media for Agents: (   Host Information: Monica Neubauer Speaker/Podcaster/REALTOR®   Monica’s Facebook Page Instagram   Guest Bio:   Gary Rogers has been a REALTOR® for over 30 years. During that time, he has served in various roles in the association, including State President, NAR RVP, and NAR Director. In 2018, he chaired the Meeting and Conference Committee. He is currently serving as a Director of the REALTOR® Relief Foundation, 2021 NAR Director, and will be the Chair of the 2022 NAR Leadership Academy. He was the 2005 REALTOR® of the Year for his state and has been awarded Distinguished Service awards by both his local board, GBAR, as well as the Massachusetts Association of REALTORS®. Gary is the broker-owner of RE/MAX On The Charles in Waltham Massachusetts
61:26 01/03/2022
065: Agent Consultation and Client Expectations with Ali Whitley
As many of us started to incorporate technology into our real estate business to make things easier and more automated, something else started to drop by the wayside: relationships. Throw the pandemic into the mix, where it was highly discouraged to be face-to-face with our customers, and we are now faced with a big need in the market for personable and friendly real estate agents that can connect with clients on a deep level. Ali Whitley is here to help shed some light on how you can improve your relationships without doing a complete rehaul of how your business operates. It’s not as complicated as you might think!   [3:45] Why is it so important to have a consultation with your client before you walk them through different houses? [6:50] If you don’t take the time to get to know your clients, their why’s and motivations, then what are you really doing? [7:20] It’s easy to just get into the habit of sending a text, but that doesn’t lead to connection. [15:25] A good real estate agent is the source for a lot of their clients. To become a source, you must be seen as trustworthy. [15:55] When does it make sense to talk about money? Monica offers a handy script. [19:50] If you’re going to be meeting with buyers or sellers, you really want to set up several meetings. [21:10] How does Ali set the expectation with her clients when she does a contract consultation? [29:35] Understanding the buyer/seller's expectations and making sure that they’re reflective of what the market is willing to pay. [37:00] A lot of clients today are educated. They are doing their own research, but sometimes that research is missing a few pieces. This is a great opportunity for a REALTOR® to step in. [40:00] Communicating your value as a real estate agent [42:35] Don’t be afraid to shine and show your value through storytelling! Ali shares how. [47:45] At the end of the day, it’s about empowering your client to make the best decision for them. Real estate agents add immense value by walking clients through a very stressful and emotionally overwhelming process.   Tweetables:   “If a computer can do it, then the computer will do it before long. We need to focus on what the human element is.” — Monica   “We need to know if we’re able to help them. If their expectations are not accurate for what the market is willing to bear, then we need to address that up front.” — Ali   “If the agent doesn’t know their value, how can they present that to anybody else?” — Ali   Guest Links:   Ali Whitley LinkedIn   Additional Links: for NAR Online Education — List of Classroom Courses from NAR and its affiliates   Host Information: Monica Neubauer Speaker/Podcaster/REALTOR®   Monica’s Facebook Page Instagram   Additional Bio:   Ali Whitley is a Residential Real Estate Agent and Director of Education at RE/MAX Crossroads in Akron, Ohio. In addition to serving buyer and seller clients, Ali is passionate about professional development and education. She enjoys sharing her love of knowledge with fellow agents as an educator and mentor and as an instructor of REBAC and REBI Designations and Certifications. A REALTOR® for 24 years, Ali has been active in local, state, and national associations, having served as an NAR Director and member of the Commitment to Excellence committee, a longtime Director and current Treasurer-Elect at Ohio REALTORS® and President of her local association in 2012. She was honored as Akron Area Board of REALTORS® REALTOR® of the Year and as a past “Woman of Note” by Crain’s Cleveland Business.
51:20 12/06/2021
064: Keys to an Effective Real Estate Team with Brandon Martens
   What does a good real estate team look like? The answer can be very varied and diverse, and it’s also very individual to your specific needs. However, our guest has identified some key principles on when it makes sense to move forward with a team based on your unique situation. Brandon Martens is the Team Lead for The InRealty Group of Hegg REALTORS®. He is passionate about leading his team with kindness and drive and often speaks on these topics. This episode focuses on what real estate agents should look for when joining a team, some of the benefits of joining a team, and tips for starting your own team!   [3:35] Brandon has put his team within another brokerage firm. He shares some of the benefits of doing it this way. [6:20] When does it make sense to join a team vs. being on your own? [8:00] What should agents be looking for before they join a team? [10:00] Does it make sense for more experienced real estate agents to join a team or is this a better move for a newbie? [14:45] Brandon shares some of his responsibilities as a team lead and how he helps support his staff. [21:20] How does financial compensation work when you’re a part of a team? [22:15] No matter what deal you get yourself involved in, it has to be a win-win for everybody. [25:45] Brandon breaks down his team and how each member plays a critical role within the company. [29:15] If you want a good team, you have to think about everyone involved and actively create win-win situations for everyone. [32:45] Brandon talks about the importance of having team events for your company. [37:25] Monica shares why she loves Brandon, how he educates others, and his work ethic. [41:35] Brandon shares some of his tips on how to start a successful team. [44:45] Don’t bring someone on if they don’t have good morals or ethics. You have to hire based on character. [47:25] Brandon shares his final takeaway.   Tweetables:   “Don’t base joining a team based on leads. Leads are what they are. You’re still going to be spinning your wheels qualifying leads.” — Brandon   “It’s really hard to have a good relationship and shake someone’s hand with a fist. If your hand is wrapped around the money as a team leader or an agent, you’re never going to be a good fit.” — Brandon   “In regards to bringing people on your team, you cannot hire anything except for character. You have to hire based on character. You can train any skill you need to.” — Brandon   Guest Links:   Brandon Martens LinkedIn   Additional Links:   CRD’s Working with Teams in Real Estate | Podcast Episode 11 for NAR Online Education — List of Classroom Courses from NAR and its affiliates   Host Information: Monica Neubauer Speaker/Podcaster/REALTOR®   Monica’s Facebook Page Instagram   Additional Bio:   Brandon Martens: When he isn’t speaking, Brandon is the team lead of InRealty Group of Hegg REALTORS® and one of the top-selling REALTORS® in the Sioux Falls, South Dakota real estate market. He is the President Elect for the South Dakota REALTORS®. His passion for “Leaving Real Estate Better Than He Found It” shows up in his daily routine and through his leadership. It extends beyond his own team though in his national and local focus on the true rights of homeownership through advocacy. He continues to enjoy working daily with clients and in his community.  
50:11 11/22/2021
063: Real Estate Business Planning for 2022 with Brent Lancaster
Do you have a date on your calendar to start business planning for 2022? Agents with a plan are more likely to reach their financial goals than those who “wing it.” However, there can be a lot of moving pieces involved before you can get a clear picture of what to focus on first. Our guest, Brent Lancaster, is not only knowledgeable in real estate, but he loves to educate agents on the business of real estate. This episode focuses on fun and practical ways to plan for your business in 2022 and highlights some of the important strategies to consider when balancing life and work.   [2:00] A little bit about Brent and his experience in real estate. [4:50] Whenever you Google “business plan,” the search results show something very complex and overwhelming. [5:25] If you’re a single agent and not part of a big team, Brent shares what you need to focus on first. [13:00] If you want to be number one in your industry, there’s going to be a cost. What are your priorities? [18:50] Focusing on what you can control. [19:35] What kind of data or information should an agent gather to fully flesh out their business plan? [25:20] Marketing and money go together. Take an in-depth look at what you’re spending on, and really assess if it’s working or not. [30:25] Brent shares ways to make a business planning session fun. [35:40] If you have a team, ask them what their personal financial goals are. You have to find the motivation behind why your team does what they do. [39:50] Whenever you hit a milestone, be sure to celebrate your wins with the team. These positive moments really drive up motivation, productivity, and morale! [45:00] Brent shares why you should attend real estate conferences (and sales conferences) outside of your market. [47:10] Monica shares some additional educational resources agents can leverage in their business. [49:35] Monica has a new book out! Link in the show notes. [51:15] How do you plan for both business and life? [55:35] Brent’s biggest tip? Stop telling your clients to call you “anytime”! You need some peace of mind.   Tweetables:   “When you’re looking at planning in 2022, set aside some money. How much money do you want to spend on an annual basis on marketing? Put a number on it.” — Brent   “When you find out what drives people, later down the road, it helps you as a team leader to refocus them; to help them remember what their goal was.” — Brent   “I prefer work/life harmony. You have total permission to love what you do and to work hard at it.” — Brent   Guest Links:   Brent Lancaster   Additional Links:   Microcourses found at Learning.REALTOR for NAR Online Education — List of Classroom Courses from NAR and its affiliates   Host Information: Monica Neubauer Speaker/Podcaster/REALTOR®   Monica’s book:   Guest Bio:   Brent Lancaster combines his love of the business of real estate with his passion for education. As president/CEO of one of the nation’s oldest real estate schools,, he offers a variety of solutions to the challenges agents face in today’s real estate environment.   In 2003, Brent developed his first online course and has spent every year since continually searching for innovative ways to bring quality and consistency to every agent using multiple delivery formats. Today, he continues to teach classroom instruction but has also transformed the traditional brick-and-mortar classroom into a multimedia educational experience.   Brent is also the broker/owner of his own real estate firm, Brent Lancaster & Associates. He lives in Baton Rouge, Louisiana with his wife, Laura, his two children, Leyton and Nate, and Lilly the office dog.
59:56 11/02/2021
062: Living and Learning Leadership as a REALTOR® with Shannon Buss
Are you a REALTOR® who would consider themselves a leader? The NAR’s Leadership Academy provides leadership training and networking opportunities for all levels. In this episode, Shannon Buss joins Monica to talk about leadership, professionalism, and the benefits of the leadership academies. They discuss how we can lean into leadership and professionalism in the industry, how we lead as real estate agents, and how we can improve leadership skills to benefit our businesses, our client experiences, community position, and industry strength.   [3:35] Why the Leadership Academy is offered at all levels, and what benefit it has for agents in this program.   [7:48] Every single job in NAR is critical to what we do in NAR; every job in the association is just as important.   [9:29] The importance of leaning into the current job or level, and how exposure to new ways of thinking can help you improve yourself and how you live your life.   [12:57] Shannon shares some of what she learned during her time in the Leadership Academy and how it impacted her life, especially outside of real estate.   [15:40] Professionalism is getting somewhere in your career and having fun while doing it.   [17:19] Monica and Shannon talk about what happens on the local level for Leadership Academies.   [21:05] There are many volunteer leadership opportunities in real estate, and they offer several benefits for agents who step into those roles.   [28:30] Shannon shares what agents can do to level up their professionalism in consumers’ eyes.   [32:32] Networking is incredibly valuable, not only for REALTORS®, but for clients.   [33:30] Professionalism is also about our behavior, tone, and body language.   [38:40] When it comes to problem-solving, doing anything proactively to prevent a problem is the most effective problem solving.   [42:05] As an agent, you lead where you stand. You are leading when you show up to show a house or show up to a meeting at your brokerage. You may not call it leadership, but that’s what leadership looks like.   [45:45] Pay attention to who the helpers are, and lean into them for advice.   [48:00] Shannon’s final word for listeners.   Tweetables:   “It was a turning point in my leadership path because it was like a weight off my shoulders. I can just do this job right in front of me and do it 100%, and I’m making a big difference.” — Shannon   “It taught me how to be a better human being really, even outside of real estate.” — Shannon   “Good leadership should be enjoyable. The best leaders do have fun and have a relaxed nature. They’re fun and they’re comfortable.” — Monica   “Meet people where they are, not where you want them to be. That’s the biggest piece.” — Shannon   Guest Links:   Leadership Academy:   Additional Links: for NAR Online Education — List of Classroom Courses from NAR and its affiliates   Host Information: Monica Neubauer Speaker/Podcaster/REALTOR®   Monica’s Facebook Page Instagram   Additional Bio:   Our guest today, Shannon Buss, has been leading in the association at all levels and in her community for years. She is the 2020 & 2019 Vice Chair for the Leadership Academy Advisory Group. She has been on many national committees even before she became a NAR Leadership Academy Graduate in 2014. She is very active with the Women’s Council of REALTORS®, serving in leadership roles at the state and national levels. She was the 2020 President, Rhode Island Association of REALTORS® and among her many awards, she was inducted into the REBAC Hall of Fame in 2012. She sells real estate in Rhode Island and is an instructor for many NAR courses.
52:00 10/04/2021
061: Networking with International REALTOR® Members with Tarun Bhatia and Ana Beatriz Muñoz Ruiz
Real estate is happening all over the world, whether we are following other markets or not. When we connect with agents from other countries, they can help us understand culture and client expectations, which in turn helps us successfully conduct business globally. This episode is all about the benefits of being an International REALTOR® Member (IRM). Our guests Tarun Bhatia and Ana Beatriz Muñoz Ruiz join Monica to share their experience as IRMs, some of the different real estate practices and traditions in their respective countries, as well as their favorite membership benefits. There are several important links mentioned in this episode — please make sure to visit the “Guest Links” section for all resources discussed in this episode.   [3:00] NAR’s international department helps agents from around the world learn different ways to practice real estate, and provides networking opportunities.   [4:30] Tarun introduces himself and his work in India.   [6:30] Anna introduces herself and her work in Mexico.   [9:52] Indians invested almost 7.8 billion dollars in the U.S. in 2017; Indians living in India are investing in the U.S. real estate market, and Indians living in the U.S. are investing in the Indian real estate market.   [13:07] The REALTOR® brand is still a growing thing in India — there is a difference between a REALTOR® and a real estate agent.   [16:00] Many people who go to visit Cancun decide to live there as well; Ana joined NAR to connect with buyers and brokers to be more comfortable working with other people in the organization.   [20:29] The top five foreign buyers in the U.S. are Canada, Mexico, China, India, and the UK, but these only account for a third of all buyers in the U.S.   [22:00] Vastu Shastra is an interesting part of the real estate culture in India that comes over when Indians invest in U.S. real estate.   [26:47] Another difference between the U.S. and India is how they use (or don’t use) a CRM or MLS.   [29:02] Culturally, personal relationships come before business relationships in Mexico. They also have legal rules where the bank is involved with foreign buyers as an extra layer in the process.   [33:05] In both Mexico and India, personal relationships matter the most.   [36:30] Ana shares tips for U.S. agents and buyers for how to buy real estate in Mexico — please visit the links below for the CIPS landing sites, which have information on finding the right agent in Mexico.   [41:35] Many Indians are investing in the U.S. to bring back into the country of India, and there are a lot of business opportunities as people try to make it big between India and the U.S.   [44:30] Tarun talks about how Indian laws help protect people during transactions, as well as the real estate laws that restrict who can buy property.   [47:43] Ana and Tarun share some of the many benefits of being an International NAR member.   Tweetables:   “NAR U.S. has been around for more than 100 years, so they have perfected the art of training education courses, which we are still trying to learn in India. We get access to your training programs and a number of valuable business tools.” — Tarun   “Relationships are still crucial in both markets. Knowing the people so you can connect to find what you need is still crucial.” — Monica   “Most importantly, the broker should be someone who has experience, knows the market, and is ethical. I think that’s the most important.” — Ana   “It is not only about learning and networking with REALTORS® in the U.S., it’s also about telling your clients back in India that you are open for business throughout the world.” — Tarun   Guest Links:   For the Global Real Estate Summit:   For more information on certification in Mexico, visit: CIPS Designation Page   To find a reputable agent in Mexico, Search for a CIPS Designee Agent   To learn more about the Indian tradition of Vastu Shastra, the design philosophy   Additional Links: for NAR Online Education — List of Classroom Courses from NAR and its affiliates   Host Information: Monica Neubauer Speaker/Podcaster/REALTOR®   Monica’s Facebook Page Instagram   Additional Bio:   Ana Beatriz Muñoz Ruiz   Ana Beatriz Muñoz Ruiz is a broker in Cancún, Mexico. She has a communications degree from UNUM, in Mexico City. She focuses on residential beach properties and is a strong promoter of the market-to-market program. With over 20 years of experience and a solid reputation, she has a proven track record in the real estate industry and a deep understanding of the market in Mexico.   Ana is a CIPS, ABR, and TCR. She is an active partner of AMPI, FIABCI, NAR, and CILA and has been an advisor in the international direction of the National AMPI, Cancun section president, and AMPI’s chief delegate to Europe. She is a Member of CILA and Treasurer of FIABCI México.   Ana prides herself on professionalism and enjoys helping people. She takes particular pleasure in encouraging sales teams to enhance their skills to achieve the established goals. Ana is a constant learner, enjoys travel, and like all good Mexicans, LOVES to enjoy life.   Tarun Bhatia   Partner — M/s Shaloo Agencies President — NAR India 2021-2022 2021 NAR U.S. Board of Director Chairman — International Affairs, NAR India 2018-2022 Chairman — Association of Property Professionals, Delhi NCR Past Treasurer — NAR India 2017-2019 Past Chairman — Education Committee, NAR India 2017-2019 M: +91 97 1717 0808 Email:   Tarun works as a partner at M/s Shaloo Agencies, a real estate consultancy firm in existence since 1980 in Delhi NCR with offices in New Delhi and Gurugram. With a timeline of more than 29 years of experience in the industry, he enjoys the trust of his clients, developers, and fellow REALTORS®.   Tarun is a graduate from the Shri Ram College of Commerce, Delhi University, India and a post-graduate in Finance from ICFAI, Hyderabad, India. Tarun strongly believes in integrity, transparency, honesty, hard work, and maintaining professional relationships with clients, developers, & fellow REALTORS®. He has always tried to bring energy, creativity, experience, and personal knowledge to work. He also believes in sharing best practices and knowledge with fellow REALTORS® & developers.   As a REALTOR® consultant, Tarun specializes in both residential and commercial projects of reputed developers of Delhi NCR and has successfully consulted for projects ranging from residential, commercial offices, commercial retail, hospitality, warehousing, logistics, and education sectors. Over the years, his firm has received a number of awards from these developers.   Tarun loves to spend quality time with his family and is passionate about animals, nature, traveling, photography, reading, sports, music, history, and mythology.
59:50 09/20/2021
060: The Champlain Towers Collapse: What REALTORS® Can Learn with Linda Olson
The collapse of the Champlain Towers has been a mysterious and important event in the real estate world, especially for the families deeply affected by the tragedy. It brought to light some of the essential things to note for environmentally-challenged properties; all buildings do degrade and are affected by the elements of nature. Our guest, Linda Olson is a REALTOR® and environment consultant in Florida. This episode focuses on how we can best advise our clients when they are purchasing condominium properties or properties in environmentally challenged areas. What can the rest of us learn from the tragedy in Surfside?   [2:55] Linda’s background and what she does today as an environmentalist and REALTOR®.   [5:52] Building codes in Florida and the state’s rules and regulations.   [11:13] Regulations differ from state to state, and even between the state and local levels. Most areas leave it up to the local governments to decide building codes, etc.   [15:00] Causes that contributed to the Champlain Tower collapse, and environmental factors that came into play specifically due to location.   [25:50] The difference in the inspection process between residential real estate and condo buildings.   [28:50] What REALTORS® can do to help their clients when they are purchasing a unit in a condo.   [33:13] A “condo checklist” that you could use with your clients so they have an idea of what types of things to check out before buying a property.   [38:12] Monica shares some information from Robert Norlund about the physical and financial health of a building and its homeowner’s association, and a few of his tips for REALTORS®.   [42:05] Predictability in the natural wear and tear and degradation of properties and the life expectancy of buildings, and how appraisers use this when valuing a property.   [46:45] Upkeep and maintenance of apartments compared to a condo or townhouse   [49:20] REALTORS®’ responsibility to educate our sellers and our buyers, to act as professionals, and to advise our clients of the concerns to be aware of, and what they should consider prior to closing on a property.   Tweetables:   “Even if there are building codes, when inspections are done by the local government, they are only looking to make sure that the building code standards have been met at a minimum. They don’t inspect the quality of the work.” — Linda   “I think it’s part of our responsibility as REALTORS® to be able to advise our clients as to things that may affect them before they purchase a property. If you don’t take the time to learn how it can affect it, you don’t have any advice or assistance that you can give your clients.” — Linda   “Deferred maintenance is a big deal. If we don’t take care of things when they come up and replace them when appropriate, the building will go back to the Earth.” — Monica   Guest Links:   Linda Olson   Robert Nordlund   NPR Article…   Additional Links: for NAR Online Education — List of Classroom Courses from NAR and its affiliates   Questions? Comments? Email us at   Host Information: Monica Neubauer Speaker/Podcaster/REALTOR®     Additional Bio:   Linda Olson, REALTOR®, GREEN is with D. Basile Real Estate, LLC in Melbourne, Florida. Linda specializes in all non-residential property types, especially vacant land.   Linda brings a unique perspective to the real estate field as she also has 20 plus years of experience as an environmental consultant. Linda uses this experience to assist Owners and Buyers regarding the intricacies of developing/optimizing/selling and buying environmentally challenged property. Linda also uses this expertise to assist Landlords and Tenants with property leasing.   During both Linda’s environmental and real estate careers, for more than 10 years, she was actively involved with the local Home Builders and Contractors Association. The additional knowledge that she gained from this association and the contacts she has with builders, remodelers, and distributors of products gives her unique information and insight into “green” building techniques for improving a home’s energy efficiency.   Using both careers, since 2010, Linda has authored and teaches courses that have been approved by the Florida Department of Business and Professional Regulation for continuing education for REALTORS®. Linda has been a Florida REALTORS® Faculty Member since 2013.   Since 2016, Linda has been an approved instructor with the Georgia Association of REALTORS® through their Partners in Education Program and an approved provider and instructor through the Tennessee Real Estate Commission.   The classes that Linda has authored and teaches in Florida, Georgia, and Tennessee are centered on environmental concerns, green/energy efficiency, commercial real estate, the development process, residential construction and negotiating, networking, and commercial and vacant land contracts.   Linda has been awarded the National Association of REALTORS® Green Designation and is an approved Instructor for the NAR’s Green Designation Program as well as their Discovering Commercial Real Estate course.   Linda has a Bachelor’s degree from Michigan State University in Wildlife Management and a Master of Science degree from the University of Florida in Ecology. She is a member of the National and Florida Association of REALTORS®. Linda is married, has five rescued cats, and resides in Cocoa, Florida and Morganton, Georgia.
54:59 09/01/2021
059: Service and Emotional Support Animals with Cynthia DeLuca
In property management, service animals, emotional support animals, and pets, in general, are big considerations that will come up for potential tenants. As REALTORS®, property managers, and landlords, it’s important to know how to do things right to help honor those tenants who really do need the help that comes from having a service or emotional support animal. Cynthia DeLuca is on this episode to share her expertise and knowledge on how service and emotional support animals are protected under federal law. She also shares some best practices on questions you can ask and how to put a policy in place so you have consistency among all potential tenants and situations.   [3:35] - In 2020, many more people got pets that may be service or emotional support animals. In the real estate community, there are protections in place for these animals and clients who have them [6:45] - Cynthia and Monica discuss how the Americans with Disability Act protects service animals and what qualifies as a service animal [9:35] - This comes into play for REALTORS® because a potential tenant cannot just claim that their pet is a service animal and trained; they must be trained for the disability [15:18] - Cynthia and Monica discuss other things that are common with service animals but are not required, and how regulations can differ by state [18:05] - Cynthia and Monica discuss the Fair Housing Act, how it protects emotional support animals, and the specificity to one industry [20:26] - Cynthia’s work with HUD helped to create an order under the Fair Housing Act that clarifies how they feel the law should be applied, giving landlords more freedom to discern what they will allow for their properties [24:10] - The FHA defines an emotional support animal as an animal that provides emotional support that alleviates one or more identified symptoms or effects for a person’s disability [28:25] - Service animal and emotional support animal protections and exemptions [30:57] - Cynthia discusses how landlords, property managers, and REALTORS® can handle situations with potential tenants who have a service or emotional support animal, including what questions to ask to find out if they are covered under the ADA [33:38] - She also shares different questions to ask to see if it falls under the Fair Housing Act [35:30] - If the animal isn’t covered under the ADA or the FHA, you would treat that animal as a pet. Once the animal is protected under federal law, property managers and REALTORS®  must modify their existing rules to allow the animal [43:15] - Once an assistance animal is allowed to live in the residence, they don’t necessarily get a free pass to exist however they want [45:35] - Cynthia talks about the importance of having these guidelines in writing: the 2 questions under the ADA, the 2 questions under the FHA, and then the documentation you would request if it’s not obvious [49:20] - Remember to always keep the hierarchy of law in mind. The federal law will overrule any state or local ordinances Guest Links: The High Heels Landlord: A step-by-step guide for women to successful real estate investing, by Cynthia DeLuca Fill’er Up: The High Heels Landlord’s Guide to Filling Your Rental Property, by Cynthia DeLuca Additional Links: for NAR's Online Education — List of Classroom Courses from NAR and its affiliates Guest Bio: Cynthia began her real estate career in 1999 and quickly became a top producer. A few years later, she decided to open her own real estate company, which grew to the largest independent real estate company in Central Florida. In 2016, Cynthia sold her company, which consisted of 6 offices and over 135 members on her team to one of the nation’s top 350 Real Estate companies. After selling her real estate brokerage, Cynthia decided to focus her career on helping other REALTORS® reach a higher potential. An instructor since 2001, she has been there, done that, walks the talk, and loves to share her experiences with others so they can excel in their career. Cynthia’s love of real estate goes beyond her professional career. Cynthia purchased her first rental property almost 20 years ago and as the saying goes, the rest is history. She now manages a portfolio of rental properties together with her husband. After being asked a multitude of times how she got started, Cynthia wrote a book called The High Heels Landlord, available on Amazon. Her second book, released in late 2018, named Fill’er Up, is also available on Amazon. Cynthia has been featured in both Florida REALTOR® Magazine and the National REALTOR® Magazine. She has received the prestigious Florida REALTORS®’s Educator of the Year award along with the Orlando Regional REALTORS® Association’s Educator of the Year award. Cynthia’s passion is property management and investment properties. In her spare time, she collects more rental properties and visits her favorite hangout, Lowe’s. Cynthia has spoken at thousands of engagements at local, Florida, and National Association events.   Host Information: Monica Neubauer Speaker/Podcaster/REALTOR® Monica’s Facebook Page Instagram  
52:52 08/03/2021
058: Sustainability for Home and Health with Melisa Camp
Sustainability is an evolving topic in our culture and in many industries, and real estate is no exception! In this episode, expert Melisa Camp joins Monica to discuss sustainability inside our homes, as well as in the construction of new homes. They talk about new ways to take care of the resources we have, the opportunities in the industry, and how to tend to our health and finances on this journey.   Sustainable products are much more accessible and affordable than they have been previously. As we’ve all spent so much time in our houses during this pandemic, Melisa and her family have looked into ways to make a healthier home. Air quality can be improved by natural ventilation, air filters (MERV 14 or higher or a HEPA filter), and air cleaning (usually a portable device). Many utility companies offer an energy audit, which is a great place to start. Some other easy fixes anyone can do are weather stripping, sealing your ductwork, and foam air sealing. A tankless water heater is another good option to conserve water and energy if that’s something you’re looking to replace. Plants are another great way to improve your air quality!   For listeners with families, there are several ways you can get your children and your family involved in making more sustainable choices. Melisa shares some things that she has done including different school initiatives, contests, and recycling crayons and sneakers. Finding ways to involve the children is a great way to make sustainability part of their lifestyle. Melisa talks about “upcycling” and some of the things she has done recently to minimize waste in her house. In addition to environmental waste, there is also digital waste! Our digital activities take energy and resources, and it’s not something we tend to think about on a day-to-day basis.   There is a lot happening in the solar industry right now. Solar power is a renewable, clean source of energy. Melisa shares her experience with solar power on a house she built last year; because the tenant doesn’t use that much energy, it’s actually a net-positive home. If you use solar power that’s connected to the grid, your community benefits from any energy you don’t use. If you’re off-grid, your extra energy goes into a battery to be used at a later time. If you have the capital, Melisa suggests purchasing or financing solar panels, rather than leasing them.   One thing to note as an agent when it comes time for the appraisal — make sure you use the green and energy-efficient addendum. The appraisal process is extremely important in getting a good value. As the REALTOR®, you need to be a good communicator, and that starts with contacting the lender so you can get a competent solar appraiser. Whether you’re a listing agent or a buyer’s agent, take the lockbox off the house so the appraiser has to call you before going out, and you can vet their experience. For listing agents, collect any information about modifications or efficiencies early and often so you can have a more successful transaction for your client.   Green housing differs from region to region. For agents in different areas, you should look into what incentives might be available in your market, as well as what energy options are most efficient in your area. Some places are better for solar power, and other places may be better for wind power.   The construction industry is helping to eliminate waste and inefficiency. They continue to get more efficient as they are learning, and building codes continue to raise the bar. Melisa talks about what some custom builders do with their waste by donating what they can from old properties, as well as including healthy features, like the sound in a space and natural lighting. It takes building to the next level with a focus on health.   Sustainability and climate restoration are what Melisa has devoted her life’s work to. All REALTORS® should take NAR’s GREEN Designation coursework — it will change the way you do business with your clients. Our future is up to us taking action today, and it starts with small changes and educating ourselves.   Tweetables:   “That’s the biggest advice I would give to anybody, is just start. You don’t have to do it all right now, just find some low-hanging fruit.” — Melisa Camp   “The kids are my why — why do I care about all of this? Because I care about leaving the place better than I found it for the future generations.” — Melisa Camp   “You have to balance what you need, what you can afford, what’s available, and what’s your lifestyle.” — Monica   Guest Links:   Additional Links: for NAR Online Education — List of Classroom Courses from NAR and its affiliates   Host Information: Monica Neubauer Speaker/Podcaster/REALTOR®   Monica’s Facebook Page Instagram   Additional Bio:   Melisa Camp has been a REALTOR® for 13 years. Melisa lives in Arizona and has been teaching on green-related topics for 10 years in her company, Elite Education. She is the President of a non-profit she started in 2016, called Sustainable Real Estate Education.   Camp has served with NAR in many ways — on the NAR GREEN Resource Council she was awarded the EverGreen Award in 2011 on NAR’s Sustainability Group Committee and she has presented at NAR Annual for six years.   The Center for REALTOR® Development has some new online education coming up soon that Melisa has been a part of — more to follow on that soon!   Melisa’s other interests — motherhood, of course, and foremost — are working with the USGBC and helping with the Green Team at her children’s school. Melisa has served on the Board of Directors for the Arizona Association of Realtors®.
60:00 07/07/2021
057: Financial Planners, Insurance, and REALTORS ® with Rich Arzaga
In the real estate industry, we always need to be aware of leveling up our financial situation. In this episode, Rich Arzaga joins Monica to talk about all things financial wellness. Rich shares information about licensing, credentials, and how financial planners get paid, as well as some things to look out for when choosing a financial planner. They also discuss different investment platforms and insurance options. This episode is packed full of great information for any REALTOR®, whether you already have a financial plan or are just getting started.   The title “financial advisor” is a broad term — not everyone you hear about being a financial advisor has the same license or credentials. If you are seeking out a financial planner for your financial situation, make sure you look for someone who is licensed and credentialed. These people are licensed in giving advice or offering different investment options. Rich shares some of the different license numbers, and what goes into being able to earn each license. To find the right financial planner for you, ask the questions about what licenses they have and what that means, as well as what credentials they hold. The CFP® (CERTIFIED FINANCIAL PLANNERTM Practitioner) designation is going to easily set financial planners apart from one another.   Financial planners get paid in a few different ways. When you pay a fee for service, the financial planner is creating a plan for you, but not managing the money or offering insurance products. As you get to a higher level of need, many advisors fall off and you may need to find a different advisor who is certified to handle more advanced planning like taxes, stocks, investment real estate, etc. A more advanced advisor can help to mediate conversations between other professionals that handle specific aspects of financial planning. Beyond financial planning, there is asset management. These advisors get paid either on commission or a fee.   In addition to license and area of expertise, some other things Rich recommends when trying to find the right financial advisor is chemistry — you want to be able to build trust and make a connection with them. If you’re paying someone, you want to trust that you can follow the advice they give you, much like a trusted REALTOR®! Another thing to consider is the company; some companies are very formulaic. Because everyone’s situation is different, it’s hard to put people in a formula that is true to their intentions. If you’re able to work with an independent advisor, that will give you a better shot at more individualized planning.   A frustration for REALTORS® can be that some financial planners don’t specialize in investment real estate, and aren’t sure how to treat directly-held real estate. Rich became a financial advisor because he was passionate about real estate and now teaches financial planners how to help clients with their real estate questions. If you’re looking for someone who can help with real estate, look for an advisor who specializes in cash-flow-based planning. Cash-flow-based planners can integrate directly-held real estate to be part of your financial plan.   There are several independent investment opportunities as well. About 17% of the population are self-investors. Rich talks about some of the different platforms available for anyone who wants to dip their toe in the water of investment. Platforms like Robinhood, Schwab, TDAmeritrade, and Fidelity all offer something a little different for whatever level of investment you are at. It’s never too early or too late to start investing, and we are fortunate to have many options!   Rich shares some new information around health care that has come about from the American Rescue Act. Regarding life insurance, don’t be afraid to explore this, especially if you have people depending on you. Term life insurance will do for most and there is more flexibility in companies, but if you are going to do cash value, do your research to make sure the company is strong.   Some other insurance options are long-term care and disability insurance. As people get older, one of the biggest risks they face in the balance of their financial life is the need for long-term care and the expense that comes with that. Rich shares some calculations based on the trends for long-term care, the overview of the risk for the family. Disability insurance is quite pricey, but the question for every REALTOR® to ask themselves is if you became disabled today, would you be short in your financial plan or would you be okay? As you are shopping for disability insurance, get as long as your plan requires, or you need; if you can’t afford that due to cost, give yourself at least two years to be able to get your situation under control.   The NAR’s Center for Financial Wellness is a great program and resource for financial literacy for REALTORS®. The nice thing about this resource is that it is industry-specific, not just general financial planning. It’s also free!   Tweetables:   “You may grow out of your partner that you’re with if you’re growing your net worth and your situation is more complex. You’re going to need someone with a little more depth.” — Rich   “Finding somebody that you can trust is really very important, otherwise people who don’t have that chemistry maybe don’t take that advice.” — Rich   “That’s how you get the help. Find somebody that’s a CFP®, who does financial planning, that uses cash-flow-based technology.” — Rich   Guest Links: view my website!   Additional Links: for NAR Online Education — List of Classroom Courses from NAR and its affiliates   Host Information: Monica Neubauer Speaker/Podcaster/REALTOR®   Monica’s Facebook Page Instagram   Additional Bio:   Rich Arzaga is a CERTIFIED FINANCIAL PLANNERTM, a CCIM, an Accredited Investment Fiduciary®, an inactive REALTOR®, and the Founder and CEO of Cornerstone Wealth Management. He is also a long-time Adjunct Professor in the UC Berkeley Personal Financial Planning program.   Cornerstone Wealth Management, Inc. LinkedIn “How Real Estate Financial Planning Became Our Niche”   Inspired to be Our Clients' Most Valued Asset®   Rich Arzaga, CFP®, AIF® CERTIFIED FINANCIAL PLANNER™ PRACTITIONER Accredited Investment Fiduciary® view my website!
68:01 06/22/2021
056: Residential Real Estate Disclosures with Bruce Aydt
Center for REALTOR® Development 056: Residential Real Estate Disclosures with Bruce Aydt   While laws on this topic vary from state to state, good disclosure by the seller helps everyone involved in the real estate transaction. In this episode, guest Bruce Aydt joins Monica to talk all things disclosure. They discuss what should or should not be disclosed when it comes to current property status, past repairs, psychologically stigmatized properties, and work done without permit. This episode is full of risk management information that REALTORS® can use to help their clients.   The purpose of disclosure laws is to ensure that the buyer knows everything that the seller knows about the property. It is also a protection to sellers, as long as they are honest in their disclosure, because they will minimize their risk of legal ramifications later. As a seller, if you’re wondering whether you should disclose something, then you should probably disclose it. A good general guideline for what to disclose is that if the issue or condition of the property affects the desirability or value of the property, then it is something that needs to be disclosed. The contract from state to state or area to area will help guide sellers.   When it comes to past repairs, Bruce’s general rule for risk management is to disclose the history of all major repairs, including anything significant in terms of repairs or replacements. If it’s not disclosed, this could put the seller in a position where they think something is fixed but it isn’t really fixed. When preparing a seller disclosure statement, it is important to disclose in very specific terms. Just like any work done to our cars, try to keep track of any receipts or paperwork for any work done on the property.   Monica and Bruce discuss the concept of “should have known” — it exists in some states, but not in others. If the seller has evidence or information that would indicate to a reasonable person that the condition existed, that’s the “should have known” standard. What the average person would know is an indication of a problem that should be disclosed.   When it comes to prior information that you may have gotten from the previous seller disclosure or something you learned from living in the house, relevant information should be shared. Anything that affects the current property should be shared. Neighbors, real estate agents, flippers, and heirs could all know information about a listing. Whether a seller is exempt will depend upon your state property disclosure law.   Another aspect of disclosure to consider goes beyond the physical appearance or integrity of the property. Many states have laws about psychologically stigmatized properties — these laws hold real estate agents not liable for the failure to disclose the psychological impact on the property (murder, suicide, or other felonies). While most real estate agents do not have an obligation to disclose these things, there are other factors to consider: determining whether the information is fact or fiction, checking state laws, determining relevance, and discussing disclosure with the seller.   Another element of disclosure is any work or additions done on the property without permits. This has been an evolutionary area, and the power of local governments is pretty strong in the enforcement of these laws. Even if your seller disclosure statement doesn’t have this on it, it should be disclosed, especially for electrical and plumbing projects.   What happens when a buyer does an inspection and doesn’t want to purchase the property? Your contractual documents should be your main reference for navigating these conversations, primarily on how much of the disclosure and inspection reports should be included. There can be legal consequences if prior inspection items aren’t disclosed. As a real estate agent, you can’t give legal advice to your clients, but you can decide if you want to continue forward with a listing.   The easiest, most practical risk management rules are two things: disclose any major defects in the property that exist currently, and also disclose the history of any major repairs. Remember if you’re asking yourself whether you should disclose something, your answer is probably yes!   Tweetables:   “The whole purpose is to give the buyer the opportunity to know everything that the seller knows about the property that’s of any material nature.” — Bruce   “When we talk about psychologically impacted properties, what we’re talking about is things that don’t affect the physical structure of the house.” — Bruce   “It’s better to disclose these events that occurred at some point in the process than to let the neighbors tell the buyer.” — Bruce   Guest Links:   Additional Links: for NAR Online Education — List of Classroom Courses from NAR and its affiliates   Host Information: Monica Neubauer Speaker/Podcaster/REALTOR®   Monica’s Facebook Page Instagram   Additional Bio:   Bruce H. Aydt, DSA, ABR®, CRB, GRN, SRS   Bruce Aydt is a REALTOR®, attorney, and educator from St. Louis, Missouri. As a second-generation REALTOR®, Bruce grew up in the real estate business and has worked in virtually every aspect of real estate companies. Bruce has been in management as well as in-house legal counsel to companies for over 30 years.   Bruce has been involved in REALTOR® Association work throughout his career. He has served in leadership roles as President of both Missouri REALTORS® and the St. Louis REALTORS®. Bruce has been part of the National Association’s Enlarged Leadership Team three times, has chaired the NAR Professional Standards Committee, Legal Action Committee, and State Leadership Forum, and received the National Association’s Distinguished Service Award. He is a nationally recognized educator on real estate and association leadership issues and is one of the three co-trainers for the NAR Mediation Training Seminar. He lives in St. Louis, Missouri with his wife, Lisa, has two grown children and three fabulous grandchildren.
54:56 06/01/2021
055: Learning, Networking, and Leading with Associations with Adorna Carroll
There are so many benefits for real estate agents and REALTOR® members of local associations. Adorna Carroll is on the show to talk about everything that associations have to offer their members. Monica and Adorna share some of the benefits of joining an association, as well as best practices for engaging with your local, state, or national association.   There are several values that associations can bring for agents, especially in the real estate industry where there is a three-way partnership between the local, state, and national association. The local association is the first point of contact for many REALTORS®, helping to orient the members and share industry best practices, ethics, etc. The local association also helps members understand what happens at the state and national levels.   Another huge benefit of associations is networking! The opportunities are abundant both for you as an agent and for your clients. You have the opportunity to connect with people outside of your market, increase your reach, and work with people who are experts in a discipline other than your own. Networking across disciplines also benefits your communities and the populations you serve.   Adorna and Monica talk about some other committees involved in the local, state, or national associations. Many associations have an educational committee, but Adorna views this more as professional and career development; associations should be focusing on getting a variety of people in front of their members who are going to present the best information for growth. Be intentional and pick good courses that are going to further your career.   The Ethics and Arbitration option is a big part of the associations and what they’re about. There is a code of ethics in the real estate industry that helps to define the boundaries for REALTORS®. Adorna talks about some policies that help to define how agents should conduct themselves.   The Government Affairs division is important for advocacy across the industry. The RPAC, or REALTORS® Political Action Committee, is an important vehicle for getting funding, strong lobbyists, and unity in the industry. This committee is on all levels, and forming personal relationships or political contacts is where the work can really get done.   Some of the other committees they talk about are the YPN, the Young Professionals Network or Your Professional Network. This was originally created for younger real estate professionals to network and has morphed into a leadership and mentorship program. Most associations also have a finance/budget committee, hopefully with people who have a finance background and good checks and balances in place.   There is a shared relationship between association volunteers and association staff. Annual training is key to establishing a productive relationship between both parties. The association staff manages the business and works for the corporation. The volunteers bring creativity and define the horizon line for the association and the members.   Adorna’s last words for listeners are that getting involved in associations makes the most sense for your business. Not only will you get to know the people you will be working with, but you’ll learn so much along the way that it is guaranteed to be a great investment for your business.   Tweetables:   “Go beyond competency and go for proficiency.” — Adorna   “If real estate is your career, politics is your business.” — Adorna   “Getting involved makes good sense for their own personal business. It’s an incredible opportunity and an investment in your business.” — Adorna   Guest Links:   Adorna’s Website   Additional Links: for NAR Online Education — List of Classroom Courses from NAR and its affiliates   Host Information: Monica Neubauer Speaker/Podcaster/REALTOR®   Monica’s Facebook Page Instagram   Additional Bio:   Adorna O. Carroll, DSA ABR®/M, SRS, CRB, CRETS, RENE, PSA, SFR®, GRI, e-PRO®, C2EX   Adorna currently owns and runs three real-estate-related businesses and has had a personal team for over 25 years.   As the President of Dynamic Directions, Inc., we are a training and consulting firm that has an extensive faculty of consultants and trainers. Adorna trains REALTORS® all over North America and has authored numerous residential designation and certification courses, the SRS, RENE, several CRB courses, C-RETS, and the new agent training program called The Right Start all part of the REBI — Real Estate Business Institute.   In 1997 she completed her term as the State President for the CT REALTORS®, was the 2001 Region 1 VP, an NAR Liaison in 2002, 2003, and 2007, RPAC Trustee in 2004, the 2005 NAR VP & Liaison to Committees, NAR’s Chief Political Fundraiser in 2006, a member of the RPAC Hall of Fame, the REBAC Hall of Fame, the 2016 President of the REBI — Real Estate Business Institute and is the 79th recipient of NAR’s Distinguished Service Award.  
56:33 05/03/2021
054: Affordable Housing and How to Participate with William Baylor
The need for affordable housing exists in communities across the country. This episode’s guest, William Baylor, joins Monica to talk about current federal affordable housing initiatives, as well as the personal initiatives he’s involved with in his own market of Birmingham. This episode will provide ideas and resources for how agents can help find rental and purchase opportunities in their marketplaces that are affordable for people with a lower median income.   Affordable housing has been something that people have been attempting to do since the turn of the century. The industry definition of affordable housing is when you pay 30% or less of your income towards housing costs. In political housing circles, affordable housing refers to housing that uses some sort of public assistance to support families or individuals who lack the means to pay the market rate in an area.   Governments at every level must ensure that there are enough subsidy funds available to meet the needs of their community. William talks about some of the things the federal government is doing for affordable housing, including Opportunity Zones and some relaxed criteria by the FHA. Partnerships between different levels of government are vital to ensuring that communities, and the land, are protected.   When you start looking at the makeup of a city, the number two contributor to any city’s general funds is property tax. The number one contributor is sales tax, which is driven by those property taxes. It is imperative that the government incentivizes builders to develop areas across the country, either through tax credits or reducing regulations around zoning laws. Zoning should meet locally defined community needs; it is at the heart of growth for a city. There are several different HUD counseling programs that help people get ready to become homeowners. For REALTORS® at large, being familiar with these programs will be a great way to help educate your buyers.   On the local level, getting people to see the importance of having affordable housing is the first step. In Monica’s market, there is a group that oversees renovations and has built smaller, affordable apartments. In William’s market, they are working with the county commission to develop a comprehensive affordable housing plan. There are many parties involved in this initiative (including real estate agents), to hopefully create a plan that could be replicated in other areas as well. Having the REALTOR® buy-in is crucial for creating these opportunities in your communities.   Affordable housing initiatives include both rental and purchasing opportunities. These go hand in hand, as every time a first-time home buyer closes, it opens the door for someone to have a new rental opportunity or someone on the waiting list to get a first-time buying opportunity. Some cities will set aside income-based housing that may eventually become market value properties. This will vary across different locations depending on which community groups are involved. For real estate agents, if you’re helping your buyers purchase in one of these areas, you want to be able to give them this information upfront.   The Home Investment Partnership Program includes things like stabilization programs, community development block grants, and neighborhood stabilization programs. Funds from this program give communities the opportunity to create homeowners, especially for those with low to moderate income.   William and Monica talk about transitioning out of the eviction moratorium we were in during the times of COVID-19. Some of the things they are doing to help manage this is providing resources to help renters stay inside of their homes, including government-funded rental assistance. Qualified tenants can apply for assistance through programs in their area. William talks about some other groups that help when tenants may be displaced from affordable housing.   As REALTORS® and community stakeholders, it’s important to take the time to plan and examine the community you live and work in to look for the areas to make improvements. When looking at affordable housing and other community issues, take a step back and work together to create what you want it to be. Working with government affairs directors can help you as a real estate agent increase awareness about products and resources available in your area.   Tweetables:   “Affordable housing is not just about new construction, but it’s a cohesive and harmonious thing where all groups are working together to make it really happen.” — William   “When people are invested in their community, then they’re also committed to spend money in their community and the commercial will build up as the residential strengthens.” — Monica   “The heart of what we do is REALTOR®-driven. When you see the dedication and hard work that REALTORS® put in every single day to create opportunities of ownership, it strengthens your commitment.” — William   “We should rely on rental assistance and strengthen rental assistance as much as possible, so we can make sure even the least of these are served and have the opportunity to remain homeowners, or even create new homeowners.” — William   Guest Links:………   Additional Links: for NAR Online Education — List of Classroom Courses from NAR and its affiliates   Host Information: Monica Neubauer Speaker/Podcaster/REALTOR®   Monica’s Facebook Page Instagram   Additional Bio:   William Baylor works with REALTORS® and Home Ownership Champions to amplify their voice, vision, and value so they can make a successful impact on the real estate industry, their communities, and the world. With more than a decade of experience in the Government and Non-Profit sector, a passion for making meaningful connections with others, and an insatiable appetite for helping others maximize their potential, Will feels that Home Ownership Advocacy isn’t just an occupation but also his vocation. He is a graduate of Auburn University with a Personal Certification in Economic & Community Development.   He is the Chairman of the Jefferson County Affordable Housing Taskforce, a coalition of community stakeholders who have joined together to create Affordable Housing in Jefferson County and all of Alabama. Today, in addition to serving on the Jefferson County Affordable Housing Taskforce, William is Vice president of Government, Legislative, and Community Affairs for the Birmingham Association of REALTOR®.  He’s Staff Liaison of 12 committees at BAR touching all industry matters from strategizing local legislative efforts and activations on behalf of the Association, to Community Development.  His days are filled with letter writing, consensus building, and conversations with stakeholders, partners, and leaders across the country, telling our story and fighting for the future of our businesses, industry, and REALTOR® values.
51:20 04/05/2021
053: Photography & Selling Houses Sight Unseen with Brian Copeland
Photos are a must-have when it comes to marketing a home for a listing. In this episode, photographer and real estate agent Brian Copeland shares his thoughts on the importance of great photos for your listings. Brian and Monica discuss the equipment and software that real estate agents can use to get the best photos (and the best price) for their listings.   In the climate of the pandemic, virtual showings have become more important than ever. Real estate agents have to become “digital professionals” — capturing the full scope of the property with your virtual deliverables. Houses selling sight-unseen have also become increasingly more common, and a large part of that is due to the level of care agents and photographers put into getting the photos just right.   Brian brings some elements of the music industry to his photography approach. As REALTORS® you are Artist & Repertoire directors of homes, overseeing and managing your brand as a whole. It is important to bring a standard to aerials, 3D photos, and stills — you never know what future business you may get (or not get) because of the photos you’ve presented on your listings. For real estate agents who may not have it in their budgets yet, make sure you learn how to take attractive photos on your phone or with the equipment you do have.   Brian and Monica talk about some of the best photography equipment, software, and education resources. You can make almost any equipment work for you; it really comes down to process and using your eye to get the best shots. Some of the equipment that Brian uses are a Canon 6D, as well as a Canon glass, and several different lenses. Nikon and Sony also make quality equipment if you’re looking for a camera, but the cameras on iPhones are much better nowadays and can be a viable option. When it comes to software, Photoshop is a great option, and there are other lighting and editing software and apps out there. Lightroom is the standard. For education, one of the best resources is Kelby One. There is also great content available for free on YouTube.   If you go the route of hiring a professional, make sure you understand the copyright laws. The person who actually takes the photos owns the copyright to the photos. As real estate agents, it’s great to have a conversation up front about copyright, so you both understand the usage of the photos. If you find that your photos have been used, always approach the other agent with professionalism.   Houses will sell more when they look better. Decently staged and professionally photographed could bring your seller the anticipatory price, rather than the comp price. To get the best price, it’s also important to pay attention to the quality of the full package: 3D, aerial photography, and video. Brian talks about some of the best equipment and software for capturing 3D images and how you can upload them to listing sites, and gives advice for using a drone to capture aerial shots.   When it comes to the video for the listing, DJI Products are great to help stabilize your current equipment. Video has SEO strategy for real estate agents, as well as a way to market the property. Most of the MLS have guidelines about what part of your brand can be in the video, so make sure you understand what can be included. As a tip, record an intro and outro that can be used for all of your videos. Brian and Monica talk about some different approaches to video — a walkthrough versus more of a teaser to the house. If you are doing a walkthrough or a virtual tour at request, you have to be quite thorough since the buyer may not lay eyes on the house themselves. This is a great opportunity to establish a sense of trust with your clients as you are candid about the property.   Photography is an art form that takes years to perfect. As REALTORS® you want to deliver the best quality product — if that means hiring a professional, do so! If that’s not in your budget, make sure you take the time to educate yourself on how to get the best shots, what equipment you can afford, and best practices so your portfolio can stand out! It takes time to learn and you will get better.   Tweetables:   “Give them that extra level of supplemental digital leadership, and give them the risk; sight-unseen happens all the time and you just have to make sure you’re being a great digital supplemental resource.” — Brian   “It’s all a matter of how you use it. You can use any camera with the right lens, the right glass, to your benefit — given that you have a good eye.” — Brian   “Communication fixes a lot. Kind, professional, nonaccusatory communication helps a lot.” — Brian   “When you build up that social trust, that digital trust, with your client, they will continue to come back and they’re going to tell their friends.” — Brian   Guest Links:   Additional Links: for NAR Online Education — List of Classroom Courses from NAR and its affiliates   Host Information: Monica Neubauer Speaker/Podcaster/REALTOR®   Monica’s Facebook Page Instagram   Additional Bio:   Brian Copeland (M.S., B.A., CRS, GRI, CIPS, e-PRO®, ABR®, Broker) prides himself on one-on-one buyer and seller service. Brian was the 2011 Nashville REALTOR® of the Year. He has been one of the most sought-after real estate speakers in America, emceeing and keynoting some of the largest conferences in the profession. He served as the 2017 President of Tennessee REALTORS®, 2019 Vice President of the National Association of REALTORS®, and advocates for property rights at the local, state, and national association levels. He’s been named as one of the 100 Most Influential Real Estate Leaders in America as well as one of the Top 200 Power Social Influencers.   After years of volunteering, speaking, traveling, team management, brokerage management, and sales, Brian recreated his entire sales business in 2019 to focus on being a solo agent. Brian knows with an ever-changing marketplace, sellers and buyers must have one point of contact and full concierge service.   He is a graduate of Carson-Newman University and holds a master’s from The University of Tennessee, Knoxville. Brian and his spouse, Greg, make their home on a Nashville farm with their two children Micah and Esther.
46:26 03/22/2021
052: Improving the Appraisal Process with Candy Cooke
Although we are in a multiple-offer market, the appraisal process remains a challenge for real estate agents across the country. In this episode, Candy Cooke joins Monica to discuss some of the best ways to work with appraisers to make more deals. In a fast-moving market, everyone involved in the transaction is a team. It is crucial for REALTORS® and appraisers to work together to get people in homes.   Candy has a list of items that she provides to the appraiser. You can still talk to the appraiser until the appraisal is turned in. In her “appraisal packet,” she includes a copy of the contract, either the survey or property details that define the bounds, the list of anything that has been done to the house, and any information about comps that would be helpful for the appraiser. The more you can provide upfront, the less they will have to ask about. When providing comps, the best thing you can do is find other properties that would appeal to the same buyer. It is best to give your packet of information to the appraiser before they go to the property. If you are able, you also want to provide other offers if you’re in a multiple-offer situation.   The best way to get the packet to the appraisers is to make the appointment with the appraiser and the listing agent. You want to make an appointment and make sure the exchange will be secure. You could also send the report over via email. In that case, you don’t need to meet them at the property. It is incredibly important to keep the line of communication open with the appraiser! This will improve the working relationship for everyone involved.   When working with appraisers from out of the area, real estate agents should ask if they normally work in that area; there is a standard of competency that should make it easier to work across state lines. There are other certifications (green/clean houses, etc) that appraisers should be transparent about their competency in before entering into a transaction. As a REALTOR®, if you are not comfortable with the appraiser, Candy advises going back to the lender or loan officer with your concerns. If needed, you can then escalate to a compliance officer and note that the consumer will suffer.   Ultimately, the appraiser is hired by the lender to make sure there is enough equity in a house to sustain a loan. They want to ensure that the lender will get their money back. Once the appraisal report is delivered and the deal is closed, the appraiser can no longer be in communication with the agent. Candy explains what happens in a situation where the appraisal comes in below the contract price. The people who actually use the system, their appraisals are usually successful.   In every transaction there are three jobs working concurrently: the listing agent is trying to get the highest price for their seller, the buyer’s agent is trying to get the best price for their buyer, and the appraiser is there to help the lender make a financial decision. It is part of the listing agent’s responsibility to get any pertinent information to the appraiser, especially if the appraisal came in below the contract price.   Candy shares her experience with appraising properties with basements, as well as rural properties. For the rural properties, she creates her own “land grid” that compares different land properties in the area. For unique properties, there is a recommendation on how far back in time and distance to get comps, but since that is just a recommendation and not a requirement Candy encourages agents to do a little bit of both to get a well-rounded grid. A helpful tool for any agent is the NAR’s RPR, or Realtors Property Resource®. All your CMA’s should be done in RPR!   Candy’s final word for listeners is to remember that although everyone has a different job, everyone is working together to make sure everyone is happy and deals are able to get done. This episode is full of tips and resources to improve relationships with appraisers. How can you apply these in your own practice?   Tweetables:   “You don’t go after the value, you go after the data.” — Candy   “We all have different jobs, but if we all work together and we cooperate we can make it work. We’re not out there to knock you guys down.” — Candy   Guest Links:   Candy has a private Facebook that you can join. Here is the link.   Here is a link to the list of items to give to the appraiser before the appraisal.…   ANSI Square Footage Guide.…   Additional Links: for NAR Online Education — List of Classroom Courses from NAR and its affiliates   Host Information: Monica Neubauer Speaker/Podcaster/REALTOR®   Monica’s Facebook Page Instagram   Additional Bio:   Candace Cooke has been involved in the real estate industry for 37 years. She is licensed in Texas as a real estate broker, certified general appraiser, and instructor. Candy is active in the Texas REALTORS® and serves on several committees at the local, state, and national level of REALTOR® organizations. She is currently President of the Real Estate Business Institute, an affiliate of NAR and serves as Secretary on the Texas Real Estate Commission Education Standards Advisory Committee. Education is her passion. She was recently awarded 2020 Texas REALTORS® Educator of the Year.   Candy is one of the Senior Instructors for the Texas REALTORS® and currently teaches several “Train the Trainer” classes. As a member of the Texas REALTORS® Professional Standards committee, Candy strongly believes REALTORS® need to always “do the right thing” which is strongly promoted in her classes. Candy was a member of the first class for NAR’s Masters of Real Estate (MRE) program and then went back and did it again. She believes you can never stop learning in this business.   Candy’s enthusiasm for any subject she teaches is contagious. Her classes routinely book to capacity and she uses Zoom to teach so her interaction is far-reaching. She actively broadcasts classes live in order to serve more students across the state. She lives in Central Texas with her husband Mike and enjoys canning and knitting when she's not teaching.
66:41 03/01/2021
051: Winning Multiple Offer Deals with Dale Chumbley
In an active seller’s market, there’s a huge advantage for real estate agents who utilize multiple offer strategies. There are inventory issues in many of the markets in our country right now, which can be difficult for buyers, sellers, and agents alike. In today’s episode, Dale Chumbley shares several best practices for real estate agents to help your buyers or sellers win in a multiple-offer market.   If a property is priced properly, it’s going to be competitive. As an agent, the best thing you can do is educate your client and let them know what to expect in the given market and how you’re going to help them through the process. It can also be helpful to have data to show the buyer, but don’t go back more than three months, especially in a changing market! Monica and Dale talk about some of the ramifications of overpricing; if you really want to drive competition, you may even want to price slightly down.   Dale talks about what elements make an enticing offer. One of the biggest things he does is call the listing agent to figure out exactly what the seller’s pain point is and what would help. Establishing this good relationship with the listing agent creates a better stress level for everybody. If you can give a seller a month rent-back free, you can improve the net to the seller without having to see the appraisal come higher. Having strong offers where you can improve the net to the seller is important, especially in these multiple-offer deals. Dale talks about the low appraisal addendum in his market, and how it can give the seller peace of mind.   A clean offer is a strong offer. Completely fill out the purchase and sale agreement, and establish respect in the transaction. Having all forms filled out sets a good standard for moving forward. There are also some other best practices, such as not asking for repairs upfront, and an easy way to make comparables with closely related properties. In all of these situations, a call to the listing agent made all the difference. As a real estate agent, make sure you are creating these positive relationships! Bringing the lender into the fold can also be beneficial.   Love letters and escalation clauses are more risky and controversial pieces of the closing process. As a listing agent, it’s important to explain to the seller the consequences and liability of accepting love letters. These are falling out of best practice — it’s more important to know if they are qualified or not. An escalation clause is a document that states how much the buyer is willing to pay over the list price or highest other offer, up to a certain point. For both love letters and escalation clauses, many sellers are putting it in the listing whether they want to accept either. It is more encouraged to put your best offer forward, and as a real estate agent, you want to be able to present your buyer a signable offer.   Monica and Dale talk about finding some “off-market” or hidden properties that aren’t in the multiple offer market. As an agent, it’s important to keep an eye out on these listings or even neighborhood apps to get a feel for what might be out there. Vendor partners can also be incredibly helpful in getting clients.   For a listing agent, communication with the seller for their timeline and needs is the most important thing to establish. Pricing will be different depending on when they need to be out, their expectations, etc. It is important to set expectations and explain the value of pricing their home properly.   Dale’s final word for buyers is: be patient — trust your real estate agent, be patient in the process even though it can be challenging. When it comes to pricing, it’s important to provide perspective for your clients. In the long run, sometimes the win isn’t getting the best deal, it’s getting the home that you want.   Tweetables:   “Really the main thing is educating them [the buyer], knowing your market, knowing your numbers, knowing your statistics, and knowing the value of pricing your homes.” — Dale   “Just because it’s a crazy market, buyers do not buy just any house.” — Monica   “It’s not just the price, but it’s also the strength of the offer.” — Dale   “People think that high money and fast closing is the win. Sometimes fast closing isn’t the win. Sometimes slowing it down and being accommodating to what the seller needs is far more powerful.” — Dale   Guest Links: Real Living — The Real Estate Group   Additional Links:   Online learning.REALTOR for NAR Online Education — List of Classroom Courses from NAR and its affiliates   Host Information: Monica Neubauer Speaker/Podcaster/REALTOR®   Monica’s Facebook Page   Additional Bio:   Dale Chumbley   Dale Chumbley is a second-generation REALTOR® in Vancouver, Washington who has been selling real estate since 1994. He also spent eight years working in the Clark County Department of Assessment & GIS in the Land Records Department. This experience gives Dale a knowledge and expertise that no other REALTOR® in Clark County, WA has.   He was named by Inman News one of the 100 Most Influential Real Estate Leaders in the country for 2010. He is the founder of 365 Things To Do In Vancouver, WA on Facebook. In 2014 Dale served as his local Association’s President and was named REALTOR® of the Year. Dale was named one of The Top 20 Social Influencers of Residential Real Estate 2016 by Swanepoel Power 200 nationally. In 2016 he served as VP of Membership for Washington REALTORS®. In 2018 Dale was Chair of the National Consumer Communications Committee. Dale served as President of Washington REALTORS® in 2019.   He is currently a National Director for the National Association of REALTORS® (NAR) and Chair of Member Communications Committee for NAR.   Dale is recognized nationally for his mix of traditional real estate and technologically cutting-edge marketing. In his spare time, Dale dabbles as a DJ, enjoys photography, musical theatre, and sharing his city with anyone who will pay attention.   Dale has been seen on the stage at industry events such as Inman Connect New York and San Francisco, Inman Agent Reboots, REBarCamps across the country, a variety of events in Vancouver, BC and Toronto, Hawaii Association of REALTORS® Annual Conference, WA Association of REALTORS® Leadership Conference, NAR MidYear and Annual Conference, REALTOR® Party Training, CRS Sellabration, Florida YPN, RETSO, BuzzRE, BuzzRE Orange County, and Non-industry events such as #140Conf and Back Fence PDX.
76:12 02/01/2021
050: Cybersecurity for every REALTOR® with Juanita McDowell
This episode is all about cybersecurity and protecting your information. Juanita McDowell joins Monica to share her effective and easy-to-implement tips to keep your data safe. They talk about what cybersecurity is, what we really need to protect, and best practices for several different platforms that agents use regularly in their business.   Some agents will collect the same information as an online lender, with full disclosure to their client, so there is someone else they trust with this information. By law, personal information has to be protected. When it comes to sensitive information, the “biggies” are social security numbers and date of birth — especially birth year. As an agent, if you feel like you need to collect this information, it is your responsibility to destroy it when it’s no longer needed (shred) and protect it upfront (encrypt before making any digital copies). There are certain things you should never put online if you can avoid it; if a hacker or bot gets your information for one site, it is likely they can apply that information to other sites that may be more sensitive. When it comes to passwords, it’s no longer just a strong password — 2-step verification is key! When creating your password, incorporate lowercase, uppercase, symbols, and numbers. Once you have a strong password, a 2-step verification is an extra layer of security when you sign in from an IP address it doesn’t recognize. If passwords are a challenge for you, use a password locker like LastPass or One Password. You can also create a “master” password and add a memory jogger that is unique to each site you use your password for. We store so much information on our computers and phones, it’s important to safeguard those devices with passwords as well. Make sure those types of devices are virus protected as well. Juanita shares some best practices for using Dropbox, including what you should not post to Dropbox, features within Dropbox that you can use, and doing health checkups to see what all is accessing your DB account. With all the different systems we engage with every day, it’s incredibly important to know what they do and what’s the best use for them. Spend some time and take inventory of what applications and systems you are using, and do some security check-ups to make sure your apps are up-to-date. With subscription-based platforms, the user is the one that needs to tighten them up and make sure they are secure. If you use Google, Juanita’s homework assignment is to go to and do a security checkup of your account. Although it’s convenient, it’s not the best idea to store passwords in your browser. A password locker would be better. All of your devices need a backup system! You need to make sure that your files are being backed up to a reputable cloud, and you want to double-check the security settings. Be very careful about what sensitive information you store in your CRMs. Do your due diligence in picking a CRM provider. The number one thing when it comes to email is to SLOW DOWN. Don’t open attachments or click on links from people you don’t know, and take a second look from people you do know. You can hover over a link or an email address to make sure it looks legitimate. The other thing about email is to make sure you are checking and responding on a secure network. A VPN is a virtual private network, and it creates a secure tunnel for any of your computer traffic when you’re in a public setting. Anything that is posted on social media could be read by anyone or everyone. Even if you delete a post, someone could have already saved or shared this with someone else. There are privacy settings on many social media platforms that can help you recover your data if it’s compromised. You should also set up 2-step verification for your social media accounts. If you have an account you aren’t using anymore, just take it down. One of the best tips for working with virtual assistants is to create a separate login and password just for them, so they have access to the systems but not your password. Once they are done, change the password so there is no longer access tied to it. It is also important to ensure they have a secure network and their own computer. When it comes to home security, make sure you change the default password for your router. Trust your gut when it comes to home security and investigate when things seem off. Juanita’s best practices: stay off free wifi networks unless you have a VPN, create strong passwords, make sure you backup your data. Keep your apps up to date, and know where all of your data is. For agents, put together a data security policy so you know exactly what to do if you are hacked.   Tweetables:   “First of all I would challenge people, don’t get it if you don’t need it.” — Monica   “One of the problems that we have is that we’re thinking of the hackers as an individual. Today, our hackers are no longer individuals. They have the sophisticated software that can run bots all over the place.” — Juanita   “I always tell my agents anything you type on your computer and you send out into the world, you need to know that it could be read by anybody and everybody in the world.” — Monica   Guest Links:   Last Pass 1Password Avira Malwarebytes Avast Boxcryptor Carbonite iDrive Private Internet Access VPN   Additional Links:    Online learning.REALTOR for NAR Online Education — List of Classroom Courses from NAR and its affiliates   Host Information: Monica Neubauer Speaker/Podcaster/REALTOR®   Monica’s Facebook Page   Additional Bio:   Juanita McDowell   Juanita is an international speaker and educator. Every year, her training firm delivers over 200 seminars to entrepreneurs, corporate employees, and associations across the globe. A former Engineer and Global Sales Executive, she speaks on topics such as Technology, Sales, and Marketing. Businesses and associations that have hired Juanita include AT&T, LG, the CDC, and the U.S. Chamber of Commerce. Her expertise has been published in Fast Company magazine and the Investor’s Business Daily. Juanita is a YouTube Partner with over 2.5 million views on her videos. She’s also a member of the National Speakers Association and she volunteers as a Technology Partner for Habitat for Humanity.
71:45 01/04/2021
049: Introducing NAR Academy at Columbia College with Marc Gould and Raj Sachdev
NAR has a new opportunity for you, our members! NAR has partnered with Columbia College for a higher education opportunity in real estate. NAR Academy at Columbia College seeks to facilitate excellent college and certificate programs for agents, brokers, and other industry professionals. In today’s episode, Marc and Raj talk about the courses offered through NAR Academy as well as some of the many benefits of pursuing this education.   Marc was part of NAR’s initial efforts for a degree-granting, accredited institution called REALTOR® University. This program recently graduated their last student, but they saw that there was a greater need for a larger offering at the Bachelor’s and Associate’s level, rather than just at the Master’s level. The partnership they found in Raj and Columbia College is exactly what they were looking for. They’ve created NAR Academy, with the goal of filling the gap when it comes to real estate by offering a larger variety of college certificates and degree programs.   The course offerings cover the business of real estate and the different areas that are crucial to real estate (marketing, finance, etc). They offer five real estate-specific programs: Real Estate Leadership certificate, Digital Marketing for Real Estate certificate, Real Estate Negotiation certificate, as well as two degree programs: an Associate’s in Real Estate Management, and Master’s of Business Administration (MBA) with an emphasis in Real Estate Management. These programs are a great start for people who want to get a College education, or for those that want to finish a degree, and also provides the best of both worlds in terms of accredited College education and NAR benefits.   One of the great things about NAR Academy is that it is flexible with people’s schedules, and also accept transfer credits for anyone who has previous higher education. The online courses are taken in eight-week sessions, and students can choose the pace at which they want to complete the programs.   The certificates are “stackable” — if you take the certificate courses, you could apply those credits to the Associate’s degree. If you are pursuing the Master’s, you take the same courses as other MBA students, and then you can take emphasis-area courses in real estate. As a member of NAR, you also get a $100 scholarship per class.   NAR Academy helps people get to the next level of their career, and also builds relationships for life. Columbia College offers several distinct benefits for anyone interested in this higher education — remote learning, accreditation, and the partnership with NAR. The partnership is really to benefit the members — what they are doing is the highest and best use of educational time and dollars. What would you do if you could pursue further education in your real estate business?   Tweetables:   “The goal here with NAR Academy at Columbia College is to offer a larger gamut of college credit-bearing certificates and degree programs. We want to have programming available to REALTORS® that would benefit them in different areas.” — Raj Sachdev   “This can provide a distinct competitive advantage to members. Students can be exposed to new ideas as well as emerging issues and trends, and really have that conceptual and theoretical backing to the real-world practice that’s so important.” — Raj Sachdev   “For our members, it’s an opportunity to network and expand your client base. Not only are you gaining education, but you might be gaining access to a referral and client base you didn’t have before.” — Marc Gould   Guest Links:   Additional Links:   Online learning.REALTOR for NAR Online Education — List of Classroom Courses from NAR and its affiliates   Host Information: Monica Neubauer Speaker/Podcaster/REALTOR®   Monica’s Facebook Page   Additional Bio:   Marc Gould is Senior Vice President of Member Development for the National Association of REALTORS®, overseeing a wide range of leadership and professional development programs for REALTORS®.   Since joining NAR in 2006, Marc has launched both the Commitment to Excellence Program and Center For Financial Wellness. He fostered the growth of the Center for Specialized REALTOR® Education, NAR’s wholly-owned training and credentials subsidiary, in both membership and course offerings. He oversaw the creation, acquisition, and integration of multiple NAR credentials including the Senior Real Estate Specialist and Green designations. Marc was also instrumental in the creation of REALTOR® University, an accredited distance learning program that offers a master’s degree in real estate, and serves as its Dean of Student Services.   Marc earned his MBA from Loyola University Chicago and his BA in political science from the University of Michigan. He achieved the rank of major as an officer in the United States Army, serving in positions as varied as platoon leader in an infantry battalion to command staff at the brigade level.   Marc and his wife Amy live in Chicago with their son.   Dr. Raj Sachdev Dean and Assistant Professor Robert W. Plaster School of Business Columbia College   Dr. Sachdev holds several degrees and certifications including a degree from Oxford University.  A specialist in the areas of business, law, and technology, he was formerly a visiting researcher at UC Berkeley and is published in different disciplines. He has taught over 50 courses at various academic institutions including some as an instructor at Stanford University. Dr. Sachdev speaks internationally at various prominent institutions and industry conferences including having given a TEDx talk. He has been awarded for his teaching excellence and is a licensed lawyer.
53:24 12/07/2020
048: Ensuring Fair Housing for All with NAR’s Bryan Greene
Growing awareness among real estate professionals has resulted in a clearer understanding that fair housing in America is still an issue. Bryan Greene is the Director of Fair Housing Policy at NAR, and he joins Monica to discuss the state of fair housing in America. He talks about the history that led us to where we are today, as well as what tools NAR is using to help their agents start making a change and help create a more fair and equitable industry.   Bryan worked in government for 29 years before making the transition to NAR. He shares his background, and how his desire to make a difference is what led him to work within the real estate industry. Housing is one of the biggest civil rights issues, but also one of the avenues where the industry can have the biggest impact.   Along with some recommended reading, Bryan shares the history around segregation in housing. It started out as a private practice, in the form of covenants, but was adopted as official government policy. These policies created patterns — such as generational wealth — that continue to show up today, even though the laws have changed over time.   Bryan was hired in a new position as the Director of Fair Housing Policy at NAR. After reading and viewing footage of agents interacting with clients in Long Island, the disparity was apparent. He talks about his role to respond, accept responsibility, and explain to the public how NAR would address these issues. The two things that stuck out were the need for accountability and a culture change.   They are triangulating the issue from all sides: mind, heart, and body. Their acronym is ACT!: accountability, culture change, and training. They are doing more immersive training where agents can practice and react to different simulated situations. One of the best ways to learn in any business is from your peers — one of the initiatives they have is to highlight those agents that are successful and practicing fair and equitable real estate.   Moving from education into action is one of the most important ways things can start to change. In addition to these videos and profiling different agents and companies, they are also looking at what effects this issue of segregation has on the economy. There is data that shows if some of the larger metro cities were less segregated, their GDP would be higher. School districts and how agents discuss them with clients are another avenue NAR is exploring as a means to promote fair housing. There’s more to consider than just a district’s test scores.   The many tragic events in 2020 have highlighted the thread of injustice and housing segregation. But 2020 has also been an opportunity for many people to learn, and begin to change. REALTORS® have a responsibility to make things fairer, but other parties like lenders, insurance companies, and other parties can also contribute to the disparities we see.   The law prohibits discrimination on the basis of race, national origin, and religion; while these shouldn’t have anything to do with housing, they historically (and even still) have, and they have had an enduring impact. As more awareness has come up around these issues, there are action steps you can start taking today. There are many communities around the country that recognize what has happened in the past and are taking steps to change things now. The real estate industry can engage with some of these same politicians and strategies, especially at the local level, to make things right.   Tweetables:   “I believe that right now NAR is the most effective place to make a difference on civil rights issues.” — Bryan   “It immediately thrust me into the role of responding, making sure that we accept responsibility for what we see, and explain to the public and the Hill how we were addressing these issues.” — Bryan   “If we could make real progress on some of these issues regarding segregation, we could start to turn the corner so that the next time we have something tragic, maybe we won’t fare as poorly.” — Bryan   Guest Links:…   Reading: The Color of Law: A Forgotten History of How Our Government Segregated America, by Richard Rothstein American Apartheid: Segregation and the Making of the Underclass, by Douglas Massey and Nancy Denton Sundown Towns: A Hidden Dimension of American Racism, by James Loewen The Color of Money: Black Banks and the Racial Wealth Gap, by Mehrsa Baradaran   Additional Links:   Online learning.REALTOR for NAR Online Education — List of Classroom Courses from NAR and its affiliates   Host Information: Monica Neubauer Speaker/Podcaster/REALTOR®   Monica’s Facebook Page   Additional Bio:   Bryan Greene, Director, Fair Housing Policy, at the National Association of REALTORS® Bryan Greene is the Director of Fair Housing Policy at the National Association of REALTORS®. Bryan is responsible for representing NAR on all fair-housing-related federal regulatory and legislative matters to ensure the interests of consumers and the real estate industry interests are protected. He also manages NAR’s new 45-member Fair Housing Policy Committee which allows NAR to focus more attention on the public policy issues surrounding fair housing and equal opportunity while better supporting its strategic priority of enhancing housing equality.   Before joining NAR, Bryan served for ten years as the highest-ranking career official in HUD’s Office of Fair Housing and Equal Opportunity (FHEO), where he oversaw the policy direction and operational management of the 600-person office enforcing the nation’s housing anti-discrimination laws. Under Bryan’s leadership as FHEO General Deputy Assistant Secretary, HUD pursued large-scale, high-profile cases that addressed systemic discrimination and provided widespread relief. Bryan also managed HUD’s Fair Housing Assistance Program (FHAP) and HUD’s Fair Housing Initiatives Program (FHIP), which together provided over $70 million to state and local government agencies and nonprofit organizations fighting discrimination in local communities.  Bryan held several senior positions at HUD over three decades at the agency, including a stint as the Associate Deputy Assistant Secretary for Economic Affairs in HUD’s Office of Policy Development and Research (PD&R), where he worked to reduce regulatory barriers to affordable housing. Bryan was the 2007 recipient of the Presidential Rank Award, the highest federal honor bestowed upon federal senior executives for outstanding service.   Bryan earned his degree in Government from Harvard University.
73:36 11/02/2020
047: Elevating Your Brand with Social Media with Katie Lance
Social media is a huge part of real estate, especially in today’s climate. Social media is the modern method of communication, and also allows small businesses and individuals to have a broad impact. Katie Lance is an industry social media expert and has been focusing on how to help REALTORS® make the most of their business through social media. In today’s episode, Katie and Monica talk about content optimization, some of the heavier aspects of social media, and how we can be intentional with the time we spend on social media.   One of the biggest new developments in social media is Instagram Reels. These are short videos up to 30 seconds — since they are quick and fast-paced, they are usually playful. In a business context, it allows business owners or entrepreneurs to present information in a more creative way. Reels are versatile because you can share them in your feed, or repurpose them for other platforms. Every platform is a little different, and providing the context on other platforms is important when using the same content.   Another feature of Instagram is Instagram TV, which allows you to share longer videos in your feed. The preview options allow you to build some excitement around the full video content. With a longer video, you can also put a teaser at the beginning to keep people engaged until the end. You can also upload longer videos to YouTube — really make the most of the content you’ve created by sharing it multiple times!   There are heavy aspects to social media, and as it has grown, we’ve become a product of social media. Katie shares a few tips on how to manage your social media with this information. Check your privacy settings at least a couple of times a year, to make sure they are the way you want them. Also, be careful what you’re clicking on and what you’re sharing. Katie also talks about being intentional when you go on social media — maybe set yourself a timer, or make sure there is a purpose for why you’re on.   Katie and Monica talk about how to handle politics and other hot topics in the industry. If you are going to share things on these topics, make sure you’re authentic to your own views but also respectful. Don’t try to be all things to all people — you may end up seeming a little vanilla. Also, remember aspects of privacy; instead of engaging publicly, you can also engage privately on social media through DMs. This is a great way to learn people’s stories and build relationships.   LinkedIn is a great place to get your feet wet with more professional social media. When people search for you, it’s one of the first things that come up. Make sure you keep it updated and keep it specific as well. It’s an easy platform to connect professionally, and also has a blog feature. With the other platforms, there are also elements of control so you can share relevant contact information without having to share everything.   Katie’s final thoughts: Social media is rented ground. Think about what assets you can create that can go with you wherever you go, even if social media changes. If you put a video on Facebook live, download the video so you can share it elsewhere later. Your content should also be more than just your listings. The goal is to engage people by keeping them curious and having some fun. Be intentional with your time and strategy on social media, and start today!   Tweetables:   “Reach is one thing, but engagement — I have hundreds of comments on Reels. For anyone who feels a little stuck with Instagram, and you’re trying to grow your following and engagement, I definitely would encourage you to play around with it.” — Katie   “We should plan that way even if we don’t want everything publicly visible. We should know that if we put it out there, it could come back to you.” — Monica   “The thing that a lot of agents do wrong is that they try to be all things for all people.” — Katie   Guest Links:   The Website: The Podcast: The Videos: Instagram: @KatieLance   Additional Links:   Online learning.REALTOR for NAR Online Education — List of Classroom Courses from NAR and its affiliates   Host Information: Monica Neubauer Speaker/Podcaster/REALTOR®   Monica’s Facebook Page   Additional Bio:   Katie is the CEO and Co-Founder of Katie Lance Consulting. Katie is a nationally known keynote speaker at conferences and events. For the past 10 years, Katie has been working with real estate agents and brokers to help them get smarter about how to use social media to grow their business. Her specialty is in helping real estate agents and brokers achieve big results using social media without spending a ton of time! She is also the author of the best-selling book, #GetSocialSmart and the founder of the #GetSocialSmart Academy. Katie has been named one of the most 100 influential people in real estate by Inman News and is a frequent contributor to The Huffington Post. She lives in the San Francisco Bay Area with her husband and two beautiful boys.  
69:14 10/19/2020
046: Lead Generation through Relationships with Sean Carpenter
Today’s episode is about lead generation and getting new business. Our guest, Sean Carpenter, shares his definition of relationships, and several different ways you can generate leads using “RELATIONSHIPS” as an acrostic. REALTORS® are always trying to generate new business, and the best way for agents to do that is through consistency, value, and RELATIONSHIPS.   Relationships are the key to the real estate business. Most agents spend more of their time on business support when they should be focusing on business development. Building and maintaining relationships is a great way to encourage business development activities.   R: Return Calls, Relocation   Returning calls in a professional and timely manner is one of the easiest things a REALTOR® can do to build relationships. Having a system in place for checking your calls and voicemails can keep you in control of your phone. Getting to know other agents or brokers around the country can help future incoming business. Regional and national networking is a critical way to grow your business.   E: Eager Learner, Email, Expired   It’s never too late to learn something new — explore new sources of information so you have more conversation topics and can see things from different perspectives. When it comes to email, you want to make sure you’re sharing quality messages — make sure it has a specific subject line, and because most people consume email on their phone, you want to make sure it’s to the point. Sean’s biggest tip for expired listings is to ask the homeowner if they still want to sell. This is a great jumping-off point to determine how to move forward. To avoid competition, reach out on expired listings that are older, rather than the more recent listings.   L: Loyalty Cards, Look Around You, Listen vs. Talk   As REALTORS® , we are trying to earn loyalty from our clients. You can create a loyalty card as part of your customer loyalty program, by partnering with businesses in your area for incentives. Look around you, metaphorically and physically, for clues and signals for people making a move in the near future. This can help with potential clients. Looking around your community lets you create with intention and changing perspective. Sometimes listening instead of talking can allow you to find out what problems, opportunities, and excitement the people in your community are facing. Listening will help you relate!   A: Attitude, Ask, and Appointments   One of the most important ways to get more business is by bringing a good attitude to everything you do. Your attitude influences everyone around you. Ask and appointments go hand and hand. As an agent, take opportunities to focus on appointments. You won’t sell anything if you don’t have an appointment, and you can’t have an appointment unless you talk to people. Set at least three appointments a week.   T: Thank You Notes, Target, Twitter   Write handwritten notes! The gesture of a handwritten thank you note is immeasurable. This meaningful act is a great way to show appreciation for past clients. Know who your target audience is, and make sure what you’re doing throughout the day is working towards getting business in those avenues. Finally, Twitter is a great social media platform to listen, engage, share, and support.   I: Instagram   Instagram is another great social media platform to engage. Have a presence on Instagram, by looking and sharing. Leaving comments on stories and posts will drive traffic to your account as well. Commenting purposefully is huge for earning awareness.   O: Open Houses, On Purpose   During this time of COVID-19, following safety practices and precautions is very important. But you should still have them, whether in person or virtually. Open houses are a great way to create relationships — not only with buyers but also with potential sellers as well. Be in control of your schedule so that you are operating your business on purpose — everything should be done with intention.   N: Nametags   This is maybe the second-most important aspect after attitude. When you see someone you know from a previous relationship, or out in public wearing a nametag, use their name! Using people’s names is a small way to express gratitude and make them feel valued.   S: Sales Meetings, Schools   Sales meetings are one of the most important ways you can stay informed, as well as a way to find potential buyers. Being active in a child or grandchild’s school is another way to gain top-of-mind awareness.   H: Have Fun, Happy Hour, 4H Club   Build relationships, solve problems, and have fun. No matter what you’re doing, find a way to make it fun. Having a happy hour with friends or clients is a great way to support your local businesses (and grow your own) and develop relationships. Sean shares the way he puts seeds in the ground to grow and maintain your network. This includes handwritten notes, hot sheets, happy birthdays, and high fives. This is an easy way to touch at least 25 people in a short amount of time.   I: Ice Cream Social   An ice cream social, or a similar idea, is a good way to show your appreciation and gratitude for people in your community — teachers, firefighters, etc. This is marketing for you, and a way to support local businesses. Put good energy out, and the business will come back to you.   P: Preparation, (Past) Clients   If you want to get good business, you have to be prepared. Keep your database clean and organized, so your sphere of influence is prepared. Make sure you are still touching your past clients on a regular basis. You can decide what schedule is right, but you never know when past clients will become your future clients.   S: Schedule a Time, Serious   Make sure you schedule a time to do your lead generation, client appreciation, etc. If it’s not in your schedule, it’s probably not going to get done. And finally, be serious about your business, but don’t take yourself too seriously.   Everything you do could turn into an opportunity if you take advantage of listening and acting on it. There are tons of takeaways here — which ones can you apply to your lead generation today?   Tweetables:   “Relationships are the key to our business. We all think that the house is what we focus on, and that’s just the widget we use in our business. It’s about the people that live in those houses and the relationships we have with those people.” — Sean   “When you bring a good attitude, other people feed off that. You either lighten up a room because of the attitude you bring, or you lighten up a room when you leave.” — Sean   “Your name is the one thing in this world, that even if you lost everything tomorrow, you still have your name.” — Sean   Guest Links:   Twitter @seancarp   Additional Links:   Online learning.REALTOR for NAR Online Education — List of Classroom Courses from NAR and its affiliates   Host Information: Monica Neubauer Speaker/Podcaster/REALTOR®   Monica’s Facebook Page   Additional Bio:   Originally licensed as a REALTOR® in 1998, Sean Carpenter is the former Agent Development Director for the Ohio NRT companies. He jumped back into a sales role with Coldwell Banker, serving buyers and sellers throughout Central Ohio. He founded Sean Speaks in 2018 to expand his speaking, consulting, and facilitation opportunities. His most popular sessions focus on creating memorable customer experiences and maximizing social and digital media, as well as business planning, leadership, and sales.   Formerly recognized by Inman News as one of the Top 100 Most Influential Leaders in Real Estate, Sean was named as one of the “Top 20 Most Influential People in Social Media for the real estate industry” by The Swanepoel Trends Report for the third year in a row. Sean recently received the Joseph McKinnon Award from the Columbus REALTORS® as their 2017 Instructor of the Year.   Sean’s mission is to “teach with passion and enthusiasm instilling confidence and excitement in his students,” and he lives by his philosophy — build relationships, solve problems, and have fun.
58:01 10/05/2020
045: Understanding the Mortgage Process with Michael “Smit” Smith
Today’s episode is all about what goes on behind the mortgage curtain. REALTORS® work closely with lenders and need to know how to ask better questions of the experts. Our guest, Michael “Smit” Smith, shares advice on how to choose more qualified lenders and what questions you can ask to work better with lenders.   It is important for REALTORS® to have some knowledge of the lending process, so they can communicate effectively with the lender. This communication is a two-way street, with the lender communicating just as much with the agent. The REALTOR® has a lawful obligation to their client, so they should be leading the conversation and guiding the deal. There are important aspects of both roles, so communication and partnership are key so everyone is on the same page throughout the transaction.   The contract is really in control of the transaction, and the date of closing should guide the lender and their processes, as well as the REALTOR® and their processes. As a listing agent, you should make contact with any lenders prior to meeting with their clients to consider any offers.   Smit talks about the policies of many banks, and how they handle the process of underwriting. Some banks have private mortgage lending, but the majority of banks require that a property is identified before underwriting. One of the most important questions a REALTOR® should ask any lending company is whether they qualify a borrower separate from their property, or whether their underwriting process only begins when everything is in with the property.   Making a call to a lender is incredibly important in establishing a relationship. Especially in this time of COVID-19, talking on the phone is really the most genial and personable way to get to know someone you will be working with throughout the transaction.   Michael has a list of questions that REALTORS® should have in their arsenal in order to vet lenders to make sure that they’ve done their homework. He talks about what things you can ask your clients to provide, and things that are off-limits.   Questions from Michael “Smit” Smith for the lenders:   1. How pre-approved are they? 2. Have you talked with or met “our” clients? 3. What paperwork have you received? 4. Have you verified funds needed to close the transaction? 5. Can you provide evidence of funds? 6. Has the client made an application? 7. Have you run it through an Automated Underwriting System — AUS?  Desktop Underwriter — DU —  (Fannie Mae) or Loan Processor — LP — (Freddie Mac)? 8. Are there any outstanding conditions not met? 9. Have you pulled a tri-merge credit report? 10. What is your appraisal delivery time? 11. Can you close in 30 days? 12. How long have you been in lending? 13. Will you make a pre-emptive call to the listing agent?   There are three main lending groups that most residential agents work with: the bank, mortgage lender companies, and mortgage brokers. Each group has their own underwriting processes. Mortgage brokers provide options for the borrowers, but if they don’t have delegated underwriting they turn the package over to a lender.   For agents, put together your own list of five to 10 questions that you ask any lender to get to know their process. If you understand what it is, you can better work in partnership with them for the benefit of your client.   REALTORS® can also do a few things to help the lenders. Having open lines of communication is absolutely key. You can also check in with them to see if there is any documentation you can get from the client to make sure the lender has everything they need. In the case that there’s an addendum, make sure you get in contact with the lender and provide it if needed. Make sure you also keep an email record of your communication.   Michael talks about some of the reasons contracts might be extended. It all comes back to communication and relationship. The lender should be communicating with agents at least once a week with progress on the deal. The agents should also be reaching out to the lender, so everyone is holding each other accountable.   With the final words, Smit shares the most important questions to ask. The main question you want to ask is how pre-approved is the client, or ask whether an underwriter has seen the file. You can also use their NMLS number to get an idea of their experience. With the questions you ask up from, you as the REALTOR® can set the tone for the whole deal.   Tweetables:   “You need to make sure that right upfront, you are setting up a stage with that lender that we need effective, continuous, contiguous communication throughout the entire process.” — Michael “Smit” Smith   “A lender can make or break a deal.” — Michael “Smit” Smith   “Real estate should be open and notorious. There shouldn’t be any hidden agenda; it’s a contract.” — Michael “Smit” Smith   “We need to be an advocate for our client. Once you stop being an advocate for your client, you just failed your client, and you failed the transaction, and you failed yourself.” — Michael “Smit” Smith   Guest Links:   Additional Links:   Online learning.REALTOR for NAR Online Education — List of Classroom Courses from NAR and its affiliates   Host Information: Monica Neubauer Speaker/Podcaster/REALTOR®   Monica's Facebook Page   Additional Bio:   Michael “Smit” Smith   Michael Smith, a.k.a. “Smit” has been working in the residential real estate industry for over 20 years. Smit’s trifecta expertise combines his experience as a real estate broker, owner, and mortgage lender and his degrees in economics and law bring a well-rounded approach to his teaching. Smit’s NAR designation courses have been taught throughout the Pacific Northwest.  His passion for real estate, finance, and teaching has led him to create and launch several custom courses as well, addressing current trends such as Survival Skills in a Changing Market (COVID-19), What you should Know about STR (Short Term Rentals), and Real Estate Finance for REALTORS®. Smit’s classroom is an energetic experience as he drives towards a high level of participation by students. You will enjoy his style of teaching, where “Smit Happens” quite often and with memorable results.   He works in Kirkland, WA with Windermere Real Estate and can be found at
66:40 09/21/2020