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Quick post-REALTORS® Conference & Expo catch up

(REAL ESTATE) The National Association of Realtors just wrapped up their annual conference where they dug into critical industry issues – you can catch up here.

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Quick post-REALTORS® Conference & Expo catch up

The National Association of Realtors (NAR) just wrapped up their annual conference, and it was packed full of information and news releases. Take a quick scan below and click to access the news you are most interested in (and if you haven’t gone before, start making plans for the 2019 REALTORS® Legislative Meetings & Trade Expo in Washington, D.C. in May, 2019 – we’ll see you there)!


Here is a list of sessions, and if you see a microphone next to one you’re interested in, there’s playback available. Whether you weren’t able to attend, or you were just pulled in too many different directions, the good news is that NAR makes playback an option!

The 2019 REALTORS® Legislative Meetings & Trade Expo is in Washington, D.C. next May and if you want to take part in impacting real change, make your way out East.

The American Genius' real estate section is honest, up to the minute real estate industry news crafted for industry practitioners - we cut through the pay-to-play news fluff to bring you what's happening behind closed doors, what's meaningful to your practice, and what to expect in the future. Consider us your competitive advantage.

Real Estate Associations

Voting now open for NAR’s 2019 Good Neighbor Awards finalists

(REAL ESTATE NEWS) These real estate professionals deserve a moment in the spotlight in recognition of their tireless dedication to their communities, their endless fundraising, and countless hours of volunteer work. These are the real changemakers – give ’em a vote!

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So few professions allow individuals to make such a wide impact in their local community, than real estate. One person, like the National Association of Realtors® 2019 Good Neighbor Awards finalist, Kristy Payne in Oklahoma has helped over 2,000 foster children in her state with necessities so desperately needed after a child is removed from a relative’s home.

That’s one person who has impacted thousands. And like the other 10 finalists, and all award winners honored in the past, they’d never pat themselves on the back, they’d keep putting as much effort as possible into making an impact in their neighborhoods and beyond.

2019 marks the 20th year or of this awards program which honors Realtors who have made a positive impact on their communities through “incalculable hours of volunteer time,” and millions of dollars in charitable fundraising. They pour all they have into enriching the lives of those around them, and they deserve recognition.

“We are honored to have this group of extraordinary people representing the Good Neighbor Awards as we celebrate the 20-year milestone,” says NAR President John Smaby, Edina, Minnesota. “They inspire us and epitomize ‘who we are’ as Realtors.”


Voting is now open and lasts through September 28th – five winners will be named on October 2nd, and each will receive a $10,000 grant, be featured in the November/December issue of REALTOR® Magazine, and the remaining five finalists will receive a $2,500 grant in recognition of their work. The top three vote getters will win bonus grants of $2,500, $1,250 and $1,250, respectively, for their nonprofit organizations.

“The Good Neighbor Awards reflect the values we share with the Realtor® family,” said Tracey Fellows, acting CEO of realtor.com, the primary sponsor of the awards. “This year’s finalists represent the industry at its best – making meaningful connections that count for people, families and communities.”

More about the 10 finalists:

Sabrina Cohen – The Sabrina Cohen Foundation

Coldwell Banker Residential Real Estate, Miami Beach, Fla.

Fourteen years after Cohen suffered a spinal cord injury, she founded a nonprofit dedicated to funding adaptive fitness and recreational activities for people with disabilities. She created Miami Beach’s first inclusive playground, runs monthly Adaptive Beach Days and spearheads a $10 million capital campaign to build a state-of-the-art adaptive recreation center.

Rosemary Dutter – Dutter House Inc.

Century 21 Affiliated, Beloit, Wis.

To honor her beloved grandson who died at age 12, Dutter gives parents of severely disabled children a break from their daily challenges, transforming a local house into a safe, cheery and kid-friendly place. While she lovingly cares for these children each evening, their parents have time to run errands, spend quality time with their other children or simply take time for themselves.

Bruce Johnson, ABR®, CRS, GREEN – SickKids Foundation/Children’s Miracle Network

RE/MAX of Wasaga Beach Inc., Wasaga Beach, Ontario, Canada

In memory of his daughter, Alyssa, who died in 1998 at 20 days old, Johnson has traveled more than 37,000 miles across North and South America on his motorcycle. Johnson has raised more than $600,000 for Children’s Miracle Network, which benefits the SickKids hospital in Toronto where his daughter was treated, and a network of children’s hospitals.

Nora Partlow – Neighborhood Health

Coldwell Banker Residential Brokerage, Alexandria, Va.

Partlow began supporting the neighborhood medical clinic when she noticed patients waiting in her coffee shop. As the daughter of immigrants, she understood the great need for affordable healthcare. Her greatest contribution is her ability to connect donors, patients and volunteers. In 21 years, she has raised $550,000 and recruited hundreds of supporters.

Kristy Payne – Fostering Sweet Dreams Foundation

Keller Williams, Edmond, Okla.

As a foster parent, Payne learned about the needs of families who may suddenly be asked to care for a child who is removed from a relative’s home. She provides necessities like beds and car seats to help bridge the gap for families working to collect all the resources required for placement. Since 2016, Payne has helped 2,000 children across 31 Oklahoma counties.

Mark Solomon – Veterans Community Project

Keller Williams, Kansas City, Mo. and Longmont, Colo.

Solomon co-founded a nonprofit to eliminate veteran homelessness through a “tiny house” development. The neighborhood includes an outreach center where any veteran can access medical and mental health referrals, employment assistance, and addiction counseling and treatment. With the Kansas City location nearly complete, Solomon is helping to expand the cause nationwide.

Bahar Soomekh – Angel City Sports

Nourmand & Associates, Beverly Hills, Calif.

Soomekh and her husband founded a nonprofit to help people with physical disabilities stay active, renew their spirits and connect with a supportive community. Inspired by her son, Ezra, who uses a leg prosthesis, Soomekh runs athletic clinics and competitions for adults and children with disabilities. The 2019 Angel City Games drew 1,500 spectators to cheer on 430 athletes.

Kimberly Strub – Schurig Center For Brain Injury Recovery

Coldwell Banker, Mill Valley, Calif.

Strub leads a nonprofit that improves the lives of people with brain injuries and their families through therapy, support groups and social and recreational activities. In a decade, she has raised $1 million, tripled both the annual budget and the number of people served, and helped set up a concussion protocol for children in the Marin County schools network.

Dale Taylor, ABR®, GRI – South Suburban PADS

RE/MAX 10, New Lenox, Ill.

For 19 years, Taylor has spent nearly every Monday night with the 35 homeless men who gather at the shelter site he manages just south of Chicago. From serving food and mopping floors to making decisions as a board member and raising nearly $3 million, Taylor calls his volunteerism a “divine calling.”

Paul Wyman, ABR® – Turning Point

The Wyman Group, Kokomo, Ind.

When he saw his community struggling with opioid addiction, Wyman called a county-wide summit to find solutions. This summit led Wyman to found a nonprofit that connects people affected by addiction with the services required for recovery. Instead of red tape, people now find a central resource to access help. Turning Point helped 1,400 clients during the last year.

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Real Estate Associations

NAR partners with Food Recovery Network to BE the change

(ASSOCIATION NEWS) NAR takes a huge step to lead by example, and urges associations to get involved with the Food Recovery Network. This is the feel-good news we love to hear!

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nar food recovery network

Mahatma Gandhi once said, “Be the change that you wish to see in the world.” But today, most people are clicktavists (clicking “Like” on something and feeling like an impact has been made), and the National Association of Realtors (NAR) continues to go out of their way to avoid meaningless chatter, instead pushing for real change.

NAR has partnered with the Food Recovery Network (FRN), a national nonprofit that unites students at colleges and universities to fight food waste and hunger by recovering surplus perishable food. The partnership will donate excess meals from their conferences and meetings to local food banks, and they’re asking the 1,200 local and state Realtor associations to “take the pledge” to “multiply the effort.”

Announced at the annual Leadership Summit in Chicago, NAR CEO, Bob Goldberg said, It is exciting to see State and Local Association Executives and incoming Presidents step up to fight hunger in their areas. Taking the pledge to participate is one example of their commitment to serve the less fortunate. Showing compassion for people in the communities we serve is how we ‘Own Who We R,'” referencing the “That’s Who We Are” campaign.

“Giving back to the community is the right thing to do, and I am proud that NAR members have a long history of helping their neighbors,” Goldberg said in a statement. “We hope this effort will inspire other associations, organizations, businesses and individuals to fight hunger in their local communities.”

FRN has already recovered 3.9 million pounds of food, donated 3.2 million meals and prevented 7.4 million pounds of CO2 emissions since 2011.

The partnership started earlier this year, when FRN staff designed and executed a food recovery plan for NAR’s Legislative Meetings & Trade Expo in Washington, D.C. On the final day of the event, two lunch events were unexpectedly canceled. However, thanks to the food recovery plan, 85 meals were donated to Charlie’s Place, a hunger-fighting nonprofit in D.C.

“We look forward to partnering with NAR and the entire Realtor® family to make food donation a regular part of their events and meetings. We make it fast, easy and simple for organizations to donate surplus food to people who need it the most,” said Regina Anderson, FRN Executive Director. “Our two organizations share the goal of making food recovery – not food waste – the standard at real estate industry events.”

NAR hotel and convention partners will collaborate on food recovery, and FRN will verify the effort at NAR’s largest annual event for real estate professionals, the 2019 REALTORS® Conference & Expo, which be held this year from November 8–11, 2019, in San Francisco. An estimated 20,000 people will attend the conference.

We look forward to reporting back with all of the associations that join the movement!

In the era of lazy clicktavism, NAR is leading by example. Gandhi would be proud.

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Real Estate Associations

Here’s the nitty gritty on how to join a NAR committee

Real change begins with social activism, and being on a NAR committee is one impactful way to enact said change. It’s one thing to complain, but another to take action.

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NAR committee

Everyone says we all need to “raise the bar,” but many focus their efforts on just complaining on Facebook (don’t look at me like that, you know it’s true). Getting involved sometimes means dedicating your time to help the industry to change, to evolve. Realtors can join committees ranging from the diversity committee to professional standards to affordable housing.

Next month, committees will meet at Midyear (The REALTORS® Legislative Meetings & Trade Expo) which is where NAR members take an active role to advance the real estate industry, public policy and the association. REALTORS® go to Washington, DC, every May for special issues forums, committee meetings, legislative activities, and the industry trade show.

Committees help shape the direction of NAR and its policies, thus evolving the industry. If you want your voice to be heard and want to contribute to the decision-making process, NAR’s committees are a great forum for debate and discussion.

Further, experience on national committees is beneficial for those interested in seeking a future leadership role.

According to NAR, there are three main stages in the committee selection process. The first stage is the committee application period from March to May the year prior to the appointment year. A member expertise profile is required to show NAR leadership the experience you have beyond what is written in the application form.

The second stage is the selection process. State Association Executives (AEs) have an opportunity to review and rank applications and provide feedback on applications for their state. All appointments are approved by the incoming President.

The final stage is the notification process. Chairs and vice chairs receive an appointment letter between mid-July and late August. All other positions receive an appointment letter via email in early October.

Unfortunately, with only 2,500 positions available, NAR is unable to appoint everyone who submits an application. They encourage members to try again the following year if not selected. Also, potential candidates should consider committee opportunities at the state and local level to gain experience.

Many of those serving on national committees have had years of experience at the local or state level, but that doesn’t mean first timers don’t make the cut, so put your hat in the ring. It’s a much more meaningful step than just commenting on Facebook, no?

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