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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.

Lani is the Chief Operating Officer at The American Genius - she has co-authored a book, co-founded BASHH and Austin Digital Jobs, and is a seasoned business writer and editorialist with a penchant for the irreverent.

Real Estate Associations

COVID-19: NAR offers 2 months of free telemedicine to its 1.4M members

(REAL ESTATE) The National Association of Realtors (NAR) continues to be the benchmark for how associations should be advocating for members during this pandemic.

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telemedicine NAR

The National Association of Realtors (NAR) announced today that they’re offering 2 free months of their Members TeleHealth services for members who sign up by April 15th. That’s all 1.4 million members across the nation.

NAR Chief Executive Officer, Bob Golberg tells us, “We know that remote care is essential to protecting our members, their families and their communities. In fact, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has said that leveraging telemedicine whenever possible is the best way to protect the public from COVID-19.”

This initiative is part of the organization’s “Right Tools, Right Now” toolbox of reduced or no cost tools, relaunched to serve the real estate community in this time of global pandemic.

For those unfamiliar, TeleHealth offers 24/7 access to over 2,300 board-certified physicians across America and has already been used by members to address common issues such as allergies, asthma, rashes, joint aches, flu and nausea, among others.

“As we continue to solicit input from our members regarding COVID-19’s impact on their lives and businesses, NAR is grateful to be able to offer expanded access to potentially lifesaving telemedicine services,” said NAR President Vince Malta, broker at Malta & Co., Inc., in San Francisco, CA. “Medical professionals are urging Americans who are sick to stay home, and telemedicine is playing a critical role protecting our communities and our health care workers. We continue to encourage members to limit their exposure and decrease the chance of spreading illnesses to others.”

What happens to members not currently enrolled that want to continue on with TeleHealth care? NAR has negotiated a discounted rate for members to continue using the benefit.

So not only are they footing your bill for two months, they’ve gone a step further and made sure it’s affordable after that. This is the benchmark for how associations should be reacting during this crisis.

Goldberg has told us that they’re all hands on deck, and their growing resource toolbox as well as thoughtful steps like today’s announcement is proof.

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Real Estate Associations

COVID-19: What NAR is doing politically to protect members

(REAL ESTATE ASSOCIATIONS) NAR is fighting for Realtors be they in an association, self-employed, or independent contractors. The relief package should encompass them all.

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realtor relief package

As the U.S. government worked to draft the historic $2 trillion COVID-19 relief package, Americans across the country voiced their concerns and hopes that the package would offer them some economic relief as many have, and continue to, lose their income. Small business owners, the self-employed, and independent contractors have been particularly vocal about their need for economic relief during this crisis.

The National Association of Realtors (NAR) has been hard at work in Washington speaking with Congressional leaders to ensure that realtors across the nation are included in the relief package. The President of the NAR, Vince Malta, spoke recently about the organization’s efforts saying, “Over recent weeks, NAR has worked tirelessly with Congressional leaders to ensure small business owners, the self-employed and independent contractors were included in the federal response to this national crisis. With every two home sales generating one job in this country, the real estate industry will represent a key piece of our national recovery, and NAR will continue fighting for key provisions in a fourth relief package expected in the coming weeks.”

While you may have more free time on your hands than usual, there are infinitely better ways you could us that time than attempting to read an 880-page legislative bill. A few of the key items in this bill include a loan program for small businesses which will be managed by the Small Business Administration, an expansion of unemployment insurance for self-employed and independent contractors, an employee retention tax credit, rebates of various amounts depending on tax filing status, and a 60-day foreclosure moratorium and up to 1 year of mortgage forbearance.

In order to keep members in-tune to recent happenings, the NAR has published a comprehensive guide to the COVID-19 relief package. The guide is intended to aid realtors in understanding how the relief package will impact them, their business, and their clients. Topics include: housing, credit reporting and student loans, SBA provisions, infrastructure, tax, unemployment benefits for self-employed, and FFCRA Amendments. These topics will be updated as new information is released. Now, more than ever, it is important for realtors to stay knowledgeable about changes to legislation.

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Real Estate Associations

NAR launches polished new ad campaign: ‘Look for the R’

(REAL ESTATE) The National Association of Realtors (NAR) is rolling out a new campaign today to continue educating consumers on the value of a Realtor, and their collaborative effort really paid off.

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look for the R NAR Realtor

Starting today, a new ad campaign will be splashed across television screens, social media, radio, and more, urging consumers to “Look for the R,” as the National Association of Realtors (NAR) rolls out brand new 15- and 30-second ads:

Last year’s “That’s Who We R®” campaign rolled out as a foundation on which to build future branding to promote the Realtor values in local communities, such as the above videos.

In this new campaign, the theme of communicating what a Realtor is continues, and as consumers are directed to look for the creative letter R in each campaign, it all comes into focus as a delicious “aha” moment for the viewer, just as consumers experience when they gain the clarity of Realtors’ value.

The campaign is a play on the visual combined with verbal, which NAR Chief Marketing and Communications Officer, Victoria Gillespie tells us “took great work and collaboration so that at the end, the ‘R’ seems organic, but you still work through the journey of having that placement be aligned to resonate with everyone.”

Your inner marketer will notice the clever alliteration – reassurance, rights, reliability, road to un-renting (which btw, is a wildly clever phrase we’re upset we didn’t come up with ourselves).

You’ll also notice that they included the traditional blue for ads featuring residential Realtors, and the traditional red for ads featuring commercial Realtors.

Gillespie states that the association hosted a pre-launch viewing for the 46-member Consumer Communications Committee, which was consulted on everything from clothing attire to voiceovers, to make sure that in deep collaboration with ad agency Havas, members (and their values) were accurately depicted.

All feedback so far has been “extremely positive,” notes Gillespie, adding that it was urgently important to precisely represent their broad and diverse member constituency.

NAR 2020 Consumer Communications Committee chairman, and managing broker at Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices Towne Realty, Jay Mitchell said, “’Look for the R’ showcases why prospective property buyers and sellers should seek a Realtor®’s unmatched expertise, reliability, and integrity to help them realize their goals and dreams. The full suite of campaign assets allow our members to personalize and localize these important messages to consumers in their respective markets across the country.”

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