Monday, June 30, 2008

Does My Ad Comply with The HUD Guidelines?

Do I have to put the Fair Housing Logo in my display advertizing? This is a great question asked by a student in a recent Fair Housing and Diversity Class.

What triggered this question was the previous weekend’s real estate selection of the local newspaper. Both builders and Realtors® display ads appeared in this section.

The student showed me the newspaper and we proceeded to count twenty-nine display ads located in the section. Then we counted the ads with the Equal Housing Opportunity Logo. Seventeen of the twenty-nine ads did not have the logo in the ad and as a result, they were in non-compliance of HUD guidelines for sales and were subject to a HUD complaint and fine.

There was a lively discussion regarding the Fair Housing Logo in their marketing.

What HUD clearly states on their website located at is the following:

“The Equal Housing Opportunity Logo, slogan and statement in all printed material used in the connection with sales.”

In general terms, Realtors® have to include the logo in all of their marketing including display ads. HUD has not enforced the logo in small classified ads.

If charged with a violation, not knowing the HUD guidelines will not be a defense.

Manage your business risks. . . . . .

Know the HUD guidelines. . . . .

Sunday, June 29, 2008

CRB 210 Education Opportunity The Realtors Association of the Florida Keys

The Florida Keys Board of Realtors in conjunction withDistrict Four, Inc. presents:

CRS 210: Building An Exceptional Customer Service Referral Business

Gee Dunsten has been in the real estate business for three decades, selling over $200 million during his career. Gee is nationally recognized as a residential sales and marketing specialist, his practice is still located on the Eastern Shore of Maryland.Gee has been a Senior Instructor for more than 10 years with the Council of Residential Specialists and in 2001 served as National President. *CRS Instructors are subject to change due to unforeseen circumstances.
For Information and RSVP for CRS ClassClick here or Call Israel 954-885-4990For Hotel Reservationsat Key Largo Hilton HotelCall 1(800) KEY LARGO(539-5274) and identify yourself as a FAR, District 4Conference participant.
Course Description
Building an Exceptional Customer Service Referral Business is a highly interactive course designed to deliver all the essentials for refocusing the student's business plan to a customer service centered, repeat and referral business. The information provided will help identify the expectations of the "new consumer", the "new behaviors" necessary to meet those expectations and specific systems to make the agent's business more productive, more profitable and more enjoyable.
Course Content:
Attracting a higher caliber client Meeting the expectations of the "new consumer"
Dialogues and strategies for building a referral database
Delivery systems to generate a successful referral business
Thur., July 10 & Fri., July 11
7:45am Registration s 8am - 5pm Seminar
Key Largo Hilton Hotel97000 Overseas Highway(MM 97 Bayside)Key Largo, FL 33037

Only $375(Includes Continental Breakfast & District Conference Registration)
Attend the CRS Class on Thursday and Friday, July 10 and 11 AND at no additional charge, you may attend the Professionals in Paradise Education Conference on Saturday, July 12. See schedule below:Saturday, July 12, 20088:15 - 12:00 Registration for Conference 9:00 - 12:30 Exhibits will be Open8:45 - 9:45 Breakfast with FAR Leadership10:00 - 1:00 Cruising with Diversity By: Chuck Bonamer, CRB (3hrs CE)10;00 - 11:00 Blogs, Hogs & Lattes - Building your Brand and Creating the Experience By: Deborah Boza-Valledor CRB, CRS, GRI11;00 - 12:00 Coaching Yourself to Success - By: Renate Smith MBA, CRB12:00 - 12:30 Reception in the Exhibit Hall12:30 - 2:00 Lunch on your own2:00 - 3:00 Effective Pricing Techniques for a Down Market - By: Marc Blackburn3:00 - 4:30 Exhibits, Grand Finale, Door Prizes and Cocktail Party
Registration Form
Please complete and fax to
___ Yes, I want to attend the District Conference at no extra charge.Name: ______________________________________________

Tel: ________________________ Fax: ___________________
Address: ____________________________________________

Firm: _______________________________________________

Email: ______________________________________________

Amount: $ ____ Exp.Date: _____ /_____
Credit Card No.: _____________________________________
Sign: _______________________________________________Cancellation for refund must be received in writing 72 hours prior and incurs a $100.00 processing fee.
Offer Code: CRS210
Forward email

This email was sent to, by
Update Profile/Email Address Instant removal with SafeUnsubscribePrivacy Policy.
Email Marketing by
Florida Chapter CRS 3350 SW 148 Avenue Suite 203 Miramar FL 33027

Friday, June 27, 2008

3 Keys to Successful Short Sales

The success of short sales can be determined before the property comes onto the market.

We continually see nightmare scenario’s with sellers attempting to sell properties through short sales, where properties are listed for sale that have not been approved by the lender. There are properties on the market that will not qualify as a short sale, and sellers with assets that will not qualify them as a short sale seller.

1. The Customer Should Engage an Attorney.

The short sale process is extremely challenging for all parties involved in the transaction. An attorney should be engaged prior to a customer buying a property or the seller offering a property for sale. Many of the sellers are facing financial challenges and do not have the extra funds for an attorney, but not engaging an attorney could become far more costly.

The lenders are slow to communicate and are holding contracts for extended periods of time, hoping for better offers. The result is a very slow approval process where both the sellers and buyers become frustrated with the process and are holding the real estate professionals accountable for the delays.

Both the buyer and seller need the expertise of an attorney to negotiate with the lender and attempt to speed the process up and furnish legal advice.

The real estate professional’s role is to facilitate the transaction. The attorney’s role is legal expertise and negotiating with the lender.

2. Seller/Attorney should Contact the Lender.

Once the seller starts to consider the possibility of the short sale the buyer needs to contact the lender.

Request the required paperwork to determine if the seller and the property will qualify for a short sale.

The role of the attorney becomes critical at this point to negotiate with the lender on the behalf of the seller. The attorney can either work with the lender to sell the property as a short sale, or renegotiate the terms and conditions of the mortgage and have the sellers retain ownership.

3. Determine if the Property can be Successfully Sold as a Short Sale

Many short sales issues can be overcome initially by an attorney representing the customers and negotiating with the lenders. In working with buyers, determine that the listed property is qualified to be sold as a short sale. In working with sellers, determine prior to marketing the property that the lender has approved the property for a short sale.

Tuesday, June 24, 2008

Misappropriation of Escrow Funds

June 24, 2008

RAPB Bulletin - June 24, 2008

News On Misappropriation of Funds
from Scott, Harris, Bryan, Barra & Jorgensen, P.A.

Misappropriation of closing funds is the glaring headline right now. The demise of Flagler Title Company may have you wondering what happens to people who have been injured by such actions. Law firms and licensed title agents are authorized to issue title commitments and title policies by title insurers, such as First American Title, Attorneys’ Title, Fidelity Title, etc.. These title insurers typically are liable for the actions of their agents in connection with the issuance of a title commitment or title policy. If no title commitment or policy has been issued, Florida Statutes still provide recourse against the title insurers. Buyers and lenders receive a closing protection letter that states that the title insurer agrees to reimburse them for actual loss arising out of fraud or dishonesty on the part of the title agent. Florida law requires a title agent to maintain an errors and omissions policy in the amount not less that two hundred fifty thousand dollars. Florida law also requires a title agent to maintain a fidelity bond or employee dishonesty coverage in the amount not less that fifty thousand dollars. However, when an act of misappropriation typically occurs, all funds in the escrow account are at risk and the amount of the policy and fidelity bond is typically insufficient to cover the claims. Fortunately for the public, the title insurers agree to reimburse for actual losses arising out of the fraud or dishonesty of the title agent handling your escrow funds.

More information about defalcation is available on the web site of Scott, Harris, Bryan, Barra & Jorgensen, P.A. at:

powered by voterVOICE
You are currently subscribed to a mailing list of Realtor Association of the Palm Beaches. If you wish to unsubscribe, please click here.

Monday, June 23, 2008

Effective Personal Promotion and Marketing Strategies

Lou Ludwig Real Estate Mastery Series®

■Look at Personal Promotion and Marketing in a Different Prospective
■Stop Wasting your Time and Money on Methods that No Longer Work!
■Explore Low Cost - High Return Concepts and Strategies

Lou Ludwig’s Real Estate Sales Mastery® is a personalized, interactive program designed to meet the specific needs of each participant. Whether you are new to the industry or an experienced Realtor®, Real Estate Mastery is geared towards your individual goals, skills, and strategies to become a more effective Realtor®.

Lou Ludwig

June 25, 2008
Realtors® Association of the Palm Beaches
Boca Raton Conference Center
3200 N. Military Trail
Boca Raton, Florida 33431
Contact Danielle Boutin
Register online at

Program Investment


* Program Costs are Underwritten by the Affiliate Partners

Sunday, June 22, 2008

Education the Overlooked Business Advantage for Real Estate Professionals

I have a unique opportunity to meet thousands of successful real estate professionals as a result of consulting and sales & management training programs. Association and companies that range from small entrepreneurial companies to companies listed on the stock exchange. I have observed several common traits in these successful individuals that have reached the top of their profession.

I would like to focus on one key trait…Their commitment to continuous incremental improvement in themselves and their Education.

The successful professional has a passion for success that is supported through their quest for knowledge and the commitment to education and the improvement of their sales and business skills through personal development.

I would like to share a story about Tiger Woods who is currently ranked #1 in world of men’s professional golf.

Recently in a TV interview Woods states, “I’ve had a coach my entire career to guide me in my profession and through the endless hours of practice and preparation.” Woods also states that to stay on top of his game he has adjusted his swing 4 times in the last several years. Even Tiger Woods, who may be the best men’s professional golfer of his generation, relies on continuous improvement of his skills to remain at the top of his profession.

Tiger Woods is a student of the profession of golf and prescribes to the philosophy of golf excellence.

How does Tiger Woods commitment to excellence relate to us as sales and business professionals?

First the commitment to professional development and education is a choice.

Second the commitment to excellence in business and life is a choice.

Third investing in your success is a choice.

The top real estate professionals make the commitment to personal excellence. They understand that success is not an expressway but a road that is always under construction where we continually encounter detour, delays, and roadblocks. Education is a tool that sets our personal GPS system to stay on course and assists us through the obstacles on the road of success with purpose and confidence.

The Value of Education

No matter where we are in our career or our role in our company there is room for continued incremental improvement. Sharpening our sales, business, and management skills are critical today.

Education will focus our techniques, methods and strategies creating greater efficiency in our sales processes and profitability for us and our business.

Continued incremental improvement in our careers is achieved with the pursuit of personal and professional excellence through seminars, workshops, audio programs, professional development books and professional designations related to our field.

Education expands our business competence and skills resulting in greater personal confidence in our actions while creating the opportunities to achieve the desired outcomes and results.

Designation Programs and Courses

The Realtors® Association of the Palm Beaches offers comprehensive opportunities for personal growth and development for the emerging and senior sales professional as well as for brokers, owners and managers.

National Designation Programs and Courses that will Enhance your Specialty Include:

■Accredited Buyer Representative –ABR
■Accredited Buyer Representative Manager - ABRM
■Certified Commercial Investment Specialist - CCIM
■Certified Property Manager – CPM
■Certified Residential Broker Manager – CRS
■Certified Residential Specialist – CRS
■Certified International Property Specialist – CIPS
■Real Estate Professional Assistant – REPA
■Residential Accredited Appraiser – RAA
■Senior Real Estate Specialist - SRES
■Transnational Relocation Specialist – TRC

Additional Courses and Programs are also Offered by the Association Include:

■Continued Educational Programs – CE
■Code of Ethics
■Real Estate Mastery
■Real Estate Post License Education including the 14 Hours CE Requirements
■Technology Programs

NAR Designation Programs are comprehensive and offer an outstanding opportunity for personal growth and development.

Successful sales professionals share that having earned designations has helped them in many areas of their careers and separated them from their competition. In a number of cases, the designations assist them in seeking employment. They also feel their customers value the designations and assists in elevating their statue in the eyes and minds of their customers as an expert or specialist. Overtime, professionals with designations have higher incomes.

Surveys show sales professionals who have earned designations earn more money as a result of the accumulation of knowledge and the designation.

For more information regarding designations visit the NAHB website

Make Education your Business Advantage

No matter what our role is within our company, we are all in sales.

It’s become an advantage to understand the sales process and to be able to apply the key selling and business strategies and techniques in today’s market.

Education along with specialty training increases our knowledge of how to operate our business with successful methods, processes and strategies in an effective manner.

As our knowledge increases we become more efficient in our business practices, increasing our sales, making better use of our operating capital, and creating a path to increased profitability and business success.

As we become more efficient in our sales and business practices, we gain an increase in confidence. That confidence properly projected elevates our customers’ opinion of us and the business relationship.

Understanding What Customers Want From A Real Estate Professional

A recent survey shows the top qualities that customers want from a real estate professional in the housing industry are:

■Honesty and integrity



Honesty and integrity are values that are also reinforced in the minds of our customers with our business knowledge and skills.

Our knowledge is reflected in our business practices. Many innocent mistakes can be misread as either honesty or integrity issues, resulting in the loss of a sale or the loss of reputation, both being very costly.

Education and competence minimizes the potential of those innocent mistakes or misunderstandings.

How do We Fulfill what the Customers Want

Our Competence creates Customer Confidence

Customer Confidence creates Customer Trust

Customer Trust creates Rapport between you and your Customer

Rapport between the parties creates a Strong Business Relationship

The Business Relationship creates the path to a sale or a listing

Business and sales achievement begins with the devolvement of our competence in the eyes of our customers

Competence is developed as a result of education and training


The Reality is We May Be Seeing Fewer Customers and Prospects in the Coming Months

What becomes important is that we make the most of each and every customer opportunity that presents itself to us.

Pay Now or Pay Later

Success as well as failure has a price

We can invest in our future today by making a commitment to our professional devolvement and education. The cost today is in a commitment of time, effort, energy and dollars. An investment in ourselves today will continue to paid dividends through-out our career.


We can elect to pay later in terms of the costs. When we pay later we continue to pay and pay and fail. The cost of failure becomes much higher than the cost of success.

Education Becomes a Choice

Education creates the foundation of competence and the path to success

It becomes imperative to adjust to stay ahead of change while developing the skills and attributes to create our success

Success is a journey that requires a commitment to continued incremental improvement, education and preparation.

This is the time to invest in your future success.

Friday, June 20, 2008

The 10 Fastest Growing Markets

As we continue to read only about the negatives and challenges within the real estate industry Money Magazine has indentified the 10 top cities where they expect substantial price appreciation in the coming years.

McAllen, Texas
Rochester, N.Y.
Birmingham, Ala.
Syracuse, N.Y.
Buffalo/Niagara Fall, N.Y.
New Orleans, La.
Scranton, Pa.
Grand Rapids, Mich.
Baton Rough, La.
El Paso, Texas

*Source of the above information is from Money Magazine

Monday, June 16, 2008

Are Lenders Negatively Effecting Short Sales

There is a negative theme emerging within the real estate industry regarding short sales.

Lenders have become one of the biggest obstacles in short sales.

Currently it’s important for the lenders to remember that there are more properties on the market in short sales than there are buyers.

Short sales require the real estate professional to invest an enormous amount of time, energy, and dollars to successfully market and sell the properties.

Successful short sales have positive results for all parties in the transaction. In a short sales transaction there is a seller who wants to sell, a buyer who wants to buy, a lender who wants to remove a liability, and a real estate professional who wants to be fairly compensated.

Lenders are clouding the waters.

A listing agreement is between the seller and the listing broker.

The real estate industry is permitting the lenders to control the real estate professional’s compensation with a disregard to the listing agreement. The real estate professional is now penalized by the lender for their efforts.

The buyers and sellers are also being treated poorly by the lenders.

The lenders are holding contracts for extended periods of time hoping for better contracts. There is little or no communication to the involved parties on the on the part of the lender. The result is total frustration to everyone involved.

The result is a number of buyers are now avoiding short sales and have elected to either purchase a traditional property or a foreclosure.

If the lenders continue the practice of non-communication with the customers and penalizing the real estate professionals they will extend the time on the market for the properties thus costing them additional fees, interest and taxes.

Best situation for the lenders – communication and speeding up the process.

A successful short sale can create a WIN – WIN situation for all parties.

Monday, June 9, 2008

Your Thoughts Control Your Life

What you think about will determine how you view your life and your world.

Your thoughts will either become the fuel that will power your mind on a lifetime journey of achievement, or an anchor that will keep you in the harbor and never allow you to sail in the open waters of life’s richness.

Thoughts originate in your sub-conscious mind based on your life experiences. In other words, you have conditioned your mind to think the way it does.

If you want to change your life you have to change your thoughts.

Your Thoughts Control Your Life- 4 Essential Steps

#1 Your thoughts control your attitude. A positive winning attitude opens doors to success and achievement.

# 2 The actions you elect to take daily are based on your thoughts and attitude.

#3 Reaching the desired outcome in your business and in your life is a combination of your thoughts and positive actions.

#4 Create the dominate thought in your mind of exactly what you want to achieve. Put your thoughts into writing, focusing on how you will achieve your objectives, look at it every day, and make it your dominant thought.

What you think about is a choice and it’s your choice!

Tuesday, June 3, 2008

First Time Buyers Now Account for 50% of the Market

Excellent Opportunities for Sales and Referrals

The most recently released survey for the first quarter of 2008 indicates that first time homebuyers now account for nearly 50% of all U.S. home sales, up from 36% in 2007.

Several factors have contributed to the increased sales activity for first time homebuyers.

Over the last several years, many first time home buyers were priced out of the market which has caused a three year pent up demand. Accelerating prices have kept buyers on the sidelines. Affordably has returned to many markets which has encouraged first time homebuyers to re-enter the market and purchase.

Seller’s incentives and lower prices have contributed in creating additional value for the buyers to buy now.

The benefit in working with first time home buyers is they are either renting or living at home and they do not have to sell in order to purchase.

During this time many have either started families or had an increase in family size and want to buy now.

First time buyers are taking advantage of both FHA and VA mortgage programs which are more flexible than conventional financing. Don’t overlook the veterans who qualify for a 100% financing.

Patience and attention to buyers needs are a must with first time homebuyers.

Your patience will be rewarded with referrals and the satisfaction of helping someone full fill the American dream of homeownership.