Southwind Partnership Official

Community No Comments »

On Monday, November 24 eight MAAR representatives attended a Partnership Ceremony at Southwind Elementary to officially announce our partnership. 

Upon arrival we were escorted by students to the gym where the event was held.  The entire 2nd Grade attended the assembly, and the ceremony was emceed by both Shian Mallory, a 4th Grader and Student Council President, and Principal Sue Jones.  The National Anthem was belted out by 2nd Grader Derrick Holmes, followed by a slide show with “Highlights of Southwind,” which even included photos of their teachers at MAAR Trivia Night.

President John Snyder received a certificiate from the Shelby County Schools commemorating our partnership, and then received a plaque and framed photo with teachers’ signatures from Southwind Elementary. 

Our MAAR delegation was then invited into the Science Lab where we enjoyed refreshments, looked at displays of Southwind activities, and mingled with PTA members.  Southwind put on a very impressive program for us and we are honored that they put so much thought and effort into it.  We are very much looking forward to working with them as their community partner and to making a difference in the lives of the children at Southwind Elementary.

Posted by Katie Shotts at 5:24 pm

Trivia Night a Huge Success!

Community, Events No Comments »

Costume/Table Winners

Costume/Table Winners

MAAR’s 2nd Annual Trivia Night, held last Friday, November 14 at the Homebuilders Association building, was a smashing success!  We had 21 teams- 5 more than last year- and raised about twice as much money as last year for our two partner schools.

The Springdale Elementary Principal JeVon Marshall stopped by, and they had a table competing.  Southwind Elementary had two tables of teachers and even brought their Seahawk mascot. 

The winning Trivia team included Pat Goldstein, Walt Fisher, David Crowder, Jerod Drewry and Gloria Chiang.  The winning Costume team wore beach attire and decorated their table with an inflatable palm tree and beach chairs.  Their team included Beth Riley, Bob Talley, Dennis & Cheryl Lyon, Randy Keith and Krista Houston.

Other team costume themes included western, 70’s, Elvis, Mexican Fiesta, grads and holiday.  Everyone really went all-out!

Thank you to everyone who supported this fun event and helped us raise money for our wonderful partner schools.  A special thanks also to Brother Ignatius Brown, our Trivia Guru, the Community Involvement Committee, and Steve and Cathy Anderson from Anderson AmeriSpec for sponsoring.

Posted by Katie Shotts at 10:48 am

“Why is our neighborhood being marginalized by the real estate industry?”

Community, Ethics/Professionalism 5 Comments »

“Why is our neighborhood being marginalized by the real estate industry?” MAAR was asked this in a letter from a concerned citizen. We will keep the writer’s neighborhood confidential in this report so as not to increase whatever perception some may already have. “Recently, it came to our attention,” he wrote “that several families moved here despite a poor rating by their real estate agent. Curious about this, I started asking questions of friends and neighbors to help me define these statements. As a result, I’ve discovered a pattern of behavior by real estate agents that has left me feeling disillusioned about how the industry does business.”

He wrote he’s heard that his community is being called “iffy” or “questionable” or “unsafe” by real estate agents. In addition, he’s heard that almost all potential buyers are being told not to live there and are being steered into an area agents consider more favorable. Baffled, he wrote that his neighborhood association is well organized and keeps the community looking nice. They enjoy proximity to shopping, quality public service, and a safe environment. He is proud of his neighborhood and considers it an excellent place to live.

Is his observation about agents a valid one? Are agents spreading rumor and hearsay and as he wrote “nurtured from word of mouth labeling and ignorance of the facts, and born out of laziness”? Let us hear your suggested best practices in this regard.

Posted by Jules Wade at 6:04 pm


Got Smarts?

Community, Events No Comments »

The much-anticipated 2008 Trivia Night event is upon us!  Be sure to mark your calendar for Friday, November 14 for MAAR’s 2nd Annual Trivia Night event to benefit our two adopted schools:  Springdale Elementary and Southwind Elementary.  All proceeds from this fun evening will be split between the schools and we will consult with them on how the money should be spent to benefit the students the most.

This year’s Trivia Night is being held at the Memphis Area Homebuilders Association building located at 776 N. Germantown Parkway.  Doors open at 6:00pm (to give you time to visit with the competition and decorate your table) and the game begins at 7:00pm.  It’s $20 per person or $120 per team of six in advance or $25 per person and $150 per team of six at the door.  We encourage teams to dress up and bring whatever they would like to decorate their tables.  Prizes will be awarded to the winning trivia team and a popular vote will determine best table decorations/costumes.

We’re expecting a sell-out again this year, so register NOW by completing a registration form and submitting payment.  Contact Katie Shotts at (901) 818-2435 or for more information.  Registration forms available at

Posted by Katie Shotts at 12:15 pm

YOU helped build it!

Community, Events No Comments »


The MAAR/MBA Habitat House was dedicated this past Saturday, October 25th.  We had a group of volunteers out that morning to lay sod, help landscape and tidy up inside before the ceremony.  Although six houses were dedicated that afternoon, we were fortunate enough to have our house as the backdrop for the entire ceremony.  Harold Blockman, Jon Albright, Jules Wade, Katie Shotts and Charlie Land from the MBA attended. 

As Jon Albright handed the homeowner the keys to her new house, he said, “We hope this is the beginning of a new day for you and that it makes a difference. We wish you many years of happiness.”


As you know, it takes a lot of busy hands and warm hearts to build a house in eight weeks.  We could not have completed the house on time and had everything run so smoothly without a large number of volunteers.  In total we had about 100 volunteers who worked at least one of nine different build days.  A sincere thank you to all our volunteers for supporting the build and promoting it to their friends, offices and chapters. 


The efforts most definitely paid off!  It was very heartwarming to see it all come to fruition.  John Snyder said, “Just as we are helping to strengthen the Memphis community with projects of this nature, I firmly believe this is helping to strengthen all facets of our real estate community as well.”  

Be sure to look for the special pull-out section in the Commercial Appeal in November celebrating Habitat’s 25th Anniversary, as it will have more coverage of the MAAR/MBA house.


Posted by Katie Shotts at 12:01 pm


We Want to See Your Memphis

Community, Events, News No Comments »

Do you love your neighborhood? Your house? The people you see every day when you walk your dog? For each of us, those are the things that make our Memphis uniquely home. And no matter what makes Memphis home to you, we want you to show it off. Until November 24, you have the opportunity to create a three-minute video that showcases your Memphis to the rest of the world and in the process you could win $10,000.

The contest is open to anyone 18 years of age or older and all we ask is that the video be less than 3 minutes long and include the words “My Memphis” in some form, whether spoken or in printed text. The videos can be funny or serious, staged or off the cuff - what you showcase and how you present it is completely up to you.

Since this is a contest there are a bunch of legal rules, of course, and we encourage you to completely review those for eligibility requirements and other fine details. You should also review the instructions for entering the contest.

A panel of judges will evaluate entries on three simple criteria:

  • Relevance to the theme
  • Creativity
  • Entertainment value

We’ll announce winners on or before December 19 on the contest Web site.

So grab your camera and start creating a video showing why you love your Memphis. We can’t wait to see it.

Posted by Scott Sherrin at 5:28 am

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Habitat Kick-off Party a kick!

Community, Events No Comments »

Silent Auction

Wine Race

The “Wine Down For Habitat” Kick-off party took place on August 21 in the MAAR Education Center.  The event included a silent auction, Wine Tasting, and return of the popular Wine Race.  About 175 people attended the event and just over $7,500 was raised that went directly toward the MAAR/MBA house.   

Sixteen teams of four each competed in the second annual Wine Race.  The team with the fastest time and the least amount of “spillage”- “Vintage Blend”- was deemed this year’s winner.  This year we added a Theme Team competition and it was so competitive there was a tie!  Congratulations to “A Bunch of Grape Chicks” and “Vintage Whiners” on your wins!  A big thank you to Danny Thomas for organizing another great Wine Race this year.

Gary Burhop and Great Wines and Spirits, our friendly wine shop up the street at Regalia Center, generously provided the Wine Tasting again this year.  Gary brought six wines from a “Pure Evil Chardonnay” from Austrailia to a “Hob Nob Merlot” from Southern France.  Carrabba’s at 5110 Poplar Avenue provided the food and service for us again this year, and they outdid themselves.  Ed Parramore and his staff grilled chicken outside and served it up alongside delicious shrimp and a mushroom sauce.  Delicious!

Our fantastic Community Involvement Committee members spent several months collecting over 100 auction items from local vendors.  Big ticket items included a Coach Calipari-signed basketball, an ad in the Commercial Appeal, and golf for four at Spring Creek Ranch.  Thank you to all our donors!

Besides raising money for the Habitat house, the kick-off event’s purpose is to get members excited about the upcoming Habitat build.

Posted by Katie Shotts at 3:50 pm


Habitat Build Kicks Off

Community, Events No Comments »

The MAAR/MBA house is coming to life!

The MAAR/MBA house is coming to life!


The roof has officially been raised!  The 2008 Fall Habitat Build kicked off last Friday, September 12, followed by day two on Saturday, September 13.  This year’s MAAR/Mortgage Bankers Association house is located at 5157 Chantilly in Northaven and sits alongside three other Habitat homes, with three others close by.  Habitat is proud to be part of revitalizing the previously vacant and abandoned lots in this neighborhood.

It will still take a lot of people to complete the house, so if you haven’t already volunteered, please fill out a volunteer form.  No experience or skill is necessary!  Habitat will provide the tools and instruction if you provide the heart and elbow grease.  If you need more information or have questions, please don’t hesitate to contact Katie Shotts at (901) 818-2435 or

Posted by Katie Shotts at 3:23 pm


New Housing Law Offers Relief, Benefits to Home Buyers

Community, Governmental Affairs, Market Statistics/Performance, Mortgage Lending, News 3 Comments »

This morning, President Bush signed into law the Housing and Economic Recovery Act of 2008, legislation aimed at shoring up the housing market in the United States and offering current homeowners with troubled mortgages and potential homeowners with significant assistance.

Of most interest to people who do not own a home but have been thinking about it is a $7,500 tax credit to qualified first-time home buyers who purchase a home between April 9, 2008, and June 30, 2009. That’s a tax credit, meaning those who qualify will receive a dollar-for-dollar reduction in what they owe the year the credit is taken against their income taxes. The credit does have to be repaid, but it is done over 15 years and payments don’t start until tax returns files two years after the credit is taken.

In the Memphis-area market first-time buyers make up a larger share of all buyers than the national average, which means a larger number of people locally stand to benefit from the credit. Add to that the affordability of Memphis-area real estate and it adds up to an outstanding opportunity for first-time buyers.

Here’s the fine print:

  • The credit amount can be 10 percent of the cost of the home purchased, not to exceed $7,500.
  • Any single-family property (including condos) that will be used as a primary residence is eligible.
  • The full amount of the credit is available for individuals with adjusted gross income of no more than $75,000 ($150,000 for joint filers). The amount of credit available gradually phases out as adjusted gross income reaches $95,000 for a single filer and $170,000 for joint filers.
  • The credit is repayable over 15 years (without interest) in equal installments of 6.67% of the credit or when the owners sell the home, assuming there is sufficient capital gain from the sale. Repayment does not begin until two years after the credit is claimed.

More detailed information on the tax credit, including FAQs and answers, is available at this site created by the National Association of Home Builders.

Read the rest of this entry »

Posted by Scott Sherrin at 12:49 pm

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Are You Hiding Your Listings?

Community, MLS Issues, Technology 1 Comment »

There are approximately 16,000 active listings in the MAAR MLS and approximately 4,600 active users.  While the math indicates that each MLS subscriber is carrying approximately 3.5 listings, we all know that just isn’t true.  Few subscribers have many listings.  Many subscribers have few.  Some have none.  Getting a listing is often a very competitive process.  So why are so many listings hidden?  Are you hiding yours from being found in searches in and out of the MLS? 

Public Fields:  The Public Remarks field is for describing the property.  You only have 255 characters so make them count!  Public Remarks are NOT for phone numbers, email address, websites, agent names or any other contact information.  Not only is it a MLS rules violation to place contact information in the Public Remarks field, it is a kiss of death for the listing.  Other MLS subscribers are far more reluctant to share these properties with their clients.  Often subscribers will hand pick them out of the group of listings they select for buyers to look at.  Why you ask?  It’s quite simple.  Any MLS subscriber using the MLS should be able to send a Buyer Report to his or her client without revealing at that time who the listing subscriber is.  For that same reason, Virtual Tours in the MLS must be non-branded. 

Directions & Maps:  Whenever a subscriber enters a listing in the MLS system, they are automatically provided the opportunity to verify that listing’s location on a MLS system map.  If it is incorrectly mapped, they can correct it.   Maps aren’t perfect.  They’re never as up to date as we want them to be.  But why would a subscriber entering a listing not take an additional 30 seconds to make sure their property is mapped correctly?  Again, are you hiding your listing? 

The MLS system now has a required field for directions.  That means you cannot enter a listing without completing that field.  So do it, especially if the listing is in a poorly mapped area.  Right now gasoline is almost $4.00 a gallon.  No one wants to ride around on a wild goose chase.  This is not only a courtesy to your REALTOR® colleagues, but also an opportunity to sell a home.  No one can show it if they can’t find! 

Spelling:  Collierville has 4 “L’s”.  Bartlett has three “T’s”, one of which is after the “R”.  Your property will never be found on a city search in the MLS,, one of the 2000 IDX sites or 15 syndication sites if you misspell the name of the city.  Here’s a tip: AUTOPOP!!!  If you use the Tax Autopop when entering a listing in Shelby, Fayette or Tipton Counties, the system will take care of correctly adding the following fields: City name, Parcel ID, Map#, coordinate, Street#, Street Name, Street Suffix, State, Zip Code, Bedrooms, Baths, # of Rooms, # of Stories, # of Fireplaces, Year Built, Garage or Carport, # of Covered Parking, Parking Attached or Detached, Acreage, Lot Size, Lot#, MAAR Subdivision, Legal Subdivision and City & County Tax. 

Putting good, clean data in the MLS is so important.  It leads to reports being sent to prospects, showings being scheduled and most importantly For Sale signs being replaced by Just Sold signs.  Do yourself and your colleagues a favor and spread the word:  Stop Hiding Your Listings.

Posted by Seth Agranov at 3:40 pm

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