“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

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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 katie.shotts@maar.org for more information.  Registration forms available at www.maar.org.

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

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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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Work it on the Catwalk with WCR

Events No Comments »

Ever wish you could sit next to the runway at Fashion Week like the celebrities?  Well, you can do the next best thing at the Women’s Council of REALTORS® 2008 Fashion Show.  This year’s event will be on Friday, October 3 at the Hilton on Ridge Lake Blvd.  Cocktails begin at 6:00pm, followed by dinner at 7:00pm.  Tickets are $55 each and a portion of the proceeds support Methodist Breast Center for cancer research.

You will be treated to a live fashion show with clothes by Dillard’s.  The theme is “Sex and the City,” so expect lots of great shoes, beautiful women and cosmos!  In addition to a silent auction, there will also be furs and jewelry for sale at discounted prices by King Furs and King Jewelry.  Following the fashion show The Plaintiffs will provide music and dancing is very much encouraged. 

So put on your Manolo Blahniks, grab your Prada bag and step out in style to the hautest event in town.  If you have always wanted to strut your stuff on a catwalk, you can be a model for the night, too!  For tickets or questions, contact Donna Clark at 901.340.3753 or Donna.Franks.Clark@gmail.com.

Posted by Katie Shotts at 1:19 pm

REALTOR® Safety Week Tip #5: Making Safety a Year-Round Priority

Education, News No Comments »

Of course we all know that safety isn’t just limited to one week a year - it must become a part of our everyday lives. In addition to the tips we’ve posted here this week, NAR offers countless resources on safety for both REALTORS and their clients. Here’s just a small sampling of what you can find any day of the year:

  • Get your own safety-related products, including a DVD version of the video and publications.
  • Further reinforce the tenets of staying safe on the job, at home, and in the car with A 3-hour online safety course.
  • Test your safety knowledge with an interactive safety quiz.
  • Expand your understanding with resources from other government institutions and police departments.

If you’ve come across any other great safety-related resources we’d love if you shared them here.

Posted by Scott Sherrin at 6:13 am

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REALTOR® Safety Week Tip #4: Helping Your Clients Stay Safe

Education, News 1 Comment »

REALTORS® not only need to be aware and concerned with their personal safety, but also the safety of their clients. As you continually educate yourself on ways to improve your own safety, share that information with your buyers and sellers. They can face dangerous situations as they allow strangers into their homes or visit other people’s property.

Here are some basic points to start with; be sure to add your own as you become more aware through your personal experiences.

  • Remind sellers that strangers will be walking through their home during showings or open houses. Tell them to hide any valuables in a safe place, including prescription medications and alcohol, as well as personal information such as bank statements that could be used for identity theft.
  • Warn your clients that not all agents, buyers and sellers are who they say they are. Strangers who stop by a listing unannounced should be asked to make an appointment with the REALTOR®. Stress that your clients should never show a home without an agent present.
  • Inform your clients that they are responsible for their pets. If possible, animals should be removed during showings. Make clients aware that buyers and agents are sometimes attacked, and the owner will be held liable.
  • At an open house, be alert to the pattern of visitors’ arrivals, especially near the end of showing hours. In some areas, a group of thieves will show up together near the end of the open house and, while a string of supposed buyers distracts the REALTOR®, the rest of the group walks through the house, stealing valuables.
  • When you leave a property, whether after an open house or a showing, make sure that all doors and windows are locked. Thieves commonly use open houses to scout for valuables and possible points of entry, then return after the agent leaves.
  • Let your clients know that you will take all of the above safety precautions, but that when they return home, they should immediately verify that all doors are locked and all valuables accounted for.

You might also want to watch and share this short video from NAR, which highlights some of the same tips as well as some other more general safety information for homeowners.

Posted by Scott Sherrin at 6:13 am

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REALTOR® Safety Week Tip #3: Evaluate Your Surroundings Using the 10-Second Rule

Education, News No Comments »

The other day I was backing out of a parking lot and was quite surprised to notice a car parked next to mine as I made my way in reverse. It’s not that the car magically appeared without my knowing it, it’s just that I was too preoccupied to take time to evaluate my surroundings before taking action.

I’m sure everyone’s been guilty of this at some point; we’re all busy and often trying to accomplish multiple tasks at one time. But one of the most common reasons that people find themselves in dangerous situations is because they weren’t paying attention. If you follow the 10-second rule, you’ll go a long way toward making sure you’re not putting yourself at risk.

Take 2 seconds when you arrive at your destination.

  • Is there any questionable activity in the area?
  • Are you parked in a well-lit, visible location?
  • Can you be blocked in the driveway by a prospect’s vehicle?

Take 2 seconds after you step out of your car.

  • Are there suspicious people around?
  • Do you know exactly where you’re going?

Take 2 seconds as you walk towards your destination.

  • Are people coming and going or is the area unusually quiet?
  • Do you observe any obstacles or hiding places in the parking lot or along the street?
  • Is anyone loitering in the area?

Take 2 seconds at the door.

  • Do you have an uneasy feeling as you’re walking in?
  • Is someone following you in?

Take 2 seconds as soon as you enter your destination.

  • Does anything seem out of place?
  • Is anyone present who shouldn’t be there or who isn’t expected?

That’s safety in just 10 seconds. It takes very little time to scope out your surroundings and spot and avoid danger. Make this “10-second scan” a habit in your everyday work as a REALTOR.® Then share it with someone else.

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

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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 katie.shotts@maar.org.

Posted by Katie Shotts at 3:23 pm

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