Business Resources

Resources for your real estate business.
FAAR Louder Podcast Episode 25 “Videos in the MLS”

FAAR Louder Podcast Episode 25 “Videos in the MLS”

Welcome to the FAAR louder podcast presented by the Fredericksburg Area Association of Realtors®. This episode is brought to you by Kensington bank guard National Land services. Kensington Vanguard is one of the largest independent full service title insurance agencies in the country, providing residential and commercial title insurance, settlement services and 1031 exchange services. Hi everyone, fire communications director here, Lauren Zuza. I’m often behind the scenes but today I’m here to share a helpful story from an agent. The story pertains to a tricky rule when working with video public websites like YouTube, and bright MLS in order to protect your business and avoid any potential fines. One agent learn this rule the hard way with a warning from Bright and encouraged us to share her story.

So many of you are accustomed to uploading your listing videos to YouTube and then sharing the video on the MLS from YouTube. Now this could be an issue if you’re following the Virginia laws requiring your information when advertising on public sites and following the rules from bright MLS which day branding is not allowed on videos and listings. So what’s the solution? If your videos typically have branding within the video itself, this is the process I recommend for you.

Before you add any branding to your video, export your first video, and then add your branding and save it again. You can use your branded video on public sites and upload the one without the branding to brighten. Now you’ll want to avoid using any public site URLs like YouTube and your listing because of the Virginia state laws requiring your information on your advertising. Now if your videos don’t have any branding, you still have to be careful. What you can do is you can upload the exact same video on bright MLS and YouTube but you want to make sure you upload the file from your hard drive when putting it in your listing in bright MLS not sharing the video URL from the public site like YouTube.

Now whether you’re working with a professional or creating your own videos, you will always want to have two versions one with your branding one without and you always want to make sure you upload the video from your hard drive into your listing. So that’s my message for the day. I hope to catch you next time.

MBH CEO, Fred Westerlund receives national recognition with the October Search’s 2021 Leadership Award

MBH CEO, Fred Westerlund receives national recognition with the October Search’s 2021 Leadership Award

On Wednesday, September 1, Fred Westerlund, CEO, MBH Settlement Group, was awarded the October Research 2021 Leadership Award at the National Settlement Services Summit (NS3).

Established in 2012, the October Research awards program honors men and women in the title, underwriting, lending and settlement services industries for exemplary accomplishment in the areas of Leadership, Innovation and Philanthropy.

Presented by Erica Meyer, CEO and Publisher of October Research, on Wednesday, September 1, 2021.

Fred is honored to be placed in such distinguished ranks of past honorees, and the tremendous leaders in our industry. Evident in Fred’s management style and his remarks are his dedication to the industry and the individuals with whom he works.

“At MBH, we focus on the 3 C’s: our Clients, our Colleagues, and our Communities. We believe that everything else will follow. A leadership award is really a team award, so, I would like to thank the incredible team we’ve assembled at MBH. They are amazing and they inspire me every day.”

With a wealth of experience in operations, business development, and risk management, Fred Westerlund provides leadership and vision to MBH Settlement Group.

He has been involved in real estate services in the D.C., Maryland, and Virginia markets for 16 years, and brings 29 years of leadership in sales, marketing, and operational roles across multiple service industries.

Prior to Fred’s career in business, he served as an officer in the U.S. Army. He’s earned a Masters of Business Administration from the Wharton School of Business at the University of Pennsylvania and holds an undergraduate degree from the United States Military Academy at West Point.

Fred is active in the industry serving as Chairman of the Real Estate Finance and Settlements Forum for the Northern Virginia Association of REALTORS.

He’s also active in the community, serving on the board of his Homeowners Association and supporting a number of different charitable organizations.

About MBH Settlement Group

Established in 1994, MBH Settlement Group is proud to be a settlement industry leader in the D.C. Metro area. MBH is committed to its partners and clients, serving our communities for more than 25 years in our 20 offices across Virginia, Maryland, and Washington, D.C.  

New Podcast Episode with Donofrio & Associates Certified Inspection Experts

Introducing FAAR Louder, your official Association podcast!  These bimonthly sessions will feature elected officials, hot topics, and news you can use.  We are working to launch the podcast on your favorite apps but in the meantime, take a listen here.  

Episode 25: FAAR Louder | Home Inspections with Donofrio & Associates

 

Transcript

0:00
Welcome to the FAAR louder podcast presented by the Fredericksburg area Association of Realtors. Hi, everyone. Welcome to the FAAR louder podcast. This is Lauren Zuza. I’m the webmaster and communications director at the Fredericksburg area Association of Realtors. And today we have with us our podcast sponsor for the month Donofrio & Associates. Hi, this is PJ Moore. Welcome PJ.

0:25
Hi, Lauren. Thank you so much for having me on my like Lauren said, my name is PJ Moore, and I’m the growth and marketing coordinator for Donofrio and Associates Property Inspections. Our company is based in Loudoun County, but we serve as DC, Maryland and Virginia. And we’ve been in business since 2001. The thing that I like to let everyone know is that we are veteran female-owned and family-owned. So our integrity means everything to us. And it’s very important for us to have a good name. So that’s always everybody always asked me how long you’ve been in business. So that’s the first thing I usually tell them right. We are a residential, commercial, structural and environmental inspection company. Like I said, we are servicing DC Maryland and Virginia we have numerous inspectors and we are open seven days a week. We do everything except for except for septic and uh well inspections at this moment. And that and those services are radon, mold, air quality, mold screening, lead-based paint inspections, structural inspections, we do Pool and Spa inspection, stucco and drive it and I think I’m forgetting one I did I say radon. Okay, so we are here and we’re available to answer any questions you may have. And we’re a full-service company. That’s fantastic. How many inspectors do you have on staff? Right now we have 12 we’re in the process of hiring a couple more to service the new area that we’re opening up Richmond in Charlottesville.

2:22
Oh, wow. Fantastic. We have lots of members who do business a wide range of localities around here. So having that big of a footprint is great.

2:34
I know. And it was nice at the event last night at the Fred nets game I met quite a few realtors, one of which from Samson properties that has some clients in Charlottesville. So she I think she said she worked in garrison, not garrisonville was the name of the town. Emporia is that. I’m not sure. I’m a Georgia transplant to the area myself. So having visited only a couple maybe three times now. So yeah, getting there getting there for sure.

3:08
That’s great. So when we’re lining up inspections, what are some of the questions realtors should be asking before and during an inspection?

3:17
Well, I think one of the bigger questions for most agents is the soundness of the home. So the structure, the roof, drainage away from the home because water is one of the biggest issues for home as far as repairs and maintenance. And it can cause mold and all of that so and and it can cause woodrat. So we want to try to stay away from that. And that’s one of the biggest things that they think about your hv AC system, the plumbing. I would say the roof, that’s a big thing. And then the water heater, those are things that cost the most to fix and repair. And so it’s important to know the life of that and kind of budget for when you need to replace it. A lot of homeowners want to know that.

4:11
That brings up a very good point. You know, we’re in a hot market. Sometimes people are waiving the inspection contingency. Um, should they still get an inspection immediately when they close? will this help the Home Warranty be valid?

4:24
Absolutely. I think it’s very important and it’s also very important for not only for the home warranty, but it’s also very important. What just lost my thought darnit it’s also very important to know the workings of the home for the homeowner. So you know where your water spigot turnoff is. You know how to light the pilot light on the hot water heater. You know how to change the filters, you know where everything is located. You know what the capacities of everything is, you know, approximately when you may have to replace something thing that’s that’s a big thing for homeowners, especially first time homebuyers, because it’s, it’s one of the biggest purchases you’ll make in your life. And so if you know right away that you’re going to have to budget to spend $5,000 to replace the HV AC system within the next five years, then you can plan for that.

5:18
Good point, good point. So that’s fantastic. Tell us how a realtor could get in touch with you if they’re looking for more information. Thank

5:25
you very much. So you can reach us via email, by phone. by our website. We also have a URL QR code that we give each individual realtor when they when they schedule with us. So if they ratify a contract late at night, they can go in check the schedule, pick a date and time. And then we will call them the next day to confirm that. So you can reach us seven days a week we are open from 8am to 7pm. And then we also have a backup call center. And I will tell you right now, which is what’s really important is to start your inspection online, you get a $25 discount. And it’s the fastest way It takes about 15 to 20 minutes to schedule an inspection because there’s lots of questions we want to know, you know, the size of the house, the address, you know if it has any outbuildings all of those things and what kind of services you need. And and during the process, agents and clients ask questions. So we’re answering questions as well. We don’t want to rush them off the phone. So it’s best to start it that way. And then we’ve got the basic stuff taken care of. And then all the other stuff can be added. Wow, it doesn’t get any easier. It makes it so easy. Yeah, we try to be a full service company. Like I said, we have three client care coordinators. We’re currently hiring another one. And then we also have the backup call center. So it’s best to leave a message or start your inspection process online. And that’s easy to do on our website, which is www.donofrioinspections.com very easy.

7:10
Well, thank you so much for being here today. PJ. That’s the end of our episode. Fantastic. Thank you.

Technology Committee investigates Broadband Coverage and Developments in Fredericksburg Area

Broadband coverage has become increasingly important for area residents. The FAAR Technology committee has been hard at work interviewing the various jurisdictions on current broadband progress. 

There is no simple solution or easy answer to say when areas will have 100% coverage. Maps of coverage areas from broadband companies even when they do exist, cannot be proven to be accurate and 100% broadband coverage is considered almost impossible due to the nature of our terrain in the area. One of our most rural jurisdictions, Orange County, is making tremendous progress towards full county coverage with the Fiberlync partnership for county residents. 

Below is the summary of data collected from the jurisdictions. 

#MemberMonday Meet Affiliate Dena Cooke

#MemberMonday Meet Affiliate Dena Cooke

The Fredericksburg Area Association of REALTORS® Member Spotlight feature allows members of the community to get to know each other before working with each other in a transaction. Each member answers a series of questions to reveal more about themselves as people.  It is FAAR’s hope that learning about an individual may spark connections that blossom via email, phone conversations or in-person meetings at events and classes.

Name
Dena Cooke

Hometown
Fredericksburg VA

Current Location
Fredericksburg, VA

Title
Loan Officer with Embrace Home Loans

Number of Years in the Industry
2 1/2 years

Why do you love working in real estate?
My passion is helping others! I love to assist clients in the entire process of purchasing their new home. Helping to educate them and just support them during what can be such an emotional process. There’s nothing better than seeing the smiles and joy when they get those keys in hand. Especially first time home buyers.

Favorite Work Story
I had a first time home buyer who was told he couldn’t purchase a home and needed to rent at least another year. He called me and after working around a few hurdles we got him approved. Not only did he close on his first home a week ago, he told me that he is the first person in his entire family to own a home and he can now show his kids that if he can do it, they can too! He cried after closing and jumped around with the Sold sign in his new front yard. THE BEST!!!

What are you most proud of in your career?
I haven’t been a loan officer for many years like most, but I am proud of how many clients I have helped in a short period of time and just to see those smiles is the most rewarding for me.

Do you have a special cause or volunteer your time? 
Beauty for Ashes is a place I volunteer and donate to on a monthly basis. They provide a safe and stable environment for women with life-controlling problems. It’s a home that offers help, hope and healing to both mother and child. They offer a Christian faith-based curriculum, life skills training, life applications, Church and community involvement lead to mental, emotional, social, physical, and spiritual wholeness. I have met some of the most amazing women who have completely changed their lives and their children’s future from their time at BFA.

Fun Fact
Before working as a loan officer I worked at our family business, Childress Heating & A/C, Inc. from the time I was in high school until just a few years ago. Our first office was a guest bedroom at the house I grew up in and went from there to now a large recognized business in the area. My Dad’s motto was always customer satisfaction which is why that is such a passion of mine as well. I have been married for 16 years to my husband Miles who still works for the family business and we have two boys, Nathan who is 14 and Ian who is 8.

Tina Keene Exit Elite Realty
2022 FAAR Board of Directors Candidate Videos – Voting now open!

2022 FAAR Board of Directors Candidate Videos – Voting now open!

Voting is now open for the 2022 FAAR Board of Directors

All FAAR REALTORS® are invited to vote at https://vote.electionrunner.com/election/vgz4g

To vote you will use your NRDS Number as your Voter ID and your Voter Key

 

Review the Sample Ballot-

2021 Election Slate for the 2022 FAAR Board of Directors announced

 

Get the info on the candidates—Read the candidates’ bios in the August edition of FAARSide.

“Additional candidates for the offices to be filled may be placed in nomination by signed petition of at least twenty percent* of the REALTOR® members. The petition shall be filed with the Secretary (Chief Executive Officer) by August 3, 2921. The Secretary (Chief Executive Officer) shall send notice of such additional nominations to all REALTOR® members before the election.”
(As of 7/12/2021 there are 1809 REALTOR® members. 362 names are needed to complete the petition requirement. Send to FAAR at pbreme@faarmembers.com, no later than August 3, 2021.)

Sample Ballot

Slate of Candidates- 2022 Leadership

Electronic Balloting begins August 17, ends September 15 at noon

FAAR offers electronic voting. The ballot will be sent in an email to each REALTOR® member on August 17. The balloting closes September 15 at noon. The results will be announced at 2:30 pm at a general membership meeting on the floor of the trade show.  The results will be communicated to the entire membership soon after this announcement.

                       

 

President                  Deb Ellis, Coldwell Banker Elite         

President-Elect        Carol Sondrini, Coldwell Banker Elite        

Vice President          Randy Walther, Nest Realty

Secretary                  Dawn Josemans, Coldwell Banker Elite                    

Treasurer                  Lauren Tate, Century 21 Redwood                    

 Immediate Past President  Carrie Danko, 1st Choice Better Homes & Land

 

Directors- Five candidates for three positions. Select up to three..

__ Nick Brown, Weichert, REALTORS®

__ Abby Fitzsimmons, Coldwell Banker Elite

__ Gary Gardiner, Jr., Coldwell Banker Elite

__ Stephanie Michael, Dodson Property Management

__ Matthew Rathbun, Coldwell Banker Elite

(Continuing from the 2021 Board- Clay Murray, Pathway Realty, Pia Contreas Sanchez, Prime Realty, Kardin Lillis, Weichert, REALTORS®)

 

Three candidates for 1 affiliate position. Select one.

__ Richard Bibb, Goosehead Insurance

__ Michele Freemyers, Ekko Title

__ Laura Pate Rodier, The Title Professionals

 

 

Candidate Videos

Read the FAARside newsletter for real estate updates and more!

Read the FAARside newsletter for real estate updates and more!

Your copy of the August Newsletter, the FAARside is here! Crack open a copy for updates on local real estate and so much more!

Inside you will find

  • Farewell message from retiring CEO, Pat Breme
  • 2022 Leadership candidate bios
  • Message from the 2021 FAAR President, Carrie Danko
  • Thank you to RPAC investors
  • An update on short term rentals in Spotsylvania County
  • Information on the revamped Professional Honor Role application

and more!

Right click here or the image and click “Save as” to download

2021 REALTOR Cereal Drive — Connect with past clients, friends, and the community

2021 REALTOR Cereal Drive — Connect with past clients, friends, and the community

Go coo-coo for cereal collection!

2020 was an unprecedented year for cereal collection. Let’s keep the cereal flowing in an effort to reach 18,000 boxes in 2021, all of which go to the local area food banks! 

Use the cereal drive as a touchpoint.

The cereal drive is a fantastic way to reconnect with your sphere— Look for REALTOR®-branded marketing pieces here or at the FAAR office(post-card and flyer) to enhance efforts of collecting cereal from clients and friends.

Tell us if you’re participating.

Let us know if your office plans to participate by filling out the form below or emailing Barbara Castillo with your office and contact information by September 26th.

Final cereal counts will be announced at 10/28 mixer.

Collected cereal can be dropped off at the October 28th Halloween Mixer at Wilderness Run Winery from 5-7 PM or for large pick-ups, the Fredericksburg food van can be scheduled to pick up from your location. Please email Barbara bcastillo@faarmembers.com with your final box tally sometime before the 10/28 Halloween Mixer where we will announce the winners. Scroll down to see who participated in last year’s cereal drive!

 

 

Cereal Drive Office Contest Sign Up

Yes.. I want my office to participate in the annual FAAR Cereal Drive.

Download the square graphic for sharing here!

Key items to remember:

 

October 1-28- Collect cereal!  Let Barbara Castillo (bcastillo@faarmembers.com) know if you need postcards.

October 26- If you have more that 250 boxes, just let Barbara know and she will arrange pick up.

October 27- if you had your cereal picked up — PLEASE CONTACT BARBARA WITH BOX COUNT

October 28- Drop off cereal (less than 250 boxes) to the FAAR Halloween Mixer at Wilderness Run Winery.  Cereal can be dropped between 4-7 PM

October 28th, 7:15 PM   Winners and totals announced!

Please feel free to reach out with any questions, and please post lots of fun pics and video on your cereal gathering and displays of cereal on social media to get all FAAR members excited about this very worthwhile cause!

 

 

 

 

 

 

2020 Participants

Affiliate collecting the most boxes – 4-way tie!

Tim Liddy with Charden – 200 boxes
Donna Schmidt with 2-10 Home Buyers Warranty – 200 boxes
Tony Bolding with Alcova Mortgage – 200 boxes
Katie Williams – First American Home Warranty – 200 boxes

Most Cereal Per Agent

1st Choice Better Homes and Land – 10,118 boxes total

Most Improved

Long and Foster – from 3,361 boxes in 2019 to 7,256 boxes in 2020

Runner-ups Most Cereal

Century 21 New Millennium – from 2,772 boxes in 2019 to 3,699 boxes in 2020
Weichert Realtors – from 527 boxes in 2019 to 3,303 boxes in 2020
United Real Estate Premier – from 806 boxes in 2019 to 1,554 boxes in 2020

Honorable Mention

Hometown Realty – first time participating and collected 325 boxes!

Grand Prize

1st Choice Better Homes and Land – 10,118 boxes!

Thank you also to these cereal collectors!

CTI Real Estate

Berkshire Hathaway Home Services

Century 21 Redwood

Universal Title

Coldwell Banker Elite King George/Colonial Beach

Topside Federal Credit Union

Regarday

2022 REALTOR® Dues will open for payment August 1st

2022 REALTOR® Dues will open for payment August 1st

REALTOR® Dues Announcement: 

 

2022 REALTOR® Dues will be open for payment August 1st.


Pay by September 30th to avoid the $25 late fee.

 

What if I miss the September 30th dues deadline?

Submit your REALTOR® dues payment and late fee by December 31st to keep your membership active and avoid the $275 reapplication fee.

Your REALTOR® dues bill notice will come via email—you will not receive a paper bill.

Login at faarmembers.com/myaccount to pay your dues for FAAR, VR, and NAR.
 
 

REALTOR® Dues for 2022 ($710)

NAR dues ($185)
Virginia Realtors dues ($180)
FAAR dues ($315)
RPAC Fair Share ($30)
____________________________
 
 
 
 
Total = $680 + $30 (optional RPAC)
 
 
 
 
 
 
total realtor dues are split out into NAR, VR, FAAR, and RPAC sums

 Take advantage of your member benefits

 See what member benefits are offered at all 3 levels of the REALTOR® Organization
 
 
 
 
 

Drop Box

For your convenience, there is a drop box located across from the main entrance in the parking lot labeled FAAR Drop Box. Dues payments may be dropped in the this box. It is checked first thing in the morning during regular business hours.
 
 
 

 

Receipt

After payment, you can find your receipt under the “My Order History” page of your account.
 

 

AFFILIATES: Dues for Affiliates will open for payment August 1st.

Do not pay this invoice if you plan to be an AMP in 2022. Ready to boost your marketing in our AMP program? Please let Lori in Membership know at lhillardwehr@faarmembers.com.

Affiliates can disregard the tax information displayed during the dues payment process as that only applies to REALTOR® members.

Sample Ballot for the 2022 Leadership Slate of Candidates

Sample Ballot for the 2022 Leadership Slate of Candidates

Review the Sample Ballot-

2021 Election Slate for the 2022 FAAR Board of Directors announced

 

Get the info on the candidates—Read the candidates’ bios in the August edition of FAARSide.

“Additional candidates for the offices to be filled may be placed in nomination by signed petition of at least twenty percent* of the REALTOR® members. The petition shall be filed with the Secretary (Chief Executive Officer) by August 3, 2921. The Secretary (Chief Executive Officer) shall send notice of such additional nominations to all REALTOR® members before the election.”
(As of 7/12/2021 there are 1809 REALTOR® members. 362 names are needed to complete the petition requirement. Send to FAAR at pbreme@faarmembers.com, no later than August 3, 2021.)

Sample Ballot

Slate of Candidates- 2022 Leadership

Electronic Balloting begins August 17, ends September 15 at noon

FAAR offers electronic voting. The ballot will be sent in an email to each REALTOR® member on August 17. The balloting closes September 15 at noon. The results will be announced at 2:30 pm at a general membership meeting on the floor of the trade show.  The results will be communicated to the entire membership soon after this announcement.

                       

 

President                  Deb Ellis, Coldwell Banker Elite         

President-Elect        Carol Sondrini, Coldwell Banker Elite        

Vice President          Randy Walther, Nest Realty

Secretary                  Dawn Josemans, Coldwell Banker Elite                    

Treasurer                  Lauren Tate, Century 21 Redwood                    

 Immediate Past President  Carrie Danko, 1st Choice Better Homes & Land

 

Directors- Five candidates for three positions. Select up to three..

__ Nick Brown, Weichert, REALTORS®

__ Abby Fitzsimmons, Coldwell Banker Elite

__ Gary Gardiner, Jr., Coldwell Banker Elite

__ Stephanie Michael, Dodson Property Management

__ Matthew Rathbun, Coldwell Banker Elite

(Continuing from the 2021 Board- Clay Murray, Pathway Realty, Pia Contreas Sanchez, Prime Realty, Kardin Lillis, Weichert, REALTORS®)

 

Three candidates for 1 affiliate position. Select one.

__ Richard Bibb, Goosehead Insurance

__ Michele Freemyers, Ekko Title

__ Laura Pate Rodier, The Title Professionals

 

 

 

Press Releases

More Normalizing in the Fredericksburg-area Real Estate Market

The local real estate market continues to experience high transaction volume, inventory challenges, and rising prices, but those increases are moderating and significantly more inventory is available for buyers.  As summer faded into early fall, inventory was up a...

2022 Board of Directors Election Results

2022 FAAR Board of Directors announced Election Results 2022 Leadership Electronic balloting began August 17, ended September 15 at noon Results were announced at a general membership meeting after the virtual education originally scheduled for the FAAR trade show.   ...

FAAR Endorses Phil Scott for Virginia House of Delegates

The Fredericksburg Area Association of Realtors® endorses Phil Scott for the Virginia House of Delegates 88th district.  The seat is being vacated by the retiring Mark Cole and features a three-way race.  Phil Scott met with members of FAAR's Public Policy Committee...

Fredericksburg-Area Real Estate Market Continues to Normalize

While it’s not a buyer’s market yet, the Fredericksburg-area housing market continues to show indications of normalizing.  August still posted very robust market numbers, but that is tempered by rising supply and slight reductions in future demand.  Sold dollar volume...

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