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Would you like to be part of the decision making as FAAR moves into the post COVID-19 new normal?
Does a leadership role in FAAR interest you?
Are you ready to give back to the REALTOR® community?
-Pat Breme, CIPS, RCE
If you have answered yes to one or more of the questions than you might be interested in running for the 2020 FAAR Board of Directors. The Nominating Committee is accepting applications until June 5.
The Board is a hard working body of 13 people who set policy for the entire association. The group meets monthly to ponder issues, solve problems and keep the association financially solvent by carefully managing funds and investments.
A new Director commented, “ I had no idea the Board did so much.” A lot of deliberation is given to each topic on the agenda. The reoccurring question asked? “Is this good for the membership?”
The members voted in 2017 to add an affiliate member position on the Board of Directors. Affiliate members are welcome to submit an application. The Affiliate Director has full voting rights, serves no longer than a two-year term and may not serve as an Officer. Affiliate members applying for consideration follow the same application and vetting process (interviewed by the Nominating Committee) as an agent member would follow in applying to run for the Board of Directors.
Affiliate applications are reviewed by the Nominating Committee and those persons who meet the basic requirements of service to the Association, exhibit leadership characteristics and a willingness to dedicate time and energy will be considered for an interview by the Committee. The Committee can recommend all the applicants, one or none, but not more than three may be placed on the ballot. The affiliate candidate getting the highest number of votes receives the position.
Below is the application for a new director and the Leadership Code of Conduct forms. Return the completed forms to me at firstname.lastname@example.org on or before June 5. Selected applicants will be notified of an interview time.
Please contact me, email@example.com with questions you might have. View the contact information for the 2020 Leadership Team at faarmembers.com/leadership. Each would be happy to answer any questions you might have about serving.
The terms are either for 2 or 3 years. Is the Board a clique? Yes, if you define the word as a group of people with common interest. The common interest is YOU!
Can you help you the residents of the Thurman Brisben Center? The shelter is trying to find stable, long-term housing for many clients right now and they are looking to the Realtor® community for some volunteers to help with that effort. Do you have a passion for helping under-served communities and know your way around the area rental market? Then you could be the perfect fit! Contact Kim Lally or David Cooper with the shelter for more details.
Thurman Brisben Fast Facts:
- Only about 1% of Brisben clients are served by local housing programs, leaving the rest to be “self-resolvers” and figure it out on their own.
- In April 2020, over 60% of residents moved into temporary housing including about 20% into hotels.
- 43% of people entering the shelter have been housed there before.
- Thurman Brisben does not receive any funding to help with re-housing (rent subsidies, security deposit assistance, etc) and they have only two case managers who are trying to assist a large number of people move into stable, long-term housing. This is where YOU can play a part!
FAAR’s Education Committee and our Affiliate Marketing Partners have weighed in to give you a set of tips to keep you sane and sailing through this time of upheaval due to COVID-19. Check it out!
Looking for more resources? Visit faarmembers.com/coronavirus
Information about Reopening: Broken down by the Loudon County Chamber of Commerce and shared by the Fredericksburg Regional Chamber of Commerce. Thank you!
Governor Northam announced Virginia’s plan to “reopen Virginia” and move into Phase I of the Governor’s three-phase plan. In order to move into Phase I, the Governor has extended Executive Order 53 to May 14. This order, originally signed on March 23rd, prohibited all gatherings of more than 10 individuals, closed all dining establishments for dine-in, and effectively closed all entertainment and personal care businesses such as gyms, beauty salons, and theaters.
As long as the new COVID-19 cases continue to show an average downward trend, Phase I will allow the reopening of most services, prohibited in the executive order, on Friday, May 15th. The expectation of the Governor is that Phase I will last three weeks. Assuming the downward trend continues for an additional three weeks, Virginia will move into Phase II.
The details of Phase I include:
- Stay-At-Home has been replaced with Safer-At-Home to remind residents that a risk continues to exist when leaving the home.
- Gatherings of more than 10 remain prohibited.
- Businesses are encouraged to develop policies for their employees returning to the workplace.
- Physical distancing and face coverings are encouraged while at work.
- Personal care businesses may reopen on a reservation-only basis.
- Restaurants may reopen for dine-in patrons by spacing out their tables, disinfecting more regularly, and serving with facemasks and gloves.
- Retail businesses may reopen with limited capacity and clear signage to customers communicating the spacing rules.
- Gyms may reopen with limited capacity and increased cleaning intervals.
Governor Northam estimates that Phase I will last two to four weeks before moving into Phase II. Once we enter Phase II in mid-late May, even more restrictions will be lifted. The Governor did say that more details are currently being developed for Phase I and Phase II, but as of now the expectations of Phase II are:
- Stay-At-Home for vulnerable populations.
- No social gatherings greater than 50.
- Continued use of teleworking, social distancing, and face coverings while in public.
- Further easing of business limitations.
We will remain in Phase II until there is no evidence of a rebound of COVID-19 for a sustained period of time. The Governor expects Phase II could last 6-8 weeks before we move into the “longer-term” Phase III. The guidance of Phase III includes:
- Safer-At-Home practice for vulnerable populations.
- Removal of ban on social gatherings.
- Removal of capacity limits on establishments.
- Continued heightened cleaning and disinfecting.
- And other possible measures.
How things have changed from January and February! COVID-19 crashed into our market in mid-March and virtually ground life as we know it to a halt, so how did that impact the local real estate industry? The first quarter of 2020 was strong, with increasing volume and pricing, and decreasing inventory and days on market. The leading edge of COVID-19 impacts started to be felt in late March, but overall the quarter was a strong one. Access the full report below and share with your clients and customers. Questions or feedback about the report? Send Kim McClellan an email.
Zoom has become an important part of the real estate digital evolution and our new normal. On Tuesday, April, 28, 2020 Matthew Rathbun walked us through some important tips, tricks, and best practices for digital meetings through Zoom. Check out these great tips from the webinar or watch the video at the end!
The Right Set-Up
Before you even open the program there are three key things you will want to run your meeting. The first thing you will need is a pair of headphones with a built-in microphone. The headphones and microphone help prevent feedback and other technical difficulties. The second thing you will want is a good webcam. In his webinar, Matthew suggests that your camera should be above eye level and that investing in a good webcam can make you look more professional than your built-in camera. The final thing you will want to check is your lighting. Good lighting from the front helps your video to look bright instead of shadowy. Standing in front of a strong light source, such as a window or lamp can make your face hard to see through video.
You will also want to consider the paid account for Zoom. The free account allows you to those meetings for up to forty minutes, while the paid account has an unlimited meeting time. Additionally, many of the tools covered in this article and the webinar are part of the paid version. A monthly subscription is $15 a month and a year-long subscription is $150. You can check out the Zoom website to see all the cool features and exact pricing!
Organizing Your Zoom Real Estate Meeting
- If you are using dual monitors, make sure that is selected in your settings.
- Set up reminders to automatically send before your meeting so you are always on time.
- Take the opportunity to turn on the touch-up filter to soften your appearance.
- Enable the waiting room so that you have to admit people joining the meeting. This helps protect your meeting from hackers and allows you adequate time to check your set up.
- Allow clients to share their screen. Allowing another user to share their screen can help throughout your meeting so you and your clients can compare notes.
- You can set up a password for your meeting if you have multiple attendees.
Inviting Your Clients
Once you have selected a date and time for your Zoom meeting, you can send the invitation to your clients. You can copy the meeting link straight from zoom and embed it in your email. You will want to restate the time and date of your agreed-upon meeting. Additionally, you will want to prompt your clients to set up a free account and test the program for themselves. Zoom can be used on a computer, smartphone, or tablet. Allowing your client to see what works for them ahead of time will ultimately help your meeting go smoother.
Check out these great tips and more in the Zoom’inars webinar below!
A new resource from NAR gives associations and members a tool to help homeowners who are struggling to meet their loan obligations due to COVID-19. The Protect Your Investment brochure offers guidance on working with trusted professionals like REALTORS® and housing counselors at HUD-approved agencies. The brochure also provides information about payment options offered by lenders and tips for avoiding scams.
The Fredericksburg Area Association of REALTORS® (FAAR) announces its endorsement of Mary Katherine Greenlaw for Mayor of the City of Fredericksburg. The general election was scheduled to take place on Tuesday, May 5, 2020 and also includes seats for At-Large City Council members and School Board. Governor Northam has postponed the election until Tuesday, May 19, 2020. The City of Fredericksburg is encouraging all citizens to vote by mail. The last day to request an absentee ballot is May 12, 2020.
“As a City resident and an active REALTOR® downtown, I am personally very interested in this year’s election,” states FAAR Public Policy Committee Chairman Chip Taylor. “There is no question that the City of Fredericksburg has become a premier destination to live, work, and visit. After a comprehensive interview process, the FAAR Public Policy Committee sees great value in the continued leadership of Mayor Mary Katherine Greenlaw during this unprecedented time of upheaval caused by COVID-19. Mayor Greenlaw is a collaborative leader with a deep knowledge of the budget process and a commitment to bringing us back to where we were before the coronavirus.”
The FAAR Public Policy Committee conducted candidate interviews in early April in anticipation of a May election. The group interviewed both candidates running for Mayor and all three candidates running for the At-Large seats. More information regarding the election and requests for absentee ballots can be made at https://www.fredericksburgva.gov/534/Voter-Registrar.
April is upon us. This time of year is usually a flurry of spring market activity. It’s also a time when we reflect on the ways people are shut out of the housing market, and commit to expanding housing opportunity, with our annual observation of Fair Housing Month.
This year is different. Because of measures to slow the spread of coronavirus, activities outside our homes have slowed or stopped. But crises like these remind us that despite our differences, we are all very much the same. Viruses don’t discriminate. Many of us are in similar circumstances, trying to figure out how to work from home while also homeschooling our kids. Despite these challenges, we’re also finding new ways to strengthen our communities, by getting groceries for an elderly neighbor or buying a gift card to support a local restaurant and its employees.
This quiet time is an opportune one to reflect on how we are all bound together. Coronavirus threatens us all. But the virus will also hit certain members of our communities especially hard. Whether due to losing a job without savings to fall back on, increased unpaid caregiving work, the threat of evictions or foreclosures, xenophobic threats or violence, or difficulty accessing necessary services, communities of color, people with disabilities, and women face even greater burdens now. We must ensure that, as we confront the pandemic, and as we recover, that we all do so together.
As we stay home, REALTORS® can and must rise to the challenge. Fair Housing Month emphasizes education, reflection, and discussion—meaningful efforts we can still undertake while practicing social distancing. This year, NAR is presenting Fair Housing Month @ Home – curated lists of books, videos, podcasts and other resources for you to educate yourself throughout the month. Read, watch, listen, think, discuss – and strengthen your fair housing knowledge and leadership.
WAYS TO OBSERVE FAIR HOUSING MONTH @ HOME
1. Host a Fair Housing Book Club
The NAR ebook library has added a number of fair housing titles recommended by NAR’s new Director of Federal Fair Housing Policy, Bryan Greene. Read them on your own or host a book club on Zoom or another social meeting platform. A list of recommended fair housing titles, along with book reviews, videos, and discussion questions, here.
3. Listen to a Fair Housing Podcast
Check out Bryan Greene’s list of recommended fair housing podcasts here.
4. Read Fair Housing Journalism
Investigative journalists have done incredible work uncovering housing discrimination and explaining the history of segregation in America. Later in April, NAR will add recommended fair housing journalism to the Fair Housing Month @ Home page.
5. Check out Fair Housing nonprofit organizations
Learn about local and national Fair Housing nonprofit organizations and the work they do to support equal access to housing. Later this month, NAR will add a list of leading fair housing organizations to the Fair Housing Month @ Home page.
6. Take an online Fair Housing Training
Later this month, NAR hopes to make available a practical, real-estate focused online training on how implicit bias may inadvertently influence your interactions with consumers. Using specific examples from a REALTOR’s day, the training will help you avoid thinking traps that can lead to unintentional discrimination.
Questions? Contact Bryan Greene.
The Fredericksburg Realtors Foundation Celebrates 30 Years of Service with the Launch of the $20 for 2020 Campaign
We hope our launch video filmed back in February brings you a moment of joy as we try to provide for the less fortunate this year. Thank you for your support.
A History of Giving
In the past 3 years, REALTORS® gave back over $50,000 to local housing-related organizations and charities through the Fredericksburg REALTORS® Foundation.
We could not do this without your support. There is no doubt, we are currently in a period of change that is affecting many. The need has always been great, but now it is even greater. That’s why the Foundation is launching the $20 for 2020 campaign now.
This Year is Different
Since January 1, the Foundation has granted out over $10,000 to local charities to help with the crushing demand they’ve experienced caused by COVID-19. That leaves us with just $5,000 left and grants coming in every week. Help us be able to say YES to these cries for help!
We know there are many worthy charities in our community, but why not join forces with 1,700 of your fellow Realtors® in support of the Foundation? We are the face of REALTOR® giving in the Fredericksburg region.
We encourage each of you to commit to donating $20 in 2020 so the Foundation can continue to meet the emergency grant requests coming in from local charities.
Happy Hour for a Good Cause – Thursday April 30th, 2020 from 4-5 PM
Join the Foundation Governors for a kickoff Happy Hour from your own living room! Join the meeting at bit.ly/happyhourforgood
Thank you from the Fredericksburg REALTORS® Foundation Governors
Anne Overington, Century 21 Redwood Realty | firstname.lastname@example.org
Debbie Irwin, BHHS Select Realty | email@example.com
Carrie Danko, 1st Choice Better Homes and Land | firstname.lastname@example.org
Shannon Mauro, United Real Estate Premier | email@example.com
Jennifer Doughty, CTI Real Estate | firstname.lastname@example.org
Erin Witt, CMS Mortgage Solutions | email@example.com
Randy Walther, Nest Realty | firstname.lastname@example.org
Abby Fitzsimmons, Coldwell Banker Elite | email@example.com
Carol Sondrini, Coldwell Banker Elite | firstname.lastname@example.org
David Cropper, Weichert Realtors | David@CropperHomeSales.com
Pam Godfrey, Universal Title | email@example.com
January kicked 2020 off to a swift start in the local real estate market echoing sentiments heard from Realtors® across the region that the spring market is starting earlier and earlier in recent years. Sold dollar volume was up 38% year-over-year, going from...
The Virginia Realtors® released the 2019 4th quarter homes sales report highlighting a strong economy, robust real estate market, and shrinking inventory. Access the full report and share it with your sphere!
The 2019 real estate market posted significant gains in total sold dollar volume and units sold, experienced modest price appreciation, and saw seriously increased competition with low inventory and very low days on market. The year closed out with a total sold...
From the National Association of Realtors Real Estate Forecast Summit on December 11, 2019.... Slower Growth, Price Gains to Continue“Real estate is on firm ground with little chance of price declines,” says NAR’s Chief Economist Lawrence Yun. “However, in...