NewsRecent news, business resources and press releases.
2017 is flying by! These committees have been hard at work the last six months to continue to bring you the best services and benefits in the business. See a group that interests you? Learn more about the groups below at faarmembers.com/committees.
Education | Professional Development Committee
The committee has guided the FAAR Academy class schedule, to include a diverse line-up of classes for March is For Members, Summer Lawyer Series, and FAAR EXPO. They will begin planning the 2018 class schedule next month.
Public Policy | RPAC Committee
The Committee has been hard at work engaging on continued sign issues with local elected officials, developing a 2018 Legislative Agenda, and interviewing candidates for the 2018 election cycle.
Communication and Technology Committee
The new FAARmembers.com website will launch in June and will be responsive, ADA accessible, and include an avenue for feedback/improvements to the site. The new RAMCO database will allow members to manage their news preferences and how they receive information.
There was an organized effort last fall to increase the number of award applications, comments Chair Bonnie Ramey. The marketing push was successful because the number of award applications increased. This year for the spring awards cycle, a record number of Rookie of the Year, as well as Manager of the Year, applications were submitted.
Community Service Committee
This group has had a very busy year, including homeless shelter dinners, Ride Virginia, and clothes for a cause. Be on the look-out for Cereal Drive details coming soon!
Three very successful events have been held so far in 2017 (Bowling Mixer, Bingo and Awards). There are five more events for 2017 so make sure and save the following dates: Renovation Open House July 14th, Family Fun Day July 22nd, FAAR Expo September 13th, Halloween Mixer October 26th, and Installation of 2018 President Kevin McGrath and his Leadership Team December 7th.
Young Professionals Network (YPN)
The Committee has completed their first fund raiser of the year (school supplies at the Bingo Mixer) and are working on the second one, The Annual Pub Crawl. scheduled for October 14th. They are also trying a new networking time on the evening of orientation to get new members involved.
Property Management Working Group
The Committee has held several successful roundtable discussions and one class. The roundtables give property managers a forum to discuss issues they are facing and share best practices.
Currently, in the building stages. Contact Barbara Castillo for more information
Fredericksburg Realtors® Foundation
The Foundation has raised approximately $5,000 so far this year and is working with several charities to submit grant requests for suitable projects. Their biggest fundraising is a golf tournament scheduled for October 13th so mark your calendar!
Town Hall Revamp Task Force
Chair Kevin McGrath and his group have overhauled the meeting format to focus on issues/challenges that agents face in today’s market. A lively discussion will be generated by the audience and a panel of experts. The new format begins with the June 14 event.
Strategic Planning Task Force
The Association will hold a strat planning session in the fall. In preparation, a membership survey and a focus night are planned to determine the concerns/issues of the members that should be part of future planning for FAAR.
The Meet Up Networking group is bridging new and experienced members together in a fun, engaging format. Out of the box events include playing Jeopardy, Family Feud or unique networking like tubing the Rappahannock and Scavenger Hunts in downtown Fredericksburg.
Women’s Council of Realtors® (WCR)
The Women’s Council of Fredericksburg has had the pleasure of supporting the following non-profits; Habitat for Humanity, Loisann’s Hope House, The 514 Construction Ministry, Mental Health America-Fredericksburg and the Rappahannock United Way. During monthly meetings, WCR has hosted a photography panel, a home staging showcase, and a regional transportation forum.
Ombudsman | Grievance | Professional Standards
There was one failed effort in the Ombudsman program, The Grievance Committee, chaired by Dave Moberly, reviewed one ethics complaint which was resolved before a hearing. The Committee also reviewed a request for arbitration and a counter request involving the same transaction. Members of the Professional Standards Committee, chaired by Lynn Lenahan, held a hearing and the non-prevailing party requested a procedural review.
The group, chaired by Christine Singhass, will review leadership applications this month and after interviews will formulate a slate for September election. The Board of Directors will approve the slate at its July meeting.
Leadership Development Committee (LDC)
Chaired by 2016 President Christine Singhass , LDC is tasked with seeking out and nurturing members to take on leadership role in the Association, The group will identify recruiters, prepare a “why lead” marketing piece, host at least one meet & greet event and look for advice from graduates of the Virginia Leadership Academy.
The FAAR Academy is excited to kick off the Summer Lawyer’s Series on July 11 with an exciting new class from Barry Clark and Ali Lambo Newkirk of RGS Title, E-Communications & Cyber Fraud: Do We Worry Too Much? Electronic communication has become the preferred method of conducting business in today’s real estate world. E-communication comes with a high level of risk and responsibility for all parties involved in a real estate transaction. As technology evolves, so do the criminals. What information is at risk? What are the criminals doing with this information? What can a real estate professional do to best protect their clients and themselves? Topics covered in this class include NPI, wire fraud, spoofing, and e-mail best practices. Upon completion of this class, REALTORS® will not only have a greater appreciation for the risks associated with e-communication, but they will hopefully understand the need to implement a more rigorous set of best practices.
Other highlights for the 2017 Summer Lawyers Series include an in depth look at the VAR Purchase Contract with Laura Farley, Vice President of Legal Operations/Deputy General Counsel with the Virginia Realtors on August 15 from 9-12. Also Michele Freemyers of EKKO Title will be giving 2 great classes: Deconstructing the New Home Contract on July 18 from 9-11, and Distressed Properties August 22 from 9-11.
Big changes are coming to Courthouse Road, how will they impact you and your clients? Review VDOT’s latest project update to be able to educate your clients and yourself about the construction impact and final project improvements.
VDOT Courthouse Road project update
FAAR staff and the technology committee are excited to unveil the new website that has been in the works over the past 6 months. Launching a new database and website is a massive undertaking for the association and you may notice some of the features of the new website are still under development. Due to the nature of the database installation taking place June 14-15, you may not see full functionality of the website for a couple of days. This will primarily affect the following sections of the website: Calendar/Events, Login/My account, Educational/Account History, and Directory.
If you are attempting to register for an upcoming class or event, please check back in a couple days for calendar functionality. In the meantime, please feel free to tell us about any website issues by clicking on “website accessibility” in the footer of this page or via email at email@example.com.
In anticipation of this installation, staff availability will be limited from June 14 through June 16 due to training. There will be no store sales or Sentrilock transactions during this time. Please plan accordingly and thank you for your patience!
Does a leadership role in FAAR interest you? Would you like to see the Association approach member services differently? Are you ready to give back to the Realtor community?
by: 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 2018 FAAR Board of Directors. The Nominating Committee is accepting applications until close of business on May 31. The Board is a hard working body of 12 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?”
New this year, an affiliate member position
The members voted last year 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.
I have attached the application for a new director and the Leadership Code of Conduct forms. Return the completed forms to me by May 31. Selected applicants will be notified of an interview time. Please contact me, firstname.lastname@example.org, or Chair Christine Singhass, email@example.com with questions you might have. I have also attached the list of the 2017 Leadership Team. Each would be happy to answer any questions you might have about serving.
The election is September 13. The Ballot goes live on August 16. 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!
2017 Leadership Team
President Linda Fosdick, ABR, CRS, GRI- Dockside Realty
President-Elect Kevin McGrath- Long & Foster, Inc.- Fredericksburg
Vice President Arlene Mason, Coldwell Banker Carriage House Realty,
Secretary Mark Geslock, Century 21 Redwood- Spotsylvania
Treasurer Drew Fristoe, Coldwell Banker Elite- Massaponax
Immediate Past President Christine Singhass, Caroline’s Realty
Carrie Danko, 1st Choice Better Homes & Land
Ben Keddie, CCIM, CIPS, Colwell Baker Commercial
Laura Fangman, Nest Realty Group
Pam Kuper, e-Pro, Century 21 New Millennium, Fredericksburg
Sandra Pearce, ABR, Coldwell Banker Elite- Spotsylvania
Chip Taylor, Century 21 Battlefield, King George
It was recently brought to FAAR’s attention that Stafford County was looking to rewrite their sign ordinance to comply with a 2015 Supreme Court decision. The court case affirmed that local government cannot regulate signs on content, the words on the sign. Stafford’s sign ordinance is all about what’s on the sign so they need to revise the ordinance or else they are open to potential litigation. The first draft of the proposed ordinance would require a permit for any temporary sign with an installed duration of longer than 60 days. That obviously doesn’t work for real estate and FAAR immediately engaged members of Stafford’s Planning Commission and Board of Supervisors to negotiate a fix.
After considerable research and negotiation with the County, FAAR has developed a set of recommendations that would accomplish Stafford’s need to revise their sign ordinance to be content-neutral while also preserving the exemption for real estate. Please click here to read the letter that FAAR has sent to each member of the Board of Supervisors. This issue is not settled yet, but FAAR and officials from Stafford continue to work together to reach a solution. The relationships that FAAR has been able to establish through campaign support from RPAC, the Realtors® Political Action Committee, absolutely ensured that we were involved in this process at the beginning and not fighting an expensive and onerous sign regulation after it was in effect.
Members’ days are usually filled with appointments, meetings and tasks long before the days arrive. It seems there is not much time left for volunteering. So why volunteer at FAAR? Simply put, networking with colleagues can generate business and will certainly expand the list of contacts.
May 24, 2017: Fredericksburg Realtors® Foundation to Host Donna Tyson
May 10, 2017: FAAR Release April Housing Market Report
April 28, 2017: FAAR to Host Professional Clothing Drive for Area Non-Profits
April 11, 2017: FAAR Releases March Housing Market Report
March 31, 2017: Tax Breaks Only Homeowners Can Claim
March 10, 2017: February Real Estate Market Posts Significant Gains
February 10, 2017: January Kicks Off 2017 with Consistent Numbers for Local Real Estate
January 26, 2017: FAAR Supports Passage of Stafford Sign Ordinance
January 12, 2017: FAAR Releases 2016 Year End Housing Report