Hello, Texas REALTORS®!
Happy New Year and thank you for electing me to serve as your 2018 President! We have a lot to look forward to in the coming year.
One of the most important things we do as Texas REALTORS® is advocate for public policies that protect private property rights and the rights of small business owners throughout our state. We have seen many attempts to impinge on those rights through the years and have used our REALTOR® association strength to keep homeownership affordable, to ensure that there are no inequitable taxes levied on our citizens, and to keep small businesses able to succeed without the heavy weights of extra rules pressing down on them.
The need for us to be the stalwart servants of our communities remains great. We are not just a club or a social organization, although our friendships and networking opportunities remain a valuable part of what we do. We are advocates.
When you became a Texas REALTOR® you became part of something great! The very first phrase of our mission statement is to provide unparalleled political advocacy and consumer outreach. Texas REALTORS® care for the people of Texas. We give homeowners and small businesses a voice that is 112,200 individuals strong. That voice carries to each and every community throughout our great state. Come be a part of the action this year. Watch your emails for invitations and to help strengthen our local board. I cannot do this without YOU.
I, along with the other elected leaders, look forward to seeing you this year.
Here’s more valuable information to strengthen you, Texas REALTOR®:
In a recent discussion there was a bit of noted confusion regarding the Information about Brokerage Services (IABS) form and the representation disclosure rules. The frequently asked questions section of the TexasRealEstate.com website has a lot of information on the subject; hopefully, these specific FAQs will afford you a better understanding of the requirements:
Information about Brokerage Services:
When and how should license holders provide the Information About Brokerage Services form? (updated September 7, 2016)
At the first substantive communication with a party about a property, a license holder must provide the Information About Brokerage Services form (TAR 2501, TREC IABS 1-0).
Does the Texas Real Estate Commission have rules about how to deliver the Information About Brokerage Services form? (updated September 7, 2016)
Yes. The IABS form can be delivered in the following ways:
• Personally delivered by a broker or sales agent
• Through first-class mail or overnight common carrier delivery service
• In the body of an email
• As an attachment to an email, or a link within the body of an email, with a specific reference to the form in the body of the email, which is the part above your name and contact information in your signature block.
When and how should license holders disclose who they represent under The Real Estate License Act’s requirements to disclose agency? (updated September 7, 2016)
A license holder must disclose which party she represents at the first contact with another party or another license holder representing a party in a proposed transaction. For example, disclosure must be provided when a seller’s agent meets the buyer (who is unrepresented or working with an agent), or when a buyer’s agent meets the seller’s agent. In either scenario, the disclosure can be oral or in writing, but it’s easier to prove you’ve made the disclosure if it’s in writing. There is no required language for this disclosure.
Visit the Legal FAQs at TexasRealEstate.com for more information regarding these and other TREC rules.
Don’t forget, dues were due on Dec. 1. If you haven’t paid yet, there is still time. Log in at www.NAR.realtor and with your page fully expanded, click on Pay Dues, you’ll go to the “eCommerce” page then scroll to the bottom where the link says My Invoice. It should be easy as pie from there. Oh and this is a great time to increase your TREPAC $35 fair share investment too! Visit the TREPAC page at TexasRealEstate.com (linked to make it easy) to learn the award options for your contribution.
How to use Twitter’s new 280-character limit effectively
Twitter recently doubled its long-established 140-character limit per tweet. The move is intended to preserve the speed and brevity of the platform, according to Twitter, but make it easier for users to express themselves. Take advantage of the higher character limit by starting with some of the following strategies:
- Use more hashtags. More characters mean you can include more hashtags, giving additional context to your post and potentially reaching more users. There still will be a balance between including too many hashtags and using the extra characters to make your message clear.
- Mention other users. Including others in your conversations, threads, and replies promotes engagement with users and helps build your own following.
- Expand your thought instead of cramming it. Before the change, 9% of tweets hit the character limit. After a test by Twitter, only 1% of tweets hit the new 280-character limit. Fewer people were spending time cramming their thoughts into the character limit, and longer tweets saw more engagement. That doesn’t mean you shouldn’t edit yourself. However, using extra characters to express full, clear thoughts can lead to more engaging tweets.
Visit Advice for Texas REALTORS® for more information
2018 marks 50 years since enactment of the Fair Housing Act
In 2018, the Texas Association of REALTORS® will join NAR and our industry partners in commemorating the 50th anniversary of the Fair Housing Act. As NAR has noted, the commemoration will focus on:
- Acknowledging the organization’s past role in the fight for fair housing;
- Understanding how we as a nation are constantly improving our commitment to fair housing; and
- Embracing REALTORS®’ role at the forefront of advancing fair housing, leading efforts to address community fair housing issues.