3-28-16 — Vol.: 2016 Iss.: 12 • Randy Durham, 2016 President • Phil Newman, TAR Digest Editor
TAR TAKEAWAYS ✔ How the Advertising rule applies to social-media posts ✔ Can a buyer agent prepare the counter for your seller? ✔Find out what makes TREC Chair John Griess tick ✔ Brokers: how to create a Clause Library in TransactionDesk
1. TREC Stars: Griess Is the Word With this issue, we begin a series of profiles on the nine members of the Tennessee Real Estate Commission (TREC). First up: Chair John Griess of Knoxville.
In 1982, John Griess—sounds like “grēēse”—was a business teacher at Farragut High School in West Knoxville when the World’s Fair opened its six-month run on May 1. The exhibits he saw that summer broadened his horizons. “I went every day and realized there were a lot of things I’d like to see and do in the world,” he recalls.
The experience prompted a career shift and a foray into political service that included a tenure as an alderman for the Town of Farragut and a commissioner for Knox County, leading Griess toward his current seat on the Tennessee Real Estate Commission. Appointed by Gov. Bill Haslam in 2012, Griess has served as Chair for two years. Like all of TREC’s nine commissioners—divided evenly between the state’s three Grand Divisions—Griess is eligible for two five-year terms; he’s up for reappointment in 2017.
Answering the Call Haslam tapped Griess because of their longstanding relationship—one that has not been without conflict. “I’ve always had an interest in politics,” says Griess. “I got to know, sometimes adversarially, Bill Haslam, who was mayor of Knoxville for part of my tenure as a county commissioner. I’ve always had tremendous respect for him. He’s a good, honest fellow, and we could have good, honest disagreements, but it wasn’t personal.”
When a TREC vacancy opened for the Eastern Division, Gov. Haslam tapped Griess. “I didn’t know much about the job, but he asked through his staff and I was happy to oblige.”
A commercial broker (CCIM), Griess notes that “my wife [Judy Collins Griess] has been a successful residential agent for a long time, and our son [Jerry Collins] is a spectacularly successful residential agent. So even though I don’t do that, I get to hear about it a lot.”
Just as important is Griess’ deep experience leading commissions and boards, which has “taught me how to run a meeting efficiently and respect people’s time. I’ve learned by watching others do it well. I try to be respectful to every member of the commission and give them as much time as they would like.”
TREC is “a very, very good commission,” Griess says. “We don’t always agree, and we have some close 5-4 votes, but it’s never personal.”
Straight from the Chair Griess emphasizes two messages for TAR members to keep in mind: TREC’s core purpose, and the importance of licensure requirements.
First: “We are there primarily to protect the public, not primarily to serve licensees. Most of the time what’s good for one is good for the other, but the positions contradict occasionally.”
Second: “I hear from a lot of licensees who forgot to renew their license.” TREC sends reminder notices “as a courtesy, but it’s not required. I would encourage licensees to take control of their own business and know when their license expires.”
Licensees can take heart in the leadership of new TREC Executive Director Malcolm Young, who is committed to streamlining the process, Griess says. “As far as getting a license processed—new, retired, transferred—licensees will be extremely pleased at how much more quickly this will be handled, most of it online. I’m looking forward to that. I’ve gotten a lot of calls from folks who wonder where their license is.”
Finally, Griess encourages TAR members to capitalize on the credit available by attending a monthly TREC meeting: 8 hours of CE per session, which runs one or two days. For West Tennesseans, TREC will meet in Jackson May 5-6; for East Tennesseans, TREC will convene in Farragut Oct. 6-7.
“We also do a traveling road show, if licensees want to stop by for a two-hour [CE] update on what’s going on,” Griess says. “That would be 10 hours if they attend a session and a two-hour update, which leaves only the six-hour core course to complete the 16 hours.”
When he’s not working or serving with TREC, Griess enjoys spending time with family and hiking in the Smoky Mountains.
2. Google Alerts Help Grow Your Business Do you know what’s being said about you? Your firm? Your listings? Your city and neighborhood? One way to stay current is by setting up Google Alerts tagged to keywords and receiving automatic updates when those words appear online. In a CE session at Spring Conference last week, Andrew Dorn of realtor.com reminded us of the value of using alerts to boost our business.
Among the keyword categories to consider: 1. Your name 2. Names of members of your firm 3. Your brokerage 4. Competitors 5. Local city, town and neighborhoods 6. Local businesses and organizations 7. Street addresses of your listings(to intercept nefarious attempts to repurpose a listing on Craigslist or another outlet)
Setting up an alert is simple: Go togoogle.com/alerts, enter keywords in the box, and click the Choose Options arrow to set up the frequency of updates you’ll receive.
3. How Sound & Noise Affect our Health The world isn’t getting any quieter, but how we interact with the sounds we encounter is more vital than we often realize. In thisfive-minute classic TED Talk, auditory expert Julian Treasure shows how sound affects our bodies, psyches, brains and behaviors.
4. TransactionDesk Tip: Broker Clause Library We periodically share tips to help you navigate TransactionDesk, including step-by-step tutorials featuring our own Buzz Steele. This week: Brokers: Create a Clause Library for Agents As a Principal Broker you may have clauses, stipulations, contingencies, etc., that you either require or suggest your Agents use. The screencast at this linkshows a way to create your own OFFICE Clause Library for agents to input when working with forms.
5.Meet ERMA: She’s the Real Deal If you attended Spring Conference, you got to meet ERMA—not just TAR’s educational resource mobile app, but the real-life ERMA (actress Janet Ivey), who served as emcee for our CE sessions. To help spread the word about the app, ERMA has created a series of videos.Here’s the first one—an overview introducing the app. (Note: ERMA is still in the early stages of development, so we welcome any feedback after you’ve downloaded it.) Enjoy the show…and tell your friends about ERMA!
6. RPAC Reception: Foot-Stompin’ Fun A big THANKS to all who stopped by The Bunganut Pig in Franklin for last Monday’s RPAC Reception. Thanks also toSmooth Hound Smithfor the stellar live music.
To learn more about RPAC, The REALTOR® Party and the difference your investment can make, visit this link.
7. Spring Conference Recap + SURVEY Thanks to all who took part in our 2016 Spring Conference last week in Cool Springs. It was great to see so many members and friends—some 700 strong!—learning, sharing and connecting.
A special word of appreciation to all of the volunteer leaders who took part in important committee meetings during the conference—and especially to the commissioners from TREC who joined us for a one-hour Q&A session. (BREAKING NEWS: By popular demand, next spring’s TREC session will expand to TWO hours.)
Also: If you attended, please check your email for a link to a post-conference SURVEY. If you attended but did not receive the link, please contact Phil Newman, .
8. Secure Auctioned-Property Reimbursements from Bank?
QUESTION: I handle REO transactions: make weekly inspections, pay all utilities, etc. For the third time, the bank has reassigned a property for auction, and I am left holding the bill—literally. How can I protect and secure reimbursement of my expenses from these banks?
ANSWER: The best way to try to counter this is to have something in the listing agreement that addresses the issue. It would need to state that if the property is assigned to auction prior to the listing period ending, then the seller (the bank) agrees to pay your expenses for X, Y and Z. That way, if they refuse, your firm would have a cause of action for breach of contract.
9. Advertising Rule’s Effect on Social Media? Note: This topic was raised at the TREC commissioners’ Q&A during TAR’s Spring Conference last week.
QUESTION: If I want to post about a listing on Facebook or Twitter, are the requirements the same as with traditional advertising?
ANSWER: Yes. As noted in Rule 1260-02-.12 ADVERTISING, “The term ‘advertising,’ for purposes of this rule, in addition to traditional print, radio and television advertising, also includes…signs, flyers, letterheads, email signatures, websites, social media communications, and video or audio recordings transmitted through internet or broadcast streaming.” The rule requires that the firm name “must be the most prominent name featured within the advertising” and that the firm telephone number “shall be the same size or larger than the telephone number of any individual licensee or group of licensees.” Permission is vital: “No licensee shall post a sign in any location advertising property for sale, purchase, exchange, rent or lease, without written authorization from the owner of the advertised property or the owner’s agent.” In addition, “No licensee shall advertise property listed by another licensee without written authorization from the property owner” [as evidenced by] “a statement on the listing agreement or any other written statement signed by the owner.”
10. Buyer Agent Prepare My Seller’s Counter Offer?
QUESTION: Is it acceptable for a buyer agent to prepare a counter offer for my seller to sign?
ANSWER: That is fine on occasion. If you are a full-service agent, then you have a duty to prepare the offers and counter offers. If for some reason you cannot, it is OK to have the other side prepare it and then for you to review it. If you are a limited-service agent and the seller has waived his rights to have you prepare the offers and counter offers, then this is not required by law.