6-20-16 Vol.: 2016 Iss.: 23 • Randy Durham, 2016 President • Phil Newman, TAR Digest Editor

✔  Say goodbye to boring meetings
✔  Get your NAR membership card (here’s why you need it)
✔  Can your client counter two offers at the same time?
✔  Instagram’s rise as a key social-media platform
To watch the Video Recap of this week’s TAR Digest, including our hotline segment with Addison Russell, click here.
In the News
1. The Fed’s Interest-Rate Decision
2. Instagram on the Rise
3. Nine Tips for Better Meetings
Member Services
4. Get Your Membership Card
Professional Development
5. Are you RETI for Tech-Ed Help?
6. Webinar: 10 Profitable Facebook Tips
7. REBAC Tip: Exchanging Referrals
Legal & Ethics Hot Line
8. Counter Two Offers at Same Time?
9. How to Submit Multiple Offers?
10. Underprice to Draw More Offers?
Key Links & Resources
**Register for Fall Convention!**

1. The Fed’s Interest-Rate Decision
Last week, the U.S. Federal Reserve’s Open Market Committee voted not to increase the cost of borrowing money, leaving the target federal-funds rate at .25% to .5%. There had been speculation the Fed might raised the rate, which could have led to higher mortgage rates. The decision was in part a sign of continued uncertainty about the overall U.S. economy. “Recent economic indicators suggest that a cautious approach to adjusting monetary policy remains appropriate,” said Fed chairwoman Janet Yellen. To read about the Fed’s decision, go here or here.

2. Instagram on the Rise

Whether or not Instagram is part of your social-media toolkit, it might surprise you to learn how rapidly the photo-based platform’s influence is growing. For example, according to this Hubspot blog, “48 Instagram Stats That’ll Help You Improve Your Posting Strategy”: 

  • Instagram has 400 million+ active users, far ahead of Twitter (310M), Snapchat (200M) and Pinterest (100M) (#2).
  • Between 2016 and ’20, eMarketer predicts Instagram will add 26.9 million users, far more than any other social platform tracked (#5)
  • Good news for REALTORS®: images featuring blue as the dominant color generate 24% more Likes than predominantly red images (#22)
  • 55% of young adults (ages 18-29) used Instagram in 2015 vs. 37% in 2013 (#11)
  • Instagram and Snapchat are tied for second-highest used messaging app (behind Facebook Messenger) for millennials at 47% (#5)
  • Photos showing faces get 38% more Likes than non-face photos (#21)
  • The best times to post on Instagram are Mondays and Thursdays, any time except 3-4 p.m. in your target audience’s time zone.

To download a free guide, How to Use Instragram for Business, visit this link and fill out the quick form.
For the full blog and all 48 Instagram stats,
go here.

**Can you guess whose Instagram account is the most followed (as of March 2016)? See the answer at the bottom of the Digest.**

3. Nine Tips for Better Meetings
In real estate, meetings are often a necessary part of doing business. This infographic from Ragan Communications suggests nine ideas for improving them. “Choosing unusual start and end times, banning electronic devices, and limiting the amount of attendees will not only make your meetings more efficient, but help you have a better workday,” the author writes. Read the article here.


4. Get Your Membership Card
As noted in last week’s item about Tennessee’s REALTOR® license plate (“Celebrate Homeownership”), it’s required to show your NAR membership card when ordering a plate from your County Clerk’s office. The card is also important for other reasons, including proof of membership for special offers/discounts (i.e. 25% off Hertz car rentals) and quick access to your NRDS number and NAR Info Central. If you don’t have a card, the brief screencast video at this link from TAR’s Buzz Steele will show you how to order, download and print a personalized card from NAR’s website.

5. Are You RETI for Tech-Ed Help?
Last week we introduced a new partnership with RETI.us, the Real Estate Technology Institute, a leading online technology-education resource for REALTORS®. This week we feature a video from Craig Grant, RETI’s Chief Technology Officer, unfolding the many benefits that RETI.us offers. Watch the video at this link. To learn more and sign up for a free, seven-day trial, go here.

6. Webinar: 10 Profitable Facebook Tips
Speaking of RETI, the institute is offering a free webinar at 3 p.m. EDT/2 p.m. CDT this Wednesday, June 22. “10 Tips to Generate Business from Your Facebook Personal Profile,” with Amy Smythe-Harris, will help you leverage your personal account to reach some of Facebook’s 1.6 billion users. To register, visit this link.

7. REBAC Tip: Exchanging Referrals
From our friends at the Real Estate Buyer’s Agent Council (REBAC, an NAR subsidiary), here’s a sample script for asking local businesses to exchange referrals with you, whether by phone or in person:

“Hi [NAME], this is [YOUR NAME and AFFILIATION], and I’m in the process of creating a list of preferred providers in the area. Frequently, my clients ask me for a good [TYPE OF SERVICE] and I’d like to refer them to trusted suppliers. I’ve heard good things about your company [or ‘I’ve used your service and think it’s great’] and I’d like to include you. Would that be okay? [Wait for yes.]

Great! Professional referral partnerships are an excellent way to find new business, so if I refer clients to you, would you be willing to refer your clients that are looking to buy or sell a home to me? Of course, I ask this with the understanding that I will provide the same excellent service that you offer your clients. [Wait for yes.]

Wonderful! Can you give me your email address so I can send you my contact information and get yours?”

Look for more insights from REBAC in future editions of the Digest.

Source: TAR Legal & Ethics Hot Line Counsel

Multiple Offers: Dos and Dont’s
In today’s market, REALTORS® often find themselves with a listing that has multiple offers. The Code of Ethics addresses multiple offers. Standard of Practice 1-15 states: REALTORS®, in response to inquiries from buyers or cooperating brokers shall, with the sellers’ approval, disclose the existence of offers on the property. Where disclosure is authorized, REALTORS® shall also disclose, if asked, whether offers were obtained by the listing licensee, another licensee in the listing firm, or by a cooperating broker. The hotline questions below explore how best to handle multiple-offer situations.

8. Counter Two Offers at Once?

QUESTION: Can my sellers counter two offers at the same time? Do we need to use RF 663, the multiple offer disclosure, or could we just negotiate in good faith on both?

ANSWER: It is not recommended for a seller to counter more than one offer at a time. This could be dangerous if two buyers accept the counter offer at the same time.

There are a couple of ways to handle multiple offers properly. The listing agent must present all offers to the seller, and then the seller has several options. First, the seller can review the offers and select one to counter. Or second, the seller can notify all interested buyers to submit their highest and best offer by a particular date and time. The seller would then review all offers received and select the one they wish to work. TAR has a form for the second option, RF 663, the Multiple Offer Disclosure and Notification form.

If you decide to use RF 663, the listing agent completes the form and indicates when highest and best offers should be received (lines 9-12). The agent additionally indicates when the offers will be presented to the seller. Then, the seller reviews the offers and selects one to work. This form is then delivered to the interested buyers or their agents who sign indicating receipt.

Either option is permissible; it is up to the seller which route he wishes to pursue.

9. How to Submit Multiple Offers?QUESTION: If I am expecting to receive multiple offers on a property, how should I submit offers to my clients?

ANSWER: Promptly submit all offers received to your seller. The sellers do not have to review the offers in the order in which they arrive. They can look at all offers and then decide to accept, reject or counter any offer they choose. If you know or suspect other offers may be coming in, you should advise your seller of this.

The Broker’s Act states, “Unless the following duties are specifically and individually waived, in writing by a client, a licensee shall assist the client by receiving all offers and counter-offers and forwarding them promptly to the client.” Tenn. Code Ann. § 62-13-404(3)(A)(ii). TREC Rule 1260-2-.08 states, “A broker or affiliate broker promptly shall tender every written offer to purchase or sell obtained on a property until a contract is signed by all parties.” Therefore, an agent must present all offers to the client unless they have instructed them not to do so in writing (signed by the seller).

Furthermore, under Standard of Practice 1-6, REALTORS® shall submit offers and counter-offers objectively and as quickly as possible.” In addition, Standard of Practice 1-7 states in pertinent part, “When acting as listing brokers, REALTORS® shall continue to submit to the seller/landlord all offers and counter-offers until closing or execution of a lease unless the seller has waived this obligation in writing.”

10. Underprice to Draw More Offers?QUESTION: Should I market my property at a price below market value in hopes of getting multiple offers and starting a bidding war?

ANSWER: This practice is not recommended. Several provisions of the Code of Ethics and Broker’s Act could be interpreted to prohibit this. First, Article 12 of the Code of Ethics states:

REALTORS® shall be honest and truthful in their real estate communications and shall present a true picture in their advertising, marketing, and other representations. REALTORS® shall ensure that their status as real estate professionals is readily apparent in their advertising, marketing, and other presentations, and that the recipients of all real estate communications are, or have been, notified that those communications are from a real estate professional.

The local board could view underpricing as encouraging a seller to be untruthful in setting a list price that they know full well they would not take.

Second, the Broker’s Act would likely not permit this. Tenn. Code Ann. § 62-13-312(b)(1, 3, 4) states that an agent can be disciplined for:

(1) Making any substantial and willful misrepresentation;

(3) Pursuing a continued and flagrant course of misrepresentation or making of false promises through affiliate brokers, other persons, any medium of advertising or otherwise;

(4) Misleading or untruthful advertising, including use of the term “REALTOR®” by a person not authorized to do so, or using any other trade name, insignia or membership in any real estate association or organization of which the licensee is not a member;

To check your CE hours: verify.tn.gov/default.aspx
For CE and other courses around TN: tarnet.com/education/
For online CE courses: tarnet.com/education/?target=online-CE-courses/
To ask a TAR Legal and Ethics Hot Line question: tarnet.com/technology-support/legal-ethics-hotline/
TREC: tn.gov/commerce/section/real-estate-commission
TAR website: tarnet.com
TAR on Twitter: twitter.com/tnaor
TAR on LinkedIn: linkedin.com/groups?gid=852077&trk=hb_side_g
TAR on Facebook: facebook.com/pages/Nashville-TN/Tennessee-Association-of-RealtorsR/15041383689
< 3 Months ‘Til Charleston!
2016 TAR Fall Convention
Sept. 14, 15 and 16

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Answer to the Instagram question in item #2: Music artist Selena Gomez, with 69.26 million followers!