At work with Mike Reitelbach

Mike Reitelbach

Mike Reitelbach

At work with  Mike Reitelbach, president of Organization Management Group in Chesapeake on July 22, 2014. (Sammy Jo Hester | The Virginian-Pilot). Click here to read the story

Mike has 35 years of association management experience, including 26 at the Hampton Roads REALTORS® Association. He holds a B.S. degree in Commerce from the University of Virginia and a M.B.A. from Old Dominion University. Mike holds the Certified Association Executive, REALTOR® Certified Executive and Institute of Organization Management professional designations. He currently serves on the Board of Directors of the Association Management Company Institute (AMCI). Mike is an Eagle Scout. He volunteers with the Boy Scouts, his church, and the Appalachian Trail. Mike thru-hiked the Appalachian Trail from Maine to Georgia in 1985. He still backpacks, bikes, and takes hundred-mile canoe trips in the Boundary Waters Canoe Area Wilderness.



Catch up with old friends and meet new colleagues at the special events scheduled during the Real Show 2014. From a networking breakfast to happy hour to a luxury home tour, we’ve organized a bunch of different ways to celebrate, chat and connect. Want to see the entire line-up of events, classes and seminars? Find more information at

Monday, October 6, 2014

RPAC Major Investors Reception (by invitation only)

Tuesday, October 7, 2014

VAR Installation & Awards Ceremony
 – Celebrate the installation of VAR’s Officers and Board of Directors and presentation of VAR major awards.

VAR Installation & Awards Reception (ticket required) 
- Congratulate VAR’s 2015 officers and celebrate with award winners over drinks and hors d’oeuvres as you connect with colleagues.

Wednesday, October 8, 2014

Champagne Breakfast Honoring VAR Past Presidents
 – Join us as we honor Bradley J. Boland and past presidents for their contributions to the association.

Expo Opening Reception
 – Enjoy a bite, a cocktail and mingle with vendors, peers, and colleagues. It’s fun and casual — and it’s the perfect way to end your day.

RPAC President’s Circle Reception (by invitation only)

Thursday, October 9, 2014

Networking Breakfast
 – Explore the exhibit hall, chat with your peers, and enjoy a complimentary breakfast while you source some of the most interesting real estate products on the market.

CRS Luxury Homes Tour (ticket required)
 – Sponsored by the Virginia CRS Chapter. Buses will pick-up/return at the front of the Virginia Beach Convention Center. A $2.00 donation to the Food Bank is requested.

Happy Hour  – The perfect way to end your Real Show experience is with a fun and relaxing happy hour.

For more details or to register for the Real Show visit for more information.


Working smarter and more efficiently in our ever-competitive marketplace can get you—and keep you—on the path to success. At our upcoming Real Show, you’ll learn how to leverage the latest technology, put workable systems and processes in place, and how pricing has changed from some of the industry experts. It’s a can’t miss event that will help make your business even better. Want to know more? Visit


Getting Listings in a Seller’s Market, Bruce Gardner
 – Attendees will learn effective and low cost listing lead generation ideas.

Mobile Gadgets and Great Tech Tools, G. William James
 – What to look for and what to consider when purchasing technology devices for real estate.

Extreme Growth: From 20-50 Deals a Year, Bruce Gardner
 – You will learn how to build the systems and support to grow your business.


Evernote for Real Estate Productivity, Stacey Harmon
 – Learn how to use Evernote to increase your productivity and transform your real estate business.

Creating Powerful Pricing Presentations with RPR
 – REALTORS® Property Resource (RPR) provides easy access to detailed property and market information, leaving you at the center of the transaction…right where you belong.

New Normal = New Skills, Melanie McLane – New Normal = New Skills explores the challenges of today’s market.

Social Media Strategies for REALTORS®, Stacey Harmon – Are you ready to create an effective and powerful Facebook business page that will grow your business? This is a fast-paced, intermediate level class.

It’s a Price War to the Door, Jackie Leavenworth – Gain an edge for your listings and for your marketing with this one-of-a-kind presentation on new pricing techniques.

For more details or to register for the Real Show visit for more information.


VAR Out and About: Hampton Roads

Out & About Hampton Roads photoVAR CEO Terrie Suit, along with Rick Lugg, Chief of Finance and Accounting, and Jim Hopper, VAR General Counsel, traveled to Chesapeake, Virginia to meet with the team at the Hampton Roads REALTORS Association (HRRA) and learn about the “I Am One” Campaign.

HRRA initiated this campaign to communicate the value of being a REALTOR to members and doing business with a REALTOR to the community. AEs Mike Reitelbach and Kathy Crossfield concluded the visit with a tour of the innovative HRRA facilities.

“It is great to see the enthusiasm and creativity the HRRA team has put into the ‘I Am One’ campaign!” Suit said after the meeting.


VAR Out and About: Virginia Peninsula

VAR Out & About VPARA trip to visit the Virginia Peninsula Association of REALTORS (VPAR) was made by the VAR Administration Team on August 6, 2014. Lynne Wherry, Carol Thompson, Janet Hakki and Dawn Freeman traveled to chat with the Peninsula team, including Jim Wetzel, the new Association Executive and his staff members, Jo Daley and Cindy Anderson.

Jim took over the AE position in May after having served as an AE for about 15 years in Boston, Rhode Island and Florida. His extensive experience will be a great asset to the group at VPAR. Jo currently handles the education for the association and Cindy deals with the administrative and accounting functions.

Preparing for certification
The VPAR chapter, which has about 1,000 members, is currently working to retain their charter in accordance to the National Association of Realtors (NAR). Lynne will be their main contact through the process preparing the documents for certification. She is also the contact point for strategic planning due to her training with NAR. The VPAR team is already moving toward their certification goals by:

• Working on the website to make it more interactive
• Adding links to Virginia Association for Realtors and National Association of Realtors
• Consulting with RAR (Richmond Association of Realtors) about the consumer side of the VPAR website

RAMCO, CE classes and other hot topics
During the meeting, a discussion was held about RAMCO, a membership database, and its advantages. The VPAR team is looking into its effectiveness for their asssociation. Continuing education (CE) classes was also discussed and interest was shown in CRS, GRI, RLI and IREM.

Other topics at the meeting included:
• Accounting steps for RPAC and documentation
• Young Professionals Network (YPN)
• The legal hotline as a resource
• Re-posting calls for action as it relates to the core standards
• The suggestion of a monthly dues billing system


New FICO score model could help homebuyers

As a Realtor helping clients find their next home, you know how important a FICO score can be. Most home loans are predicated on the FICO score of the buyer and the difference between a good score and one that’s not so good can result in a higher interest rate or no loan at all.

That’s why the news from Fair Isaac Corporation (FICO) on August 7, 2014 was good for both homebuyers and Realtors.

Removing medical debt points
The new FICO Score 9 will no longer count medical debts as it did in previous iterations. Some experts feel that this move of treating medical debt differently than regular consumer debt may make the new FICO scores more precise.

Ready for rollout this fall, the newer FICO scores also remove any overdue payment notices if the debt has been settled. According to, the current model means a collection generally stays on a credit report for seven years even if it is paid off. This is the same amount of time bankruptcies and foreclosures stay on a report. Now, consumers will see their paid collections being removed from their credit reports.

A boost for buyers
FICO predicts that these changes may boost some consumers’ scores up 25 points. This can make a big difference when shopping for a mortgage or home loan. FICO scores are based on a 300- to 850-point scale.

The New York reports that for consumers to see any benefit, lenders have to adopt the new scoring techniques. FICO last introduced a new model, called FICO 8, in 2008. Since then, FICO said that about half of its customers had started using that model.

Help for lenders
“The advances in FICO Score 9 provide significant incentives for lenders to upgrade from earlier versions of the FICO Score,” Jim Wehmann, executive vice president for Scores at FICO said. “U.S. lenders can more consistently and precisely assess new applicants and existing accounts with a more robust credit score built on the most current credit data available, while minimizing operational hurdles associated with adoption and compliance. We stand ready to help lenders make that upgrade as smoothly and quickly as possible.”


INSIDE NOVA covers VAR’s endorsement of Don Beyer and Barbara Comstock, click here to read the complete story



Virginia is a cat state

According to data from the American Veterinary Medical Association, Virginia is slightly more of a cat state than a dog state.

Make of this information what you will.



1 Comment (keep it going!)

Drone no-fly zones

We explained earlier that the FAA forbids commercial use of drones (sorry, “unmanned aerial vehicles”) without a license, and — in its interpretation — that includes Realtors.

But there are also some places where it’s illegal to fly a drone even for non-commercial purposes: near military bases, major airports, or national parks, for example.

Not surprisingly, that puts a lot of the Norfolk and Virginia Beach area off limits.

To help show where you can’t fly a drone, period, comes the aptly named website “Don’t Fly Drones Here,” which consists of an interactive map indicating those no-fly zones.

So while the general “commercial use of drones” rules might eventually change, you still won’t be able to photograph these areas from the air.

Much of the Norfolk and Virginia Beach area is a drone no-fly zone.

Much of the Norfolk and Virginia Beach area is a drone no-fly zone.









VAR CEO Terrie Suit attended the NAR Environmental Summit in Washington, D.C., on July 29 and 30.

The conference was created to help Realtors understand and deal with the “wide variety of environmental risks that could impact the real estate industry in the future” especially those related to climate change, water resources, and energy issues.

Keynoted by Former Secretary of the U.S. Department of Homeland Security Tom Ridge, it featured speakers from organizations such as the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, EPA, National Institute for Building Sciences, Insurance Information Institute, and FEMA.


VAR CEO Terrie Suit catches up with keynoter Tom Ridge. The two worked together when Suit served as Virginia’s Secretary of Homeland Security.


Former U.S. Secretary of Agriculture Dan Glickman addresses the attendees.


Here is the recommended background-information list provided by NAR to attendees:

Video/Audio Clips

Adapt, Adapt, Adapt: Market Responses to Climate Change
Terry Anderson – May 5, 2014

Our Year of Extremes: Did Climate Change Just Hit Home?
NBC News – April 7, 2014

Ex-Bush official Ridge: Climate change poses ‘a security challenge’
Morning Joe, MSNBC – May 21, 2014

News Articles

One Year Into Obama’s Climate Action Plan, Limits on Executive Actions Remain Obvious
Bloomberg BNA, June 24, 2014

White House Unveils Climate Change Initiatives
The New York Times – July 16, 2014

Climate Adaptation Strategies Gaining Traction Among States, Business
Bloomberg BNA - July 17, 2014

Adaptation Key to Dealing with Climate Change
USA Today – June 4, 2014

Climate Change Reconsidered II: Biological Impacts
Nongovernmental International Panel on Climate Change – April 9, 2014

The Economic Risks of Climate Change in the United States
The Risky Business Project – June 24, 2014