Author Archive

On Thursday, June 19, two members of the VAR board of directors and one VAR staff member visited the Southwest Virginia Association of REALTORS for its membership meeting. The meeting included education, lunch, and a chance to meet two new affiliate members and 3 new SWVAR members.

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(l. to r.) Karen Smith, vice chairman of VAR’s RPAC Fundraising Committee and member of VAR’s board of directors; VAR Director of Member Outreach Lynne Wherry; SWVAR President-Elect Cindy Hornsby; SWVAR CEO Lisia Amburn; Charlee Gowin, member of VAR’s board of directors and SWVAR board liaison



The staff executives of the state’s 28 local Realtor associations came to Richmond for the annual Virginia Association Executives Conference, where they got a crash, two-day course in a host of important topics.

  • Proposed Virginia Real Estate Board regulations
  • Professional standards
  • NAR’s new core standards
  • NAR Game Changer grants
  • Promoting the use of Realtors
  • Reaching RPAC goals
  • And, of course, an overview of VAR programs that can help them and their members

Here’s keynoter Adorna Carroll giving advice on “When Life Gives you Limes Make It Into a Margarita – Dealing with Difficult People”:

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Real Show 2014 registration is open!

RS-Rot-Banner-FeatureThe 2014 Real Show — the official statewide convention and expo for Virginia Realtors — is now open for registration.

This year’s show is already shaping up to be phenomenal.

For starters, you asked and we listened: The Real Show is being held during the week, so you don’t miss any of that critical weekend client time.

We’ve streamlined our classes. Now there are three tracks: broker, risk management (“Risky Business”), and marketing (“Market Matters”). That means getting the business knowledge you want is easier than ever.

Of course we have a ton of education available, including 21 hours of high-level CE content from the best speakers in the business, like Melanie McLane, “Coach” Jackie Leavenworth, and VAR’s own Blake Hegeman.

There are courses on RESPA reform, creating an office policy manual, using NAR’s powerful Realtor Property Resource, working with teams, fair housing law, smart pricing, and more.

You’ll also see the return of our popular Learning Lab and Alpha Stage. They’re great ways to learn about the latest tools of the trade, and get tips for using your technology in quick, intensive, hands-on workshops.

M0re than 80 companies have already signed up to exhibit in the expo hall, which means hundreds of products and services to see and demo.

There’s networking galore as the best and brightest Realtors from across the commonwealth return to Virginia Beach to share ideas, meals, and even a drink or two with old and new friends.

And of course you won’t want to miss the VAR Installation and Awards Ceremony, where you can celebrate the installation of 2014 VAR’s officers and board of directors, and see the presentation of our major awards.

Every year the Real Show is the biggest and most important conference for Virginia’s Realtors, whether you’re a seasoned pro or just started in the business. You’ll find more information about events, classes, and speakers at

Be sure to register early for the best price, and we’ll see you in Virginia Beach in October!

On Wednesday, May 14 dozens of Virginia Realtors flocked to Capitol Hill to attend a federal address with U.S. Senators Mark Warner and Tim Kaine.

Realtors provided a big “thank you” to both senators for supporting the passage of the Flood Insurance extension bill.

Senator Warner discussed his GSE reform bill: (Virginian-Pilot article here) and mentioned that he is paying close attention to national college debt, referring to it as the “country’s next great economic crisis.”  (He’s developed a plan called the “Student Right To Know Before You Go Act” to ease cost of college.)

Besides talking about his roles on the Budget, Armed Services, and Foreign Relations committees, Senator Kaine discussed his newly introduced CREDIT Act of 2014, which will allow servicemen and -women to use the GI bill to help pay for trade “certifications” such as electrician, welder, etc. (Currently the GI Bill can only be used for college courses.)

Here are a few pictures from the event, and you can see a whole gallery by clicking here.

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VAR President Bradley J. Boland speaks with Virginia Senator Tim Kaine at the Realtor Party Convention in Washington

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(l. to r.) VAR Treasurer Pat Sury, VAR 2013 President Mary Dykstra, VAR Vice President Bill White, Senator Mark Warner, VAR President Bradley J. Boland, VAR President-Elect Deborah A Baisden, and VAR CEO Terrie Suit

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(l. to r.) VAR Treasurer Pat Sury, VAR 2013 President Mary Dykstra, VAR President-Elect Deborah A Baisden, Senator Tim Kaine, VAR President Bradley J. Boland, VAR CEO Terrie Suit, and VAR Vice President Bill White


03d7b4bWe would like to welcome a new association executive to the ranks in Virginia.

James M. “Jim” Wetzel is the new CEO at the Virginia Peninsula Association of REALTORS®. Jim has 15 years of Realtor association management experience including executive management with the Kent Washington Association of REALTORS® in Greenwich, Rhode Island; the Greater Boston Real Estate Board; the Worcester Regional Association of REALTORS® in Auburn, Massachusetts; and the REALTOR® Association of Martin County in Stuart, Florida. He holds the REALTOR® Certified Executive (RCE) and GRI designations.

Please join us in welcoming Jim to the VPAR team!

Over the weekend, your Virginia Association of REALTORS® Policy and Advocacy team received confirmation that Governor McAuliffe signed the entire Virginia Association of REALTORS® Legislative Agenda into law.  Though the specific provisions of the bills he signed will not come into effect until July 1, 2014, we are pleased that the Governor signed them, exactly as they passed the Virginia General Assembly.

  • HB 331 – Establishing First Time Homeowners Savings Plans
    VAR sought to establish First Time Homeowner Savings Plans that will allow a contributor to deposit up to $50,000 principal into a banking or investment account, and have all the earnings on that account be forever free of state taxes. A qualified beneficiary would be someone living in Virginia, who has never owned property- individually or jointly- anywhere in the U.S.
  • HB 273 – Making important changes to the Landlord-Tenant Act
    We amended the Landlord-Tenant Act to allow many more rental properties to fall under the Virginia Residential Landlord Tenant Act, which has long been supported by VAR attorneys as being much better for landlords, property managers and their owners.  In addition, we removed the requirement that landlords and property managers pay interest on security deposits.
  • HB 900 – POA/Condo Act changes
    We amended the POA / Condo Act to continue clarifying fees that are allowed versus those not allowed under Virginia law.  In addition we make sure that Realtors and their clients can receive homeowner association packets electronically, if requested.  Finally, we allow for easier use of those homeowners associations who maintain websites.
  • HB 208 – Clarifying the law to protect property rights
    We clarified the language of the vested rights statute we passed in 2008 to preserve our accomplishments and to protect property owners from local governments that may wish to require existing buildings without documented building permits be removed.
  • SB 302 / HB 259 – Protecting members from being labeled criminals (i.e., making it criminal to assert that a real estate licensee is a criminal)
    To protect Realtors from being unjustly labeled as criminals, if an attorney accuses a real estate licensee of criminal false advertising in a lawsuit, we will now require the attorney to state the facts with particularity, to make sure attorneys are not just accusing criminal false advertising without building in the facts or reasons behind the accusations.

As July 1, 2014 nears, we will make sure our members are reminded of these changes to the law, as well as the many others that will come into effect.


Bradley J. Boland
2014 Virginia Association of REALTORS® President

Leesburg’s daily newspaper, Leesburg Today, featured VAR’s analysis of Virginia’s housing markets in its Loudoun Business section. Not only did the paper cite data from our Pieces of Home housing market report, it also quoted VAR President Bradley J. Boland.

“When you look at the big picture . . . it’s clear that we’ve made a solid recovery, but we still have a ways to go,” Bradley Boland, president of the Virginia Association of Realtors, said.

Sales were up in every corner of the commonwealth, rising 8.9 percent to 45,113 in Northern Virginia; 9.7 percent to 22,716 in Hampton Roads; 10.2 percent to 15,666 in Central Virginia (including the Richmond area); 14.4 percent to 7,637 in Roanoke/Lynchburg/Hampton Roads; 5.2 percent to 5,421 in the Central Valley; 1 percent to 1,598 in Southside Virginia; and 15.6 percent to 1,296 in Southwest Virginia.

VAR Out & About: Southern Piedmont

VAR team members Erika Almstead (director of professional standards and legal affairs) and Lynne Wherry (director of member outreach) visited the Southern Piedmont Land & Lake Board of REALTORS® on Tuesday, January 28 to conduct leadership and bylaws training with the board and committee chairs.

Before that, Erika and Lynne joined the United Country Real Estate firm in Clarksville for its sales meeting to share the benefits of their membership with VAR and NAR, and to talk about some risk management issues they should be aware of.


First row (l. to r.): VAR’s Lynne Wherry, Southern Piedmont Association Executive Donna Dennis, VAR’s Erika Almstead, Janet Bryant
Second row: Franklin Dover, Bill Baker, Broker, Kelly Wilcha, Holly King, Bruce Riley, Chad Madison

Brad BolandVirginia Association of REALTORS® 2013 President Bradley J. Boland has been asked by the Virginia Chamber of Commerce to sit on the Business Climate and Economic Development Industry Council for Blueprint Virginia: A Business Plan for the Commonwealth.

Blueprint Virginia is a statewide, long-range economic development strategy that provides elected officials and private sector leaders with a roadmap for economic competitiveness.  Participants include more than 300 organizations and more than 7,000 community and business leaders statewide.

Boland, among other business leaders, will aid in the implementation of strategies identified within Blueprint Virginia.

Click here for more information about Blueprint Virginia.

Click here for Brad Boland’s bio.

VAR Legal Consultant Jay DeBoer and Legal Counsel Blake Hegeman both taught courses at the Harrisonburg/Rockingham Association of REALTORS® “to a very bright and fun group of members on a cold day,” DeBoer says — that was January 8, where, despite the cold, Jay reports “We got a very warm welcome.”

VAR’s Legal Counsel Blake Hegeman (standing) teaches to a packed room at the Harrisonburg/Rockingham Association of REALTORS®

Bob Hill and Jay DeBoer

HRAR association executive Bob Hill with Jay DeBoer