REALTOR® Magazine’s Good Neighbor Awards recognize REALTORS® who make an extraordinary impact through volunteer work. Each fall, a blue-ribbon panel of judges select the five award winners, who will each receive a $10,000 grant for their charity.

The competition includes Rosemary Tran Lauer of Long and Foster (Vienna, Virginia). Lauer founded Devotion to Children in 1994 to fund childcare so low-income parents can work or continue their education in order to break the cycle of poverty. She knows first-hand the challenges of being a single parent, having fled Vietnam in 1975 and come to the United States with two young children. DTC, which helped 3,000 children since it was founded in 2006 , also funds preschool and other educational opportunities that are directly related to a child’s future success in school.

The winners will be announced on October 1. In the meantime, you can vote for your favorite finalist to win the 2014 Web Choice Award and an additional $1000 grant. Voting is open September 8-30.

Learn more about REALTOR Magazine’s Good Neighbor Awards.


It’s that time again — time for the biggest real estate convention for Virginia’s Realtors: The Real Show. The event features Coach Jackie Leavenworth whose humorous and engaging style will awaken the inner you to strive for behavioral change that will make a difference. Why go along with the crowd when you can enjoy finding your individual points of difference and pathways to excellence that will create a great life, not just a living. Take a look at Jackie’s video invitation to the Real Show



Loyal 2jpg

There are three reasons that agents stay loyal to your brokerage.
Once you know that, you can better your agent retention.

Written by Larry Kendall, author of Ninja Selling Selling and chairman emeritus of The Group, Inc.

I recently heard a brilliant young researcher and author, James Kane, speak about why people are loyal, and why they are not. Whether it’s the loyalty of customers, employees or sales associates, this is a very important topic. Kane says your people will stick with you for three primary reasons:

1. They like your purpose and vision. In earlier articles, we’ve talked about the importance of having a clearly stated vision and how to help your people buy into the vision, so it is a shared vision. Kane’s research confirms it. Without a vision, your people will perish—or leave you.

2. They feel a sense of belonging. Kane’s research isn’t the first to state this fact. Marcus Buckingham, author and founder of the research firm, The Marcus Buckingham Company, also found that there is a direct correlation between work performance, happiness and loyalty if the person has a best friend at work.

This is where culture becomes huge for a sales organization. Is this a fun place to work? Do they enjoy being with the people here? Do they sense that they’re valued? Does their manager know they exist and what they’re doing? Does anyone care? I always had a goal to have a one-on-one interaction with every person in our organization at least once a week. As we grew to several hundred, it became once a month. This takes commitment and focus but is probably one of the most important roles for a manager and leader.

3. They trust you. Kane found that trust is more complicated than just character. Character is a big part of it, but there are three other ingredients in trust as well.
Trust consists of:

  • Character. Are you honest? Will you tell the truth? Will you not talk about me behind my back? Are you transparent (same on the inside as you present yourself on the outside)?
  • Competence. You may be honest, and I like and trust you, but are you competent at what you are doing? I want to work with somebody who is smart, can put us in a position to be successful, can make it easier for us to do our jobs and can execute a plan.
  • Consistency. Consistency of look and demeanor is critical in trust. Are you presidential in your look and demeanor? Do you have a non-anxious presence? Do people know what they can expect from you, or is it a moving target? Emotional and volatile behavior, as well as inconsistent decision making, destroys trust. I want to work with somebody I can count on who is rock solid consistent.
  • Capacity. Do you have the resources to help me be my best? To solve my problems? I always encourage our staff to do whatever it takes to make it easier, better, faster for our sales associates. Our real estate customers are asking themselves, ‘Can my Realtor® solve my problem?’ Have you ever heard a customer ask an agent, ‘How’s the market?,’ and the agent responds, ‘I’m just so busy right now!’ That answer makes the consumer think you don’t have time for them. Your sales associates can feel the same about you if you’re not paying attention to them—if you don’t have time for them.

The four components of trust (character, competence, consistency and capacity) form an excellent road map for training sales associates on how to build customer loyalty and referrals. They also serve as an excellent template to teach leaders and managers how to relate to our sales associates.

There is a great emphasis in our industry on recruiting new people to our organizations. Recruiting from within (loyalty and retention) is even more important. It’s a simple formula: vision, belonging and trust.

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Do You See Opportunity or Chaos?

Change story

What do the recent changes in the industry mean to you?
Written by Steve Murray

Realogy announced the acquisition of ZipRealty. Zillow announced the acquisition of Trulia. For the past few weeks, these have been the focus of most of the buzz in the residential industry. What does it mean? What new power does it deliver to the acquiring parties? How will it change the industry?

These are all good questions with few answers—so far. It is a matter of possibilities. On the upside, Realogy may begin to deliver hundreds of thousands of decent leads to its affiliates, which tilts the playing field ever so slightly in their favor. ZipRealty certainly has the talent and know-how to do this. Will it pay off directly or indirectly to the health of Realogy’s bottom line? Time will tell.

The Zillow/Trulia combination may create an advertising juggernaut never before seen in this industry in terms of reach. It could result in more agents at higher costs using their services to reach online consumers. It may have cemented their leadership in online portals. Will they be able to grasp all that they reach for? That, too, is uncertain. Are there truly 150,000-plus agents and brokerage firms willing to pay thousands of dollars a month to advertise with them? That outcome is possible but not certain.

Thus far, housing consumers seem content to follow historical practices in the use of and selection of real estate agents. They may spend millions of hours looking at real estate (dreaming their dream), but so far their use of agents and how they select them seems the same as in years’ past. One thing is certain: a great majority of buyers and sellers still use agents to buy and sell. It seems to us that while everything that is happening on the tech frontier is interesting and challenging, successful agents and brokerage firms know intuitively that relationship and service performance still matter.


It’s that time again — time for the biggest real estate convention for Virginia’s Realtors: The Real Show. The best rates expire on September 26th. At this two-day, midweek event in the amazing Virginia Beach Convention Center, you can…

  • Connect with Realtors from around the state to grow your circles and expand your referral network
  • Learn what’s new in Virginia real estate — the trends and stats you need to know for your clients
  • Get hands-on demos of tools and technology for Realtors in our popular Learning Lab and Alpha Stage
  • Check out hundreds of products and business solutions from dozens of vendors in the expo hall
  • Pick-up some CE credit from more than 15 education sessions, including legal issues, fair housing, social media, and broker management

Hundreds of real estate professionals from across the state will mix, mingle, learn, and connect in Virginia Beach. Join them, along with industry thought leaders and experts to share ideas and tactics on October 8 and 9. For more details or to register for the Real Show visit




Date: September 9, 2014  | Time: 1:00pm CST
The National Association of REALTORS® has worked hard to keep REALTOR® Safety foremost in everyone’s minds. But what about your clients? They, too, face some dangers in allowing strangers into their homes or visiting other people’s properties.

During this free NAR REALTOR® Safety webinar, presented by Sergeant Preston Taylor, we will discuss valuable advice and steps to share with your clients to help protect them against crime.


The latest Your Money Matters video from REALTOR® Magazine can help your members teach their customers about credit scores. Neekia McCoy of REALTORS® Federal Credit Union talks about the topic from a lender’s point of view and offers tips on how households can improve their credit scores. Access and share the five-minute video.


September is National Preparedness Month

America’s PrepareAthon! a new national community-based campaign for action that focuses on increasing emergency preparedness through hazard-specific drills, group discussions and exercises. National PrepareAthon! Days are held every spring and fall. During National Preparedness Month we ask you, your family, community and workplace to take action by planning a National PrepareAthon! Day on or around September 30th. Download this great resource “How to Get Involved 2014 NPM Quick Guide”.


2014 Influential Women In Housing

HousingWire’s 4th annual installment celebrating the industry’s leading women and their commitment to moving the U.S. housing economy forward has become an industry standard — where the leaders that make our list each year represent an elite and special group. Click here to learn more


VAR Director of RPAC Development Kathy Felton updates leaders from GPAAR, FAAR and PWAR on 2014 RPAC activities. Local association leaders discussed member benefits of investing in RPAC, best practices for organizing RPAC events, and ways to recognize RPAC investors. Learn more about RPAC at