May 2020 Newsletter #17
May Day and the Flower Full Moon illuminate this month with the idea that April showers bring May flowers and May flowers bring a new buzz of rebirth. Out of the Winter cold and into the full force of Spring, we celebrate the wonder and awe of fields full of Buttercups, grape-like Wisteria, Dogwoods and the myriad of other blooming trees and plants. Whether they are arranged in vases for Mom or on top of a fallen soldier's grave, flowers play an enormous part in our celebration of this beautiful month. As we slowly come out of our hibernation and stretch our legs like the May flowers are doing, we are reminded how blessed we are with so many displays of beauty around us.
Joshua James, Member Services
I sense a disturbance in the Force.
Many of you have participated in the Association’s Zoom Meetings. While these meetings have started to take place during COVID-19, there is thinking that some of them may continue. Let’s face it – if you can sit in your backyard and eat lunch while attending a meeting – that might not be all bad.
MLS, REALTORS®Care, RPAC, Broker Meetings and the Board have all met via Zoom. In the event these are continued in the future, here is some protocol for you:
1. Please use video if at all possible.
2. The host will log in approximately 15 minutes prior to the beginning of the meeting. Please plan to log in before the start time of the meeting so the meeting itself can begin on time.
3. To expedite conversation, all will be muted. Please raise your hand to be recognized by the host to speak.
4. Please do your best to eliminate background noise, i.e., pets, phones, etc.
5. Please remember that confidentiality standards are still applicable. There should not be anyone else in the room with you during these meetings.
6. Please review any materials sent to you prior to the meeting to keep the meeting on track and on time.
Would you like to see Zoom meetings in the future?
Let us know – just call the Association at 854-453-1248 or email email@example.com.
Nashville Association of REALTORS® has provided the following regarding their Open House Guidelines. We are sharing these with you as information only.
· Open houses are allowed under Phase One.
· Only one unit of people are allowed in the home at a time and that one-unit group can only consist of people that arrived together.
· Therefore, no individuals or groups should be in the home at the same time unless they arrive together.
· The exception is that the REALTOR® holding the open house can also be in the home with the one-unit group.
· Groups should wait outside and follow social distancing guidelines until their turn to see the home.
Safety of our members is a high priority for GSMAR and we encourage everyone to remain diligent. As restrictions are lifted, this is the time when caution should be the highest priority.
Kathryn Lovell chairs REALTORS® Care which is the umbrella committee over Community Involvement (Craig Stephenson), Fundraising (Neva Waite), Helping Hands (Chris Wood) and Scholarship (Scott Cline).
Even with our “new normal” things are progressing. Craig Stephenson with Community Involvement is applying for issues mobilization money that TNREALTORS® is offering. With the Board’s approval the money, if received, will go to Smoky Mountain Area Rescue Ministries (SMARM).
The Vendor Fair has been indefinitely postponed; however, Neva and Fundraising are looking into other means of raising money to benefit nonprofits in the area. One of these may be a silent auction.
Chris Wood and Helping Hands will be looking into the feasibility of REALTORS® Care becoming a 501(c)3 to make donations easier as they would be tax deductible.
Lasting, Scott’s Scholarship Committee is right on track. High school scholarship applications have been received and are being reviewed. The winners will be announced shortly.
Hello Brokers – the focus this month is on unlicensed assistants. The following are some reminders about this program.
1. The broker is billed for unlicensed assistants annually in January. If the Broker passes the bill on to an agent, that is certainly OK with us; however, for billing purposes and tracking purposes, the invoices need to come to you. Unlicensed assistants can join anytime of the year. Their fees are not prorated regardless of when they join. The dues are currently $52/year.
2. In order to keep accurate records and to minimize security issues, please check Paragon frequently to see who is currently on your list of unlicensed assistants. During a recent audit, several assistants were found in the system that should have been deactivated.
3. When an unlicensed assistant leaves your firm, PLEASE notify us; otherwise, they can continue to access the MLS and may pose a security risk.
4. Remember, unlicensed assistants have read-only access, although they may assume other identities of agents within their office if written permission is given through their Broker. During the application process a list of agents can be provided. If updates need to be made periodically to this list, an email from the Broker is necessary for changes to be made.
If you have questions/concerns, please contact Josh at 865-453-1248 or email firstname.lastname@example.org
Thank you for your help!
Our 2020 President Elect, Jerry Sandifer, recently gave me a book to read entitled “The Noticer” by Andy Andrews. Admittedly, it took me a while to sit down and start reading. But when I did, I was hooked! While I could go on and on (and just might in another newsletter…) about the things I learned, the following are just a few quotes that I hope you will think about:
“One of wisdom’s greatest benefits is accurate discernment – the learned ability to immediately tell right from wrong. Good from evil. Acceptable from unacceptable. Time well spent from time wasted. The right decision from the wrong decision. And many times this is simply a matter of having the correct perspective…”
“Wisdom will allow a person to split the hair of choice so accurately that most men would say it is impossible. Pinpoint accuracy in choices of all kinds is a possibility for you. You see, with a degree of intelligence and a hint of wisdom, most people can tell the difference between good and bad. However, it takes a truly wise person to discern that oh-so-thin line between good and best. And that line, my friends, is the line that separates a roll of the dice about your future, from a sure thing…from trying as the Bible says, to ‘see through a dark glass’ and having a perspective that allows you to see clearly the long-term consequences of your choices.”
Thank you, Jerry. You said the book would change my life. I’m working on it!!
My Fellow REALTORS® -
As we begin to venture out from our safe harbors, let us face our seemingly new world with kindness in our hearts and goodwill toward each other as never before experienced.
We will have to hustle to make up lost ground, both in our income streams and our business of being a successful and thriving association. We held a broker zoom meeting recently (thank you to those who attended and offered their input); from that we learned that education is still an important service needed. The Real Estate Negotiation Expert certification class has been rescheduled for August 17th and 18th. We are working furiously to get the Resort & Second Home Specialist certification class rescheduled.
It is imperative that our committees function again at maximum effort. Our MLS Committee has been great at conducting their business via Zoom. The Scholarship Committee reviewed 50 applications, and by working efficiently but separately, they are in the process of selecting the 7 winners for the 2020 J. Pritchard Barnes Memorial Scholarships. In June we are expecting to resume in-person meetings. There are other committee duties that need to be conducted in the physical world - so be prepared!
As members, your voices are important. Staff and leadership want to make sure they are serving your best interests. Two of the easiest ways to be heard are to attend meetings and respond to the infrequent surveys sent to the membership. The staff and I eagerly look forward to every survey response. Though they are anonymous, we take them to heart as much as if you had sat down and discussed your concerns with us in person.
Finally, I ask you to join me in thanking our staff who remained at their posts these past weeks, continuing to provide the excellent service we have grown to expect and receive from them.
Franklin D. Roosevelt famously said “So, first of all, let me assert my firm belief that the only thing we have to fear is...fear itself — nameless, unreasoning, unjustified terror which paralyzes needed efforts to convert retreat into advance.” I believe we must let go of that nameless fear, while retaining the necessary care and caution needed, to march forward into the remainder of 2020.
2020 GSMAR President