Monday, December 12, 2011

GTAR Weekly Facts – December 12, 2011

GTAR 2012 Annual Dues
If you have not paid your GTAR dues, a $20 late payment fee has been added to your account. Notices were emailed October 5, and payment was due by November 30, 2011. REALTOR® dues are $494 and REALTOR-ASSOCIATE® dues are $464. For a breakdown of where your dues dollars go:
Monday, December 19: Office closes at 3:00 p.m.
Friday, December 23: Office is closed all day
Monday, December 26: Office is closed all day
Friday, December 30: Office closes at 12:30 p.m.
Monday, January 2: Office is closed all day
December 23 thru January 2—Board Store Closed for Inventory
The GTAR/NORES Board Store will be closed for inventory Friday, December 23 through Monday, January 2, 2012, so please plan ahead. This will not affect Key and KeyBox purchases.
2012 Real Estate Planners Now in GTAR Board Store
A limited supply is available. Prices range from $19.95 to $39.95. If you want one don’t wait or you may miss out!
48 Hour Special: 21 Hours of CE for $69
Today you can enroll in 21 hours of real estate continuing education through GTAR’s online partner, Charles Barnes for only $69. Don't let this offer pass you by! Click Here to Enroll; use promotion code "DEC20" when checking out. (You can also enroll by going to and clicking on the Charles Barnes logo.

Coming in 2012: Expanded REALTOR® Appreciation Day
REALTOR® Appreciation Day will expand to include an Education Conference featuring two CE class tracks—one for associates and one for brokers. The Associate Track will focus on technology, and be taught by nationally recognized technology guru, Dick Betts. The Broker Track will focus on issues pertaining to Brokerage Management, and be taught by strategic consultant, Theresa Stewart. All classes will be held at UMAC on April 4 from 9:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. On April 5, the Education Conference will continue with one education track for everyone focusing on technology; this will be a fast-paced session with multiple topics and speakers. The Education Conference will end on a positive note with a presentation by world renowned motivational speaker and author, Jim Stovall entitled: Yes You Can. The Education Conference will cost just $50 per member; you can register online at But, if you want year-long, super-savings on CE classes, check out GTAR’s new Class Pass for only $25 more! (See information below.) Not to worry…we will still have the same great, Trade Show you know and love from 11:30 a.m.–1:30 p.m.—complete with valuable information, door prizes, food, and fun—and all for free thanks to GTAR’s Firm Affiliates!
GTAR Class Pass—Your Ticket to Learn in 2012!
With GTAR's Class Pass you get admission to the Education Conference classes and motivational speaker presentation (see description above), a $50 value, PLUS any and all regular CE classes GTAR offers in 2012—starting in January—for just $75! For more information and to purchase your GTAR Class Pass, log on to; from the Main Menu, click on the red Education bar, then click Register for Classes, and look for GTAR Class Pass.
December 13
Webinar: Holiday Season Safety Tips
Safety expert Andrew Wooten will provide practical tips to help you, and your clients stay safe during the holiday season in a webinar called "Holiday Season Safety Tips" 10:00 a.m. Access other safety resources.
Need CE before the end of 2011?
You can take CE classes online anytime! GTAR is partnered with both McKissock Education and Barnes Real Estate School to offer you a variety of online continuing education classes to fulfill your OREC requirements. In addition to CE classes, McKissock offers a variety of classes for appraisers; Charles Barnes offers the 45 Hour Post License and 90 Hour Brokers License courses...AND, the new 15 hour OREC required Broker in Charge course is now available online through Charles Barnes. So how does it work? Simply go to, click on the logos for either school, and follow the instructions. Any and all classes you take through McKissock and Charles Barnes are reported directly to OREC.
Engaging with Appraisers Productively What questions you ask appraisers to ensure they know the market? What kind of information should you give appraisers to make sure they have the right facts in hand? What do you do if they believe an appraisal is inaccurate? Anna Ruotolo of RPM Mortgage in Walnut Creek, Calif., will share her  thoughts on these questions in a free webinar on engaging with appraisers on Thursday, Jan. 12, at 3 p.m. Eastern Time. An NAR analyst will also provide a brief update on federal rules impacting the appraisal industry. Registration link.
Need a Business Plan for 2012?
Do you have a plan for 2012? Do you want to work with more buyers? Free business plan builder from® helps you review this year’s results and set listings and sales goals for next year. It’ll even help you assess tools so you can plug in solutions that deliver results.  Make 2012 the best year ever.
Videos Explaining BofA Equator System Available
Bank of America has posted five free videos on getting short sales to closing using the online Equator system. The set of five-minute videos covers 1) initiating a short sale, 2) uploading documents, 3) valuing properties, 4) conducting analyses and working with investors, and (5) closing the sale.
“Data Checker” – Coming December 19
On December 19, we will implement a system called “Data Checker.” It will assist NORES staff in reviewing listings for rule compliance. NORES staff has done this process manually for years, but this will help get the notices out faster and get listings modified, as needed, in a timely manner.  If you receive a notice, it will be from “MLS Data Checker.” Since this is a new format for notices, please read the email. Then, if you still have questions, contact the NORES office. Typically, the notice will be requesting you to modify your listing and will contain a deadline date. In addition, notices will be sent to the Listing Agent and Add/Edit person. Future notices for failure to make the requested changes will also be sent to the Office Manager and/or Office Broker.   
We will be getting a new MLS system called Fusion early 2012; you won’t need a new PC to run the Fusion MLS system.
However, you might want to compare your computer and consider the recommended stats for optimum performance of Fusion. IF your computer doesn’t meet the minimum recommendations, it is likely a very old PC, and you are missing out on much more than just MLS features. The speed and reliability of a newer computer can help to alleviate the pains and struggles of program lockups, timeouts, slow opening and closing of programs, reboots… and much more. Windows (Recommended): 1.8 GHz Intel Core Duo, AMD Athlon 64 X2 4200, or equivalent processor; 3 GB of RAM if using Windows XP; 4 GB of RAM if using Windows 7 or Vista. (Minimum) PC stats for running your upcoming 2012 new MLS-Fusion: 3 GHz Intel Pentium 4 (single core) or equivalent processor; 1 GB of RAM if using Windows XP; 2 GB of RAM (Windows 7 or Vista). Macintosh (Recommended): 1.33 GHz Intel Core Duo, or equivalent processor; 4 GB of Ram. (Minimum) Mac stats: 500 MHz Intel PowerPC (single core) or equivalent processor; 2 GB of Ram. You can check your current system stats by right clicking on My Computer, and selecting Properties. Call the Helpdesk at 918-664-0505 if you need assistance. Watch for future GTAR communications for more upcoming info on your next generation MLS—Fusion. (Don’t have a smart phone to scan the QR code? Then click here to view the message.)
NAR Urges Reform of Mortgage Finance System
“Reforming the secondary mortgage market is essential to ensuring a reliable source of mortgage lending for consumers in all types of markets, and is integral to the nation’s economic and housing recovery,” NAR’s 2012 Director of REALTOR® Party Activities Tom Salomone said in testimony. NAR supports efforts to increase private capital in the housing finance market and reduce the size of the government’s involvement. Nonetheless, NAR believes that full privatization is not a viable option, and that the federal government must have a continued role in the conventional conforming portion of the secondary mortgage market.
Veissi: No Time to Risk Harm to FHA
NAR President Moe Veissi made a forceful case Thursday (Dec. 1) before a key congressional committee to protect FHA from potentially destabilizing changes to the agency’s main insurance fund. “The FHA mortgage insurance program plays an important and vital role in the nation’s housing financing system and has shown tremendous leadership and strength during the economic crisis,” Veissi said. He also argued that the absence of the FHA in housing finance would result in a spike in foreclosures and blighted communities.
FHFA Releases Summary of REO Responses
condensed collection of responses to the FHFA’s call for ideas regarding the best way to deal with Fannie Mae, Freddie Mac, and the Federal Housing Administration’s REO assets was released last week. The agency said that most respondents suggested strategies that involved renting of the properties for a period of time, and many recommended offering tenants an opportunity to purchase. In a letter sent to FHFA on Sept. 15, 2011, NAR emphasized the need for mortgage financing for qualified purchasers and expansion of resources for loan modification, refinancing, and short sale efforts. NAR also encouraged the continued timely and orderly disposition of REO inventory assets through expediting of existing processes.
Special Pricing for REALTORS® on the “Nutcracker”
The Tulsa Ballet is offering special pricing to GTAR members for the “Nutcracker” performances. To purchase tickets, call Charlotte Brown at 918-392-5914, tell her you are a GTAR member, and she will find the best seats available for the performance you choose. Performances are held at the Tulsa Performing Arts Center. Ticket prices for GTAR members will range from $20-$59, depending on location of seats. “Nutcracker” dates of performances: December 17, 18 at 2:00 p.m.; December 16, 17, 22, 23 at 7:00 p.m. To view seating chart, visit
Free for Members: Tips on Greening Up the Holidays
Help clients rediscover the true spirit of the holiday season by branding and hand delivering five free articles from the REALTOR® Content Resource on greening up the holidays, including 7 ways to have an eco-friendly Christmas. Those and other free articles are ready for you to quickly and easily drop into marketing campaigns by adding them to your e-newsletter; posting them to Facebook, Twitter, or blog or Web site; e-mailing them; or branding, printing, and hand-delivering them.
Skip the Lines, Counter with Avis “Preferred”
As a NAR member you can join the Avis “Preferred” Program, a complimentary service that allows you to keep your personal car rental preferences on file, and skip the rental counter and the paperwork every time you rent from Avis. Go straight to your car with no waiting. Enrollment is free and easy
Free Consumer Content: Holiday Home Improvements
The latest free content for your  websites, blogs, social media pages, and print resources from HouseLogic’s REALTOR® Content Resource is about helping clients spruce up their home for the holidays. One piece includes a guide to paint sheens.
What Today’s Home Buyers Look Like
Home buyers in the market right now are more likely to be older, high-income, married couples. Gary Thomas, 2012 NAR President-Elect, breaks down why this matters, and how regulatory and legislative changes could shake things up, on the Voices of Real Estate blog.

Comments on the following REALTOR® applicants should be submitted by REALTOR® members to the Membership Committee, c/o GTAR, PO Box 470603, Tulsa, OK 74147.
REALTOR®: Diane Goslin, Bungalow Blue (Reinstatement, First Publication)
Tracy Moellers, Moellers Properties, LLC (First Publication)
Robbie Scott, John Hausam Property Management & Leasing (First Publication)
Bradley White, Williams & Williams Auctioneers (First Publication)
Firm Affiliate:
AAA Insurance, Designated Individual John Onorato (Second Publication)