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Jeff Williamson
OwnerLand Realty
Cincinnati, OH 45244

(513) 205-7904
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Real Estate Updates

Big Military Base or Prison in Your Rural Town? You Just Got a Big Real Estate Win

Prisons and military bases are commonly located outside small, rural towns and often they’re the biggest employers and economic drivers around. But that’s been a double-edged sword—until now.

Prisons and military bases currently count toward an area’s population, putting many communities over the threshold of eligibility for federal Rural Housing Service (RHS) programs. A town with a population greater than 35,000 isn’t considered rural under RHS guidelines, even if the area meets other criteria, such as a shortage of credit opportunities that are widely available in more populous areas.

However, under a change in the big farm bill that the U.S. Congress recently passed—which the National Association of REALTORS® supports—only a portion of a prison or military base population will count against the area’s population total. That means more small towns can qualify for RHS programs.

Access to RHS programs, which provide safe and affordable mortgages for rural communities, is a lifeline for many homeowners. Importantly, financing through such programs is underwritten using criteria that recognizes the unique characteristics of rural property, such as the presence of other structures on the property or the absence of public services.

The farm bill includes a broader win for rural housing: The population threshold of 35,000 to qualify for RHS programs won’t change until 2030. It was expected to rise in 2020, along with new Census figures, but NAR and other groups asked that the change be delayed because so many communities stood to lose their rural eligibility. This positive development for rural housing is a top story in the latest Voice for Real Estate video from NAR.

The video also covers a proposed rule for determining which bodies of water should be regulated under the Clean Water Act. NAR is optimistic that the proposal provides long-sought clarity on the types of bodies of water covered, especially when it comes to small, non-navigable pools that are often seasonal. The video also looks at efforts by NAR and the FBI to reduce the incidence of wire fraud in real estate, the popularity of charitable giving and volunteering among REALTORS®, and what to expect with sales and leasing in 2019 if the stock market remains volatile.

Access and share the video. 

2 Ethics Changes That Can Impact Your Real Estate Work

The NAR Board of Directors a few weeks ago made a few small but important changes to MLS and other rules to improve cooperation among brokers and reinforce the importance of associations’ ethics procedures. Here’s a brief recap. You can also learn about them in the latest Voice for Real Estate video.

  1. Proceeding With Ethics Complaints When Criminal Litigation is Also Involved
    Associations are allowed to continue to process ethics complaints when there is criminal litigation pending that involves the same facts and circumstances.

2. Enforcing Cooperation via MLS Through Written Certification of Offer Presentations
The Board amended MLS Policy Statement 7.73 regarding the rights of cooperating brokers in the presentation of offers.

The policy reinforces cooperation and brings MLS policy in line with the Code of Ethics. Under the rule, listing brokers will be required to provide written affirmation or notification to cooperating brokers on the disposition of their offer. The requirement gives associations the ability to impose disciplinary action against a listing broker who fails to present either written confirmation that the offer was presented or evidence that the seller waived the obligation to have the offer presented.

Access the video. 

NAR Code of Ethics and Standards of Practice. 

MLS governing documents. 

The Art of Follow Up: Effective Follow-up Communication Techniques

Strategic outreach, whether by phone, email or text, is key to building rapport and credibility with prospects, staying top of mind in the search for a home, and encouraging clients to follow through with the sale. But outreach, by itself, doesn’t close deals.

If you’re contacting leads regularly, but still having trouble reaching your sales goals, you may be using the wrong outreach methods for the wrong types of communication.

Find ideas for improving your outreach metods in a new guide, The Art of Follow Up: Effective Follow-up Communication Techniques.

Great for team leads looking to improve their coaching skills and agents looking to communicate more effectively, this guide provides a deep dive into the different outreach methods, when to use them, best practices and effective sample templates.

Editor’s note: This is a sponsored post from Firepoint Solutions, a company that offers a customer relationship management (CRM) tool for real estate professionals.


OwnerLand Realty | (513) 205-7904 | Email Me
629 Old St Rt 74 - Cincinnati, OH 45244
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