NAR members and Association staff can borrow up to six electronic books, digital audios and/or videos at no cost, through the Virtual Library eBooks Collection.
Members can also borrow up to three books for 30 days from the Library Catalog for a nominal fee of $10. Call Information Central at 800.874.6500 for assistance.
Full Voice, The Art and Practice of Vocal Presence
by Barbara McAfee
Your voice says a lot about you. Based on the tone and expression of your voice alone, your listeners may make up their minds about you before they even process the meaning of your words. And if what you say is at odds with how you say it, they can miss your message altogether. As important as our voices are, few of us know how to use them to their full potential. Full Voice offers a fun, tested method to harness the power of your voice to become a more effective and flexible communicator.
People Can’t Drive You Crazy if You Don’t Give Them the Keys
by Mike Bechtle
You don’t have to be controlled by difficult people! Strange as it may seem, other people are not nearly as committed to our happiness as we are. In fact, sometimes it seems like they’re on a mission to make us miserable! There’s always that one person. The one who hijacks our emotions. The one who seems to thrive on drama. If we could just “fix” that person, everything would be better. But we can’t fix other people. We can only make choices about ourselves. There will always be difficult people. But this fresh perspective on dealing with them can change your life — starting today!
Can I Have Your Attention?
by Joseph Cardillo
Can I Have Your Attention? is not your traditional self-help book that offers 12 simple steps to enhance brainpower. Nor is it a book on Eastern Wisdom, spirituality, or conventional meditation. It is an eye-popping adventure that combines ancient, high-speed attention-building processes with cutting-edge attention research in psychology, neurology, and biology. Through Joseph Cardillo’s engaging personal account of the world of human attention—which synthesizes the stories of more than two dozen experts—you will uncover surprising secrets about the workings of your own mind.
by Lina M. Echeverria
There is perhaps no leadership challenge more daunting than managing creativity—and more urgent than delivering breakthrough innovation. How do you harness some of the most passionate, intelligent people in your organization without stifling them? How do you simultaneously unleash their energy and channel it into something tangible? Drawing on the author’s considerable experience assembling and nurturing cutting-edge teams at Corning Inc., Idea Agent shows readers how to juxtapose creative freedom with management rigor and lead dedicated professionals as they generate and execute one great innovation after another.
Make Your Contacts Count
by Anne Baber and Lynne Waymon
Make Your Contacts Count is a practical, step-by-step guide for creating, cultivating, and capitalizing on networking relationships and opportunities. Packed with valuable tools, the book offers a field-tested “”Hello to Goodbye”" system that takes readers from entering a room, to making conversations flow, to following up. Updated from its first edition, the book now includes expanded advice on building social capital at work and in job hunting, as well as new case studies, examples, checklists, and questionnaires.
by Brene Brown and Karen White
Researcher and thought leader Dr. Brené Brown offers a powerful new vision that encourages us to dare greatly: to embrace vulnerability and imperfection, to live wholeheartedly, and to courageously engage in our lives.
Every day we experience the uncertainty, risks, and emotional exposure that define what it means to be vulnerable, or to dare greatly. Whether the arena is a new relationship, an important meeting, our creative process, or a difficult family conversation, we must find the courage to walk into vulnerability and engage with our whole hearts.
The Power of Habit
by Charles Duhigg
In The Power of Habit, award-winning New York Times business reporter Charles Duhigg takes us to the thrilling edge of scientific discoveries that explain why habits exist and how they can be changed. With penetrating intelligence and an ability to distill vast amounts of information into engrossing narratives, Duhigg brings to life a whole new understanding of human nature and its potential for transformation.
At its core, The Power of Habit contains an exhilarating argument: The key to exercising regularly, losing weight, raising exceptional children, becoming more productive, building revolutionary companies and social movements, and achieving success is understanding how habits work.
NAR members and Association staff can borrow up to three books for 30 days from the Library for a nominal fee of $10.
Members and staff can also borrow up to six electronic books, digital audios and/or videos at no cost, through the Virtual Library eBooks Collection.
Identifying American Architecture
By John J.-G. Blumenson
W. W. Norten & Company, 1981
What styles of architecture are found in your neighborhood – Georgian, Prairie, International, Spanish, Colonial Revival? Identifying American Architecture enables the reader to determine styles and identify architectural terms by comparing real buildings with the book’s many photographs. Details – roofs, porches, windows and so on – are illustrated in the same manner, and all terms appear in an extensive 16-page index.
A Field Guide to American Houses
By Virginia & Lee McAlester
Alfred A. Knopf, 1984
For the house lover and the curious tourist, for the house buyer and the weekend stroller, for neighborhood preservation groups and for all who want to know more about their community — here, at last, is a book that makes it both easy and pleasurable to identify the various styles and periods of American domestic architecture.
Concentrating not on rare landmarks but on typical dwellings in ordinary neighborhoods all across the United States — houses built over the past three hundred years and lived in by Americans of every social and economic background — the book provides you with the facts (and frame of reference) that will enable you to look in a fresh way at the houses you constantly see around you. It tells you — and shows you in more than 1,200 illustrations — what you need to know in order to be able to recognize the several distinct architectural styles and to understand their historical significance. What does that cornice mean? Or that porch? That door? When was this house built? What does its style say about the people who built it? You’ll find the answers to such questions here.
Heart, Smart, Guts, and Luck
By Anthony K. Tjan, Richard J. Harrington, and Tsun-Yan Hsieh
Harvard Business Review Press, 2012
Do you have what it takes to build a great business?
In this book, three prominent business leaders and entrepreneurs—now venture capitalists and CEO advisers—share the qualities that surface again and again in those who successfully achieve their goals. The common traits? Heart, smarts, guts, and luck.
Though no single archetype for entrepreneurial success exists, this book will help you understand which traits to “dial up” or “dial down” to realize your full potential, and when these traits are most and least helpful (or even detrimental) during critical points of a company lifecycle. Not only will you know how to build a better business faster, you’ll also take your natural leadership style to the next level.
The Signal and the Noise
By Nate Silver
Penguin Press, 2012
Drawing on his own groundbreaking work, Silver examines the world of prediction, investigating how we can distinguish a true signal from a universe of noisy data. Most predictions fail, often at great cost to society, because most of us have a poor understanding of probability and uncertainty. Both experts and laypeople mistake more confident predictions for more accurate ones. But overconfidence is often the reason for failure. If our appreciation of uncertainty improves, our predictions can get better too. This is the “prediction paradox”: The more humility we have about our ability to make predictions, the more successful we can be in planning for the future.
With everything from the health of the global economy to our ability to fight terrorism dependent on the quality of our predictions, Nate Silver’s insights are an essential read.
2013 Swanepoel Trends Report
By S. Swanepoel, J. Conaway, R. Hahn, M. Cohen, M. Davison, and T. Mitchell
RealSure, Inc., 2012
Only one annual Report has, for the last 8 years, summarized the important facts every year and made them available in an objective and “advertising free” format. That has shaped the Swanepoel TRENDS Report into the most anticipated and valued resource of market intelligence available for real estate professionals.
Operating Ratio Report, 14th Edition
American Society of Association Executives, 2012
How do your key performance ratios – profitability, productivity and efficiency, liquidity, and revenue and expense management – compare against other organizations? Compare the data compiled from more than 2,800 organizations represented within ASAE membership against your own organization’s financial performance to identify opportunities for improvement or to help justify expenses in a particular area.
One hundred years have passed since a key document in the REALTOR® organization’s history first made its debut. Written in 1913, the Code of Ethics was seen as a declaration of the real estate industry’s principles and beliefs, a “golden thread” uniting those devoted to raising the standards of professionalism and service in real estate.
The Code is a living document that undergoes regular revision to keep it updated and relevant as the real estate industry evolves, so today’s Code of Ethics looks much different from the one that was adopted in 1913. Even so, REALTORS® are often surprised to see that the words “Under all is the land,” the familiar opening of the Code’s preamble, are nowhere to be found in the original version.
So where did the preamble come from, and who wrote it?
The Code of Ethics was over a decade old before the preamble was introduced. In 1924, the National Association’s committee assigned with revising and modernizing the Code decided that the rules should have an introduction, and prepared two versions of a preamble for consideration.
The first version, written by A. S. Adams, a REALTOR® from Atlanta, GA, took the form of a straightforward personal pledge: “I, a member of the National Association of Real Estate Boards, accept as the primary requirement for engaging in the Real Estate Business that my first duty is to the public whom I propose to serve, and the protection of whose interests must always be my first consideration….”
Adams’ preamble was not nearly as poetic and visionary as the second version presented before the committee. Written by the committee’s chairman, a prominent REALTOR® and Presbyterian minister from Tacoma, WA, named Arthur H. Barnhisel, this preamble took a different tack, “setting forth the social responsibility of the association and of the local real estate boards who make up its membership.”
With its inspirational portrayal of the nation’s land and the REALTOR®’s role in ensuring its “highest use” and “widest distribution,” Barnhisel’s preamble easily won the committee’s vote. With little debate and only a few minor edits, the preamble was included along with several other revisions to the Code that were accepted by the National Association’s Board of Directors at its June 1924 meeting in Washington, DC.
As far as we’ve been able to find in the NAR Archives, Barnhisel never explained how he came up with his version of the preamble or revealed his sources of inspiration for the language. Among REALTORS®, though, the preamble quickly became the Code’s best-known feature and was proudly displayed on the walls and in the windows of real estate offices across the country. By 1943, NAR president Cyrus Crane Willmore declared in a speech before the association’s Board of Directors: “Property ownership is fundamental to our way of life. The first five words of our Code of Ethics should be impressed upon the minds of every man, woman and child in our country. They are, ‘Under all is the Land.’”
The Code of Ethics was revised again in 1955, and it included, among other changes, a rewritten preamble. The new preamble tried to preserve the ideals expressed in the original, using modernized language that was more in tune with the post-war 1950s.
REALTORS® were largely unhappy with the changes made to their beloved preamble, though, and in 1961 the National Association took steps to return it to its original form as written by Arthur H. Barnhisel. “A return to this wording is proposed because of its superior phrasing,” explained the report to the Board of Directors.
With the exception of those six years, the preamble remained exactly as Barnhisel wrote it for nearly seven decades. The preamble as we know it today took shape in 1994, when the first six Articles of the Code were incorporated into the preamble, adding paragraphs regarding the REALTOR®’s obligation to share their professional knowledge and stressing the importance of maintaining a spirit of cooperation with other real estate professionals.
Field Guides are one-stop resource packages on dozens of subjects of interest to REALTORS®. On each page you’ll find links to articles, books, web sites, statistics, and other material on each subject. The list of the most-used field guides from Information Central for the month of January 2013 was released today:
- Field Guide to Quick Real Estate Statistics
- Field Guide to 1031 Exchanges
- Field Guide to Marketing Tips for REALTORS®
- Field Guide to Real Estate Office Policy Manuals
- Field Guide to Listing & Selling Luxury Properties
- Field Guide to Preparing & Staging a House for Sale
- Field Guide to Opening a Real Estate Brokerage
- Field Guide to the Best Places to Live
- Field Guide to Writing a Business Plan
- Field Guide to Buying vs. Renting
Have an idea for a new field guide? Let us know!
Blackberry, small living, and disclosure dilemmas
David Pogue, the tech guy from the New York Times, gives BlackBerry’s ‘hail Mary’ phone, the Z10, a pretty glowing review while Walt Mossberg from the Wall Street Journal was a little more critical in his assessment. Is it possible that the floundering company might pull it off?
Millennials are willing to accept smaller spaces in exchange for walking neighborhoods. How do you help your Millennial clients make the most of small spaces? Gizmodo shares some great ideas for 420 square feet spots.
Complicated productivity systems may actually slow you down, says the Wall Street Journal. Color-coded calendars, 3-part to-do lists and churning through a series of productivity apps may not work for you. Some people have cobbled together a digital and paper system out of frustration with previous systems they have tried. Find out what works best for you and go for it!
Two stories about disclosure this week: A Pennsylvania homeowner sues seller over unreported murder/suicide. And in Montreal, prospective buyers in one trendy loft conversion now have to be informed that some of their neighbors are reputed mobsters.
Good news! Some things will cost less in 2013, such as gas, vacation packages and flatscreen TVs. To find out more, go CNN/Money.
Several field guides on realtor.org have recently been updated:
Section 1031 of the U.S. Internal Revenue Code allows investors to defer capital gains taxes on the exchange of like-kind properties. 1031, or tax-deferred, exchanges hold great advantages for both investors and REALTORS®. This field guide provides access to articles, manuals, forms, ideas, and other information to help you start building your 1031 niche.
New Year, New You
The real estate industry and the world is changing and so should you. Get ideas about improving your life, finances and business.
Social Benefits of Home Ownership
The financial and tax benefits of owning a home vs. renting are very clear. Home ownership also provides many benefits to the family, children and the community, such as increased education for children, lower teen-age pregnancy rate and a higher lifetime annual income for children, as discussed in the following articles and studies.
We’ve all experienced Augmented Reality, although we probably haven’t realized it. As we watch a football game, a yellow first-down line appears on the screen. How does it get there? Mental Floss explains the complicated process of augmenting the picture by a computer program and many technicians. Learn about this up-and-coming technology and how it can benefit the real estate profession in this field guide.
Managing risk is a necessity for real estate practitioners. According to Barron’s Dictionary of Real Estate Terms, agency disclosure “is a written explanation, to be signed by a prospective buyer or seller, explaining to the client the role that the broker plays in the transaction,” (Barron’s Educational Series, 2000). This Field Guide covers various aspects of agency disclosure, including policies, forms, and legislation. Further your knowledge of this complex topic with our selection of articles found below.
Do-Not-Call and Do-Not-Fax Laws
Sign up to access the Federal Trade Commission’s Do Not Call Registry and stay in compliance with the law. As of January 1, 2005, telemarketers and sellers (including REALTORS®) are required to search the registry at least once every 31 days and drop from their call lists the phone numbers of consumers who have registered.
The topic of international clients garners great interest and attention amongst real estate professionals and news providers these days. The real estate markets in the United States offer lucrative investment opportunities that attract a global audience. How can you capture the attention and interest of these prospective clients? Review the articles, reports, and resources below to learn more about international clients.
Cross-Cultural Business Etiquette
Want to make a good first impression with your international clients? Should you commence the relationship with a handshake, polite bow, or a simple nod? What steps do you need to take to go the extra mile with an international or foreign client? This field guide will assist you in building successful business relationships with individuals from cultures far and wide.
A member recently asked us to research how many states offer exemptions from continuing education requirements for license renewal based on age or number of years in the business. A great resource for this research is our excellent State Issues Tracker. If you’re not familiar with it, the State Issues Tracker follows 22 core real estate-related issues on an annual basis that are before state legislatures and regulators. Issues include state RESPA laws, legislation related to home inspectors, agency, and water rights. A couple of hot-button issues are updated more frequently, including appraisal management companies and private transfer fees. The Tracker gives a nice executive summary of the issue, recent changes, and then a state by state breakdown of key information and subtopics. Be aware that although we believe this information to be accurate, as issues are generally updated annually, laws can change and regulations can be modified. View this resource as a good starting point for more in-depth research.
One of the issues tracked is licensing requirements and maintenance. We found that 12 jurisdictions have some form of exemption for continuing education. Only Missouri employs an age-only requirement: if you are at least 80 years old, you are exempt from CE in the Show-Me State.
Other states use an ‘age + experience’ model: California says you have to be licensed in good standing for 30 continuous years and be 70 years of age or older, Mississippi says 25 years and 70 years of age, New Mexico 20 years experience and 65 years old, and South Carolina needs 25 years of licensure and age 65 or older.
Some other states have more convoluted formulas: Alabama says “a licensee who was 65 or older on or before Sept. 30, 2000, and who has been licensed 10 years before that date” is exempt. Kentucky says CE doesn’t apply to brokers who were licensed before June 19. 1976. New York exempts ‘full-time’ brokers who were licensed before July 1, 2008 and have been at it for 15 consecutive years. North Dakota requires exempts to be licensed for 15 continuous years on Jan. 1, 1984. Rhode Island says you had to have been licensed before Dec. 27, 1984. And Texas seems the most confusing to me: If you were exempt from CE requirements before Oct. 31, 1991 then you still are. And finally West Virginia says you had to continually hold a license since July 1, 1969.
If you have questions on the applicability of these exemptions, please contact your state real estate commission for details.
The rise of ultraHD TVs, password keys, and Millennial debt
Having finally caught up to the 21st century with a plasma tv (or is that still 1990s?), I now see that the latest and greatest is Ultra HD (sometimes called 4K) sets from all the usual suspects. They were the stars of the just-concluded Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas. Before you start hyperventilating that you will need to start saving now for your new $20,000 set, Engadget talks us off the ledge. A lot of things are going to have to happen before these become even remotely popular. Best guess: not until after 2016 Olympic Games.
Managing passwords is a constant battle. Make them all the same and one hack and your life is wiped out. Make them all different and good luck remembering even a few of them. There are some doable fixes like 1password, but they aren’t for everyone. Google is working on another option, trying to develop a password token that slides into a USB port or even a ring that transmits your information wirelessly at short range. While for now these fixes are only good on google browsers and sites, Google is talking of trying to develop an independent standard that might find acceptance across the industry.
While talk of debt among Millennials tends to focus on college tuition, credit cards are another area of concern, according to Time. A new study out of Ohio State University found that young adults are racking up credit card debt at a more rapid rate than other age groups, and that they’re slower at paying it off.
How well is Microsoft’s new tablet, Surface, doing in terms of sales? Not great….
This will help answer the most pressing question of our time—where are my missing socks? WiseBread helps you locate your lost socks in this helpful article.
The following Field Guides have recently been updated on realtor.org:
Choosing & Using a Smartphone
Do you need a smartphone to get organized? What features do you need? How do real estate professionals use smartphones? Find out the answers to these questions and much more in the following articles and websites. The definition of smartphone varies widely, but is generally defined as a cellular or mobile phone that is enhanced with computer technology functions such as internet and email access, personal digital assistant tools, handwriting recognition, and more. (Oxford English Dictionary, smartphone n.)
Places of Worship
Amendment I of the U.S. Bill of Rights states “Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances.”
The intent and meaning of this amendment, and its translation into when, where, and how places of worship can exist, remains a highly debated topic in American society. Read on below to learn more about the laws, zoning, and appraisal issues unique to places of worship.
Opening a Real Estate Brokerage
Thinking about opening your own real estate business? Find out if you are ready to be a boss, tips on writing a business plan and much more.
In 2000, President Clinton signed the Electronic Signatures in Global and National Commerce Act. Find out what defines an electronic signature, learn about the benefits of eSignatures in real estate, and explore the legal issues.
Investment Planning for Associations
Making sound investment and financial strategy decisions is no easy feat, especially in light of the current economic conditions and recent banking industry meltdown. Though there is no perfect formula for an association or non-profit investment policy, there are many articles, books, and resources that detail common risks and best practices. Read on below to learn more.
Working with Single Home Buyers
The real estate market in the United States is comprised of a great diversity of buyers, each with unique needs and concerns. Understanding how to best serve these unique needs will assist you establishing an outstanding service and reputation for your real estate business. Single home buyers represent a sizeable portion of home buyers in the current residential real estate market, and are an audience worth knowing and understanding. This Updated Field Guide will help you to learn about the needs, concerns, and buying behaviors of single home buyers.
Writing a Business Plan
Writing a business plan may seem a daunting task as there are so many moving parts and concepts to address. However, the NAR library offers a plethora of resources on this topic to get you started. Take it one step at a time and be sure to schedule regular review (quarterly, semi-annually, or annually) of your plan to be sure you on are track to meet your goals.