Safety still high priority for Realtors
Stories continue to grab headlines that should make REALTORS® pause and prioritize their safety. The 2008 kidnapping and rape of an Orange County REALTOR®, the 2014 kidnapping and murder of an Arkansas Realtor and a stalker in San Antonio last year harassing more than 50 female agents are just a few of those stories that hit home.
The growing number of violent crimes against REALTORS® is leading many agents, as well as their brokerages and state agencies, to provide education programs shedding light on the dangers REALTORS® can face during their normal routine. The NAR, which spends nearly $35 million annually toward public awareness, offers a variety of resources from articles to videos for REALTORS® looking to take better safeguards against everyday dangers. Chris Polychron, NAR’s 2015 President, made REALTOR® safety his top priority.
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Dave R. Tina installation a hit
December's Board of Directors meetings in Las Vegas brought plenty of news. Dave R. Tina, owner/broker at Urban Nest Realty in Las Vegas, is ready to begin his reign as 2016 President after the Dec. 11 installation ceremony hosted at the Red Rock resort.
The installation ceremony capped off two-days of events that also featured a Board of Directors orientation, a graduation brunch for the LeadershipNVAR Class of 2015 and the annual December Board of Directors meeting.
The highlight of the weekend’s events proved to be Tina’s installation. More than 150 enjoyed an Italian-themed dinner before watching Tina, a native New Yorker, get sworn in as NVAR’s newest President. Tina’s son, David J. Tina, gave an emotional speech praising his father’s efforts to live, work and lead the right way.
In addition to Tina’s swearing in, his Executive Team was also sworn in. Greg Martin is the new President-elect, Buck Schaeffel will handle the treasurer duties while Mark Ashworth is the First Vice President and Kevin Sigstad is now the Immediate Past President. Long-time NVAR Director and current NAR Community Engagement Liaison Linda Rheinberger handled the Master of Ceremonies honors for the evening that also saw the new 2016 Board of Directors sworn in.
“It was a busy couple of days,” NVAR CEO Teresa McKee said. “But our meetings were productive and rewarding and it is a tradition to celebrate our new leaders at each winter’s installation ceremony. I know our leadership will keep us on the right track as NVAR constantly strives to improve the real estate profession in our fine state.”
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Realtor.com hosting webinar for Nevada REALTORS®
Nevada REALTORS® don’t want to get caught with an incomplete online profile. That’s the message being shared by realtor.com. More and more consumers are utilizing the internet to find information on REALTORS® and if an agent’s profile is blank or only partially complete, you can bet consumers will keep right on looking. The first place many, if not most, consumers go online to investigate REALTORS® is realtor.com.
The website has updated its profile features and now includes a new map-based search tool as well as ratings and reviews. Don Flynn, of realtor.com, will host a 30-minute webinar for Nevada REALTORS®, illustrating the advantages of creating a profile and how to best use the new features. The webinar is set for 10 a.m. on Friday Feb. 12.
REALTORS® interested in participating in the free event can follow along on their laptops or tablets while viewing the webinar in person at the NVAR offices, or by logging on offsite from the ease of their home or office. To reserve a seat in person, please RSVP to NVAR Communications Specialist Dan Eckles, (Dan@nvar.org or (775) 829-5911) by Wednesday, Feb. 10. On the date time and time of the webinar, off-site participants should go to: www.join.me/movedonflynn. Then for audio of the webinar, they can call into (213) 226-1066 and use the conference ID# 888-689-962.
IRS: Phone scams continue to be serious threat
WASHINGTON — Aggressive and threatening phone calls by criminals impersonating IRS agents remain a major threat to taxpayers, headlining the annual "Dirty Dozen" list of tax scams for the 2016 filing season, the Internal Revenue Service announced earlier this month.
The IRS has seen a surge of these phone scams as scam artists threaten police arrest, deportation, license revocation and other things. The IRS reminds taxpayers to guard against all sorts of con games that arise during any filing season.
"Taxpayers across the nation face a deluge of these aggressive phone scams. Don't be fooled by callers pretending to be from the IRS in an attempt to steal your money," said IRS Commissioner John Koskinen. “We continue to say if you are surprised to be hearing from us, then you're not hearing from us.”
Read more from the IRS on phone scams by clicking here
Financial Guidance Center helps Nevada homebuyers
Michele Johnson, President and CEO of the Financial Guidance Center, spoke to a group of REALTORS® at the Reno-Sparks Association of Realtors in late January during a housing market forum highlighted by a presentation from Nevada Attorney General Adam Laxalt. Johnson was busy promoting the FGC’s assistance programs.
Johnson lauded the WISH program which can provide a match of $3 for every dollar saved by a potential homebuyer. The funds are immediately available for qualified borrowers. The FGC’s website outlines other assistance programs as well. In addition to the down payment assistance programs, FGC offers financial counseling and debt management programs.
During Johnson’s portion of the program, a handful of REALTORS® reiterated that the federal government’s HARP (Home Affordable Refinance Program) program can help home buyers as well. The federal housing finance agency has extended the HARP program through the remainder of 2016. HARP was set up specifically to help homeowners who are current on their mortgage payments, but have little to no equity in their homes, refinance their mortgage. You can read more about HARP here.