Notes From Readers: The Concept of Service

Readers write in with their thoughts on the 2012 Good Neighbor Awards, lending standards, marketing, and more.

January 10, 2013

The Good Neighbor Award winners provide wonderful inspiration for all REALTORS® ("2012 Good Neighbor Awards" November/December 2012, page 25). One person can make a huge difference in his or her own community. Congratulations to each of the 2012 winners and to all the others in years past. These generous people are totally dedicated to the concept of service to someone besides themselves. Come to think about it, the best professionals in our business gets up every morning thinking like that. —Chris Wilson, First Choice Realty, Laurel, Miss.

Correction: Due to an editing error, an incorrect byline appeared with the profile of Good Neighbor Award winner Sally Rudloff ("Climbing a Mountain on Behalf of Kids," November/December 2012, page 34). The author of the article was Jen Mierisch.

Advocacy on Lending Standards

In the September/October issue of REALTOR® Magazine, then-President Moe Veissi wrote about advocacy on behalf of our membership. In my opinion, the greatest current issue in need of our input involves the financing of homes. Lenders’ underwriters are making the condition of properties cause for loan denial. But rather than, as in the past, arriving at a value stated by the appraiser that may be less than the agreed-upon purchase price, lenders are halting appraisals before completion until repairs are made. This is wrong. All properties have a current market value "as is." Thus, if the appraised value is less than the purchase price, a lender still has adequate collateral if the loan amount is reduced to a percentage of the appraised value. If an agreement exists between an informed buyer and satisfied seller, and the lender is protected, there is no reason for funds to be withheld. Lenders say they are at the mercy of federal regulations. That is where our dues come in. If NAR prides itself on promoting the sales and ownership of real property, I think this is where its priorities should currently be set. —Sam Kuhn, First Choice Realty, Newton, N.C. 

Go 'SoMoLo' With Your Marketing

Chicago practitioner Marki Lemons is a major foodie. She loves trying new restaurants in her neighborhood. At every restaurant she tries, she takes a picture of her meal via Instagram and writes a review on Yelp. She does this because she practices "SoMoLo"—­social, mobile, local marketing to connect with potential clients. Lemons presented her tips for going SoMoLo on platforms such as Twitter and Pinterest during the 2012 REALTORS® Conference & Expo in Orlando. —Posted Nov. 10 by Erica Christoffer, senior editor

Amy responded: Great information here! Really going to pick up quite a few of these tips and put them into practice.

Elena Lobito responded: I am definitely going to put Pinterest to work. I love the idea of using food as a category. I’ll be posting artisanal cheese suggestions for the holidays.

Real Estate Confessional

Ever walked into a private moment during a showing? Been tormented by a seller’s serpent? You’re not alone. Confessions of an Estate Agent by Rosalind Russell is a collection of funny, embarrassing, and entirely true stories from real estate professionals across the pond. Russell used her eight years of experience publishing columns in The London Evening Standard, which have now been compiled in a hilarious yet touching volume. Posted Sept. 17  by Meg White, multimedia web producer

Gregory W. Peet, CRS, GRI, responded: Please bring back "In the Trenches" as a regular feature. These stories are always interesting and make other agents smile and laugh. It is nice to know we are not alone.

Laura responded: At one showing, I walked in with my buyers to find the owner’s houseguest coming out of the shower in a towel. At another showing, we were sure the barking pit bull would rip through the flimsy cage and eat us alive!

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Note: Letters and blog posts are edited for space and clarity. Publication of a letter doesn’t constitute an endorsement of the writer's views by the NATIONAL ASSOCIATION OF REALTORS® or REALTOR® Magazine. Submission of a letter constitutes permission to publish it in any form or medium.

Wendy Cole

Wendy Cole is the former managing editor of REALTOR® Magazine.