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Fact or fiction? Your social media accounts must link to consumer notices

Fact or fiction? If you use your social media accounts for real estate business, the Texas Real Estate Commission requires you to have a link from those accounts to the Consumer Protection Notice and the Information About Brokerage Services notice.

Fact. TREC requires you to provide a link to the Consumer Protection Notice and a completed Information About Brokerage Services notice in a readily noticeable place on the homepage of your business websites. The term “business website” means a website—including social media—that is accessible to the public, has content controlled by the license holder, and has information about the license holder’s real estate business.

For social media accounts, the links may be located in the account’s profile or on a separate page or website through a direct link from the social media platform or profile.

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Negotiations stalled? It’s time to ditch emails and texts

If you need more proof that in-person conversations are more powerful than a written message, here it is: how you communicate matters when you and other parties disagree.

A recent study found those who expressed an opposing opinion via video or audio were viewed as more thoughtful, sophisticated, and rational than those who expressed their opinion via writing.

“Our findings show that even when the content is the same, the medium through which it is expressed can affect evaluations of the communicator,” says lead researcher Juliana Schroeder of the Haas School of Business at the University of California, Berkeley. “It is possible that variance in communicators’ natural cues in their voices, such as tone, can convey their thoughtfulness.”

Real estate is a relationship business, so it’s likely you already excel in being personable and trustworthy. Remember this the next time you need to be persuasive or negotiate. Take the time to set up an in-person meeting, video chat, or phone call instead of sending a quick text or email. Although these types of communications can be time-intensive to set it up and attend, you’ll likely find a more receptive audience who will hear just how intelligent and warm you are.

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Answer some questions, maybe win an Amazon Echo

You’re invited to participate in the Texas REALTOR® Member Survey. It takes less than 10 minutes, and at the end, you can enter a drawing to win one of two Amazon Echos.

Take the survey.

Your answers will be used to formulate the association’s strategic plan, ensuring that the products and services offered by the association are relevant and helpful to you.

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You’re getting a new website

For the past few months, association staff has been working on enhancing your experience when you visit

Among the many improvements to the site, you’ll notice …

  • An updated, clean design
  • A better mobile experience
  • More timely content on the home page and throughout the site
  • Sections for association leaders and local REALTOR® staff
  • Quick access to zipForm
  • Clear paths for consumers and members to find pertinent information.

The new is set to go live later this month. Stay tuned!

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Awards, advice, and industry updates at the 2018 Winter Meeting

Actor, author, and speaker Mark J. Lindquist opens Winter Meeting
The Opening Session of the 2018 Winter Meeting on Friday was filled with energy by motivational speaker Mark J. Lindquist. Author of Passion! 8 Steps to Find Yours, Lindquist said surveys have shown that fewer than 20% of people are passionate about what they do. He exhorted the crowd to reignite their passion for what they do and led them through his eight-step process to do it, with a focus on getting out of your comfort zone and trying new things. “Somebody is going to do everything on your bucket list,” Lindquist said, “And it might as well be you.”

2017 Texas REALTOR® award winners announced
At the STARs Reception on Monday night, Dan Hatfield of Comfort was awarded the REALTOR® of the Year. Other awards announced during Winter Meeting include:

  • William C. Jennings Award for Commercial Transaction of the Year: Heather Konopka-Chaves of the North Texas Commercial Association of REALTORS®
  • Tom D. Morton Award for Association Executive of the Year: Ed Moore of the Greater Tyler Association of REALTORS®
  • Texas REALTOR® Hero Award: Angela Williams of the Lufkin Association of REALTORS®
  • Educator of the Year: Mary Miner of the Williamson County Association of REALTORS®
  • Legal Program of the Year: MetroTex Association of REALTORS® for “Course Feud”
  • Innovative Program of the Year: Houston Association of REALTORS® for “Moving to Matrix”
  • Marketing Program of the Year: Austin Board of REALTORS® for “Social Media: Branding and Lead Generation”
  • Series or Short Program of the Year: Houston Association of REALTORS® for “Certified Strategic Marketing Specialist”

How Texas real estate is changing
During Saturday’s Public Policy Forum, attendees learned from William Mellor of Angelou Economics how the federal tax reform bill will impact Texas homeowners. See the full report at Texas REALTORS® also heard from Lila Valencia of the Texas Demographic Center, who shared demographic trends related to Texas real estate, such as state-to-state migration, aging populations, and household income. Click here to download the presentation.

Updates from the Governmental Affairs Forum
On Sunday, Congressman Kevin Brady, who serves as chairman of the U.S. House Ways & Means Committee, opened the Governmental Affairs Forum. Brady explained how several tax incentives for real estate consumers were preserved during the federal tax reform debate.

With early voting for the March 6 primary election only days away, Jim Henson, director of the Texas Politics Project, moderated a panel featuring Democratic strategist James Aldrete and Republican strategist Leslie Pardue, who offered their insights on state-level races to watch.

Keynote speaker Kayleigh McEnany, author of The New American Revolution: The Making of a Populist Movement, shared stories from her experience writing about the local impact of politics.

Recognizing grassroots advocates
TAR also honored several Texas REALTORS® and local associations for their dedication to fundraising, grassroots advocacy, and engagement in local initiatives:

    • Governmental Affairs Outstanding Achievement Award: San Antonio Board of REALTORS®
    • Strike Force Award (recognizing dedication to grassroots political activity):
      • Liz Braden, San Antonio Board of REALTORS®
      • Bobbi Hannon, Kingsville Area Association of REALTORS®
      • Mel Harris, Greater Fort Worth Association of REALTORS®
      • Tena Kirkham, Bee County Board of REALTORS®
      • JR Martinez, Greater Fort Worth Association of REALTORS®
      • Scott Morgan, Nolan County Association of REALTORS®
      • Toni Gill, Nolan County Association of REALTORS®
      • Kendra Norwood, MetroTex Association of REALTORS®
      • Barbara Russell, Greater Denton-Wise County Association of REALTORS®
    • Grassroots Advocate of the Year: Mel Harris, Greater Fort Worth Association of REALTORS®

Forums and Speakers Deliver Insights to Texas REALTORS®
Texas REALTORS® who attended Winter Meeting had the opportunity to attend numerous informative and engaging meetings, forums, panels, and courses.

At the International Forum, immigration attorney Brent Huddleston explained the impact of immigration status on property transactions. Huddleston gave an overview of different visa types, including EB-5 investor visas that were the subject of questions from Texas REALTORS® in attendance. He also advised that recipients of Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA), or Dreamers, should designate power of attorney to a person with legal status in the country to handle any property transactions should they be deported.

Charlies Gilliland of the Real Estate Center at Texas A&M University and Manfred Sternberg of Manfred Sternberg & Associates gave a presentation on the future of crowdfunding for real estate, how it works, and how REALTORS® can incorporate it into their businesses.

At the Technology/MLS Forum, TrustStamp CEO and Co-Founder Andrew Gowasack spoke about the impact of biometrics on the real estate industry, including how his company works to verify identities and what tools it’s making available for REALTORS® in the future.

Texas REALTORS® had multiple opportunities to learn more about cybercrime threats and how to protect themselves. Instructor Craig Grant taught a course on how not to let technology ruin your businesses, and FBI agents led a meeting on how to protect yourself from cyber-threats.

New officers, industry updates, and special recognitions at the Board of Directors Meeting

  • NAR First Vice President Vince Malta spoke about the national association’s four areas of focus—increase professionalism, increase political advocacy, better manage real estate data, keep REALTORS® essential to the consumer.
  • Economist Jim Gaines from the Real Estate Center at Texas A&M University said that the economic momentum in the state will continue and that real estate sales in Texas are expected to set another record in 2018.
  • CEO Travis Kessler recognized the four newest RCE designees from Texas: Robert Gleason, Greater Fort Worth; Adam Majorie, Collin County; Andrea Pennington, TAR; Richard Throop, Corpus Christi. Read more about these four and the RCE designation.
  • Rich Thomas, retiring CEO of the MetroTex Association of REALTORS®, was honored for his 23 years of service to the REALTOR® organization.
  • The board approved the 2019 officers of the Texas Association of REALTORS®: Secretary/Treasurer Marvin Jolly, Chairman-elect Cindi Bulla, Chairman Tray Bates, and Immediate Past Chairman Kaki Lybbert.
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3 ways to make your meetings more productive

If you want agents to attend regular office meetings, make sure they’re getting something out of them.

Have a clear purpose and agenda. Define what you want to accomplish in the meeting, prioritize the items you need to address, and distribute an agenda that others can follow and will hold you accountable. The more disciplined your meetings are, the more likely your agents are to find them productive and worth the time invested.

Invite your top producers to speak. Engage your best agents by asking them to share their experiences, lessons, and what they’re working on with the group. Your top producers feel valued, and your new agents gain knowledge and motivation.

Balance attention and the duration of meetings. Your entire agenda may feel pressing, but let a meeting run too long, and you’ll start to lose your agents’ attention to email, client messages, and other distractions. Try to remove items from your agenda that can be handled one-on-one, in smaller groups, or through other means of communication.

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zipForm offers free two-factor authentication

Strong passwords aren’t always enough to stop hackers from accessing your online accounts. That’s why many online services now offer two-factor authentication, which requires a step beyond the password to log in.

Now zipForm offers two-factor authentication as a free opt-in feature of zipForm Plus. Here are instructions from zipForm to set it up:

  1. Go to the security area within your profile.
  2. Turn on two-factor authentication by registering your mobile number and/or the email address you want to receive the code required for access to your account.
  3. After opting in, you’ll have 10 minutes to enter the code after logging into your zipForm Plus account. (Login will be denied if someone enters an incorrect code or waits more than 10 minutes to enter it. After three failed login attempts, you’ll receive an email notifying you that someone else may be trying to access your account. If you receive such an email, please change your password and contact support to report potential fraudulent activity.)

You’ll have the option to check a box to “remember this device” to avoid having to enter the code after logging in from that device when using the same browser. The system will, however, prompt you for a code again after a period of 30 days

Brokers: You can turn on two-factor authentication for all users in your brokerage. Every agent will then be prompted to set up the security feature upon login.

If you have any questions about setting up two-factor authentication, contact zipForm at 800-383-9805.

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How many people moved to Texas?

Texas ranked second in the nation for total incoming residents and net migration in 2016, according to the Texas Relocation Report released by the Texas Association of REALTORS®.

At 531,966 new residents for 2016, it was the fourth consecutive year Texas added more than a half million people from out of state. That total is slightly less than the previous year, but net migration was positive at 87,656 because of a drop in the number of people moving out of state.

Texas came in behind Florida and ahead of California for incoming residents but was behind both states in resident outflows for 2016. Residents who left Texas were most likely to move to California, Florida, Oklahoma, Louisiana, or Colorado. About 55% of new Texans came from other U.S. states, with California leading followed by Florida, Oklahoma, Louisiana, and Illinois.

“Despite slowing job and economic growth over the last two years, housing-market and population growth have remained strong and steady throughout the state,” said Kaki Lybbert, 2018 chairman of the Texas Association of REALTORS®. “With more than half a million people moving here each year, it’s evident that the Lone Star State fosters a positive environment for business development and raising a family.”

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Updates to residential and property management forms now online

The Texas Association of REALTORS® residential and property management forms task forces in December proposed updated forms and new forms. After feedback from members like you, the below revised and new forms have been adopted.

These association forms have been revised

  • 1101: Residential Real Estate Listing Agreement, Exclusive Right to Sell
  • 1102: Residential Real Estate Listing Agreement, Exclusive Right to Lease
  • 1201: Farm & Ranch Real Estate Listing Agreement, Exclusive Right to Sell
  • 1406: Seller’s Disclosure Notice
  • 1501: Residential Buyer/Tenant Representation Agreement
  • 1506: General Information and Notice to Buyers and Sellers
  • 1912: Notices Regarding Contingency Under Addendum for Sale of Other Property by Buyer
  • 1935: Seller’s Estimated Net Proceeds
  • 1936: Approximation of Buyer’s Closing Costs
  • 1941: Relocation Addendum
  • 2001: Residential Lease
  • 2003: Residential Lease Application
  • 2004: Pet Agreement
  • 2005: Extension of Residential Lease
  • 2011: Residential Lease for a Multi-Family Property Unit
  • 2201: Residential Leasing and Property Management Agreement

These new association forms have been adopted

  • 1417: Representation Disclosure
  • 1418: Update to Seller’s Disclosure Notice
  • 1945: Notice of Withdrawal of Offer
  • 2013: Bed Bug Addendum
  • 2014: Residential Lease Amendment
  • 2224: Notice of Abandonment
  • 2225: Response to Request for Assistance Animal
  • 2226: General Information for a Landlord Regarding Assistance Animals
  • 2517: Wire Fraud Warning
  • 2518: Information Regarding Windstorm and Hail Insurance for Certain Properties
  • 2519: Information Regarding Property Near International Border

All the forms have a February 1, 2018, revision date; however, you may continue to use the the prior versions of the forms until the updated forms are posted on zipForm. All the forms are now available for download on, and you can also see redline versions of the revised forms.

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