Important Continuing Education Changes

As you will recall, Michigan Realtors® has been working over the past several months to make continuing education more responsive to the ever changing market place, and in turn more responsive to the needs of our members by providing greater flexibility in the approval of continuing education credits. Additionally, Michigan Realtors® will replace LARA for the tracking of continuing education credits in order to assist members and local associations throughout the licensing cycle beginning January 1, 2015.

As of December 31, 2014, LARA will no longer pre-approve courses or record continuing education hours for licensees. Michigan Realtors® has developed and will maintain a comprehensive database – officially named CE Marketplace – to provide for the tracking of continuing education credits as well as a streamlined process for course approval, with certification based on audit standards previously established by LARA. Courses scheduled for 2015 will be submitted to Michigan Realtors® CE Marketplace for certification and inclusion in our tracking system, so that licensees are able to track their earned credits.

To assist in answering many of the questions related to the changes in the continuing education process we have developed the following FAQs. If you have additional questions regarding the changes and the CE Marketplace please contact us at 844-642-6633 (844-MICONED). For questions related to educator course approval or class sponsors, please contact Andrea Bates, For questions related to licensee tracking, please contact Julie Luper,



REALTOR safety is  a topic that sometimes gets ignored, hey we all want to make money, but it is important to do your research before meeting strangers. Recently in Sacramento County, California a Real Estate agent was held at gunpoint and kidnapped, fortunately she was unharmed but too often the results can end negatively.  REALTORMag shares the 10 the commandments of agent safety:

  1. Do not meet a stranger at any property
  2. Take YOUR car
  3. Avoid working after dark, if necessary bring a partner
  4. Dress for safety, try not to wear flashy jewelry
  5. Arrange a showing itinerary (leave a copy at the office)
  6. Use a prospect ID form (name, address, etc.)
  7. Use an agent ID form (make sure your office knows your car/contact info.)
  8. Set a coded distress signal (appears harmless to prospect but alerts others)
  9. Stop working immediately if you feel something is suspicious
  10. Notify your broker immediately   

Video Messaging

If you’re not taking advantage of these FREE web based video chats you may want to consider doing so. RISMedia compiled these:

Skype- free video calling to anyone in the world

FaceTime- video calls from a MAC device.

Google Hangouts- great for group chats with individuals in multiple locations.

3 great ways to use video chat:

  1. Remote clients- different county? Different country? No problem! A Great way to build rapport with clients.
  2. Personalized virtual tour- schedule conflicts? Or maybe buyers just want to see a particular area again, by recording and sharing you can save a lot of time!
  3. Testimonials- most any phone/tablet will allow video recording, a great way to have clients share their experience they had with you!

Save Time With E-mail Templates

Creating the same email content over and over again? Perhaps it is time to start saving some email templates to save time and energy.  “Canned responses make it so much easier to respond and provide information to prospects and clients” according to author Ryan McGuire.  Here are the first five:

  1. Thanks for reaching out!
  2. Lender referrals
  3. Ready to start your home search?
  4. Ready to sell your home?
  5. Congratulations! We are under contract!

 To see the full list checkout: 

Excel At Public Speaking

Let’s face it, public speaking is no one’s favorite ordeal to have to deal with, the majority of people would rather be in the casket rather than having to speak at a funeral,  Author Zoe Eisenberg has 6 suggestions to help you nail your next speaking event, whether it is an open house or other significant event.

  1. Create a Map-try associating topics you want to address with object s in a room in your house, then take a mental tour and stop by the items you wish to speak about.
  2. Focus on smiling faces- this tip comes from our very own Rick Conley, president of Real Estate Education Services, by staring at those who look joyful to be in your presence it will help to get on the same page as your audience.
  3. Practice- enough said! You can never practice too much!
  4. Don’t forget body language- you want to seem confident, at ease and trustworthy, bounce your gaze around the audience, relax those arms, oh yea and breathe!!!
  5. Keep it simple- Remember the average customer may only purchase 1-2 homes in a lifetime, make sure you communicate to your audience’s level.
  6. Humanize your audience- humanizing allows your audience to relax and feel you are one of them, not better than them.

International Home Buyers

International real estate opportunities are everywhere. New individuals and families move to the U.S. from other countries every day and foreign-born people residing in the U.S. move to new markets. In 2014 residential sales to international clients rose 35% to $92.2 billion from $68.2 billion 2013. According to Jed Smith the managing director, Quantitative Research, for the NATIONAL ASSOCIATION OF REALTORS® this is something to keep an eye on.

Proposed Bylaws / Online Voting – January 1-31, 2015

Attached are the proposed Bylaws for TAAR.  Please review and be ready to vote online for your approval or non-approval of these Bylaws in January.  The Core Standards of NAR requires we have approved Bylaws to retain our charter.
The Bylaws have been revised to include required changes from NAR.  In addition, there are five major changes that have been incorporated:
1.    Affiliate Committee Chair, Business Community and Reverse Mentor Directors may not vote at Board of Directors meetings
2.    Number of Directors to be increased by two voting Directors.    
3.    Limit number of Directors from one real estate firm to no more than 40% of the voting Directorate.
4.    No more than two elected consecutive Director terms without taking a year off.
5.    Add Education Committee as a standing committee

Please visit to cast your vote.

Winter Office Policy

If Northwestern Michigan College is closed due to weather; the TAAR Office will also be closed. Should this happen we will monitor email when possible. Paragon help line is available at 1-877-657-4357.


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