FAQ's Regarding Mediation

This is intended to be an occasional column regarding mediation as it pertains to real estate and all things thereof. FAQ’s regarding mediation (1) What is mediation? “Mediation is a negotiation process facilitated by a trusted neutral person having no power of decision.” -- Constantin-Adu Gavruka Mediation is a process with a beginning, middle, and end that involves two or more parties and one or two neutral mediators who control the process but NOT the outcome. It allows the parties in dispute to meet in a confidential, private setting and work out a solution to their problem.

Avoid Future Road Rage

Last week I attended a community leaders meeting about the Boardman River and the dam removal process. Attached is a copy of the PowerPoint which was used. It was very helpful to understand what is going on. Bottom line, in spite of the efforts of some local elected officials to stymy the Cass Road bridge project and cloud the project with conversations about a new Hartmann-Hammond bridge project it looks as if things are moving forward.

There are any number of reasons why this Cass Road bridge project needs to get done, but I won’t go into detail here. Viewing the PowerPoint covers many of these issues. http://www.theboardman.org/userfiles/filemanager/421/ What I really want you to know is this. Year 1 (2016) of the project builds the new bridge and excavates the original or relic river channel. Cass Road will be closed from May until sometime in the fall while work is being done. The current one-lane bridge will be open through the winter but will close again in the spring of 2017 while the river is returned to its original or “relic” channel under the new bridge and Boardman dam is removed. Work should conclude in the fall of 2017 and the Cass Road reopened. Why is this important? We have few good east-west traffic corridors and it means that for two summer seasons one of them will be out of commission. Because REALTORS move around the region a lot and usually try and find the fastest most efficient route, knowing that this road and bridge will be closed will allow you to plan better. When it is done there will be a very solid and efficient east-west connector back on the grid. Also, while we’re talking roadwork you need to plan for this years bottleneck which will be U.S. 31 across the bottom of East Bay. MDOT will be rebuilding this major artery and it’s going to cause some angst. Let’s remember that the end result will be better, safer roads and bridges when these projects are finished. For more details on 2015 road construction projects visit this website. http://www.networksnorthwest.org/planning/transportation/2015-road-construction.html I hope this information helps your personal radiator avoid boiling over, especially when the summer crowds get here.

Millennials: Getting Them In A Home

“The millennial generation is an even larger population than the baby boomers, their potential impact is huge.” According to author Andrew Strauch.  How can you help them enter the housing market?

  1. Buy sooner rather than later-interest rates rise and fall
  2. A home they like tailoring to the more social aspect of this demographic.
  3. Reaching them- newsletters with personality, word of mouth, are effective.


Attention REALTORS

Note this recent article from the Ticker dated February 4, 2015 concerning the Traverse City Planning Commissions decision to move forward with Accessory Dwelling Units (ADU’s, Granny Flats, Mother-in-Law Suites). The next step is approval by the City Commission. I’m sure that input from REALTORS on this issue would be most appreciated so take a minute to contact a commissioner, write a letter to the editor, show up for a public hearing or all of the above. This issue comes around about every two to three years and typically there is little input from us.

Want to know more of the subject? Go to the NAR website or get a copy of In-Laws, Outlaws and Granny Flats by Micheal Litchfield. Here is a YouTube based on the same.  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gHGndlxpNBY (you may have to copy and paste this to your browser)


TAAR Bylaws Ratified by Membership

The results are in after a month of voting. The Bylaws are officially ratified by a vote of 181 for adoption and 9 votes against. A total of 178 votes were needed to meet the quorum requirement based on our current REALTOR membership numbers. Thanks to all members who participated.

The Bylaws of the Traverse Area Association of REALTORS can always be found on the Members Only website under the tab for Governance ➡️ Documents and Publications.

Request from Habitat for Humanity

The Habitat for Humanity, Grand Traverse Region (HFH-GTR) affiliate is accepting Requests for Qualifications (RFQ), from potential REALTORS®/brokers to aid HFH-GTR in the sale of vacant and developed real estate that HFH-GTR may receive as a charitable contribution and elect to sell in order to raise cash in support of the programs & services of HFH-GTR.  Full details

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, abates@mirealtors.com. For questions related to licensee tracking, please contact Julie Luper, jluper@mirealtors.com.



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!


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