Four hurricanes pounded Florida in August and September 2004, and Rob and Marlena Burger are still recovering eight years later. Their Orlando storefront printing and design business was destroyed, and the couple ended up living and working in an old mobile home that suffered from severe leaks, electrical issues, and mold.
The couple was losing hope of ever owning a home, until they found Habitat for Humanity of Greater Orlando Area. Now, the Burgers are among the 58 families moving into the Stag Horn Villas, an $8 million, energy-efficient, townhome community built by Habitat.
“At one time, we were treading water in a sea of despair,” said Burger. “But since Habitat, we’ve been floating in an ocean of gratitude.”
About 100 REALTORS® volunteered their carpentry skills at the Stag Horn Villas development Wednesday morning. This is the 12th year members of NAR have participated in a Habitat for Humanity build during the REALTORS® Conference & Expo. NAR contributed $50,000 to the Stag Horn Villas project.
“Every nail you drive, every paint brush you use, every item you carry, recognize that you’re not just helping these folks, but you’re helping this country,” Moe Veissi, 2012 president of NAR, told the REALTOR® volunteers. “Not just the economic health of America depends on home ownership, we know that the social and cultural health of this country knits its fabric together by people who live in communities that you are helping to build.”
By Brian Summerfield, Online Editor, REALTOR® Magazine
Being innovative doesn’t necessarily mean diving into new technologies all the time. It doesn’t mean trying to reinvent the wheel. And it certainly doesn’t mean focusing lots of your energy on something perceived to be hip or avant-garde to the detriment of the core of your business.
That was the message from Matt Dollinger, vice president of strategic development at brokerage @properties, and Eric Bryn, vice president of digital innovation at brokerage Baird & Warner, in separate presentations at the Xplode conference in Chicago last week.
Dollinger — his presentation slides are here — said he’s amazed by the amount of time real estate practitioners spend on things that aren’t bringing them business. “More people have done a transaction off of an open house than off of Twitter,” he said. “But they spend a lot more time on Twitter.”
He argued that technology won’t save your business, then quoted real estate consultant and commentator Rob Hahn: “It ain’t the technology. All technology does is make what you do more efficient. If what you do is crap, it makes crap more efficient. If what you do is valuable, then it makes that more efficient. Microsoft Word is an amazing piece of technology, but it can’t write the next Great American Novel for you.”
True innovation, especially when you lack time and resources, requires a concentrated approach rather than a try-anything-and-everything system. Thus, when it comes to being innovative, Dollinger recommends doing the following: Continue reading »
By Robert Freedman, Senior Editor, REALTOR® Magazine
REALTORS® get involved in so many worthy activities that it would surely be hard for you to take on yet another cause, but after learning about School of the Future I think many of you will find the time to take on one more thing. The results are just too compelling to ignore.
In a sentence, the program gets middle-school students excited about learning in the same way they get excited about sports: as something to do as much and as often as they can.
That might seem too good to be true, but the program does one thing very well: It shows students what it’s like to really use what they know. Think about your own profession as someone who sells real estate. You sell to earn a living but you also take satisfaction in mastering the skills that go into a successful career: prospecting, marketing, persuading, problem-solving, and negotiating, to name just a few. You’re using what you know, and the more you do that, the more satisfying your profession becomes. Continue reading »
By Katherine Tarbox, Senior Editor, REALTOR® Magazine
Yesterday, almost 50 practitioners gathered to help build a new home at 1441 Harding Avenue, National City, Calif., with Habitat for Humanity. Since 2001, NAR has partnered with the organization to build a home in the host city for the annual Convention & Expo. Watch this video to find out more about how REALTORS® are making a difference: