3 new features to make using RPR quicker, easier

The REALTORS® Property Resource (RPR) app has added three new features that make it easier for REALTORS® to access property and market data.

  1. Search by voice
    You can now use voice-to-text to search for properties or geographic areas in the RPR app. When in the search panel, tap the microphone icon to activate search by voice. This new feature is available for Android and iOS.
  2. Find reports from the home screen
    The reports button is now located at the bottom of the home screen to make it quicker and easier for REALTORS® to generate market or neighborhood reports with just a few steps.
  3. Comp Analysis Express
    The new Comp Analysis Express feature allows REALTORS® to quickly generate CMAs from the RPR app and share client-friendly reports from their mobile device that also can be viewed on the website.
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Simple ways to help new agents succeed

Adding agents to your brokerage can benefit your business, but only if you give them the foundation to succeed. Here’s how to help your new agents thrive.

Help agents come up with a business plan. A good business plan includes points on branding, marketing, finding leads, and generating revenue. By assisting your new agents with their business plans, you can make sure their direction and goals align with those of your brokerage.

Bonus tip: Need some ideas about writing a business plan? Read the May 2017 Texas REALTOR® magazine cover story.

Provide training. Once you’ve chosen the right agents, your next priority should be training them. Decide if you will offer in-house training, require new agents to shadow experienced agents, or require agents to earn certain designations. Put whatever your training plans are in your firm’s policies and procedures manual.

Bonus tip: Need to update your policies and procedures manual? The Texas Association of REALTORS® Model Brokerage Policies and Procedures Manual is available to members for $99.99 plus tax. It gives brokerages instant compliance with TREC requirements to maintain written policies and procedures and provides a ready-to-use set of principles for managing your business.

Set the right expectations. An often cited reason new agents fail or drop out of the industry is because they have unrealistic job expectations and don’t understand how to work as an independent contractor. While many agents enter the business because of the autonomy, they still need guidance on time management, lead generation, and hands-on experience with a seasoned mentor.

Bonus tip: The Graduate, REALTOR® Institute designation is a good way for agents to get immersed in the industry and learn about current legal issues, technology, and best practices. Learn more at texasrealestate.com/gri.

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New annexation law improves Texas property rights

Once a new law takes effect December 1, many Texans who live in areas outside of city limits—known as extraterritorial jurisdictions (ETJs)—will no longer have to worry about their property being forced into the city limits through annexation.

This TAR-supported new law comes out of this year’s special legislative session and was one of the many ways Texas REALTORS® strongly advocated for pro-property rights legislation on behalf of real estate consumers.

Reforming the annexation process
Being annexed into a municipality has pros and cons. Annexed residents may have access to city services, such as utilities and law enforcement, but they will also be subject to the new city taxes and land use regulations.

Prior to the new law’s December 1 effective date, it was a city council’s decision whether to annex an area into the city limits.

The new law will provide residents more of a voice in the process … but what’s changing will depend on your county’s population.

Some cities will have automatic elections
Counties with a population of 500,000 or more are known as Tier 2 counties.

If the municipality seeking the annexation is in a Tier 2 county, the municipality must hold an election of the voters in the area to be annexed (with some exceptions). This allows the residents who will be impacted to decide whether they want to be annexed into the municipality.

Cities in smaller counties have options
Counties with population less than 500,000 are known as Tier 1. Unless the residents of those counties take action, the annexation process in those counties will remain unchanged.

If the municipality seeking the annexation is in a Tier 1 county, residents will need to petition the county if they want to vote on annexation.

If county residents want to have Tier 2 rules apply to them, at least 10% of registered voters in the county must sign a petition to put that request on the ballot. If that ballot measure passes, the county will then be considered Tier 2 and future annexations will be up to a vote of the residents in the area to be annexed.

What if your city falls in two counties with different populations?
For cities that straddle a Tier 1 and a Tier 2 county, Tier 2 rules will apply.

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5 basics of persuasion

Persuasion is part of your job, whether you’re convincing someone to work with you or explaining why the seller should accept your buyer’s offer. Here’s how to be more persuasive.

Build a relationship of trust from the start. If people view you as honest, well-informed, and conscientious, they’ll be more inclined to listen.

Explain everything. Help clients, especially first-timers, appreciate how buying and selling real estate is different from other transactions.

Consider your audience. Adjust your approach to each client. Some are savvy, but most need more support than they’ll admit. Anticipate their needs and help them through the process.

Use language people understand. Many people don’t recognize terms and concepts you use daily. Speak plainly and you’ll avoid misunderstandings.

Emphasize fairness in disputes. When a client has a problem, restate it as you understand it, then together figure out what the core issue is, what’s at stake, and who can actually fix the problem.

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Find more leads and nurture the ones you have

Kickstart your lead generation playbook with 13 fresh ideas and learn how to keep your leads warm and moving toward a transaction in the November issue of Texas REALTOR® magazine.

Texas REALTOR magazine cover for November 2017

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Why landowners need this if they allow hunters

Landowners who lease their private property for hunting in return for any type of compensation are required to obtain a hunting lease license. There are three types of licenses available:

  • Hunting lease license
  • Hunting cooperative lease license
  • Wildlife management association area hunting license

Once a landowner acquires the license, the law says it must be “displayed on the hunting lease.” Texas REALTOR® magazine provides more details about what this means, plus the differences between the licenses available, in “Landowners leasing property for hunting must get a license.”

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Get the recognition you (or your colleagues) deserve

The nomination deadlines for Texas Association of REALTORS® awards is December 1, unless otherwise noted. Below are categories of awards available as well as links to each one’s nomination page.

Volunteer leadership
The REALTOR® of the Year Award is given to a Texas REALTOR® who has made outstanding contributions to the industry during the past 10 years through involvement at the national, state, and local levels.

Community improvement
The Texas REALTOR® Hero Award (deadline: December 8) goes to a REALTOR® who has demonstrated outstanding community service related to promoting and advancing homeownership.

Local association leadership
The Tom D. Morton Award is given to an association executive for excellence, service to members, and personal and professional accomplishments.

Governmental Affairs excellence
The Texas REALTOR® Strike Force Award (deadline: January) is given to REALTORS® who have exhibited dedication to TAR grassroots activities. The Governmental Affairs Outstanding Achievement Award (deadline: January) is presented to a local REALTOR® association that’s demonstrated excellence in fundraising, grassroots involvement, and other initiatives.

Advancements in member education
The Educator of the Year Award recognizes an instructor who’s made significant contributions to real estate education in Texas, while the Education Programs of the Year Awards honor local associations for their efforts to meet members’ needs and increase professionalism in the industry.

Commercial excellence
The William C. Jennings Award (deadline: January 9) recognizes the year’s outstanding effort in commercial brokerage.

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