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02/10/2016 | Author: Editorial Staff

Which notices did TREC change? How does the state’s economy look? What will the Texas Legislature focus on in 2017? These questions and many others were addressed during the 2016 Texas REALTORS® Winter Meeting, which concluded Tuesday in Austin. Below are highlights from the event, and you can expect a full recap in the March issue of Texas REALTOR® magazine.

New rules and notices from TREC
Doug Oldmixon, executive director of the Texas Real Estate Commission, answered questions about the revised Information About Brokerage Services form and Consumer Protection Notice—and changes to how you must provide these forms—during the Professional Development Forum. This TREC flier has tips for using these two forms. 

Oldmixon also reminded Texas REALTORS® of two other changes effective January 1: 

  • The number of CE hours required to renew a license increased from 15 to 18.
  • ​Brokers who supervise agents must take the Broker Responsibility Course. If neither you nor your business entity sponsors agents, you don’t have to take it.

How to improve your service
During the Opening Session, keynote speaker Terry Watson, a Chicago real estate broker and motivational speaker, stressed the importance of managing expectations to best serve clients:

  • Determine their priorities. Ask your clients, “What is most important to you in this transaction?” and work to reach that goal.
  • Exude confidence. “When two people come together, the most confident person will win.”
  • Show, don’t tell. Use other sources to back up your statements, like articles that describe the housing market or client testimonials about the service you provide.

Politics, polls, and policy
During the Governmental Affairs Forum, Dr. Jim Henson, director of the Texas Politics Project, moderated a panel featuring Leslie Pardue, executive director of the Conservative Foundation of Texas, and James Aldrete, president and creative director of MAP Political Communication. The three discussed the state’s political climate, predicted voter turnout, and polling.

The panel was followed by Karl Rove, who spoke about the history of American politics and the importance of authenticity in campaigns. “You better be who you are and share who you are. If you don’t share who you are, you lose an opportunity,” Rove said.

Texas Reps. Donna Howard and Larry Gonzales shared their insights into the state budget process during the Public Policy Forum. Gonzales explained why the Texas budget is a top priority for lawmakers: “You can have a great bill, but without money, it doesn’t mean anything.” Howard described why the budget can be challenging for legislators. “The budget is a puzzle with pieces you have to put together, and part of our job is to see the whole picture when putting those pieces together,” she said.

The MetroTex Association of REALTORS® received the 2015 Governmental Affairs Outstanding Achievement Award for its fundraising, grassroots participation, and other local initiatives.

On Tuesday morning, Texas Supreme Court Justice Eva Guzman, who is a TAR-supported candidate for re-election in the March 1 primary, addressed TREPAC Major Investors. Guzman discussed her position as a strict constructionist who believes that a judge’s role is to interpret the laws, not create laws from the bench.

How’s the Texas economy?
Jim Gaines, chief economist with the Real Estate Center at Texas A&M University, shared good news about Texas real estate during the Board of Directors meeting. Gaines said 2015 was the best year ever for housing in Texas, with the year bringing record-high home sales and prices thanks to a shortage of supply while demand was up. Click here to download Gaines’s presentation, “Economic and Housing Outlook for 2016.”

Board of Directors meeting
The TAR Board of Directors elected its officers for 2017: Chairman Vicki Fullerton, Chairman-elect Kaki Lybbert, and Secretary/Treasurer Tray Bates.

In addition, the Board of Directors recognized three new REALTOR® Association Certified Executive (RCE) designees: Warren Andrich, CEO of the Corpus Christi Association of REALTORS®; Jonna Fernandez, communications director of the Collin County Association of REALTORS®; and Debbie Pipes, AE of the Central Hill Country Board of REALTORS®.

The board also honored Sherry Matina, CEO of the Greater Fort Worth Association of REALTORS®, with the Texas REALTORS® Legacy Award. Matina has served as GFWAR’s CEO for the past 19 years and has a long history of volunteering in the REALTOR® organization at all levels.

Honoring award-winning Texans
The following Texas REALTORS® were recognized at Monday’s Awards Luncheon and STARs Reception for their contributions to the real estate industry:

  • Texas REALTOR® of the Year: Brooke Hunt, Flower Mound
  • Tom D. Morton Award (top association executive): Angela Shields, CEO/President of the San Antonio Board of REALTORS®
  • Texas REALTOR® Hero Award (exceptional work to advance and promote affordable housing): Patricia “Trish” Matthews, Houston
  • William C. Jennings Award (outstanding commercial transaction): Jef Conn, Lubbock
  • Educator of the Year: Reba Saxon, Austin
  • Education Programs of the Year for local associations: Austin Board of REALTORS® (Legal Category); Williamson County Association of REALTORS® (Innovation Category); Greater Fort Worth Association of REALTORS® (Series or Short Program Category); and San Antonio Board of REALTORS® (Marketing Category)

The following Texans were inducted into the National Association of REALTORS® Omega Tau Rho fraternity:           

REALTORS® Emeritus
Nick Nicholas, North Texas Commercial, and Eva Earl Rutledge, Greater Metro West

NAR Directors
Ward Arendt, Diana Ayers, Shannon Cobb-Evans, and Chance Brown, Houston; Tray Bates, Corpus Christi; Johnny Bennett, Greater Fort Worth; Cathy Coneway, Austin; Steve Habgood, MetroTex; Douglas Reece, Collin County; and Missy Stagers, San Antonio

Association staff
Mary Chilton, Greater Fort Worth; Jimmy Peacock, Odessa; and Susan Chichester, Texas

Tell them how you serve the real estate industry
If you attended the 2016 Texas REALTORS® Winter Meeting, download this fill-in-the-blanks press release and share it with your local media outlets.

Categories: Property Management, Business tips, Forms, Legal, Meetings, Members, Governmental Affairs
Tags: meetings, members, winter meeting, trec, awards

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Legal disclaimer

The material provided here is for informational purposes only and is not intended and should not be considered as legal advice for your particular matter. You should contact your attorney to obtain advice with respect to any particular issue or problem. Applicability of the legal principles discussed in this material may differ substantially in individual situations.

While the Texas Association of REALTORS® has used reasonable efforts in collecting and preparing materials included here, due to the rapidly changing nature of the real estate marketplace and the law, and our reliance on information provided by outside sources, the Texas Association of REALTORS® makes no representation, warranty, or guarantee of the accuracy or reliability of any information provided here or elsewhere on Any legal or other information found here, on, or at other sites to which we link, should be verified before it is relied upon.

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