APRIL 2018 Newsletter
Happy Spring Selling!
April Showers Bring...
Everyone is ready for Spring, but Mother Nature seems to be holding out this year. Hopefully, the extra moisture will make for a beautiful, green May and a fire-free summer. Another sure sign of Spring...more lockboxes are going out the door here at the office:)
President's Message

Sharon Virgin
GFAR Board of Directors
Have you considered:
Volunteering your time in our community and with the REALTORS® Association is a great way to propel both the industry and your career. You’ll make lifelong friends, gain a deeper view of the industry, and have a chance to test and develop your leadership skills. It’s time for you to get involved in our local and state association. Are you ready to take your involvement to the next level? Are you a new agent wondering how you can be involved? Contact our Staff at GFAR…..we are always searching for talented volunteers. There are a lot of opportunities to get involved in the next couple of months. I’m thankful for our staff and the great group of volunteers our Association would like to see YOU!!!!  

Have you heard the rallying cry from the National Association of REALTORS® leadership team? If you haven’t it’s: “This is Our Moment – Let’s Own It.”  What President Mendenhall is talking about with “Own It”, is we, as professionals, owning our advocacy, owning our association, and owning our future as REALTORS®. How will you “Own It” in 2018? Will you help Great Falls Association of REALTORS® “Own It” in 2018?

Owning It means building a culture of participation – beyond just paying dues. Also, in today’s competitive market national companies are competing for your customers. The best way to combat this is through involvement.

Our staff and volunteers are working on Continuing Education, Rookie Course (that we just completed), upcoming Orientation classes, GRI, REALTOR® and Rookie of the Year awards, IMF Bowling Tournament, Flag Day Celebration and all of this for just the 2nd quarter of this year!

I look forward to seeing you at our upcoming events.

Terry Thompson
Chief Executive Officer

I recently attended the AEI which is the Association Executive Institute. This is a four day professional development conference for association staff executives. At this conference, NAR historically informs us of coming changes and this session was full of them. For starters, NAR will be proposing to raise Realtor dues in 2019 by $30 for the S.M.A.R.T (Strategic Measures Advancing Realtors to Tomorrow) Budget Initiatives. This will be voted on by the NAR board of directors at the May legislative meeting in Washington D.C. and is anticipated to pass. NAR dues are currently $120 per year and would increase to $150. Complete details can be reviewed at https://www.nar.realtor/smartbudget

The other big news item is NAR has announced a new REALTOR Trademark and Brand/Logo. The new logo will start appearing in June. Members and associations will have until December 31, 2019 to make the necessary changes. Staff will provide more information as it becomes available. Read on to find the new logo!

If you have been reading MAR’s newsletters, or involved with GFAR’s government affairs committee, then you are aware that the BRR is seriously considering a legislative proposal to require every real estate licensee to have Errors & Omissions Insurance. The BRR asked for MAR’s assistance in facilitating feedback from MAR’s 4,000 plus membership. Therefore, MAR President Rich Mayo appointed a PAG to research and poll the Realtor members across Montana. There are currently 13 states that require it so the PAG gathered the details from those states and compiled it. There are only two insurance companies in the nation that provide policies in those states. See the section below to review the information MAR has summarized and be watching your email for a survey to provide your feedback.

Lastly, staff works hard to communicate to members through the website, flex dashboard and all of our social media links. Have you Liked our Facebook and Twitter pages for both the Great Falls Association of Realtors and Great Falls Realtors Flag Project to keep in tune with what is going on? Have you noticed a friendlier flex dashboard? We are also working on a new website that may look similar to the current one but will save GFAR money and be easier to administer. We will be changing the URL/Domain name to brand GFAR better to members and the public. Give us your feedback on all the things you see and are using.

Your association needs you – get involved! Let’s all pray for spring too!
The Montana Board of Realty Regulation (BRR) is currently contemplating asking the legislature to modify statues to require mandatory Errors and Omission (E&O) Insurance for all real estate licensees in Montana. 
Please take a few minutes to read the cover letter from MAR and the memo outlining potential benefits to real estate licensees.

Are you registered to vote? Link  https://app.mt.gov/voterinfo
May 8 ballot includes an Elementary School Levy, School Board election and the City’s Park District proposal.
  • The Preserve Our Parks group spoke at our April 5th membership meeting.
  • The GFPS School Levy Presentation will be at our membership meeting on April 26th at 9am.

Join the Government Affairs Committee. Attend community meetings. Be actively engaged in what’s happening with local development, housing, property rights and your tax dollars!

"If real estate is your profession then politics is your business."
Join your colleagues in investing to protect your industry! Contribute to RPAC and IMF.
The purpose of RPAC is clear: REALTORS® raise and spend money to elect candidates who understand and support their interests. Investments in the REALTORS® Political Action Committee allow everyone to participate in government. 

Sign Up for REALTOR® Party Mobile Alerts:
What is IMF & Why Does it Matter?

The Issues Mobilization Fund (IMF) can help MAR and GFAR positively impact public opinion and public policy to protect our industry, our clients, our communities, and the American Dream of homeownership. All funding comes from voluntary contributions from members like you. RPAC helps recruit & elect good pro-business candidates. IMF explores water policy, local land use planning, taxes, infrastructure financing, housing, and transportation policies that may directly affect the future of our business. It is critical that REALTORS® play a prominent role in the policy-making process to impact those decisions. 

Q. Who may submit a request for funds?
A. Any local board or association may request funds to support their campaign for or against a local decision or action that could heavily impact REALTORS®, our clients, and our communities.

Q. What are the funds used for?
A. The funds help local boards and associations in all aspects of their issue advocacy program including radio, TV, or newspaper ads, mailings, brochures, phone campaigns, and forums or other events to educate the public or targeted audiences on the issue. Funds also can be used to fund research to educate decision makers and the public on REALTOR® issues.

Our local fundraising efforts toward the IMF Fund is our upcoming PineappBOWL, a Hawaiian themed bowling event. Get your team signed up now! Only 3 spots for teams left!! Don't want to bowl? Sponsor a team, a lane, or tables!

April 12
9:00 am
Member Meeting -
Kim Hofstad,
Damsel in Defense

April 17
1:00 - 5:00 pm
Education Class
Prop Mgmt & Trust Acct

April 18
8:30 - 10:00 am
Board of Directors
11:00am IMF
11:30am YPN

April 19
*No Member Meeting
Education Classes

8:00 am - 12:00 pm
Education Class
Tech Ethics (Class Full)

1:00 - 5:00 pm
Education Class
Contract to Close

April 24
4:00 - 5:00 pm
Flag Committee

April 25 - 27
MAR State Meetings

April 26
9:00 am
Member Meeting -
Tammy Lacey,

April 27
12:00 - 4:00 pm
MLS Strategy Session
May 3
IMF Bowling Fundraiser
Little's Lanes
Doors open at 4:00pm
May 21
ROTY/Rookie Awards
Member Mixer
BAR S Supper Club
5:00 pm - 7:00 pm
April 17
1:00 - 5:00pm
Prop Mgmt/
Trust Accounts
Tiffany Huss, BRR

April 19
8:00am - 12:00pm
Tech Ethics (COE)
Paula Monthofer
*Class is full, please call office to be put on waiting list

April 19
1:00 - 5:00pm
Contract to Close
Paula Monthofer

May 4
9:00am - 5:00pm
Professional Standards
Diane Disbrow
*For all current members of GFAR’s Grievance and Professional Standards committees and members who are interested in serving on the grievance committee. GFAR is recruiting additional members for the grievance committee so please contact Tracy Johnson, Chair or Terry Thompson if interested in attending this course.

May 8
1:00 - 5:00pm
Terri Wellborn &
Angela Kline

To register for classes:
I t's that time...time for REALTOR® and Rookie of the Year awards!

The committee has met and is beginning the process of selecting this year's winners.

Packets from Nominees Due:
5pm Friday, April 27th

Interviews with Committee:
Monday, May 7th

May 21st
5:00 pm
Bar S Supper Club

May 10-11:
Rookie Course , Bozeman

May 22-23:
Rookie Course ,
A supervising Broker Endorsement is required to supervise salespeople in Montana. In order to obtain the Supervising Broker Endorsement, you must be licensed in Montana as a broker and complete an 8-hour Supervising Broker Pre-Endorsement Course.    
Fair Housing CLASS  
Registration will open soon!
Commemorating 50 Years of the Fair Housing Act
Fair housing is more than a list of dos and don’ts, rights and penalties, and mandatory continuing education. As stewards of the right to own, use and transfer private property, fair housing protects our livelihood and business as REALTORS® and depends on a free, open market that embraces equal opportunity. Fair Housing Makes US Stronger.
By June 15th, there will be dedicated web pages to download the trademark in a number of formats, offer usage guidelines, detail the colors and fonts, etc. Visit nar.realtor/brand for more information.