June 18, 2018
SPAAR welcomes nominations for Board of Directors
Consider being on the Board of Directors for the Saint Paul Area Association of REALTORS®. The 2018 Nominating Committee is looking to fill three director positions for 2019. This position has a three-year term and directors are asked to make attending all Board meetings a priority.

SPAAR is also accepting applications for three officer positions: treasurer, president-elect, and president.

How will I benefit? As a Board Member you'll have:
  • Opportunities to both learn from and teach others
  • Direct involvement in decisions that affect the association
  • A broader professional network of members, the community and civic leaders
  • New experiences that develop professional and personal skills
  • Social opportunities that often lead to lasting friendships
If you are interested in applying for a Board position, please complete an application form and return it to Tracey Douglas at tdouglas@spaar.com no later than Friday, June 29, 2018.
SPAAR kicks off ongoing safety initiative
Safety is important. At work, at home, online and on the go, safety is a broad and varied topic, and one that SPAAR is taking on on behalf of its members and the communities they serve. SPAAR will be sharing safety tips and education opportunities each week through its newsletter, social media and, as scheduled, through presentations and classes.

REALTORS® are uniquely connected to the communities in which they live and work. SPAAR's safety initiative was designed to be connected and comprehensive. It's intended to cover a wide range of topics pertinent to creating better agents and better communities.

SPAAR recently introduced its new mascot, SPAARky. When you see SPAARky, see article below, you'll know he has a message, tip or event to share.
SPAARky says:

Be aware and know your surroundings. Take a couple of minutes as you approach your destination to check out potential risks. Are people coming and going in the area, or is it unusually quiet? Be sure to observe any obstacles or hiding places along the home or near the street. Is anyone in the immediate area loitering?

SPAAR members have shared some great tips, too, including:

" When I'm leaving an open house, I leave with someone one the phone with me. And, if I can't reach anyone, I will put the phone to my ear as though I'm talking to someone until I'm to my car and exiting the driveway." 
"I talk to sellers about not keeping their dogs in kennels or tethered during previews and showings whenever possible. It's more relaxing and allows the potential buyer to stay focused."
What is your #1 safety tip to share?

In keeping with the safety theme introduced in this newsletter, what is your #1 safety tip?

Share your safety tip and provide your name and email by sending an email to Jennifer at jkovacich@spaar.com and you will be entered into a $25 drawing at the end of June.

THANK YOU to all who have provided safety tips. Please keep them coming. They're great!
Hot dogs and safety

Does your neighborhood host a National Night Out block party? Are you a block captain or party organizer? If so, SPAAR will donate hot dogs and buns for your block party coupled with safety information you can provide to your neighbors.


If you fill this role, contact Mandy Boldt at mboldt@spaar.com with your neighborhood block party count for National Night Out.

Don't be scammed! Learn tips and how to protect your identity
Join the Federal TradeCommission to learn about the top scams reported in Minnesota and receive tips to help consumers avoid scams, protect their identity and recover from identity theft.
This one-hour webinar takes place on Thursday, June 21, at 10am. There is no registration required. Click here to join the webinar a few minutes prior to the 10am start time. There is no CE.
Make your vote count to reauthorize the National Flood Insurance Program
The National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP) is a vital program to homeowners in Minnesota, and is essential to the success of REALTORS® both locally and nationally. Yet, the program is set to expire on July 31, 2018, and we must act now to tell Congress to reauthorize the program because for each month that NFIP lapses, 40,000 property sales nationally, and many right here in Minnesota, are at risk, threatening the ability for people to buy homes and for REALTORS® to earn a living. Click here to read more and vote.
Flood zones made easy
Potentially listing or buying in a flood zone? NorthstarMLS partnered with MyFloodStatus for you to get their expert Flood Zone Determination reports (including support) at a discount. For details, check out the NorthstarMLS blog and sign up for one of this week's free webinars.
NAR membership dues to increase for 2019
The National Association of REALTORS® (NAR) members will see a membership dues increase from $155 to $185 for 2019.

NAR has provided the following explanation for the increase:
  • $17 dedicated to REALTOR® Party Programming (75 percent to state and local services; 25 percent to federal advocacy) with focuses on federal issues advocacy, and state and local issues mobilization fund.
  • $13 dedicated for operations and programming with focuses on forms and transaction management platform; occupancy costs; strategic business, innovation and technology; and financial wellness program for members.
  • $35, which is a carry over fee from previous years for the Consumer Advertising Campaign special assessment that qualifies as fully deductible.

Third quarter MLS invoices are due June 30
The third quarter MLS billing was sent via email on May 31 from billing@spaar.com. If you do not see the notice in your inbox, please check your SPAM and junk folders so you do not miss out on this important information.
As a reminder, payment must be received on or before June 30 to avoid suspension of MLS access. If not paid on or before June 30, you will incur a $25 reinstatement fee.
To access your portal account, please click here. If you have questions regarding your third quarter MLS fees, do not hesitate to contact the association at 651-776-6000.
Update: 2018 Blue Star Mothers Collection Drive

In January and February, SPAAR's members contributed items for We Care packages that are sent to service members on active duty. This collection drive is a partnership with a local chapter of the Blue Star Mothers of America. In 2018, SPAAR collected almost twice as many items as in previous years! Congratulations---and thank you for your generosity.

But wait-there's more!
SPAAR member-emeritus Bill Tschohl contacted the Legion in Apple Valley to ask them about hosting a collection box to collect items for We Care packages. The Legion not only filled four boxes with items, but their Community Committee authorized a $2,000 grant (from sales of pulltabs) for the Blue Star Mothers. This grant will be used to defray costs of shipping packages to servicemembers overseas. Thank you for making this connection, Bill!  Bill serves on SPAAR's Community Engagement Committee, which coordinated the annual Blue Star Mothers Collection Drive.
Like to help?  The Blue Star Mothers will host a potluck and packathon on Thursday, June 21 when they fill and prepare We Care packages for shipment.  You can help!  For more information or to RSVP, please contact Joe McKinley at SPAAR: 651-772-6344 or jmckinley@spaar.com .
It's coming... don't miss the bus!


Watch for information next week about Pack The Bus!, SPAAR's annual backpack and school supply collection drive. 
The collection drive is coordinated by SPAAR's Community Engagement Committee (that's Committee Chair Diana Allen driving the bus, above). 
This year's drive will benefit two local nonprofits-both of these nonprofits were started by Realtor® members of SPAAR! This year's collection drive will run from June 18 through August 3.
Changes coming to forms on August 1

The MN REALTORS® Forms Committee held its final meeting for fiscal year 2018 on May 23.
There will be residential and commercial forms changing within the MN REALTORS® forms library. The revised forms will be released and become effective on August 1, 2018. Members should begin using the revised forms on and after August 1.
Stay tuned for a detailed description of what is changing or log into Minnesota REALTORS® to learn more.
SPAAR's Professionalism Committee wants you!
SPAAR is looking to expand its membership on the Professionalism Committee with a few new members. If you have an interest in helping members raise the bar in real estate, please contact Mandy Boldt at mboldt@spaar.com or complete this committee application and select "Professionalism."
Excuse the noise as SPAAR undergoes a minor remodel
SPAAR's St. Paul location is currently under construction to create and reconfigure existing space following the departure of Royal Credit Union, which used to be housed in the lobby at SPAAR. The remodel will include some new employee offices, a new meeting space and a renovation of another meeting space. Please excuse the noise and any inconvenience if you're onsite during the construction. Thank you.
RealSatisfied: a new benefit for SPAAR members
How is RealSatisfied working for you?

SPAAR now provides RealSatisfied as a free, member-only benefit. Rolled out to all members in February, this tool is designed to help REALTORS® be more competitive in the real estate marketplace.

Brokerages and managers are not required to take any action to implement RealSatisfied, as the tool has been purchased by SPAAR for individual SPAAR members; however, if an office wants broker access the broker dashboard may be purchased for $600 per office annually.

RealSatisfied has information to get started and tutorials to learn how the tool works.
SPAAR in the news
See SPAAR in the news? We'd love to know about it. Please let us know if you see articles in your local paper about SPAAR members, events or other news. You can send an email to jkovacich@spaar.com or mail to Jennifer Kovacich at SPAAR (325 Roselawn Ave E, St. Paul, MN  55117) or simply let us know the station or publication. Thank you!
Housing Market Statistics

Get up-to-date housing market information here. SPAAR provides four different types of reports so you can offer your clients the most accurate housing data available. Click below to see how the market is doing.

Welcome, new members!
Welcome to SPAAR! There are many ways to get involved and grow your business. We look forward to meeting you!
Member Name
Naomi Brown
Coldwell Banker Burnet
Nhung Chau
Realty Group, Inc.
Elizabeth Clay
Coldwell Banker Burnet
Gregory Defoe
Edina Realty, Inc.
Leigh DuBois
Wissota Real Estate, Inc.
Jessica Fisher
Keystone Real Estate Group
Mark Gribig
Lakeshore Appraising LLC
Jad Hark
Realty Group, Inc.
Shilo Johnson
Keller Williams Integrity NW
Katherine Karja
Keller Williams Classic Realty
Stephen Kunesh
Housing Hub LLC
Jermaine Mitchell
Bethany Murawski
Get You Moved Realty
Lisa Olien
Edina Realty, Inc.
Derek Paulson
VSM Real Estate LLC
Jess Perry
Bell Bank Mortgage
Cody Reams
Inspections Plus, Inc.
Stacey Stanley
MNsota Real Estate Advisors
Yua Thor
Realty Group, Inc.
Cameron Voss
Coldwell Banker Burnet
Matthew Wicken
Keller Williams Premier Realty
Holly Wicklund
Discount Realty Professionals
Chanthee Yang
Creative Results
Padee Yang
Bell Bank Mortgage