November 5, 2018
Need to know where to vote in Minnesota?  Click here to find out.
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Take part in Fair Housing activities this week through Mapping Prejudice and a roundtable discussion
Why is the Fair Housing Act important? 2018 marks the 50th anniversary of the passage of the 1968 Fair Housing Act. In recognition of this anniversary, SPAAR, through its Diversity Committee, has been involved in a yearlong program of activities to draw attention to the importance of the Fair Housing Act. This is important context for every real estate professional.
Mapping Prejudice researchers examine property documents for race-based, restrictive covenants. Now, as these covenants are identified, the related property is coded on a map. Restrictive covenants limited access to wealth creation and segregated areas and communities within the Twin Cities, often in conjunction with real estate practices of redlining and steering.
Restrictive covenants based on race were made illegal by Minnesota Statute and by the Fair Housing Act; however, the impact of these covenants lives on, impacting property ownership and land use to this day. Through Mapping Prejudice, volunteers make a hands-on impact on their research by accessing scanned title documents online and reviewing them for race-based restrictive covenants by answering screening questions.
Tomorrow, on Election Day, Tuesday, November 6, SPAAR will host an encore presentation from Mapping Prejudice researchers. Come learn about their work and take part in participating in the research. This is an impactful way to learn about the importance of the Fair Housing Act. Lunch will be provided. Click here to register  for Mapping Prejudice and, IMPORTANT, participants must bring a laptop!
On Thursday, November 8, SPAAR's Diversity Committee will host a roundtable discussion about the report released by the Minnesota Task Force on Housing. The Task Force was convened by Governor Dayton to address the state's housing shortage. Many of the recommendations included in this report outline specific ways that real estate professionals can impact the housing shortage. Register here for the roundtable discussion , which will begin with remarks by Minnesota Housing Commissioner Mary Tingerthal.
Open enrollment for the individual health insurance market has begun

Open enrollment is now available for the 2019 individual market, which includes several changes. Minnesota REALTORS® will once again partner with Minnesota Health Insurance to provide this option to members.

Here are some of the changes to note:
  • Premiums are going down for 2019.
  • Networks will remain narrow, so check to see that your preferred physicians, clinics and hospitals are in your network if that's important to you.
  • Tax credits are available based on your family size and income. For example, a family of four will receive $416 per month with an adjusted gross income of $100,000 and $624 at $75,000.
  • If you don't have health insurance for 2018, consider getting back into the market in 2019. 
Eric Anderson and Andy Troje of Minnesota Health Insurance are available to answer questions, run quotes and help you to enroll in health plans. Eric can be reached ateric@minnesota-health.com or (651) 348-7220 (work) or (651) 295-3880 (cell). Andy can be reached at andy@minnesota-health.com or (651) 348-7220 (work) or (612) 710-9038 (cell). There is no cost to work with either Eric and Andy.
Nominations sought for REALTOR® of the Year and William Tschohl/James Stanton Distinguished Service Award

SPAAR is now seeking nominations for multiple awards that recognize SPAAR members: the REALTOR® of the Year Award, the William Tschohl/James Stanton Distinguished Service Award and the Better Communities Award.

Nominate a SPAAR REALTOR® member to receive this year's REALTOR® of the Year Award. This person demonstrates dedication to the real estate profession and upholds a professional business reputation.  The William Tschohl/James Stanton Distinguished Service Award recipient will be recognized for their outstanding dedication to the industry. The Better Communities Award recognizes a member who stands out in giving back to a local community organization. Help SPAAR identify this year's award recipients.
See submission requirements and deadlines on the respective Award links below.
REALTORS ® Charitable Foundation announces Community Grants  (deadline: Friday, Nov. 16)
2018 marks the 50th anniversary of the passage of the Fair Housing Act. In recognition of this anniversary, SPAAR's REALTORS® Charitable Foundation is seeking nonprofits and government agencies with project ideas to promote Fair Housing with grants available in December. 
Nonprofits and government agencies are invited to submit a one- to two-page letter of inquiry, which should briefly outline the project idea. The letter should include: requested amount of grant, purpose for the grant, anticipated outcome or goal of the program to be funded and statement of nonprofit or 501 (c)(3) status. A letter of inquiry allows the Charitable Foundation to review the idea while limiting demands on nonprofit or agency staff.  
Letters of inquiry are due no later than Friday, November 16, 2018. Submit letters to
jmckinley@spaar.com or by mail to SPAAR, 325 Roselawn Avenue East, St. Paul, MN 55117. The foundation may contact you to request additional information after that date. Questions? Contact Joe McKinley at 651-772-6344 or jmckinley@spaar.com

The grant range is $500-$3,000. Recipients will be notified and grants will be made available by Dec. 31, 2018. 
Wanted: YOU for a SPAAR committee

SPAAR provides numerous opportunities for members to become involved and one of those ways is to join one of SPAAR's many committees. This is a great time of year to visit a committee meeting and see what it's all about, and consider joining a committee in 2019. Committees typically meet once a month throughout the year.

Interested in checking out one or more SPAAR committees during November or December? Contact Joe McKinley of SPAAR at jmckinley@spaar.com to find a time that works for you.
Have you completed COE? Have you notified SPAAR?
If you have completed your National Association of REALTORS® COE requirement for the current two-year period (Jan. 1, 2017-Dec. 31, 2018), but have not yet notified SPAAR, be sure to forward your certificate of completion to SPAAR at coe@spaar.com. The organizations that offer COE do not inform SPAAR when someone completes this requirement. Need to know if you're compliant? Check here and notify SPAAR when you're done!
Position open on Minnesota REALTORS®  Executive Committee
The Minnesota REALTORS®  Executive Committee currently has an opening for Region 5, which includes the St. Paul Area Association of REALTORS® (SPAAR). 

This Committee acts in intervals between the Board of Directors meetings on personnel, strategic planning, and other managerial issues and is subject to the control and direction of the Board. All members of the Executive Committee automatically serve on the Minnesota REALTORS®  Board of Directors.

The position will be appointed at the  Board of Directors meeting on December 13, with the appointment beginning immediately. Anyone interested in consideration for the position must be present at this meeting.

If this position sounds of interest to you, learn more and apply here. You may also contact John Fridlington, SPAAR's CEO, at jfridlington@spaar.com with questions.
SPAARky says:

Keep yourself and your clients safe. Remove family photos, especially those that show children, when showing a home. Likewise, keep your private information to a minimum and don't talk specifics about your own family with clients.

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

"At open houses and showings I get to the property early to take a picture of any vehicles and licenses, if possible, then I send them to someone I know I will be able to contact that day. I also load the 'find me' app and make sure my location is accurate. And lastly, I provide my schedule including when the showing will begin and end. When I'm all finished and ready to leave I text that all is well."
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 November.

Congratulations to the October winner: Mary Peterson! Thanks for sharing a safety tip!

We've had so many GREAT safety tips shared since SPAAR began its weekly focus on safety. Please share one of your tips if you haven't already. It's great to learn from each other. THANK YOU to all who have submitted one or more safety tips. Please keep them coming!
Check your email for 2019 membership renewal notices

SPAAR 2019 Membership Renewal Notices were sent by email on August 7 from billing@spaar.com . If you do not see your renewal notice in your inbox, be sure to check the spam or junk folder so you do not miss any important information.
If payment is not received on or before November 30, 2018, a $50 late payment fee will be added to the amount due. Click here to view important 2019 dues billing information .

You have the ability to adjust the optional items from your 2019 SPAAR Membership Renewal Order. For detailed instructions on how to adjust the optional items, please click here.
If you have questions regarding your membership renewal, contact SPAAR at (651) 776-6000.
Check out the links below for more helpful information:
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!
New Member
Jameel Ahmed
National Realty Guild
Rocky Anderson
Edina Realty, Inc.
Danielle Camp
Counselor Realty, Inc.
Robert Carlson
Keller Williams Classic Realty
Jess Davis
Coldwell Banker Burnet
Paula Delesha
Keller Williams Premier Realty
JaNa Dickens
ABC Realty, LLC
Peter Francis
Keller Williams Classic Realty
Brent Garcia
Realty Group, Inc.
Peter Hamma
Edina Realty, Inc.
Kyle Krecklow
M/I Homes
Pamela Lewis
Keller Williams Premier Realty
Andy Ma
Direct Access Realty LLC
Jennifer Oseth
White Oaks Real Estate, LLC
Jessica Rothstein
Keller Williams Preferred Realty
Erin Severson
RE/MAX Advantage Plus
LisaKay Smith
Housing Hub LLC
Nicole Strobel
Keller Williams Premier Realty
Julius Valentin
Weichert Realtors - Trikin Properties
Christen Winsor
RE/MAX Advantage Plus