Year in Review - 2017

A year of Learning, Earning and Giving Back! 

“Learn, Earn and Give Back” has been our mantra throughout 2017, and is what we must do every day as we work to maximize both our personal and professional potential to help our clients with the single biggest and most important purchase of their lives. Being our personal and professional best has served us well this year as we navigated through a variety of issues and opportunities from the start-to-finish renovation of our Membership Headquarters to the debut of our Certified Real Estate Mentor Designation – a new program that focuses on improving professionalism and teaching our members how to be good mentors to the debut of the CORPAC Honor Society to a record number of members, family and friends participating in REALTOR® Care Day.

We again experienced record breaking real estate sales activity this year, and participated in a wide variety of programming that were planned and implemented by Columbus REALTORS® leadership and 34-member committees. Of course, due to space limitations, we can’t list all the accomplishments that took place this year, but we can share some of the highlights…

MEMBERSHIP HEADQUARTERS’ NEW LOOK!
After 23 years at 2700 Airport Drive, Columbus REALTORS® Membership Headquarters has a brand-new look! Recognizing the need for some significant updates, a Facilities Task Force was convened in 2016 to discuss budget, design ideas, colors and so much more. Renovations began in February this year and were completed in July. And, as the saying goes … the results speak for themselves.

  • Your MLS Department was relocated from the basement to the first floor by converting the computer lab and phone bank area into office space.

  • The Galbreath Classroom, which is probably the most used space in our building, received new carpet, chairs, AV, more storage, and new tables with power sources for your devices!

  • The Weiler Gallery (lobby) received a whole new look! The library, which has seen far less usage than in years past, was transformed into additional storage and the lobby area now houses the Falco Conference Room and the John Hrabcak Conference Room.

  • The basement, which is now referred to as the lower level, saw a major overhaul as well. The old MLS department and storage areas were transformed into more meeting/class space, bathrooms, a photo studio, a multi-purpose room, a new training room, and a couple “huddle rooms” where visitors can have some privacy for a conversation between classes and meetings.

  • Other improvements include updates to the restrooms on the first and second floors; new cubicles and carpeting on the second floor; new coffee stations in the lobby and lower level; and new chairs in the Donald W. Kelley Boardroom.

If you haven’t had a chance to visit, please stop by.

MEMBERSHIP
As of this printing, Columbus REALTORS® membership was 7,949 (7,592 same time, last year), which includes 677 new members (840 last year). Columbus REALTORS® is the largest Association in Ohio and ranks 40th in size in the National Association of REALTORS® (of 1,142 local Boards/Associations.)

THE MARKET
The demand for housing has been record breaking this year with sales for the first nine months totaling $5.3 billion.
 
The average sale price as of 9/30/17 was $215,230 (compared to $203,248 last year). Freddie Mac reported that the average 30-year fixed mortgage rate in September 2017 was 3.81 percent. During the third quarter, one out of every 20 homes for sale and sold were distressed properties – a marked difference from the winter of 2010 when one in four homes listed were in trouble and almost half of all home sales were lender mediated.

BRAC
The Builder/REALTOR® Alliance Committee is charged with building good working relationships between builders and REALTORS®, offering education and promoting networking. The committee hosted a robust schedule of learning forums this year on the following topics: A builder panel on “What’s New”; App’y Hour – the latest and coolest apps and technology for new construction; Home inspections for new builds; Unique marketing ideas for new homes; and Security for new builds. BRAC also hosted two bus tours of developments in Southeast and Northwest central Ohio and heard presentations on this year’s Parade of Homes held in Cheshire Woods. The committee also established a private Facebook group that will be a platform for all members to stay abreast of new home opportunities and to share information about new build communities, new phases, new floorplans and just released inventory. To join the Facebook group, visit ‘New Build – Columbus REALTORS®’ on Facebook and click Join Group.’

REALTOR® CARE DAY
REALTOR® Care Day is an annual day of service to the communities in which REALTORS® live, work and raise families. This year’s event was held on June 7, 2017, with 24 groups and over 600 volunteers working on 45 projects in central Ohio and surrounding counties for a total re-investment of $73,300 this year, and $442,400 over the past 13 years!

For this year’s main project, 120 volunteers worked on nine homes, a church and two green spaces in the Hungarian Village Neighborhood on Columbus’ south side. In addition to landscaping and painting, one home even received a new front deck.

Funded through the Columbus REALTORS® Foundation, area realty associations are offered matching funds (up to $500 each) to help fund their community service efforts for this event. Additional assistance is received from many individuals and companies through in-kind donations of money, goods and services.

WINNING PROJECTS
Delaware, Knox, Licking Morrow (DKLM)Suburban Realty and the Northwest Area Realty associations were the winners of the REALTOR® Care Day Weiler Grant, which recognizes area realty association projects that exemplifies the principles of REALTOR® Care Day.

DKLM’s project consisted of yard work and landscaping for an elderly widow in Sunbury who developed breast cancer after the passing of her daughter and husband in a very close time span. The group landscaped, trimmed trees/hedges, removed a tree, created a rock border along the house and planted grass where the deck was. Their plan is to stay in touch and help with future needs.

The Northwest Area Realty Association helped a family with financial and physical troubles clean and fix up the exterior of their home. What started as a large landscaping project and clearing out a jungle of a backyard quickly turned into a larger project, including having the exterior of the home repainted, as well as rotted wood replaced.

The Association also contacted a local roofing company to repair the roof and replace the gutters. The home could not be seen from the street and the backyard was so overgrown you had to duck through trees and brush. The home is now visible with new landscaping, a cleared backyard and fresh paint. The city of Arlington and compliance crew also assisted in hauling away waste.

Both grant winners will receive an additional $500 in funding that they may use towards their 2018 REALTOR® Care Day project.

Videos, photos, volunteers, and project descriptions from REALTOR® Care Day can be found at ColumbusRealtors.com/rcd!

AFFORDABLE HOUSING COMMITTEE
The Affordable Housing Committee began the year by laying a firm foundation for a productive 2017. Comprised of a group of diverse professionals, our goal this year was to be the ‘go-to’ source for all REALTORS® and our affiliate partners in central Ohio.

Additionally, we are charged with connecting REALTORS® to affordable housing opportunities through education, community outreach and information sharing.

Last year, we launched the Affordable Housing Forum — a Columbus REALTORS® Facebook group created to post information related to the sale or purchase of affordable housing up to $150,000 — and it has grown to over 100 members.

At the committee’s January meeting, the forum was led by lenders specializing in affordable housing lending, and discussed the many programs they offer. Throughout the year, the committee also sponsored forums on credit repair, energy programs, down payment assistance grant providers (ADDI, Homeport and OHFA), marketing to millennials, inspections (mold, lead, radon and bedbugs), changing demographics, Home Ready and Home Possible 3 percent down loan programs, and took a look at the following central Ohio communities — Columbus’ Southside, Franklinton, Hilltop, Milo-Grogan, Northland, North Linden, and Weinland Park.

The Live Forums are held the second Friday each month, 11a at Columbus REALTORS®. To join the Facebook Group, visit Facebook.com/Group/AffHsgForum.

COLUMBUS REALTORS® FOUNDATION
The mission of the REALTORS® Foundation Board of Trustees is to support real estate related charitable programs and entities that improve the real estate environment in central Ohio.

This year, the Foundation awarded $180,174 in community funding for scholarships, housing-related grants, and support of REALTOR® Care Day, and nearly $1,000,000 since 1991.

Out of this allocation, deserving students and future real estate leaders were awarded scholarships totaling $20,000.

The Foundation was excited to introduce a new Columbus REALTORS® Past President’s Leadership Scholarship this year funded by past Association leadership.

Grants totaling a little over $35,000 were awarded to ten local non-profit housing related organizations: The Buckeye Ranch, Chatterton/Walnut View Community Collaboratives, Community Shelter Board, Franklinton Rising, Furniture Bank of Central Ohio, Homeless Families Foundation, Homes on the Hill CDC, Kossuth Street Community Garden, South Side Renaissance and YWCA Columbus Family Center.

And, $11,000 went to support this year’s REALTOR® Care Day project, with matching mini grants given to 24 area associations who hosted their own improvement projects in neighborhoods throughout central Ohio.

The Foundation also participated in the following special projects: Joseph A. Jeffery Endowment Fund (RCD supporter) – grant recipient; 2017Area Association Spring Fling –benefiting charity; O-Zone Tailgate – benefiting charity; and Texas REALTORS® Hurricane Harvey Disaster Relief – special grant.

A special thank you goes out to the Joseph A. Jeffery Endowment Fund for its generous contribution of a $10,000 grant for REALTOR® Care Day.

So far, this year, there have been 306 unique donors contributing $112, 647 through third quarter 2017.

FOUNDATION FUNDRAISING
The Foundation Fundraising Committee is charged with raising money for the REALTORS® Foundation Board of Trustees and has set this year’s fundraising goal at $125,000. All donations raised by the committee go directly to funding the Foundation’s four areas of interest: Local Non-Profit Housing Grants, Educational Scholarships, REALTOR® Care Day and the REALTORS® Benevolence Fund (REALTORS® Emergency Assistance Program).

In December 2016, the Foundation Fundraising Committee made its largest commitment to the multi-faceted partnership South Side Renaissance (SSR), committing a $300,000 investment over the next three years.

Two major fundraisers are held each year — Wine Tasting reception in the spring and the Foundation Lunch in the fall.

The Wine Tasting event was held on Thursday, March 15, 2017, at the newly renovated Valley Dale Ballroom, where 400 of our members came together to give back to the industry and to the central Ohio community. The evening featured carefully chosen wines, delicious hors d'oeuvres and fantastic conversation. More than $15,000 was raised at this event.

The Foundation Luncheon is set for Thursday, Nov. 16, 2017, at the Hollywood Casino Columbus, where its anticipated that more than 500 will be in attendance and more than $30,000 raised.

This year, Columbus REALTORS® Foundation has been selected as the charity of choice for the Saturday, Nov. 18, 2017, Ohio State Tailgate on Lane Avenue (formerly River Jam), 364 West Lane Avenue, where 100 percent of the days’ proceeds will benefit the Foundation.

The committee also continued to expand the Foundation Walkway, located off the parking lot leading up to the Columbus REALTORS® Membership Headquarters entrance. Pavers are installed twice a year and are a wonderful way to commemorate your legacy and/or the legacy of a family member, friend, colleague, company, or association.

And, remember each time you shop at Kroger and Amazon, a percentage of your sale will go to the Foundation. Just visit Kroger.com/communityrewards.com, click “Enroll Now” and type in Organization #80316. For Amazon, visit Amazonsmile.com (bookmark), select charity, Columbus Realtors Foundation – EIN” 46-4401521. Please note that you must use amazonsmile.com portal each time you shop.

BENEVOLENCE
The Benevolence Committee oversees the Columbus REALTORS® Foundation Benevolence Fund and is responsible with identifying potential donors, and determining distribution of funds. This year’s Bowling for Benevolence fundraiser was held in April at Columbus Square Bowling Palace, with 165 REALTORS® and affiliates (33 teams) coming together to raise more than $6,711 for REALTORS® in need. Since its inception in 2012, an incredible $27,960 in emergency aid has been provided to 24 deserving families and colleagues.

CORPAC FUNDRAISING
Your contributions to our Central Ohio REALTORS® Political Action Committee (CORPAC) are the lifeblood of our CORPAC Governing Board and allows us to have a seat at the table when local legislative issues come about that impact our industry.

Members have several opportunities to help support CORPAC each year. First and foremost, please remember to include at least a $30 contribution with your annual dues renewal. Then there are the great fundraising events sponsored by the committee:

CORPAC Auction held Thursday, May 25, 2017, at St. Charles Preparatory School in Bexley, where nearly 400 REALTORS®, affiliates, and friends helped to raise $73,905. This year’s theme took us back to 1994, where we celebrated the creation of CORPAC with friends in a class reunion fashion.

CORPAC Golf Outing was held at Kinsale Golf & Fitness and Scioto Reserve Country clubs in Powell, where a sell-out crowd of 222 golfers and fantastic weather helped make this event a huge success – raising just over $29,000 to benefit CORPAC and home ownership!

All totaled, CORPAC has raised to-date over $169,431 with over 39 percent of Columbus REALTORS® members supporting CORPAC, year end, Nov. 17, 2017.

The CORPAC Honor Society (CHS), created to acknowledge the significant financial investment Columbus REALTOR® members have made to CORPAC, was debuted this year. Representing a one million-dollar investment since its inception in 1994, the committee was proud to unveil the 70 members included in the CHS inaugural class and who are on display on the walls in the newly renovated Columbus REALTORS® lobby. The wall will be updated at the end of each annual giving cycle (December). Members of the inaugural class are featured under awards below.

YPN
YPN kicked off the year with the announcement of its 4th annual top 10 Under 40 award for central Ohio real estate professionals under the age of 40. The award honors up and comers in the industry, who are not only successful in their careers, but have shown enthusiasm, innovation and commitment to raising the bar in real estate. See list of the 2017 honorees below.

YPN held its annual kick-off event on Thursday, Feb. 2, 2017, with nearly 90 REALTORS® and affiliates gathering at the Boathouse at Confluence Park to hear a fantastic line up of speakers from the Ohio Association of REALTORS®, discussing the importance of getting involved at the local, state and national levels, and the value of CORPAC. Speakers included Pete Kopf, 2017 President; Tiffany Myers, 2017 President-Elect, Anjanette Frye, 2017 Secretary and Greg Hrabcak, 2015 and 2008 President of OAR and Columbus REALTORS®, respectively.

In addition, nearly 60 YPs attended its annual Mingle with the PAC featuring Councilwoman Liz Brown sharing updates on development and transportation in the capital city on Thursday, May 25, 2017; 50 YPs participated in the YPN Volleyball Tournament held Thursday, June 15, 2017, and more than 60 REALTORS® and affiliates participated in the YPN Scavenger Hunt uncovering clues in downtown Columbus on Tuesday,  Sept. 19, 2017.

YPN also hosted three Mastermind Series entitled: Running your Business like a Business on Thursday, March 23, 2017, Out of the Box Marketing, on Thursday, July 20, 2017, and a Past President Q&A is set for Thursday Nov. 9, 2017, at Brick. These series featured new and experienced successful REALTORS® and provided insight from industry leaders and shared their best practices to really help our young and up-and-coming agents become successful in this business.

YPN raised $4,800 for CORPAC at the CORPAC Auction, continued to fundraise for their scholarship program and held monthly happy hour mixers combining them with opportunities to give back to local charities.

AWARDS
This year’s award winners are John Royer, Kohr Royer Griffith, Broker of the Year; Kathy Shiflet, Coldwell Banker King Thompson, Salesperson of the Year; Nickie Evans, Coldwell Banker King Thompson, Rising Star of the Year; Marie Smith, Kingdom Title Columbus, Affiliate of the Year; Hugh Dorrian, Columbus City Auditor, Citizen of the Year; and Sherry Courtney, Sibcy Cline, REALTORS®, Instructor of the Year.

Six members (Nellie Betts, RE/MAX Allegiance, Mary Jane Carr, RE/MAX Capital Partners; Art Covan, Art Covan, REALTOR®; William McMenamy, Jr., Myers Real Estate, Ruby Passen, Passen Realty Group and Larry Stewart, RE/MAX Connection, REALTORS®, were recognized for 50 years of membership; 15 members for 40 years; and 61 others were recognized for 25 years of membership.

10 Under 40 Award honorees are Eric Cliffel, Keller Williams Classic Properties; Kate Craber-Tobin, Crager Real Estate; Daniel Dunsmoor, Colliers International; Lory Kim, RE/MAX Connection, REALTORS®; Sarah Martie, RE/MAX Connection, REALTORS®; Meghan Martin, Keller Williams Capital Partners; Taylor Kolon, Keller Williams Capital Partners; Alissa Pugh Clark, Rise Realty & Management Co.; Jesse Shkolnik, Equity; and Katie Twinning, Berkshire Hathaway Calhoon Co.

Spotlight on Community Service recognition is given to members throughout the year who volunteer their time to benefit the community. This year, recognition went to Joy Adkins, MI Home; Bethany Alexander, Rise Realty and Management; Patti Betts, HER, Realtors®; Carol Brindley, Keller Williams Capital Partners; Jeff Buroff, Keller Williams Consultants Realty; Larry Coolidge, Larry Coolidge Real Estate; Bridgid Davis Ray, RE/MAX Capital Partners; Gary Francis, American Dream Realty; Chris Hamilton, Search2Close; Lory Kim, RE/MAX Connection, REALTORS®; Caitlyn Miller, RE/MAX Impact; Forrest Neuswanger, Coldwell Banker King Thompson; Cheyenne Peck, Howard Hanna RealCom Realty; Dee Nutter, Keller Williams Capital Partners; Saba Shujaat, RE/MAX Impact; and Roger Willcut, CASTO Residential.

CORPAC Honor Society Inaugural Class (over $1 Million Investment!)

  • RPAC Hall of Fame: Harley Rouda Sr. ($100,000), Barbara Lach ($50,000) and Brad Bennett, Stan Collins, Greg Hrabcak, Lynda Long, Sue Lusk-Gleich, Doug McCloud, Pat O’Neil, Nancy Sharp, George Smith, and Charlotte Van Steyn ($25,000)
  • Alumni Members ($20,000): Jim Coridan, Larry Metzger, Ted Oatts and John Royer
  • Senior Members ($15,000): Sam Calhoon, Dave Dewey, Ted Griffin, Chip Parrish, Chris Reese, Jill Rudler, Kathy Shiflet, Marilu Sochor and Jerry White
  • Junior Members ($10.000): Mic Gordon, Mike Huntley, Jan Jedlinsky, Don Kelley, Brian Kemp, Dr. Ted Lach, Milt Lustnauer, Stacy McVey, Bob Miller, Chris Pedon, Sara Walsh and Bob Weiler Sr.

MULTIPLE LISTING SERVICE
The Multiple Listing Committee’s purpose is to help provide, promote and maintain a state-of-the-art MLS system that displays data integrity and continues to meet the needs of the members and their clients. And, this year’s theme, “Learn, Earn and Give Back,” provided an excellent opportunity for the committee to incorporate its agenda around the President’s mantra. A variety of issues have been top of the mind for the committee this year, including how to handle “RPR” REALTOR® Property Resource (RPR), and coming soon signs...

Below are updates made in 2017:

  • Changed the required Directions field to non-fineable. This field is intended for directional information only.
  • An Accessibility Features Worksheet must be attached if the Accessibility field is checked ‘Yes’; note: this is a fineable offense.
  • When a MLS user opts to attend the Real Estate Data Accuracy class in lieu of paying a fine, they will be required to attend the entire class (2 hours).
  • Wording that ‘seller acknowledges photos and/or videos may be taken of the property by anyone gaining authorized access during the term of the listing agreement’ was added to the listing contracts for Land, Multi-family, Office, Commercial, Industrial and Business Opportunity. This addition has already been approved for the residential listing contract.
  • ‘PreDir’ and ‘Zip’ was added to the history tracking to ensure that changes made to similar addresses with N, S, E, W directions can be tracked accurately in MLS history.
  • Acreage value is blanked out when any condo sub-type is selected. These values are also blanked out for condo listing already in the system.
  • ‘Selling agent’ and ‘selling office’ is enabled through the FBS Spark API so that agent’s sales data can be displayed by developers using an API.
  • Columbus and Knox County REALTORS® formed Key Box and MLS Reciprocity.
  • NAR’s mandated revisions to the MLS rules and regulations were approved
  • Voted to enable SSO (single sign on) functionality for “ShowingTime” as a showing service
  • Approved locking the “List Price” field for editing when a listing is put in a “Contingent” or “Pending” status. The form indicating a change in price must be submitted for staff to make price changes once the field is locked.
  • Realtor.com disabled the continued use of photos sent from MLS, except for the primary photo, when a listing enters an off-market status.
  • MLS staff was given the authority to change the selling agent on a closed listing if the selling broker or manager requests and provides the appropriate agency disclosure, team disclosure or purchase contract.
  • Of note, the top two MLS infractions during the first half of 2017 are unallowable data on photos (i.e. listing sign in photo) and documented SqFt not entered.

COMMERCIAL SECTION
Early in the year, Commercial awards were presented to the following members:

  • Commercial Rookie of the Year – Jonathan Schuen, Colliers International
  • Most Unique Commercial Transaction – Eric Leibowitz, Jason Freeman and Brent Myers, CASTO
  • Most Commercial Co-op Transactions – Andrew Jameson, Colliers International | Greater Columbus Region
  • Largest Commercial Transactions:
  • Industrial (sale) – Joe Kimener, Matthew Lehman, Jeff Lyons, Kevin McGrath, Michael Mullady and Rick Trott, CCIM, SIOR, CBRE
  • Industrial (lease) – Jeff Lyons, Matt Lehman and Michael Mullady, CBRE
  • Office (sale) – Brett Cisler, Daniel Dunsmoore and Andrew Jameson, CCIIM, SIOR, Colliers International | Greater Columbus Region
  • Office (lease) – Todd Greiner, Doug Jackson, Terry Mathews, Phil Pelok, Greg Thomas and Bill Whipple, CBRE
  • Retail (sale) – Matt Lasky, Jesse Shkolnik, Austin Wathen and Patrick Wathen, Equity
  • Retail (lease) – Nicholas D. Klacik, CBRE
  • Top Producers – Daniel Dunsmoor, Colliers International; Todd Greiner, CBRE; Andrew Jameson, Colliers International; Michael Linder, SIOR, Colliers International; Michael Mullady, CBRE; Philip Pelok, CBRE; George Skaff, ARA Newmark; Brent Stamm, Continental Realty, Ltd.; Shane Woloshan, SIOR, Colliers International; and Joel Yakovac, SIOR, Colliers International.
  • Erika Blumenstein Memorial Award – Michael A. Tabor, Commercial REALTOR®

Commercial luncheons and classes provided continuing education credit on topics such as: Commercial Core Law; Commercial Land Planning; Commercial Pre-Qualification Standards, which covers the pre-qualification standards for the leasing and/or purchase of commercial real estate; Downtown Columbus Development; Environmental 101 for Real Estate Professionals; and New Tools –3D Imaging, Video Touring and Drone Technology. A second Commercial Orientation class was also slated for this year.
 
Several commercial documents were considered and/or reviewed this year, including the Contract Amendment Form, Contract Addendum Form, Commercial Referral Form and the Buyer’s Notice of Contract Termination. Creating a commercial lease checklist was also undertaken and there was a continued effort to form partnerships with other organizations like CCIR, NAIOP, SIOR AND OCREE, grow the Commercial Vendors List and to promote awareness of commercial services and products available through our Association.