Litchfield Board News
When applying enter LCBR in the Discount Code Field to receive the rate of $59 for a TenantTracks membership.

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LCBR Bulletin Board
 

LCBR BULLETIN BOARD

   EMAIL: executiveofficer@litchfieldboard.com

 

 

EDUCATION PANEL - Don't miss this year's Education Panel on Wednesday, September 17, 2014 at the Elks Lodge in Torrington.  The program will present guest speakers on the following topics, Legal Update, Federal Tax Lien, Water Quality Testing & Treatments, and Healthy Homes.   The cost to attend is $15 per person which includes a breakfast buffet. To register visit  http://litchfieldboard.com/?rm=lp&pg=EducationPanel.
 

2014 REALTORS® CONFERENCE & EXPO - Registration is now open for this year's REALTORS® Conference & Expo which will take place in New Orleans from November 7-10th. Don't wait to register and make your travel arrangements....book now to ensure you will have a room!  If you are attending, please inform the Board office.  We will include a list of those attending in our email newsletter, so if any of our members want to meet up at the conference they may.

The keynote speaker for this year's program is Captain Mark Kelly and a special appearance will be made by Gabrielle Giffords.  This year's Celebrity Concert performer is Jennifer Hudson.   For more information, click here.

Check out this short video from CTR President Deb Chamberlain explaining the value in attending the National Association of REALTORS Convention and Trade Expo, being held November 7-10 in New Orleans. 
 

REAL ESTATE BarCamp - Attend the first Real Estate BarCamp in Connecticut on September 10th! What is a Real Estate BarCamp? It’s simple... it’s people meeting people, learning, sharing, gathering, and networking. The knowledge you gain here is invaluable... the friendships and associations you make here, will change your life and your business! To learn more about what BarCamp is, click here. To register, click here.
 

MATRIX TRAINING - The new MLS system, MATRIX, will go live on September 15, 2014.  CTMLS users will be able to access and use the system, with some limitations, beginning September 15th. On November 18, 2014 both MLXchange and Fusion system will sunset and will no longer be available.  This means you will have from September 15th - November 17th to become familiar with the new Matrix system.

You can begin learning about the new system now by visiting www.meetmymatrix.com which has everything you need to know about Matrix.  Several short videos regarding topics such as Listing Input, How to Search, etc., are currently available on this site and many more will be added over the next few months.  Please bookmark this site and check it frequently for updates.

Live training for Matrix will be offered. 

1. They will visit your office and give a complete overview of the new system, provided you have at least 10 more agents that can attend the training session. Email lauren@ctreal.com to schedule a visit convenient for you.
2. They will hold 3 training sessions on October 23, 2014 at the Elks Lodge in Torrington. Each session can hold up to 200 agents.  Times and registrations will be available at a later date. (If you can't make this date you may attend any of the other trainings sessions located throughout the state.)
3. They will hold training sessions at our Board office on October 30, 2014. Times and registrations will be available at a later date.
4. In the coming months they will schedule a complete series of webinars.
 

HOW TO AVOID MORTGAGE MIS-MODIFICATION - Learn about "Six Things You Can Do to Avoid a Mortgage Mis-Modification" by reading this informative article posted by OnGuardOnline.gov.  Read Article...
 
INDEPENDENT CONTRACTOR STATUS FAQ -  Do you have questions regarding independent contractor status?  The National Association of REALTORS has posted a list of frequently asked questions.  Read Article...
 
CREATE YOUR OWN REAL ESTATE APP - Read this informative article posted on RealtorMag about real estate apps including resources for creating one yourself.  Read Article...
 
CHFA ANNOUNCEMENT - Please take a moment to read this important announcement from the CT Housing Finance Authority.

FROM THE DESK OF ERIC CHATMAN
PRESIDENT and EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR

CONNECTICUT HOUSING FINANCE AUTHORITY (CHFA)

 In 2013 The Connecticut Housing Finance Authority conducted a survey of our business partners to get their input on CHFA’s performance.  You may remember receiving an on-line survey.  We would like to thank all of you who participated last year.  Your input was invaluable.  We will be sending a survey again in the coming months, and encourage you to participate.  

We reviewed and analyzed all of the survey responses and learned a lot about how CHFA is viewed by others.  The information provided helped us to take a good, hard look at what we do well and areas where we can improve. 

What we heard from Realtors® -- as a group, is that you are not as aware of what CHFA does as we would like you to be.  We think that CHFA’s low cost mortgages can play an important and potentially life changing role in first-time home buyers experience.  We are committed to making sure that more Realtors know about our programs and the benefits.  

We also know that Realtors® generally think our staff and management are good, fair and accurate.  However, Realtors® who answered the survey, generally think CHFA needs to be more customer friendly, responsive and consistent, as well as minimizing our paperwork and improving our communications.

As a result of this survey as well as from comments and discussions that we’ve heard from the CHFA Lender/Realtor® Advisory Panel, we instituted a few changes;

1.  The Connecticut Housing Finance Authority rolled out a new Loan Origination System.  This system is technologically advanced, improves turn-around time and reduces paperwork.  

2.  We stepped up our outreach activities by forming a Lender/Realtor® Advisory Panel and continue to meet with realtors in small groups to discuss issues that are important to you and that can help more first-time homebuyers get into their first home.

Again, we would like to thank you for your continued feedback and we would like to encourage you to continue to share your experiences with us through future surveys, participating in our Advisory groups or contact us by phone or e-mail.  We are committed to continuous improvement and we can only achieve it with your help.

 Sincerely, 

Eric Chatman
President and Executive Director

eric.chatman@chfa.org

 

FLOOD INSURANCE REFORM - RATES & REFUNDS - As a result of changes to legislation there have been changes to  Flood Insurance  which may entitle some policy holders to a refund.  For more information, click here.  (07.17.14)
 
LCBR & TENANTTRACKS - Litchfield County Board of REALTORS®, Inc. has announced that they have signed a Royalty and Marketing Agreement with TenantTracks™, a Connecticut based tenant screening service aimed at improving the conditions of the apartment rental market in Connecticut.

Julie Fedorovich, President of Litchfield County Board of REALTORS®, Inc. said “This agreement is a great resource for CT communities as it protects REALTORS®, rental property owners, property managers, tenants and the surrounding residents by reducing the negative impact of evictions and stabilizing tenancy in rental properties. As more people use this screening service, high-risk renters must move on or change their bad-habits which will help improve local neighborhoods!” 

TenantTracks offers exclusive historical and up-to-date eviction data from all 15 Connecticut Courts covering Summary Process cases including Bantam Court. Other screening services typically provide eviction data from just the 6 major Housing Courts in Connecticut leaving owners at risk.  All evictions in Litchfield County are conducted at the Bantam Courthouse and their eviction records are not online or part of a national database. Rental property owners are at risk of non-paying, disruptive and/or destructive tenants moving around unchecked if people are not screening renters through TenantTracks.  

Each screening report provides much better data in a comprehensive summary of the prospective tenant’s credit history, national and state eviction and criminal database records, terrorist watch list, civil court, small claims court and sex offender searches.  The report also includes a color-coded, summary page for quick interpretation of the results. 

The cost of using TenantTracks™ is $59 per year for the account set up and compliance fee while each tenant screening report costs only $25.  You do not need to be a member of LCBR to purchase the service, it is for members, landlords or anyone that has need of such a service.  When applying for TenantTracks™ membership enter LCBR in the Discount Code Field to receive the rate of $59 for a TenantTracks membership.  To apply for a membership or for more information about TenantTracks™ visit their website at www.tenanttracks.com.  Register before August 31, 2014 and receive your first report FREE, $25 savings!


L to R: Julie Fedorovich, LCBR, President;
 Robert J. De Cosmo, TenantTracks, Manager

 

2014 REALTOR® BROKER SUMMIT SPEAKERS ANNOUNCED - Let your broker members know about the REALTOR® Broker Summit, August 6-7, in Atlanta. Speakers include Jon Coile of Champion Realty, Inc., Terry Hankner of Comey & Shepherd, Kevin Levent of Better Homes & Gardens Metro Brokers, Jack O'Conner of The Denver 100, and Jenny Pruitt of Atlanta Fine Homes Sotheby's. Share info and registration page with your broker members.
 

REALTORS® GOT TALENT - ENTER TODAY!  - You may now submit an entry for Season 5 of REALTORS® Got Talent. All auditions and entry forms must be received by Friday, August 29, 2014, 5 PM Central Time. For contest guidelines, click here.
 
NAR REALTOR® BENEFITS FACEBOOK PAGE -  Don't miss out great benefits offered to REALTOR® members! Like NAR's REALTOR Benefits Program Facebook page to get post regarding current and added benefits.  Facebook Page
 

NEW VIDEO EXPLORES THE BENEFITS OF THE CREDIT UNION - Christine Todd, RCE, Chief Executive Officer of the Northern Virginia Association of REALTORS®, recently sat down to discuss the numerous benefits of membership for Associations and REALTORS® in the Credit Union, and why she encourages her 10,000 members to take advantage of its products and services. Watch Christine’s interview and learn more about how the Credit Union can help your Association and your members. Watch Video  (05.20.14)
 


YOUR SAFETY MATTERS!
-  A large selection of safety resources are available at no cost to REALTOR® members. Don't take your safety for granted, make sure you utilize these resources.  We have highlighted some of the resources available below, however, you will find all of the resources available at http://www.realtor.org/topics/realtor-safety.

Convention Safety: 5 Things You Must Add to Your Safety Checklist - Read this REALTOR® safety article to learn about ways to protect yourself while attending conventions.  Read Article...

Safety Tip #4 - Touch Base - Always let someone know where you are going and when you will be back; leave the name and phone number of the client you are meeting and schedule a time for your office to call you to check in.

REALTORS Safety Webinar -  Register to attend the free Safety Tips to Share with Sellers webinar on September 9, 2014.  Register

Social Media and Cyber Safety Strategies - Watch this REALTOR® safety video to learn about safety at the office.

Banners & Widgets - Did you know you can download and display REALTOR® Safety banners and widgets on your website?  To get the code for a banner and/or a widget, click here.
 

The CE Shop Promo

ONLINE CONTINUING EDUCATION - LCBR is partnered with The CE Shop to provide CE training in an easy to use on-line format; you can access great online continuing education courses that are state approved and 100% accredited!  Additionally, once you complete the course you can access your certificate instantly and The CE Shop manages all reporting to the state.  As an ADDED BONUS: at checkout enter the promotional code LOLLIPOP20 to receive 20% off your purchase when you enroll in any online CE course taken through our online course catalog! This promotion expires JULY 31, 2014.    You must use the following link to  register for these courses, click here to register. 

NEW COMMERCIAL COURSE AVAILABLE: Commercial Real Estate: Landlord Representation course is now available in The CE Shop course catalog!  This 3-hour course is designed to provide licensees with a thorough understanding of the career of a landlord representative.  To learn more about the course visit http://lcbr.theceshop.com/.

                                                                                   

REALTORS® PROPERTY RESOURCE  - Have you utilized the RPR member benefit yet? Click the RPR icon below to access RPR training schedules and videos.  Don't hesitate begin using this benefit today!

 
 

MAKE OUR MARKS REMARKABLE - Watch this video to learn why NAR protects the value of the REALTOR® Trademark.  Video
 

ELECTRONIC KEY BOXES AVAILABLE AT THE BOARD OFFICE

ELECTRONIC KEY BOXES - We now have the ability to provide our members electronic Keys and Boxes.   For information on obtaining an eKey which works on your smartphone, click here.