MAR will be closed on Monday, May 27 in honor of Memorial Day. Regular hours and service will resume Tuesday, May 28.

Does Your Online Presence Need a Makeover?

Original Artwork by Ross Auger, 2016

The National Association of REALTORS® (NAR) 2013–14 CRT REALTOR® Technology Survey Report states that 77% of REALTORS® use Facebook for real estate business purposes, the highest of the major social networks.  Taking that into consideration, we found some tips on how to be most effective on social media including this informative article and the NAR Field Guide to Facebook and Twitter.

16 Ways to Win Leads in 2016: Social Media


1. Don’t be a link litterer. Posting random links on social media without giving the articles context is what’s referred to as “link litter.” Stop sharing real estate articles that do not provide value to friends and followers.

When you have something to share, ask yourself this question: “Who cares?” You could post the best article in the world, but if you don’t say why it’s relevant to your fiends, followers, and potential clients, it will be lost on them.

Try sharing a housing market tip without a link or information on the latest construction project in your community. Post client testimonials. Talk about the fun new restaurant in your farm area where you had lunch today.

2. Try using Sniply to connect with your readers. You may not always have time to create original content. You’re busy; I get it. But when you share someone else’s content, you’re directing potential clients away from your site. Sniply allows you to share content from other websites while keeping your face/call-to-action presence on the page with a button linking back to your own site. Sniply is available as a Chrome browser extension so you can quickly share great articles and still make connections with prospects.

3. Always include a value-driven call to action. A call to action is simply an offer of value that you make to your network. This should not only be done on social media, but also in blogging, e-newsletters, postcard mailings, and anything else you distribute for your business.

For example, when you or one of your agents has a great new listing, share some interesting photos and write, “Could this be your dream home? Click here to see if you qualify.” Include a link that takes the viewer to your preferred lender’s prequalification form.

If you have a creative graphic of a listing you recently sold in less than 15 days, your call to action could be, “Sold in 15 days. The market is hot! Find out how much your home is worth.” Then link to your CMA automated software (such as CloudCMA).

Are any of your targeted new-home communities offering buyer bonuses, such as additional money towards closing or free appliance packages? If so, find out more information about the conditions and share that with your friends and followers. For example, “Would you like free appliances to go in your new home? Text me today for details.” There are many other ways you can present this to add value and get people eager to contact you.

4. Share items of interest to your ideal client. If your target clients are millennial first-time home buyers, why are your social media posts about high-end, move-up homes? Conversely, if you want to reach move-up buyers who are searching for a bigger house, then why are you posting about small condos and high-rise lofts?

A good exercise for your next sales meeting is to help your agents do some soul-searching and evaluate whom they typically attract as clients on social media and whom they want to attract as clients. If these two target markets don’t match, it may be because the content they share doesn’t resonate with their desired clientele.

5. Automate your weekly posting schedule. I’m sure today’s real estate market (and everything else going on in your life) has you and your agents busy. But if you’re not connecting with your social media friends weekly, then it’s no wonder you’re not reaping the rewards of lead generation. 

Real estate requires that you stay top-of-mind, so create a schedule where you post something of value at least once a week. The key here is scheduling more than “automation.” There are various tools to help like Buffer (my personal favorite for real estate), Edgar, Friends+Me, Hootsuite, and others. Try them out to see which one works best for you, and have your agents do the same. But don’t simply set up the same posts to go out multiple times. It’s still important for each post to be original and thoughtful. When used correctly, automated scheduling apps will start the conversations for you, which is half the battle.

6. Build relationships through engagement. Now that you’ve started the conversation with relevant content, the next step to social media lead generation is responding to the comments you receive and commenting on other people’s posts.

Try using the search function on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, LinkedIn, and even Pinterest to search for life events like “new job,” “buying a home,” and “selling a home,” to see who may be in need of a real estate agent in your area. This can make you and your agents privy to potential leads without spending money on ads.

Check out part two for tips 7-11 on making the most of your real estate blog, and part three for tips 12-16 on how to create a monthly e-newsletter your contacts will read.

Reprinted from REALTOR® Magazine Online, December 2015, with permission of the NATIONAL ASSOCIATION OF REALTORS®. Copyright 2015. All rights reserved.

Content reproduced from REALTOR® Magazine or REALTOR® Magazine Online must be reproduced in its entirety and may not be edited. When reprinting copyrighted content, you must make this language visible at the end of the article. If the content will be reprinted on your Web site or blog, you must include a link to REALTOR® Magazine Online (

John Smaby Elected First Vice-President of the National Association of REALTORS® for 2017



Congratulations to Minneapolis REALTOR®, John Smaby on his election as First Vice–President of the National Association of REALTORS® for 2017 (President-Elect for 2018 and President for 2019). John has 45 years of experience in the real estate industry, with extensive leadership experience on the local, state and national level. It’s an honor to have John represent our real estate community in such an influential and prestigious position. We are in good hands with John and he has our utmost respect and support in his new role.

John Smaby’s vision:

 It will take the ideas and energy of each and every one of us to ensure that the future is bright for homebuyers and REALTORS® alike. To that end, I will work tirelessly to take on the issues confronting our industry, and will take your energy and insights and put them to work for a stronger association and our continued success.”

IF you would like to learn more about John Smaby, visit his website.



April Sellers Bring Full Price Offers

April Sellers Bring Full Price Offers

New Listings showed a second year-over-year decline in 2016 while pending purchase activity rose for the 17th straight month. Buyers signed 6,373 new purchase agreements, a small but important 1.6 percent gain compared to a record-setting April 2015. Due to the well-known supply shortages in our market, would-be sellers are concerned about their ability to secure their next property in the current environment. Inventory levels fell 19.4 percent to 12,849 active properties. Because of record demand, weak supply and a more expensive mix of homes selling, the April median sales price rose 7.7 percent to $231,500. Median list price, by contrast, has already reached and exceeded its previous record, perhaps an indication that the median sales price could do the same this year.

As was the case in March, serious buyers came out swinging in April. In fact, sellers had the same chance of getting offers above their current list price as they did below. Those odds were exactly fifty-fifty—as they were in 2005. That’s not the case for original list price, which indicates that once a home is properly priced, serious buyers are willing to write full-price offers. Unsurprisingly, homes tended to sell in less time, with cumulative days on market declining 14.1 percent to 73 days. That’s the lowest April figure since 2007. Months supply of inventory fell 27.8 percent to 2.6 months—the lowest April figure on record going back to 2003. Generally, five to six months of supply is considered a balanced market. While our region as a whole is favoring sellers, not all areas, segments or price points necessarily reflect that.


“This is an important milestone that speaks to the health of our market,” said Judy Shields, Minneapolis Area Association of REALTORS® (MAAR) President. “Sellers should not interpret this to mean they are guaranteed offers above their list price. Every price range, area and segment is still unique. It’s more important now than ever to properly price your home. This means buyers–particularly those in multiple offers–should be ready to make full price offers on the properties that best fits their needs.”

The last time absorption rates, consumer demand and home prices were where they are today, the median percent of current list price received at sale was also 100.0 percent, so this isn’t entirely unfamiliar territory. There was also significantly more inventory in 2004 and 2005. The marketplace is finally closing the gap from the recession before advancing—sustained by smarter lending policy, job and wage increases, population growth, the risk of higher interest rates and relentlessly rising rents. It’s worth noting that traditional sales tend to fetch a higher ratio of sales price to list price. For the first April since 2007, traditional sales made up over 90.0 percent of overall sales, which boosts the percentage of current list price received.

The national unemployment rate for April was unchanged at 5.0 percent. With a local unemployment rate of 4.0 percent, the Minneapolis-St. Paul-Bloomington metropolitan area was among the top ten large metros with the lowest unemployment rate. The 30-year fixed mortgage rate continued to hover just above 3.6 percent compared to a long-term average of about 8.0 percent. Rates took a surprising dive after the Federal Reserve announced the first hike last year. Marginally higher rates were widely expected in 2016, even though a June rate hike seems unlikely.

“The economy is still strengthening and the market is very competitive,” said Cotty Lowry, MAAR President-Elect. “Serious buyers must be prepared to make strong offers right away or risk not having their offer accepted.”

Rental Scams Reported in Twin Cities Area

Original Artwork by Ross Auger, 2016

It was recently brought to our attention that one of our members had a listing scraped and used as a rental scam. This is not the first case we have seen and it may not be the last. The National Association of REALTORS® and Federal Trade Commission offers some resources on how to prevent these scams and what to do if you find yourself a victim of one. | WATCH NAR VIDEO | FEDERAL TRADE COMMISSION | REPORT SCAM

Beware: Are Your Listings Being Used in Phony Ads?


Real estate brokerages and associations are warning their employees and members to be on the lookout for listing photos being used in phony rental property ads on the Internet.

In recent months, an increased number of real estate professionals have reported their listings being scraped and used for rental scams. Scammers are reposting the listing information on Internet sites, such as Craigslist, and claiming the home is for-rent, not for-sale. The perpetrator will often tell the renter that the home is unavailable for a showing. Unsuspecting renters who are lured to the low rental price will make deposits to rent the property only to find out later that the home was never available for rent. Then the listing will quickly disappear off the Internet.

Reportedly, a tall-tell sign is that the “for sale” sign will go missing from the yard soon after an ad goes on the Internet advertising the home as a rental.

“Online ads have made finding rental properties much more convenient for consumers, and many prospective renters have successfully found homes through online classified ads,” says Mechele Agbayani Mills, president and CEO of BBB Serving Central East Texas. “Unfortunately, though, what is convenient for consumers is also convenient for someone trying to take advantage of them.”

BBB is advising its real estate professionals to conduct an Internet search for newly listed properties to make sure the property they are listing isn’t being scraped.

BBB also is offering the public red flags to look for to make sure they aren’t duped by a rental scam, such as being skeptical of:

  • Too low of a rental price. Scammers purposely advertising the property with ultra-low rent to entice victims.
  • Hefty deposits. Another red flag: Substantial deposits before the keys are handed over or the property even showed.
  • Renters should also be skeptical of a landlord who asks them to wire money.
  • Missing landlord. The renter also may want to be skeptical of a landlord who only communicates via e-mail and is located elsewhere. Often in these scams, they claim they are out of the country because of a missionary assignment or a new job. BBB recommends only dealing with landlords, real estate agents, and property management companies who can assist them in touring the property together.

Reprinted from REALTOR® Magazine Online, August 2013, with permission of the NATIONAL ASSOCIATION OF REALTORS®. Copyright 2013. All rights reserved.

Content reproduced from REALTOR® Magazine or REALTOR® Magazine Online must be reproduced in its entirety and may not be edited. When reprinting copyrighted content, you must make this language visible at the end of the article. If the content will be reprinted on your Web site or blog, you must include a link to REALTOR® Magazine Online (

REALTOR® Trademark has MN Ties

The National Association of REALTORS® is celebrating the REALTOR® Trademark Centennial. We’re proud to share that the term REALTOR® was coined here at your association by a local real estate professional. At the time, we were called the Minneapolis Real Estate Board. In this article, published by NAR, you’ll hear the story behind the term that made an impact on our industry.

Trademark in the Archives, Part I: The Invention of REALTOR®


In honor of the REALTOR® Trademark Centennial, we’ve looked back through the NAR Archives to share documents that tell the history of the term. The first post in this series examines how NAR’s adoption of REALTOR® was due in large part to the tireless efforts of a member from Minnesota.

According to the historical record, REALTOR® was the invention of Charles Chadbourn, a real estate professional and one-time president of the Minneapolis Real Estate Board.  Wanting to distinguish the practices of National Association of Real Estate Board members, all of whom were required to adhere to the association’s Code of Ethics instituted in 1913, from the unethical behavior then common in the field, Chadbourn first suggested the term to NAREB in January of 1916.  After proposing the idea, Chadbourn launched his campaign for national adoption of the term, submitting resolutions to the Executive Committee, writing letters to the association’s general counsel Nathan William MacChesney, and penning articles in the National Real Estate Journal.


Nelson’s letter to Chadbourn, April 14, 1916

In the meantime, Chadbourn encouraged use of the term at his local level, presenting the idea at a Minneapolis Real Estate Board meeting in January of 1916.  His suggestion caught the interest of MREB (and later NAREB) Executive Secretary Herbert U. Nelson, who soon found a simple way to increase awareness of the term among the board’s members.  When MREB instituted a weekly bulletin for members, Nelson knew just what the title should be: “The question of a name for the bulletin was left to my discretion, and I selected “THE REALTOR” as a suitable and expressive caption.” The inaugural issue of the bulletin on February 27, 1916 marked the first appearance of the term REALTOR in print.


First appearance of REALTOR® in print: “The Realtor” bulletin, February 27, 1916

The National Association was not far behind in the official approval of the term.  Not even six months after Chadbourn first wrote to NAREB with his suggestion, the Executive Committee gave its unanimous consent to adopt the term REALTOR® at its meeting in Columbus, Ohio.  The final resolution decreed that “the newly created word ‘Realtor’ … to be used only by members of the National Association of Real Estate Boards, while they are in good standing, upholding its Code of Ethics.”  As a result of the decision, all NAREB members subsequently received new membership certificates, granting the authority to use the term REALTOR®.  While the first of these certificates have been lost to time, an early version dating from around 1922 is preserved in the NAR Archives.


Reprinted from Information Services, March 2016, with permission of the NATIONAL ASSOCIATION OF REALTORS®. Copyright . All rights reserved.