If you are a company that sells products and services to people who sell real estate, how big (really???) is your market?
To represent someone in the sale of real estate, requires a real estate license (Broker or Salesperson) issued by the governing jurisdiction (state, province, or territory).
There about 2,000,000 real estate licensees in the United States (ARELLO). Not all licensees sell real estate (as an agent, earning commission). Some are appraisers, mortgage officers, investors.
Of those 2,200,000 licensees, about 1,100,000 are members of the trade association know as REALTORS. A licensee who joins the National Association of REALTORS also joins the state and local association in their license jurisdiction (“Three Way Agreement”).
Most licensees who sell real estate for a living are members of the trade association. Of the 1,100,000 REALTORS up to 50% completed no transactions last year, and this has been the case for a number of years.
Of the remaining 550,000 potential REALTORS, many have fewer than 6 transactions per year.
With all of the competition for the advertising and marketing dollars of this small group of commission sales people, billion dollar enterprises are being born.
“For Sale” Data, is the “Oxygen” of real estate portals such as Zillow, Trulia, and REALTOR.com.
The deepest, richest, most accurate and timely comes from Multiple Listing Services (MLS).
MLSs are typically owned by an association of REALTORS, or a group of Associations of REALTORS. A group of Associations owning an MLS would probably be considered a Regional MLS.
An MLS is either a separate corporate entity of an owner Association(s), or a Committee of an Association.
The data in an MLS data base is acquired through the hard wok of real estate professionals, in most cases, REALTORS, who belong to an Association of REALTORS, and its MLS.
These associations are housed in unique building across North America…there are over 1300 Associations of REALTORS, and about 850 Multiple Listing Services.
The following Training and Publishing Plan was submitted (as a Confidential document) to the REALTORS Information Network (RIN) as our Vision and plan for online community in the real estate industry, long before Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Social Media, etc. We based this proposal on our experience on the Internet up to that point, and all we had been reading (Being Digital, Netgain, and Crossing the Chasm especially). I was tasked with, among other things, creating the vision for using online community, coupled with education and training, to create a movement, and a shift in the Industry. I remember working on this that Christmas Eve, intent on getting it “out the door.” The formatting suffered in my haste, but the content remains relevant today, and we were obviously a little ahead of the curve. Brad Inman himself used to question us when we would see him at different events: “What is it you guys do, again?”
RealTalk was identified on the RIN Network Desktop (RND), as “DISCUSS.” The GeoData label was the first attempt at what today is RPR (Real Property Resource). The data dictionary spoken of today, was the recommended solution to the diversity of MLS data, back in 1995. It was referred to as DxM.
I think the only one who ended up reading our Training and Publishing Plan, other than us, was Bob Goldberg. While we have accomplished bits of what is here over the years, we didn’t have the capital (and didn’t know how to raise it) to put the plan into action. NAR soon thereafter backed off on the vision, scope and Intent of RIN (REALTORS Information Network). We did come back a few years later and create the training piece for NAR. It was called ePRO. Over 60,000 REALTORS completed the NAR ePRO Technology Certification Program, an online course of instruction.
So, here the Training and Publishing Plan as submitted to RIN…The pitures were inserted for this publication.
REALTORS INFORMATION NETWORK – Training and Publishing– 12/24/95
Billy Chee, 1993 President of the National Association of REALTORS® summed it up in two comments.
“Don’t expect REALTORS® to go to the technology, you have got to bring the technology to the REALTOR.”
Any online system to be used by REALTORS® must have instant applicability. They must know how to use it and it must be easy for the REALTOR® to fit into what they are already doing.
Billy has also stated on numerous occasions that the level of REALTOR® computer literacy is low. During the alpha and beta testing of the RIN software, we learned that even those who are fairly proficient computer users would have some problems in adapting to and dealing with this online service at this point in its development. One of the worst things RIN could do would be to deliver the software and let the consumer determine it is “under powered” or “too cumbersome” when in fact it is not; but because they have not figured out the easy way to perform a function, they abandon the software. All of us who are users know what I am talking about. Our experience at the pilot locations also shows us that:
Not everyone who signs up actually bothers to login after the first login.
- Those that do quickly lose interest and their online time rapidly decreases.
- Less training equates to less participation online (statistics available from BAH)
The conclusion is obvious: software delivery and training must be headed down parallel runways.
The successful weaning of REALTORS® from their current sources of information and products and moving them to accessing information and products in an online environment (and the RIN online environment) will require much more than the sale of software. An “online mentality” and awareness must be developed. This will require training in the use and business applications of the software (Training Plan) and then an ongoing link or “conversation” with the user (REALTOR®) in an open dialogue and “conversation” in those areas that affect their businesses and their lives (Publishing Plan). This “conversation” (RealTalk) will “keep them engaged” with RIN. It is said repeatedly that REALTORS® are “people people” and that real estate is a “people business”. It is important to note that the only product on the RIN network that is an interactive, people oriented product (other than email, which is more service than a product) is RealTalk. Properly resourced and managed, this will become the number one attraction on RIN and the driver of all the other product offerings. Under this Training and Publishing Plan, RIN offerings will be so rich in content and value that the REALTOR® would never consider moving their business to the competition. The “conversation” (RealTalk) will also (credibly) point the user to other products and services available to them through RIN. One thing research has shown us is that with REALTORS®, there is a desire to learn “what to do next”.
Training in technology and use of the RND is essential to the success of RIN. The customers (REALTORS®) must be taught the basics of technology and use of the RND, followed by the more advanced learning required for the use and access to the GeoData product. Courses must go beyond the “how to install and use email” to “how do I use this in my business” (to help me make more money and/or help me become more productive). The current level of computer literacy of RIN’s customer base is elementary to non‑existent. Training must also include the motivational aspects required to change the culture of the user from one that depends on the telephone as the primary communication device to one where the computer competes with and hopefully becomes the primary communication device in the business of the customer. A prestige must be developed in those who are trained. This will be accomplished through the RIN Certified REALTOR® (RCR) Program. Properly resourced, training has the potential to become a significant revenue stream for RIN. If done properly, training becomes a marketing vehicle for RIN and for RealTalk.
Training will draw an audience and there are many companies that currently fund trainings in the real estate industry. These companies would be (are) interested in funding RIN training programs. Industry related companies such as lenders and title companies as well as technology companies, both hardware and software companies, and communications companies, that currently spend marketing dollars to be in front of a REALTOR® audience. An example of a powerful strategic alliance in RIN’s educational program would be RIN, NAR, Microsoft, MCI (AT&T), and IBM (Compaq, Gateway, Motorola, etc). This Strategic Alliance will provide the sponsorship and dollars to pay for what RIN must do anyway, train and be involved with the REALTOR® as they learn. As sponsors of our programs, these strategic partners are in front of their potential clients, in an interactive, learning environment. It must be recognized that education is the “programming” around which advertising can be sold. This is a critical aspect of this Training and Publishing Plan and the potential source of major marketing dollars for RIN.
Training Program will be divided into the following initial areas:
Rollout Training ‑ of initial users in current rollout areas
- Certified Trainer Series ‑ to produce a faculty of RIN Certified Trainers (RCT)
- REALTOR Technology Skills Enhancement Series ‑ for coveted RCR Designation
- Curriculum Development ‑ REALTOR Technology Empowerment Series
- Additional Programs and Revenue Sources ‑ Computer Based Training (CBT), Video, Direct TV, Live presentations
The first aspect of the training program to be implemented will be in concert with the rollout at the stated rollout locations. It is here where we will refine our marketing efforts for mass distribution in the second quarter of 1996. Instructors have been trained (completion of the training will take place in Honolulu) and are strategically located geographically.
The first “Team” of instructors is also Moderators on RealTalk. We must make RIN “personal” and using Moderators as trainers gives the REALTOR® user base a chance to start in the “conversation process” with a human being, in person; a conversation that will then be moved online. This gives us a dual benefit from the Rollout Training. It is beneficial to have Moderators in front of as many REALTORS® as possible as often as possible, to build that following. Trainers must be skilled in building followings. Our Moderators have been chosen because they have these skills and because they have loyal existing followings.
The training plan also calls for the development of a Certified Trainer Series and a REALTOR® Certification program. These are revenue generators and our initial conversations with NAR staff indicate an interest in the project. NAR’s involvement in the certification process is beneficial to RIN in a number of ways. First, experience and distribution, and secondly, it keeps NAR in the loop and involved with the ongoing success of RIN. It will help us build allies within the NAR staff, a staff that is presently less than 100% supportive of the RIN efforts, and can be.
In summary, the initial training venue serves as marketing and sale venue and the potential of providing a revenue stream as well. Multiple purposes are accomplished, conserving resources and creating a cost effective method of software distribution. Secondly, the funding can come from outside sources and even provide excess revenue for this RIN profit center. Lastly, a coordinated, well thought out and consistent training message will keep the user coming back for more, because they will truly understand the value of RIN and the content it brings to them. Rich content does not happen all by itself. It is a process that requires specialized skills and administration. This is covered under the Publishing Plan.
Publishing and managing discussions and information (content) in an online environment is a developing art form. Most online experts will tell you that the keys to the success of an information network is the logical flow and maintenance of the timely and pertinent content and additionally (of equal or even greater importance some argue), something known as “community”. Community is the key to accomplishing the cultural shift necessary to move a body of people from “off‑line” to online. In today’s world of “information overload” and unlimited Internet choices, the REALTORS® Information Network (RIN) has a unique opportunity to electronically publish the information and ideas REALTORS® need to maintain the competitive edge in business and in their lives.
Key to the success of the publishing plan is the National Electronic Publisher. This is not a clerical publishing position but a hands-on executive position. The Publisher (with the aid of a publishing staff) continually works to insure continuity of all modules on the RIN Network Desktop. This can only be accomplished by adherence to an overall Network Publishing Plan. “Text without context is pretext”. To look at each RIN product module separately is to view them out of the context and may not give an accurate picture. While this plan focuses primarily on RealTalk, it does bring into consideration necessary links to the other product modules. The six essential ingredients in the Publishing Plan are:
- Educational and “publishable” products
- Related RIN Modules
- Links to the Training Plan
It is proposed that the role of Publisher be filled by a separate corporate entity, the Real Estate Electronic Publishing Company (a current corporate structure has been set up for this possibility.
It may be prudent, however, to have corporate attorneys review the benefits of incorporation in states such as Delaware and Nevada). This will further remove RIN from many of the yet to be determined liabilities of online publishing (copyright infringement, defamation, anti trust). RIN will have the option of becoming a stockholder in this entity, now or at some point in the future. Another option would be to hire a Publishing Team either as independent contractors or as employees. These issues need to be further discussed. The Publisher is tasked with knowing about all the content, on the private network side as well as the Internet side of RIN.
Of course, John and I were the Publishers. Here we are, back then.
When it comes to online services, content is king. At the heart of this plan to provide top qualitycontent to RIN’s business and communication network are the National Electronic Publishers, a team of whom is arguably considered the most highly qualified individuals serving in this capacity on any online service in the world. RIN’s Electronic Publishing Team of Saul Klein, John Reilly, and Jack Harper have over 70 years experience in the fields of real estate, communication, law, and technology (see resumes in Supporting Documents Section). Together they lead a group of nationally known real estate personalities and subject area experts, who serve as Moderators, or discussion group leaders. In order to insure that content is current, accurate, and responsive to the immediate needs of the user, procedures have been set up to evaluate existing discussion corners, create new ones, and stimulate increased participation. The current structure of RealTalk is as follows:
16 “Corners” (technically these are known as banners)
26 “Discussion areas” (books)
160 “Discussions (threads)”
Each area is monitored by an appropriate subject area expert, and the overall content is reviewed numerous times daily by the publishing staff. Moderators and publishers serving the dual roles of Moderator/Trainer, will give RealTalk the marketing boost it needs to take off during the rollout period. Even Colin Powell and Hillary Clinton have to do a book tour to get people to buy their books. Not only do we need to motivate them to buy, we must motivate them to read (substitute “use”, get online, participate). This requires interaction.
In addition to the on going discussions, action plans have been drafted to create and implement a series of online seminars using expert panelists on hot topics and forums on “hot products”. A rich feature of these seminars is the ability to tap the wealth of knowledge of the audience, many of whom add a fresh perspective to the expert’s discussions. Also planned are online interviews and seminars with top industry personalities, including authors of leading edge books (e.g., John Tuccillo). In some cases, technology vendors will pay a fee to be interviewed online and have the ability to explain the advantages of their products in direct dialogue with the consumer. Further content is made available by maintaining a software library for downloading helpful shareware and freeware.
Recognizing that content is only valuable if it is easy to find and use, RealTalk will develop online features to facilitate the task of filtering down the information relevant to individual users; for example, use of the ticker tape screen; a splash screen for highlights; a “personal alert” system. The most important user tool will be an efficient Search function, to identify by key words those topics appearing throughout the RealTalk discussions, Library, and even RINmall. As a supplement to the RIN Training program, RealTalk will encourage online discussion of user problems, issues and shortcuts ‑‑ demonstrating how to use RealTalk to solve a problem and obtain free advice.
Sources of Revenue:
Online time charge ‑ Publishers (and Moderators) will perform internal marketing activities to promote usage of E‑Mail, Library, GeoData, RIN Mall, Info, Look‑Up, and News through our direct contact with the user in RealTalk. A user who questions “How can I get my prospecting on track” will be advised to go to the RIN Mall and take a look at the Top Producer Product to increase their productivity and get them on track (or the XYZ product to help them reach their goals). When a user asks fora dvice on “how to build a killer listing or buyer presentation”, the Publisher will explain the process of creating powerful GeoData based packages.
- Software and Hardware (product) Forums. Imagine the value to a company like Top Producer in being able to host a Top Producer seminar in RealTalk for a week or two. Participation in the seminar would be promoted through Email, Ticker, and potentially the Splash Screen. The vendor companies would be willing to pay a handsome fee for the opportunity to discuss their latest products to such a targeted and large audience.
Publishers will continue to identify opportunities for value and revenue. The goal is to enhance the users experience and provide additional revenue for RIN whenever possible. Such opportunities include a series of RIN sponsored publications, such as training manuals and technology newsletters.
3. Seminars. We anticipate hosting several monthly seminars in RealTalk. These seminars will be a more formalized version of the regular RealTalk discussions, with the added value of featuring a “celebrity” or “expert” guest speaker. Many of these people hold live seminars and are recognized speakers within the industry. The REALTOR® will usually pay a fee to attend these live seminars, where they do no more than sit and listen to the speaker talk about a topic. In the online seminar, the user will still pay, yet we anticipate that the fee will be lower, due to amortization over a larger audience than can be accommodated in a live forum. Additionally, the user will be able to interact directly with the guest, through posted messages. This will add the value of making the seminar more directly geared toward each specific user’s needs. The seminar dialogue then becomes a content resource for the Library or perhaps future publishing efforts (e.g. edited version available for a fee on RINTalk). All Seminars will be free in 1996.
- Publishing: Sale of actual contents to MSN/AOL/Compuserve, or “sell” our publishers and moderators time to other services (to participate and enliven their programs, or perhaps, re‑write their programs).
- Web Site Sponsorship ‑ because the RINTalk web pages ( separate from the rest of RIN’s web page)are visited by both consumers and REALTORS® , there is an ever‑increasing value in offering page sponsorship to many types of companies. Title Companies, Lenders, Home Warranty, Attorneys and more .
The major business objective of RINTalk is to take advantage of the WorldWide Web to disseminate information about RIN to the widest audience in the least expensive manner. It is the link to the vast number of consumers on the Internet. RINTalk showcases to the online world the exciting events happening on RealTalk(and other modules of RIN’s closed business network) ‑‑ for example, the expert roundtable seminars, interviews with key figures, and fast‑breaking hot topics. Such highlighting of “mini‑discussions” will illustrate why a real estate licensee should subscribe to RIN (after first becoming a REALTOR®) and why the consumer should prefer to deal with a RIN‑assisted REALTOR®. RINTalk becomes a useful tool in marketing RIN to those already on line and who are likely more impressed with electronic marketing than with standard print brochures. RINTalk can promote the RIN Presentation Team who will be conducting key seminars and presentations across the country‑‑with information on profiles, schedules, and interactive requests for appearances.
The acceptance of computers and online communications have paved the way for a variety of educational offerings including online seminars for a fee to narrowcast groups, downloadable computer based instruction programs with or without state mandatory continuing education credit, books/booklets, software, power presentation programs, etc.
While RealTalk will regularly have free online seminars, there is a market for narrowcast seminars, especially on specialized topics ‑‑ for example, dealing in commercial properties in Russia. Typical live seminars require substantial commitments of travel time and money for participants ‑‑faculty and students alike. People are recognizing the value in being able to listen to high‑profile experts, and pose questions to them and engage in dialogue, all from the comfort and convenience of one’s computer desktop. The seminar business has been big business ‑‑‑ online seminars will take this to the next level and we are on the ground floor of this new business. Many states are updating their education regulations to permit computer based instruction as an acceptable alternative delivery system to live classroom hours. There are obvious benefits to students and school administrators. Courses can be for CE credit, for specialty designation, and for pure information purposes. As our Moderators expand their national reputation, opportunities will arise for them to develop computer based instruction programs under our direction and development expertise(requires a Course Administrator/Acquisitions Editor). In some cases, computer based instruction can be combined with live classroom presentations. The marketing of these courses will be thru RealTalk, RIN Mall and RINTalk, as well as to our ever-expanding database of prior students. RealTalk will be able to develop its own products such as Year‑End highlights .
The Publishers will create new ways for authors of real estate information to publish their material as electronic booklets and downloadable software. Traditionally, talented authors have had to decide between giving their copyright to a national publisher in return for a very low royalty (below 10% of gross revenue after discounts to trade stores) or going the self‑publishing route in which they had to contend with inventory, marketing and fulfillment issues. With electronic publishing, overhead costs are severely reduced (no printing, binding, postage, returned books, etc), thus increasing percentages of profit for both author and publisher.
Related RIN Modules
The Publishing function extends to other RIN modules, especially Library, LookUp and, to some extent, RIN Mall. There is a need to have a common “look and feel” to all items in the Library. Even though there is a need to publish state‑specific information on a state‑by‑state basis ‑‑ there must be a structure against which the user will be able to perform efficient searches. The searches will fail if applied against multiple formats of data and text. Publishing is required here, to the level of a publishing‑capable programmer. Although RIN will be able to draw upon many NAR sources for library content, the Publishers can add significant value to this content area, feeding information to the library from all standard and some non‑standard sources; creating strategic relationships with outside sources of information; Legal Reviews, Real Estate Educators and Authors, Motivational Providers and so on. Under these relationships, these source providers will receive visibility to the RIN user base, while RIN then provides this as value added content to its users.
RIN has an opportunity to take advantage of what Bill Gates refers to in his book, The Road Ahead, as a “positive feedback loop”. The forces that are in play and those that can be brought to bear will create a synergistic marketing plan that will insure the success of the RIN launch, the Training Plan, RealTalk, and RIN in general.
Business Plan Document
To create a profitable education and seminar company, Real Estate Education and Training Institute (REETI), which will bring REALTORS® swiftly into the age of information and keep them involved in new technologies and methods of communication (to insure their professional survival) by:
- Creating an army of trained RIN users that not only understand the benefits of technology in general and RIN in particular; but utilize the tools of technology available to them consistently in their business, and recommend itdustry. to others.
- Becoming the primary source of information, educational courses and materials dealing with technology and its application to the real estate in
The forming of the Real Estate Education and Training Institute (REETI) will be owned by RIN, NAR, a yet to be selected Strategic Technology Partner, and the Real Estate Electronic Publishing Company (REEPCO). Percentages of ownership have yet to be determined.
Background and Purpose:
The successful and profitable weaning of REALTORS® from their current sources of information and products to accessing information and products in an online environment (and the RIN online environment) will require much more than the sale of software (RIN Network Desktop: RND). An “online mentality” and awareness must be developed. This will require training in the use and business applications of the software (Training Plan) and then an ongoing link or “conversation” with the user (REALTOR®) in an open dialogue and “conversation” in those areas that affect their businesses and their lives (Publishing Plan). This “conversation” (RealTalk) will “keep them engaged” with RIN. It is said repeatedly that REALTORS® are “people people” and that real estate is a “people business”. It is important to note that the only product on the RIN network that is an interactive, people oriented product is RealTalk. Properly resourced and managed, this will become the number one attraction on RIN and the driver of all the other product offerings. Under this Training and Publishing Plan, RIN offerings will be so rich in content and value that the REALTOR would never consider moving their business to the competition. The “conversation” will also (credibly) point the user to other products and services available to them through RIN. . The purpose of this Training and Publishing Plan is to define the objectives, the resources required, and chart the path to successful implementation and profitability. Training and Publishing will each be addressed separately and also tied together in the Executive Summary. Each part of the plan may be viewed as a separate plan but there is a synergy in implementing all aspects of the Training and Publishing Plan as outlined here. From this Plan an operating plan can be quickly drafted. Many of the required steps have already occurred and some materials have been prepared in anticipation of this plan.
Personnel Resources and Skill Sets:
Saul Klein (complete contract and resume in Supporting Documents section)
Practice side – Extensive background in the practice side as a broker/manager/owner (large residential sales office management as well as small broker owner, property management company, real estate syndication, commercial and small business owner). Considerable knowledge and experience in buyer representation.
Academic side – credential college level real estate instructor (courses taught include real estate principles, real estate practice, real estate finance, real estate law, real estate appraisal, tax aspects of real estate, ethics, agency and more). Course author and frequent expert witness and litigation consultant.
Industry side – Numerous directorships and committee chairmanships; 1993 president, San Diego Association of REALTORS®, State director and regional chairman. Various NAR forum memberships and frequent NAR forum speaker. Industry consultant (association leadership conference and strategic planning facilitator).
Training side – recognized national trainer and public speaker in consumer as well as industry issues.
Technological side – highly proficient computer user. Frequent internet real estate bulletin board participant and contributor. In depth understanding of online world. Extreme knowledge of RND use and application.
Personal side – well known and well thought of in all areas of the real estate industry.
An “industry influencer”.
John Reilly (complete resume in the Supporting Documents section)
Practice side ‑ real estate attorney for 25 years in the business of advising real estate practitioners in all aspects of the real estate profession, working with broker/owners, agents, developers, consumers, lenders and settlement companies.
Academic side ‑ strong suit; author of ten recognized real estate books (the Language of Real Estate having sold over 100,000 copies); taught in law school, college, proprietary pre‑license school, association (local, state, national Realtor). Past President of the Real Estate Educators Association; Distinguished Real Estate Instructor (DREI designation). National test consultant (AMP exam), and former resource advisor on Agency to the National Association of Real Estate License Law Officials (ARELLO) and to NAR’s Agency Task Force.
Industry side ‑ long time member of the Hawaii Association of Realtor’s Standard Forms Committee (past Chairman); past Director of the Honolulu Board of Realtors; frequent broker forum speaker and guest lecturer on real estate law issues. Past Consultant to the Hawaii Real Estate Commission on Agency and on the issue of Educational Standards. Frequent lecturer to the Hawaii Bar Association’s Real Property Section.
Training side ‑ recognized national trainer and public speaker on Agency issues and on education concerns. Owner of Hawaii’s top real estate continuing education school, the first to obtain approval for interactive computer based instruction courses.
Technological side ‑ proficient computer user, spending considerable time on the Internet participating in numerous real estate discussion groups, bulletin boards and online services including Lexus Counsel Connect (using the same desktop design as RIN). Solid knowledge of RND use and application.
Personal side ‑ widely known and highly regarded in all areas of the real estate industry, especially in the legal and real estate education community. One of the nation’s top real estate educators.
Jack Harper (complete resume in the Supporting Documents section)
Practice Side ‑ Fully experienced as a practicing REALTOR in the residential real estate industry, having functioned as a REALTOR‑Associate since 1984 in regional brokerage. Has proposed, opened and managed branch offices and has developed in‑house training for new associates in areas of technology, farming, and transaction management
Academic Side‑ more than 300 hours of continuing real estate education, including attainment of the GRI (Graduate Realtor Institute) designation in 1986. Has completed many technology continuing education courses as offered by Microsoft, Oracle, and IBM. Has studied more than 10 programming languages, including Visual Basic, C++, COBOL, SQL, HTML, Multimedia Toolbook. Currently teaches Internet‑based Real Estate and Computer‑based Real Estate Principles in many areas. Established writer and public speaker on real estate technology issues.
Industry Side ‑ Member of REEA (Real Estate Educators Association), GRI designation, SACAR forum speaker, Member of Board of Advisors for America Online’s Real Estate Online section, Associate Publisher REALTORS Information Network.
Technological Side ‑ highly skilled in all phases of technology as they relate to the industry, having designed and created several application programs for the residential real estate community. Thoroughly competent in programming for the Windows environment using such tools as C++, Visual Basic, IntegraVDB, SQL and SQL Server, OLE 2.0, ODBC, Asymetrix Multimedia ToolBook and Toolbook CBT extensions. Well versed in World Wide Web design considerations, having designed and implemented more than 200 web pages and complete web sites for several real estate clients. Currently implementing multimedia‑capable web sites using Sun’s JAVA scripting language. More than 25 years experience in design, analysis and project management for many computer efforts.
Training Side ‑ recognized speaker and trainer on real estate‑related technology topics. Quoted on these subjects by Wall Street Journal, Money magazine and San Jose Mercury News. Member of REEA. Many industry sponsors and partners. Frequent guest expert in AOL’s real estate conferences, on Internet‑based Real Estate topics.
Personal Side ‑ considered a “trend spotter” in real estate and general business issues, especially as they relate to market shifts and technology‑based shifts in the real estate industry. Successful technology marketer in National and International arenas.
Moderators – (contract included in Supporting Documents section)
The expert Moderators play a key role, not only in creating the content and shaping the discussions that add the value to the RIN closed network, but also in the training and marketing of all the products and services available through RIN. They are RIN ambassadors with their own following. In addition to participating online, most of the Moderators will find ways through their publications, seminars, and businesses to bring the word of RIN to Realtor and non‑Realtor licensees. Many will become RIN Trainers and have an opportunity to deal face‑to‑face with future online participants, helping to build an online community. Of course, the Publishers are always searching for top caliber Moderator prospects.
Access to pool of talented people – With the over 70 years combined exposure and experience in the real estate industry, Saul Klein, John Reilly and Jack Harper have a wealth of yet untapped human resources they can call upon as RIN continues to evolve.
The RIN Moderators and Presentation Team are continually speaking in front of tens of thousands of REALTORS across the country. Here’s a teaching technique that adds spark to the classroom and effectively markets RIN in a soft sell:
“The teacher asks the class to pose a question they would like to ask one of our expert Moderators; the teacher then goes online and posts a comment to the Forum and explains to the class that if they would like to receive a copy of the response, then leave their business card with their email address; the teacher can then demonstrate the ease in creating a distribution list for this class; when the online discussion and responses are complete in a few days, the teacher can then post a copy to the new mail list of students, along with subscription information about RIN.”
Real Estate Educators Association
REEA is a highly regarded association of real estate educators established in 1979. Its 1300 members come from colleges, proprietary schools, publishing companies, regulatory agencies, and other delivery systems. REEA’s principal goals are to promote quality real estate education, facilitate the exchange of ideas and to be a resource for current information. It is a network of communication and support, a forum for ideas, recognition and growth…and the recognized voice of real estate educators.
An alliance with REEA has advantages to both RIN and REEA. REEA has designed and implemented separate Course Development and Instructor Development Workshops; the IDW is required in some states for instructor certification for pre‑license and post‑license courses. The DREI program awards the prestigious DREI designation recognizing excellence as a real estate instructor. If the REEA level training is combined with the technical training in the RCT program, RIN can be assured of producing the top computer trainers in the country ‑ ‑ truly competent instructors not just software salespeople disguised as computer instructors.
The majority of Moderators are already members of REEA. Both John Reilly and Julie Garton‑Good are Past Presidents; and Terry Hayes is the incoming President. RINTALK’s Don Bodley is the Webmaster for the REEA home page (http://www.holonet.net/realed/) ‑‑‑ as a result the REEA page contains prominent hypertext jumps to both www.realtor.com and the RINtalk home page.
National, State, and Local Associations of REALTORS® – Natural channels of distribution for training programs, used successfully by education providers.
Discussion and Objectives:
RIN can have the best product in the world, but RIN will not be successful unless the REALTOR® has the computer literacy to easily access the information. Training in technology and use of the RND is essential to the success of RIN. The customers (REALTORS®) must be taught the basics of technology and use of the RND, followed by the more advanced learning required for the GeoData product. Courses must go beyond the “how to install and use email” to “how do I use this in my business” (to help me make more money and/or help me become more productive). The current level of computer literacy of RIN’s customer base is elementary to non-existent. Training must also include the motivational aspects required to change the culture of the user from one that depends on the telephone as the primary communication device to one where the computer competes with and hopefully becomes the primary communication device in the business of the customer. A prestige must be developed in those who are trained. This will be accomplished through the RIN Certified REALTOR (RCR) Program. Properly resourced, training has the potential to become a significant revenue stream for RIN.
The Training Program will be created, administered and conducted by the Real Estate Education and Training Institute (REETI). Training Program will be divided into the following initial areas:
- Rollout Training – of initial users in current rollout areas
- Certified Trainer Series – to produce a faculty of RIN Certified Trainers (RCT)
III. REALTOR® Technology Skills Enhancement Series – for coveted RCR Designation
- Curriculum Development – REALTOR® Technology Empowerment Series
- Additional Programs and Revenue Sources – Computer Based Training (CBT), Video, Direct TV, Live presentations
Implementation of Training Plan
Rollout Training – This is an integral part of the entire plan as it sets the wheels in motion for the rest of the business plan and also works to populate Real Talk. Rollout Training is more of a RND sales event and should be done by the first group of 5 Certified RIN Instructors, all of whom have been identified and are REALTALK moderators. This also serves as the preliminary marketing for the RCR (RIN Certified REALTOR) and Advanced Internet Training courses. Course is a free event, a member service and opportunity to sell the RND.
Salt Lake City
All States that have signed up for state leadership pilots (AL, FL, IN, IO, KY, LA, MA, ME, MI, MN, NH. NC, NY, OK, OR, PA, RI, SC, VA, VT, WA, WI, WY)
Computer assisted, will require projection equipment on sight. Presentation will be 90 minutes in length and will also be a sales opportunity for the RND. It is also a point of contact to promote the products and services on RIN, especially RealTalk and RIN Mall. Presenters are RealTalk moderators and familiar with products on the RIN Mall and content of the Library and News modules of RIN. Presentation will also be an opportunity to announce follow-up training availability, RCR program. Business cards will be collected from all in attendance (to award door prizes). These will be primary leads for RCR program for the location.
In addition to the educational benefits brought by the Rollout Training, it will also provide a cost effective means of signing up RIN subscribers. This will require an integrated, coordinated, and monitored program. In addition to initial sign up, customer satisfaction and retention are critical to the ongoing success of RIN and should be addressed in the current marketing plan.
Our consumer, the REALTOR®, will have just one question. “What’s in it for me? Roughly translated that breaks down into six questions. What is the product? How much does it cost? When is it going to get here? How do I use it, and how does it benefit me?” We must define the tangible benefits. A case for the “package of benefits” received by RIN subscribers should be developed with the eight dominant consumer preferences in mind; speed, convenience, choice, value added, discounting, service, quality, and information.
The purpose of the Rollout Training will be to answer the “question” above to as many REALTORS® as possible, as quickly and cost effectively as possible, leading them to subscribe at the earliest date possible and motivate them to become regular proficient users.
The marketing plan for this series of training should be multimedia, multi-pronged, and integrated; utilizing the following venues: press releases, marketing pieces, live presentations, and online opportunities. Scheduling and timing is critical. The “left hand” not knowing what the “right hand” is doing could be disastrous at worst, costly in time and money at best.
Tracking systems are essential. What’s working and not working must be monitored, changed as necessary. RIN must develop methods of receiving feedback. Follow-up procedures for quick response to feedback as appropriate.
The prioritizing and sequencing of events tied to A through G below, their uses and nonuses, is key to the success of the marketing program; as is the efficient allocation of resources: monetary, physical, organizational and human. How do we get the most “bang for the buck” and accomplish the mission.
- Press releases – should include history, list of initial services, list of future services/when, pricing.
- Build value at every opportunity, through the eyes of the REALTOR® user. Must be coordinated with presentations whenever possible.
Real estate publications
Fax on demand
Marketing pieces – each piece should lead the REALTOR® to subscribing
Paper – brochures, one page description, etc.
Video – shown at orientation. Having access to RIN is a member benefit
Audio – How RIN can help you help your clients
Disc – access software
Create media kits
Create marketing materials
- Coordinate and set dates with Associations and MLS’s–entire year’s calendar should be created now, including dates for RCR program and Advanced Internet Marketing Program.
- Evaluate resources of Association/MLS and establish method to utilize:
- Announcements at meetings
- Flyers at counter
- Book in advance
- Sponsors – Most of the marketing costs can be absorbed by participating seminar sponsors. We start with content providers and RIN Partners (RIN Mall sponsors). We can also negotiate with lenders, title companies, escrow companies, newspapers, printers, cellular phone companies, computer companies, software providers, MLS vendors (national and local sponsors). Historical data is provided in the Supporting Documents section as to pricing for sponsorships.
Prior to event:
- Establish template, time frame, materials, and plan of delivery, target market
- Contact key individuals
- Research and contract for most effective site, plan requirements, negotiate terms
- Track financials of event
- Begin communications
Mail, personal contact, telephone, fax
- Maintain communication with key players up to and after event
- Coordinate any material shipping
- Manage staff of telemarketers (probably 2 per event)
- Fill the seats
- Prepare for follow up marketing for next program
- Design flyers
- Write press releases
- Publish event
- Fax selected offices
- Telemarketing to selected offices
- Event follow up for next event
Budget for each event
Initial budgeting based on the following preliminary assumptions:
Product Closing Ratio: 50% (CBT disc and RND)
Product Price (paid to RIN): $9.95 CBT (possibly funded by sponsor with their logo on Disc along with RIN). More products can be added such as training.
$10.95 (paid to RIN) for RND
Attendance projection per event: 200
Costs per event:
Course Development:$ 25 (480 events, $12,000 total)
Production Manager: $100 (480 events, $48,000 salary)
Administrative $ 67 (480 events, $32,000 salary)
CBT: $6.00 $600
RND: $3.00 $300
Office overhead $ 36 ($1440/month / 480 events)
Presentation equipment (computer generated presentation): Purchase and amortized
Revenue per event:
RND Sales: 100 at $10.95: $1095
CBT Sales: 100 at $9.95: $ 995
Sponsors: 4 per event @ $1000 ea $4000
Net Profit per event: $ 867
Net Profit first year (480 events): $416,160
Number trained: 96,000
Human resources required:
- Production Manager – $48,000 per year position (plus bonuses)
- Coordinate events–dates, hotel, travel, and event location, additional personnel if required. Presentation will be crafted to be as self-contained as possible so after a few, the production manager does not need to go on the road. Production manager may be present at first few events to work out template for future presentations. Target the markets and strategically choose dates, times, returns to market area; working boards and MLS’s where appropriate and brokerage firms where appropriate.
- Work on obtaining sponsors – because of the number of events, some large sponsors to sponsor multiple events (NAR could be one of the sponsors).
- Follow through to and after event. Make sure leads are entered into database. Successful data base management is essential here, it minimizes the marketing events for future programs and ensures better turnouts.
- Trainers – This will require 6 trainers. They have been identified and will be the first 6 RIN Certified Trainers, some of who will also teach the advanced courses. It will become the “entry level” trainer position for some as we train more trainers to teach the advanced courses. All initial trainers will be moderators as they will be able to generate interest in RealTalk as they become the “person to come talk to on RIN”, the “guide” of each “class” if you will. They will also be able to plant the seeds of sale for the next training. Each trainer will average 2 trainings per week. Total trainings first year of operation will be 480 (based upon 5 trainers X 2 trainings per week X 48 weeks = 480 trainings. We will have 6 initial trainers, as we will need to cover contingencies that may arise). Trainers will be compensated $750 per training (plus bonus) and this will come out of each training budget. Revenue will come from training revenue. This schedule, based on 200 persons per event will result in 96,000 persons trained first year.
Assistant Production Manager: $32,000 per year. This is a senior administrative and customer service position.
- Administrative Assistant/Customer Service: $24,000 per year. Number of events scheduled may require 2, second will be a later hire.
Time Line – First program scheduled 4 weeks from approval of plan; will take 3 months to gear up to 10 trainings per week.
Overhead – office space, equipment. Cost covered in event cost.
Certified Trainer Series: The purpose of this training is to train 300 trainers per year over 3 years with the information and skills necessary to not only teach the use of the RND to REALTORS®, but also to act as a “field sales force”, allowing them to offer the RND at their training events. I propose doing it in conjunction with NAR and a technology partner/sponsor such as IBM, AT&T, or even Microsoft. This training will be comprehensive and provide detailed understanding of all areas of RIN, including Modules (present and future), installation (common problems and solutions), configuration, basic trouble shooting, business applications such as prospecting, newsletter creation, and basic client communication and transaction management. It will also include section on the “secrets of powerful presentations” (detailed in a future outline). Successful completion of this course of study will result in the RCT (RIN Certified Trainer) designation. Certification will have different levels or degrees (RCT1, RCT2, RCT3). Initial Course will be 2 days in duration and include live, video, and CBT modules with workbook included in the price of the course ($995).
This “faculty” will then be authorized to teach the courses (discussed in the next section) to REALTORS® which will result in the awarding of the RCR (RIN Certified REALTOR®) designation. Faculty members will be part of a narrowcast discuss group with other RCTs.
NAR Washington DC, NAR 1996 Convention San Francisco, Real Estate Educators Association Annual Meeting (Atlanta), other geographically central locations. 8 in 1996.
Budget Projections ‑ 1996
Costs to develop course of study: $20,000
Course materials: $10,000
Program costs: $10,000
Staff Position: $32,000
200 Educators x $995: $199,000
Sponsor ($2,000 per event): $ 16,000
Net revenue (1996) $105,000
See Supporting Documents section for 3-year projection.
The designation will have an annual renewal fee of $99 and possible new course requirements. At 1,000 members it would be $99,000 annual recurring revenue.
Through Real Estate Educators Association. Possible coalition with the Real Estate Educators Association. Also marketed to all NAR instructors and to any state lists and local lists of real estate educators. John Reilly, a past president of the Real Estate Educators Association will provide information on teacher’s lists. This would be coordinated through the Production Manager. Marketing materials to be designed.
Human Resources Required:
Assistant Production Manager- $32,000 per year
Trainer – Trainers have already been selected. Three per event
Preliminary to first course will be a special one-day training held in Reno at NAR Tech Fair in February. First Certification course will be at the end of April in Washington DC at the NAR Tech Fair.
Covered under Rollout Training overhead.
III. REALTOR® Technology Skills Enhancement Series-To create an exclusivity and to differentiate the technology user (the RIN user) from the non-technology users. Consumers in growing numbers are interested in the personal computer and what it can do for them. REALTORS® who are conversant in the language of and engage in the use of this communication tool, will have a new major ally in the rapport portion of the transaction (the personal side), when dealing with their clients. This course of study will be target marketed to those who attended Rollout Training. First trainers will be the same trainers who taught the Rollout Training. Later trainers will be graduates of the RCT Program. REALTOR® Course for Certification to be developed by REEP in coordination with NAR. Ideal place to offer courses is at National and State Association Meetings. Certification to be upon completion of course. REALTORS® will pay for course leading to designation. Course curriculum will consist of:
Attendance at a live program where exam will be administered –1day duration
Gear-up time required, including initial marketing – 3 months, estimate first course offerings in May 1996.
All State Association meetings, National meetings and as scheduled by certified instructors (in coordination with REETI).
To Train 3,000 REALTORS® (6.3 % of numbers trained in rollout training) will require 30 trainings with 100 participants per training. This model will be worked with the first year to find the optimum locations for programs and the frequency with which we can cost effectively manage these programs. If we manage our database properly, we can cut marketing expenses and optimize the number of participants per event.
Budget – 1996:
Course Development: $100,000 (see Supporting Documents)
Course Promotion and Marketing: $ 50,000 (done in conjunction with all other marketing and PR, i.e., Iverson)
Event costs (30) $ 60,000
Continuing program costs (unforeseen)$ 40,000
Total course price: $495
3000 REALTORS® trained (first three years) =$1,485,000 per year
Add Strategic Technology Partner and NAR as discussed below and there exists the capital required to accomplish all of the above and return capital (or a portion thereof) if deemed necessary in initial negotiations with potential sponsors for use of capital.
For projections on years 1997/98, see Supporting Documents section.
Strategic Technology Partner
A major corporate sponsor or Strategic Technology Partner(s) would enhance this portion of the plan. Likely candidates would be companies such as Microsoft, IBM, Compaq Computers, AT&T, MCI or a combination of these types of companies in a Strategic Alliance (companies currently seeking inroads into the real estate industry). The benefit to the STP is more than just the program exposure to REALTORS®. It is all the benefit from the RIN media blitz and all the coordinated exposure across the country, through our different marketing channels. We are really selling to the potential STP(s) the “total marketing benefit” brought by this “content”, this educational series, as it relates to and in conjunction with the RIN launch and the taking of technology to the REALTOR®. These companies spend millions on marketing and we could easily justify a commitment of at least $500,000 per year for say three years for a 1.5 million dollar commitment. And perhaps we give them a chance to recover part of it by sharing in the revenues from the program (The STP could end up paying little or perhaps not having to pay for this national exposure if we have successful programs and do better than the projection above, which is easily doable given adequate resources. Additionally, our Strategic Technology Partner would, in every possible way, include in their promotion items to the REALTOR®, their affiliation with this program. See Supporting Documents section entitled NOTE: Technology Partner Participation
Another possible partner for a source of capital and credibility is NAR. Working WITH NAR and not for NAR, not being bound by the political limitations and bureaucracy of NAR is key to the success of this alliance. If done properly, it can bring mutual benefits for all the participants (partners).
We would also make available, possibly, smaller local sponsorships. This revenue could pay the instructor’s fee.($1000 per event).
To data base first, all RIN users on line through RealTalk, remember, Trainers are also RealTalk Moderators and known by the database. Marketing would be done in conjunction with State Association meetings and through the various NAR councils.
Human Resources Required:
Production Manager – $50,000 per year
Telemarketers – $50,000 per year total
First training to be in May/June time frame, possibly NAR Washington meetings.
Curriculum Development and Maintenance
Following is the initial curriculum. Course content will be reviewed annually by an Education Review Board consisting of NAR representative (Vice President for Education), Strategic Technology Partner representative, Real Estate Electronic Publishing Company (Representing RIN and REEPCO; Saul Klein, Jack Harper, John Reilly), BAH representative (?) and two at-large members to be selected by Real Estate Electronic Publishing Company.
Rollout Training – In addition to or as a supplement to the Rollout training, a program called the REALTOR® Technology Empowerment Series has been developed. Course entitled “Paving the Way” may be an add-on to the NAR Awareness program. See financial model in Supporting Documents section.
REALTOR® TECHNOLOGY EMPOWERMENT SERIES
The following programs outline a series of training products designed to provide a solid base of understanding to the REALTOR® in areas of technology in general, and RIN in particular. These courses reflect the initial product slate for training, as well as a plan for enhancement and addition at later stages. The courses are designed to provide a “structured learning environment” so that the REALTOR® will have a path for proficiency improvement laid out for him/her.
Series I ‑ Paving the Way
In a recent book, titled “The Road Ahead”, Microsoft founder and CEO Bill Gates made these observations: “Technology isn’t going to wait until people are ready to use it. Within the next ten years, we will start to see substantial shifts in how and where we work, the companies we work for, and the places we choose to live. My advice is to try to find out as much as possible about the technology that will touch you. The more you know about it, the less disconcerting it will seem.”
This observation holds true in the real estate industry. We have seen many users express their fears of technology in ways that have little to do with the reality of those fears. They offer such sentiments as “It will never work” or “If you spend so much time on the computer, you will never have time for real estate.” One of the most often heard reasons for avoiding technological changes is the old familiar “I have always been successful without computers, and I will always be successful without them.” Of course, we recognize that these expressions are merely a cover for the real agenda. . . a deep fear that they will not be able to understand and use these new tools to their professional advantage. If they fail to embrace technology, their business will falter, so the best defense is to deny the need for technology in the first place.
We believe that the surest path to total acceptance of tools such as RIN will be to empower the REALTOR® with a base‑level understanding of technology in general, so that training in product specifics will be more readily accepted. This base‑level training will include:
1). Computer basics ‑ what makes a computer work, in very basic terms.
2). An overview of Real Estate Applications
3). An introduction to Internet and the World Wide Web
4). Understanding the practical application of computer tools in the real estate industry.
This empowerment course will be provided in two formats; CBT on floppy disk for those capable of using this medium, and Video tape for those completely at odds with personal computers. The course will be designed to be completed by the user in less than two hours, and will be self‑paced for learning at the user’s convenience. This could be an add-on to the NAR Awareness program or written into the program.
Series II ‑ An Introduction to RIN’s Basic Services
Once the user is convinced that there is a critical need to become technology‑empowered, we will be able to hold their attention long enough to pass on a solid base understanding of the RIN network and its use in the practice of real estate. This introductory course will not be designed to delve into detailed usage tips and tricks, but rather it will cover each of the system modules in a general, “get acquainted” manner.
On completion, the user will be empowered to log onto the network, and to use each of the system’s modules in an entry‑level way. The course is designed to take less than thirty minutes to complete and will be designed as a self‑paced learning tool for user convenience. Development will rely heavily on multimedia programming techniques, so as to simulate an actual online session while explaining each of the activities in both text pop‑ups and voice‑overs.
Series III ‑ RIN’s Extended Services
This series will include introductory training in the extensions to the basic RIN Desktop, including GeoData and Netscape. The series will follow the same methodology as Series II in that it will be more of a “simulation” slide show than an actual hands‑on training. Careful planning will ensure that this level of product training covers just enough ground to help the student become familiar with the tools, yet not so much as to make the learning difficult. As a result, it is anticipated that the user will complete this series in less than thirty minutes.
Summary of Empowerment Series
After completing the three courses outlined above, REALTORS® will be beyond the technology fear level that has kept them from grasping these concepts in the past. They will also have a solid understanding of the RIN network Desktop and all of the modules. There should be no holding back from making a directed beginning at including RIN in their daily business.
- RIN Certified Trainer Series (RCT) – layers of qualification criteria and annual renewal requirements. Course will be updated and changed as appropriate.
Initial Course ‑ RCT1 Level Certification
This course is designed to provide a level of product understanding that goes well beyond
standard and advanced usage. The target audience is comprised of top‑quality real estate instructors around the country who have a beginning comfort level with technology in general, some currently teaching technology courses to the real estate industry.
The course objective will be to raise the level of RIN proficiency in these instructors to a level that is sufficient for them to present the other courses to the general student population. Completion will include full testing and assessment to gain the RIN Certified Trainer (RCT1) designation ‑ enabling the instructor to teach other RIN training courses.
Course deliverables include: CBT with Workbooks (can be disk‑based for grading purposes), Hands‑on Live Session, Instructor‑led Live Session, Video Reinforcement and Role‑Play
sessions. Format for this course will be:
“Paving the Way” instruction ‑ designed to bring the audience up to date on changes to the industry and projected evolution of technology‑based real estate tools. This portion will be conducted through disk‑based instruction that will be completed by the student prior to the live session. Assessment of student comprehension will be through a test, completed by the student and uploaded to REETI prior to attendance at the live session.
RIN Basic Services – Introductory course delivered through a combination of interactive CBT and live Hands On sessions that will ensure a solid comprehension of the basic modules in the RIN Desktop.
RIN Extended Services ‑ Introductory course designed to provide initial proficiency in the use of RIN’s extended services, currently to include GeoData and Netscape. Delivery will be through a combination of interactive CBT and live Hands On sessions.
Details of Narrow casting and Private Discuss ‑ As an introduction to publishing concepts in RIN, the instructor will lead the students through the process of creating private discussion groups, culminating in the creation of a private group made up of the members of the class. This will then become an online “meeting place” for this group of RCTs for future use in idea sharing and BBS‑like sharing.
RIN Troubleshooting and Configuration Management ‑ the students will be taught the basics of communication configuration, including modem flow control, comm driver basics, upload and download techniques, and troubleshooting the installation process. Delivery will be through live presentation and Hands On session.
Real World Application of RIN ‑ this portion will be designed to help the student‑ instructor understand the many ways the RND can be used to enhance the real estate user’s business activities. Topics will include:
- Newsletter Creation through RIN
- Distribution List management for Marketing Purposes
- Transaction‑based Distribution Lists
Registered Email usage
- HomePage design and Marketing Principles
- GeoData as a Marketing Tool
- GeoData as a Client Service
- DxM Partner Products and their application
- Email for Transaction Management
- Relocation Support through LookUp
- Inter‑Company Communications through Narrowcast
- Technology’s role in rapport building with the client
Internet‑based Real Estate Principles ‑ this session will be designed to provide a solid understanding of the World Wide Web and its use as a marketing and communication device. Student‑instructors will be guided in the principles of Page Design, Response Generators, Information Passing, Outward Linking, and Page Registration.
Secrets of Powerful Presentations ‑ designed to add value to the instructor’s presentation skill set. Many of the principles taught in this session will follow the guidelines for DREI (Distinguished Real Estate Instructor) designation as offered by the Real Estate Educators Association (REEA), and will include role play and demonstration.
Final Testing and Certification ‑ the student instructors will be required to have attained and demonstrated comprehension in each of the above topics, through their class participation. Additionally, a full examination of the knowledge retention will be given at the end of the session, which will ensure that the student‑instructor has understood the principles and technologies well enough to teach them to the general population of REALTORS®. A minimum grade must be attained through the testing process before the designation of RCT1 is awarded.
- REALTOR® Technology Skills Enhancement Series (RCR) – courses to be approved wherever and whenever possible for continuing education (CE) credit. Courses to be taught by RIN Certified Trainers in a schedule promulgated by REETI. Changes to the schedule must be by approval of REETI. Course will be updated and changed as appropriate.
Once the user has become familiar with all of the tools provided by the RIN Desktop, as well as the Extended Services and the Web Site, the user will be ready to progress toward the level of the RIN Certified REALTOR® (RCR) designation. The attainment of this designation will signify that the REALTOR® has gained a technology proficiency that is beyond the norm. It will indicate a deep understanding of all phases of RIN and the highest level of application of the RIN tools in the REALTOR®’s business practice.
In a desire to make this designation a meaningful one, careful design and development planning will be applied to the creation of the training. This will necessitate development of training in a variety of formats, ensuring full proficiency and understanding on completion of all phases of training. This training will include:
1) CBT ‑ A full series of training modules will be produced as deliverables on floppy disk and/or CD ROM media. These training modules will include:
Module‑specific training. A course will be designed for each of RIN’s application modules (Mail, News, RealTalk, GeoData, HomePage) that will be detailed enough to require the user to attain full proficiency with each module, and the business application of the tools.1) Technology‑based Real Estate Practice ‑ a training module will be designed to teach the student how to apply these tools in a real‑world practical usage
situation. The module will require that the user become familiar with aspects of computer‑based marketing, transaction management, Information Packaging and client fulfillment, using the RIN Desktop.
Internet‑based Real Estate application. This module will take the user into detailed understanding of the Internet and the World Wide Web, suggesting and demonstrating methods for using these tools to enhance the client services provided by the REALTOR.
2) AUDIO CASSETTE. The student will gain reinforcement of the methods and applications provided by the CBT through the use of audiocassettes. The concepts and methods taught in the CBT will be repeated in these cassettes, providing the increased retention involved with multiple‑sensory learning. Supportive examples will be included in the form of “how RIN helps me do my job” testimonials, presented as a series of audio‑based “tips and tricks” that will be passed on at the student’s convenience.
3) WORK BOOKS will be designed to allow the user to test retention and comprehension through systematic “homework” assignments. These assignments will be used as a benchmark for the user to gauge understanding of these concepts, prior to actual testing toward certification.
Note that the workbook can be delivered as a part of the CBT modules, enabling the user to take the practice assignments online as opposed to the traditional paper workbook delivery method.
4) CERTIFICATION SEMINAR AND TESTING. Once the student has completed all of the preliminary courses (as evidenced by completion and forwarding of all homework assignments to REETI), The student will be ready to formalize that training by attending a one day seminar that will reinforce the concepts, answer any questions and finally test the student on his actual proficiency level through a “hands‑on” testing procedure. The student will be required to log onto the system and perform a series of carefully designed activities that will demonstrate whether or not the student has learned the concepts well enough to bear the designation of the RIN Certified REALTOR®. These testing sessions will be held at regular intervals in strategic locations, so that travel expenses do not become a prohibitive factor. Course completion seminars will be held by RIN Certified Trainers, who will be compensated for their efforts by the students themselves. .
- Additional Programs and Revenue Sources
Our current products can be offered in a video format and also on Satellite TV. It is good, salable content and it should be sought after by different networks. We must explore the relationship with Real Net Direct and NAR and maximize any existing opportunities (e.g. sharing material from expert TV hosts and Moderators).
Numerous courses will need to be written and delivered to the Real Estate practitioner so they have the tools they need to continue to equip them in this business. States have Continuing Education (CE) requirements, which must be fulfilled. And in the successful accomplishment of the rest of this plan, the talent and the loyal following we create will be a built- in market for future product lines. Our finely developed and managed database of satisfied customers will allow us to market future products more effectively.
Training Plan Summary
Training Plan Revenues do not include sale of training to Satellite TV, or revenue from publishing. Keep in mind that the dollars stated here are initial figures and is the direct revenue; indirect revenue of a successful education and training program will come in the form of increased RIN acceptance, usage, and purchasing of other RIN products and services. This type of revenue is more difficult to monitor, but it should be considered part of the benefit derived from this program.
The marketing will be enhanced by database management. Database can also be used to “prospect” for RIN Mall customers. It will also be enhanced by the caliber and followings we develop with our trainers, who are the best in the business. Training must not only be educational and applicable, but it must also be entertaining.
Training is essential to the success of RIN. REALTORS® must be taught the fundamentals and then the business applications. If they cannot use e-mail and the Mall, how will they ever use GeoData?
Essential to the success of this plan is adequate staffing. There is some redundancy built into this staffing model. I propose that to get things started will require one production manager and two assistant production managers immediately, the remainder of staffing to follow over the next 6 months. The office space is already available in my office in San Diego (phones are installed, copy machines, fax machines, computer are up and running).
Discussion and Objectives:
Publishing and managing discussions and information (content) in an online environment is a developing art form. Most online experts will tell you that the keys to the success of an information network is the logical flow and maintenance of the timely and pertinent content and additionally (of equal or even greater importance some argue), something known as “community”. Community is the key to accomplishing the cultural shift necessary to move a body of people from “off-line” to online. In today’s world of “information overload” and unlimited Internet choices, the Realtors Information Network (RIN) has a unique opportunity to electronically publish the information and ideas REALTORS® need to maintain the competitive edge in business and in their lives. This Publishing Plan will explain how the publishers will develop, present and maintain high quality content in the discussion forums, resource libraries, and online educational offerings(separate from the live training programs) of RIN. In addition, it will explain how REALTalk acts as a focal point of communication with our primary customer, the REALTOR® subscriber.
The primary value of, and the initial impetus for the RIN development is the providing of material information that will enable the REALTOR® to offer valuable services to the consumer, allowing the REALTOR® to maintain a position that is central and essential to the real estate transaction. Key to this objective, will be the ability to gather and distribute that information in a timely and convenient, user-friendly manner and in a format that is both professional and meaningful to the client.
This is one of the primary functions of the RIN Publisher. The RIN Network Desktop has been designed to be, and will become a valuable storehouse of information that is fast becoming critical to the successful practice of real estate. Within this repository, data and information is stored and accessed in a variety of locations and with a variety of paths. Due to both the nature of this information and the size of the information files, it is difficult to provide “single path access” that will enable the user to quickly gather that which is needed and assemble it into a deliverable report to the client. One of the major functions of the RIN Publisher will be to provide direct and indirect links to the data that will help the REALTOR® perform this activity. Initially, we will provide text‑based descriptions and instructions that help the user understand “where to look” for the information. As time allows, we will provide a “cross reference” ability so users need only look in one location and find pointers to the other information that might have relevance to their immediate need.
As the RND evolves, we anticipate feature additions that will allow us to continually build hyperlinks from one location in RIN to other locations that hold relevant information. These links will be probably located within RealTalk. As an example, assume that the user needs information on putting together a transaction in a given city, and of a given type. . . and that the user desires to build a Distribution List for communicating status to all participants to that transaction. We would create a topic and threads that would contain instructional messages on how to use GeoData to gather the required information about the property and area, including direct hyperlink statements that would take the user directly into the GeoData module. We would also have messages describing the creation of a distribution list, including hyperlinks directly into the appropriate area. These are simplistic examples, but one can begin to imagine how these tools can be of tremendous value to the user.
As is indicated by the above, the duties and responsibilities of the Publisher go beyond RealTalk. The Publisher continually works to insure continuity and use of all modules on the RIN Network Desktop. This can only be accomplished by adherence to an overall Network Publishing Plan. “Text without context is pretext”. To look at each RIN product module separately is to view them out of the context and may not give an accurate picture. While this plan focuses primarily on RealTalk, it does bring into consideration necessary links to the other product modules. The six essential ingredients in the Publishing Plan are:
- The Publisher
- Educational and “publishable” products
- Related RIN Modules
- Links to the Training Plan
Each will be discussed separately, but in practice they all work together to enliven and enrich the conversations between the REALTOR® and RIN; Vendors and RIN; Vendors and REALTORS®. Some of the educational products will generate revenue; RealTalk, will not only have direct revenue but will have a tremendous effect on increased sales of the RIN Network Desktop (RND) and overall REALTOR® participation and use of all the products and services offered through/on RIN.
Implementation of Publishing Plan
Necessary to the success of the plan are the skills and experiences brought to RIN by the Publishing Team, led by Saul Klein as the RIN Publisher, and John Reilly and Jack Harper as Associate Publishers. Their credentials and expertise are available in the Supporting Documents section (resumes) and bring credibility to the effort that is unmatched in the real estate industry today. They also bring the intangibles of personality, so essential to the establishing of community online.
It is proposed that the role of Publisher be filled by a separate corporate entity, the Real Estate Electronic Publishing Company (a current corporate structure has been set up for this possibility. It may be prudent, however, to have corporate attorneys review the benefits of incorporation in states such as Delaware and Nevada). This will further remove RIN from many of the yet to be determined liabilities of online publishing (copyright infringement, defamation, anti trust). It will also serve as a “political buffer” from the politics of organized real estate. RIN will have the option of becoming a stockholder in this entity, now or at some point in the future. Another option would be to hire the Publishing Team either as independent contractors or as employees. These issues need to be further discussed. The Publisher is tasked with knowing about all the content, on the private network side as well as the Internet side of RIN.
When it comes to online services, content is king. At the heart of this plan to provide top quality content to RIN’s business and communication network are the National Electronic Publishers, a team of whom are arguably considered the most highly qualified individuals serving in this capacity on any online service in the world. RIN’s Electronic Publishing Team of Saul Klein, John Reilly, and Jack Harper have over 70 years experience in the fields of real estate, communication, law, and technology (see resumes in Supporting Documents Section). Together they lead a group of nationally known real estate personalities and subject area experts, who serve as Moderators, or discussion group leaders. In order to insure that content is current, accurate, and responsive to the immediate needs of the user, procedures have been set up to evaluate existing discussion corners, create new ones, and stimulate increased participation. The current structure of RealTalk is as follows:
16 “Corners” (technically these are known as banners)
26 “Discussion areas” (technically known as books)
160 “Discussions (threads)”
What makes RealTalk different from most bulletin boards is that each area is monitored by an appropriate subject area expert, and the overall content is reviewed numerous times daily by the publishing staff.
In addition to the on going discussions, action plans have been drafted to create and implement a series of online seminars using expert panelists on hot topics and forums on “hot products”.
A rich feature of these seminars is the ability to tap the wealth of knowledge of the audience, many of whom add a fresh perspective to the expert’s discussions. Rarely is there time in live presentations to respond to audience questions and entertain comments. Because the online seminars are open for a two week period, there is ample time for all to participate. Many authors/panelists are excited about the opportunity to obtain immediate feedback from the audience ‑‑ in some cases this direct contact with the end user motivates the experts to redirect their thinking about key issues. Transcripts from these seminars will be archived in the library for later review or downloading.
These online seminars can vary between open posting and narrow‑cast postings. This presents an opportunity to charge a fee for participation, which fee can partly be used to attract some of the more visible “for hire” industry celebrities.
Also planned are online interviews with top industry personalities, including authors of leading edge books (e.g., John Tuccillo). In some cases, technology vendors will pay a fee to be interviewed online and have the ability to explain the advantages of their products in direct dialogue with the consumer. Further content is made available by maintaining a software library for downloading helpful shareware and freeware, with the Publishers making certain the files are tested and scanned for virus prior to being made available in this forum. There is a RealTalk library to archive files and articles by Moderators and other contributors (including downloadable pass‑along, like checklists and forms that users can give to clients and prospects).
Recognizing that content is only valuable if it is easy to find and use, RealTalk will develop online features to facilitate the task of filtering down the information relevant to individual users; for example, use of the ticker tape screen; a splash screen for highlights; a “personal alert” system. The most important user tool will be an efficient Search function, to identify by key words those topics appearing throughout the RealTalk discussions, library, and even RINmall. As a supplement to the RIN Training program, RealTalk will encourage online discussion of user problems, issues and shortcuts ‑‑ demonstrating how to use RealTalk to solve a problem and obtain free advice.
Considerable time and effort will be expended in the original and ongoing design of the RealTalk module, so that the topics stay fresh and relevant to the real estate practitioner’s daily needs, creating a feeling of “up‑to‑the‑minute” conversations. Good design requires a common‑sense flow to the menu banners, topics, subtopics and subsequent discussion threads.
Once the initial design has been set, constant and frequent monitoring of the activity within the topics and threads will be conducted with these objectives in mind:
- Track activity high points to be able to predict the direction of discussions, providing new distinct topical areas for discussions of high activity.
- Evaluate low‑activity threads and topics to assess their value. If the value is good, yet the input needs a motivating boost, the publishers will direct the Moderator to begin a carefully orchestrated series of postings, designed to elicit response from the subscribers.
- Manage the length of the discussion threads and keep threads to a size and content that remains fresh and interesting. This will result in purging many of the appends and reposting them to appropriate archive slots for future access, inserting in the newly cleaned thread a pointer to those archives.
- Continually seek and create new topic ideas ‑‑ this involves direct solicitation of input from Moderators and subscribers, frequency tracking, and analysis leading to a decision to add a new discussion slot on the menu.
- Monitor each thread on at least a daily basis to insure that improper postings are deleted before problems arise. Improper postings include personal advertising, excessively inflammatory messages, foul language and the like. Improperly placed messages will also be deleted and reposted to the correct thread.
Publishers will regularly schedule limited‑term online interviews and seminars. These seminars don’t just happen. They must be carefully planned, with key panelists selected. In some cases, an outside expert will need to be trained in posting on the RIN system and provision made for temporary use of a RND Desktop. Revenue generating seminars will require special attention, especially where state continuing education credit is sought.
As noted earlier, Publishers have created an area within RealTalk where subscribers can find certain software and documents helpful in their practice. In some cases, important documents will need to be scanned and turned into text files for easy access. Publishers must constantly solicit new material and monitor the information to keep it fresh and relevant.
Because of the direct contact with the entire user base, the Publishers will be called upon to explain certain features of RIN and their usage, and point users in the direction of Customer Support if questions concern a support issue. Publishers act as an Information Conduit for these purposes, gathering and passing the information between the correct departments, and providing noise‑level feedback. We all have a stake in responding promptly to customer concerns.
Many of the Moderators and Publishers are in constant touch with the Internet for real estate specific purposes, continually scanning for new and valuable information that would assist the REALTOR in performing more efficient services. Through the RealTalk Internet Forum, moderated by RINTALK’s Webmaster, we will feed a steady stream of URLs, FTP addresses and real estate related newsgroups that will be of value to the subscribers of RIN.
To accomplish the above, the publishing staff will be trained in the programming requirements to build new discussion banner slots, as well as create effective search tools. With the overwhelming amounts of information available in electronic form, it is essential that every bit of information be entered into the RIN system in a format and style consistent with the specifications of RIN’s search tools. Without a doubt, the search feature will be the key to an efficient system, one that stands RIN apart from the competition. We must be able to create a Personal Preference Profile for each subscriber. The ideal is to turn on the computer, click on Personal Alert and see a list of new postings in areas of special concern to that particular subscriber. Such an added‑value feature cannot be accomplished unless there is order and consistency to the monitored postings.
At present there are over 20 Moderators. Rather than provide direct compensation, the Plan envisions creating opportunities for Moderators to make additional income based on the exposure they receive as part of the RIN Moderator team (also known as the RINner Circle). Some examples of this indirect income are free home page on RINTALK; free RIN Desktop and usage; discount on sale of personal products thru RINmall; sales commission on sale of RND; teaching income as RIN Trainer; development of CBT courses, books for sale; and yet to be created revenue ideas.
Moderators agree to abide by a set of operating guidelines. Detailed procedures and policies for the recruitment, training, supervision, and compensation of Moderators will be established in a Moderator Manual. Part of the Moderator’s responsibility is to provide periodic updates for the RINTALK home page on the Internet, and to seek out cross‑links for RINTALK and NAR home pages with other pages. As noted, the Moderator’s job is to spread the RIN message to as wide an audience as possible. In addition, Moderators are trained to use the resources of RealTalk to market NAR, RIN, Real Property Ads, and the other modules on RIN. Their principal responsibility is to keep the threads alive with fresh conversations among a variety of participants, acting more as a facilitator than as an author of information.
Moderator Benefits and Compensation:
Free Access to RND
Free Home Page on RINTalk
Special RIN Mall Section with Moderator products
Seminar potential as a RCT
Exposure to the RIN audience
Potential revenue sharing based on success of their “Corner” (after adaquate data is available, 1997)
There are two types of revenue to consider; direct and indirect
- Online time charge – Publishers (and Moderators) will perform internal marketing activities to promote usage of E-Mail, Library, GeoData, RIN Mall, Info, Look-Up, and News through our direct contact with the user in RealTalk. A user who questions “How can I get my prospecting on track” will be advised to go to the RIN Mall and take a look at the Top Producer Product to increase their productivity and get them on track (or the XYZ product to help them reach their goals). When a user asks for advice on “how to build a killer listing or buyer presentation”, the Publisher will explain the process of creating powerful GeoData based packages. Users looking for contract language or the latest rulings on agency or disclosure will be directed to the appropriate section of the Library where they will find the answers.
Users who are not frequent RealTalk participants will hear from the Publisher (in an informative and valuable way) on a regular basis. Publishers will track all usage on a user/slot basis, and will send “teaser” snippets of discussions to the non-users in an effort to attract them through value-demonstration. Complete user profiles are imperative to this sort of effort and our request for what we would like to see in the profiles have been submitted to BAH (through Jennifer Condro).
- Software and Hardware (product) Forums. It will be necessary to solicit sponsorship and advertising for the online seminars from the many vendors who currently sell products to the real estate industry. Imagine the value to a company like Top Producer in being able to host a Top Producer seminar in RealTalk for a week or two. Participation in the seminar would be promoted through Email, Ticker, and potentially the Splash Screen. The vendor companies would be willing to pay a handsome fee for the opportunity to discuss their latest products to such a targeted and large audience.
The relative merit to the vendors will be assessed by tracking sales volume of their products through the RIN Mall during the seminar time period. Example: Software Corner moderator hosts a two week forum on Top Producer, Super CMA, where sponsor participates in Q&A with subscribers. Vendors will be able to spend a few weeks discussing their products and plans directly to their prospect base in a conversational format, thus obtaining feedback for the vendor as well. This is at a fee to the vendor. REEPCO will design the forum, market the concept effectively through our existing industry contact base, and manage the internal promotion and implementation.
Publishers will continue to identify opportunities for value and revenue. The goal is to enhance the users experience and provide additional revenue for RIN whenever possible. Such opportunities include a series of RIN sponsored publications, such as training manuals and technology newsletters.
- Seminars. We anticipate hosting several monthly seminars in RealTalk. These seminars will be a more formalized version of the regular RealTalk discussions, with the added value of featuring a “celebrity” or “expert” guest speaker. Many of these people hold live seminars and are recognized speakers within the industry. The REALTOR will usually pay a fee to attend these live seminars, where they do no more than sit and listen to the speaker talk about a topic. In the online seminar, the user will still pay, yet we anticipate that the fee will be lower, due to amortization over a larger audience than can be accommodated in a live forum. Additionally, the user will be able to interact directly with the guest, through posted messages. This will add the value of making the seminar more directly geared toward each specific user’s needs. The seminar dialogue then becomes a content resource for the Library or perhaps future publishing efforts (e.g. edited version available for a fee on RINTalk). All Seminars will be free in 1996.
- Publishing: Sale of actual content to MSN/AOL/Compuserve, or “sell” our publishers and moderators time to other services (to participate and enliven their programs, or perhaps, re-write their programs.
- Web Site Sponsorship ‑ Since the RINTALK web pages (separate from the rest of RIN’s web page)are visited by both consumers and REALTORS®, there is an ever‑increasing value in offering page sponsorship to many types of companies. Title Companies, Lenders, Home Warranty, Attorneys and more will be very willing to pay a fee for either an advertising splash in these pages or a direct link from our pages to their pages. Critical mass of listings and interest in RIN and NAR will generate massive volumes of “hits” to our pages, the fee for this advertising can create a fairly lucrative income, more than offsetting the cost for these pages.
RIN has an opportunity to take advantage of what Bill Gates refers to in his book, The Road Ahead, as a “positive feedback loop”. The forces that are in play and those that can be brought to bare will create a synergistic marketing plan that will insure the success of the RIN launch, the Training Plan, RealTalk, and RIN in general Marketing will be accomplished through:
- The Training Program – The first group of RIN trainers will be moderators. They will,
at the Rollout Trainings, have an opportunity to “rub flesh” with the user, to personalize RIN and draw new users to RealTalk where they will be able to speak online with someone they met and were impressed with at a RIN presentation they attended. The following series of courses will also be taught by the expanding base of moderators, always inviting the REALTOR® to join us in “conversation” on RealTalk. These trainers can demonstrate all the online features designed specifically for use in the REALTORS’® practice, thus distinguishing RIN from other commercial online services.
- On RIN – ticker, splash Page, selected email and online promotional events.
- On other online services – using member search tools to identify and communicate with all those people with “real estate” and other well-chosen search words in their user profiles.
- WWW pages that pertain to real estate will be included in an email campaign as well as specifically targeting currently well-populated real estate “bulletin boards” on the Internet.
- Cross linking to other sites that promote RIN (AOL and REEA currently point to RINTALK).
- On RINTALK with a “state of the art” web page designed to capture “net surfers” and provide them with a reason to come back. As the content of this page gets better and better, more visits, and revenue stream from sponsors. Content will be provided by Publishers and Moderator Team.
- Snail Mail campaign – from association mailing lists, base choice of mailing on profiles of members contained in NAR member and/or convention database.
- Utilizing the resources of organized real estate, getting key association volunteers and as much staff as possible to start using RIN as a way to communicate with the membership (NAR Staff, State and Local Executive Officers and Board Presidents).
Affiliated groups such as Women’s Council (speak at all their events in 1996).
- Through our Moderators and their followings. Through our army of new RIN Certified Trainers
- Sponsors and Partners – Utilizing different marketing pieces and events of our partners and sponsors to promote the discussions on RealTalk.
The major business objective of RINTALK is to take advantage of the WorldWide Web to disseminate information about RIN to the widest audience in the least expensive manner. It is the link to the vast number of consumers on the Internet. We will integrate into RINTALK the written material found in RIN brochures and flyers, and we will direct efforts to register RINTALK with many search engines; establish cross‑links with popular real estate and related web sites; and spread the word to real estate newsgroups and mail lists, as well as encourage Moderators to reference RINTALK in their publications and presentations.
RINTAL showcases to the online world the exciting events happening on RealTalk(and other modules of RIN’s closed business network) ‑‑ for example, the expert roundtable seminars, interviews with key figures, and fast‑breaking hot topics. Such highlighting of “mini‑discussions” will illustrate why a real estate licensee should subscribe to RIN (after first becoming a Realtor) and why the consumer should prefer to deal with a RIN‑assisted Realtor. RINTALK becomes a useful tool in marketing RIN to those already on line and who are likely more impressed with electronic marketing than with standard print brochures. RINTALK can promote the RIN Presentation Team who will be conducting key seminars and presentations across the country‑‑with information on profiles, schedules, and interactive requests for appearances.
For RINTALK to be effective, it requires a full‑time Webmaster whose job it is to make RINTALK as entertaining and informative as possible, so that viewers will drop in to visit on a regular basis. Moderators will be asked to contribute portions of their hot tips, frequently asked questions, and articles. The Webmaster will also develop an active Related Web Sites section using hypertext links to valuable information in a simple point and click format. There is an email system to alert viewers when updates are made. Planned is a hypertext glossary to explain key words found in the text.
RINTALK keeps us in touch with the marketplace. Already in place is a simple point and click email comment system so consumers can instantly send questions and comments to particular Moderators who can then decide which material is worth bringing to the attention of Realtors in RealTalk discussions. Online polls and surveys can gather statistical data on key issues such as buyer brokerage or real estate agent satisfaction levels.
- Educational Products
The acceptance of computers and online communications has paved the way for a variety of educational offerings including online seminars for a fee to narrowcast groups, downloadable computer based instruction programs with or without state mandatory continuing education credit, books/booklets, software, power presentation programs, etc. Authors for many of these offerings are found within our own Moderators who can use the discussion forums to talk about the issues and promote the material in RINTALK as well.
While RealTalk will regularly have free online seminars, there is a market for narrowcast seminars, especially on specialized topics ‑‑ for example, dealing in commercial properties in Russia. Typical live seminars require substantial commitments of travel time and money for participants ‑‑faculty and students alike. People are recognizing the value in being able to listen to high‑profile experts, and pose questions to them and engage in dialogue, all from the comfort and convenience of one’s computer desktop. The seminar business has been big business ‑‑‑ online seminars will take this to the next level and we are on the ground floor of this new business.
Many states are updating their education regulations to permit computer based instruction as an acceptable alternative delivery system to live classroom hours. There are obvious benefits to students and school administrators. Courses can be for CE credit , for specialty designation, and for pure information purposes. As our Moderators expand their national reputation, opportunities will arise for them to develop computer based instruction programs under our direction and development expertise(requires a Course Administrator/Acquisitions Editor). In some cases, computer based instruction can be combined with live classroom presentations. The marketing of these courses will be thru RealTalk, RIN Mall and RINTALK, as well as to our ever-expanding database of prior students. RealTalk will be able to develop its own products such as Year‑End highlights of key discussions.
The Publishers will create new ways for authors of real estate information to publish their material as electronic booklets and downloadable software. Traditionally, talented authors have had to decide between giving their copyright to a national publisher in return for a very low royalty (below 10% of gross revenue after discounts to trade stores) or going the self‑publishing route in which they had to contend with inventory, marketing and fulfillment issues. With electronic publishing, overhead costs are severely reduced (no printing, binding, postage, returned books, etc), thus increasing percentages of profit for both author and publisher. Purchasers can complete the sale online and have the book in their computer within minutes of deciding to purchase. Electronic marketing can be managed inexpensively using RINTALK and email broadcast to the growing database of RIN clients.
REEP is on the leading edge of introducing living textbooks for the real estate industry. With the extensive use of hypertext, a single text can address the needs of novice and expert alike. Using tax exchange as an example (Moderator Mike Garcia is one of the top international tax exchange experts), the text could hypertext key concepts, words, or statute citations ‑‑‑ the novice would click on a word or a lengthy statute cite and receive a full explanation, whereas experienced exchangers would keep reading until they found hyperlink material worthy of a quick reference. The books become longer or shorter depending on the background of the individual reader. In essence, each book is customized to the reader.
- Related RIN Modules
The Publishing function should extend to other RIN modules, especially Library, LookUp and, to some extent, RIN Mall. There is a need to have a common “look and feel” to all items in the Library
Even though there is a need to publish state‑specific information on a state‑by‑state basis ‑‑ there must be a structure against which the user will be able to perform efficient searches. The searches will fail if applied against multiple formats of data and text. Publishing is required here, to the level of a publishing‑capable programmer.
Although RIN will be able to draw upon many NAR sources for library content, the publishers can add significant value to this content area, feeding information to the library from all standard and some non-standard sources; creating strategic relationships with outside sources of information; Legal Reviews, Real Estate Educators and Authors, Motivational Providers and so on. Under these relationships, these source providers will receive visibility to the RIN user base, while RIN then provides this as value added content to its users.
Lookup – an often-overlooked tool
What a great feature if one could look up community members based not only on location, name, or company, but also based on designations, and specialization. Imagine the value of a tool that would enable you to immediately search for a CRS in Pittsburgh, PA who specializes in multi‑family properties and is willing to pay a 30% referral fee. This is added value. Users could build distribution lists based on searchable criteria (all GRI members, for example) and use these lists in a referral promotion campaign.
Taking this one step further, we could make this list available, on request, to the general public through RINTALK. The search will present a list of members meeting the criteria and allow the consumer to send an email message requesting information from one or all of the matching members. Here’s a real reason for a REALTOR to decide to subscribe to RIN ‑‑ a tangible benefit that will put money back in the REALTOR’s pocket.
- Links to Training Plan
RIN in many cases, is selling access to information, that access which requires a tool, the personal computer. The audience to which RIN is selling is only moderate to poor on the scale of computer literacy. At the same time, the awareness of the need to become more computer literate is there and becoming more receptive daily. This makes training a viable distribution channel and marketing opportunity for the RND and, if the training is done by RealTalk Moderators, the process of socialization and familiarity in participating in online discussions can be started in person. Training now serves as:
- A revenue stream
- A sales opportunity
- A marketing opportunity for RealTalk by personalizing RIN.
At the same time, RealTalk promotes the training programs. Eventually the only marketing we will have to do for any of our programs is to announce them online.
Human Resources Required
In addition to the Publishers and Moderators, a full time publishing assistant will soon be required, much the same as one is required for RIN Mall.
Publisher’s Compensation – As has been shown in the entire Training and Publishing Plan, there are numerous areas to derive compensation for the Publishers. At present, to continue with the current level of RealTalk publishing and to move forward with the training program development, it will be necessary to compensate John Reilly and Jack Harper a minimum of $5,000 each per month. In addition, a yet to be determined portion of the profits from training and publishing and an ownership interest in REETI for the three publishers. Saul Klein’s compensation is covered under a separate contract at this point. The Publishers are willing to base the major portion of their compensation on the success of these ventures. They seek the go ahead to move forward in what will be profitable for all parties concerned.
Resume of Saul Klein
Resume of John Reilly
Resume of Jack Harper
Terms and Conditions for Use of RealTalk
Moderator’s Agreement and Guidelines
RealTalk Discuss Groups
Training Product Financial Projections
Sample Training Event Budget (actual)
SAUL D. KLEIN
October 1979 National Speaker
to present Courses and seminars offered in real estate, personal finance, taxation, leadership and management, time management and personal productivity. Over 10,000 “platform hours” of public speaking experience.
April 1986 President of Saul D. Klein and Associates, Inc.
to present An one‑stop financial services organization. Products and services include tax preparation, tax planning, financial planning, securities sales, insurance sales and general business consulting.
February 1985 Director of D. F. Anthony Group
to present A real estate service and education company. Experienced in acquisition, sale, and property management of residential, residential income, and commercial properties. Public and private seminars. Litigation consulting and expert witness services.
October 1979 President of People International & Real Estate 2
to Feb. 1985 Involved in all aspects of real estate: property management, sales of single‑family residential, condominiums, multi-family , business opportunities, and raw land. Property management experience includes residential management supervision in California, Arizona, New Mexico, Texas and Nevada.
October 1979 Investment Counselor and Real Estate Broker
to 1983 Involved in troubleshooting and consulting for over 100 real estate limited partnerships. Participated as a general partner in approximately 20 successful limited, general, and tenants‑in‑common partnerships.
October 1979 Instructor for Anthony Schools of San Diego &
to June 1990 Grossmont College
Courses taught include Real Estate Practices, Real Estate Principals, Tax Aspects of Real Estate, Agency, Ethics, Real Estate Office Aministration, Syndication and Economics. Subject areas include forms of ownership, encumbrances, land and legal descriptions, contracts, real estate law, real estate finance, tax aspects and appraisal.
March 1977 Sales Manager of “The Condominium Center”
to Oct. 1979 Managed a staff of up to 25 sales agents. Responsible for all aspects of operation. Developed policy manual and training manual, which included training in common interest subdivisions.
June 1972 Naval Officer ‑ Surface Warfare
to March 1977 USS Mount Vernon (LSD 39) – Aug. 1972 to Mar. 1975
Combat Information Center Officer
USS Elliott (DD 967) – Mar. 1975 to Mar. 1977
Navigator/ Personnel Officer
COMMUNITY President, San Diego Association of REALTORS® 1993
INVOLVEMENT: President, Adams Avenue Business Improvement District‑1987
Secretary Adams Avenue Business Improvement District -1986
Treasurer Adams Avenue Business Association-1985
Member of the Mid-City Revitalization Task Force and Financ
San Diego County Sunset Review Committee Taxation Task Force – 1994
Life Member – Disabled American Veterans
EDUCATION: Herbert Hoover High School ‑ San Diego, 1967
United States Naval Academy – Annapolis, 1972 BS
California Teaching Credential:
Real Estate, Taxes, Math, History, English, Government
Graduate REALTORS® Institute – GRI
College for Financial Planning – CFP
LICENSES: California Real Estate Broker
General Securities License ‑ Series 7, 24, & 63
Life and Disability Insurance
Certified Tax Preparer
ORGANIZED REAL ESTATE ACTIVITIES
San Diego Association of REALTORS® Activities:
Professional Advancement Committee – 1979
Professional Standards Committee – 1988/89
Director – 1989/90
By-Laws Committee Chair – 1990
Strategic Planning Committee Vice Chair – 1990
Vice President – 1991
Executive Committee – 1991/92/93/94
Strategic Planning Chair – 1991
President-Elect – 1992
Executive Committee – 1992
IMPAC President – 1992
BORPAC President – 1992
President – 1993
President SDCCAR – 1993
Escondido Merger Task Force – 1993
SANDICOR Shareholder Representative (MLS) – 1993
Membership Committee Vice Chair – 1994/95
MLS Task Force – 1994
Nominating Committee Chair – 1994
Salary Review Committee Chair – 1994
Strategic Planning Committee – 1994
Executive Officer Review Committee – Committee Chair – 1994
Employee’s Retirement Plan Review Task Force Chair – 1994
Orientation Speaker – 1992/93/94/95
Real Estate Trustees – 1995/96/97
Professional Standards Committee – 1995
California Association of REALTORS® Activities:
Director – 1991/92/93/94/95/96
Taxation Committee – 1991/92
Commercial Investment Forum – 1991
Board President, Leadership Forum – 1993
Assistant Regional Chair – 1994
Nominating Committee – 1994
Regional Chair, Region 24 -1995
Taxation Committee – 1996
National Association of REALTORS® Activities:
Legislative Forum – 1994
Real Estate Finance Committee – 1994
Risk Management Forum – 1995
Membership Development and Promotion Forum – 1995
Fair Housing Forum – 1995
Public Policy Forum – 1996
California Association of Buyer’s Agents
EALTORS INFORMATION NETWORK – National Electronic Publisher/REALTOR® Consultant
Author of Real Estate Courses
Ethics, Professional Conduct, and the Real Estate Professional – Approved by the California Department of Real Estate for 3 hours of “Continuing Education Credit”
Agency– Questions of Choice: Practicing Real Estate in California – Approved by the California Department of Real Estate for 3 hours of “Continuing Education Credit”
How to List Buyers – Approved by the California Department of Real Estate for 6 hours of “Continuing Education Credit”
Financial Planning for the Real Estate Professional – Approved by the California Department of Real Estate for 3 hours of “Continuing Education Credit“
Tax Aspects of Real Estate for the Real Estate Professional – Approved by the California Department of Real Estate for 3 hours of “Continuing Education Credit”
California Association of REALTORS®
San Diego Association of REALTORS®
The Robert Bruss California Real Estate Law Newsletter – 1993/94/95
America Online – Real Estate Section
REALTORS Information Networ
National Electronic Publisher – REALTORS Information Network
PROGRAM SPONSORS AND ENDORSERS
CITY OF CORONADO
SANDAG (combined governments of San Diego County)
SAN DIEGO GAS AND ELECTRIC COMPANY
BANK OF AMERICA – Hawaii
CHASE MANHATTAN BANK
HOME SAVINGS OF AMERICA
GREAT WESTERN SAVINGS AND LOAN
WELLS FARGO BANK
AMERICAN MORTGAGE EXPRESS
NATIONAL HOME MORTGAGE CORPORATION
MC MILLIN REALTY
COASTAL COUNTY ESCROW
GATEWAY TITLE COMPANY
FIRST AMERICAN TITLE COMPANY
STEWART TITLE COMPANY
CHICAGO TITLE COMPANY
MC MILLIN COMMUNITY NEW HOME SALES
PRINTING INDUSTRIES ASSOCIATION OF SAN DIEGO
NATIONAL ASSOCIATION OF REALTORS®
HAWAII ASSOCIATION OF REALTORS®
CALIFORNIA ASSOCIATION OF REALTORS®
HONOLULU ASSOCIATION OF REALTORS®
MAUI BOARD OF REALTORS®
ALBUQUERQUE BOARD OF REALTORS®
SAN DIEGO ASSOCIATION OF REALTORS®
SAN JOSE REAL ESTATE BOARD
INLAND EMPIRE WEST ASSOCIATION OF REALTORS®
POMONA VALLEY BOARD OF REALTORS®
WOMEN’S COUNCIL OF REALTORS®
ASSOCIATION EXECUTIVES INSTITUTE
CALIFORNIA ASSOCIATION OF BUYER’S AGENTS
UNION TRIBUNE PUBLISHING COMPANY
HONOLULU STAR BULLETIN
SAN JOSE MERCURY NEWS
BUILDING INDUSTRY ASSOCIATION
MORTGAGE BROKER’ S ASSOCIATION
KEMPER FINANCIAL SERVICES
OPPENHEIMER FINANCIAL SERVICES
Saul has been quoted in the Wall Street Journal, Business Journal, Good Housekeeping, San Diego Union, Frontline, New York Times, Scientific Research, San Diego Executive, California Real Estate, Michigan REALTOR®, as well as numerous radio and television media.
Listening to Saul Klein, 1993 President of the San Diego Association of REALTORS®, you begin to understand why experts throughout the real estate industry line up to hear what he has to say.
He is a nationally recognized speaker who, over the last 15 years, has spent more than 10,000 hours in front of real estate professionals, consumers, association staffs and volunteers, most recently as the REALTOR® Consultant to the REALTORS Information Network.
“In all areas of our lives we are witnessing and experiencing a great social, economic, and technological revolution. The real estate industry, like all industries, will be forever changed and restructured in the next 5 years. Is your association, and more importantly, are your members ready to participate in the opportunities that will be created? Or will they be casualties of the revolution?”
How is your Association preparing for:
- Board of Choice
- Possible mergers and/or consolidations
- Declining membership
- Information system technologies and regional multiple listing services
- Changing roles of staff and volunteers
- Future leadership
- Public Access to MLS
- Challenges to Ethics and Agency
Change will continue at an accelerating pace as we race into the future. The way we conducted our individual businesses and ran our associations 10 years ago is not the way we run them today, and the way we run them today will not be the way we run them in the future. The time to prepare for the change is NOW.
Saul’s presentations are tailored to your specific needs. Bring a member’s perspective, staff’s concern, and consumer’s awareness to your next Annual Meeting or trade show, strategic planning session, or leadership program. You won’t be disappointed.
Born and raised in Ossining, New York
53 years old
Married, three children
State of Hawaii resident since 1970
Business address: Pitluck Kido Sato & Stone
701 Bishop Street, Ground Floor
Honolulu, HI 96813
Ossining High School, Ossining, New York
High School Diploma 1959
Hamilton College, Clinton, New York
Fordham Law School, New York City, New York
REAL ESTATE RELATED COURSES
Real Property I ‑ Fordham Law School
Real Property II ‑ Fordham Law School
Mortgages ‑ Fordham Law School
Tax Aspects of Real Estate Transactions ‑
University of California, Berkeley, California
REAL ESTATE RELATED EXPERIENCE
Judge Advocate’s General’s Corps, U.S. Army, Captain, Legal Assistance Officer, and Real Estate Officer at Oakland Army Base.
General Counsel for two Hawaii based real estate developers; Hadley Properties, developer of the AMFAC Center; and General Hawaiian Corporation.
Vice‑President, Stapleton/Reilly Associates, Inc.
Real estate development consulting and real estate education.
July, 1976 to July, 1977
Educational Consultant to Hawaii Real Estate Commission.
March 1975 to present
Attorney specializing in real estate law; author; and real estate educator.
July 1984 to present
Agency consultant to Hawaii Real Estate Commission and National Association of Real Estate License Law Officials.
National consultant on real estate testing to American College Testing (ACT) and Applied Measurement Professionals (AMP).
Consultant to Hawaii State Housing Finance & Development Corporation to write consumer leasehold disclosure information booklets.
Consultant to Coronet Films to develop video on agency disclosure.
Adjunct Professor, University of Hawaii Law School, Real Property Transactions.
Since 1973, licensed real estate instructor for salesperson and broker courses. Have taught over 15,000 students.
Organized and coordinated courses for private continuing education programs comprised of advanced courses in real estate law, finance, investments and sales.
Lecturer for various Hawaii Association of Realtors education programs.
Instructor, University of Hawaii Small Business Management Program, “Advanced Real Estate Contract Law.”
Lectured to Hawaii Association of Legal Secretaries on real estate practice.
Lectured on Agency, on Agreements of Sale, and on Leasehold Disclosure to numerous real estate brokerage companies.
Instructor in GRI program for Hawaii Association of Realtors, “Real Estate Contract Law.”
Lecturer to Hawaii Institute for Continuing Legal Education.
BOOKS WRITTEN ON REAL ESTATE
The Language of Real Estate in Hawaii, published October 1975.
Principles and Practices of Hawaiian Real Estate, co‑author with Paige B.Vitousek, Trade Publishing, Honolulu, Hawaii, 12th Edition, 1991.
The Language of Real Estate, 4th Edition, 1993 Real Estate Education Company, Chicago.
Hawaii Conveyance Manual, co‑author for Hawaii Institute for Continuing Legal Education, 1983.
Questions and Answers to Pass the Real Estate Exam, Real Estate Education Company, 1983, 4th Edition, 1993.
Agency Relationships in Real Estate, Real Estate Education Company, 2nd Edition, 1994.
Agency Relationships in California, Real Estate Education Company, 1987.
Agency Disclosure: The Complete Office Policy Guide, REVEI, 1988.
Consensual Dual Agency, co‑author, 1993.
Texas Real Estate Agency, Real Estate Education Company, co-author, 1994.
Who Represents Who?, REVEI, 1988
Hawaii Commercial Real Estate Manual, contributing author, HICLE, 1988.
Member of the Federal Bar and the Bars of Hawaii, New York and California
Member of the Real Property, Probate and Trust Law Section of the American Bar Association. Past Chairman of Sub‑Committee on Dual Agency/Buyer Brokerage
Licensed real estate broker in California and Hawaii
Member of Hawaii Association of Realtors and their Forms Committee and Governmental Affairs Committee
Director of Real Estate Educators Association (REEA) and Past President (1990).
Director of the Aloha Chapter of REEA.
Holder of DREI designation, Designated Real Estate Instructor (REEA).
Awarded the National Real Estate Educator of the Year by REEA. Nominated for NAR National Real Estate Educator of the Year by the Hawaii Association of Realtors for 1989 & 1990.
Jack brings a unique background and skill set to the RIN effort. A REALTOR(R) since 1984, he is experienced from a practical vantage point in the needs and technical abilities of the industry practitioners. Jack has managed residential real estate offices and has participated on the board of directors for several companies involved in the real estate industry.
Having attained the GRI designation in 1986, Jack is well versed in the need for extensive and meaningful education as a continuing part of the industry growth process.
Mr. Harper has been deeply involved in technology for more than twenty-five years, having been a programmer/analyst, product manager and marketing expert. He has been employed by several of the largest technology companies in the industry in various management capacities.
This unique blend of practical industry experience coupled with a strong technology base places Jack’s knowledge and talents in the forefront of the technological evolution-taking place in the real estate industry today. Jack is a recognized expert in the application of Internet tools for the real estate user, and he has been deeply involved in designing and implementing many World Wide Web sites for the industry, for both national and International companies. He is a national speaker on this and other real estate topics and has been sponsored by Old Republic Title, BayNet World Homes, several Realtor Associations and local chapters of CRS and WCR.
WinPower Systems, Inc. ‑ 1993 to Present – Principal
Jack has been involved as a principal for this real estate technology company. His major responsibilities have included needs analysis, product recommendation, project management, product development and technology training for several regional real estate concerns. Applications include Internet, World Wide Web, Contact management, Back Office management and MLS.
CitiBrokers Real Estate ‑ 1991 ‑ 1993
Real Estate sales and sales management. Jack managed this real estate office, building staff levels and sales volume five fold during his tenure.
Property Professionals ‑ 1984 ‑ 1991
During his time with Property Professionals, Jack was involved as a practicing REALTOR, attaining and maintaining personal sales volume in excess of five million dollars per year, with a high of nine million during one year. He became a shareholder and a member of the board of directors for this firm, and was instrumental in planning and opening branch offices. He played a part in the success of the expansion project, having functioned as management for the newly opened offices, adding staff and training functions.
Oracle Corp. ‑ 1982 to 1984
Jack joined the fledgling Oracle Corp as Director of Value Added sales. During his employment, he saw the company grow from less than 250 employees to more than 1,500, with annual sales ramping to $200 Million, from the initial $25 Million.
Jack was strategically involved in developing a Software Partners program for Oracle, under which many industry‑leading software companies built their products with and/or centered around the Oracle Relational Model. This program was highly successful and played an important role in the current success of this giant industry leader.
Intel Corporation ‑ 1978 to 1982
Mr. Harper joined Intel as a member of the Commercial Systems sales force during the early days of this company. During his tenure, Jack enjoyed several successful projects, and was promoted through the hierarchy, eventually becoming Director of Intercontinental Marketing for the Systems Group. During this opportunity, Jack was instrumental in initiating and managing distributor relationships in Asia, Australia, South and Central America and Europe for Intel’s system‑level products.
During his twenty-five plus years in technology, Jack has been deeply in touch with state‑of‑the‑art tools and applications. He has been a programmer/analyst for Pittsburgh Plate Glass and Creative Systems, Inc. and has developed products using many different technologies:
Visual Basic, C++, COBOL, Visual C++, MultiMedia ToolBook, HTML, dBase II thru V, SQL and SQL Server, Oracle RDBMS, Integra VDB, OLE 2.0, and more.
Jack is currently involved in project development of Multimedia applications, including Computer‑based Training (CBT), and is designing Web sites using the latest in multimedia development tools ‑ JAVA ‑ for two client companies.
Public Speaking and Training:
Jack is well recognized as a speaker and trainer to the real estate industry. He is a member of the Real Estate Educators Association (REEA) and has been sponsored by Old Republic Title Co., Chicago Title, as well as three lending companies, several Associations of Realtors, local chapters of CRS and WCR, and BayNet World Homes..
He has trained more than 15,000 REALTORS(R) in the use of the Internet as a business tool, and has been quoted as an industry expert by the Wall Street Journal, Money Magazine and the San Jose Mercury News.
RealTalk Terms and Conditions
RealTalk is offered subject to rules and procedures governing the use of this system and related services. By subscribing to and using the Realtor Information Network(tm) (RIN), you agree to abide by this agreement and applicable rules as outlined below:
- All areas of RealTalk discussion forums function the same as a continuous seminar attended by REALTOR members. Exchanges of views are encouraged, but each person asking a question or reading a comment/reply understands they are not entitled to rely on any views received, nor claim that providing answers or materials resulted in any duty to update such material or to use due care to protect the interests of the reader.
- RIN members are entitled to submit articles, reports, outlines, discussions and other substantive materials. RIN reserves the right to delete (or to refuse to post to public forum) any materials it deems detrimental to the system. Although RIN reserves the right to exclude items, it does not assert any right to edit material submitted by members. Each party submitting materials agrees that in uploading executable files to the system it will use only computer systems employing reasonable means to check for and prevent the spread of computer viruses.
- Copyright Rules. While a member may preserve its copyright in submitted materials, all materials submitted for public posting to the system shall become part of a database, the compilation copyright of which is owned exclusively by RIN. Moreover, members who submit material shall be deemed to (i) grant to RIN and subscribers to the system a paid up, perpetual, world‑ wide irrevocable license to use, copy and redistribute such materials and any portions thereof and any derivative works there from and (ii) warrant that such submitting member has all rights necessary to submit such material and that the use of such material by RIN and subscribers to the system will not infringe any other party’s rights.
Each member agrees, as a condition of such license, (i) not to remove identifying source information from verbatim copies of member‑supplied materials (or substantially similar derivative works) found in public areas of the system and (ii) not to reproduce portions thereof in any way that identifies the source but fails to describe accurately the nature and source of any modification, alteration thereto or selection there from.
- While the Publishers and Moderators attempt to provide accurate and authoritative information, all postings are made with your understanding that RIN and the RealTalk Publishers and Moderators are not engaged in rendering legal, accounting, or other professional services. If legal advice or other expert assistance is required, the services of a competent professional person should be sought. Material placed online by RIN members does not necessarily reflect the views of RIN or the RealTalk Publishers or Moderators.
- Postings containing profanity or those with a commercial message are inappropriate for RealTalk and will be removed. Property listings should be placed in the Real Property Ads section and product sales should be placed in the RIN Mall.
- As a RIN member you understand that all materials and postings placed in any area of RealTalk are public and accessible to all RIN subscribers.
- Limitation of Liability. As a subscriber you should understand that neither RIN, nor any of the Publishers or Moderators of RealTalk, nor any of the parties who supply information to the system make any warranty concerning the accuracy of any information found or exchanged through the system. WITH THE EXCEPTION OF THE EXPRESS REPRESENTATIONS SET FORTH IN THESE TERMS AND CONDITIONS, RIN AND ALL PARTIES SUPPLYING INFORMATION THROUGH THE SYSTEM HEREBY DISCLAIM ANY AND ALL WARRANTIES, EXPRESS OR IMPLIED, INCLUDING WITHOUT LIMITATION ANY IMPLIED WARRANTY OF MERCHANTABILITY OR FITNESS FOR A PARTICULAR PURPOSE. OTHER THAN AS EXPRESSLY SET FORTH IN THIS AGREEMENT, EACH SUBSCRIBER BY SIGNING THE SUBSCRIPTION AGREEMENT WAIVES ANY AND ALL CLAIMS RELATING TO THE USAGE OF MATERIAL OR INFORMATION MADE AVAILABLE THROUGH THE SYSTEM WHETHER SUCH CLAIMS ARE AGAINST RIN OR ANY OTHER PERSON WHO HAS SUPPLIED MATERIAL TO THE SYSTEM. IN NO EVENT SHALL RIN OR ANY PARTIES SUPPLYING INFORMATION THROUGH THE SYSTEM BE LIABLE FOR ANY INCIDENTAL OR CONSEQUENTIAL DAMAGES.
THIS MODERATOR AGREEMENT (the “Agreement”) is hereby entered into between REAL ESTATE ELECTRONIC PUBLISHING COMPANY (“Publisher”) and JOHN REILLY (“Moderator”), effective as of the date last below written (the “Commencement Date”), under the following terms and conditions:
- General Scope of Agreement.
Publisher provides a variety of online electronic publishing services, including publishing the RealTalk module of the REALTOR Information Network Desktop. In connection with the overall responsibility to design and maintain the topical discussions under RealTalk, Publisher is contracting with a number of area experts to moderate the discussions of certain topics within the RealTalk menu. The Moderator agrees to perform certain functions set forth in the Job Description and to comply with the Moderator Guidelines as set forth in the attached Schedule A, incorporated herein by reference. In turn, the Publisher agrees to provide certain Contract Benefits as set forth in the next paragraph.
- Contract Benefits.
Provided that Moderator is not in default in performance of the functions required in the Job Description, Publisher agrees to extend to Moderator the following benefits:
- free installation and unlimited monthly access to the RIN Desktop for all RealTalk activities
- free listing of personal products on the RIN Mall
- free listing on RINtalk home page(which as a premier jump from the NAR/RIN home page at www.realtor.com), including a jump to personal Moderator home page with bio, picture, personal promotion, plus a link to any personal page of Moderator on the Internet.
- 50% discount on RIN Certified Training programs, which open up opportunities to teach RIN certified courses for a fee.
- national exposure through RIN promotion of RealTalk Moderators online and in national marketing efforts.
- participate in the cross‑marketing efforts of other Moderators, and network to develop related business opportunities that evolve out of the new online technology.
- Job Description.
Moderators are a combination of editor, writer, and traffic cop all rolled into one. They are responsible for checking into the Network regularly, preferably daily in order to encourage others to participate, to reference other resources on the topic, and find ways to obtain key resources for posting in the Library. Moderators need to start new threads and post comments frequently, but at least one per week, and to use personal email to thank, encourage and question others.
Moderators are responsible for preparing Highlights of the Month summary for submission to RINtalk. On a particularly hot topic, the Moderator should, with the help of Publisher, organize an online seminar, involving panelists who are experts on the topic. The Moderator helps to plan, promote, conduct, and summarize the seminar. The Moderator also serves on the RealTalk Advisory Committee and is expected to provide suggestions for expansion and improvement of RealTalk.
The Job Description is basically this: the Moderator must insure that their discussion Forum is consistently populated with rich ideas and information, and that there is interactivity with the membership and response to their stated needs for information.
- Term of Agreement.
With respect to the obligations and the services provided by both parties, the terms of this Agreement shall be effective as of the Commencement Date and, unless terminated earlier, shall continue in full force and effect for a period of one (1) year from the Commencement Date. The term shall then be renewed for successive one‑year periods unless either party notifies the other party in writing at least
thirty (30) days prior to the expiration of the then current Term that the Agreement shall not be renewed.
Moderator understands that Publisher will spend considerable time and effort developing a national online community exposure for Moderator in return for exclusive services. Moderator agrees not to enter into conflicting Moderator arrangements with other online service providers during the period this Agreement is in force and effect. Breach of this agreement is grounds for termination by Publisher.
- Original Content.
Moderator represents and warrants that its own original content and the content of anything transmitted over the RIN Network by Publisher on Moderator’s behalf shall not infringe or misappropriate any copyright, trademark, patent, or the trade secrets of any third persons, or otherwise violate this Agreement or any applicable law. If notified of any claim to the contrary, Publisher may, at its sole discretion, remove or request the removal of the subject material. Moderator shall defend, indemnify and hold the Publisher harmless from all liability and expense (including, but not limited to attorney fees) arising from such claim.
Moderator shall not post any information that, in Publisher’s sole judgment, may be in bad taste or in violation of law, may constitute libel or slander, may be inconsistent with Publisher’s public image, or may fail to meet community standards regarding obscenity or indecency.
- Ownership of Material.
Publisher has the sole and exclusive right of ownership of the RealTalk discussions and any other work created in whole or in part by Moderator in connection with services rendered under this Agreement.
Moderator may not assign or transfer this personal services Agreement or any rights, interests, or obligations hereunder without Publisher’s prior written consent, and any attempt to the contrary shall be void. This Agreement and Publisher’s rights, interests, and obligations hereunder (a) may be assigned or transferred by Publisher without Moderator’s consent, and (b) shall inure to the benefit of any entity that succeeds to Publisher’s business and assumes Publisher’s obligations hereunder.
- Entire Agreement.
This Agreement constitutes the entire agreement with respect to the subject matter hereof and supercedes all prior and contemporaneous agreements, understandings, negotiations, and discussions, whether oral or written among the parties hereto.
- Independent Contractor Status.
Each party and its people are independent contractors in relation to the other party with respect to all matters arising under this Agreement. Nothing herein shall be seemed to establish a partnership, joint venture, association or employment relationship between the parties.
- Governing Law.
This Agreement shall be governed by and construed and enforced in accordance with the laws of the State of California, without regard to its conflicts of laws rules.
The parties shall submit any dispute arising out of or relating to this Agreement to arbitration. The award of the arbitrators shall be binding upon the parties and enforceable in any court of competent jurisdiction. Any such arbitration shall take place in San Diego, California.
- Moderator’s Forum.
The Forum over which Moderator has responsibility under this Agreement is the DUAL AGENCY FORUM IN THE AGENCY CORNER.
IN WITNESS WHEREOF, for adequate consideration and intending to be legally bound, the parties have caused this Agreement to be executed on the dates set forth below by their duly authorized representatives.
REAL ESTATE ELECTRONIC PUBLISHING COMPANY (Publisher)
The role of Moderator is so new in the online community that there is little information available concerning responsibilities and guidelines. Therefore, we will evolve our own set of guidelines as we populate the RealTalk discussions on RIN. The initial guidelines for Moderators to follow are
THE ROLE OF THE RIN REALTALK MODERATOR
- The discussion Moderator should check in every day to maintain a continuing presence in the message chain of their Forum. This is done with a combination of three kinds of communication; the Moderator
(1) calls attention to the specific topic under discussion if wanders off‑topic;
(2) promptly provides help when it is asked or implied in an appended message; and
(3) gives positive suggestions and encouragement to keep the thread moving forward and on‑topic.
- The skillful Moderator will state his or her personal views “as part of the discussion” but not as the final arbiter of truth in a matter. Often, the Moderator’s personal view/response/append is a significant stimulator to further discussion or to open up a new facet of a topic that has started to fizzle. The Moderator must not “impose” personal views in the matter being discussed. This is an important Moderator trait in maintaining the movement of the thread. If the Moderator” pontificates” on each and every appended comment, the topic will soon die. The RIN Moderator acts as a resource, not an oracle.
- The Moderator must maintain personal views, but in a provocative way. It is possible to restart important threads and direct conversation, but not if you are afraid to venture an opinion. Any Moderator who fails to inject good, provocatively‑phrased opinions and questions could see the Forum wilt and die. Lurkers turn into contributors when you push a button (albeit gently) that they feel strongly about.
- The Moderator keeps appended comments in the proper place ‑‑ even if they originally get posted into the wrong area. Comments and appends in the wrong thread will cause the thread to become disjointed, and the original topic will quickly become lost forever. The Moderator should notify the poster as to why and where the message is being moved (Publisher makes the actual move). Often the novice user posts an email message to the Moderator that should have been posted to the thread. The Moderator should first ask the poster if it is ok to make the comment public. This task of redirecting postings requires both patience and sensitivity toward the users.
- Moderators need to look out for flames and inappropriate language. There in nothing wrong with very sharp differences of opinion provided they don’t fly off into a flaming rage. Moderators will have to impose some discipline upon posters now and then. Some posters will flame, some will post with a six‑pack of Miller Lite beside their keyboard, some are just plain obnoxious people. Some posters will be the salt of the earth and a joy to a Moderator’s heart! The best rule to follow is the #1 management axiom: “Praise in public; Censure in private.” There is almost an irresistible urge to really “blast” someone in front of everyone on the Forum. Resist the impulse. Such action will inevitably create a group of defenders of the miscreant as well as encouragers of the Moderator. The result is a totally failed Forum ‑‑ and a Moderator whose effectiveness will be tarnished for months or years after the incident. On the other hand, the awarding of “attaboys” in a Forum can create a solid community of sharers and also serve as an example for new participants and lurkers to use in their initial foray into the discussion. It underlines “acceptable and responsible” net activity.
- Try to post frequently in an effort to keep several threads currently active, and to begin new threads on a regular basis, and to reactivate older threads. View each thread as a hybrid of both an ongoing discussion and a continuing accumulation of pointers to other resources. Aim for a diverse mix of topics, because you can never be sure what will attract the REALTOR’s interest.
- Just as the secret of success in real estate is location, location, location ‑‑ the secret of success as a Moderator is timely, timely, timely. Because electronic communication has immediacy to it, people who post messages expect a rapid turn‑around response. Don’t let them down.
- Regularly use private e‑mail to thank, encourage, and/or question users further about their posts. The personal touch produces results.
- Make an effort to seek out users who, based on their posts elsewhere, may be interested in participating in Forum discussions. Constantly strive to generate a hard-core group of regulars who will stop by the Forum frequently because they know there is always plenty of activity and information there, which is interesting, practical, and entertaining. Point out the beauty of RealTalk: open conversations in a non‑competitive environment.
- Try to make the Forum as interactive as possible, perhaps focusing on problem solving. Look for “great ideas,” ones that will produce cost‑cutting results such as shortcuts to reading and composing messages offline.
- Self‑Promotion‑‑do not use the Forums to toot your horn and solicit business. This is why we give Moderators a free home page on RINTalk. The idea is to impress users with your great content; they will then wish to contact you directly by e‑mail or indirectly thru the home page if they want to buy your products or make deals. Subtle promo is fine; blatant promotion is counterproductive and can give a bad name to the RINner Circle. The best promo is solid content, which will make users pick your Forum as a Favorite.
- Keep your auto signature to three lines. Anything more than that looks too cluttered. RIN is a private business network; users will be able to look up your address and numbers in the Network Director. Your bio will appear in the RealTalk Introduction section.
- Only publishers can remove inappropriate comments/replies; let one of the Publishers know if you want a thread relocated or moved.
- Take pride in your postings; use the built‑in spell checker if necessary.
- If you have articles to post, submit them to the RealTalk Resource Library (contact RIN Publisher); then you can point to that reference in your Forum discussion. We will be attempting to build up valuable Resource Library, and your contributions will be much appreciated.
- Once again, check in at least once a day to monitor your Forum. You may wish to click the Favorite button so your Forum moves to the top of your menu.
REALTORS INFORMATION NETWORK MODERATORS
The Realtors Information Network(tm), known as RIN, has assembled an all‑star team of real estate experts to moderate and enliven the conversation on RealTalk. The RINner Circle team has considerable experience leading online discussions over the Internet, and represents the full range of real estate practice: sales and brokerage, technology, legal, tax, education and academia, ethics, and business skills. Here is a capsule look at the RINner Circle and what you can expect from them. Contact numbers and addresses can be found in the Network Directory.
SAUL D. KLEIN, CFP, is the National Electronic Publisher and was responsible for creating this RINner Circle team. Saul frequently appears on television and radio to discuss real estate industry and general business trends, particularly buyer representation and personal finance. Saul is a Past President of the San Diego Association of REALTORS and a Director of the California Association of REALTORS. He is a licensed real estate broker, securities broker, Certified Financial Planner, certified tax preparer and general business consultant ‑‑ most recently as the REALTOR® consultant to RIN. Saul is a nationally recognized speaker, trainer, and educator with over 10,000 platform hours. He has authored a number of seminars and articles on real estate practice in California and is a frequent lecturer to REALTOR® organizations. He is also qualified as an expert witness and litigation consultant for real estate matters. Saul is co‑founder of Real Estate Electronic Publishing Company, Inc., a company created to provide publishing, consulting, and computer training services to the real estate profession. Saul moderates the Buyer Brokerage Forum and the Personal Finance Forum.
JOHN REILLY, DREI, is a real estate educator, attorney, REALTOR®, and author living in paradise ‑‑ Honolulu, Hawaii. He is a RIN Associate Publisher and is President of Real Estate Electronic Publishing Company, Inc. Prior to first learning how to use a computer in 1995, John wrote all ten of his real estate books on yellow legal pads, including The Language of Real Estate (over 100,000 copies sold) and a series of books on agency relationships in real estate. No longer dependent on his son to turn on the computer, John now spends at least 100 hours per month online.
A Past President of the Real Estate Educators Association and recipient of their REEA Educator of the Year award and their Distinguished Real Estate Instructor designation, John owns a real estate continuing education school and practices law with the firm of Pitluck Kido Sato & Stone (Board counsel). He has been a resource advisor to ARELLO, NAR, and many state licensing boards on “Agency Disclosure” issues. Married to Patricia Ann and with three teenage children (he won’t be retiring soon), he jogs about 20 miles a week and plays golf to a five handicap.
John moderates the Dual Agency Forum of Agency Corner.
JACK HARPER, GRI, is an expert in all phases of business technology, especially related to the real estate industry. After an extensive career as a computer programmer and marketing director, Jack switched to real estate sales and quickly became an award‑winning real estate professional. Seeing the need for computer technology solutions for the real estate industry early on, Jack has focused his efforts on providing sensible information to the industry on such topics as Computer Assisted Real Estate and Internet‑based Real Estate. An established writer and public speaker, Jack is an officer and director of Real Estate Electronic Publishing Company, Inc. and serves on the Board of Advisors for the Real Estate Online section of America Online. Jack moderates the Topic of the Month in the Technology Corner and the popular New User series called Did You Know.
PAT ZABY, CCIM, CRB, CRS, holds a BBA degree in real estate from the University of North Texas and all three professional designations awarded by the REALTORS® National Marketing Institute, CCIM, Certified Commercial Investment Member, CRB, Certified Real Estate Brokerage Manager, and CRS, Certified Residential Specialist.
REALTOR® Pat Zaby has been in real estate since 1968 engaged in listing and selling residential real estate as well as owning and managing a brokerage business. He has been a speaker at the National Association of REALTORS’ conventions since 1979 as well as numerous state conventions.
Pat was the 1993 President of the REALTORS® National Marketing Institute and was the 1990 President of the Residential Sales Council of the National Association of REALTORS®. He is senior instructor for the REALTORS® National Marketing Institute and in various GRI programs, teaching classes in marketing, taxation, investments, computers, prospecting and instructor development. Pat received an Honorable Mention for NAR’s Educator of the Year for 1992. REALTOR® Pat Zaby is the author of RS‑205, “Financial Skills for the Residential Specialist” and the designer of the forms that are used in the course. Some of these forms are predicted to have as much impact on the residential agent as the comparative marketing analysis form. Pat moderates the Personal Marketing Forum in Broker’s Corner.
JULIE GARTON‑GOOD, DREI, enjoys a real estate career that spans more than 20 years as a broker, educator, and author. She addresses more than 25,000 persons annually as an international speaker, specializing in the topics of consumer buying concerns and finance.
In 1994, she received the prestigious international “Real Estate Educator of the Year” award from the Real Estate Educators Association. Julie also received the award in 1985, making her sole two‑time recipient. She is a Past President of the Real Estate Educators Association, and one of its first recipients of the DREI (Distinguished Real Estate Instructor) designation. Julie is the author of four real estate books ‑‑”SuperCourse for Real Estate,” published by Simon and Schuster, “A Professional’s Guide to Real Estate Finance,” “All About Mortgages: Insider Tips to Finance the Home,” and the soon‑to‑be‑released “The Homebuying Game,” all published by the Real Estate Education Company.
Now in its fifth year, Julie’s award‑winning real estate question and answer column appears weekly in the Miami Herald, reaching more than two million people. Julie moderates the Buyer Focus Forum of Consumer Corner.
DAVE BESON has presented over 2,000 programs in all 50 states, plus Mexico, Canada, the Virgin Islands, New Zealand, and Australia. Year after year, as a featured speaker at the National Association of REALTORS convention, his programs consistently draw large audiences, and recently attained an excellence rating of 100%. He is senior instructor for five CRS courses as presented by the Residential Sales Council of RNMI. In 1980 Dave served as President of the RS Council of RNMI. He is the author of numerous books, periodicals, and articles for real estate professionals. Dave’s ideas have been used in developing video and audio programs around the country, including his own best‑selling programs, Power Prospecting, Seeing 2020—Automating Beyond the Year 2000, and Mega‑Million Dollar Secrets. Consulting with companies and super‑achiever salespeople on how to improve their marketing, their training, and their overall performance is an increasing part of his valuable and diverse experience. Having appeared as a real estate expert on satellite, TV and radio talk‑shows, and having lived each day in the real world of sales, Dave is in a special position to bring the most current ideas, as well as proven insights, to any professional development program. Dave moderates the Prospecting Forum of Broker’s Corner.
BONNIE SPARKS joined the real estate industry in 1976 after a successful career as a high school and college instructor of communication skills. With fifteen years combined real estate sales and management, Bonnie now concentrates 100% of her time on real estate training, education and consulting services. A Vice President and Director of Education for Ruhl & Ruhl Realtors in Bettendorf, Iowa, Bonnie is instrumental in recruiting efforts, pre‑license and post‑license training, and on‑going educational opportunities for the company. Named the 1993 National Association of REALTORS Educator of the Year and the 1994 REALTOR of the Year for the State of Iowa, Sparks travels nationally as a faculty representative of the Real Estate Brokerage Manager’s Council. She is also a keynote and motivational presenter, and a GRI and continuing education instructor.
With CRB, CRS and DREI designations behind her name, Sparks is in demand in all aspects of real estate education. Her enthusiasm is vibrant and captivating. Her energy, sincerity and real life communication skills add that extra spark to any presentation. Bonnie moderates the Negotiation Forum of BusinessSkills Corner.
MIKE BARNETT, CRS, is a much sought‑after speaker on the effective application of computer software in real estate brokerage and sales. The President of Information Management Group, Inc., he has authored articles and seminars on how real estate licensees can use technology to reduce risk in their business. As an evaluator of software for America Online, Mike has first‑hand knowledge of the wide array of computer products directed at the real estate business.
Mike is a Director of the Arizona Association of REALTORS and a member of their Technology Work Group. He is a certified instructor of pre‑license and continuing education courses in Arizona. Mike moderates the Software Forum of Technology Corner.
ROY D. RAINEY, JR., CRB, a RIN Director, is an active REALTOR practitioner from Little Rock, Arkansas. He is past President of the Little Rock Board of REALTORS and President‑Elect of the Arkansas REALTORS Association, as well as 1991 REALTOR‑of‑the Year. Roy currently manages 50‑60 sales associates, numerous residential listings and property management contracts for Rainey Realty, one of the three top companies in their market area. He also operates a real estate licensing school. Roy is married to Adriene with three young children. He moderates the Compensation Forum in Broker’s Corner.
RICHARD R. JANSSEN, is the President and CEO of HomeSelect Services and worked with RIN to develop the REALTOR Property Ad product for the RIN Network. HomeSelect, which operates touch‑screen kiosks in San Diego that help consumers find homes for sale, has adapted this technology for the Internet. Richard, a CPA, graduated from UCLA with a degree in Math Computer Science and Economics. He founded Delphi Information Systems and directed its growth into the largest company automating property casualty insurance agents. He retired as President after taking the company public and then formed HomeSelect in 1993. Rich moderates the Internet Advertising Forum of Marketing Corner.
ROBERT N. BASS, Esq. is an attorney located in Phoenix, Arizona, where he concentrates his practice on defending and representing real estate brokers. Having worked for the Arizona Department of Real Estate, Bob understands the intricacies of licensing law and is able to communicate its significance to the real estate community in meaningful ways. Using his Internet name of RBNEsquire, Bob has gained an Internet reputation as the expert on real estate risk reduction practices. He teaches continuing education courses for licensees, in the areas of contract, agency and related legal topics ‑‑ concentrating on how to reduce the risks of claims and lawsuits. Bob has authored numerous articles and programs, including classes on helping licensees to use technology to reduce business risk. He is a member of the National Board of Advisors for America Online, and has been a guest host for several live forums on risk reduction and computer application for real estate. Bob moderates the Risk Reduction Form of Legal Corner.
RON ROTHENBERG entered the real estate business with an extensive background in software development for Wang Labs and for Lotus Development. Ron is the broker/owner of HomeBase Real Estate, a buyer broker firm near Boston. Friends of the Internet know Ron as a prolific message poster on various user groups (several of which he has helped to set up), distinguished by his humorous concluding taglines. Ron is an expert on computer hardware and will be adding zest to RIN Discuss conversation on computer hardware. In his buyer broker practice, Ron has gainedsignificant experience in working with disabled clients to help meet their real estate needs. Ron moderates the Hardware Forum of Technology Corner.
DONALD E. BODLEY, Ph.D. is the founder of the Chair of the Real Estate Studies Program at the College of Business, Eastern Kentucky University, as funded by the Kentucky Real Estate Commission. Professor Bodley is the curriculum designer of the BBA degree program in real estate. Don created and now operates the Electronic Bulletin Board for the University, so he has extensive experience as a systems operator and leader of online moderators. In addition, Dr. Bodley is the designer and webmaster for the RINTalk website and that of the Real Estate Educators Association. Don is the moderator for the Internet Forum of Technology Corner.
KAY C. EVANS, DREI, began her real estate career in 1978 in Lafayette, Louisiana, where she became a top‑producing agent in her company and then broker/owner of her own real estate company. When Kay’s family transferred to Atlanta, Georgia, in 1984 she became involved in brokerage management positions, managing offices ranging in size from 25 agents to an 110‑agent office. She was recognized as a “Top 20” Broker in Atlanta in 1992 for leading an office to annual sales of $24,000,000 and a high per agent production. Kay has been active in real estate education since 1987. She served as the Director of Education for the Atlanta Board of REALTORS, has served on the education advisory committee to the Georgia Real Estate Commission since 1990. As the owner of Professional Development Systems, Kay provides educational seminars at the local, state and national level, and she produces a product line of marketing materials for real estate agents. She is on the GRI faculty, has attained her CRB designation, is a Distinguished Real Estate Instructor, awarded by the Real Estate Educators Association where she is a Senior Instructor, is certified by the Instructor Training Institute and certified by the Real Estate Computerization Project. Kay is the moderator of the Recruiting/Retention Forum of Broker’s Corner.
TERRY HAYES is a real estate educator, editor, and publisher of continuing education courses. An active participant in the Real Estate Educators Association (REEA), she will be its President from May 1996‑1997. Prior to starting her own company, Real Estate Brokerage Education (REBEd), she served as Education Director for the Maine Real Estate Commission. In that position she rewrote curriculum, organized instructor-training programs, and developed an expertise in the integration of specific learning objectives into the continuing education approval process. REBEd provides consulting services to REALTOR® organizations in northern New England, in addition to publishing continuing education courses on audio tape. Terry is the moderator of the Classroom Techniques Forum of the Author/Educator Corner.
MANUEL “MIKE” GARCIA has his own firm known as the Law Offices of Manuel D. Garcia in Honolulu, Hawaii, where he concentrates in civil and criminal tax law (domestic and international), government forfeitures, estate planning, business law, and real estate law. He obtained his law degree from Boalt Hall School of Law (University of California at Berkeley), and he has done extensive work in international tax. Licensed to practice law in California and Hawaii, he is a member of the American Bar Association, where he was Chairman of the Tax Section Sub‑Committee on 1031 Exchanges by Foreigners. He has published many newspaper and journal articles, including a recent article on international tax in 48 The Tax Lawyer 471 (Spring, 1995), and “International Estate Planning” published by the Hawaii State Bar Association. He lectures extensively on international tax matters of interest to foreign investors and he is a member of the Hawaii State Board of Bar Examiners. Mr. Garcia’s single largest transaction was a $29,000,000,000 international transaction in 1989. He has been listed in Marquis Who’s Who in American Law since 1992 and in Martindale‑Hubbel’s Most Prominent Lawyers in America. Mike is the moderator of the International Tax Forum of Tax Corner.
DOUGLAS L. SCHMITT is Director of Human Resources for Bob Capes REALTORS in South Carolina. A 25‑year veteran of real estate brokerage, Doug has been active in condominium conversion, management of residential sales companies, and sales of real estate franchises. The author of two sales and marketing courses and one managers training course, Doug has worked with hundreds of brokers and more than a dozen brokerage councils to help them develop better business plans. Doug is the moderator of the Sales Meeting Forum of Broker’s Corner.
RUSSELL G. COFANO, attorney, educator and generally nice guy. Russ concentrates his legal practice in the area of real estate and primarily real estate brokerage. He represents large local REALTOR associations and Multiple Listing Services in Washington. He also advises brokerage companies, individual agents and others involved in real estate transactions. In addition to this active legal practice, Russ is a well‑known provider of real estate related seminars. Russ began giving seminars to real estate agents more than five years ago and believes that education will help keep agents profitable. He provides seminars on all aspects of real estate brokerage legal issues and recently has broadened his seminars to include current issue discussions about business practices and technology. He is consistently given high marks by his seminar attendees and recently was awarded the 1995 Washington Association of REALTORS Hugh Hawkins Memorial Instructor of the Year Award.
STEVE ALEXANDER is President of The Steve Alexander Group, Ltd., a professional development and consulting firm. He is also co‑founder and President of the California Association of Buyer’s Agents (CABA) and co‑founder of the International Association of Buyer’s Agents, a coalition of Buyer Representation leaders. Known for his outstanding work in professional communications and consumer advocacy, Steve has received appointments to boards and commissions from the Governor of California and San Diego’s Mayor and City Council.
Steve has been featured in national publications, on television and radio talk shows and is known for his insights, expertise and entertaining views. He is a noted author, trainer, and speaker providing exciting, dynamic and creative presentations. Steve is an active participant in the Buyer Brokerage Forum of Agency and Ethics Corner.
MONICA REYNOLDS, as an experienced, active REALTOR since 1979, has received many awards including top producer in North and South Dakota for six years. After hiring her first assistant in 1984, she found that her production and income doubled in the first year, and then tripled the following year. She attributes this incredible achievement to the utilization of systems that she developed, and to the concept of an assistant as a “profit center.” In 1989, she relocated to California to partner with the number one agent in North America and manage 14 assistants. In this energy‑charged atmosphere, Monica continued to refine her systems and ultimately became known as the pioneer of hiring an assistant as a profit center. As the number one trainer of assistants in the country, she willingly shares her experiences, systems, and philosophies. She is the published author of “Multiply Your Success Through the Use of Assistants” sold nationally at Barnes & Noble bookstores. Monica continues to speak throughout North America to individual groups and as a featured speaker at real estate franchise conventions and NAR. Monica also developed and owns “800 Powerline,” the telephone technology that has recreated prospecting, improved client service, and increased REALTOR production. Monica moderates the Personal Assistant Forum.
RANDALL S. VAN REKEN, EA, DREI, is the founder of the largest real estate school in Nevada opening Southern Nevada School of Real Estate in 1985. He is the author of several textbooks including Preparing for the PSI Real Estate Examination, Nevada Real Estate License Law, Preparing for the ASI Real Estate Examination and is a revision author for Real Estate Principle & Practices, Palmer ‑ 4th Edition. All books are available through Gorsuch, Scarisbrick Publishers of Scottsdale, Arizona. He is a member of the Real Estate Educators Association and has been awarded the Distinguished Real Estate Instructor designation.
Randy is also enrolled to practice before the Internal Revenue Service in tax matters and an active participant in the Tax Forums of RealTalk. He has an active tax practice representing over 700 taxpayers.
JOHN M. PECKHAM III, CCIM, CPM, CNM, is President of The Peckham Boston Advisory Company, Boston, Massachusetts. He is the author of several books on marketing published by Prentice Hall and Harcourt Brace Jovanovich. A columnist for the Boston Herald for nine years, his syndicated columns appeared in over 100 papers nationwide. A skilled speaker, he has worked with business groups in 44 states and several foreign countries. He served as Chairman of the Strategic Planning Committee of the National Association of REALTORS (NAR). Using techniques in this presentation and from his “Master Guide to Income Property Brokerage” (Prentice Hall, 14 printings), Jack and his sales associates have sold over a BILLION dollars in Commercial/Investment properties. His technological innovation emerged when he founded the first commercial real estate firm to use computers to match investors with investments. He served as Chairman of the NAR Commercial Investment Technology Committee and Chairman of the NAR MLS Committee and on the Commercial Investment Real Estate Institute’s Technology Task Force. He also serves on the Commercial Investment Advisory Board to the REALTORS Information Network (RIN). Jack is Past President of the Massachusetts Association of REALTORS and was honored as its REALTOR of the Year. Jack moderates the Real Estate Investment Forum of Commercial Corner.
DIANE TEDDER is a Certified Public Accountant and a licensed real estate agent. She has been in public accounting since 1978, having earned a Masters of Science in Taxation from Walsh College. Ms. Tedder is the author of several publications, which focus on real estate transactions, rental properties, self‑ employment income, and operating a brokerage. Her publications include Tax Guide for the Self‑Employed, Tax Guide for the Homeowner, and Broker’s Checklist to Profit.
C.D. Tedder & Associates’ expertise is in accounting, real estate software consulting and tax services for the real estate industry. Clients include real estate franchise offices, independent real estate offices, appraisal companies, mortgage companies, and real estate management companies. In addition, Diane provides tax and consultation services to individuals who own rental properties, real estate brokers and independent salespersons. Diane moderates the Tax Saving Tips Forum of the Tax Corner.
DIANE SCHERER is the Executive Officer of one of the largest boards in the country, the Phoenix Association of REALTORS. She has been active in real estate in the Phoenix area for 20 years, including the operation of a support business for real estate companies. Diane is widely recognized as an expert on the structuring of MLS systems and on the REALTOR Code of Ethics ‑‑ she is an NAR Certified Professional Standards Procedures Administrator. Diane serves on the Real Estate
Advisory Board of America Online.
ROGER R. TURCOTTE, selected as the 1993 Educator of the Year for the New Hampshire Association of REALTORS, is a Past President of the Concord, NH Board of REALTORS and was chosen as that organization’s 1991 REALTOR of the Year. He is a faculty member of the TRI‑State REALTOR Institute and conducts national seminars for the Better Homes and Gardens franchise and the Real Estate Training Institute. Additionally, Roger is an active member of the Real Estate Educators Association currently serving as a Regional Vice President. He has appeared at numerous state REALTOR conventions as well as the 1994 NAR Midwinter meetings and the 1995 NAR Annual Convention in Atlanta, Georgia. Recognized by Agency Law Quarterly as an outstanding agency educator, Roger’s audio and videotape agency programs have received high acclaim from agency experts across the country.
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Back in the days when Internet Crusade operated the e-PRO technology certification program for NAR, our mantra was “Raising the Bar, Without Leaving Anyone Behind.”
As noted in Inman News, the National Association of Realtors® is considering tougher core standards that would “raise the bar” for Realtor associations to ensure that even the smallest is capable of enforcing the Realtor® Code of Ethics, playing a political advocacy role, and operating a website promoting member programs, products and services. NAR’s board of directors is expected to vote whether to adopt the new standards on May 17 at NAR’s midyear conference, the Realtor Party Convention & Trade Expo, in Washington, D.C. Before the vote, there will be three member forums to discuss the standards at the conference.
NAR CEO Dale Stinton has said that “Current threats to the system — commission-thirsty outsiders, broker/association and broker/MLS chafing, data syndication offenders … are real for sure, but they are also symptomatic of the larger problem — we are fractured and becoming more and more fragmented every day… Associations, he said, “must ‘raise our own bar’ as we ask our members to raise theirs.”
“If we are to be genuine in our efforts to brand our members as ‘the top of the food chain in real estate,’ the much discussed ‘trusted advisers’ in the space, should the system that supports them aspire to anything less for itself?”
The vote on the tougher core standards — as reported by the Organizational Alignment Presidential Advisory Group in its April 15, 2014 PAG Report — will be one of the hot topics at this month’s NAR midyear conference.
Audio replay of the 1 hour 47 minute webinar on the topic of Organizational Alignment Proposal by NAR President Steve Brown, CEO Dale Stinton, and Chair Andrea Bushnell —