This may affect you! AB 1650 (Sponsored by C.A.R.) Makes significant changes to the State’s Business and Professions Code. It expands what must be included in real estate-related advertising materials and creates uniform advertising standards across a variety of media and types. Click Here for PDF outline of the new rules Click Here for C.A.R.'s web page dedicated to the change
You may know NSDCAR REALTOR® member Leah Reynolds who has served as chair of the NSDCAR Oceanside District Council since 2015. Leah’s leadership with the Oceanside District Council motivated several dozen NSDCAR members to participate in a clean-up day at the Boys and Girls Club in San Marcos held in April. The NSDCAR volunteers used about 10 gallons of paint and repainted several interior rooms, including the Community Room, Computer Room and Game Room, as well as an exterior wall near the playground. “It’s important for REALTORS® to lead by example and demonstrate hands-on community involvement with a boots-on-the-ground volunteerism approach,” said Leah. Encore clean-up days are planned for Boys and Girls Club clubhouses in Oceanside and Vista this fall. “One of the NSDCAR board members, Kimberly Fell, contacted me about serving on the District Council,” said Leah. “She encouraged me to get involved with the District Council for Oceanside, which is where we lived for several years before we moved to Bonsall four years ago. It’s been a great experience and very enjoyable.” But did you know that Leah and her husband James bought a frozen yogurt shop in Bonsall so that their teenage kids could learn about how to be successful in business? It was February 2016 after the previous owners closed the doors on the yogurt shop at 5256 South Mission Road. “Our family frequented the shop when it was opened, it was a fun place for the locals to grab a sweet treat and kids from the dance studio to hang out,” said Leah. “My husband and I talked about it and we thought it would be good for the community if someone kept the place open. So, we decided that someone would be us.” “We reopened the shop March 2016 and renamed it Brain Freeze Froyo Bar. Then, we handed-over the operation of the store to our two oldest children, daughter Bailey (age 19) and son James (age 17). Hey, what better way to provide an education in life skills and critical thinking, plus teach the importance of ethics in business and customer service and relationships, than a hands-on experience like this. The experience for our kids has been priceless.” The Brain Freeze Froyo Bar is open from noon to 9 p.m. Mondays through Saturdays and from noon to 7 p.m. on Sundays. “We still do Sunday dinner together before going off to work, whether it’s selling real estate or serving strawberry shortcake froyo topped with sprinkles.” Leah and husband James also are raising a third child, Charlie, age 10. This past Christmas, Charlie received a very special Christmas present, a car. “Charlie says he wants to grow up to be a mechanic, so we found a 1963 Chevrolet Biscayne that Charlie can work on to his heart’s delight. Don’t you think it would be better for a 10-year-old to work on a car instead of playing video games?” A San Diego native, Leah graduated from Torrey Pines High School in Del Mar (class of 1995). “My father was a broker so I grew up with real estate, licking envelopes and putting flyers on front porches,” said Leah, 40. “I knew eventually that I would work in real estate, it’s in my blood.” After high school, Leah earned a degree in merchandise marketing from the Fashion Institute of Design and Merchandising (FIDM) in Los Angeles. “I lived at home throughout college and rode the train to L.A. to attend classes,” she said. “I started working in retail at age 15.” Leah worked at Nordstrom and Ann Taylor before spending 14 years managing the Sweetpea Children’s Shop in Del Mar. “I got my real estate license 14 years ago and I’ve been a full-time agent the past seven years.” Leah and her family live on 2.5 acres with an avocado grove. “We recently planted Montepulciano grapes,” she said. Those are grapes used to make Montepulciano d'Abruzzo, a red Italian wine from the Abruzzo region of east-central Italy. “We’re also big believers in the Cub Scouts and Boy Scouts,” Leah said. Son James spent five weeks this summer working as a counselor at the Boy Scout camp, Emerald Bay on Catalina Island. James is currently working on his Eagle project with a goal to earn Eagle in December. “Meeting new people and building lifelong relationships is the driving force of my business,” said Leah. “One of the reasons why I love real estate so much is because I’m helping families reach their goal of home ownership. It’s a very rewarding profession.” Leah said she appreciates NSDCAR because of the spirit of teamwork. “I love our Association because it’s where REALTORS® come together as one big team and we work together to build our local communities for the benefit of everyone. Plus, the staff is so personable and ready to answer any question they offer a strong support system. It feels good to be involved with NSDCAR, just like the taste of a large cup with cookies and cream, red velvet and peanut butter, all mixed together.” Yummy.
NSDCAR has been working closely with REALTORS®, active in Carlsbad, to address the enforcement of sign regulations in the city. So far, we have been unable to reach agreement on regulations that would allow for the placement of open house signs on public property during open house hours. In addition, there appears to be continued abuse, by a few members of the real estate industry, of the number of open house signs being placed; the hours they are on display; the fact that many signs are not related to an actual open house; and the fact that signs are illegally placed in public right-of-way. This has resulted in an increase in citizen complaints and as a result, effective April 17, the City of Carlsbad began an enforcement campaign based on “the letter of the law”. This means if your signs are placed in the public right-of-way; there are excessive numbers, or they are not directly associated with an open house, they will be removed. Continued violation could result in citations or legal action. Currently, the city is warning violators after the first violation, but then imposing a $100 fine for continued violations. We urge you to understand and follow the city sign regulations to avoid these actions. Unfortunately, the action by the City of Carlsbad is the result of continued abuse of city sign regulations. Please spread the word with your agents about complying with local sign regulations. NSDCAR and the Carlsbad REALTOR® working group will continue to address this issue. Please see the attached flyer that clearly explains where signs can be placed. Click Here to See Positioning Flyer
You may know NSDCAR REALTOR® member Marilee Lowe as a recent REALTOR® Award of Excellence recipient. She was honored for her longtime support of several community organizations in Fallbrook, her home for the past 33 years. Over the decades, Marilee has been involved with organizations that have helped disabled children and seniors. “It’s important for NSDCAR members to be involved in their communities,” Marilee said. But did you know that Marilee is a strong advocate in hippotherapy for children? Hippotherapy is horseback riding for handicapped children with various disabling neuromusculoskeletal medical conditions, including cerebral palsy, autism, spinal cord and brain injuries, Down syndrome, multiple sclerosis and other sensory integration dysfunctions. Hippotherapy literally means “treatment with the help of the horse” from the Greek word, “hippos” meaning horse. As a physical, occupational or speech and language therapy treatment strategy, hippotherapy can result in improved coordination, balance, muscle tone, body strength, sensory integration and self esteem. “The physical, mental, and emotional benefits of therapeutic horsemanship are many,” said Marilee. “The rhythmic motion and warmth of the horse stimulates and exercises the rider’s muscles increasing mobility. The riders can experience weight shift and trunk mobility as if they were walking on their own.” In 1985, Marilee became involved in REINS (Riding Emphasizing Individual Needs and Strengths), a non-profit therapeutic riding program based in Fallbrook. She served on the board from 1985 to 1989. When the program was close to closing in 1989, Marilee took it over and served as its volunteer administrator until 1995. “I moved the program here to Fallbrook, where it was wholeheartedly embraced by our community,” said Marilee, who is currently involved in REINS only as a donor. “I’ll never forget Jonathan who was a student at REINS,” said Marilee. “He was nearly three years old and had never said a word. He was autistic and uncommunicative. One day, he was riding on our bay mare named Heather and I was one of the side walkers. One of the commands for the horses are the words `walk-on.’ When one of us said, `Walk on Heather,’ Jonathan spoke up and repeated the words. It was perhaps the first words he had ever said in his life. It was a very emotional moment for all of us, especially his parents. When those things happen, you know that you’re making a difference and giving an opportunity for kids to blossom.” Marilee’s community involvement also has included serving on the board of directors for the Foundation for Senior Care, operators of a senior and adult day care center in Fallbrook. “I believe all members of our community deserve to be taken care of and honored and protected as needed,” said Marilee “This includes those who are advanced in years or disabled with some form of memory loss or dementia. These folks are looked after at the senior day care center. The Foundation also operates Care Vans which provide door-to-door transportation to seniors in need. Rides are provided to the day care center or grocery store or pharmacy or medical appointments. ” Marilee also is involved with two equestrian groups, the Fallbrook Riders Inc., and Vista Palomar Riders (VPR), two of the oldest horse clubs in California. She has served on the board of directors for both groups and currently serves as VP for the Fallbrook Riders. For VPR, Marilee recently organized a five-day ride and campout for about 50 members. The event was held at the Los Vaqueros Group Horse Camp at Cuyamaca Rancho State Park. She is hosting a similar event for the Fallbrook Riders at the same Cuyamaca park site in late August. “There are miles and miles of beautiful riding trials around Lake Cuyamaca and the Cuyamaca Mountains,” said Marilee. “It’s a wonderful get-away time. As you can tell, I love horses and working in real estate with equestrian properties. I fell in love with Trigger (Roy Rogers’ horse). My first horse was a Christmas present at age 7. Her name was Chopper.” Marilee appreciates the convenience of the NSDCAR office in Fallbrook. “I love my North County board because the office is local,” she said. “They are a wonderful resource. The staff always knows the answers to my questions, and they’re very helpful. I can stop by for a visit without traveling to the big city of Vista.”
You may know NSDCAR REALTOR® Leo Romero as a member of the NSDCAR Local Government Relations (LGR) Committee representing Fallbrook. The LGR Committee focuses on how public policies can affect the local real estate industry. LGR members also are involved in political advocacy and candidate endorsements. “It has been a real eye-opener to serve on this committee for the past six years,” said Leo. “We serve an important role because we identify REALTOR®-friendly candidates for upcoming elections.” Leo also was recently appointed as chairman of NSDCAR’s Fallbrook District Council Committee. But did you know that Leo is a sculptor? A graduate of the Fashion Institute of Design and Merchandising in Los Angeles, Leo has worked full-time as an artist for companies in Southern California and made a living running his own studio. His works of art, including small animals made of ceramics and angels made from hydrostone, have been showcased at art shows and county fairs. His creations have brought pleasure and delight to countless numbers of people. Leo met his wife Barbara at the Orange County Fair in Costa Mesa when he was exhibiting his ceramics pieces. They have been married since 1994. Barbara also is a REALTOR®. “I got into real estate thinking I would have flex-time to spend on sculpting,” said Leo. “But real estate has been busier in recent years and I haven’t had much time for my artwork. I love sculpture art, whether it’s oil-based clay, ceramics, bronze, or metal, and I love how it brings enjoyment to my clients.” Leo, 59, has been a REALTOR® since 2009, specializing in North San Diego and Southern Riverside counties. “I’m an artist who works in real estate and loves the art of the sale and helping people make their dreams come true,” he said. A longtime resident of Fallbrook, Leo served as the honorary mayor of Fallbrook (2012-2013) after he collected the most donation funds for the Fallbrook Chamber of Commerce’s programs that benefit the community. “It meant I got to ride in the Fallbrook Christmas Parade a couple of times,” Leo said. Leo serves as a director and ambassador for the Fallbrook Chamber of Commerce and was named Fallbrook Chamber Ambassador of the Year (2015), and has also served on the Bonsall Chamber of Commerce Board of Directors. He also volunteers for the California Sculpture Academy in Fallbrook and as a docent at the Fallbrook Art Center. He also was part of the Fallbrook Film Festival, which included sculpting the Frank Capra Award which honored the most uplifting film. “I’ve met a lot of wonderful people through these community organizations,” he said. “It’s important for REALTORS® to be involved in supporting their community and participating in community activities.” Leo also is proud to be an NSDCAR member. “It’s a great Association that helps all the members with training and maintaining high ethical standards,” he said. “They’re doing the right things for REALTORS®. Our Association is filled with very nice people.”
At last week’s NSDCAR annual membership meeting, seven NSDCAR REALTOR® members were honored as the first-ever NSDCAR members to achieve the Risk Mitigation Specialist (RMS) certification. RMS certification is a new NSDCAR program that’s available for the first time for NSDCAR REALTOR® members. The seven REALTORS® who are the first NSDCAR members to achieve RMS certification included Michelle D’Aliesio, Eric Farrar, Kevin Murphy, Abra Rider, Tom Stamos, Joe Vayer and Rosemary Winn. These seven REALTOR® members were recognized for investing in their professionalism and completing advanced coursework in risk mitigation resulting in their RMS certification. They are among an elite group of their peers who have committed extra time and effort into providing the very best service for their clients. The seven REALTORS® were recently asked for their thoughts on earning the RMS certification and why it would be important for other NSDCAR members to also earn the RMS certification. “I feel it’s extremely important to educate yourself in all aspects of the real estate business, especially risk mitigation,” said Michelle D'Aliesio. “As a real estate agent, it’s our number one duty to protect our clients, ourselves and our broker. Being certified as a Risk Mitigation Specialist informs your clients that you have completed the necessary steps to protect them from litigation. Risk Mitigation Specialist classes provide you with a wealth of information on many aspects covering a variety of topics. I would highly recommend getting your Risk Mitigation Specialist certification to new agents, as well as, seasoned agents.” “When the Risk Mitigation Specialist program was announced, I knew this was an important certification to set myself apart as an expert in this area,” said Eric Farrar. “As an owner-manager, it gives our agents and clients confirmation that we are operating at the highest level in the industry.” “I am a new broker with a well-rounded education after 28 years as an appraiser,” said Kevin Murphy. “The Risk Mitigation Program was laser specific on the needs of a real estate agent. The panel of instructors was world class, and they really cared about preparing us. They live real estate and were generous with their stories and skills on how to reduce risk and protect ourselves, our clients and the public. I would strongly recommend all the classes and electives to every agent out there, whether new or well experienced. It gives you an edge!” “As a member of NSDCAR’s Professional Standards Committee I’ve seen firsthand the frustration that can be caused by innocent errors made during a transaction,” said Abra Rider. “I welcomed the opportunity to take this training series specifically related to risk mitigation, and encourage others to take advantage of the amazing educational opportunities offered by the Association. Risk mitigation certification is an excellent way to show your dedication to protecting your clients.” “I had been a Risk Management Specialist with another Association since about 2003 and was thrilled when NSDCAR created the Certified Risk Mitigation Specialist program,” said Tom Stamos. “It's so important to be up to date with the most important information and knowing how to navigate through the many serious risks to my license, the fiduciary duty to my clients, protecting my broker and my company, not to mention my family's income. Having this designation elevates my professionalism and puts me in better negotiation positions, which makes my services more valuable than agents without it. I highly recommend this certification to all agents with NSDCAR.” “This series of thought-provoking RMS classes is well delivered by professional in each subject,” said Joe Vayer. “They are well suited for both new and seasoned agents. Applying what is taught in these classes will help anyone with the goal of becoming a better real estate professional. This is one reason that I chose to take the Certified Risk Management Specialist courses.” “The risk management certification is important for all realtors to always be renewing their awareness and knowledge regarding their real estate transactions, not only for themselves but their clients and their brokers as well,” said Rosemary Winn. With litigation rates on the rise, the RMS certification can minimize your risk in a risky business. So, if you are ready to take your education to the next level, if you want to gain a competitive edge over your competition, if you want the tools to identify red flags and reduce your exposure to risk and litigation, if you want to stay on top of industry changes and provide your clients with the utmost protection during transactions, if you want to elevate your professionalism, if you want to gain a competitive edge from other REALTORS®, then the RMS certification is for you. To achieve the RMS certification, you must be an NSDCAR member in good standing, submit an application, pay a one-time certification fee of $99 and complete seven courses, including the California Residential Purchase Agreement (RPA), Guide to Residential Disclosures, Transactions A-Z, Real Estate Settlement Procedures Act (RESPA), Safety Awareness, Property Management and Legal Update. These courses prepare REALTORS® to avoid various legal pitfalls in real estate transactions. The Coursework covers such topics as MLS rules and regulations, protecting your client, management and supervision, E&O insurance, broker liability, red flags and inspections. Benefits you will receive with an RMS certification: Free admission on select NSDCAR courses; 20 percent savings on individual required certificate courses; Discount on C.A.R. RealCare Errors and Omission insurance; VIP registration and seating at select NSDCAR events; Re-take required or elective certificate courses at no charge; Recognition at annual luncheon. For more information on the RMS certification, visit www.nsdcar.com/rms/. Click here to watch a 2:33 video with Tom Stamos, www.youtube.com/watch?v=NMFFgSYNOiw.