For Real Estate Agents

Concerned About Your School Property Tax Bill? Vote In The PA Primary!

Realtor party


Many people often miss the boat when it comes to exercising their right to vote. Presidential elections get all the glory, but how important is it to vote in off-years and also in the Primaries? Very! Take your local school board elections, for instance: Members of your school board determine where your property tax dollars are spent, the quality of the education provided to children, AND how much your school district collects from you in taxes!

Election of these people affects homeowners' single biggest yearly/montly expense. Not kind of, sort of, maybe...school board elections affect your pocketbook directly, and in a big way. Here in Monroe and Pike Counties in the Poconos, it is critical that you vote every year, twice a year, in both the Primary and General Elections to be sure you are represented by common-sense, fiscally responsible, accountable members who will provide the highest quality education that the homeowners who pay the bill can afford

This year the municipal primary election here is May 21, 2013, and school board elections are the highlight of the ballot in every municipality. Mark your calendar and get out to vote! And if you cannot get to the polls that day, plan ahead and vote by absentee ballot before May 17. 

Monroe County, PA has an excellent summary of polling locations and ballot information here.

Find election information for Pike County, PA here.

Your vote really counts in these local races. Make it happen! :)

 

 


Stroud Landlords: Register Your Tenants

Stroud township logo
All landlords with residential rental properties in Stroud Township are required to register tenants with the Township every year by May 31. You must also report any tenant changes or vacancies within 30 days. There is no fee for this. Read more about the Tenant Registration Ordinance #5 - 2010 here, and print the required form here.
Don't forget that if your rental property is located in a homeowners association like Blue Mountain Lake or Penn Estates, you most likely have to register your tenants with them as well. 
This is probably a good time, too, to make sure your properties are properly marked with the new  911 addresses issued last year.
If you own rental properties in other municipalities in the Poconos, you should check to see if there is a tenant registration requirement. Here is contact information for all municipalities in Monroe County, PA.
Looking for a property manager? Contact us at propertymanagement@realpocono.com

What It Means To Be A REALTOR

Pocono realtor code of ethics under all is the land


This year marks the 100th Anniversary of the Code of Ethics and Standards of Practice of the National Association of REALTORS, so I thought a little shout out to this document and to my fellow professionals was appropriate. I am so proud of what we stand for as stewards of our industry, our communities, and our Country. 

The Code has gone through many iterations over the last hundred years, it’s relevancy ever critical to how we REALTORS conduct ourselves in the world. It really is not just a Code, it’s a way of doing business and living our lives. Every REALTOR has pledged to uphold the standards set forth in the Code and be professional in their dealings. The history and tradition of the Code has as it’s first priority protection of the public and it outlines our duties to clients and customers, as well as to each other. The Code of Ethics existed before any real estate licensing laws and has been the standard that state lawmakers and regulators strive to match. The Code of Ethics guides us in how we conduct ourselves and the commitments we represent.

Take the Preamble to the Code of Ethics for example. It is quite inspiring, presents a big picture vision of our obligations to society, and outlines a lofty ideal. To me, this Preamble is paramount, as it directs us to accept the responsibility of being actively involved in the protection of the rights of home ownership, being stewards and teachers in our industry, and continually striving to be better at what we do. I believe these things to be the foundation of real estate agent professionalism, being committed to all things real estate, in our lives and in our communities:

Under all is the land. Upon its wise utilization and widely allocated ownership depend the survival and growth of free institutions and of our civilization. REALTORS® should recognize that the interests of the nation and its citizens require the highest and best use of the land and the widest distribution of land ownership. They require the creation of adequate housing, the building of functioning cities, the development of productive industries and farms, and the preservation of a healthful environment.

Such interests impose obligations beyond those of ordinary commerce. They impose grave social responsibility and a patriotic duty to which REALTORS® should dedicate themselves, and for which they should be diligent in preparing themselves. REALTORS®, therefore, are zealous to maintain and improve the standards of their calling and share with their fellow REALTORS® a common responsibility for its integrity and honor.

In recognition and appreciation of their obligations to clients, customers, the public, and each other, REALTORS® continuously strive to become and remain informed on issues affecting real estate and, as knowledgeable professionals, they willingly share the fruit of their experience and study with others. They identify and take steps, through enforcement of this Code of Ethics and by assisting appropriate regulatory bodies, to eliminate practices which may damage the public or which might discredit or bring dishonor to the real estate profession. REALTORS® having direct personal knowledge of conduct that may violate the Code of Ethics involving misappropriation of client or customer funds or property, willful discrimination, or fraud resulting in substantial economic harm, bring such matters to the attention of the appropriate Board or Association of REALTORS®. (Amended 1/00)

Realizing that cooperation with other real estate professionals promotes the best interests of those who utilize their services, REALTORS® urge exclusive representation of clients; do not attempt to gain any unfair advantage over their competitors; and they refrain from making unsolicited comments about other practitioners. In instances where their opinion is sought, or where REALTORS® believe that comment is necessary, their opinion is offered in an objective, professional manner, uninfluenced by any personal motivation or potential advantage or gain.

The term REALTOR® has come to connote competency, fairness, and high integrity resulting from adherence to a lofty ideal of moral conduct in business relations. No inducement of profit and no instruction from clients ever can justify departure from this ideal.

In the interpretation of this obligation, REALTORS® can take no safer guide than that which has been handed down through the centuries, embodied in the Golden Rule, “Whatsoever ye would that others should do to you, do ye even so to them.”

Accepting this standard as their own, REALTORS® pledge to observe its spirit in all of their activities whether conducted personally, through associates or others, or via technological means, and to conduct their business in accordance with the tenets set forth below. (Amended 1/07)

This is why you see may see many of us taking active roles in all levels of government and our communities, whether it is actually running for office, attending meetings, offering counsel, supporting candidates and causes, etc. Organizations like homeowner associations, school boards, planning commissions, and city councils, in the Poconos and in every other area in the country, all benefit from REALTORS actively participating.

Sure, we are all in business to earn a living, but the most professional of us, those dedicated to upholding the ideals in the Code of Ethics and the tenets of a thriving, healthy marketplace, continually work to stay current on issues, educate ourselves about our industry, and embrace every aspect of the business. This is not a ‘what’s in it for me’ business. It’s the business of shoring up the foundation of our country by being an actively participating citizen REALTORS. After all:  “Under all is the land.”

Read the entire Code here 

Audio: Why the Code of Ethics matters to consumers




Look Out Poconos, Real Estate Just Got More Colorful!

Welcome blue team

Merger Announcement-Real Estate Leaders Unite

Yesterday, we agents at Better Homes and Gardens Real Estate Wilkins & Associates were summoned to a surprise meeting where the company announced it's merger with Coldwell Banker Phyllis Rubin Real Estate. The agents from CBPRRE, now known as The Blue Team, will be assigned to various offices within the company which best suits their market area, and Broker/Owner Heather D'Adamo will work out of the Stroudsburg office as Executive Vice President.

This is an unprecedented collaboration creating the largest residential real estate company in the Pocono Mountains, with 135 agents and 25 employees representing approximately 25% of the property listings currently available for sale. The move positions the new company to ride out the current economy while expanding its pool of exceptional real estate agents, managers and support staff. Real estate buyers and sellers in Monroe County and surrounding areas can expect better than ever exposure and service during this time when they need it most.

Green & Blue Work Well Together!

This is an exciting time for all of us here at Better Homes and Gardens Real Estate Wilkins & Associates and I would like to take this opportunity to welcome all of my new Associates to the team. Being a fairly new member of the company myself, I know what a big step this is and can relate to all of the emotions and flurry of activity associated with a change such as this. I offer my moral support and am always here if you need anything. Most especially, if you need advice about Facebook or Twitter, I'd love to help! =)

Please help me welcome and congratulate The Blue Team in the comments!!


It's Official: There's Genius In Them Thar Poconos!

Agentgenius The Big Announcement

I am so proud to be one of the newest writers to join Agent Genius, the smartest real estate industry blog on the planet. Don't ask me how I managed it, but they want me!

Read the announcement here: Lisa Sanderson on Board.

Are You A Genius?

If you are a real estate agent and don't read AG (as this blog is affectionately known to the Geniuses who read it) shame on you. You are missing out on some of the best tips, advice and discussion out there. The contributors to this site are the leaders and trailblazers in our industry, from across the country and beyond. The community of writers, readers and commentors is engaging and welcoming, and offers diverse viewpoints and an always-interesting mix of opinions. There is no better place to network with your peers and have some fun, all the while learning a ton about marketing, social media, SEO and all kind of cool, cutting edge real estate junk!

If you aren't sure where to start at AG, try this article and prepare to giggle: You Know You're A Real Estate Agent If...

Did I mention AG is fun?

I am truly honored to be part of this group and look forward to sharing thoughts and ideas with the global real estate community on AG.