Update on my visit to Washington, D.C. as President of the NCBR

Dear Fellow Newport County Board Realtors:
I have just returned from the mid year National Association of Realtors conference in our
Nation’s Capitol: Washington, D.C. and I became painfully aware that seismic changes are
on the way and I want to make it clear to you, my fellow Realtors that it is essential that you
remain informed and committed.
I went there representing you as Board President of the Newport County Board of Realtors.
The National Association of Realtor’s mid year meeting is always in Washington, D.C. so
that each State can organize a Realtor Day on the Hill. Our Day on the Hill was Wednesday
afternoon and I am proud to say we had a large group of Realtors from throughout Rhode
Island to help “present our talking points”. We had a great turn out because quite a number
of Rhode Island Realtors came on their own dime because they understand the necessity of
making sure our Representatives and Senators in Washington, D.C. understand the role we
play in making the American Dream of Home Ownership a reality. I hope to see even more
Realtors from Newport County in Washington D.C. next year if possible.
We met with Sheldon Whitehouse and Jack Reed personally and legislative aides from James
Langevin and David Cicilline’s office and shared with each of them our talking points.
After our “Day on the Hill” we were invited to a personal reception with Ronald Phipps, our
NAR president, at the NAR Washington office. Informal photographs are on the NCBR
Facebook page. Not surprisingly, Ron is admired by Realtors across the country for his
great leadership qualities.
One item on the agenda that was discussed in great length by Ron and other Realtors, both
from Rhode Island and other states, was The Political Survival Initiative which will be
funded by a $40.00 dues increase. This dues increase was indeed approved with no discussion
and so you will see a $40.00 increase in your NAR bill. This should not come as a surprise
since Linda Arcouette had sent out a survey many times suggesting that you responds to that
our Directors would have your input.
One positive item that will directly impact Rhode Island and was one of our talking points
was the necessity of the passage of the NFIP or Flood Insurance Reform Bill. Rather than an
annual renewal we want to see a five year extension and indeed this bill is now in process,
we hope, of passage and implementation.
Once again, major changes are in process and it is essential that you read our NCBR web
site and the NAR. Org web site at least once a week so that you will remain “in the know”.
Respectfully,
Michelle Drum
Associate Broker
President, NCBR

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New Orleans

I just came back from the National Association of Realtors annual conference that was held this year in New Orleans. Our “own” Ronald Phipps is the President of NAR for 2011. We are very proud of him and his family.

New Orleans is such a wonderful city and the residents were so appreciative of us Realtors, as they have not forgotten that we were the only convention that stayed in New Orleans after Katrina.

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My Newport County Board of Realtor address as President of the Newport County Board of Realtors for 2011

First, I want to thank our honored guests, the Viking Hotel, Linda Arcouette, my friends at Gustave White Sotheby’s International Realty who are here to support me, my dear husband.

Before I move on the essence of my speech this evening a quick sound bite about whom I am and what makes me tick. My parents came to this country and ended up in Memphis, Tennessee as exiles from Nazi Germany. They only had the clothes on their back and yet became successful business people. Their matra was to exceed expectations, think outside the box and remain focused on their goals. Even though I certainly have clay feet, I too try to exceed expectations. I take on the role of President of your Newport County of Realtors Board with great deliberation, enthusiasm and a sense of humor.

I started my real estate career in January of 1986. In those days, before you came on a Board officer you had to chaira several committees and were then appointed to the Board. MT Shadduck, now MT Thomas, when she was President asked me to chair a committee. I on was the NCBR when John Silvia and Steve Larson were Presidents and they are my role models. I want to make them proud.

Social Media has changed our world and what I love about social media is its transparency and its accessibility. Let us all embrace this new paradigm. I hope to see more involvement by all of you, my friends and colleagues here in this room and beyond.

The NAR vision for 2011 is called “Seize the Day” and as part of this vision NAR sponsored Jim Peters, a Professional Facilitator/ Strategist to come to our Board specifically and help up draw up a new strategic plan for the next few years. This intense day long retreat was held at the Green Valley Country Club a few weeks ago. Jim Peters helped the Board draw up a Plan.

The resulting Strategic Plan, which will be posted on the NCBR’s web site, is based on looking out three years but also designed to be flexible and take into account emerging “hot” issues and dramatic changes in the housing market.

I am excited to say that as a result of this retreat we have a new vision statement: “Newport County Board of Realtors– our trusted real estate advisors”.

We now have five specific goals. I will not go into the details here but I plan to focus on two of these goals and move towards their implementation. I plan to help Connor Dowd, our 2012 president as he leads us into the next chapter.

With Linda Arcouette and Annie Becker and Christine Pierce as co-chairs of my communications committee we will be actively using social media applications to publicize our vision and our goals. I hope this increased transparency will create member enthusiasm and greater involvement and participation in events.

The 2011 committee chairs and members will be soon posted on our web site. This is a suggestion from Annie Becker, I will help Linda see that this implemented. The purpose is partially to let you know who to go to with questions & suggestions. Our blog is going to be made more active and I am hoping to have a suggestion box (thank you Liz Mastin) perhaps on-line.

Making sure that our affiliates received proper acknowledgement is a very integral component of the success of our Board. We plan to increase their visibility on web site through banner ads for example.

With the help of Erica Sousa, our program chair, we are revamping our Breakfast program to be make these events more informative, interesting and useful. Details to follow.

My President’s Charity will be the Martin Luther King, Jr. Community Center in acknowledgement of the volunteer work Suzie Nance has done on our Board and individually in the community. I went over to the Community Center the other day and was totally blown away at how much the Dr. Martin Luther King, JR. Community Center accomplishes on a shoe string. They have a sit down breakfast every day, (the excellent coffee supplied gratis by Bob Mastin of Custom House Coffee), a food pantry, before and after school activities and the list goes on. With the help of Shannon Buss, whom I have gotten to know through Women’s COuncil of Realtors, we will have a variety of fund raisers at no cost to the Boa5rd.

In summary, as we develop new programs and services for the members and affiliates we will adhere to our new vision as an effective advocate for our members and the consumers we serve. It is my responsibility as your president to move forward with the implementation of our Strategic Plan and serve you to the best I can. Respectfully, Michelle Drum

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Road to Recovery Summit

I just came back from a great conference at the historic Rhodes on the Pawtuxet sponsored by NAR.

Learned new information about REO’s, Foreclosures and Short Sales.

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