Coaching Corner: Imagine…believe…create

By “Coach” Marilou Butcher Roth

For years I have been aware that my attitudes and beliefs affect the outcome in my life. Today as I was sitting at my desk, I noticed a group of stones at the far end that are always there but seldom noticed. The stones have words on them and the three that were somehow grouped together were “Imagine, Believe and Create.”

Wow! That is so telling of how things do work. First, imagine. What do you want? In your personal life or your business life. That step is the easier one, isn’t it? We can imagine what we desire but how often do we then somehow talk ourselves out of it? Perhaps with thoughts like “that happens for others but not for me.” Or, “that would be really nice…but ______.” There are countless ways we undermine our deepest desires.

How can you believe in attaining what you want? Each time you catch yourself dismissing the idea of achieving, how can you bring yourself back to the belief that you can have, be or do what you have imagined. The more you can do this, the easier it will be to get there!

So, this week, focus on these three words and constantly bring yourself back to a place of belief, putting your attention on how good your desire feels. This takes practice, just like any other activity that you want to excel in. Practice imagining and believing and watch for your creation!



Marilou Butcher Roth is the owner of The MBR Group, a coaching and training company working primarily with REALTORS who have a desire to work and live from a more inspired place. She is also the Broker/Owner of Group REALTORS in Cincinnati.

Marilou is a member of the OAR Board of Directors and past chairman of the organization’s Communications Committee. Feel free to contact Marilou to see if coaching is right for you:


Tags: Coaching Corner, training

Ohio House overwhelmingly approves OAR-backed House Bill 532

ohio statehouse horizontal

By Paul Glass, OAR Director of Political Affairs

The Ohio House of Representatives overwhelmingly approved House Bill 532, a measure designed to update the state’s licensing structure and modernize the delivery of pre-license real estate education, during its session on May 25.

The bill, which is strongly supported by the Ohio Association of REALTORS, Ohio Division of Real Estate and Professional Licensing, Ohio Real Estate Commission and the Ohio Association of Community Colleges, will proceed to the Ohio Senate for further consideration and vote in the fall.

A clear majority of the provisions contained within HB532 were recommended by a special Task Force created by the Ohio Real Estate Commission and supported by the Division. Click here for more facts about the bill.

Passage of HB 532 is a critical step forward for Ohio’s real estate community, as aspiring licensees will have the option of acquiring the 120 hours of pre-licensure coursework in the classroom or on-line. Once passed, Ohio will become the nation’s 38th state that gives students a choice in fulfilling the requirements prior to sitting for the real estate exam.

During the debate of HB 532 a number of significant improvements were made to the measure, which helped to strengthen current Ohio law regarding pre-licensure education. The bill provides for more oversight of curriculum prior to it being offered by an Institution of Higher Education. Further, HB 532 will require that courses are eligible for academic credit and may be applied toward a degree. This helps close a loophole in current Ohio law that doesn’t require credit eligibility of pre-license real estate education courses.

Special thanks to Rep. Ryan Smith (R-Bidwell) for his strong support of HB 532. Additionally, we thank Speaker of the House Cliff Rosenberger (R-Clarksville) and Rep. Ron Young (R-Leroy Township), chair of the House Commerce and Labor Committee, for their efforts on the bill.

Ohio’s REALTOR community played a critical role in ensuring the HB 532 passed the House, with countless members responding to the organization’s first “Call for Action” in more than a decade and urging their respective lawmaker to vote yes on the bill. The message from the real estate profession obviously resonated and members of the Ohio House opted to stand with Ohio’s REALTOR organization, with Ohio’s real estate regulatory entities and with Ohio’s 23 Community Colleges and vote yes on HB 532 by an impressive 80-5 margin.

As a result of the House vote, Ohio is a step closer to broadening the availability, accessibility and affordability of high quality pre-licensure real estate education.

Tags: Association news, politics

Ohio market posts best-ever level of home purchase signings in April

By Carl Horst, OAR Director of Publications/Media Relations

The Ohio Association of REALTORS reports the number of single-family homes and condominiums put under agreement in April 2016 reached a best-ever level for the month, increasing 7.5 percent from the level posted during the month a year ago.

Ohio’s April Pending Home Sales Index of 170.3, a forward-looking indicator based on contract signings, increased 7.5 percent from April 2015 (158.5). Activity in April was unchanged from the pace of agreements reached in March 2016 (170.3).

“The Ohio housing marketplace is continuing to exhibit tremendous strength, as the number of homes put under contract in April reached an all-time high for the month and marks our 24th consecutive monthly year-over-year gain,” said OAR President Sara Calo. “The industry is hopeful that the brisk level of sales activity that has taken place so far this year will continue to build as we move forward.”

Compared to 2008, a historically healthy market that marked the end of five consecutive record years for existing home sales and the onset of the recession, April’s Index score of 170.3 marks a 70.3 increase.

A pending sale or a sale “under agreement” is when the buyer and seller agree on terms of the sale of a home and have a signed purchase and sale agreement, but have yet to close and be recorded as such.

OAR, the largest professional trade association in the state with more than 29,000 members, is the only organization that compiles this state wide information from selected Multiple Listing Services each month. The tracking of “pending sales” provides reliable information about where the market is heading in coming months.

Tags: pending home sales, research

Help move Ohio forward — tell your lawmaker to vote for passage of House Bill 532!

action now button on a keyboard

The Ohio Association of REALTORS #1 legislative priority – House Bill 532 – is expected to be up for a vote in the House of Representatives tomorrow afternoon (Wednesday, May 25). For the first time in more than a decade, OAR has issued a “Call for Action” to give the profession an opportunity make its collective voice heard in support of HB 532.

Click here to play a key role in securing passage of the measure designed to move Ohio forward, improve the state’s licensing structure and modernize the delivery of pre-licensure real estate education.

Tags: Association news, politics

The real facts about House Bill 532

red bursting Ohio

By Peg Ritenour, OAR Vice President of Legal Services/Administration

Ohio House Bill 532 — legislation designed to update Ohio’s licensing structure and modernize the delivery of pre-licensing education — is currently being debated at the State House. The bill has a number of supporters, including the Ohio Division of Real Estate and Professional Licensing, Ohio Real Estate Commission, Ohio Association of Community Colleges and Ohio Association of REALTORS.

Since the bill has been introduced there have been a number of questions about what it does and doesn’t do. In order the bring clarity to the issue, here are the facts to some of the frequently asked questions:

Q: How does HB 532 amend the license law?

A: It amends the license law in three ways:

  1. It implements the recommendations of the License Structure Review Task Force appointed by the Ohio Real Estate Commission
  2. It provides statutory direction for licensees representing more than one buyer making an offer to purchase the same property at the same time (referred to as contemporaneous offers)
  3. It allows those applying for a real estate sales exam with the option to take their pre-licensing courses on-line.

Q: Who initiated these changes?

A:  The Ohio Division of Real Estate and Professional Licensing and the Ohio Real Estate Commission appointed the Task Force and approved implementation of its report to modify Ohio license law  in several areas. Likewise, Superintendent Ann Petit initiated the process to allow for distance education for pre-licensing education by asking OAR for its support. As to the contemporaneous offer language, OAR legal staff, the Superintendent, and Division counsel worked together to arrive at the provisions included in the bill.

Q: It seems like the only portion of the bill that has garnered any questions is the distance education provisions. Is that true?

A: Yes. The bill has had three hearings and there have been no concerns raised about the Task Force provisions or the contemporaneous offer language.

Q: So is it true that the provisions in the bill allowing distance education weren’t part of the Task Force report? Why not?

A: No, they weren’t part of that report and OAR has never represented that they were. There is a very simple explanation for this. After the Division of Real Estate sought input from OAR on allowing the option of distance education, the Ohio Real Estate Commission approved this legislative change in 2011.

The License Structure Review Task Force was appointed in 2012 and was never asked by the Superintendent  to provide input on a decision that had already been made by the Commission. As a member of the Task Force I will tell you that the Task Force was well aware of this decision and in lengthy meetings that lasted almost a year and involved several educational issues, the Task Force never considered advising the Commission  to reverse its position on distance education.

Q: Who decided that OAR would support allowing distance education for the pre-licensing sales courses? Staff? As a REALTOR, I don’t remember being asked my opinion.

A: OAR staff DOES NOT make decisions as whether OAR supports or opposes any legislation. Like every non-profit REALTOR Trade Association, OAR is governed by  a Board of Directors. In our case, there are 300-plus Directors that represent the interests of our 29,000 members. It was the OAR Board of Directors that voted unanimously to approve the provisions contained in HB 532. It is staff’s duty to  carry out the decisions of the Board of Directors.

It is important to understand that before any legislative initiative is considered by the Board of Directors it is first considered by OAR’s Legislative Steering Committee. With respect to allowing on-line distance education for sales candidates, the Steering Committee did its due diligence as follows:

  1. It conducted a survey of other states in 2011 that showed that 37 allowed distance education at that time (that number has likely gone up).
  2. Hondros College did a demonstration of an on-line pre-licensing course to a joint meeting of the Legislative Steering and Professional Development Committee.
  3. OAR conducted a survey of all REALTORS for whom we had email addresses, which at the time totaled over 21,000 members. Therefore if you were a member at that time and we had your email you were asked your opinion in this survey.

The motion of the Legislative Steering Committee to support distance education as an option was then approved by two other groups before going before the Board of Directors – the Enlarged Legislative Committee which has approximately 115 members and the OAR Executive Committee.

Q: Is it true that someone who wants to get their broker’s license in Ohio can already take that additional course work on-line?

A: Yes, that is true and such on-line courses are currently offered in Ohio.

Q: Is it true that some brokers and agents don’t like the idea of distance education?

A: That is true, but with 29,000 members it is not realistic to expect everyone to agree on an issue.

Q: I have heard that HB 532 will reduce the requirements to become licensed, including the requirements for the broker’s exam. Is that true?

A: Absolutely not. The number of hours of course work for a sales license remains the same – 120 hours (which is the third highest in the country). The statement that the broker requirements are changed in any way by HB 532 is completely untrue. The only thing changing is providing candidates for the sales exam with the same option to take courses online that brokers currently have.

Q: I have seen postings and emails that state that this bill will allow unaccredited and “fly by night” schools to teach on-line courses. Is that true?

A: No. All pre-licensing course work must be taken at an Institution of Higher Education, which must be accredited by an entity recognized by the U.S. Department of Education.

Q: Is this just about making it easier to get a license? I read that OAR is just backing this to get more members.

A: This is not about making it easier to get a license. It is about making real estate courses accessible for those wanting to get into the real estate profession that have difficulty taking courses in a class room setting. The allegation that OAR is somehow doing this to get more members has no basis. The OAR Board of Directors made the decision to support on-line education, not OAR staff. Moreover if this was just about increasing our membership the Directors would have had staff fast track this legislation change back in 2011 when our membership numbers were low, not now when the number of new licensees is going up every month as it has been doing for the last couple of years because of the robust real estate market.

Q: Who has testified about their concerns about the pre-licensing  distance education?

A: Hondros College of Business and a handful of brokers.

Q: What is Hondros College opposed to?

A: Hondros wants to require that all pre-licensing courses be taken for college credit. This was put before OAR’s Board of Directors and was not supported. As staff we must follow the directive of the Board.

Q: Are classes currently required to be taken for college credit?

A: No, such credit has never been required. OAR, the Division and initially Hondros all supported adding language in HB 532 to require the courses be taken for credit or be “credit eligible.” HB 532 defines “credit eligible” as a course that is offered by an Institution of Higher Education and is eligible for academic credit that may be applied toward a degree. This will assure that any licensee who wants to pursue a college degree will be able to receive credit for their pre-licensing classes.

Q: Won’t HB 532 create a “loophole” by allowing for non-credit courses?

A: The simple answer is NO. Ohio’s pre-licensure requirements will remain among the nation’s most stringent. As detailed by Bob Fletcher, OAR’s chief executive officer, current pre-licensure courses do not have to be taken for credit or even be credit eligible. HB 532 increases the current requirements so that the courses — offered by an Institution of Higher Education — must be credit eligible.

Q: Why not just require all courses be taken for credit?

A: Again, this was put before OAR’s Board of Directors and was not supported. As staff we must follow the decisions of the Board of Directors. It is important to note that most individuals taking their sales pre-licensing courses are not interested in obtaining college credit, in many cases because they already have a college degree. Forcing them to take classes that are part of degree program is often more expensive for applicants and unnecessary.

Q: What has OAR done to address the concerns that such courses may be substandard if they aren’t part of a degree program?

A: First, we don’t agree with that statement. However to put that argument to rest, OAR has done two things. First, language was included in HB 532  that will allow the Superintendent of Real Estate to report any concerns about the pre-licensing courses offered by an Institution of Higher Education that she believes may be violating educational standards to that entity’s regulating authority. Secondly, we support proposed amendments to HB 532 to require all Institutions of Higher Education offering the pre-licensing courses to receive accreditation from the Higher Learning Commission. This is the highest accreditation standard available. OAR is also supportive of an amendment which would require the Superintendent of Real Estate, along with either the Department of Higher Education or the State Board of Career Colleges, to review and approve any pre-licensing sales courses that are not being offered for credit before they are offered by an Institution of Higher Education. This assures upfront approval, as well as the Superintendent’s ability to report later concerns about a course to the entities that regulate these schools.

Q: Who benefits from on-line pre-licensure?

A: Aspiring real estate licensees will benefit from having the choice of taking the required coursework in a classroom or on-line. There are many markets across Ohio that are currently under-served — with classes being held at locations that are as much as two hours away.

Additionally, many would-be licensees are looking to enter the real estate profession as a second career. Their current employment schedule can be a significant hurdle to attaining the required coursework, if the classroom hours conflict with their job.

Take the example of Jenny Barwiler, an aspiring Ohio real estate licensee, who recently contacted the Ohio Association of REALTORS asking about the possibility of taking real estate pre-licensure courses on-line.

Barwiler, who is deputy auditor with the Huron County Auditor, previously had a Michigan real estate license. She moved to Ohio and is interested in obtaining a license. However because of the demands with her job responsibilities, along with the nearest location for classes being about an hour-and-a-half away, she was interested in knowing if a distance learning option — which is permitted in Michigan (and 36 other states) — was available to her?

We replied that while current law doesn’t permit on-line education, Ohio lawmakers were considering House Bill 532, which would give aspiring licensee’s the option of taking the courses in the classroom or on-line. Barwiler contacted her lawmaker, Rep. Terry Boose (R-Norwalk), and urged his support for the bill.

Finally, as noted by Michael McAllister, chief executive officer and founder of The CE Shop, a key benefit of on-line education — aside from accessibility and affordability — is that it gives the student an opportunity to learn the information at a pace they’re comfortable with. “Distance education allows for a new body of knowledge to be absorbed in manageable segments as determined by each individual learner, something that is particularly vital for those entering the real estate profession who must learn complex license law. The benefits of distance learning become even more important for those with language barriers or learning disabilities.”

It should be noted that McAllister offered this opinion despite the fact that The CE Shop is not an Institution of Higher Education and, therefore, cannot offer on-line pre-licensing classes in Ohio.


If you have any further questions about HB 532 please feel free to contact OAR at

Tags: Association news, politics

View More Articles »