Coaching Corner: Jackhammer or hummingbird?

By “Coach” Marilou Butcher Roth

Recently I watched a show that featured Elizabeth Gilbert, the author who wrote Eat, Pray, Love among other books. She has historically been a huge proponent of finding your passion and living from that place. All good, right? Well, apparently not! During this particular talk she recounted a story from another talk that she had given, recalling the email she received after the talk from a woman who had been in the audience.

This woman in non-edited terms told her that she had never felt so bad about herself as she had after hearing Elizabeth speak. She continued on in her email, telling Elizabeth that in her experience she had no idea how to find her own passion, and hearing how important it was only made her feel worse about herself. Clearly, this was one of those moments that took Elizabeth by surprise, and started an entire thought process about passion and how it shows up within each of us.

The realization that she came to was that she, Elizabeth, was what she referred to as a jackhammer. She knew, felt and lived her passion of writing, and she was now seeing how everyone was not operating from that same place. She knew what made her come alive and she went for it!

Others, however, may not have that same experience. She determined there was a whole other group of people who she now refers to as hummingbirds. Hummingbirds get curious and follow directions that compel them. They may try something once and then move on to something else. In the process of “hummingbirding,” they may in fact find their passion — or they may not!

What I gleaned from listening to her story is that there is no right way to find what brings you to your greatest joy. You do not need to work at uncovering your self described passion. If it is there for you, that is wonderful. If not, how can you get curious and seek out small joys that may (or may not) become something you are passionate about. Too many people I believe are similar in feeling to the woman in this story — feeling frustrated that she doesn’t live from this much sought after place of passion.

If living from that place of passion has not found you as of yet, consider the path of the hummingbird and begin to choose from a place of what wants to happen for you, leading you from one beautiful, succulent flower to the next. And if, as this graceful hummingbird, you do not discover the illusive passion in your life, you will indeed live from a blissful place, finding delight in each and every flower!



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 Market Watch: Optimism lending practices will ease remains unchanged

By Greg Stitz, OAR Director of Research

After expressing increased optimism that lending practices would ease at the beginning of 2015 compared to a year earlier, optimism for Ohio REALTORS in 2016 remains relatively unchanged. About as many Ohio REALTORS are optimistic (31 percent) as are not optimistic (33 percent) that lending practices will ease in 2016, according to findings from OAR’s latest Ohio REALTOR Housing Market Confidence survey. Last year 33 percent expressed optimism and 30 percent expressed a lack of optimism that lending practices would ease in 2015.


Survey results are based on responses to a monthly survey, designed to capture the effects of the existing economic conditions and trends on the real estate industry, sent to a pool of 1,500 OAR participants. Click here to participate in future OAR Housing Confidence Surveys

Tags: Ohio Market Watch, research

NAR’s Window to the Law: Off-MLS listings

Katie Johnson, senior vice president and general counsel for the National Association of REALTORS, discusses the questions arising from this type of listing and explains why the NAR Code of Ethics makes this issue important to all REALTORS and consumers.

Published with permission from the National Association of REALTORS

Tags: legal

Ohio’s January housing report: Rising list prices, increased inventory levels & shorter marketing periods

real estate concept for sale $ %

By Carl Horst, OAR Director of Publications/Media Relations

The latest overview of the Ohio housing sector shows rising inventory levels in a majority of cities, combined with higher list prices and quicker sales time frames compared to January 2015.
According’s January 2016 Housing Report, which tracks inventory of for-sale single-family homes and condos, median list prices, inventory levels and days on the market for 300 cities across the country:

Our analysis of January data on indicates that the residential real estate market is following a typical January pattern, with cooler demand, reduced inventory and slower market velocity in most markets. The median list price in January is down slightly from December, largely consistent with the seasonal shift that favors buyers. At the same time, inventory continues to move down from its yearly peak, so buyers see fewer total choices but face less competition for the supply on the market.

Listing inventory trended down 7 percent over December, following the usual winter pattern. Inventory also continues to move slower per seasonal trend, but it still faster than this time last year. The median age of inventory is now 100 days, which is up 6 percent from December but still down 4 percent year-over-year. The median listing price ended at $228,000, remaining flat over last month, but up 9 percent year-over-year.

Compared to the findings from a year ago, all nine of the Ohio markets tracked reported an increase in the median list price in January. Seven of the state’s markets reported a faster pace of sales or were unchanged, while a majority of Ohio markets saw an increase in the number of homes being marketed for sale compared to January 2015 levels.

January 2016 vs. January 2015

Median List $
Total Listings Median Age of Inventory
Akron 7.4% 1.1% -6.3%
Canton-Massillon 3.5% 3.9% -7.3%
Cincinnati 8.1% -15.8% -11.9%
Cleveland-Elyria 2.4% 6.2% -5.5%
Columbus 10.8% 11.1% -13.9%
Dayton 2.9% 13.1% 0%
Springfield 9.5% 11.5% 2.0%
Toledo 5.6% -9.1% -4.6%
Youngstown-Warren-Boardman 7.5% -0.9% 3.5%
U.S. Average 8.6% -4.0% -3.9%

“We’re continuing to see positive developments within the Ohio housing market, notably achieving a fourth consecutive monthly increase in our inventory levels throughout most of the state compared to a year ago,” said Sara Calo, president of the Ohio Association of REALTORS. “We’re hopeful that this trend will continue, giving interested buyers more options to discover their ideal home.

“Additionally the steady increases in median list prices — combined with the shorter time frames that homes are on the market — indicate that the desire for home ownership remains strong across Ohio.”

Tags: research

Legally speaking: Can agents get paid directly on BPOs?

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

The OAR Legal Assistance Hotline receives an array of real estate-related legal questions — including license law issues, disclosure, contract law, ethics and commission problems, among others. In an effort to help you work within the law, our “Legally Speaking” series spotlights some of the timely questions that are being asked by REALTORS. The following addresses receiving compensation for a BPO… 

Q: My agents are often asked by lenders who have acquired property through foreclosure and other owners to provide an informal opinion on the value of their property. These are usually referred to as a BPO or CMA. Can my agents do this on their own and be paid directly or does payment have to be run through my brokerage?

A: Under Ohio license law, any acts that require a real estate license must be performed by a real estate agent in the name of the brokerage with which the agent is affiliated. Those acts requiring a license are set forth in Ohio Revised Code Section 4735.01. Although it may be surprising, providing an opinion as to the value of real property for a fee or other consideration is NOT an activity that requires a real estate license. (Of course providing an appraisal, may require an appraiser certification or license.)

Because providing an opinion on the value of real property does not require a real estate license, according to the Ohio Division of Real Estate and Professional Licensing that activity does NOT need to be performed by an agent in the name of the brokerage and the agent can be compensated directly for that service. The only exception to this is if the opinion of value or comparative market analysis is part of a transaction. If it is, then under Ohio Revised Code Section 4735.21 the compensation must be received in the name of the brokerage.

So to summarize, as long as the fee is not part of a transaction, an agent can be paid directly for doing a CMA or BPO. Of course a brokerage can require that BPOs be done through the brokerage as a matter of brokerage policy. In making a decision on whether to adopt a policy requiring affiliated agents to handle BPOs through the brokerage, it is recommended that brokers check with their E&O insurance carrier regarding coverage.

Tags: legal, Legally Speaking

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