NAR’s Window to the Law: Video and audio surveillance issues

The National Association of REALTORS explores the legal considerations for real estate professionals when surveillance devices are present on a property. Click here to access the various state laws for both video and audio recording.

Tags: legal

Coaching Corner: Should you?

By “Coach” Marilou Butcher Roth

Discussing “shoulds” is one of my favorite topics. It is very impactful in our lives, and everyone “shoulds” at some point! If you follow my Coaching Corner posts, this concept will not be unfamiliar to you, and today we are going to take it a step further. How often do you find yourself “shoulding” on yourself or someone else? I should, he should, she should, they should…or shouldn’t! Yep, its everywhere! Years ago, I was attending a workshop in Scotland and one of the other participants had a tape (dating myself now) with a song entitled “Don’t Should On Me And I Won’t Should On You!” I think that pretty much says it all.

Today I want to present three statements for you to use whenever you hit a “should.” This might be a work should, a relationship should or even a societal should. Look at all of the opportunities for a should happening in the political environment right now. However, just focus your attention on yourself for this exercise. Let’s say, as an example,  you have a should around finding new business — this could be the direction or the amount of time, calls, etc. You tell yourself “I should” do something. That’s your clue to pull out the following fill-in-the-blank statements:

  1. I should____________________________________________________________________.
  1. I should do this because  _________________________________________________________.
  1. What I really want in this situation is_________________________________________________.

I have shortened the lines for simplicity sake but you can certainly expand as much as you need to. The intention is to determine if your “should” matches your “want.” When we operate from only a should basis, we sometimes miss the mark of what would make us happy, and sadly, asking ourselves what we want may not come into play very often.

This week, pay attention to your own shoulds and take just a few minutes to unwind and get to your truest desire!

I think you should!! :)


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 experiences a record pace of home sales in June

red sold and roof

By Carl Horst, OAR Director of Publications/Media Relations

Ohio experienced a record rate of home sales in June, the third consecutive month the marketplace has reached a best-ever pace, according to the Ohio Association of REALTORS.

“Through the mid-point of 2016 the Ohio housing market has been able to experience a strong level of sales activity and steady, modest growth in pricing,” said OAR President Sara Calo. “It’s evident that we’re continuing to make significant progress in building a stable foundation for the housing sector, as more Ohioans are exhibiting confidence that a home purchase is a solid, long-term investment.

“The marketplace appears to be withstanding the ongoing challenge throughout Ohio of tight inventory levels of home being marketed for sale.”

June’s average home price of $178,592 reflects a 3.9 percent increase from the $171,951 mark posted during the month last year.

Sales in June reached a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 150,880, increasing 5.4 percent from the 143,196 level posted in June 2015. The market also experienced a slight 0.7 percent increase in sales from May 2016’s seasonally adjusted annual rate of 149,818. The rate of sales during June 2016 reached the highest level for the month since OAR began tracking data in 1998.

Around the state, half of the 18 markets tracked reported increases in sales activity levels during the month. Additionally, 12 local markets showed an increase in average sales price.

Home sales during the second quarter were up 7.1 percent from the same period a year ago. Sales also posted a 3.4 percent gain from the mark set in first quarter 2016. Specifically, second quarter 2016’s seasonally adjusted annual rate reached 150,163, a 7.1 percent increase from the quarterly pace a year ago of 140,153. Sales during the recent quarter were 3.4 percent ahead of the first quarter 2016 mark of 145,207. Second quarter 2016 dollar volume of more than $7.3 billion is up 11.4 percent from the same period last year ($6.6 billion).

Data provided to OAR by Multiple Listing Services includes residential closings for new and existing single-family homes and condominiums/co-ops. The Ohio Association of REALTORS, with more than 29,000 members, is the largest professional trade association in Ohio.

Click here to view OAR’s seasonally adjusted Ohio home sales report. To access a market-by-market analysis of sales activity throughout Ohio, click here.

Tags: home sales, research

Internet Security Best Practices — Part 3: What to do when you’ve been hacked or clicked on a suspicious link

Diversity Business People Security Protection Concept

This is the final installment of a three-part report prepared by the National Association of REALTORS‘ Information Services. The series — Internet Security Best Practices — offers a number of security practices to help keep you and your business safe online. Click here to access Internet Security Best Practices — Part 1: The Basics and here for Part 2 — How to Prevent malware installation and successful phishing.


Please note this guidance is intended for computers and accounts that you personally own. If you are looking to take any of these steps either on a computer or account managed by your company, you may want to consult the IT department first. For example, installing a virus scanner on a computer that already has one can cause that computer to seize up, and can often make a bad situation much worse.

Please also note that, should a computer or mobile device become infected, it is wise to consult with an expert to ensure malware is completely removed and that it is safe to continue using the device. 

What to do when you find a clone

It is alarming when you find that someone has created a profile, identical to yours, with an image of your likeness and your name. Each social media site has their own terms and conditions by which you can report a clone and request its removal. You might be asked to scan and email (or fax) in a copy of your driver’s license, to prove you are who you purport to be. Since reporting requirements are always changing, the best thing to do is to navigate to the social media site’s Help section and search for “cloning help” or “cloning” to determine the next steps.

What to do if you click a sketchy link or malware is installed on your computer

  1. Abort mission immediately!! As soon as you know or feel like you’ve clicked a bad link, immediately disconnect your mobile device or computer from the Internet. This will temporarily prevent hackers from accessing your computer or device. It will also prevent your computer or device from communicating with other devices in your network and causing further damage.
  1. Don’t plug or connect any other devices to the infected device. This will cause further damage by opening up other devices to the virus, worm, or malware.
  1. Use an alternate secure device or computer, on an alternate Internet network or wireless connection, to change passwords to the affected services and/or your most vulnerable services/sites (i.e. your bank, insurance providers, email accounts, password vault). If you use the same password for multiple services: shame on you! Change the passwords to any other services that use that same password, too. DO NOT change passwords on the infected device before running a virus scan (source: MSFT). Hackers may have access to your computer/device and thus the ability to monitor your every move.
  1. Purchase or download trusted anti-virus, anti-phishing, anti-spyware for your device and run it. Try not to connect this device to the Internet, especially if you’ve interrupted any virus-download process by disconnecting the Internet (perhaps download trusted software to a different device and use a thumb drive or cd to transfer the software to the infected device).
  1. Check for backdoors—look through your email rules to make sure the hackers didn’t set up email forwarding, and update your security questions to make sure they were not changed.
  1. Monitor! Monitor all accounts, check for new email rules, account security changes, and any strange or unauthorized charges on credit cards and bank statements.
  1. Think about connections—the account or device that was hacked: what other tools/services tie into or associate with that account? Check and monitor those for vulnerabilities too!
  1. De=authorize all apps tied to your smartphone, tablet, and social media accounts — apps interrelate and authenticate — so de-authorize these relationships and then re-add them later.
  1. Identity and credit monitoring — keep an eye on your credit report and consider setting up identity and credit report monitoring for at least a few months to be alerted to any suspicious activity.
  1. Let your communities/networks know what happened — tell them not to click suspicious links in emails and posts from you in the interim or to confirm with you first before clicking.
  1. Some Internet security experts suggest that one should not use a previously infected device to access vulnerable information — like bank, insurance, and credit sites — even after the infected device has received an anti-virus treatment. It’s up to you to decide upon an infected device’s trustworthiness.
  1. Be sure to take good notes of everything that happened prior to the security breach — try to remember how you arrived at a particular website, what links you clicked, what pop-ups or dialog boxes you saw, and any downloads you agreed to. This will prove helpful should you need to consult with a computer expert.
  1. Consider consulting with an expert. Find a credible and trustworthy, licensed, bonded and insured, computer expert to review your computer and/or devices to ensure the malware is completely removed. Malware can prove tricky to remove and often operates under the radar.


What is the Difference: Viruses, Worms, Trojans, and Bots?, (CISCO, n.d.)

What is a Computer Worm?, (Symantec, n.d.).

What to do after you’ve been hacked, (Wired, Mar. 5, 2013).

What to do when you’ve been hacked, (PC Magazine, Mar. 6, 2014).

My account has been hacked, (Microsoft Windows, n.d.).

11 Sure Signs You’ve Been Hacked


Source: National Association of REALTORS

Tags: Ohio Safety Series, safety

Ohio Market Watch: Buyers’ debt load remaining unchanged

By Greg Stitz, OAR Director of Research

A majority of Ohio REALTORS (58 percent) responding to a recent OAR Housing Confidence survey see no change in the amount of debt their buyers are bringing to the table, an 18 percent increase from the 40 percent indicating so last June when the same question was asked. Additionally this year, 19 percent of respondents are noticing buyers’ debt loads decreasing and 23 percent are noticing an increase.

chart of buyers' debt load

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

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