Coaching Corner: Is your judge holding court?

By “Coach” Marilou Butcher Roth

There is a great class right now that meets our Fair Housing core requirement called Implicit Bias. It goes into how we unconsciously pass judgment on people or situations based upon how they look, talk, etc. Judgment of others and ourselves is something that can cause issues both within our business as well as our personal lives.

You may be asking how we can be in control of this if we are doing it unconsciously. Well, some of it is conscious and some is not. One of the “in your face” clues might be when you notice that you have a “should.” “He should behave differently,”or, “I should lose weight.” Obviously, there can be many other words that operate the same as should, although the word should seems to be the primary culprit!

When we are judging situations, others or ourselves, it keeps us in a space that truly doesn’t feel good. Some people are addicted to judging others which is a pretty sure sign that their self-judgement is even more severe!

Bringing awareness to your own judge is the best first step — and, I might add, to do so without judgment! :) It is funny but that is how we behave. We are harder on ourselves than anyone else is. So, just gently notice when you catch yourself “shoulding.” Don’t punish yourself — you might do some self talk around the situation to bring yourself back to a more open place, or sometimes, I call a friend that I know won’t let me get away with my judgments and just say my judgment out loud. Often times for me it just takes saying it aloud to realize how my judge has jumped into dangerous territory.

This week, pay attention to when you find yourself in judgment of yourself, others or a situation. When you catch it, ask yourself this question “do I want to be right about my judgment or do I want to be happy?” I hope you get the happy answer!


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 Executive Committee and immediate 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

Pace of home purchase contracts written in July improves from the level reached a year ago

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 July rose from the level posted during the month a year ago.

The rate of purchase contract signings in July did decline from the pace recorded in June.

Ohio’s July Pending Home Sales Index of 142.5, a forward-looking indicator based on contract signings, increased 9.7 percent from July 2013 (129.9). Activity in July dipped 5.6 percent from the mark posted in June (150.9).

“Throughout the first seven month’s it’s become apparent that the Ohio housing sector has entered into a more balanced phase,” said OAR President Chris Hall. “Looking forward, we’ll continue to experience a more traditional marketplace, one that has monthly ebbs and flows in activity based on overall conditions.”

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, June’s Index score of 142.5 marks a 42.5 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. Refer to the following report to view the pending home sales index and methods.

OAR, the largest professional trade association in the state with more than 27,000 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

OAR Keynoter Chris Smith: Passion is what powers profit!

By Bob Fletcher, OAR Chief Executive Officer

Real estate visionary Chris Smith will be sharing 10 business principles designed to grow your profits for the next decade and beyond as the keynote speaker during the upcoming Ohio Association of REALTORS Annual Convention & Expo in Cleveland. Smith offers a new approach of running a people-first business in a digital-first world.

The Buzz, which previously spotlighted two of his principles (here and here), offers it’s final “tease” of what goes into a successful real estate practice. In this clip, Smith says that people who build and run successful businesses start from passion…that they simply can’t resist the effort; they’re compelled!



We’re ecstatic that Chris Smith will be sharing his complete vision for success with Ohio’s REALTOR community. Recently named one of the most influential people in real estate, he is co-founder of Curaytor and serves as chief peopleworker for dotloop.

Click here to secure your seat for this one-of-a-kind, “must see” presentation on Sept. 9. SPECIAL NOTE: OAR is providing FREE copies of the book, Peoplework, that he co-authored to the first 500 REALTORS in attendance at Smith’s presentation!

Tags: Association news

Sen. Brown to address REALTORS at OAR Convention

By Paul Glass, OAR Director of Political Affairs

U.S. Sen. Sherrod Brown will be making a visit to the OAR Annual Convention & EXPO in Cleveland.

Sen. Brown will be addressing the latest developments on Capitol Hill and likely Congressional action for the balance of this year. He  will be speaking during the organization’s Enlarged Legislative Committee on Monday, Sept. 8, 10 to 11 a.m.

Make sure you’re a part of this event — it’s open to all Convention attendees — and hear Ohio’s senior senator. Sen. Brown, first elected to the Senate in 2007, serves on a number of committees that have a great deal of influence on the nation’s real estate sector, including:

  • Chair of the Subcommittee on Financial Institutions and Consumer Protection;
  • Chair of the Subcommittee on Jobs, Rural Economic Growth and Energy Innovation;
  • Chair of the Subcommittee on Social Security, Pensions and Family Policy;
  • Member of the Subcommittee on Housing, Transportation and Community Development, among others.

Mark your calendar to be at Sen. Brown’s presentation. If you haven’t registered for OAR Convention, Sept. 8-10 — click here — and gain access to this special event, along with 12 hours of continuing education opportunities; a keynote address by Chris Smith, one of the nation’s leading real estate visionaries; access to a trade expo featuring the newest trends and products; nightly entertainment; and a chance to win a $2,000 “you choose” vacation getaway package presented by First Federal Lakewood!

Tags: Association news, politics

Legally speaking: Can I market a property as senior living without violating Fair Housing laws?

By Lorie Garland, OAR Assistant Vice President of Legal Services

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. This one involves fair housing concerns when marketing a property exclusively to people 55 and older… 

Q: A seller called me to list his condo. The seller claims the condo development is for people 55 and over and has requested that if he lists with me, that I advertise the condo in that manner. Wouldn’t limiting buyers to those 55 and over be a violation of the fair housing laws? 

A: Under both federal and state fair housing laws, familial status (families with children) is a protected class. Therefore, it is generally a violation of the fair housing laws to advertise or refuse to sell or lease a property to a family with children.  However, there is an exemption for a property that meets the fair housing law requirements for housing for older persons.

To market a property as 55 and older housing, the development must be intended and operated for occupancy by persons 55 or older and meet the following three requirements:

  1. At least 80 percent of the occupied units are occupied by at least one person who is 55 or older;
  2. The development has adopted and adheres to policies and procedures that demonstrate the intent to be housing for persons 55 or older; and
  3. The development has policies and procedures in place to verify the exemptions age restriction requirements.

Prior to marketing this condo as 55 and older housing, the listing agent should obtain verification from the condo association or the association’s attorney that the development meets the fair housing law requirements for 55 and older housing. This is important because the fair housing law provides that a person (such as a listing agent) will not be held personally liable for damages if the person reasonably relied, in good faith, on representations that the development qualifies as housing for persons 55 and older. The good faith defense applies as long as the person had no actual knowledge that the development is not eligible for the exemption and the association has provided a written statement that the development complies with the requirements for the exemption.

Tags: legal, Legally Speaking

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