REALTORS greater than Tech slider

Adapted from BRR’s weekly “Broker Bulletin” email series.

Did you catch the Inman article, “3 things real estate agents will always do better than tech disruptors,” written by Anthony Hitt, CEO for Engel & Völkers Americas? If not, I wanted to bring it to your attention.

The key takeaway was this: “Agents who embrace technology as a way to enhance their existing skill sets, understand how to pivot and hone their ability to deliver a superior experience to their customers will be around for a very long time.”

I want to emphasize the idea of using technology to enhance your services.

It’s very easy to see technology as a threat to our industry, but I would argue that’s it’s a threat to (or change agent for) certain tasks of the transaction (search, transaction management, etc.) and to agents who are unable or unwilling to do what Mr. Hitt suggests: pivot and hone their services.

Here are the three areas he says where REALTORS® are greater than tech:

  1. Offering a personalized white glove experience — Great agents know how to create a personalized experience for each of their clients throughout the sales process, which a website or device simply cannot offer.
  1. Understanding the emotional impact — A good agent understands the emotional elements of this process for the buyers and sellers and doesn’t treat it as a simple, formulaic transaction.
  1. Guiding buyers and sellers — Technology can use certain algorithms, follow strict parameters and return search results, but it doesn’t understand why those parameters were given, offer feedback based on experience or market knowledge, or alter search criteria.

While I don’t think you would disagree with any of these things, we never talk about them. We don’t weave these ideas into our business philosophies and practices and review them on a regular basis. Instead, we talk about “how to get more agents using the new technology we implemented,” or “how to get more listings in your pipeline.” Those things are important, but we have to get back why we’re doing what we’re doing (shout out to Simon Sinek’s TED Talk), knowing the value we bring to the transaction, and then tell that story in our marketing, through our interactions with clients, etc. — while also delivering the results.

I don’t disagree that new products and services from tech companies can feel threatening when they’re first launched (and I’m not looking at any one company in particular, nor is this meant to start a debate about any of them). And I’m certainly not going to pretend that changing technology will not affect our business or impact customer preferences and expectations. Especially when there are literally hundreds (thousands?) of tech companies out there looking to change the way real estate is experienced by consumers.

These companies are spending millions and millions of dollars to figure out how to make buying or selling a home more efficient, more streamlined, more, whatever.

But you already do that.

So, use technology to help you do it better, and keep focused on serving clients before, during, and most importantly, after the transaction. You are closer to the consumer experience than any tech company, and you can see desires change and shift in real-time. Meaning, you can more quickly pivot and hone your services than any tech company ever could.

We’re Hiring!

Were hiring graphic

Interested in working at BRR? Open positions will be posted here. While there are no current openings, feel free to send your resume to Breanna Vanstrom at and we’ll reach out if something opens up that fits your skills. Thank you!


2016 Mid-Year Housing Summit



Now Accepting Applications for 2017 Directors!

Picture Yourself Here in 2017




Boise Regional REALTORS® (BRR) is the largest local REALTOR® association in Idaho, with over 3,600 members, and two wholly owned subsidiaries — the Intermountain Multiple Listing Service, Inc. (IMLS), and the REALTORS® Community Foundation. The mission of BRR is to provide members with resources to conduct their businesses ethically, professionally, and successfully.

To accomplish this, we rely on the experience and expertise of volunteer leaders (like you!) to serve on our Boards of Directors. As a Director, you will make decisions on professional standards, education, community engagement, and public affairs issues, and more, on behalf of all members.

Through your volunteer service, you will gain valuable industry insights, improved leadership skills, and build professional relationships with other leaders — locally, nationally, and across the state — that, in turn, helps you in your own business and other volunteer commitments.

From May 20-31, 2016, the Nominating and Elections Committee will accept applications for the following leadership positions, with terms beginning in January 2017:

  • Boise Regional REALTORS® Director — four (4) open positions
  • Boise Regional REALTORS® Vice President — one (1) open position
  • Idaho REALTORS® State Director from BRR — three (3) open positions
  • National Association of REALTORS® National Director from BRR — one (1) open position
  • REALTORS® Community Foundation Director, Member-At-Large — one (1) open position
  • REALTORS® Community Foundation Vice President — one (1) open position

According to BRR Bylaws Section 11.5, all candidates shall have been an active REALTOR® Member of BRR for the two (2) years immediately preceding the election, and shall have served on at least one Association or Association subsidiary committee or task force. Additionally, candidates for BRR and Foundation Vice President shall have the following requirements:

  • Will have served as a member in good standing on the Board of Directors* for at least one (1) year in the three (3) years immediately preceding the election, and,
  • Will agree not to serve in an officer position on another REALTOR® association Board of Directors during their term(s) on the Board of Directors.

* Service on the BRR Board for BRR Vice President Candidates, and service on the Foundation Board for Foundation Vice President Candidates.

Download the full list of positions here, including each positions’ responsibilities, qualifications, terms of service, and related meetings. If you have any questions, please contact Shari Fernandez, Director of Communications, or Breanna Vanstrom, Chief Executive Officer.

Thank you for your interest in serving!

BVEP – Grow Big Ideas Here

Thank you to Clark Krause, Executive Director of the Boise Valley Economic Partnership, for presenting during the ACAR Annual Membership Meeting on October 15th.  If you missed the meeting or want a closer look at Clark’s presentation on what BVEP is accomplishing around the valley, you can find his presentation here.

ACAR Opens Doors for REALTOR® Safety

Open DoorReal estate agents are often asked to show a property to an unknown person.  If their office isn’t nearby, many will skip the safety of the office visit and just run out to show the home. It takes a whole community to ensure safety. Here’s how how ACAR has gotten involved in the effort by joining Open Door.

As an Open Door partner ACAR welcome’s real estate agents from any company to meet new clients in their reception area for a safety check-in. With a single web-based map displaying available offices in one location, real estate professionals could easily find safe meeting places on the go.

“Meet Me Here First”

“That’s the goal. We should feel comfortable telling every sign call, every Internet lead, every last-second showing request, “Meet me here first. It’s a new nationwide safety policy. And it’s only five minutes from the home,” said Sam DeBord. Using the new web-based platform you can search for a safe and convenient location.

RPAC Golf Tournament – Registration Open

Registration is now open for the 2nd Annual RPAC Golf Tournament on Wednesday, September 23rd at The Club at SpurWing. This 9-hole tournament is a 4-person scramble with a shotgun start at 9am followed by lunch at approximately 11:30am (the event should be done by 1pm).  If you are a current investor in RPAC or are interested in learning more about or becoming an investor in RPAC, this tournament is for you!

The tournament is open to all ACAR members.  Major Investors at the Sterling R ($1,000) level and above are invited to play for FREE! All other ACAR members are invited to play for $75. Or join us just for lunch for only $20. REGISTER NOW.

Registration includes:

  • 9 holes of golf on Spurwing’s new Challenge Course
  • golf cart
  • drink ticket
  • raffle ticket
  • awards lunch

All tournament proceeds benefit RPAC which works to protect homeownership and the real estate industry by fighting issues and electing pro-REALTOR® and pro-real estate candidates. RPAC dollars are used on the federal, state and local levels to support issues critical to the future of real estate and REALTORS®.

July 2015 Market Report: Higher home prices despite seasonal sales dip?

Compared to June 2015, single-family home prices in Ada County for July 2015 were up, while pending and closed sales were down. To some these sales counts prompted questions of a slowdown—but a seasonal slowdown is quite different than a market slowdown. Based on the recent trends and comparing them to historical performance, we’re not seeing a market slowdown at this time. Let’s take a look…

Seasonal Trends          Month-To-Month June 2015 July 2015 MTM % Chg
Pending Sales 1,359 1,319 -2.9%
Closed Sales 1,035* 1,007 -2.7%
Median Sales Price $230,000 $232,500 1.1%


* Adjusted for sales reported to IMLS after previous month’s market report was distributed.

Market Wide Trends     Year-Over-Year July 2014 July 2015 YOY % Chg
Pending Sales 988 1,319 33.5%
Closed Sales 837 1,007 20.3%
Median Sales Price $214,503 $232,500 8.4%

We’ve highlighted pending sales, since that metric is an indicator of future sales, as the homes under contract will likely close within the next 30-60 days. So while there may be a seasonal dip in pending sales of 2.9% from June to July, looking year-over-year, pending sales were 33.5% higher than the same time last year.

Market Snapshot_July1Yet after last month’s market report, showing peaks in prices and closed sales for Ada County, it’s easy to wonder whether we’re at the top of the market, or leaning towards a downturn. Brenda Kolsen, President of the Ada County Association of REALTORS®, responds: “As noted in our mid-year market report, our area typically sees a slight drop in activity each year in July or August, after the rush of the spring market, and as people take summer vacations and get ready for the new school year. Then we usually have another pop of activity in the fall. I expect we’ll see the same this year if economic conditions persist, and based on the number of inquiries our REALTOR® members are fielding every day, from people looking to buy and sell.”

The question of a market peak—or even another housing bubble—is also being asked nationally. Based on the economic trends tracked by the National Association of REALTORS® (NAR), that’s not likely. At an industry event held in Chicago on Monday, NAR’s Chief Economist Lawrence Yun explained that the national market is very different today than it was at the “bottom” in 2008 or 2009. Most notably because of the changes in credit/lending standards and housing inventory levels over the past few years.

Mortgage lenders now follow strict rules to qualify potential homebuyers, and many of the creative loan programs that were available back then are no longer in use. This has helped to diminish the risk of buyers getting into loans beyond their financial means. Paired with improving jobs numbers, we’re in a much better situation today, both financially and economically.

Additionally, the supply of homes nationwide is well below consumer demand, which is fueling the rise in prices. Locally, we’re definitely seeing the same thing, with supply at 2.5 months in July 2015 for all single-family inventory throughout Ada County. (A balanced market—not favoring buyers or sellers—is typically between 4.0-6.0 months of supply.)

“We will continue to watch local trends, especially pending sales and prices, to identify any irregularities that may emerge outside of our usual, seasonal peaks and valleys,” said Kolsen, “But in the meantime, I encourage any consumer who has questions or concerns about the market, to reach out to a REALTOR® to get the facts specific to their real estate situation.”

Here’s how the rest of July 2015 shaped up for single-family homes in Ada County:

  • Closed Sales were at 1,007, up 20.3% year-over-year, and up 19.2% year-to-date
  • Median Sales Price was at $232,500, up 8.4% year-over-year, and up 7.8% year-to-date
  • Days on Market was at 42 days, down 8.7% year-over-year, and down 5.5% year-to-date
  • Months of Inventory was at 2.5 months, down 30.6% year-over-year (number not tracked YTD)




The Ada County Association of REALTORS® represents nearly 3,500 real estate professionals throughout the Boise region. For more information about the benefits of working with a REALTOR® and to search for a REALTOR® by name, language, or professional designation, visit

NOTE: The information in this market report is based on a variety of sources, but primarily on the public statistics provided by the Intermountain MLS (IMLS), a subsidiary of the Ada County Association of REALTORS®, available here: These statistics are based upon information secured by the agent from the owner or their representative. The accuracy of this information, while deemed reliable, has not been verified and is not guaranteed. These statistics are not intended to represent the total number of properties sold in Ada County during the specified time period. The IMLS provides these statistics for purposes of general market analysis, but makes no representations as to the past or future appreciation or depreciation of property values. (To reduce the error, only data falling within 3 standard deviations from the mean has been included in the report. Existing and new construction statistics are calculated independently and may not sum to the total number of homes sold.) Changes to methodology: Effective 3/1/2007, ‘days on market’ refers to the number of days that transpire between the listing date and the date the property goes into pending status. Effective 4/1/2011, standard deviation is modified to reflect the difference between the asking and sold prices as a percentage of the asking price.

Learning Lab: Marketing Panel

Join us for the next installment of the YPN Learning Lab Series on August 27th at Louie’s in Meridian.  This month we have industry professionals share their tips and strategies on unique marketing styles for today’s Real Estate professionals. This is your chance to ask questions directly to marketing experts at our Panel. Bring your questions to the professionals.

When: Thursday, August 27th, 11:30am-1:00pm

Where: Louie’s in Meridian

Don’t miss it, seating is limited!!   REGISTER HERE.

The Panel:

Chris Cooper, Keller Williams Realty

Summer Sweaney, Landmark Home Warranty

Gwen Gibbs, The Socialite

There is a $5 fee to attend, and lunch is provided for an additional $10 (plus tax).

ACAR Now Accepting Applications for Leadership Positions!


ACAR Now Accepting Applications for Leadership Positions!

Do you want to help other REALTORS® become the most informed real estate professionals—or know of a REALTOR® who does? Do you (or does the person you have in mind) want to improve the public’s perception of the value of contributions made by REALTORS®? If you or your candidate is ready to get to work at ACAR—while also gaining valuable leadership skills and professional connections—we want to hear from you!

Between June 22, 2015–July 22, 2015, the ACAR Nominating and Elections Committee will be accepting applications (through the form below) for seven (7) leadership positions, with terms beginning in January 2016 :

• Director — three open positions

• Vice President

• Treasurer

• State Director — two open positions

All candidates shall have been an active REALTOR® member of ACAR for the two (2) years immediately preceding the election, and shall have served on at least one ACAR Committee or Task Force. Additionally, candidates for Vice President and Treasurer shall have served as a member in good standing on the ACAR Board of Directors for at least one (1) year in the three (3) year immediately preceding the election.

General position descriptions, plus frequently asked questions about serving on the Board, are available here.