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February 2009

ABoR Brings New Value: Interactive Tool Improves Your Web Site

Increase the appeal of your Web site with the new Homeowner Connect widget. This user-activated tool allows consumers to view providers for common household utilities, including television, gas, phone and electric services. When multiple providers or packages are available, they will appear side-by-side so consumers may compare them. The Homeowner Connect widget is available in the “My Account” section of Abor.com.




Chairman’s Corner

The Texas Association of REALTORS® (TAR) Winter Meeting provides members with the opportunity to learn more about their industry.  Join us February 20-24 at the TAR Winter Meeting, to be held at the Hyatt Regency Hotel, located at 208 Barton Springs Rd. in Austin, Texas. Visit TexasREALTORS.com for program and registration details. While you’re enjoying the great education offerings, networking opportunities, forums and presentations, you can also make an appointment to fulfill your Texas Real Estate Commission (TREC) fingerprint requirement.


A new fingerprint requirement for the renewal of all broker and salesperson licensees went into effect on January 1, 2008 to facilitate national criminal background checks on those licensees.  If your license expiration date occurs between January 2008 and February 2009, you can schedule an appointment online to have your prints taken on Monday, February 23 at the TAR Winter Meeting.  Here’s how to do it:

  • Before you make an appointment, visit TREC’s Web site and download a FAST Print Pass.  This form provides you with the number you’ll need to make your appointment.

  • Print the instructions to schedule your appointment.

  • Visit the L-1 Identity Solutions Web site and follow their instructions.

If you have more questions about the fingerprint requirement, visit the fingerprint FAQ section of TREC’s Web site.


Jay Gohil
2009 Chairman of the Board



Better Your Business Tools with Our Brief Survey

Your subscription to ACTRIS brings you much more than just access to MLXchange.  A number of MLS products and services, including multiple statistical packages, software that provides remote access to the MLS system, free tracking reports for your listings and discounted panoramic virtual property tours are provided at steep discounts or free of charge to all ACTRIS subscribers. 


Help us further improve these MLS products and services by completing a brief online survey and you will be entered for a chance to win a $50 Home Depot gift card.  For more information on ABoR’s MLS products and services click here or contact the MLS Department at 512/454-7636.



Meet the Mayoral Candidates in March

On Wednesday, March 11 the Government Affairs Department invites you to get to know the contenders for Austin’s 2009 mayoral race.  Scheduled for 9:30 to 11:00 a.m. in the ABoR Auditorium, the Mayoral Candidate Forum will allow ABoR members to question the candidates on their positions relating to private property rights and the real estate industry. 


This event is free and open to all ABoR members, but advance reservations are encouraged.  For more information or to reserve your space, contact Emily Chenevert at 512/454-7636.



Exclusive Member Discount for Affordable Housing Package

Looking for a cost-effective way to boost your real estate knowledge?  Sign up for the Texas Affordable Housing Specialist certification package – 12 hours of MCE – at a discounted cost of just $10.  Thanks to a special partnership from Bank of America and the Texas Association of REALTORS® (TAR), ABoR and TAR can offer this course to members at a special discount.  The fee for non-members is $50.


The Texas Affordable Housing Specialist certification package offers all five courses necessary to earn the certification: United Texas: Housing Initiatives that Work; Marketing to the Affordable Housing Buyer; Mortgage Lending One-on-One; How Green is Affecting Affordability; and Predatory Lending and Mortgage Fraud.  The courses will be held on Tuesday, June 23 from 8:30 a.m. to 4 p.m. and Wednesday, June 24 from 8:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. in the ABoR Auditorium.  Lunch will be provided on both days.


For more information on the Texas Affordable Housing certification, click here.  For details on the course package or to register, contact the Education Department at 512/454-7636.



ABoR Foundation Scholarship Applications Now Available

Do you know a high school senior who could use a little help with college costs?  The ABoR Foundation is now accepting applications for its annual scholarship program.


This year, the ABoR Foundation will be distributing at least ten scholarships valued at $1,000 each.  To be eligible, students must be graduating from high school this spring, plan to attend a Texas college or university and reside in one of the following counties: Travis; Williamson; Lee; Bastrop; Caldwell; Hays; Blanco; or Burnet.


Applications are available online and must be mailed or hand-delivered to the Austin Board of REALTORS®, Attn. Education, 10900 Stonelake Blvd., Ste. 100, Austin, Texas 78759 no later than Tuesday, March 10.  Recipients will be announced by late April.  For more information, contact Rita Barousse at 512/454-7636.