March 2019

Great Smoky Mountains Association of REALTORS®

March 2019 Newsletter #3

Ever thought about going GREEN. Many people across the U.S. have decided to go green with their housing choices or using green materials and technology to build with. Here’s a website I found that has tons of articles on green housing, including a “Florida Eco-Village Will Be the First Affordable Net-Zero Townhome Development in the US”. It’s the wave of the future for our children's future. Check it out here

Closer to home, in Nashville, this housing developer is building an affordable green housing development.

It’s everywhere and it’s all about being sustainable and affordable with green housing. Keep up to date on all the lingo and gadgets so you can help your clients find the right green house

they’re looking for.

NAR’s NEW “That’s Who We RⓇ” add campaign

WASHINGTON (February 25, 2019) – While many people know that a Realtor® helps buy and sell homes, what they may not know is that only a Realtor® is a member of the National Association of Realtors® and subscribes to its Code of Ethics. It's the Realtor® Code of Ethics that inspired the association's powerful new "That's Who We R®" campaign, which launched today. The campaign aims to reinforce the value of Realtors® as advocates for property owners, engaged community members and trusted advisors with in-depth knowledge of the industry.

"Our story is a century in the making as we began to set NAR members apart from the rest by establishing a Code of Ethics in 1913. This code is as relevant now as it was one hundred years ago; it's our pledge of honesty, integrity, professionalism and community service as a true partner for buying or selling a home, or property," said John Smaby, 2019 President, NAR. "'That's Who We R®' reinforces that partnering with a Realtor®, delivers the peace of mind that can only come from working with a real person who is committed to their clients' futures and neighborhoods just as much as they are."

"That's Who We R®" serves as a reminder of what NAR has always stood for, while signaling where the organization is heading. For Realtors®, the campaign is a rallying cry that instills pride in their everyday actions. For consumers, it's an education about the Realtor® difference.

The integrated marketing campaign from Havas features a cinematic world inspired by the Realtor® mark that serves as a beacon throughout. Everything from the larger than life "R" at the beginning, to the angles and geometry used as transitional elements and across the numerous sets was inspired by the mark that sets Realtors® apart. The agency partnered with Director X, known for his visually distinctive style, to create something distinct and modern. "That's Who We R®" features compelling stories about humans helping humans find homes and property, build communities and turn business dreams into realities.

"Our society has created trusted symbols from 'Verified' Instagram accounts to the Good Housekeeping Seal," said Karen Goodman, Group Creative Director at Havas Chicago. "As we dug into this brand, we knew Realtors® were the real deal and needed to find a way to telegraph that to everyone. We needed to turn the 'R' into the trusted symbol you should look for when buying and selling property."

The campaign content will be brought to life through strategic partnerships reflecting the modern ways in which our target audience consumes media, including linear and online video, streaming and terrestrial audio, social media, branded partnerships with multi-channel content makers such as VICE, Apartment Therapy, The Atlantic, HULU and more. The :30 "That's Who We R®" TV spot can be viewed here(link is external), and more information about NAR is available at

Making sure your Information is correct

NAR has asked all their members to log in and visit their profile to update their records. A new field, “Primary Field of Business”, has been filled out by the NAR automatically with a generic code. They request that you go in and fill it out with the proper information specific to your type of business, i.e. residential, commercial, ect. Also, you can check to make sure all your other info is up to date and correct while your there. Make sure to do this every once in a while, especially if phone numbers or email addresses get changed.

What Are O-Zones?

Check out this very interesting topic on opportunity zones, deferred taxes and development for those zones.

NAR, a wealth of information.

Dues are paid and information is at your fingertips. From making you a better REALTOR to what's going on in D.C. to articles about “O-Zones, NAR seeks to keep you ahead of the real estate world through their website Don’t miss out on the wealth of information they offer each day.

“Quick Claim Deed” vs. “Quit Claim Deed.” Do you know which is correct?

How Secure is Your Security?

(not just for brokers, but for agents who have assistants as well)

Employee Training:

  • A data security program is only as strong as the employees who implement it.

  • Check references or do background checks before hiring employees who will have access to personal data.

  • Make sure employees and independent contracts understand that abiding by your company’s data security program is an essential part of their duties.

  • Require employees to notify you immediately if there is a potential security breach, such as a lost or stolen laptop or a downloaded virus.

  • Know which employees have access to personal information.

  • Have a procedure in place for making sure that workers who leave your employ no longer have access to personal information.

  • Impose disciplinary measures for security policy violations.

Compliments of NAR – Data Security and Privacy Toolkit

We would like to report on some improvements and needed repairs for the Association building. We have received several quotes for replacing the roof. Both shingles and metal roofing are being looked into for this project. We are nearly finished with upgrading the heat from propane to natural gas which will save the association thousands of dollars each year. The landscaping outside is being organized as we are trying to change from mulch, which has to be redone each year, to river rock. This too will save the association thousands of dollars in landscaping each year. The committees are hard at work and we would like to encourage everyone to participate in a committee of choice and encourage active participation in the Association. Let your ideas, your experience and enthusiasm be a force thats helps this association become even better than it already is.

In 1985, Highlands Union Bank entered community banking.

From the beginning, Highlands Union Bank has been embraced by the banking public. Our first office was started by 600 local investors who believed that our community needed and would support a community bank.

Our customers made us an immediate local favorite. Our assets doubled during the first month and grew from $2.2 million to $9.2 million during the first year. Highlands Union Bank is still growing three decades later.

We feel each milestone we reach is the direct result of the loyal support of our customers and shareholders.

At Highlands Union Bank, we continue to believe that our customers are our most valuable asset.

We would like to congratulate Highlands Union Bank for being our affiliate of the month! Sherry Porter and Dreama Doane spend a lot of time in our association helping out with various events and sponsoring classes. We appreciate the support they give to our business and the kindness they show to our members.

Our very Own Kathy Leedy was spotlighted in this month’s AE & Staff Update

Kathy Leedy Association Executive

Great Smoky Mountains Association of REALTORS® (GSMAR)

How long have you been with GSMAR and in real estate?

With GSMAR since August 2017; in real estate in Sevier County from 1989 through 2012.

Favorite part of your job?

I have enjoyed renewing old acquaintances and making new ones. I enjoy speaking with our members, even when they’re unhappy, because this helps me learn and grow, and ultimately helps our Association become better.

Most challenging aspect of your job?

Having enough time to get it all done!

Best memory of working in REALTOR® leadership?

One year, Gee Dunsten (he was a CRS instructor at the time) called my assistant and asked her to be on a panel at Sell-A-Bration. She accepted and did great! He wanted my assistant? What about me—NOPE!

Most fun you’ve ever had with fellow AEs/staff?

Our President-Elect, Vickie Stanton, and I have known each other for years. We ride and stay together frequently for real estate functions. We always have a great time. I know I shouldn’t say this, but please don’t ever record us…

If you could help members understand one thing that is confusing, what would it be?

Two things: the difference between being a primary or secondary member and being an MLS participant; and the Code of Ethics requirement and why it doesn’t always show up as CE.

Where did you grow up?

I was born in northern Indiana and was there until the late 1980s.

Favorite hobby / pursuit outside of work?

Playing the piano; traveling when time.

Guilty pleasure TV / movie?

Believe it or not, I like HGTV! I also like the Food Network.

Favorite meal?

The company is more important to me than the food (regardless of the fact that I like the Food Network). The food can be marginal if the company is great!

The last few songs you listened to?

Anything by Bon Jovi. That’s not the name of the song. I just really like Bon Jovi. I also like Slippery When Wet—one of their tribute bands.

Favorite book?

Anything by David Sedaris. Again, that’s not the name of the book…

App you use most often?

Find Friends

Dream destination on your bucket list?


Anything else you’d like fellow TN staff to know about you?

I believe that I am in the right place at the right time, both personally and professionally, and that’s a great feeling!