Betty's Blog

Betty Winn has been a licensed broker in Arizona since 1989. She first taught the real estate pre-licensing course for Yavapai College in 2003 and formed Winn School of Real Estate, LLC in May of 2010. 
Betty's Blog

Betty's Blog

Consumer Reports Report

by Betty Winn on 04/26/15

Last month (March 2015 issue) Consumer Reports ran an article titled "Money-Saving Secrets Realtors Don't Want You to Know" on the front cover. But, once inside the magazine, the article titles changed. In one such writing, the author indicates that "86% of the Realtors surveyed witnessed other agents engaging in poor business practices". In all only 303 Realtors were surveyed. As of March 2015, the National Association of Realtors (NAR) has 1,086,081 members.

Although there was some valuable and even interesting information covered in the article some of it was very misleading. The indication that there is a typical commission charged is outrageous. Every real estate licensee in the country knows that would be a violation of the Sherman Anti Trust Act... they call it Price Fixing. 

The caution to interview a few Realtors before hiring one is prudent. But to say that Realtors are "supposed to adhere to a strict Code of Ethics". Let's just say that we are a self policing association and we apply the code in a way that can severely punish its members if need be. In many cases the licensing authorities through out our nation consider the NAR Code of Ethics as the standard for the entire industry; even if the licensee is not a member of the association.

One needs only to inquire with the NAR to find that we are one of the most educated professions in the nation and that we have one of the largest lobbying groups fighting for private property rights for all. The National Association of Realtors was formed in 1908 and our Code of Ethics was first adopted in 1913 making it one of the first industries in our country to not only have an association, but create a standard of practice for its members to follow. Every since that time, the NAR has continued to raise the bar through educating their members, supporting many charities throughout our communities and enforcing the standards of practice found in the Code of Ethics. 

It is articles like these, that only show how a few can taint the many in an industry of professionals that are passionate about serving their clients needs, and yes, making a living. I am proud to be an American licensed in an industry that helps our economy and to be an educator assisting our real estate community to stay informed and ethical in its practices. 

One Man's View of Winn School of Real Estate Experience

by Betty Winn on 03/16/15

If you have a little time and would like to read one of my students recap of his learning experience at our school, click this link:

New Pass Ratio Numbers In!

by Betty Winn on 03/12/15

The first waive of students for 2015 tested at the State and four out of five passed the first time. In case you don't wish to do the math, that is an 80% pass ration! I am so proud of my students and wish them the best of luck in their new careers.

Does a School's Pass Ratio Really Matter?

by Betty Winn on 02/25/15

A fellow instructor from another school posted this cartoon on FaceBook and I must agree.  I get asked quite often about the schools pass ratio. The ratios depend not only how good the instructor is but the commitment of the student, their study habits and their ability to learn the material. 

Some students will do everything you ask them to do and pass with no problems. Others will hardly crack their books and wonder why they did not pass. 

At Winn School of Real Estate we provide the most accurate education available. Not every student will pass the state exams the first time. I encourage them to never give up and will help them with study plans to get them through the testing. If the student has a real passion to become licensed, they will accomplish their dream and enter into a wonderful new career.

Good luck to you all!

RESPA should be a concern for alll!

by Betty Winn on 02/23/15

Attached is a link to a youtube video addressing Marketing Service Agreements. 

In Business Branding is Everything

by Betty Winn on 01/26/15

Over the weekend our household spent some time cleaning out the hall closet. I ended up sorting through some old photo boxes and found an interesting item; a vintage  Celebrity Drinking Cup and Pillbox. The tag on the back had been worn off but the name of the maker and that it was a cup and pillbox was displayed prominently on the top of the item. I thought to myself, "Gee, this could be worth some money!". Well, I Googled, Celebrity Drinking Cup and Pillbox and poof, (photo can be viewed in my Photo Gallery) just like that I had several websites to investigate my vintage find. Although it was only worth $2.99 on eBay, I learned a valuable lesson. Branding yourself and/or product is very important in business. Customers can find out about you and your company for many years to come.  We may not all be "vintage" but we all want to be found when someone wants real estate services.  Not only is it good for business, it is also a requirement of ADRE to prominently display your brokerage name on most advertising. So, if you have been in business for years or are just starting out, branding is everything! 

The End of Another Year...

by Betty Winn on 12/28/14

2014 has been a great year for Winn School of Real Estate! We saw a 30% increase in student enrollment over 2013. The interest in the real estate industry continues to increase as the housing values in the quad-city area continue to rise. Although the number of units sold was down from last year by almost 10%, the sold prices are up. Prescott Valley saw the greatest increase in value at 13%. Chino Valley saw a 9% increase in value, Prescott 8% and Dewey/Humboldt 7%. 

As of today, there are 856 Realtors (Agents, Brokers & Managing Brokers) in our association (PAAR). Some estimate that only 20% produce 80% of the sales. My advice to the new licensee; hang your license with a company that will provide the training you need to become one of the 20%.

This industry is constantly changing. Stay informed and engaged in the industry you have selected as your career. Being successful starts in your own mind then manifests itself as outlets make themselves evident. Tell everyone you know that you are a Realtor. And remember... you are new to this industry, not to life. Use your life experiences to connect with your customers and clients and excel in this profession like I know you can!

Happy New Year!


Advertising Rules Continue to be Violated

by Betty Winn on 10/07/14

I have noticed some disturbing advertising practices popping up in the classified section in our local newspaper, The Daily Courier.

Real estate salespeople are running ads using abbreviated real estate company names or just leaving off their company's name all together (Called "Blind Ads").  Both of these types of ads are clear violations of the Commissioner's Rules. (Rules are reprinted at the end of this posting.)

All advertising by real estate licensees are under the supervision of the Broker. It seems to me that the real estate salespeople involved in the activity of running "Blind Ads" and/or not including the full name of the companies in the ad, are skipping the crucial step of having their ads reviewed and approved by their Broker prior to publication.

Many brokers assign a licensee under the brokerage to review the classified ads on a regular basis to help educate their salespeople about proper advertising. This is a wonderfully effective practice.

You may be asking yourselves "Why does the Arizona Department of Real Estate care about this practice?". Simply put, it is deceptive advertising. The consumer has the right to know if they are contacting a licensed real estate salesperson or Joe public. They also should know the exact name of the company that the salesperson works for in case they need to contact the Broker. And, since it is the job of the Department to protect the public the advertising rules are in place to do just that.

Of course, most salespeople are following the rules. But there were enough advertising violations in the classifieds over the past few weeks to prompt this posting as a gentle reminder. Make sure that you are having your ads reviewed and approved by your broker.

Commissioner's Rules R4-28-502. Advertising by a Licensee A. A salesperson or broker acting as an agent shall not advertise property in a manner that implies that no salesperson or broker is taking part in the offer for sale, lease, or exchange.

Commissioner's Rules R4-28-502. Advertising by a Licensee A.- C. A salesperson or broker shall ensure that all advertising contains accurate claims and representations, and fully states factual material relating to the information advertised. A salesperson or broker shall not misrepresent the facts or create misleading impressions.

Commissioner's Rules R4-28-502. Advertising by a Licensee- E. A salesperson or broker shall ensure that all advertising identifies in a clear and prominent manner the employing broker’s legal name or the dba name contained on the employing broker’s license certificate.


Whole Class Passes!

by Betty Winn on 08/11/14

For the very first time, all the students who tested with me today, passed! The folks that have passed at the State have told me my test is harder than the State Exam. That is the way it should be. Congratulations to all my students!

Iron King Mine Superfund Site

by Betty Winn on 07/31/14

After two students in the same class announced that their REALTORs had not even mentioned that there was a Superfund site in Dewey/Humboldt when showing them homes, felt I should post this blog. 

One student did not buy there anyway, but the one that did has a view of the tailings from her dining room window. Just giving buyers the buyer advisory really is not enough in this case. 
One broker I called said when his agents are selling a home in the vicinity of the site, he requires his agents to give the buyers the EPA Informational Brochure (EPA Iron King Mine/Humboldt Smelter Superfund Site). The buyers must also sign that they have received the brochure. This is just good real estate practice.
Every student that comes out of my 90 our pre-licensing course learns about the Superfund site.  If you do not know about the site, talk to your broker or visit the EPA website and get informed. Remember, real estate agents end up in court not for what they know but for what they should have known.

Comments welcomed!