Clarification: This article has been updated to reflect the current status of a potential zipLogix partnership with NAR.
Launching the future of real estate was the clear theme of the kickoff program at the 2015 REALTORS® Conference Expo in San Diego on Thursday, where NAR President Chris Polychron announced that an opportunity is being considered to give REALTORS® free access to the latest transaction technology. NAR is weighing a proposed partnership with zipLogix that would make its ZipForm Plus software, which allows all transaction documents and other real estate forms to be stored digitally, a new member benefit that REALTORS® can take advantage of at no cost to them.
NAR’s board of directors will decide whether to greenlight the partnership at its meeting Monday.
“I truly believe this is a game-changer,” Polychron told the thousands of REALTORS® attending the conference. “It’s the first step toward a comprehensive transaction platform.”
It’s a product made by REALTORS® for REALTORS®, added 2016 NAR First Vice President Elizabeth Mendenhall, making it a solution tailored to your specific needs. She pointed out that zipForm Plus integrates seamlessly with other platforms real estate professionals use on a daily basis, such as Google Drive. “In our business, we pay for different products and services to remain relevant,” Mendenhall said. “This is a product that positions us to remain ahead of the crowd. ZipLogix understand that REALTORS® are at the center of the transaction.”
The future looks bright for consumers too, as FHA Principal Deputy Assistant Secretary Ed Golding announced some much-needed relief for first-time home buyers. FHA plans to relax lending requirements soon for condo purchases, which make up a large share of first-time buyer transactions. Most notably, the way FHA calculates the 50 percent owner-occupied rule will change in the buyers’ favor, Golding said.
“The pendulum during the housing crisis swung too far in one direction, and now it’s time to move it back to the middle,” he said.
NAR also unveiled its new Get Realtor® consumer advertising campaign, which zeroes in on the value REALTORS® bring to the real estate transaction. The TV spots, which will begin airing in the first quarter of 2016, depict a mock game show in which two teams — one with a REALTOR® and one without — compete for the better homebuying experience. Obviously, the team with the REALTOR® has the competitive advantage.
— REALTOR® Magazine Daily News