(972) 618-3800

Economic Update: Good News, Bad News, and Be-on-the-Lookout News

By Mickey Lynam (NMLS 974623), IBERIABANK Mortgage, Member of CCAR’s REALTOR®/Lender Committee

Today’s economy is anything but stable. One day the stock market is up, the next day it falls significantly. Why? Who knows. That’s why I am in the mortgage business!

However, one does not need to know the “why” to know that economic news has a direct effect on the realty and mortgage industries. This is why many home buyers and real estate professionals are keeping a close eye on the health of the U.S. economy.

So, is the economic news report good news? Bad news? Or be-on-the-lookout news? Let’s take a look at all three.

Good NewsMortgage rates are at or near two-year lows

Many feel the Federal Reserve will lower bank loan rates in July; this does not necessarily coincide with lower mortgage rates but all signs and comments by those “in the know” seem to point to lower rather than higher mortgage rates overall through 2019. Currently, the U.S. economy is strong, consumer confidence is high, while unemployment is low; these factors coupled with low mortgage rates are all positive signs for a strong home purchase market (refinances are also on the rise).

Bad News: Mortgage rates are at or near two-year lows

A recent study found that 69% of U.S.-based company CFO’s (the really smart people) expect a recession by the end of 2020. This also plays into the hand of lower interest rates, but also leads job fears and potentially lower home sales.

Good News: Home prices have moderated

Home prices have moderated and are going up in value at a much slower pace than the past few years; with wages increasing this makes homes more affordable. There is more inventory in the higher price segments of the market making the market more balanced.

Bad News: Home price increases have moderated

Home prices have moderated overall, but the lower priced homes ($400,000 and under) are still seeing steady increases as demand outweighs supply. This ongoing issue creates problems for FTHB’s.

Good News: A favorable lending market

Since the financial meltdown of 2008 and the subsequent recovery, the underwriting guidelines in the conventional mortgage market have consistently eased; creating a more favorable lending market.

Bad News: Underwriting standards are tightening

Recently, we have seen that the FHA is paying closer attention to borrower credit scores and debt ratios and have tightened their underwriting standards. FHA loans with 3.5% down payment, lower credit score hurdles, and higher allowed debt ratios are a key product for lenders lending to FTHB’s and those applicants with lesser credit quality than conventional loans.

Be-on-the-lookout: Geopolitical risks continue to influence the mortgage rate market

Trade issues with China and rising tensions in the Middle East affect the U.S. and world economy as the news changes almost daily. As investors move to safety, the demand for U.S. Treasury bonds increases pushing rates lower. When trade tensions seem to ease or resolve, “hope springs eternal” for the worldwide economy, as investors get more comfortable with other investments (stocks) and mortgage rates trend higher.

Summary: The overall economy in the United States and especially the North Texas region is very good

The overall economy in the U.S. and especially the North Texas region is very good and the housing market remains solid. We may not be in the record setting era of a few years back, but overall, it is healthy. However, as the news changes back-and-forth, it is as important as ever to form strong partnerships between REALTORS® and lenders so we can serve our clients with the expertise they deserve.

CCAR’s REALTOR®/Lender Committee strives to strengthen those partnerships, allowing us all to serve our clients more effectively. To connect with the REALTOR®/Lender Committee email [email protected].

Got Buyers Who Can’t Get Approved? A New Generation of Mortgage Loans Provides a Solution

By Alexandra Swan (NMLS 117371), Willow Bend Mortgage, 2019 Chair of CCAR’s Realtor/Lender Committee

According to the Texas Mortgage Bankers Association, 30% of Texans are self-employed. Fueled by a strong economy, a swelling population in North Texas, and a new tax law that rewards small business ownership- self-employed Texans are a growing part of our society.

As these entrepreneurs earn more money they often want to purchase real estate, but for the self-employed, buying a home or investment property can create a lot of challenges. The same tax advantages that allow the self-employed to keep more of their income by writing off their expenses become disadvantages at loan application.  Traditional underwriting requires that buyers qualify off the adjusted gross income—after netting out claimed expenses. Traditional underwriting also sets  limits on the number of financed properties an investor can own—making it more difficult to build wealth through real estate acquisition.

This does not mean that the self-employed are forever destined to rent. A growing group of loan products help self-employed borrowers qualify without using their tax returns or going through traditional underwriting. These products, broadly known as non-QM, (the QM stands for qualified mortgage) qualify borrowers based on their financial picture rather than narrowly-defined agency underwriting guidelines. To help your self-employed borrowers navigate this relatively new arena of non-QM mortgages, here’s what you need to know:

  1. Non-QM mortgages are not stated-income mortgages—at least not for primary residences and not in the traditional sense of the term. To comply with Dodd Frank the borrower needs to demonstrate ability-to-repay the loan.  Some programs allow as little documentation as a one month bank statement along with a letter from the buyer stating the income, but most will require 12 months of consecutive personal bank statements or 24 months of consecutive business bank statements.  Deposits will be averaged and unusual deposit activity will either be proven as income or subtracted from the total amount of deposits.
  2. No-income verification loans exist only for investment properties—and the property must really be used as an investment. That means that the borrower has to be able to prove that he has a primary residence elsewhere that he is going to continue to maintain after purchasing the rental property.  The appraisal must support the future rental income of the property.
  3. “Reduced documentation” is a misnomer for these loan types. A few months ago, a LO in our company asked me a few questions about a bank statement loan he was preparing to submit.  As I tried to go over the guidelines, he said rather dismissively, “It’s a bank statement loan—how many conditions can there be?”  The short answer is –A LOT.  Non-QM mortgages do not sell to the agencies—Fannie Mae, Freddie Mac, FHA, VA or USDA.  They do not have mortgage insurance.  They are portfolio loans underwritten to the guidelines of the lender who is offering them.  These types of loans require extensive documentation and are time consuming and paper-intensive—it’s just DIFFERENT documentation and DIFFERENT conditions from the ones typically seen on a traditional mortgage loan.
  4. Interest rates and fees will be higher. Depending on the product being offered as well as the reason and type of mortgage loan, the interest rate may range from the high 5% range for a primary residence purchase with 25% down to the mid 7% range for an investor cash flow loan.  Borrowers can also expect to pay higher underwriting fees, typically ranging from $1300-$1500.00 and may be charged between 1% and 3% as an origination fee.   Non-QM loans represent a much higher risk to the investor (for the reasons listed in paragraph # 2 above) and that risk is priced into the rate and the fees.
  5. There may be a pre-payment penalty. Prepayment penalties were once common—today they are as rare as a dinosaur’s egg on most transactions.  But non-QM investor cash flow loans typically require prepayment penalties.
  6. The appraisal and the quality of the collateral is REALLY important. The collateral is important on all mortgage loans, but in the case of non-QM loans, the property is the central piece of the loan.  Expect more appraisal scrutiny, additional costs, and requirements for reviews.
  7. Not all non-QM loans are created equal. In fact, they vary pretty widely by lender.  Many mortgage companies are now developing their own, in-house products, which compete with the better-known products already out in the market.  Since these products are portfolio products, each lender sets their own underwriting guidelines and terms.  That means that if one lender turns your loan down, chances are pretty good that you may still be able to find a home for it with a different lender.

Not every loan originator is skilled with non-QM loans.  Likewise, not all originators have worked with multiple types of non-QM mortgages.  If you have a buyer who needs a bank statement or non-QM mortgage, talk to the loan originator about the deal.  Ask how many non-QM transactions he has done and what his comfort level is.  Stay in communication with the loan originator and the borrower to make sure the borrower is furnishing the requested paperwork in a timely manner.  Remember that the LO never asks for documentation for the sake of creating more work for the borrower.  Getting the proper paperwork in on time is essential to a successful closing and funding.

For questions about how non-QM mortgages work, the types of loan products out there today, and the overall approval process, email CCAR’s REALTOR®/Lender Committee at [email protected]

Residential Pools are High Risk of VGB Safety Noncompliance

Tom Tracy, TREC Professional Inspector (#23433), Blue Sky Home Inspections, CCAR Affiliate Committee Member

As summer approaches and swimsuits start to make their way out of storage it is time to start thinking about pool safety. Texas regularly leads the nation as having one of the highest child mortality incidences as a result of drowning. The grim statistics & information contained in this article are intended to raise the readers awareness because the most effective drowning prevention approach is to have an actively engaged and knowledgeable adult supervisor present.   

-Drowning is the #2 cause of death in children under the age of 14.

-For every child that drowns, 5 other children received emergency medical care.

-Children with autism are five to 14 times more likely to drown than peers without autism. Accidental drowning accounted for 91% of deaths for children 14 & under who have been diagnosed with autism. (Stats care of TXDPA)

In 2002, Virginia Graham Baker (VGB), granddaughter of Secretary of State Jim Baker was just 7 years old when she drowned while being entrapped by a drain in a swimming pool. Congress acted swiftly and a series of regulations were enacted under the VGB laws which were immediately mandatory for all commercial pools but were only required for residential pools that were undergoing major remodels or newly constructed residential pools. This means that there are still a LOT of residential pools that are NOT VGB safety compliant in use today.

Basics to identify and react to a non-compliant VGB pools:
  1. Only One Drain Opening: If you are at an older home (2003 and older) and the pool only has one drain opening it may not be VGB compliant. While the pool may have had a mechanical pressure safety shutoff installed, the presence of only a single drain should immediately raise your awareness level.
  2. You aren’t stronger than a pool pump. The typical flow rate of a pool pump is 40-70 GPM (Gallons Per Minute). Reported entrapment scenarios have indicated that several healthy adult males in shallow water were unable to free an entrapped swimmer. The pressure is so great that evisceration has occurred.
  3. Know where the shutoffs are. Commercial pool/spa shutoffs are in bright red boxes in plain sight for a reason. Ask your pool owner where the residential pump shutoffs are located. Have the pool owner demonstrate how they operate.
  4. Don’t play with drains. Drains aren’t toys. End of story. Redirect children immediately and advise them of the hazards.
  5. For more information: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Virginia_Graeme_Baker_Pool_and_Spa_Safety_Act or http://www.txdpa.com/drowning-prevention

Have a great summer and let’s work together to keep the kids safe.

Melissa Hailey

Q & A with Melissa Hailey, 2018 CCAR President

Melissa Hailey, the founder of North Texas Top Team, REALTORS®, Inc., will be installed as the 2018 President of the Collin County Association of REALTORS® (CCAR) on Nov. 9, 2017. An active member of CCAR since 2006, Hailey has served as the Chairperson for several committees, and she currently instructs various educational classes. She chats with us about her introduction into the real estate industry, her history with CCAR, and the vision she has as the next President.

Q: Since becoming a member of CCAR, what roles have you held within the Association?

A: “I started attending the Wylie Business Development Meetings in 2006. After attending these meetings for a year, someone asked me if I would help schedule the topics/speakers for the next year. After serving as the Vice Chair and then the Chair the next year, I learned about other ways to get involved at CCAR. I have served as past-Chair of CCAR’s Wylie BDM, Technology Committee, and Budget & Finance Committee. I also attend the meetings of the  Professional Development Committee, Government Affairs Committee, and TREPAC Committee, but I have not served as the Chair of these committees.”

Q: What do you enjoy most about the work you do? 

A: “I truly love what I do. I love helping people and being paid to do so. Over the years, I have found that helping clients is fulfilling, but now that I am an Independent Broker, I find that helping my agents so that they can help their clients is even more rewarding. Additionally, I love teaching for TAR and CCAR. One of my passions is to raise the bar in real estate by teaching other REALTORS® to assist their clients and build their businesses.”

Q: What has been the most beneficial part of being a member and President-Elect, prior to fulfilling your upcoming role as President?

A: “As part of the Executive Team, I find that my involvement with, and being on the Board of Directors for, TAR and NAR has been very beneficial. I now have so many connections with REALTORS® from across the country that my referral network has grown tremendously. I have also learned so much about different ways that REALTOR® Associations function across the country. One of the most eye-opening things was learning about other MLS’s and understanding how blessed we are to be a part of NTREIS.”

Q: As the incoming President, what is your vision for CCAR, and what initiatives do you have lined-up to achieve those visions?

A: “I am very passionate about educating REALTORS®. One of the things we are working on is a partnership with other area associations to host some education classes focused on fair housing. Additionally, we have moved our Technology Committee to become a part of our Education Committee so that they can work together to bring additional technology classes to our members. Another thing that is important to me is that we are reaching all of our members, regardless of where they live and work. I want all of our members to have the educational opportunities they need, as well as other member services more readily available to them in their local communities.”

Q: What surprises you most about the local real estate industry?

A: “I don’t necessarily know that anything surprises me. One of the things I am most excited about is the fact that we have had such tremendous growth in our area. With all of the corporate relocation in the Collin County area and our immediate surrounding communities, the need for housing is great, and our members are here to assist people who are moving to our area. I think that this growth will somewhat insulate our area from any potential downturns in the real estate market across the rest of the country.”

Dish on MHailey


1. She has a thing for cars.

While she was in high school, Hailey raced cars every weekend at Texas Raceway Drag Races in Kennedale, Texas. While her need for speed has subsided today, there is one thing car-related still on her bucket list. “My dream car is a 1976 Corvette: classic white exterior and red leather interior with a T-Top,” she said.

2. Before she became a REALTOR®, she worked at a radio station (where she met her husband), attended over 400 concerts and rubbed elbows with noted artists including Dan Aykroyd, Brad Paisley, Clint Black, Willie Nelson, Ted Nugent, Blake Shelton, Sara Evans, Tanya Tucker, Gary Allen, and John Goodman.

“My first concert ever was the “Van Halen 1984” tour,” Hailey said. While she enjoyed working for a host of radio stations—99.5 The Wolf, 570 KLIF, 1310 The Ticket, and Hot 93.3FM, to be exact—and meeting renowned musicians, she also feared losing her job. “They were consolidating,” she explained.” There was a possibility that I could be laid-off, so I was considering what I might want to do in that event.” Her husband suggested getting a real estate license, and although she was hesitant as first, his confidence in her inspired her to do so.”I am so thankful that he convinced me to become a REALTOR®.  It is one of the best decisions I have ever made.”

3. She is always up for an adventure.

Besides her love for roller coasters and visiting theme parks, Hailey also enjoys traveling. “For the past 16 years, I have taken at least one vacation trip per year and never visited the same place twice,” she says. Among her most memorable occurred in the late 1990s, when she went to the observatory at the top of the World Trade Center.

Bill Cox, CCAR Director, Recognized as City’s Citizen of the Year

“I am blessed every day to work in Collin County and call McKinney, Texas home.” —Bill Cox, McKinney Citizen of the Year

When his name was called, Bill Cox was surprised. However, it came as little astonishment to those who witnessed his decades of leadership and service when he was presented with the 2017 Carey Cox Citizen of the Year award. To them, it was logical that Cox’s contributions were recognized with the distinction at the McKinney Chamber of Commerce’s Community Awards Celebration held in February.

“I was the most shocked person at the event,” Cox recalled. “I am very honored and humbled by the recognition.”

A former Mayor Pro Tem and Chairman of the McKinney Chamber of Commerce, Cox is active on various committees. He is the Chairman of McKinney Planning and Zoning, the Collin County Planning Board, and the Collin College Foundation Board. He is also Co-Chair of the Collin College Bond Committee, and Board Member of the Texas Association of REALTORS®. In addition to being on CCAR’s Board of Directors, he is also a member of CCAR’s Budget and Finance, Government Affairs, and Expansion Committees.

“They all have important roles in the life of McKinney, and the continuation of the legacy of service,” he said. “Being able to serve in so many elected positions, in one of the fastest growing counties in the United States, is truly heartwarming.”

For Cox, history has a way of repeating itself—at least it does when community service is involved. “I am a third-generation McKinney Rotarian, and, interestingly, a third-generation President of the McKinney Rotary Club,” he said.

Proud of his McKinney roots, Cox credits his father as his inspiration. “He taught me how to work and how important it is to build relationships with people,” he said.

The Vice President of Carey Cox Company, the real estate firm he operates with his brother, Cox says the people he encounters make working in the industry worthwhile. “Deals come and go, but the relationships you create last a lifetime. I am blessed every day to work in Collin County and call McKinney, Texas home.”

Cox’s approach to life can be summed up with these words: “Find what gets you out of bed every day, and go do it with all your heart.”

Community Outreach Committee

CCAR’s Community Outreach Committee: Serving Collin County

Sometimes it is a simple act of selflessness that stands out in one’s mind. Brandon Hern witnessed such an act.

“My oldest son donated all his savings to help kids at his school afford books. When I asked him why he so quickly donated all his savings, his response was simple. ‘Dad, they need books right now more than I need toys.’”

Brandon Hern“What attracted me to that Committee was purpose. A sense of service has always been my core driver in life, and this Committee is geared towards finding creative ways to support Collin County residents in times of need.”

—Brandon Hern, Community Outreach Committee Vice-Chair


Hern joined the Community Outreach Committee a little more than a year ago to do the same thing: Help people. The Community Outreach Committee was established to implement and support outreach programs in Collin County. Members of the Committee organize events like toy drives and a pancake breakfast to raise donations for local non-profit organizations, including the Boys & Girls Clubs of Collin County. In addition, they raise funds for the North Texas REALTORS® in Action Foundation, which implements outreach programs to aide local areas impacted by natural disasters. This includes providing charitable donations, volunteer work, education, and charitable housing initiatives.

Realizing the value of volunteerism, Hern encourages his two sons, ages 4 and 10, to participate in several events the group organizes. Last year, the trio was involved in the Relay For Life of McKinney-Allen.

“What attracted me to that Committee was purpose,” said Hern, a CCAR Affiliate member and loan officer for Integrity Mortgage Corp of Texas. “A sense of service has always been my core driver in life and this Committee is geared towards finding creative ways to support Collin County residents in times of need.”

If you are interested in being a part of the Community Outreach Committee, click here to complete the Committee Volunteer Form.


Habitat for Humanity to Open Larger ReStore in Plano

South Collin County Habitat for Humanity ReStore
The store staff and volunteers have put in extra time transporting the items over from the current location in anticipation of the new store. According to Manager Christine Martin, the community of Plano has been supportive in donating items and time.

Coinciding with its 10th anniversary in Plano and Earth Day, the South Collin County Habitat for Humanity ReStore is relocating to a larger facility.

Habitat for Humanity ReStores are non-profit home improvement stores and donation centers that offer a vast array of new and gently used items and building supplies at discounted costs. These donations range from appliances, tools, and furniture to electronics, home décor, and building supplies.

The current ReStore occupies a 10,000-square-foot facility located at 1400 Summit Ave. in Plano, in which 75-percent of its space is sales floor. The new 18,000-square-foot facility will be located at 2060 W. Spring Creek Parkway, Suite 402 in Plano. In addition to having a larger, more accessible facility, the new site will boost a sales floor of 90 percent, will be forklift-able, and will offer more new and close-out items, in addition to gently used donated items. Parking will also be ample with hundreds of parking slots available, instead of the current 20 spaces.

“The proceeds from the ReStore helps Habitat for Humanity build more homes for low- and moderate-income families in Collin County. We currently have over 200 families on a two-year waiting list needing help.” — Christine Martin, manager of South Collin County Habitat for Humanity ReStore

Upon entering into the store, there are two sectioned spaces that will house antiques and new or barely used furniture.

“The new location of the Plano ReStore is expected to provide much needed visibility for the South Collin County Affiliate, help obtain more sponsors, increase community involvement, and provide a perpetual income stream for future projects,” said ReStore Manager Christine Martin.

According to Martin, the staff will be able to focus on what they can do and who they can help in the new location, rather than primarily focusing on warehouse sales.

“The working poor, seniors on fixed income, disabled vets, and challenged individuals are our direct beneficiaries,” Martin said. “Indirectly, the 2,500 to 3,000 volunteers per year in our area doing all the work of building and repairing and operating the ReStore and much more also find they have benefited.”

The local Habitat for Humanity organization operates the Plano ReStore. The items in the ReStore can be used in the homes Habitat helps build or repair. One hundred percent of the proceeds benefit the South Collin County cities of Plano, Allen, Wylie, Nevada, North Dallas, Richardson, and Fairview.

“The proceeds from the ReStore helps Habitat for Humanity build more homes for low- and moderate-income families in Collin County,” Martin said. “We currently have over 200 families on a two-year waiting list needing help.”

“Habitat for Humanity is a Helping Hand Up, not a hand-out. Homeowners who cannot qualify for a normal mortgage must put in 400 “sweat equity” hours in their project or help others with theirs, and then pay back the cost minus interest over an agreed upon period of time,” she explained.

South Collin County Habitat for Humanity ReStore
Throughout the space, the artwork of local artists and members of Collin College Spring Creek Campus’ Art Club can be seen in the form of painted murals.

In anticipation of the new store, a VIP Reception and ribbon-cutting ceremony is planned for Thursday, April 20 from 4-8 p.m., in which all CCAR members are invited. The Grand Opening is planned for April 29-30 from 9 a.m.-7 p.m. Family festivities will include prize giveaways, cultural dance performances, martial arts performances, cheerleading and drill team performances from local colleges and high schools, chair massages, henna artists, and face painting. For more information, visit www.planorestore.com or call 972-424-0791.

Jonna Fernandez

Jonna Fernandez Named CCAR’s New Chief Operating Officer

Jonna Fernandez has been named CCAR’s new Chief Operating Officer (COO). Having served as Communications Director since 2007, Jonna accepted the position vacated by the retirement of former COO, Steve Haid. In her new role, Jonna will continue to apply her vast knowledge and experience in REALTOR® association leadership, as well as communication.

“Jonna is so deserving of this promotion. She is always open to accepting new challenges, and I know she will far exceed all expectations,” says Mary Leidy, Chief Executive Officer. “She is a vital team member, who we all love and respect, and she is committed to CCAR and supporting our members’ success. I’m happy to say she will continue to oversee our CCAR communications as well!”

Jonna began her career with CCAR in 2007, having previously served in public relations and communications roles for the higher education and nonprofit sectors. Under her leadership as Communications Director, CCAR has implemented key branding strategies that have made the association stand out as a source for professional and reliable real estate information in North Texas. Her media relations work has garnered CCAR and its members local and national coverage, enhancing the REALTOR® image and promoting the protection of private property rights. In addition, she has led the complete redesign of CCAR’s member and consumer websites on two separate occasions, and established the Association’s decade-long social media presence.

“I’m honored and excited by the opportunity to serve as Chief Operating Officer of this great association. CCAR has a fantastic team of talented and skilled individuals, who I am truly privileged to have the opportunity to work with each and every day,” says Fernandez. “Our association is also blessed to have one of the most dynamic membership bases around, and I look forward to continuing to serve our members and helping them succeed at all levels.”

Jonna has a bachelor’s degree in Corporate Communication from Doane University and a master’s degree in Public Relations from the University of Denver. In addition, she received the REALTOR® Association Certified Executive designation from the National Association of REALTORS® in 2015. She is also a graduate of CCAR’s Texas REALTORS® Leadership Program, Class VII.

A native Coloradoan, Jonna has resided in North Texas since 2003. Married to her husband, Dedrick, for 13 years, they have two children. Outside of work, Jonna serves as Co-Leader of her daughter’s Girl Scout troop, sits on several church committees, and volunteers for Plano ISD at the district and campus levels.

Chief Operating Officer, Steve Haid, Set to Retire

“I’ll miss my work family and the parade of members that come by my office every day. I’ll miss my conversations with the Team Directors who come to bounce ideas off me or just to talk over an issue they are facing. I’m pretty sure I’ll miss the fast pace that happens at CCAR every day.”

—Steve Haid

Since 2012, Steve Haid has served as CCAR’s Chief Operating Officer (COO). Prior to that, he served in various capacities for CCAR since 2004, including MLS Director, and the Director of Education, Communications, Member Services, and Information Technology. However, on March 31, Steve will say good bye to CCAR as he begins a new phase of life–retirement.

“I joined CCAR because I saw it as a great opportunity to stay in real estate, but in a management role,” he said. “I have been in management most of my adult life, except for the six-and-a-half years I sold real estate. I used to come to the Association offices periodically for committee meetings, events, and to pay dues. Every time I was there, the CEO at the time, Randy Wright, would try to get me to join the team in various capacities. Finally, when he offered me the MLS Director position, I jumped on board.”

Although Haid said the organization allowed him the opportunity to grow professionally and try new things, working with the various people he encountered was the best reward. “CCAR’s staff is amazing, and even when one person leaves, we hire another great person to join our family,” he said. “We now have around 7,500 members and Affiliates, and I have personally enjoyed working with many of them. I am blessed to have made many friendships in the real estate industry that will last far beyond my last day as an employee. Every day at CCAR is a new adventure, and it really is like being a part of a big family.”

Among his many accomplishments, Haid made the REALTOR® Store the principal source of non-dues revenue for CCAR and negotiated equipment leases and health plans that have saved the association money. “I think my most significant achievement is being a calm presence for our employees who often endure stressful situations,” he said. “All of our employees know that they can come to me with a difficult problem, and I will either talk them through it or completely take it off their hands. I believe my management style fits perfectly in the family culture that Mary Leidy, our Chief Executive Officer, has developed over the years, and it has been wonderful to be in that family.”

Upon retiring, Haid intends to travel to visit family members and become more involved at his church. He also plans to spend time woodworking and fly fishing, as well as playing music, singing, and performing in community theater.

All CCAR members are invited to join us on Tuesday, March 28 from 11:30 a.m.-1:30 p.m. in the CCAR Banquet Room, for a retirement luncheon to honor Steve’s career and wish him well on his new adventure. Please click here to RSVP for the luncheon no later than March 24.

A Sense of Community: NTYPN Fosters Valuable Connections for its Members

During the summer of 2012, Vanessa Harrell attended the North Texas chapter of Young Professionals Network’s (YPN) annual Catamaran Cruise. Like other participating members, Harrell looked forward to networking with like-minded individuals while sipping on refreshing drinks, snacking on tasty hors d’oeuvres, and savoring the breeze swirling through the boat on an otherwise hot Texas day. Since the title company she worked for was a Strategic Partner, she thought attending the event would be beneficial for her career. However, she wasn’t expecting to make a connection that would forever impact her life.

“The best part of being a YPN member is that I met my husband at the very first YPN event I attended in 2012,” she recalled. “We got married in April of 2016.”

While Harrell’s fairytale story is unusual, it lends a credible tale to the impact North Texas’ YPN has had on its members since its beginning in 2009. Making meaningful connections is the core of what attracts more than 870 REALTORS® to the organization.

“NTYPN is really a great way to get connected to other REALTOR® members of CCAR. By becoming connected with other members, this opens up learning opportunities, as well as referral opportunities, in the real estate space,” said Brandon Eichten, Chair of NTYPN and Vice President of Operations for ERA StarCrest Realty.

Brandon Eichten-300057 small

“By getting connected within CCAR, the YPN member has the unique opportunity to learn about specific resources inside of CCAR available to each member.”

—Brandon Eichten, Chair of NTYPN


This year, Eichten said the organization has four main goals: Connect on a deeper level, bring charity to the forefront, increase membership, and raise $7,000 for TREPAC. “One of the goals is to connect on a deeper level, meaning we have one-on-one time with fellow Strategic Partners and REALTORS® in order to establish a deeper connection by learning how we can partner together to bring more transactions to one another, as well as learn how to impact the real estate community.”

According to Eichten, these connections are the best part of being a YPN member. Christa Fulton agrees. “The best part of being involved with NTYPN is the relationships that this fun, dynamic group builds,” she said. Fulton, CCAR Director of Events, has served as the Staff Liaison for the organization for the past four years and is responsible for the planning and administration of NTYPN meetings and events.

“By getting connected within CCAR, the YPN member has the unique opportunity to learn about specific resources inside of CCAR available to each member,” said Eichten, who joined YPN in January of 2016 as the Communication Director.

“While YPN is overseen by the National Association of REALTORS®, it was Nick Kline, our current CCAR President, who helped establish our chapter,” Fulton said. “Nick felt there was a strong need in North Texas for young professionals in the real estate industry to be able to connect with each other and tap into valuable resources needed to help them succeed in their business.”

As they gain success, members of YPN are able to give back to the communities they serve.

“We’ve had lots of events, but most have a charity component tacked on in some way,” said Harrell, a Sales Executive for Chicago Title DFW who is serving her third year on the Advisory Council and her second year as Vice Chair. “For example, last fall we had an event at a brewery. It was a fun networking event, but we asked everyone attending to bring items of clothing for the Children’s Advocacy Center of Collin County.”

This year, Harrell said the organization is seeking more volunteering opportunities. There are plans in the works to sponsor a backpack drive in preparation for the upcoming school year. “As far as mentoring opportunities, our hope is that we are creating an environment, whether it’s a social or education event, where a new REALTOR® has the opportunity to meet other REALTORS® they might not have had the chance to network with. From there, they can build on that relationship and pursue mentoring opportunities.”

For more information, visit NTYPN or contact Christa Fulton at [email protected]