Realtor Member Robert “Bobby” Byrd passed away

Robert W. “Bobby” Byrd, 79, of Belleair, Florida passed away December 31, 2019.

Bobby was born on November 5, 1940 to Benjamin Franklin Byrd and Evelyn Hill Byrd in Monroe, Georgia. He was the second of four children. Bobby graduated from Abbeville High School in Abbeville, South Carolina. He went on to continue his education at Florida State University, where his lifelong enthusiasm for the FSU Seminoles was born. At FSU, Bobby joined the Kappa Alpha Fraternity where he served as Vice President, and went on to become involved in the student senate and eventually be elected to student body president. After graduating FSU, Bobby joined the United States Marine Corp in Pensacola and would spend six years as a naval aviator. Pensacola is where he met and began dating his first wife of 27 years, Bonnie Patten Byrd. Over the course of his military career, Bobby flew 465 mission earning him 23 medals; including The Distinguished Flying Cross awarded for his heroic role in life threatening situations. Bobby and Bonnie raised two sons together, Brant and Brooks Byrd, who were the greatest source of pride and joy. The family moved to Belleair FL in 1974 where Bobby began his real estate career, eventually establishing Bobby Byrd Real Estate, BBRE Eshenbaugh, and finally the Byrd Corporation. In his time at BBRD, he went on to become the Vice President of The Florida Association of Realtors and the Vice Chairman of The Legal Action Committee for The National Association of Realtors. Bobby was blessed with a second marriage of 18 years to Anne Jolley Thomas and had the opportunity to help raise another son in Corbett Proctor. Some of his best days were spent together with his collective family in Belleair, Tallahassee, and Boca Grande. Bobby’s philanthropic and community involvement was extensive and included terms as President of Clearwater Rotary, President of the Clearwater Chamber of Commerce, and many years on The Morton Plant Mease Foundation Hospital Board. Besides his parents, Bobby is preceded in death by his brother Benjamin Byrd. He is survived by brother Johnny Byrd and sister in law, Diane Byrd, Sister, Betty Byrd, wives Bonnie Byrd and Anne Jolley Byrd, sons Brant Byrd and Brooks Byrd, Daughters in Law Mary Beth Byrd and Alex Byrd, Step-son, Corbett Proctor; grandchildren Blakely Byrd, Britton Byrd, Bay Byrd and Balthazar Byrd. Services will be held at Moss Feaster Funeral Home in Clearwater Florida on Friday January 10 with a gathering of friends at 5pm to be followed by a service at 6pm. In lieu of flowers, donations may be sent to the Abilities Foundation of Clearwater.

JAN 10. 5:00 PM – 6:00 PM (EST)

Moss Feaster Funeral Home and Cremation – Clearwater

693 South Belcher Road

Clearwater, FL, 33764

Realtor Member Pat Plumlee passed away

Patricia Ann Plumlee has suddenly passed away December 10, 2019 at 80. It’s a time for sadness and a time for love and a time for remembering and a time for letting go and a time for celebrating and a time for grieving. Pat was a force of nature and a pillar of her community. She was a daughter, sister, mother, grandmother, broker, wife, partner, philanthropist, leader, manager, friend. She has been described as an elegant lady and a powerful woman. Born in Brooklyn, NY, to Jack and Doris Collins, Pat grew up a city girl and got her first introduction to the business world at Ebbets Field in her father’s office where he worked as the business manager for the Brooklyn Dodgers. When she was 13, the family moved south to Clearwater, where they built the Sands Pointe Motel, this was the first taste of the real estate and vacation rental business for Pat. Over her life, Pat built quite a presence in the beach communities. After college, Pat worked for the family real estate business with her parents. Soon she ventured off with her new husband, Ernest “Ernie” Plumlee (d.1994) and created a new industry in the publishing world. She continued to keep her real estate license active and obtained her broker’s license in 1984. Not long after Pat and Ernie sold their publishing company they started Plumlee Gulf Beach Realty in 1990. Pat was proud of her 40 plus years of real estate excellence and earning the Realtor Emeritus Designation by the Pinellas Realtor Organization. Dedicated to her community, she received the Commitment to Excellence in Leadership Award from the Suncoat Firemen’s Association and was a proud member of the Clearwater Community Women’s Club, holding every office besides President over her 40 year membership; the Indian Shores Women’s Club; the Belleair Women’s Republican Club; La Sertoma, in which she served as the President for four years; the Gulf Beach Chamber, in which she served as President; and various condominium boards throughout the years. She is preceded in death by husband of 32 years, Ernest Plumlee; survived by her love and partner of 23 years, Michael A. Petruccelli; her brother, John Collins (Gaye); her daughter, Sandy Risberg (Rob) along with grandsons, James and John; and her son, Todd Plumlee (Cris) along with grandson, Tyson. 

All those who knew Pat or wish to pay their last respects will be welcome to visitation and the funeral.

Tuesday, Dec 17, 2019 from 5 pm – 7 pm
Hubbell Funeral Home & Crematory 
Address: 499 Indian Rocks Rd N, Belleair Bluffs, FL 33770 
Phone: (727) 584-7671 

 

The funeral service for Patricia Plumlee will be held at:
Wednesday, Dec 18, 2019 at 11:30 am
Calvary Episcopal Church 
Address: 1615 1st St, Indian Rocks Beach, FL 33785
Phone:    727-595-2374

 

In lieu of flowers the family requested that donations be made to:
Indian Rocks Beach Food Pantry
Calvary Episcopal Church 
Address: 1615 1st St, Indian Rocks Beach, FL 33785
Phone:    (727) 595-2374

Kimberly House 
1189 NE Cleveland Street, Clearwater, FL 
Phone: (727) 443-0471 ext. 24 

PRO/CPAR hosts Annual Meeting honors and recognizes members

The Annual Business Meeting & Installation was held on September 13, 2019. Go here to view photos of the event.


We thank the following PRO/CPAR members for their unwavering commitment to our profession by investing in the REALTORS Political Action Committee.

Double Hall of Fame ($50,000+ in their lifetime)
Nancy Riley

Hall of Fame ($25,000+ in their lifetime)
David Bennett
Frank Gregoire

Platinum R ($10,000+)
PRO Biz, Inc.

Golden R ($5,000+) 
Cyndee Haydon
Total Title Solutions

Crystal R Members ($2,500+)
Jackie Diaz
Karen Hegemeier
Paul Hendriks
Fred Hintenberger
Darlene Sheets
Tom Shelly
Sandy Waterbury
Linda Wilson

Sterling R Members ($1,000+)
Kevin Batdorf
Ken Breland
Major Easthagen
Angela Emerson
Melissa Honeycutt
Brandi Gabbard
April Gayle Gausman
Linda Goldfarb
Christine Knighton
Jill Long
Travis Norton
Cherie Pattishall
Stacey Pinard
Glen Richardson
Mindy Rovillo
Rachel Sartain
Stephanie See
Amy Seeks
Tom Steck
Mike Wyckoff

President’s Circle (additional $2,000 annually directly to candidates)
David Bennett
Frank Gregoire
Cyndee Haydon
Bob McDugald
Nancy Riley


The following PRO/CPAR members received the Good Neighbor Award for making an extraordinary impact on our community by giving their time and resources:

Ann Rogers – National Alliance on Mental Illness

Annette Feazell – Clearwater Neighborhood Housing Services

Evelyn Nakelski – The Kind Mouse Productions

Jason Miller – Habitat for Humanity Pinellas

Kyle Hickey – Creative Clay

Kelly Mothershead – Pasco Alliance for Substance Abuse

 

The following PRO/CPAR members were given the REALTOR® Emeritus honor. The National Association of REALTORS® (NAR) defines Emeritus status as any person who has held membership in the association for 40 or more cumulative years:

  • John Funk – 1971
  • Margrit Kaitar – 1976
  • Joy Albano – 1977
  • Ralph Dobraski – 1977
  • Lou Ballenger- Abel -1978
  • Maureen Cadzow -1978
  • Ronald Komosinski -1978
  • James Waters -1978
  • Donald Taylor- 1978
  • Gaye Collins – 1979
  • Chuck Innocenzi – 1979
  • KC Jones – 1979
  • Scott Samuels – 1979
  • Maureen Stilwell – 1979
  • Theresa Bocchichio – 1976
  • Gail Robinson -1978
  • Jan Bruzas – 1979
  • William Welch – 1979


Once again, the Affiliate Business Partners sponsors decorated the tables at the event. New this year, all attendees had the ability to cast their vote for their favorite. The following PRO/CPAR Affiliate Business Partners won a Best Table Honor:

1st Place – Michelle Rothwell, Your Mortgage Source – Breakfast at Tiffany’s
2nd Place – Phil De Terlizzi, 3D Building & Remodeling – Jurassic Park
3rd Place – Tina Housdan, Savvy Mortgage Lending – Casino

September is REALTOR® Safety Month

September is REALTOR® Safety Month. As you know, protecting yourself goes beyond vigilance in the field. You also need to be aware of the opportunities to improve your safety at the office and in the digital world.

NAR has worked hard to provide resources and tips on the topic of safety. A few quick links to safety hot topics are below:

 

Here at your local association, member safety will always be a top priority. As of now, we have two safety-related dates in September you may find beneficial.

On Monday, September 23rd, 2019 from 9am – 1pm, we’ll have our first REALTOR® Concealed Weapon Training class. PLEASE view the details on our calendar regarding eligibility and requirements. This class will be instructed by Keith Hardesty, an honorably discharged US Air Force Veteran, former Atlanta City Police Officer/investigator, and retired Federal Supervisory Criminal Investigator (ATF) with 20 years of Law Enforcement Firearm Instructor’s experience.

Of course, safety is a year-round priority! On Monday, October 28th we have “Tech Management & Safety” from 1pm – 4pm at PRO. Presented by Craig Grant, the “Real Estate Tech Guru”, this class aims to keep you up-to-date with NAR, Federal, and State technology policies, copyright risks, email etiquitee, keeping your computer safe, and more.

 

Did you know? If you’re ever feeling in danger in the field, Supra’s new eKEY app feature lets you send for help with just a tap of a button.

Please don’t forget to set this up! Watch the video to see how.

 

 

 

Former member Dolores Wilson passed away

Dolores Wilson, age 77, of Pinellas Park, passed away on June 29, 2019 surrounded by family in her home. She was born to parents Kenneth and Mary Vigotty, and grew up in Long Island, New York with her two brothers, Michael and Kevin. She relocated to Pinellas County in 1974 with her husband, John Wilson, and son, Jim Wilson, and has lived in the area since. She is survived by her son, Jim Wilson of Flowery Branch, Georgia; daughter, Reina Lombardi of Fort Myers and daughter, Melissa Cowans of Pinellas Park, Florida. She also leaves behind three grandsons, James Wilson, Jordan Wilson, and Xavier Cowans Jr.; two granddaughters, Shakira Huewitt and Mia Cowans; and great-grandson, Rejdan Wilson.

Dolores had an accomplished career, spanning several decades, as a realtor in the area. She loved her profession, especially helping young families find their first home. She was a mentor and source of support to many throughout her career, always focused on living in service to others. Those who knew her would describe her as a “true friend,” forever loyal and dependable, kind, compassionate, and generous beyond measure. A celebration of life will be held at First Assembly of God in Pinellas Park, where she was a devoted member, on July 13, 2019 at 2 pm. The family requests that donations be made to St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital in lieu of flowers.

https://www.legacy.com/obituaries/tampabaytimes/obituary.aspx?n=dolores-s-wilson&pid=193291480

Association health plans – members opinions wanted

How do you feel about PRO/CPAR being able to offer association health insurance as part of your benefits package with us? Will you give us 3 minutes and take a survey about your current health insurance situation and your interest in PRO/CPAR offering you an association plan? If you take the survey, you’ll be entered to win a $50 Publix gift card!

PRO/CPAR, along with a number of other state and local associations, have agreed to join the National Association of REALTORS® in protecting Association Health Plans, which has been the subject of litigation since shortly after the rule was finalized last June. Earlier this year, a federal court ruled that provisions of the Department of Labor’s rule were unlawful, a ruling adversely impacting REALTORS® seeking more cost effective and comprehensive health insurance solutions through AHP options. Many more REALTOR® associations are also exploring AHP options but have been delayed due to this litigation uncertainty.

We’d love to be able to help you obtain affordable and quality health care options for yourself and your family. Please respond to the survey and let us know your thoughts.

NAR is a founding member of the Coalition to Promote and Protect Association Health Plans, which also submitted an amicus brief in this case. NAR recently created an updated map showing the state-by-state regulatory environment as it applies to working owners, which also links to a detailed chart outlining specific actions by individual states.

2019 Florida Legislature adjourns: Remote notaries, open permits & environment among victories

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. — May 4, 2019 — 2:16 pm — Your world got a little bit easier thanks to new legislation that brings modern technology and common sense to transactions.

The Florida Legislature, which ended its 60-day legislative session minutes ago, passed two bills many Florida Realtors’ members had requested. One allows the use of remote online notaries and the other provides remedies for open and expired permits.

“Our members spoke loud and clear about the problem of open permits and the benefit of remote notaries, and I’m happy to say lawmakers listened,” says Eric Sain, 2019 president of Florida Realtors and district sales manager with Illustrated Properties in Palm Beach. “But the really good news is that these two bills were only a part of our legislative successes this year. We’re also celebrating assignment of benefits (AOB) reform, funding to improve water quality and another cut to the business rent tax.”

This end-of-session report covers key real estate legislation filed for the 60-day session that ended minutes ago. Bills passed head to the governor for final approval.

Florida Realtors biggest legislative victories

  • Remedies to open and expired permits — Open and expired permits can delay a closing, and, in some cases, kill a deal because of the uncertainty associated with them. To address the problem, HB 447 allows local governments to close a permit six years after its issuance as long as no apparent safety hazards exist. It also prevents local governments from penalizing property owners for an open permit that was applied for by a previous owner. Effective: October 1, 2019.
  • Approval of online remote notaries — Many states allow the use of online remote notaries in real estate transactions to make closings easier, faster and more convenient for distant parties. Thanks to HB 409, Florida now joins this group of modern-thinking states. Effective: January 1, 2020.
  • Curbing AOB abuse to keep insurance affordable — Property insurance assignment of benefits (AOB) came about to reduce insurance claim burdens for property owners. However, some contractors and attorneys abused the AOB process by overcharging for repairs and suing insurance carriers when they refuse to pay, leading to higher premiums for everyone. HB 7065 limits contractors’ ability to receive payment for their attorney fees if the claim is settled or won in court. This is commonly referred to as one-way attorney fees and the primary incentive behind AOB fraud. Please note: All bill provisions become effective on July 1, 2019, except for provisions relating to attorney fees, which become effective when the bill is signed into law.
  • $682 million for environmental projects — Communities throughout Florida were devastated last year by environmental problems such as blue-green algae and red tide. The Legislature responded with significant amounts of funding for environmental projects designed to address these issues. The proposed funding includes $322 million for both Everglades restoration and the early planning, design and construction of the Everglades Agricultural Area Reservoir. Also included: $40 million to complete the raising of Tamiami Trail, $100 million for springs restoration, $50 million for beach restoration projects, $10 million for a red tide/blue green algae task force and $25 million for a septic-to-sewer cost-share program. Effective: July 1, 2019.
  • Further reduction to the business rent tax — Businesses throughout Florida will save more than $65 million each year due to a .2% reduction of the business rent tax. The new state tax rate on commercial leases will be 5.5%, down from 5.7% in 2018 and 6% in 2017. Effective: January 1, 2020.
  • More than $200 million for affordable housing projects — Lawmakers allocated $200 million from the state and local government housing trust funds for affordable housing programs. This includes $115 million to assist Panhandle residents whose properties were devastated by Hurricane Michael. Effective: July 1, 2019.
  • Continued funding for LIDAR mapping — The budget includes language that allows the Division of Emergency Management to continue spending the $15 million currently being used for LIDAR (light detection and ranging) mapping. LIDAR is a next-generation mapping technique and has the potential to lower flood insurance rates throughout Florida. Effective: July 1, 2019.
  • Preventing unlicensed real estate activity — The Legislature allocated up to $500,000 from the Professional Regulation Trust Fund to the Department of Business and Professional Regulation (DBPR) to combat unlicensed real estate activity. Effective: July 1, 2019.

Other bills that passed of interest to Realtors

  • Fighting red tide through research and technologySB 1552 establishes the Florida Red Tide Mitigation and Technology Development Initiative, a partnership between the state and Mote Marine Laboratory to develop technologies that can control and mitigate red tide and its impact. Lawmakers appropriated $3 million a year for the next six years to fund the initiative. Effective: July 1, 2019.
  • Banning local governments from restricting vegetable gardensSB 82 prevents local governments from regulating homeowners’ vegetable gardens. The issue stemmed from a couple in Miami Shores who had to uproot their vegetable garden due to a local ordinance. This does not apply to homeowners associations (HOAs). Effective: July 1, 2019.
  • Flood insurance mattersHB 617 requires insurers that do not provide flood insurance to provide a disclosure at initial issuance and each renewal regarding the importance of flood insurance. Effective: July 1, 2019.
  • Property insurance changesHB 301 includes a host of insurance revisions. The bill removes the $100 cap for insurers who provide loss control/mitigation goods or services (e.g. a temperature/humidity sensor) to policyholders and makes it easier for owners who have dwellings valued at $700,000 or more to obtain surplus lines of coverage. Effective: July 1, 2019.
  • Property owner bill of rights and tree trimmingSB 1400 requires county appraisers to publish a list of constitutionally protected property rights on their websites. The bill also allows property owners to trim or remove trees on their property without consequence as long as they have a letter from a certified arborist or landscape architect stating the tree is a danger. Effective: July 1, 2019.
  • Providing more structure for beach restoration projectsHB 325 creates a five-year work plan for beach renourishment projects throughout Florida based on a specific set of criteria. The new approach is intended to remove the arbitrary selection of projects that currently exists. Effective: July 1, 2019.
  • More options for wetlands mitigation projectsHB 521 allows developers in areas lacking private wetlands mitigation credits to partner with local governments to mitigate on publicly-owned conservation land. Effective: July 1, 2019.
  • Fire and life safety systems for condosHB 647 extends the deadline for high-rise condominiums that must be retrofitted with fire sprinklers or another engineered life safety system from Dec. 31, 2019, to Dec. 31, 2023. Effective: July 1, 2019.
  • Texting while driving ban gets tougherHB 107 strengthens Florida’s existing ban on texting, emailing and instant messaging while driving. The bill changes current enforcement of the ban from a secondary offense to a primary offense, meaning law enforcement can now stop a vehicle solely for texting while driving. Effective: July 1, 2019.
  • Military affairsSB 620, in its original form, included a provision that capped the total money owed by an active duty service member who was entering into a lease at no more than the total of two months’ rent. Although the bill passed, the language pertaining to the cap was removed from the bill. Effective: July 1, 2019. 

Bills that did not pass

  • Private property rights/short-term rentals — SB 824 and HB 987 were companion bills supported by Florida Realtors aimed at protecting the right of private property owners to rent their property on a short-term basis because many local governments continue to enact ordinances that discourage short-term rentals and infringe on this fundamental right.
  • Emotional support animals — HB 721 would have provided clarity for emotional support animals. It would have created a legal definition for these animals and would have required an emotional support animal certificate to come from a licensed doctor who has a relationship with the patient.
  • Requiring online retailers to collect sales tax— SB 1112 would have required remote (out-of-state) sellers to collect and remit sales tax to the state on purchases made by Florida residents. The revenue gained from collecting the sales tax could have then been used to offset other taxes such as the business rent tax. Current law says that sales tax from remote sellers is legally owed to the state by the Floridian making the purchase, but few residents know about this requirement and even fewer pay it.
  • Condo transfer fee background costs — HB 1075 contained several items related to HOAs and condominium associations. Of note to Realtors was an allowance for associations to charge a buyer or renter the “actual cost” of a background check plus a $100 administrative fee. Transfer fees are currently capped at $100 per applicant.
  • Septic tank inspections — HB 85 would have required all homeowners in Florida to have septic tank inspections every five years.
  • Water quality improvements — HB 973 would have transferred septic tank oversight from the Department of Health to the Department of Environmental Protection. The bill would have given the two state agencies one year to suggest recommendations on how to best transfer this massive responsibility.
  • Rent control — HB 6053 and SB 1390 sought to allow local governments to adopt rental control ordinances.
  • Seller disclosure — HB 163 and SB 1254 would have required sellers to provide buyers a written disclosure if the property is located within a dependent special district. The bill also gave buyers a three-day right of rescission after the disclosure was provided.
  • Landlord disclosure — HB 153 and SB 1248 would have required landlords to provide prospective tenants with a “physical” copy of the restrictive covenants governing the use and occupancy of the premises.
  • Property Assessed Clean Energy (PACE) — HB 163 and SB 282 sought to expand the list of qualifying improvements under the PACE program to include septic tank improvements or replacements.
  • Swimming pool safety features — HB 805 and SB 724 would have required all residential pools in Florida to be equipped with two of the following safety features when a residential property with a pool is sold: 1) pool barrier, 2) pool cover, 3) door and window alarms, 4) self-closing and self-latching doors and 5) a pool alarm.

© 2019 Florida Realtors®

UPDATE: PRO/CPAR and HCAR merger

Pinellas Realtor Organization/Central Pasco Chapter members voted to merge with Hernando County Association of Realtors (HCAR). Although HCAR’s Board of Directors was on board to offer the Plan of Merger to its membership for a vote, an HCAR member filed a lawsuit to block the vote. A court order was issued forbidding their members from voting online, and that a vote must be conducted in person or by proxy. This resulted in a lot of misinformation being disseminated. HCAR’s Board of Directors decided to table the Plan of Merger at this time, and they will continue to move forward independently. If this situation changes, we will be sure to update you.
 
 

New FREC Team Rules: Are You Compliant?

Florida Real Estate Commission (FREC) has approved a New Team Advertising Rule that will impact brokerage office procedures and team advertising.

Brokers and teams have until July 1, 2019 to comply, but it’s not too early to prepare.

Teams

  • “Team or group advertising” shall mean a name or logo used by one or more real estate licensees who represent themselves to the public as a team or group. The team or group must perform licensed activities under the supervision of the same broker or brokerage.

  • Team marketing may include the words team or group as part of the name, however the following names will no longer be permitted:
    Agency, Associates, Brokerage, Brokers, Company, Corporation, Corp., Inc., LLC, LP, LLP, Partnership, Properties, Property, Real Estate, Realty

  • Additionally, any similar words suggesting the team or group is a separate real estate brokerage or company can’t be included.

  • Advertisements containing the team or group name shall not appear in larger print than the name or logo of the registered brokerage.

  • All advertising must be in a manner in which consumers would know they are dealing with a team or group.

  • These requirements apply to all forms of advertising.

  • All advertisements must comply by July 1, 2019

Brokers

  • The Broker is required to designate a team member per team that is responsible for insuring that the advertising is in compliance with the above requirements.

  • The broker must maintain a current list of each team member updated monthly. 

  • These requirements must be implemented by July 1, 2019