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Q & A With Barbara Sander Of Old Republic Home Protection

February 26, 2018

Our 2017 Affiliate of the Year was once a REALTOR®!

Let’s start with a brief history of your career with Old Republic Home Protection.
I started with the company in 2000, when Old Republic Home Protection contacted me and asked if I would be interested in opening the state of Oklahoma for them. They offered some coverage and marketing tools to REALTORS® and their clients that would be new to Oklahoma, so I took the opportunity.

What led you to this field?
In 1987, I was approached by HMS Home Warranty to join their company, marketing the home warranty and selling E & O (Errors & Omissions) insurance to REALTORS® in the state. I enjoyed working in the home warranty industry and stayed with HMS until my transition to Old Republic.

How did you become involved with OKCMAR?
I became a licensed REALTOR® in Oklahoma in 1976 and joined OKCMAR at that time. I actively sold residential real estate in the OKC metro area for 11 years. During that time, I served on several committees with the association.  I made the switch to Affiliate when I joined HMS.

What committees have you served on?
Over the years I’ve served on the Education, RPAC, the (former) Program Committee and the Affiliate Committee. I’m currently serving for the second time on the Board of Directors.  I have also served on the Convention Committee at OAR for many years.

Tell us more about your days as a REALTOR®!
I started with Abide Realtors in the Quail office and spent all of my selling years there, with the exception of the last year or so.  That’s when I joined “The Lady in Red” Linda Carlile after she bought a Red Carpet franchise.

What did you do prior to your real estate career?
I worked for the Xerox Corporation as a customer service rep. We did training on Xerox machines and handled individual accounts.

And what brought you to the real estate industry?
Linda Carlile actually “recruited” me to real estate. I met her one day when she was door knocking in The Village.  She also encouraged my participation in board activities from the very beginning of my career. Linda was a past president of OKCMAR, REALTOR® of the Year, and probably chaired or served on every committee we had. She was a huge advocate of giving back to the real estate community.

What experience did you have in home warranty when you started at HMS?
When I got into the home warranty business, I had no experience in the field. I had met the state director of HMS Home Warranty at the Oklahoma State Real Estate Convention and again at the NAR Convention.  He approached me after the gentleman working in Oklahoma left and I felt like it would be a good fit for me.

How has your real estate knowledge helped you excel in the home warranty business?
My background as a REALTOR® has helped me greatly in the warranty industry because I understand what it takes to make a sale, get to closing, and retain buyers and sellers through referrals. If the affiliates involved in the transaction (lenders, inspectors, home warranties etc.) are not providing quality products and service to the clients, the REALTOR® may lose future referrals.

From your standpoint, what have been some of the most notable changes at OKCMAR over the years?The biggest change I’ve seen is the growth of the organization.  When I started we had about 1,000 sq. ft. of space and three employees.  We also had no computers, or cell phones.  Our MLS came in the form of a book, distributed monthly.  While technology is a must for our business today, I do believe it hinders some of the camaraderie we had with our fellow REALTORS® because we had to personally communicate during a transaction.

What about affiliate events?
The only event we had in the past years was the golf tournament, but we did have monthly board luncheons for many years. The Tabletop event was started about 6 years ago and has been our most successful affiliate event. I’m really excited about the association bringing back the monthly luncheons because it gives the affiliates and the REALTOR® members an opportunity to see each other on a regular basis.

If you had 30 seconds to talk about the upcoming golf tournament, what would you say?
The 2018 Golf Tournament is going to be especially fun because we will be celebrating Cinco de Mayo a couple of days early. We will have Mexican food and lots of Mexican beer!  Get your teams together and come out for a fun day of golf with your fellow REALTORS® and affiliates.

What does the title Affiliate of the Year mean to you?
To be recognized by OKCMAR as the Affiliate Of The Year meant to me that the affiliates’ efforts to support the members with whom we do business is appreciated and welcomed.  I was so honored to have been the recipient of the award in 2017.

You mentioned Old Republic’s marketing tools. Where can these be found?
The Old Republic website offers a Toolbox with customizable marketing tools for REALTORS®.  We offer a number of marketing pieces designed to help REALTORS® grow their business and stay in touch with clients. All of the tools are free!

Tell us a random fact about you.
I love to play bridge.  I play as often as I can!

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