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From Toy Drives to Flood Prevention, REALTORS® Lead the Way in the Fargo-Moorhead Area

By HOM Editor
April 2017
Coffee Deliverers
Volunteers delivering coffee. Fargo-Moorhead Area REALTORS® do numerous drives throughout the year.

There is no doubt that buyers and sellers will find that the Fargo-Moorhead Area REALTORS® are a great resource for any real estate need.

But these REALTORS® aren’t just one-trick ponies.

There is so much more that they do in the community that not only advocates on behalf of the area residents, but also shows their giving side.

The local association, the Fargo-Moorhead Area Association of REALTORS (FMAAR), holds a general membership meeting each month, known as the Connections Luncheon, where they recognize and donate to a designated charity of the month.

“Our public relations committee makes a small donation and then we sell raffle tickets at the registration desk at the luncheon and all proceeds from that raffle is donated to the designated charity,” said Marti Kaiser, Chief Executive Officer of the FMAAR.

There are other charitable functions in which they partake – toy drives, coffee drives, clothing drives and Stuff the Truck, just to name a few.

But perhaps the charitable event they are most associated with is the Salvation Army bell-ringing. It was a tradition that started with the FMAAR and has now grown into a charitable event not just in North Dakota, but around the country as well.

“It started simply here with a couple of our members who were very passionate about the Salvation Army and it quickly spread statewide and to other associations in 34 other states,” Kaiser said.

In what is a healthy competition in the spirit of giving, especially around the holiday season, the FMAAR has an on-going challenge with local firefighters and law enforcement to see which group can raise the most money on a given day.

“Each of us has a designated day where we ring the bell,” Kaiser said. “Whoever raises the most money on their day wins a travelling trophy from the Salvation Army shaped like a bell.

“We always joke that the firefighters have an advantage because they bring in puppies and babies to raise more money which makes them tough to beat, but we’re proud to say we’ve had the bell for the past two years. Regardless, the real winners are the Salvation Army and the people they serve.”

And while finding ways to give back to the community through charity is an admirable effort by the FMAAR, it’s not all they do outside of their day-to-day REALTOR® functions.

With the Fargo-Moorhead area prone to flooding, the FMAAR is always right on the front lines combatting the flooding, whether it’s sand-bagging to prevent it, or delivering food to those working tirelessly to keep the flood waters out.

“We haven’t experienced a major flood recently, but our goal is to not have to sand-bag ever again.”

“We haven’t experienced a major flood recently, but our goal is to not have to sand-bag ever again,” said Kaiser. “We have bee working to get a diversion in our area. They’ve broken ground, but is still a controversial issue. It looks like it’s going to happen, but it’s probably still 10 years away from becoming a reality, so we still have a window where we can be hit by flooding.”

Finally, the FMAAR has created a joint task force with the local Home Builders Association that frequently meets with city leaders regarding special assessments. The premise of the meetings are to evaluate the current city processes to better understand them and be able to explain them to consumers or clients when they have questions.

“We serve three major communities – Fargo, Moorhead and West Fargo and we do special assessments a little different than a lot of other places,” Kaiser said. “While in most places they are rolled into the price of the lot, here they are separate and sometimes they can be in the neighborhood of $40-50,000, which a lot of people find to be a big concern.

“We make recommendations to the cities to try and curb those expenses, but most importantly, it allows us to understand why they are assessed the way they are and to better be able to explain that to the potential homebuyers.”

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