Updated: Jul 29
REALTORS® need a specific financial wellness tool to address their business and financial planning needs. That’s what the Center for REALTOR® Financial Wellness is all about. In this episode of Agent Exit, we're joined by Brittany Schanck, the Financial Wellness Manager at the National Association of REALTORS®. Brittany talks with Renee Williams about the benefits provided to members through this great tool, about how easy the platform is to use, and about ongoing learning opportunities that will jump start your retirement. Join the conversation to know more about your financial wellness.
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The Financial Wellness Tool Every REALTOR® Should Know About With Brittany Schanck
I am super excited about our guest. We have Ms. Brittany Schanck with us. She is a Financial Wellness Manager at the Center for REALTOR® Financial Wellness.
I'm so excited to be here. Thank you so much for this opportunity. It's honestly a pleasure.
I’m excited about the opportunity. I have to tell everybody how I hunted you down to get the connection so that we could do this. I followed Brittany on LinkedIn. I made a bunch of phone calls and I was finally able to connect. You graciously agreed to come on the show and talk about the Center for REALTOR® Financial Wellness. When I saw the product, I was super excited. I found that product first before I reached out to you. I found the product through my membership. When I logged in, I was blown away by how good the information was that I thought, "Whoever is responsible for this, I've got to get them on so that they can share what you guys are doing." Can you please tell us a little bit about you, your role and all about the Center for REALTOR® Financial Wellness?
Renee, thank you so much for the gracious introduction especially reaching out to me. Most importantly, the Center for REALTOR® Financial Wellness is a resource designed exclusively to the specific financial planning needs of realtors. What I do in my role is manage and oversee the center. I provide members with monthly webinars over to our website and upcoming live virtual events that they can register for. We even have some awesome special financial planning offers discounted for NAR members.
The most important thing is we're committed to helping all members, no matter your career stage, to keep the steps that they need to achieve financial independence. We'll do so by providing those timely resources for their financial planning journey. That's what I do on a day-to-day basis and I love it. Working with our members has been such a joy because I wake up every day realizing not only are they helping so many Americans achieve the American Dream but in addition to it, we're pouring back into them and helping them on their financial journey as well.
Can you tell me a little bit more about how you guys started? What's the history?
It’s important to keep track of your goals to check if you’re progressing.
What started as a result of a fact by 2017 NAR President Bill Brown wanted to help realtors take charge of their personal finances. That grew into a comprehensive school to help members budget their finances and that's why we prepare for their financial future. What we did originally, we conducted a survey. In 2019, there was a financial planning report that was pulled out that we discovered 28% of our members said that they were not confident, they can retire when ready. We conducted that same report again in 2021 and now we found that that number has lowered to 25%. We're gradually moving the needle and even see members more actively saving for retirement.
What I mean by that, back in that 2019 survey report, 52% of our members were only saying that they were actively saving for retirement. Within those two years, that report now showed that 59% of our members are now actively saving for retirement. It goes to show, given the nature of our members' work in this industry, there can be many different ebbs and flows within their business such as fluctuating incomes, tax issues and many other financial complexities. That's very common for many realtors that work as an independent contractor. We are excited to honestly see the progression that has happened along the way with this resource that we're providing. I hope that helps.
The resource is included with our membership. There's a way to access this wonderful resource. There's a platform that we can use. Can you tell us how do we get to it? What is it?
By logging into FinancialWellness.realtor, if members want to go to visit the site, they'll use their log-in credentials and access an interactive and robust website. There are four different categories with that. The initial one I always say is your financial assessment. This is when you first come in. It's a quick, easy check-up to evaluate your current financial profile. There are ten questions. That's part of the platform. We will not store, share or sell any of your information. It's private to you. I always like to add that in the end.
The part on the backend of the platform gives you goals. These are customized recommendations that are personalized for your goal-tracking. As you're progressing, going through each of the goals, you can check them off accordingly and there's also a financial journey. It's almost a simulation that allows you to practice making those good financial decisions and teaming skills in a risk-free way. The best part is we have a huge center, where we provide calculators, budgeting planners and worksheets. There are different financial articles and topics, education on monetizing your book of business and how to permit, member-centered education and investing in real estate. There's so much more.
That’s FinancialWellness.realtor. What you'll do is you'll take an online assessment, receive those personal financial planning goals, practice financial decisions in a risk-free way, go through the website and review all of those awesome different articles. We are covering from what is financial wellness, succession planning and retirement planning. It covers it all. Overall, the program is to help the realtors maximize their wealth towards achieving their retirement dreams. It's designed for a busy professional. Whenever you want to go through those goals, you're welcome to do so on the platform.
I did it. I love it. I learned some things about myself in the assessment. It gives you these little happy or sad faces. The idea is that there has to be a balance between goals each month or goals and achievements that you want to do. Sometimes, there's money that you want to put back into your business. In the assessment like, "Do you want to put money back into your business or use this money for a different goal?" You had to make the choice. The idea is to keep it all balanced, which is good because there are sacrifices that have to be made on one side or the other so that you can make your overall plan work. It's a phenomenal tool and I'm so grateful for it. It's good and easy to use. I could stop and turn it off. I came back. It was on the same spot. I don't have to finish it all in one sitting because I'm busy and I have a client. The outcome is phenomenal. I got a report and everything. I liked it.
Join the resource. We want members to utilize this and say, "This works for me." Especially depending on what career stage you're in, there are going to be different articles that pertain to where you are and that's the best part. It's not cookie-cutter where you feel like, "I'm going to only receive this information." It's targeted specifically for you and your journey.
Sometimes when we look at things like this, we feel like it's very watered-down or generic. What I liked about the tool is that I felt like it was specific to me, my business and my goals because the outcome was based on the information that I put in. It gave me specifically what I needed to do to move forward at the level that I'm at in my business. That's so appealing to everybody. Can you tell us if there's a calendar? Where can we find a calendar of training? Is there anything coming up that we need to know about?
We do have a webinar series. Every month, we do cover a different financial topic. For the month of February until July 2021, we've done a larger virtual session that will follow every Wednesday for about an hour featuring different subject-matter experts who will cover different financial topics. By visiting NAR.realtor/cffw/webinars, you can view a full list of our upcoming and current webinar sessions for the year. For the entire year, you can plan out in advance what we already have. It's designed to help realtors understand those financial profits on a deeper level. Because we are bringing in subject-matter experts to provide those tips, planning options and valuable information, we were mindful about pricing as well to make sure that we were saying, "We want this to be still such a valuable resource to our members, $10 through $10."
In our monthly educational session within that, you get not only the presentation but you get the full reporting and you get to ask questions from that financial advisor. In August 2021, we'll be covering business entities and tips for selecting the right ones because we listen to the feedback that our members do provide and say, "This was a great introduction on a previous session that you guys did last year. Can you expand on this?" We'll bring back speakers. We do this into what you want to hear and what's most important to you especially for a newer agent coming in. We are targeting our webinars sessions to be more streamlined depending on who needs to listen to one.
What I mean by that is in the past, when we were doing our educational sessions, we would be very generic and broad but now, we've made sure that we were intentional on the topics that we put out that we could do a deeper dive in it so, in that full hour, you're getting thorough information that pertains to the information that you wanted to listen to. If you're first starting off in your career, joining in and saying, "I understand and I hear people say, 'I need to separate my personal expenses from my business expenses but in addition to it, what kind of business do I like? Which one is the right one for me?'" This is that session that you need to attend. Ariel Hogan is an attorney and she is going to be diving into that topic. We're so excited about August 2021. I'll include more information and details.
We have more than just what business entity is right for you. There are tactics on retirement coming up in September 2021, managing your debt and credit for October 2021, budgeting a roadmap from agents to a worker that we'll cover in November 2021, as well as succession planning and closing out in December 2021. If you even want to listen to a session that was done last month, you can play and even view it as well. Members can register for those monthly webinars by visiting NAR.realtor/cffw/webinars. It has all the information there. It's such an awesome tool. We realized that that's where a lot of members think that they found the most value out of this program was hearing it from the subject-matter experts. We're so grateful that people have a place to meet us.
When things get overwhelming, hear from the experts and get some awesome tips.
You mentioned new agents and the one coming up in August 2021. You have something that I was particularly interested in for the month of July 2021. If you're reading the blog in the future, you will be able to go back and hear these webinars. What's going on in July 2021? What's coming up?
In July 2021, we are having a Virtual Retirement Summit featuring Morgan Stanley experts. This is going to be big. Every Wednesday in July 2021, from 1:00 to 2:00 PM Central, you can register and join us. We're going to cover retirement planning basics, getting retirement-ready, planning for the unexpected and legacy and estate planning. You'll hear from these experts and receive tips on how to set yourself up for success, what money management and investment resources to help achieve the base goal and prepare for retirement in the future is all that we want to do. The place to get information on that is you can visit NAR.realtor/cffw/live. That's where we have information about our upcoming live virtual event retirement summit. I'm so excited for this one because we strategically planned each of those sessions out of targeting not only just newer agents but what would work for a seasoned agent as well.
The majority of our audience here is seasoned or experienced agents who are considering retirement at some point. It's not imminent but certainly, people who have been in the business for 15, 20 or maybe even 30 years could benefit from the retirement summit.
I'm excited because that getting retirement-ready session specifically is going on July 14, 2021. After that, we'll cover how to protect yourself against unexpected things that may pop up as you near retirement and even with that legacy and estate planning one as well, how do you balance those goals and provide what's most important for you? Things have taken a consideration especially when it can get overwhelming. Hear from those experts. They have some awesome tips. I was reviewing the presentation slides earlier in May 2021 and I was like, "This is going to be good."
As we're nearing the end, I have one more question. I know that there are a ton of great resources. What other great resources are available to us through the Center for REALTOR® Financial Wellness, which maybe we haven't touched yet?
We also have an exclusive special offering for any of our members. The Center for REALTOR® Financial Wellness will provide any of our members with special offers on financial planning and investment services. These are some awesome information that I want to point out. For a financial plan, there are different options. You can either look for investment services. Let's say, for example, you are in the transition of, "I need to fund a child's education, purchasing a property or saving for retirement." A one-time financial consultation normally costs $1,000 than the NAR rate. We have a subscription rate of $300. That's a 70% discount for a one-time financial planning consultation. That recommendation will provide one-time situations for college savings.
Another example for an annual financial consultation plan, that the retail rate is usually about $2,500. It's discounted by $1,000. That will include a complete financial plan delivered annually. You have a dedicated financial advisor. It includes network statements, spending analysis and investment strategies. To highlight another one, an advanced annual financial consultation plan normally would cost around $5,000. At the NAR rate, we're offering a 50% discount of $2,500. That will include everything that I've listed earlier but as well as multiple meetings per year, a dedicated financial advisor, estate and wealth planning and access to additional financial specialties as needed.
There's so much that the center here wants to provide our members with. We want to encourage members to utilize this resource. Check it out. The place that you can go to learn more information is NAR.realtor/CenterForRealtorFinancialWellness and there's a Special Offers tab. To get started, you'll just encode NAR. That will give you access to those special discounts. I hope that's helpful because that's one of the most important reasons is because now that you have all this information that you reviewed on the site. The next step is, "What do I do with it?" Let's put it in action.
This has been phenomenal. I know we've blown through it but it's so rich in information. I can't think of anything else to ask. How do people reach the center if we're trying to reach the Center for REALTOR® Financial Wellness? If they have more questions, is there a hotline, email or landing page that we should go to?
To email us, you can simply email FinancialWellness@NAR.realtor. To also learn more information, specifically going to our platform, you can visit NAR.realtor/CenterForRealtorFinancialWellness. That will take you to every word you need to go. Whether if it's registering for the upcoming retirement summit, accessing the platform or reviewing our upcoming webinars and sites, we will have everything there that you need. That will be your one-stop-shop to find everything you need.
Brittany, thank you so much for your time. I sincerely appreciate it. I know our readers will too. In the future, as you have more things coming up, I may tap you on your shoulder to say, "Come back. We'll talk about it."
That sounds good. I'm honored. Thank you so much, Renee, for having me here on your show. I'm happy to be your resource. Any time you need anything, please do not hesitate.
https://www.YouTube.com/watch?v=R6h98sOe6Ao – National Association of Realtors
About Brittany Schanck
The Center for REALTOR® Financial Wellness (CFFW) is a resource designed exclusively to meet the specific financial planning needs of REALTORS®. This comprehensive program includes education materials and resources for wealth building, business planning, and investing in real estate.
Brittany Schanck is Manager of NAR’s Center for REALTOR® Financial Wellness. Her work includes oversight of CFFW programs, relationships, outreach and events. Prior to her current role, Brittany was a Business & Marketing Development Specialist for Northwest Federal Credit Union, where she developed financial marketing plans for clients while leading the Credit Union’s Young Professional group. Brittany also served two years as chairwoman for Dulles YP Regional Chamber of Commerce and was an ambassador for the Virginia Credit Union League of Young Professionals. She is passionate about financial education, and about being a resource for members of NAR programs.