May 25, 2018

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NAR Policy is All About Appraiser Independence

Speaking of Real Estate - Thu, 05/24/2018 - 12:57

The chair and co-chair of NAR’s Real Property Valuation Committee made a few remarks on video about NAR’s appraiser independence policy last week during the 2018 REALTORS® Legislative Meetings in Washington. What sparked the remarks was a recent working paper on appraisal quality by two researchers with the Federal Housing Finance Agency.

In the paper, the researchers say appraisals ordered by appraisal management companies are not overvalued at a higher rate than other types of appraisals. There were some differences, though. First, when AMC appraisals come in overvalued, they tend to come in overvalued by a higher amount that other appraisals. Second, AMC appraisals tend to use more comparables.

Rebecca Jones, chair of NAR’s Real Property Valuation Committee, says she’s not surprised by the findings. “A lot of us boots-on-the-ground appraisers have known this sort of thing for a long time,” she says.

The committee’s vice chair, David Griffith, said AMCs are just one way the industry can promote appraiser independence. “We support the use of AMCs as an option to help with appraiser independence,” he said. “We also support the alternatives to AMCs.”

Griffith said the paper also acknowledged that the turn time with AMC appraisals tends to be longer, and that’s something to be considered. “Instead of going directly through the lender, you’re having to go through a third party, and this can cause delays in your turn time from when that appraiser goes out ands does the appraisal to when the lender actually gets the appraisal,” he said.

Click the image above to watch the 5-minute video.

Previous remarks on AMC appraisals.


Apartment Managers: Get Ideas for Tracking Maintenance

Speaking of Real Estate - Thu, 05/24/2018 - 10:43

Property management software company App Folio is hosting a sponsor webinar on June 20 to share ideas on managing maintenance requests as temperatures rise this summer. Here’s what the company says about its webinar:

With the hottest months of the year just around the corner, are you ready for the maintenance requests that are about to come in? From broken A/Cs, failed refrigerators, clogged pool filters and of course, the rest of the usual maintenance issues that arise throughout the year, handling them on top of the rest of your daily work can be quite the challenge.

Don’t worry; we’re here to help! AppFolio experts Jerry Cohen and Ali Herron have exciting things to share with you when it comes to managing maintenance, such as:
Current industry trends
Streamlining the request process
Managing work orders
Preventative and seasonal maintenance

Who Should Attend?
Anyone in the residential property management business who is tired of spending their time taking calls and micro-managing maintenance requests should attend to find out how they can use technology to be more effective and efficient in their workday while boosting their customer service levels and keeping renters happy.

Ali Herron

Jerry Cohen

Jerry Cohen, Senior Product Manager, AppFolio
Ali Herron, Manager, Contact Center and Value Added Services, AppFolio


This is a sponsor webinar. REALTOR® Magazine is promoting it, but it has not reviewed the content and is not endorsing it.

From Track Suits to Tailored Suits With Rod Williams

YPN Lounge - Thu, 05/24/2018 - 09:15

Lee Davenport

By Lee Davenport

This is part two in an ongoing series featuring top producers. Read part one featuring Jen Du Plessis.

What does it take to be a top producer?  There is no magic, work-free formula, but there are habits and principles of top producers that you can “borrow” for your own playbook.

Today’s post features the determined and inspiring Rod Williams. What makes Rod a top producer?  Yes, Rod is ranked number two overall in his brokerage firm, Solid Source Real Estate Companies, out of approximately 1,700 agents (his third consecutive year in the top three).  Yes, Rod is in the top 5 percent for the entire metro Atlanta REALTORS® Association (where real estate is booming). But more importantly, he helps his clients live the American dream of homeownership and real estate wealth-building.

I was able to do a one-on-one Q&A with Rod to ask him about his success. Learn with he had to say and gain some take-aways with my commentary in “Lee’s Coaching Playbook” following each of his answers.

Photo from @rodwilliams_

Q. What does a week in your business look like (i.e. How do you generate leads/how do you nurture/convert them)? 

A. A week in my business usually begins with an hour of preparation on Sunday. Although I like to reserve my weekends for family, I still carve out time to glance at my calendar of appointments for the upcoming week. During the work week, my day usually starts at 7:30 a.m. in my home office making calls and sending or responding to emails. I’ve found lead generating to be most productive from 8 a.m. to 9 a.m. A large percentage of my business comes from my sphere of influence and referrals from current and past clients. With that in mind, my lead generation consists of daily communication with 20 to 30 contacts in my database.

Lee’s Coaching Playbook: Whenever I connect with either new or struggling agents, their number of contacts barely reaches 20 to 30 contacts a week, or worse yet, a month. Rod is doing that each day. He is truly a star by making this a daily workday habit.  But don’t feel work shamed. Know that you can and should start building your communication with contacts today. That’s the great thing about each new day you are blessed with in life, you care given the chance to start anew.  Start by considering what time(s) of day works for you to connect and reconnect with 20 to 30 contacts. Rod obviously is a morning person but you may not be and that’s okay. The biggest lesson from Rod’s schedule is his consistency. Create a schedule that allows you to be consistent.

Q. What motivates you each day? 

A. My number one motivation is knowing my son is watching my every move. I’m also motivated by helping my clients achieve their real estate goals.

Lee’s Coaching Playbook: Rod did not hesitate to share his “why” and neither should you ! Why are you in the real estate industry? What motivates you to keep going when things get crazy, hectic, and frustrating? I have asked various real estate professionals this at different stages in their careers and some don’t know. Some of those people soon realize this really is not the career for them. Others have realized that their “why” is more important than momentarily hurdles so they double-down and become stronger in business.Let your “why” anchor and propel you in times of disappointment.

Q. What advice do you have for a real estate pro who is struggling? 

A. First, determine what’s the root cause of the struggle. My advice is to get a mentor or coach who’s proven in the industry. It’s also equally important to have good relationships with other agents. Focus on daily lead generating, attending as much training as possible to present yourself as a knowledgeable agent.

Lee’s Coaching Playbook: In light of these great points from Rod, now it’s time to be real with yourself. Seriously ask yourself:

  1. What was your production over the last 12 months?  
  2. Did you reach your goal? Why or why not? 
  3. What should you have done weekly to improve (i.e. more calls, go to office sales meetings, etc.)? Be realistic based on the other demands on your schedule (e.g. health, family, etc.).  
  4. What did you do weekly that worked?  Keep doing this!
  5. What did you do sporadically that would have worked with more consistency? Find time in your schedule to do this more!
  6. What do you need to giveaway/outsource or collaborate on (i.e. marketing, social media, open houses, mailing, transaction management, etc.)? 
  7. What do you need to learn and from whom?

Q. What are your favorite biz tools/resources/apps? 

A. Believe it or not, my favorite apps are the free iPhone apps most people overlook. The iPhone Calendar, Reminders, and Notes apps are my most frequently used apps. Those basic three apps keep me organized and efficient while managing multiple clients simultaneously.

Lee’s Coaching Playbook: Technology can be our friend when we use it and it works. Whether you use the latest and greatest CRM (customer relationship management) app or the included apps on your phone like Rod, the key is use them. As Rod mentioned earlier, he spends time at the start of each workweek and each workday organizing his tasks. What is the best time for you to plan your next work week or work day? For some it is in the evening, others it’s midday, and others it’s the morning. Do you!

I want to challenge you to not be in “track suit” mode in your business where you spend your time reacting to transactions and referrals by throwing on something quickly. Think about the times when you have planned to wear a tailored suit. Have you noticed that the extra planning had people more readily open doors for you? You may also find that when you plan ahead, you’re not giving as much time to things that don’t benefit your goals. When you suit-up in business with a proactive plan and schedule, then you’re not held hostage to transactions or people. Rod, like you, is busy, but he has learned to give his time (we all have the same 24 hours) to the people and things most important to him and his future.

I would love to hear from you. Give me a shout on Facebook, Instagram, YouTube, and Google+, or by visiting LearnWithLee.Realtor. Want more of the best practices from our nation’s top producers? Grab your copy of the short read, Profit with Your Personality. And, be sure to tell the real estate agents you know to get a copy of the 5-star rated workbook, Plan to Win!, to transform their real estate sales game plan. Here’s to your success.

Dr. Lee Davenport is an Atlanta-based real estate coach who trains agents, teams, brokerages, and other business organizations on how to use today’s technology to work smarter. Join Lee’s free RE Tech Insider’s Club by visiting www.LearnWithLee.REALTOR.

Comment on How to Choose the Right Stain for Hardwood Floors by Doug Buenz

Styled, Staged & Sold - Wed, 05/23/2018 - 00:26

More people opt for updated online resources!

Comment on Home Trend Watch: The Teen Lounge Becomes the New Hangout Spot in Homes by Doug Buenz

Styled, Staged & Sold - Wed, 05/23/2018 - 00:15

Great ideas! We need to create inviting places at home for our young people.

Comment on Housing Secrets Revealed by Doug Buenz

Styled, Staged & Sold - Wed, 05/23/2018 - 00:11

Certainly true! Let all buyers know what they’re buying.

Comment on Home Improvement: Solar Energy Adds Extra Value to Homes by Doug Buenz

Styled, Staged & Sold - Wed, 05/23/2018 - 00:06

Going solar is a win-win! Not most people can afford it but many prefers to have it.

Comment on That Small Backyard Can Still Be a Selling Point by Doug Buenz

Styled, Staged & Sold - Wed, 05/23/2018 - 00:02

The last two photos are awesome! Thank you for the tips!

Comment on The Best Time of Year to Buy Household Items by Doug Buenz

Styled, Staged & Sold - Tue, 05/22/2018 - 23:59

Thank you for sharing. We all wait for the biggest bargains all year long!

Comment on 10 Most Desirable Do-it-Yourself Outdoor Projects by Doug Buenz

Styled, Staged & Sold - Tue, 05/22/2018 - 23:46

Yes, outdoor kitchens are the most difficult but this bump-outs are becoming a trend.

Comment on You Just Moved In…. Now What? 6 Immediate Yard Care To-Dos by Doug Buenz

Styled, Staged & Sold - Tue, 05/22/2018 - 23:41

The routine maintenance will ensure the yard will look at its best the whole time.

Comment on Making Sense of Green Home Certifications by Doug Buenz

Styled, Staged & Sold - Tue, 05/22/2018 - 23:37

The more homes to work for green certifications, the more we become accountable for our actions towards the environment.

GDPR and What It Means to You

YPN Lounge - Tue, 05/22/2018 - 09:05

Anita Clark

By Anita Clark

General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) is the talk of the internet. Attorneys in the European Union and the United States are being bombarded with questions about the GDPR.

Companies and website owners are scrambling as the deadline is fast approaching to have the regulation in effect, which includes your websites and all your systems, such as DocuSign documents, any cloud storage you are using that has any personal data of any citizen of the EU.

I would love to be the bearer of glad tidings and tell you that real estate agents are exempt from the enforcement of this regulation. But that’s just not the case. While GDPR has already been around for a couple of years, it’s the May 25 deadline that has everyone paying attention because this is when the enforcement and fines begin.

The fines are steep, scary, and worthy of attention: $20 million Euros or 4 percent of a company’s annual global income. (Learn more in REALTOR® Magazine’s article and video.)

How in the world would the EU regulatory commission be able to enforce such fines on U.S. citizens, including real estate professions who own websites, real estate companies, REALTOR® organizations, and others? Check out more information about GDPR here. EU regulators can fine U.S. companies for violating GDPR and they will do it with the help of U.S. authorities. They do it by international law, jurisprudence, and authority.

What is this GDPR and what does it have to do with each of us?

It is an EU regulation that governs the privacy and data of EU citizens no matter where they are living and it includes other countries in the European economic area. The regulations require total transparency of what private data is collected. For example, in the United States we consider social security numbers, bank information, and things like that highly private.

GDPR is turning opt-out policy protocols on their head. According to GDPR, websites and other online platforms must now be opt-in. This means, express consent must be given prior by a visitor from the EU on your website through a terms of use page or pop-up window. Private data of EU citizens includes, name, phone numbers, addresses, email addresses, and even IP addresses and cookie identifiers. We have never presumed that IP addresses are private data in the past.

But GDPR goes even further. It includes:

  • Any information pertaining to a person
  • Location data
  • Genetic
  • Mental
  • Economic
  • Social identity
  • Physiological
  • Cultural

Here is a infographic from i-SCOOP:



















What does all this mean to us in the United States who own websites or receive leads from online sources?

If you own a website and have an IDX on your website, or have a newsletter sign up form, a listing alerts sign up from, a contact us form, a what is my home’s value form, or a free offer of any kind, you will need to make some changes to the way you are handling the data of EU citizens. If you track any data on your website with Google analytics, Facebook pixels, any tracking data of any kind, you must get permission to track EU citizens.

I am not an attorney so please seek legal advice on what exactly you need to be adding or deleting from your website and forms, etc.

It is not enough to rely on your IDX vendors or website providers if you have templated websites. You are considered the controller and the IDX company is considered the processor. You, as the controller have the ultimate responsibility over the private data of your website visitors. So it’s not enough to just call your hosting company and IDX provider and CRM companies and then lean on them for their part. You are the sole responsible person for private data including all the ones I listed above on your website, in your CRM, on your personal email list, on your text on your mobile phones.

This includes their “right to be forgotten” which also is included in the GDPR. The right to be forgotten means that any EU citizen can request their private data be deleted completely and fully from all online and offline places and things and files, etc.

Now, what to do with all this information?

If you get buyers from foreign countries in Europe or any country where EU citizens may be, you will need to add changes to your privacy policy and your forms on your websites and any other correspondence on the internet at the point of entry and throughout the process.

  • Make sure that your privacy page is visible from your homepage on your website.
  • Have a pop-up on your homepage that opens when your visitor arrives that lets them know about your cookies and tracking, and asks for express permission.
  • Have your “right to forget” form on your privacy page.
  • Make sure the boxes to check on your opt-in forms is very clear and that the visitor is giving permission.

Those of you who are local real estate agents with no internet traffic from EU citizens would likely fly under the radar. I have heard EU attorneys state that the GDPR governing body will likely give you a change to fix what is wrong if some EU citizen makes a privacy claim against you.

However, it is highly recommended to start making your websites comply now if you have not yet done so. This is the advice of EU attorneys and United States attorneys, included the legal counsel of the National Association of REALTORS®.

Anita Clark is a residential real estate agent with Coldwell Banker SSK, REALTORS®, in Houston County, Ga. She is from Coventry, England, is a retired military spouse, and has been assisting buyers, investors, and sellers in middle Georgia since 2007. Connect with Anita on Facebook, Google+, LinkedIn, Twitter, Pinterest, YouTube, or on her Warner Robins GA Real Estate Blog.

Comment on Reimagine the Formal Living Room by Nancy Braun

Styled, Staged & Sold - Tue, 05/22/2018 - 05:38

The home library just presents something that attracts anyone. A must have in the entertaining!

Comment on Why You Should Stage a Cozy Fire Pit Area by Nancy Braun

Styled, Staged & Sold - Tue, 05/22/2018 - 05:31

Sure these properties won’t sit on the market for long time!

Comment on Solar Panels Can Boost Home’s Resale Value, Study Finds by Nancy Braun

Styled, Staged & Sold - Tue, 05/22/2018 - 05:22

Pricey but worth it! Many will go solar in the coming years.

Comment on Staged to Sell: View Inside This Rosedale, Md. Home by Nancy Braun

Styled, Staged & Sold - Tue, 05/22/2018 - 05:20

Nice open floor concepts! Everything is just cozy and inviting!.

Comment on One Thing You May be Overlooking in Your Home Presentations! by Nancy Braun

Styled, Staged & Sold - Tue, 05/22/2018 - 05:15

We can add more to the items here especially smart techs.

Comment on Can You Retrofit Older Homes to Increase Resale Value? by Nancy Braun

Styled, Staged & Sold - Tue, 05/22/2018 - 05:06

It’s true that many homeowners are unaware of these available options. Thank you for sharing!

Comment on The Appliance May Be Energy Efficient, But Is it ‘Most Efficient?’ by Nancy Braun

Styled, Staged & Sold - Tue, 05/22/2018 - 05:00

Raise the bar! It’s for every consumer to make better choices!