December 16, 2017

Weekly Book Scan

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Updated: 1 hour 9 min ago

Our 5 Hottest Stories of the Year

Fri, 12/08/2017 - 11:29

As the year winds down, we’re all in a reflective mood. And, as managing editor of REALTOR® Magazine, one of the more important items for me to look back on is what kinds of content our readers were most attracted to.

Photo: Brigitte Tohm via Pexels

Below I’ve compiled a list of five most-viewed articles on REALTOR® Mag Online in 2017, along with an excerpt to give you a flavor of the piece. Learn what your fellow magazine readers already know by checking out these popular articles before the year is out!

4 Ways Male Agents Put Themselves in Danger
Men are taught to be fearless, and that attitude can make them a prime target for criminals.
By Tracey Hawkins, former real estate agent and founder and CEO of Safety and Security Source

Why don’t some men take safety more seriously? “Because we’re stupid,” jokes Ronnie Thompson, GRI, SFR, broker-owner of Thompson Realty in Valdese, N.C. “We know it all and have no thoughts about our safety. We believe that no one is going to bother us.” From an early age, women are taught to fear for their safety. Men, however, are taught to stand up to danger — often on behalf of a woman. It’s not hard to see why some male agents might think nothing will ever happen to them because they’ve been socialized as the stronger sex.

7 Real Estate Ideas That Deserve to Die
Just because everyone believes something is true doesn’t make it so.
By Meg White, managing editor of REALTOR® Magazine

Conventional wisdom dies hard. Popular perceptions may drive the decisions you make about your real estate career, from how you market your business to what your office should look like. But longstanding beliefs—these days amplified by social media bubbles and spin—can be flat wrong.

When Clients Talk Politics, Stay Above the Fray
How divisive public discourse is affecting business relationships—and what you can do about it.
By Graham Wood, senior editor for REALTOR® Magazine

Given that real estate is a relationship business at its core, the professional advice to simply stick to the nuts and bolts of helping buyers and sellers with transactions may not always cut it. “There’s an expectation for you to be genuine and transparent as a real estate professional. But you want to make sure your genuineness is not provocative in a way that disrespects people,” says 2011 NAR President Ron Phipps, ABR, GRI, who is helping to develop a REALTOR® University course on online etiquette for real estate professionals. “Great reputations are built one brick at a time, and buildings can come down with one bad move. You can destroy your reputation with one comment.”

Dos and Don’ts to Win the Listing
I had no idea how to handle my first seller lead. I failed to get the business, and here’s what I learned from that experience.
By Peter Murray, ABR, PSA, sales associate with RE/MAX Results in Frederick, Md.

After presenting comps and giving the seller an opportunity to ask questions, I ask one simple thing: “After looking at the comps, what do you think your property is worth?” Then I remain quiet until the seller provides me with their thoughts. If they don’t say anything, I sit in silence until they speak. This gives me a chance to examine their body language, which will hint at whether they will be realistic about their asking price. If they start to avoid eye contact, looking around the room, and can’t focus on answering my question, it’s a good sign they aren’t ready to handle some harsh realities. I’ve worked with many unrealistic sellers, and I’ve found they take up a lot of time and frequently don’t make it to closing.

The Right Way to Approach FSBOs
The vast majority of unrepresented sellers will eventually list with an agent. Whether you are the agent they choose depends on how you present your real estate services.
By Jared James, national speaker and trainer in the real estate industry

We’ve been taught to lie to these sellers from the very beginning of the relationship… When a FSBO is talking to an agent, they want to know one thing: Do you have a buyer for my property? If you’ve taken any training in our industry, you’ve probably been taught to say yes. But how in the world do you know if you have a buyer for a property before you’ve even started marketing it? FSBOs understand this conundrum you’re in, so if you say yes, they know you’re lying. And you’ve just lost credibility with them before you’ve even gotten started.

Beautiful, Gift-Worthy Real Estate Books

Thu, 11/16/2017 - 12:04

One of my favorite gifts to both give and receive is a book. It may seem passé in this world of digital media, but I think the fact that our lives are lived increasingly online makes books especially luxurious and gift-worthy. Here are a few examples of real estate topics writ large that would be welcome at any holiday gathering this year.

Photo by Daria Shevtsova on Unsplash.

Cabin Porn: Inspiration for Your Quiet Place Somewhere, by Zach Klein and‎ Steven Leckart, with photography from Noah Kalina.
Along with many of you, I’ve loved the Cabin Porn Tumblr for years now. But being able to page through these beautiful, unique hideaways in print is a pleasure all its own. A cozy gift for the hermit in all of us.

Placemakers: Emperors, Kings, Entrepreneurs: A Brief History of Real Estate Development, by Herb Auerbach with Ira Nadel.
If you want to know how I really feel about this one, you can read my full review from earlier in the year here. It’s perfect for history buffs and aspiring developers alike, offering a long view of the very human need to put our stamp on the land by building.

The Garden Bible: Designing Your Perfect Outdoor Space, by Barbara Ballinger.
It’s never too early to begin planning next year’s garden, and this book from our very own Barbara Ballinger has inspiration to spare in the form of beautiful imagery and practical tips. Or, if your intended gift recipient is more of a cook than a gardener, check out my review of her Kitchen Bible here.

100 Interiors Around the World, by TASCHEN.
Honestly, pretty much any compilation from the German publishing company TASCHEN makes a great gift. I chose this one because the wide variety of designs and spaces featured in this collection appear to offer a good entry point into their offerings. But their books concentrating specifically on innovative brick, concrete, and wooden buildings are all fun choices if you’re looking to do some more targeted shopping for the building enthusiasts in your life.

3 Books to Pick Up Ahead of the Conference

Wed, 10/25/2017 - 15:03

Are you busy packing for the 2017 REALTORS® Conference & Expo? Here are a few books for your suitcase! Each of these were written by someone who will be speaking as part of the educational bonanza happening in Chicago starting next week.

Christian DeKnock,

Freakonomics: A Rogue Economist Explores the Hidden Side of Everything, by Steven Levitt and Stephen Dubner.
On Sunday, Nov. 5 at 1:30pm, University of Chicago economist Steven Levitt will be presenting a Spotlight Series session titled, “Think Like a Freak: The Impact on Productivity and Creativity” in which he’ll reveal the three-word phrase that is most difficult for people to use. If you’ve already read the best-selling Freakonomics book, try one of the three newer editions to the franchise: When to Rob a Bank, SuperFreakonomics, or Think Like a Freak. Or check out their popular podcast, Freakonomics Radio.

The Culture Map: Breaking Through the Invisible Boundaries of Global Business, by Erin Meyer
Meyer is another Spotlight Series presenter, teaching attendees to communicate more effectively with those from other backgrounds at her session titled, “How Do Cultural Differences Affect Your Business?” on Friday, Nov. 3 at 1:30pm. Get a head start by using her assessment tool to better understand what your cultural profile looks like.

Finding My Why: Ernie’s Journey, by Mark Given and Don Greeson
Mark Given, CRS, GRI, ABR, will be helping attendees who are ready to retire to get their books of businesses in order at “Succession Planning: Creating Your Exit Strategy” on Sunday, Nov. 5 at 11am at McCormick Place West, Room W176 B. Check out more of Given’s writing on his blog.

Safe travels and happy reading! Hope to see you around Chicago.