NAR and many lawmakers in Congress are pushing for a time-out in the federal government’s efforts to eliminate flood insurance subsidies over time and phase in premium rates that reflect properties’ actuarial risk of flooding. NAR’s Call for Action this week to its members is part of that effort.
But it’s not just hikes in insurance premiums that’s fueling this push by NAR and others to slow things down; it’s the sometimes wildly divergent and uncertain way insurers are assessing new premium rates. As NAR Past President Moe Veissi said in eye-opening testimony before a House subcommittee yesterday, property owners are sometimes getting half a dozen different premium quotes for their property, sometimes even from agents in the same company.
“The law has proven complicated and difficult to implement,” Veissi said in his testimony.
The former association president shared reports from NAR members across the country of some property owners seeing big increases in their flood insurance costs even though their property has never flooded and in some cases their community has never flooded or has instituted community-wide flood mitigation efforts.
The confusion in the market is having dire consequences on the ground. “We’re seeing for-sale signs today that say ‘No insurance impact on this property,’” he said. “That tells us very quickly that folks are making determinations at the point of impact on property that they would normally have bought.”
He also shared findings from a Rand study that home values are declining by $10,000 for every $500 increase in premiums.
Bottom line, there was broad acknowledgement among lawmakers and the witnesses at the hearing table that the flood insurance program must move to a premium structure that reflects the actuarial risk of flooding. But at the same time, a lot needs to be done to ensure that the needed change happens in an appropriate way. And that’s what the NAR-backed, bi-partisan legislation that’s under consideration in Congress would do.
The legislation is called the “Homeowner Flood Insurance Affordability Act,” H.R. 3370 in the House and S. 1610 in the Senate, and It would pause some program changes while the federal government gets a handle on how the new rates are to be set and it looks at the affordability impact of the new premium structure. Importantly, it would also help property owners take action if they feel their premium changes aren’t accurate.
You can get more info on the Call for Action at the REALTOR® Action Center.
By Scott Newman
So you’ve made it through the worst of the real estate bubble, you’ve developed a nice client base, and you’re taking over the entire industry – great! If that’s the case, then this blog isn’t for you.
Instead, this blog focuses on what we as veterans of the industry can share with the newbies to shorten the learning curve and help create another reputable professional who gives our industry a good name.
The following are my top three “I wish I knew that when I first started” tips to make your transition into a real estate career as painless as possible.
1. Simple Math
So many real estate agents come into this business thinking of the riches they’ll make selling homes for a living. Many even come up with lofty goals for themselves, “I’m going to make $200,000 my first year in the business.” Does that sound familiar?
Well, the problem is that most agents don’t stop and break down the math behind creating that kind of volume. They end up focusing on the big picture when it’s the attention to the little details that will create the success they desire.
For example, let’s say you’re new to the business and don’t know a lot of people, and that the average home price in your area is $200,000. Simple math tells us that you will make $3,500 per transaction at that price, assuming you have a 70/30 split. At $3,500 per deal, you’d need to complete 58 transactions a year to make your $200,000 – that’s more than one house a week, which is a large volume even for a veteran real estate pro.
Let’s break that down further: Let’s say you have to talk to 20 people to get one client and earn that $3,500. That means if you want to sell a house a week, you need to get in front of 140 new people a week in a meaningful way to meet that goal – or 6,720 people a year.
What does this example prove? It simply demonstrates that for a new agent who has no other way to get new business–without spending money–to expect to meet their goal of $200,000 would be unrealistic.
Instead of setting themselves up for failure, if the person in this example had taken the time to break down the math on what it would have taken to meet their goal, they most likely would have set a more realistic goal that would put them on the path to success.
2. The Power of the Word “No”
When I first got my license, I would have taken on any client who was willing to get in my car or take my phone call. I said yes to everyone and everything that came across my desk. Why? Because I valued my time at $0 and figured anything was better than nothing. Unfortunately, that couldn’t be further from the truth.
Every time you make the decision to do anything in this business–take on a client, attend a seminar or training, or take the day off to spend with your family–there is an opportunity cost associated with that decision.
That opportunity cost is the lost income, connection, etc., that you could have made by being somewhere else instead of where you choose to be. This is where the word “no” becomes so powerful.
Think long and hard before you take on a client. Make sure that person is pre-qualified, cooperative, and serious about buying a home and sticking to a plan to get there by a pre-set date. Every time you take on a client who ends up being a waste of your time, you literally threw money out the window because you passed up the opportunity to work with real buyers.
When I mentor the agents on my team, I constantly remind them of two things in respect to this tip: 1) It’s better to take the day off and relax or do something enjoyable than waste it; and 2) When you meet with a client for the first time, it should be just as much about you interviewing them as them interviewing you. Don’t take on bad clients and you’ll make more money in the same amount of hours worked with no additional effort or expense.
Please say this out loud to yourself in the mirror every morning before you head to the office: “Just because I don’t get paid by the hour doesn’t mean my time isn’t extremely valuable,” and don’t ever forget it!!
3. Cooperation is the Key
I have to admit, I have a long, long way to go in restoring the damage I did to my reputation from when I first got into the business. I, as many agents do, felt that the only way to overcome my own lack of experience and knowledge was to be combative, argumentative, and in many cases, less than pleasant to deal with. I honestly thought this is what my clients wanted and expected and that I was being the tough negotiator they wanted.
Unfortunately, I had to learn the hard way that this couldn’t be further from the truth. Of course your client expects you to bend over backwards to advocate for their best interests, but you can absolutely excel at doing so without creating enemies.
The best weapon you have in your tool belt when it comes to being a successful agent is your reputation. If other agents like you, they’ll look for your name on listings, push your offers to the top of the pile on their listings when you have the buyer, and, in general, go out of their way to do business with you and your clients. The more allies you have out there in this industry, the more successful you’ll be–that’s a non-debatable fact.
Go out of your way to make friends, do favors for people, and do everything you can to develop a reputation as a fair, honest, and kind person, and you’ll do wonders for your bottom line.
This is a very tough business and it’s only getting harder. We all need to stick together to succeed. If you’re new, follow these tips–as well as other tips you get from successful veteran agents–and skip the learning curve. This will help you hit the ground running and minimize the time you need to put in to get your business up and running.
FROM SHANGHAI TO YOUR SHELF: ADDED BROKER VALUE TO THE NEW SHIFTING WORLD OF LOGISTICS AND SUPPLY CHAIN
Rob Nahigian, FRICS, SIOR, CRE, MCR
There are potential pending shifts of the logistics and supply chain market in the next two years. How do the shifts impact how a real estate decision is developed including site selection? What are the new metrics besides rent per square foot or occupancy cost per square foot? What new value can an industrial broker bring to clients?
The pending shift is driven by the completion of a third canal for the Panama Canal to accommodate larger ships that currently cannot make it through the canal due to size. Ships have become longer, wider and deeper in order to carry more containers from Shanghai to your shelf.
Wal-Mart ships over 700,000 containers per year while Walgreens might only ship 15-20,000 containers per year. Older ships hold 5,000 containers so multiple trips from Shanghai to your U.S. shelf is expensive. Ships are longer and wider and there lies the problem for the east coast. Long Beach is situated right on the Pacific Ocean. The area has wide turning radius for ships, harbor depth for the bigger ships and no real bridges that ships have to squeak under. The Long Beach port states that it handles 40% of the U.S. imports.
The Panama Canal realized that it was losing business. The Canal decided a few years ago that it had to build a third canal to accommodate larger ships. This third canal is under construction and is planned to be completed by 2015.
This is great news for the east coast if shipping decisions are made to skirt Long Beach and dock somewhere along the east coast. But the east coast ports are as old as the Panama Canal and do not have the depth or bridge clearance to accommodate the larger ships. East Coast ports are spending billions of dollars to dredge harbors and raise bridges with taxpayer’s money. Will the business shift from the West Coast to the East Coast?
The real answer does not lie with the shipping company. People who market their properties or ports to the shipping companies are missing the mark. The customers of the shipping companies that pay for the container deliveries is the key to understanding if any shift will occur. In theory, the industrial market along the east coast (not just ports but inland locations that are 200 miles away from a port) could be robust. It is this anticipation of a renaissance that many distribution developers are planning sites before the Canal and ports are prepared.
The end-user is researching site selection based on its customer base location. For instance, if you are selling 45% of your products in the northeast U.S. then why dock in Miami? The key to understanding site selection has now gone beyond the importance of a building’s rental rate or overall cost. Reliability and timeliness to the market has become a more critical issue for end-users. If a site allows an end-user to deliver goods to its customer base quicker than any other site, then it may be more valuable. In the popular program that has been running with NAR Commercial this year (From Shanghai to Your Shelf), the new real estate modeling has been heavily discussed. Three new models shared by corporate end-users have been exposed to brokers to site selections that are solely beyond real estate costs. New and different metrics are being incorporated in a real estate decision including turn ratios per trip and 16 other metrics.
In conclusion, for the industrial broker, the added value that he/she can bring is the following:
1. Identify areas near ports or main rail
2. Have contacts with rail service
3. Have knowledge about logistical hubs and infrastructure
4. Know about external hubs
5. Support “Intellectual Property”
6. Become certified or involved in the new field of “Logistics property brokerage business”
Rob Nahigian, FRICS, SIOR, CRE, MCR is Principal of Auburndale Realty Co., Newton, Mass. and served as the New England SIOR Chapter President and National Ed Chair. His focus is corporate representation, advisory services and expert testimony in office and industrial real estate. He is a Real Estate Instructor at Boston University, SIOR, NAR Commercial, CoreNet Global and RealtorU. He conducts a program on Logistics and Supply Chain real estate decisions for SIOR Chapters. Rob was awarded the 2012, 2004, 2003, 2002 and 1994 SIOR National Real Estate Instructor of the Year.
Introducing this year’s ACE Award Winners-
The following Commercial Services Accredited Associations have earned this year’s ACE Award.
ACE award winners have demonstrated that they have gone beyond their accreditation benchmarks to be leaders in engaging their members and the high quality of the services provided.
Alex Ruggieri speaks with Barry Wolf, VP Investments at Marcus & Millichap, about creating value for clients and his "two 6 o'clocks" rule for success.
Kicking off the 2013 REALTORS® Conference & Expo, members of NAR helped build 28 homes with Habitat For Humanity of Greater San Francisco on Wednesday, Nov. 6.
“These homes are a huge asset development for families,” said Phillip Kilbridge, executive director of Habitat for Humanity of Greater San Francisco. “They can use it as a stepping stone for more education, stability, and deep engagement in their community.”
R. Brian Matza, broker and contractor with Nob Hill Realty, remembers running drills during his days as a firefighter along this narrow property adjacent to a highway in San Francisco’s Oceanview-Merced-Ingleside neighborhood.
“Because of the high housing costs in San Francisco, the affordability index is really difficult, especially for entry level,” said Matza, a San Francisco native. “Now to see this coming in here, it’s a fantastic thing and I’m happy to be part of it.”
San Francisco’s median home price hit $1 million in April – its highest level in six years, according to the San Francisco Association of REALTORS®. Kilbridge says it has become increasingly important to provide opportunities for lower income families to own a home.
In the underground commercial real estate market — a genre one might call “natural roof” commercial real estate – development starts at the ground and proceeds downward instead of upward. Using underground structures — some naturally occurring, some dug or bored — has long been associated with special-purpose building projects including military and scientific uses. But increasingly, business is joining the rush for subterranean space, drawn by the many unique benefits of going underground.
There is probably no more eye-popping US example of underground commercial real estate development than Kansas City’s SubTropolis. Billed as “The World’s Largest Underground Business Complex”, SubTropolis is a mixed industrial-office-warehouse facility sporting a stunning 55 million square feet — and growing. Dug into an active limestone mine and reaching depths of 160 feet beneath the surface, the property contains almost seven miles of illuminated, paved roads, plus several miles of railroad track.
As the complex’s pitch says:
Move to SubTropolis and enjoy these standard benefits:
- Low lease rates — 30-50% less than above ground facilities
- Low utility costs — 50-70% savings in total energy costs
- Constant temperature and humidity levels — protect your products and make your employees more productive
- Maximum flexibility — for expansion and seasonal surges
- On-site services — management, maintenance and 24/7 security so you can run your business, not your building
- Sustainability — you’re more sustainable without the upfront costs (Check out our green statement.)
Data Center Digs In
Sustainability, energy savings, low utility costs — if the benefits list of this unique property seems to you like a good match for data center location, you’re not alone. As reported in NREI Online, SubTropolis’s developer is working with Iowa-based LightEdge Solutions to install a new data center by spring 2014. LightEdge is taking occupancy of 20,000 square feet with a deal to ultimately occupy 60,000 sq. ft of the facility’s monster footprint.
“Masterson says his firm already has agreements to host carriers such as AT&T, Surewest, TW Telecom, Time Warner, Unite and Windstream. The company plans to provide network connectivity up to 10 gigabits per second. Masterson says the underground facility will provide benefits that are just not achievable with above-ground construction.
“The flexibility aspect is amazing, we can expand into new space within 90 days,” he says. “Also, Subtropolis is laid out in grid fashion, we don’t have to work around weird-angled wall space. The best aspect, of course, is how secure the structure is against weather or instability.”
Other underground facilities across the country have been reaching out to start commercial data hosting. Iron Mountain Inc., one of the most well-known data storage firms, has been leasing underground space to the U.S. government for years, and this year decided to open its underground facility in Boyers, Pa. for colocation. The former limestone mine is positioned 220 feet below ground, with ambient temperatures in the mid-50s and geothermal cooling. Marriott already leases 12,500 sq. ft. there for disaster recovery purposes.”Related articles
Why bus-bench ads don’t work anymore: They can be easily obscured — by a sleeping homeless man. Why real estate refrigerator magnets are fruitless: They end up in the junkyard, still clinging to outdated and discarded kitchen appliances.
Those are reasons why real estate professionals need to leave old methods of communication behind and move into the modern age of social media to promote their businesses, according to a new “mockumentary” by RESAAS. The video, “The Evolution of Real Estate,” uses humor to drive home the point that practitioners who don’t embrace new technology and modern communication are being left behind.
While meant to take a funny approach to the topic of modernized marketing — the video is narrated by a Shakespearean actor who speaks in an old-century stage manner — the problems of using old-school tactics in a modern world can be very serious for business.
“Our concept and strategy was to show agents how transforming from old-school tactics to new digital media isn’t so difficult or scary,” says Lisa Francilia, who manages marketing, branding, and advertising campaigns for RESAAS. “It’s an evolution that embraces new technology and promotes real-time interaction online between a network of agents. We’re suggesting that there’s a new way of communicating, so that’s how we should market ourselves, too.
A number of powerhouse real estate names, such as Christophe Choo, president of the Christophe Choo Real Estate Group at Coldwell Banker Previews International, are featured in the video.
The mockumentary is meant to do more than promote RESAAS, a social network platform that allows agents to connect and share listings and other items of interest with each other and their clients. It’s meant to promote a way of thinking that “involves many organizations, associations, and individuals who believe that change is good and that technology provides incredible opportunities for everyone in the industry,” Francilia says.
How do you keep your business modern to the minute? Share your insights and tips in the comments section below.
Sitting around a table at the REALTORS® Conference & Expo in San Francisco, the four women seem more like they’re at a sidewalk café trading war stories about life, love, and happiness than at a business conference. The first thing that comes to mind — clichés be damned! — is a scene from “Sex and the City” where the girls are at their favorite diner, giggling over the frivolities of each other’s sordid lives. Someone might be Carrie, someone might be Charlotte — probably no one would claim to be Samantha.
What brings these women together is their love and admiration for one another, and it’s fitting that here they sit at the same venue that launched their great four-way friendship: the convention.
Heather Ozur, Melanie Barker, Jennifer Branchini, and Tamara Suminski first met at the REALTORS® Conference & Expo in New Orleans in 2010. Three years later, they’re still laughing together, using the conference as their excuse to catch up on old times and make new memories (well, and learn something, too, of course).
“It’s kind of like when we get together for REALTOR® events, it’s kind of like camp,” says Suminski, GRI, ABR, e-PRO®, who runs training and development programs at Harcourts Prime Properties in Aliso Viejo, Calif. “ We see our long-lost friends and family.”
It’s a testament to the real impact the conference can have on NAR members’ lives. The focus of the event is on continued education and training, but so much more happens behind the scenes. People form friendships and relationships that stand the test of time. Some even get married.
“This is about support and mentorship,” says Branchini, CRS, SRES, BHG, an agent with Tri-Valley Realty in Pleasanton, Calif. “I value the honesty and truth we provide each other.”
It’s not that there aren’t business advantages to their friendship. They’ve learned plenty from one another that has helped them grow in their professional lives.
“Their friendship and their knowledge have allowed me to grow as a real estate professional,” says Barker, an agent with Bass Lake Realty-Oakhurst in Oakhurst, Calif. “The vast majority of my growing has been done in the last four years that I’ve known these ladies. Knowing how they market, communicate, their leadership styles — it’s helped me a lot. With the economy, there were some financial challenges for me, and just with their support, it allowed me to continue and participate at a high level.”
“They’ll tell you what you’re doing wrong, what you’re doing right, and what you can do better,” chimes Ozur, ABR, CRS, BMN, and agent with Keller Williams Realty in La Quinta, Calif.
But their friendship transcends that. It gets far more personal. Suminski’s boyfriend was diagnosed with cancer a year ago. The rest of the group made “Team Tamara” T-shirts and bought bracelets to show their support. When Suminski couldn’t speak at an event because of the ordeal, Ozur stepped in.
“It’s great to have support, to help each other with tools to not be devastated when hard times come,” Ozur said.
“We call each other sisters from another mother,” Suminski said.
And here’s to many more years — and conferences — shared in faith, love, and trust.
“Real estate is our commonality, but our connection is our personal similarities and our openness to our dissimilarities,” Barker said.
This Veterans Day, let’s remember that servicepeople in the commercial real estate industry have a few extra benefits when it comes to obtaining capital and credit. In a tight market for capital, that can make all the difference at the deal table — especially for owner-occupiers.
The Small Business Administration (SBA) 504 program offers US military veterans and service disabled veterans commercial financing for purchase of real estate that will house your business, expand, retrofit, renovate or remodel an existing facility. Funds are also applicable for refinance of an existing commercial loan as part of a business expansion.
Some terms of eligibility: A veteran-owned business is a business where at least 51% is owned by one or more veterans.
Not Limited To 504
You can browse the length and breadth of business advantages offered to veterans at the multi-departmental government business.usa.gov. Under its Resources For Veterans page, you can find a long list of benefits including business outreach, assistance in working with federal agencies, and the Center For Veterans Enterprise.
The list doesn’t stop there. CVE and other sites provide a wealth of information for vets in business and commercial real estate: an enduring government thank-you for those who answered the call to service.
- A New Report Card on the SBA’s Loan-Guarantee Programs
- Small Business Administration Loan Applications Made Easy
- SBA Express Loan program fee change targets veterans
- Big News: Announcing Small Business Loan Secondary Market Growth…
By Melissa Dittmann Tracey, REALTOR(R) Magazine
But just cranking up the heat can prove costly — particularly this year. Heating costs are on the rise, and more than 90 percent of homes will likely face higher heating expenses during this year’s cold season, according to the Energy Department. For example, households using natural gas will likely see bills 13 percent higher this year than last, paying on average $679 for heat this season.
So what are some quick, affordable ways to keep a home warm? A free, new ebook, “The Cure for the Common Cold Room: A Safe & Smart Home Heating Guide,” by ElectricFireplacesDirect.com offers up numerous tips and tricks to home owners and sellers for keeping a home warm this winter. Here are a few ideas from the book:
1. Add area rugs: Hardwood and tile floors can make your home feel cold in the winter. Add some area rugs to provide a warmer barrier between your feet and the floor. Non-skid utility rugs or rubber mats can make kitchen floors more comfortable and safe, according to the ebook.
2. Set ceiling fans to run clockwise: Yes, a ceiling fan can be used in the winter months too and can even help heat your home. The majority of ceiling fans have two settings: Counterclockwise cools rooms in the summer and clockwise can force warm air downward in the winter. Look for a small switch on the ceiling fan to change its direction clockwise for the cooler months.
3. Rearrange furniture: Check the arrangement of the furniture in the home to make sure it’s cozy. Often times, home owners spread out furniture to fill an entire room. Instead, group pieces together to get a warmer feel. Move furniture away from the windows and doors and closer to the fireplace, if there is one in the home.
4. Add moisture to the air: Humid air feels warmer than dry air. Therefore, a humidifier may make a difference. Cool mist and warm mist humidifiers can both be effective in making rooms feel warmer. “A cool mist humidifier is safer — and usually less expensive — because it doesn’t expel hot water or steam vapor that could hurt children or pets,” according to the book.
5. Let the sun shine inside: Use the sun to heat your home by adjusting the home’s curtains to let the sun in. Open south-facing curtains on sunny days. Also, be sure to close curtains at night to provide an extra barrier against wintery winds that are trying to squeeze inside the home.
By Alex Milshteyn
I’ve attended the annual REALTORS® Conference & Expo since 2005. A lot has changed since my first annual conference, which also took place in San Francisco, but a lot has also stayed the same. Here is a list of some of my memorable changes:
- In 2005, I didn’t have in-flight internet. I am not sure how I survived 4.5 hour flight without checking e-mail.
- In 2005, I came to San Francisco with no technology. No iPhone, no iPad, no MacBook, no battery pack, no 3 chargers.
- In 2005, I carried a fancy silver flip phone on my belt.
- In 2005, I walked by at least four “Internet Cafés” from my hotel to the convention center. I used these cafés to check my e-mail only once a day.
- In 2005, the only “tech” sessions offered were training on how to use Microsoft Word, Excel, Publisher, and PowerPoint. I remember taking a class on how to create a listing presentation in PowerPoint. I was one of 20 REALTORS® that attended this class.
- In 2005, social media was non-existent at the conference.
- In 2005, Zillow and Trulia didn’t exist.
- In 2005, I bought my first package through realtor.com®, I agreed to pay them $300 per year to “showcase” my listings.
- In 2005, the conference registration cost $300. It was $400 for this year.
- In 2005, Dr. Phil was the keynote speaker.
- In 2005, the expo had “tech” companies that mostly included only website creators like z57 and iHouse.
A lot has changed in eight years. But also, a lot has stayed the same. The sessions on selling real estate are mostly the same; old school methods still work. Technology has made it easier for us to communicate but it hasn’t replaced us. I’m looking forward to the next REALTORS® Conference and Expo in San Francisco in 2019 so that I can report the changes that have happened since 2013.
Alex Milshteyn, GRI, ABR, is a REALTOR® in Ann Arbor, Mich., who runs a real estate team of five professionals called Alex Milshteyn Real Estate Associates. Connect with him at www.alexmi.com.
It’s what happens between sessions at the REALTORS® Conference & Expo that makes the experience of NAR’s biggest annual event for many attendees. New friendships budding, business connections made, memories added to the bank. And one practitioner at the San Francisco convention this year logged one of the biggest memories of all: Getting married — legally, finally — to his spouse of nine years.
Brian Copeland, GRI, ABR, CRS, an agent at Village Real Estate Services in Nashville, Tenn., exchanged vows with Greg Bullard, a pastor, at San Francisco’s Fay Park near Lombard Street on Tuesday. And the REALTOR® community was there to rally around the couple and their 2-year-old son, Micah Copeland, to show their love and support.
“We knew we wanted to get everything legally done by the end of 2013, and most states [near Tennessee] that offer marriage equality were hours away and required a waiting period between license and ceremony,” Copeland says. “We would be in San Francisco for NAR and knew that many of our REALTOR® friends would be here at the same time. It simply made too much sense. That’s why we did it.”
Present at the ceremony were many of the couple’s friends from home, past NAR presidents, many state and local association executives, countless NAR staff members, and REALTOR® friends from 20 states and two countries.
“The support [for our marriage] in the REALTOR® organization reflects exactly how I expect REALTORS® to treat every consumer — with dignity, respect and kindness, regardless of background,” Copeland says.
He says he posted ceremony photos to Facebook Tuesday night, and before the night was done, “over 4,000 likes, comments, and posts had poured in.” In the last few days, as he has attended the convention, “one out of every three people — no joke — I pass at NAR says, ‘Congratulations, we’re so happy for you,’” Copeland says. “It has shown us the wide welcome and deep love in the REALTOR® family.”
Copeland says his marriage to Bullard strengthens his family, particularly because of federal protections that will now apply to little Micah. The couple will now have joint-parenting rights, and they can cover Micah in a family health insurance plan. Micah is also guaranteed child support.
Though Copeland and Bullard now have federal recognition of their union, it won’t be recognized by the state that they are returning home to. Still, Copeland says that even if Tennessee did legalize same-sex marriage, it wouldn’t solve all of their problems.
“When people ask us if we have had a hard time in Tennessee due to the lack of marriage equality, we just do not see it that way,” he says. “We often forget that legal status does not equal no discrimination, nor does it mean that life is easier.”
For now, he’s just counting his blessings.
“My company, Village Real Estate, is the beacon of diversity and inclusiveness in the real estate space. While we use the term ‘inclusive’ often to describe ourselves, many companies do not live the value,” Copeland says. “Thanks to my amazing company, I’ve never been treated as second-class or not worthy of the same regard as my straight, married counterparts. So, ultimately, nothing really changes in my business. In my practice, my speaking, and my leadership, I’ve always been 100 percent honest, open, and out. We all want someone we can trust. My life is an open book.”
While the overall commercial sector appears to be improving, Chief Economist Lawrence Yun said this isn’t the case in all parts of the market.
Members of the Young Professionals Network stood tall and proud at NAR’s 360 Thursday, waving U.S. flags in the air to symbolize their commitment to “10 for 10” – investing $10,000 to the REALTOR® Political Action Committee (RPAC) over the next 10 years.
Christian Zarif with Better Homes and Gardens Kansas City and Matt Case with Coldwell Banker Schmidt Family Companies in Traverse City, Mich. (pictured right) are among the more than 50 practitioners who have taken the pledge targeted specifically for young professionals.
RPAC funds are used to promote the election of pro-REALTOR® candidates. “This is the next generation of REALTOR leaders stepping up to the plate,” said 2013 First Vice President Chris Polychron during the REALTORS® Conference & Expo in San Francisco. To learn more about the “10 for 10” pledge, visit www.realtoractioncenter.com/10for10.
Chris Anderson, former editor of Wired magazine and author of “Makers: The New Industrial Revolution” (Crown Business, 2012), who presented at the REALTORS® Conference & Expo Friday, predicts that you’ll carry a small drone in your bag, and when you’re taking on a new listing, you can turn on your drone, push a button, and it will orbit the building or home, mapping and creating a 3D model for you.
Anderson, who founded 3D Robotics, a company that makes GPS-guided aerial drones used for mapping and photography, says that in just three short years he went from being a dad messing around with his kids, Googling “autopilot” and building remote control devices, to owning and operating a multimillion-dollar aerospace company.
Anderson also discussed the changing face of industrial and warehouse real estate in light of the growing “makers movement.” Today, manufacturers are relying on robotics to create products in fields ranging from synthetic biology to furniture. Computer screens and white-collar programmers have replaced smokestacks and assembly lines.
“The reason you’re able to have 3D printers on your desktop is the components are so cheap that regular people are able to afford them,” Anderson said. “It will be regular people doing extraordinary things.”
The county seat of Miami-Dade county is an attractive market for apartment hunters — and for apartment building hunters. The sun and culture of Miami has always attracted its share of real estate investment, but lately the multifamily property sector is alive with extra development and international investment capital.
Marcus & Millichap’s 4th quarter report Apartment Market Research cited by Globe St. claims a hike in demand for the Miami multifamily market including an absorption of 1,700 units after all was said and done in the quarter.
The job market, the traditional driver of multifamily demand, did not report a leading increase.
“Retail employment has been a bright spot locally, as it has been across the country,” M&M reports. “However, expansions in degreed positions in the professional and business services, and financial services sectors have been lackluster.”
Still, the firm predicts solid demand for multifamily rental housing will generate a 10-basis point drop in vacancy this year to 3%. That’s the lowest rate in the South Florida region. Net absorption of nearly 2,100 units sliced 70 basis points from vacancy last year. Meanwhile, demand for higher-priced new multifamily rentals will underpin a gain in average rents of 4.9% this year to reach $1,191 per month. By way of comparison, average rents grew 2.3% last year.
“Investors are monitoring multifamily construction, which is projected to climb this year and persist into 2014,” M&M reports. “Thus far in the development cycle, the increase in construction has been met by higher demand for rental housing. Despite the inflow of new rentals, transaction velocity and dollar volume continue to rise, fueled by confidence in the country’s long-term prospects for sustained rental housing demand and expanded access to acquisition debt.”
Foreign Capital Flowing Again After Housing Crash
Cash-rich Latin American investors are gravitating to the Miami multifamily scene looking to create returns through rentals and by spreading their attention afield of traditional property strongholds such as South Beach. A recent Reuters report claimed developers from Brazil, Venezuela, Mexico have heightened presence in the city.
Also potentially driving the rush to the center of Miami metro from points south: currency volatility in home countries. Brazil’s currency has undergone gyrations in the past year and Venezuela’s petro-economy is facing increased production from North America.
The international flavor of the development culture in Miami is unmistakeable, according to Reuters’ Kevin Gray:
Several of the new Latin American projects rank among Miami’s most ambitious.
Argentine developer and hotelier Alan Faena is leading a $550 million project in Miami Beach to build what is being billed as the Faena District.
Faena helped transform the Puerto Madero riverfront neighborhood in his native Buenos Aires, converting a series of rundown buildings, including an old mill, into a luxury enclave of fine dining anchored by a five-star hotel, an arts center and apartment buildings.
Backed by Russian-born billionaire investor Len Blavatnik, Faena’s Miami beachfront development involves renovating an iconic Miami Beach hotel, the Saxony, and building a cultural center and theater.Related articles
Organized by volunteers, Real Estate Bar Camp is a completely unstructured day of sessions led by anyone who steps up — on any topic. Here’s how it works: REBarCamp attendees volunteer to lead a session on whatever topic is of interest to them and form roundtable discussions with other attendees. There are no individual presentations; a discussion group can pop up at any moment.
“We really build a conference on the fly,” explained REBarCamp founder Andy Kaufman, e-PRO®. The Berkeley, Calif.-based Better Homes and Gardens Mason-McDuffie real estate agent told meeting attendees at the REALTORS® Conference & Expo in San Francisco on Thursday that REBarCamp “is open source — you guys do it yourself.”
Participants filled out cards with their names and topics of interest, and sessions were created based on the input. Some of the topics included going paperless, new real estate apps, international real estate, photography, social media, teambuilding, and ad campaigns.
“This really should be a party,” said Bill Lublin, GRI, CRB, CRS, a REBarCamp organizer and agent at Century 21 Advantage Gold in Philadelphia. “You’re going to be a little crazy today.” And crazy it was. Some groups drew dozens of participants, while others consisted of four or five people discussing around a coffee table. There were guidelines for session timeframes, but any session could begin and end when participants felt the time was right.
The majority of sessions were tech-focused, with one of the most popular geared toward new real estate apps. Here are a few of the favorites:
This app turns your phone into a hands-free panoramic camera. After you stand your phone upright on a flat surface, the app triggers the vibrate mode and causes the phone to turn around in a circle, capturing a 360-degree panoramic photo. One practitioner at the REBarCamp session said the app has eliminated his need to hire a photographer for his listings.
Capture a home’s floor plan without having to take measurements. Using your device’s camera, this app takes note of the corners of a room. With this information, the app creates a digital floor plan of every room you’ve scanned.
You’ll always know when you’ll get the best nighttime or daytime property shots with LightTrac. The app plots a given location on a map and calculates the elevation of the sun and moon and how much light exposure the location will receive at any given time. That way you can decide what time is best to take outdoor photos for that perfect dusk shot.
With Google Goggles, you can take a picture of anything, and the app will match your image with Google results. It’s not an exact science, but it can give you a pretty good idea of what you’re looking at.
OK, this isn’t for your business. It’s just for fun — and it got a huge laugh from the crowd. SitOrSquat plots your location and indicates where the nearest bathrooms are. “That’s more useful to me than anything else right now,” one attendee joked.
It’s time for REALTORS® Conference and Expo we wanted to share where you, the commercial practitioner, can find all the information you need to make the most out of your stay in San Francisco November 8-12. If you think the convention and expo does not have much available for commercial professionals-think again. With over a dozen commercial related sessions, the Commercial Block at the Expo, commercial speed networking session, a caffeinated networking breakfast and the Commercial Reception, you will wonder if you can fit it in your schedule. To view the schedule of events at the 2013 REALTORS® Conference and Expo click on the link below.
Keep up to date by following our twitter handle @commsource as well as @narannual for up-to-the-minute updates.
Your journey to NAR Annual would not be complete without stopping by the NAR Commercial booth #829 in the Commercial Block to meet the staff and drop your business card for a chance to win a CCIM Course.
Last but definitely not least NAR Commercial would also like to give a BIG THANK YOU to our 2013 sponsors for helping make these events possible. Find out who they are and what they have to offer you below. Click on their logo to visit their site.
Inland Private Capital Corporation (IPCC) was established in 2001 to provide replacement properties for accredited investors wishing to complete an IRS Section 1031 real estate exchange, as well as investors seeking a quality, multiple-owner real estate investment. Currently, IPCC has offered more than 131 private placements, including 257 properties, collecting more than $1.427 billion in equity leveraged by approximately $1.434 billion in debt for a total offering price of approximately $2.861 billion. IPCC is a part of the Inland Real Estate Group of Companies, Inc.
NAR is pleased to announce NAR’s REALTOR Benefits® Program partner, will provide a suite of commercial real estate information services and preferred pricing exclusively for NAR members at CommercialSearch.com. This national listing platform for commercial real estate properties will offer a basic broker loaded and research platform as well as a premium service.
The NADCO Finance Solutions Café presents the best-kept secret in small business finance, the Real Estate Advantage (504) Loan or REAL. At 10% down, this 20-year or 10-year fixed rate financing is perfect for owner-occupied real estate or equipment. Think you can beat this deal? Get REAL! Please visit www.nadco.org for more information.
Now more than ever, it is critical for REALTORS® across America to come together and speak with one voice about the stability a sound and dynamic real estate market brings to our communities. From city hall to the state house to the U.S. Capitol, our elected officials are making decisions that have a huge impact on the bottom line of REALTORS® and their customers. Through the support of REALTORS® like you, the REALTOR® Party represents your interests.
Momentum in the commercial market continues. NAR Treasurer Bill Armstrong shares the latest commercial real estate data from NAR and highlights policy wins and more in the latest commercial podcast.