June 18, 2018

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Comment on Staging Strategies for What Buyers Want by Beverly Bowen

Styled, Staged & Sold - Fri, 06/01/2018 - 03:43

Large kitchens will always be number 1. This is still definitely a big plus at present. The outdoor living room, too, will surely wow buyers!

A Deeper Understanding of the Scourge of Racial Inequality

Weekly Book Scan - Wed, 05/30/2018 - 08:49

The pace of historic change can be at once laborious and swift. The passage of the U.S. Fair Housing Act in 1968 is a case in point. As a response to generations of discriminatory practices condoned by government, business, and societal norms of a different era, legislation protecting buyers, renters, and borrowers from exclusionary treatment based on their race, color, national origin, sex, or religion was, indeed, a very long time coming. But the precipitating factor behind the law’s enactment was as abrupt as it was tragic: the assassination of Rev. Martin Luther King Jr.

President Lyndon Johnson summoned the power of his office to rally a long-reluctant Congress to get behind the groundbreaking measure as a gesture toward national healing during a protracted period of  urban race riots and firebombing during the 1960s. He implored “all good men to look deeply into their hearts,” in the effort to sway undecided lawmakers. “When the nation so urgently needs the healing balm of unity, a brutal wound on our conscience forces upon us all this question: What more can I do to achieve brotherhood and equality among all Americans?” Precisely a week after King’s death, Title VIII of the Civil Rights Act of 1968 (a.k.a the Fair Housing Act) became the law of the land.

The commemoration of the 50th anniversary of the signing of the law serves as an opportunity to peer back a bit further into some of the ways housing policies and the systemic racism of the day converged to reinforce inequality in our country. An important book first published 35 years ago did just that—and it remains instructive today. Making the Second Ghetto: Race & Housing in Chicago 1940-60  (University of Chicago Press) is an exhaustive study about how American cities in the North—and Chicago in particular—responded to the rapidly growing African-American population and the nascent civil rights movement in the middle of the last century.  Author Arnold Hirsch, who passed away earlier this year, provided insight about how the white power structure “renewed, reinforced, and reshaped” modern Chicago as the giant wave of black migration to the North was underway. Hirsch, a Chicago native and a history professor at the University of New Orleans until his retirement in 2010, sought to understand the institutional forces after World War II that reinforced racial boundaries and barriers.  He described The Windy City as a pioneer at “developing concepts and devices” for housing segregation that were later incorporated into federal legislation that would come to define urban renewal (or as the writer James Baldwin described it “Negro removal”) nationwide.

Chicago politicians along with leadership at University of Chicago and the Illinois Institute of Technology divided the city by race. Hirsch is blunt in his assessment of the reasons: The divisions were rooted in institutional interests, profit and greed, and the desperate efforts of regular homeowners to stem the “Negro invasion” from their neighborhoods. The aim was to protect their insecure identity as whites as well as their property values, said Hirsch. Strict zoning laws and neighborhood protests by white “ethnics” were the means to that end.  While describing The Chicago Housing Authority as a “bulwark of segregation,” the real power over site selection during Chicago’s post-War public housing construction bonanza lay with the city council; housing projects that sprang up in the early 1960s on the South and West sides cemented the segregated path that had been laid down a generation before.

Rev. King led a series of housing marches in the mid-1960s into heavily white, ethnic areas that encircled black enclaves in Chicago, to which Mayor Richard J. Daley responded by seeking a court injunction to halt them. Even as the civil rights movement gained momentum, Hirsch noted that “the dismantling of the urban ghetto would not be counted among its victories.”

Though the first edition of Hirsch’s book came out in 1983, it remains in print—a testament to its relevance as the nation continues to wrestle with issues of housing opportunity and racial and socioeconomic inequities throughout society. The long history of housing discrimination and segregation in the U.S. has created neighborhoods that today remain unequal in their access to opportunities from schools, jobs, banks and grocery stores to desirable housing options. Bearing that reality in mind, Making the Second Ghetto paints a vivid and chilling portrait of the roots of urban segregation.

The 50th Anniversary of the Fair Housing Act

This review is part of Books in Brief: Lighting the Path to Housing Equality, the Weekly Book Scan’s series commemorating the 50th anniversary of the Fair Housing Act. Learn more about how fair housing makes us stronger at

Comment on Vinyl Flooring Is Stealing the Spotlight by Gediminas Stanaitis

Styled, Staged & Sold - Wed, 05/30/2018 - 02:16

Found your blog. I would like to thank you for your article. It’s reliable on
Vinyl Flooring.It is easier to install. So, all can try this with the help of this site.

Comment on Educate Sellers How Home Staging Pays Off by Anna

Styled, Staged & Sold - Mon, 05/28/2018 - 04:20

Staging is definitely a win-win decision for homeowners to get the maximum amount of the house.

Comment on Making Sense of Green Home Certifications by Beverly Bowen

Styled, Staged & Sold - Sun, 05/27/2018 - 23:06

All working for better environment. What a brighter future for us all!

Comment on How to Select the Right Sheen to Your Paint by Beverly Bowen

Styled, Staged & Sold - Sun, 05/27/2018 - 23:01

A cost-effective way to freshen up every space!

Comment on Using the Psychology Behind Color in Staging Homes by Beverly Bowen

Styled, Staged & Sold - Sun, 05/27/2018 - 22:44

Great post! The color scheme that inspires and calms is the best combination.

Comment on Run a Background Check on a Home by Beverly Bowen

Styled, Staged & Sold - Sun, 05/27/2018 - 22:37

All very good! The disclosure is surely a selling point!

Comment on Take Note of the Floor — Buyers Certainly Will! by Beverly Bowen

Styled, Staged & Sold - Sun, 05/27/2018 - 22:33

Neutral home flooring will compliment every room design.

Comment on Can You Squeeze an Outdoor Retreat onto a Small Lot? by Beverly Bowen

Styled, Staged & Sold - Sun, 05/27/2018 - 22:25

Really great spaces to squeeze even in a small yard. Worth it!

Comment on When Staging, Full Disclosure of Property Defects Is Essential by Beverly Bowen

Styled, Staged & Sold - Sun, 05/27/2018 - 22:12

Great post! Total disclosure from the very beginning is the key!

Comment on Make Those Green Features Count: Appraisers Add ‘Green’ Form by Beverly Bowen

Styled, Staged & Sold - Sun, 05/27/2018 - 21:59

This to invite more to go greener! Really a great news!

Comment on How Staging Can Eliminate Buyer Confusion by Beverly Bowen

Styled, Staged & Sold - Sun, 05/27/2018 - 21:47

We can also be creative in staging spaces still used by the owner.

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.

Comment on On Second Thought, Don’t Bake Chocolate Chip Cookies for the Open House! by Amanda Davidson

Styled, Staged & Sold - Thu, 05/24/2018 - 09:51

I agree! We try too hard not to distract buyers with strong smell.

Comment on 10 Trends Driving the Next Decade of Home Design by Amanda Davidson

Styled, Staged & Sold - Thu, 05/24/2018 - 09:36

We look forward to seeing more innovations of disaster proof homes.

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

Styled, Staged & Sold - Thu, 05/24/2018 - 09:25

Every teen would now demand for a teen lounge! Better for them to stay indoors more frequently.

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 Hot Home Trend: Edison Bulbs by Amanda Davidson

Styled, Staged & Sold - Thu, 05/24/2018 - 08:15

Certainly best for industrial and eclectic designs!