Friday
April 28, 2017

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Commercial Real Estate Market Trends Update: August 2016

George Ratiu, Director of Quantitative and Commercial Research, and Stephanie Spear, Commercial Regulatory Policy Representative, provide an update on the commercial real estate market trends for the 2nd Quarter.

Commercial Real Estate Expansion Foreseen

WASHINGTON (August 29, 2016) — Buoyed by a steadily improving labor market and strong demand for multifamily housing, commercial real estate activity should remain on an upward trajectory, with a growing share of it is expected to be in smaller markets, according to the National Association of Realtors® quarterly commercial real estate forecast.

National office vacancy rates are forecast by Realtors® to fall 1.5 percent to 10.4 percent over the coming year as employment gains boost demand for office space. The... Read More

NAR Meets With MBA on Capital Standards

Stephanie Spear of NAR Government Affairs meets with a representative of the Mortgage Bankers Association to discuss capital standards and how regulatory issues could impact the availability of mortgage financing for commercial real estate.

Commercial Regulatory Update: NAR Meets with ICSC

Abby Jagoda, Director, Federal Government Relations for the International Council of Shopping Centers (ICSC) talks with Stephanie Spear, NAR Commercial Regulatory Policy Rep, about what issues ICSC members are facing and how NAR and ICSC can work together to address them.

Commercial Innovation Grants

Be REVOLUTIONARY; the 2017 message from President Bill Brown, daring all of us to be the driving force of change in the industry. The Commercial Innovation Grant program provides local and state REALTOR® associations with the chance to be a game changer by awarding funding for innovative and revolutionary programming to improve the value and benefits for commercial members.

To apply, download and complete the Commercial Innovation Grant Application... Read More

There’s No ‘One Size Fits All’ Lead Gen Technique

YPN Lounge - 4 hours 37 min ago

Lee Davenport

By Lee Davenport

Excerpt from “Profit with Your Personality

I detest seeing tags in t-shirts that say, “one size fits all” because that one size never does. Whether the shirt hugs you like a baby’s onesie or drapes over you like a potato sack or Snuggie® Blanket, it is just not a fit for everyone. Similarly, mislabeled t-shirts are like our careers in residential real estate sales — different strokes are needed for different folks. Here is the shocker:

There is no one DiSC personality type that cannot succeed in residential real estate sales.

Did that make your brain go tilt? If you are like me, you have probably heard that only particular types of personality will do well in sales, whether real estate or otherwise. For those of us who are more reserved, we have likely acquiesced to that notion because doing the cold lead generation tactics (using outbound activities like cold calling and door knocking) have made us feel like the round peg being stuffed and banged into a square hole by an impatient kindergartner. It is uncomfortable, to say the least!

Business practitioners, including real estate firm managers, frequently use the DiSC personality assessment to size up its sales force due to its ease of use and four simple dimensions. DiSC profiles simply categorize the spectrum of our behaviors based on four prominent measures:

• Dominant (outgoing and task-oriented)
• Influencer (outgoing and people-oriented)
• Steady (introverted and people-oriented)
• Conscientious (introverted and task-oriented)

 

Among some companies, a prospective salesperson’s predominant DISC personality type is relied upon to determine her overall aptness for a residential real estate sales career.

What We Say:
The RIGHT Salesperson Personality
=
Sales Success

However, in my scholarly literature review of this topic, no significant correlation has been established between a salesperson’s ultimate sales success and her preeminent DiSC personality profile. Before you write a rebuttal, think about it this way: As managers, I have observed that we typically do not actually link a salesperson’s personality profile to their ultimate sales success either. Rather, we associate a salesperson’s personality with certain lead generation methods, particularly the methods we favor or the methods most used by our firm’s sales team.

For example, we likely assess that someone who is reserved will have a hard time cold-calling (a method) while someone who is outgoing and task-oriented, like the Dominant personality profile, will not. And, if we prefer our sales team to do cold-calling, we will more likely hire the Dominant person and dismiss the more introverted person. In essence, we have determined that the salesperson will not succeed with our customary lead generation methods. There is nothing wrong with that. But then we or the salesperson takes an unconnected leap, concluding the salesperson is completely unfit for real estate sales altogether. Unfortunately, a salesperson’s success (or lack there of) with certain methods were confused with the salesperson’s overall ability to succeed in sales. We must separate lead generation methods from overall ability. Here is why.

Top Producer Best Practices

I recently conducted a university-based study that polled a portion of the top 1,000 residential real estate salespeople in the United States. This study found:

“Top-producing residential real estate salespeople may have a prominent personality type stemming from any of the four DiSC profiles; no one or two personality types are core or crucial among sales professionals.”

That means that “Chatty Cathy,” typically seen as the Influencer personality style, is not the only type of top producer who can thrive in residential real estate sales. Real estate sales is not exclusive to the extroverted. This research proved that those of the more introverted natures (e.g. Steady and Conscientious) have achieved nationally-recognized sales success too, which is no small feat in an industry of more than 1 million professionals.

What Research Suggests:
Salesperson Personality
+
The RIGHT Lead-Gen. Activities
+
Consistency
=
Success

This is ground-breaking research that should help you breathe a sigh of relief. Why? The results prove you do not have to take on a fake persona in residential real estate sales because this career field is not exclusive to one or two personality types (as defined by DiSC). Your personality is not detestable in sales. One size does not fit all. There are lead generation methods that likely fit you uniquely. In my book, Profit with Your Personality, get ready to find out what they are.

Your Turn

• What sales limitations have been presented to you based on your personality, whether you are introverted or extroverted?
• How has the information from this chapter excerpt helped you?
• What is your most prominent DISC personality type?  Bonus: Visit www.LearnWithLee.REALTOR and search “Profit with Your Personality” to take a complimentary quiz to find out.

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.

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5 YPN Event Ideas for Spring

YPN Lounge - Tue, 04/25/2017 - 16:04

You and your peers are busy this time of year. If you’re looking for ways to keep attendance and participation up in your local YPN, here are some ideas for creating fun, educational, and meaningful events.

1. The spring market is on fire…but that can come with questions and concerns. Take a cue from the Greater Philadelphia Association of REALTORS® YPN and host a forum covering current market trends and insights for real estate pros in your area.

Want to know more about real estate. Attend GPAR YPN INDUSTRY INSIDER FORUM May 10, 2017 #ypn#gpar#gparypn@PhillyRealtors#philadelphia. pic.twitter.com/lC7tMkuGbS

— Samar Jha (@legallyshot) April 4, 2017

2. Get into the nitty gritty. Assemble an event focused on a specific business topic, such as the Pensacola Association of REALTORS® YPN’s recent sellers panel.

Join the #PAR #YPN Committee for a Sellers Panel next Friday at Habana Jacks! #PensacolaREALTORS #BeeInvolvedPAR https://t.co/1l6x3hleC5 pic.twitter.com/FlhMJmIC9X

— Pensacola REALTORS® (@pnsREALTORS) March 31, 2017

 3. Pitch a new networking idea. Baseball season is back in full swing. The Lake & Geauga Area Association of REALTORS® in Ohio recently hosted a viewing party.


4. Get appy with it.
Appy Hours are always a solid way to share business ideas and opinions on the latest and greatest mobile apps. Look how much fun the folks in the Greater San Antonio YPN are having.

YPN’s Appy Hour is in full swing! #SABOR #RealtorLife #YPN pic.twitter.com/auIJ2kN9id

— Greater SA YPN (@YPNSA) March 28, 2017

5. Make advocacy your YPN’s priority. Many REALTOR® associations and YPN groups coordinate state legislature visits in the spring to advocate for real estate and homeownership issues — the Portland Metro Association of REALTORS® is just one examples.  Make sure your network is on board, or set date on your calendar.

Will you be on the PMAR #YPN VIP bus on April 12th for #REALTOR® Day at The Capitol? Register now at https://t.co/8ZrA60alat #YPNRealtorDay pic.twitter.com/w2AP0V8PGN

— PMAR YPN (@PMARYPN) March 16, 2017

 

Comment on Most Popular Bathroom Trends for 2017 by jan lovewell

Styled, Staged & Sold - Mon, 04/24/2017 - 14:02

None of the above would satisfy me in the bath. It’s all just a trend that a designer put together to lure people to make an unnecessary change. The south western look in tile colors is the most soothing and has not been around long enough to be tired of. I hope people don’t fall into the “designers’ trap” and think that the above examples would enhance their bathrooms. They are all very distasteful in every way.

Comment on Revisit Your Listing’s Curb Appeal: Have You Done Enough? by Bob

Styled, Staged & Sold - Mon, 04/17/2017 - 06:41

Very helpful suggestions — as a home seller, it is very difficult to get started and match the lowest cost tasks with the highest potential positive impacts — starting with doors, is such a natural way to think about “positive impression” — excellent
post. I’ll look forward to the NEXT suggestion!

Comment on The Number One Design Style for 2017 Is … by Granite countertops @expresskitchen

Styled, Staged & Sold - Mon, 04/17/2017 - 02:27

The design look so great, if there is a good amount of light then the white color really looks great. Thanks for sharing the blog.

Comment on Most Popular Bathroom Trends for 2017 by Cindy

Styled, Staged & Sold - Sat, 04/15/2017 - 16:26

Hi. I love the idea of a walk in tub like seniors use. I’ve seen one with a shower door so a shower handle could be used. Perfect for smaller homes too!

Commercial Regulatory Update: NAR Meets With Banking Group

realtor.org Commercial Headlines - Fri, 04/14/2017 - 09:00

Rod J. Alba, Sr. Vice President, Mortgage Finance & Senior Regulatory Counsel of the American Bankers Association, sits down with Stephanie Spear, NAR Commercial Regulatory Policy Representative, to talk about common issues facing ABA and NAR members. Hear about what regulatory efforts ABA has been up to in 2016 and how NAR members can work more with ABA members.

Giving Prospects Information They Can Use

YPN Lounge - Mon, 04/10/2017 - 19:46

Anita Clark

By Anita Clark

People visit your website for one of two reasons:

1. They might be looking for an agent. If that is the case, they are already half sold. As long as your website looks professional, shows you as credible, and makes it easy to contact you, you have a new client.

2. They might be coming to your website for information. They might want to learn about things like:

  • buying tips
  • selling tips
  • neighborhoods
  • real estate trends
  • what they can afford
  • home searches

How you present that information will make a big difference in whether they will contact you when they are ready to buy or sell. The information has to be both credible and accessible. If your visitors do not feel like they received what they need, you will not convert them to clients, even if you published all the right information.

Here are 5 metrics for information content, and how they are applicable and important for real estate websites:

@StartupStockPhotos, 2015. pixabay.com

  • readability
  • scanability
  • clarity
  • accuracy
  • findability

Readability

Of these, readability is the easiest to measure. “Readability” is an algorithm that measures how much effort a reader has to put into reading your text. Although there are several scales, Flesch-Kincaid is the most well-known.

Write to a Grade 6-8 level. Why so low? Most of your clients have at least a high school education, right? They can read much better than that. True, they can read beyond Grade 8, but studies show that they will not.

Yes, if I have to read a medical journal, I can. But if I do not have to, I will not make the effort. Studies show that I will do a subconscious cost-benefit analysis, and probably leave a page that feels tough to read.  I will look somewhere else, like on one of your competitors websites.

Bottom line: the easier your page is to read, the better it will convert.

How can you improve readability?

  • shorter sentences
  • shorter paragraphs
  • simpler words (buy a house, not purchase a domicile)
  • active voice rather than passive voice (subject – verb – object)

Feed your visitors easy info, and you will keep them on your pages until they are ready to seek an agent.

Scanability

This is a simpler concept even than readability. People look at your web page, and before even trying to read, they do that subconscious cost-benefit analysis. Your page looks either easy and inviting, or tough and challenging.

A page with many large paragraphs, called “blocks of text”, actually repels readers. Many will just hit the back button before even trying to read.

In general, people do not read web pages. They scan. They might stop at parts they want to read if they seek specific information, but the pages need to be easy to scan. This becomes even more important on mobile devices with small screens.

How can you improve scanability?

  • sub-headings
  • shorter sentences
  • shorter paragraphs
  • bullet lists wherever possible
  • break up text with images

Make it easy for people to quickly do that subconscious cost-benefit analysis and decide to read.

Clarity

Once people start reading, you want them to nod their heads. “I understand.” You do not want them scratching their heads, wondering what you mean. Test your text on a friend who is unfamiliar with the topic (not another agent). Ask if there is anything not clear.

If your text is confusing, the reader is likely to leave without hiring you. All you have to sell is your credibility. If the impression you leave is that you confuse people, that will not sell you well.

How can you improve clarity?

  • common words
  • shorter sentences
  • shorter paragraphs
  • bullet lists wherever possible
  • specific words to describe things
  • active voice rather than passive voice (subject – verb – object)

Accuracy

This is a tricky one. Of course, you want to make sure that you do not say something incorrect. But once you start talking about complex things, such as amortization rates or liens, you can actually confuse people by being completely accurate.

How can you improve accuracy?

  • Provide more detail for specialists, like lawyers and bankers.
  • Remove details that will confuse clients, when writing for the public.

Incredibly, accuracy and clarity depend on the audience. What is more accurate to a banker or lawyer might be less accurate to a client. What is more accurate to your readers might be less accurate to a banker or lawyer. Write for your audience.

Findability

Least important or most important, depending on your viewpoint, is findability. When people search for information online, will they find you?

It is worth thinking about what words people will use to find your information. Front load these as much as possible in your headings and in your paragraphs. Do not stilt your writing so that it sounds unnatural, but include these terms when it sounds right.

How can you improve findability?

  • Use words people use.
  • Think of what terms people would use when searching for your information.
  • Put those words in headings.
  • Use those words in the text where it makes sense.
  • Front load those words when possible in headings and paragraphs.

In addition to improving your search engine rankings, these words on your pages will give readers a sense of continuity. They searched for “spring staging tips”, they clicked on a link, and they see the words “spring staging tips” a few times on the page. That gives them confidence that they have landed on the right page, that they will find what they want on your website.

How you write counts. Write content that is easy to find, easy to view, easy to read and easy to understand. Make people feel like they received what they came for, and they will be much more likely to hire you to buy or sell their home.

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 Real Estate Blog.

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Comment on Stage it With Shine: Add Some Bling to Your Spaces by Brett Cairns (RE/MAX)

Styled, Staged & Sold - Mon, 04/10/2017 - 15:40

A well staged home with the right colors can do wonders for the overall appeal of the home. Butter like colors can add warmth in any season

Comment on 4 Tips for Furniture Arrangement by Brett Cairns (RE/MAX)

Styled, Staged & Sold - Mon, 04/10/2017 - 15:06

Adding a good flow and some contrast does wonders to add to the overall appeal and welcoming effect to these rooms

Using Live Video to Build Your Real Estate Business

Speaking of Real Estate - Fri, 04/07/2017 - 14:11

The rise of live video streaming technology on social media has given real estate professionals a powerful new way to promote listings, create brand awareness and attract business. Video platforms such as Facebook Live make it possible to show a property to potential buyers who might not be able to visit it in person, and they can help you connect with prospective clients you might not otherwise have a chance to meet. Learn more about using these tools to expand your reach in this video.

A Mindset for Your Online Marketing Plan

Weekly Book Scan - Fri, 04/07/2017 - 09:48

Many real estate pros look at building a marketing plan as a simple task to be checked off a list each year. But what if reaching customers were more about attitude and philosophy than goals, metrics, and budgeting?

Alejandro Escamilla, Unsplash.com

If you, like me, suspect that the latter is true, I humbly suggest turning to professional communicators for guidance. Indeed, the struggles of today’s authors—many of whom are independent contractors just like you—may hold the key to getting potential clients to notice you online. After all, one of the most enduring lessons that all professional writers learn is how to attract and retain the attention of their audience.

Fauzia Burke, author of Online Marketing for Busy Authors: A Step-by-Step Guide (Berrett-Koehler Publishers, 2016), helps authors think deeply about how to establish a long-term marketing plan to boost their web presence. Here are three of her tips for writers that work just as well for real estate professionals.

Know your audience. The great differentiator of online advertising is the ability to target specific groups and segment your communications accordingly. But if you haven’t taken the time to consider who your audience is, you’re not using these powerful tools to their full potential. “Online marketing is customized and personalized. It is essential for you to know your audience so you can find them and serve them best,” Burke says. She suggests mapping out the age range and interests of the prospects you want to reach. Learn “which social media outlets they use, and where they hang out online. The more you know your audience, the better your marketing will be.”

Ensure you’re serving them. Whether it’s a newsletter, blog entry, or social media post, you should always consider how what you’re putting out there can help potential clients. Burke tells writers to ask themselves questions, such as: “What value are you providing? What problem are you solving? What is my audience telling me?” She adds that analyzing which of your posts and emails get the most engagement can help you better understand how to serve potential clients. “When the content you create solves a problem your audience has, that’s when you authentically build lasting relationships.”

Don’t attempt to build your online presence on search and social media alone. Every time Google or Facebook changes their algorithm, publishers learn this lesson all over again: If you base your online marketing on external platforms, you’ll always be at the mercy of companies that don’t have your best interests at heart. “Your website is the only place online where you are in total control. No one else can change the rules like they can on other social media sites,” says Burke. “Your website is where you call the shots.”

Comment on Using the Psychology Behind Color in Staging Homes by E. Zach Lee-Wright

Styled, Staged & Sold - Thu, 04/06/2017 - 20:13

I have a competitor friend who will suggest to the seller that they paint the front door – bright red. She only suggests this if the color “works” and sometimes it doesn’t. But when it does it makes the homes jump off the screen. More showings. Quicker sales.

WIll There Be Too Few Appraisers in 10 Years?

Speaking of Real Estate - Thu, 04/06/2017 - 13:43

One of the most important issues facing residential real estate in the coming years has to do with the appraisal profession. Although appraisers are generally satisfied with their work and expect to stay in the profession in the years ahead, the median age of appraisers is close to 55. As a result, a big wave of retirements is expected in about 10 years.

By itself, that’s not a big issue. But because relatively few appraisers are being trained today, the profession could be left with thinning ranks after the retirement wave hits.

What’s behind the lack of training? In recent research from NAR, appraisers say they don’t provide training as much as they used to because they get no compensation for it. What’s more, clients rarely accept trainees’ work, so it’s left to the trainer to do both the teaching and the work product.

The training issue might be an even bigger problem for VA loans, a recent hearing in the House made clear. Lawmakers met earlier this week to try to understand why veterans have to wait so long to get an appraisal done, especially in rural  areas. It turns out, VA loans are the job assignments appraisers are most likely to turn down. As a result, it’s not unusual in some areas for there to be very few VA-approved appraisers. The result is a bottleneck that hurts veterans when time is important to sellers.

The possibility of an appraiser shortage is a top story in the latest Voice for Real Estate video from NAR.

The video also looks at the mixed state of the home sales market nationally. On the one hand, closed sale are down, suggesting a market that is struggling to reach capacity. But on the other hand, contract signings are up, suggesting sales could see an increase despite the market challenges. The one constant is that households want to buy, NAR Chief Economist Lawrence Yun says.

For that reason, as long as the industry has homes to sell, the demand will be there, especially since households are increasingly confident about the economy.

The video also looks at NAR’s efforts to ensure federal flood insurance is reauthorized before it expires this fall, and what NAR is doing to ensue any tax reform that’s passed by Congress does not harm real estate. That means not just protecting the mortgage interest deduction but also protecting property tax deductions and 1031 link-kind exchanges, among other things.

Watch and share the video.

 

 

Comment on 4 Ways to Makeover a Master Bedroom by Rena

Styled, Staged & Sold - Thu, 04/06/2017 - 13:11

Everything posted was actually very reasonable. However, think on this, what if
you were to write a awesome title? I ain’t saying your content is not solid., but what if you added a post title
that makes people want more? I mean 4 Ways to Makeover a Master
Bedroom is a little vanilla. You could look at Yahoo’s front page and
watch how they create post headlines to get people interested.

You might add a related video or a related picture
or two to grab people excited about what you’ve written. In my opinion, it would
bring your posts a little bit more interesting.