February 18, 2018

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Comment on White Kitchen Fatigue? by W Properties OK

Styled, Staged & Sold - Fri, 01/26/2018 - 10:22

Totally agree here. Going all white is just too bland and safe now. Two tone cabinets or different colored islands really add some life into an otherwise all white hospital-like look.

Comment on Hot Home Trend: Black Is Back by W Properties OK

Styled, Staged & Sold - Fri, 01/26/2018 - 10:21

Yes! Something to break up the 100% white finishes or grey that is still going strong.

Tackling Big Issues in the New Year

YPN Lounge - Thu, 01/25/2018 - 16:59

Matt Clements

By Matt Clements

I love January. It’s the time when everything seems possible and the new year opens up new opportunity.

I’m especially excited because my baby boy turned 1-year-old this week! He’s the light of anyone’s day, and the poop diapers mean nothing when I see that wonderful smile. Truly, I “replaced myself.”

You’ll often hear me say, “Replace yo’ self,” because that’s the goal of YPN—to bring on new leaders and for each of us to continue growing. We recently witnessed our first YPN member become president of the National Association of REALTORS®, Elizabeth Mendenhall, and that’s a perfect example of growth through YPN.

When it comes to California YPN, I’m an “OG,” but I’m a new YPN advisory board member for NAR. One of the major outreach efforts we have recently started is the leadership travel fund. This is allowing us to send advisory board members across the country to speak about YPN and share ways to boost local networks. Any YPN can request that an advisory board member visit their group for a one-day event funded by NAR (capped at $1,000 per event). It’s a super exciting opportunity, so let me know if you’d like to arrange for a national YPN advisory board member to visit your local network.

@geralt, 2017.

This past week, the California Association of REALTORS® Board of Directors met in Monterey, Calif., to discuss and vote on historically important real estate topics—and our YPN was in full-force. We have a measure going on the 2018 ballot to extend Proposition 90, which would allow any homeowner age 55 and over to transfer the tax value of their current property to a new property. This would eliminate the financial burden of increased property taxes for potential sellers on fixed incomes. It’s a $30 million to $50 million effort led by C.A.R. and its members.

We, in California, are also looking at major holes in real estate sales, and we’ve identified three:

1. The disclosure process – messy, unorganized, and rarely completed on time. The business technology forum at C.A.R. is tackling this aggressively.

2. No accountability or tracking system for submitting offers – The first step in many steps to solving this issue is to implement a professional standards policy, which was completed this past week. Agents who submit offers and do not receive a reply (written) by the listing agent may now require that the agent supply written verification that the offer was presented. This request can be made by either the agent or seller.

3. HOAs – There’s no control over excessive and disorganized HOA documents, and no central database for managing contact information, correct phone numbers, reserve amounts, pending litigation, and of course, certifications and documents. We’re seeking to change that and improve the ability for our members to conduct business.

Meanwhile, if I’m not working on these issues, you’ll find me surfing before sunset at Salt Creek to remind me of “why” I work.

By the way, my recommended reading in January is “Think & Grow Rich” by Napoleon Hill.

Matt Clements, CEO of the Clements Group at Harcorts Prime Properties in Monarch Beach, Calif., is the author of the YPN Playbook and was chair of the California Association of REALTORS® in 2016 when the group won the YPN State Network of the Year. Matt is on the board of director for C.A.R. and NAR, and sits on NAR’s YPN advisory board. He is also the 2018 president-elect for the Orange County Association of REALTORS®. Connect with Matt at


Comment on Hot Home Trend: Black Is Back by Kelly

Styled, Staged & Sold - Thu, 01/25/2018 - 12:25

Black DOES go with everything.. Another benefit is that stains are much harder to notice and its easier to cover up damage.

Comment on Hot Home Trend: Black Is Back by Diego Lopes

Styled, Staged & Sold - Thu, 01/25/2018 - 07:39

Guess black is never really out, right? haha But I love it how decorations are getting so modern with the use of it!

Comment on Hot Home Trend: Black Is Back by Patty

Styled, Staged & Sold - Wed, 01/24/2018 - 15:15

Nay! I like some black but this is too much for me.

Uncovering the Government’s Role in the History of U.S. Segregation

Weekly Book Scan - Wed, 01/24/2018 - 10:45

I live in Chicago, a city that consistently ranks among the most segregated in the nation. This fact is starkly evident to anyone who makes their lives here – a city where black and white citizens live separately, learn separately, and move through the city separately. It is conceivable to spend the majority of one’s life almost exclusively among others of the same race, or to travel miles within the region before encountering a neighborhood where one’s race is in the minority.

One hundred and fifty-two years after the Civil Rights Act of 1866, which abolished slavery and prohibited discrimination based on race, how are we here? Chicago may be one of the most egregious examples, but it is far from unusual. This fact is clearly demonstrated in The Color of Law: A Forgotten History of How Our Government Segregated America, where author Richard Rothstein details how the U.S. government introduced and reinforced the patterns of racial segregation we see across the United States today.

While the abolition of slavery may seem like a sign of brighter times to come, the United States actually became increasingly less integrated than it had been previously from the late 19th through the mid-20th century, largely due to the actions of our own government. Rothstein’s book is full of stories of African Americans who wanted to live closer to work, apply for a mortgage, move to the suburbs, or simply achieve their dreams of homeownership, but could not due to government policies. Zoning ordinances decreed where African Americans were allowed to live, and permitted industrial and commercial development in black neighborhoods while protecting the residential-only character of white ones. Previously integrated communities were divided by segregated housing projects that were part of President Franklin Roosevelt’s New Deal initiatives. Strategic school redistricting and the construction of the federal interstate highway system exacerbated the problem. Meanwhile, those who tried to create new, integrated developments were unable to secure funding, faced sudden zoning reclassifications, and had proposals rejected outright by local communities and government entities alike.

While the Fair Housing Act—signed into law 50 years ago this April—prohibited racially-based housing discrimination, the patterns of segregation were already deeply entrenched by the time it was passed. We are still seeing these effects today. Rothstein concludes that segregation is the primary factor in the massive disparities in wealth, education, crime rates, health, and upward mobility between black and white citizens. By the same token, greater integration would provide enumerable benefits; a recent report on the cost of segregation in my city determined that an increase in integration would mean a 30 percent drop in the homicide rate, an $8 billion increase in the region’s gross domestic product, and $6 billion increase in residential property values in Chicago.

In order to remedy our high levels of segregation in the United States, Rothstein argues that it’s critical to understand the government’s large role in creating it. Attributing segregation to the actions of certain individuals absolves everyone else from taking responsibility. Instead, acknowledging our own government’s role makes the issue one of collective responsibility for all U.S. citizens.

There are no easy solutions for dismantling systems that have built up for more than 100 years. Rothstein proposes some remedies in the final chapters of his book, but acknowledges that it will take the actions of many to make a real difference. Those in the real estate industry are in a position to have a big impact as we work toward a more integrated society. Rothstein’s book is an excellent starting point for those who want to learn more about how we got here in the first place.

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 The Forecast: 2018 Trends in Staging by Janice Forgione

Styled, Staged & Sold - Wed, 01/24/2018 - 07:41

Love the 2018 trends! Especially ‘gold’, when done correctly!!

Comment on Use Plants to Showcase a Healthier Home by Pam Dent

Styled, Staged & Sold - Mon, 01/22/2018 - 19:57

It feels good to be constantly reminded of how nature affects us. Let’s go for more greens!

Comment on The Forecast: 2018 Trends in Staging by Pam Dent

Styled, Staged & Sold - Mon, 01/22/2018 - 19:36

Thanks to these useful tips! Stagers can better prepare a home for open houses.

Comment on Hot Home Trend: Bamboo Everything! by Pam Dent

Styled, Staged & Sold - Mon, 01/22/2018 - 19:23

Bamboo is timeless. The balance between the contemporary and traditional look creates a soothing ambiance.

Comment on 2018 Outdoor Living Trends: Jaw-Dropping Transformations by Pam Dent

Styled, Staged & Sold - Mon, 01/22/2018 - 19:11

Awesome photos! We’ll be seeing more of these transformations all year round!

Do Personality Assessments Work? Sometimes.

Speaking of Real Estate - Mon, 01/22/2018 - 15:30

@maialisa, 2016.

I’ve always been skeptical of personality assessments. After taking the DISC twice—once getting a D/C and more recently getting a high, nearly even I/D—I found that both results matched my personality on some levels and conflicted on others. This is where my skepticism come in. There’s truth in assessments to varying degrees.

Whether or not you’re looking into assessments for personal insight or to use as a tool for hiring, it’s important to find the right one for you. Recently, I wrote a piece for REALTOR® Magazine on EQ vs. IQ, which examines the concept of emotional intelligence and how it relates to working with clients. I interviewed experts in the field who offered actionable tips for getting in touch with your EQ and applying it to your job in real estate. The article is divided into three parts, and in the last section—which is targeted at broker-owners or hiring managers—I dive into how to recruit high-EQ candidates.

As part of my research, I took Keller Williams Realty’s Keller Personality Assessment (KPA), which I found to be the most accurate and enlightening assessment I’ve experienced to date. It encapsulated so many idiosyncrasies of my personality that it was astonishing. But I shouldn’t be surprised since their business model is all about building teams that work well together. What better way to get a window into a person’s true self than by asking them to take an assessment to learn how they’ll fit in with your group? The key word in that question is “window.”

Whether you’re using DISC, a brokerage tool like KW’s KPA, or another test, such as the Caliper Profile, look at it as one piece of the puzzle (e.g. don’t put all your eggs in one basket). You still need to make sure you’re recruiting the right person or making a good hire. Here are some takeaways after taking the KPA:

Know what you’re assessing. Hiring someone just because you like them or you “click” isn’t always a good idea. Really consider the skillset the job requires before administering the assessment. Know what you’re looking for and have a checklist. Make sure you’re judging candidates not only on their strengths but how those strengths might serve as either pros or cons in a specific position.

@Clker-Free-Vector-Images, 2014.

Understand that an assessment might not tell the whole story. Some candidates can overthink their responses when taking an assessment, which may affect accuracy. That’s why it’s imperative to ask follow-up questions pertaining to the results of any tests you administer. Ask the candidate how they feel about the results and how accurate they think they are. Ask for examples pertaining to candidates’ assessed strengths as they’ve played out in real-life or on-the-job.

Don’t put people in a box. I hate using that box cliché, but it’s true. Many assessments cement a person as one way or another, failing to consider how one trait might inform other characteristics. For instance, my high responsiveness, spontaneity, and logical problem-solving skills, coupled with my desire for independence, means I work best in environments that are busy, active, and give me a range of responsibilities to manage. But looking at each of those traits independently, you might not draw that conclusion.

In-person interviews are best. It’s much easier to read someone’s comfort level when you see their body language. You can also give them insight into your company culture. And according to Karina Loken, president of The Loken Group with Keller Williams Luxury International in Houston, if a candidate feels your office is a good fit for them, it’s always good for your organization.

 Read More: Is EQ More Powerful Than IQ?

Comment on Smarten Up Your Showings With Smart Home Technology by Beverly Bowen

Styled, Staged & Sold - Mon, 01/22/2018 - 00:06

Consumers and companies pay more attention on smart homes these days. This must be part of our expectations this 2018.

Comment on The Forecast: 2018 Trends in Staging by Beverly Bowen

Styled, Staged & Sold - Mon, 01/22/2018 - 00:01

Good to think about: Complete vs partial staging. Full cleaning and decluttering are the most important.

Comment on View the Possibilities With Virtual Staging by Beverly Bowen

Styled, Staged & Sold - Sun, 01/21/2018 - 23:58

Amazing! The images are realistic. The future of virtual staging will save stagers a lot of cash! Let’s take advantage of the newest in technology.

Comment on The Forecast: 2018 Trends in Staging by Anita Clark

Styled, Staged & Sold - Sun, 01/21/2018 - 20:15

We’re excited to have new trends to welcome this 2018!

Comment on Smarten Up Your Showings With Smart Home Technology by Anita Clark

Styled, Staged & Sold - Sun, 01/21/2018 - 19:20

Home sellers should weigh the benefits of smart home automation. Here’s more to maximizing a home’s resale potential.

Comment on 2018 Outdoor Living Trends: Jaw-Dropping Transformations by Anita Clark

Styled, Staged & Sold - Sun, 01/21/2018 - 18:47

We can get a lot of inspiration from these awesome outdoor makeovers!

Comment on White Kitchen Fatigue? by Anita Clark

Styled, Staged & Sold - Sun, 01/21/2018 - 17:59

There’s really a lot to look forward to this 2018. Bump outs and room additions also beat the fatigue. For many home stagers, the brighter and bolder, the better!