Articles http://realtormag.realtor.org/articles en Foster Healthy Rivalry at Your Brokerage http://realtormag.realtor.org/for-brokers/network/article/2017/05/foster-healthy-rivalry-your-brokerage <div class="field field-type-text field-field-deck"> <div class="field-label">Deck:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> Instilling a competitive climate in your office can spark a higher sales performance among your agents. </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-text field-field-archive-item"> <div class="field-label">Archive:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> off </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-text field-field-features-checkbox"> <div class="field-label">Add to Features Package for the Month:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> off </div> </div> </div> <fieldset class="fieldgroup group-mag-pub-date"><div class="field field-type-date field-field-pub-date"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <span class="date-display-single">Monday, May 22, 2017</span> </div> </div> </div> </fieldset> <div class="field field-type-nodereference field-field-op-author"> <div class="field-label">Author(s):&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/author/melissa-dittmann-tracey">Melissa Dittmann Tracey</a> </div> </div> </div> <!--paging_filter--><p>A competitive spirit can get you far in a sales environment, which is why, as a broker, you may be more inclined to recruit sales associates with an ultracompetitive personality. It stands to reason that agents who are hungry for prospects and sales will elevate their production numbers and bring in higher commissions.</p> <p>But if your entire team doesn&rsquo;t share that same competitive spirit, your more driven agents may not reach their highest sales potential, according to a study appearing in Baylor University&rsquo;s Keller Center Research Report, &ldquo;<a href="http://www.baylor.edu/business/kellercenter/news.php?action=story&amp;story=168260" target="_blank">Better Together: Competitive Agents and Competitive Climate in the Agency</a>.&rdquo; After analyzing the performance of 117 salespeople, researchers found that if a competitive person is placed in a noncompetitive environment, they&rsquo;ll perform no better than their noncompetitive peers. The office culture, therefore, overrides a person&rsquo;s competitive nature, the study found.</p> <p>So how do brokerages keep the competitive drive burning? Recruiting competitive agents is just one piece of the puzzle. Other options include offering incentives through both monetary and nonmonetary rewards, such as preferred parking spots or a trophy that gets passed around to the top producer or most improved agent each month. The idea is to instill a friendly rivalry within the company without crushing your agents&rsquo; spirits.</p> <p>Here are more ideas that brokers have found successful for fueling a healthy yet competitive office atmosphere:&nbsp;</p> <h4>Sponsor Contests</h4> <p>Try a &ldquo;Listing Olympics,&rdquo; such as the one developed by <a href="http://www.bhhstxrealty.com/" target="_blank">Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices Texas Realty</a> in Austin, which took place in 2012 to tie into the Summer Olympics in London. About 150 agents in five offices participated. Agents could earn a gold, silver, or bronze medal, depending on how many residential listings they landed over a 90-day period. The first-place prize was an all-inclusive weekend luxury hotel package in Austin. Other medalists received restaurant gift cards.</p> <blockquote> <p>Get more ideas for motivating your team through healthy competition: <a href="http://realtormag.realtor.org/tool-kit/leadership/article/10-great-sales-contests" target="_blank">10 Great Sales Contests</a></p> </blockquote> <p>To keep it fair, sales associates were divided into three groups: the Gamma Team (agents with less than one year of experience with the company); Beta Team (one to three years of experience); and Alpha Team (more than three years of experience). To be eligible for a prize, the Alpha Team had to get at least five listings, the Beta Team needed at least four listings, and the Gamma Team needed at least three listings over a 90-day period.</p> <p>Rick Ellis, senior vice president of sales and marketing for Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices in Austin, says that dividing the agents into teams based on experience helped establish a more equal footing. The top agents in each category were called to the podium during the quarterly sales meeting at the Austin Board of REALTORS&reg;&rsquo; office, where they received their medals (which were purchased at a party store).</p> <p>&ldquo;We want to motivate our agents to do their best, and that&rsquo;s for the company&rsquo;s benefit, too,&rdquo; says Ellis. &ldquo;We try to make it fun, and the Listing Olympics was one good example of how we did that.&rdquo;</p> <p>The company now offers up several contests to keep agents motivated throughout the year, such as a monthly &ldquo;Three&rsquo;s Best&rdquo; competition, recognizing agents with the top sales or most listings. The award usually consists of the company taking winners out for an honoree luncheon.</p> <p>Ellis says they use the sales contests as a fun way to deliver information to their agents. For example, in the Three&rsquo;s Best competition, the brokerage sends tools such as trainings or lead generation techniques to help agents achieve their goal. &ldquo;It&rsquo;s also a way for us to arm agents with as much information about our programs and services as possible to get more listings,&rdquo; Ellis says.</p> <p>Constantly recognizing employees for a good job is key to keeping them motivated, Ellis says. In addition to the sales contests, his company also calls out good production numbers on a sales board&mdash;a 50-by-55-inch screen prominently displayed in the office meeting room. &ldquo;Agents see their names on the board and it&rsquo;s another source of pride,&rdquo; Ellis says.</p> <h4>Award Performance-Enhancing Activities</h4> <p>Philip Lang, COO and cofounder of <a href="https://triplemint.com/" target="_blank">Triplemint Real Estate</a> in New York, holds several monthly sales contests for his team but makes sure they aren&rsquo;t all based on production numbers. Contests are based on number of client reviews, average client ratings, and most social media posts mentioning the company, as well as most referrals generated from past clients.</p> <p>&ldquo;Running a sales contest based only on sales volume tends to reward the same top performers and can often be demotivating to people who are newer and less established in the business,&rdquo; Lang says. Since top performers are already being rewarded through commissions, Lang says structuring incentives around other parts of the business funnel help motivate agents who may be newer or hitting a rough patch in their business. It&rsquo;s important to inspire the behaviors that will result in long-term success but might be hard to do on a daily basis, he says. Prizes for the monthly contests range from lunch with the company&rsquo;s founders to iPads, staycations, and restaurant gift certificates.</p> <p>&ldquo;We try to stay away from cash because it can feel thoughtless. There is often more perceived value in something like a Broadway show than the $300 it took to buy the tickets,&rdquo; Lang says. &ldquo;This is especially true for millennials who tend to value experiences.&rdquo;</p> <hr /> <p><br /> <img alt="" src="/sites/realtormag.realtor.org/files/rmo_files/images/logos/BtoB_logo_footer_080114.jpg" style="float:left; height:117px; width:150px" /><em>Broker-to-Broker is an information network that provides insights and tools with business value through timely articles, videos, Q&amp;As, and sales meeting tips for brokerage owners and managers. Get more <a href="/for-brokers/network" target="_blank">Broker-to-Broker content here</a>.</em></p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <div class="field field-type-text field-field-show-author-info"> <div class="field-label">Show Author Info?:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> Show Author Info? </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-text field-field-teaser"> <div class="field-label">Teaser:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <!--paging_filter--><p>Instilling a competitive climate in your office can spark a higher sales performance among your agents.</p> </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-nodereference field-field-related-content"> <div class="field-label">Related Content:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/for-brokers/network/article/2017/05/why-do-new-sales-associates-fail">Why Do New Sales Associates Fail?</a> </div> <div class="field-item even"> <a href="/for-brokers/feature/article/2010/03/do-sales-awards-matter">Do Sales Awards Matter?</a> </div> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/for-brokers/network/article/2017/05/managing-faster-expected-growth">Managing Faster-Than-Expected Growth</a> </div> <div class="field-item even"> <a href="/for-brokers/network/article/2016/02/time-tested-methods-for-reaching-goals">Time-Tested Methods For Reaching Goals</a> </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-number-integer field-field-mainstage-image-display2"> <div class="field-label">Mainstage Image Display on Content:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> No, don't disable the "Main" image on this article </div> </div> </div> Network Tue, 23 May 2017 18:59:57 +0000 echristoffer 23372 at http://realtormag.realtor.org From Broker Back to Sales Associate http://realtormag.realtor.org/for-brokers/network/article/2017/05/from-broker-back-sales-associate <div class="field field-type-text field-field-deck"> <div class="field-label">Deck:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> Making a career leap takes nerves but also careful planning. Follow one practitioner’s journey as she transitions from brokerage management back into sales as a team leader. </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-text field-field-archive-item"> <div class="field-label">Archive:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> off </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-text field-field-features-checkbox"> <div class="field-label">Add to Features Package for the Month:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> off </div> </div> </div> <fieldset class="fieldgroup group-mag-pub-date"><div class="field field-type-date field-field-pub-date"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <span class="date-display-single">Tuesday, May 23, 2017</span> </div> </div> </div> </fieldset> <div class="field field-type-nodereference field-field-op-author"> <div class="field-label">Author(s):&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/author/annmarie-janni">AnnMarie Janni</a> </div> </div> </div> <!--paging_filter--><p>Three years ago, I thought I found my dream job. I was given the opportunity to work in a brokerage management position, complete with benefits, at a cool company that I love. But I realized a few things in my role: I missed my clients and the freedom I had as an independent contractor to do things my way and control my destiny. So, I did something scary. I left that dream job and the office filled with agents I adored to head back out into the world of 100 percent commission.</p> <p>Here&rsquo;s how I got started.</p> <p><strong>1. Developed a new business plan.</strong> I determined that I wanted to lead a team, so I laid out my commission and team structure first. When I left my management position, agents reached out to me, and I to them. I started interviewing and building my team right away.</p> <p><strong>2. Made the big announcement. </strong>Once I had my website, branding, and back-end systems in place, I told my sphere about my move with an announcement on Facebook and then a mailer featuring my new team and each agent&rsquo;s name and contact information.</p> <p><strong>3. Set up sphere and farming campaigns. </strong>The sales side has changed a lot in the past three years. It seems like there&#39;s more noise out there when it comes to making business decisions about prospecting and advertising. Who knew the &ldquo;humble brag&rdquo; is the new marketing ploy on social media? But after careful market research, I made platform, budgetary, and frequency decisions for our team&rsquo;s marketing.</p> <p><strong>4. Kept the faith. </strong>My biggest pain point through all of this was the initial decision to leave my &ldquo;dream job.&rdquo; As with any major change, the question can creep into your mind: &ldquo;Did I do the right thing?&rdquo; I had many sleepless nights, but it helped to talk with people I respect in the business about what a successful transition looks like and how to go about it smoothly.</p> <p>I&rsquo;m a single mom who decided to leave a salaried position to follow my dreams. But so far, so good. I&rsquo;m petrified at least once a week, but I keep pushing because I believe I can create an experience for my agents and clients that is second to none.</p> <p>I hope you&rsquo;ll join me on this journey as I document my successes and failures while I&rsquo;m building my team into something special.</p> <hr /> <p><br /> <img alt="" src="/sites/realtormag.realtor.org/files/rmo_files/images/logos/BtoB_logo_footer_080114.jpg" style="float:left; height:117px; width:150px" /><em>Broker-to-Broker is an information network that provides insights and tools with business value through timely articles, videos, Q&amp;As, and sales meeting tips for brokerage owners and managers. Get more <a href="/for-brokers/network" target="_blank">Broker-to-Broker content here</a>.</em></p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <div class="field field-type-text field-field-show-author-info"> <div class="field-label">Show Author Info?:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> Show Author Info? </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-text field-field-teaser"> <div class="field-label">Teaser:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <!--paging_filter--><p>Making a career leap takes nerves but also careful planning. Follow one practitioner&rsquo;s journey as she transitions from brokerage management back into sales as a team leader.</p> </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-nodereference field-field-related-content"> <div class="field-label">Related Content:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/for-brokers/network/article/2017/05/foster-healthy-rivalry-your-brokerage">Foster Healthy Rivalry at Your Brokerage</a> </div> <div class="field-item even"> <a href="/for-brokers/network/article/2017/04/teamwork-mentality-pays">The Teamwork Mentality Pays Off</a> </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-number-integer field-field-mainstage-image-display2"> <div class="field-label">Mainstage Image Display on Content:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> No, don't disable the "Main" image on this article </div> </div> </div> Network Tue, 23 May 2017 19:03:28 +0000 echristoffer 23373 at http://realtormag.realtor.org NAR Board Wants Consumer Financial Watchdog Restructured http://realtormag.realtor.org/news-and-commentary/feature/article/2017/05/nar-board-wants-consumer-financial-watchdog-restructured <div class="field field-type-text field-field-deck"> <div class="field-label">Deck:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> The CFPB, created after the financial crisis to protect people against bad loans, should not rely on a single director. </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-text field-field-archive-item"> <div class="field-label">Archive:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> off </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-text field-field-features-checkbox"> <div class="field-label">Add to Features Package for the Month:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> off </div> </div> </div> <fieldset class="fieldgroup group-mag-pub-date"><div class="field field-type-date field-field-pub-date"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <span class="date-display-single">Monday, May 22, 2017</span> </div> </div> </div> </fieldset> <div class="field field-type-nodereference field-field-op-author"> <div class="field-label">Author(s):&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/author/robert-freedman">Robert Freedman</a> </div> </div> </div> <!--paging_filter--><p>The federal agency that protects consumers from risky or fraudulent lending practices should be restructured as a commission and not rely on a single director, the NAR Board of Directors voted at its May 20 meeting.</p> <p>NAR supports the mission of the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, which was created after the financial crisis to help protect against the kind of bad loans that left many households in financial distress, but its structure has been under scrutiny in Congress and challenged in court for concentrating too much authority in the hands of one individual. The CFPB&rsquo;s head since its creation is Richard Cordray, a former Ohio attorney general.&nbsp;</p> <blockquote> <p><strong>Read more</strong>: <a href="https://www.nar.realtor/articles/internal-news-service-special-report-1" target="_blank">Access additional coverage of the board&rsquo;s meeting</a>.</p> </blockquote> <p>To position NAR for any debate over the agency&rsquo;s structure in the years ahead, the policy recommends the agency be restructured as a five-person board whose members serve staggered, five-year terms. The number of board members with the same party affiliation would be limited to three. They would be appointed by the president and confirmed by the Senate.</p> <p>Anthony Lamacchia, chair of NAR&rsquo;s Dodd-Frank CFPB workgroup discussed the proposed reorganization at the Business Issues Committee meeting several days before the board vote. &ldquo;We want to do what is truly right for members.&rdquo; said Lamacchia, broker-owner of Lamacchia Realty. In describing the workgroup&rsquo;s objective, he added, &ldquo;I wanted people to try to stay away from politics as we debated it. I certainly moved my initial position a bit as people brought things up.&rdquo;</p> <p>Lamacchia said a five-member board would help reduce the potential for arbitrary decision making that can occur under a single leader, providing the agency with greater accountability.</p> <p>The action was one of several the NAR board took in preparation for what&rsquo;s expected to be a busy and consequential next few years in the public policy arena.&nbsp; Among the other actions, the board voted to reaffirm the importance of having an explicit federal guarantee available to borrowers in the conventional mortgage loan market, as Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac provide now. That way safe and affordable mortgage financing would be available in good markets and bad no matter how the two secondary mortgage market companies are restructured or even if they&rsquo;re replaced. What to do about these two companies is high on the to-do list of Congress, although whether lawmakers will get to the issue this year is unclear.</p> <p>The policy would also direct NAR to advocate for making the federally backed loans assumable. Should interest rates continue to rise, this would encourage home owners not to let rates discourage them from putting their house on the market and buying something new. The average interest rate on a 30-year, fixed-rate loan today is about 4 percent, still historically low. However, rates have been inching up over the past year and NAR Chief Economist Lawrence Yun predicts they&rsquo;ll rise to more than 5 percent by the end of 2018.</p> <p>The board adopted changes to the association&rsquo;s policy on FHA, too. The policy directs NAR to encourage Congress to remove reverse mortgages from the calculation of the capital reserves. FHA is required to maintain to help ensure the solvency of its main insurance fund. The loans, called home equity conversion mortgages by the agency, are more volatile than regular mortgages and have been weighing down the performance of the agency&rsquo;s insurance fund. Were the loans to be removed from the requirement, the agency&rsquo;s reserves would be well above the statutorily required level. Today, they are over the required level but not by much.</p> <h4>Rental policy changes</h4> <p>The board also took aim at the rise in proposals at the state and local level that would impose rent control in some form on rental property owners. The board updated the association&rsquo;s statement on rent control policy that has been in place since 1997. The new statement reiterates NAR&#39;s position that government programs that limit rent increases or impose other rent-related restrictions on landlords unfairly restrict private property rights and it encourages local and state associations of REALTORS&reg; to oppose legislative measures that allow for rent control or rent stabilization programs.</p> <p>The board also adopted a position on possession and eviction that reinforces the right of rental property owners to use the property as they see fit. The move comes at a time when jurisdictions are increasingly trying to impose restrictions on property owners. NAR&rsquo;s position is that owners should be free to evict tenants as long as they stay within the terms of the lease; inspect property at their discretion as long as they give tenants proper notice; and convert the property to their own personal use or <s>to</s> put it on the market as a for-sale unit.</p> <p>NAR also says owners shouldn&#39;t be required to pay for tenant relocation if they&rsquo;re removed from the property.</p> <h4>Other board actions</h4> <p>In addition to the public policy actions, the board addressed a wide array of issues facing the association and the industry. In one of its biggest actions, the board approved funding for the next stage in development of a technology platform to make it simpler and faster for brokers to upload listing data to their MLS and better manage how the data will be used and distributed. The technology is called Upstream and the first phase will deploy later this year.</p> <p>The board also directed NAR to seek legislation requiring parties that claim violations of the Americans with Disabilities Act to give alleged violators a chance to correct the problem before filing a lawsuit.</p> <p><em>&mdash;Erica Christoffer contributed to this article. </em></p> <div class="field field-type-text field-field-show-author-info"> <div class="field-label">Show Author Info?:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> Show Author Info? </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-text field-field-teaser"> <div class="field-label">Teaser:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <!--paging_filter--><p>The CFPB, created after the financial crisis to protect people against bad loans, should not rely on a single director.</p> </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-main-image"> <div class="field-label">Main Image:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <div class="filefield-file"><img class="filefield-icon field-icon-image-jpeg" alt="image/jpeg icon" src="http://realtormag.realtor.org/sites/all/modules/filefield/icons/image-x-generic.png" /><a href="http://realtormag.realtor.org/sites/realtormag.realtor.org/files/may17_NC_BOD.jpg" type="image/jpeg; length=328882">may17_NC_BOD.jpg</a></div> </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-top3-lp-image"> <div class="field-label">Top 3 Article on Landing Page:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <img class="imagefield imagefield-field_top3_lp_image" width="149" height="70" alt="" src="http://realtormag.realtor.org/sites/realtormag.realtor.org/files/may17_NC_BOD_0.jpg?1495476010" /> </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-lp-mainstage-image"> <div class="field-label">Landing Page Mainstage Image:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <img class="imagefield imagefield-field_lp_mainstage_image" width="830" height="230" alt="" src="http://realtormag.realtor.org/sites/realtormag.realtor.org/files/may17_LP_NC_BOD.jpg?1495476085" /> </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-number-integer field-field-mainstage-image-display2"> <div class="field-label">Mainstage Image Display on Content:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> No, don't disable the "Main" image on this article </div> </div> </div> Feature Mon, 22 May 2017 16:56:44 +0000 mbrozanic 23364 at http://realtormag.realtor.org The Intersection of Infrastructure and Property http://realtormag.realtor.org/news-and-commentary/feature/article/2017/05/intersection-infrastructure-and-property <div class="field field-type-text field-field-deck"> <div class="field-label">Deck:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> Lobbyists and economic development advocates explained how public-private partnerships could affect real estate’s bottom line at the REALTORS® Legislative Meetings &amp; Trade Expo. </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-text field-field-archive-item"> <div class="field-label">Archive:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> off </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-text field-field-features-checkbox"> <div class="field-label">Add to Features Package for the Month:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> off </div> </div> </div> <fieldset class="fieldgroup group-mag-pub-date"><div class="field field-type-date field-field-pub-date"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <span class="date-display-single">Monday, May 22, 2017</span> </div> </div> </div> </fieldset> <div class="field field-type-nodereference field-field-op-author"> <div class="field-label">Author(s):&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/author/meg-white">Meg White</a> </div> </div> </div> <!--paging_filter--><p>There isn&rsquo;t much that Democrats and Republicans agree on these days. But one campaign promise from 2016 managed to spark broad interest on both sides of the aisle: President Donald Trump&rsquo;s pledge to invest $1 trillion in American infrastructure.</p> <p>At a session titled &ldquo;Improving Infrastructure Leads to Increased Real Estate Investment&rdquo; at the REALTORS&reg; Legislative Meetings &amp; Trade Expo in Washington, D.C., experts were optimistic about the chances Congress and the public would back the idea.</p> <p>&ldquo;In this area, we can be bipartisan,&rdquo; said Brian Pallasch, managing director of government relations and infrastructure initiatives at the American Society of Civil Engineers. &ldquo;You as real estate professionals need to be part of that discussion.&rdquo;</p> <p>Though it was promised within the first 100 days, a detailed plan has yet to be announced by the Trump administration. And several panelists noted that the federal governments&rsquo; share of the bill might end up being significantly smaller than originally promised. They indicated that the Trump administration may be planning to leverage around $200 billion in federal funds to gain the additional $800 billion in private investment to make up the total $1 trillion.</p> <p>Pallasch said the traditional equation for public-private partnerships is closer to 50-50, rather than such an 80/20 proposition, and that if the government did decide to spend the full $1 trillion, it would get much closer to what&rsquo;s needed to fill the hole created by decades of disinvestment.</p> <p>&ldquo;Over the next 10 years we actually need $2 trillion to close the gap,&rdquo; he said. &ldquo;We&rsquo;re living on what our grandparents built. Most of our infrastructure was built for a lifespan of 50 to 60 years. And, by the way, that was 50 to 60 years ago.&rdquo;</p> <p>Bill Wald, CEO and chief lobbyist for the Minneapolis Area Association of REALTORS&reg;, has seen&nbsp; what can happen to a community when maintenance is significantly deferred. A decade ago, the Interstate 35W bridge separating Minneapolis and St. Paul collapsed, killing 13 people and causing at least a half a billion dollars in damage and rebuilding costs.</p> <p>&ldquo;The bridge collapse was a shock,&rdquo; Wald said, noting that when it was built in 1964, engineers created a product designed to handle 40,000 to 60,000 cars a day, less than half of the actual total when it failed. &ldquo;They did not look at what the population growth of Minneapolis would be.&rdquo;</p> <p>But Wald has also witnessed firsthand the positive impact of active investment on a metro area. He said downtown Minneapolis has flourished thanks to investments in greenways, public transit, and new sports arenas&mdash;in particular U.S. Bank Stadium, which will host next year&rsquo;s Super Bowl. &ldquo;That neighborhood has seen an increase in business,&rdquo; he said. &ldquo;People want to live around the stadium.&rdquo;</p> <p>James David, manager of strategic initiatives at the Loudoun County Economic Development Office in Virginia, said his community has seen exponential population growth and steady increases in median household income over the past few decades thanks to a wide variety of infrastructural investment, from the construction of Dulles International Airport to their commitment to laying down a high-quality fiber network whenever new roads are built. Now the expansion of the Metrorail Silver Line is expected to expand on the city&rsquo;s investment in high-quality information technology jobs.</p> <p>&ldquo;Ninety-two percent of new offices are happening in transit-oriented development areas, not those dead office campuses,&rdquo; he said. &ldquo;That&rsquo;s where all the activity and the value is, near those transit stops.&rdquo;</p> <p>As new forms of transportation, like self-driving cars, become available, Pallasch noted that existing roads and bridges will need to be updated in order to take advantage of them. &ldquo;Our infrastructure is not really ready for autonomous vehicles,&rdquo; he said. &ldquo;The road needs to be in great condition; the paint needs to be perfect&rdquo; in order for the software to work properly.</p> <p>David said his office keeps a real estate expert on staff, and he urged REALTORS&reg; to get involved when there are infrastructure-building plans on the table: &ldquo;When these things are happening in your communities, get out there and talk to lawmakers.&rdquo;</p> <p>Though she works in the commercial sector in Chicago, panel moderator Deena Zimmerman said it&rsquo;s important for residential real estate professionals to advocate for investment in their communities&rsquo; infrastructure. &ldquo;We all want to see economic growth,&rdquo; said Zimmerman, vice president at SVN Chicago Commercial. &ldquo;Where commercial thrives, residential thrives.&rdquo;</p> <p>Wald agreed. &ldquo;We all represent people who are private property owners,&rdquo; he told session attendees. &ldquo;Each person who buys a home has a level of expectation that they&rsquo;re going to have safety, and that [their sewers and utilities] are going to work.&rdquo;</p> <div class="field field-type-text field-field-show-author-info"> <div class="field-label">Show Author Info?:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> Show Author Info? </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-text field-field-teaser"> <div class="field-label">Teaser:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <!--paging_filter--><p>Lobbyists and economic development advocates explained how public-private partnerships could affect real estate&rsquo;s bottom line at the REALTORS&reg; Legislative Meetings &amp; Trade Expo.</p> </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-main-image"> <div class="field-label">Main Image:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <div class="filefield-file"><img class="filefield-icon field-icon-image-jpeg" alt="image/jpeg icon" src="http://realtormag.realtor.org/sites/all/modules/filefield/icons/image-x-generic.png" /><a href="http://realtormag.realtor.org/sites/realtormag.realtor.org/files/may17_NC_infrastructure.jpg" type="image/jpeg; length=445773">may17_NC_infrastructure.jpg</a></div> </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-top3-lp-image"> <div class="field-label">Top 3 Article on Landing Page:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <img class="imagefield imagefield-field_top3_lp_image" width="149" height="70" alt="" src="http://realtormag.realtor.org/sites/realtormag.realtor.org/files/may17_NC_infrastructure_0.jpg?1495468941" /> </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-lp-mainstage-image"> <div class="field-label">Landing Page Mainstage Image:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <img class="imagefield imagefield-field_lp_mainstage_image" width="830" height="230" alt="" src="http://realtormag.realtor.org/sites/realtormag.realtor.org/files/may17_LP_NC_infrastructure.jpg?1495468962" /> </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-number-integer field-field-mainstage-image-display2"> <div class="field-label">Mainstage Image Display on Content:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> No, don't disable the "Main" image on this article </div> </div> </div> Feature Mon, 22 May 2017 15:46:34 +0000 mwhite 23362 at http://realtormag.realtor.org Brokers With Purple Hair Have More Fun http://realtormag.realtor.org/for-brokers/network/article/2017/05/brokers-purple-hair-have-more-fun <div class="field field-type-text field-field-deck"> <div class="field-label">Deck:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> Learn how brokers are marketing their full, authentic selves to connect with clients and attract more business. </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-text field-field-archive-item"> <div class="field-label">Archive:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> off </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-text field-field-features-checkbox"> <div class="field-label">Add to Features Package for the Month:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> off </div> </div> </div> <fieldset class="fieldgroup group-mag-pub-date"><div class="field field-type-date field-field-pub-date"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <span class="date-display-single">Friday, May 19, 2017</span> </div> </div> </div> </fieldset> <div class="field field-type-nodereference field-field-op-author"> <div class="field-label">Author(s):&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/author/erica-christoffer">Erica Christoffer</a> </div> </div> </div> <!--paging_filter--><p>Amy McCoy is someone people gravitate toward. She exudes confidence and style. Her pixie cut purple hair is tastefully sculpted on top of her head. And when she talks real estate, you know her game is strong.&nbsp;&nbsp;</p> <p>This Atlanta-based broker-owner of My Hometown Realty Group spoke about her business triumphs as an audience member at the RISMedia Power Brokers panel during the REALTORS&reg; Legislative Meetings &amp; Trade Expo. The audience-panel discussion prompted McCoy to grab the microphone and explain how last year she took her monthly marketing budget from about $5,000 to $700, which helped her double her sales volume year-over-year in 2016. At this point, she has already matched her 2016 numbers and is on track to double her volume again in 2017.&nbsp;&nbsp;</p> <table align="right" border="0" cellpadding="1" cellspacing="1" style="width: 400px;"> <tbody> <tr> <td><img alt="" src="/sites/realtormag.realtor.org/files/rmo_files/images/2017_may/may17_B_mccoy.jpg" style="width: 400px; height: 188px;" /></td> </tr> <tr> <td><em>Atlanta broker-owner Amy McCoy&#39;s branding sends a powerful message.</em></td> </tr> </tbody> </table> <p>&ldquo;I used to pay for the billboards and online leads,&rdquo; she says. But when McCoy took a step back and looked at her ROI, she says she realized she wasn&rsquo;t making enough money to justify the costs. So, last year she retooled and started focusing on doing things she loves: community outreach and involvement. As a former state prison correctional officer, crime prevention is important to her, and, quite simply, she loves her community. McCoy actively participates in crime prevention efforts in her market. She also uses social media extensively to build her brand, and to talk neighborhood issues. She reminds people to vote, posts photos from the West Georgia Board of REALTORS&reg; meetings, explains FHA loan issues, and shares open houses and new listings.&nbsp;&nbsp;</p> <p>McCoy&#39;s approach just happens to align with the recommendations of Power Broker panelist Verl Workman, founder and CEO of Workman Success Systems with regard to social media: posting about family 25 percent of the time, real estate 25 percent of the time, fun and recreation another quarter of the time, and sharing your hopes and dreams 25 percent of the time. Usually, it&rsquo;s the posts unrelated to real estate that help grow your connections with your potential clients, he says. And if it&rsquo;s video, even better.&nbsp;</p> <p>Workman is a huge proponent of video marketing tools like BombBomb to send introductions and announcement. He likes the platform&rsquo;s backend analytics and video templates, which make it easy to use, he says. Workman is also a fan of SoTellUs, an app for collecting video testimonials from your happy clients. He mentioned an agent he works with who uses ACE Content to generate original articles for his website, which he then turns around and uses as fodder and discussion points in his videos. &ldquo;The goal is getting belly-to-belly with clients, and automation doesn&rsquo;t create connections,&rdquo; Workman says. &ldquo;You need authenticity in communication.&rdquo;&nbsp;</p> <p>Panelist Burke Smith, broker and chief development and learning officer at Realty ONE Group, says sellers would rather list with an agent who&rsquo;s using video. However, simply creating videos and throwing them online isn&rsquo;t enough to get traffic, he says. It&rsquo;s imperative to set up a branded YouTube channel, as well as title and tag videos so they match what your audience is searching for. Smith created a video for people relocating to Phoenix two year ago and it&rsquo;s the top search result for those terms on YouTube, which he attributes to good tagging with keywords.&nbsp;&nbsp;</p> <p>&ldquo;The videos that get the most views are tagged and described with what your clients want,&rdquo; Smith says. Ask yourself why someone would comment on and share your video, he says, and consider if it&rsquo;s truly valuable to the viewer.&nbsp;</p> <p>McCoy, similarly, is as intentional as she is natural with her videos. She films everything from changing out a light fixture to dancing at a local flea market, in addition to on-camera home tours. &ldquo;People will accept you more for who you are when you&rsquo;re just being who you are,&rdquo; she says.&nbsp;</p> <p>And sure enough, participants more than accepted McCoy&ndash;she drew a small crowd of fellow attendees looking to connect with her after the session.</p> <hr /> <p><br /> <img alt="" src="/sites/realtormag.realtor.org/files/rmo_files/images/logos/BtoB_logo_footer_080114.jpg" style="float:left; height:117px; width:150px" /><em>Broker-to-Broker is an information network that provides insights and tools with business value through timely articles, videos, Q&amp;As, and sales meeting tips for brokerage owners and managers. Get more <a href="/for-brokers/network" target="_blank">Broker-to-Broker content here</a>.</em></p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <div class="field field-type-text field-field-show-author-info"> <div class="field-label">Show Author Info?:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> Show Author Info? </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-text field-field-teaser"> <div class="field-label">Teaser:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <!--paging_filter--><p>Learn how brokers are marketing their full, authentic selves to connect with clients and attract more business.</p> </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-main-image"> <div class="field-label">Main Image:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <div class="filefield-file"><img class="filefield-icon field-icon-image-jpeg" alt="image/jpeg icon" src="http://realtormag.realtor.org/sites/all/modules/filefield/icons/image-x-generic.png" /><a href="http://realtormag.realtor.org/sites/realtormag.realtor.org/files/may17_B_mccoy-b.jpg" type="image/jpeg; length=360168">may17_B_mccoy-b.jpg</a></div> </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-top3-lp-image"> <div class="field-label">Top 3 Article on Landing Page:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <img class="imagefield imagefield-field_top3_lp_image" width="149" height="70" alt="" src="http://realtormag.realtor.org/sites/realtormag.realtor.org/files/may17_B_mccoy-b_0.jpg?1495468493" /> </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-lp-mainstage-image"> <div class="field-label">Landing Page Mainstage Image:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <img class="imagefield imagefield-field_lp_mainstage_image" width="830" height="230" alt="" src="http://realtormag.realtor.org/sites/realtormag.realtor.org/files/may17_LP_B_mccoy-b.jpg?1495468513" /> </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-text field-field-main-image-credit"> <div class="field-label">Main Image Credit:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> Atlanta broker-owner Amy McCoy (in white jacket) holds forth on the power of authentic marketing. </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-nodereference field-field-related-content"> <div class="field-label">Related Content:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/for-brokers/network/article/2017/05/managing-faster-expected-growth">Managing Faster-Than-Expected Growth</a> </div> <div class="field-item even"> <a href="/for-brokers/network/article/2017/02/humanize-your-brand-live-video">Humanize Your Brand With Live Video</a> </div> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/for-brokers/network/article/2017/01/finding-your-company-s-one-true-brand">Finding Your Company’s One True Brand</a> </div> <div class="field-item even"> <a href="/for-brokers/network/article/2016/10/landing-your-first-speaking-gig">Landing Your First Speaking Gig</a> </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-number-integer field-field-mainstage-image-display2"> <div class="field-label">Mainstage Image Display on Content:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> No, don't disable the "Main" image on this article </div> </div> </div> Network Fri, 19 May 2017 16:24:35 +0000 gwood 23355 at http://realtormag.realtor.org The Real Estate Case for Immigration http://realtormag.realtor.org/news-and-commentary/feature/article/2017/05/real-estate-case-for-immigration <div class="field field-type-text field-field-deck"> <div class="field-label">Deck:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> More restrictive residency policies can have widespread effects on housing markets. </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-text field-field-archive-item"> <div class="field-label">Archive:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> off </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-text field-field-features-checkbox"> <div class="field-label">Add to Features Package for the Month:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> off </div> </div> </div> <fieldset class="fieldgroup group-mag-pub-date"><div class="field field-type-date field-field-pub-date"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <span class="date-display-single">Friday, May 19, 2017</span> </div> </div> </div> </fieldset> <div class="field field-type-nodereference field-field-op-author"> <div class="field-label">Author(s):&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/author/graham-wood">Graham Wood</a> </div> </div> </div> <!--paging_filter--><p>Immigration is among the most hotly debated issues in America right now, but regardless of the political arguments about how to manage the country&rsquo;s borders, there&rsquo;s no denying that an uptick in foreign residents in the U.S. is a boon for real estate, according to Alex Nowrasteh, immigration policy analyst with the Cato Institute&rsquo;s Center for Global Liberty and Prosperity.&nbsp;</p> <p>&ldquo;No other market is more affected by immigration than real estate,&rdquo; Nowrasteh said at a session called &ldquo;Housing Markets Are International&rdquo; at the REALTORS&reg; Legislative Meetings &amp; Trade Expo. &ldquo;The effect of immigration on the labor market is, at worst, one-tenth the size that it is on real estate.&rdquo; He noted that immigrants gravitate toward construction jobs at a much higher rate than American-born citizens. When&nbsp;immigration rates increase, the homebuilding industry may benefit.&nbsp;</p> <p>Nowrasteh also said Cato Institute research has shown that on a local level, a 1 percent rise in the immigrant population corresponds to a 1 percent hike in rental rates. And with 22.6 percent of the U.S. population&mdash;or 43.3 million people&mdash;being foreign-born, according to Census Bureau data, the economy is getting a huge influx of cash. In 2012, Nowrasteh noted, immigrants added $3.1 trillion to U.S. housing wealth, mostly in mid- to low-income counties.&nbsp;</p> <p>Policies that tamp down immigration will tend to have a negative effect on housing, Nowrasteh said, using a controversial Arizona law as an example. The Legal Arizona Workers Act, which was enacted in 2007, aims to crack down on employers who hire undocumented workers and force illegal immigrants out of the state. Between 2008 and 2010, about 100,000 residents left Arizona, resulting in a 16 percent decline in foreign-born residents, Nowrasteh said. During that same time period, rental vacancy rates soared from 9.8 percent to 16.8 percent.&nbsp;</p> <p>The exodus wasn&#39;t the sole reason for skyrocketing housing vacancies given that it took place in the midst of the last housing crisis, Nowrasteh noted. But it definitely compounded the problem, he said. &ldquo;A shrinking population decreases housing prices, period. If you want to increase housing prices, the number one things you can do is increase the population.&rdquo;&nbsp;</p> <p>Also during the session, Danielle Hale, managing director of housing statistics for the National Association of REALTORS&reg;, revealed NAR&rsquo;s latest research on international buying activity in the U.S. in 2016. These are some of the highlights:&nbsp;</p> <ul> <li>Foreign buyers purchased $102.6 billion worth of U.S. real estate.&nbsp;</li> <li>While the majority of foreign buyers typically reside&nbsp;outside the U.S., 2016 was the first year that more were living inside the country.&nbsp;</li> <li>Following the trend of the last few years, China again represented the largest share of foreign buyers in the U.S., followed by Canada, the United Kingdom, India, and Mexico. Buyers from Canada and the UK were most likely to reside primarily outside the U.S.&nbsp;</li> <li>The average price of a property purchased by a foreign buyer was around $477,000, while the average national home price was $260,000.</li> <li>Florida, California, Texas, Arizona, and New York were the most popular states for both foreign buyers and sellers.</li> </ul> <div class="field field-type-text field-field-show-author-info"> <div class="field-label">Show Author Info?:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> Show Author Info? </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-text field-field-teaser"> <div class="field-label">Teaser:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <!--paging_filter--><p>More restrictive residency policies can have widespread effects on housing markets.</p> </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-main-image"> <div class="field-label">Main Image:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <div class="filefield-file"><img class="filefield-icon field-icon-image-jpeg" alt="image/jpeg icon" src="http://realtormag.realtor.org/sites/all/modules/filefield/icons/image-x-generic.png" /><a href="http://realtormag.realtor.org/sites/realtormag.realtor.org/files/may17_NC_immigration.jpg" type="image/jpeg; length=274347">may17_NC_immigration.jpg</a></div> </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-top3-lp-image"> <div class="field-label">Top 3 Article on Landing Page:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <img class="imagefield imagefield-field_top3_lp_image" width="149" height="70" alt="" src="http://realtormag.realtor.org/sites/realtormag.realtor.org/files/may17_NC_immigration_0.jpg?1495222198" /> </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-lp-mainstage-image"> <div class="field-label">Landing Page Mainstage Image:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <img class="imagefield imagefield-field_lp_mainstage_image" width="830" height="230" alt="" src="http://realtormag.realtor.org/sites/realtormag.realtor.org/files/may17_LP_NC_immigration.jpg?1495222217" /> </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-number-integer field-field-mainstage-image-display2"> <div class="field-label">Mainstage Image Display on Content:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> No, don't disable the "Main" image on this article </div> </div> </div> Feature Fri, 19 May 2017 18:52:44 +0000 gwood 23356 at http://realtormag.realtor.org 4 Issues to Watch for Property Managers http://realtormag.realtor.org/commercial/feature/article/2017/05/4-issues-watch-for-property-managers <div class="field field-type-text field-field-deck"> <div class="field-label">Deck:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> Laws concerning service animals, rent control, marijuana, and criminal background checks are constantly evolving. Here’s what you need to know right now. </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-text field-field-archive-item"> <div class="field-label">Archive:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> off </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-text field-field-features-checkbox"> <div class="field-label">Add to Features Package for the Month:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> off </div> </div> </div> <fieldset class="fieldgroup group-mag-pub-date"><div class="field field-type-date field-field-pub-date"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <span class="date-display-single">Thursday, May 18, 2017</span> </div> </div> </div> </fieldset> <div class="field field-type-nodereference field-field-op-author"> <div class="field-label">Author(s):&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/author/graham-wood">Graham Wood</a> </div> </div> </div> <!--paging_filter--><p><em>Correction: In an earlier version, quotes by&nbsp;Tyler Craddock of the National Association of Residential Property Managers were mistakenly&nbsp;attributed to an NAR staffer. The story has been corrected.</em></p> <p>It&#39;s a changing landscape for landlords and tenants. Property management and policy experts speaking at the REALTORS&reg; Legislative Meetings &amp; Trade Expo in Washington, D.C., offered attendees of the Property Management Forum guidance on handling four hot-button issues.</p> <h4>Can You Negotiate Service Animal Requests?</h4> <p>The need to accommodate service animals, once a relatively rare issue for property managers, has become increasingly common. Under guidelines from the Department of Housing and Urban Development and the Americans With Disabilities Act, property managers must make a reasonable accommodation for tenants who request a service or comfort animal, regardless of their building&rsquo;s pet policy.</p> <p>But what if a tenant&#39;s request is problematic for the unit? &ldquo;When someone comes to you with a [doctor&rsquo;s] note that says, &lsquo;I&rsquo;m entitled to 40 cats,&rsquo; you can negotiate [that],&rdquo; said Tyler Craddock, government affairs director of the National Association of Residential Property Managers. &ldquo;You can have that conversation, saying, &lsquo;This is a one-bedroom efficiency unit, and I don&rsquo;t think we can accommodate 40 cats there. Is there another way we can accommodate this?&rsquo;&rdquo;</p> <p>Paul Dizmang, chair of the Property Management Forum, advised attendees to call their local or state HUD office if they have questions.</p> <p>Fraudulent service animal requests are becoming an increasing concern, Dizmang said.&nbsp; &ldquo;In five minutes, you can go online and get a doctor&rsquo;s note to certify a service animal.&quot;</p> <p>Disability rights groups around the country are starting to look at cases where tenants obtain online certification for a service animal, which is trained to perform a specific task, when the need is not legitimate, said Megan Booth, senior policy representative at the National Association of REALTORS<span style="font-size: 14.4px;">&reg;</span>. She added that NAR is working with the National Fair Housing Alliance to get more specific HUD and ADA guidance on this issue.</p> <h4>Combating Rent Control</h4> <p>&ldquo;Rents are high in many areas, and citizens are going to their state legislatures and asking for answers,&rdquo; said Beth Wanless, senior manager of government affairs with the Institute of Real Estate Management. &ldquo;Many lawmakers say rent control is a good solution. It&rsquo;s actually a terrible idea.&rdquo;</p> <p>Wanless explained that rent control does not incentivize developers to build new projects because rent caps lower their profits. The effect, she said, is fewer and lower-quality affordable housing units. &ldquo;Legislators think rent control will allow for more affordable housing for vulnerable citizens, but it actually creates a black market,&rdquo; she said. Property managers also have less incentive to maintain rent-controlled properties because they won&rsquo;t make enough money to pay for routine building maintenance and repairs, she added.</p> <p>NAR and IREM oppose rent-control policies.</p> <h4>Marijuana Policies for Residential, Commercial Properties</h4> <p>The majority of the debate around marijuana laws and real estate has focused on residential property. Property managers who oversee apartment complexes should be advised that in the 28 states that have legalized medical marijuana use&mdash;eight of which have also approved recreational use&mdash;they cannot deny a tenant with a medical need the right to use pot on their properties, Booth said. However, they can regulate the smoking of marijuana. Lease agreements should explicitly state the methods of marijuana use&mdash;whether it&rsquo;s through smoking, oils, edibles, or other means&mdash;that are acceptable on the premises.</p> <p>But 17 states also allow the growing of marijuana on private property, which could raise risks for not only residential property managers but also those who manage industrial and retail properties. &ldquo;If you cover utilities as part of your lease agreement, be aware that a single marijuana plant can take a gallon of water a day and 17 hours of light,&rdquo; Booth said. &ldquo;That can get expensive.&rdquo;</p> <p>When it comes to grow houses, which are typically housed in industrial warehouses, and retail pot dispensaries in shopping centers, property managers should be cognizant that even though their state may allow such operations, federal law still classifies marijuana as an illegal substance. That means the properties are vulnerable to federal raids and seizures, Booth said. She also cautioned that pot dispensary owners, who legally must deal only in cash, will have to pay rent in cash&mdash;and that could raise alarms about money laundering from federal officials.</p> <h4>How Far Can You Go With Criminal Background Checks?</h4> <p>Craddock warned attendees that if their leasing policies disallow tenants who have committed a felony, it could have a disparate impact on a certain group of people&mdash;which is a violation of fair housing law. Unfortunately, he noted, HUD guidelines on this issue are vague, and the agency will likely tell property managers to follow guidance set forth by courts in their area. &ldquo;Our members just want to know what they need to do to follow the law,&rdquo; Craddock added.</p> <p>HUD does say that property managers cannot consider arrest records when considering tenant applications, and only convictions related to threats to property or other tenants are relevant when choosing who to rent to, Booth said. &ldquo;You have to look at the nature of the crime, the severity, the age of the [prospective tenant] at the time of the crime, and how much time has passed since conviction,&rdquo; she said. She suggested that property managers consider only the last seven years of a prospective tenant&rsquo;s criminal history.</p> <p>She also advised looking at work history and doing a credit check on prospective tenants before conducting a criminal background check. &ldquo;If there&rsquo;s nothing there, it [may indicate] they&rsquo;ve spent time in prison recently,&rdquo; Booth said. When denying tenants based on their criminal background, she added, property managers should be honest about that and give them an opportunity to explain their situation.</p> <div class="field field-type-text field-field-show-author-info"> <div class="field-label">Show Author Info?:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> Show Author Info? </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-text field-field-teaser"> <div class="field-label">Teaser:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <!--paging_filter--><p>Laws concerning service animals, rent control, marijuana, and criminal background checks are constantly evolving. Here&rsquo;s what you need to know right now.</p> </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-main-image"> <div class="field-label">Main Image:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <div class="filefield-file"><img class="filefield-icon field-icon-image-jpeg" alt="image/jpeg icon" src="http://realtormag.realtor.org/sites/all/modules/filefield/icons/image-x-generic.png" /><a href="http://realtormag.realtor.org/sites/realtormag.realtor.org/files/may17_LP_mgmt.jpg" type="image/jpeg; length=302482">may17_LP_mgmt.jpg</a></div> </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-top3-lp-image"> <div class="field-label">Top 3 Article on Landing Page:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <img class="imagefield imagefield-field_top3_lp_image" width="149" height="70" alt="" src="http://realtormag.realtor.org/sites/realtormag.realtor.org/files/may17_LP_mgmt_0.jpg?1495143193" /> </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-lp-mainstage-image"> <div class="field-label">Landing Page Mainstage Image:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <img class="imagefield imagefield-field_lp_mainstage_image" width="830" height="230" alt="" src="http://realtormag.realtor.org/sites/realtormag.realtor.org/files/may17_LP_LE_mgmt.jpg?1495143217" /> </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-nodereference field-field-related-content"> <div class="field-label">Related Content:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/law-and-ethics/feature/article/2011/04/5-risks-for-property-management-newbies">5 Risks for Property Management Newbies</a> </div> <div class="field-item even"> <a href="/daily-news/2014/05/16/avoid-these-5-property-management-mistakes">Avoid These 5 Property Management Mistakes</a> </div> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/sales-and-marketing/sponsored/appfolio/why-all-property-managers-must-be-mobile">Why All Property Managers Must Be Mobile</a> </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-number-integer field-field-mainstage-image-display2"> <div class="field-label">Mainstage Image Display on Content:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> No, don't disable the "Main" image on this article </div> </div> </div> Feature Thu, 18 May 2017 20:36:25 +0000 gwood 23346 at http://realtormag.realtor.org Commercial Forecast: Solid Growth, Shifts in Property Use http://realtormag.realtor.org/commercial/feature/article/2017/05/commercial-forecast-solid-growth-shifts-in-property-use <div class="field field-type-text field-field-deck"> <div class="field-label">Deck:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> Though modest improvement is expected across commercial real estate sectors, your clients’ needs may change as technology and consumer lifestyles impact their businesses. </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-text field-field-archive-item"> <div class="field-label">Archive:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> off </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-text field-field-features-checkbox"> <div class="field-label">Add to Features Package for the Month:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> off </div> </div> </div> <fieldset class="fieldgroup group-mag-pub-date"><div class="field field-type-date field-field-pub-date"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <span class="date-display-single">Thursday, May 18, 2017</span> </div> </div> </div> </fieldset> <div class="field field-type-nodereference field-field-op-author"> <div class="field-label">Author(s):&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/author/robert-freedman">Robert Freedman</a> </div> </div> </div> <!--paging_filter--><p>Despite slight easing of demand across some sectors, positive fundamentals in the economy point to modest improvement in commercial real estate activity. But sweeping changes in technology and consumer lifestyles likely will change the needs of commercial clients in the years ahead.&nbsp;</p> <p>Completions, net absorption, and vacancy rates across most sectors will remain solid moving into 2017, George Ratiu, NAR&rsquo;s director of quantitative and commercial research, said during the REALTORS&reg; Legislative Meetings &amp; Trade Expo in Washington, D.C. The retail sector, which is grappling with changes in consumer spending patterns and the growth of ecommerce, is facing some headwinds. Ratiu forecasts vacancies to increase from 12 percent in 2016 to 12.6 percent at the end of this year.&nbsp;</p> <p>Department stores and other big retailers are trying to adjust to changing consumer preferences. Small discount grocery retailers such as Aldi and Lidl, which had little or no presence in the United States just a few years ago, are starting to make inroads as young urban households look for low-cost convenient stores. Restaurants and bars are also doing well.&nbsp;</p> <p>Office properties are under some pressure as the economy shifts to a more mobile workforce requiring smaller, more flexible space&mdash;but occupancy continues to hold up. Ratiu forecasts office vacancies to drop from 13 percent last year to 12.9 percent at the end of this year.&nbsp;</p> <p>Industrial buildings, benefitting from rising trade and ecommerce, are seeing strong absorption and rent growth. Ratiu said the sector saw 257 million square feet of net absorption last year and growth of 6.6 percent in price per square foot. Vacancies are expected to improve from 9.4 percent last year to 9.1 percent at the end of this year.&nbsp;</p> <p>During the session, Lawrence Yun, chief economist at the National Association of REALTORS&reg;, also pointed to growth in data centers, which is being fueled by companies such as Uber and Amazon. These companies&rsquo; business models require the storage of large amounts of data.&nbsp;</p> <p>Multifamily rental properties, which have seen strong gains in rental rates since the end of the last housing crisis, are expected to continue seeing low vacancy rates, from 6.3 percent last year to 6.2 percent at the end of this year.&nbsp;</p> <p>Ratiu said the performance of global economies in the year ahead will be critical to the future health of commercial real estate sectors. Capital from global investors dipped 20 percent in the first quarter of this year, but some markets in the U.S.&mdash;including San Francisco, Dallas, and Houston&mdash;continue to see strong inflows.&nbsp;</p> <p>For smaller commercial properties, which comprise the bulk of commercial REALTORS&reg;&rsquo; business, lending standards are tightening as regulators talk about containing any froth in the market.</p> <div class="field field-type-text field-field-show-author-info"> <div class="field-label">Show Author Info?:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> Show Author Info? </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-text field-field-teaser"> <div class="field-label">Teaser:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <!--paging_filter--><p>Though modest improvement is expected across commercial real estate sectors, your clients&rsquo; needs may change as technology and consumer lifestyles impact their businesses.</p> </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-number-integer field-field-mainstage-image-display2"> <div class="field-label">Mainstage Image Display on Content:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> No, don't disable the "Main" image on this article </div> </div> </div> Feature Thu, 18 May 2017 22:41:14 +0000 gwood 23347 at http://realtormag.realtor.org Don't Be a Cybercrime Statistic http://realtormag.realtor.org/for-brokers/network/article/2017/05/dont-be-cybercrime-statistic <div class="field field-type-text field-field-deck"> <div class="field-label">Deck:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> Learn how to protect your business and your clients from the onslaught of cyberattacks occurring in the real estate industry. </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-text field-field-archive-item"> <div class="field-label">Archive:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> off </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-text field-field-features-checkbox"> <div class="field-label">Add to Features Package for the Month:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> off </div> </div> </div> <fieldset class="fieldgroup group-mag-pub-date"><div class="field field-type-date field-field-pub-date"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <span class="date-display-single">Thursday, May 18, 2017</span> </div> </div> </div> </fieldset> <div class="field field-type-nodereference field-field-op-author"> <div class="field-label">Author(s):&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/author/erica-christoffer">Erica Christoffer</a> </div> </div> </div> <!--paging_filter--><p>Apart from digging a hole in your back yard, throwing your computer in, dousing it with gasoline, and lighting it on fire, there&#39;s no foolproof way to protect yourself from cybercrime, said National Association of REALTORS&reg; Associate Counsel Jessica Edgerton.&nbsp;&nbsp;</p> <p>Since few if any brokers and agents would work without a computer or smartphone, industry pros need to address the threat head-on, Edgerton said, speaking at the Emerging Business Issues &amp; Technology Forum at the REALTORS&reg; Legislative Meetings in Washington, D.C. She offered warning signs and practical strategies for warding off cybercriminals.&nbsp;</p> <p>&ldquo;Cybercrime is a global problem,&quot; Edgerton said, one that&#39;s becoming more prevalent and more urgent. According to Juniper Research, the annual cost of data breaches through cybercrime is expected to reach $2.1 trillion globally by 2019. And it&rsquo;s not just government agencies or large multinational corporations that are targets. Smaller and midsized real estate companies&mdash;where transactions involve multiple players and large sums of money&mdash;are an ideal target for criminals, Edgerton said. Among small businesses victimized by a successful cybersecurity breach, she said, 60 percent go out of business within six months.</p> <h4>The Problem: Email Attacks&nbsp;</h4> <p>Hackers can gain access to email accounts through simple schemes. It took Edgerton a five-minute Google search to learn how to hack an email herself. Hacking can come in the form of an infected attachment or link that appears to come from a benign sender. &ldquo;Clicking is something that&rsquo;s deadly dangerous,&rdquo; Edgerton says. Her motto: &ldquo;Think before you click.&rdquo;</p> <blockquote> <p><strong>What Victims Should Do</strong></p> <p>If you&rsquo;ve been hacked or victimized by cybercriminals, report the incident or get more information:&nbsp;</p> <ul> <li>FBI&rsquo;s <a href="http://www.fbi.gov/scams-safety/e-scams" target="_blank">Internet Crime Complaint Center</a>&nbsp;</li> <li><a href="http://www.consumer.ftc.gov/articles/0003-phishing" target="_blank">Federal Trade Commission</a>&nbsp;</li> <li>Alert NAR by contacting Jessica Edgerton at <a href="mailto:JEdgerton@realtors.org" target="_blank">JEdgerton@realtors.org</a> or 312-329-8373.</li> </ul> </blockquote> <p>Opening a bad link or attachment can trigger a key logger, which is malware that reads keystrokes to capture your passwords. It can also open ransomware, a wicked malware that will encrypt everything on your system it can reach, including connected drives and networks. Just in the past week, a global attack with ransomware known as WannaCry, hit dozens of entities.&nbsp;&nbsp;</p> <p>&ldquo;It&rsquo;s insidious and powerful,&rdquo; she said. You&rsquo;ll see a pop-up window that notifies you that your files have been encrypted. To remove the encryption, you&#39;ll be asked to pay the ransom in bitcoin, a currency that virtually untraceable. Generally, if you don&rsquo;t pay, you&rsquo;re not getting your computer back.&nbsp;&nbsp;</p> <p>If you&#39;re hit with a ransomware attack, disconnect your computer immediately. Talk to your IT people, report the hack to the FBI, and decide if you want to pay the ransom.&nbsp;&nbsp;</p> <p>Another way hackers gain entry is through brute force attack on your email password. If you use a simple password, hackers have software that can usually crack it in seconds. Hackers may also be stalking your online profiles and social media accounts, looking for names and dates that are meaningful to you that you may also be using in your passwords. &ldquo;They&rsquo;re exploiting you and how you work online,&rdquo; Edgerton said.&nbsp;</p> <p>Once hackers capture your email password, they can search for messages related to real estate transactions, Edgerton said. They can then send a spoof email to a buyer that looks virtually identical an email from your account providing &ldquo;new wiring instructions&quot; that will divert funds to the hacker&#39;s account. If a buyer takes the bait, the funds are usually gone for good.</p> <h4>The Solutions&nbsp;</h4> <ul> <li><strong>Keep your operating systems up to date.</strong> A simple way to protect your devices from hackers and malware is by updating your operating system when you&rsquo;re prompted to. &ldquo;Don&rsquo;t ignore those notifications just because you&rsquo;re busy,&rdquo; Edgerton said.</li> <li><strong>Check your social media privacy settings.</strong> Don&rsquo;t allow identifiable information such as your birth date be viewable by the public.</li> <li><strong>Develop good email hygiene.</strong> Use complex passwords, and change your passwords on a regular basis. Consider using a password manager, such as 1password, and two-step verification.</li> <li><strong>Check your email settings.</strong> Hackers can put a rule in your settings that will forward certain emails to their account.</li> <li><strong>Avoid sending sensitive information via email when possible. </strong>Attaching forms, financials, and confidential files to an email is an efficient way to communicate, and criminals are taking advantage of that, Edgerton said. Encrypted email is a good practice, but that generally means it&rsquo;s encrypted in transit only, a legal requirement in some states. Be aware of your state laws are, Edgerton said. She recommended using a secure document-sharing platforms.</li> <li><strong>Warn </strong><strong>clients.</strong> Educate your clients on the prevalence of wire fraud, and advise them to pick up the phone and verify information before they wire funds. Also, they should be careful about what number they&#39;re calling; scammers will sometimes spoof a signature box, replacing the phone number with their own. To ensure they&#39;re reaching the right person, buyers should contact you (and other real estate service providers) using numbers provided in advance.</li> <li><strong>Don&#39;t hold on to personally identifiable information</strong><strong>. </strong>Know your state&rsquo;s definition of personally identifiable information (PII). Usually that&#39;s first and last name, Social Security number, state ID or driver&rsquo;s license number, and credit card information. Then, take stock of what client PII is kept in your office, on your computer, in your desk drawers, and in your email. Don&rsquo;t keep PII any longer than you need to. Create a document retention policy with specific instructions on how to store and dispose of files.</li> <li><strong>Don&#39;t use</strong><strong> your email as a data repository.</strong> Once criminals are in, they can go back and pull data from years ago. Don&rsquo;t keep anything you don&rsquo;t need. Do regular backups of your critical data and keep it in a separate, secure area. Brokers should consider hiring a third party to conduct an IT audit to figure out their company&#39;s cyber weaknesses.</li> <li><strong>D</strong><strong>on&rsquo;t forget your phone and tablet.</strong> Be aware of what you&rsquo;re downloading and what your kids are downloading. Be leery of text messages with links in them; phones are just as susceptible to ransomware as computers. Call your provider to find out if it includes data encryption. If not, look into it.&nbsp;</li> </ul> <p>State law may require you to have a data protection policy. In addition, you may be required by law to notify clients if a breach of PII does occur. Currently, 22 states require you to notify the state attorney general of a breach. If you fail to take the appropriate steps under state law, Edgerton said, you can be fined and may also lose your license.&nbsp;</p> <hr /> <p><br /> <img alt="" src="/sites/realtormag.realtor.org/files/rmo_files/images/logos/BtoB_logo_footer_080114.jpg" style="float:left; height:117px; width:150px" /><em>Broker-to-Broker is an information network that provides insights and tools with business value through timely articles, videos, Q&amp;As, and sales meeting tips for brokerage owners and managers. Get more <a href="/for-brokers/network" target="_blank">Broker-to-Broker content here</a>.</em></p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <div class="field field-type-text field-field-show-author-info"> <div class="field-label">Show Author Info?:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> Show Author Info? </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-text field-field-teaser"> <div class="field-label">Teaser:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <!--paging_filter--><p>Learn how to protect your business and your clients from the onslaught of cyberattacks occurring in the real estate industry.</p> </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-main-image"> <div class="field-label">Main Image:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <div class="filefield-file"><img class="filefield-icon field-icon-image-jpeg" alt="image/jpeg icon" src="http://realtormag.realtor.org/sites/all/modules/filefield/icons/image-x-generic.png" /><a href="http://realtormag.realtor.org/sites/realtormag.realtor.org/files/may17_NC_cyber.jpg" type="image/jpeg; length=265502">may17_NC_cyber.jpg</a></div> </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-top3-lp-image"> <div class="field-label">Top 3 Article on Landing Page:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <img class="imagefield imagefield-field_top3_lp_image" width="149" height="70" alt="" src="http://realtormag.realtor.org/sites/realtormag.realtor.org/files/may17_NC_cyber_0.jpg?1495196446" /> </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-lp-mainstage-image"> <div class="field-label">Landing Page Mainstage Image:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <img class="imagefield imagefield-field_lp_mainstage_image" width="830" height="230" alt="" src="http://realtormag.realtor.org/sites/realtormag.realtor.org/files/may17_LP_NC_cyber.jpg?1495196470" /> </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-text field-field-main-image-credit"> <div class="field-label">Main Image Credit:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> NAR attorney Jessica Edgerton warns that cybercriminals often target small and midsized companies. </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-nodereference field-field-related-content"> <div class="field-label">Related Content:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/for-brokers/network/article/2015/08/4-cyber-scams-targeting-brokerages">4 Cyber Scams Targeting Brokerages</a> </div> <div class="field-item even"> <a href="/daily-news/2015/11/16/cyber-crime-youre-easy-target">Cyber Crime: You&#039;re an Easy Target</a> </div> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/daily-news/2013/09/09/keep-your-site-safe-from-cyber-attacks">Keep Your Site Safe From Cyber Attacks </a> </div> <div class="field-item even"> <a href="/daily-news/2013/07/18/3-real-estate-scams-your-clients-fall-for">3 Real Estate Scams Your Clients Fall For</a> </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-number-integer field-field-mainstage-image-display2"> <div class="field-label">Mainstage Image Display on Content:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> No, don't disable the "Main" image on this article </div> </div> </div> Network Thu, 18 May 2017 23:45:14 +0000 gwood 23348 at http://realtormag.realtor.org Protect Yourself Against Copyright Claims http://realtormag.realtor.org/law-and-ethics/feature/article/2017/05/protect-yourself-against-copyright-claims <div class="field field-type-text field-field-deck"> <div class="field-label">Deck:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> It’s easier than you might imagine to have a photo on your site that you don’t have rights to. But it’s not hard to lower your risk if you follow a few steps. </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-text field-field-archive-item"> <div class="field-label">Archive:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> off </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-text field-field-features-checkbox"> <div class="field-label">Add to Features Package for the Month:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> off </div> </div> </div> <fieldset class="fieldgroup group-mag-pub-date"><div class="field field-type-date field-field-pub-date"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <span class="date-display-single">Thursday, May 18, 2017</span> </div> </div> </div> </fieldset> <div class="field field-type-nodereference field-field-op-author"> <div class="field-label">Author(s):&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/author/robert-freedman">Robert Freedman</a> </div> </div> </div> <!--paging_filter--><p>Brokers and sales associates are vulnerable to becoming the target of copyright infringement claims, but there are steps you can take to reduce your chances of receiving a demand letter from the copyright holder, an attorney told the NAR Risk Management Issues Committee.</p> <p>First, make sure you own or have a license to use any listing or other photos you use in connection with a listing or that appear on your website. If you contract with a photographer, make sure you have a written agreement that either gives you ownership of the photos or a broad license to use the photos, which includes use beyond just an active listing.</p> <p>That&rsquo;s because the photos might appear on an IDX feed or virtual office website, or be pushed to listing aggregators like realtor.com&reg;. Listing photos are also often times used beyond just the life of an active listing. For example, photos might be used in determining comps or for property appraisals. &ldquo;You need to be able to use the photo for more than just to market and sell the property,&rdquo; said Mitch Skinner, an attorney with Larson Skinner PLLC in Minneapolis.</p> <p>Skinner pointed members to the <a href="https://www.nar.realtor/law-and-ethics/who-owns-your-property-photos" target="_blank">sample photography agreements</a> available on nar.realtor. NAR members can use these agreements as a great starting point, he said, and work with their own counsel to customize the agreements to ensure that they secure appropriate ownership or license in the copyrighted work.</p> <p>He also pointed the audience to Creative Commons, which makes photos available for use under Creative Common licensing, provided the user complies with attribution and other terms of the license. These photos can come in handy when an agent needs a photo of a nearby landmark for one of their listings. You can go to <a href="http://creativecommons.com" target="_blank">Creativecommons.com</a> to find out more. You can also filter your searches on Google and at YouTube to bring up Creative Commons-licensed content.</p> <p>Finally, Skinner informed the audience about The Digital Millennium Copyright Act, passed in 1998, which offers a safe harbor that protects MLSs, listing aggregators, and other web service providers from copyright infringement claims related to content placed on the website by third parties. The safe harbor includes a requirement that a copyright agent be designated and registered with the U.S. Copyright Office. In addition, and among the safe harbor&rsquo;s other requirements, the website service provider must post the copyright agent&rsquo;s contact information, and have a takedown procedure for when it is notified that infringing material is on its site. <a href="https://www.nar.realtor/law-and-ethics/who-owns-your-property-photos" target="_blank">More on nar.realtor.</a></p> <div class="field field-type-text field-field-show-author-info"> <div class="field-label">Show Author Info?:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> Show Author Info? </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-text field-field-teaser"> <div class="field-label">Teaser:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <!--paging_filter--><p>It&rsquo;s easier than you might imagine to have a photo on your site that you don&rsquo;t have rights to. But it&rsquo;s not hard to lower your risk if you follow a few steps.</p> </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-main-image"> <div class="field-label">Main Image:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <div class="filefield-file"><img class="filefield-icon field-icon-image-jpeg" alt="image/jpeg icon" src="http://realtormag.realtor.org/sites/all/modules/filefield/icons/image-x-generic.png" /><a href="http://realtormag.realtor.org/sites/realtormag.realtor.org/files/may17_LE_copyright.jpg" type="image/jpeg; length=250245">may17_LE_copyright.jpg</a></div> </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-top3-lp-image"> <div class="field-label">Top 3 Article on Landing Page:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <img class="imagefield imagefield-field_top3_lp_image" width="149" height="70" alt="" src="http://realtormag.realtor.org/sites/realtormag.realtor.org/files/may17_LE_copyright_0.jpg?1495134809" /> </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-lp-mainstage-image"> <div class="field-label">Landing Page Mainstage Image:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <img class="imagefield imagefield-field_lp_mainstage_image" width="830" height="230" alt="" src="http://realtormag.realtor.org/sites/realtormag.realtor.org/files/may17_LP_LE_copyright.jpg?1495134828" /> </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-nodereference field-field-related-content"> <div class="field-label">Related Content:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/home-and-design/feature/article/2017/05/4-surefire-tips-for-better-listing-photos">4 Surefire Tips for Better Listing Photos</a> </div> <div class="field-item even"> <a href="/technology/feature/article/2013/10/be-careful-what-you-pin">Be Careful What You Pin</a> </div> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/daily-news/2012/08/14/google-vows-fight-copyright-infringers">Google Vows to Fight Copyright Infringers </a> </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-number-integer field-field-mainstage-image-display2"> <div class="field-label">Mainstage Image Display on Content:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> No, don't disable the "Main" image on this article </div> </div> </div> Feature Thu, 18 May 2017 18:54:13 +0000 gwood 23344 at http://realtormag.realtor.org Yun: Home Sales on Pace to Hit 5.6M This Year http://realtormag.realtor.org/news-and-commentary/feature/article/2017/05/yun-home-sales-pace-hit-56m-year <div class="field field-type-text field-field-deck"> <div class="field-label">Deck:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> No signs of recession looming, but noneconomic issues could have big impact on housing. </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-text field-field-archive-item"> <div class="field-label">Archive:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> off </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-text field-field-features-checkbox"> <div class="field-label">Add to Features Package for the Month:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> off </div> </div> </div> <fieldset class="fieldgroup group-mag-pub-date"><div class="field field-type-date field-field-pub-date"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <span class="date-display-single">Thursday, May 18, 2017</span> </div> </div> </div> </fieldset> <div class="field field-type-nodereference field-field-op-author"> <div class="field-label">Author(s):&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/author/robert-freedman">Robert Freedman</a> </div> </div> </div> <!--paging_filter--><p>Policy issues coming out of Washington rather than economic factors could have the most consequential impact on home sales over the next few years, NAR Chief Economist Lawrence Yun told thousands of REALTORS&reg;&nbsp; at the Legislative Meetings &amp; Trade Expo in Washington.</p> <p>Yun predicts existing-home sales will reach 5.6 million units this year, up about 200,000 units from 2016, and new-home sales of 620,00 units, up from 560,000. Steady GDP growth of 2.2 percent, new jobs of 2.1 million, and relatively low inflation of 2.3 percent are behind the gains. &ldquo;There are no signs of recession&rdquo; on the horizon, he said.</p> <p>Home sales would be higher but rapidly rising home prices, fueled by low inventories in markets around the country, are keeping sales constrained, he said. Home prices are expected to rise far ahead of wage gains, exacerbating a mismatch that&rsquo;s plagued the market since the recovery began. He predicted price gains of 5 percent this year, about the same as last year.</p> <p>Wall Street investors who swept into the housing markets after the downturn to snap up foreclosed homes and turn them into rentals are part of the reason so few homes are available for sale, he said.</p> <p>The other reason is the slew of hurdles builders face in getting new homes on the market. These include shortages of land and construction labor and the difficulty builders face in getting construction loans.</p> <p>With economic factors relatively stable, the biggest unknowns facing markets in the near term are likely to be the non-economic factors that could come out of Washington, he said. These include any changes to the tax code that could affect housing.</p> <p>More immediate, though, is deregulation. The Trump administration is reviewing what changes to make to environmental rules and the Dodd-Frank banking reform law that was enacted after the housing crisis.</p> <p>Yun said Dodd-Frank changes that reduce the regulatory burden on small banks could help ease the constraints builders face getting construction loans for projects. &ldquo;That would be a positive from NAR&rsquo;s viewpoint,&rdquo; he said.&nbsp;So would responsible changes to environmental rules that make the permitting process more efficient for builders.</p> <p>More of a problem for NAR would be changes to the secondary mortgage market companies Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac that would take the federal guarantee out of the conventional market. &ldquo;That would be a negative,&rdquo; he said.</p> <p>Also appearing at the session were Mark Calabria, chief economist for Vice President Mike Pence, and Jonathan Spader, an analyst with the Harvard University Joint Center for Housing Studies.</p> <p>Calabria said the Trump administration is planning to release its recommendations for deregulating financial services companies in June.</p> <div class="field field-type-text field-field-show-author-info"> <div class="field-label">Show Author Info?:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> Show Author Info? </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-text field-field-teaser"> <div class="field-label">Teaser:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <!--paging_filter--><p>No signs of recession looming, but noneconomic issues could have a big impact on housing.</p> </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-main-image"> <div class="field-label">Main Image:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <div class="filefield-file"><img class="filefield-icon field-icon-image-jpeg" alt="image/jpeg icon" src="http://realtormag.realtor.org/sites/all/modules/filefield/icons/image-x-generic.png" /><a href="http://realtormag.realtor.org/sites/realtormag.realtor.org/files/may17_NC_yun2.jpg" type="image/jpeg; length=262297">may17_NC_yun2.jpg</a></div> </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-top3-lp-image"> <div class="field-label">Top 3 Article on Landing Page:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <img class="imagefield imagefield-field_top3_lp_image" width="149" height="70" alt="" src="http://realtormag.realtor.org/sites/realtormag.realtor.org/files/may17_NC_yun2_0.jpg?1495139647" /> </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-lp-mainstage-image"> <div class="field-label">Landing Page Mainstage Image:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <img class="imagefield imagefield-field_lp_mainstage_image" width="830" height="230" alt="" src="http://realtormag.realtor.org/sites/realtormag.realtor.org/files/may17_LP_NC_yun2.jpg?1495139709" /> </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-number-integer field-field-mainstage-image-display2"> <div class="field-label">Mainstage Image Display on Content:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> No, don't disable the "Main" image on this article </div> </div> </div> Feature Thu, 18 May 2017 19:50:40 +0000 gwood 23345 at http://realtormag.realtor.org How Immigration Policies Can Make or Break Real Estate http://realtormag.realtor.org/news-and-commentary/feature/article/2017/05/how-immigration-can-make-or-break-real-estate <div class="field field-type-text field-field-deck"> <div class="field-label">Deck:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> Experts watching the international market say anti-globalism attitudes could have serious consequences for foreign investment in the U.S. </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-text field-field-archive-item"> <div class="field-label">Archive:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> off </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-text field-field-features-checkbox"> <div class="field-label">Add to Features Package for the Month:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> off </div> </div> </div> <fieldset class="fieldgroup group-mag-pub-date"><div class="field field-type-date field-field-pub-date"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <span class="date-display-single">Wednesday, May 17, 2017</span> </div> </div> </div> </fieldset> <div class="field field-type-nodereference field-field-op-author"> <div class="field-label">Author(s):&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/author/graham-wood">Graham Wood</a> </div> </div> </div> <!--paging_filter--><p>The shifting ideology from globalism to nationalism in the U.S. and other countries may threaten the health of the international real estate market in the long run, experts said during the Global Alliances Forum at the REALTORS&reg; Legislative Meetings &amp; Trade Expo. But it may be a while before the effects are felt.</p> <p>So far, not even President Donald Trump&rsquo;s travel ban&mdash;a veritable crackdown on immigration into the U.S. from Muslim-majority countries in the Middle East, which was struck down in federal court&mdash;has appeared to tamp down foreign interest in U.S. real estate, said Lawrence Yun, chief economist of the National Association of REALTORS&reg;. However, NAR is watching closely whether Trump&rsquo;s overall immigration policies will have a negative impact on foreign investment in the future.</p> <p>&ldquo;There&rsquo;s a focus on anti-globalism right now in country after country,&rdquo; Yun said. &ldquo;The Brexit vote can be partially explained by that phenomenon. But even though there&rsquo;s this movement, we are still seeing a general rise in foreign purchases of U.S. real estate.&rdquo; He teased NAR&rsquo;s next Profile of International Home Buying Activity report, due out later this summer, by saying there was a &ldquo;large jump&rdquo; in recent immigrants and foreigners purchasing vacation and investment properties in the U.S. last year.</p> <p>Trade is also a hot-button issue with potentially expansive ramifications for the foreign-buyer market. Trump has promised to renegotiate America&rsquo;s trade deals with several major import countries, which could restrict foreign buyers&rsquo; investment power in the U.S. if there are too many restrictions, said Scott Tatlock, executive director for China and Mongolia at the Commerce Department. But Tatlock cited Trump&rsquo;s recent deal to open avenues for meat imports, among other products, from China as promising sign. Keeping that&nbsp; relationship&nbsp; strong would continue to benefit foreign real estate investment in the U.S., he said.</p> <p>Chinese buyers, who are particularly driving the international market, are continuing to find U.S. real estate to be a safe investment, Yun noted. &ldquo;In China, the government can take over a property at any time, so people feel more secure in the U.S.&rdquo; Yun added that NAR&rsquo;s upcoming report will show a greater geographical spread of home purchases by foreigners than in the past.&nbsp; He singled out Tampa, Fla., and college towns in Indiana as hot up-and-coming markets.</p> <p>Still, Trump&rsquo;s stance on immigration is making policy watchers nervous about the future of some programs aimed at boosting foreign investment, said Russell Riggs, senior regulatory representative for NAR. For example, the EB-5 Immigrant Investor Program, which offers a path to citizenship for foreign investors, recently was reauthorized through Sept. 30&mdash;but its future beyond that is unclear, Riggs said. Since 2003, the program has helped add $3.1 billion in foreign cash to the U.S. economy, he noted. &ldquo;We have a lot of work to do to secure this program&rsquo;s future,&rdquo; he said. &ldquo;We don&rsquo;t want to see it go away.&rdquo;</p> <div class="field field-type-text field-field-show-author-info"> <div class="field-label">Show Author Info?:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> Show Author Info? </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-text field-field-teaser"> <div class="field-label">Teaser:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <!--paging_filter--><p>Experts watching the international market say anti-globalism attitudes could have serious consequences for foreign investment in the U.S.</p> </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-main-image"> <div class="field-label">Main Image:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <div class="filefield-file"><img class="filefield-icon field-icon-image-jpeg" alt="image/jpeg icon" src="http://realtormag.realtor.org/sites/all/modules/filefield/icons/image-x-generic.png" /><a href="http://realtormag.realtor.org/sites/realtormag.realtor.org/files/may17_NC_midyear_entrance.jpg" type="image/jpeg; length=316262">may17_NC_midyear_entrance.jpg</a></div> </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-top3-lp-image"> <div class="field-label">Top 3 Article on Landing Page:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <img class="imagefield imagefield-field_top3_lp_image" width="149" height="70" alt="" src="http://realtormag.realtor.org/sites/realtormag.realtor.org/files/may17_NC_midyear_entrance_0.jpg?1495060865" /> </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-lp-mainstage-image"> <div class="field-label">Landing Page Mainstage Image:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <img class="imagefield imagefield-field_lp_mainstage_image" width="830" height="230" alt="" src="http://realtormag.realtor.org/sites/realtormag.realtor.org/files/may17_LP_NC_midyear_entrance.jpg?1495060884" /> </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-nodereference field-field-related-content"> <div class="field-label">Related Content:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/sales-and-marketing/feature/article/2016/04/how-get-and-keep-international-clients">How to Get—and Keep—International Clients</a> </div> <div class="field-item even"> <a href="/for-brokers/network/article/2016/03/working-chinese-buyers">Working With Chinese Buyers</a> </div> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/sales-and-marketing/feature/article/2014/01/start-and-spread-your-global-brand">Start and Spread Your Global Brand</a> </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-number-integer field-field-mainstage-image-display2"> <div class="field-label">Mainstage Image Display on Content:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> No, don't disable the "Main" image on this article </div> </div> </div> Feature Wed, 17 May 2017 22:51:15 +0000 gwood 23337 at http://realtormag.realtor.org Reality Check for the Retail Market http://realtormag.realtor.org/commercial/feature/article/2017/05/reality-check-for-retail-market <div class="field field-type-text field-field-deck"> <div class="field-label">Deck:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> Commercial real estate advocates offer a snapshot of the intersection between commerce and real estate. </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-text field-field-archive-item"> <div class="field-label">Archive:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> off </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-text field-field-features-checkbox"> <div class="field-label">Add to Features Package for the Month:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> off </div> </div> </div> <fieldset class="fieldgroup group-mag-pub-date"><div class="field field-type-date field-field-pub-date"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <span class="date-display-single">Wednesday, May 17, 2017</span> </div> </div> </div> </fieldset> <div class="field field-type-nodereference field-field-op-author"> <div class="field-label">Author(s):&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/author/meg-white">Meg White</a> </div> </div> </div> <!--paging_filter--><p>Commercial real estate experts discussed ideas for making transactions flow more smoothly and disspelled negative narratives about the retail sector and e-commerce during the REALTORS&reg; Legislative Meetings &amp; Trade Expo in Washington, D.C., on Wednesday. At a meeting of the National Association of REALTORS&reg;&rsquo; Commercial Legislation and Regulatory Advisory Board, Sharon Whitaker, vice president of commercial real estate for the American Bankers Association, praised the committee for inviting several organizations to share their priorities. &ldquo;Without each spoke in the wheel, it doesn&rsquo;t move forward,&rdquo; she said.</p> <p>Jennifer Platt, vice president of federal operations with the International Council of Shopping Centers, focused on the positive aspects of retail, particularly strip malls. &ldquo;We&rsquo;re actually seeing opportunities and really low vacancy rates,&rdquo; she told meeting attendees. &ldquo;We&rsquo;re seeing new tenants; we&rsquo;re seeing different types of tenants.&rdquo; She added that many retail spaces are being filled by companies that concentrate on experiential offerings, such as health care and wellness offices, restaurants, and educational offerings.</p> <blockquote> <p>Check out more coverage of this year&#39;s legislative meetings at <a href="http://realtorm.ag/midyear17">realtorm.ag/midyear17</a>.</p> </blockquote> <p>One of the elements undergirding the less-than-positive narrative about brick-and-mortar retail is the rise of e-commerce. Many states do not charge sales tax for&nbsp;online transactions, putting local stores at a disadvantage. Commercial Legislation and Regulatory Advisory Board Chair Michael Schoonover noted that leveling the playing field between online commercial activity and Main Street should be among the issues addressed by REALTORS&reg; on Capitol Hill. &ldquo;Those are jobs issues,&rdquo; said Schoonover, GREEN, SFR, manager with John L. Scott Real Estate in Federal Way, Wash. &ldquo;Congress loves to talk about jobs.&rdquo;</p> <p>Platt agreed that an important talking point to share with Congress is the fact that for every four brick-and-mortar jobs, there is only one job in e-commerce. She encouraged NAR members to talk to their representatives about the <a href="https://www.congress.gov/bill/115th-congress/house-bill/2193" target="_blank">Remote Transactions Parity Act of 2017</a> (H.R. 2193), which would give states the authority to charge sales tax in online transactions. &ldquo;There are some opportunities for that legislation to move forward in the next year,&rdquo; Platt told the committee. She noted that more than half of states are projected to have a budget shortfall this year and that many lawmakers are looking for legislation that offers &ldquo;a solution to a problem rather than a problem they have to deal with.&rdquo; Even if there&rsquo;s no meaningful increase in internet sales over the next 10 years, Platt said empowering states to collect taxes from online transactions could generate $260 billion in local revenue.</p> <p>The event that precipitated the imbalance between online and brick-and-mortar sales is the 1992 <em>Quill Corp. v. North Dakota</em> case, where the U.S. Supreme Court ruled in favor of the office-supply company after North Dakota attempted to impose a use tax on its online sales. Platt said an appeal of that case will likely be heard in August by the North Dakota Supreme Court, setting the plaintiffs up to file a petition to be heard by the U.S. Supreme Court in spring 2018. Platt said newly appointed Justice Neil Gorsuch appears to be ready to side with those who support states&rsquo; rights to tax online sales, along with fellow Justice Anthony Kennedy. &ldquo;We&rsquo;re very bullish on the court case,&rdquo; Platt said.</p> <p>With financial shortfalls, possible Medicare cuts, and the ramifications of future tax reform threatening many states, Platt warned that other revenue-generating opportunities will become more tantalizing: &ldquo;If you don&rsquo;t deal with this, the states are going to do something.&rdquo; Emily Naden, director of federal affairs for the Building Owners and Managers Association, pointed to Florida&rsquo;s recently renewed sales tax on rent as one localized result of this need. &ldquo;That&rsquo;s a direct response,&rdquo; she told the committee.</p> <p>Committee member Jared Booth, CCIM, with Coldwell Banker Commercial Advisors in Salt Lake City, said his local government is coming after the wages of real estate professionals in order to plug a shortfall. &ldquo;They&rsquo;re looking at a tax on services for our commissions because they are losing tax revenue from online sales,&rdquo; he said. &ldquo;We have to get behind this.&rdquo;</p> <div class="field field-type-text field-field-show-author-info"> <div class="field-label">Show Author Info?:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> Show Author Info? </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-text field-field-teaser"> <div class="field-label">Teaser:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <!--paging_filter--><p>Commercial real estate advocates offer a snapshot of the intersection between commerce and real estate.</p> </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-main-image"> <div class="field-label">Main Image:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <div class="filefield-file"><img class="filefield-icon field-icon-image-jpeg" alt="image/jpeg icon" src="http://realtormag.realtor.org/sites/all/modules/filefield/icons/image-x-generic.png" /><a href="http://realtormag.realtor.org/sites/realtormag.realtor.org/files/may17_midyear_CMlegis.JPG" type="image/jpeg; length=152697">may17_midyear_CMlegis.JPG</a></div> </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-top3-lp-image"> <div class="field-label">Top 3 Article on Landing Page:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <img class="imagefield imagefield-field_top3_lp_image" width="149" height="70" alt="" src="http://realtormag.realtor.org/sites/realtormag.realtor.org/files/may17_midyear_CMlegis_0.JPG?1495055824" /> </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-lp-mainstage-image"> <div class="field-label">Landing Page Mainstage Image:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <img class="imagefield imagefield-field_lp_mainstage_image" width="830" height="230" alt="" src="http://realtormag.realtor.org/sites/realtormag.realtor.org/files/may17_midyear_LPlegis.JPG?1495055839" /> </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-text field-field-main-image-credit"> <div class="field-label">Main Image Credit:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> Left to right: Emily Naden, Jennifer Platt, Sharon Whitaker </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-number-integer field-field-mainstage-image-display2"> <div class="field-label">Mainstage Image Display on Content:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> No, don't disable the "Main" image on this article </div> </div> </div> Feature Wed, 17 May 2017 20:54:02 +0000 mwhite 23336 at http://realtormag.realtor.org Staying Profitable When Markets Are Variable http://realtormag.realtor.org/for-brokers/network/article/2017/05/staying-profitable-when-markets-are-variable <div class="field field-type-text field-field-deck"> <div class="field-label">Deck:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> Brokers discuss joint venture models and other ways of staying competitive during a think-tank-style discussion at the REALTORS® Legislative Meetings &amp; Trade Expo. </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-text field-field-archive-item"> <div class="field-label">Archive:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> off </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-text field-field-features-checkbox"> <div class="field-label">Add to Features Package for the Month:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> off </div> </div> </div> <fieldset class="fieldgroup group-mag-pub-date"><div class="field field-type-date field-field-pub-date"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <span class="date-display-single">Wednesday, May 17, 2017</span> </div> </div> </div> </fieldset> <div class="field field-type-nodereference field-field-op-author"> <div class="field-label">Author(s):&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/author/erica-christoffer">Erica Christoffer</a> </div> </div> </div> <!--paging_filter--><p>Profitability is on the minds of brokers across the country. After plummeting to a 50-year low last year, the U.S. homeownership rate ticked up slightly to 63.6 percent in the first quarter of 2017, according to the Census Bureau. And despite many interested buyers, markets across the country are dealing with severely low inventories. This is pushing brokers to form joint ventures with ancillary services and explore new business streams for their agents.</p> <p>During the Idea Exchange Council for Brokers at the REALTORS&reg; Legislative Meetings &amp; Trade Expo in Washington, D.C. Tuesday, brokers from across the country discussed methods they&rsquo;re employing to keep the funds rolling in during this tumultuous time.&nbsp;</p> <p>Carol Bulman, CEO and president of Jack Conway, REALTOR&reg;, the largest local independent real estate firm in Massachusetts, is facing 62 consecutive months of year-over-year inventory declines in their market. There are lines at open houses in the suburbs of Boston, and multiple offers are now standard. &ldquo;We&rsquo;re starting to see buyer fatigue,&rdquo; Bulman says. Yet, in the city of Boston, construction of rentals and high-end condos is booming. She calls the market &ldquo;out of whack,&rdquo; adding, &ldquo;we owe it to ourselves and our agents to be prepared for the future.&rdquo;&nbsp;&nbsp;</p> <p>Her company has taken on a joint venture model to offer mortgage financing. They do about $125 million in mortgage volume each year. She points to three necessities to make the business work: competitive pricing, solid back-office support that understands the residential sales model, and loan officers who work well with the team.&nbsp;&nbsp;</p> <p>Fellow panelist Al Miller, a strategic alliance and business development expert with New Penn Financial and Shelter Mortgage, has been part of forming and overseeing more than 100 mortgage joint ventures in his career. He says the most complicated points center around compliance and costs for technology. However, one of the greatest benefits for adding a mortgage service is being able to control the customer service experience, he says.&nbsp;&nbsp;</p> <p>&ldquo;The mortgage experience is always a fly in the ointment,&rdquo; Miller says. Whether you own your own mortgage company or you&#39;re partnering with another to form a joint venture, you want to ensure that the service provided meets your standards, he adds.&nbsp;</p> <p>Mortgage joint ventures are spelled out in section 8 of <a href="https://www.nar.realtor/topics/real-estate-settlement-procedures-act-respa/respa-faq" target="_blank">RESPA</a>, and at the time of referral, brokers are required to provide a written disclosure explaining the relationship. The firm can&#39;t require that customers use the affiliated business, nor can they tie it to a customer benefit. Jessica Edgerton, National Association of REALTORS&reg;&rsquo;s associate counsel, was also on hand at the Idea Exchange session. She says some states have their own version of RESPA and some are stricter than the national RESPA rules, so any broker entering into a joint venture must check with their state standards.</p> <p>In addition to ancillary services and joint ventures, brokers also discussed ways to enhance agent value. Robert J. Bailey, co-broker and co-owner of Bailey Properties Inc. in Aptos, Calif., has developed a new CRM platform and a comprehensive in-house business coaching program, teaching new agents how to structure their business and sustain their income. They cover teams, HR issues, risk management, co-branding, and more.&nbsp;&nbsp;</p> <hr /> <p><br /> <img alt="" src="/sites/realtormag.realtor.org/files/rmo_files/images/logos/BtoB_logo_footer_080114.jpg" style="float:left; height:117px; width:150px" /><em>Broker-to-Broker is an information network that provides insights and tools with business value through timely articles, videos, Q&amp;As, and sales meeting tips for brokerage owners and managers. Get more <a href="/for-brokers/network" target="_blank">Broker-to-Broker content here</a>.</em></p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <div class="field field-type-text field-field-show-author-info"> <div class="field-label">Show Author Info?:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> Show Author Info? </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-text field-field-teaser"> <div class="field-label">Teaser:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <!--paging_filter--><p><span class="TextRun SCX204879714" lang="EN-US" style="font-size: 12pt; font-family: Calibri,sans-serif; line-height: 20px;"><span class="NormalTextRun SCX204879714" style="background-color: inherit;">Brokers discuss joint venture models and </span></span><span class="TextRun SCX204879714" lang="EN-US" style="font-size: 12pt; font-family: Calibri,sans-serif; line-height: 20px;"><span class="NormalTextRun SCX204879714" style="background-color: inherit;">other ways of staying competitive during a think</span></span><span class="TextRun SCX204879714" lang="EN-US" style="font-size: 12pt; font-family: Calibri,sans-serif; line-height: 20px;"><span class="NormalTextRun SCX204879714" style="background-color: inherit;">-</span></span><span class="TextRun SCX204879714" lang="EN-US" style="font-size: 12pt; font-family: Calibri,sans-serif; line-height: 20px;"><span class="NormalTextRun SCX204879714" style="background-color: inherit;">tank-style discussion at the </span></span><span class="TextRun SCX204879714" lang="EN-US" style="font-size: 12pt; font-family: Calibri,sans-serif; line-height: 20px;"><span class="NormalTextRun SCX204879714" style="background-color: inherit;">REALTORS&reg; Legislative Meetings &amp; Trade Expo</span></span><span class="TextRun SCX204879714" lang="EN-US" style="font-size: 12pt; font-family: Calibri,sans-serif; line-height: 20px;"><span class="NormalTextRun SCX204879714" style="background-color: inherit;">.</span></span></p> </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-nodereference field-field-related-content"> <div class="field-label">Related Content:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/for-brokers/network/article/2017/05/managing-faster-expected-growth">Managing Faster-Than-Expected Growth</a> </div> <div class="field-item even"> <a href="/for-brokers/network/article/2017/03/new-tech-tools-helping-brokers-solve-problems">New Tech Tools Helping Brokers Solve Problems</a> </div> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/for-brokers/network/article/2017/03/improve-your-agents-value-proposition">Improve Your Agents’ Value Proposition</a> </div> <div class="field-item even"> <a href="/for-brokers/network/article/2017/02/keep-calm-and-manage-crisis">Keep Calm and Manage a Crisis</a> </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-number-integer field-field-mainstage-image-display2"> <div class="field-label">Mainstage Image Display on Content:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> No, don't disable the "Main" image on this article </div> </div> </div> Network Wed, 17 May 2017 13:47:05 +0000 echristoffer 23334 at http://realtormag.realtor.org What’s Next for Commercial Real Estate http://realtormag.realtor.org/commercial/feature/article/2017/05/what-s-next-for-commercial-real-estate <div class="field field-type-text field-field-deck"> <div class="field-label">Deck:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> A new report examines the risks and opportunities presented by trends in technology, demographics, lending, and politics. </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-text field-field-archive-item"> <div class="field-label">Archive:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> off </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-text field-field-features-checkbox"> <div class="field-label">Add to Features Package for the Month:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> off </div> </div> </div> <fieldset class="fieldgroup group-mag-pub-date"><div class="field field-type-date field-field-pub-date"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <span class="date-display-single">Wednesday, May 17, 2017</span> </div> </div> </div> </fieldset> <div class="field field-type-nodereference field-field-op-author"> <div class="field-label">Author(s):&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/author/meg-white">Meg White</a> </div> </div> </div> <!--paging_filter--><p>The National Association of REALTORS&reg;&rsquo; Strategic Thinking Advisory Committee on Wednesday released a new report, <a href="https://www.nar.realtor/reports/commercial-real-estate-alert" target="_blank"><em>Commercial Real Estate ALERT: Analysis of the Latest Emerging Risks and Trends</em></a>, which aims to function as a sort of D.A.N.G.E.R. report for the commercial industry. NAR commissioned Stefan Swanepoel&rsquo;s T3 Sixty Inc. consultancy to create the report, which is a compilation of thoughts and data from interviews with more than 20 senior industry executives between November and February, as well as a wealth of reports and research from all corners of the real estate industry.</p> <p>The data was collected after the contentious election of President Donald Trump, so the report reflects attitudes toward an unpredictable future for real estate. &ldquo;There&rsquo;s a lot of uncertainty about what&rsquo;s going to happen,&rdquo; Swanepoel told members of NAR&#39;s Commercial Committee during a presentation at the REALTORS&reg; Legislative Meetings &amp; Trade Expo in Washington, D.C.</p> <p>Some respondents in the report told T3 Sixty researchers they believed that the new president&#39;s policies increase the risk of another recession, while others said they will not dramatically impact the economy or commercial real estate. Swanepoel said his company worked to synthesize different points of view and research outcomes: &ldquo;This does not cover our opinion; this is your opinion.&rdquo;&nbsp;</p> <p>Some of the major trends and shifts to watch include:</p> <ol> <li>Low interest rates and strong economic indicators in the United States indicate the country will continue to be a <strong>safe harbor for international investors</strong>. The report also predicts more foreign capital will flow into smaller cities and secondary markets.</li> <li>The report predicts <strong>uncertainty will persist in commercial lending</strong> as regulations are slowly rolled out over the coming years. New regulations will likely increase borrowing costs and reduce credit capacity, which may price many lenders out of the market.</li> <li><strong>Crowdfunding</strong> portals appear to be gaining ground and could become a principal method for developers to gain access to capital. Whether it disintermediates real estate professionals or offers cheaper, faster credit to more investors is still an open question in this largely untested market.</li> <li>Technology&mdash;particularly in the forms of <strong>increased connectivity, better data analysis, and smarter buildings</strong>&mdash;will transform the way commercial real estate professionals use, build, assess, and sell properties. <strong>Blockchain</strong> technology will offer increased automation and enable faster transactions. <strong>Autonomous vehicles</strong> will blur lines between urban and suburban areas and offer new development opportunities in transforming excess parking in the urban core.</li> <li>With <strong>e-commerce</strong> sales continuing to take up greater shares of the retail marketplace, demand for &ldquo;last-mile&rdquo; distribution points in major cities will continue to grow. While this development will <strong>impact retail spaces negatively </strong>overall&mdash;one study indicates roughly 20 percent of all anchor space in U.S. malls will close over the next few years &mdash;it&rsquo;s likely to be a net <strong>positive for industrial</strong> real estate, as brands will buy up more logistics space in order to serve customers more efficiently.</li> <li>Shifting <strong>demographics</strong> will result in increased demand for flexible commercial spaces. While aging boomers will drive up demand for senior housing and medical office buildings, the lifestyle preferences of millennials will challenge all sectors of the commercial real estate industry. The report cautions against discounting the influence of the smaller Generation X, as it sets the tone for the transition between millennials and boomers.</li> <li>Although many in commercial real estate are currently focused on short-term cost saving rather than a long-term environmental strategy, <strong>sustainability</strong> will become a more important factor in evaluating property as energy and water shortages accelerate.</li> <li>With the <strong>new presidential administration</strong>, some worry about what the potential loss of 1031 exchanges and carried interest could do to the industry, while infrastructure spending could improve manufacturing and industrial real estate. Changes to international trade agreements and financial regulations are also important political discussions for REALTORS&reg; to watch.</li> </ol> <div class="field field-type-text field-field-show-author-info"> <div class="field-label">Show Author Info?:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> Show Author Info? </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-text field-field-teaser"> <div class="field-label">Teaser:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <!--paging_filter--><p>A new report examines the risks and opportunities presented by trends in technology, demographics, lending, and politics.</p> </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-main-image"> <div class="field-label">Main Image:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <div class="filefield-file"><img class="filefield-icon field-icon-image-jpeg" alt="image/jpeg icon" src="http://realtormag.realtor.org/sites/all/modules/filefield/icons/image-x-generic.png" /><a href="http://realtormag.realtor.org/sites/realtormag.realtor.org/files/may17_CM_crealert.JPG" type="image/jpeg; length=121302">may17_CM_crealert.JPG</a></div> </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-top3-lp-image"> <div class="field-label">Top 3 Article on Landing Page:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <img class="imagefield imagefield-field_top3_lp_image" width="149" height="70" alt="" src="http://realtormag.realtor.org/sites/realtormag.realtor.org/files/may17_CM_crealert_0.JPG?1495044990" /> </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-lp-mainstage-image"> <div class="field-label">Landing Page Mainstage Image:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <img class="imagefield imagefield-field_lp_mainstage_image" width="830" height="230" alt="" src="http://realtormag.realtor.org/sites/realtormag.realtor.org/files/may17_LP_crealertreport.jpg?1495045014" /> </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-number-integer field-field-mainstage-image-display2"> <div class="field-label">Mainstage Image Display on Content:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> No, don't disable the "Main" image on this article </div> </div> </div> Feature Wed, 17 May 2017 18:18:20 +0000 23335 at http://realtormag.realtor.org Your Role in Stopping Money Laundering http://realtormag.realtor.org/for-brokers/network/article/2017/05/your-role-in-stopping-money-laundering <div class="field field-type-text field-field-deck"> <div class="field-label">Deck:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> A program initiated by the U.S. Treasury is rooting out shady real estate purchases made by shell companies linked to potential criminals—and brokers can help. </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-text field-field-archive-item"> <div class="field-label">Archive:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> off </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-text field-field-features-checkbox"> <div class="field-label">Add to Features Package for the Month:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> off </div> </div> </div> <fieldset class="fieldgroup group-mag-pub-date"><div class="field field-type-date field-field-pub-date"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <span class="date-display-single">Wednesday, May 17, 2017</span> </div> </div> </div> </fieldset> <div class="field field-type-nodereference field-field-op-author"> <div class="field-label">Author(s):&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/author/erica-christoffer">Erica Christoffer</a> </div> </div> </div> <!--paging_filter--><p>U.S. real estate is a target for money launderers looking to stash their stolen cash in a safe and stable investment. Real estate professionals facilitating the transaction can play a key role in identifying these criminals and assisting law enforcement in stopping their scams.&nbsp;</p> <p>Lawrence Scheinert, director of the Office of Special Measures at the U.S. Treasury Department&rsquo;s Financial Crimes Enforcement Network (FinCEN), presented a new program called the Geographic Targeting Order during the REALTORS&reg; Legislative Meetings &amp; Trade Expo in Washington, D.C. It&rsquo;s a temporary anti-money laundering program requiring U.S. title insurance companies to report information about &ldquo;covered transactions&rdquo; made by what&rsquo;s commonly known as shell companies, Scheinert said at the Business Issues Policy Committee meeting. The program targets cash purchases of residential properties paid for with a certified check, traveler&rsquo;s check, personal check, business check, or money order in certain areas of the country where this type of crime is prevalent, including:  &nbsp;</p> <ul> <li>San Antonio, Texas (minimum residential sale price of $500,000)&nbsp;</li> <li>Miami-Dade, Broward, and Palm Beach counties in Florida ($1 million and up)&nbsp;</li> <li>New York boroughs of Brooklyn, Queens, Bronx, and Staten Island ($1.5 million and up)&nbsp;</li> <li>The San Diego, Los Angeles, San Francisco, San Mateo, and Santa Clara areas of California ($2 million up)&nbsp;</li> <li>New York borough of Manhattan ($3 million and up)&nbsp;</li> </ul> <p>For transactions that match the above criteria, title companies can report data to FinCEN, including information about the shell company and the identities of the people with at least a 25 percent ownership interest in the entity, their contact information, address of the property bought, information about the individual(s) representing the purchaser, closing date, and purchase price.&nbsp;</p> <p>Shell companies are a legitimate vehicle for operating companies or obtaining financing, Scheinert says. They can also be created for tax purposes. However, they&rsquo;re also attractive to money launderers who want to take advantage of vulnerabilities in the real estate sector.&nbsp;</p> <p>So far, FinCEN has found that 30 percent of the buyers behind these transactions had previous reports os suspicious activity filed against them for issues such as unusual cash withdrawals, suspected corruption ties in foreign countries, and other claims.&nbsp;</p> <p>FinCEN is the financial intelligence unit; they collect and distribute their information to law enforcement agencies, but they don&rsquo;t have the direct authority to prosecute perpetrators. &ldquo;This isn&rsquo;t a crackdown. It&rsquo;s an information-gathering effort,&rdquo; he says. The data from the geo-targeting order is added to a database accessible by law enforcement agencies conducting investigations. &ldquo;Title companies have been very cooperative,&rdquo; Scheinert says. &ldquo;And REALTORS&reg; understand what we&rsquo;re trying to accomplish here.&rdquo;&nbsp;</p> <p>The National Association of REALTORS&reg; has <a href="https://www.nar.realtor/articles/anti-money-laundering-guidelines-for-real-estate-professionals" target="_blank">anti-money laundering guidelines</a> available to members, which includes tips for identifying the signs of such criminal activity. This includes unusual involvement of a third party or titling of a residential property in the name of a third party; the purchase of properties that are extremely overvalued or undervalued; a buyer who brings actual cash to closing; or if the property being purchased doesn&#39;t match the characteristics of the buyer. Brokers and agents should do their due diligence, Scheinert says, such as obtaining identification records of a client (a copy of a driver&#39;s license or passport). If a legal entity is involved, the real estate professional should take steps to identify who controls the entity.&nbsp;</p> <p>If you believe you&rsquo;re involved in a transaction of a criminal nature, <a href="http://bsaefiling.fincen.treas.gov/main.html%20%28link%20is%20external%29." target="_blank">file a suspicious activity report with FinCEN</a> or call the agency&rsquo;s regulatory helpline at 1-800-949-2732.&nbsp;</p> <hr /> <p><br /> <img alt="" src="/sites/realtormag.realtor.org/files/rmo_files/images/logos/BtoB_logo_footer_080114.jpg" style="float:left; height:117px; width:150px" /><em>Broker-to-Broker is an information network that provides insights and tools with business value through timely articles, videos, Q&amp;As, and sales meeting tips for brokerage owners and managers. Get more <a href="/for-brokers/network" target="_blank">Broker-to-Broker content here</a>.</em></p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <div class="field field-type-text field-field-show-author-info"> <div class="field-label">Show Author Info?:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> Show Author Info? </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-text field-field-teaser"> <div class="field-label">Teaser:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <!--paging_filter--><p>A program initiated by the U.S. Treasury is rooting out shady real estate purchases made by shell companies linked to potential criminals&mdash;and brokers can help.</p> </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-main-image"> <div class="field-label">Main Image:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <div class="filefield-file"><img class="filefield-icon field-icon-image-jpeg" alt="image/jpeg icon" src="http://realtormag.realtor.org/sites/all/modules/filefield/icons/image-x-generic.png" /><a href="http://realtormag.realtor.org/sites/realtormag.realtor.org/files/may17_B_money.jpg" type="image/jpeg; length=274369">may17_B_money.jpg</a></div> </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-top3-lp-image"> <div class="field-label">Top 3 Article on Landing Page:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <img class="imagefield imagefield-field_top3_lp_image" width="149" height="70" alt="" src="http://realtormag.realtor.org/sites/realtormag.realtor.org/files/may17_B_money_0.jpg?1495222814" /> </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-lp-mainstage-image"> <div class="field-label">Landing Page Mainstage Image:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <img class="imagefield imagefield-field_lp_mainstage_image" width="830" height="230" alt="" src="http://realtormag.realtor.org/sites/realtormag.realtor.org/files/may17_LP_B_money.jpg?1495222832" /> </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-nodereference field-field-related-content"> <div class="field-label">Related Content:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/daily-news/2016/07/27/fincen-gtos-expand-beyond-nyc-and-florida">FinCEN GTOs Expand Beyond NYC and Florida</a> </div> <div class="field-item even"> <a href="/daily-news/2016/01/14/us-start-tracking-secret-luxury-buyers">U.S. to Start Tracking &#039;Secret&#039; Luxury Buyers</a> </div> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/for-brokers/network/article/2016/05/threat-wire-fraud-real">The Threat of Wire Fraud Is Real</a> </div> <div class="field-item even"> <a href="/daily-news/2017/02/17/3-serious-legal-issues-brokers-are-facing">3 Serious Legal Issues Brokers Are Facing</a> </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-number-integer field-field-mainstage-image-display2"> <div class="field-label">Mainstage Image Display on Content:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> No, don't disable the "Main" image on this article </div> </div> </div> Network Thu, 18 May 2017 00:12:03 +0000 echristoffer 23338 at http://realtormag.realtor.org On Deck: Flood Insurance Reauthorization http://realtormag.realtor.org/news-and-commentary/feature/article/2017/05/deck-flood-insurance-reauthorization <div class="field field-type-text field-field-deck"> <div class="field-label">Deck:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> FEMA deputy praises REALTORS® for their effective collaboration. </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-text field-field-archive-item"> <div class="field-label">Archive:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> off </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-text field-field-features-checkbox"> <div class="field-label">Add to Features Package for the Month:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> off </div> </div> </div> <fieldset class="fieldgroup group-mag-pub-date"><div class="field field-type-date field-field-pub-date"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <span class="date-display-single">Tuesday, May 16, 2017</span> </div> </div> </div> </fieldset> <div class="field field-type-nodereference field-field-op-author"> <div class="field-label">Author(s):&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/author/robert-freedman">Robert Freedman</a> </div> </div> </div> <!--paging_filter--><p>The head of the federal government flood insurance program says he&rsquo;s confident Congress wants to avoid the short-term, stop-and-start reauthorizations of the National Flood Insurance Program that led to so much market instability half a dozen years ago. Roy Wright, deputy associate administrator for insurance and mitigation at the Federal Emergency Management Agency, says lawmakers in the House of Representatives will likely start working on reform and reauthorization of the program in the next two to three weeks and the Senate should follow shortly after that.</p> <table align="right" border="0" cellpadding="10" cellspacing="10" style="width:450px;"> <tbody> <tr> <td><img alt="" src="/sites/realtormag.realtor.org/files/rmo_files/images/2017_may/FEMARoyWright.jpg" style="width: 400px; height: 296px;" /></td> </tr> <tr> <td> <p><em>Roy Wright, head of the federal government&#39;s flood insurance program, talks with REALTORS&reg; Tuesday about improving and reauthorizing the program. Credit: Robert Freedman</em></p> </td> </tr> </tbody> </table> <p>Wright said he&rsquo;d like to see more households buy coverage, whether through the federal government or the small but growing private market, because the insurance is crucial for households&rsquo; ability to recover from flooding, whether it&rsquo;s caused by a natural disaster like Hurricane Katrina or Sandy or by a small, localized event.</p> <p>Households owning homes in or near flood zones often have the mistaken idea that large amounts of federal disaster assistance are available to individuals in the event of a big storm, but nearly 85 percent of Disaster Relief Fund assistance after a presidentially declared disaster goes to public infrastructure, leaving around 15 percent available for private households. And that 15 percent goes mainly to the neediest households. FEMA expects households to tap their own resources or take out a loan first.</p> <p>Wright said the typical payout from disaster assistance after a big event is about $4,000, maybe $8,000 in special cases, but it&rsquo;s almost never as high as the $33,000 maximum available. Households with flood insurance, by contrast, are typically able to get their get their entire structure replaced, with payouts well over $100,000 not uncommon.</p> <p>Wright indicated that several potential changes to the insurance product are&nbsp;among the reforms being discussed as part of reauthorization process, including adding basement coverage, creating a single deductible for damage to the structure and to personal property, and more money for living expenses. Wright praised REALTORS&reg;&rsquo; involvement in the reauthorization of the program five years ago, their work toward reauthorization this year, and for their close working relationship with FEMA. &ldquo;Part of the commitment I made to your leaders is, I want to work with you,&rdquo; he said. &ldquo;I want to know what you need from us and I want you to know what we need from you. Collectively we&rsquo;ll find a way forward and get there.&rdquo;</p> <div class="field field-type-text field-field-show-author-info"> <div class="field-label">Show Author Info?:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> Show Author Info? </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-text field-field-teaser"> <div class="field-label">Teaser:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <!--paging_filter--><p>FEMA deputy praises REALTORS&reg; for their effective collaboration.</p> </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-main-image"> <div class="field-label">Main Image:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <div class="filefield-file"><img class="filefield-icon field-icon-image-jpeg" alt="image/jpeg icon" src="http://realtormag.realtor.org/sites/all/modules/filefield/icons/image-x-generic.png" /><a href="http://realtormag.realtor.org/sites/realtormag.realtor.org/files/may17_MS_midyear.JPG" type="image/jpeg; length=114222">may17_MS_midyear.JPG</a></div> </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-top3-lp-image"> <div class="field-label">Top 3 Article on Landing Page:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <img class="imagefield imagefield-field_top3_lp_image" width="149" height="70" alt="" src="http://realtormag.realtor.org/sites/realtormag.realtor.org/files/may17_MS_midyear_0.JPG?1494969150" /> </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-lp-mainstage-image"> <div class="field-label">Landing Page Mainstage Image:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <img class="imagefield imagefield-field_lp_mainstage_image" width="830" height="228" alt="" src="http://realtormag.realtor.org/sites/realtormag.realtor.org/files/may17_LP_midyear.JPG?1494969173" /> </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-number-integer field-field-mainstage-image-display2"> <div class="field-label">Mainstage Image Display on Content:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> No, don't disable the "Main" image on this article </div> </div> </div> Feature Tue, 16 May 2017 21:26:42 +0000 mwhite 23328 at http://realtormag.realtor.org 4 Surefire Tips for Better Listing Photos http://realtormag.realtor.org/home-and-design/feature/article/2017/05/4-surefire-tips-for-better-listing-photos <div class="field field-type-text field-field-deck"> <div class="field-label">Deck:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> Simply understanding how to use a few key camera settings and pieces of equipment can make all the difference. </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-text field-field-archive-item"> <div class="field-label">Archive:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> off </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-text field-field-features-checkbox"> <div class="field-label">Add to Features Package for the Month:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> off </div> </div> </div> <fieldset class="fieldgroup group-mag-pub-date"><div class="field field-type-date field-field-pub-date"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <span class="date-display-single">Wednesday, May 10, 2017</span> </div> </div> </div> </fieldset> <div class="field field-type-nodereference field-field-op-author"> <div class="field-label">Author(s):&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/author/erin-vaughan">Erin Vaughan</a> </div> </div> </div> <!--paging_filter--><p>It can&rsquo;t be stressed enough: Great photos help sell homes. The National Association of REALTORS&reg;&rsquo; own research shows that <a href="https://www.nar.realtor/sites/default/files/Study-Digital-House-Hunt-2013-01_1.pdf" target="_blank">well over 90 percent of home shoppers</a> look online for at least a part of their search. For almost half of all buyers, accessing digital listings is the very first step in their process. And while there&rsquo;s been much speculation as to the homebuying behaviors of millennials, this much is known for sure: Digital natives are much more comfortable with browsing home listings from mobile devices.</p> <p>None of this is breaking news, but it does highlight just how important digital representation can be when you&rsquo;re trying to show a home. <a href="https://www.redfin.com/blog/2016/03/spring-home-selling-tips.html" target="_blank">One industry study</a> found that when listings were accompanied by high-quality photos taken with professional equipment, they spent significantly less time on the market and fetched a premium of $3,400 on average.</p> <p>Unfortunately, interior shots pose a variety of photographic challenges that are difficult for amateur photographers. Real estate pros shouldn&rsquo;t be expected to transform overnight into professional camera wielders, but you can certainly benefit from a few tricks up your sleeve and some decent equipment.</p> <h4>Don&rsquo;t Turn Toward the Light</h4> <p>This scenario might feel familiar: You want to show off the new windows in your client&rsquo;s living room, but every time you snap a photo, the image is totally blown out. Photos with dark foregrounds and overexposed windows are a common problem that happens when ambient light from the outdoors tricks the camera&rsquo;s light meter into overcompensating. A flash will balance out the lighting in the room, giving you a better shot. Alternatively, you can use your camera&rsquo;s manual controls and settings. The right settings depend on the kind of equipment you have, however. For many point-and-shoot digital cameras, it&rsquo;s mainly a matter of adjusting the ISO, although you may want to set the aperture to f/2.8 as well, if your camera offers that flexibility. For shots near a window, typically an ISO setting of around 400 to 800 works well, although you may want to go higher if you have particularly low light in the foreground. If you have full manual control of your camera, you can increase the shutter speed, which will allow less light into the camera sensor.</p> <h4>Try HDR Tonemapping</h4> <p>The main problem with photographing daylit interiors is that it&rsquo;s difficult to balance between ambient daylight, artificial lighting, and dark shadows behind walls and in rooms away from the foreground. This situation presents a range of different exposures, and while the human eye automatically adjusts for the various levels, the camera will have a hard time making sense of it all. HDR, which is short for high dynamic range, is a common tool for handling such lighting situations. In essence, the photographer takes three or four photos in rapid succession, which are then combined into one image <a href="https://photofocus.com/2015/05/23/photomatix-pro-workflow-tips-for-real-estate-interiors/" target="_blank">using specialized software like HDRSoft</a>. Usually, one shot is at normal exposure, one is overexposed, and one underexposed. When those three exposures are combined into one, you&rsquo;ll see all the details that the human eye can perceive. This results in photos with a vibrant, luminous quality.</p> <p>Many point-and-shoot cameras have an exposure value meter, which can help you compose under- and overexposed shots. Generally, the meter reads a value of zero on the normal setting, +1 or +2 for overexposed shots, and &mdash;1 or &mdash;2 for underexposure. Use a tripod so you can play with different exposures while maintaining the same angle on each shot. You&rsquo;ll also want to make sure automatic flash is turned off for this method. It takes time to perfect this technique, of course, but it can help you capture more detail in challenging settings.</p> <h4>Buy the Right Equipment</h4> <p>Unless you have a surgeon&rsquo;s steady hands, you&rsquo;re going to need a tripod in some situations. A tripod helps compose poised shots and avoid blurry photos, but it&rsquo;s also incredibly important if you&rsquo;re dabbling in HDR or mixing up shutter speeds. The longer your exposure time, the more likely it is that subtle movements will show up in the final product. You should use a tripod anytime you nudge the ISO to a higher range. Also, if you&rsquo;re taking wide shots of the home&rsquo;s exterior or enlarging your photos, even the tiniest shake will be a lot more obvious. In certain conditions, even the slightest breath can create a shaky shot. Avoid this dilemma with a lightweight foldable tripod.</p> <p>You may also want to invest in a point-and-shoot with a wide-angle lens. When buyers are browsing through real estate listings, they really want to get a sense of the space. But that&rsquo;s difficult to translate into photos unless you have a wide-angle option. This is important not just for exterior shots but for indoor compositions as well. A wider lens in the interior gives rooms a sense of luxury and space that you just can&rsquo;t get with a regular shot. Point-and-shoot cameras that have a large range in their focal length specification are ideal; the lower the value at that end of the range, the wider the shot will be.</p> <p>If you&rsquo;re really interested in refining your shots, you&rsquo;ll want a camera with manual controls that allow you to adjust shutter speeds on your own. Or it may be time to graduate to a digital single-lens reflex camera, especially if you want to experiment with wide-angle lenses (with focal lengths under 35mm, used for very wide shots). DSLRs have come down in price recently, especially since manufacturers like Canon and Nikon have introduced entry-level DSLRs aimed at beginner photographers. Usually these run for around $300 to $700, and they are available with bundled lens kits to get you started trading out lens lengths for sharper photos.</p> <h4>Get Rid of the Clutter</h4> <p>Staging photos ahead of time by cleaning off counters, tabletops, and floors can turn an ordinary listing into a real stunner. Clear your photography appointment with your client before you arrive, and tell them to clean, clean, clean. Even a detail as minute as a crooked picture frame or a rolled carpet edge can detract from your photos, so be sure to run over your shots with a fine-toothed comb. Decluttering means no power cords or vacuum cleaners in the shot&mdash;but it doesn&rsquo;t mean completely sterile surfaces. A few welcoming touches like a stack of books, a vase of flowers, or a set of candles will make the space feel lived-in and homey. After all, that&rsquo;s what you&rsquo;re really selling anyway: a vision of buyers&rsquo; future lives in a new and welcoming abode.</p> <div class="field field-type-text field-field-show-author-info"> <div class="field-label">Show Author Info?:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> Show Author Info? </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-text field-field-teaser"> <div class="field-label">Teaser:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <!--paging_filter--><p>Simply understanding how to use a few key camera settings and pieces of equipment can make all the difference.&nbsp;</p> </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-main-image"> <div class="field-label">Main Image:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <div class="filefield-file"><img class="filefield-icon field-icon-image-jpeg" alt="image/jpeg icon" src="http://realtormag.realtor.org/sites/all/modules/filefield/icons/image-x-generic.png" /><a href="http://realtormag.realtor.org/sites/realtormag.realtor.org/files/may17_HD_photos.jpg" type="image/jpeg; length=219080">may17_HD_photos.jpg</a></div> </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-top3-lp-image"> <div class="field-label">Top 3 Article on Landing Page:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <img class="imagefield imagefield-field_top3_lp_image" width="149" height="70" alt="" src="http://realtormag.realtor.org/sites/realtormag.realtor.org/files/may17_HD_photos_0.jpg?1494967153" /> </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-lp-mainstage-image"> <div class="field-label">Landing Page Mainstage Image:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <img class="imagefield imagefield-field_lp_mainstage_image" width="830" height="230" alt="" src="http://realtormag.realtor.org/sites/realtormag.realtor.org/files/may17_LP_HD_photos.jpg?1494967207" /> </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-nodereference field-field-related-content"> <div class="field-label">Related Content:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/product-guide/cameras-and-video/article/2016/02/360-degree-cameras-for-age-virtual-listings">360-Degree Cameras for Age of Virtual Listings</a> </div> <div class="field-item even"> <a href="/home-and-design/architecture-coach/article/2012/02/staging-for-listing-photos">Staging for Listing Photos</a> </div> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/home-and-design/home/article/2010/08/8-camera-tips-capture-rooms-size">8 Camera Tips to Capture a Room&#039;s Size</a> </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-number-integer field-field-mainstage-image-display2"> <div class="field-label">Mainstage Image Display on Content:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> No, don't disable the "Main" image on this article </div> </div> </div> Feature Thu, 11 May 2017 15:21:19 +0000 mwhite 23305 at http://realtormag.realtor.org 30 Under 30 Class of 2017: Charged Up http://realtormag.realtor.org/30-under-30/article/2017/05/30-under-30-class-2017-charged-up <div class="field field-type-text field-field-deck"> <div class="field-label">Deck:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> Meet this year&#039;s honorees and go behind the scenes at the cover photo shoot. </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-text field-field-archive-item"> <div class="field-label">Archive:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> off </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-text field-field-features-checkbox"> <div class="field-label">Add to Features Package for the Month:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> off </div> </div> </div> <fieldset class="fieldgroup group-mag-pub-date"><div class="field field-type-date field-field-pub-date"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <span class="date-display-single">Wednesday, May 10, 2017</span> </div> </div> </div> </fieldset> <div class="field field-type-nodereference field-field-op-author"> <div class="field-label">Author(s):&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/author/erica-christoffer">Erica Christoffer</a> </div> </div> </div> <!--paging_filter--><p>Fitting in with the crowd holds no interest for these high-octane achievers. The 30 Under 30 honorees of 2017 excel at business niches as diverse as the markets they serve. The class includes a sustainability expert, a mountain region aficionado, a few luxury market and relocation specialists, and even an accomplished break dancer who demos his moves at open houses. They&rsquo;ve built teams and brands&mdash;and found ways to stand up for communities and advocate for homeownership. They love the real estate business, but they may love giving back even more. Get inspired by their stories of perseverance and learn how they&rsquo;re laying the groundwork as the next generation of real estate leaders.&nbsp;</p> <h4><a href="http://realtormag.realtor.org/30-under-30/honoree/2017">Meet the 30 Under 30 Class of 2017</a><br /> &nbsp;</h4> <p><iframe allowfullscreen="" frameborder="0" height="315" src="https://www.youtube.com/embed/jDD689Xz-No" width="560"></iframe></p> <p><em>Contributing writers:</em> Grant Boelter, Erica Christoffer, Nathan Hansen, Pamela Dittmer McKuen, Lee Nelson, Maggie Sieger, Meg White, Graham Wood</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <div class="field field-type-text field-field-show-author-info"> <div class="field-label">Show Author Info?:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> Show Author Info? </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-text field-field-teaser"> <div class="field-label">Teaser:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <!--paging_filter--><p>Meet this year&#39;s honorees and go behind the scenes at the cover photo shoot.</p> </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-main-image"> <div class="field-label">Main Image:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <div class="filefield-file"><img class="filefield-icon field-icon-image-jpeg" alt="image/jpeg icon" src="http://realtormag.realtor.org/sites/all/modules/filefield/icons/image-x-generic.png" /><a href="http://realtormag.realtor.org/sites/realtormag.realtor.org/files/may17_30-30.jpg" type="image/jpeg; length=323744">may17_30-30.jpg</a></div> </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-top3-lp-image"> <div class="field-label">Top 3 Article on Landing Page:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <img class="imagefield imagefield-field_top3_lp_image" width="149" height="70" alt="" src="http://realtormag.realtor.org/sites/realtormag.realtor.org/files/may17_30-30_0.jpg?1494359713" /> </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-lp-mainstage-image"> <div class="field-label">Landing Page Mainstage Image:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <img class="imagefield imagefield-field_lp_mainstage_image" width="830" height="230" alt="" src="http://realtormag.realtor.org/sites/realtormag.realtor.org/files/may17_LP_30-30.jpg?1494359736" /> </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-number-integer field-field-mainstage-image-display2"> <div class="field-label">Mainstage Image Display on Content:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> No, don't disable the "Main" image on this article </div> </div> </div> 30 Under 30 Mon, 08 May 2017 16:17:32 +0000 mbrozanic 23248 at http://realtormag.realtor.org 6 Ways to Get Free Press for Your Business http://realtormag.realtor.org/sales-and-marketing/feature/article/2017/05/6-ways-get-free-press-for-your-business <div class="field field-type-text field-field-deck"> <div class="field-label">Deck:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> There are several local resources you can use to generate buzz about your real estate expertise, and it won’t cost you anything to get the word out. </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-text field-field-archive-item"> <div class="field-label">Archive:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> off </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-text field-field-features-checkbox"> <div class="field-label">Add to Features Package for the Month:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> off </div> </div> </div> <fieldset class="fieldgroup group-mag-pub-date"><div class="field field-type-date field-field-pub-date"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <span class="date-display-single">Monday, May 8, 2017</span> </div> </div> </div> </fieldset> <div class="field field-type-nodereference field-field-op-author"> <div class="field-label">Author(s):&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/author/tonya-eberhart-and-michael-carr">Tonya Eberhart and Michael Carr</a> </div> </div> </div> <!--paging_filter--><p>The only thing better than being acknowledged as a leading real estate authority in your market is not having to pay advertising dollars to earn such recognition. There are plenty of free public relations opportunities to bring awareness to your business; they just require some advance planning and a little research. Here are six ways you can promote your expertise using local resources without spending an extra dime on marketing.</p> <ol> <li><strong>Create content about newsworthy events with your own spin.</strong> One of the best ways to establish credibility is to be cited as a source or contributor to reputable publications in your area. But first, those publications have to notice you. Start by thinking about the knowledge and expertise you have about a specific topic, and blog about that topic when it&rsquo;s timely. For instance, if national news reports are focused on a sudden shift in housing data, write a blog about how the statistics are reflective of your local area&mdash;and reference a specific neighborhood to serve as an example. That way, when reporters are doing their research, they&rsquo;ll find your content and reach out to you. Most other agents probably aren&rsquo;t focused on creating content tied to current events, so this is where you can stand out from your competitors.</li> <li><strong>Research the newsmakers you want to know.</strong> Most local journalists have LinkedIn profiles and Twitter accounts they use for professional purposes. Follow the ones who write about real estate, spend some time reading their articles, and get familiar with the news angles of their stories. When you reach out to them as a potential source, you will be able to better connect with them by recalling articles they&rsquo;ve written in the past. Another way to connect with local journalists is to join an organization called <a href="https://www.helpareporter.com/" target="_blank">Help a Reporter Out</a>, which connects reporters with expert sources. You can <a href="https://www.helpareporter.com/sources/?nav_location=main_menu" target="_blank">register as a source</a>; membership is free, and you can select specific categories or topics for which you&rsquo;d like to provide expertise. The website also sends daily notifications for new opportunities in the categories you have chosen.</li> <li><strong>Try different kinds of community involvement.</strong> You already know that participating in local events will put you in front of more prospects. But go further than setting up the traditional trade show booth. For example, perhaps your community puts on an annual home and garden show, which includes a room-design contest for local college students. In this case, your experience selling homes, staging, and planning for renovations could make you a good judge for the contest. Such involvement would likely earn you a mention on the event&rsquo;s website and in printed marketing materials, as well as in local news coverage of the contest.</li> <li><strong>Write your own press releases.</strong> Whenever you or your company celebrates a newsworthy occasion&mdash;such as winning a prestigious award, hosting a charity event, or helping to launch a new development&mdash;write a press release about it. Not only will such content improve your search engine optimization, there&rsquo;s also a chance that news sources in your area may print it. When it&rsquo;s time to distribute a press release, visit the websites of local publications, where most will have instructions for submitting releases online. Always publish your press release on your own website as well, and link to it in blog posts and articles you write.</li> <li><strong>Develop a media kit for your business. </strong>When news organizations are seeking sources, a professional package representing who you are, along with your accomplishments and background information, can catch their attention. It makes you appear as a credible source not only to journalists but also to the public. A media kit also provides upfront information about you that reporters need, allowing them to publish your work faster. In most cases, a digital version of a press kit&mdash;a downloadable PDF&mdash;will suffice. A few items you&rsquo;ll need in your press kit are a cover letter, biography, photos, contact info, accomplishments, topics of expertise, and other previous media coverage (if you have it). Add a &ldquo;media&rdquo; section on your website where your media kit will live, and link to it on your &ldquo;about me&rdquo; page.</li> <li><strong>Leverage your advertising relationships.</strong> Though the editorial department of a publication is supposed to operate independently of the advertising department, there are times when an advertiser will take priority over a nonadvertiser in news coverage. So if you are spending money on ads with a media outlet, try to leverage that relationship in a subtle and respectful way. But don&rsquo;t assume that your story should take precedence. Send your submission through appropriate editorial channels, but make sure to copy your sales representative&mdash;or at least let them know you have submitted newsworthy information for review. Here&rsquo;s an excellent approach via email: &ldquo;I have attached some information for a unique story about [insert subject matter] that I thought you might consider newsworthy. I realize this is separate from my advertising agreement with you, and it may not receive coverage. But if it&rsquo;s of interest to you, I will make myself available at your convenience for further discussion.&rdquo;</li> </ol> <div class="field field-type-text field-field-show-author-info"> <div class="field-label">Show Author Info?:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> Show Author Info? </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-text field-field-teaser"> <div class="field-label">Teaser:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <!--paging_filter--><p>There are several local resources you can use to generate buzz about your real estate expertise, and it won&rsquo;t cost you anything to get the word out.</p> </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-main-image"> <div class="field-label">Main Image:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <div class="filefield-file"><img class="filefield-icon field-icon-image-jpeg" alt="image/jpeg icon" src="http://realtormag.realtor.org/sites/all/modules/filefield/icons/image-x-generic.png" /><a href="http://realtormag.realtor.org/sites/realtormag.realtor.org/files/may17_SM_buzz.jpg" type="image/jpeg; length=265952">may17_SM_buzz.jpg</a></div> </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-top3-lp-image"> <div class="field-label">Top 3 Article on Landing Page:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <img class="imagefield imagefield-field_top3_lp_image" width="149" height="70" alt="" src="http://realtormag.realtor.org/sites/realtormag.realtor.org/files/may17_SM_buzz_0.jpg?1494269476" /> </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-lp-mainstage-image"> <div class="field-label">Landing Page Mainstage Image:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <img class="imagefield imagefield-field_lp_mainstage_image" width="830" height="230" alt="" src="http://realtormag.realtor.org/sites/realtormag.realtor.org/files/may17_LP_SM_buzz.jpg?1494269497" /> </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-nodereference field-field-related-content"> <div class="field-label">Related Content:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/daily-news/2016/10/03/celebritize-your-brand-here-s-how">Celebritize Your Brand: Here’s How</a> </div> <div class="field-item even"> <a href="/sales-and-marketing/feature/article/2011/04/10-steps-pitch-media">10 Steps to Pitch the Media</a> </div> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/daily-news/2015/01/05/topics-attract-attention-from-consumers">Topics to Attract Attention From Consumers</a> </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-number-integer field-field-mainstage-image-display2"> <div class="field-label">Mainstage Image Display on Content:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> No, don't disable the "Main" image on this article </div> </div> </div> Feature Mon, 08 May 2017 15:02:41 +0000 gwood 23237 at http://realtormag.realtor.org A Legislative Win for Homeownership http://realtormag.realtor.org/news-and-commentary/your-nar/article/2017/05/legislative-win-for-homeownership <div class="field field-type-text field-field-deck"> <div class="field-label">Deck:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> Find out how one association and NAR&#039;s Issues Mobilization program provide relief to first-time buyers. </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-text field-field-archive-item"> <div class="field-label">Archive:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> off </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-text field-field-features-checkbox"> <div class="field-label">Add to Features Package for the Month:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> off </div> </div> </div> <fieldset class="fieldgroup group-mag-pub-date"><div class="field field-type-date field-field-pub-date"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <span class="date-display-single">Wednesday, May 10, 2017</span> </div> </div> </div> </fieldset> <div class="field field-type-nodereference field-field-op-author"> <div class="field-label">Author(s):&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/author/carolyn-schwaar">Carolyn Schwaar</a> </div> </div> </div> <!--paging_filter--><p>REALTORS&reg; in Mississippi successfully campaigned for legislation creating a new first-time home buyer savings account program that is expected to boost homeownership and new-home construction in the state. The measure, signed in late March, enables Mississippians to deduct thousands of dollars a year from their state adjusted gross income to fund savings accounts for down payments or other home purchase&ndash;related expenses.</p> <p>Mississippi REALTORS&reg; launched the advocacy effort with the help of the National Association of REALTORS&reg;&rsquo; <a href="http://www.realtoractioncenter.com/for-associations/issues-mob/" target="_blank">Issues Mobilization program</a>, which provides financial and technical resources to help state associations with advocacy programs. In this instance, NAR provided economic research that helped make the case to lawmakers for the long-term economic benefits of a savings program to help future home buyers. &ldquo;We hope that other states will follow Mississippi&rsquo;s example and provide similar relief for first-time home buyers,&rdquo; says Mississippi REALTORS&reg; President David Griffith, broker and co-owner of Griffith Real Estate &amp; Appraisal Services, Miss.</p> <p>Mississippi is one of four states with a first-time home buyer savings account program. Montana, Virginia, and Colorado passed similar laws in recent years. NAR is currently assisting seven state associations (Iowa, Minnesota, Missouri, New York, Oklahoma, Oregon, and Pennsylvania) with efforts to launch their own savings account programs.</p> <div class="field field-type-text field-field-show-author-info"> <div class="field-label">Show Author Info?:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> Show Author Info? </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-text field-field-teaser"> <div class="field-label">Teaser:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <!--paging_filter--><p>Find out how one association and NAR&#39;s Issues Mobilization program provide relief to first-time buyers.</p> </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-main-image"> <div class="field-label">Main Image:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <div class="filefield-file"><img class="filefield-icon field-icon-image-jpeg" alt="image/jpeg icon" src="http://realtormag.realtor.org/sites/all/modules/filefield/icons/image-x-generic.png" /><a href="http://realtormag.realtor.org/sites/realtormag.realtor.org/files/may17_YNAR.jpg" type="image/jpeg; length=228839">may17_YNAR.jpg</a></div> </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-top3-lp-image"> <div class="field-label">Top 3 Article on Landing Page:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <img class="imagefield imagefield-field_top3_lp_image" width="149" height="70" alt="" src="http://realtormag.realtor.org/sites/realtormag.realtor.org/files/may17_YNAR_0.jpg?1494270816" /> </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-lp-mainstage-image"> <div class="field-label">Landing Page Mainstage Image:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <img class="imagefield imagefield-field_lp_mainstage_image" width="830" height="230" alt="" src="http://realtormag.realtor.org/sites/realtormag.realtor.org/files/may17_LP_YNAR.jpg?1494270844" /> </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-link field-field-links"> <div class="field-label">External Links:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="https://www.nar.realtor/newsroom/op-eds-and-letters-to-the-editor/first-time-homebuyers-stuck-on-economic-sidelines" rel="nofollow">First-time Homebuyers Stuck on Economic Sidelines</a> </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-number-integer field-field-mainstage-image-display2"> <div class="field-label">Mainstage Image Display on Content:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> No, don't disable the "Main" image on this article </div> </div> </div> Your NAR Mon, 08 May 2017 16:06:33 +0000 mbrozanic 23246 at http://realtormag.realtor.org Climb the Ladder of Involvement http://realtormag.realtor.org/news-and-commentary/nar-president/article/2017/05/climb-ladder-involvement <div class="field field-type-text field-field-deck"> <div class="field-label">Deck:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> President William E. Brown calls on REALTORS® embrace their own leadership roles. </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-text field-field-archive-item"> <div class="field-label">Archive:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> off </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-text field-field-features-checkbox"> <div class="field-label">Add to Features Package for the Month:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> off </div> </div> </div> <fieldset class="fieldgroup group-mag-pub-date"><div class="field field-type-date field-field-pub-date"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <span class="date-display-single">Wednesday, May 10, 2017</span> </div> </div> </div> </fieldset> <div class="field field-type-nodereference field-field-op-author"> <div class="field-label">Author(s):&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/author/william-e-brown">William E. Brown</a> </div> </div> </div> <!--paging_filter--><p>As I travel the country speaking to members, I&rsquo;m often asked how to get more involved in the association and how to become a leader for change. To reach our potential as the nation&rsquo;s largest trade association, it takes the commitment of all of our members. We must be open to&nbsp;the future, recognize&nbsp;our responsibilities&mdash;and act.</p> <p>From the tremendous work members do at the REALTORS&reg; Legislative Meetings &amp; Trade Expo in May, it is apparent we have a deep bench of strong leaders, but new voices and new ideas are not only welcome, they are needed. We want to hear from you. If you are not already involved at the national level, I encourage you to do so. And you don&rsquo;t need to run for office or be appointed to a formal role. I think of leadership as being deeply engaged in the issues that matter to REALTORS&reg;&mdash;it means caring about what happens to our businesses. As I was coming up the ranks in northern California, a sage local association leader told me to think of leadership as a &ldquo;ladder of involvement.&rdquo; The first rung might simply be attending a meeting. The second might be answering a call for action. Another rung might be getting a colleague to attend a meeting with you.</p> <p>At the National Association of REALTORS&reg;, we&rsquo;re focused on building a culture where everyone contributes to strengthening the association&mdash;where everyone can climb the &ldquo;ladder of involvement.&rdquo;</p> <p>For some, the business of the national association may seem remote and hard to connect with, but let me suggest how you can become involved: Attend an NAR conference, enroll in a professional designation course, respond to a call for action on a legislative issue. The three-way membership agreement assures that we work together at the local, state, and national levels. What inspires me about the future of this industry is seeing the level of enthusiasm for association and community involvement that many of the 30 Under 30 honorees <a href="/30-under-30/article/2017/05/30-under-30-class-2017-charged-up">profiled in this issue</a> have demonstrated so early in their careers.</p> <p>Our business has seen great changes in the last decade or so, and no doubt the transformation will continue. We&rsquo;ll need strong leaders to stand up for our industry and our profession&mdash;and to embrace the evolution. With your help, NAR is fighting for the American dream of homeownership and for you&mdash;the REALTORS&reg; who make that dream possible. Many of us will meet with members of Congress in May to press our issues ranging from tax reform to flood insurance reauthorization. Throughout the year, thousands more will support our advocacy efforts through RPAC. I&rsquo;m confident we can position our industry for growth and innovation for the next generation. Together, we will lead this revolution, and together, we will succeed.</p> <div class="field field-type-text field-field-show-author-info"> <div class="field-label">Show Author Info?:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> Show Author Info? </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-text field-field-teaser"> <div class="field-label">Teaser:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <!--paging_filter--><p>President William E. Brown calls on REALTORS&reg; embrace their own leadership roles.</p> </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-main-image"> <div class="field-label">Main Image:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <div class="filefield-file"><img class="filefield-icon field-icon-image-jpeg" alt="image/jpeg icon" src="http://realtormag.realtor.org/sites/all/modules/filefield/icons/image-x-generic.png" /><a href="http://realtormag.realtor.org/sites/realtormag.realtor.org/files/may17_NC_ladder.jpg" type="image/jpeg; length=76703">may17_NC_ladder.jpg</a></div> </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-top3-lp-image"> <div class="field-label">Top 3 Article on Landing Page:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <img class="imagefield imagefield-field_top3_lp_image" width="149" height="70" alt="" src="http://realtormag.realtor.org/sites/realtormag.realtor.org/files/may17_NC_ladder_0.jpg?1494270630" /> </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-lp-mainstage-image"> <div class="field-label">Landing Page Mainstage Image:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <img class="imagefield imagefield-field_lp_mainstage_image" width="830" height="230" alt="" src="http://realtormag.realtor.org/sites/realtormag.realtor.org/files/may17_LP_NC_ladder.jpg?1494270654" /> </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-nodereference field-field-related-content"> <div class="field-label">Related Content:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/news-and-commentary/nar-president/article/2017/03/advocating-for-you-each-day">Advocating for You Each Day</a> </div> <div class="field-item even"> <a href="/news-and-commentary/nar-president/article/2017/01/change-in-air-in-2017">Change Is in the Air in 2017</a> </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-number-integer field-field-mainstage-image-display2"> <div class="field-label">Mainstage Image Display on Content:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> No, don't disable the "Main" image on this article </div> </div> </div> NAR President Mon, 08 May 2017 15:58:11 +0000 mbrozanic 23245 at http://realtormag.realtor.org Hello, You’ve Been Hacked http://realtormag.realtor.org/news-and-commentary/commentary/article/2017/05/hello-you-ve-been-hacked <div class="field field-type-text field-field-deck"> <div class="field-label">Deck:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> Will your E&amp;O policy cover you if your brokerage’s intranet site is locked by ransomware? </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-text field-field-archive-item"> <div class="field-label">Archive:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> off </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-text field-field-features-checkbox"> <div class="field-label">Add to Features Package for the Month:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> off </div> </div> </div> <fieldset class="fieldgroup group-mag-pub-date"><div class="field field-type-date field-field-pub-date"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <span class="date-display-single">Wednesday, May 10, 2017</span> </div> </div> </div> </fieldset> <div class="field field-type-nodereference field-field-op-author"> <div class="field-label">Author(s):&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/author/matthew-kletzli">Matthew Kletzli</a> </div> <div class="field-item even"> <a href="/author/eric-myers">Eric Myers </a> </div> </div> </div> <!--paging_filter--><p>Imagine this scenario: An agent arrives at her office to find the company&rsquo;s intranet site locked with a message on the screen from a hacker demanding ransom.</p> <p>There&rsquo;s no reason for panic because, in addition to having a standard errors and omissions insurance policy, the brokerage is protected by a cyber liability policy. That&rsquo;s a type of coverage that an increasing number of insurance companies are offering.</p> <p>Back to our scenario: The agent informs her broker-owner about the breach. The broker has access to a hotline and a &ldquo;breach coach,&rdquo; a lawyer specializing in cyber events, and consults with the breach coach, who confirms that all files can be restored using the system backup. The coach also brings in a forensics expert to determine whether data has been compromised. It hasn&rsquo;t. Nor has the hacker used the breach to access the intranet site of the larger real estate company the broker is affiliated with. In short, it&rsquo;s a small-scale extortion.&nbsp; Before the case is closed, the forensics expert works with the -broker&rsquo;s technical staff to seal the system.</p> <p>This type of minor breach, in which you&rsquo;re locked out but no client data is compromised, could cost a brokerage $10,000 to resolve. But with cyber liability coverage, a brokerage would pay only a fraction of that&mdash;typically about 25 percent, depending on the level of protection obtained. With REALTOR Benefits&reg; Program partner Victor O. Schinnerer &amp; Co., base annual premiums start at about $750.</p> <p>Hackers are infiltrating business systems regularly, and the damage is becoming more severe. Internet security giant <a href="https://www.symantec.com/content/dam/symantec/docs/reports/istr-21-2016-en.pdf" target="_blank">Symantec found more than 430 million new pieces of malware in 2015</a> alone, up 36 percent from the prior year. The Federal Trade Commission recently warned that the real estate industry, with its large sums of money changing hands, has become a tempting target for wire transfer fraud. In such a scheme, a hacker breaches the email of a consumer, real estate agent, lender, or title agent; follows the back-and-forth between parties; and then creates an official-looking email, directing the buyers to wire their down payment money to the criminal&rsquo;s account. Warn buyer clients to check the validity of any email that instructs them to transfer funds electronically. If they fall prey to such a scam, and a forensics investigation reveals it was your email that provided entry to the hacker, you could be subject to a liability claim.</p> <p>Telephone toll fraud is also on the rise. This is where a hacker gains access to your brokerage&rsquo;s internet-based phone system and reroutes your incoming and outgoing calls through a 900 number the hacker controls. You see nothing until your next phone bill arrives.</p> <p>Small and medium-sized real estate companies are particularly vulnerable because they typically don&rsquo;t have a full-time risk manager on staff. Yet every time an agent uses free Wi-Fi at a coffee shop to check email, your company faces potential exposure to a hacker. Even if you&rsquo;re using a secured network at the office, you can open a door to your system if you click on a compromised link in an email.</p> <p>If a hacker accesses your customers&rsquo; personal and financial data, that becomes a full-scale breach that would likely trigger state requirements on reporting and other remediation steps, and could even subject your business to fines and other repercussions at the federal level.</p> <p>When shopping for a cyber liability policy, brokerages should look for:</p> <ul> <li>Plain-language contracts. It&rsquo;s hard to decipher what&rsquo;s covered, and what&rsquo;s not, if you have to wade through page after page of cyber jargon.</li> <li>Breach liability coverage. Know what breaches are covered.</li> <li>Breach rectification coverage. Does the policy offer a hotline and a coach who&rsquo;s qualified to help you manage the aftermath of a system compromise?</li> </ul> <p>Anyone can fall victim to hacking. It&rsquo;s smart to investigate liability options to keep your clients, your agents, and your company as safe as possible.</p> <div class="field field-type-text field-field-show-author-info"> <div class="field-label">Show Author Info?:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> Show Author Info? </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-text field-field-teaser"> <div class="field-label">Teaser:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <!--paging_filter--><p>Will your E&amp;O policy cover you if your brokerage&rsquo;s intranet site is locked by ransomware?</p> </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-main-image"> <div class="field-label">Main Image:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <div class="filefield-file"><img class="filefield-icon field-icon-image-jpeg" alt="image/jpeg icon" src="http://realtormag.realtor.org/sites/all/modules/filefield/icons/image-x-generic.png" /><a href="http://realtormag.realtor.org/sites/realtormag.realtor.org/files/may17_LE_hacking.jpg" type="image/jpeg; length=135337">may17_LE_hacking.jpg</a></div> </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-top3-lp-image"> <div class="field-label">Top 3 Article on Landing Page:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <img class="imagefield imagefield-field_top3_lp_image" width="149" height="70" alt="" src="http://realtormag.realtor.org/sites/realtormag.realtor.org/files/may17_LE_hacking_0.jpg?1494270317" /> </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-lp-mainstage-image"> <div class="field-label">Landing Page Mainstage Image:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <img class="imagefield imagefield-field_lp_mainstage_image" width="830" height="230" alt="" src="http://realtormag.realtor.org/sites/realtormag.realtor.org/files/may17_LP_LE_hacking.jpg?1494270338" /> </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-number-integer field-field-mainstage-image-display2"> <div class="field-label">Mainstage Image Display on Content:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> No, don't disable the "Main" image on this article </div> </div> </div> Commentary Mon, 08 May 2017 15:35:50 +0000 mbrozanic 23241 at http://realtormag.realtor.org Help Sellers Choose Between Multiple Offers http://realtormag.realtor.org/sales-and-marketing/feature/article/2017/05/help-sellers-choose-between-multiple-offers <div class="field field-type-text field-field-deck"> <div class="field-label">Deck:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> In a bidding war, help your sellers think about more than money. </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-text field-field-archive-item"> <div class="field-label">Archive:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> off </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-text field-field-features-checkbox"> <div class="field-label">Add to Features Package for the Month:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> off </div> </div> </div> <fieldset class="fieldgroup group-mag-pub-date"><div class="field field-type-date field-field-pub-date"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <span class="date-display-single">Wednesday, May 10, 2017</span> </div> </div> </div> </fieldset> <div class="field field-type-nodereference field-field-op-author"> <div class="field-label">Author(s):&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/author/judith-crown">Judith Crown</a> </div> </div> </div> <!--paging_filter--><p>Juggling multiple offers is an enviable problem to have, but it isn&rsquo;t always easy territory to navigate. For clients who think the highest bid is the default choice, it&rsquo;s important to explain that price is just part of the calculation. Other factors include move-in timeline, potential appraisal and inspection contingencies, the amount of earnest money a buyer is willing to put down, and negotiations around home repairs, among other issues.</p> <h4>When Less Is More</h4> <p>Some sellers come into the process with priorities that are more important to them than the sale price. Make sure you know what those are at the start so that you can help weed out bidders who are not able to meet the sellers&rsquo; terms, says David Silverman, a sales associate with DeBianchi Real Estate in Fort Lauderdale, Fla. &ldquo;Maybe the sellers require a long escrow period because their new home won&rsquo;t be ready yet,&rdquo; he says, &ldquo;or maybe they need to close quickly because they&rsquo;ve already purchased a new home and don&rsquo;t want to pay mortgages on two properties.&rdquo;</p> <p>If you spend time upfront talking through all the factors that could come into play, your sellers will be in a better position to evaluate offers. Heidi Hines gives buyers a chance to put their best foot forward: She sends a memo indicating terms her clients will find more favorable, such as a quick closing timeline or fewer contingencies.</p> <p>&ldquo;That should be a heads-up that it&rsquo;s a multiple-offer situation,&rdquo; says Hines, CRS, GRI, a sales associate with Wilkinson ERA Real Estate in Charlotte, N.C. It can get buyers thinking about creative ways to gain sellers&rsquo; attention.</p> <p>The amount of the offer is important, of course, and when buyers bid high, you want to make sure they&rsquo;re qualified. Asking for a sizable earnest money deposit will help discern which buyers are serious, Silverman says. If bidders require financing, the reputation of their lender can be an important factor when weighing offers. If the lender is known for delays, you may want to counsel your seller on choosing another offer.</p> <p>Many buyer&rsquo;s agents in low-inventory markets, where bidding wars are common, advise their clients to waive contingencies and other items to make their offers more attractive. As a result, sellers may be better off considering lower bids when they come with fewer strings attached. Carrie Pierce-Johnson, a sales associate with Coldwell Banker Danforth in Seattle, says she suggested that a recent client, who had six offers, turn down the highest bidder, who didn&rsquo;t waive the appraisal contingency. Such a contingency means that if the house appraises below the offering price, the buyer must make up the difference in cash&mdash;which could derail the sale. Pierce-Johnson&rsquo;s seller avoided that risk by accepting a cash offer that was $10,000 less but bypassed the need for an appraisal.</p> <h4>When to Hold Your Opinion</h4> <p>When evaluating multiple bids, your clients most likely will ask for your feedback on which offer you think they should take. Your expertise can come in handy here, but there are occasions when it may be wiser to encourage your clients to reach a decision on their own.</p> <p>Dot Aikman, a sales associate at Sky Realty in Austin, Texas, says it&rsquo;s best to reserve your opinion when sellers are considering a personal letter they received from a buyer. It&rsquo;s a common tactic buyers use to appeal to a seller&rsquo;s emotion and win favor over other bidders. And while it can complicate your client&rsquo;s choice, resist providing an answer in those situations, Aikman says. &ldquo;I suggest to my clients to sleep on it. What does their heart tell them? You want them to be happy and not walk away from the deal feeling regret.&rdquo; A seller Aikman recently represented chose an offer from a family over a higher cash bid from an investor. The family enclosed a letter saying their son planned to live there and improve the property. &ldquo;That was appealing [to my client],&rdquo; Aikman says.</p> <p>You will want to offer your professional opinion to sellers when buyers offer incentives such as a rent-back agreement, which enables sellers to stay in their home after the sale if they need more time to move. Walk the seller through&nbsp; the terms of such a deal, explaining the benefits and potential risks. &ldquo;If a family has small kids and they want to avoid temporary housing, a rent-back agreement could [be more valuable than a higher offer],&rdquo; Pierce-Johnson says. Make sure the agreement stipulates who is responsible for what costs. For example, if an appliance breaks during the rent-back period, who pays for the repair? &ldquo;I let sellers know that I can be helpful, but I&rsquo;m not licensed to solve problems after the sale,&rdquo; Pierce-Johnson says.</p> <p>Sellers in multiple-offer situations have numerous considerations to sort through. Once you&rsquo;ve done your job explaining the pros and cons of each offer and providing information clients need to make an informed decision, it&rsquo;s important to support whatever choice they make. In the end, the best offer is the one they are most comfortable with.</p> <div class="field field-type-text field-field-show-author-info"> <div class="field-label">Show Author Info?:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> Show Author Info? </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-text field-field-teaser"> <div class="field-label">Teaser:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <!--paging_filter--><p>In a bidding war, help your sellers think about more than money.</p> </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-main-image"> <div class="field-label">Main Image:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <div class="filefield-file"><img class="filefield-icon field-icon-image-jpeg" alt="image/jpeg icon" src="http://realtormag.realtor.org/sites/all/modules/filefield/icons/image-x-generic.png" /><a href="http://realtormag.realtor.org/sites/realtormag.realtor.org/files/may17_SM_offers.jpg" type="image/jpeg; length=118805">may17_SM_offers.jpg</a></div> </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-top3-lp-image"> <div class="field-label">Top 3 Article on Landing Page:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <img class="imagefield imagefield-field_top3_lp_image" width="149" height="70" alt="" src="http://realtormag.realtor.org/sites/realtormag.realtor.org/files/may17_SM_offers_0.jpg?1494271164" /> </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-lp-mainstage-image"> <div class="field-label">Landing Page Mainstage Image:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <img class="imagefield imagefield-field_lp_mainstage_image" width="830" height="230" alt="" src="http://realtormag.realtor.org/sites/realtormag.realtor.org/files/may17_LP_SM_offers.jpg?1494271188" /> </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-number-integer field-field-mainstage-image-display2"> <div class="field-label">Mainstage Image Display on Content:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> No, don't disable the "Main" image on this article </div> </div> </div> Feature Mon, 08 May 2017 15:13:55 +0000 mbrozanic 23238 at http://realtormag.realtor.org How to Make a Big Statement With a Small Yard http://realtormag.realtor.org/home-and-design/feature/article/2017/05/how-make-big-statement-small-yard <div class="field field-type-text field-field-deck"> <div class="field-label">Deck:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> Here’s how to make a splash in even the most compact outdoor spaces. </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-text field-field-archive-item"> <div class="field-label">Archive:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> off </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-text field-field-features-checkbox"> <div class="field-label">Add to Features Package for the Month:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> off </div> </div> </div> <fieldset class="fieldgroup group-mag-pub-date"><div class="field field-type-date field-field-pub-date"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <span class="date-display-single">Wednesday, May 10, 2017</span> </div> </div> </div> </fieldset> <div class="field field-type-nodereference field-field-op-author"> <div class="field-label">Author(s):&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/author/melissa-dittmann-tracey">Melissa Dittmann Tracey</a> </div> </div> </div> <!--paging_filter--><p>Not everyone dreams of a lush and sprawling backyard. So playing down diminutive outdoor space in your listing could be a missed opportunity to connect with a buyer who sees a postage-stamp lawn or a compact front stoop as a plus, says Meridith Baer, owner of Meridith Baer Home, a staging firm based in the Los Angeles area. &ldquo;Actually, it&rsquo;s sometimes easier to make a small space charming. It might be as simple as adding shutters in a pretty hue and painting the front door, or putting that perfect set of chairs on the front porch,&rdquo; she says. Whether you&rsquo;re dealing with a small backyard in a single--family home or simply a balcony or patio for a townhouse or condo, these tips can help homeowners or stagers make a bigger statement.</p> <h4><img alt="" src="/sites/realtormag.realtor.org/files/rmo_files/images/2017_may/may17_hd_garden_scale.jpg" style="width: 182px; height: 177px; margin: 3px; float: right;" />Watch the Scale&nbsp;</h4> <p>Decluttering is just as crucial for outdoor spaces as it is the rest of the house. &ldquo;It&rsquo;s important not to do too much and overcrowd a small space,&rdquo; says Dennis Hammett, sales associate with Ebby Halliday, REALTORS&reg;, in Dallas. Too many chairs around a table or even too large a tree can make a smaller yard feel confined. &ldquo;Placement and size of plants becomes very important with a small front yard. You want to make sure that none are so big that they will block any of the home&rsquo;s architectural features,&rdquo; says Jason Evans, marketing manager for The Davey Tree Expert Co. in East Bay, Calif. Keep garden statues and ornaments to a minimum, Evans adds.</p> <h4><img alt="" src="/sites/realtormag.realtor.org/files/rmo_files/images/2017_may/may17_hd_garden_focal.jpg" style="width: 182px; height: 177px; margin: 3px; float: right;" />Set a Focal Point</h4> <p>Smaller spaces often benefit from an attention-grabbing feature, such as a water fountain, outdoor fireplace, or a restful nook in a compact garden. &ldquo;If you have a small space, pick a focus to start with,&rdquo; says Justin Hancock, garden expert with Costa Farms in Miami. &ldquo;You might want to rent or borrow a small patio set or fire pit to get buyers thinking about how great the backyard will be for entertaining or outdoor living.&rdquo; You can also draw attention verbally to a focal point. For example, call out the benefits to the home&rsquo;s outdoor plantings&mdash;if they, for example, attract butterflies or hummingbirds, Hancock says. &ldquo;A quick handout that highlights the upsides to areas of the yard can be helpful to consumers who may not realize those benefits on their own.&rdquo;</p> <h4><img alt="" src="/sites/realtormag.realtor.org/files/rmo_files/images/2017_may/may17_hd_garden_reflect.jpg" style="width: 182px; height: 177px; margin: 3px; float: right;" />Outdoor Reflections</h4> <p>&ldquo;Try a trick borrowed from interior designers: Hang an outdoor-friendly mirror on an exterior wall to reflect light and to make these yards feel more open,&rdquo; says Missy Henriksen, spokeswoman for the National Association of Landscape Professionals. While there&rsquo;s no wrong or right style of outdoor mirror, Henriksen offers some suggestions: Hang the mirror no lower than eye level, ensure it&rsquo;s rustproof, and try a mirror that mimics shapes and styles of real windows. Pay attention to what you&rsquo;re reflecting, too. &ldquo;You want to show off the gorgeous greenery of your landscape, not a bare wall or barbecue,&rdquo; Henriksen says.</p> <h4><img alt="" src="/sites/realtormag.realtor.org/files/rmo_files/images/2017_may/may17_hd_garden_plantwall.jpg" style="width: 182px; height: 177px; margin: 3px; float: right;" />Go for the Vertical</h4> <p>Taller plants can add height to a doorway that feels closed off, Henriksen says. A spiral topiary in a container beside a front door can nicely accentuate a space. Another tip: Prune plants so they&rsquo;re more vertical, training them to grow up rather than out. Also, consider a vertical wall of planters, like containers of ornamental grasses. You can also raise plant height by several feet using retaining walls, raised beds, or extra long, slender containers.</p> <h4><img alt="" src="/sites/realtormag.realtor.org/files/rmo_files/images/2017_may/may17_hd_garden_containers.jpg" style="width: 182px; height: 177px; margin: 3px; float: right;" />Accent With Container Gardens</h4> <p>Container gardens are portable, which make them an easy way to enhance a small space, particularly for a townhouse or condo where a homeowners association or shared space may limit what you can install. Matching containers placed on each side of a stairway or doorway can create a bookend look, suggests Hancock. Or, group a small cluster of different sizes of containers. Choose plants that complement or contrast with the color of your front door. For example, with a red door, choose red geraniums, salvia, or petunias, Hancock suggests. For a high-contrast look with a blue door, try planting easy-care golds and yellows, such as zinnias, marigolds, or celosia. &ldquo;If floor space is at a premium, try a hanging basket or two,&rdquo; says Hancock.</p> <h4><img alt="" src="/sites/realtormag.realtor.org/files/rmo_files/images/2017_may/may17_hd_garden_light.jpg" style="width: 182px; height: 177px; margin: 3px; float: right;" />Layer the Light</h4> <p>Turn a spotlight on what you do have, from above and below. &ldquo;Outdoor lighting is an easy way to showcase the entry and complement your landscaping,&rdquo; says Hammett. Solar lights can be added affordably and without extra wiring. Point lights up at trees, and place them along the driveway and planting beds to create a landscape with a soothing glow, Hammett says. Also, consider wall-mounted task lighting, such as sconces, to spotlight outdoor cooking areas. &ldquo;Gas lanterns can add a touch of elegance, &ldquo; Hammett says.</p> <h4><img alt="" src="/sites/realtormag.realtor.org/files/rmo_files/images/2017_may/may17_hd_garden_greenery.jpg" style="width: 182px; height: 177px; margin: 3px; float: right;" />Fuse in More Greenery</h4> <p>Use the colors of nature to add lushness and texture to the space. You&rsquo;ll be in good company with designers on this one, as the Pantone Color Institute&rsquo;s color of the year is a verdant shade called &ldquo;greenery.&rdquo; NALP is also highlighting simpler greenery for 2017. A formal hedge of green velvet boxwood, a border of green lilyturf, or dense Boston ivy-colored trellises can have just as much impact as a garden full of colorful flowers, NALP notes. &ldquo;Everyone loves a pop of color, but don&rsquo;t shy away from the striking simplicity of outdoor neutrals, especially in smaller yards,&rdquo; Henriksen says. Try ornamental grasses and trees potted in a container. In drought-prone areas, consider a small patch of low-water options like Kurapia, a ground cover with white flowers that can work in various soils and requires little watering to maintain.</p> <h4><img alt="" src="/sites/realtormag.realtor.org/files/rmo_files/images/2017_may/may17_hd_garden_privacy.jpg" style="width: 182px; height: 177px; margin: 3px; float: right;" />Increase Privacy</h4> <p>Small yards often lack privacy, and neighbors are usually in close proximity. Taller plants, vines, bamboo, or an arbor with a large flowering vine can help create a more intimate space. A trellis on a balcony of a condo can also help. &ldquo;Privacy doesn&rsquo;t have to be expensive&mdash;even a lattice panel or two can do the job,&rdquo; Hancock says. A hedge is the easiest and most affordable way to add privacy in a yard, Baer says. &ldquo;If you want to save money, get a younger specimen and have the broker point out that in a year&rsquo;s time you won&rsquo;t see the neighbors,&rdquo; Baer says.</p> <h4><img alt="" src="/sites/realtormag.realtor.org/files/rmo_files/images/2017_may/may17_hd_garden_outdoors.jpg" style="width: 182px; height: 177px; margin: 3px; float: right;" />Extend the Indoors Out</h4> <p>Connect the indoor space to the outdoor space to make the living space feel larger. Use the same colors you find inside the home in the exterior color scheme, starting with cushioned furnishings and outdoor throw pillows for an easy match. Add a waterproof rug to ground the space as an outdoor room. Consider a pergola or gazebo to extend the interior feel. &ldquo;Outdoor structures can help define your space and do not have the confinement of four closed walls, so they are typically good choices for smaller properties,&rdquo; Henriksen says.</p> <div class="field field-type-text field-field-show-author-info"> <div class="field-label">Show Author Info?:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> Show Author Info? </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-text field-field-teaser"> <div class="field-label">Teaser:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <!--paging_filter--><p>Here&rsquo;s how to make a splash in even the most compact outdoor spaces.</p> </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-main-image"> <div class="field-label">Main Image:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <div class="filefield-file"><img class="filefield-icon field-icon-image-jpeg" alt="image/jpeg icon" src="http://realtormag.realtor.org/sites/all/modules/filefield/icons/image-x-generic.png" /><a href="http://realtormag.realtor.org/sites/realtormag.realtor.org/files/may17_HD_gardens.jpg" type="image/jpeg; length=531213">may17_HD_gardens.jpg</a></div> </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-top3-lp-image"> <div class="field-label">Top 3 Article on Landing Page:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <img class="imagefield imagefield-field_top3_lp_image" width="149" height="70" alt="" src="http://realtormag.realtor.org/sites/realtormag.realtor.org/files/may17_HD_gardens_0.jpg?1494271558" /> </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-lp-mainstage-image"> <div class="field-label">Landing Page Mainstage Image:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <img class="imagefield imagefield-field_lp_mainstage_image" width="830" height="230" alt="" src="http://realtormag.realtor.org/sites/realtormag.realtor.org/files/may17_LP_HD_gardens.jpg?1494271579" /> </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-nodereference field-field-related-content"> <div class="field-label">Related Content:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/sales-and-marketing/handouts-for-customers/for-sellers/how-add-curb-appeal">How To Add Curb Appeal</a> </div> <div class="field-item even"> <a href="/home-and-design/home/article/2009/02/curb-appeal-staging-for-streetview">Curb Appeal: Staging for Streetview</a> </div> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/home-and-design/feature/article/2010/04/5-ways-add-condo-curb-appeal">5 Ways to Add Condo Curb Appeal</a> </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-number-integer field-field-mainstage-image-display2"> <div class="field-label">Mainstage Image Display on Content:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> No, don't disable the "Main" image on this article </div> </div> </div> Feature Mon, 08 May 2017 14:57:14 +0000 mbrozanic 23236 at http://realtormag.realtor.org