Articles http://realtormag.realtor.org/articles en Building a Lollapalooza Brand for Buyers http://realtormag.realtor.org/for-brokers/solutions/article/2015/03/building-lollapalooza-brand-for-buyers <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"> If you can make the act of purchasing a home with your brokerage an extraordinary event, you’ll have clients coming back for a lifetime of magical experiences. </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, March 27, 2015</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/jason-forrest">Jason Forrest</a> </div> </div> </div> <!--paging_filter--><p>We all want to be exceptional in our lives and work. We want to be <em>lollapalooza</em> &mdash; &ldquo;<a href="http://dictionary.reference.com/browse/lollapalooza" target="_blank">an extraordinary thing, event, or person</a>.&rdquo; For some readers, the term &mdash; which has roots in early 20th century slang &mdash; may call to mind the annual rock festival. But in order to truly figure out how to be the best lollapalooza we can be, we should consider what&rsquo;s billed as &ldquo;the happiest place on earth&rdquo;: Disneyland.</p> <p>It&rsquo;s more than a slogan. By creating a fairytale experience for millions of customers, Disneyland has earned a remarkable <a href="http://www.helpscout.net/blog/disney-customer-experience/" target="_blank">70 percent first-time return rate</a>. It creates magic. Every visit is designed to be a lollapalooza, with personalized experiences for young and old alike. Every detail matters. When he was still around, Walt Disney himself greeted guests. Today, company leaders walk the parks, interact with guests, and pay close attention to customers&rsquo; reactions to new rides. The execs are out among the people instead of tucking themselves away in a building far from the park. Each employee shares a unifying purpose.</p> <p>Your challenge is to create your own lollapalooza brand. If you want to be like Disney, you have to act like Disney. Teams can create lollapalooza experiences for each customer by providing a personal touch. This requires teaching agents to truly know their customers and do their homework.</p> <p>Make it a part of your brokerage&rsquo;s culture for agents to take the time to learn about each client. One of my favorite tools is simple, but it&rsquo;s incredibly effective in allowing agents to create a refined, highly personalized experience. It just requires a visit to the client&rsquo;s current home. Agents ask clients to walk them around and describe everything they like about their current home and everything they want to change when they move to their next one.</p> <p>Another strategy is teaching your agents to tour each prospective home before they show it to customers, whenever possible. It seems embarrassing to me when real estate pros are seeing the home for the first time along with potential buyers. A lollapalooza experience, on the other hand, is one where the agent screens the home first and demonstrates how each room and feature lines up with what their client desires in a new home. This shows that they respect the client&rsquo;s time and want to make every home worth the visit.</p> <p>And sometimes it&rsquo;s the little things. Teach sales associates to bring boxed lunches and a cooler of water for the long days in the car. It&rsquo;s not just a gimmick. For your clients, it&rsquo;s magic.</p> <p>Finally, the experience shouldn&rsquo;t end at the closing table. Disneyland-level team members work tirelessly to make every minute magical. Celebrate the signing. Instead of just passing the keys across the table, agents should meet owners at their new home and make it an extraordinary event. Agents can have a ribbon on the door and present them with a welcome package that includes everything they need to know about the community. Make it simple for them to set up utilities or manage other details that will help ease the client&rsquo;s transition. Make it lollapalooza. They will feel extraordinary and your agent will have earned their loyalty (and, hopefully, referrals).</p> <p>Paying attention to customers and details will turn the ordinary into the extraordinary. Your teams will build a brand that makes each client&rsquo;s home feel like the happiest place on earth&mdash;and that is true lollapalooza.</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>If you can make the act of purchasing a home with your brokerage an extraordinary event, you&rsquo;ll have clients coming back for a lifetime of magical experiences.</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/mar15_SM_lollapalooza.jpg" type="image/jpeg; length=80971">mar15_SM_lollapalooza.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/mar15_SM_lollapalooza_0.jpg?1427488678" /> </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/mar15_LP_SM_lollapalooza.jpg?1427488703" /> </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/2015/01/ingredients-for-success">The Ingredients for Success</a> </div> <div class="field-item even"> <a href="/for-brokers/briefs/article/2012/09/generate-ideas-disney-style">Generate Ideas, Disney Style</a> </div> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/news-and-commentary/last-word/article/2010/09/shep-hyken-make-customers-loyal">Shep Hyken: Make Customers Loyal</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> Solutions Fri, 27 Mar 2015 14:05:15 +0000 mwhite 18566 at http://realtormag.realtor.org 5 Tips for Helping Agents in the Spring Market http://realtormag.realtor.org/for-brokers/network/article/2015/03/5-tips-for-helping-agents-in-spring-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"> It’s important for managing brokers to support their agents and alleviate some of the stress a feverish market can bring. Here are five ways to set your salespeople up for success this season. </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, March 26, 2015</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/joan-allen">Joan Allen</a> </div> </div> </div> <!--paging_filter--><p>Spring is here, so buckle your real estate belts; it&rsquo;s a fast and furious ride.</p> <p>With the winter doldrums mostly behind us and the economy on an upswing, people are increasingly eager to make a move. In many markets, well-priced homes are being gobbled up as fast as agents can download the new listings. Amid stiff competition and multiple offers, it&rsquo;s easy for agents and their clients to experience serious stress.</p> <p>So what can we do as managers to help our agents come up for air when they&rsquo;re drowning in a sea of fast-paced activity? I sent out a plea to <a href="http://www.windermereportland.com/" target="_blank">Windermere Stellar</a>&rsquo;s managers to help me provide tips for getting through this fast-paced time.</p> <p>Here are our top five tips:</p> <p><strong>1. Have Your Agents&rsquo; Backs. </strong>The increase in competitive transactions means our managers are spending more time helping agents navigate their deals. Managers must be available, offering a safe haven for their agents as they navigate through transaction challenges. Not only are listening skills very important but consistent coaching and support are also essential. Good managers must play many important roles for their agents: adviser, coach, cheerleader, psychiatrist, sounding board, and problem solver.</p> <p><strong>2. Learn to Pause. </strong>In the Internet age, consumers are used to getting what they want &mdash; immediately &mdash; and agents have been obliging. On top of that, changes in the loan industry and appraisal practices, as well as multiple offer situations and evolving sale agreements, are putting more-complex demands on agents than ever before. Salespeople can experience stress and sometimes a sense of panic. Yes, at times we have to work in crisis-management mode, but your agents can offer better answers and advice to their clients if they pause to create thoughtful strategies. As leaders, we must model calmness in order to help control the frenzy instead of becoming part of it.</p> <p><strong>3. Cultivate Future Business. </strong>The current demands of the day can consume 100 percent of your agents&rsquo; time and energy. They need to be protected against a potential drop in future business after the spring buying season recedes. It requires discipline to continue prospecting during busy times. Agents should implement automated marketing systems so that they&rsquo;re staying consistent without taking attention away from their current clients.</p> <p>&ldquo;It&rsquo;s at times like these that we cannot afford the luxury of letting up on our pursuit of the future,&rdquo; says John Gregory, managing broker at Windermere Stellar&rsquo;s Portland-Raleigh Hills office. &ldquo;The light at the end of the tunnel may grow dim if we think we are too busy to promote tomorrow&rsquo;s business.&rdquo;</p> <p>This year, our company has shifted more agent support responsibilities to staff. This has freed up time for agents to focus on high value activities, such as going over paperwork with current clients in person to create satisfied customers, and attending networking events to build future business momentum.</p> <p><strong>4. Communicate Proactively. </strong>Consistent communication reduces not only clients&rsquo; stress but also agents&rsquo; stress during this tumultuous season. Encourage agents to reach out to clients with regular updates before their clients reach out to them for progress reports.&nbsp;Not only is this better customer service, it&rsquo;s also more efficient and can help lower tension levels.</p> <p><strong>5. Set Clear Expectations. </strong>Managers must remind agents to educate and qualify both sellers and buyers so they have a clear understanding of what to expect before they jump into the market. Agents need to make sure they are working with sellers who are motivated to sell and have rational market expectations. Buyers should be financially qualified, understand hot market dynamics, and be prepared to act fast and commit some loyalty to the agent.</p> <p>Being an agent in this age of fast-paced information and evolving marketplaces is not easy. It is our job as managers to provide the kind of support that will allow them to excel amid tight regulations and fierce competition. If you can offer some of the care that is outlined in these tips, your agents and their clients will be lucky to have you in their corner.</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>It&rsquo;s important for managing brokers to support their agents and alleviate some of the stress a feverish market can bring. Here are five ways to set your salespeople up for success this season.</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/mar15_BB_spring.jpg" type="image/jpeg; length=44502">mar15_BB_spring.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/mar15_BB_spring_0.jpg?1427490573" /> </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/mar15_LP_BB_spring.jpg?1427490594" /> </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/2015/03/help-agents-overcome-3-seller-objections">Help Agents Overcome 3 Seller Objections</a> </div> <div class="field-item even"> <a href="/for-brokers/network/article/2015/03/are-your-teams-following-rules">Are Your Teams Following the Rules?</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, 26 Mar 2015 23:28:33 +0000 echristoffer 18564 at http://realtormag.realtor.org 6 Ways to Avoid the Tenant From Hell http://realtormag.realtor.org/commercial/feature/article/2015/03/6-ways-avoid-tenant-from-hell <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"> While there’s tremendous success to be had in the world of investment properties, the unsightly truth is that one bad tenant can cause a monumental setback. </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, March 26, 2015</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/brenton-hayden">Brenton Hayden</a> </div> </div> </div> <!--paging_filter--><p>It&rsquo;s hard enough to keep up with wear and tear on your investment property without having to deal with disgruntled residents causing willful and severe destruction to a home. From &ldquo;Sharpie parties&rdquo; &mdash; where tenants invite friends over to vandalize the home with markers &mdash; to &ldquo;indoor swimming pools,&rdquo; where renters flood the premises and take a dip, there&rsquo;s no shortage to the devastation that tenants can create.</p> <p>Of course it&rsquo;s not always so dramatic, but the problem of trouble tenants is quite widespread. In a poll conducted by Vancouver-based newspaper <em>The Province</em>, <a href="http://www.theprovince.com/business/Rental+Crunch+What+worse+tenant+landlord/10451013/story.html" target="_blank">71 percent of landlords</a> say that they&rsquo;ve had problems evicting a renter despite justifiable grounds. Late rent payments, broken appliances, and disputes over damage deposits are <a href="http://activerain.trulia.com/blogsview/4591071/the-most-common-issues-landlords-face-with-tenants" target="_blank">some of the most common issues that landlords face</a>. The costs involved with repairing damage left by a less-than-upstanding renter, not to mention the time and money that it takes to pursue an eviction, can be enough to strike terror into the heart of even the most seasoned property owner.</p> <p>The good news is that an ounce of prevention is still worth a pound of cure. While you can&rsquo;t always foresee issues with renters, there are steps that you can take to drastically reduce the chances of problem tenants gaining access to your rental in the first place.</p> <p>Having an airtight tenant screening process is one of the best ways that you can protect yourself and your properties from potential devastation. Let&rsquo;s look at a few tasks that can help you build a metaphoric hedge around your property that helps prevent unsavory tenants from getting in.</p> <h4>1. Require a Tenant Application</h4> <p>The right questions can help you to sift through unqualified tenants at the start. Draft an application form and have it ready for every prospective tenant. Ask each adult to provide basic information, such as name, date of birth, contact information, emergency contacts, and request similar information about any children who live with them.</p> <p>In addition to asking the date they hope to move in, ask these questions:</p> <ul> <li>Do you have any pets?</li> <li>Do you smoke?</li> <li>Have you ever been evicted?</li> <li>Have you ever been convicted of a felony?</li> </ul> <p>Be sure to request references, employment information, and a way to contact their previous landlord. Consider asking an attorney look over your form, to ensure both that you&rsquo;ve covered your bases and that you haven&rsquo;t asked any questions that could be considered discriminatory or cause legal issues.</p> <h4>2. Start Interviewing</h4> <p>The interview is vital. This is your chance to screen prospective tenants and find out whether or not they&rsquo;re an ideal match for your property. Good questions to ask include:</p> <ul> <li>Is your income the same every month, or does it vary?</li> <li>Why are you moving?</li> <li>Describe your perfect rental space.</li> <li>What&rsquo;s your favorite or least favorite thing about the place you&rsquo;re living in now?</li> </ul> <p>The interview should give you a good idea about whether or not the prospective tenant will be able to afford the rent and abide by the terms of your rental. <a href="http://landlords.about.com/od/Landlord101/a/Questions-For-Prospective-Tenants.htm" target="_blank">This About.Money article, &ldquo;Ten Questions for Prospective Tenants,&rdquo;</a> provides a fairly comprehensive list well worth considering for the tenant interview process.</p> <h4>3. Conduct Diligent Research</h4> <p>Always follow through with a check of potential tenants&rsquo; references, credit, and possible criminal background. Verify important information that the tenant provides, particularly current employment and previous rental history.</p> <p>When contacting references, ask how long each person has known the prospective tenant and for their opinion on the reliability and character of the tenant. It&rsquo;s especially important to get in touch with previous landlords, who may be more likely to paint an accurate picture for you. Current landlords might be desperate for a problem tenant to leave and may gloss over the truth in an effort to get the tenant to move faster.</p> <h4>4. Watch for Warning Signs</h4> <p>Look out for red flags that can alert you to a potential problem tenant. If the applicant makes you feel nervous or seems desperate to move in as quickly as possible, that could be a warning sign.</p> <p>And watch out for candidates who question every aspect of your rental application process, as this may be an indicator of someone who will be unwilling to abide by your rules when renting. Legitimate candidates understand that it&rsquo;s important for you to conduct credit and background checks, and most will appreciate the care you take in selecting tenants.</p> <p>Be sure to compare the application and your notes from the interview to what comes up on the background check. Be extremely wary of any discrepancies.</p> <h4>5. Keep It Legal</h4> <p>Of course, as important as it is to have a solid tenant screening process, it&rsquo;s also important to ensure that your process complies with the law. While you should watch out for warning signs, never screen tenants based on feelings alone. Be careful to use the same qualifying procedure for all applicants, and treat all candidates equally to prevent accusations of discrimination.</p> <p>You should also use the same process each time you deny someone, regardless of the reason for denial. A simple e-mail highlighting the reason is sufficient. Doing this properly and in writing can help to prevent any accusations of discrimination. As another legal side note: Be sure to check local laws before collecting application fees or a deposit, as this practice may not be legal in all areas.</p> <h4>6. Get It in Writing</h4> <p>Finally, once you have found a tenant for your property, it&rsquo;s important to make sure you have a rental agreement in place. This document should contain clear guidelines and will help ensure that you and the tenant are both on the same page, preventing problems from arising later on due to miscommunication. The agreement should include the names of all the residents, occupancy limits, and rental terms, including late fees, acceptable payment methods, and charges if a rent check fails to clear.</p> <p>While many landlords are hesitant to implement a tenant screening procedure because it&rsquo;s time-consuming, in the end a solid screening procedure can save time and prevent a world of hassle. You&rsquo;ll be able to weed out problem renters and save yourself from costly evictions and extensive repairs down the road. Finding a tenant that&rsquo;s a great match for your property is more than worth the time and effort it takes. You&rsquo;ll thank yourself later, and your wallet will too.</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>While there&rsquo;s tremendous success to be had in the world of investment properties, the unsightly truth is that one bad tenant can cause a monumental setback.</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/mar15_C_bad_tenant.jpg" type="image/jpeg; length=87690">mar15_C_bad_tenant.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/mar15_C_bad_tenant_0.jpg?1427396177" /> </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/mar15_LP_C_bad_tenant.jpg?1427396192" /> </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/2015/03/06/how-weed-out-problem-tenants">How to Weed Out Problem Tenants</a> </div> <div class="field-item even"> <a href="/commercial/feature/article/2014/03/turn-trouble-tenants-dream-tenants">Turn Trouble Tenants Into Dream Tenants</a> </div> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/law-and-ethics/law/article/1998/03/lawsuit-prevention-qa-your-obligations-nuisance-tenant">Lawsuit Prevention Q&amp;A: Your Obligations to a Nuisance Tenant</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, 26 Mar 2015 16:24:26 +0000 mwhite 18558 at http://realtormag.realtor.org In Search of Hip Buyers http://realtormag.realtor.org/first-person/in-trenches/article/2015/03/in-search-hip-buyers <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"> Heather Leikin had a beautiful beachside listing on her hands, but she had to work hard to make a lifestyle match. </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, March 26, 2015</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>I was selling a beautiful eco-friendly home in Venice, Calif., and sometimes a green home means hippie clients. The sellers of this particular property were two very hip parents &mdash; a nutritionist and a writer. They had a couple of kids who continued to live with their parents well into their 20s. It sounds great: free pad, free food, with parents that let them do anything in the house. However, when it came time to sell the house, the son would smoke pot in his bedroom before showings. It was very fragrant and, on several occasions, I had prospects comment knowingly on the smell. I tried scented candles and airing out the room, but eventually I had to ask the parents to talk to him about it.</p> <p>Talk about awkward. &ldquo;You know that thing that your son does in his room?&rdquo; I asked, not even really sure that they did know. &ldquo;Can you make him stop?&rdquo; They knew exactly what I was talking about. It took about three tries before they understood what I meant about how the son was undermining the sale of the home.</p> <p>Another issue with that house was that it wasn&rsquo;t far from the beach, and there is a sizable group of homeless people nearby. Out-of-area buyers would try to get the price down by calling it out, so I tried to keep it light, telling people, &ldquo;Hey, if you didn&rsquo;t have to worry about rent and could live anywhere in the country, wouldn&rsquo;t you move to the beach?&rdquo; If you know the areas of Venice and Santa Monica, you know the issue. In full disclosure, if buyers can&rsquo;t handle that sort of atmosphere, they might want to find another place to live.</p> <p>In the end, we got an all-cash offer and sold the home at full asking price. The buyers were Canadians looking for a vacation house and loved the low-maintenance style of a green home.</p> <p><em>&mdash;as told by Heather Leikin, associate partner at <a href="http://www.thehouseagents.com/" target="_blank">Partners Trust in Los Angeles</a>.</em></p> <hr /> <p><br /> Got a crazy real estate story for us? <a href="/first-person/in-trenches-submission-form">Let us know all about it</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>Heather Leikin had a beautiful beachside listing on her hands, but she had to work hard to make a lifestyle match.</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/mar15_SM_trenches.jpg" type="image/jpeg; length=47568">mar15_SM_trenches.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/mar15_SM_trenches_0.jpg?1427397990" /> </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/mar15_LP_SM_trenches.jpg?1427398009" /> </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/2015/03/what-if-your-listing-stinks">What If Your Listing Stinks?</a> </div> <div class="field-item even"> <a href="/for-brokers/network/article/2015/03/help-agents-overcome-3-seller-objections">Help Agents Overcome 3 Seller Objections</a> </div> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/law-and-ethics/feature/article/2015/01/can-you-just-say-no">Can You Just Say No?</a> </div> <div class="field-item even"> <a href="/for-brokers/network/article/2014/11/what-if-your-agent-smokes-pot">What If Your Agent Smokes Pot? </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> In The Trenches Thu, 26 Mar 2015 15:40:37 +0000 mwhite 18557 at http://realtormag.realtor.org Help Agents Overcome 3 Seller Objections http://realtormag.realtor.org/for-brokers/network/article/2015/03/help-agents-overcome-3-seller-objections <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"> Your salespeople need to be fully equipped to not only prepare CMAs but also explain their pricing method to sellers. Present these strategies at your next sales meeting. </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, March 24, 2015</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/sammer-mudawar">Sammer Mudawar</a> </div> </div> </div> <!--paging_filter--><p>Valuation is one of the most difficult skills to master as a real estate professional. Even if there&rsquo;s a matching home next door, each property has its own set of distinct characteristics that should be considered in the equation.</p> <blockquote> <p><strong>The CMA: </strong><br /> Depending on the type of property, a well-rounded market analysis and report can take an agent several hours to prepare. Agents should be using information from tax records and the MLS. They should apply basic line-item adjustments for square footage, lot size, location, condition, and other factors to determine the value of property &mdash; the same method used by real estate appraisers to compile reports.</p> <p>Here are just a few of the factors that should go into a CMA:</p> <ul> <li>past sales</li> <li>pending sales</li> <li>competing properties</li> <li>availability of financing</li> <li>uniqueness of the product</li> <li>potential buyer pool</li> <li>conditions of the sale</li> </ul> </blockquote> <p>In the real estate industry, we spend hours upon hours evaluating properties, and consumers spend hundreds of millions of dollars each year on appraisals. But when it comes to setting a home&rsquo;s asking price, it&rsquo;s easy for logic, reason, and facts to fly out the window. Sellers often believe their home is worth more than a practitioner&rsquo;s valuation. This can mostly be attributed to emotional factors that cloud a seller&rsquo;s ability to evaluate objectively. Considering the emotional stakes, it&rsquo;s imperative that sales agents know how to come to an amicable agreement with clients on price. Teach your agents how to overcome these three common seller hurdles.</p> <p><strong>1. Sellers Leery of Agents&rsquo; Intentions: </strong>The seller doesn&rsquo;t trust your agent yet and believes he or she is just trying to win a commission. If clients don&rsquo;t believe that the agent is hearing them when they talk about the value of their home, then your agent will not get the listing.</p> <p><strong>Solution: </strong>Sellers must believe that your agent has a burning desire to sell their home for top dollar. They must also trust that your salesperson will provide them with objective data and opinions as to the value of their home. Your agent should clearly outline the factors that go into a complete market analysis. This includes demonstrating knowledge, expertise, and the intent of representing the best interest of the client. Agents who aren&rsquo;t confident in pricing strategy won&rsquo;t be able to communicate the value of the property to potential buyers or other agents when trying to sell the home.</p> <p><strong>2. The Zillow Factor: </strong>The &ldquo;Zestimate&rdquo; is an automated algorithm that gives home owners an instant value on their property. Depending on the recent sales activity in the immediate area and the conformity of the overall homes and topography, Zillow can be accurate to within a few hundred dollars or off by hundreds of thousands of dollars. In areas with conforming tract homes and recent sales, Zillow can be a bit more accurate. But in areas with unique factors, like views, custom homes, redeveloping neighborhoods, or a lack of recent sales, Zillow can have huge discrepancies.</p> <p><strong>Solution:</strong> Many sellers will conduct a Zestimate at some point in their research, so it is prudent for your agents, as well-informed real estate professionals, to know what value estimate Zillow is providing. As long as your agents know what information sellers are seeing, overcoming a potential Zillow influence should not be an issue. One simple method is pointing out what Zillow <a href="http://www.zillow.com/zestimate/">publishes on its own website about its Zestimates</a>: &ldquo;The Zestimate home valuation is Zillow&rsquo;s estimated market value, computed using a proprietary formula. It is not an appraisal. It is a starting point in determining a home&rsquo;s value. The Zestimate is calculated from public and user submitted data; your real estate agent or appraiser physically inspects the home and takes special features, location, and market conditions into account.&rdquo;</p> <p>Zillow goes on to encourage customers to get a CMA from a real estate professional or a professional appraiser. Zillow also provides statistics about accuracy, stating that nationwide, Zestimates are currently within 5 percent of the final sale price 38.4 percent of the time. Point out the fact to your agents that if they were within 5 percent of the actual sales price only 38.4 percent of the time, you&rsquo;d be out of business.</p> <p><strong>3. Per-Square-Foot Pricing: </strong>Explained simply, per-square-foot pricing is the unsophisticated Zillow. It is a simple math equation applied to a large number of homes to quickly arrive at a home value based purely on size. This valuation method is not an issue if it happens to fall in line with the actual value. However, it&rsquo;s neither dependable nor a method used by real estate appraisers to arrive at a value.</p> <p><strong>Solution:</strong> Sometimes the value can be correct; other times it will vary greatly from the actual value. This can cause confusion for sellers about their home&rsquo;s value. Agents should let sellers know that per-square-foot pricing is a great starting point, but they will be need to apply the valuation methods outlined in the sidebar to arrive at a complete, data-supported value.</p> <p>If your agents can demonstrate value, expertise, and best intentions, it will empower them to deal with these three common seller objections more gracefully, which will help you, as the broker, avoid headaches in the long run.</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>Your salespeople need to be fully equipped to not only prepare CMAs but also explain their pricing method to sellers. Present these strategies at your next sales meeting.</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/mar15_bb_objections.jpg" type="image/jpeg; length=25064">mar15_bb_objections.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/mar15_bb_objections_0.jpg?1427489800" /> </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/mar15_LP_bb_objections.jpg?1427489818" /> </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/2015/03/agent-ratings-and-social-capital">Agent Ratings and Social Capital</a> </div> <div class="field-item even"> <a href="/for-brokers/network/article/2015/02/teach-agents-2-keys-for-handling-objections">Teach Agents 2 Keys for Handling Objections</a> </div> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/sales-and-marketing/feature/article/2012/12/pricing-take-your-sellers-for-ride">Pricing: Take Your Sellers for a Ride</a> </div> <div class="field-item even"> <a href="/for-brokers/feature/article/2015/01/after-cuts-what-recession-taught-brokers">After the Cuts: What the Recession Taught Brokers</a> </div> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/for-brokers/feature/article/2014/09/customer-service-rocks">Customer Service That Rocks</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, 24 Mar 2015 19:45:16 +0000 echristoffer 18544 at http://realtormag.realtor.org Are Your Teams Following the Rules? http://realtormag.realtor.org/for-brokers/network/article/2015/03/are-your-teams-following-rules <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"> Several states have regulations specific to real estate teams. Find out what your state requires and make sure the teams at your brokerage are fulfilling their legal obligations. </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, March 23, 2015</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>Teams can be highly productive assets to your brokerage, but they also carry legal risks that are distinct from other regulatory worries. If your brokerage includes real estate teams, make sure they&rsquo;re adhering to team-specific statutes and rules in your state.</p> <p>In the National Association of REALTORS&reg;&rsquo; latest <a href="http://www.realtor.org/videos/window-to-the-law-legal-issues-for-teams" target="_blank">Window to the Law video</a>, Finley Maxson, NAR senior counsel, and Chloe Hecht, NAR associate counsel, discuss common legal issues associated with real estate teams.</p> <p>Several states have responded to ambiguities surrounding real estate teams with specific regulations. The biggest concern about teams is that customers may get the impression that they are their own brokerage firm or the customers may be misled as to the true broker responsible for the team, says Maxson.</p> <p><iframe align="right" allowfullscreen="" frameborder="0" height="260" src="https://www.youtube.com/embed/4Er_MMoCcSk" width="420"></iframe></p> <p>Maryland is the only state that has a comprehensive statute regulating real estate teams. According to the statute, teams must designate a team leader, maintain a list of members, and refrain from naming themselves in a way that makes them sound like their own brokerage. In addition, real estate teams with members licensed in Maryland are required to clearly display their brokerage name on all advertisements.</p> <p>Colorado, Louisiana, Maine, New York, Ohio, Oklahoma, and Washington have real estate commission rules pertaining to teams as well. Louisiana&rsquo;s rule is similar in scope to Maryland&rsquo;s state statute, Maxson says. The rules in Colorado, Maine, New York, Ohio, Oklahoma, and Washington&rsquo;s rules hone in on branding and advertising requirements, similar to Maryland&rsquo;s rule about displaying the brokerage name on team advertising.</p> <p>Outside of state regulations, all real estate teams are subject to the REALTOR&reg; trademark rules. Of course, only members of NAR can use the trademark. Furthermore, members are only permitted to use the REALTOR&reg; trademark in connection with their personal name and their legal business name, Hecht says. Teams legally function as a group within a business, so team names do not qualify. For example, &ldquo;Team Sunshine, REALTORS&reg;&rdquo; is an improper use because the trademark is directly connected to the team name.</p> <p>For more on team-specific state rules and regulations, visit the <a href="http://www.legalebook.com/ebook/eBookFrame.asp" target="_blank">NAR/Arollo archive</a>.</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>Several states have regulations specific to real estate teams. Find out what your state requires and make sure the teams at your brokerage are fulfilling their legal obligations.</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/mar15_BB_rules.jpg" type="image/jpeg; length=46250">mar15_BB_rules.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/mar15_BB_rules_0.jpg?1427490223" /> </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/mar15_LP_BB_rules.jpg?1427490243" /> </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/solutions/article/2014/04/how-build-x-factor-team">How to Build an X-Factor Team</a> </div> <div class="field-item even"> <a href="/for-brokers/network/article/2015/02/tips-and-scripts-successfully-recruit">Tips and Scripts to Successfully Recruit</a> </div> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/for-brokers/network/article/2015/01/accessibility-broker-s-responsibility">Accessibility Is a Broker’s Responsibility</a> </div> <div class="field-item even"> <a href="/for-brokers/feature/article/2006/07/how-create-office-policy-manual">How to Create an Office Policy Manual</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 Mon, 23 Mar 2015 22:08:24 +0000 echristoffer 18537 at http://realtormag.realtor.org 30 Under 30 Voting http://realtormag.realtor.org/30-under-30/article/2015/03/30-under-30-voting-now-open <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"> Vote March 20-27 for your favorite finalist to receive the Web Choice Award and help them secure a seat among the 30 Under 30 class of 2015. </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, March 20, 2015</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><strong>*Voting is now closed. The Web Choice Award winner will be announced Monday, March 30. Thank you to everyone who took the time to vote!</strong></p> <p>The field has narrowed and a diverse group of 50 young real estate professionals is left standing. They come from communities all over the nation; they bring distinct specialties and skillsets to the table. And now, with help from our readers, one of this year&rsquo;s finalists will land a spot in the 2015 class of 30 Under 30. &nbsp;</p> <p>Starting at noon CT on Friday, March 20 through noon CT on Friday, March 27, members of the public can <a href="/30-under-30/finalist/2015/03/2015-30-under-30-finalists" target="_blank">vote for their favorite finalist</a> to receive the Web Choice Award.&nbsp;The finalist who receives the most votes is guaranteed a spot among this year&rsquo;s 30 Under 30. The magazine&rsquo;s panel of judges will select the remaining 29 honorees from the finalists. The 30 Under 30 will be featured in the May/June issue of REALTOR&reg; Magazine.</p> <p>Past Web Choice Award winners have credited their voting success to their own sphere and savvy marketing efforts &ndash; and even a little help from famous friends.</p> <p>One-time vice presidential candidate Sarah Palin helped 2013 Web Choice Award winner Tanner Mock by encouraging her Facebook and Twitter followers to vote for Mock.</p> <p>Last year&rsquo;s Web Choice Award winner, Ginger Vereen, came out on top by asking her local and state REALTOR&reg; associations, as well as neighboring Keller Williams offices, to publicize the Web Choice voting. But what clinched the votes may have been the YouTube videos she created and sent to her circle of friends, family, coworkers, and clients, asking for their votes and giving thanks for their support in a fun, creative way.</p> <p>&ldquo;I planned and implemented a weeklong e-mail campaign, delivering varied messages using my database and social media to communicate with clients, friends, and contacts, requesting their support,&rdquo; Vereen said.</p> <p>Click on the finalists&rsquo; names below to read their profile and place your vote. The voting system allows for each candidate to receive no more than one vote a day from a single IP address during the voting period.</p> <p>Good luck to all the following candidates:</p> <table border="0" cellpadding="0" cellspacing="10" width="100%"> <tbody> <tr> <td valign="top" width="50%"> <h4>&nbsp;</h4> <p><a href="/30-under-30/finalist/2015/03/amanda-allen-jorgensen" target="_blank"><strong>Amanda Allen-Jorgensen</strong></a><br /> Berkshire Hathaway &ndash; Bountiful<br /> South Salt Lake, Utah</p> <p><a href="/30-under-30/finalist/2015/03/matthew-barker" target="_blank"><strong>Matthew Barker</strong></a><br /> Max Broock, REALTORS&reg;<br /> Bloomfield Hills, Mich.</p> <p><a href="/30-under-30/finalist/2015/03/harrison-beacher" target="_blank"><strong>Harrison Beacher</strong></a><br /> W.C. &amp; A.N. Miller, REALTORS&reg;<br /> Washington, D.C.</p> <p><a href="/30-under-30/finalist/2015/03/alex-belcher" target="_blank"><strong>Alex Belcher</strong></a><br /> MacDoc Realty LLC<br /> Fredericskburg, Va.</p> <p><a href="/30-under-30/finalist/2015/03/jeffrey-borstell" target="_blank"><strong>Jeffrey Borstell</strong></a><br /> J. Borstell Real Estate Inc.<br /> Tewksbury, Mass.</p> <p><a href="/30-under-30/finalist/2015/03/adam-briley" target="_blank"><strong>Adam Briley</strong></a><br /> BHHS Ambassador Real Estate<br /> Omaha, Neb.</p> <p><a href="/30-under-30/finalist/2015/03/amy-campbell" target="_blank"><strong>Amy Campbell</strong></a><br /> Keller Williams Realty<br /> Milwaukee, Wis.</p> <p><a href="/30-under-30/finalist/2015/03/sean-casper" target="_blank"><strong>Sean Casper</strong></a><br /> Boca Executive Realty<br /> Ft. Lauderdale, Fla.</p> <p><a href="/30-under-30/finalist/2015/03/katherine-coghlan" target="_blank"><strong>Katherine Coghlan</strong></a><br /> Burns &amp; Co. Inc.<br /> Baton Rouge, La.&nbsp;</p> <p><a href="/30-under-30/finalist/2015/03/nelson-duque" target="_blank"><strong>Nelson Duque</strong></a><br /> Fortune International Realty<br /> Miami, Fla.</p> <p><a href="/30-under-30/finalist/2015/03/diego-espinoza" target="_blank"><strong>Diego Espinoza</strong></a><br /> Keller Williams Realty-Tulare<br /> Visalia, Calif.</p> <p><a href="/30-under-30/finalist/2015/03/saria-finkelstein" target="_blank"><strong>Saria Finkelstein</strong></a><br /> Keller Williams Realty<br /> Plantation, Fla.</p> <p><a href="/30-under-30/finalist/2015/03/subhi-gharbieh" target="_blank"><strong>Subhi Gharbieh</strong></a><br /> Gharbieh &amp; Associates, REALTORS&reg;<br /> Dallas</p> <p><a href="/30-under-30/finalist/2015/03/kaitlyn-gillingham" target="_blank"><strong>Kaitlyn Gillingham</strong></a><br /> Coronado Island Realty<br /> Coronado, Calif.</p> <p><a href="/30-under-30/finalist/2015/03/allison-goodhart" target="_blank"><strong>Allison Goodhart</strong></a><br /> McEnearney Associates Inc.<br /> Alexandria, Va.</p> <p><a href="/30-under-30/finalist/2015/03/jordan-grandlund" target="_blank"><strong>Jordan Grandlund</strong></a><br /> Cascade Sotheby&#39;s International Realty<br /> Bend, Ore.</p> <p><a href="/30-under-30/finalist/2015/03/whitney-harvey" target="_blank"><strong>Whitney Harvey</strong></a><br /> Oak Grove Realty LLC<br /> Germantown, Tenn.</p> <p><a href="/30-under-30/finalist/2015/03/lauren-hasson" target="_blank"><strong>Lauren Hasson</strong></a><br /> The Hasson Co., REALTORS&reg;<br /> Portland, Ore.</p> <p><a href="/30-under-30/finalist/2015/03/alyssa-hellman" target="_blank"><strong>Alyssa Hellman</strong></a><br /> Better Homes &amp; Gardens - Go Realty<br /> Cary, N.C.</p> <p><a href="/30-under-30/finalist/2015/03/justin-helmus" target="_blank"><strong>Justin Helmus</strong></a><br /> The Gulf Life Realty Group<br /> Largo, Fla.</p> <p><a href="/30-under-30/finalist/2015/03/kelly-henderson" target="_blank"><strong>Kelly Henderson</strong></a><br /> Keller Williams Biltmore Partners<br /> Phoenix</p> <p><a href="/30-under-30/finalist/2015/03/michael-hern" target="_blank"><strong>Michael Hern</strong></a><br /> RE/MAX Gold Coast Realty<br /> Union City, N.J.</p> <p><a href="/30-under-30/finalist/2015/03/clayton-jirak" target="_blank"><strong>Clayton Jirak</strong></a><br /> Redfin<br /> Chicago</p> <p><a href="/30-under-30/finalist/2015/03/saliq-khawar" target="_blank"><strong>Saliq Khawar</strong></a><br /> Keller Williams Realty<br /> Ashburn, Va.</p> <p><a href="/30-under-30/finalist/2015/03/chelsea-locke" target="_blank"><strong>Chelsea Locke</strong></a><br /> RE/MAX By the Bay<br /> Portland, Maine</p> </td> <td valign="top" width="50%"> <h4>&nbsp;</h4> <p><a href="/30-under-30/finalist/2015/03/bradley-lois" target="_blank"><strong>Bradley Lois</strong></a><br /> Bear Realty of Burlington<br /> Burlington, Wis.</p> <p><a href="/30-under-30/finalist/2015/03/peter-lutts" target="_blank"><strong>Peter Lutts</strong></a><br /> Keller Williams Realty<br /> Beverly, Mass.</p> <p><a href="/30-under-30/finalist/2015/03/kendahl-mcintyre" target="_blank"><strong>Kendahl McIntyre</strong></a><br /> RE/MAX United<br /> Raleigh, N.C.&nbsp;</p> <p><a href="/30-under-30/finalist/2015/03/tyler-meyer" target="_blank"><strong>Tyler Meyer</strong></a><br /> Shorewest REALTORS&reg;<br /> Delavan, Wis.</p> <p><a href="/30-under-30/finalist/2015/03/leslie-marie-moen" target="_blank"><strong>Leslie Marie Moen</strong></a><br /> C3 Real Estate Solutions<br /> Fort Collins, Colo.</p> <p><a href="/30-under-30/finalist/2015/03/tara-moore" target="_blank"><strong>Tara Moore</strong></a><br /> RE/MAX Select<br /> Winter Garden, Fla.</p> <p><a href="/30-under-30/finalist/2015/03/scott-myers" target="_blank"><strong>Scott Myers</strong></a><br /> Jack White Real Estate<br /> Eagle River, Alaska</p> <p><a href="/30-under-30/finalist/2015/03/jay-o-brien" target="_blank"><strong>Jay O&#39;Brien</strong></a><br /> RE/MAX Prestige<br /> Costa Mesa, Calif.</p> <p><a href="/30-under-30/finalist/2015/03/alex-parker" target="_blank"><strong>Alex Parker</strong></a><br /> Lord &amp; Stanley Realty, Inc.<br /> Tallahassee, Fla.</p> <p><a href="/30-under-30/finalist/2015/03/vanessa-patterson" target="_blank"><strong>Vanessa Patterson</strong></a><br /> Fairfax Realty of Tysons, Inc.<br /> Washington, D.C.</p> <p><a href="/30-under-30/finalist/2015/03/sarah-pomerleau" target="_blank"><strong>Sarah Pomerleau</strong></a><br /> Keller Williams &ndash; The Pomerleau Team<br /> Maple Grove, Minn.</p> <p><a href="/30-under-30/finalist/2015/03/daniel-rand" target="_blank"><strong>Daniel Rand</strong></a><br /> Better Homes and Gardens Rand Realty<br /> New City, N.Y.</p> <p><a href="/30-under-30/finalist/2015/03/danielle-riley" target="_blank"><strong>Danielle Riley</strong></a><br /> Nothnagle REALTORS&reg;<br /> Rochester, N.Y.</p> <p><a href="/30-under-30/finalist/2015/03/lisa-roberts" target="_blank"><strong>Lisa Roberts</strong></a><br /> RE/MAX Excalibur Realty<br /> Scottsdale, Ariz.&nbsp;</p> <p><a href="/30-under-30/finalist/2015/03/eric-rollo" target="_blank"><strong>Eric Rollo</strong></a><br /> William Raveis Real Estate<br /> Boston</p> <p><a href="/30-under-30/finalist/2015/03/sam-sawyer" target="_blank"><strong>Sam Sawyer</strong></a><br /> Briggs Freeman Sotheby&#39;s International Realty<br /> Dallas</p> <p><a href="/30-under-30/finalist/2015/03/theodore-schaar" target="_blank"><strong>Theodore Schaar</strong></a><br /> Coldwell Banker Residential Brokerage<br /> Milwaukee</p> <p><a href="/30-under-30/finalist/2015/03/ryan-schwartz" target="_blank"><strong>Ryan Schwartz</strong></a><br /> Florida Realty &amp; Co.<br /> Naples, Fla.</p> <p><a href="/30-under-30/finalist/2015/03/jp-shamshoian" target="_blank"><strong>JP Shamshoian</strong></a><br /> Realty Concepts, Ltd.<br /> Fresno, Calif.</p> <p><a href="/30-under-30/finalist/2015/03/kristin-smith" target="_blank"><strong>Kristin Smith</strong></a><br /> Dave Perry Miller Real Estate<br /> Dallas</p> <p><a href="/30-under-30/finalist/2015/03/derek-sprague" target="_blank"><strong>Derek Sprague</strong></a><br /> Sprague Real Estate Group<br /> Bakersfield, Calif.</p> <p><a href="/30-under-30/finalist/2015/03/daniel-thomas" target="_blank"><strong>Daniel Thomas</strong></a><br /> RE/MAX Right Choice<br /> Bridgeport, Conn.</p> <p><a href="/30-under-30/finalist/2015/03/jessica-witter" target="_blank"><strong>Jessica Witter</strong></a><br /> Gibson Sotheby&#39;s International Realty<br /> Boston</p> <p><a href="/30-under-30/finalist/2015/03/lawrence-wong" target="_blank"><strong>Lawrence Wong</strong></a><br /> Weichert, REALTORS&reg;, The Franzese<br /> Brooklyn, N.Y.</p> <p><a href="/30-under-30/finalist/2015/03/kathleen-yeager" target="_blank"><strong>Kathleen Yeager</strong></a><br /> Your Future Address LLC<br /> Overland Park, Kan.</p> </td> </tr> </tbody> </table> <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>Vote March 20-27 for your favorite finalist to receive the Web Choice Award and help them secure a seat among the 30 Under 30 class of 2015.</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/mar15_3030_vote.jpg" type="image/jpeg; length=32760">mar15_3030_vote.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/mar15_3030_vote_0.jpg?1426870602" /> </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/mar15_LP_3030_vote.jpg?1426870582" /> </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="/30-under-30/about">About 30 Under 30</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> 30 Under 30 Fri, 20 Mar 2015 16:25:16 +0000 echristoffer 18529 at http://realtormag.realtor.org Double Your Growth With a Partner http://realtormag.realtor.org/sales-and-marketing/my-first-year/article/2015/03/double-your-growth-partner <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"> Entering real estate on your own can be intimidating. Take the edge off by teaming up with another agent who can show you the ropes. </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, March 23, 2015</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/mary-beth-klatt">Mary Beth Klatt</a> </div> </div> </div> <!--paging_filter--><p>Going it alone in real estate is a daunting prospect. Learning every aspect of the business while trying to create a marketing plan, find clients, and get yourself off the ground is difficult without a lot of support. <a href="/sales-and-marketing/my-first-year/article/2015/02/how-much-mentor-worth">Mentors can help</a>, but another option is to team up with another agent. When you share your business with someone else, you can evenly delegate responsibilities and free yourself up to focus more on developing your skills as a salesperson. The real estate team model is becoming more popular, and as one broker said at a Real Estate Connect session in January, &ldquo;<a href="/for-brokers/network/article/2015/02/go-beyond-training">The days of the lone-ranger agent are numbered.</a>&rdquo;</p> <p>For Patty Blackwelder, a sales associate with EXIT Realty Associates in Lorton, Va., it made sense to make her foray into real estate last year with a business partner she knew she could trust and learn from: her twin sister, Peggy James, who has been in the business for more than 20 years. Their partnership spawned from an offhand comment James made in 2013 when she found herself overwhelmed with business. &ldquo;Peggy said, &lsquo;I wish I could double myself,&rsquo;&rdquo; Blackwelder recalls.</p> <p>And so last year, Blackwelder left her full-time job as a sales and marketing representative for homebuilder Ryan Homes and formed the Twins Selling Real Estate team with James. Blackwelder became a buyer&rsquo;s agent while James focused on listings. But even with her background as a support staffer for real estate companies, Blackwelder had to learn the business from an agent&rsquo;s perspective. &ldquo;I had been in and around the real estate business for over 20 years but never worked as an agent myself,&rdquo; she says.</p> <p>James mentored Blackwelder, showing her how to write contracts, negotiate home inspections, and deal with title companies, warranties, and closings. &ldquo;Passing the [real estate exam] is one thing, and having sales experience is great, but knowing how to sell real estate when every sale is different can be a daunting prospect, and many do not succeed their first year,&rdquo; Blackwelder says. &ldquo;Peggy was an invaluable resource, and it allowed her to do what she loves and for me to do what I love, which is work with buyers.&rdquo;</p> <p>The sisters&rsquo; clients like the combination of their services. &ldquo;We are referred to many who are trying to navigate selling and then buying, and we make the process seamless,&rdquo; says Blackwelder. &ldquo;We think and look alike and often finish each other&rsquo;s sentences. We have the same work ethic, which is so important if you are a team.&rdquo;</p> <p>Blackwelder describes James as &ldquo;off the cuff, funny, and creative,&rdquo; while Blackwelder herself is &ldquo;more serious, reserved, and a numbers person. We make the perfect team.&rdquo;</p> <p>Not everyone has a twin, but that doesn&rsquo;t mean you can&rsquo;t find a good real estate teammate who isn&rsquo;t your clone. Blackwelder gives four reasons why anyone starting out in real estate should consider teaming up with another agent:</p> <h4>You Gain Instant Credibility</h4> <p>One of the biggest challenges newcomers to the industry have to overcome is their inexperience. When you team up with another agent, particularly one with much more experience than you, that assuages clients&rsquo; concerns that you don&rsquo;t know what you&rsquo;re doing. Blackwelder says teaming up with her sister &ldquo;helped me to look as if I was an established agent to the consumer.&rdquo; She admits: &ldquo;It did not hurt that my mentor was my best friend and sister.&rdquo;</p> <h4>You Always Have Access to a Mentor</h4> <p>&ldquo;A mentor was vital to my first-year success,&rdquo; Blackwelder says. &ldquo;I was scared at first, but teaming up allowed me to sell with confidence, knowing I had someone to teach me as I went. I took a little less [income] for each transaction, but in the end, I exceeded my goals in sales volume and income.&rdquo;</p> <h4><strong>You Stand Out in the Crowd</strong></h4> <p>It may seem counterintuitive that you acquire more visibility as a team than an individual, but Blackwelder says prospective clients are more likely to remember you if you&rsquo;re working with a partner. Aside from the novelty of Blackwelder and James being twins, &ldquo;people love to ask us questions about how we started working together,&rdquo; Blackwelder says. &ldquo;We turn it into a conversation about how working with us is like getting two for the price of one. We back up each other so our clients never need to worry that one of us will not be available. We have found when we go together to meet a buyer or seller, we always secure them as our clients.&rdquo;</p> <h4><strong>You Have Expanded Marketing Opportunities</strong></h4> <p>Blackwelder and James have a billboard ad at a new town center that shows three photos of them taken over the past 60 years, beginning with a vintage shot of the duo as toddlers and ending with a more recent photograph. &ldquo;It really helped to get us off to a fast start as people took notice,&rdquo; says Blackwelder. &ldquo;They loved the nostalgic look of the board. We got calls from people who have met us over the last 25 years as individuals to say, &lsquo;I love that you are working together.&rsquo;&rdquo; Whoever it is you team up with, you have two heads to come up with marketing strategies and two sets of skills to market.</p> <p>Teaming up with someone can take the edge off of a stressful first year in real estate. Not only does it make it easier to learn the business, but you can also have more fun getting acclimated to the job with a confidante by your side. &ldquo;It&rsquo;s still scary sometimes being self-employed,&rdquo; Blackwelder admits, &ldquo;but I love making dreams come true.&rdquo; Her own included.</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>Entering real estate on your own can be intimidating. Take the edge off by teaming up with another agent who can show you the ropes.</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/mar15_SM_first_person.jpg" type="image/jpeg; length=37816">mar15_SM_first_person.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/mar15_SM_first_person_0.jpg?1427124717" /> </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/mar15_LP_SM_first_person.jpg?1427124734" /> </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"> Patty Blackwelder, right, and her twin sister, Peggy James. (Photo by Kevin McCarthy) </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/2007/04/time-team-up">Time to Team Up?</a> </div> <div class="field-item even"> <a href="/tool-kit/team-development">The Team Development Tool Kit</a> </div> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/daily-news/2013/02/07/when-team-not-team">When Is a Team Not a Team?</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> My First Year Fri, 20 Mar 2015 21:22:29 +0000 gwood 18530 at http://realtormag.realtor.org An Insurer's Guide to a 'Healthy' Home http://realtormag.realtor.org/well-being/health/article/2015/03/insurers-guide-healthy-home <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"> Buyers can spot a problem property before they get to the home inspection phase. They just have to look at it from an insurance perspective. </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, March 18, 2015</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>Think about health insurance. Providers can charge you a higher premium if you fit a profile that indicates you are at higher risk of medical ailments. Though you can&rsquo;t be denied coverage because of pre-existing conditions anymore, they can still make your rates higher. Such conditions can also apply to those who are older, live in a location with statistically high health problems, smoke, or have a higher body mass index.</p> <p>The same principle applies to homeowners insurance. Purchasing a home that has had past claims for structural problems or has characteristics making it more susceptible to damage will increase the premium a new home owner pays. Oftentimes, it&rsquo;s not until a sale contract is signed and a home inspection is completed that a home buyer catches wind of possible issues with a house. By then, they&rsquo;ve already fallen in love with the place, and unfavorable inspection results can be devastating.</p> <p>But there are ways for buyers to spot problem properties before they get too invested in any particular home. &ldquo;You want to look at the condition of the house from an insurance perspective,&rdquo; says Jeanne Salvatore, senior vice president of the Insurance Information Institute. &ldquo;It can save a lot of time and money.&rdquo;</p> <p>So here are a few ways buyers can tell whether they&rsquo;re looking at a &ldquo;healthy&rdquo; home:</p> <h4>Ask for a History of Losses on the Home</h4> <p>Disclosure laws in many states require a seller or seller&rsquo;s agent to inform the buyer of any known issues with a home. But a seller&rsquo;s disclosure should always be backed up with other documents, says Laura Adams, senior insurance analyst with InsuranceQuotes.com. You never know issues could exist that a seller isn&rsquo;t being forthright about.</p> <p>Ask sellers to provide a Comprehensive Loss Underwriting Exchange report, which documents insurance claims made on a property in the last five to seven years. <a href="http://www.lexisnexis.com/risk/products/insurance/clue-home-seller.aspx" target="_blank">LexisNexis</a> manages a database of CLUE reports for every property in the country, though only the current home owner is allowed to pull a CLUE report on their own property.</p> <p>Prior claims will affect the home insurance rate a new owner gets, so a CLUE report not only informs prospects of possible defects with a property, it also tells buyers whether they might pay a higher premium for insurance.</p> <p>&ldquo;Even if something happened before you owned the property, that is going to impact the rate that you have to pay,&rdquo; Adams says. &ldquo;That may seem a little unfair, but for the insurance company, past claims are a red flag that tells them that this is a property that could have issues.&rdquo;</p> <p>Buyers could also glean some good news from past claims, Salvatore says. &ldquo;If there was a claim, then there was an improvement to the house &mdash; perhaps a new roof or plumbing system,&rdquo; she says.</p> <h4>Identify Risky Structural Elements</h4> <p>According to the <a href="http://www.iii.org/fact-statistic/homeowners-and-renters-insurance" target="_blank">Insurance Information Institute</a>, 4.8 percent of insured home owners filed a claim in 2013, with 97 percent of those claims related to property damage. A leading cause of property damage is water, says Tim Arone, vice president of risk management at PURE Insurance. He says 32 percent of claims at his company last year were water-related, costing an average of $55,000 per claim. Arone points out common elements of a home that make it prone to water damage:</p> <ul> <li><strong>Flat roofs:</strong> &ldquo;If there&rsquo;s a portion of the roof that&rsquo;s flat &mdash; often over an enclosed porch &mdash; it is much more susceptible to leaks because of drainage problems,&rdquo; he says. Be aware that gutters need to be cleaned far more regularly for this type of roof. If you&rsquo;re not the cleaning type, you may want to pass on the home.</li> <li><strong>Exposed pipes:</strong> Especially in the attic, some pipes may not be properly insulated. Guess what happens to them in winter? They freeze and burst. &ldquo;You can&rsquo;t do patchwork yourself to fix a burst pipe,&rdquo; Arone says. Busted pipes often lead to more extensive damage in a home, he adds. Buyers who find exposed pipes have a couple of options: Pay extra to get the pipes insulated, or keep looking for their dream home.</li> <li><strong>Rubber tubing on appliances:</strong> This is an issue that can easily be fixed, but it&rsquo;s often overlooked. Rubber hoses, used often on laundry machines, can wear out and break in as little as five years, Arone says. Use braided hoses instead; they&rsquo;re more durable.</li> </ul> <h4><strong>Red Flags for New Construction</strong></h4> <p>Many buyers assume that new homes are sturdier and safer than existing homes, but because of certain building materials, the opposite may be true. Lightweight lumber, for example, is used by many builders because it&rsquo;s cheaper. &ldquo;But from a safety standard, it&rsquo;s not good,&rdquo; Arone says. Lightweight lumber burns very quickly and collapses more easily than traditional framing materials, he says. So if a fire breaks out, the entire house could be up in flames in minutes. Salvatore adds that this should be a particular concern for smokers, as smoking is the most common cause of fires.</p> <p>Obviously, this scenario is perilous to buyers&rsquo; safety first &mdash; but their pocketbook may be a close second. From 2009 to 2013, the average cost of an insurance claim for a fire, lightning strike, or debris removal was $37,153, according to the Insurance Information Institute. That could send your insurance rate soaring.</p> <p>Corrugated stainless steel tubing, which is used to deliver natural or propane gas to a home, is also a major concern with new construction. It&rsquo;s a particularly good conduit for starting fires. &ldquo;Reports have indicated that when lightning strikes, it goes to the tubing and can set the house on fire,&rdquo; Arone says.</p> <p>But perhaps the most common frustration of home owners is a particular problem in new homes. Have you ever noticed that one room stays cool while another room is always hot? That&rsquo;s usually due to an HVAC system that wasn&rsquo;t properly sized for the home.</p> <p>&ldquo;An HVAC system that isn&rsquo;t properly sized isn&rsquo;t getting enough fresh air into the home,&rdquo; Arone says. That could make the indoor air quality in a new home poor. Aside from the disparate temperatures throughout the house, a poorly sized HVAC system can also decrease the energy efficiency of a home and cause higher energy bills.</p> <h4>Smart Homes Pose Fewer Risks</h4> <p>Common problems can be avoided with the use of technology. Homes that have smart appliances generally have added safeguards. Smart appliances run on default programs when the home owner isn&rsquo;t using them, and that can keep other elements of a house in good working order.</p> <p>For example, a Nest thermostat can detect when no one is home and keep the temperature from falling below 60 degrees in colder months, ensuring that it never gets cold enough for pipes to freeze. Smart fire alarms like the Birdi also monitor air quality, including dust, soot, and carbon monoxide, and can alert authorities when necessary.</p> <p>Obviously, buyers can have these products installed in a home after purchase, but a home that already has them is a sign of a well-kept property.</p> <p>PURE Insurance, a &ldquo;reciprocal&rdquo; organization whose policy holders are also shareholders of the company, even pays $2,500 for a member who has claimed certain property losses to install smart appliances that can prevent a similar loss in the future, Arone says.</p> <h4>Does the Home Fit Your Lifestyle?</h4> <p>Certain property features can be a bigger hazard depending on how a buyer lives. Adams notes that if someone hosts parties often, even having a swimming pool becomes a liability. &ldquo;If you have a lot of coming and going on your property, anything that can cause a flip or fall or something can translate to trouble for you,&rdquo; she says. Personal injury claims were the second-costliest insurance claims in the country between 2009 and 2013, averaging $19,466 per claim, according to the Insurance Information Institute.</p> <p>&ldquo;Think about dog bites: That&rsquo;s a huge claim for home insurance because people go to the hospital and have health care costs associated with it,&rdquo; Adams says. For that reason, buyers with dogs should seek out a property with a fenced-in yard.</p> <p>Theft and vandalism are also common claims. If a buyer is out of town often, they should be aware of the neighborhood where they&rsquo;re looking at living. &ldquo;If you see claims for theft in a seller&rsquo;s CLUE report, that could tell you you&rsquo;re in a riskier neighborhood,&rdquo; Adams says. She advises buyers talk to potential neighbors about their own experiences, and ask an insurance agent about claims that have been made on other homes in the area. That can give a buyer a good idea whether the home they&rsquo;re considering really fits their lifestyle.</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>Buyers can spot a problem property before they get to the home inspection phase. They just have to look at it from an insurance perspective.</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/mar15_W_insurance.jpg" type="image/jpeg; length=33283">mar15_W_insurance.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/mar15_W_insurance_0.jpg?1426697436" /> </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/mar15_LP_W_insurance.jpg?1426697449" /> </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-buyers/tips-for-lowering-homeowners-insurance-costs">Tips for Lowering Homeowner&#039;s Insurance Costs</a> </div> <div class="field-item even"> <a href="/sales-and-marketing/handouts-for-customers/for-buyers/5-things-know-about-homeowners-insurance">5 Things to Know About Homeowner&#039;s Insurance</a> </div> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/daily-news/2013/04/15/help-customers-keep-homes-healthy">Help Customers Keep Homes Healthy</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> Health Wed, 18 Mar 2015 14:49:29 +0000 gwood 18514 at http://realtormag.realtor.org Target Consumers With Branded Video http://realtormag.realtor.org/for-brokers/network/article/2015/03/target-consumers-branded-video <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 path to impactful visual marketing online is through video. Learn how to find a niche genre for your brokerage. </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, March 16, 2015</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>What are your clients and prospects doing on the Internet? They&rsquo;re watching videos &mdash; lots and lots of videos.</p> <p>In fact, by 2018, video views are expected to make up 84 percent of all Internet traffic in the United States, up from 78 percent in 2013, according to network technology company Cisco&rsquo;s 2014 <a href="http://www.cisco.com/web/solutions/sp/vni/vni_forecast_highlights/index.html" target="_blank">Global IP Traffic Forecast</a>.</p> <p>It&rsquo;s not surprising, then, that YouTube is the world&rsquo;s second-largest search engine, processing more than 3 billion searches a month in 2014. With 100 hours of video uploaded every minute, you can&rsquo;t afford to not be where your clients are.</p> <h4>One Major Brokerage&rsquo;s Effort at Visual Storytelling</h4> <p>Century 21 started to ramp up its video marketing about four year ago in order to help their agents reach customers, says Mike Callahan, C21&rsquo;s vice president of brand marketing. The brokerage has a variety of branded video campaigns, from its national &ldquo;Smarter. Bolder. Faster&rdquo; <a href="http://www.century21.com/aboutus/commercials" target="_blank">television commercials</a> to real-time video marketing efforts on social media.</p> <p>One of C21&rsquo;s most popular videos, <a href="https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=98qTVqdoW3M" target="_blank">Tryptophan Slow Jam</a>, is a fun, psychedelic look at the post-Thanksgiving meal experience.</p> <p>&ldquo;Most of our videos are [branded] in a subtle way,&rdquo; says Callahan. &ldquo;Even though we do focus on real-time news and topical events like holidays, there&rsquo;s always a tie-in to the home. We are in the real estate industry and we make sure the home is always part of the story.&rdquo;</p> <p><iframe allowfullscreen="" frameborder="0" height="240" src="https://www.youtube.com/embed/6qgEvAqKtkk" width="420" align="right"></iframe></p> <p>The company has found video drives more customers back to its website, c21.com. It reported a 53 percent increase in video traffic year-over-year in 2014.</p> <p>In addition to creating brand awareness, C21 is also creating customizable videos for its brokers and agents to leverage by inserting its own branding. The company also helps agents create video listing tours by adding narration over photos the agents supply. Last year, the franchise produced more than 320,000 listing videos.</p> <h4>Find Your Video Niche</h4> <p>C21 has built an extensive video collection throughout the years, but if you&rsquo;re just starting out in video marketing, it&rsquo;s more manageable to focus on one storytelling niche, says Derick Rhodes, footage content producer at Shutterstock. Rhodes, along with Chad Koch, director of postproduction for <em>Cond&eacute; Nast&rsquo;s</em> video network <a href="https://thescene.com/" target="_blank">The Scene</a>, discussed elements of successful video marketing in a recent AdWeek webinar, &ldquo;The Future of Branded Video.&rdquo;</p> <iframe src="https://vine.co/v/OhzYPjMb1eX/embed/simple" width="300" height="300" frameborder="0" align="right"></iframe><script src="https://platform.vine.co/static/scripts/embed.js"></script> <p>Rhodes pointed to Lowe&rsquo;s &ldquo;<a href="https://vine.co/Lowes" target="_blank">Fix in Six</a>&ldquo; how-to videos as an example of a well-focused, visually interesting marketing campaign. Lowe&rsquo;s videos cover topics such as how to fix water stains on wood using mayo or how to remove wallpaper using hot water and fabric softener&mdash;and they do it all in six seconds. The series has helped the <a href="http://www.realtor.org/programs/realtor-benefits-program/marketing-resources/lowes" target="_blank">REALTOR Benefits&reg; Partner</a> gain more than 34 million loops or views and nearly 28,000 followers on Vine, a short-form video platform.</p> <p>&ldquo;I think they&rsquo;re great at this and it will be interesting to see how that program evolves,&rdquo; Rhodes says. He suggests that companies evaluate what they&rsquo;re good at and what they to offer in order find their video niche.</p> <p>Koch says some videos are meticulously planned, while others are created on the fly, so marketers shouldn&rsquo;t feel afraid to record something on their smartphone if they&rsquo;re feeling inspired.</p> <p>In addition to having a niche, successful videos are about topics that people want to share, Koch says. Videos that are smart and make the sharer appear smart do particularly well, Koch says.</p> <p>In the end, a successful video offers viewers quality content, Rhodes says. &ldquo;Quality is what people want and what gets people engaged.&rdquo;</p> <hr /> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p><img alt="" height="117" src="/sites/realtormag.realtor.org/files/rmo_files/images/logos/BtoB_logo_footer_080114.jpg" style="float:left" width="150" /><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>The path to impactful visual marketing online is through video. Learn how to find a niche genre for your brokerage.</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/mar15_BB_video_brand.jpg" type="image/jpeg; length=18734">mar15_BB_video_brand.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/mar15_BB_video_brand_0.jpg?1426611723" /> </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/mar15_LP_BB_video_brand.jpg?1426611746" /> </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="/technology/feature/article/2014/12/9-steps-video-marketing-success">9 Steps to Video Marketing Success</a> </div> <div class="field-item even"> <a href="/technology/feature/article/2014/11/how-make-video-work-for-your-budget">How to Make Video Work for Your Budget</a> </div> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/product-guide/cameras-and-video/article/2015/03/2015-cameras-for-video">2015 Cameras: For Video</a> </div> <div class="field-item even"> <a href="/product-guide/cameras-and-video/article/2014/10/ultimate-iphone-listing-video">The Ultimate iPhone Listing Video</a> </div> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/for-brokers/network/article/2015/01/simple-way-capture-testimonials">A Simple Way to Capture Testimonials</a> </div> <div class="field-item even"> <a href="/sales-and-marketing/feature/article/2012/09/lets-get-reel">Let&#039;s Get Reel</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 Mon, 16 Mar 2015 22:12:50 +0000 echristoffer 18472 at http://realtormag.realtor.org The Internet of Things & Organized Real Estate http://realtormag.realtor.org/technology/feature/article/2015/03/internet-things-organized-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"> Associations and MLSs are beginning to examine how they could harness connected devices—and the data that inevitably flows from them—to improve the member experience. </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, March 18, 2015</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>In examining how the Internet of Things will change the way people buy, sell, and manage property over the next few years, it&rsquo;s clear that the universe of Internet-enabled devices and beacon technology could also change the way the industry organizes itself.</p> <p>In case you missed <a href="/technology/feature/article/2015/03/real-estate-and-internet-things">our print feature examining the Internet of Things (or IoT) and real estate</a>, here&rsquo;s a quick recap of how this technology works: Smart devices record and transmit data in a variety of ways, and many of these devices are focused on improving consumers&rsquo; interactions with homes and businesses. One familiar example is the Nest thermostat (created by a company recently purchased by Google). This device allows users to control the HVAC system of a home remotely, using a smartphone. But for a device to be truly &ldquo;smart,&rdquo; it needs to be more than a glorified remote control. The Nest learns a household&rsquo;s schedule and programs itself based on its owners&rsquo; habits. Individual users can set baselines about how much water or electricity they want to use, but the device can also coordinate these commands with data from the National Weather Service or a city&rsquo;s electrical grid to help conserve energy and save money. Beacon technology is another facet of the IoT world. These small devices, usually powered by Bluetooth low-energy technology, can be mounted virtually anywhere and transmit information about the environment to nearby receptors (usually to mobile devices via app software).</p> <p>Organizations can also use this emerging technology to better serve members and event attendees. Beacon technology has already been used to enhance trade show and meeting experiences at the Las Vegas and San Diego convention centers, among others. Beacons can deliver location-based information to visitors, gather audience feedback in real time, and offer smarter, faster ways to register for and network at large gatherings.</p> <p>Just as increased information about homes captured by Internet-enabled devices can help listing agents market properties better, and just as environmental data captured by municipal smart devices can help buyer&rsquo;s agents determine the best neighborhoods for their clients, so can IoT help associations improve the member experience. The California Association of REALTORS&reg; is building a warehouse of sorts that will merge some of the more traditional member information, such as designations and committee involvement, with data that tracks member behavior, like interactions with webinars, e-mails, and <a href="http://http://www.realtor.org/programs/realtor-benefits-program/transaction-management/zipform-plus" target="_blank">zipForms</a>. The association hopes to use the data to help them make more informed, strategic decisions about member benefits and engagement.</p> <p>&ldquo;This year, we&rsquo;re going to start looking at correlations between behaviors and trying to determine what we can learn about that in order to make our investments more effective,&rdquo; says Josh Sharfman, CAR&rsquo;s chief technology officer. &ldquo;What can we do to make members more productive?&rdquo;</p> <p>Sharfman sees the potential in using beacon technology to proctor educational courses. Beacons can be set up to record when particular people enter and exit a room, allowing associations to set up a check-in process during a board of directors meeting or continuing education class.</p> <p>&ldquo;Of course, there is a creepiness factor to being able to follow a person around at all times. But when it comes to a committee member, who is being paid for their time, being able to account for whether or not that person is in the room when they say they are is a pretty reasonable use of the technology,&rdquo; says Sharfman.</p> <p>Technology experts at the National Association of REALTORS&reg; are also watching these developments closely.</p> <p>&ldquo;I think NAR will get into the IoT game in the near future,&rdquo; says Chad Curry, managing director of NAR&rsquo;s Center for REALTOR&reg; Technology. &ldquo;It has the potential to improve member experience and value.&rdquo;</p> <p>Curry adds that IoT data could someday augment the research department at NAR or other associations. By using predictive analytics carefully, the tracking of industry trends could benefit from information gathered in real time by Internet-enabled devices.</p> <p>&ldquo;We might be able to see a recession coming faster if we notice that there&rsquo;s less traffic on Michigan Avenue,&rdquo; Curry says, referring to the iconic stretch of high-end retail known as the Magnificent Mile in Chicago. &ldquo;Maybe there&rsquo;s a specific store, even, that signals that.&rdquo;</p> <h4>Making Listing Data More Valuable</h4> <p>Though beacon technology is still new, it&rsquo;s already being used to augment home tours. Avid Ratings, a customer loyalty management firm for homebuilders based in Madison, Wis., launched an updated version of its home tour software at the International Builders&rsquo; Show in Las Vegas this January. Called GoTour Onsite, the new version uses beacon technology to enable house hunters to tour a model home on their mobile device. As they enter each room, customers can immediately access floor plans, options for customization, and videos that provide in-depth information about hidden aspects of the home, such as building materials and HVAC systems.</p> <p>Folding this type of data into a multiple listing service feed could be game-changing. MLS listings could be augmented with data feeds from outside sources, perhaps allowing buyers who gaze out a &ldquo;smart&rdquo; window to see up-to-date municipal information about how much traffic goes by, or to have the area&rsquo;s <a href="https://www.walkscore.com/live-more/" target="_blank">Walkscore</a> pop up on their mobile device when they&rsquo;re standing on the front porch. Sharfman says he sees this technology as an opportunity for MLSs to add real value to the home tour experience, especially for the luxury market in California. Such smart home tours could even be produced using information pulled directly from an MLS listing, making the home marketing task a bit simpler for individual real estate pros.</p> <p>The data flow could theoretically go in both directions; while MLSs could provide and package new information about for-sale properties, they could also collect information about transactions that could prove to be useful for MLS members. An MLS could use beacons or Internet-enabled lockboxes to record how much time house hunters spend in each room, helping listing agents better position a property for sale based on real-time feedback from buyers. By having this data on all homes in the MLS, members could get an idea of how many minutes of attention their listing has gotten compared to other homes on the market.</p> <p>Of course, the development of such complex data-sharing systems may be awhile off, depending on the pace of development both within the technology sector and in associations and MLSs.</p> <p>&ldquo;It&rsquo;s going to take effort and investment to make it work on all sides of the deal. It requires a sophisticated real estate professional to add in data streams, as well as some of the narrative information about what it&rsquo;s like to actually live there that sellers may tell the listing agent,&rdquo; says Sharfman. &ldquo;But it also requires a dedicated MLS to make sure all these data streams work together and feed up information in a useful way that home buyers will actually enjoy interacting with, rather than seeing it as a distraction.&rdquo;</p> <p>Todd Carpenter, NAR&rsquo;s managing director of data analytics, also views this as a way to shift the value proposition for real estate professionals in the future.</p> <p>&ldquo;The piece of the pie that is MLS data is getting smaller,&rdquo; Carpenter says. &ldquo;If you&rsquo;re selling yourself, you can say &lsquo;I&rsquo;m the one who can help you decipher this expanding data,&rsquo; instead of &lsquo;I am the one who can show it to you.&rsquo; The person who only has the keys to the MLS is not going to be successful in the future.&rdquo;</p> <p>While the complexity of the task ahead is great, so too may be the rewards. Curry agrees that the Internet of Things is ripe for organizational investment. &ldquo;This is a beautiful time to be working on this. Listing data is almost pass&eacute; right now [and] home performance data and behavioral data are going to become key,&rdquo; Curry says. &ldquo;If the MLSs and the associations and portals were to get into this market, it could be a real boon for the industry.&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>Associations and MLSs are beginning to examine how they could harness connected devices&mdash;and the data that inevitably flows from them&mdash;to improve the member experience.</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/mar15_SM_F_internet_things.jpg" type="image/jpeg; length=34032">mar15_SM_F_internet_things.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/mar15_SM_F_internet_things_0.jpg?1426274894" /> </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/mar15_LP_SM_F_internet_things.jpg?1426274905" /> </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="/technology/feature/article/2015/03/real-estate-and-internet-things">Real Estate and the Internet of Things</a> </div> <div class="field-item even"> <a href="/technology/feature/article/2013/09/what-s-big-deal-about-big-data">What’s the Big Deal About Big Data?</a> </div> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/commercial/feature/article/2015/01/pros-and-cons-smart-rental-homes">Pros and Cons of Smart Rental Homes</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 Fri, 13 Mar 2015 16:51:31 +0000 mwhite 18442 at http://realtormag.realtor.org Agent Ratings and Social Capital http://realtormag.realtor.org/for-brokers/network/article/2015/03/agent-ratings-and-social-capital <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 attain and leverage high-impact advertising that’s actually better than money can buy. </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, March 11, 2015</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/mark-leader">Mark Leader</a> </div> </div> </div> <!--paging_filter--><p>When I first started selling real estate in the 1980s, the best advertising that money could buy was a full-page ad in the local newspaper. Three decades later, the best advertising for a brokerage or individual agent can&rsquo;t be bought with money: a five-star rating on one of the growing number of agent-rating platforms or websites.</p> <p>Some brokerages such as Redfin have proactively integrated agent-rating systems into their websites. Others partner with companies such as <a href="http://www.realsatisfied.com/" target="_blank">RealSatisfied</a> to collect and publish verified client testimonials. This is part of a larger trend: consumers&rsquo; increasing desire to validate their purchases and decisions through social proof.</p> <p>The past decade has seen massive growth in Internet commerce and the simultaneous rise of social media. This has resulted in consumer transparency like we&rsquo;ve never before seen. Customers want to offer advice about products and vent about issues in order to help others make the &ldquo;right&rdquo; decision. By providing social proof, consumers are also validating their personal feeling about a purchase.</p> <p>Unlike traditional branding, advertising, marketing, or even newer native social media campaigns, money can&rsquo;t buy social proof. It can only be purchased with the most valuable currency in real estate: social capital. Put simply, social capital is your reputation, and everything that follows.</p> <h4>Measuring the Value of Social Capital</h4> <p>For a brokerage, social capital can be measured in the opportunities, referrals, word-of-mouth marketing, and &mdash; now &mdash; the public ratings you and your agents collectively attract.</p> <p>Social capital has real monetary value. The average person moves seven times in their life. For the investment you make in your clients &ndash; your time, knowledge, and top-notch customer service &ndash; customers will want to pay you back with loyalty. So even if the first home you sell to a given client is a loss leader, the next six might be extremely profitable. That profit increase is the return on your social capital, and it can be huge.</p> <h4>Seek Opportunities to Earn Social Capital</h4> <p>Consider how you conduct yourself with the people around you. Every business transaction takes place within a larger social environment. To build your social capital in life and in business, treat people the way you&rsquo;d like to be treated.</p> <p>Ensure that your agents are helping clients make choices that are right for them. Never put money before people. Dream with clients about big houses &mdash; but also support them and their small mortgage. Financially and spiritually, your social capital is always worth more than any individual deal.</p> <h4>A Brokerage Rich in Social Capital Starts With You</h4> <p>The best way to create a company culture around social capital is by taking great care of your agents. Offer encouragement when first-time buyers take them on emotional rollercoaster rides. Praise their patience and their kindness. Explain the importance of investing in relationships. Coach them on how to break from their sales scripts and speak to clients from the heart.</p> <p>In the short term, you and your agents will undoubtedly earn five-star reviews. But over time, you&rsquo;ll earn a loyal book of business.</p> <hr /> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p><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 attain and leverage high-impact advertising that&rsquo;s actually better than money can buy.</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/mar15_BB_rankings.jpg" type="image/jpeg; length=26223">mar15_BB_rankings.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/mar15_BB_rankings_0.jpg?1426710854" /> </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/mar15_LP_BB_rankings.jpg?1426710869" /> </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/2015/03/keep-calm-and-handle-bad-reviews">Keep Calm and Handle Bad Reviews</a> </div> <div class="field-item even"> <a href="/for-brokers/feature/article/2014/09/customer-service-rocks">Customer Service That Rocks</a> </div> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/sales-and-marketing/relationship-management/article/2015/03/know-who-your-best-clients-are">Know Who Your Best Clients Are</a> </div> <div class="field-item even"> <a href="/technology/feature/article/2014/03/what-internet-saying-about-you">What the Internet Is Saying About You </a> </div> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/daily-news/2014/07/08/report-card-agent-ratings-do-they-work">Report Card On Agent Ratings: Do They Work?</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, 12 Mar 2015 22:03:22 +0000 echristoffer 18434 at http://realtormag.realtor.org Know Who Your Best Clients Are http://realtormag.realtor.org/sales-and-marketing/relationship-management/article/2015/03/know-who-your-best-clients-are <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"> Who should make up your inner circle of customers? Learn to narrow your customer database in a way that makes the most sense for your 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">Thursday, March 12, 2015</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 every client is worth your undivided attention, so how do you decide which ones are worth the investment of personal marketing? Targeting your entire database is impractical and will drain your time and money.</p> <p>Still, many sales professionals do send out blanket e-mail blasts and nonpersonal marketing to their whole database, says Andrea Dixon, executive director of the Keller Research Center and Center for Professional Selling at Baylor University in Waco, Texas. But those widest attempts at appealing to everyone often result in hooking fewer clients. Reserving the most personal touches &mdash; handwritten letters, gifts, personalized e-mail messages, visits, and phone calls &mdash; for those who likely will appreciate it the most will move more clients, Dixon adds.</p> <p>&ldquo;We are limited in bandwidth as individuals,&rdquo; she says. &ldquo;You want to target the people who it makes the most sense for that individualized follow-up &mdash; those for whom seeing, hearing, and feeling from you will evoke a positive personal response.&rdquo;</p> <p>Dixon advocates for adopting a &ldquo;<a href="http://www.baylor.edu/business_new/kellercenter/doc.php/194292.pdf" target="_blank">personal touch portfolio</a>,&rdquo; breaking up your client database to rank the best candidates for your most personalized marketing and highest level of attention. According to Dixon&rsquo;s research, the best candidates for a sales professionals&rsquo; PTP will be those who are:</p> <ul> <li><strong>Highly satisfied:</strong> those who felt your services met or exceeded their expectations.</li> <li><strong>Promoters:</strong> word-of-mouth marketers who are likely to recommend you to a friend or colleague.</li> <li><strong>Repeat purchasers:</strong> those who are most likely to move soon &mdash; and more often.</li> <li><strong>Profitable:</strong> big spenders who are likely to buy either currently or in the future.</li> </ul> <blockquote> <p><strong>How Many Clients Should Be in Your PTP?</strong></p> <p>Just giving a fraction of your database your utmost attention can still grow your business drastically. In a Keller Research Center report published in March, researchers point to Michael Maher&rsquo;s book <a href="http://www.amazon.com/The-Seven-Levels-Communication-Relationships/dp/1452033978" target="_blank"><em>The Seven Levels of Communication</em></a> (BenBella Books, 2014), showing how an inner network of 150 can blossom into more:</p> <p>&ldquo;The National Association of REALTORS&reg; estimates that, on average, an individual will move once every five years. &hellip; If a network consisted of 150 clients, where each client is only connected to 150 other individuals, the number of people in your network and who they are connected to equals 22,500. These 22,500 individuals are now your community, and ... 20 percent of those individuals plan on moving once every five years. That&rsquo;s 4,500 people in your community who are moving, and 9,000 potential transactions available to a real estate agent &mdash; all from a network of just 150 clients.&rdquo;</p> </blockquote> <h4>Collecting the Data</h4> <p>Gathering information on your clients&rsquo; spending habits, loyalty, and purchase triggers can help you craft a more sophisticated segmentation of your database for any targeted marketing message. You&rsquo;ll also be able to form your marketing budget more wisely.</p> <p>Marketers are embracing this new role of becoming greater data collectors, taking the time to explore clients&rsquo; passions and interests in learning what truly motivates them. In a <a href="http://smartdatacollective.com/mike20/223246/how-big-data-can-help-sales-team" target="_blank">2014 study by ADP</a>, the business outsourcing company found that its sales teams&rsquo; efforts to collect more data about their clients helped them to identify 52 percent more sales opportunities and increase sales productivity by 29 percent. Could it do the same for you?</p> <p>Here is some important client data to <a href="/product-guide/applications/2013/01/buyers-guide-contact-management-solutions">include in your CRM database</a>, according to Dixon&rsquo;s research:</p> <p><strong>1. How Satisfied Are They?</strong></p> <p>Measure your clients&rsquo; satisfaction. Don&rsquo;t assume that clients who were initially &ldquo;highly satisfied&rdquo; at closing will stay satisfied. Track satisfaction over time. Give your clients the opportunity to rate their satisfaction with you, as well as the buying or selling process and the home they purchased or sold. Ask them the question at least three times: directly following closing, two weeks later, and six months after. Has their satisfaction increased or decreased and why? If it has fallen, can you respond in a way to increase their satisfaction? Include an open-ended text box in your surveys to gather additional feedback at each interval.</p> <p>Several companies are available to help you collect such data. For example, <a href="http://www.qualityservice.org" target="_blank">Quality Service Certification</a>, offered by several local and state REALTOR&reg; associations, allows you to send out a customer survey after every transaction seeking detailed feedback about your services. Clients can rate their satisfaction on your attention to counseling and their real estate needs; availability and frequency of communication; thoroughness of the search process; negotiations; and attentiveness to detail in contracts. <a href="http://www.realsatisfied.com" target="_blank">RealSatisfied</a>, another such service, also helps real estate professionals collect post-closing survey feedback from their customers.</p> <p><strong>2. What&rsquo;s Their Purchase History? </strong></p> <p>Use your clients&rsquo; past real estate purchase experiences to identify trends that may guide their future behavior. This can also help you determine how frequently to send out marketing messages.</p> <p>&ldquo;Engage your clients in a &lsquo;historical walk-through&rsquo; of their home purchases, asking when they purchased their first home, what was important to them as they made that purchase, and what circumstances prompted them to move to their next home,&rdquo; Dixon says. &ldquo;You&rsquo;ll be able to identify the main drivers behind client&rsquo;s recent moves; how frequently they have moved over their lifetime and whether that frequency has changed; and how the home needs have changed over time.&rdquo;</p> <p>Every client has different homebuying patterns, so don&rsquo;t assume that just because they moved three to five years ago, they aren&rsquo;t likely to move again anytime soon. &ldquo;You may be underestimating the understanding and value of this kind of data,&rdquo; Dixon says. &ldquo;Why have they moved the last two or three moves? Are they due to job-related situations or maybe the moves are over decisions of using their home more as an economic engine? Or maybe they just choose to move more frequently.&rdquo;</p> <p><strong>3. Are They Your Loyal Advocates?</strong></p> <p>Loyalty and advocacy metrics are based on one single question: How likely are they to recommend you to a friend or colleague? Based on their responses, you can classify them into three groups: passives, promoters, or detractors, Dixon says. What you want to find out is who the promoters &mdash; your true fans &mdash; are. &ldquo;Identify the clients who are referring prospective clients to you through word of mouth or their social networks,&rdquo; she says. &ldquo;Identify, track, and measure the impact that individual clients may have on your business through your client&rsquo;s online activities.&rdquo;</p> <p>Which clients are taking the time to rate you or post testimonials about you on social networks or review sites? Who is raving about you on online forums, or who&rsquo;s not singing your praises (e.g. the detractors)? Set up a Web-based alert for your name and for your firm&rsquo;s name using <a href="http://www.google.com/alerts" target="_blank">Google Alerts</a> or another search engine to have a daily digest of mentions sent to you. Keep track in your CRM of which clients are serving as your promoters.</p> <p><strong>4. Do They Spend a Lot?</strong></p> <p>Conduct a client profitability analysis of your database. Identify the clients who provide the highest level of profit margin and highest levels of future profit potential as well.</p> <p>&ldquo;The big idea with profitable loyalty is to identify the value as well as the cost-to-serve for your clients so you can prioritize your personal touches for clients who represent the best return,&rdquo; Dixon says.</p> <p>Track the value of their historical home purchases as well as some estimate of the time required for you to conduct each sale. For instance, if one client takes three years to look for a home before actually making a move, that client might represent a lower profitability outcome than a client who makes a move within a four- to six-month window.</p> <p>Also, listen carefully for future purchase triggers. &ldquo;We know if they&rsquo;re getting married, having children, having more children, having children off to college, these can all be triggers for a change in real estate needs,&rdquo; Dixon says. Collect such data in your CRM and develop a system to monitor these life-changing events to tailor your marketing messages appropriately to their evolving real estate needs.</p> <p>Creating a PTP in your database is a form of &ldquo;strategic thinking that differs from mass communication thinking,&rdquo; Dixon explains. &ldquo;Mass communication thinking means, &lsquo;I look at my entire portfolio and I look to hit them X times per year.&rsquo; That&rsquo;s not personal. That&rsquo;s not a good strategy because clients know they&rsquo;ve been mass targeted. By tracking each communication that you use, you can differentiate your messages accordingly. &hellip; Plus, when you&rsquo;ve personalized something, you&rsquo;re sending a message to your client that says, &lsquo;You&rsquo;re important enough to me that I&rsquo;m checking back in with you regularly.&rsquo;&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>Who should make up your inner circle of customers? Learn to narrow your customer database in a way that makes the most sense for your 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/mar15_SM_relations.jpg" type="image/jpeg; length=39460">mar15_SM_relations.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/mar15_SM_relations_0.jpg?1426179437" /> </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/mar15_LP_SM_relations.jpg?1426179454" /> </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/relationship-management/article/2013/08/8-traits-can-improve-your-customer-relat">8 Traits That Can Improve Your Customer Relationships</a> </div> <div class="field-item even"> <a href="/sales-and-marketing/feature/article/2011/03/relationship-management-7-ways-keep-touch-past-clients">Relationship Management: 7 Ways to Keep In Touch With Past Clients</a> </div> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/sales-and-marketing/relationship-management/article/2013/11/what-s-your-story-here-s-why-your-custom">What’s Your Story? Here’s Why Your Customers Need to Hear One!</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> Relationship Management Thu, 12 Mar 2015 15:21:02 +0000 gwood 18432 at http://realtormag.realtor.org The Weekly Buzz: 3/12/15 http://realtormag.realtor.org/for-brokers/network/article/2015/03/weekly-buzz-31215 <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 latest news and reports to share at your next sales meeting. </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, March 12, 2015</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--><h4>Net Neutrality and Real Estate</h4> <p>In a landmark decision, the Federal Communications Commission approved a rule prohibiting fast lanes on the Internet. The rule keeps a level playing field for all websites and prevents companies from paying Internet service providers for faster online services, which, in the real estate world, could be home searches or video playback. Internet service providers will not be allowed to block or throttle content and applications. The FCC is expected to publish the rule later this year.</p> <p>&ldquo;NAR is pleased that the FCC will implement net-neutral practices and prohibit paid prioritization, which would have created a two-tiered Internet and put REALTORS&reg; and other small-business owners at a competitive disadvantage,&rdquo; says NAR President Chris Polychron. &ldquo;The new rules are a victory for consumers and for REALTORS&reg; who embrace technology and online resources to meet the needs of their clients.&rdquo;</p> <p><iframe align="right" allowfullscreen="" frameborder="0" height="240" src="https://www.youtube.com/embed/uBo3p6ETb5Y" width="400"></iframe></p> <h4>Millennials Lead in Homebuying</h4> <p>Are you and your agents targeting younger clientele? According to the <em>2015 National Association of REALTORS&reg; Home Buyer and Seller Generational Trends </em>study, the millennial generation &ndash;&nbsp;ages 18 to 34 &ndash; represented the largest share of buyers in 2014, at 32 percent. Baby boomers ages 50 to 68 made up 31 percent of buyers last year, followed by generation X (35&ndash;39) at 27 percent, and the silent generation (69&ndash;89) at 10 percent.</p> <p>The survey, which was answered by more than 6,500 buyers, shows that 80 percent of millennial and generation X buyers believe purchasing a home is a good financial investment. The desire to own their own home was listed as the top reason for their purchase.</p> <p>Leading as the largest group of buyers for the second year in a row, millennials are also the most likely to use an agent to purchase their home, at 90 percent.</p> <p>Yet millennials still face challenges when it comes to buying a home. Lawrence Yun, NAR&rsquo;s chief economist, believes the share of millennial purchases would be higher if not for numerous financial obstacles. &ldquo;Many millennials have endured underemployment and subpar wage growth, and rising rents and repaying student debt have made it very difficult to save for a down payment. For some, even forming households of their own has been a challenge,&rdquo; he says.</p> <p>Here are five quick facts about millennial home buyers:</p> <ul> <li>Median age: 29</li> <li>Median income: $76,900 (up from $73,600 in 2013)</li> <li>Typical home purchased: 1,720 square feet costing $189,900 ($180,000 in 2013)</li> <li>Most influenced by: quality of the neighborhood (75 percent) and convenience to jobs (74 percent)</li> <li>Share of millennials buying in an urban area: up from 19 percent to 21 percent in the past year</li> </ul> <p>Read more about <a href="http://www.realtor.org/news-releases/2015/03/nar-generational-survey-millennials-lead-all-buyers-most-likely-to-use-real-estate-agent" target="_blank">NAR&rsquo;s generational survey</a>.</p> <h4>NAR Survey Shows Most REALTORS&reg; Feel Safe</h4> <p>In a recent NAR survey of nearly 3,000 REALTORS&reg;, 96 percent said they&rsquo;ve never been a victim of crime, but 40 percent have found themselves in situations where they have feared for their safety or the safety of their personal information.</p> <p>REALTORS&reg; from across the country answered questions about their personal experiences on the job and said the most dangerous situations include:</p> <ul> <li>open houses</li> <li>showing vacant and model homes</li> <li>working with properties that were unlocked or unsecured</li> <li>showing homes in remote areas</li> </ul> <p>One-third of those surveyed said they carry a self-defense weapon. Women are more likely to carry pepper spray, while men are more likely to carry a firearm.</p> <p>Additionally, 38 percent said they&rsquo;ve participated in self-defense class, and 13 percent use a smartphone safety application to track their whereabouts or alert colleagues of an emergency.</p> <p>Unfortunately, 54 percent said either their brokerage either had no safety measures in place or they were not aware of any. Visit <a href="http://www.realtor.org/topics/realtor-safety" target="_blank">NAR&rsquo;s safety page</a> for tips and <a href="http://www.realtor.org/topics/realtor-safety/realtor-safety-forms-more-than-just-space-filler" target="_blank">download safety forms</a> to use at your office.</p> <h4>Upcoming Webinar: 2015 Forecast for Property Managers</h4> <p>Last year, the residential rental market saw record occupancy rates, as well as a rise in new multifamily developments. Will the strong demand for apartments persist?</p> <p>Ryan Severino, chief economist of Reis Inc., a market data company, will provide insights on the economic trends that matter most to property managers in a free webinar at 2 p.m. ET on Tuesday, March 24. AppFolio, a property-management software company, is sponsoring the webinar. <a href="http://info.appfolio.com/APM-Wbnr-RyanServino-March2015_lp_webinar_Ryan_Servino_March2015.html?om_rid=AAAZa4&amp;om_mid=_BVAKzXB8-35e0p&amp;om_ntype=INSWeekly" target="_blank">Register today</a>.</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>The latest news and reports to share at your next sales meeting.</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/BB_buzz_2.jpg" type="image/jpeg; length=31555">BB_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/BB_buzz_1.jpg?1426708865" /> </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/LP_BB_Buzz_0.jpg?1426708886" /> </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/2015/03/11/survey-finds-younger-buyers-taking-over">Survey Finds Younger Buyers Taking Over</a> </div> <div class="field-item even"> <a href="/sales-and-marketing/feature/article/2014/09/safety-talk-you-need-have-clients">The Safety Talk You Need to Have With Clients</a> </div> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/for-brokers/network/article/2014/10/make-safety-brokerage-priority">Make Safety a Brokerage Priority</a> </div> <div class="field-item even"> <a href="/news-and-commentary/briefs/article/voice-for-real-estate">The Voice for Real Estate</a> </div> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/commercial/feature/article/2014/07/property-management-20">Property Management 2.0</a> </div> <div class="field-item even"> <a href="/commercial/feature/article/2015/02/what-look-for-in-property-manager">What to Look for in a Property Manager</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, 12 Mar 2015 22:16:21 +0000 echristoffer 18435 at http://realtormag.realtor.org A First-Time Buyer Comeback? http://realtormag.realtor.org/news-and-commentary/economy/article/2015/03/first-time-buyer-comeback <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 jobs and a strengthening economy may give homes sales a jolt this spring. </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, March 18, 2015</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/lawrence-yun">Lawrence Yun</a> </div> </div> </div> <!--paging_filter--><p>2015 got off to a snowy and sluggish start for residential markets. While running at a faster clip than at the same time 12 months earlier, January&rsquo;s closing activity clocked in markedly lower compared to the final months of 2014.</p> <table align="right" border="0" cellpadding="3" cellspacing="3" style="width:250px"> <tbody> <tr> <td> <p><a href="http://realtormag.realtor.org/sites/realtormag.realtor.org/files/rmo_files/images/2015_mar/mar15_econ_conf.jpg"><img alt="" src="/sites/realtormag.realtor.org/files/rmo_files/images/2015_mar/mar15_econ_conf_thumb3.jpg" style="height:298px; width:250px" /></a></p> </td> </tr> <tr> <td><em>Click on images for larger view.</em></td> </tr> </tbody> </table> <p>Sure, the severe weather experienced by much of the country had a hand in the tepid performance&mdash;an annual pace of just 4.8 million sales. But other factors, apart from the season, could be restricting home sales.</p> <p>First, buyers are not excited by their choices. Inventories are low and falling. The supply of homes fell in January for the second straight month on a year-over-year basis, after having risen for 16 straight months, and are far below what the market needs. Larger inventories not only help to motivate buyers, they also keep prices from rising too quickly.</p> <table align="left" border="0" cellpadding="3" cellspacing="3" style="width:250px"> <tbody> <tr> <td> <p><a href="http://realtormag.realtor.org/sites/realtormag.realtor.org/files/rmo_files/images/2015_mar/mar15_econ_supply.jpg"><img alt="" src="/sites/realtormag.realtor.org/files/rmo_files/images/2015_mar/mar15_econ_supply_thumb2.jpg" style="height:243px; width:250px" /></a></p> </td> </tr> <tr> <td><em>Inventory remains low in many areas, and income growth lags behind home appreciation.</em></td> </tr> </tbody> </table> <p>But the news is not all grim. Demand for new construction is rising, and with it the need for workers. Homebuilders, who have been scrambling to find skilled laborers, may find a larger available pool as hard-hat workers leave the slowing oil drilling industry in favor of construction, which is experiencing wage hikes. As a result, we could see a 30 percent increase in new-home sales this year.</p> <p>Second, there could be a change in lifestyle as young adult households&mdash;millennials&mdash;settle in as renters. Does this generation prefer not to be tied down? It&rsquo;s too early to tell. The home ownership rate&mdash;now at 64 percent &mdash;is at its lowest level in more than 20 years.</p> <table align="right" border="0" cellpadding="3" cellspacing="3" style="width:250px"> <tbody> <tr> <td> <p><a href="http://realtormag.realtor.org/sites/realtormag.realtor.org/files/rmo_files/images/2015_mar/mar15_econ_trans.jpg"><img alt="" src="/sites/realtormag.realtor.org/files/rmo_files/images/2015_mar/mar15_econ_trans_thumb2.jpg" style="height:269px; width:250px" /></a></p> </td> </tr> <tr> <td><em>Practitioners are seeing more activity from buyers as interest rates remain low and financing becomes easier to obtain, at least in some markets.&nbsp;</em></td> </tr> </tbody> </table> <p>This phenomenon may have little to do with lifestyle choices and more to do with economic realities. After all, the number of millennials&mdash;those in their 20s and early 30s&mdash;-living with their parents is at sky-high levels, and it&rsquo;s doubtful that staying with mom and dad is their idea of freedom. More likely, they&rsquo;ve felt -hampered trying to find stable, good-paying jobs, let alone obtain mortgage financing in today&rsquo;s overly strict environment.</p> <p>But there are hopeful signs here as well. Jobs and wages are steadily improving. The mortgage credit box is opening up a bit. When you look at these trends along with the improving prospects for home construction amid a strengthening economy and continuing low interest rates, first-time buyers could be poised for a comeback in 2015. Overall, we could see a good year ahead. The formation of more new households is something parents, as well as their young adult children, can smile about.</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>More jobs and a strengthening economy may give homes sales a jolt this spring.</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/mar15_NC_economy.jpg" type="image/jpeg; length=33314">mar15_NC_economy.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/mar15_NC_economy_0.jpg?1426282611" /> </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/mar15_LP_NC_economy.jpg?1426282626" /> </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/2014/12/05/2015-year-first-time-home-buyer">2015: Year of the First-Time Home Buyer</a> </div> <div class="field-item even"> <a href="/daily-news/2015/03/12/media-pessimism-housing-unwarranted">Media Pessimism on Housing is Unwarranted</a> </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="http://economistsoutlook.blogs.realtor.org/" rel="nofollow">Economists’ Outlook Blog</a> </div> <div class="field-item even"> <a href="http://realtormag.realtor.org/author/lawrence-yun" rel="nofollow">Read more articles from Lawrence Yun</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> Economy Wed, 11 Mar 2015 21:31:57 +0000 mbrozanic 18419 at http://realtormag.realtor.org Build, Support, Motivate http://realtormag.realtor.org/for-brokers/network/article/2015/03/build-support-motivate <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"> Ensure that your real estate business thrives by putting in the quality time it takes to build a great team. Here are five tips. </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, March 10, 2015</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/michelle-shurtleff">Michelle Shurtleff</a> </div> </div> </div> <!--paging_filter--><p>Real estate is a tough industry. There are so many elements that help determine future success, but one of the most important is your sales team. Here are five tips to help build, support, and motivate your sales force:</p> <p><strong>1. Networking Opportunities:</strong> Real estate success doesn&rsquo;t solely depend upon numbers; it&rsquo;s much more than that. Success often correlates with strong relationships. Encourage your team to branch out of their comfort zone and find events where they can make connections and establish leads. If you find a particularly promising event, send one person to represent your company or ask everyone to attend. Remind your salespeople to bring their business cards wherever they go &mdash; even the grocery store &mdash; because you never know where the next client will come from.</p> <p><strong>2. Focus:</strong> Help your team maintain focus in a field that&rsquo;s always changing. Make sure your agents set clear goals. Try pairing them up into accountability teams or become an accountability coach yourself. Consider hiring a trainer to help your agents hone their skills and on track.</p> <p><strong>3. Balance: </strong>There&rsquo;s nothing wrong with being social in the work place, but it&rsquo;s wise to carefully moderate such activity. Set the precedent that work comes first while in the office. The No. 1 priority is to help clients and get the job done.</p> <p><strong>4. Communication:</strong> Try to regularly meet with your salespeople one-on-one. If an agent is having an issue or concern, make time to listen. Make sure your team knows you&rsquo;re available when they need help. It never hurts to reinforce this with simple reminders through e-mail, phone calls, and weekly sales meetings.</p> <p><strong>5. Current Knowledge: </strong>Educate your associates on the latest real estate trends, local news, and market statistics by sharing reports and articles. Add a &ldquo;need-to-know news roundup&rdquo; to your sales meetings. Take a look at what&rsquo;s happening at the local and national level. Pull news from NAR, your local association and MLS, and trusted news sources. If your salespeople are up-to-date on what&rsquo;s happening in the industry, they&rsquo;ll be more empowered to provide good information to their clients.</p> <hr /> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p><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>Ensure that your real estate business thrives by putting in the quality time it takes to build a great team. Here are five tips.</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/mar15_BB_teams.jpg" type="image/jpeg; length=92094">mar15_BB_teams.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/mar15_BB_teams_0.jpg?1426104208" /> </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/mar15_LP_BB_teams.jpg?1426104227" /> </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/solutions/article/2014/04/how-build-x-factor-team">How to Build an X-Factor Team</a> </div> <div class="field-item even"> <a href="/for-brokers/solutions/article/2014/10/rallying-cries-win-wars-build-culture">Rallying Cries Win Wars, Build Culture </a> </div> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/for-brokers/network/article/2014/09/training-made-easier-team-them-up">Training Made Easier: Team Them Up</a> </div> <div class="field-item even"> <a href="/for-brokers/standouts/article/2011/03/keeping-standards-high">Keeping Standards High</a> </div> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/for-brokers/solutions/article/2014/12/be-leader-not-dictator">Be a Leader, Not a Dictator </a> </div> <div class="field-item even"> <a href="/for-brokers/network/article/2015/02/help-wanted-looking-for-generation-y">Help Wanted: Looking for Generation Y </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, 11 Mar 2015 17:15:40 +0000 echristoffer 18405 at http://realtormag.realtor.org Intriguing Business Solutions http://realtormag.realtor.org/technology/cool-tools/article/2015/03/intriguing-business-solutions <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"> At the Consumer Electronics Show, companies introduced an array of products to keep you at the top of your game. </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, March 18, 2015</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/sam-silverstein">Sam Silverstein</a> </div> </div> </div> <!--paging_filter--><p>Super-sized TVs, self-driving cars, and Web-based home appliances got most of the attention during January&rsquo;s International Consumer Electronic Show. But a host of less flashy devices at the annual Las Vegas technology showcase stand to have a far bigger impact on the business practices of real estate pros. Here are a few breakthroughs worth noting.</p> <h4>Clients Never Out of Reach</h4> <p>Take mobile communications. Problems arise quickly when you&rsquo;re in an area where cellular coverage is poor or even nonexistent. Utah-based <a href="https://www.weboost.com/us/" target="_blank">weBoost LLC</a> showed off a line of devices that boost cell signals belonging to any cellphone network, allowing you to use your phone in places where you might otherwise find no service. Real estate agents may especially appreciate weBoost&rsquo;s car-based products, which strengthen weak cellular signals for either a single phone or every mobile device in a vehicle. The company also sells equipment that can be installed in a fixed location, such as a home or office. Signal boosters start at $130 for 3G and $200 for 4G signals.</p> <p>For those who travel beyond the reach of cellular coverage&mdash;where even weBoost&rsquo;s equipment doesn&rsquo;t work&mdash;a startup called <a href="http://gotenna.com" target="_blank">goTenna</a> has developed a device ($150 per pair) that allows mobile phones to communicate using long-range radio links that can traverse several miles or more. The Brooklyn, N.Y.&ndash;based company&rsquo;s app connects a smartphone to the lightweight transmission gear via Bluetooth.</p> <h4>Scanning for Home and Business</h4> <p>Demand for 3-D home tours is escalating. French firm <a href="http://snapkin.fr/en/" target="_blank">Snapkin</a> is developing a specialized room scanner that can generate floor plans and detailed, three-dimensional tours of rooms, although it is not designed to offer precise square footage measurements. The company hopes to make the scanners available for rent at retail outlets, just as carpet-cleaning machines are today, says cofounder and CEO J&eacute;r&eacute;my Guillaume.</p> <p><a href="http://flir.com" target="_blank">FLIR Systems</a> meanwhile, showed off a different kind of scanner that may appeal to buyers. The com-pany&rsquo;s $249 smartphone-based infrared camera, the FLIR One, uses thermal imaging technology to pinpoint potential trouble spots in homes, such as water leaks in walls and drafty windows, that might otherwise go unnoticed.</p> <h4>You&rsquo;ve Got Mail</h4> <p>The <a href="https://www.usps.com/" target="_blank">U.S. Postal Service</a> was at CES to promote a new era of digitally enhanced mail. The possibilities include adding multimedia presentations to printed marketing materials using augmented reality technology. Such mailings have been commercially available for a year and include a scannable code that users access on smartphones and tablets.</p> <h4>Doing More for Less</h4> <p>Some CES exhibitors highlighted cost--effectiveness. <a href="http://plustek.com" target="_blank">Plustek Inc. of Taiwan</a> unveiled a document scanner priced below $1,000 that rapidly sends pages to a computer or smartphone and includes a touch screen for editing. The unit features a 50-page feeder and doesn&rsquo;t need to be connected to a computer.</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>At the Consumer Electronics Show, companies introduced an array of products to keep you at the top of your game.</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/mar15_NC_CES_wrap.jpg" type="image/jpeg; length=41491">mar15_NC_CES_wrap.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/mar15_NC_CES_wrap_0.jpg?1426275281" /> </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/mar15_LP_CES_wrap.jpg?1426275305" /> </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/briefs/article/2015/01/realtor-mag-ces-2015">REALTOR® Mag at CES 2015</a> </div> <div class="field-item even"> <a href="/product-guide/slideshow/2015/01/live-from-ces-2015">Live from CES 2015</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> Cool Tools Wed, 11 Mar 2015 21:37:59 +0000 mbrozanic 18420 at http://realtormag.realtor.org Make It Personal http://realtormag.realtor.org/sales-and-marketing/feature/article/2015/03/make-it-personal <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"> Technology captures leads, but the human touch turns them into clients. </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, March 18, 2015</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/lynn-olson">Lynn Olson</a> </div> </div> </div> <!--paging_filter--><p>When it comes to lead conversion, the Internet could be viewed as a mixed blessing. Ninety-two percent of home buyers go online to look at houses for sale, according to the<a href="http://www.realtor.org/reports/highlights-from-the-2014-profile-of-home-buyers-and-sellers" target="_blank"> National Association of REALTORS&reg;&rsquo; <em>2014 Profile of Home Buyers and Sellers</em></a>. That translates to a potential boatload of Internet leads&mdash;but also to the time-consuming task of separating the casual browsers from the serious inquiries.</p> <p>Large brokerages such as 8z Real Estate in Boulder, Colo., with 104 agents, assign a customer service team to qualify prospects by all available means&mdash;phone, text, or live chat&mdash;and match them with an agent. Lane Hornung, CEO of 8z, says the customer service reps help ease prospective clients into the homebuying process. &ldquo;The consumer feels less pressure because many Internet consumers want to stand back a bit,&rdquo; he says.</p> <p>As co-owner of a four-person team at Keller Williams Performance Realty in Colorado Springs, Colo., Mariana Wagner assigns the qualification process to administrative staff or does it herself. &ldquo;Most people get into real estate because they&rsquo;re really good at negotiating or they&rsquo;re really good with people,&rdquo; Wagner says, &ldquo;not because they are really good<br /> at converting leads.&rdquo;</p> <blockquote> <p><strong>Do&#39;s of Lead Conversion</strong></p> <ul> <li><strong>Be patient, but be responsive</strong>. &ldquo;Assume they want to buy real estate,&rdquo; Hornung says. &ldquo;You can move the process along without two-way communication. You might text or e-mail information about listings and get radio silence for 10 inquiries. Then on the 11th, they not only respond, but you write an offer that day.&rdquo;</li> <li><strong>Offer a higher level of service</strong>, and make sure prospects know it. Wagner, who works with a lot of hard-to-sell properties, offers free staging.</li> <li><strong>Keep your eye on the prize</strong>: the face-to-face meeting. &ldquo;Remember the hierarchy of marketing: face-to-face and in-person is always the strongest and most memorable experience,&rdquo; Chamberlain says. Use data (information) to get to the personal (meeting). Don&rsquo;t forget to ask for a meeting or showing.&nbsp;</li> </ul> </blockquote> <h4>The Human Touch</h4> <p>Wagner, who works primarily with listings, has a strong referral base, but she also gets leads from tools such as zBuyer and AgentMachine and from Facebook ads. She&rsquo;s a firm believer in contacting a lead, usually by phone, within five minutes. After that, qualification can take anywhere from 10 minutes to two hours. But it&rsquo;s vital to make contact when the lead is still thinking about real estate, she says. &ldquo;If you wait too long, they are on to other things, like Facebook,&rdquo; she says. If leads don&rsquo;t respond to a phone call, Wagner reaches out to them with text messages. &ldquo;We have a remarkably high response rate when we text people,&rdquo; she says.</p> <p>She also gets a great response to handwritten cards that include information provided by leads during registration. &ldquo;We have gotten numerous phone calls thanking us for taking the time to handwrite a note,&rdquo; she says.</p> <p>Wagner&rsquo;s team puts those who don&rsquo;t respond to calls, texts, or cards on a call and e-mail drip campaign. &ldquo;The more personal you can make these touches, the easier it is to convert,&rdquo; she says. &ldquo;When you eventually do get a hold of them, they feel like they know you because you&rsquo;ve reached out to them on a personal level on so many occasions.&rdquo;</p> <p>The personal touch can also reveal your fallible, human side. Wagner once got a prospect&rsquo;s attention by mistake: She intended to e-mail a report comparing her company&rsquo;s sales statistics to national data but forgot to attach the report. &ldquo;This started a conversation, which got us appointments,&rdquo; she says. &ldquo;It was completely unintentional, but it did work.&rdquo;</p> <blockquote> <p><strong>Don&rsquo;ts of Lead Conversion</strong></p> <ul> <li><strong>Oversell</strong>. &ldquo;I&rsquo;m not a big believer in reading scripts that try to qualify people,&rdquo; Hornung says. &ldquo;That&rsquo;s very company-oriented, as opposed to shifting it to the customers.&rdquo; Instead, ask questions to get prospects to tell you what problems you can help them with&mdash;and then solve them. These questions can include: How can I help? Where are you in your buying process? How can I help you move that along? What are your goals?</li> <li><strong>Be wordy</strong>. People are inundated with information and don&rsquo;t want to wade through a long e-mail full of jargon. Fitting your text into the subject line of an e-mail, with only your contact info in the body, might be enough. &ldquo;If they&rsquo;re going to read the e-mail at all, they might just read the first line or just the subject,&rdquo; Wagner says.</li> <li><strong>Get discouraged</strong>, particularly when it comes to Internet leads. It might take 1,000 visitors to your website to lead to one closed deal, Hornung says.</li> </ul> </blockquote> <h4>Combination Approach</h4> <p>Mobile technology now plays a big role in lead conversion. NAR reports that 50 percent of buyers used mobile devices in their home search. And in 2014, mobile Web search exceeded PC Internet search, according to comScore. That&rsquo;s why Partners Trust Real Estate in Los Angeles is developing a mobile app that will integrate with its website and CRM system, says Audie Chamberlain, vice president of marketing.</p> <p>As at 8z, agents at Partners Trust rely on customer service reps to sift through leads. Once an agent connects with a prospect, having data at the ready is paramount. &ldquo;We use Cloud CMA to immediately provide consumers with granular, detailed information about their homes and neighborhood,&rdquo; Chamberlain says. (<em>Want to bring more data to your client interactions? Get the new <a href="http://www.realtor.org/topics/realtors-property-resource/rpr-mobile-app" target="_blank">REALTORS Property Resource&reg; app</a>. There&rsquo;s no cost, and it&rsquo;s exclusively for NAR members.</em>)</p> <p>Still, never underestimate the importance of the personal touch, Chamberlain says. &ldquo;Regular, personal contact increases your chances big time.&rdquo;</p> <h4>Walk a Mile in Their Shoes</h4> <p>For Hornung, the key to converting leads from 8z&rsquo;s website is patience combined with quick response and empathy. &ldquo;You have to put yourself in the other person&rsquo;s shoes,&rdquo; he says.</p> <p>A big part of that is letting clients tell you how they prefer to be contacted and adapting to accommodate them. Hornung has seen improved conversion rates with texting and online chat.</p> <p>Whatever the communication mode, maintain contact and be able to move quickly when the client is ready. &ldquo;You&rsquo;ve got to be able to move slow if the consumer wants to move slow,&rdquo; says Hornung. &ldquo;But if they want to move fast, believe me, they expect you to move fast. And if you can&rsquo;t move fast, they&rsquo;ll find somebody else who does.&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>Technology captures leads, but the human touch turns them into clients.</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/mar15_SM_human.jpg" type="image/jpeg; length=73281">mar15_SM_human.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/mar15_SM_human_0.jpg?1426277538" /> </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/mar15_LP_SM_human.jpg?1426277565" /> </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="/technology/feature/article/2015/01/does-it-make-sense-buy-leads">Does It Make Sense to Buy Leads? </a> </div> <div class="field-item even"> <a href="/technology/feature/article/2014/11/where-are-you-leading-your-online-leads">Where Are You Leading Your Online Leads?</a> </div> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/product-guide/marketing/article/2014/03/build-stronger-relationships-your-internet-leads">Build Stronger Relationships with Your Internet Leads</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, 11 Mar 2015 20:34:36 +0000 mbrozanic 18409 at http://realtormag.realtor.org Navigating Bumpy Terrain http://realtormag.realtor.org/commercial/conversations/article/2015/03/navigating-bumpy-terrain <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 easy to overpay for land these days. Land acquisition guru Peter Linneman emphasizes the need to be discerning. </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, March 18, 2015</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/dona-dezube">Dona DeZube</a> </div> </div> </div> <!--paging_filter--><p>Talk about foresight. In 2005, Pete Linneman launched American Land Fund, a Philadelphia-based private real estate equity firm poised to take advantage of the downturn he believed was ahead in the housing market by purchasing raw, undeveloped, unentitled land in the path of development. The fund&rsquo;s profits would come from buying raw land and working with homegrown partners to convince local officials to grant the properties development rights, transforming them from unentitled to entitled land with permits to build thousands of homes. The value of land rises and falls based on entitlements because builders most often buy lots rather than raw land. A lot approved for a 10-story condominium or office building is much more valuable than the same property zoned for farm or even a few single-family homes.</p> <p>ALF&rsquo;s portfolio now spans 9,500 acres and 17,400 residential lots across seven states. &ldquo;We are still, on a very selective basis, looking for additional properties. But since we have a couple hundred million dollars&rsquo; worth of land, we don&rsquo;t feel the need to keep doing it,&rdquo; Linneman says.</p> <p>Linneman, a longtime University of Pennsylvania real estate professor, is circumspect about the significance of his real estate predictions a decade ago. &ldquo;We were too early in the execution of at least&nbsp;a third of it,&rdquo; he says. Linneman discusses the uneven terrain beneath land sales.</p> <p><strong>How is the model for bulk land sales changing as markets stabilize?</strong></p> <p>Homebuilders are being very cautious. This downturn has lasted so much longer than expected and [still] has everybody&rsquo;s attention. They&rsquo;re very sensitive about small things&mdash;a data release that people read way too much into.</p> <p><strong>How does that play out in the new home sales market? </strong></p> <p>In the past, the norm was not only that builders would have model homes, they&rsquo;d have a number of homes in various states of completion, speculatively. When you went to see the models on a Saturday, the builder would say: &ldquo;We can build you this one and have it done in eight months or show you one that&rsquo;ll be done in a month.&rdquo; Now, they&rsquo;re not willing to carry any speculative [homes] beyond models. That means the velocity is much slower for land takedowns.</p> <p><strong>Where is the value of land headed in 2015?</strong></p> <p>I&rsquo;m a big believer that home values are going to go up faster than inflation and land values will go up faster than home values because they&rsquo;re the residual [the value of land after a builder subtracts costs from revenue]. We&rsquo;re still underproducing homes.</p> <p><strong>Is financing loosening up at all?</strong></p> <p>It&rsquo;s slowly loosening up, but in the near term, the real key is homebuilders and how aggressive they decide to be. They have strong balance sheets, so the state of the credit markets is not a near-term constraint.</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 easy to overpay for land these days. Land acquisition guru Peter Linneman emphasizes the need to be discerning.</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/mar15_C_Linneman.jpg" type="image/jpeg; length=30170">mar15_C_Linneman.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/mar15_C_Linneman_0.jpg?1426275856" /> </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/mar15_lp_c_land.jpg?1427303932" /> </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/2014/09/05/land-prices-rise-year">Land Prices On the Rise This Year</a> </div> <div class="field-item even"> <a href="/commercial/feature/article/2011/09/farm-land-rush">Farm Land Rush</a> </div> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/daily-news/2014/12/31/new-home-construction-turnaround-expected">New-Home Construction Turnaround Expected</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> Conversations Wed, 11 Mar 2015 21:15:12 +0000 mbrozanic 18417 at http://realtormag.realtor.org No Parking, No Problem http://realtormag.realtor.org/commercial/feature/article/2015/03/no-parking-no-problem <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"> Transit-oriented developments are reflecting the preferences of today’s younger professionals. Learn what leading-edge developers are thinking. </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, March 18, 2015</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/gm-filisko">G.M. Filisko</a> </div> </div> </div> <!--paging_filter--><p>Millennials are driving today&rsquo;s transformation of major urban centers, according to a fall 2014 Cushman &amp; Wakefield report. Many are opting to ditch cars as long as they can live within walking distance of amenity-rich areas and easily catch transit when they&rsquo;re looking to venture beyond their neighborhood hub. In just six years, C&amp;W reports, they&rsquo;ll make up more than half of the global workforce. This expanding cohort of workers born since 1982 is likely to turbocharge another phenomenon with important ramifications for commercial practitioners: the demand for so-called transit-oriented development.</p> <p>These mixed-use areas in cities and suburbs are located a half-mile or less from public transportation and typically occur in higher-density communities. Along with improving access to jobs, such developments spur other benefits, including reductions in driving rates, road congestion, and greenhouse gas emissions. Perhaps the most radical departure of all from conventional development priorities, onsite parking is typically a minimal or nonexistent part of the plan.</p> <p>However, like the millennials themselves, TODs have matured since they first emerged. In some cases, neighborhood activists are pushing for TODs. And where they&rsquo;re not on consumers&rsquo; radar, developers are fine-tuning their strategies to seek meaningful community involvement. Smart developers understand they need to offer more than just proximity to transit. Their projects need to reflect the changing lifestyles of younger consumers who are more likely to be tethered to their electronic gadgets than to a vehicle&mdash;a reality that lenders are starting to grasp as well.</p> <p>Since the late 1990s, TOD has been a force in the development world, says David Dixon, an urban planner at Stantec in Boston. The Great Recession, however, changed TOD&rsquo;s trajectory.</p> <p>&ldquo;Transit&rsquo;s ability to really incent development&mdash;and a different kind of development, of walkable communities&mdash;first became recognized in the late 1990s and early 2000s,&rdquo; he explains. &ldquo;But coming out of the recession there&rsquo;s been so much more awareness of the power of cities to attract people, the interest in walkable environments, and the desire to not have a car. &rdquo;</p> <p>Data has begun emerging showing that TOD improves property values. A 2009 study by CEOs for Cities found that in 13 of the 15 markets analyzed, increased walkability in a neighborhood was directly linked to higher home values.</p> <p>Fitzhugh Stout, senior managing director of the Charlotte, N.C., office of Integra Realty Resources, a real estate valuation company, studied the effect of a light rail line that opened in his area in 2007. He found properties had increased in value from 5 percent to 73 percent since then, and the most dramatic increases came from changes in zoning that permitted increased density. &ldquo;Everywhere in the country, people talk about reducing parking and getting higher density in development,&rdquo; he says. &ldquo;Transit has allowed that to happen.&rdquo;</p> <p>Another factor critical to TOD&rsquo;s growth is Americans&rsquo; ever-increasing focus on health. About 15 years ago, recalls Dixon, Dr. Richard Jackson, then director of the Centers for Disease Control&rsquo;s National Center for Environmental Health, started talking about a link between auto dependence and obesity. Today people consider a walkable environment a healthier environment. That&rsquo;s a sea change, says Dixon, from when people saw the lawns of the suburbs and thought they translated to a healthier life.</p> <h4>Community Pushes for TOD</h4> <p>It was local residents who clamored for a high-density development at 1611 W. Division in Chicago. The city passed an ordinance in September 2013 permitting higher density and less parking for developments near transit hubs. The 99-unit apartment building sits atop the city&rsquo;s Blue Line &ldquo;el&rdquo; train stop at Division, an intersection six bus lines traverse daily.</p> <p>The project&rsquo;s specs were heavily shaped by a local community group. &ldquo;It wasn&rsquo;t the developer saying, &lsquo;We want to build a TOD project,&rsquo;&thinsp;&rdquo; says Jamie McNally, an architect and project manager for the project&rsquo;s developer, Rob Buono. &ldquo;A community group had a master plan before this project was created. [It] wanted moderate to high density [and] low parking, and the idea was to promote pedestrian-friendly, walkable neighborhoods.&rdquo;</p> <p>There&rsquo;s no on-site or even authorized street parking for residents. Leases even prohibit residents from getting street-parking passes from the city. That hasn&rsquo;t been a deterrent in leasing. Units were fully leased when the property opened in October 2013.</p> <p>&nbsp;They range from 507-square-foot studios to 1,146-square-foot two-bedroom two-bath apartments with rents ranging from $1,495 to $3,450 per month. The property includes a free second-floor bike garage and a &ldquo;train tracker&rdquo; screen in the lobby so residents can see where transit vehicles are in real time. Across the street is a station for Divvy, the city&rsquo;s bike--sharing program launched in June 2013.</p> <p>The property has 5,000 square feet of commercial space and about 7,050 square feet of ground-floor retail space. McNally says despite its growing popularity, TOD doesn&rsquo;t automatically translate to a higher return for developers. &ldquo;It depends on the individual project,&rdquo; says McNally. &ldquo;There are so many factors in new construction.&rdquo;&nbsp; While some lenders have reservations about financing projects without parking, it wasn&rsquo;t the case with this project, and that&rsquo;s changing overall. &ldquo;It&rsquo;s partly because there&rsquo;s been a paradigm shift in urban planning and lifestyles. Young professionals don&rsquo;t necessarily want or need a car and all the expenses that go along with it,&rdquo; he says.</p> <h4>Hotel? What a Great Idea!</h4> <p>Community input has also been critical to a $100 million TOD in Huntington, N.Y., on Long Island, currently in the permitting and environmental review stage, by Renaissance Downtowns, a developer based in nearby Plainview, N.Y. In the works is a 170-room hotel set to open in spring 2017. It&rsquo;ll be supplemented with a 100,000-square-foot office building; two mixed-use buildings, one with retail on the ground level plus two stories above it featuring 70 residential units; and a 48-unit artists&rsquo; live-work building.</p> <blockquote> <p><strong>Watch</strong>: REALTOR&reg; University visiting lecturer <a href="http://www.realtor.org/videos/realtor-university-speaker-series-the-walkable-urban-future" target="_blank">Christopher&nbsp;Leinberger&nbsp;talks about the economics of walkable&nbsp;communities</a>.</p> </blockquote> <p>All those buildings will sit within a half-mile of the Huntington Station rail stop, which lands riders in Manhattan in about an hour, taking the place of commuter parking lots that currently exist. &ldquo;Our whole model is going to municipalities near train stations with a lot of surface parking that&rsquo;s underutilized and replacing the parking with new buildings that include parking within the structures,&rdquo; says Sean McLean, the company&rsquo;s vice president of planning and development.</p> <p>The project is being financed privately through RXR Realty, says McLean. RXR, which operates in New York, New Jersey, and Connecticut, launched an &ldquo;emerging markets fund&rdquo; to focus on rebuilding downtowns in the area using input solicited from community members.</p> <p>To recruit local involvement, Renaissance Downtowns relies on &ldquo;crowdsourced placemaking.&rdquo; The company opens an office in the development zone and staffs it with local residents, explains McLean. Those staffers hold daily community meetings and office hours. The company also launched a website, <a href="http://sourcethestation.com/" target="_blank">Source the Station</a>, to provide information to residents.</p> <p>In fact, the hotel at Huntington Station wasn&rsquo;t even on Renaissance&rsquo;s radar. But the community spoke and Renaissance&rsquo;s market analysis confirmed the area was ripe for a hotel.</p> <p>&ldquo;The challenge for us is always gaining the trust of the community and gaining their activity,&rdquo; says McLean. &ldquo;We concentrate on activating the silent majority to make sure they&rsquo;re at the table rather than just the 10 squeaky wheels. Then we get the majority what they&rsquo;re looking for in their community.&rdquo;</p> <p>When it comes to calculating the return on investment on TOD in the Northeast, McLean says it&rsquo;s directly related to the distance from the development to the nearest major metro area. The closer the TOD project to Manhattan, for example, the better the return.</p> <p>Like McNally, McLean says parking remains a challenge when it comes to financing TOD projects, as some lenders remain skeptical about the viability of projects that deemphasize parking. &ldquo;Lenders are still looking for one to one-and-one-third spaces per unit.&rdquo;</p> <h4>Long-Range Planning Pays</h4> <p>It&rsquo;s taken 10 years, but sales will begin this April for the TOD at the Washington, D.C., Metro&rsquo;s Shady Grove stop in Montgomery County, Md., reports A.J. Jackson, managing partner at EYA, a TOD--focused developer based in Bethesda, Md. Residents are expected to start moving in by year&rsquo;s end. The project, which is also adjacent to the Shady Grove station for MARC, Maryland&rsquo;s commuter rail system, will include 1,100 one- and two-bedroom apartments, 400 townhomes, 15,000 square feet of retail, and 130,000 square feet of commercial space all within steps of the station.</p> <p>What took so long? EYA purchased land a dozen years ago near&mdash;but not next to&mdash;the Metro station. It then decided its project would be more successful for both it and the community if it were located adjacent to the station on property then owned by the county. It took all that time for EYA to convince county officials to buy EYA&rsquo;s land and sell EYA the land next to the Metro station. That required relocating all the operations that existed on the county&rsquo;s property, which included a transit bus depot and a massive kitchen where public school lunches were prepared. In exchange, EYA agreed to shepherd both properties through the required zoning and approval processes so it and the county ended up with -development-ready land.</p> <p>Fifteen percent of the project will include moderate-income housing (for those who earn 60 percent or below of the area&rsquo;s median income) and another 10 percent will be workforce housing (for those who earn 80 to 115 percent of the area&rsquo;s median income), says Jackson. Rentals are expected to draw from $1,100 to $2,600 per month. Townhomes will likely range from $185,000 to $400,000 for the moderate-income and workforce housing, while market-rate units will range from $650,000 to $800,000.</p> <p>EYA is financing the $550 million project with traditional debt and equity. It&rsquo;s relying on funding from institutional investors for the townhomes and condos, in addition to loans from commercial banks.&nbsp;</p> <p>&ldquo;When it comes to developments with units for sale, rather than leasing, demand and values have remained strong for infill in general, so lenders have been aggressive in seeking our business, Jackson says. &ldquo;On the other hand, financing for multifamily rental has been tighter because there&rsquo;s a lot of supply.&rdquo;</p> <p>Because infill projects are generally riskier and more time consuming than other projects, Jackson says, developers tend to focus on projects with an ROI that justifies the extra effort. &ldquo;There&rsquo;s a lot of up-front risk in these projects, and those cost are typically funded from equity.&rdquo;</p> <p>Jackson agrees with colleagues that planning for parking can be tricky. At Shady Grove, townhomes have attached parking for one or two cars while rentals have fewer allotted parking spaces. &ldquo;One consideration is who&rsquo;s moving into the units. You may be doing larger units targeted for empty nesters. They may be less willing to give up their cars,&rdquo; he says. You also have to think about what amenities are within walking distance. The higher the Walk Score, the less parking you need.</p> <p>Bottom line: You can&rsquo;t just throw up a development near a subway station and call it a day. Transportation (and not necessarily rail; good bus service also qualifies), walkability, and neighborhood amenities are all factors in successful TOD, he says. &ldquo;It&rsquo;s a dynamic analysis.&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>Transit-oriented developments are reflecting the preferences of today&rsquo;s younger professionals. Learn what leading-edge developers are thinking.&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/mar15_C_transit.jpg" type="image/jpeg; length=116864">mar15_C_transit.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/mar15_C_transit_0.jpg?1426275717" /> </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/mar15_LP_C_transit.jpg?1426275734" /> </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="/commercial/feature/article/2014/03/welcome-walkable-suburbia">Welcome to Walkable Suburbia</a> </div> <div class="field-item even"> <a href="/daily-news/2013/09/24/study-homes-near-public-transit-worth-more">Study: Homes Near Public Transit Worth More</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, 11 Mar 2015 21:24:43 +0000 mbrozanic 18418 at http://realtormag.realtor.org Notes from Readers: Buyer's Letters Remorse http://realtormag.realtor.org/news-and-commentary/letters/article/2015/03/notes-from-readers-buyers-letters-remorse <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"> Readers respond to coverage of property defects, drone laws, and the emotional nature of letters from 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, March 18, 2015</span> </div> </div> </div> </fieldset> <!--paging_filter--><h4>Buyer&rsquo;s Letters Remorse</h4> <p>Helping buyers detach from the emotional plea is always a challenge (&ldquo;<a href="/news-and-commentary/commentary/article/2015/01/dont-write-me-love-song">Don&rsquo;t Write Me a Love Song</a>&quot;). Thank you for helping explain how it can negatively impact the business side. Great perspective from Christine Smith! &mdash;<em>Adrea Nairne, Realty Club Las Vegas, Las Vegas</em></p> <h4>Property Defects: You Can&rsquo;t Be Too Careful</h4> <p>Attorney Ronald Rossi provided some good tips about how agents can avoid disclosure problems related to property defects (&ldquo;<a href="/law-and-ethics/law/article/2015/01/property-defects-and-you">Property Defects and You</a>&quot;). However, he did not go far enough. He correctly states that it is important to tell buyers about known defect issues and to document in writing that you did so. However, his suggestion that you can rely on e-mail to accomplish this, &ldquo;so you both have a record of it,&rdquo; falls short of the standard of care expected of professionals.</p> <p>How do you respond when the buyer says, &ldquo;I never got that e-mail&rdquo; or &ldquo;I found it a month later in my spam folder&rdquo;? The best practice is to do what brokers constantly tell their agents: Write up a disclosure about your concern and get the buyers to sign it. Leave a copy with the buyers and make sure that the home inspector gets one and acknowledges receipt. Put a copy of the disclosure in your file and the original in the office file, and you have a real chance of warding off a lawsuit for damages on the matter if things don&rsquo;t turn out well for the buyers. This will also help you if the buyers file a complaint charging violations of Articles 1 and 2 of the REALTORS&reg; Code of Ethics. You can&rsquo;t be too careful. As Rossi says, suits happen! &mdash;<em>Larry Lowenthal, Century 21 Rose Realty West, Cooper City, Fla.</em></p> <h4>Drone Prohibition Explained</h4> <p><strong>Editor&rsquo;s Note:</strong> The Federal Aviation Administration&rsquo;s proposed rules for the commercial use of unmanned aircraft vehicles, or drones, announced in February has generated much discussion among members about the legality of their use in the real estate industry. Many real estate pros are enthusiastic about the prospect of using drones to capture aerial photos and videos of properties for sale, but without an exemption, their commercial use remains prohibited, explains National Association of REALTORS&reg; Associate Counsel Lesley Walker. &ldquo;A recent decision by the National Transportation Safety Board supports the FAA&rsquo;s longstanding position that UAVs are &lsquo;aircraft&rsquo; under federal law and therefore subject to FAA regulation. While the FAA&rsquo;s proposed rules would allow for future commercial use of UAVs, until final rules are issued and without an exemption, any current commercial use of a UAV could result in an FAA enforcement action.&rdquo; NAR will submit comments to the FAA as it finalizes details for the commercial use of these systems.</p> <hr /> <p><em>Send a letter to <a href="mailto:narpubs@realtors.org">narpubs@realtors.org</a> or join a conversation at one of the blogs. Note: Letters and blog posts are edited for space and clarity. Publication of a letter doesn&rsquo;t constitute an endorsement of the writer&rsquo;s views by the National Association of REALTORS&reg; or REALTOR&reg; Magazine. Submission of a letter constitutes permission to publish it in any form or medium.</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>Readers respond to coverage of property defects, drone laws, and the emotional nature of letters from 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/mar15_NC_letters.jpg" type="image/jpeg; length=40417">mar15_NC_letters.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/mar15_NC_letters_0.jpg?1426271339" /> </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/mar15_LP_NC_letters.jpg?1426271353" /> </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> Letters Wed, 11 Mar 2015 21:57:06 +0000 mbrozanic 18424 at http://realtormag.realtor.org Real Estate and the Internet of Things http://realtormag.realtor.org/technology/feature/article/2015/03/real-estate-and-internet-things <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 growing web of connectivity among people, devices, and homes will upend the way we interact with the world. Here’s a glimpse into how the changes may affect your business and your life. </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, March 18, 2015</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 buzz is escalating about the &ldquo;Internet of Things.&rdquo; The catchphrase refers to the next wave of technology but also to a mindset, one that&rsquo;s already evident in the moment a four-year-old tries to operate a paperbound book by tapping on an illustration.</p> <p>The concept behind the Internet of Things, or &ldquo;IoT&rdquo; (also known as the &ldquo;Cloud of Things&rdquo; or &ldquo;real world web&rdquo;), is that we&rsquo;ll rely on actual computers less and less over the next decade as technological interfaces are woven directly into products.</p> <p>&ldquo;The next generation is not going to understand computers as separate things,&rdquo; says technology consultant and author Christina Kerley. &ldquo;When a lightbulb burns out in their house, they&rsquo;re going to wonder why it didn&rsquo;t give them a heads-up.&rdquo;</p> <p>Tech watchers say 2015 is the year IoT will start to go mainstream. Indeed, many products already whir constantly in the background of our lives, gathering information on us and the environment. Increasingly, devices will make connections with each other, transferring data and coming to conclusions about how they should operate based on that data. &ldquo;We are looking at re-instrumenting the physical world, [and] 2015 through 2020 are going to be transformative,&rdquo; Kerley says.</p> <p>IoT tools&mdash;at a rudimentary stage today&mdash;have yet to gain a significant foothold in real estate, but the potential for game-changing progress, along with disruption, is huge. Think of IoT in 2015 as analogous to the Internet in 1995. Over time, technology advances have taught us that we could part with certain aspects of our privacy and autonomy. But concerns are mounting that the coming decade may see security breaches and leaks of private information on a scale that was never before possible.</p> <h4>How IoT Works</h4> <p>Smart home devices that record and transmit data are already creating a buzz in the marketplace. Perhaps the most familiar such product is the Nest thermostat (made by a company recently purchased by Google), which can be controlled from a smartphone but over time learns a household&rsquo;s schedule. Nest settings can be operated by individual users (who can set baselines for water or electricity use) and integrated with data from institutional hubs like the National Weather Service or a city&rsquo;s electrical grid. Such devices can serve as a helpful go-between for consumers and municipal smart grids, moderating energy use at peak times to minimize service disruptions. For example, Nest marries its understanding of a household&rsquo;s habits with data about energy use to make decisions about the best time to run a load of laundry.</p> <p>Beacon technology is another facet of the IoT world. Beacons are small devices, usually powered by Bluetooth, that can be mounted virtually anywhere. They transmit information to nearby receptors (often a mobile device that is set up to receive Bluetooth data). Beacons can be used to track the movements of people in a home&mdash;perhaps to automatically turn lights to a specific preset when a particular person enters the room or to transmit information about the activities of an older adult to a caregiver outside the home.</p> <blockquote> <p>Learn how <a href="/technology/feature/article/2015/03/internet-things-organized-real-estate">associations and MLSs are beginning to examine how they could harness connected devices</a>&mdash;and the data that inevitably flows from them&mdash;to improve the member experience.</p> </blockquote> <h4>Making Home Buying Smarter</h4> <p>With the help of beacon technology, house hunting could require a lot less effort in the near future. Buyers looking at real-time listings broadcast on a brokerage&rsquo;s Internet-enabled window display could be asked if they want to have a video of a certain property sent to them, for example. An early version of this technology exists in an app from Realty Beacon LLC. The Jeffersonville, Ind. based company pairs Apple&rsquo;s iBeacon devices with For Sale signs. Daniel Island Real Estate in Charleston, S.C., partnered with Realty Beacon to produce a branded version of the app for its high-end development. Because the community doesn&rsquo;t allow For Sale signs, the beacons are usually mounted on a home&rsquo;s front porch. The lack of For Sale signs can present a challenge to buyers, says Julie Dombrowski, Daniel Island Real Estate communications director, but the beacons present &ldquo;an interesting opportunity to circumvent that. It gives buyers a way to explore the island on their own.&rdquo;</p> <p>Today, these beacons aren&rsquo;t much different from QR codes on For Sale signs; buyers near beacon-enabled homes must launch the Realty Beacon app to learn more about the listing. In the future, beacons may not need apps but will likely still require consumers to be open to notifications pushed to their phone via Bluetooth or similar technology. But tech observers believe consumers will be happy to engage if the information is truly useful. &ldquo;The real innovation happens when we use [IoT] to solve problems,&rdquo; says Kerley. &ldquo;The best place to start is by asking, &lsquo;How can I infuse intelligence, connectivity, and data into this customer journey to save myself and my prospects time?&rsquo;&thinsp;&rdquo;</p> <p>Though modern beacon technology was developed only a few years ago, it&rsquo;s already being used to augment home tours. Avid Ratings, a customer loyalty management firm for homebuilders based in Madison, Wis., launched an updated version of its home tour software at the International Builders&rsquo; Show in Las Vegas in January. Called GoTour Onsite, the new version uses beacon technology to enable house hunters to tour a model home on their mobile device. As they enter each room, customers can immediately access floor plans, customization options, and videos that explain hidden aspects of the home, such as building materials and HVAC systems.</p> <p>&ldquo;Looking at home options is kind of like drinking from a fire hose, so categorizing [options] by room makes the process more manageable,&rdquo; says Avid Ratings founder and CEO Paul Cardis. And it&rsquo;s more in line with the way the next generation of consumers want to shop. &ldquo;Millennials don&rsquo;t want to be sold to,&rdquo; he says. &ldquo;This kind of &lsquo;museum tour&rsquo; option is really self-driven.&rdquo;</p> <p>House hunters aren&rsquo;t the only ones who see value in smart home tours. Dombrowski says tech-savvy sellers on Daniel Island appreciate the edge. &ldquo;They see [the Realty Beacon app] as an added service,&rdquo; she says.</p> <h4>Sky&#39;s the Limit for Marketing</h4> <p>External sources, such as municipal data, can augment the house hunting experience. In Chicago, researchers from the Urban Center for Computation and Data, Argonne National Laboratory, and the University of Chicago have partnered with local officials to launch the <a href="http://arrayofthings.github.io/" target="_blank">Array of Things</a>. It&rsquo;s a network of interactive sensors collecting both passive data, such as weather and air quality, and data about how people are using the area, by measuring ambient noise and counting nearby Wi-Fi&ndash; and Bluetooth-enabled devices (without identifying users). Researchers plan to make the data freely available as a &ldquo;public utility.&rdquo; Tech developers can then use the data to create helpful tools. Imagine an app that combines air quality data with traffic patterns, telling allergy sufferers the best time for a bike ride. Such tools could someday be the difference between extreme buyer&rsquo;s remorse and happily ever after, says Chad Curry, managing director of NAR&rsquo;s Center for REALTOR&reg; Technology.</p> <p>Eventually, Internet-connected devices may help you stay connected with buyers after the sale. Home monitoring systems on the market today, for example, can contact both owners and a list of professionals in case of a flood or other household problems. Conceivably, &ldquo;the real estate professional could be notified and reach out with recommended contractors or information,&rdquo; Curry says.</p> <p>While it&rsquo;s one thing to market a home that&rsquo;s augmented with smart technologies, it&rsquo;s another to be able to use data from those devices to craft more intelligent marketing. &ldquo;As you have more connected devices, you build a diary for the home,&rdquo; says Todd Carpenter, NAR&rsquo;s managing director of data analytics. &ldquo;One thing that could become really effective is being able to say &lsquo;My house is more energy efficient, and I can prove it.&rsquo;&thinsp;&rdquo;</p> <p>Of course, having all that data available raises red flags concerning consumer privacy. But as the collection of data becomes more widespread, home owners are going to become more comfortable sharing it, Carpenter says. &ldquo;Think about the world before Facebook. Fifty years ago, people would not talk about themselves that much,&rdquo; he says. &ldquo;If that [data] can help sell the home, people are going to want to start publishing it.&rdquo;</p> <p>Bill McCaughey, IoT consultant and CEO of Home Energy and Maintenance LLC, a home data management company based in Houston, agrees with the cost-benefit assessment, noting that eventually the data itself could affect pricing: &ldquo;If you&rsquo;ve got five, ten years of operating data, your home will be a little more valuable.&rdquo;</p> <p>&ldquo;It&rsquo;s hard to know exactly how this technology will develop,&rdquo; Dombrowski says, &ldquo;but people seem enthusiastic about it, so you know there will be applications out there.&rdquo;</p> <p>For example, Internet-enabled lockboxes could help manage showing schedules and provide information to sellers and listing agents about the duration of home tours. Beacons could even record how much time buyers spent in any given room and note whether or not they watched a supplementary video, perhaps hinting at which spots need more attention in terms of staging or upgrades, or demonstrating the true selling points that deserve extra emphasis in marketing campaigns.</p> <h4>Targeting Retail Shoppers</h4> <p>Beacon technology has some clear applications for commercial property as well, particularly in the retail environment. Because beacons have a long battery life, are portable, and don&rsquo;t rely on GPS to pinpoint one&rsquo;s location, they may be able to replace the more expensive and intrusive &ldquo;geofencing&rdquo; technology that many stores are using to reach out to nearby customers via their smartphones. Macy&rsquo;s, Walmart, American Eagle, Walgreens, and Hudson&rsquo;s Bay Co. were among the first retailers to use beacons in stores to offer shoppers special incentives via their phones. The technology has also been applied by companies in the hotel and airline sectors. In late January, Facebook announced it would begin testing its new &ldquo;Place Tips&rdquo; service in New York, where its beacons&mdash;installed in eight iconic shops&mdash;will notify nearby users via their Facebook mobile app when they&rsquo;re near these retail options.</p> <p>It&rsquo;s only a matter of time before malls and retail centers consider offering beacon technology to their tenants. Westfield Group, an Australian firm that owns, develops, and manages shopping centers in the United States and around the world, has a subsidiary (Westfield Labs) that is currently testing beacon technology for possible use in its locations across the world.</p> <p>&ldquo;You&rsquo;re going to have retail properties going gaga for this,&rdquo; says Kerley. &ldquo;You&rsquo;ll be able to demonstrate what the foot traffic is like at certain times of day, and what parking is available, and just flow that information to them on their smart devices.&rdquo;</p> <h4>Smart Isn&rsquo;t Always Safe</h4> <p>In a Ray Bradbury short story, published by Colliers in 1950, a fully automated house burns to the ground, despite all the technology designed to keep it safe. Bradbury&rsquo;s story was a comment on nuclear proliferation rather than the perils of home automation, but the idea that technology requires human oversight is more resonant than ever. If a smart home energy system decides that the best time to wash your clothes is when you&rsquo;re away from home or asleep, does it put you at risk?</p> <p>Alex Filip is deputy communications director for the Consumer Product Safety Commission, which is closely monitoring smart product designs. Filip says a potentially unsafe product is just as risky when consumers push the start button as it is when triggered by automation. &ldquo;Whether you start your car, slow cooker, or furnace remotely is not an issue unless [it] behaves in an unsafe manner,&rdquo; Filip said in an e-mail to REALTOR&reg; Magazine. The agency already cautions against operating certain household appliances, including clothes dryers and dishwashers, when no one is home or awake. That warning will continue to apply as smart versions of those products are rolled out.</p> <p>&nbsp;&ldquo;In the Internet of Things, the expectation is that your smoke alarm and kitchen camera would signal your phone if there were an issue. We are not all in that future yet. Hopefully the hazard will stay in science fiction,&rdquo; he says.</p> <p>One common fear for consumers is that their house could be hacked into the same way e-mail and credit card accounts are today. Not only could thieves gain physical access to the home, but they could also be privy to a large volume of information about the owners that might be stored on devices or in the cloud. McCaughey says individual homes would be less appealing to hackers than the prospect of a wider invasion involving &ldquo;a back door that is known to all hackers,&rdquo; putting all consumers who own a vulnerable product at greater risk.</p> <p>At least one example of a breach has prompted action by the Federal Trade Commission. In February 2014, the commission settled charges against TRENDnet Inc., which makes security cameras that can be monitored via the Internet. The company had not secured passwords or online feeds of security videos&mdash;exposing the private lives of customers&mdash;though it had made statements in its marketing that implied the feeds were safe.</p> <p>&ldquo;The type of consumer harm we saw in the TRENDnet case . . . feeds concerns about the Internet of Things overall,&rdquo; Federal Trade Commissioner Maureen Ohlhausen told the U.S. Chamber of Commerce shortly before the final settlement. But the FTC&rsquo;s &ldquo;unique set of policy and enforcement tools&rdquo; can help ensure new technologies safely achieve their promise, she said.</p> <h4>The Inevitable Let-Down</h4> <p>Beyond security, smart devices have other kinks that need working out. In the short term, IoT is destined to disappoint, according to Chad Davis, senior director of digital media at the National Association of Home Builders. &ldquo;Right now the Internet of Things is hyped,&rdquo; Davis told attendees at the International Builders&rsquo; Show. As these new products fail to live up to their promise of freeing consumers, there&rsquo;s bound to be a feeling of disillusionment, he says. Still, IoT is here to stay. &ldquo;This is a fundamental shift in what is going to happen with our industry,&rdquo; he said. Builders attending the show were cautioned by other speakers to watch the development of smart home technology carefully, using the auto industry as a bellwether, and to be cautious about where they hitch their proverbial wagons.</p> <p>The hype will likely lead to oversaturation in the market, with countless companies rolling out smart home offerings. There&rsquo;s little agreement about which platforms to use and how&mdash;or even whether&mdash;devices should communicate with each other. &ldquo;Not everyone will survive,&rdquo; says McCaughey. &ldquo;You don&rsquo;t want to pick the Betamax provider for your home.&rdquo;</p> <p>Kerley agrees that there are limitations due to the many competing systems but predicts that will begin to change soon. &ldquo;2015 will be the year where we have to make the call that there has to be an open system,&rdquo; she says. &ldquo;Much like the web uses the same scripting language, that&rsquo;s going to have to happen.&rdquo;</p> <p>Regardless of bumps in the road ahead, early observers of IoT are optimistic. &ldquo;Our digital and physical worlds are converging,&rdquo; Kerley says. She predicts that 75 years from now, historians will look back at 2010&ndash;2025 as a time of exponential change. &ldquo;We&rsquo;re going through a renaissance,&rdquo; she 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>A growing web of connectivity among people, devices, and homes will upend the way we interact with the world. Here&rsquo;s a glimpse into how the changes may affect your business and your life.</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/mar15_SM_F_internet_things_1.jpg" type="image/jpeg; length=34032">mar15_SM_F_internet_things_1.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/mar15_SM_F_internet_things_2.jpg?1426277735" /> </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/mar15_LP_SM_F_internet_things_0.jpg?1426277748" /> </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="/technology/feature/article/2013/09/what-s-big-deal-about-big-data">What’s the Big Deal About Big Data?</a> </div> <div class="field-item even"> <a href="/news-and-commentary/feature/article/2014/01/do-you-know-where-your-listings-are">Do You Know Where Your Listings Are?</a> </div> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/technology/feature/article/2015/01/theres-app-for-your-home-appliances">&#039;Empowered&#039; Appliances Link Home, Internet</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, 11 Mar 2015 20:03:59 +0000 mbrozanic 18407 at http://realtormag.realtor.org RPR Mobile Expands On-The-Go Property Data http://realtormag.realtor.org/news-and-commentary/your-nar/article/2015/03/rpr-mobile-expands-go-property-data <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"> Want access to detailed data on more than 166 million parcels of U.S. property? That’s what REALTORS Property Resource® now offers via a mobile app. It’s free, it’s easy to use, and it’s only for REALTORS®. </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, March 18, 2015</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 app combines all the search features of the desktop RPR with smartphone tools&mdash;GPS, camera, text messaging, and voice recording, says RPR Vice President of Marketing and Social Media Reggie Nicolay.</p> <p>Different from consumer-focused property data apps, RPR Mobile is a robust back-end tool for accessing not only current and historical MLS data but also valuation, assessment, deed, foreclosure, school, and market trend information, as well as photos and maps. When you log into RPR Mobile on your smartphone, the app can find your location via GPS, so data on nearby properties is queued up and ready to view without having to search.</p> <object align="right"><iframe allowfullscreen="" frameborder="0" height="281" src="https://player.vimeo.com/video/115312496" width="500"></iframe> <p><a href="https://vimeo.com/115312496">What is RPR Mobile&trade;?</a> from <a href="https://vimeo.com/narrpr">Realtors Property Resource&reg;</a> on <a href="https://vimeo.com">Vimeo</a>.</p> </object> <p>You can snap photos at showings, record your spoken observations using your phone&rsquo;s microphone, or type a text memo and then add these files to the personal notes section of any property in RPR. Your notes sync with the desktop version and are available only to you.</p> <p>Besides accessing property and market trend information, RPR Mobile quickly generates and sends custom, branded reports that you can use to respond to leads when you&rsquo;re away from the office. RPR Mobile also syncs to your search history and library of saved reports&mdash;even those generated from the desktop version&mdash;so there&rsquo;s no need to log in from a computer to send property reports, listing presentations, comp analyses, or market activity reports.</p> <p>Since it launched last September, the app has gained new features, including the ability to draw custom search areas, access local school information, run searches based on school attendance zones, and customize the cover page photo of property and seller&rsquo;s reports.</p> <p>RPR Mobile, like the desktop version, is available only to members of the National Association of REALTORS&reg;.&nbsp; iPad and Android tablet versions of the app are expected out this summer. Visit the <a href="http://blog.narrpr.com/mobile/" target="_blank">RPR site</a> for more information and to download the app.</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>Want access to detailed data on more than 166 million parcels of U.S. property? That&rsquo;s what REALTORS Property Resource&reg; now offers via a mobile app. It&rsquo;s free, it&rsquo;s easy to use, and it&rsquo;s only for REALTORS&reg;.&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/mar15_SM_yourNAR.jpg" type="image/jpeg; length=50114">mar15_SM_yourNAR.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/mar15_SM_yourNAR_0.jpg?1426607142" /> </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/mar15_LP_SM_yourNAR.jpg?1426607165" /> </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="/technology/feature/article/2012/11/rprs-all-member-launch-what-you-need-know">RPR&#039;s All-Member Launch: What You Need to Know</a> </div> <div class="field-item even"> <a href="/daily-news/2013/02/27/rpr-teams-fannie-speed-short-sales">RPR Teams With Fannie to Speed Short Sales </a> </div> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/sales-and-marketing/feature/article/2014/09/safety-talk-you-need-have-clients">The Safety Talk You Need to Have With Clients</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 Wed, 11 Mar 2015 20:51:50 +0000 mbrozanic 18412 at http://realtormag.realtor.org Safety in Focus http://realtormag.realtor.org/news-and-commentary/your-nar/article/2015/03/safety-in-focus <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"> NAR launches new training and resources </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, March 18, 2015</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>NAR President Chris Polychron is making safety on the job a paramount focus of the association with a variety of new resources for members. &ldquo;REALTORS&reg; are public figures in a sense and that means our profession involves risk. It&rsquo;s up to each and every one of us to work together to eliminate that risk and stay safe. NAR is committed to helping with new classes and tools,&rdquo; says Polychron.</p> <p><img alt="" border="0" height="157" src="/sites/realtormag.realtor.org/files/rmo_files/images/2015_mar/mar15_NAR_Safety_Logo.gif" style="float: right; margin: 3px;" width="133" />NAR has expanded its resources on <a href="http://realtor.org/safety" target="_blank">realtor.org/safety</a>, including a rundown of safety apps for smartphones, office safety forms , a list of experts available for safety training, and a free, downloadable REALTOR&reg; Safety Tips wallet card.&nbsp; In the works for 2015 are safety webinars, new videos, weekly safety tips shared via NAR&rsquo;s social media accounts, and a tip-filled safety booklet. A safety course will be offered during the <a href="http://www.realtor.org/midyear.nsf/" target="_blank">REALTORS&reg; Legislative Meetings &amp; Trade Expo</a> in Washington in May.&nbsp;</p> <hr /> <h4><br /> Rules to Live by for REALTORS&reg;</h4> <blockquote> <p>&ldquo;Always tell the truth even if it&rsquo;s not what the client wants to hear.&rdquo;<br /> &mdash; <em>The Little Blue Book</em></p> </blockquote> <p><em><img alt="" border="0" height="179" src="/sites/realtormag.realtor.org/files/rmo_files/images/2015_mar/mar15_The_Little_Blue_Book_Cover.jpg" style="float: left; margin: 3px;" width="116" />The Little Blue Book: Rules to Live by for REALTORS&reg;</em> is a collection of business tips and insights from NAR members presented in a light-hearted way. Its practical advice is targeted to both new agents and seasoned professionals. The guide is <a href="https://secure.realtor.org/prodser.nsf/products/135-105?OpenDocument=" target="_blank">available for download</a> as an e-book and in print.</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>NAR launches new training and resources.</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/mar15_S_yourNAR.jpg" type="image/jpeg; length=58237">mar15_S_yourNAR.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/mar15_S_yourNAR_0.jpg?1426606233" /> </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/mar15_LP_S_yourNAR.jpg?1426606252" /> </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/2014/09/safety-talk-you-need-have-clients">The Safety Talk You Need to Have With Clients</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 Wed, 11 Mar 2015 20:59:08 +0000 mbrozanic 18413 at http://realtormag.realtor.org She's Got Street Cred http://realtormag.realtor.org/news-and-commentary/editor/article/2015/03/shes-got-street-cred <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"> Guest editor Lisa Molinari shares what she&#039;s learned as a rookie agent. </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, March 18, 2015</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/lisa-molinari">Lisa Molinari</a> </div> </div> </div> <!--paging_filter--><p>I&rsquo;ve had a competitive streak for as long as I can remember. I won a school spelling bee in third grade, and since then I&rsquo;ve been on the lookout for ways to relive that glory. When I spotted the announcement for REALTOR&reg; Magazine&rsquo;s <a href="/first-person/street-cred/article/2014/09/announcing-our-street-cred-video-contest">Project Street Cred video competition</a> last fall, I had to give it a shot. The winner would get to serve as guest editor for an upcoming issue of this magazine. As an assistant manager with Weichert, REALTORS&reg;, in Morristown, N.J., I couldn&rsquo;t wait to create a video to show my long-standing knowledge of and pride in the community I love. I was even more delighted to learn the editors had selected me for the top prize: a trip to Chicago in February (between snowstorms&mdash;no snickering, please).</p> <p>My 4-minute video, which took me less than a week to make thanks to shooting and editing assistance from my sister, is still paying dividends. I use it at open houses and listing presentations, and it has helped me get business. A local business organization is also using it to promote civic awareness. View my entry and others <a href="/first-person/street-cred/article/2015/01/street-cred-proof-screen">here</a>.</p> <p>The article in this issue that resonated most strongly for me teases out everyday ethical dilemmas we face and offers insights for steering clear of REALTORS&reg; Code of Ethics violations. &ldquo;<a href="/law-and-ethics/ethics/article/2015/03/code-your-business">The Code Is Your Business</a>&rdquo; turned an abstract topic into something real that I can discuss with agents in my office.</p> <p>Like many REALTORS&reg;, I came to this industry after having accrued significant experience in an earlier career&mdash;or two in my case. First, I was an IT manager in the utilities industry followed by 16 years running a TV production company with my sister. (We won 4 Emmys.) Today, I handle management duties in the brokerage and represent buyers and sellers, as part of an apprenticeship program Weichert offers to newcomers with management potential. The days are long and hectic in my fiercely competitive market where listings sometimes receive 10 or more solid offers. As a rookie, I treasure all the professional wisdom I can find. There are many reasons I feel incredibly optimistic about my future in real estate. My time with the REALTOR&reg; Magazine staff reminded me of perhaps the most powerful one of all: I&rsquo;ve got street cred and it&rsquo;s working for me. How about you?</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>Guest editor Lisa Molinari shares what she&#39;s learned as a rookie agent.</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/mar15_NC_guest_ed.jpg" type="image/jpeg; length=69604">mar15_NC_guest_ed.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/mar15_NC_guest_ed_0.jpg?1426271437" /> </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/jan15_LP_molinari.jpg?1427308590" /> </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="/first-person/street-cred/article/2015/01/street-cred-proof-screen">The (Street Cred) Proof Is on the Screen</a> </div> <div class="field-item even"> <a href="/first-person/street-cred/article/2015/02/where-everybody-knows-her-name">Where Everybody Knows Her Name</a> </div> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/sales-and-marketing/feature/article/2015/01/3-ways-rookies-can-boost-their-client-base">3 Ways Rookies Can Boost Their Client Base</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> Editor Wed, 11 Mar 2015 21:50:42 +0000 mbrozanic 18422 at http://realtormag.realtor.org