Articles http://realtormag.realtor.org/articles en How to Create Your Office Policy Manual http://realtormag.realtor.org/for-brokers/network/article/2017/06/how-create-your-office-policy-manual <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"> Take a look at topics brokerage owners should include and where to start when drafting your own. </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, June 12, 2017</span> </div> </div> </div> </fieldset> <div class="field field-type-nodereference field-field-op-author"> <div class="field-label">Author(s):&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/author/lee-nelson">Lee Nelson</a> </div> </div> </div> <!--paging_filter--><p>All brokers want their real estate companies to run smoothly. That&rsquo;s why an office manual documenting your policies and procedures is essential. It should be a people-friendly guidebook that can be used to find answers to questions or conflicts that arise at your company.</p> <p>&ldquo;An office policy manual should define how the organization plans to conduct business. It often outlines steps or principles that the company would use to make decisions or take action,&rdquo; says Sharlyn Lauby, president of <a href="http://www.itmgroupinc.com" target="_blank">ITM Group Inc.</a>, a South Florida&ndash;based consulting firm that develops workplace training solutions.</p> <p>Here are topics to think about before delving into writing a policy manual.</p> <h4>The differences between an employee handbook and a policy manual:</h4> <p>An employee handbook is a communications document from the company to the employee. It sets expectations around what both the company and employee can expect from one another. It should also describe the employer&rsquo;s legal obligations and employees&rsquo; rights.</p> <p>On the other hand, a policies and procedures manual is a reference tool for all parties involved, especially managers and supervisors, according to the Society for Human Resource Management (SHRM). The document should contain references to federal and state laws that correlate with the policies, which makes it more appropriate for the real estate industry than an employee handbook.</p> <h4>What a policy manual should do:</h4> <ul> <li>Give a clear understanding of the relationships between broker, management, sales associates, and employees.</li> <li>Clearly define the company&rsquo;s administrative functions and sales functions.</li> <li>Set guidelines to anticipate and resolve problems before they happen.</li> <li>Build confidence that both managers and sales associates understand industry and company rules.</li> <li>Forbid favoritism among colleagues, since everyone must operate within the framework of the manual&#39;s predetermined rules and guidelines.</li> <li>Provide stability and permit staff to function effectively in the absence of management.</li> </ul> <p>(Source: National Association of REALTORS&reg;)</p> <h4>Who should be involved in the manual creation:</h4> <p>Management staff and heads of departments such as operations, sales, marketing, IT, legal, and human resources should be part of the discussion, says Leon J. Milobar, director of the U.S. Small Business Administration&rsquo;s Nebraska district office in Omaha. But you should also solicit input from agents and staff.</p> <p>&ldquo;Every department has a vested interest in making the human capital aspect of the business perform as effectively and efficiently as possible. What we do day-to-day crosses so many aspects of the business,&rdquo; Milobar says. He also suggests contacting SHRM and the National Association of REALTORS&reg; for advice. SHRM <a href="https://www.shrm.org/resourcesandtools/tools-and-samples/how-to-guides/pages/default.aspx" target="_blank">summarizes the guidelines and issues</a> that need to be addressed. Lauby adds that those in the company who have first-hand knowledge of its policies are best to help create the manual. Putting policies on paper when they don&rsquo;t match what actually happens in the company is a big mistake.</p> <h4>Important items the manual should include:</h4> <p>Your manual should become a road map for new hires, longer-term agents, and yourself as the broker-owner. It can help new agents understand what your company is all about, your goals, and what is expected of them. You should include your mission statement and business philosophy along with the company&rsquo;s background, achievements, mergers, and other business information. A list of services, the company&rsquo;s target markets, and your marketing plan could also be in the manual.</p> <p>Milobar says other important aspects to cover in your manual relate to real estate laws, the onboarding of new agents, the Code of Ethics, disclosure (errors and omission), conflicts of interest, discrimination, client representation, transaction security, IT security, sexual harassment, confidentiality, and benefits. &ldquo;Think of all of the areas where an event might happen and damages occur,&rdquo; he says.</p> <h4>Specific topics to include in the policy manual:</h4> <ul> <li><strong>Cybersecurity and other technology issues</strong>. Any business should adopt a computer usage, electronic communications, and social media policy, says Tara Stingley, law partner at Cline Williams Wright Johnson &amp; Oldfather LLP, in Lincoln, Neb. &ldquo;The policy should establish clear, written terms of use and privacy policies for all social media sites, services, and applications,&rdquo; she says.<br /> <br /> Your policy, which should be tailored to your brokerage, should consider your company culture and the degree of confidentiality your business requires. It should also extend to your social media platforms, Stingley adds. Those policies should make it clear that it is not intended to preclude or dissuade employees or independent contractors from engaging in activities protected by state or federal law, including the National Labor Relations Act. She suggests working with your human resources department or legal counsel to ensure your policies are compliant with applicable law.<br /> <br /> Make sure your manual outlines policies for appropriate computer and software use, including steps employees or agents should take to secure electronic data. This is especially important regarding personally identifiable information you collect from clients.<br /> <br /> Many real estate companies are allowing agents to operate on their personal mobile devices. But this could call into question company control of client information, IT security, and issues with system compatibility, says Milobar. Talk with your lawyer and an IT company specialist who understand laws and technology for securing personally identifiable information.</li> <li><strong>Advertising</strong>. Milobar says that your manual should explain rules regarding advertising, which include signage, promotional language, open house ads, and more. Several states have regulations specific to real estate teams, so be sure to spell out those statutes and rules.</li> <li><strong>What to leave out. </strong>The <a href="https://www.eeoc.gov/laws/practices/index.cfm" target="_blank">U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission</a> has a list of prohibited employment policies and practices that should be taken into consideration when writing a policy manual. Tread carefully with topics such as dress code, discipline and discharge, and pay and benefits. Of course, it&rsquo;s also illegal to discriminate against personnel based on race, color, religion, sex (including gender identity, sexual orientation, and pregnancy), national origin, age, disability, or genetic information.<br /> &nbsp;</li> </ul> <h4>Even if sales associates are independent contractors, why should there be a policy manual?<strong> </strong></h4> <p>There is a contract between the company and the independent agent, Milobar says, and the manual should outline the relationship between the two entities. It should explain procedures, expectations, ethics policies, conflict of interest, security, and use of materials. Think of policies that help establish the company brand and provide everyone who works there with a set of common values.</p> <p>Once you have drafted the policy manual, it must be reviewed by an attorney who understands human resource law. Lauby says that companies can purchase policy management software that will walk them through the steps. Software programs have templates you can customize to fit your operations.</p> <h4>How should it look?</h4> <p>An office manual needs to be easily accessible and readable. You might consider allowing a period of time for agents or employees to review the draft manual so they can ask questions. That way, changes or edits can be addressed before the manual is finalized.</p> <p>&ldquo;Organizations need to be careful not to &lsquo;over-policy&rsquo; their business,&rdquo; Lauby says. &ldquo;I agree that some policies are necessary and helpful. But too many policies can burden the business. And the minute the company starts ignoring one policy, the rest can go up for grabs. So before implementing a policy, the company needs to ask the question, &lsquo;Do we really need a policy for this?&rsquo;&rdquo;</p> <h4>Who should get the manual?</h4> <p>Once it passes the legal review, the published manual should be distributed to everyone associated with your company who has a need to know the policies. The method of distribution is going to be contingent on the office. It might make sense to distribute an electronic copy while keeping printed copies in the office, says Lauby. Let agents and staff know where to find it online or on the company&rsquo;s intranet. Make sure that every new agent or employee has his or her own copy, and require staff to sign a statement acknowledging they have read and understand the manual.</p> <h4>How often should a manual be updated?</h4> <p>You must commit to keeping the document current. Consider it a living document; it would be a waste of time and resources to create an office policy manual only to let it get out of date. Come up with a system for updating it as laws change and company priorities shift. Schedule regular reviews of the manual and update accordingly. For example, the conflict of interest section needs to be reviewed yearly because the legal standards keep changing, Milobar says. And if a new policy is proposed, be sure to ask the question: &ldquo;How does this new policy impact our current policies?&rdquo;</p> <p>For more information about drafting a policy manual, check out <a href="https://www.nar.realtor/field-guides/field-guide-to-real-estate-office-policy-manuals" target="_blank">NAR&rsquo;s office policy field guide</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>Take a look at topics brokerage owners should include and where to start when drafting your own.</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/jun17_BB_policy.jpg" type="image/jpeg; length=158011">jun17_BB_policy.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/jun17_BB_policy_0.jpg?1497365867" /> </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/jun17_LP_BB_policy.jpg?1497365889" /> </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/2015/05/protect-your-business-social-media-policy">Protect Your Business With a Social Media Policy</a> </div> <div class="field-item even"> <a href="/for-brokers/network/article/2017/06/safeguard-your-company-against-cyberattacks">Safeguard Your Company Against Cyberattacks</a> </div> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/tool-kit/employment/article/25-things-every-policy-manual-needs">25 Things Every Policy Manual Needs</a> </div> <div class="field-item even"> <a href="/law-and-ethics/ethics/article/2010/04/how-handle-unethical-behavior-workplace">How to Handle Unethical Behavior in the Workplace</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, 12 Jun 2017 20:55:03 +0000 echristoffer 23468 at http://realtormag.realtor.org The Craziest Negotiations and Contingencies http://realtormag.realtor.org/for-brokers/network/article/2017/06/craziest-negotiations-and-contingencies <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"> Use these funny, unusual, and downright heartbreaking real-life stories to help your agents handle even the oddest transactions. </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, June 13, 2017</span> </div> </div> </div> </fieldset> <div class="field field-type-nodereference field-field-op-author"> <div class="field-label">Author(s):&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/author/lee-nelson">Lee Nelson</a> </div> </div> </div> <!--paging_filter--><p>Have you ever tried to orchestrate an amazing offer on behalf of your buyer or negotiate the best deal for your seller, and something stops you in your tracks? At one time or another, every real estate professional will face a strange contingency or request from a client. Some of those can leave you laughing, crying, or just plain confused.</p> <p>Here is a small sampling of those most eccentric, emotional, and sometimes outrageous contingencies and negotiations that brokers have encountered, which may give you fodder as you try to help agents navigate peculiar conditions.</p> <p><strong>The karma connection:</strong> Tami McHugh, broker-owner of Heritage Real Estate in Meridian, Idaho, worked with buyers who told her they could sense the &ldquo;vibes&rdquo; and emotions in each house they walked through. &ldquo;When I was showing them a property, if they liked the home, I had to leave them alone for five to 10 minutes,&rdquo; says McHugh. They would lie on the floor and close their eyes in silence so they could feel the vibes of the house. When the couple finally found a home to their liking and made an offer, they insisted that their inspection period allow them the right to spend a prolonged period of time lying on the floor, face up, palms down with their eyes closed, to be absolutely certain they were buying a happy house. Apparently, the vibe was right, and they bought the house.</p> <p><strong>Seeking pet-friendly buyers:</strong> Trey McCallie, principal broker at Tate Daniels Concierge Real Estate in Lexington, Ky., has experienced his share of zany situations when it comes to offers, showings, and negotiations. One of McCallie&rsquo;s sellers loved his dogs so much that he became oblivious to the excrement they left all over the floors. The seller decided the problem was that everyone who came to look at the house hated dogs. He&rsquo;d projected the problem onto the buyers and requested that the agency prequalify the people who were coming to the house to be &ldquo;pet-friendly.&rdquo; Somehow, the house eventually sold.</p> <p><strong>It&rsquo;s written in the stars:</strong> After 32 years in the business, Andy Ackerson, managing broker at The Groves Office of Coldwell Banker in Long Grove, Ill., faced a request he had never encountered. A couple wanted to buy a home he had listed, but the leaders of their church wanted to stay in the house overnight to check it all out. They also requested in the offer to close in 10 days because that&rsquo;s when the &ldquo;stars would be aligned.&rdquo; The requests were granted. &ldquo;We made it happen, but that was a first for me,&rdquo; says Ackerson.</p> <p><strong>An interrupted sale:</strong> Ackerson waited in the living room of an elderly woman&rsquo;s house as she was about to sign the listing agreement to sell her condo. &ldquo;She insisted on going to her bedroom to get her lucky pen,&rdquo; he says. &ldquo;I told her I had several pens that had been lucky for me that she could use.&rdquo; But she walked into her bedroom to get the pen, and Ackerson waited for what seemed eternity. He called out but she didn&rsquo;t answer. Slowly, he wandered to the hallway to the bedroom. The poor woman had suffered a massive heart attack and died right on her bed.</p> <p><strong>The carpet detective:</strong> One of McCallie&rsquo;s sellers would vacuum his carpets a certain direction right before potential buyers would come to view his house. &ldquo;He told me that he could tell where the people would walk and how many steps they took into certain rooms. If he only saw two footsteps in a room, they didn&rsquo;t like the room. If they walked all the way through, they were interested,&rdquo; McCallie says. Not a scientific approach, but the seller seemed to think it was brilliant.</p> <p><strong>Batman to the rescue: </strong>A home inspector found evidence of bat droppings in the attic of one of Matt Schwind&rsquo;s listings. &ldquo;The contingency that resulted was the house had to be certified as &lsquo;bat free,&rsquo;&rdquo; says Schwind, managing broker for the Bettendorf, Iowa, branch office of Ruhl &amp; Ruhl, REALTORS&reg;. He helped his clients hire a wildlife expert who plugged up all exterior holds and then put in a one-way vent so the bats would leave at night but not be able to get back in.<br /> <br /> <strong>Grandma&rsquo;s plants:</strong> A seller had transplanted hosta plants from her grandmother&rsquo;s house to her own yard, but now it was time to sell the house. Since the sale took place in winter, Schwind says, she &ldquo;made it a contingency that she could come back in the spring to dig up the hostas in the garden that had a family history.&rdquo;</p> <p><strong>A Volkswagen down payment:</strong> McHugh once represented sellers who owned a manufactured home in a small, rural mountain community. A couple who had no money to put down agreed to purchase the home using owner financing, but the sellers needed some type of collateral. The only thing of value the buyers could offer was the title to a late 1960s Woodstock-era Volkswagen bus. &ldquo;It was in reasonably good condition and was still painted with peace symbols and flowers,&rdquo; she says. McHugh accompanied the buyers to several classic auto dealerships to determine the estimated value. A local title company served as the long-term escrow agent and held the title as collateral until the loan was paid off. The buyers ultimately paid off the mortgage, and the bus title was returned to them</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>Use these funny, unusual, and downright heartbreaking real-life stories to help your agents handle even the oddest transactions.</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/jun17_BB_contingency.jpg" type="image/jpeg; length=328011">jun17_BB_contingency.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/jun17_BB_contingency_0.jpg?1497365744" /> </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/jun17_LP_BB_contingency.jpg?1497365785" /> </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/in-trenches/article/2017/05/in-trenches-when-home-buying-child-s-play">In The Trenches: When Home Buying Is Child’s Play</a> </div> <div class="field-item even"> <a href="/first-person/in-trenches/article/2017/03/in-trenches-avoiding-death-trap">In The Trenches: Avoiding a Death Trap</a> </div> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/for-brokers/network/article/2017/05/why-do-new-sales-associates-fail">Why Do New Sales Associates Fail?</a> </div> <div class="field-item even"> <a href="/for-brokers/network/article/2015/07/7-keys-negotiating-pro">7 Keys to Negotiating Like a Pro</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, 13 Jun 2017 00:46:12 +0000 echristoffer 23470 at http://realtormag.realtor.org Safeguard Your Company Against Cyberattacks http://realtormag.realtor.org/for-brokers/network/article/2017/06/safeguard-your-company-against-cyberattacks <div class="field field-type-text field-field-deck"> <div class="field-label">Deck:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> Brokers should set policies and educate agents about what to do if hackers compromise the brokerage’s network. </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, June 9, 2017</span> </div> </div> </div> </fieldset> <div class="field field-type-nodereference field-field-op-author"> <div class="field-label">Author(s):&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/author/graham-wood">Graham Wood</a> </div> </div> </div> <!--paging_filter--><p>Does your brokerage have good &ldquo;cyber hygiene&rdquo;?</p> <p>It&rsquo;s the concept of employing strong preventive measures against cyberattacks at your company and having an action plan in place in case networks are hacked. With email phishing schemes accounting for 95 percent of cybersecurity threats, according to FBI statistics, brokerage owners need to think ahead about how their agents and staff are vulnerable when communicating with clients over digital platforms.</p> <p>During the Illinois Department of Financial and Professional Regulation&rsquo;s Cybersecurity Conference in Chicago, legal and law enforcement experts offered advice on how broker-owners can beef up their company policies to safeguard their networks.</p> <p>First and foremost, brokers should be aware of the email platforms agents are using to conduct business communications, said FBI special agent Daniel Wierzbicki, who manages a team of cybercrime watchdogs in the agency&rsquo;s Chicago field office. He recommended encouraging agents to use company email accounts rather than private ones. &ldquo;A lot of people use private Gmail accounts to do transactions with customers instead of company accounts. But a lot of companies have measures to protect from hacking activity; Gmail does not,&rdquo; he said.</p> <p>Still, having your agents and staff stick to company email isn&rsquo;t a foolproof plan. About 25 percent of email users open suspicious emails, Wierzbicki said, and 11 percent open attachments or click on links in those emails&mdash;which activates the malware that compromises systems. &ldquo;Even when companies send out emails to their employees saying this is a malicious email and don&rsquo;t click on the link, some people do anyway,&rdquo; he said. &ldquo;It&rsquo;s human nature.&rdquo;</p> <p>Limit the number of people who have administration-level access to your company&rsquo;s system, including social media, which is also a target for hackers. That way, fewer people have the opportunity to open your entire system to cyber threats. &ldquo;It&rsquo;s who you give access to your system that makes for good &lsquo;cyber hygiene,&rsquo;&rdquo; Wierzbicki said. &ldquo;It only takes one click to compromise a network. And on average, it takes more than 200 days to identify that hackers have gotten into your system.&rdquo; Also, he suggested, have a security team you can call on immediately if anyone in your company receives a suspicious message.</p> <p>Of course, you should use strong passwords that would be hard for anyone to guess, Wierzbicki added. He said that longer passwords&mdash;at least 26 characters&mdash;are better than complicated ones with capital letters and symbols.</p> <p>Education is fundamental to combat cyberattacks, and that starts with brokers setting the tone, said Jessica Edgerton, associate counsel for the National Association of REALTORS&reg;. Encourage agents and staff not to open suspicious emails or click on links, even if they look benign. Wire fraud is hitting the real estate industry particularly hard, Edgerton said, noting a typical scheme in which hackers gain access to practitioners&rsquo; email accounts and send fraudulent wire-transfer instructions to their clients. &ldquo;People aren&rsquo;t aware of what&rsquo;s happening,&rdquo; she said. &ldquo;When it comes to a real estate transaction, you have so many different players, and all it takes is one person in that transaction not being aware of the signs of fraud to make the whole thing implode.&rdquo;</p> <p>Brokers must lead the effort to inform agents about these schemes and encourage their role in educating clients. Calling agents the &ldquo;initiators of a transaction,&rdquo; Edgerton said they must be taught that it&rsquo;s their responsibility to make sure everyone involved knows what to do if they get suspicious messages related to a real estate deal. For example, agents should tell their clients to verify with them any wire-transfer instructions they receive via email.</p> <p>To get agents to take cybersecurity education seriously, brokers should have specific company policies in place addressing cyber threats, Edgerton said. &ldquo;Do you have a security breach policy? Do you have a system where, if anything bad happens, all your agents and employees know what steps to take? Do you have a document retention and destruction policy? Don&rsquo;t just write it down on a piece of paper and leave it in your bottom drawer,&rdquo; she said.</p> <p>The potential legal repercussions of not having such policies are great, said John Costello, an attorney with Cincinnati-based law firm Dinsmore &amp; Shohl. &ldquo;Litigation in this area devolves into &lsquo;Let&rsquo;s sue everybody and settle with their insurance policies,&rsquo;&rdquo; he said. &ldquo;It&rsquo;s negligence, breach of fiduciary duty, breach of standard of care.&rdquo;</p> <p>Costello said most states define a standard of care that businesses must meet in terms of cybersecurity. Most brokers will need extra or separate insurance policies to cover specific events related to cyberattacks&mdash;but you shouldn&rsquo;t rely on that to get you out of trouble. What you want to avoid most is &ldquo;the profound waste of resources&rdquo; that come with litigation, he said. &ldquo;Think strategically about your insurance policies. You&rsquo;re going to hope for the best but plan for the worst.&rdquo;</p> <p>Ultimately, fighting against cyberattacks requires you and your agents to be alert and to develop a keen sense for what is suspicious language in emails, Wierzbicki noted. &ldquo;Hackers want to give a sense of trust to their victims, which will allow an act that will compromise them,&rdquo; he said. &ldquo;You have to know not to fall for it.&rdquo;</p> <hr /> <p><br /> <img alt="" src="/sites/realtormag.realtor.org/files/rmo_files/images/logos/BtoB_logo_footer_080114.jpg" style="float:left; height:117px; width:150px" /><em>Broker-to-Broker is an information network that provides insights and tools with business value through timely articles, videos, Q&amp;As, and sales meeting tips for brokerage owners and managers. Get more <a href="/for-brokers/network" target="_blank">Broker-to-Broker content here</a>.</em></p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <div class="field field-type-text field-field-show-author-info"> <div class="field-label">Show Author Info?:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> Show Author Info? </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-text field-field-teaser"> <div class="field-label">Teaser:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <!--paging_filter--><p>Brokers should set policies and educate agents about what to do if hackers compromise the brokerage&rsquo;s network.</p> </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-nodereference field-field-related-content"> <div class="field-label">Related Content:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/for-brokers/network/article/2017/05/don-t-be-cybercrime-statistic">Don’t Be a Cybercrime Statistic</a> </div> <div class="field-item even"> <a href="/for-brokers/network/article/2015/08/9-ways-keep-data-secure">9 Ways to Keep Data Secure</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://speakingofrealestate.blogs.realtor.org/2017/03/16/what-to-do-when-you-receive-a-bogus-email/" rel="nofollow">3 Actions to Take After You Receive a Bogus Email</a> </div> <div class="field-item even"> <a href="http://speakingofrealestate.blogs.realtor.org/2015/05/19/alert-wire-fraudsters-targeting-real-estate-transactions/" rel="nofollow">ALERT: Wire Fraudsters Targeting Real Estate Transactions</a> </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-number-integer field-field-mainstage-image-display2"> <div class="field-label">Mainstage Image Display on Content:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> No, don't disable the "Main" image on this article </div> </div> </div> Network Fri, 09 Jun 2017 22:16:04 +0000 echristoffer 23466 at http://realtormag.realtor.org Rules for Hiring a High-Quality Photographer http://realtormag.realtor.org/sales-and-marketing/feature/article/2017/06/rules-for-hiring-high-quality-photographer <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"> Don’t let poor listing photos or restrictive copyright terms stymie your marketing efforts. Here’s what to look for in the right photographer for your real estate 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, June 8, 2017</span> </div> </div> </div> </fieldset> <div class="field field-type-nodereference field-field-op-author"> <div class="field-label">Author(s):&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/author/erica-christoffer">Erica Christoffer</a> </div> </div> </div> <!--paging_filter--><p>Fourteen of the last 15 homes Erika Villegas has sold went under contract within 10 days. One of them was previously listed by another agent and sat on the market for nine months at $199,000. When Villegas, SFR, a sales associate with ERA Mi Casa Real Estate in Chicago, relisted the property for $209,000 in May, it sold in five days. What made the difference, she says, was the photography. While the first agent put crooked photos taken with a cell phone of the home online, Villegas used a professional photographer.</p> <p>&ldquo;People are looking online first and foremost,&rdquo; Villegas says. &ldquo;They&rsquo;re seeing these homes and then contacting their agent to request showings. We have to approach marketing from that perspective.&rdquo;</p> <p>Finding the right photographer for your listings can be a daunting task, especially if you&rsquo;re a new agent or have had negative experiences in the past. But professional photography can make all the difference in the world to you and your clients. Learn how other real estate pros identified the right photographer for the job and what qualities to look for when it comes to photography services, image rights, and costs.</p> <p><strong>Choose someone who&rsquo;s familiar with real estate. </strong>Villegas says she chose her photographer, Tony Escareno, director of photography at 360 Media Services in Chicago, because he understands the business: His wife is a real estate agent. So, he&rsquo;s willing to work around an atypical schedule. &ldquo;He&rsquo;s not a &lsquo;this is how we do things&rsquo; kind of person,&rdquo; Villegas says, adding that Escareno is open to taking creative, nontraditional listing photos. She adds his photography to <a href="https://www.canva.com/" target="_blank">Canva</a> and <a href="https://www.xpressdocs.com/" target="_blank">Xpressdocs</a> templates to create printed marketing materials. &ldquo;People have been surprised by his work.&rdquo;</p> <p>You might find photographers with specific qualifications you seek at networking events. Nico Hohman, broker-owner of Hohman Homes in Tampa, Fla., met his photographer, Sean Febre, at a local Chamber of Commerce event. Hohman says he appreciates that Febre, owner of central Florida&ndash;based photo and video marketing firm <a href="http://febreframeworks.com/" target="_blank">Febre Frameworks</a>, is also a young entrepreneur. Even more appealing is that Febre&rsquo;s company, which grew from a two-person team to 20 employees in 10 months, focuses exclusively on real estate and isn&rsquo;t dabbling in other types of photography. Febre&rsquo;s photography packages start at $100 and increase based on the square footage of a home; virtual tours cost $50; and video walkthroughs are $150.</p> <p><strong>Pay attention to their professionalism. </strong>Real estate photographers are an extension of the agent and how they conduct business, says Brandon Doyle, e-PRO, a sales associate with RE/MAX Results in Minneapolis. So you want someone who shows up on time, conducts themselves in a professional manner around clients, delivers images in a timely manner, and stays up to date on the latest technology.</p> <p>Doyle uses <a href="http://www.spacecrafting.com/" target="_blank">Spacecrafting</a>, a Minneapolis-based real estate photography and videography company, which he discovered during a broker open house a few years ago. The company offers standard photography packages starting at $185, 3-D virtual walkthroughs starting at $275, and aerial photography and video starting at $175. &ldquo;Agents aren&rsquo;t photographers, and there are people who are better at it,&rdquo; Doyle says. Using professional photography is &ldquo;part of our value proposition for our clients.&rdquo;</p> <p>He credits Spacecrafting photographers for helping one of his clients fetch an asking price of about $400,000 within the first week the home was on the market. &ldquo;Photography is the most important thing you can do in selling a house,&rdquo; Doyle says. Not only is he attracting buyers, but he&rsquo;s also landing prospective sellers. &ldquo;Every time we meet with a seller, they always say they&rsquo;ve looked us up online and are impressed with our photos.&rdquo;</p> <p><strong>Shoot &ldquo;sharable&rdquo; photos and video. </strong>&ldquo;We highly publicize listing pictures and videos on social media and through email,&rdquo; Hohman says. On <a href="https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Bw8wbF1muyI&amp;feature=youtu.be" target="_blank">his most recent listing</a>&mdash;a property that had previously been on the market under a different agent for four months with no offers&mdash;he had Febre shoot photos, interior video, and aerial drone video. Hohman&rsquo;s marketing attracted nearly 30 buyers and three offers in less than a month. &ldquo;We got positive feedback on how well the home shows, so I believe a lot of the attention from prospective buyers came from the really great listing pictures and videos,&rdquo; Hohman says.</p> <p>The 15 photographers at Spacecrafting collectively shoot 60 to 90 homes per day. Jennifer Terrell, director of sales and marketing at Spacecrafting, says the company works with agents on how to best tell the story of a home. &ldquo;We don&rsquo;t nickel and dime our clients by saying, &lsquo;You&rsquo;re going to get 18 images or 25 images,&rsquo;&rdquo; she says. &ldquo;We truly believe in the variety of things agents can do to showcase the home.&rdquo; For agents who want to take their marketing to the next level, Spacecrafting also offers night photography or twilight images, lifestyle videos, architectural or aerial video, and 3-D tours.</p> <p><strong>Make sure they&rsquo;re committed to the industry. </strong>Febre says you want a photographer who isn&rsquo;t &ldquo;the jack of all trades and the master of none.&rdquo; Think of a photographer&rsquo;s website as their storefront: Is it well laid out? Does it feature the type of real estate images and videos you&rsquo;re looking for?</p> <p>Ashley Endris, ABR, a sales associate with Latter &amp; Blum Shaw Properties in Gulfport, Miss., uses a photographer who&rsquo;s an affiliate member of her local REALTOR&reg; association. She says that ensures the photographer understands what it means to be a REALTOR&reg;. Healthy communication is also key when working with a photographer, she says. &ldquo;You need someone who can take negative feedback. I had one client who didn&rsquo;t like the photos. My photographer wasn&rsquo;t offended; he just did it over.&rdquo;</p> <p><strong>Ask for fast turnaround. </strong>Often, in real estate, time is of the essence, so hiring a photographer who can edit and deliver images and video files quickly is important. Endris receives her images via Dropbox in 24 to 48 hours, paying $85 for about 25 photos. Febre&rsquo;s company offers next-day delivery. For a 3-D tour package, Doyle receives three links from Spacecrafting: one for a branded tour with a downloadable PDF floor plan, another for an unbranded tour he uploads to the MLS, and another to download the listing photos.</p> <p><strong>Know the terms of image use. </strong>Copyright infringement is a serious legal issue for real estate professionals. Some individual photographers or photography companies have restrictions around how and when their images can be used. It&rsquo;s important to remember that listing photos posted on the MLS are often syndicated to other real estate websites and listing aggregators such as realtor.com&reg;, Zillow, Trulia, and others. That may inadvertently violate a photographer&rsquo;s copyright terms.</p> <p>In February, <a href="/daily-news/2017/02/13/zillow-ordered-pay-83m-in-copyright-case">Zillow was ordered to pay $8.3 million to VHT Inc.</a>, a nationwide photography services company, for image copyright violations. This involved listing photos commissioned by everyday real estate professionals that appeared on Zillow after the home was sold, a violation of VHT&rsquo;s terms. Katie Johnson, general counsel for the National Association of REALTORS&reg;, recommends that practitioners find a photographer who offers unrestricted permission for use of listing and marketing photos. NAR offers members <a href="https://www.nar.realtor/law-and-ethics/who-owns-your-property-photos" target="_blank">sample image agreements</a> you can use when contracting with a photographer.</p> <p>Many photography companies list their terms of use on their website. Spacecrafting, for example, has a nonexclusive agreement with its clients, meaning its images can be used for promotional purposes for an unlimited period of time. However, the company doesn&rsquo;t allow rights to its images to be transferred to third parties, such as another company, builder, interior designer, developer, or others, without written consent.</p> <p>One last tip: If you&rsquo;re displaying listing images from an IDX feed on your site, the <a href="https://www.copyright.gov/legislation/dmca.pdf" target="_blank">Digital Millennium Copyright Act</a> provides safe harbor from liability in case those images violate any company&rsquo;s terms of use. Simply <a href="https://www.copyright.gov/dmca-directory/" target="_blank">registering with the U.S. Copyright Office</a> for $6 will help protect your company if someone contacts you about a listing photo on your site that you had nothing to do with.</p> <div class="field field-type-text field-field-show-author-info"> <div class="field-label">Show Author Info?:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> Show Author Info? </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-text field-field-teaser"> <div class="field-label">Teaser:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <!--paging_filter--><p>Don&rsquo;t let poor listing photos or restrictive copyright terms stymie your marketing efforts. Here&rsquo;s what to look for in the right photographer for your real estate 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/jun17_SM_photogs.jpg" type="image/jpeg; length=222183">jun17_SM_photogs.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/jun17_SM_photogs_0.jpg?1496953877" /> </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/jun17_LP_SM_photogs.jpg?1496953940" /> </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-nodereference field-field-related-content"> <div class="field-label">Related Content:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/law-and-ethics/feature/article/2017/05/protect-yourself-against-copyright-claims">Protect Yourself Against Copyright Claims</a> </div> <div class="field-item even"> <a href="/product-guide/cameras-and-video/article/2016/02/360-degree-cameras-for-age-virtual-listings">360-Degree Cameras for Age of Virtual Listings</a> </div> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/technology/feature/article/2017/03/does-virtual-staging-manipulate-buyers">Does Virtual Staging Manipulate Buyers?</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, 08 Jun 2017 18:00:40 +0000 gwood 23453 at http://realtormag.realtor.org Will Driverless Cars Shake Up Your Market? http://realtormag.realtor.org/technology/feature/article/2017/06/will-driverless-cars-shake-up-your-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"> As autonomous vehicles prepare to go mainstream, the way people live and work stands to face major changes. And that could flip the dynamics of your local housing market. </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, June 8, 2017</span> </div> </div> </div> </fieldset> <div class="field field-type-nodereference field-field-op-author"> <div class="field-label">Author(s):&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/author/paul-eisenstein">Paul A. Eisenstein</a> </div> </div> </div> <!--paging_filter--><p>Is science fiction about to become reality? Companies such as <a href="https://waymo.com/" target="_blank">Waymo</a>, which started as a Google-funded project to build a fleet of autonomous vehicles, are already testing ride-sharing programs using driverless cars in major markets across the country. Should these tests prove successful, huge changes are in store for the way people live and work&mdash;including how real estate professionals connect with their clients on the road. You may find that sharing a ride in an autonomous car is a better way to show your clients around than driving them yourself.</p> <p>Waymo is currently testing its driverless ride-sharing program in Phoenix, and for now, rides are free. Uber is running its own autonomous test program in Pittsburgh, where it has set up a research center for self-driving autos, and in Phoenix and San Francisco. Travis Kalanick, cofounder and CEO of Uber, which is partnering with Volvo, Ford, and other automakers for its tests, has said that if his company could go completely driverless, it would become significantly less expensive for consumers to ride-share than own a vehicle.</p> <blockquote> <p><strong>Opposing Viewpoints on Driverless Cars</strong></p> <p>Not everyone believes the transportation revolution will be radical or swift. Here are some factors suggesting autonomous vehicles might not have the widespread impact many experts predict.</p> <ul> <li>Autonomous vehicles are still a work in progress, and even some proponents, such as Gil Pratt, head of Toyota&rsquo;s research program, think the rollout of the technology will take many more years than some automakers think.</li> <li>There are plenty of legal and regulatory hurdles, as well as uncertainties about how auto insurance companies will react. However, proponents believe driverless vehicles could eventually eliminate more than 90 percent of the nation&rsquo;s highway deaths.</li> <li>Will consumers go along for the ride? They&rsquo;ll have to feel safe in a car with no driver, especially if they are to trust these vehicles to carry their loved ones. And will consumers accept the idea of a car as a hired appliance rather than a prized possession?</li> </ul> </blockquote> <p>You may want to start thinking now about how developments on the road could affect your business, because the changes might be coming sooner rather than later. Automakers such as Tesla, Mercedes-Benz, and Volvo, which already allow limited hands-free operation on well-marked freeways, plan to begin producing fully autonomous vehicles by 2020. Ford and Daimler, the parent company of Mercedes-Benz, hope to launch driverless models targeting ride-sharing and delivery fleets by 2022.</p> <p>And get this: Ninety-five percent of the miles traveled in the U.S. will be in self-driving, shared, and electric vehicles by 2030, according to the &ldquo;<a href="https://static1.squarespace.com/static/585c3439be65942f022bbf9b/t/591a2e4be6f2e1c13df930c5/1494888038959/RethinkX+Report_051517.pdf" target="_blank">Rethinking Transportation</a>&rdquo; study released in April by tech consultancy RethinkX. &ldquo;We are on the cusp of one of the fastest, deepest, most consequential disruptions of transportation in history,&rdquo; the report states. &ldquo;But there is nothing magical about it. This is driven by the economics.&rdquo;</p> <p>If autonomous ride-sharing enters the mainstream and proves a successful way for real estate professionals to transport their client, will you even need your own car? Nearly a quarter of American adults sold or traded in a vehicle in the last year, but 9 percent of that group turned to ride-sharing services such as Lyft or Uber rather than buy another car, <a href="http://www.reuters.com/article/us-autos-rideservices-poll-idUSKBN18L1DA" target="_blank">according to a Reuters/Ipsos poll</a> conducted in May. Furthermore, computer giant Intel, which is increasingly focused on mobile technology, forecasts that services related to autonomous vehicles will generate $800 billion by 2035&mdash;and $7 trillion by 2050.</p> <p>For practitioners, the transportation revolution could lead to a number of changes. Most notably, it could shift where people live and work and upend traditional property value equations. &ldquo;Cities are going to look different,&rdquo; said Roger Lanctot, author of a &ldquo;<a href="https://newsroom.intel.com/newsroom/wp-content/uploads/sites/11/2017/05/passenger-economy.pdf" target="_blank">passenger economy</a>&rdquo; study by technology giant Intel. Cities could become more appealing to traditional suburbanites, as suburban landmarks such as drive-throughs and gas stations become less common&mdash;or even vanish in some areas, according to the Intel study. Plus, without the parking costs that come with owning a car, more people may find city living more affordable.</p> <p>But for those who&rsquo;d like to live out in the country, driverless cars&mdash;which are expected to reduce traffic congestion and speed up travel&mdash;could also make it easier to move farther out into the exurbs. Longer commutes could become easier and more bearable, allowing commuters to work or take a nap during the ride. And commutes are actually likely to get shorter, experts predict, as autonomous vehicles will be able to handle road conditions more smoothly than humans.</p> <p>A big bonus for real estate professionals is that autonomous vehicles could cut their car-related business expenses in half. For motorists in busy urban areas, it costs about $1.22 per mile&mdash;at an average 10,000 miles a year&mdash;to operate a private vehicle, according to research by the Boston Consulting Group. For a service such as Uber to operate fully driverless electric vehicles, riders would pay 51 cents per mile, BCG says.</p> <p>&ldquo;The economics are so compelling,&rdquo; says Justin Rose, an analyst with BCG, though he stressed these figures focus on major urban areas such as New York, Los Angeles, and Chicago. The smaller the city, the less the economic advantage, and for the significant percentage of Americans who live in outer suburbs and rural areas, driverless ride-sharing might not make sense.</p> <p>Automakers are already starting to design their cars for this new world. The Mercedes-Benz F 015 concept, for example, includes seats that swivel in a circle, creating a mobile living room or office. For a real estate agent, that would enable more dynamic meetings with clients between showings. &ldquo;Autonomous vehicles will reconfigure time and then space,&rdquo; said Greg Lindsay, a senior fellow at the New Cities Foundation who was involved in the Intel study. Once they become commonplace, driverless cars &ldquo;could touch on areas of life [we] haven&rsquo;t considered yet.&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>As autonomous vehicles prepare to go mainstream, the way people live and work stands to face major changes. And that could flip the dynamics of your local housing market.</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/jun17_T_self_driving.jpg" type="image/jpeg; length=226584">jun17_T_self_driving.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/jun17_T_self_driving_0.jpg?1496954689" /> </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/jun17_LP_T_self_driving.jpg?1496954707" /> </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/2017/05/30/driverless-cars-may-open-options-for-buyers">Driverless Cars May Open Options for Buyers</a> </div> <div class="field-item even"> <a href="/news-and-commentary/feature/article/2017/02/simple-ways-cut-car-related-biz-expenses">Simple Ways to Cut Car-Related Biz Expenses</a> </div> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/technology/feature/article/2014/03/5-tech-trends-will-transform-way-you-work">5 Tech Trends That Will Transform the Way You 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> Feature Thu, 08 Jun 2017 18:22:01 +0000 gwood 23454 at http://realtormag.realtor.org 8 Ways to Make Yourself a More Likable Agent http://realtormag.realtor.org/sales-and-marketing/relationship-management/article/2017/06/8-ways-make-yourself-more-likable-agent <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"> Master these behaviors to endear yourself to your clients in a deeper manner. </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, June 6, 2017</span> </div> </div> </div> </fieldset> <div class="field field-type-nodereference field-field-op-author"> <div class="field-label">Author(s):&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/author/melissa-dittmann-tracey">Melissa Dittmann Tracey</a> </div> </div> </div> <!--paging_filter--><p>Being a nice person certainly helps when cultivating business relationships, but it takes more than a warm smile to curry the favor of prospects. Likable people possess certain traits you can adopt to make yourself more endearing to those you hope will become your next client. But don&rsquo;t underestimate others&rsquo; ability to pick up on feigned sincerity and genuineness.</p> <p>Emotional intelligence&mdash;comprising skills such as self-awareness, self-management, social awareness, and relationship management&mdash;is not only innate but can, in fact, be taught and developed, according to research by Travis Bradberry, coauthor of <em><a href="http://www.talentsmart.com/products/emotional-intelligence-2.0/" target="_blank">Emotional Intelligence 2.0</a></em>. Bradberry has <a href="http://www.talentsmart.com/test/" target="_blank">developed an emotional intelligence test</a>, which reveals specific areas users need to work on. &ldquo;Becoming cognizant of your gestures, expressions, and tone of voice&mdash;and making certain they&rsquo;re positive&mdash;will draw people to you like ants to a picnic,&rdquo; Bradberry says. &ldquo;Our research shows that people who possess these skills outperform those who don&rsquo;t by a large margin.&rdquo;</p> <p>You know that watching your body language and being aware of your facial expressions will have an impact on the quality of the connection you strive to make with new clients. Go deeper to truly become more likable with these eight tips on emotional validation (which are backed up by scientific research).</p> <ol> <li><strong>Say the prospect&rsquo;s name repeatedly throughout the conversation.</strong> &ldquo;A person&rsquo;s name is, to him or her, the sweetest and most important sound in any language,&rdquo; writes author Dale Carnegie in his book <em><a href="https://www.amazon.com/How-Win-Friends-Influence-People/dp/0671027034" target="_blank">How to Win Friends and Influence People</a></em>. Make a habit of starting and ending conversations using a potential client&rsquo;s name, such as: &ldquo;It&rsquo;s nice to see you, Jane,&rdquo; or &ldquo;It was nice talking with you, Jane.&rdquo; When you say a person&rsquo;s name, you demonstrate both interest and respect for them.</li> <li><strong>Give them the floor to speak first. </strong>Encourage your prospects to tell you about themselves and their situation before you tell them about yourself. Research has shown that when people talk about themselves, it creates neurological changes in the brain that can make them more receptive to your message. &ldquo;Once those feel-good neurotransmitters are flowing and people start feeling connected to you, they&rsquo;re much more likely to take you and your contributions seriously,&rdquo; Bradberry says.</li> <li><strong>Mirror their body language. </strong>It&rsquo;s often done unconsciously, but try to subtly adopt the posture, gestures, or vocal qualities of the person you&rsquo;re speaking with. When two people mirror each other&rsquo;s body language, it often means a bond has been formed. For example, if your prospect leans her head to the side as she&rsquo;s talking, try doing the same. &ldquo;It&rsquo;s a sign that the conversation is going well and that the other party is receptive to your message,&rdquo; Bradberry says. &ldquo;This can be especially useful when you&rsquo;re negotiating because it shows you what the other person is really thinking about the deal.&rdquo; But don&rsquo;t make it obvious you&rsquo;re copying other&rsquo;s body language; it can <a href="http://bodylanguageproject.com/the-only-book-on-body-language-that-everybody-needs-to-read/when-mirroring-can-backfire/" target="_blank">make them suspicious</a>, researchers say.</li> <li><strong>Don&rsquo;t focus on proving your competence. </strong>You may think gaining trust is about showing people your knowledge of the market and that you &ldquo;know your stuff&rdquo; as a real estate professional. The truth is that smarts and talent often are secondary to emotional cues in clients&rsquo; eyes. Others can perceive you as manipulative if you <a href="http://www.people.hbs.edu/acuddy/in%20press,%20cuddy,%20glick,%20&amp;%20beninger,%20ROB.pdf" target="_blank">stress your competence before establishing warmth and trustworthiness</a>, according to a study by a Harvard Business School researcher. Instead, make time for chit-chat, and focus on finding something you have in common with a prospect. When two people find common ground, they begin to like each other by gut instinct, researchers note. You&rsquo;re drawn to those who share similar interests to you, and those similarities help you build a powerful bond with one another.</li> <li><strong>Offer a favor that won&rsquo;t immediately increase your bottom line. </strong>Listen carefully for the problems your prospects need solutions to&mdash;whether it&rsquo;s related to real estate or not&mdash;and think of a quick favor you could do for them (that doesn&rsquo;t require anything in exchange) to help them and add value to your relationship, says Adam Grant, author of <em><a href="http://www.adamgrant.net/give-and-take" target="_blank">Give and Take: Why Helping Others Drives Our Success</a></em>. Perhaps you could recommend or get an estimate from a handyman or painter for a prospect who&rsquo;s struggling with a renovation. Though it&rsquo;s related to real estate, such a favor is not linked to an immediate business need of yours, so it appears more good-natured. Salespeople who use this giving approach earn 68 percent more revenue than those who take, i.e. put their own ambitions first, according to research in Grant&rsquo;s book. (Find out more about <a href="/sales-and-marketing/relationship-management/article/2013/12/are-you-wired-succeed">how the power of giving is good for your business</a>.)</li> <li><strong>Ask questions that require a longer, thoughtful response.</strong> Open-ended questions or questions asking for clarification show the prospect that you&rsquo;re listening and you care about their responses. If you mostly ask simple &ldquo;yes&rdquo; or &ldquo;no&rdquo; questions, on the other hand, it shows you&rsquo;re only interested in need-to-know information that will lead to a sale quickly. &ldquo;People like to know you&rsquo;re listening,&rdquo; Bradberry says. &ldquo;You&rsquo;ll be surprised how much respect and appreciation you gain just by asking questions.&rdquo;</li> <li><strong>Show you have interests outside of real estate. </strong>Being absorbed with one topic area can make you appear uninteresting. &ldquo;Likable people balance their passion for their work with their ability to have fun,&rdquo; Bradberry says. &ldquo;At work, they are serious yet friendly. They still get things done because they are socially effective in short amounts of time, and they capitalize on valuable social moments. They focus on having meaningful interactions with their coworkers, remembering what people said to them yesterday or last week, which shows people that they are just as important to them as their work is.&rdquo;</li> <li><strong>Validate people&rsquo;s complaints.</strong> You don&rsquo;t have to agree with everything another person says, but making others feel heard and understood will make you more approachable. If a prospect or coworker complains, say, &ldquo;I&rsquo;m sorry&mdash;I can only imagine how you feel.&rdquo; Such validation is a powerful way to build a connection, Bradberry says. It gives the other person a sense of empowerment and tells them you&rsquo;re a nonjudgmental person they can work with. &ldquo;Having an open mind is crucial in the workplace, where approachability means access to new ideas and help,&rdquo; he says.</li> </ol> <p>Take a critical look at your interactions. How do others really perceive you? &ldquo;Most of us are putting the blinders on and not taking a look at the things we need to change because we think it isn&rsquo;t going to do us any good,&rdquo; Bradberry says. &ldquo;The trick is to practice self-awareness to the point where you recognize your insincerity in a conversation. Then you&rsquo;ll be able to adjust accordingly.&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>Master these behaviors to endear yourself to your clients in a deeper manner.</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/jun17_SM_ei.jpg" type="image/jpeg; length=184206">jun17_SM_ei.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/jun17_SM_ei_0.jpg?1496770542" /> </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/jun17_LP_SM_ei.jpg?1496770570" /> </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/2013/12/are-you-wired-succeed">Are You Wired to Succeed? </a> </div> <div class="field-item even"> <a href="/sales-and-marketing/feature/article/2013/05/relationship-management-get-emotional">Relationship Management: Get Emotional</a> </div> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/sales-and-marketing/feature/article/2011/05/relationship-management-how-likable-are-you-really">Relationship Management: How Likable Are You, Really?</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 Mon, 05 Jun 2017 21:05:06 +0000 gwood 23434 at http://realtormag.realtor.org Apps Top Producers Can’t Live Without http://realtormag.realtor.org/technology/feature/article/2017/06/apps-top-producers-can-t-live-without <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"> REALTOR® Magazine talked to movers and shakers in the real estate world to find out which mobile tools they love and why. </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, June 5, 2017</span> </div> </div> </div> </fieldset> <div class="field field-type-nodereference field-field-op-author"> <div class="field-label">Author(s):&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/author/reut-r-cohen">Reut R. Cohen</a> </div> </div> </div> <!--paging_filter--><p>Finding the right tech solution can be an overwhelming task. There are more than 2 million apps available for Android and Apple devices alike, according to Statista, a consumer survey and research institute.</p> <p>Sometimes the best way to sort through all the noise is to ask a successful colleague what they use. That&rsquo;s why REALTOR<sup>&reg;</sup> Magazine asked top-producing agents about their favorite mobile apps.</p> <h4>Crunch the Numbers: Apps That Help You Calculate</h4> <p><a href="https://www.drcalculator.com/mortgage/" target="_blank">Karl&rsquo;s Mortgage Calculator</a> (available on <a href="https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.drcalculator.android.mortgage&amp;hl=en" target="_blank">Android</a> and <a href="https://itunes.apple.com/us/app/karls-mortgage-calculator/id1025852681?mt=8" target="_blank">Apple</a> devices; free) helps users figure out monthly payments on a property given the principal, interest, and loan terms. One particularly flexible feature is the ability to reverse-calculate any one variable given the other three. It&rsquo;s an app that Mark Palace, co-owner of Palace Properties International Inc. in Satellite Beach, Fla., swears by. &ldquo;This is a powerful, reliable, and easy-to-use app,&rdquo; he said. &ldquo;It quickly calculates conventional, FHA, VA, and USDA mortgages on the fly while out in the field.&rdquo;</p> <p>Palace&mdash;who sells in Florida, Oregon, and California&mdash;uses the app to show clients how large a mortgage properties would require. He says the accuracy of the calculator is what sets it apart from the pack.</p> <p>Other free apps that offer similar services include Mortgage Calculator FREE and Quicken Loans&rsquo; Mortgage Calculator (both are available for Android and Apple devices). The latter, however, does not have the capability to calculate FHA loans.</p> <h4>Organization Station: Accessible Files and Note Taking</h4> <p>Because real estate pros are so often on the go, having access to important files and to-do lists on a mobile device is a smart move. <a href="https://keep.google.com/" target="_blank">Google Keep</a> and <a href="https://evernote.com/pricing/" target="_blank">Evernote</a> are two services available for Apple and Android devices that top producers use to stay organized.</p> <p>&ldquo;Everything goes into Evernote,&rdquo; says Eli Karon, a top-producing real estate pro with Teles Properties in Los Angeles. Though he estimates he only uses around 10 percent of the app&rsquo;s full potential, he says better organization was one factor that helped him hit $25 million last year and $31 million in 2015. &ldquo;When I eat with a client, I can take a picture of the receipt and put it in Evernote.&rdquo; Karon uses a paid version of the app, which offers features like scanning and digitizing business cards and the ability to annotate PDFs. (Evernote&rsquo;s premium options cost from $35 to $70 per year.)</p> <p>Google Keep is similar to Evernote, though as a free app it is more basic. &ldquo;The reason I like Google Keep is that I can choose who to share items with from the office,&rdquo; explains Rachel Adams, CEO and founder of The Rachel Adams Group at Keller Williams Realty in San Francisco. Adams says the live functionality of Google Keep makes it useful in both her personal and professional life, allowing her to collaborate with others on everything from office tasks to shopping lists &ldquo;in real time.&rdquo;</p> <h4>Get Social: Develop Relationships With Prospective Clients</h4> <p>If you don&rsquo;t have at least one social media app on your phone, you&rsquo;re missing out on an opportunity to connect. Agents can easily find a few moments at an open house or waiting in line at the grocery store to send a quick message or post a status update that will keep them top-of-mind with prospective and past clients.</p> <p>&ldquo;We post seven to eight times a day,&rdquo; explains Johnson, who also says that her group seeks to tell unique stories that foster a human connection and allows clients to get a glimpse into her life.</p> <p>Choosing which app to concentrate on might take a little research into your target demographic. Today&rsquo;s millennial buyer is more likely to be on Facebook and Instagram, but the following generation Z loves Snapchat, according to SproutSocial.</p> <p>&ldquo;I use Instagram&rsquo;s app to connect with our clients past and present on a more personal level,&rdquo; says Mandy Mills, a top-producing REALTOR<sup>&reg;</sup> with the Mandy and David Team serving Washington, D.C., Maryland, and Virginia. For Mills and her team, Instagram is a powerful storytelling tool that allows them to share both and striking interior shots of new listings and glimpses into the personalities of various agents on the team.</p> <p>Facebook continues to be popular across demographics, according to data from the Pew Research Center. &ldquo;In 2016, I closed on 58 homes from Facebook referrals,&rdquo; says Adams, noting that number rose from 23 in 2015 largely due to her response time. She&rsquo;s always on and ready to reply, she says, because her phone is always on her. &ldquo;A five-minute response means a 90 percent higher rate of conversion.&rdquo; Adams also loves that the Facebook Pages app enables her to post targeted advertisements from her mobile device.</p> <h4>Map It! Apps That Help You Get Where You Need to Go</h4> <p>In states both large and small, a good GPS connection helps to get from point A to B quickly is key. The two map apps favored by top producers are free and available on both Android and Apple devices: <a href="http://maps.google.com" target="_blank">Google Maps</a> and <a href="https://www.waze.com/" target="_blank">Waze</a>.</p> <p>&ldquo;I love Google Maps, because it has saved me so much time,&rdquo; explains Palace. &ldquo;It gives the user live traffic updates and reroutes the user to the quickest possible route.&rdquo;</p> <p>While Google Maps is the biggest player in this market, Waze, from an Israel-based company owned by Google, is particularly well-liked because it incorporates user feedback to update the app.</p> <p>One mobile task that&rsquo;s especially relevant for real estate agents is the ability to quickly share a location with others. While Apple devices allow users to share GPS coordinates via email or text by turning on GPS coordinates, there&rsquo;s an app that offers this particular functionality more directly on Android phones. Both Mills and Getson love the fact that Compass App (available for free in <a href="https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.gn.android.compass&amp;hl=en" target="_blank">Google&rsquo;s Play Store</a>) allows them to easily share their coordinates with others. &ldquo;It helps us to be able to look up properties on the go and send them quickly to our clients,&rdquo; said Mills.</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>REALTOR&reg; Magazine talked to movers and shakers in the real estate world to find out which mobile tools they love and why.</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/jun17_T_apps.jpg" type="image/jpeg; length=201551">jun17_T_apps.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/jun17_T_apps_0.jpg?1496764019" /> </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/jun17_LP_T_apps.jpg?1496764044" /> </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-nodereference field-field-related-content"> <div class="field-label">Related Content:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/product-guide/applications/article/2016/03/apps-for-designing-home-virtually">Apps for Designing a Home Virtually</a> </div> <div class="field-item even"> <a href="/technology/feature/article/2017/05/apps-simplify-your-client-s-move">Apps to Simplify Your Client’s Move</a> </div> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/technology/cool-tools/article/2016/05/free-and-low-cost-tech-tools-try">Free and Low-Cost Tech Tools to Try</a> </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-number-integer field-field-mainstage-image-display2"> <div class="field-label">Mainstage Image Display on Content:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> No, don't disable the "Main" image on this article </div> </div> </div> Feature Mon, 05 Jun 2017 13:52:25 +0000 mwhite 23430 at http://realtormag.realtor.org An Underused Way to Help People Buy Homes http://realtormag.realtor.org/news-and-commentary/feature/article/2017/06/underused-way-help-people-buy-homes <div class="field field-type-text field-field-deck"> <div class="field-label">Deck:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> Experts say housing counselors can help bridge the gap for many in today’s challenging market. But would-be buyers often don’t get what they need when they need it. </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, June 2, 2017</span> </div> </div> </div> </fieldset> <div class="field field-type-nodereference field-field-op-author"> <div class="field-label">Author(s):&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/author/sam-silverstein">Sam Silverstein</a> </div> </div> </div> <!--paging_filter--><p>As rising prices and tight inventory continue to make it challenging to purchase a home, expanding access to counseling and other forms of education could help many prospective buyers make the leap to homeownership, according to housing industry leaders who spoke at a panel session hosted by the Department of Housing and Urban Development in Washington, D.C., Thursday afternoon.</p> <p>According to the Harvard Joint Center for Housing Studies, this type of access can make a big difference in keeping transaction on schedule.</p> <p>&ldquo;In our focus groups of home buyers who went through the counseling process, one of the things that comes out strongly for them is the reduction in stress in navigating the home purchase process,&rdquo; says Jon Spader, senior research associate at the center. &ldquo;Having connected with a counselor, [they know] that if &hellip; a flag goes up, they have someone that they can call and ask, &lsquo;Is this something I should be concerned about?&rsquo;&rdquo;</p> <p>But despite the benefits of working with a counselor before purchasing a home, many people either don&rsquo;t know housing counseling is available or find out too late, says Christie Peale, executive director of the Center for NYC Neighborhoods, a New York&ndash;based nonprofit organization that helps people find affordable homes.</p> <p>&ldquo;We often hear that folks don&rsquo;t hear about [housing counseling] until they&rsquo;re about to go to closing,&rdquo; says Peale. &ldquo;You&rsquo;ve got your contract signed, the appraisal&rsquo;s done, you have the house inspected, and then somebody says you need to go to a six-hour housing course. That&rsquo;s not the way we really want to integrate housing counseling into the full life of the loan and the full loan-origination process.&rdquo;</p> <p>Lawrence Yun, senior vice president and chief economist of the National Association of REALTORS&reg;, says that, for some buyers, having someone to help them find out about financing and other options they might otherwise have been unaware of can mean the difference between getting into homeownership and remaining a renter.</p> <p>&ldquo;Many people have a misunderstanding about what they can access, and therefore they don&rsquo;t even try,&rdquo; Yun says, noting that would-be buyers can benefit greatly from learning about loan programs that require less cash up front. &ldquo;Sometimes there is a natural, heavy, human inertia of doing the same thing, so many renters are continuing to rent, and they are saying, &lsquo;Well, certainly I don&rsquo;t have a 20 percent down payment.&rsquo;&rdquo;</p> <table align="right" border="0" cellpadding="5" cellspacing="5" style="width:420px;"> <tbody> <tr> <td><img alt="" src="/sites/realtormag.realtor.org/files/rmo_files/images/2017_jun/jun17_NC_HUDforum_BenCarson.jpeg" style="width: 400px; height: 302px;" /></td> </tr> <tr> <td> <p><em>Secretary Carson offers introductory remarks Thursday afternoon at a HUD-sponsored forum on homeownership in Washington, D.C.</em></p> </td> </tr> </tbody> </table> <p>The panel was part of a HUD forum called &ldquo;A New Era of Homeownership,&rdquo; presented as part of their celebration of June as National Homeownership Month. Speaking at the start of the event, HUD Secretary Ben Carson indicated that his approach to ensuring that Americans have access to homeownership depends as much on the private sector as it does on government programs and oversight.</p> <p>&ldquo;We need ethical behavior and risk within smart boundaries and best practices, personally and financially. We must follow those practices that are fair, responsible, transparent, and prudent,&rdquo; Carson says. &ldquo;The bankers, lenders, and investors are not playing with Monopoly money. They&rsquo;re playing with the hard-earned money of our citizens, and they&rsquo;ve been entrusted to safeguard that money.&rdquo;</p> <p>Peale says that buying a home is by definition a public-private partnership because of the many roles the government plays in the real estate industry. She points out that one of those roles is <a href="https://www.hud.gov/offices/hsg/sfh/hcc/hcs.cfm" target="_blank">helping match people&nbsp;with certified housing counselors</a>.</p> <p>Access to a counselor after buying a home can also pay dividends. For example, Spader says that people who have had housing counseling are more likely to reach out to a lender for help if they are having trouble paying their mortgage.</p> <p>&ldquo;Housing counseling is a very cost-effective way to invest in long-term housing outcomes,&rdquo; says Peale.</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>Housing counselors can help buyers find ways to finance a home and head off problems after closing, but many people don&rsquo;t know they exist.</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/jun17_NC_HUDforum.jpeg" type="image/jpeg; length=194225">jun17_NC_HUDforum.jpeg</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/jun17_NC_HUDforum_0.jpeg?1496435014" /> </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/jun17_LP_HUDforum.jpeg?1496435030" /> </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-text field-field-main-image-credit"> <div class="field-label">Main Image Credit:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> Left to right: Diana Olick, real estate reporter, CNBC; Jon Spader, senior research associate, Harvard Joint Center for Housing Studies; Christie Peale, executive director, Center for NYC Neighborhoods; Lawrence Yun, NAR&#039;s chief economist; Joel Kan, associate vice president of industry surveys and forecasts, Mortgage Bankers Association. </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/2015/03/23/growth-in-housing-counseling">A Growth in Housing Counseling</a> </div> <div class="field-item even"> <a href="/daily-news/2015/04/16/cfpb-sets-rules-for-housing-counseling-lists">CFPB Sets Rules For Housing Counseling Lists</a> </div> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/daily-news/2013/04/01/mortgage-counseling-pays-study-shows">Mortgage Counseling Pays Off, Study Shows </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, 02 Jun 2017 19:46:57 +0000 mbrozanic 23423 at http://realtormag.realtor.org How Commercial Pros Strengthen Main Street http://realtormag.realtor.org/commercial/feature/article/2017/06/how-commercial-pros-strengthen-main-street <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 strong, economically vibrant town center can do wonders for your real estate business. Learn how you can support local business owners and those who own commercial property on Main Street. </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, June 2, 2017</span> </div> </div> </div> </fieldset> <div class="field field-type-nodereference field-field-op-author"> <div class="field-label">Author(s):&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/author/meg-white">Meg White</a> </div> </div> </div> <!--paging_filter--><p>As malls falter and office parks empty out, investment in walkable commercial real estate in rural town centers and urban neighborhoods is on the rise.</p> <p>&ldquo;Shopping centers are really just about shopping. But downtowns are about a lot more,&rdquo; Ed McMahon, the chair of the National Main Street Center&rsquo;s board of directors, told more than 1,500 attendees at last month&rsquo;s <a href="http://www.mainstreet.org/main-street/training/conference/2017---pittsburgh/main-street-now-2017.html" target="_blank">Main Street Now conference in Pittsburgh</a>. &ldquo;People stay longer and spend more money in places that attract our affection &hellip; but no place in America will stay special by accident.&rdquo;</p> <p>McMahon added that many in the building, development, and real estate industries are beginning to act on these economic trends by supporting vibrant neighborhood shopping, office space, and even manufacturing. That&rsquo;s why the conference&mdash;presented by the National Main Street Center, a subsidiary of the National Trust for Historic Preservation&mdash;featured neighborhood advocates and economic development experts who shared ideas that can help real estate professionals bolster their local commercial districts.</p> <h4>Understand What Makes Your Business District Special</h4> <p>As a real estate professional, you are an instrumental part of communicating the value of your community. And you can help your commercial district stand out by working to identify a niche for your small town or neighborhood to occupy.</p> <p>&ldquo;Trying to be what everyone else is doesn&rsquo;t work,&rdquo; said Matt Wagner, vice president of revitalization programs at the National Main Street Center. He told attendees that many communities are &ldquo;overbuilt from the commercial side, which means [main streets] have to be more competitive than ever.&rdquo;</p> <p>Wagner offered a multitude of examples of how town centers and neighborhoods can compete with both nearby commercial centers and online retailers. When he was working to boost the economic vitality of Sheboygan Falls, Wis., Wagner identified the community&rsquo;s local furniture stores as an important community anchor. The local Main Street organization decided to focus on attracting other businesses that meshed with that niche, such as paint stores and other home improvement&ndash;focused businesses. Similarly, developers in Saline, Mich., built a technology hub to lure entrepreneurs from the University of Michigan campus to their downtown with lower rents and improved access to high-speed internet.</p> <p>As a real estate expert, you can also identify opportunities others might not see. If you do a market analysis of your commercial district, you&rsquo;ll know the gaps between what your downtown offers and what consumers want, and be able to target small businesses and entrepreneurs who will thrive there. Mickey Howley, director of the Mississippi Main Street Association, said that when the town of Water Valley, Miss., was looking to fill a large empty building on its main corridor, a local survey helped them pinpoint the right business. &ldquo;We were losing half a million [dollars] in grocery sales every year to neighboring towns,&rdquo; he said. &ldquo;If we could capture some of that, we would be OK&rdquo; on their investment in a local food market.</p> <h4>Know Where to Find Money</h4> <p>Becoming familiar with all the funding and lending opportunities in a local area can make real estate professionals an important lifeline for those who run businesses and own commercial properties downtown. &ldquo;Develop relationships with <a href="https://www.cdfifund.gov/Pages/default.aspx" target="_blank">Community Development Financial Institutions</a> and local credit unions,&rdquo; Dionne Baux, director of urban programs at the National Main Street Center, suggested to conference attendees. &ldquo;Provide those cottage industry businesses with business plans and lending opportunities.&rdquo;</p> <p>Also, there are grants, credits, and funds available at the federal, state, and local levels for small businesses, and it&rsquo;s likely that your local business owners aren&rsquo;t familiar with them. Learn whether or not your state or local area has tax credits available for historical buildings beyond the federal government&rsquo;s 20 percent income tax credit for those rehabbing certified historic, income-producing buildings. Even if they don&rsquo;t, there may be other perks; for example, Chicago waives building permit fees for landmark buildings.</p> <p>Other credits don&rsquo;t have historic requirements or a lot of hoops to jump through. Property owners can get a $5,000 tax credit for making a building built before 1990 more accessible to those with disabilities, for example. &ldquo;There&rsquo;s no design review. This is a form you fill out with the IRS,&rdquo; Mike Jackson, an architect in Springfield, Ill., said of the ADA-related credit. &ldquo;You should do something every year to promote [programs like] this. ... There are a lot of people who qualify for them who don&rsquo;t know about it.&rdquo;</p> <p>Even when property owners and small-business owners aren&rsquo;t one in the same, the real estate community can make connections to promote economic vitality. One example of how this can be done is the rent abatement grant program designed to spur commercial development in Allentown, an economically depressed area of Pittsburgh. Property owners could get up to an additional $400 a month in rent from an anonymous donor when they open their spaces to promising local entrepreneurs. &ldquo;There&rsquo;s a level of risk the property owner is taking,&rdquo; said Aaron Sukenik, executive director of Hilltop Alliance, a nonprofit that helps manage the program. Allentown&rsquo;s business district committee worked to ensure the entrepreneurs had strong business plans, which helped the property owner feel more secure. &ldquo;But even if they might not have a lot of confidence in the business, they did have confidence in that [abatement] guarantee.&rdquo;</p> <p>Zak Thomas, senior program officer for lending with the Local Initiatives Support Corporation, which partnered with Hilltop Alliance on the project, said they routinely work with real estate professionals who can bring specialized expertise to these neighborhood revitalization projects. &ldquo;Real estate is not a core competency for [these local businesses],&rdquo; he said. &ldquo;We try to build a shared real estate talent team with people who have a number of different skill sets, so we can plug them in where they&rsquo;re needed.&rdquo;</p> <h4>Advocate for Them</h4> <p>Many at the conference expressed concern that the cuts that the Trump administration is proposing to federal programs could stress the coffers of state and local governments. Furthermore, the potential elimination of Community Development Block Grants and other programs that funnel development funds to struggling areas could make local economic development even more difficult. &ldquo;The resources that support main streets have never been more threatened,&rdquo; said Patrice Frey, CEO of the National Main Street Center. &ldquo;This is such an important moment for us.&rdquo;</p> <p>Frey told conference attendees that they can help local politicians understand that money invested in bolstering Main Street and local businesses pays off in exponential ways. Frey&rsquo;s organization has been studying the impact of such investment and has found that&mdash;while the numbers vary due to differing tax rates and economies&mdash;the fiscal return in property taxes and sales tax is significant. For every dollar a state or local government invested in main streets in Oklahoma, for example, they saw a return of $5. That figure rose to $8 for Pennsylvania and $13 for Washington State.</p> <p>National Main Street Center Chair McMahon agreed, noting that their numbers become even more impressive when the organization examines private dollars invested in local commercial districts. He said NMSC has found that on average, every $1 of public investment in Main Street revitalization leverages around $39 in private investment. &ldquo;This is the single most effective use of economic development in the United States,&rdquo; he told attendees. &ldquo;It&rsquo;s all about communities investing in themselves.&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>A strong, economically vibrant town center can do wonders for your real estate business. Learn how you can support local business owners and those who own commercial property on Main Street.&nbsp;</p> </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-main-image"> <div class="field-label">Main Image:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <div class="filefield-file"><img class="filefield-icon field-icon-image-jpeg" alt="image/jpeg icon" src="http://realtormag.realtor.org/sites/all/modules/filefield/icons/image-x-generic.png" /><a href="http://realtormag.realtor.org/sites/realtormag.realtor.org/files/may17_C_small.jpg" type="image/jpeg; length=229239">may17_C_small.jpg</a></div> </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-top3-lp-image"> <div class="field-label">Top 3 Article on Landing Page:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <img class="imagefield imagefield-field_top3_lp_image" width="149" height="70" alt="" src="http://realtormag.realtor.org/sites/realtormag.realtor.org/files/may17_C_small_0.jpg?1496352355" /> </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-lp-mainstage-image"> <div class="field-label">Landing Page Mainstage Image:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <img class="imagefield imagefield-field_lp_mainstage_image" width="830" height="230" alt="" src="http://realtormag.realtor.org/sites/realtormag.realtor.org/files/may17_LP_C_small.jpg?1496352373" /> </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/2016/03/commercial-pros-transforming-downtowns">Commercial Pros Transforming Downtowns</a> </div> <div class="field-item even"> <a href="/news-and-commentary/feature/article/2013/04/small-towns-big-ideas">Small Towns, Big Ideas</a> </div> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/for-brokers/network/article/2015/03/not-exiled-main-street">Not Exiled on Main Street</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, 01 Jun 2017 20:40:02 +0000 mwhite 23413 at http://realtormag.realtor.org The Right Way to Approach FSBOs http://realtormag.realtor.org/sales-and-marketing/sales-coach/article/2017/06/right-way-approach-fsbos <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 vast majority of unrepresented sellers will eventually list with an agent. Whether you are the agent they choose depends on how you present your real estate services. </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, June 2, 2017</span> </div> </div> </div> </fieldset> <div class="field field-type-nodereference field-field-op-author"> <div class="field-label">Author(s):&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/author/jared-james">Jared James</a> </div> </div> </div> <!--paging_filter--><p>Eighty-nine percent of sellers work with a real estate agent to sell their home, according to the National Association of REALTORS&reg;&rsquo; <em><a href="https://www.nar.realtor/reports/highlights-from-the-profile-of-home-buyers-and-sellers" target="_blank">2016 Profile of Home Buyers and Sellers</a></em>. That should tell you what kind of opportunity there is to convert FSBOs, which made up only 8 percent of total home sales in 2016. The majority of homeowners who try to sell on their own eventually realize they don&rsquo;t know how to handle a sale by themselves, and they turn to you for help.</p> <p>But even though the FSBO market is ripe for conversion, real estate professionals struggle to get these potential sellers to work with them. The reason is simple: We&rsquo;ve been taught to lie to these sellers from the very beginning of the relationship.</p> <p>When someone is resistant to working with you and you want to change their mind, you first have to figure out what&rsquo;s driving their resistance and then solve that problem in a practical manner. There&rsquo;s only one reason sellers would decide to sell on their own rather than work with an agent: money! They need to make a certain amount of profit and don&rsquo;t want to pay a commission, or something along those lines.</p> <p class="rtecenter"><iframe allowfullscreen="" frameborder="0" height="315" src="https://www.youtube.com/embed/K9-C5EfsqrE" width="560"></iframe></p> <p>Well, the average FSBO property sells for more than 20 percent less than comparable homes that are listed by an agent, according to the NAR report. So going it alone doesn&rsquo;t actually get FSBOs what they want. But that can&rsquo;t be your first argument when trying to convert a FSBO; it comes off as combative, and you&rsquo;ll lose them.</p> <p>When a FSBO is talking to an agent, they want to know one thing: <em>Do you have a buyer for my property?</em> If you&rsquo;ve taken any training in our industry, you&rsquo;ve probably been taught to say yes. But how in the world do you know if you have a buyer for a property before you&rsquo;ve even started marketing it? FSBOs understand this conundrum you&rsquo;re in, so if you say yes, they know you&rsquo;re lying. And you&rsquo;ve just lost credibility with them before you&rsquo;ve even gotten started.</p> <p>Here&rsquo;s what needs to change going forward.</p> <p>The next time a FSBO asks if you have a buyer, simply answer: &ldquo;I might, but I wouldn&rsquo;t know without seeing your property first. I work with many buyers, and as an expert in this area, I pride myself on knowing the inventory, which includes your property. It turns out I&rsquo;m going to be in your neighborhood tomorrow. Would you be offended if I stopped by to take a quick look to see if your house meets the needs of any of my current or future buyers?&rdquo;</p> <p>Any serious seller is going to let you see the house if it means that you might be able to bring it to the attention of motivated buyers. Once you see the FSBO&rsquo;s house, it&rsquo;s important not to sell them on listing with you unless they approach the subject. The point of your walkthrough is not to land a listing; it&rsquo;s to build rapport and know your inventory. Remember, 89 percent of FSBOs end up using an agent. It&rsquo;s just a matter of whether it&rsquo;s going to be you. I can guarantee it won&rsquo;t be if you lie to them or try to sell them when they aren&rsquo;t ready to be sold.</p> <p>After the walkthrough comes the most important question of all. Tell the FSBO that you will mention the house to some of your buyers who may be interested. Then say, &ldquo;Regardless of whether my buyers are interested, you need to be aware of other listings in your neighborhood that are competing for buyers so you know what you&rsquo;re up against. As an agent, I typically find out about new listings and other properties before the public does. Would it be OK if, from time to time when a property comes up that I think competes with yours, I contact you and let you know about it so you aren&rsquo;t caught off guard?&rdquo; Any serious seller will welcome having access to this kind of free information.</p> <p>By getting a &ldquo;yes&rdquo; to that question, you just got permission to follow up regularly. The next step is to set weekly or biweekly reminders to search for new comps and reach out to the FSBO with market updates. When you call to let them know about new comps, you still should avoid trying to sell them on listing with you. Just educate them and see if they have any questions. By now, they&rsquo;ll see your expertise and get comfortable enough to choose you once they make the decision to work with an agent.</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 vast majority of unrepresented sellers will eventually list with an agent. Whether you are the agent they choose depends on how you present your real estate services.</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/jun17_SM_fsbo.jpg" type="image/jpeg; length=285103">jun17_SM_fsbo.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/jun17_SM_fsbo_0.jpg?1496423285" /> </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/jun17_LP_SM_fsbo.jpg?1496423306" /> </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="/well-being/safety/article/2016/08/use-your-safety-knowledge-convert-fsbos">Use Your Safety Knowledge to Convert FSBOs</a> </div> <div class="field-item even"> <a href="/sales-and-marketing/feature/article/2007/04/unrepresented-sellers-flip-those-fsbos">Unrepresented Sellers: Flip Those FSBOs</a> </div> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/first-person/powerofr/article/2015/07/paths-conversion">Paths to Conversion</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> Sales Coach Thu, 01 Jun 2017 21:36:17 +0000 gwood 23414 at http://realtormag.realtor.org Apps to Simplify Your Client’s Move http://realtormag.realtor.org/technology/feature/article/2017/05/apps-simplify-your-client-s-move <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"> Recommend a mobile solution for some of the tasks involved in a major relocation. </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-text field-field-archive-item"> <div class="field-label">Archive:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> off </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-text field-field-features-checkbox"> <div class="field-label">Add to Features Package for the Month:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> off </div> </div> </div> <fieldset class="fieldgroup group-mag-pub-date"><div class="field field-type-date field-field-pub-date"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <span class="date-display-single">Thursday, May 25, 2017</span> </div> </div> </div> </fieldset> <div class="field field-type-nodereference field-field-op-author"> <div class="field-label">Author(s):&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/author/michael-antoniak">Michael Antoniak</a> </div> </div> </div> <!--paging_filter--><p>Homeowners relocating to their new house need all the help they can get on moving day. You may know of reputable companies and websites you can recommend to clients to better organize their move. Heck, some real estate professionals even <a href="/sales-and-marketing/feature/article/2016/05/make-move-easier-for-relocation-clients">offer their own relocation services</a>. But you should also be familiar with a handful of moving apps and cloud services that can make many laborious relocation tasks easier to manage. Few practitioners seem to be aware of these tools, let alone use them in their interactions with clients. Those who do say it&rsquo;s an opportunity to demonstrate service above and beyond the usual.</p> <blockquote> <p><strong>Tools for an Easier Move</strong></p> <p>Check out these apps to learn how they can make moving a smoother, more organized experience for your buyers and sellers.</p> <p><strong><a href="https://www.moveadvisor.com/">MoveAdvisor</a></strong><br /> Provides a suite of tools for planning and organizing a move, calculating moving costs, and securing bids from reputable moving companies. You can compare bids and order services.</p> <p><strong><a href="https://www.atlasvanlines.com/moveatlas/">moveAtlas</a></strong><br /> From Atlas Van Lines, its suite of features includes a planner, packing tips, moving day checklist, bid requests from moving companies, and integration with the Atlas tracking system for updates on shipping status.</p> <p><strong><a href="https://www.movecaptain.com/" target="_blank">Move Captain</a></strong><br /> Lets users capture video and pictures of household items when planning moves. Local movers can review the uploads and provide estimates for services.</p> <p><strong><a href="http://realtor.moving.com/tools/move-planner/landing.asp" target="_blank">Move Planner</a></strong><br /> Realtor.com&reg;&rsquo;s moving website offers web-based tools and advice for moving day. Includes calculators for estimating moving costs and packing needs, a moving planner, and articles to help clients make an efficient, stress-free move.</p> <p><strong><a href="http://www.sortlyapp.com" target="_blank">Sortly</a></strong><br /> A service for organizing possessions. Take inventory and capture images of belongings in each room, then organize the photos in folders to make unpacking simpler.</p> <p><strong><a href="https://www.unpakt.com" target="_blank">Unpakt</a></strong><br /> Free cloud service for simplifying the process of finding a moving company. Users enter the belongings they&rsquo;re moving and the address the items are being moved to, and then they can receive guaranteed bids from local and national moving companies.</p> </blockquote> <p>&ldquo;It&rsquo;s all about making [clients&rsquo;] transition as smooth as possible and providing the highest quality service,&rdquo; says Chad Dixon, a sales associate with RE/MAX Results in Eden Prairie, Minn. His brokerage provides its agents with accounts on <a href="http://www.updater.com/" target="_blank">Updater</a>, an app that streamlines moving-related chores such as changing the address, setting up utilities, and forwarding mail. Dixon invites clients to connect to the service on their smartphone, tablet, or computer.</p> <p>Whether you&rsquo;re recommending apps for comparing and choosing moving companies or for organizing packing and unpacking, being familiar with a mobile solution that will work for relocating clients makes you &ldquo;more of a resource to the new homeowner at a time when there&rsquo;s so much else they have to worry about,&rdquo; says Jessica Continenza, a RE/MAX Results sales associate in the company&rsquo;s Wayzata, Minn., office. Continenza also uses Updater and says nearly 90 percent of her clients use it as well. &ldquo;[The app] reminds them of all the ways I can be of service to them.&rdquo;</p> <p>Continenza has used Updater for her own move to her first home last year. Having personal experience and knowledge of how the app works, she can make a stronger case to her clients for why they should use it. &ldquo;I email clients to tell them they&rsquo;ll be receiving a link to a service I know from experience will simplify their move and save them time,&rdquo; she says. &ldquo;All I have to do is enter the client&rsquo;s name, current and new address, and Updater takes care of everything else.&rdquo;</p> <p>For the team at Better Homes and Gardens Rand Realty in Nanuet, N.Y., using relocation apps with their clients is a way to differentiate their business. &ldquo;We&rsquo;re always looking for tools and technology to provide services that aren&rsquo;t offered by other brokerages,&rdquo; says Adam DiFrancesco, e-PRO, SFR, associate broker and business development manager at BHG Rand Realty. The company not only uses Updater with clients but also has branded the apps with the company logo. DiFrancesco says client feedback is especially positive among those who are moving to the area from out of town. &ldquo;When you&rsquo;re new to the area and don&rsquo;t know who to contact or who the suppliers are, you really need the kind of help it provides,&rdquo; he says.</p> <p>Most moving apps and cloud services are available to consumers for free or at low cost. Some address a specific aspect of the move, whether it&rsquo;s creating an inventory of possessions, calculating moving costs, or soliciting and comparing bids from moving companies. A few others offer these as a suite of integrated tools.</p> <p>Buyers and sellers are all moving somewhere new, and as their real estate adviser, you can alert them to what&rsquo;s available to help them through a relocation. Take the lead as a full-service agent and recommend or provide tools such as those listed in the box to the right.</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>Recommend a mobile solution for some of the tasks involved in a major relocation.</p> </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-main-image"> <div class="field-label">Main Image:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <div class="filefield-file"><img class="filefield-icon field-icon-image-jpeg" alt="image/jpeg icon" src="http://realtormag.realtor.org/sites/all/modules/filefield/icons/image-x-generic.png" /><a href="http://realtormag.realtor.org/sites/realtormag.realtor.org/files/may17_T_moving.jpg" type="image/jpeg; length=184458">may17_T_moving.jpg</a></div> </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-top3-lp-image"> <div class="field-label">Top 3 Article on Landing Page:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <img class="imagefield imagefield-field_top3_lp_image" width="149" height="70" alt="" src="http://realtormag.realtor.org/sites/realtormag.realtor.org/files/may17_T_moving_0.jpg?1495741122" /> </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-lp-mainstage-image"> <div class="field-label">Landing Page Mainstage Image:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <img class="imagefield imagefield-field_lp_mainstage_image" width="830" height="230" alt="" src="http://realtormag.realtor.org/sites/realtormag.realtor.org/files/may17_LP_T_moving.jpg?1495741145" /> </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/checklist-prepare-for-your-move">Checklist: Prepare for Your Move</a> </div> <div class="field-item even"> <a href="/home-and-design/architecture-coach/article/2014/01/stay-put-and-remodel-or-move">Stay Put and Remodel — or Move?</a> </div> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/sales-and-marketing/success-stories/article/2017/05/finding-data-moves-your-clients">Finding the Data That Moves Your 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> Feature Tue, 23 May 2017 21:55:06 +0000 gwood 23375 at http://realtormag.realtor.org Foster Healthy Rivalry at Your Brokerage http://realtormag.realtor.org/for-brokers/network/article/2017/05/foster-healthy-rivalry-your-brokerage <div class="field field-type-text field-field-deck"> <div class="field-label">Deck:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> Instilling a competitive climate in your office can spark a higher sales performance among your agents. </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-text field-field-archive-item"> <div class="field-label">Archive:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> off </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-text field-field-features-checkbox"> <div class="field-label">Add to Features Package for the Month:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> off </div> </div> </div> <fieldset class="fieldgroup group-mag-pub-date"><div class="field field-type-date field-field-pub-date"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <span class="date-display-single">Monday, May 22, 2017</span> </div> </div> </div> </fieldset> <div class="field field-type-nodereference field-field-op-author"> <div class="field-label">Author(s):&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/author/melissa-dittmann-tracey">Melissa Dittmann Tracey</a> </div> </div> </div> <!--paging_filter--><p>A competitive spirit can get you far in a sales environment, which is why, as a broker, you may be more inclined to recruit sales associates with an ultracompetitive personality. It stands to reason that agents who are hungry for prospects and sales will elevate their production numbers and bring in higher commissions.</p> <p>But if your entire team doesn&rsquo;t share that same competitive spirit, your more driven agents may not reach their highest sales potential, according to a study appearing in Baylor University&rsquo;s Keller Center Research Report, &ldquo;<a href="http://www.baylor.edu/business/kellercenter/news.php?action=story&amp;story=168260" target="_blank">Better Together: Competitive Agents and Competitive Climate in the Agency</a>.&rdquo; After analyzing the performance of 117 salespeople, researchers found that if a competitive person is placed in a noncompetitive environment, they&rsquo;ll perform no better than their noncompetitive peers. The office culture, therefore, overrides a person&rsquo;s competitive nature, the study found.</p> <p>So how do brokerages keep the competitive drive burning? Recruiting competitive agents is just one piece of the puzzle. Other options include offering incentives through both monetary and nonmonetary rewards, such as preferred parking spots or a trophy that gets passed around to the top producer or most improved agent each month. The idea is to instill a friendly rivalry within the company without crushing your agents&rsquo; spirits.</p> <p>Here are more ideas that brokers have found successful for fueling a healthy yet competitive office atmosphere:&nbsp;</p> <h4>Sponsor Contests</h4> <p>Try a &ldquo;Listing Olympics,&rdquo; such as the one developed by <a href="http://www.bhhstxrealty.com/" target="_blank">Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices Texas Realty</a> in Austin, which took place in 2012 to tie into the Summer Olympics in London. About 150 agents in five offices participated. Agents could earn a gold, silver, or bronze medal, depending on how many residential listings they landed over a 90-day period. The first-place prize was an all-inclusive weekend luxury hotel package in Austin. Other medalists received restaurant gift cards.</p> <blockquote> <p>Get more ideas for motivating your team through healthy competition: <a href="http://realtormag.realtor.org/tool-kit/leadership/article/10-great-sales-contests" target="_blank">10 Great Sales Contests</a></p> </blockquote> <p>To keep it fair, sales associates were divided into three groups: the Gamma Team (agents with less than one year of experience with the company); Beta Team (one to three years of experience); and Alpha Team (more than three years of experience). To be eligible for a prize, the Alpha Team had to get at least five listings, the Beta Team needed at least four listings, and the Gamma Team needed at least three listings over a 90-day period.</p> <p>Rick Ellis, senior vice president of sales and marketing for Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices in Austin, says that dividing the agents into teams based on experience helped establish a more equal footing. The top agents in each category were called to the podium during the quarterly sales meeting at the Austin Board of REALTORS&reg;&rsquo; office, where they received their medals (which were purchased at a party store).</p> <p>&ldquo;We want to motivate our agents to do their best, and that&rsquo;s for the company&rsquo;s benefit, too,&rdquo; says Ellis. &ldquo;We try to make it fun, and the Listing Olympics was one good example of how we did that.&rdquo;</p> <p>The company now offers up several contests to keep agents motivated throughout the year, such as a monthly &ldquo;Three&rsquo;s Best&rdquo; competition, recognizing agents with the top sales or most listings. The award usually consists of the company taking winners out for an honoree luncheon.</p> <p>Ellis says they use the sales contests as a fun way to deliver information to their agents. For example, in the Three&rsquo;s Best competition, the brokerage sends tools such as trainings or lead generation techniques to help agents achieve their goal. &ldquo;It&rsquo;s also a way for us to arm agents with as much information about our programs and services as possible to get more listings,&rdquo; Ellis says.</p> <p>Constantly recognizing employees for a good job is key to keeping them motivated, Ellis says. In addition to the sales contests, his company also calls out good production numbers on a sales board&mdash;a 50-by-55-inch screen prominently displayed in the office meeting room. &ldquo;Agents see their names on the board and it&rsquo;s another source of pride,&rdquo; Ellis says.</p> <h4>Award Performance-Enhancing Activities</h4> <p>Philip Lang, COO and cofounder of <a href="https://triplemint.com/" target="_blank">Triplemint Real Estate</a> in New York, holds several monthly sales contests for his team but makes sure they aren&rsquo;t all based on production numbers. Contests are based on number of client reviews, average client ratings, and most social media posts mentioning the company, as well as most referrals generated from past clients.</p> <p>&ldquo;Running a sales contest based only on sales volume tends to reward the same top performers and can often be demotivating to people who are newer and less established in the business,&rdquo; Lang says. Since top performers are already being rewarded through commissions, Lang says structuring incentives around other parts of the business funnel help motivate agents who may be newer or hitting a rough patch in their business. It&rsquo;s important to inspire the behaviors that will result in long-term success but might be hard to do on a daily basis, he says. Prizes for the monthly contests range from lunch with the company&rsquo;s founders to iPads, staycations, and restaurant gift certificates.</p> <p>&ldquo;We try to stay away from cash because it can feel thoughtless. There is often more perceived value in something like a Broadway show than the $300 it took to buy the tickets,&rdquo; Lang says. &ldquo;This is especially true for millennials who tend to value experiences.&rdquo;</p> <hr /> <p><br /> <img alt="" src="/sites/realtormag.realtor.org/files/rmo_files/images/logos/BtoB_logo_footer_080114.jpg" style="float:left; height:117px; width:150px" /><em>Broker-to-Broker is an information network that provides insights and tools with business value through timely articles, videos, Q&amp;As, and sales meeting tips for brokerage owners and managers. Get more <a href="/for-brokers/network" target="_blank">Broker-to-Broker content here</a>.</em></p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <div class="field field-type-text field-field-show-author-info"> <div class="field-label">Show Author Info?:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> Show Author Info? </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-text field-field-teaser"> <div class="field-label">Teaser:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <!--paging_filter--><p>Instilling a competitive climate in your office can spark a higher sales performance among your agents.</p> </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-main-image"> <div class="field-label">Main Image:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <div class="filefield-file"><img class="filefield-icon field-icon-image-jpeg" alt="image/jpeg icon" src="http://realtormag.realtor.org/sites/all/modules/filefield/icons/image-x-generic.png" /><a href="http://realtormag.realtor.org/sites/realtormag.realtor.org/files/may17_BB_competition.jpg" type="image/jpeg; length=311680">may17_BB_competition.jpg</a></div> </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-top3-lp-image"> <div class="field-label">Top 3 Article on Landing Page:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <img class="imagefield imagefield-field_top3_lp_image" width="149" height="70" alt="" src="http://realtormag.realtor.org/sites/realtormag.realtor.org/files/may17_BB_competition_0.jpg?1495648838" /> </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-lp-mainstage-image"> <div class="field-label">Landing Page Mainstage Image:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <img class="imagefield imagefield-field_lp_mainstage_image" width="830" height="230" alt="" src="http://realtormag.realtor.org/sites/realtormag.realtor.org/files/may17_LP_BB_competition.jpg?1495648858" /> </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-nodereference field-field-related-content"> <div class="field-label">Related Content:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/for-brokers/network/article/2017/05/why-do-new-sales-associates-fail">Why Do New Sales Associates Fail?</a> </div> <div class="field-item even"> <a href="/for-brokers/feature/article/2010/03/do-sales-awards-matter">Do Sales Awards Matter?</a> </div> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/for-brokers/network/article/2017/05/managing-faster-expected-growth">Managing Faster-Than-Expected Growth</a> </div> <div class="field-item even"> <a href="/for-brokers/network/article/2016/02/time-tested-methods-for-reaching-goals">Time-Tested Methods For Reaching Goals</a> </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-number-integer field-field-mainstage-image-display2"> <div class="field-label">Mainstage Image Display on Content:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> No, don't disable the "Main" image on this article </div> </div> </div> Network Tue, 23 May 2017 18:59:57 +0000 echristoffer 23372 at http://realtormag.realtor.org From Broker Back to Sales Associate http://realtormag.realtor.org/for-brokers/network/article/2017/05/from-broker-back-sales-associate <div class="field field-type-text field-field-deck"> <div class="field-label">Deck:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> Making a career leap takes nerves but also careful planning. Follow one practitioner’s journey as she transitions from brokerage management back into sales as a team leader. </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-text field-field-archive-item"> <div class="field-label">Archive:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> off </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-text field-field-features-checkbox"> <div class="field-label">Add to Features Package for the Month:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> off </div> </div> </div> <fieldset class="fieldgroup group-mag-pub-date"><div class="field field-type-date field-field-pub-date"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <span class="date-display-single">Tuesday, May 23, 2017</span> </div> </div> </div> </fieldset> <div class="field field-type-nodereference field-field-op-author"> <div class="field-label">Author(s):&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/author/annmarie-janni">AnnMarie Janni</a> </div> </div> </div> <!--paging_filter--><p>Three years ago, I thought I found my dream job. I was given the opportunity to work in a brokerage management position, complete with benefits, at a cool company that I love. But I realized a few things in my role: I missed my clients and the freedom I had as an independent contractor to do things my way and control my destiny. So, I did something scary. I left that dream job and the office filled with agents I adored to head back out into the world of 100 percent commission.</p> <p>Here&rsquo;s how I got started.</p> <p><strong>1. Developed a new business plan.</strong> I determined that I wanted to lead a team, so I laid out my commission and team structure first. When I left my management position, agents reached out to me, and I to them. I started interviewing and building my team right away.</p> <p><strong>2. Made the big announcement. </strong>Once I had my website, branding, and back-end systems in place, I told my sphere about my move with an announcement on Facebook and then a mailer featuring my new team and each agent&rsquo;s name and contact information.</p> <p><strong>3. Set up sphere and farming campaigns. </strong>The sales side has changed a lot in the past three years. It seems like there&#39;s more noise out there when it comes to making business decisions about prospecting and advertising. Who knew the &ldquo;humble brag&rdquo; is the new marketing ploy on social media? But after careful market research, I made platform, budgetary, and frequency decisions for our team&rsquo;s marketing.</p> <p><strong>4. Kept the faith. </strong>My biggest pain point through all of this was the initial decision to leave my &ldquo;dream job.&rdquo; As with any major change, the question can creep into your mind: &ldquo;Did I do the right thing?&rdquo; I had many sleepless nights, but it helped to talk with people I respect in the business about what a successful transition looks like and how to go about it smoothly.</p> <p>I&rsquo;m a single mom who decided to leave a salaried position to follow my dreams. But so far, so good. I&rsquo;m petrified at least once a week, but I keep pushing because I believe I can create an experience for my agents and clients that is second to none.</p> <p>I hope you&rsquo;ll join me on this journey as I document my successes and failures while I&rsquo;m building my team into something special.</p> <hr /> <p><br /> <img alt="" src="/sites/realtormag.realtor.org/files/rmo_files/images/logos/BtoB_logo_footer_080114.jpg" style="float:left; height:117px; width:150px" /><em>Broker-to-Broker is an information network that provides insights and tools with business value through timely articles, videos, Q&amp;As, and sales meeting tips for brokerage owners and managers. Get more <a href="/for-brokers/network" target="_blank">Broker-to-Broker content here</a>.</em></p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <div class="field field-type-text field-field-show-author-info"> <div class="field-label">Show Author Info?:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> Show Author Info? </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-text field-field-teaser"> <div class="field-label">Teaser:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <!--paging_filter--><p>Making a career leap takes nerves but also careful planning. Follow one practitioner&rsquo;s journey as she transitions from brokerage management back into sales as a team leader.</p> </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-main-image"> <div class="field-label">Main Image:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <div class="filefield-file"><img class="filefield-icon field-icon-image-jpeg" alt="image/jpeg icon" src="http://realtormag.realtor.org/sites/all/modules/filefield/icons/image-x-generic.png" /><a href="http://realtormag.realtor.org/sites/realtormag.realtor.org/files/may17_BB_job.jpg" type="image/jpeg; length=148299">may17_BB_job.jpg</a></div> </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-top3-lp-image"> <div class="field-label">Top 3 Article on Landing Page:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <img class="imagefield imagefield-field_top3_lp_image" width="149" height="70" alt="" src="http://realtormag.realtor.org/sites/realtormag.realtor.org/files/may17_BB_job_0.jpg?1495742994" /> </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-lp-mainstage-image"> <div class="field-label">Landing Page Mainstage Image:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <img class="imagefield imagefield-field_lp_mainstage_image" width="830" height="230" alt="" src="http://realtormag.realtor.org/sites/realtormag.realtor.org/files/may17_LP_BB_job.jpg?1495743014" /> </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-nodereference field-field-related-content"> <div class="field-label">Related Content:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/for-brokers/network/article/2017/05/foster-healthy-rivalry-your-brokerage">Foster Healthy Rivalry at Your Brokerage</a> </div> <div class="field-item even"> <a href="/for-brokers/network/article/2017/04/teamwork-mentality-pays">The Teamwork Mentality Pays Off</a> </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-number-integer field-field-mainstage-image-display2"> <div class="field-label">Mainstage Image Display on Content:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> No, don't disable the "Main" image on this article </div> </div> </div> Network Tue, 23 May 2017 19:03:28 +0000 echristoffer 23373 at http://realtormag.realtor.org NAR Board Wants Consumer Financial Watchdog Restructured http://realtormag.realtor.org/news-and-commentary/feature/article/2017/05/nar-board-wants-consumer-financial-watchdog-restructured <div class="field field-type-text field-field-deck"> <div class="field-label">Deck:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> The CFPB, created after the financial crisis to protect people against bad loans, should not rely on a single director. </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-text field-field-archive-item"> <div class="field-label">Archive:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> off </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-text field-field-features-checkbox"> <div class="field-label">Add to Features Package for the Month:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> off </div> </div> </div> <fieldset class="fieldgroup group-mag-pub-date"><div class="field field-type-date field-field-pub-date"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <span class="date-display-single">Monday, May 22, 2017</span> </div> </div> </div> </fieldset> <div class="field field-type-nodereference field-field-op-author"> <div class="field-label">Author(s):&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/author/robert-freedman">Robert Freedman</a> </div> </div> </div> <!--paging_filter--><p>The federal agency that protects consumers from risky or fraudulent lending practices should be restructured as a commission and not rely on a single director, the NAR Board of Directors voted at its May 20 meeting.</p> <p>NAR supports the mission of the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, which was created after the financial crisis to help protect against the kind of bad loans that left many households in financial distress, but its structure has been under scrutiny in Congress and challenged in court for concentrating too much authority in the hands of one individual. The CFPB&rsquo;s head since its creation is Richard Cordray, a former Ohio attorney general.&nbsp;</p> <blockquote> <p><strong>Read more</strong>: <a href="https://www.nar.realtor/articles/internal-news-service-special-report-1" target="_blank">Access additional coverage of the board&rsquo;s meeting</a>.</p> </blockquote> <p>To position NAR for any debate over the agency&rsquo;s structure in the years ahead, the policy recommends the agency be restructured as a five-person board whose members serve staggered, five-year terms. The number of board members with the same party affiliation would be limited to three. They would be appointed by the president and confirmed by the Senate.</p> <p>Anthony Lamacchia, chair of NAR&rsquo;s Dodd-Frank CFPB workgroup discussed the proposed reorganization at the Business Issues Committee meeting several days before the board vote. &ldquo;We want to do what is truly right for members.&rdquo; said Lamacchia, broker-owner of Lamacchia Realty. In describing the workgroup&rsquo;s objective, he added, &ldquo;I wanted people to try to stay away from politics as we debated it. I certainly moved my initial position a bit as people brought things up.&rdquo;</p> <p>Lamacchia said a five-member board would help reduce the potential for arbitrary decision making that can occur under a single leader, providing the agency with greater accountability.</p> <p>The action was one of several the NAR board took in preparation for what&rsquo;s expected to be a busy and consequential next few years in the public policy arena.&nbsp; Among the other actions, the board voted to reaffirm the importance of having an explicit federal guarantee available to borrowers in the conventional mortgage loan market, as Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac provide now. That way safe and affordable mortgage financing would be available in good markets and bad no matter how the two secondary mortgage market companies are restructured or even if they&rsquo;re replaced. What to do about these two companies is high on the to-do list of Congress, although whether lawmakers will get to the issue this year is unclear.</p> <p>The policy would also direct NAR to advocate for making the federally backed loans assumable. Should interest rates continue to rise, this would encourage home owners not to let rates discourage them from putting their house on the market and buying something new. The average interest rate on a 30-year, fixed-rate loan today is about 4 percent, still historically low. However, rates have been inching up over the past year and NAR Chief Economist Lawrence Yun predicts they&rsquo;ll rise to more than 5 percent by the end of 2018.</p> <p>The board adopted changes to the association&rsquo;s policy on FHA, too. The policy directs NAR to encourage Congress to remove reverse mortgages from the calculation of the capital reserves. FHA is required to maintain to help ensure the solvency of its main insurance fund. The loans, called home equity conversion mortgages by the agency, are more volatile than regular mortgages and have been weighing down the performance of the agency&rsquo;s insurance fund. Were the loans to be removed from the requirement, the agency&rsquo;s reserves would be well above the statutorily required level. Today, they are over the required level but not by much.</p> <h4>Rental policy changes</h4> <p>The board also took aim at the rise in proposals at the state and local level that would impose rent control in some form on rental property owners. The board updated the association&rsquo;s statement on rent control policy that has been in place since 1997. The new statement reiterates NAR&#39;s position that government programs that limit rent increases or impose other rent-related restrictions on landlords unfairly restrict private property rights and it encourages local and state associations of REALTORS&reg; to oppose legislative measures that allow for rent control or rent stabilization programs.</p> <p>The board also adopted a position on possession and eviction that reinforces the right of rental property owners to use the property as they see fit. The move comes at a time when jurisdictions are increasingly trying to impose restrictions on property owners. NAR&rsquo;s position is that owners should be free to evict tenants as long as they stay within the terms of the lease; inspect property at their discretion as long as they give tenants proper notice; and convert the property to their own personal use or <s>to</s> put it on the market as a for-sale unit.</p> <p>NAR also says owners shouldn&#39;t be required to pay for tenant relocation if they&rsquo;re removed from the property.</p> <h4>Other board actions</h4> <p>In addition to the public policy actions, the board addressed a wide array of issues facing the association and the industry. In one of its biggest actions, the board approved funding for the next stage in development of a technology platform to make it simpler and faster for brokers to upload listing data to their MLS and better manage how the data will be used and distributed. The technology is called Upstream and the first phase will deploy later this year.</p> <p>The board also directed NAR to seek legislation requiring parties that claim violations of the Americans with Disabilities Act to give alleged violators a chance to correct the problem before filing a lawsuit.</p> <p><em>&mdash;Erica Christoffer contributed to this article. </em></p> <div class="field field-type-text field-field-show-author-info"> <div class="field-label">Show Author Info?:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> Show Author Info? </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-text field-field-teaser"> <div class="field-label">Teaser:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <!--paging_filter--><p>The CFPB, created after the financial crisis to protect people against bad loans, should not rely on a single director.</p> </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-main-image"> <div class="field-label">Main Image:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <div class="filefield-file"><img class="filefield-icon field-icon-image-jpeg" alt="image/jpeg icon" src="http://realtormag.realtor.org/sites/all/modules/filefield/icons/image-x-generic.png" /><a href="http://realtormag.realtor.org/sites/realtormag.realtor.org/files/may17_NC_BOD.jpg" type="image/jpeg; length=328882">may17_NC_BOD.jpg</a></div> </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-top3-lp-image"> <div class="field-label">Top 3 Article on Landing Page:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <img class="imagefield imagefield-field_top3_lp_image" width="149" height="70" alt="" src="http://realtormag.realtor.org/sites/realtormag.realtor.org/files/may17_NC_BOD_0.jpg?1495476010" /> </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-lp-mainstage-image"> <div class="field-label">Landing Page Mainstage Image:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <img class="imagefield imagefield-field_lp_mainstage_image" width="830" height="230" alt="" src="http://realtormag.realtor.org/sites/realtormag.realtor.org/files/may17_LP_NC_BOD.jpg?1495476085" /> </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-number-integer field-field-mainstage-image-display2"> <div class="field-label">Mainstage Image Display on Content:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> No, don't disable the "Main" image on this article </div> </div> </div> Feature Mon, 22 May 2017 16:56:44 +0000 mbrozanic 23364 at http://realtormag.realtor.org The Intersection of Infrastructure and Property http://realtormag.realtor.org/news-and-commentary/feature/article/2017/05/intersection-infrastructure-and-property <div class="field field-type-text field-field-deck"> <div class="field-label">Deck:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> Lobbyists and economic development advocates explained how public-private partnerships could affect real estate’s bottom line at the REALTORS® Legislative Meetings &amp; Trade Expo. </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-text field-field-archive-item"> <div class="field-label">Archive:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> off </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-text field-field-features-checkbox"> <div class="field-label">Add to Features Package for the Month:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> off </div> </div> </div> <fieldset class="fieldgroup group-mag-pub-date"><div class="field field-type-date field-field-pub-date"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <span class="date-display-single">Monday, May 22, 2017</span> </div> </div> </div> </fieldset> <div class="field field-type-nodereference field-field-op-author"> <div class="field-label">Author(s):&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/author/meg-white">Meg White</a> </div> </div> </div> <!--paging_filter--><p>There isn&rsquo;t much that Democrats and Republicans agree on these days. But one campaign promise from 2016 managed to spark broad interest on both sides of the aisle: President Donald Trump&rsquo;s pledge to invest $1 trillion in American infrastructure.</p> <p>At a session titled &ldquo;Improving Infrastructure Leads to Increased Real Estate Investment&rdquo; at the REALTORS&reg; Legislative Meetings &amp; Trade Expo in Washington, D.C., experts were optimistic about the chances Congress and the public would back the idea.</p> <p>&ldquo;In this area, we can be bipartisan,&rdquo; said Brian Pallasch, managing director of government relations and infrastructure initiatives at the American Society of Civil Engineers. &ldquo;You as real estate professionals need to be part of that discussion.&rdquo;</p> <p>Though it was promised within the first 100 days, a detailed plan has yet to be announced by the Trump administration. And several panelists noted that the federal governments&rsquo; share of the bill might end up being significantly smaller than originally promised. They indicated that the Trump administration may be planning to leverage around $200 billion in federal funds to gain the additional $800 billion in private investment to make up the total $1 trillion.</p> <p>Pallasch said the traditional equation for public-private partnerships is closer to 50-50, rather than such an 80/20 proposition, and that if the government did decide to spend the full $1 trillion, it would get much closer to what&rsquo;s needed to fill the hole created by decades of disinvestment.</p> <p>&ldquo;Over the next 10 years we actually need $2 trillion to close the gap,&rdquo; he said. &ldquo;We&rsquo;re living on what our grandparents built. Most of our infrastructure was built for a lifespan of 50 to 60 years. And, by the way, that was 50 to 60 years ago.&rdquo;</p> <p>Bill Wald, CEO and chief lobbyist for the Minneapolis Area Association of REALTORS&reg;, has seen&nbsp; what can happen to a community when maintenance is significantly deferred. A decade ago, the Interstate 35W bridge separating Minneapolis and St. Paul collapsed, killing 13 people and causing at least a half a billion dollars in damage and rebuilding costs.</p> <p>&ldquo;The bridge collapse was a shock,&rdquo; Wald said, noting that when it was built in 1964, engineers created a product designed to handle 40,000 to 60,000 cars a day, less than half of the actual total when it failed. &ldquo;They did not look at what the population growth of Minneapolis would be.&rdquo;</p> <p>But Wald has also witnessed firsthand the positive impact of active investment on a metro area. He said downtown Minneapolis has flourished thanks to investments in greenways, public transit, and new sports arenas&mdash;in particular U.S. Bank Stadium, which will host next year&rsquo;s Super Bowl. &ldquo;That neighborhood has seen an increase in business,&rdquo; he said. &ldquo;People want to live around the stadium.&rdquo;</p> <p>James David, manager of strategic initiatives at the Loudoun County Economic Development Office in Virginia, said his community has seen exponential population growth and steady increases in median household income over the past few decades thanks to a wide variety of infrastructural investment, from the construction of Dulles International Airport to their commitment to laying down a high-quality fiber network whenever new roads are built. Now the expansion of the Metrorail Silver Line is expected to expand on the city&rsquo;s investment in high-quality information technology jobs.</p> <p>&ldquo;Ninety-two percent of new offices are happening in transit-oriented development areas, not those dead office campuses,&rdquo; he said. &ldquo;That&rsquo;s where all the activity and the value is, near those transit stops.&rdquo;</p> <p>As new forms of transportation, like self-driving cars, become available, Pallasch noted that existing roads and bridges will need to be updated in order to take advantage of them. &ldquo;Our infrastructure is not really ready for autonomous vehicles,&rdquo; he said. &ldquo;The road needs to be in great condition; the paint needs to be perfect&rdquo; in order for the software to work properly.</p> <p>David said his office keeps a real estate expert on staff, and he urged REALTORS&reg; to get involved when there are infrastructure-building plans on the table: &ldquo;When these things are happening in your communities, get out there and talk to lawmakers.&rdquo;</p> <p>Though she works in the commercial sector in Chicago, panel moderator Deena Zimmerman said it&rsquo;s important for residential real estate professionals to advocate for investment in their communities&rsquo; infrastructure. &ldquo;We all want to see economic growth,&rdquo; said Zimmerman, vice president at SVN Chicago Commercial. &ldquo;Where commercial thrives, residential thrives.&rdquo;</p> <p>Wald agreed. &ldquo;We all represent people who are private property owners,&rdquo; he told session attendees. &ldquo;Each person who buys a home has a level of expectation that they&rsquo;re going to have safety, and that [their sewers and utilities] are going to work.&rdquo;</p> <div class="field field-type-text field-field-show-author-info"> <div class="field-label">Show Author Info?:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> Show Author Info? </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-text field-field-teaser"> <div class="field-label">Teaser:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <!--paging_filter--><p>Lobbyists and economic development advocates explained how public-private partnerships could affect real estate&rsquo;s bottom line at the REALTORS&reg; Legislative Meetings &amp; Trade Expo.</p> </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-main-image"> <div class="field-label">Main Image:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <div class="filefield-file"><img class="filefield-icon field-icon-image-jpeg" alt="image/jpeg icon" src="http://realtormag.realtor.org/sites/all/modules/filefield/icons/image-x-generic.png" /><a href="http://realtormag.realtor.org/sites/realtormag.realtor.org/files/may17_NC_infrastructure.jpg" type="image/jpeg; length=445773">may17_NC_infrastructure.jpg</a></div> </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-top3-lp-image"> <div class="field-label">Top 3 Article on Landing Page:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <img class="imagefield imagefield-field_top3_lp_image" width="149" height="70" alt="" src="http://realtormag.realtor.org/sites/realtormag.realtor.org/files/may17_NC_infrastructure_0.jpg?1495468941" /> </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-lp-mainstage-image"> <div class="field-label">Landing Page Mainstage Image:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <img class="imagefield imagefield-field_lp_mainstage_image" width="830" height="230" alt="" src="http://realtormag.realtor.org/sites/realtormag.realtor.org/files/may17_LP_NC_infrastructure.jpg?1495468962" /> </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-number-integer field-field-mainstage-image-display2"> <div class="field-label">Mainstage Image Display on Content:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> No, don't disable the "Main" image on this article </div> </div> </div> Feature Mon, 22 May 2017 15:46:34 +0000 mwhite 23362 at http://realtormag.realtor.org Brokers With Purple Hair Have More Fun http://realtormag.realtor.org/for-brokers/network/article/2017/05/brokers-purple-hair-have-more-fun <div class="field field-type-text field-field-deck"> <div class="field-label">Deck:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> Learn how brokers are marketing their full, authentic selves to connect with clients and attract more business. </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-text field-field-archive-item"> <div class="field-label">Archive:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> off </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-text field-field-features-checkbox"> <div class="field-label">Add to Features Package for the Month:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> off </div> </div> </div> <fieldset class="fieldgroup group-mag-pub-date"><div class="field field-type-date field-field-pub-date"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <span class="date-display-single">Friday, May 19, 2017</span> </div> </div> </div> </fieldset> <div class="field field-type-nodereference field-field-op-author"> <div class="field-label">Author(s):&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/author/erica-christoffer">Erica Christoffer</a> </div> </div> </div> <!--paging_filter--><p>Amy McCoy is someone people gravitate toward. She exudes confidence and style. Her pixie cut purple hair is tastefully sculpted on top of her head. And when she talks real estate, you know her game is strong.&nbsp;&nbsp;</p> <p>This Atlanta-based broker-owner of My Hometown Realty Group spoke about her business triumphs as an audience member at the RISMedia Power Brokers panel during the REALTORS&reg; Legislative Meetings &amp; Trade Expo. The audience-panel discussion prompted McCoy to grab the microphone and explain how last year she took her monthly marketing budget from about $5,000 to $700, which helped her double her sales volume year-over-year in 2016. At this point, she has already matched her 2016 numbers and is on track to double her volume again in 2017.&nbsp;&nbsp;</p> <table align="right" border="0" cellpadding="1" cellspacing="1" style="width: 400px;"> <tbody> <tr> <td><img alt="" src="/sites/realtormag.realtor.org/files/rmo_files/images/2017_may/may17_B_mccoy.jpg" style="width: 400px; height: 188px;" /></td> </tr> <tr> <td><em>Atlanta broker-owner Amy McCoy&#39;s branding sends a powerful message.</em></td> </tr> </tbody> </table> <p>&ldquo;I used to pay for the billboards and online leads,&rdquo; she says. But when McCoy took a step back and looked at her ROI, she says she realized she wasn&rsquo;t making enough money to justify the costs. So, last year she retooled and started focusing on doing things she loves: community outreach and involvement. As a former state prison correctional officer, crime prevention is important to her, and, quite simply, she loves her community. McCoy actively participates in crime prevention efforts in her market. She also uses social media extensively to build her brand, and to talk neighborhood issues. She reminds people to vote, posts photos from the West Georgia Board of REALTORS&reg; meetings, explains FHA loan issues, and shares open houses and new listings.&nbsp;&nbsp;</p> <p>McCoy&#39;s approach just happens to align with the recommendations of Power Broker panelist Verl Workman, founder and CEO of Workman Success Systems with regard to social media: posting about family 25 percent of the time, real estate 25 percent of the time, fun and recreation another quarter of the time, and sharing your hopes and dreams 25 percent of the time. Usually, it&rsquo;s the posts unrelated to real estate that help grow your connections with your potential clients, he says. And if it&rsquo;s video, even better.&nbsp;</p> <p>Workman is a huge proponent of video marketing tools like BombBomb to send introductions and announcement. He likes the platform&rsquo;s backend analytics and video templates, which make it easy to use, he says. Workman is also a fan of SoTellUs, an app for collecting video testimonials from your happy clients. He mentioned an agent he works with who uses ACE Content to generate original articles for his website, which he then turns around and uses as fodder and discussion points in his videos. &ldquo;The goal is getting belly-to-belly with clients, and automation doesn&rsquo;t create connections,&rdquo; Workman says. &ldquo;You need authenticity in communication.&rdquo;&nbsp;</p> <p>Panelist Burke Smith, broker and chief development and learning officer at Realty ONE Group, says sellers would rather list with an agent who&rsquo;s using video. However, simply creating videos and throwing them online isn&rsquo;t enough to get traffic, he says. It&rsquo;s imperative to set up a branded YouTube channel, as well as title and tag videos so they match what your audience is searching for. Smith created a video for people relocating to Phoenix two year ago and it&rsquo;s the top search result for those terms on YouTube, which he attributes to good tagging with keywords.&nbsp;&nbsp;</p> <p>&ldquo;The videos that get the most views are tagged and described with what your clients want,&rdquo; Smith says. Ask yourself why someone would comment on and share your video, he says, and consider if it&rsquo;s truly valuable to the viewer.&nbsp;</p> <p>McCoy, similarly, is as intentional as she is natural with her videos. She films everything from changing out a light fixture to dancing at a local flea market, in addition to on-camera home tours. &ldquo;People will accept you more for who you are when you&rsquo;re just being who you are,&rdquo; she says.&nbsp;</p> <p>And sure enough, participants more than accepted McCoy&ndash;she drew a small crowd of fellow attendees looking to connect with her after the session.</p> <hr /> <p><br /> <img alt="" src="/sites/realtormag.realtor.org/files/rmo_files/images/logos/BtoB_logo_footer_080114.jpg" style="float:left; height:117px; width:150px" /><em>Broker-to-Broker is an information network that provides insights and tools with business value through timely articles, videos, Q&amp;As, and sales meeting tips for brokerage owners and managers. Get more <a href="/for-brokers/network" target="_blank">Broker-to-Broker content here</a>.</em></p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <div class="field field-type-text field-field-show-author-info"> <div class="field-label">Show Author Info?:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> Show Author Info? </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-text field-field-teaser"> <div class="field-label">Teaser:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <!--paging_filter--><p>Learn how brokers are marketing their full, authentic selves to connect with clients and attract more business.</p> </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-main-image"> <div class="field-label">Main Image:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <div class="filefield-file"><img class="filefield-icon field-icon-image-jpeg" alt="image/jpeg icon" src="http://realtormag.realtor.org/sites/all/modules/filefield/icons/image-x-generic.png" /><a href="http://realtormag.realtor.org/sites/realtormag.realtor.org/files/may17_B_mccoy-b.jpg" type="image/jpeg; length=360168">may17_B_mccoy-b.jpg</a></div> </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-top3-lp-image"> <div class="field-label">Top 3 Article on Landing Page:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <img class="imagefield imagefield-field_top3_lp_image" width="149" height="70" alt="" src="http://realtormag.realtor.org/sites/realtormag.realtor.org/files/may17_B_mccoy-b_0.jpg?1495468493" /> </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-lp-mainstage-image"> <div class="field-label">Landing Page Mainstage Image:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <img class="imagefield imagefield-field_lp_mainstage_image" width="830" height="230" alt="" src="http://realtormag.realtor.org/sites/realtormag.realtor.org/files/may17_LP_B_mccoy-b.jpg?1495468513" /> </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-text field-field-main-image-credit"> <div class="field-label">Main Image Credit:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> Atlanta broker-owner Amy McCoy (in white jacket) holds forth on the power of authentic marketing. </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-nodereference field-field-related-content"> <div class="field-label">Related Content:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/for-brokers/network/article/2017/05/managing-faster-expected-growth">Managing Faster-Than-Expected Growth</a> </div> <div class="field-item even"> <a href="/for-brokers/network/article/2017/02/humanize-your-brand-live-video">Humanize Your Brand With Live Video</a> </div> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/for-brokers/network/article/2017/01/finding-your-company-s-one-true-brand">Finding Your Company’s One True Brand</a> </div> <div class="field-item even"> <a href="/for-brokers/network/article/2016/10/landing-your-first-speaking-gig">Landing Your First Speaking Gig</a> </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-number-integer field-field-mainstage-image-display2"> <div class="field-label">Mainstage Image Display on Content:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> No, don't disable the "Main" image on this article </div> </div> </div> Network Fri, 19 May 2017 16:24:35 +0000 gwood 23355 at http://realtormag.realtor.org The Real Estate Case for Immigration http://realtormag.realtor.org/news-and-commentary/feature/article/2017/05/real-estate-case-for-immigration <div class="field field-type-text field-field-deck"> <div class="field-label">Deck:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> More restrictive residency policies can have widespread effects on housing markets. </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-text field-field-archive-item"> <div class="field-label">Archive:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> off </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-text field-field-features-checkbox"> <div class="field-label">Add to Features Package for the Month:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> off </div> </div> </div> <fieldset class="fieldgroup group-mag-pub-date"><div class="field field-type-date field-field-pub-date"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <span class="date-display-single">Friday, May 19, 2017</span> </div> </div> </div> </fieldset> <div class="field field-type-nodereference field-field-op-author"> <div class="field-label">Author(s):&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/author/graham-wood">Graham Wood</a> </div> </div> </div> <!--paging_filter--><p>Immigration is among the most hotly debated issues in America right now, but regardless of the political arguments about how to manage the country&rsquo;s borders, there&rsquo;s no denying that an uptick in foreign residents in the U.S. is a boon for real estate, according to Alex Nowrasteh, immigration policy analyst with the Cato Institute&rsquo;s Center for Global Liberty and Prosperity.&nbsp;</p> <p>&ldquo;No other market is more affected by immigration than real estate,&rdquo; Nowrasteh said at a session called &ldquo;Housing Markets Are International&rdquo; at the REALTORS&reg; Legislative Meetings &amp; Trade Expo. &ldquo;The effect of immigration on the labor market is, at worst, one-tenth the size that it is on real estate.&rdquo; He noted that immigrants gravitate toward construction jobs at a much higher rate than American-born citizens. When&nbsp;immigration rates increase, the homebuilding industry may benefit.&nbsp;</p> <p>Nowrasteh also said Cato Institute research has shown that on a local level, a 1 percent rise in the immigrant population corresponds to a 1 percent hike in rental rates. And with 22.6 percent of the U.S. population&mdash;or 43.3 million people&mdash;being foreign-born, according to Census Bureau data, the economy is getting a huge influx of cash. In 2012, Nowrasteh noted, immigrants added $3.1 trillion to U.S. housing wealth, mostly in mid- to low-income counties.&nbsp;</p> <p>Policies that tamp down immigration will tend to have a negative effect on housing, Nowrasteh said, using a controversial Arizona law as an example. The Legal Arizona Workers Act, which was enacted in 2007, aims to crack down on employers who hire undocumented workers and force illegal immigrants out of the state. Between 2008 and 2010, about 100,000 residents left Arizona, resulting in a 16 percent decline in foreign-born residents, Nowrasteh said. During that same time period, rental vacancy rates soared from 9.8 percent to 16.8 percent.&nbsp;</p> <p>The exodus wasn&#39;t the sole reason for skyrocketing housing vacancies given that it took place in the midst of the last housing crisis, Nowrasteh noted. But it definitely compounded the problem, he said. &ldquo;A shrinking population decreases housing prices, period. If you want to increase housing prices, the number one things you can do is increase the population.&rdquo;&nbsp;</p> <p>Also during the session, Danielle Hale, managing director of housing statistics for the National Association of REALTORS&reg;, revealed NAR&rsquo;s latest research on international buying activity in the U.S. in 2016. These are some of the highlights:&nbsp;</p> <ul> <li>Foreign buyers purchased $102.6 billion worth of U.S. real estate.&nbsp;</li> <li>While the majority of foreign buyers typically reside&nbsp;outside the U.S., 2016 was the first year that more were living inside the country.&nbsp;</li> <li>Following the trend of the last few years, China again represented the largest share of foreign buyers in the U.S., followed by Canada, the United Kingdom, India, and Mexico. Buyers from Canada and the UK were most likely to reside primarily outside the U.S.&nbsp;</li> <li>The average price of a property purchased by a foreign buyer was around $477,000, while the average national home price was $260,000.</li> <li>Florida, California, Texas, Arizona, and New York were the most popular states for both foreign buyers and sellers.</li> </ul> <div class="field field-type-text field-field-show-author-info"> <div class="field-label">Show Author Info?:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> Show Author Info? </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-text field-field-teaser"> <div class="field-label">Teaser:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <!--paging_filter--><p>More restrictive residency policies can have widespread effects on housing markets.</p> </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-main-image"> <div class="field-label">Main Image:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <div class="filefield-file"><img class="filefield-icon field-icon-image-jpeg" alt="image/jpeg icon" src="http://realtormag.realtor.org/sites/all/modules/filefield/icons/image-x-generic.png" /><a href="http://realtormag.realtor.org/sites/realtormag.realtor.org/files/may17_NC_immigration.jpg" type="image/jpeg; length=274347">may17_NC_immigration.jpg</a></div> </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-top3-lp-image"> <div class="field-label">Top 3 Article on Landing Page:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <img class="imagefield imagefield-field_top3_lp_image" width="149" height="70" alt="" src="http://realtormag.realtor.org/sites/realtormag.realtor.org/files/may17_NC_immigration_0.jpg?1495222198" /> </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-lp-mainstage-image"> <div class="field-label">Landing Page Mainstage Image:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <img class="imagefield imagefield-field_lp_mainstage_image" width="830" height="230" alt="" src="http://realtormag.realtor.org/sites/realtormag.realtor.org/files/may17_LP_NC_immigration.jpg?1495222217" /> </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-number-integer field-field-mainstage-image-display2"> <div class="field-label">Mainstage Image Display on Content:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> No, don't disable the "Main" image on this article </div> </div> </div> Feature Fri, 19 May 2017 18:52:44 +0000 gwood 23356 at http://realtormag.realtor.org 4 Issues to Watch for Property Managers http://realtormag.realtor.org/commercial/feature/article/2017/05/4-issues-watch-for-property-managers <div class="field field-type-text field-field-deck"> <div class="field-label">Deck:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> Laws concerning service animals, rent control, marijuana, and criminal background checks are constantly evolving. Here’s what you need to know right now. </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-text field-field-archive-item"> <div class="field-label">Archive:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> off </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-text field-field-features-checkbox"> <div class="field-label">Add to Features Package for the Month:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> off </div> </div> </div> <fieldset class="fieldgroup group-mag-pub-date"><div class="field field-type-date field-field-pub-date"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <span class="date-display-single">Thursday, May 18, 2017</span> </div> </div> </div> </fieldset> <div class="field field-type-nodereference field-field-op-author"> <div class="field-label">Author(s):&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/author/graham-wood">Graham Wood</a> </div> </div> </div> <!--paging_filter--><p><em>Correction: In an earlier version, quotes by&nbsp;Tyler Craddock of the National Association of Residential Property Managers were mistakenly&nbsp;attributed to an NAR staffer. The story has been corrected.</em></p> <p>It&#39;s a changing landscape for landlords and tenants. Property management and policy experts speaking at the REALTORS&reg; Legislative Meetings &amp; Trade Expo in Washington, D.C., offered attendees of the Property Management Forum guidance on handling four hot-button issues.</p> <h4>Can You Negotiate Service Animal Requests?</h4> <p>The need to accommodate service animals, once a relatively rare issue for property managers, has become increasingly common. Under guidelines from the Department of Housing and Urban Development and the Americans With Disabilities Act, property managers must make a reasonable accommodation for tenants who request a service or comfort animal, regardless of their building&rsquo;s pet policy.</p> <p>But what if a tenant&#39;s request is problematic for the unit? &ldquo;When someone comes to you with a [doctor&rsquo;s] note that says, &lsquo;I&rsquo;m entitled to 40 cats,&rsquo; you can negotiate [that],&rdquo; said Tyler Craddock, government affairs director of the National Association of Residential Property Managers. &ldquo;You can have that conversation, saying, &lsquo;This is a one-bedroom efficiency unit, and I don&rsquo;t think we can accommodate 40 cats there. Is there another way we can accommodate this?&rsquo;&rdquo;</p> <p>Paul Dizmang, chair of the Property Management Forum, advised attendees to call their local or state HUD office if they have questions.</p> <p>Fraudulent service animal requests are becoming an increasing concern, Dizmang said.&nbsp; &ldquo;In five minutes, you can go online and get a doctor&rsquo;s note to certify a service animal.&quot;</p> <p>Disability rights groups around the country are starting to look at cases where tenants obtain online certification for a service animal, which is trained to perform a specific task, when the need is not legitimate, said Megan Booth, senior policy representative at the National Association of REALTORS<span style="font-size: 14.4px;">&reg;</span>. She added that NAR is working with the National Fair Housing Alliance to get more specific HUD and ADA guidance on this issue.</p> <h4>Combating Rent Control</h4> <p>&ldquo;Rents are high in many areas, and citizens are going to their state legislatures and asking for answers,&rdquo; said Beth Wanless, senior manager of government affairs with the Institute of Real Estate Management. &ldquo;Many lawmakers say rent control is a good solution. It&rsquo;s actually a terrible idea.&rdquo;</p> <p>Wanless explained that rent control does not incentivize developers to build new projects because rent caps lower their profits. The effect, she said, is fewer and lower-quality affordable housing units. &ldquo;Legislators think rent control will allow for more affordable housing for vulnerable citizens, but it actually creates a black market,&rdquo; she said. Property managers also have less incentive to maintain rent-controlled properties because they won&rsquo;t make enough money to pay for routine building maintenance and repairs, she added.</p> <p>NAR and IREM oppose rent-control policies.</p> <h4>Marijuana Policies for Residential, Commercial Properties</h4> <p>The majority of the debate around marijuana laws and real estate has focused on residential property. Property managers who oversee apartment complexes should be advised that in the 28 states that have legalized medical marijuana use&mdash;eight of which have also approved recreational use&mdash;they cannot deny a tenant with a medical need the right to use pot on their properties, Booth said. However, they can regulate the smoking of marijuana. Lease agreements should explicitly state the methods of marijuana use&mdash;whether it&rsquo;s through smoking, oils, edibles, or other means&mdash;that are acceptable on the premises.</p> <p>But 17 states also allow the growing of marijuana on private property, which could raise risks for not only residential property managers but also those who manage industrial and retail properties. &ldquo;If you cover utilities as part of your lease agreement, be aware that a single marijuana plant can take a gallon of water a day and 17 hours of light,&rdquo; Booth said. &ldquo;That can get expensive.&rdquo;</p> <p>When it comes to grow houses, which are typically housed in industrial warehouses, and retail pot dispensaries in shopping centers, property managers should be cognizant that even though their state may allow such operations, federal law still classifies marijuana as an illegal substance. That means the properties are vulnerable to federal raids and seizures, Booth said. She also cautioned that pot dispensary owners, who legally must deal only in cash, will have to pay rent in cash&mdash;and that could raise alarms about money laundering from federal officials.</p> <h4>How Far Can You Go With Criminal Background Checks?</h4> <p>Craddock warned attendees that if their leasing policies disallow tenants who have committed a felony, it could have a disparate impact on a certain group of people&mdash;which is a violation of fair housing law. Unfortunately, he noted, HUD guidelines on this issue are vague, and the agency will likely tell property managers to follow guidance set forth by courts in their area. &ldquo;Our members just want to know what they need to do to follow the law,&rdquo; Craddock added.</p> <p>HUD does say that property managers cannot consider arrest records when considering tenant applications, and only convictions related to threats to property or other tenants are relevant when choosing who to rent to, Booth said. &ldquo;You have to look at the nature of the crime, the severity, the age of the [prospective tenant] at the time of the crime, and how much time has passed since conviction,&rdquo; she said. She suggested that property managers consider only the last seven years of a prospective tenant&rsquo;s criminal history.</p> <p>She also advised looking at work history and doing a credit check on prospective tenants before conducting a criminal background check. &ldquo;If there&rsquo;s nothing there, it [may indicate] they&rsquo;ve spent time in prison recently,&rdquo; Booth said. When denying tenants based on their criminal background, she added, property managers should be honest about that and give them an opportunity to explain their situation.</p> <div class="field field-type-text field-field-show-author-info"> <div class="field-label">Show Author Info?:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> Show Author Info? </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-text field-field-teaser"> <div class="field-label">Teaser:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <!--paging_filter--><p>Laws concerning service animals, rent control, marijuana, and criminal background checks are constantly evolving. Here&rsquo;s what you need to know right now.</p> </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-main-image"> <div class="field-label">Main Image:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <div class="filefield-file"><img class="filefield-icon field-icon-image-jpeg" alt="image/jpeg icon" src="http://realtormag.realtor.org/sites/all/modules/filefield/icons/image-x-generic.png" /><a href="http://realtormag.realtor.org/sites/realtormag.realtor.org/files/may17_LP_mgmt.jpg" type="image/jpeg; length=302482">may17_LP_mgmt.jpg</a></div> </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-top3-lp-image"> <div class="field-label">Top 3 Article on Landing Page:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <img class="imagefield imagefield-field_top3_lp_image" width="149" height="70" alt="" src="http://realtormag.realtor.org/sites/realtormag.realtor.org/files/may17_LP_mgmt_0.jpg?1495143193" /> </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-lp-mainstage-image"> <div class="field-label">Landing Page Mainstage Image:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <img class="imagefield imagefield-field_lp_mainstage_image" width="830" height="230" alt="" src="http://realtormag.realtor.org/sites/realtormag.realtor.org/files/may17_LP_LE_mgmt.jpg?1495143217" /> </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-nodereference field-field-related-content"> <div class="field-label">Related Content:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/law-and-ethics/feature/article/2011/04/5-risks-for-property-management-newbies">5 Risks for Property Management Newbies</a> </div> <div class="field-item even"> <a href="/daily-news/2014/05/16/avoid-these-5-property-management-mistakes">Avoid These 5 Property Management Mistakes</a> </div> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/sales-and-marketing/sponsored/appfolio/why-all-property-managers-must-be-mobile">Why All Property Managers Must Be Mobile</a> </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-number-integer field-field-mainstage-image-display2"> <div class="field-label">Mainstage Image Display on Content:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> No, don't disable the "Main" image on this article </div> </div> </div> Feature Thu, 18 May 2017 20:36:25 +0000 gwood 23346 at http://realtormag.realtor.org Commercial Forecast: Solid Growth, Shifts in Property Use http://realtormag.realtor.org/commercial/feature/article/2017/05/commercial-forecast-solid-growth-shifts-in-property-use <div class="field field-type-text field-field-deck"> <div class="field-label">Deck:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> Though modest improvement is expected across commercial real estate sectors, your clients’ needs may change as technology and consumer lifestyles impact their businesses. </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-text field-field-archive-item"> <div class="field-label">Archive:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> off </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-text field-field-features-checkbox"> <div class="field-label">Add to Features Package for the Month:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> off </div> </div> </div> <fieldset class="fieldgroup group-mag-pub-date"><div class="field field-type-date field-field-pub-date"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <span class="date-display-single">Thursday, May 18, 2017</span> </div> </div> </div> </fieldset> <div class="field field-type-nodereference field-field-op-author"> <div class="field-label">Author(s):&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/author/robert-freedman">Robert Freedman</a> </div> </div> </div> <!--paging_filter--><p>Despite slight easing of demand across some sectors, positive fundamentals in the economy point to modest improvement in commercial real estate activity. But sweeping changes in technology and consumer lifestyles likely will change the needs of commercial clients in the years ahead.&nbsp;</p> <p>Completions, net absorption, and vacancy rates across most sectors will remain solid moving into 2017, George Ratiu, NAR&rsquo;s director of quantitative and commercial research, said during the REALTORS&reg; Legislative Meetings &amp; Trade Expo in Washington, D.C. The retail sector, which is grappling with changes in consumer spending patterns and the growth of ecommerce, is facing some headwinds. Ratiu forecasts vacancies to increase from 12 percent in 2016 to 12.6 percent at the end of this year.&nbsp;</p> <p>Department stores and other big retailers are trying to adjust to changing consumer preferences. Small discount grocery retailers such as Aldi and Lidl, which had little or no presence in the United States just a few years ago, are starting to make inroads as young urban households look for low-cost convenient stores. Restaurants and bars are also doing well.&nbsp;</p> <p>Office properties are under some pressure as the economy shifts to a more mobile workforce requiring smaller, more flexible space&mdash;but occupancy continues to hold up. Ratiu forecasts office vacancies to drop from 13 percent last year to 12.9 percent at the end of this year.&nbsp;</p> <p>Industrial buildings, benefitting from rising trade and ecommerce, are seeing strong absorption and rent growth. Ratiu said the sector saw 257 million square feet of net absorption last year and growth of 6.6 percent in price per square foot. Vacancies are expected to improve from 9.4 percent last year to 9.1 percent at the end of this year.&nbsp;</p> <p>During the session, Lawrence Yun, chief economist at the National Association of REALTORS&reg;, also pointed to growth in data centers, which is being fueled by companies such as Uber and Amazon. These companies&rsquo; business models require the storage of large amounts of data.&nbsp;</p> <p>Multifamily rental properties, which have seen strong gains in rental rates since the end of the last housing crisis, are expected to continue seeing low vacancy rates, from 6.3 percent last year to 6.2 percent at the end of this year.&nbsp;</p> <p>Ratiu said the performance of global economies in the year ahead will be critical to the future health of commercial real estate sectors. Capital from global investors dipped 20 percent in the first quarter of this year, but some markets in the U.S.&mdash;including San Francisco, Dallas, and Houston&mdash;continue to see strong inflows.&nbsp;</p> <p>For smaller commercial properties, which comprise the bulk of commercial REALTORS&reg;&rsquo; business, lending standards are tightening as regulators talk about containing any froth in the market.</p> <div class="field field-type-text field-field-show-author-info"> <div class="field-label">Show Author Info?:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> Show Author Info? </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-text field-field-teaser"> <div class="field-label">Teaser:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <!--paging_filter--><p>Though modest improvement is expected across commercial real estate sectors, your clients&rsquo; needs may change as technology and consumer lifestyles impact their businesses.</p> </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-number-integer field-field-mainstage-image-display2"> <div class="field-label">Mainstage Image Display on Content:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> No, don't disable the "Main" image on this article </div> </div> </div> Feature Thu, 18 May 2017 22:41:14 +0000 gwood 23347 at http://realtormag.realtor.org Don’t Be a Cybercrime Statistic http://realtormag.realtor.org/for-brokers/network/article/2017/05/don-t-be-cybercrime-statistic <div class="field field-type-text field-field-deck"> <div class="field-label">Deck:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> Learn how to protect your business and your clients from the onslaught of cyberattacks occurring in the real estate industry. </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-text field-field-archive-item"> <div class="field-label">Archive:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> off </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-text field-field-features-checkbox"> <div class="field-label">Add to Features Package for the Month:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> off </div> </div> </div> <fieldset class="fieldgroup group-mag-pub-date"><div class="field field-type-date field-field-pub-date"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <span class="date-display-single">Thursday, May 18, 2017</span> </div> </div> </div> </fieldset> <div class="field field-type-nodereference field-field-op-author"> <div class="field-label">Author(s):&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/author/erica-christoffer">Erica Christoffer</a> </div> </div> </div> <!--paging_filter--><p>Apart from digging a hole in your back yard, throwing your computer in, dousing it with gasoline, and lighting it on fire, there&#39;s no foolproof way to protect yourself from cybercrime, said National Association of REALTORS&reg; Associate Counsel Jessica Edgerton.&nbsp;&nbsp;</p> <p>Since few if any brokers and agents would work without a computer or smartphone, industry pros need to address the threat head-on, Edgerton said, speaking at the Emerging Business Issues &amp; Technology Forum at the REALTORS&reg; Legislative Meetings in Washington, D.C. She offered warning signs and practical strategies for warding off cybercriminals.&nbsp;</p> <p>&ldquo;Cybercrime is a global problem,&quot; Edgerton said, one that&#39;s becoming more prevalent and more urgent. According to Juniper Research, the annual cost of data breaches through cybercrime is expected to reach $2.1 trillion globally by 2019. And it&rsquo;s not just government agencies or large multinational corporations that are targets. Smaller and midsized real estate companies&mdash;where transactions involve multiple players and large sums of money&mdash;are an ideal target for criminals, Edgerton said. Among small businesses victimized by a successful cybersecurity breach, she said, 60 percent go out of business within six months.</p> <h4>The Problem: Email Attacks&nbsp;</h4> <p>Hackers can gain access to email accounts through simple schemes. It took Edgerton a five-minute Google search to learn how to hack an email herself. Hacking can come in the form of an infected attachment or link that appears to come from a benign sender. &ldquo;Clicking is something that&rsquo;s deadly dangerous,&rdquo; Edgerton says. Her motto: &ldquo;Think before you click.&rdquo;</p> <blockquote> <p><strong>What Victims Should Do</strong></p> <p>If you&rsquo;ve been hacked or victimized by cybercriminals, report the incident or get more information:&nbsp;</p> <ul> <li>FBI&rsquo;s <a href="http://www.fbi.gov/scams-safety/e-scams" target="_blank">Internet Crime Complaint Center</a>&nbsp;</li> <li><a href="http://www.consumer.ftc.gov/articles/0003-phishing" target="_blank">Federal Trade Commission</a>&nbsp;</li> <li>Alert NAR by contacting Jessica Edgerton at <a href="mailto:JEdgerton@realtors.org" target="_blank">JEdgerton@realtors.org</a> or 312-329-8373.</li> </ul> </blockquote> <p>Opening a bad link or attachment can trigger a key logger, which is malware that reads keystrokes to capture your passwords. It can also open ransomware, a wicked malware that will encrypt everything on your system it can reach, including connected drives and networks. Just in the past week, a global attack with ransomware known as WannaCry, hit dozens of entities.&nbsp;&nbsp;</p> <p>&ldquo;It&rsquo;s insidious and powerful,&rdquo; she said. You&rsquo;ll see a pop-up window that notifies you that your files have been encrypted. To remove the encryption, you&#39;ll be asked to pay the ransom in bitcoin, a currency that virtually untraceable. Generally, if you don&rsquo;t pay, you&rsquo;re not getting your computer back.&nbsp;&nbsp;</p> <p>If you&#39;re hit with a ransomware attack, disconnect your computer immediately. Talk to your IT people, report the hack to the FBI, and decide if you want to pay the ransom.&nbsp;&nbsp;</p> <p>Another way hackers gain entry is through brute force attack on your email password. If you use a simple password, hackers have software that can usually crack it in seconds. Hackers may also be stalking your online profiles and social media accounts, looking for names and dates that are meaningful to you that you may also be using in your passwords. &ldquo;They&rsquo;re exploiting you and how you work online,&rdquo; Edgerton said.&nbsp;</p> <p>Once hackers capture your email password, they can search for messages related to real estate transactions, Edgerton said. They can then send a spoof email to a buyer that looks virtually identical an email from your account providing &ldquo;new wiring instructions&quot; that will divert funds to the hacker&#39;s account. If a buyer takes the bait, the funds are usually gone for good.</p> <h4>The Solutions&nbsp;</h4> <ul> <li><strong>Keep your operating systems up to date.</strong> A simple way to protect your devices from hackers and malware is by updating your operating system when you&rsquo;re prompted to. &ldquo;Don&rsquo;t ignore those notifications just because you&rsquo;re busy,&rdquo; Edgerton said.</li> <li><strong>Check your social media privacy settings.</strong> Don&rsquo;t allow identifiable information such as your birth date be viewable by the public.</li> <li><strong>Develop good email hygiene.</strong> Use complex passwords, and change your passwords on a regular basis. Consider using a password manager, such as 1password, and two-step verification.</li> <li><strong>Check your email settings.</strong> Hackers can put a rule in your settings that will forward certain emails to their account.</li> <li><strong>Avoid sending sensitive information via email when possible. </strong>Attaching forms, financials, and confidential files to an email is an efficient way to communicate, and criminals are taking advantage of that, Edgerton said. Encrypted email is a good practice, but that generally means it&rsquo;s encrypted in transit only, a legal requirement in some states. Be aware of your state laws are, Edgerton said. She recommended using a secure document-sharing platforms.</li> <li><strong>Warn </strong><strong>clients.</strong> Educate your clients on the prevalence of wire fraud, and advise them to pick up the phone and verify information before they wire funds. Also, they should be careful about what number they&#39;re calling; scammers will sometimes spoof a signature box, replacing the phone number with their own. To ensure they&#39;re reaching the right person, buyers should contact you (and other real estate service providers) using numbers provided in advance.</li> <li><strong>Don&#39;t hold on to personally identifiable information</strong><strong>. </strong>Know your state&rsquo;s definition of personally identifiable information (PII). Usually that&#39;s first and last name, Social Security number, state ID or driver&rsquo;s license number, and credit card information. Then, take stock of what client PII is kept in your office, on your computer, in your desk drawers, and in your email. Don&rsquo;t keep PII any longer than you need to. Create a document retention policy with specific instructions on how to store and dispose of files.</li> <li><strong>Don&#39;t use</strong><strong> your email as a data repository.</strong> Once criminals are in, they can go back and pull data from years ago. Don&rsquo;t keep anything you don&rsquo;t need. Do regular backups of your critical data and keep it in a separate, secure area. Brokers should consider hiring a third party to conduct an IT audit to figure out their company&#39;s cyber weaknesses.</li> <li><strong>D</strong><strong>on&rsquo;t forget your phone and tablet.</strong> Be aware of what you&rsquo;re downloading and what your kids are downloading. Be leery of text messages with links in them; phones are just as susceptible to ransomware as computers. Call your provider to find out if it includes data encryption. If not, look into it.&nbsp;</li> </ul> <p>State law may require you to have a data protection policy. In addition, you may be required by law to notify clients if a breach of PII does occur. Currently, 22 states require you to notify the state attorney general of a breach. If you fail to take the appropriate steps under state law, Edgerton said, you can be fined and may also lose your license.&nbsp;</p> <hr /> <p><br /> <img alt="" src="/sites/realtormag.realtor.org/files/rmo_files/images/logos/BtoB_logo_footer_080114.jpg" style="float:left; height:117px; width:150px" /><em>Broker-to-Broker is an information network that provides insights and tools with business value through timely articles, videos, Q&amp;As, and sales meeting tips for brokerage owners and managers. Get more <a href="/for-brokers/network" target="_blank">Broker-to-Broker content here</a>.</em></p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <div class="field field-type-text field-field-show-author-info"> <div class="field-label">Show Author Info?:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> Show Author Info? </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-text field-field-teaser"> <div class="field-label">Teaser:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <!--paging_filter--><p>Learn how to protect your business and your clients from the onslaught of cyberattacks occurring in the real estate industry.</p> </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-main-image"> <div class="field-label">Main Image:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <div class="filefield-file"><img class="filefield-icon field-icon-image-jpeg" alt="image/jpeg icon" src="http://realtormag.realtor.org/sites/all/modules/filefield/icons/image-x-generic.png" /><a href="http://realtormag.realtor.org/sites/realtormag.realtor.org/files/may17_NC_cyber.jpg" type="image/jpeg; length=265502">may17_NC_cyber.jpg</a></div> </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-top3-lp-image"> <div class="field-label">Top 3 Article on Landing Page:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <img class="imagefield imagefield-field_top3_lp_image" width="149" height="70" alt="" src="http://realtormag.realtor.org/sites/realtormag.realtor.org/files/may17_NC_cyber_0.jpg?1495196446" /> </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-lp-mainstage-image"> <div class="field-label">Landing Page Mainstage Image:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <img class="imagefield imagefield-field_lp_mainstage_image" width="830" height="230" alt="" src="http://realtormag.realtor.org/sites/realtormag.realtor.org/files/may17_LP_NC_cyber.jpg?1495196470" /> </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-text field-field-main-image-credit"> <div class="field-label">Main Image Credit:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> NAR attorney Jessica Edgerton warns that cybercriminals often target small and midsized companies. </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-nodereference field-field-related-content"> <div class="field-label">Related Content:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/for-brokers/network/article/2015/08/4-cyber-scams-targeting-brokerages">4 Cyber Scams Targeting Brokerages</a> </div> <div class="field-item even"> <a href="/daily-news/2015/11/16/cyber-crime-youre-easy-target">Cyber Crime: You&#039;re an Easy Target</a> </div> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/daily-news/2013/09/09/keep-your-site-safe-from-cyber-attacks">Keep Your Site Safe From Cyber Attacks </a> </div> <div class="field-item even"> <a href="/daily-news/2013/07/18/3-real-estate-scams-your-clients-fall-for">3 Real Estate Scams Your Clients Fall For</a> </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-number-integer field-field-mainstage-image-display2"> <div class="field-label">Mainstage Image Display on Content:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> No, don't disable the "Main" image on this article </div> </div> </div> Network Thu, 18 May 2017 23:45:14 +0000 gwood 23348 at http://realtormag.realtor.org Protect Yourself Against Copyright Claims http://realtormag.realtor.org/law-and-ethics/feature/article/2017/05/protect-yourself-against-copyright-claims <div class="field field-type-text field-field-deck"> <div class="field-label">Deck:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> It’s easier than you might imagine to have a photo on your site that you don’t have rights to. But it’s not hard to lower your risk if you follow a few steps. </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-text field-field-archive-item"> <div class="field-label">Archive:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> off </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-text field-field-features-checkbox"> <div class="field-label">Add to Features Package for the Month:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> off </div> </div> </div> <fieldset class="fieldgroup group-mag-pub-date"><div class="field field-type-date field-field-pub-date"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <span class="date-display-single">Thursday, May 18, 2017</span> </div> </div> </div> </fieldset> <div class="field field-type-nodereference field-field-op-author"> <div class="field-label">Author(s):&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/author/robert-freedman">Robert Freedman</a> </div> </div> </div> <!--paging_filter--><p>Brokers and sales associates are vulnerable to becoming the target of copyright infringement claims, but there are steps you can take to reduce your chances of receiving a demand letter from the copyright holder, an attorney told the NAR Risk Management Issues Committee.</p> <p>First, make sure you own or have a license to use any listing or other photos you use in connection with a listing or that appear on your website. If you contract with a photographer, make sure you have a written agreement that either gives you ownership of the photos or a broad license to use the photos, which includes use beyond just an active listing.</p> <p>That&rsquo;s because the photos might appear on an IDX feed or virtual office website, or be pushed to listing aggregators like realtor.com&reg;. Listing photos are also often times used beyond just the life of an active listing. For example, photos might be used in determining comps or for property appraisals. &ldquo;You need to be able to use the photo for more than just to market and sell the property,&rdquo; said Mitch Skinner, an attorney with Larson Skinner PLLC in Minneapolis.</p> <p>Skinner pointed members to the <a href="https://www.nar.realtor/law-and-ethics/who-owns-your-property-photos" target="_blank">sample photography agreements</a> available on nar.realtor. NAR members can use these agreements as a great starting point, he said, and work with their own counsel to customize the agreements to ensure that they secure appropriate ownership or license in the copyrighted work.</p> <p>He also pointed the audience to Creative Commons, which makes photos available for use under Creative Common licensing, provided the user complies with attribution and other terms of the license. These photos can come in handy when an agent needs a photo of a nearby landmark for one of their listings. You can go to <a href="http://creativecommons.com" target="_blank">Creativecommons.com</a> to find out more. You can also filter your searches on Google and at YouTube to bring up Creative Commons-licensed content.</p> <p>Finally, Skinner informed the audience about The Digital Millennium Copyright Act, passed in 1998, which offers a safe harbor that protects MLSs, listing aggregators, and other web service providers from copyright infringement claims related to content placed on the website by third parties. The safe harbor includes a requirement that a copyright agent be designated and registered with the U.S. Copyright Office. In addition, and among the safe harbor&rsquo;s other requirements, the website service provider must post the copyright agent&rsquo;s contact information, and have a takedown procedure for when it is notified that infringing material is on its site. <a href="https://www.nar.realtor/law-and-ethics/who-owns-your-property-photos" target="_blank">More on nar.realtor.</a></p> <div class="field field-type-text field-field-show-author-info"> <div class="field-label">Show Author Info?:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> Show Author Info? </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-text field-field-teaser"> <div class="field-label">Teaser:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <!--paging_filter--><p>It&rsquo;s easier than you might imagine to have a photo on your site that you don&rsquo;t have rights to. But it&rsquo;s not hard to lower your risk if you follow a few steps.</p> </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-main-image"> <div class="field-label">Main Image:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <div class="filefield-file"><img class="filefield-icon field-icon-image-jpeg" alt="image/jpeg icon" src="http://realtormag.realtor.org/sites/all/modules/filefield/icons/image-x-generic.png" /><a href="http://realtormag.realtor.org/sites/realtormag.realtor.org/files/may17_LE_copyright.jpg" type="image/jpeg; length=250245">may17_LE_copyright.jpg</a></div> </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-top3-lp-image"> <div class="field-label">Top 3 Article on Landing Page:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <img class="imagefield imagefield-field_top3_lp_image" width="149" height="70" alt="" src="http://realtormag.realtor.org/sites/realtormag.realtor.org/files/may17_LE_copyright_0.jpg?1495134809" /> </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-lp-mainstage-image"> <div class="field-label">Landing Page Mainstage Image:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <img class="imagefield imagefield-field_lp_mainstage_image" width="830" height="230" alt="" src="http://realtormag.realtor.org/sites/realtormag.realtor.org/files/may17_LP_LE_copyright.jpg?1495134828" /> </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-nodereference field-field-related-content"> <div class="field-label">Related Content:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/home-and-design/feature/article/2017/05/4-surefire-tips-for-better-listing-photos">4 Surefire Tips for Better Listing Photos</a> </div> <div class="field-item even"> <a href="/technology/feature/article/2013/10/be-careful-what-you-pin">Be Careful What You Pin</a> </div> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/daily-news/2012/08/14/google-vows-fight-copyright-infringers">Google Vows to Fight Copyright Infringers </a> </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-number-integer field-field-mainstage-image-display2"> <div class="field-label">Mainstage Image Display on Content:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> No, don't disable the "Main" image on this article </div> </div> </div> Feature Thu, 18 May 2017 18:54:13 +0000 gwood 23344 at http://realtormag.realtor.org Yun: Home Sales on Pace to Hit 5.6M This Year http://realtormag.realtor.org/news-and-commentary/feature/article/2017/05/yun-home-sales-pace-hit-56m-year <div class="field field-type-text field-field-deck"> <div class="field-label">Deck:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> No signs of recession looming, but noneconomic issues could have big impact on housing. </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-text field-field-archive-item"> <div class="field-label">Archive:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> off </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-text field-field-features-checkbox"> <div class="field-label">Add to Features Package for the Month:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> off </div> </div> </div> <fieldset class="fieldgroup group-mag-pub-date"><div class="field field-type-date field-field-pub-date"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <span class="date-display-single">Thursday, May 18, 2017</span> </div> </div> </div> </fieldset> <div class="field field-type-nodereference field-field-op-author"> <div class="field-label">Author(s):&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/author/robert-freedman">Robert Freedman</a> </div> </div> </div> <!--paging_filter--><p>Policy issues coming out of Washington rather than economic factors could have the most consequential impact on home sales over the next few years, NAR Chief Economist Lawrence Yun told thousands of REALTORS&reg;&nbsp; at the Legislative Meetings &amp; Trade Expo in Washington.</p> <p>Yun predicts existing-home sales will reach 5.6 million units this year, up about 200,000 units from 2016, and new-home sales of 620,00 units, up from 560,000. Steady GDP growth of 2.2 percent, new jobs of 2.1 million, and relatively low inflation of 2.3 percent are behind the gains. &ldquo;There are no signs of recession&rdquo; on the horizon, he said.</p> <p>Home sales would be higher but rapidly rising home prices, fueled by low inventories in markets around the country, are keeping sales constrained, he said. Home prices are expected to rise far ahead of wage gains, exacerbating a mismatch that&rsquo;s plagued the market since the recovery began. He predicted price gains of 5 percent this year, about the same as last year.</p> <p>Wall Street investors who swept into the housing markets after the downturn to snap up foreclosed homes and turn them into rentals are part of the reason so few homes are available for sale, he said.</p> <p>The other reason is the slew of hurdles builders face in getting new homes on the market. These include shortages of land and construction labor and the difficulty builders face in getting construction loans.</p> <p>With economic factors relatively stable, the biggest unknowns facing markets in the near term are likely to be the non-economic factors that could come out of Washington, he said. These include any changes to the tax code that could affect housing.</p> <p>More immediate, though, is deregulation. The Trump administration is reviewing what changes to make to environmental rules and the Dodd-Frank banking reform law that was enacted after the housing crisis.</p> <p>Yun said Dodd-Frank changes that reduce the regulatory burden on small banks could help ease the constraints builders face getting construction loans for projects. &ldquo;That would be a positive from NAR&rsquo;s viewpoint,&rdquo; he said.&nbsp;So would responsible changes to environmental rules that make the permitting process more efficient for builders.</p> <p>More of a problem for NAR would be changes to the secondary mortgage market companies Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac that would take the federal guarantee out of the conventional market. &ldquo;That would be a negative,&rdquo; he said.</p> <p>Also appearing at the session were Mark Calabria, chief economist for Vice President Mike Pence, and Jonathan Spader, an analyst with the Harvard University Joint Center for Housing Studies.</p> <p>Calabria said the Trump administration is planning to release its recommendations for deregulating financial services companies in June.</p> <div class="field field-type-text field-field-show-author-info"> <div class="field-label">Show Author Info?:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> Show Author Info? </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-text field-field-teaser"> <div class="field-label">Teaser:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <!--paging_filter--><p>No signs of recession looming, but noneconomic issues could have a big impact on housing.</p> </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-main-image"> <div class="field-label">Main Image:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <div class="filefield-file"><img class="filefield-icon field-icon-image-jpeg" alt="image/jpeg icon" src="http://realtormag.realtor.org/sites/all/modules/filefield/icons/image-x-generic.png" /><a href="http://realtormag.realtor.org/sites/realtormag.realtor.org/files/may17_NC_yun2.jpg" type="image/jpeg; length=262297">may17_NC_yun2.jpg</a></div> </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-top3-lp-image"> <div class="field-label">Top 3 Article on Landing Page:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <img class="imagefield imagefield-field_top3_lp_image" width="149" height="70" alt="" src="http://realtormag.realtor.org/sites/realtormag.realtor.org/files/may17_NC_yun2_0.jpg?1495139647" /> </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-lp-mainstage-image"> <div class="field-label">Landing Page Mainstage Image:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <img class="imagefield imagefield-field_lp_mainstage_image" width="830" height="230" alt="" src="http://realtormag.realtor.org/sites/realtormag.realtor.org/files/may17_LP_NC_yun2.jpg?1495139709" /> </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-number-integer field-field-mainstage-image-display2"> <div class="field-label">Mainstage Image Display on Content:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> No, don't disable the "Main" image on this article </div> </div> </div> Feature Thu, 18 May 2017 19:50:40 +0000 gwood 23345 at http://realtormag.realtor.org How Immigration Policies Can Make or Break Real Estate http://realtormag.realtor.org/news-and-commentary/feature/article/2017/05/how-immigration-can-make-or-break-real-estate <div class="field field-type-text field-field-deck"> <div class="field-label">Deck:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> Experts watching the international market say anti-globalism attitudes could have serious consequences for foreign investment in the U.S. </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-text field-field-archive-item"> <div class="field-label">Archive:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> off </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-text field-field-features-checkbox"> <div class="field-label">Add to Features Package for the Month:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> off </div> </div> </div> <fieldset class="fieldgroup group-mag-pub-date"><div class="field field-type-date field-field-pub-date"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <span class="date-display-single">Wednesday, May 17, 2017</span> </div> </div> </div> </fieldset> <div class="field field-type-nodereference field-field-op-author"> <div class="field-label">Author(s):&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/author/graham-wood">Graham Wood</a> </div> </div> </div> <!--paging_filter--><p>The shifting ideology from globalism to nationalism in the U.S. and other countries may threaten the health of the international real estate market in the long run, experts said during the Global Alliances Forum at the REALTORS&reg; Legislative Meetings &amp; Trade Expo. But it may be a while before the effects are felt.</p> <p>So far, not even President Donald Trump&rsquo;s travel ban&mdash;a veritable crackdown on immigration into the U.S. from Muslim-majority countries in the Middle East, which was struck down in federal court&mdash;has appeared to tamp down foreign interest in U.S. real estate, said Lawrence Yun, chief economist of the National Association of REALTORS&reg;. However, NAR is watching closely whether Trump&rsquo;s overall immigration policies will have a negative impact on foreign investment in the future.</p> <p>&ldquo;There&rsquo;s a focus on anti-globalism right now in country after country,&rdquo; Yun said. &ldquo;The Brexit vote can be partially explained by that phenomenon. But even though there&rsquo;s this movement, we are still seeing a general rise in foreign purchases of U.S. real estate.&rdquo; He teased NAR&rsquo;s next Profile of International Home Buying Activity report, due out later this summer, by saying there was a &ldquo;large jump&rdquo; in recent immigrants and foreigners purchasing vacation and investment properties in the U.S. last year.</p> <p>Trade is also a hot-button issue with potentially expansive ramifications for the foreign-buyer market. Trump has promised to renegotiate America&rsquo;s trade deals with several major import countries, which could restrict foreign buyers&rsquo; investment power in the U.S. if there are too many restrictions, said Scott Tatlock, executive director for China and Mongolia at the Commerce Department. But Tatlock cited Trump&rsquo;s recent deal to open avenues for meat imports, among other products, from China as promising sign. Keeping that&nbsp; relationship&nbsp; strong would continue to benefit foreign real estate investment in the U.S., he said.</p> <p>Chinese buyers, who are particularly driving the international market, are continuing to find U.S. real estate to be a safe investment, Yun noted. &ldquo;In China, the government can take over a property at any time, so people feel more secure in the U.S.&rdquo; Yun added that NAR&rsquo;s upcoming report will show a greater geographical spread of home purchases by foreigners than in the past.&nbsp; He singled out Tampa, Fla., and college towns in Indiana as hot up-and-coming markets.</p> <p>Still, Trump&rsquo;s stance on immigration is making policy watchers nervous about the future of some programs aimed at boosting foreign investment, said Russell Riggs, senior regulatory representative for NAR. For example, the EB-5 Immigrant Investor Program, which offers a path to citizenship for foreign investors, recently was reauthorized through Sept. 30&mdash;but its future beyond that is unclear, Riggs said. Since 2003, the program has helped add $3.1 billion in foreign cash to the U.S. economy, he noted. &ldquo;We have a lot of work to do to secure this program&rsquo;s future,&rdquo; he said. &ldquo;We don&rsquo;t want to see it go away.&rdquo;</p> <div class="field field-type-text field-field-show-author-info"> <div class="field-label">Show Author Info?:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> Show Author Info? </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-text field-field-teaser"> <div class="field-label">Teaser:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <!--paging_filter--><p>Experts watching the international market say anti-globalism attitudes could have serious consequences for foreign investment in the U.S.</p> </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-main-image"> <div class="field-label">Main Image:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <div class="filefield-file"><img class="filefield-icon field-icon-image-jpeg" alt="image/jpeg icon" src="http://realtormag.realtor.org/sites/all/modules/filefield/icons/image-x-generic.png" /><a href="http://realtormag.realtor.org/sites/realtormag.realtor.org/files/may17_NC_midyear_entrance.jpg" type="image/jpeg; length=316262">may17_NC_midyear_entrance.jpg</a></div> </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-top3-lp-image"> <div class="field-label">Top 3 Article on Landing Page:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <img class="imagefield imagefield-field_top3_lp_image" width="149" height="70" alt="" src="http://realtormag.realtor.org/sites/realtormag.realtor.org/files/may17_NC_midyear_entrance_0.jpg?1495060865" /> </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-lp-mainstage-image"> <div class="field-label">Landing Page Mainstage Image:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <img class="imagefield imagefield-field_lp_mainstage_image" width="830" height="230" alt="" src="http://realtormag.realtor.org/sites/realtormag.realtor.org/files/may17_LP_NC_midyear_entrance.jpg?1495060884" /> </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-nodereference field-field-related-content"> <div class="field-label">Related Content:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/sales-and-marketing/feature/article/2016/04/how-get-and-keep-international-clients">How to Get—and Keep—International Clients</a> </div> <div class="field-item even"> <a href="/for-brokers/network/article/2016/03/working-chinese-buyers">Working With Chinese Buyers</a> </div> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/sales-and-marketing/feature/article/2014/01/start-and-spread-your-global-brand">Start and Spread Your Global Brand</a> </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-number-integer field-field-mainstage-image-display2"> <div class="field-label">Mainstage Image Display on Content:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> No, don't disable the "Main" image on this article </div> </div> </div> Feature Wed, 17 May 2017 22:51:15 +0000 gwood 23337 at http://realtormag.realtor.org Reality Check for the Retail Market http://realtormag.realtor.org/commercial/feature/article/2017/05/reality-check-for-retail-market <div class="field field-type-text field-field-deck"> <div class="field-label">Deck:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> Commercial real estate advocates offer a snapshot of the intersection between commerce and real estate. </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-text field-field-archive-item"> <div class="field-label">Archive:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> off </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-text field-field-features-checkbox"> <div class="field-label">Add to Features Package for the Month:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> off </div> </div> </div> <fieldset class="fieldgroup group-mag-pub-date"><div class="field field-type-date field-field-pub-date"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <span class="date-display-single">Wednesday, May 17, 2017</span> </div> </div> </div> </fieldset> <div class="field field-type-nodereference field-field-op-author"> <div class="field-label">Author(s):&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/author/meg-white">Meg White</a> </div> </div> </div> <!--paging_filter--><p>Commercial real estate experts discussed ideas for making transactions flow more smoothly and disspelled negative narratives about the retail sector and e-commerce during the REALTORS&reg; Legislative Meetings &amp; Trade Expo in Washington, D.C., on Wednesday. At a meeting of the National Association of REALTORS&reg;&rsquo; Commercial Legislation and Regulatory Advisory Board, Sharon Whitaker, vice president of commercial real estate for the American Bankers Association, praised the committee for inviting several organizations to share their priorities. &ldquo;Without each spoke in the wheel, it doesn&rsquo;t move forward,&rdquo; she said.</p> <p>Jennifer Platt, vice president of federal operations with the International Council of Shopping Centers, focused on the positive aspects of retail, particularly strip malls. &ldquo;We&rsquo;re actually seeing opportunities and really low vacancy rates,&rdquo; she told meeting attendees. &ldquo;We&rsquo;re seeing new tenants; we&rsquo;re seeing different types of tenants.&rdquo; She added that many retail spaces are being filled by companies that concentrate on experiential offerings, such as health care and wellness offices, restaurants, and educational offerings.</p> <blockquote> <p>Check out more coverage of this year&#39;s legislative meetings at <a href="http://realtorm.ag/midyear17">realtorm.ag/midyear17</a>.</p> </blockquote> <p>One of the elements undergirding the less-than-positive narrative about brick-and-mortar retail is the rise of e-commerce. Many states do not charge sales tax for&nbsp;online transactions, putting local stores at a disadvantage. Commercial Legislation and Regulatory Advisory Board Chair Michael Schoonover noted that leveling the playing field between online commercial activity and Main Street should be among the issues addressed by REALTORS&reg; on Capitol Hill. &ldquo;Those are jobs issues,&rdquo; said Schoonover, GREEN, SFR, manager with John L. Scott Real Estate in Federal Way, Wash. &ldquo;Congress loves to talk about jobs.&rdquo;</p> <p>Platt agreed that an important talking point to share with Congress is the fact that for every four brick-and-mortar jobs, there is only one job in e-commerce. She encouraged NAR members to talk to their representatives about the <a href="https://www.congress.gov/bill/115th-congress/house-bill/2193" target="_blank">Remote Transactions Parity Act of 2017</a> (H.R. 2193), which would give states the authority to charge sales tax in online transactions. &ldquo;There are some opportunities for that legislation to move forward in the next year,&rdquo; Platt told the committee. She noted that more than half of states are projected to have a budget shortfall this year and that many lawmakers are looking for legislation that offers &ldquo;a solution to a problem rather than a problem they have to deal with.&rdquo; Even if there&rsquo;s no meaningful increase in internet sales over the next 10 years, Platt said empowering states to collect taxes from online transactions could generate $260 billion in local revenue.</p> <p>The event that precipitated the imbalance between online and brick-and-mortar sales is the 1992 <em>Quill Corp. v. North Dakota</em> case, where the U.S. Supreme Court ruled in favor of the office-supply company after North Dakota attempted to impose a use tax on its online sales. Platt said an appeal of that case will likely be heard in August by the North Dakota Supreme Court, setting the plaintiffs up to file a petition to be heard by the U.S. Supreme Court in spring 2018. Platt said newly appointed Justice Neil Gorsuch appears to be ready to side with those who support states&rsquo; rights to tax online sales, along with fellow Justice Anthony Kennedy. &ldquo;We&rsquo;re very bullish on the court case,&rdquo; Platt said.</p> <p>With financial shortfalls, possible Medicare cuts, and the ramifications of future tax reform threatening many states, Platt warned that other revenue-generating opportunities will become more tantalizing: &ldquo;If you don&rsquo;t deal with this, the states are going to do something.&rdquo; Emily Naden, director of federal affairs for the Building Owners and Managers Association, pointed to Florida&rsquo;s recently renewed sales tax on rent as one localized result of this need. &ldquo;That&rsquo;s a direct response,&rdquo; she told the committee.</p> <p>Committee member Jared Booth, CCIM, with Coldwell Banker Commercial Advisors in Salt Lake City, said his local government is coming after the wages of real estate professionals in order to plug a shortfall. &ldquo;They&rsquo;re looking at a tax on services for our commissions because they are losing tax revenue from online sales,&rdquo; he said. &ldquo;We have to get behind this.&rdquo;</p> <div class="field field-type-text field-field-show-author-info"> <div class="field-label">Show Author Info?:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> Show Author Info? </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-text field-field-teaser"> <div class="field-label">Teaser:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <!--paging_filter--><p>Commercial real estate advocates offer a snapshot of the intersection between commerce and real estate.</p> </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-main-image"> <div class="field-label">Main Image:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <div class="filefield-file"><img class="filefield-icon field-icon-image-jpeg" alt="image/jpeg icon" src="http://realtormag.realtor.org/sites/all/modules/filefield/icons/image-x-generic.png" /><a href="http://realtormag.realtor.org/sites/realtormag.realtor.org/files/may17_midyear_CMlegis.JPG" type="image/jpeg; length=152697">may17_midyear_CMlegis.JPG</a></div> </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-top3-lp-image"> <div class="field-label">Top 3 Article on Landing Page:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <img class="imagefield imagefield-field_top3_lp_image" width="149" height="70" alt="" src="http://realtormag.realtor.org/sites/realtormag.realtor.org/files/may17_midyear_CMlegis_0.JPG?1495055824" /> </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-lp-mainstage-image"> <div class="field-label">Landing Page Mainstage Image:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <img class="imagefield imagefield-field_lp_mainstage_image" width="830" height="230" alt="" src="http://realtormag.realtor.org/sites/realtormag.realtor.org/files/may17_midyear_LPlegis.JPG?1495055839" /> </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-text field-field-main-image-credit"> <div class="field-label">Main Image Credit:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> Left to right: Emily Naden, Jennifer Platt, Sharon Whitaker </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-number-integer field-field-mainstage-image-display2"> <div class="field-label">Mainstage Image Display on Content:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> No, don't disable the "Main" image on this article </div> </div> </div> Feature Wed, 17 May 2017 20:54:02 +0000 mwhite 23336 at http://realtormag.realtor.org Staying Profitable When Markets Are Variable http://realtormag.realtor.org/for-brokers/network/article/2017/05/staying-profitable-when-markets-are-variable <div class="field field-type-text field-field-deck"> <div class="field-label">Deck:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> Brokers discuss joint venture models and other ways of staying competitive during a think-tank-style discussion at the REALTORS® Legislative Meetings &amp; Trade Expo. </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-text field-field-archive-item"> <div class="field-label">Archive:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> off </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-text field-field-features-checkbox"> <div class="field-label">Add to Features Package for the Month:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> off </div> </div> </div> <fieldset class="fieldgroup group-mag-pub-date"><div class="field field-type-date field-field-pub-date"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <span class="date-display-single">Wednesday, May 17, 2017</span> </div> </div> </div> </fieldset> <div class="field field-type-nodereference field-field-op-author"> <div class="field-label">Author(s):&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/author/erica-christoffer">Erica Christoffer</a> </div> </div> </div> <!--paging_filter--><p>Profitability is on the minds of brokers across the country. After plummeting to a 50-year low last year, the U.S. homeownership rate ticked up slightly to 63.6 percent in the first quarter of 2017, according to the Census Bureau. And despite many interested buyers, markets across the country are dealing with severely low inventories. This is pushing brokers to form joint ventures with ancillary services and explore new business streams for their agents.</p> <p>During the Idea Exchange Council for Brokers at the REALTORS&reg; Legislative Meetings &amp; Trade Expo in Washington, D.C. Tuesday, brokers from across the country discussed methods they&rsquo;re employing to keep the funds rolling in during this tumultuous time.&nbsp;</p> <p>Carol Bulman, CEO and president of Jack Conway, REALTOR&reg;, the largest local independent real estate firm in Massachusetts, is facing 62 consecutive months of year-over-year inventory declines in their market. There are lines at open houses in the suburbs of Boston, and multiple offers are now standard. &ldquo;We&rsquo;re starting to see buyer fatigue,&rdquo; Bulman says. Yet, in the city of Boston, construction of rentals and high-end condos is booming. She calls the market &ldquo;out of whack,&rdquo; adding, &ldquo;we owe it to ourselves and our agents to be prepared for the future.&rdquo;&nbsp;&nbsp;</p> <p>Her company has taken on a joint venture model to offer mortgage financing. They do about $125 million in mortgage volume each year. She points to three necessities to make the business work: competitive pricing, solid back-office support that understands the residential sales model, and loan officers who work well with the team.&nbsp;&nbsp;</p> <p>Fellow panelist Al Miller, a strategic alliance and business development expert with New Penn Financial and Shelter Mortgage, has been part of forming and overseeing more than 100 mortgage joint ventures in his career. He says the most complicated points center around compliance and costs for technology. However, one of the greatest benefits for adding a mortgage service is being able to control the customer service experience, he says.&nbsp;&nbsp;</p> <p>&ldquo;The mortgage experience is always a fly in the ointment,&rdquo; Miller says. Whether you own your own mortgage company or you&#39;re partnering with another to form a joint venture, you want to ensure that the service provided meets your standards, he adds.&nbsp;</p> <p>Mortgage joint ventures are spelled out in section 8 of <a href="https://www.nar.realtor/topics/real-estate-settlement-procedures-act-respa/respa-faq" target="_blank">RESPA</a>, and at the time of referral, brokers are required to provide a written disclosure explaining the relationship. The firm can&#39;t require that customers use the affiliated business, nor can they tie it to a customer benefit. Jessica Edgerton, National Association of REALTORS&reg;&rsquo;s associate counsel, was also on hand at the Idea Exchange session. She says some states have their own version of RESPA and some are stricter than the national RESPA rules, so any broker entering into a joint venture must check with their state standards.</p> <p>In addition to ancillary services and joint ventures, brokers also discussed ways to enhance agent value. Robert J. Bailey, co-broker and co-owner of Bailey Properties Inc. in Aptos, Calif., has developed a new CRM platform and a comprehensive in-house business coaching program, teaching new agents how to structure their business and sustain their income. They cover teams, HR issues, risk management, co-branding, and more.&nbsp;&nbsp;</p> <hr /> <p><br /> <img alt="" src="/sites/realtormag.realtor.org/files/rmo_files/images/logos/BtoB_logo_footer_080114.jpg" style="float:left; height:117px; width:150px" /><em>Broker-to-Broker is an information network that provides insights and tools with business value through timely articles, videos, Q&amp;As, and sales meeting tips for brokerage owners and managers. Get more <a href="/for-brokers/network" target="_blank">Broker-to-Broker content here</a>.</em></p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <div class="field field-type-text field-field-show-author-info"> <div class="field-label">Show Author Info?:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> Show Author Info? </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-text field-field-teaser"> <div class="field-label">Teaser:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <!--paging_filter--><p><span class="TextRun SCX204879714" lang="EN-US" style="font-size: 12pt; font-family: Calibri,sans-serif; line-height: 20px;"><span class="NormalTextRun SCX204879714" style="background-color: inherit;">Brokers discuss joint venture models and </span></span><span class="TextRun SCX204879714" lang="EN-US" style="font-size: 12pt; font-family: Calibri,sans-serif; line-height: 20px;"><span class="NormalTextRun SCX204879714" style="background-color: inherit;">other ways of staying competitive during a think</span></span><span class="TextRun SCX204879714" lang="EN-US" style="font-size: 12pt; font-family: Calibri,sans-serif; line-height: 20px;"><span class="NormalTextRun SCX204879714" style="background-color: inherit;">-</span></span><span class="TextRun SCX204879714" lang="EN-US" style="font-size: 12pt; font-family: Calibri,sans-serif; line-height: 20px;"><span class="NormalTextRun SCX204879714" style="background-color: inherit;">tank-style discussion at the </span></span><span class="TextRun SCX204879714" lang="EN-US" style="font-size: 12pt; font-family: Calibri,sans-serif; line-height: 20px;"><span class="NormalTextRun SCX204879714" style="background-color: inherit;">REALTORS&reg; Legislative Meetings &amp; Trade Expo</span></span><span class="TextRun SCX204879714" lang="EN-US" style="font-size: 12pt; font-family: Calibri,sans-serif; line-height: 20px;"><span class="NormalTextRun SCX204879714" style="background-color: inherit;">.</span></span></p> </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-main-image"> <div class="field-label">Main Image:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <div class="filefield-file"><img class="filefield-icon field-icon-image-jpeg" alt="image/jpeg icon" src="http://realtormag.realtor.org/sites/all/modules/filefield/icons/image-x-generic.png" /><a href="http://realtormag.realtor.org/sites/realtormag.realtor.org/files/may17_BB_markets.jpg" type="image/jpeg; length=206459">may17_BB_markets.jpg</a></div> </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-top3-lp-image"> <div class="field-label">Top 3 Article on Landing Page:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <img class="imagefield imagefield-field_top3_lp_image" width="149" height="70" alt="" src="http://realtormag.realtor.org/sites/realtormag.realtor.org/files/may17_BB_markets_0.jpg?1495745934" /> </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-lp-mainstage-image"> <div class="field-label">Landing Page Mainstage Image:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <img class="imagefield imagefield-field_lp_mainstage_image" width="830" height="230" alt="" src="http://realtormag.realtor.org/sites/realtormag.realtor.org/files/may17_LP_BB_markets.jpg?1495745961" /> </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-nodereference field-field-related-content"> <div class="field-label">Related Content:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/for-brokers/network/article/2017/05/managing-faster-expected-growth">Managing Faster-Than-Expected Growth</a> </div> <div class="field-item even"> <a href="/for-brokers/network/article/2017/03/new-tech-tools-helping-brokers-solve-problems">New Tech Tools Helping Brokers Solve Problems</a> </div> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/for-brokers/network/article/2017/03/improve-your-agents-value-proposition">Improve Your Agents’ Value Proposition</a> </div> <div class="field-item even"> <a href="/for-brokers/network/article/2017/02/keep-calm-and-manage-crisis">Keep Calm and Manage a Crisis</a> </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-number-integer field-field-mainstage-image-display2"> <div class="field-label">Mainstage Image Display on Content:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> No, don't disable the "Main" image on this article </div> </div> </div> Network Wed, 17 May 2017 13:47:05 +0000 echristoffer 23334 at http://realtormag.realtor.org