Articles http://realtormag.realtor.org/articles en A National Open-Door Policy http://realtormag.realtor.org/well-being/safety/article/2014/11/national-open-door-policy <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 solution to one of the main dangers of the real estate profession is right in front of our faces. But it’s going to take all of us collaborating for safety to succeed. </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, November 20, 2014</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-debord">Sam DeBord</a> </div> </div> </div> <!--paging_filter--><p>The murder of REALTOR&reg; Beverly Carter saddened us all. However, most were not shocked. While these occurrences are rare in absolute terms, the frequency with which agents are targeted by criminals is high enough that we all remember a handful of similar stories.</p> <p>Our usual response is some hand-wringing, reminders about safety policies, the adoption of new apps, and the inclusion of a &ldquo;Top 10 Tips To Stay Safe&rdquo; list in our newsletters. It has never been enough, and it won&rsquo;t be this time, either. Our primary goal shouldn&rsquo;t be to notify others after we&rsquo;re in trouble. It should be to significantly change the way we work in order to prevent those situations in the first place.</p> <p>The ability to meet a potential client at a real estate office is by far the most effective way to deter stalkers and criminals. It avoids the situation that defines nearly every crime we hear about against agents: being victimized by an unknown person at an unsupervised location.</p> <p>The core issue is time. Real estate is a frantic industry, and we&rsquo;re always scrambling to save a few minutes. We may follow standard safety procedures most of the week, but when a home on the east side of town just needs one quick showing on a busy Friday, and our office is 10 miles west, we don&rsquo;t want to burden anyone with the drive. We make the &ldquo;just this once&rdquo; excuse in our heads, and we show the property to strangers.</p> <p>We all know that real estate is essentially about location, and so is our problem. Some of us work for companies with a dozen offices scattered around our region, but most of us don&rsquo;t. If every agent only had an office nearby, the extra 10 minutes for a safety meet-up wouldn&rsquo;t be such a hassle.</p> <p>Here&rsquo;s the thing: Every REALTOR&reg; does have that office, if we only think of ourselves as a community banding together for safety. Every real estate office across the country should promote an open-door policy that would allow real estate agents with other companies to use their public space for quick safety check-ins with new clients.</p> <p>We talk a lot about the unique spirit of cooperation in our business, but extending it to our competitors and associates in the brick-and-mortar world would really put our money where our mouths are.</p> <p>I&rsquo;m not suggesting brokers provide coffee, Wi-Fi, or a formal space for writing up contracts. This idea would simply allow any REALTOR&reg; to ask potential clients to meet up and shake hands in a professional, public environment.</p> <p>Some companies may already have an implied open-door policy, but the effect would be exponentially greater as a national standard of practice. It would be an accepted requirement for being a part of the professional ranks.</p> <p>There will be plenty of broker objections, but most are shortsighted:</p> <p>&ldquo;An agent from across town may end up in my office every morning.&rdquo;</p> <p>&ldquo;Virtual agents who don&rsquo;t pay for their own desk will be trying to use mine.&rdquo;</p> <p>&ldquo;That agent who stole our listing will be standing in my lobby, trying to sell it to her buyer.&rdquo;</p> <p>If we were always laser-focused on safety, these objections would melt away as petty, and we could secure our industry against predators based on goodwill alone. Luckily, there are also business advantages to such a national policy.</p> <p>Brokers are constantly looking for ways to get in front of successful agents for recruiting purposes. The agent who ends up in your office regularly with clients is clearly someone who works your region well. She&rsquo;ll make friends with your employees at the front desk. You can get to know her face-to-face and explain why she should be working in an office that so obviously fits her needs. These agents who are constantly out in the field are on the upward success trend. Most of us work for more than one company over the course of our careers, and it&rsquo;s usually personal contact that creates those conversions.</p> <p>Now think of it from the individual agent&rsquo;s perspective: They wouldn&rsquo;t bring clients in to your office and expose them to your branding if they didn&rsquo;t really need to. They&nbsp;clearly value your office, and it&rsquo;s up to you to close the deal. Even their clients will be sitting in your nice lobby, wondering if this might be the local company they should be working with in the future.</p> <p>While this solution wouldn&rsquo;t cover all showing situations, we&rsquo;d have countless REALTORS&reg; whose safety would benefit greatly from this policy. Brokers who pride themselves on positive branding, foundation building, and a forward-thinking recruiting strategy will understand the potential benefits.</p> <p>As I mentioned above, we shouldn&rsquo;t need all of these ancillary broker benefits for the open-door policy to make sense. We should adopt it immediately simply because a fair number of our own have been beaten, abused, robbed, and murdered for simply doing their jobs. Still, the recruiting benefits for brokers who employ a brick-and-mortar model are clear. Your new recruits will be walking through your door, and your long-time agents will have greater security when they happen to travel outside their usual neighborhoods.</p> <p>An open-door policy costs nothing, improves safety, and increases collaboration within our industry. What are we waiting for?</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 solution to one of the main dangers to real estate professionals is right in front of our faces. But it&rsquo;s going to take all of us collaborating for safety to succeed.</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/nov14_W_safety_opendoor.jpg" type="image/jpeg; length=43635">nov14_W_safety_opendoor.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/nov14_W_safety_opendoor_0.jpg?1416858430" /> </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/nov14_LP_W_safety_opendoor.jpg?1416858443" /> </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/2014/10/make-safety-brokerage-priority">Make Safety a Brokerage Priority</a> </div> <div class="field-item even"> <a href="/news-and-commentary/commentary/article/2014/11/dont-leave-door-open-danger">Don&#039;t Leave the Door Open to Danger</a> </div> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/daily-news/2014/10/24/how-i-stopped-being-victim">How I Stopped Being a Victim</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> Safety Thu, 20 Nov 2014 16:30:47 +0000 mwhite 17746 at http://realtormag.realtor.org Everything About a Home—in the Cloud http://realtormag.realtor.org/technology/cool-tools/article/2014/11/everything-about-home-in-cloud <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 tool billed by its creator as the &quot;Carfax for homes&quot; can put prospects at ease about the purchase process. It could also be a smart way to stay in contact with past clients. </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-text field-field-archive-item"> <div class="field-label">Archive:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> off </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-text field-field-features-checkbox"> <div class="field-label">Add to Features Package for the Month:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> off </div> </div> </div> <fieldset class="fieldgroup group-mag-pub-date"><div class="field field-type-date field-field-pub-date"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <span class="date-display-single">Monday, November 24, 2014</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>When Jack Huntress was hunting for his first home in 2008, he had seen about a dozen listings when one selling tool stopped him in his tracks. It was something he hadn&rsquo;t seen at the other open houses he&rsquo;d already attended, and it helped sway his decision to choose that home.</p> <p>What wowed him was an 8-inch-tall collection of paperwork. No, it wasn&rsquo;t a pile of blank closing documents. The sellers had put together a binder full of information about everything they&rsquo;d done to the house, from paint colors used in each room to a list of their favorite local contractors to warranty information about the home&rsquo;s appliances.</p> <p>&ldquo;It wasn&rsquo;t the sole reason we bought the house, but it definitely factored in and made me very comfortable with the buying process,&rdquo; Huntress said. After that experience, he wondered if it would be possible to replicate his experience on a grander scale. And that&rsquo;s how <a href="http://www.homebinder.com" target="_blank">HomeBinder</a> was born. Huntress created a cloud-based platform to store online the kind of property information he found so helpful in that binder.</p> <p>The truly innovative part of HomeBinder comes when it&rsquo;s time to sell. Instead of sliding a physical binder across the kitchen table, sellers can easily hand over this wealth of information to the next owner with one click. The new buyers are then able to record their own fixes and maintenance, and thus continue writing the history of the property &mdash; and its upgrades.</p> <p>From his experience, Huntress knows buyers are excited that &ldquo;they&rsquo;re getting the operational manual for the home.&rdquo; But he also notes that it&rsquo;s comforting to sellers who might be having trouble parting with the house: &ldquo;It&rsquo;s been their baby, and they want the next person to care for it too.&rdquo;</p> <p>Huntress says that the simple online wizard that home owners use to create the initial HomeBinder takes only around 15 to 20 minutes to fill out. The service includes periodic e-mail reminders about the specific seasonal maintenance needs for the home, as well as alerts about when home owners might want to factor replacement costs on high-ticket items into their budgets. Huntress also noted they&rsquo;re seeing a lot of consumers coming to HomeBinder searching for a way to inventory their belongings for insurance reasons. The basic service is free, but for $49 per year, users can upload images of their home improvement projects, generate tax reports, and create materials that will help market the home when it is for sale. The premium version also includes a recall alert list, wherein HomeBinder pings the federal database cataloging unsafe, hazardous, or defective products, and informs HomeBinder users if their appliances have been recalled.</p> <p>While home buyers and sellers are finding many reasons to fill their HomeBinders with helpful information, Huntress says real estate professionals benefit from the service as well. The maintenance reminders sent out by HomeBinder can easily be branded with a brokerage or salesperson&rsquo;s information.</p> <p>&ldquo;[Real estate professionals generally] maintain a relationship for a period of time after the transaction, but it tends to ebb,&rdquo; Huntress says. For users, &ldquo;this continues to be a gentle reminder that their agent cares.&rdquo;</p> <p>Huntress says that their main mission is to empower home owners. They want to decrease the perceived burdens of home ownership, and in the process, promote home buying as a safe investment.</p> <p>&ldquo;Home ownership is something that is very difficult to do. People have fewer skills and homes are becoming more complicated,&rdquo; Huntress says. But having a detailed history and a full list of professional helpers only a click away &ldquo;makes homeownership a little easier.&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 tool billed by its creator as the &quot;Carfax for homes&quot; can put prospects at ease about the purchase process. It could also be a smart way to stay in contact with past clients.</p> </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-main-image"> <div class="field-label">Main Image:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <div class="filefield-file"><img class="filefield-icon field-icon-image-jpeg" alt="image/jpeg icon" src="http://realtormag.realtor.org/sites/all/modules/filefield/icons/image-x-generic.png" /><a href="http://realtormag.realtor.org/sites/realtormag.realtor.org/files/NOV14_T_cloud.jpg" type="image/jpeg; length=24585">NOV14_T_cloud.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/NOV14_T_cloud_0.jpg?1416949655" /> </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/nov14_LP_T_cloud.jpg?1416949684" /> </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/2014/09/generate-listings-home-valuation-tools">Generate Listings With Home Valuation Tools</a> </div> <div class="field-item even"> <a href="/technology/cool-tools/article/2014/09/set-it-and-they-won-t-forget-it">Set It and They Won’t Forget It</a> </div> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/product-guide/marketing/article/2014/03/product-lineup-relationship-management-tools">Product Lineup: Relationship Management Tools</a> </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-number-integer field-field-mainstage-image-display2"> <div class="field-label">Mainstage Image Display on Content:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> No, don't disable the "Main" image on this article </div> </div> </div> Cool Tools Thu, 20 Nov 2014 22:48:04 +0000 mwhite 17748 at http://realtormag.realtor.org Airports: The Downtowns of Tomorrow http://realtormag.realtor.org/commercial/feature/article/2014/11/airports-downtowns-tomorrow <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"> These growing hubs of economic activity aren’t just for tourists and transit anymore. </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, November 18, 2014</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>Once viewed primarily as gateways to cities, airports have emerged as economic engines in their own right&mdash;and are fueling rapid commercial and residential development in many parts of the world.</p> <p>That assertion comes from Prof. John D. Kasarda of the University of North Carolina, who during a Nov. 9 session at the REALTORS&reg; Conference &amp; Expo in New Orleans pointed to a host of data about the impact airports are having on global commerce as evidence that &ldquo;location, location, location&rdquo; has given way to a new axiom: &ldquo;accessibility, accessibility, accessibility.&rdquo;</p> <p>&ldquo;If you think of an airport as transportation infrastructure, you&rsquo;re so twentieth century,&rdquo; Kasarda said. &ldquo;The three As have replaced the three Ls in real estate.&rdquo;</p> <p>As Amazon.com and other companies increasingly rely on &ldquo;just-in-time&rdquo; models to move high-value goods and time-pressed executives place a high level of importance on the ability to efficiently travel between business centers, airports are serving as the cores of fast-developing commercial and residential zones that are giving traditional metropolitan centers a run for their money, said Kasarda, director of the Center for Air Commerce at UNC&rsquo;s Kenan-Flagler Business School in Chapel Hill, N.C.</p> <p>Airports are attracting companies that want quick access to air transportation, which in turn is pushing up demand for office space in those areas, Kasarda said. Demand for residential areas located near big airports, such as Dallas-Fort Worth and Washington Dulles international airports, is also strong, spurred by employees of companies with nearby operations who want to live close to work.</p> <p>Kasarda uses the term &ldquo;aerotropolis&rdquo; to explain the phenomenon of population and business centers anchored by airports. &ldquo;New urban forms are evolving as a result of these airports being business magnets and, in some cases, economic catalysts,&rdquo; he said.</p> <p>Kasarda also noted that the sheer number of people who use airports has transformed them from transit places to vibrant retail and entertainment centers. Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport, for example, serves more people in a typical year than Disney World, Graceland, and the Grand Canyon combined, he said.</p> <p>This means airport shops often generate more sales per square foot than comparable establishments located elsewhere. Some airports record more revenue from retail activity than from aviation-related operations, according to Kasarda. &ldquo;They&rsquo;re becoming urban realms in their own right,&rdquo; he said. &ldquo;The city airport is becoming an airport city.&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>These growing hubs of economic activity aren&rsquo;t just for tourists and transit anymore.</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/nov14_C_airports.jpg" type="image/jpeg; length=41407">nov14_C_airports.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/nov14_C_airports_0.jpg?1416332916" /> </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/nov14_LP_C_airports.jpg?1416332951" /> </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-nodereference field-field-related-content"> <div class="field-label">Related Content:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/commercial/feature/article/2014/11/vrbo-airbnb-and-you">VRBO, Airbnb, and You </a> </div> <div class="field-item even"> <a href="/daily-news/2014/06/30/faa-proposal-restricts-building-height-near-airports">FAA Proposal Restricts Building Height Near Airports</a> </div> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/commercial/feature/article/2009/12/foreign-investors-return">Foreign Investors Return</a> </div> <div class="field-item even"> <a href="/commercial/feature/article/2011/03/be-magnet-for-tenants">Be a Magnet for Tenants</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, 18 Nov 2014 16:35:26 +0000 mwhite 17708 at http://realtormag.realtor.org A Good Reason to Laugh http://realtormag.realtor.org/sales-and-marketing/relationship-management/article/2014/11/good-reason-laugh <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"> Lighten up! Research suggests that leveraging your funny bone in real estate can improve your customer relationships and even your sales success. </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, November 14, 2014</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>Neighboring graveyards aren&rsquo;t always viewed as a selling point by most buyers. But Mary Shelsby, a real estate professional with RE/MAX Realty Group in Pittsford, N.Y., promoted it on a rider to her For Sale sign. The sign read: &ldquo;Quiet neighbors across the street!&rdquo;</p> <p>She also had a second sign made that said, &ldquo;Great bones,&rdquo; but she never had a chance to use it. The home sold too fast.</p> <p>&ldquo;The buyers bought the house specifically because of the cemetery &mdash; it&rsquo;s their favorite place to walk their dog,&rdquo; Shelsby says.</p> <p>The use of humor can get you far in business. Indeed, research has shown that one of the best ways to improve your customer relationships is to get &rsquo;em to laugh.</p> <p>Customers are more likely to want to work with a real estate professional with a good sense of humor, according to a 2008 study by Baylor University&rsquo;s Keller Center, &ldquo;<a href="http://www.baylor.edu/business/kellercenter/news.php?action=story&amp;story=127282" target="_blank">What Do Consumers Expect From Agents?</a>&rdquo; The study also found that a good sense of humor can be a boon for your reputation.<strong> </strong></p> <p>Showing off a sense of humor is helpful when done well, according to author Karyn Buxman.</p> <p>&ldquo;Humor can be really helpful in real estate in making sales and developing relationships,&rdquo; says Buxman, who speaks to businesspeople in many industries, including real estate, about the benefits of humor in the workplace. &ldquo;But you can&rsquo;t just let humor happen by chance. Be strategic. Start thinking of humor as a resource in your toolbox, not one that accidentally falls out every once in awhile.&rdquo;</p> <p>Buxman says humor has been shown to deflate stress, ease tension, create more memorable marketing messages, and improve rapport. It can also help diffuse a difficult client by getting them off balance for a moment while you regroup to address their needs or concerns, Buxman says.</p> <h4> But Is Real Estate Actually Funny?</h4> <p>Relationships can get tense in the homebuying and homeselling processes. Clients are often stressed and frustrated. But is laughter really the best medicine?</p> <p>Real estate broker Herman Chan with Sotheby&rsquo;s International Realty&rsquo;s <a href="http://www.luxsfhomes.com" target="_blank">LuxSFHomes.com</a> in the San Francisco Bay Area promotes his business as &ldquo;real estate with a punch line.&rdquo; He created a video blog about real estate and home design called &ldquo;<a href="http://www.habitatforhermanity.com" target="_blank">Habitat for Hermanity</a>,&rdquo; which pokes fun at the real estate business while also empowering buyers and sellers with real estate tips. The humor-laced messages helped Chan become a real estate personality who writes columns for media outlets like the San Francisco Chronicle and has been featured on HGTV&rsquo;s &ldquo;House Hunters&rdquo; and &ldquo;My House Is Worth What?&rdquo;</p> <p><object align="right"><iframe allowfullscreen="" frameborder="0" height="225" src="//www.youtube-nocookie.com/embed/YK6BS_0Dokw?rel=0" width="400"></iframe></object></p> <p>&ldquo;Fortunately or not, consumers are nowadays socialized to receive information with humor,&rdquo; Chan says. &ldquo;People tune into Jon Stewart&nbsp;or Stephen Colbert for that very reason on TV and online. When was the last time a &lsquo;60 Minutes&rsquo; piece went viral?&rdquo; &nbsp;</p> <p>Chan says having a sense of humor is especially important for blogging and social media strategy. He has more than 35,000 Facebook and Twitter followers.</p> <p>&ldquo;[My sense of humor] gives people a reason to follow me online, and eventually reach out to me,&rdquo; Chan says. &ldquo;It is your chance to stand out from a sea of boring agents who just rattle off stats&mdash;snooze! I built my business from the two E&#39;s: educate and entertain. It&#39;s real estate infotainment.&rdquo;</p> <p><object align="left"><iframe allowfullscreen="" frameborder="0" height="225" src="//www.youtube.com/embed/D5UQyTVqZhw?rel=0" width="400"></iframe></object></p> <p>Humor takes many forms in real estate. Some real estate pros take a &ldquo;Goofus and Gallant&rdquo; approach to differentiate themselves in a packed field. For example, a video ad from the <a href="http://www.TheHarrisRealEstateGroup.com" target="_blank">Harris Group</a> in Vancouver, B.C., featured a fictitious agent named Gary Schlitz, ostensibly the worst real estate agent ever. In the video, Schlitz shares one of his best ways to promote his real estate business: &ldquo;Ever hear about whisper marketing? I go around to high-market areas and whisper my name, Gary Schlitz, to passersby on the street. That generates a lot of hits every once in a while. And once I get a phone that will work out a lot [better].&rdquo;</p> <p>The take-home message at the end of the video: Don&rsquo;t get stuck with that guy. The Harris Group will connect you to a real professional.</p> <p>Other real estate professionals have experimented with adding humor into their marketing of individual listings. For example, in 2008, Bill McSpadden with Bill McSpadden Real Estate in Knoxville, Tenn., posted a rider on a For Sale sign for a new-home that said &ldquo;Reduced, But Not Stupid or Desperate.&rdquo; It was at the beginning of the housing downturn and he says the area was getting a lot of lowball offers.</p> <table align="right" border="0" cellpadding="3" cellspacing="3" style="width: 352px;"> <tbody> <tr> <td> <img alt="" src="/sites/realtormag.realtor.org/files/rmo_files/images/good_neighbor/2014/nov14_humor_McSpadden.png" style="width: 350px; height: 261px; float: right;" /></td> </tr> <tr> <td> Photo credit: Bill McSpadden, Bill McSpadden Real Estate, Knoxville, Tenn. (2008)</td> </tr> </tbody> </table> <p>Shelsby&mdash;the agent who promoted her listing&rsquo;s &ldquo;quiet neighbors&rdquo; in the next-door cemetery&mdash;says humor is an important trait to have in interactions with customers, too.</p> <p>&ldquo;Everyone knows how stressful buying or selling a property can be. So I will crack a joke, be a little silly, or do whatever it takes to get a smile and a deep breath out of my clients,&rdquo; Shelsby says. &ldquo;People make better decisions when they are relaxed, and what is more relaxing than a good giggle?&rdquo;</p> <h4> Can <em>I </em>Be Funny?</h4> <p>You might think you don&rsquo;t have anything funny to say, or that by cracking a joke, you&rsquo;ll run the risk of looking unprofessional. Or maybe you just don&rsquo;t see the humor in your local market. But you don&rsquo;t have to be David Letterman to be successful at adding humor in professional interactions, Buxman says.</p> <p>&ldquo;The strategic use of humor means more than cracking a few jokes,&rdquo; Buxman says. &ldquo;It&rsquo;s a systematic way to approach every single aspect of your career. Learning how to identify the lighter side, and using humor to bolster your emotional reserves, will make you happier too.&rdquo;</p> <p>Buxman says the first step is to change the way you filter your experiences, and start seeing the humor you might be missing all around you. &ldquo;Part of discovering humor is playing with your mind-set,&rdquo; she says.</p> <p>One of the most overlooked places for humor is pain or stress. Next time you&rsquo;re having a tough day, ask yourself, &ldquo;How could this be worse?&rdquo; In order to answer the question, you may find you need to exaggerate the situation to the point of absurdity. That can both bring you humor and help put things in proper perspective, Buxman says.</p> <p>&ldquo;Laughter doesn&rsquo;t solve our problems, but it does make it easier for us to handle those problems,&rdquo; Buxman says.</p> <p>Even if you don&rsquo;t consider yourself funny, Buxman notes that &ldquo;some of the most successful in the comedy industry are not humor initiators but appreciators.&rdquo; She suggests responding positively to others&rsquo; humor, and surrounding yourself with humor, whether it&rsquo;s funny cartoons on your bulletin board, humorous e-cards on your social networking, or amusing YouTube videos bookmarked on your browser.</p> <blockquote> <p><strong>Online Humor Resources</strong></p> <ul> <li> Black Burgh Homes&rsquo; <a href="http://www.pinterest.com/blacksburghomes/real-estate-funnies/" target="_blank">Real Estate Funnies</a> Pinterest board.</li> <li> <a href="http://www.laughfactory.com/jokes/joke-of-the-day" target="_blank">Joke of the Day</a></li> <li> <a href="http://www.someecards.com/ecards/workplace/" target="_blank">Workplace e-cards</a></li> <li> REALTOR&reg; Magazine&rsquo;s <a href="/first-person/in-trenches">In the Trenches</a> column</li> <li> Buxman&rsquo;s <a href="http://karynbuxman.com" target="_blank">humor tips newsletter</a></li> </ul> </blockquote> <h4> Overcoming Fear of Humor</h4> <p>Whether you&rsquo;re a comedic genius or a joke-cracking novice, the worry that no one will laugh at your punch line is universal. Thankfully, there are a few ways to lower the pressure.</p> <p>First, keep your jokes short. Buxman says one-line jokes get a chuckle more easily and people are more quickly satisfied. If you tell a five-minute story, there&rsquo;s more expectation for an epically funny pay-off.</p> <p>Always avoid race-, religion-, or gender-based jokes and any humor that makes light of serious violence. Also, you should always carefully consider your relationship with the recipient of your humor to decide whether it&rsquo;s appropriate. If someone you&rsquo;ve been working with for years ends up not finding your attempt at humor funny, they&rsquo;ll probably get over it. But, &ldquo;if you&rsquo;re meeting a customer for the first time, use humor inappropriately and you&rsquo;ll likely damage or ruin that relationship,&rdquo; Buxman says. &ldquo;The stronger the relationship, the riskier the humor can be.&rdquo;</p> <p>Self-effacing humor &mdash; poking fun at yourself &mdash; can be a good place to start. &nbsp;</p> <p>&ldquo;When you poke fun at yourself, you show yourself as more human, and the listener often feels safer to share and develop a rapport that strengthens your relationship,&rdquo; Buxman says. &ldquo;The humor diminishes any perceived hierarchy, and the client feels more open to participate in the fun.&rdquo;</p> <p>Just don&rsquo;t overdo it since you&rsquo;re poking fun at one of your weaknesses, and you want to avoid any jokes tied to your credibility.</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>Lighten up! Research suggests that leveraging your funny bone in real estate can improve your customer relationships and even your sales success.</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/nov14_SM_laugh_1.jpg" type="image/jpeg; length=74362">nov14_SM_laugh_1.jpg</a></div> </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-top3-lp-image"> <div class="field-label">Top 3 Article on Landing Page:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <img class="imagefield imagefield-field_top3_lp_image" width="149" height="70" alt="" src="http://realtormag.realtor.org/sites/realtormag.realtor.org/files/nov14_SM_laugh_2.jpg?1415998723" /> </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/nov14_LP_SM_laugh.jpg?1415998467" /> </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"> Photo credit: Mary Shelsby, RE/MAX Realty Group, Pittsford, N.Y. (2014) </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/2014/07/repeat-business-why-your-clients-really-">Repeat Business: Why Your Clients Really Stick By You</a> </div> <div class="field-item even"> <a href="/sales-and-marketing/relationship-management/article/2014/05/overconnectivity-when-too-much-tech-hurt">Overconnectivity: When Too Much Tech Hurts Your Relationships</a> </div> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/news-and-commentary/briefs/article/1996/07/lighten-up-humor-bulletin-board">Lighten Up: The Humor Bulletin Board</a> </div> <div class="field-item even"> <a href="/sales-and-marketing/relationship-management/article/2013/08/8-traits-can-improve-your-customer-relat">8 Traits That Can Improve Your Customer Relationships</a> </div> </div> </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 Fri, 14 Nov 2014 17:27:33 +0000 mwhite 17696 at http://realtormag.realtor.org Four Reasons Agents Don't Succeed http://realtormag.realtor.org/for-brokers/solutions/article/2014/11/four-reasons-agents-dont-succeed <div class="field field-type-text field-field-deck"> <div class="field-label">Deck:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> If you understand these basic barriers that may be holding your associates back, you can help them succeed by breaking down what’s hindering them. </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, November 14, 2014</span> </div> </div> </div> </fieldset> <div class="field field-type-nodereference field-field-op-author"> <div class="field-label">Author(s):&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/author/jason-forrest">Jason Forrest</a> </div> </div> </div> <!--paging_filter--><p>Until Roger Bannister broke the barrier in 1954, the four-minute mile was considered physically impossible for the human body. After Bannister proved it was possible, a string of runners quickly followed suit, showing the assumption was wrong all along.</p> <p>Think of the most influential people in your life: the coaches, teachers, and mentors who have challenged you to achieve more than you thought possible. If you&rsquo;re like most, you have one or two of these very special people who make you a little misty-eyed when you recall their efforts. You revere their place in your life because they saw in you what you couldn&rsquo;t see in yourself.</p> <p>Get this: That can be you. As a broker, your role is to lead your team members to do what they don&rsquo;t want to do today so they can earn what they want to earn tomorrow.</p> <p>Serious sales professionals want to make big money. Your team members wouldn&rsquo;t drive prospects all around town or give up weekends and evenings with family if they didn&rsquo;t expect to be rewarded for those efforts. They know their income isn&rsquo;t guaranteed like it would be if they chose a Monday through Friday, nine-to-five gig. They chose this course because they wanted to be in charge of their own unlimited earning potential. But sometimes they fall short. They may lose their hunger or not fully understand what it takes to be the best.</p> <p>There are four very basic reasons for agents not doing what they need to do to reach their potential:</p> <ul> <li> They don&rsquo;t know how</li> <li> They don&rsquo;t know why</li> <li> They are afraid</li> <li> They are being influenced by past or current conditioning or beliefs</li> </ul> <p>You&rsquo;re there to lead them. The first step you need to take is to ask questions that will help identify why they&rsquo;re hindered. Then you can provide the coaching they need to overcome their obstacle.</p> <p>For the first two reasons, you may find you need to teach your agents how or why to do something. The third and fourth are a little more complicated. If your associates are afraid or otherwise limited by their beliefs, you will need to work on helping them change their thinking and mindsets. You know you&rsquo;ve achieved your goal when their behaviors start to change &mdash; but you can&rsquo;t stop there. You must continue the process by providing follow-through and by being their accountability partner.</p> <p>Agents may not always like you for taking such an active role in their success. But when they win because of your coaching, you will earn that reverential place in their lives as someone who pushed them. You must coach them to blow past the four-minute miles of their own minds.</p> <div class="field field-type-text field-field-show-author-info"> <div class="field-label">Show Author Info?:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> Show Author Info? </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-text field-field-teaser"> <div class="field-label">Teaser:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <!--paging_filter--><p>If you understand these basic barriers that may be holding your associates back, you can help them succeed by breaking down what&rsquo;s hindering them.</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/nov14_B_barriers.jpg" type="image/jpeg; length=20968">nov14_B_barriers.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/nov14_B_barriers_0.jpg?1415997938" /> </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/nov14_LP_B_barriers.jpg?1415997951" /> </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/2014/09/8-tips-for-grooming-top-producers">8 Tips for Grooming Top Producers</a> </div> <div class="field-item even"> <a href="/for-brokers/solutions/article/2014/05/how-hot-beliefs-lead-success">How Hot Beliefs Lead to Success</a> </div> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/for-brokers/solutions/article/2013/05/doing-believing">Doing is Believing</a> </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-number-integer field-field-mainstage-image-display2"> <div class="field-label">Mainstage Image Display on Content:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> No, don't disable the "Main" image on this article </div> </div> </div> Solutions Fri, 14 Nov 2014 17:05:36 +0000 mwhite 17694 at http://realtormag.realtor.org Vacation Home Primer http://realtormag.realtor.org/home-and-design/feature/article/2014/11/vacation-home-primer <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"> Buying a vacation home requires different criteria—and sometimes a different timetable—than a primary home purchase. Help potential clients compile a smart second-home wish list. </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, November 14, 2014</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/barbara-ballinger">Barbara Ballinger</a> </div> </div> </div> <!--paging_filter--><p>Owning a vacation home is a long-held dream for many home owners. As a real estate professional, you can help clients who are considering this step weigh their options and understand this market more clearly by considering these nine key factors.</p> <p><strong>1. Market outlook:</strong> Is inventory plentiful? Are prices trending up or down? Is an area losing its cachet, or is it heating up? Be sure to do your research on local trends so that you can give the best advice to your clients. As for the national outlook: Sales of vacation properties performed well last year, due to affordable prices and low mortgage rates, according to NAR&rsquo;s <a href="http://www.realtor.org/user/login?destination=/reports/investment-and-vacation-home-buyers-survey" target="_blank">Investment and Vacation Home Buyers Survey 2014</a>. The survey also found that the majority of buyers purchased a property to use for vacations rather than to diversify their investment portfolio. They spent a median of $168,700, and favored single-family houses over townhomes and condominiums.</p> <p><strong>2. Total costs:</strong> Owning a second home can eliminate expensive hotel stays. And with room-service burgers coming in at around $20 plus tip, buyers should calculate the total bottom line, not just the room rate. However, you should prepare buyers for another mortgage at what may be a higher interest rate than what they have on their primary residence. Also, they should consider real estate taxes, homeowner&rsquo;s insurance, maintenance, furnishings, and gasoline or airfare to get there and back. If regular vacation costs aren&rsquo;t part of their long-term plan of at least the next three to five years, hotels may prove more economically prudent.</p> <p><strong>3. Distance from home: </strong>The typical distance of a vacation home from an owner&rsquo;s primary home was 170 miles, according to the NAR report. Some vacation homeowners find that paradise works best if it&rsquo;s closer&mdash;within a two-hour drive or via a direct flight. Otherwise, the home may not be used often enough to offset costs. Real estate saleswoman Barb St. Amant, ABR, with Harry Norman, REALTORS&reg;, in Atlanta, decided that the lakefront home she and her husband selected when their twin sons were 13 years old needed to be around 40 minutes away in order to be used frequently. Because their sons will soon graduate from college, they didn&rsquo;t go to the house very often last year, but with her husband&rsquo;s retirement, that may change. &ldquo;We plan to reassess,&rdquo; she says.</p> <p><strong>4. Nearby attractions: </strong>While location is still the mantra, what &ldquo;the best location&rdquo; means will vary. Top schools and proximity to work centers may be huge incentives for a primary home, but being on vacation may require proximity to ski slopes or a beach. Michael Degnan, broker-owner of Realty Executives, which oversees sales at the new Heritage Sands development on Cape Cod, says its 63 cottages&rsquo; proximity to 630 feet of private beach has been a major draw. For rah-rah college alums, being a stone&rsquo;s&mdash;or football&mdash;throw from a stadium may be more key, says Jennifer Fredericks, CRS, GRI, and broker with Better Homes &amp; Gardens Real Estate Preferred Living in College Station, Texas. Her buyers come to attend Texas A&amp;M University sporting events. &ldquo;They want to walk to the stadium in fall for games, have everyone at their house for tailgating, or buy on a golf course so they can be close but use the house for retirement some day,&rdquo; she says.</p> <p><strong>5. Maintenance: </strong>Whatever the home&rsquo;s size and style&mdash;single-family, townhouse, or condo&mdash;buyers want to spend as little time as possible on maintenance. Going with new construction approaches that ideal, says Robyn Erlenbush, CRB, CRS, with ERA Landmark in Bozeman and Big Sky, Mont., where buyers go to be close to Yellowstone Park and ski slopes. While certain building materials and finishes help make a home more carefree, so do homeowner associations, on-site or nearby property management companies, and concierge services that handle upkeep and repairs. Carefree living was one reason Justin Pallis, who lives in Massachusetts near the New Hampshire border, chose a cottage at Heritage Sands. &ldquo;We didn&rsquo;t want to worry about cutting the grass or security when not there,&rdquo; he says. Advise buyers to inquire about these options when house hunting.</p> <p><strong>6. Furnishings</strong>: Yet another way for buyers to conserve precious vacation time is to select a furnished home rather than spending time shopping, especially from a distance. &ldquo;Decorating is the last thing many want to do; and sellers may be wise to sell their home furnished,&rdquo; says Patrick Jones, broker-owner of Better Homes &amp; Gardens Real Estate Sonoran Desert Lifestyles in Scottsdale, Ariz.</p> <p><strong>7. Amenities: </strong>Besides the location, onsite amenities can increase the appeal of one home over another. If extended family and friends regularly vacation with your buyers, encourage them to ensure they have a sufficient living space &mdash; both indoors and outdoors, depending on the location. If socializing is the main goal, you may also want to recommend the advantages of a clubhouse or party room. At Harbor Shores in Benton Harbor, Mich., a 538-acre development on Lake Michigan, one clubhouse features a full-service restaurant. Jones in Scottsdale has found that many older vacationers seek a sense of community in these amenities, especially when traveling from afar.</p> <p><strong>8. Rules and restrictions:</strong> Single-family homes may come with no guidelines, except for those the town dictates &mdash; when watering lawns is permitted, for instance. But homes in a development or condo community often have a lengthy list to obey, such as restrictions against pets. Make sure buyers understand their rights and protections before they close.</p> <p><strong>9. Rentals</strong>: A universally appealing vacation home could add up to a revenue opportunity, and your buyers may already be factoring additional rental income into their second-home plans. However, homeowner&rsquo;s associations may ban renting or restrict how often owners are allowed to rent out their property. Buyers should also ask their homeowner&rsquo;s insurance agent and lender for rental guidelines and inquire about tax consequences with their financial professional. Buyers can use FHA loans on only primary residences, not rental properties and timeshares. Also, the down payment typically is higher on vacation property than it is for a primary home, says Tim Lucas, editor of <a href="http://mymortgageinsider.com/" target="_blank">mymortgageinsider,</a> an online mortgage resource. Rules also differ if a vacation home is being used as an investment property.</p> <p>One final tip: If your clients are uncertain, you may want to suggest that they rent for a year before purchasing a second home. That way they can try an area out during different seasons, to test if their fantasy meshes with reality. They&rsquo;ll be better clients in the long run, once they&rsquo;ve taken the time to fully understand their vacation</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>Buying a vacation home requires different criteria&mdash;and sometimes a different timetable&mdash;than a primary home purchase. Help potential clients compile a smart second-home wish list.</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/nov14_HD_vacation_homes.jpg" type="image/jpeg; length=67762">nov14_HD_vacation_homes.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/nov14_HD_vacation_homes_0.jpg?1416256196" /> </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/nov14_LP_HD_vacation_homes.jpg?1416256213" /> </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-nodereference field-field-related-content"> <div class="field-label">Related Content:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/first-person/street-cred/article/2014/08/helping-canadian-snowbirds-navigate-vacation-communities">Helping Canadian Snowbirds Navigate Vacation Communities</a> </div> <div class="field-item even"> <a href="/daily-news/2014/04/07/3-tips-for-staging-vacation-rental-property">3 Tips for Staging a Vacation Rental Property</a> </div> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/daily-news/2012/06/04/vacation-home-buyers-stay-close-home">Vacation Home Buyers Stay Close to Home </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, 14 Nov 2014 17:18:31 +0000 mwhite 17695 at http://realtormag.realtor.org A Formula for Going Viral http://realtormag.realtor.org/sales-and-marketing/feature/article/2014/11/formula-for-going-viral <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"> Every marketer dreams about their post taking off like wildfire. While there are no guarantees in social, Upworthy’s Sara Critchfield explains a few simple ways to maximize your content’s popularity online. </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, November 13, 2014</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>When Sara Critchfield set out in March 2012 to help create Upworthy, a content aggregation site that aimed to make socially conscious stories go viral online, there was a set of assumptions about social media that seemed to point to the website&rsquo;s eventual failure.</p> <p>&ldquo;The top people in the media told us, &lsquo;That is so sweet,&rsquo;&rdquo; Critchfield remembered. &ldquo;They believed that unless you have celebrity photos and cat videos, you are not going to have a mass audience.&rdquo;</p> <p>Now that Upworthy is <a href="http://www.adweek.com/news/technology/fast-company-declares-upworthy-fastest-growing-media-site-all-time-150195" target="_blank">classified as one of the fastest growing sites of all time</a>, Critchfield is happy to have proven them wrong. But the experience also helped her understand something vital about content marketing. Sharing her insights in an Entrepreneurial Excellence Series session at the REALTORS&reg; Conference &amp; Expo this month, Critchfield boiled it down to an actual formula: &ldquo;Clickability x sharability x distribution = virality.&rdquo;</p> <p>She explained the distinctions between each element using what she called &ldquo;the grocery store principle.&rdquo; <strong>Clickability</strong> helps determine whether or not the consumer wants to take a new box of cereal they&rsquo;ve never tried off the shelf and put it in their cart. <strong>Sharability</strong> is about the quality of the cereal; once they&rsquo;ve tried it, does the shopper want to recommend it to friends and family? <strong>Distribution</strong> is about how many eyes are on the product. If only a couple rural stores carry the cereal, it&rsquo;s probably not going to reach as many people, regardless of the packaging or quality.</p> <p>&ldquo;You can yank hard on any of these three levers and you&rsquo;re going to increase virality,&rdquo; Critchfield said. &ldquo;However, it&rsquo;s really hard to do all three for each piece of content every single time.&rdquo;</p> <p>So how can a real estate professional yank these levers on their social posts? Critchfield said that a big part of it is relying on the skills that come naturally for many in the industry.</p> <p>&ldquo;Real estate folks are the best community organizers in the world,&rdquo; Critchfield said. &ldquo;You guys already know how to do social. It plays on your strengths.&rdquo;</p> <blockquote> <p>Checklist for a powerful post:</p> <ul> <li> <strong>If you want shares</strong>, tap into people&rsquo;s emotions. &ldquo;Anger and happiness are the &lsquo;lean in&rsquo; emotions [and these] emotions play a big part in why people <span>share.&rdquo;</span></li> <li> <strong>If you want clicks</strong>, edit the headlines and descriptions of your post using informal language. &ldquo;The Internet loves novelty,&rdquo; <span>Critchfield</span> said, explaining the success of a <a href="https://www.facebook.com/Upworthy/posts/565654780142051" target="_blank">post where Upworthy created the fake word &ldquo;wondtacular&rdquo;</a> to describe a especially moving situation.</li> <li> <strong>If you want to build affinity</strong> in your network, not every post has to be a link. Especially for personal pages, Critchfield explains, &ldquo;It doesn&rsquo;t have to be content. It can just be a thought about real estate.&rdquo;</li> </ul> </blockquote> <p>Critchfield said the key to wrapping one&rsquo;s content to thrive in the social universe is seeing the social part as the more important element of &ldquo;social media.&rdquo; Real estate pros should try first and foremost to &ldquo;meet people&rsquo;s most basic needs. I&rsquo;m a first-time home owner, and I&rsquo;m scared. How can you market content to meet those people&rsquo;s needs?&rdquo;</p> <p>Critchfield said there are a lot of misconceptions about what &ldquo;works&rdquo; online, but cat videos, top ten lists, and funny videos don&rsquo;t go viral because of their content type.</p> <p>&ldquo;If you have a list that also connects with somebody&rsquo;s heart, that&rsquo;s what goes viral,&rdquo; she said. &ldquo;There are plenty of cat videos that just sit there.&rdquo;</p> <p>Analytics are important, but Critchfield cautioned against using any single measure to determine the success of any particular piece of content. Upworthy research shows that some posts are popular in terms of individual content consumption, but people aren&rsquo;t inclined to share them because a share is often construed as an attempt to define yourself. Critchfield used a post about the legalization of marijuana as an example: &ldquo;Your little sister is on Facebook, and you don&rsquo;t want her to know you&rsquo;re reading the marijuana article.&rdquo;</p> <p>Critchfield suggested reaching out to a variety of sources for help with your social strategy. If you&rsquo;re ready to spend real money on a social media solution, Critchfield recommended NationBuilder, a company that will help you forge connections between your social contacts and your CRM system for less than $50 a month. Critchfield also mentioned local students as an underutilized source of help.</p> <blockquote> <p><strong>Facebook Page or Profile?</strong></p> <p><span>Critchfield</span> recommended that commercial and large residential brokerages have a public page on Facebook. A personal profile can work if you&rsquo;re an individual salesperson, but if you&rsquo;re part of a high-volume residential team, or if you want to target a niche&mdash;such as military home buyers&mdash;you should create a page, rather than relying on a profile.</p> </blockquote> <p>&ldquo;Hire a college kid. They&rsquo;re awesome,&rdquo; she said, noting you can get a beautifully designed custom website for around $500. &ldquo;Or hire a communications student and pay them 15 bucks an hour to make sure your social network is active. Film students too. It gives college kids a great professional mentor.&rdquo;</p> <p>Free help is available in your social circles, too. Critchfield said one of the main reasons people say they decided not to share content was that they were never explicitly asked to share.</p> <p>&ldquo;Ask! Put the &lsquo;share ask&rsquo; in your share text,&rdquo; she said. She suggested language asking people if they know someone who needs your services or could use the information you&rsquo;re sharing. &ldquo;At Upworthy, we saw our audience as our friends&rsquo; friends.&rdquo;</p> <p>Close friends can also be your confidants, giving you an insider look into what works and what doesn&rsquo;t. &ldquo;Ask your friends how they experience your Facebook page,&rdquo; Critchfield said. Also, if you have a colleague whose social presence is something you&rsquo;d aspire to recreate for yourself, reach out and ask them if you can get a glimpse of their data. &ldquo;If you have a very small page, your analytics are virtually worthless. Ask to see someone else&rsquo;s analytics to see what&rsquo;s working for them.&rdquo;</p> <p>Finally, Critchfield cautioned against putting all your marketing eggs in one basket. Social networks are important, but ultimately they&rsquo;re not within your control: &ldquo;Social media is a very fickle mistress,&rdquo; Critchfield said. &ldquo;It&rsquo;s really important to have a plan for e-mail [because] e-mail is the thing that you own, and no one can take that 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>Every marketer dreams about their post taking off like wildfire. While there are no guarantees in social, Upworthy&rsquo;s Sara Critchfield explains a few simple ways to maximize your content&rsquo;s popularity online.</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/nov14_SM_viral.jpg" type="image/jpeg; length=43726">nov14_SM_viral.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/nov14_SM_viral_0.jpg?1415996467" /> </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/nov14_LP_SM_viral.jpg?1415996483" /> </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-nodereference field-field-related-content"> <div class="field-label">Related Content:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/technology/feature/article/2014/05/10-facebook-dos-and-don-ts">10 Facebook Dos and Don’ts</a> </div> <div class="field-item even"> <a href="/daily-news/2014/03/10/how-automation-kills-social-media-campaigns">How Automation Kills Social Media Campaigns</a> </div> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/news-and-commentary/last-word/article/2013/07/jonah-berger-how-go-viral">Jonah Berger: How to Go Viral</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, 13 Nov 2014 21:58:39 +0000 mwhite 17686 at http://realtormag.realtor.org VRBO, Airbnb, and You http://realtormag.realtor.org/commercial/feature/article/2014/11/vrbo-airbnb-and-you <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"> Home-sharing sites attract agents and potential clients. Should you dive in? </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, November 13, 2014</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/paula-hess">Paula Hess </a> </div> </div> </div> <!--paging_filter--><p>After their son moved away, empty nesters and Long &amp; Foster agents Trudy and Nick Vandekar used his downstairs bedroom as an exercise room and office. But this year, the couple joined the ranks of thousands of Americans who&rsquo;ve opened their homes to strangers for profit by becoming Airbnb hosts.</p> <p>Airbnb has gained popularity in recent years, pairing up travelers and home owners with spare bedrooms (or, in some cases, spare sofas). But it&rsquo;s not the only game in town. While Airbnb&rsquo;s niche is travelers seeking low-cost and off-the-beaten path alternatives to the generic hotel experience, VRBO&mdash;which owns HomeAway and Vacationrentals.com&mdash;is targeting popular destinations for vacationers traveling in groups.</p> <h4> Benefits Beyond the Buck</h4> <p>Although guests pay a modest $75 to stay in the Vandekars&rsquo; spare room with a private entrance, the Berwyn, Pa.&ndash;based real estate agents have also gained a new perspective on homes that they can share with prospective buyers.</p> <p>&ldquo;Being an Airbnb host gives you another way to look at houses. It allows you to advise your clients,&rdquo; explains Trudy Vandekar. &ldquo;For instance, &lsquo;This house potentially has the ability to rent part of it out. &hellip; If it is a stretch to buy the house, this is an easy way to make extra money without a permanent tenant.&rsquo;&rdquo;</p> <p>This type of practical advice is why home-sharing sites are gaining popularity among home owners. For instance, HomeAway says its average listing generates $28,000 in bookings each year and more than half of the owners on HomeAway cover 75 percent of their mortgage by renting out their home.</p> <p>Another perk for the Vandekars is that Airbnb also allows them to extend their brand into the surrounding community. &ldquo;Although I do offer a simple breakfast, people like to go out for breakfast. I&rsquo;ve reached out to a few independently owned breakfast places and said, &lsquo;I&rsquo;ll promote you if you promote me.&rsquo;&rdquo;</p> <h4> Transparent and Free</h4> <p>&ldquo;Zero cost and a lot of value&rdquo; is how Lynne Pope describes the home-sharing proposition. &ldquo;It&rsquo;s so easy. In a way, it&rsquo;s like the MLS; you can easily see what others listings are getting,&rdquo; says Pope, an agent with RE/MAX Estate Properties in Manhattan Beach, Calif. Although she lists her beach house on VRBO and Airbnb, she prefers Airbnb because, in her view, the site&rsquo;s clientele is younger and has deeper pockets.</p> <p>However, Pope credits VRBO with helping her pick up a buyer client. She says when she rented her beach house to one guest, &ldquo;we had some good interaction. I said, &lsquo;Whenever you get ready to buy a home, I&rsquo;ll give you special attention.&rsquo; He later bought a home from me.&rdquo;</p> <p>Like the Vandekars, Pope notes that being versed in the world of home sharing has helped her gain understanding in other areas of her local real estate market.</p> <p>In October, Pope hosted a broker&rsquo;s open house on a two-bedroom home with a listing price of $974,500. About 38 agents viewed the property, and several agents whose clients were looking for investments inquired about using the house as a VRBO property, Pope says.</p> <p>She also represents a five-bedroom rental property within walking distance of the beach that carries an $11,000 monthly lease. The property does not have a tenant, so Pope says &quot;the owners are thinking of turning it into a VRBO, which means we have to furnish it, which is kind of a drag.&rdquo;</p> <h4> Pros Help Owners Make the Most of Home Sharing</h4> <p>Another expense biting into the profit margins for these rentals is that local communities are getting serious about enforcing taxes associated with home-sharing sites. In September Airbnb announced it would begin collecting and remitting a 14 percent hotel occupancy fee for bookings in San Francisco.</p> <p>&ldquo;Tax compliance is a big issue. Renting a room on a short-term basis&mdash;less than 30 days&mdash;triggers sales and occupancy taxes, and these taxes need to be paid quarterly,&rdquo; says Rob Stephens, president of Greenwood Village, Colo.&ndash;based HotSpot Tax Services.</p> <p>His firm partners with VRBO and HomeAway and sets these collections on a sort of autopilot. Like a payroll service, HotSpot Tax Services prompts owners to report rental revenue and then calculates and files taxes for property owners, charging $10 to $12 per month per property for private owners and less for property management companies. &ldquo;We have a lot of [real estate agents] who refer our services to their clients who dabble in leasing properties,&rdquo; Stephens says.</p> <p>In fact, there are a lot of ways that real estate pros can assist clients interested in dabbling in the home-sharing business. Staging properties, delivering high-touch customer service, managing multiple properties, and collecting remittances and nonrefundable damage deposits are property management functions that are familiar terrain for real estate agents, but not for the average home owner. That&rsquo;s why some home owners outsource the property management duties associated with short-term home rental to agents, says Jon Gray, senior vice president of HomeAway. He notes that it typically takes eight to nine hours per week to manage a home, and that the property manager usually takes a percentage of the rent in exchange for their services.</p> <h4> &lsquo;A Natural Fit&rsquo;</h4> <p>Sites like Airbnb and VRBO can be a good place for agents to &ldquo;park&rdquo; a property and earn income while a market rebounds or a buyer surfaces. And although it&rsquo;s hard to determine how many real estate agents are using home-sharing sites, Gray says the number is significant, and that more than 350,000 HomeAway listings are professionally managed.</p> <p>&ldquo;Some of our largest customers are real estate agencies who also do property management, and they find a lot of success in marketing their properties through our sites,&rdquo; Gray says. He also corroborates Pope&rsquo;s and the Vandekars&rsquo; experiences, noting that agents using the site gain a new perspective on properties. &ldquo;They are able to sell homes in vacation markets better based on past rental income,&rdquo; Gray says. &ldquo;They use it as a unique selling feature of the home to say, &lsquo;By the way, it grossed $30,000 on VRBO last year, so that&rsquo;s something you should think about in your calculus of whether to buy this home.&rsquo; I think it&rsquo;s really an effective tool for real estate agents.&rdquo;</p> <p>According to Gray, travelers have not expressed a preference for renting from a real estate agent, private owner, or professional property manager. The bottom line, he says, is, &ldquo;Travelers are looking for great home to stay in.&rdquo; Conversely, &ldquo;People have realized it&rsquo;s not that big a deal to have people rent their homes.&rdquo;</p> <p>These new attitudes have created another venue for real estate agents to market their services and leverage properties. That&rsquo;s why, when Gray considers his site and real estate agents, he says: &ldquo;It is a natural fit.&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>Home-sharing sites attract agents and potential clients. Should you dive in?</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/nov14_C_vacation_rent.jpg" type="image/jpeg; length=34509">nov14_C_vacation_rent.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/nov14_C_vacation_rent_0.jpg?1415997201" /> </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/nov14_LP_C_vacation_rent.jpg?1415997221" /> </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/2011/07/21/more-home-owners-turn-homesharing">More Home Owners Turn to ‘Homesharing’</a> </div> <div class="field-item even"> <a href="/daily-news/2014/05/05/sharing-economy-makes-inroads-moving-industry">Sharing Economy Makes Inroads on Moving Industry</a> </div> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/daily-news/2014/07/08/extra-perks-condo-hotel-drive-revival">Extra Perks of a Condo-Hotel Drive Revival</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, 13 Nov 2014 22:18:27 +0000 mwhite 17687 at http://realtormag.realtor.org Where Are You Leading Your Online Leads? http://realtormag.realtor.org/technology/feature/article/2014/11/where-are-you-leading-your-online-leads <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"> First, choose the right method for generating Internet leads. Then, here’s what to do next. </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, November 13, 2014</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>It&rsquo;s unlikely that every lead you get online is an actionable one. Leads pour in from real estate portals and other sources, but many of them aren&rsquo;t buyers or sellers who are anywhere near taking the plunge into the market. So how do you get higher-quality leads, and what do you do to get the best chance at snagging their business?</p> <p>At the &ldquo;Building the Intelligent Internet Lead&rdquo; session during the REALTORS&reg; Conference &amp; Expo in New Orleans, four top-producing real estate professionals opened up about where they find leads and how they go after them. What became clear is that there is no &ldquo;silver bullet,&rdquo; as one of them put it. You can refine your lead generation with a fine-toothed comb, but it&rsquo;s up to you to decide the most effective way to spend your time &mdash; whether you should buy leads or troll for them yourself &mdash; and where you should go from there.</p> <h4> What&rsquo;s the Best Method for Getting Leads?</h4> <p><strong>Mariana Wagner, Keller Williams Realty, Colorado Springs, Colo.:</strong> &ldquo;I used to spend my time going after more organic leads, and that worked well for me,&rdquo; Wagner said. But as she built her real estate team, the Wagner iTeam, with her husband, Derek, she needed to manage her time more efficiently. She found the spending a little more money on lead generation was the right route for her.</p> <p>&ldquo;The best use of my time and my money is to buy leads,&rdquo; she said. Wagner uses <a href="https://leadstoday.com/" target="_blank">Leads Today</a>, a company that creates neighborhood maps pinpointing FSBOs and expired and new listings, along with all the sellers&rsquo; relevant contact information (including names, phone numbers, e-mail addresses, and social media profiles). &ldquo;People who log in to these lead-generation systems and put their information in &mdash; they&rsquo;re serious. They&rsquo;ve been the best sources for us.&rdquo;</p> <p>Wagner said she also gets a lot of listing leads through Facebook ads that she creates. These two methods have helped her team close four to six transactions a month, she said.</p> <p><strong>Lane Hornung, e-PRO&reg;, founder and CEO of 8Z Real Estate, Boulder, Colo.:</strong> &ldquo;Organic SEO has been a great lead generator, but that world is changing because the big real estate portals are playing at a very high level nationally,&rdquo; Hornung said. &ldquo;Getting your search results in the top 10 is getting harder.&rdquo;</p> <p>Particularly for new agents, Hornung recommended not focusing on SEO because of the overly competitive landscape &mdash; &ldquo;unless you&rsquo;re trying to win on a hyperlocal level, which agents can still do,&rdquo; he said. Hornung says he focuses most of his company&rsquo;s lead-generation efforts on pay-per-click Google ads and Facebook ads.</p> <p>&ldquo;We feel like we can control the experience there&rdquo; as opposed to advertising on real estate portals, where you lose a lot of control over how the ad is placed, Hornung said. &ldquo;Plus, Google and Facebook are not real estate brands.&rdquo;</p> <p><strong>Christine Dwiggins, SRES, vice president of marketing at NextHome, San Francisco:</strong> For a franchise like NextHome, which provides its members with their own real estate websites, the key is to not overwhelm potential clients with bothersome forms. Dwiggins said that&rsquo;s an easy way to turn off potential clients.</p> <p>&ldquo;People don&rsquo;t want to be hounded by filling out forms and being captured as a lead,&rdquo; she said. &ldquo;They want to ask questions when they&rsquo;re ready.&rdquo;</p> <p>Dwiggins said NextHome gets leads from several different sources and distributes them to its brokers and agents. One big source is online real estate portals. But the company doesn&rsquo;t focus on capturing leads coming to its own sites. Instead, it focuses on &ldquo;creating an experience for our users,&rdquo; Dwiggins said.</p> <p><strong>Audie Chamberlain, vice president of marketing at The Partners Trust, Beverly Hills, Calif.: </strong>Online leads aren&rsquo;t the bread and butter of Chamberlain&rsquo;s company, he said. &ldquo;In our market, 80 percent of leads come from referrals,&rdquo; Chamberlain noted. &ldquo;We see Internet leads as an emerging market.&rdquo;</p> <p>But he sees two sources as primary when thinking about where consumers go to find a practitioner: LinkedIn and the big real estate portals. &ldquo;For organic online leads, you have to get your LinkedIn profile bulletproof,&rdquo; he said. &ldquo;But you have to think about where the audience is going. In our market, they love to go to the portals.&rdquo;</p> <p>So The Partners Trust, he said, is beginning to advertise more on portals. In four months, such advertising has brought the company more than 100 leads a month. But it&rsquo;s still early, and the company is still refining its strategy to get online leads.</p> <p>&ldquo;We&rsquo;re not putting much more of an effort into it other than time,&rdquo; Chamberlain said.</p> <h4> What Do You Do After You Get the Leads?</h4> <p><strong>Wagner: </strong>&ldquo;You have to follow up with a lead within five minutes,&rdquo; Wagner said. She knows that when she gets a lead, she&rsquo;s usually not the first agent that lead has made contact with. &ldquo;Way more than half the time, the seller says, &lsquo;You are the first person to call me back.&rsquo; We pretty much have the listing then if we want it.&rdquo;</p> <p>She cautioned pros not to rely on e-mail as a primary means of first contact with a lead. &ldquo;We get leads in our spam boxes sometimes,&rdquo; she said. &ldquo;So can you imagine how many of our follow-up emails land in spam boxes?&rdquo;</p> <p>After making an initial phone call, Wagner sends a handwritten card to a lead the same day. But what you call a lead back and don&rsquo;t get an answer?</p> <p>&ldquo;We keep calling until we get a hold of them,&rdquo; Wagner said. &ldquo;If they don&rsquo;t respond in a week, we drop them into our &lsquo;long-term nurture plan,&rsquo; so they start receiving our newsletters and other correspondence.&rdquo;</p> <p><strong>Hornung: </strong>Real estate professionals aren&rsquo;t lazy, Hornung said. They just can&rsquo;t respond to every lead that comes there way because it doesn&rsquo;t make much economic sense.</p> <p>&ldquo;One of the decisions we have to make is whether this person is worth our time right now, and maybe you don&rsquo;t need to follow up on that person right now,&rdquo; he said.</p> <p>Hornung&rsquo;s company employs a &ldquo;client care team&rdquo; staffed with people who make the first point of contact with a lead. They call leads and find out whether they are selling or buying or both and which neighborhoods they are looking in, and then the client care representatives tell the leads a little bit about the agent they will be working with.</p> <p>&ldquo;It gives our agents what I call &lsquo;hand-crafted leads,&rsquo;&rdquo; Hornung said. &ldquo;They&rsquo;ve got even more information about the lead before the agent makes the first call. When the hand-off from client care to agent happens, we expect the agent to act quickly.&rdquo;</p> <p>He cautioned, though, that hand-offs can be fumbled. It&rsquo;s important that the client care team fully understand their duties, he said.</p> <p>&ldquo;Whether you&rsquo;re an individual agent, a team, or a brokerage, you can put someone in between you and the raw lead,&rdquo; he said. &ldquo;It makes a better experience for the agent and the client. But it&rsquo;s not a good use of your time to follow up on unscrubbed Internet leads.&rdquo;</p> <p><strong>Chamberlain:</strong> &ldquo;There is no silver bullet&rdquo; when it comes to how to pursue a lead, Chamberlain said. &ldquo;We live in an Uber world &mdash; consumers today can get anything in real time at the touch of a button. For real estate, we&rsquo;re not there yet with all of these other apps that our clients are using.&rdquo;</p> <p>Ultimately, it&rsquo;s about the personal connection, he said. And he encouraged &ldquo;newer, hungrier associates&rdquo; to take on the challenge of making faster, smarter contacts with leads.</p> <p>He spoke of an agent only seven months into his real estate career who decided to double down on leads he was paying for from real estate portals. It wasn&rsquo;t as much about how quickly he contacted them but the quality of his message once he got them on the phone.</p> <p>&ldquo;He goes into each lead fearlessly: &lsquo;I know you&rsquo;ve sent this inquiry to three or four other people, but I&rsquo;m here to help you,&rsquo;&rdquo; Chamberlain relayed. &ldquo;That agent has closed six deals in seven months. Your goal is to take that Internet lead offline.&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>First, you need to choose the right method for generating Internet leads. Then, here&rsquo;s what you do next.</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/nov14_T_leads.jpg" type="image/jpeg; length=57162">nov14_T_leads.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/nov14_T_leads_0.jpg?1415897894" /> </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/nov14_LP_T_leads.jpg?1415897911" /> </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/feature/article/2013/05/does-it-pay-buy-online-leads">Does It Pay to Buy Online Leads?</a> </div> <div class="field-item even"> <a href="/daily-news/2013/04/16/4-tips-for-online-lead-generation">4 Tips for Online Lead Generation</a> </div> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/sales-and-marketing/sales-coach/article/2010/03/win-more-clients-converting-those-internet-leads">Win More Clients by Converting Those Internet Leads</a> </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-number-integer field-field-mainstage-image-display2"> <div class="field-label">Mainstage Image Display on Content:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> No, don't disable the "Main" image on this article </div> </div> </div> Feature Thu, 13 Nov 2014 16:32:05 +0000 gwood 17684 at http://realtormag.realtor.org How to Make Video Work for Your Budget http://realtormag.realtor.org/technology/feature/article/2014/11/how-make-video-work-for-your-budget <div class="field field-type-text field-field-deck"> <div class="field-label">Deck:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> There are many different ways to incorporate video in your marketing plan, but it’s important to match your methodology to your 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">Tuesday, November 11, 2014</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>At the REALTORS&reg; Conference &amp; Expo in New Orleans this month, three agents with three different approaches to marketing shared their particular perspectives on how to incorporate video in their businesses.</p> <p><a href="https://www.youtube.com/user/patricklilly/videos" target="_blank">Patrick Vernon Lilly</a>, CRS, e-PRO, leads a team selling high-end residential property in Manhattan and Brooklyn. He told the audience that the last thing in the world he&rsquo;d do is one of the most popular uses of video in real estate.</p> <p>&ldquo;If you&rsquo;re going to invest in a video, don&rsquo;t do a listing tour,&rdquo; Lilly said at the &ldquo;Video is Worth a Million Words&rdquo; session. Instead, Lilly keeps his videos at around one minute and 20 seconds, showing only a few select shots of his listings, interspersed with neighborhood shots and clips of him describing what he likes about the property and the area. &ldquo;The video&rsquo;s not going to work if you can&rsquo;t tell a story.&rdquo;</p> <p><a href="https://www.youtube.com/user/leighbrownremax/videos" target="_blank">Leigh Brown</a> of RE/MAX Executive Realty in the Charlotte, N.C., area doesn&rsquo;t do listing tours either, but for a different reason.</p> <p>&ldquo;One of his videos is my whole commission check!&rdquo; Brown joked. She told the audience her average listing price is $226,000, and spending the hundreds of dollars that Lilly does on his videos would not be cost-effective. Instead, Brown spent around $150 to create a video that helps consumers know what to expect from her and her team. &ldquo;I try to draw people in with the experience they get working with me and my team. It&rsquo;s a way for them to see you are a living, breathing human being.&rdquo;</p> <p><a href="https://www.youtube.com/user/RajQsar/videos" target="_blank">Raj Qsar</a>, principal and owner of The Boutique Real Estate Group in the Orange County, Calif., area, does do video tours, and regularly goes over Lilly&rsquo;s prescribed two-minute video cut-off. But he agreed with the idea of needing to tell a story. He was inspired back in 2009 by a wedding videographer who excelled at telling the story of a couple&rsquo;s life together rather than just documenting an event. Qsar wanted to do the same thing to reach the hyperlocal market he serves. He called and asked the videographer to help him tell the story of his listing.</p> <p>&ldquo;It&rsquo;s a lot of work. &hellip; That video took seven days to cut,&rdquo; Qsar said. He said the video took so long to finish that they had an offer before it was even ready for prime time. But he shared the video with the sellers anyway, and got nine more listings in the area because other home owners in the area were impressed with his work. &ldquo;They were floored. They sent that video to everyone in the neighborhood.&rdquo;</p> <p>Since that first &ldquo;listing story,&rdquo; he has used a full-time stager, purchased professional equipment, and hired a video crew to make listing stories a centerpiece of his marketing plan.</p> <p>For the budget conscious, Brown said there are ways to market oneself without relying on professional equipment. She uses BombBomb to send video responses to online inquiries about her listings. Brown simply shoots video of herself using her smartphone, thanking prospects for contacting her and offering more information about schools and taxes in the area of the listing.</p> <p>&ldquo;They can find the easy stuff, but the consumer has no idea where to find information about schools and taxes,&rdquo; she says. &ldquo;That&rsquo;s really jacked our conversion rate.&rdquo;</p> <p>Brown also noted that on-the-go video can help you solve problems that an e-mail or phone conversation would not be able to. She cited a weekend when she received an inquiry from a couple while she was with family at a girls&rsquo; softball game. Rather than having a conversation on her cell in a noisy environment, she put the setting to work for her, recording a video response that showed exactly what she was up to and telling the couple she would get back to them on Monday.</p> <p>&ldquo;They wanted to work with me. They didn&rsquo;t even interview any other agents,&rdquo; Brown said. &ldquo;They said, &lsquo;You got back to us quickly, but you did not interrupt your family time.&rsquo; They appreciated that.&rdquo;</p> <p>The panelists also shared mistakes they&rsquo;ve made and how they learned the hard way to improve their processes. For example, Lilly learned early on to make adjustments to his narrative style to allow his true personality to come across.</p> <p>&ldquo;We started out with me writing out the copy and me reading it. That works for a lot of speakers, but with me it comes off as deadly,&rdquo; he said. He asked his videographer to help him loosen up by goofing around and wearing Chewbacca wigs. &ldquo;The videos are much more successful if I start out laughing, so I&rsquo;m not coming across as this pretentious New Yorker.&rdquo;</p> <p>Qsar said one mistake he made early on was not preparing his sellers for the fact that video is not instant, especially with the longer-form videos in which he specializes. Now he sets up that expectation and will even drop a trailer before the video is fully produced to give a taste of what is to come.</p> <p>Finally, there&rsquo;s nothing more frustrating than spending a lot of time and money on a video that doesn&rsquo;t get the expected exposure. Lilly suggested using YouTube over other video hosting platforms because it&rsquo;s owned &mdash; and therefore indexed &mdash; by search powerhouse Google.</p> <p>Qsar agreed, noting that practitioners should be sure to use the tagging functionality in the back end of YouTube to help Google understand what the video is about and where it was shot.</p> <p>&ldquo;There are specific tags and phrases you can use in YouTube [to describe the video],&rdquo; he said. &ldquo;Don&rsquo;t be too general, because Google doesn&rsquo;t like that. You keep doing that with every video, and Google is going to recognize it.&rdquo;</p> <p>Qsar also suggested e-mailing videos to specific marketing lists. Brown e-mails her video to agents so they feel more secure in referring clients to her team.</p> <p>&ldquo;They feel like it&rsquo;s OK to talk to anyone on my team. I am the CEO of my team and I drive the bus, but I am surrounded by the best people on the planet,&rdquo; she said. &ldquo;Video helps you shape that.&rdquo;</p> <p>Regardless of how much to spend or what kind of video to shoot, the panel was in agreement that, if real estate pros are willing to take the time, video is worth it.</p> <p>&ldquo;It&rsquo;s going to cost you more in the long term to not do video,&rdquo; Qsar said. &ldquo;Video will give you the most return of anything you invest in &mdash; if you do it right. Do it. Do it well.&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>There are many different ways to incorporate video in your marketing plan, but it&rsquo;s important to match your methodology to your 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/nov14_SM_vid_approach.jpg" type="image/jpeg; length=29971">nov14_SM_vid_approach.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/nov14_SM_vid_approach_0.jpg?1415738959" /> </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/nov14_LP_SM_vid_approach.jpg?1415738980" /> </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-nodereference field-field-related-content"> <div class="field-label">Related Content:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/daily-news/2014/04/15/3-reasons-start-using-video-email">3 Reasons to Start Using Video Email</a> </div> <div class="field-item even"> <a href="/product-guide/cameras-and-video/article/2014/10/ultimate-iphone-listing-video">The Ultimate iPhone Listing Video</a> </div> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/product-guide/cameras-and-video/article/2014/07/2014-camera-guide-do-it-yourself-or-hire-photographe">2014 Camera Guide: Do It Yourself or Hire a Photographer?</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, 11 Nov 2014 20:15:31 +0000 mwhite 17670 at http://realtormag.realtor.org Attract the Online Customer http://realtormag.realtor.org/sales-and-marketing/feature/article/2014/11/attract-online-customer <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 customize your message to connect and engage the digital consumer. </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">Sunday, November 9, 2014</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>The digital real estate consumer is on a mission. How are you going to intercept their house-hunt online so they find you?</p> <p>In the REALTORS&reg; Conference &amp; Expo session &quot;BeNiched: Define Your Area of Expertise,&quot; Jason Pantana, director of agent engagement for Coldwell Banker Real Estate in Madison, N.J., shared with attendees how to better position their services to reach the growing digital consumer base, who are increasingly relying on information they find online to guide their real estate decisions.<br /> <br /> &quot;You have to [customize] your message to connect and engage the digital consumer,&quot; Pantana said. &quot;If you&#39;re too broad online, your message will get lost and it&rsquo;ll just be white noise.&quot; Messages like &quot;call me&quot; or blanket statements like &quot;I can serve all your real estate needs&quot; aren&rsquo;t going to get you far, Pantana said.<br /> <br /> First, you need to know what they&#39;re looking for online so you can target your messages for highest impact. Pantana pointed to Google Trends (<a href="http://trends.google.com" target="_blank">trends.google.com</a>) as a useful tool to identify popular search terms. With Google Trends, you can type in keywords to see how popular various search terms are; you can even drill down by popularity based on your geographic area.</p> <p>For example, for a keyword like &quot;kitchen remodel,&quot; you can see if the search term is trending in your area and find related popular keyword searches. You can then use that information as inspiration for what to blog about or weave those keywords into your website or online marketing to gain you higher traction on the search engines.<br /> <br /> Also, he noted <a href="https://www.facebook.com/about/graphsearch" target="_blank">Facebook&#39;s Social Graph tool</a>, which lets you uncover connections using Facebook&#39;s revamped search bar. You can search for connections by typing in words like &quot;People who live in Orlando and have lived in New York&quot; if you wanted to determine how much you should emphasize your past residence in writing up your bio. Use the tool to gauge interest in topics for your farm area, but &quot;don&#39;t use it to stalk people on Facebook,&quot; Pantana said.<br /> <br /> Digital tools also are also great for differentiating yourself online. And one way to do that is by collecting ratings and reviews from your clients. When he was an agent in Nashville, Pantana said he used the online review website<a href="http://www.yelp.com" target="_blank"> Yelp</a>; it was his No. 1 source of referrals online. He <a href="https://biz.yelp.com" target="_blank">set up a business profile on Yelp</a> and encouraged his clients, post-transaction, to post reviews of him there. (After all, when an iPhone user asks Siri for &quot;Nashville real estate agent,&quot; Yelp is what it turns to feed the information.) He also recommends creating a business page on <a href="http://www.google.com/+/learnmore/getstarted/guide.html" target="_blank">Google+</a> to gather reviews from clients.<br /> <br /> &quot;Don&#39;t underestimate the power of liking, sharing, and commenting&quot; on social networks, Pantana said. Find content for your audience (such as by browsing for relevant content on consumer-friendly real estate info sites), and share it on your social networks, like <a href="http://www.facebook.com" target="_blank">Facebook</a> and <a href="http://www.Instagram.com" target="_blank">Instagram</a>, as another way of connecting with prospects online.<br /> <br /> Pantana cited NAR research that shows the most valuable resources buyers and sellers turn to for real estate information: 81 percent use online websites; 78 percent turn to a real estate agent; 65 percent embrace mobile search; and 60 percent use mobile apps.<br /> <br /> &quot;Three out of four involve the Internet,&quot; Pantana said. &quot;It&#39;s an opportunity for us to be the source of their information. Engage them online in a meaningful way, while they&#39;re staring at the screen. Otherwise, they may never call.&quot;</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 digital real estate consumer is on a mission. How are you going to intercept their house-hunt online so they find you?</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/nov14_SM_online_customer.jpg" type="image/jpeg; length=29839">nov14_SM_online_customer.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/nov14_SM_online_customer_0.jpg?1415589356" /> </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/nov14_LP_SM_online_customer.jpg?1415589374" /> </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 Sun, 09 Nov 2014 18:41:12 +0000 mwhite 17661 at http://realtormag.realtor.org In the Presence of Greatness http://realtormag.realtor.org/good-neighbor-awards/article/2014/11/in-presence-greatness <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 2014 Good Neighbor Award winners share their inspirational stories of compassion for their communities. </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, November 11, 2014</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><span style="letter-spacing: 0.0px">Miracles happen.</span></p> <p><span style="letter-spacing: 0.0px">That was evident at the Good Neighbor Awards gala during the REALTORS&reg; Conference &amp; Expo in New Orleans on Saturday night, where the 2014 class was officially honored for the life-changing work they do to improve their communities. As each of the five award recipients stood up to be recognized, they brought the house down with tales of people they&rsquo;ve touched who achieved unbelievable triumphs in the face of tough odds.</span></p> <p><span style="letter-spacing: 0.0px">The <a href="http://realtormag.realtor.org/good-neighbor-awards"><span style="text-decoration: underline ; letter-spacing: 0.0px; color: #0433ff">Good Neighbor Awards</span></a>, now in its 15th year, recognizes REALTORS&reg; who have made an impact on their communities through volunteer work. This year&rsquo;s reception, held at the New Orleans Downtown Marriott hotel, saw 16 past Good Neighbors come out to support the newly minted class.</span></p> <p><span style="letter-spacing: 0.0px">The five 2014 Good Neighbor Award winners &mdash; who were each given $10,000 grants toward their charities &mdash; were recognized in front of thousands of REALTORS&reg; earlier in the day at the General Session, where NAR President Steve Brown thanked them for their important work.</span></p> <p><span style="letter-spacing: 0.0px">&ldquo;You are a true inspiration to us as leaders and as volunteers,&rdquo; former NAR Senior Vice President of Communications Pamela Kabati, who helped launch the Good Neighbor Awards program, told the audience at Saturday&rsquo;s reception.</span></p> <p class="rtecenter"><span style="letter-spacing: 0.0px">****</span></p> <p><span style="letter-spacing: 0.0px">One of the biggest tearjerkers of the night came when <a href="http://realtormag.realtor.org/good-neighbor-awards/winner/2014/09/jane-b-locke"><span style="text-decoration: underline ; letter-spacing: 0.0px; color: #0433ff">Jane Locke</span></a> told of a 5-year-old girl who was helped by Locke&rsquo;s local Mt. Pleasant, S.C.-based charity, Carolina Children&rsquo;s Charity, which benefits kids born with birth defects. The girl had never walked before, but when her father brought her to the finish line of a 5K run, she stood up out of her wheelchair and walked &ndash; for the very first time &ndash; across it.</span></p> <p><span style="letter-spacing: 0.0px">&ldquo;My feet don&rsquo;t touch the ground,&rdquo; Locke said of the overwhelming joy she feels helping others. &ldquo;I&rsquo;m so happy. &hellip; It&rsquo;s priceless to see a smile on a child&rsquo;s face when you have helped put it there.&rdquo;</span></p> <p class="rtecenter"><span style="letter-spacing: 0.0px">****</span></p> <p><span style="letter-spacing: 0.0px">It was a little boy named Tyler who &ldquo;broke my heart and won my heart&rdquo; when <a href="http://realtormag.realtor.org/good-neighbor-awards/winner/2014/09/tricia-carlisle-northcutt"><span style="text-decoration: underline ; letter-spacing: 0.0px; color: #0433ff">Tricia Carlisle-Northcutt</span></a> started her charity, Children&rsquo;s Volunteer Health Network, in Santa Rosa Beach, Fla., she said. The charity helps needy children get dental care when their families can&rsquo;t afford to pay for it.&nbsp;</span></p> <p><span style="letter-spacing: 0.0px">&ldquo;Because of his crooked teeth, kids called him &lsquo;monster mouth,&rsquo;&rdquo; Carlisle-Northcutt said. &ldquo;But Tyler was an overcomer of life circumstances. &hellip; When I met this little guy 10 years ago, I never imagined what type of impact he would have on my life and the community. I keep Tyler in my heart on a daily basis.&rdquo;</span></p> <p><span style="letter-spacing: 0.0px">She said that people like Tyler are &ldquo;shadow children,&rdquo; often overlooked by others. But &ldquo;we can all be heroes in someone&rsquo;s life,&rdquo; she said. &ldquo;Being a Good Neighbor is about being present in the lives of those who need us.&rdquo;</span></p> <p class="rtecenter"><span style="letter-spacing: 0.0px">****</span></p> <p><span style="letter-spacing: 0.0px">After <a href="http://realtormag.realtor.org/good-neighbor-awards/winner/2014/09/edward-p-pompeian"><span style="text-decoration: underline ; letter-spacing: 0.0px; color: #0433ff">Ed Pompeian</span></a> recovered from his kidney transplant in the 1970s, he started visiting transplant patients &ndash; who come from all over the country &ndash; at the Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minn., to ask them what their greatest needs were in the recovery process.</span></p> <p><span style="letter-spacing: 0.0px">&ldquo;Their most common question was: &lsquo;Do you know of a reasonable place where I can stay?&rsquo;&rdquo; Pompeian told the crowd.&nbsp;</span></p> <p><span style="letter-spacing: 0.0px">That was his inspiration for opening the Gift of Life Transplant House, where transplant patients can find an affordable place to stay with their care-givers while they wait for donors and recover from surgery.</span></p> <p><span style="letter-spacing: 0.0px">He remembered a woman needing a lung transplant who stayed at Gift of Life for three years while waiting for a donor. Never knowing when a donor would come through, she had to be nearby the hospital in case one came through.</span></p> <p><span style="letter-spacing: 0.0px">&ldquo;Could you imagine staying at a hotel for three years if that was your only option?&rdquo; Pompeian said. &ldquo;The emotional support she received from the Transplant House enabled her to deal with the ups and downs of waiting for a transplant. Now she&rsquo;s enjoying life again with a new grandchild.&rdquo;</span></p> <p class="rtecenter"><span style="letter-spacing: 0.0px">****</span></p> <p><span style="letter-spacing: 0.0px">Imagine waking up tomorrow in a foreign land with no money, no formal education, no grasp of the native language, no family, and having to take care of two children.</span></p> <p><span style="letter-spacing: 0.0px">That&rsquo;s the story <a href="http://realtormag.realtor.org/good-neighbor-awards/winner/2014/09/rosemary-tran-lauer"><span style="text-decoration: underline ; letter-spacing: 0.0px; color: #0433ff">Rosemary Tran Lauer</span></a> relayed of her own life when she came to America years ago. She became a waitress, but her boss stole her tips because she didn&rsquo;t know any better. She worked two other jobs, but neither paid enough for her to send her kids to child care. She had no choice but to leave them with neighbors she didn&rsquo;t know very well while she was working.</span></p> <p><span style="letter-spacing: 0.0px">That&rsquo;s why she started Devotion to Children, which helps struggling parents get child care, she said. She wanted to help women like her &ndash; or like Lena, a woman with two kids who moved back to her parents&rsquo; house to escape an abusive relationship.</span></p> <p><span style="letter-spacing: 0.0px">&ldquo;She got married and thought it would be happily ever after,&rdquo; Lauer said. &ldquo;She would have been homeless with two children if she hadn&rsquo;t have found Devotion to Children.&rdquo;</span></p> <p class="rtecenter"><span style="letter-spacing: 0.0px">****</span></p> <p><span style="letter-spacing: 0.0px">For <a href="http://realtormag.realtor.org/good-neighbor-awards/winner/2014/09/paul-wilson"><span style="text-decoration: underline ; letter-spacing: 0.0px; color: #0433ff">Paul Wilson</span></a>, what motivates him to keep running to raise money for Wolfson Children&rsquo;s Hospital in Jacksonville, Fla., are the children whose lives are being saved every day. The proceeds from his Wolfson Children&rsquo;s Challenge, a 55-mile race that benefits the hospital, have paid for cutting-edge medical equipment that catches life-threatening illnesses in children early on.</span></p> <p><span style="letter-spacing: 0.0px">He recalls a saying he once heard: &ldquo;The wealthiest place on earth is the graveyard because in the graveyard, there are dreams that never became realities and hopes that were never acted upon.</span></p> <p><span style="letter-spacing: 0.0px">&ldquo;This motivates me to always keep pushing forward and take action to make this world a better place,&rdquo; Wilson said.</span></p> <p><span style="letter-spacing: 0.0px">He called out some of the children who inspire him every day: a young girl with a rare neurological disease that was caught early by the 3 Tesla MRI machine that Wolfson Children&rsquo;s Challenge raised funds for. And, of course, his own son, who was born with spina bifida and now, at 6 years old, is the star of his school&rsquo;s swim team.</span></p> <p class="rtecenter"><span style="letter-spacing: 0.0px">****</span></p> <p><span style="letter-spacing: 0.0px">The Good Neighbors reception ended on a high note with one of the most awe-inspiring women in the country today: <a href="http://realtormag.realtor.org/first-person/powerofr/article/2014/11/setting-ice-bucket-challenge-fire"><span style="text-decoration: underline ; letter-spacing: 0.0px; color: #0433ff">Nancy Frates</span></a>, who played a role in helping her son, Pete, make the ALS Ice Bucket Challenge a viral success. Pete has been living with ALS since March 2012 and can no longer walk or speak. Once he started pushing the Ice Bucket Challenge to his network of pro athletes in Boston, the movement grew to worldwide proportions.</span></p> <p><span style="letter-spacing: 0.0px">Frates spoke of the need for everyone to become leaders in something.</span></p> <p><span style="letter-spacing: 0.0px">&ldquo;Through hard work driven by love, inspiration, and unacceptability of a most certain inevitability for Pete, we changed the world,&rdquo; Frates said. &ldquo;Have faith, and when a leader sets a vision, keep it at the forefront of your life every day. You must believe in and get on board with the vision every day. There is no room in progress for drama and negativity.&rdquo;</span></p> <p><span style="letter-spacing: 0.0px">She ended the night with one of Pete&rsquo;s favorite sayings: &ldquo;Be passionate, be genuine, be hardworking, and don&rsquo;t be afraid to be great.&rdquo;</span></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 style="letter-spacing: 0.0px">The 2014 Good Neighbor Award winners share their inspirational stories of compassion for their communities.</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/nov14_GN_Awards_pres.jpg" type="image/jpeg; length=55293">nov14_GN_Awards_pres.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/nov14_GN_Awards_pres_0.jpg?1415722988" /> </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/nov14_LP_GN_Awards_pres.jpg?1415723005" /> </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="/good-neighbor-awards/article/2014/11/champions-for-better-life">Champions for a Better Life</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> Good Neighbor Awards Mon, 10 Nov 2014 01:00:39 +0000 gwood 17664 at http://realtormag.realtor.org What If Your Agent Smokes Pot? http://realtormag.realtor.org/for-brokers/network/article/2014/11/what-if-your-agent-smokes-pot <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"> Employment laws are getting murkier around the issue of medical marijuana. If an agent tests positive, you may not be able to outright fire them. </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">Sunday, November 9, 2014</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>In 2010, Brandon Coats was fired from his job as a telephone operator for Dish Network in Colorado after testing positive for marijuana in a company drug screen. Now it&rsquo;s the employer who may be held liable.</p> <p>Coats, a quadriplegic who lost the ability to walk after a car accident when he was a teenager, is certified to use marijuana for medicinal purposes to gain relief from his body&rsquo;s uncontrollable spasms. He&rsquo;s suing Dish Network for wrongful termination of employment, saying his firing was not based on performance and disregarded his medical needs. The case is now before the Colorado Supreme Court. If the case goes Coats&rsquo; way, it could rewrite employment laws and affect employers&rsquo; rights to make hiring and firing decisions based on drug tests.</p> <p>For broker-owners and managers, particularly those who live in states where some form of pot use is legal, the case deserves to be closely watched. If you have an agent that tests positive for pot, human resources experts say, don&rsquo;t be quick to let them go, or you risk a lawsuit yourself. This advice applies to independent contractors as well as full-time employees.</p> <p>Marijuana use for medicinal purposes has been legalized in 23 states; four states have OK&rsquo;d it for recreational use. The result is that more than half the nation&rsquo;s REALTORS&reg; live in jurisdictions with laws that permit medical or recreational use. The federal government still regards marijuana as an illegal substance, and federal law trumps state law &mdash; but there&rsquo;s a catch.</p> <p>There haven&rsquo;t been any challenges to state marijuana laws at the Supreme Court level, noted NAR Senior Policy Representative Megan Booth during the &ldquo;Medical Marijuana and R.E.&rdquo; session at the REALTORS&reg; Conference &amp; Expo in New Orleans. So state laws stand. Therefore, employees and independent contractors in states with legalized medical marijuana may have a case against an organization that fires them for a positive drug test.</p> <p>This doesn&rsquo;t mean brokers and other employers don&rsquo;t have the right to ensure safety in the workplace or demand that their employees be capable of performing the essential duties of their jobs, said NAR Human Resource Services Director Donna Garcia. But if a broker is concerned about the impact of an agent&rsquo;s pot use, it should be tied directly to performance on the job and nothing else, she said. Even independent contractors are required to follow whatever drug policy the company they are working for has in place.</p> <p>In the case of Coats, he says he was consistently regarded as one of Dish Network&rsquo;s top-producing employees, and there was never a recorded complaint about his performance. That could be what hurts Dish Network the most in the case. So brokers should be careful not to overstep their bounds regarding an agent&rsquo;s marijuana use.</p> <p>&ldquo;If their performance is fine and they&rsquo;re conducting their essential job functions, I don&rsquo;t know what grounds you would have to fire someone,&rdquo; Garcia said.</p> <p>Showing up to work impaired is another matter, she added. The best way to protect yourself from liability is to write specific language into contracts that sets expectations around your drug policy.</p> <p>Garcia suggests that you make it clear in contracts that you do not allow drug use on company property or during situations when an employee or independent contractor must act in a professional capacity. If you decide to pre-screen individuals for drugs, make those expectations explicitly clear in the contract.</p> <p>Garcia offered NAR&rsquo;s written policy as a template: &ldquo;The Association prohibits the use, possession, distribution, or sale of illegal drugs, and distribution or sale of legal drugs, while on Association business, on Association property, at an Association event, or in an Association vehicle. The Association reserves the right to require employees to submit to a drug and/or alcohol test at its discretion. Refusal to take a drug and/or alcohol test is grounds for disciplinary action, up to and including termination.&rdquo;</p> <p>&ldquo;Luckily, courts side with employers&rsquo; rights to test workers for drugs,&rdquo; Garcia said. &ldquo;But you shouldn&rsquo;t test just to test. You need to have a reason for doing it.&rdquo;</p> <hr /> <br /> <p><img alt="" src="/sites/realtormag.realtor.org/files/rmo_files/images/logos/BtoB_logo_footer_080114.jpg" style="width: 150px; height: 117px; float: left;" /><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> <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>Employment laws are getting murkier around the issue of medical marijuana. If an agent tests positive, you may not be able to outright fire them.</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/nov14_NC_marijuana.jpg" type="image/jpeg; length=22474">nov14_NC_marijuana.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/nov14_NC_marijuana_0.jpg?1415561772" /> </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/nov14_LP_marijuana.jpg?1415561778" /> </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 Sun, 09 Nov 2014 19:23:57 +0000 gwood 17662 at http://realtormag.realtor.org A Presidential Night http://realtormag.realtor.org/news-and-commentary/feature/article/2014/11/presidential-night <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 2015 NAR President gets a heartfelt endorsement from his old friend the 42nd President of the United States. </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, November 7, 2014</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>It took a former President to install the next NAR president on Thursday.</p> <p>Chris Polychron, 2015 NAR President, was thrilled that his old pal from Little Rock, Ark. turned up to do the honors in the Great Hall Ballroom of New Orleans&rsquo; Morial Convention Center. His friend of more than 30 years happened to be the 42<sup>nd</sup> President of the United States.</p> <p>&ldquo;I love Chris Polychron,&rdquo; former President Bill Clinton told the audience. &ldquo;He supported me when I ran for governor. He and [his wife] Janis are really good people.&rdquo;</p> <p>Clinton called on real estate professionals to do their part to change the discourse in an increasingly polarized and economically divided society. &ldquo;We are the best-positioned country in the world for the 21st century. But we have to create an economy where we grow the middle class again. We have to cure the political dysfunction,&rdquo; he said. &ldquo;It starts with the way you relate to your community. I believe we cannot rise unless we continue to see [home ownership] as a source of national wealth.&rdquo;</p> <p>Fostering trust and community support is crucial to strengthening America&rsquo;s economy and developing a more cooperative civil society. Clinton, making his fifth appearance at an NAR event, pointed out that choosing a leader with Polychron&rsquo;s character was a good way for NAR to work toward such goals: &ldquo;Chris always knew what was important. He always knew what was right. I always knew I could trust him. And I&rsquo;m glad that you made him your president.&rdquo;</p> <p>Polychron, an executive broker with 1st Choice Realty in Hot Springs, Ark. beamed as he shared his sentiments about his longtime alliance with the former President. &ldquo;He made time for me when he didn&rsquo;t have time. That, my friends, is what reminds me of what it means to be from Arkansas,&rdquo;&nbsp; said the 27-year real estate veteran. &ldquo;I owe my entire life to the relationships I&rsquo;ve made, one person at a time.&rdquo;</p> <p>Polychron, GRI, CRS, noted that 2014 President Steve Brown has excelled at positioning NAR to tackle the major issues facing the industry now: &ldquo;He put us behind the wheel instead of in the passenger seat.&rdquo;</p> <p>The 2015 NAR president offered a glimpse of the year ahead, outlining three major goals of his upcoming presidency: maintaining the position of REALTORS&reg; at the center of the real estate transaction; increased safety standards; and boosting member involvement in the association.</p> <p>&ldquo;We will be essential, we will be safer, and above all, we will be heard,&rdquo; Polychron said. He admitted that the third item might be overly ambitious, but theorized about the huge impact that tripling the approximately 350,000 members who are directly involved in the association could have: &ldquo;Can you imagine that? The REALTOR&reg; voice could fill any room, anywhere, anytime.&rdquo;</p> <hr /> <p><em>Polychron has officially begun his one-year presidential term as of Monday, Nov. 10, 2014.</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 2015 NAR President gets a heartfelt endorsement from his old friend, the 42nd President of the United States.</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/nov14_NC_inaugural.jpeg" type="image/jpeg; length=66418">nov14_NC_inaugural.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/nov14_NC_inaugural_0.jpeg?1415398518" /> </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/nov14_LP_inaugural.jpeg?1415398525" /> </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, 07 Nov 2014 22:15:33 +0000 mwhite 17655 at http://realtormag.realtor.org Credit Access Limits Recovery http://realtormag.realtor.org/news-and-commentary/economy/article/2014/11/credit-access-limits-recovery <div class="field field-type-text field-field-deck"> <div class="field-label">Deck:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> At the Residential Economic Issues Forum at the 2014 REALTORS® Conference &amp; Expo, NAR Chief Economist Lawrence Yun outlined the hurdles still hampering the recovery. </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, November 7, 2014</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 economy is recovering, household wealth is at its highest level ever, and the housing market is improving, but until lenders increase access to credit, sales will continue to underperform and demand will remain pent up, NAR Chief Economist Lawrence Yun said Friday.</p> <p>Since the economic recovery began in 2010, home owners on a national basis have seen their equity position improve. That&rsquo;s a trend that should continue in the years ahead thanks to steady U.S. economic growth, solid job increases, improving consumer confidence, and continuing low interest rates.</p> <p>These conditions make it a good time for households to buy and start accumulating wealth, Yun said. But credit policies among lenders that add restrictions above what&rsquo;s required by Fannie Mae, Freddie Mac, and FHA are making it too hard for many households, particularly those in the millennial generation, to buy.</p> <p>He pointed out that, even factoring in the housing downturn, today&rsquo;s home owners nationally have accumulated an average $200,000 in wealth, 36 times the average $5,500 in wealth of renters.</p> <p>Yun said the share of first-time buyers, about 30 percent of the market, is at its lowest level in 30 years despite research showing that 75 percent of young households want to buy. &ldquo;Living with their parents is not their vision of the American dream,&rdquo; Yun said, eliciting chuckles from the audience.</p> <p>And it&rsquo;s not just young households having trouble buying. Yun said homeownership levels dropped by one million households between 2010 and 2014, despite the recovery in home equity, while the share of renters has increased by four million during that period.</p> <p>Mel Watt director of the Federal Housing Finance Agency, which oversees secondary mortgage market companies Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, in remarks he made to REALTORS&reg; at the session with Yun, said his agency has been wrestling with lenders&rsquo; restrictive credit policies and is encouraging them to align their policies with what Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac require.</p> <p>&ldquo;It would be nice if [lenders] would come up to the plate and help us,&rdquo; he said. &ldquo;We&rsquo;re trying to create the atmosphere and the circumstances&rdquo; for them to feel comfortable enough that they can ease their credit restrictions above what Fannie and Freddie require.</p> <p>One group of buyers whose market share is poised to grow is the 10 percent of Americans who have substantial exposure to Wall Street, because the stock market has been rising dramatically for the last several years. Flush times for those households should help grow sales of high-end homes and vacation properties, Yun said.</p> <p>Yun is forecasting U.S. economic growth of 2.7 percent next year and 2.9 percent in 2016, about 2.5 million new jobs in each of those years, and interest rates to stay historically low, although they&rsquo;ll likely start rising in early 2015.</p> <p>Households &ldquo;aren&rsquo;t buying because there&rsquo;s a fence in front of them,&rdquo; said Yun, who encouraged Watt to continue its efforts to get lenders to ease their credit standards to a more reasonable level.</p> <div class="field field-type-text field-field-show-author-info"> <div class="field-label">Show Author Info?:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> Show Author Info? </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-text field-field-teaser"> <div class="field-label">Teaser:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <!--paging_filter--><p>At the Residential Economic Issues Forum at the 2014 REALTORS&reg; Conference &amp; Expo, NAR Chief Economist Lawrence Yun outlined the hurdles still hampering the recovery.</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/nov14_NC_residential.jpg" type="image/jpeg; length=45717">nov14_NC_residential.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/nov14_NC_residential_0.jpg?1415401084" /> </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/nov14_LP_residential.jpg?1415401093" /> </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-number-integer field-field-mainstage-image-display2"> <div class="field-label">Mainstage Image Display on Content:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> No, don't disable the "Main" image on this article </div> </div> </div> Economy Fri, 07 Nov 2014 22:49:37 +0000 mwhite 17656 at http://realtormag.realtor.org Winning the Race http://realtormag.realtor.org/news-and-commentary/feature/article/2014/11/winning-race <div class="field field-type-text field-field-deck"> <div class="field-label">Deck:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> At the REALTORS® Conference &amp; Expo in New Orleans, a moment is taken to celebrate wins in the midterm election and beyond. </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, November 7, 2014</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 official welcoming ceremony of the REALTORS&reg; Conference &amp; Expo in New Orleans on Thursday became more of an after-party celebrating a huge victory for the real estate industry: winning the election.</p> <p>Though not represented on ballots by name, the REALTOR&reg; Party swept Tuesday&rsquo;s midterm election, <a href="/daily-news/2014/11/05/realtor-party-allies-win-key-races">helping 430 REALTOR&reg;-backed candidates</a>&mdash;both Democrat and Republican&mdash;in 465 federal races around the country claim seats in the U.S. House of Representatives and the U.S. Senate.</p> <p>National Association of REALTORS&reg; President Steve Brown congratulated members at the NAR 360 program at Morial Convention Center, saying the strong showing in the election will keep real estate issues at the forefront of national consciousness.</p> <p>&ldquo;One of the reasons the REALTOR&reg; Party is so successful is because we are involved in every race that will impact the real estate industry,&rdquo; said Iona Harrison, REALTOR&reg; Party Disbursements Liaison.</p> <p>Harrison broke down further REALTOR&reg; victories in Tuesday&rsquo;s election.</p> <ul> <li> In addition to supporting candidates with direct contributions, the REALTOR&reg; Party sent mail and online communications to members in more than 100 districts. REALTOR&reg;-backed candidates won in 88 percent of races in those districts, which are considered more competitive than the average Congressional race.</li> <li> The REALTOR&reg; Party conducted independent expenditure campaigns for 12 of the most highly competitive races in the country, producing TV spots and online ads. The races were for four Senate seats, six House seats, and three primaries earlier in the year. The campaigns helped win 11 of the 12 races, with the twelfth still undetermined.</li> <li> REALTORS&reg; supported 383 candidates at state and local levels this year, up from 252 last year. The REALTOR&reg; Party win rate in state and local races this year was 76 percent.</li> <li> More than 100 of the state and local candidates REALTORS&reg; backed are REALTORS&reg; themselves.</li> <li> The REALTOR&reg; Party was involved in 51 issue campaigns this year, including fighting sign ordinances, saving write-offs for the mortgage interest deduction, and battling property tax hikes. The most successful campaigns resulted in defeating a hefty real estate tax on multifamily flippers in San Francisco and getting transfer taxes banned in a sixth state: North Dakota. (The REALTOR&reg; Party has previously helped to get transfer taxes banned in Arizona, Louisiana, Missouri, Montana, and Oregon.)</li> </ul> <p>&ldquo;Thank you for the advocacy work you do at all levels,&rdquo; Harrison said.</p> <h4> News Corp: We&rsquo;re With You</h4> <p>Coming off Tuesday&rsquo;s election wins, REALTORS&reg; are also hoping to emerge on top in another race: lifting realtor.com&reg; to the No. 1 spot among real estate portals.</p> <p>News Corp&rsquo;s recent acquisition of Move, Inc. is expected to turbocharge realtor.com&reg;&rsquo;s visibility in the online real estate space. At NAR 360, special guest Robert Thomson, CEO of News Corp, greeted REALTORS&reg; via satellite from the New York newsroom of The Wall Street Journal&mdash;one of the media empire&rsquo;s biggest properties&mdash;and explained how News Corp&rsquo;s values align with those of the real estate industry.</p> <p>&ldquo;We&rsquo;re very careful with the relationships we&rsquo;ve built with readers,&rdquo; Thomson said. &ldquo;It&rsquo;s like REALTORS&reg; and their customers. At the heart of both relationships is trust.&rdquo;</p> <p>He said that the importance of REALTORS&reg;&rsquo; contributions to the role real estate plays in American society is profound, and News Corp plans to throw its resources at the REALTOR&reg; brand. The company will use its media network&mdash;its websites get half a billion views a year&mdash;to promote realtor.com&reg; and bring more visibility to REALTORS&reg;.</p> <p>&ldquo;It&rsquo;s clear to us that REALTORS&reg; are at the heart of property, and you can&rsquo;t look at property without partnering with REALTORS&reg;,&rdquo; Thomson said. &ldquo;It struck us as slightly absurd that realtor.com&reg; is the No. 3 brand [in online real estate sites] when REALTORS&reg; are No. 1 in property. There is a profound social value to REALTORS&reg;, and we&rsquo;re proud to be part of that social value that you create in every town, every city around the country.&rdquo;</p> <p>To bolster realtor.com&reg;&rsquo;s standing, Thomson said News Corp&rsquo;s objective is to make the real estate site &ldquo;more functional and user-friendly.&rdquo; He also said that the company would create content to inform REALTORS&reg; of the types of conversations Americans are having around real estate.</p> <p>&ldquo;We build brands, but this partnership is also about relationships and trust,&rdquo; he added. &ldquo;The relationship between NAR and News Corp will be one of trust.&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>At the REALTORS&reg; Conference &amp; Expo in New Orleans, a moment is taken to celebrate wins in the midterm election and beyond.</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/NOV14_annual_360main.jpg" type="image/jpeg; length=89945">NOV14_annual_360main.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/NOV14_annual_360main_0.jpg?1415377192" /> </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/NOV14_annual_360LP.jpg?1415377203" /> </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-nodereference field-field-related-content"> <div class="field-label">Related Content:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/news-and-commentary/nar-president/article/2010/08/how-help-realtor-party">How to Help the REALTOR® Party</a> </div> <div class="field-item even"> <a href="/first-person/powerofr/article/2014/05/finding-independence-outside-party-line">Finding Independence Outside the Party Line</a> </div> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/news-and-commentary/feature/article/2011/10/my-realtor-party-initiative-succeeding-your-behalf">My REALTOR® Party Initiative: Succeeding on Your Behalf</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, 07 Nov 2014 16:20:12 +0000 mwhite 17654 at http://realtormag.realtor.org Growing Sales, Building Community http://realtormag.realtor.org/news-and-commentary/feature/article/2014/11/growing-sales-building-community <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"> Expand your work in an affordable niche that can both increase your client base and make your community a better place to live. </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, November 5, 2014</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/christina-hoffmann">Christina Hoffmann</a> </div> </div> </div> <!--paging_filter--><p>Although government guidelines call for spending no more than 30 percent of your income on housing, more than 20 million people pay as much as 50 percent, making it virtually impossible for them to get a leg up on the home ownership ladder, much less afford the necessities of life.</p> <p>&ldquo;That&rsquo;s a real problem, because it puts so many people out of the market from ever owning a home,&rdquo; said course instructor Linda Kody, broker-owner of Kody &amp; Co. Inc., in North Andover, Mass.</p> <p>Increasing home ownership was the challenge presented to a group of REALTORS&reg; from around the country who attended Expanding Housing Opportunities, a course that trains practitioners to help qualified prospects realize their part of the American dream.</p> <p>Course attendees, representing a geographic cross section from California to Delaware and Minnesota to Texas, identified similar conditions&mdash; low inventory, bidding wars, flat income, appraisal problems&mdash; impeding the development of affordable housing for working families across their markets.</p> <p>For the REALTOR&reg; committed to expanding housing opportunities, the affordable niche is not only a way to increase your client base but to make your community a better place to live.</p> <p>How can you help these clients?</p> <p><strong>Partner with a housing counselor.</strong> Counselors help your clients resolve credit issues, draw up a budget, understand what type of housing suits their needs, and generally get prepared for home ownership. Find counselors through:</p> <ul> <li> HUD&rsquo;s <a href="http://hud.gov/offices/hsg/sfh/hcc/hcs.cfm" target="_blank">online directory</a> or 1-800-569-4287</li> <li> Lenders familiar with local housing agencies</li> <li> Local government websites</li> <li> Local offices of national housing organizations, such as NeighborWorks America and HomeFree-USA</li> </ul> <p><strong>Volunteer with a nonprofit housing agency.</strong> Educate prospective buyers by speaking at home buyer seminars to explain the agent-client relationship, the sales contract and disclosure forms, and the protections that buyer agency offers.</p> <p><strong>Find sources for downpayment and closing cost assistance. </strong>Options include grants, forgivable loans, and shared equity arrangements. Under a shared equity arrangement, a nonprofit might agree to provide $10,000 for a downpayment on a $100,000 home in return for receiving 50 percent of any future sale profit.</p> <p>To find financial resources, contact lenders, housing counselors, local and state REALTOR&reg; associations, and government resources, such as state and local housing finance agencies.</p> <p><strong>Help clients obtain an affordable loan and avoid predatory lenders.</strong> Stave off problems by helping clients determine whether they can afford mortgage payments for the loan they&rsquo;re pre-approved for; making sure they understand consequences of prepayment penalties and the worst-case scenarios for ARMs, if applicable; and explaining forms like the HUD-1 Settlement. To find affordable loans, visit sites such as fanniemae.com and freddiemac.com, and confer with your lender partners.</p> <p><strong>Get involved with local government to encourage workforce housing opportunities. </strong>Offices and agencies to work with in your area could include transportation boards, economic development councils, housing commissions, and zoning and planning boards.</p> <p>Ultimately, your work in improving affordable housing opportunities can lead to an enlarged tax base, improved neighborhoods, and a growth in new businesses.</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>Expand your work in an affordable niche that can both increase your client base and make your community a better place to live.</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/nov14_NC_opportunities.jpg" type="image/jpeg; length=91766">nov14_NC_opportunities.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/nov14_NC_opportunities_0.jpg?1415316128" /> </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/nov14_LP_opportunities.jpeg?1415316137" /> </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, 06 Nov 2014 23:22:32 +0000 mwhite 17648 at http://realtormag.realtor.org Setting the Ice Bucket Challenge on Fire http://realtormag.realtor.org/first-person/powerofr/article/2014/11/setting-ice-bucket-challenge-fire <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"> Nancy Frates used her real estate business skills to help her son make the ALS movement a worldwide phenomenon. </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, November 3, 2014</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>With a little smile or the blink of an eye, Pete Frates can still let his mother, Nancy, know that he understands what she&rsquo;s saying to him. He can&rsquo;t talk back anymore &mdash; he can&rsquo;t even swallow or hold his head up because of the deterioration of his neck muscles &mdash; but when Nancy tells him that she loves him, a wink says &ldquo;I love you, too.&rdquo;</p> <p>The person Pete has become is unlike what anyone imagined, and not just for the obvious reasons. Two-and-a-half years ago, he was an avid baseball player, having played for Boston College when he was in school, and knocking baseballs out of ballparks all over town. Now he&rsquo;s confined to a wheelchair and using a feeding tube to stay alive. Most might say he was at his best in his glory days as an athlete. But it&rsquo;s in the present, at nearly 30 years old and without the ability to care for himself, that Pete has inspired the world.</p> <p>You&rsquo;ve probably heard Pete&rsquo;s name before, as his condition has become quite notable. In fact, he&rsquo;s probably the reason you at least know someone &mdash; if you didn&rsquo;t do it yourself &mdash; who has dumped a bucket of ice water on themselves in the name of scientific research.</p> <p>In March 2012, Pete was diagnosed with amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, a progressive neurodegenerative disease also known as Lou Gehrig&rsquo;s disease that kills the nerve cells in the brain and spinal cord. Over time, it shuts off the brain&rsquo;s ability to control muscle function, and as of today, every person suffering from ALS eventually dies prematurely. Since his diagnosis, Pete has been credited as the central driving force behind the Ice Bucket Challenge that has swept social media and inspired millions across the globe to raise awareness of the debilitating disease. It has become a one-of-a-kind movement, a blueprint for future charitable efforts to break the mold in a modern, technological society.</p> <p>Moving the Ice Bucket Challenge forward toward a global cause is no small feat, particularly for someone with as many limitations as Pete faces. But behind his success is a woman who has applied the motto of the real estate industry &mdash; relationships first &mdash; to the ALS world, helping Pete boost the groundswell for new research and record-shattering donations: his mother, Nancy, an agent and business-building trainer with Keller Williams Realty in Beverly, Mass.</p> <h4> <img alt="" src="/sites/realtormag.realtor.org/files/rmo_files/images/2014_nov/Frates_Nancy.jpg" style="width: 150px; height: 205px; float: left; margin: 3px;" />&lsquo;We&rsquo;re Going to Move the Mountain of This Disease&rsquo;</h4> <p>Life can change in an instant, Nancy Frates says. A lot of people say that because they know it&rsquo;s a real possibility. She says it because she&rsquo;s lived it.</p> <p>On March 13, 2012, the day Pete was diagnosed, Nancy and her husband, John, were going to meet Pete at the doctor&rsquo;s office. Pete had gotten hit in the wrist while playing baseball months prior, and it never seemed to heal. This was the day he would finally find out what was going on, and he wanted his parents there for support.</p> <p>&ldquo;My husband and I took different cars to the appointment,&rdquo; Nancy says. &ldquo;We thought we were going to work separately afterward.&rdquo;</p> <p>But when Pete was told he had ALS, everything changed. The family gathered around the table at home to talk about what would happen next. Pete&rsquo;s bravery in the face of such devastating news astounded them all.</p> <p>&ldquo;Pete said, &lsquo;I will have no wallowing and no one being negative about this. We have an opportunity to change things. We&rsquo;re going to move the mountain of this disease,&rsquo;&rdquo; Nancy recalls. &ldquo;I didn&rsquo;t have time to wallow. Every day I want to take the easy way out &mdash; to wallow and sit in the house and cry all day. But every morning, I choose instead to be a part of this challenge to fight this disease and be proactive, and I follow my son&rsquo;s lead.&rdquo;</p> <p>Every family member took on a role as a part of their team to fight ALS. Some would do research on the disease to find out what was needed in the community to further progress toward a cure; others would reach out to anyone who would listen to build support for financing more research. Nancy immersed herself in both.</p> <p>&ldquo;I had to digest the fact that my son had ALS,&rdquo; Nancy says. &ldquo;I knew it was bad, and I thought it only happened to old people. I had a friend whose father had it in the &rsquo;70s.</p> <p>&ldquo;I was told there is no treatment for ALS, and one word popped into my mind: unacceptable,&rdquo; Nancy continues. &ldquo;I&rsquo;m a mama bear, and when you tell me that one of my children has no treatment, I won&rsquo;t stand for it.&rdquo;</p> <p>She soon began meeting with government officials, representatives from the Federal Drug Administration, and CEOs of drug and therapy companies, and she&rsquo;s been to Capitol Hill to speak about ALS. She now serves on the Board of Trustees for The ALS Association.</p> <p>As the Frates family ramped up their advocacy for ALS research &mdash; they created a Facebook page called <a href="https://www.facebook.com/TeamFratetrain" target="_blank">Team Frate Train</a> to rally people around their cause &mdash; an indispensable tool to spread the word about the disease fell into Pete&rsquo;s lap: the Ice Bucket Challenge.</p> <p><iframe allowfullscreen="" frameborder="0" height="315" src="//www.youtube.com/embed/yCoKB_tU9ng" width="560"></iframe></p> <h4> Launching a Movement</h4> <p>A man from Yonkers, N.Y., named Pat Quinn found <a href="http://petefrates.com/" target="_blank">Pete&rsquo;s website</a> after being diagnosed with ALS himself. Their lives were practically identical: they were both in their late 20s, were athletes in college, and had girlfriends, and Pat was diagnosed in March 2013, nearly one year to the day after Pete. The two quickly bonded, and Pete became a mentor to Pat.</p> <p>By July of this year, the Ice Bucket Challenge had already been established on a small scale, and Pat had heard about it. Knowing that Pete was part of an extensive network of athletes in Boston &mdash; including players from the Red Sox and Celtics &mdash; Pat introduced Pete to the movement, hoping his network would bring major visibility to it.</p> <p>In late July, Pete began encouraging his friends to post their own videos of their Ice Bucket Challenges, and they did so while calling him out as the person to which they dedicated their donations to the ALS Association. The sports world in Boston, wielding the kind of influence it does, got the ball rolling. And from that moment forward is when the Ice Bucket Challenge became a worldwide phenomenon, as the message spread like wildfire across social media. In early August, Pete took his own Ice Bucket Challenge while flanked by friends and Boston College sports figures:</p> <p><iframe class="vine-embed" frameborder="0" height="480" src="https://vine.co/v/MYUKhUmUt1E/embed/simple" width="480"></iframe><script async src="//platform.vine.co/static/scripts/embed.js" charset="utf-8"></script></p> <p>&ldquo;It just took off when Pete got his network involved,&rdquo; Nancy says. &ldquo;The ripple effect is what&rsquo;s going to mark this and keep this going. It&rsquo;s lasting because Pete&rsquo;s story is compelling and relatable.&rdquo;</p> <p>There&rsquo;s no question the Ice Bucket Challenge has gone far and wide and had some very lasting effects on ALS research: It raked in more than $100 million in two months after more than 3 million people made donations, <a href="http://www.forbes.com/sites/dandiamond/2014/08/29/the-als-ice-bucket-challenge-has-raised-100m-but-its-finally-cooling-off/" target="_blank">according to estimates</a>.</p> <p>All the while, Nancy fought behind the scenes as her son became the public face of the movement. She says she used her business skills as a real estate agent to make the right connections in the ALS community and help jumpstart change.</p> <p>&ldquo;My husband and I are both business owners,&rdquo; Nancy says. &ldquo;We took all those skills as business owners, and we created a brand &mdash; Team Frate Train &mdash; we created merchandise, and we built relationships to reach our goal. We got people to take it to the next level. We got people to go and research what this disease was, and then they put their money where their mouth is, and now they&rsquo;re funding new research.&rdquo;</p> <h4> Keeping Hope Alive</h4> <p>Now, as the attention the Ice Bucket Challenge received begins to subside, Nancy continues to do everything she can to bring awareness to ALS. She still stumps for ALS research anywhere she can, and she still has hope that her son will be saved.</p> <p>&ldquo;I see treatment and a cure coming in the future, whether it happens tomorrow or in 20 years,&rdquo; she says. &ldquo;All I have is hope and faith. That&rsquo;s what gets me through the day.&rdquo;</p> <p>Nancy will be speaking at the Good Neighbor Awards gala on Saturday at the REALTORS&reg; Conference &amp; Expo in New Orleans. She&rsquo;ll be speaking about how to deal with challenges when they come into our lives.</p> <p>&ldquo;[The GNA gala] is a great platform because these are people who do what we all on this earth should be doing, which is helping the lives of others. It&rsquo;s my honor to speak to a group who gets that,&rdquo; Nancy says. &ldquo;If you live a good life, when a challenge strikes you, you will know how to deal with it.</p> <p>&ldquo;I&rsquo;m acutely aware of the blessings every day. I have a son who knows why he walks the face of the earth. He&rsquo;s passionate about what he does &mdash; what a gift that is. Pete has always been captain of the team. He&rsquo;s a leader, a mentor, he was president of his class, and he has always been inspiring and very charismatic. He has a work ethic and a mental toughness that would challenge anyone. He&rsquo;s always used this phrase: &lsquo;Be passionate, be genuine, be hardworking, and don&rsquo;t be afraid to be great.&rsquo; And that&rsquo;s exactly what we&rsquo;re doing.&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>Nancy Frates used her real estate business skills to help her son make the ALS movement a worldwide phenomenon.</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/nov14_POR.jpg" type="image/jpeg; length=69975">nov14_POR.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/nov14_POR_0.jpg?1415050503" /> </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/nov14_LP_POR.jpg?1415050521" /> </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"> Pete Frates, center, was a Boston College baseball phenom before being diagnosed with ALS. Now, he is known for helping the Ice Bucket Challenge reach global success. </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-nodereference field-field-related-content"> <div class="field-label">Related Content:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/news-and-commentary/your-nar/article/2014/09/realtors-ice">REALTORS® on Ice</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> #PowerofR Mon, 03 Nov 2014 20:29:03 +0000 gwood 17624 at http://realtormag.realtor.org Getting Rolling With .REALTOR http://realtormag.realtor.org/news-and-commentary/feature/article/2014/10/getting-rolling-realtor <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"> With the recent roll-out of the new top-level .REALTOR domain behind us, REALTOR® Magazine looks at how practitioners are planning to use this new online marketing tool. </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, October 29, 2014</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>Beth Tyler was taught the importance of a domain name very early on. Back in 1996 when the sales associate with Long &amp; Foster Real Estate in Annapolis, Md., looked to see if her name was available in dot-com form, she found out it was a porn site.</p> <p>She kept checking back every year to see if the &ldquo;other Beth Tyler&rdquo; had given it up, but she had no luck. So she got creative.</p> <p>&ldquo;Because of that experience, I&rsquo;ve always had to think outside the box when it comes to domain names. ... I even bought BethTyler.xxx just so she wouldn&rsquo;t get it,&rdquo; Tyler, e-PRO, says. For a while, she considered offering the triple-x domain in a trade for the .com version, but says, &ldquo;It&rsquo;s so tainted now that it&rsquo;s never going to work for me.&rdquo;</p> <p>She estimates that she owns 40 to 60 domain names with GoDaddy. Around half of them are temporary URLs that she uses to market specific properties, while others are part of her permanent marketing plan to target specific areas. So when she heard about the opportunity to get <a href="http://bethtyler.realtor/">BethTyler.REALTOR</a>, she jumped at the chance.</p> <p>&ldquo;The biggest fun was being able to finally get my name,&rdquo; Tyler says. &ldquo;It was a big deal to me. ... That survives forever.&rdquo;</p> <p>The excitement seems to have caught on with a fair number of Tyler&rsquo;s colleagues. From the release of the domains to individual NAR members early last week through this Tuesday afternoon, some 80,000 domains were registered under the .REALTOR domain, far beyond the expectations of NAR Vice President of Strategic Alliances and Product Management Ken Burlington.</p> <p>&ldquo;We absolutely are thrilled with these early results,&rdquo; Burlington says. &ldquo;This really has exceeded our projections.&rdquo;</p> <blockquote> <p>NAR is hosting a live effort to help members who want to sign up for a .REALTOR domain, or those who need help with the process, at the REALTORS&reg; Convention &amp; Expo in New Orleans. At the <a href="http://www.realtor.org/convention.nsf/pages/narbooth?opendocument" target="_blank">NAR booth</a> (#1019) on the Expo floor, six laptops will be dedicated to assisting members, with staff available to answer questions during expo hours. (<a href="http://www.realtor.org/convention.nsf/pages/expoinfo?opendocument" target="_blank">More expo information and hours here</a>.)</p> </blockquote> <p>In all, NAR is offering the first 500,000 members the first year of domain registration for free. Only about 50,000 of those initial 80,000 registrations were individual members claiming their one free domain name. The other 30,000 were domain names purchased in addition to the freebie. That means there were still around 450,000 free spots left to be claimed by members. (Burlington expects to release another set of domains to brokerages, real estate designations, REALTOR&reg; associations, and NAR business partners in the first quarter of 2015.)</p> <p>Burlington says the momentum will likely keep building: &ldquo;Once the word gets out and once people start seeing what others are doing, there really is going to be a rush.&rdquo;</p> <p>Initially, there was some confusion about the way the .REALTOR domains were set up. Some members thought their domains were being automatically redirected to realtor.com&reg;. However, after members complete the process to obtain their .REALTOR domain, they&rsquo;re given the option to park the domain with a &ldquo;coming soon&rdquo; page, redirect the link to an existing page they own, or have the URL directed to their realtor.com&reg; profile page.</p> <blockquote> <p><strong>.REALTOR In Action</strong></p> <p>You can use your .REALTOR domain to create a customized experience, showing potential customers what it means to be a REALTOR&reg;. For a great example, see <a href="http://www.brian.realtor/">brian.realtor</a>, created by Nashville, Tenn., REALTOR&reg; Brian Copeland, team leader of <a href="http://www.nashvilleandbeyond.com/">Nashville &amp; Beyond</a>.</p> </blockquote> <p>We wanted members to have options. ... We didn&#39;t want to tell them,&lsquo;You have to do this; you have to do that,&rsquo;&rdquo; Burlington says. As a result, &ldquo;we are continually impressed with the creative ways that members have been using these domains.</p> <p>Burlington estimates that more than 23,000 members chose to forward their new domain names to their free realtor.com&reg; profile page as of Tuesday afternoon. The profile page pulls in MLS data from realtor.com&reg;, such as listings, open houses, and sold data (where this does not conflict with MLS rules or nondisclosure laws). Burlington notes that while there are a number of customizable fields in the realtor.com&reg; profile pages, these data sets are constructed so that they cannot be altered by individual agents. However, agents can choose whether or not their profiles display the data sets publicly.</p> <p>&ldquo;The purpose of this is for members to be able to show consumers their activity,&rdquo; Burlington says. &ldquo;[Realtor.com&reg;] intentionally designed it to be only data that&rsquo;s verified.&rdquo;</p> <p>Whether or not members decide to purchase a .REALTOR domain, claiming the realtor.com&reg; profile has other benefits. One possible motivator is that these pages are part of the upgrades being made to the &ldquo;Find a REALTOR&reg;&rdquo; function of the site coming next year. Members who claim their profile page now will be the first ones to see their search results improved to match the new &ldquo;Find a REALTOR&reg; 2.0&rdquo; format coming in 2015.</p> <p>Tina Struppa Pavlov, CRS, e-PRO, GRI, sales associate with Coldwell Banker Alfonso Realty Inc. in Gulfport, Miss., was one of the members who chose that option, directing <a href="http://tinapavlov.realtor/">TinaPavlov.REALTOR</a> to her newly claimed realtor.com&reg; profile page. She says she was one of the first agents in her area to get her own web site back in 1999. As an early adopter of technology, she&rsquo;s now taken advantage of several of the enhancements available on the realtor.com&reg; profile page. She got help from realtor.com&reg; staff to bring in one feed of her Facebook posts and another of past client testimonials.</p> <p>She&rsquo;s not sure if she&rsquo;ll continue to maintain the realtor.com&reg; profile page separately from her web site, TinaPavlov.com, but she says she appreciates the ability to take advantage of free marketing opportunities across the web.</p> <blockquote> <p>For more information about NAR&rsquo;s involvement in the world of emerging top-level domains, check out <a href="http://www.realtor.org/topics/top-level-domain" target="_blank">realtor.org&rsquo;s topic page on the subject</a>.</p> </blockquote> <p>&ldquo;Anything that I can put a little freebie profile page on, I do,&rdquo; she says, including her MLS, which has recently added a free virtual tour option. &ldquo;All this was stuff I used to pay for, so I&rsquo;m happy about that.&rdquo;</p> <p>Another freebie included in the realtor.com&reg; profile page is e-mail services, wherein NAR members can choose one e-mail address using their new domain name (for example, info@yourdomain.REALTOR) and have it forwarded to an existing address. Another feature Burlington says he&rsquo;s especially excited about is realtor.com&reg;&rsquo;s new Foursquare-like check-in feature that allows agents to make their efforts in the field more visible. The GPS-enabled tool lets agents check in, with one click, when they are actively showing a home.</p> <p>&ldquo;That is a very cool new feature that no one else has besides realtor.com&reg;,&rdquo; Burlington says. He notes that the tool allows newer agents, who may not have an impressive list of past sales or current listings, to show they are active in their market.</p> <p>Tyler says she isn&rsquo;t sure if she&rsquo;s going to use the realtor.com&reg; profile page in the long run, or if she&rsquo;ll redirect the three .REALTOR domain names she acquired last week to another site entirely. One of those domains is certainly evidence of her long-term thinking, however. Though she&rsquo;s firmly entrenched in the Annapolis, Md., area now (as evidenced by her investment in Annapolis-Beth.REALTOR), she also has her long-off semi retirement in mind with her additional purchase of NCWaterfront-Beth.REALTOR.</p> <p>&ldquo;We have a vacation house in North Carolina, so I went ahead and bought it,&rdquo; she says. &ldquo;It&rsquo;s not anytime soon, but I plan on being a real estate agent for a long time!&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>With the recent roll-out of the new top-level .REALTOR domain behind us, REALTOR&reg; Magazine looks at how practitioners are planning to use this new online marketing tool.</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-png" alt="image/png 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/Oct14_NC_dotrealtor.png" type="image/png; length=113950">Oct14_NC_dotrealtor.png</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="147" height="70" alt="" src="http://realtormag.realtor.org/sites/realtormag.realtor.org/files/Oct14_NC_dotrealtor_0.png?1414612469" /> </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/Oct14_LP_dotrealtor.png?1414612459" /> </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-nodereference field-field-related-content"> <div class="field-label">Related Content:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/daily-news/2014/10/06/nar-wins-rights-realestate-domain">NAR Wins Rights to &#039;.Realestate&#039; Domain</a> </div> <div class="field-item even"> <a href="/daily-news/2013/11/01/godaddy-will-not-sell-realtor-domains">GoDaddy Will Not Sell .REALTOR Domains</a> </div> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/daily-news/2014/10/22/claim-your-realtor-domain-thursday">Claim Your .REALTOR Domain on Thursday</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, 29 Oct 2014 19:54:34 +0000 mwhite 17605 at http://realtormag.realtor.org Cut the Middle Man Out http://realtormag.realtor.org/technology/feature/article/2014/11/cut-middle-man-out <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"> When it comes to marketing listings, many practitioners pay an IDX provider to set up an MLS feed on their website. Others have decided there are better ways to get their listings in front of clients. </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-text field-field-archive-item"> <div class="field-label">Archive:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> off </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-text field-field-features-checkbox"> <div class="field-label">Add to Features Package for the Month:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> off </div> </div> </div> <fieldset class="fieldgroup group-mag-pub-date"><div class="field field-type-date field-field-pub-date"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <span class="date-display-single">Monday, November 3, 2014</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>It may seem like a forgone conclusion that you should have your listings displayed front and center on your website, but some real estate practitioners are finding less value in it these days. While many choose to pay a third-party IDX provider to set up a searchable MLS feed on their sites, others say the cost isn&rsquo;t worth it, instead turning to other platforms that they say offer more exposure and a better return on their investment.</p> <p>MLS migration is a common solution for getting listings to display on a personal website, most often involving an IDX company storing MLS data on its servers and migrating that data onto an agent or broker&rsquo;s website. The agent or broker pays a monthly fee for this feed, which is automatically updated regularly.</p> <p><object align="right"><script type="text/javascript" charset="utf-8" src="http://static.polldaddy.com/p/8407835.js"></script><noscript><a href="http://polldaddy.com/poll/8407835/">IDX feeds are…</a></noscript></object></p> <p>But one major drawback to using some IDX platforms is that they don&rsquo;t give the agent website any of the search engine optimization value of the MLS data, says Carolyn Bickerton, a former practitioner who now works for real estate web development company Realtyna Inc.</p> <p>&ldquo;The framed IDX provider is a middle man,&rdquo; Bickerton explains. &ldquo;It gives you the data to display listings on your site. The framed IDX provider has all of the real raw pages from the MLS on its server, which means it keeps all of the IP addresses, so it gets most of the SEO value. Agents are actually paying framed IDX providers to rob them of SEO value.&rdquo;</p> <p>A different issue, though, is what drove Ivy Beitner, broker at Century 21 North Homes in Snohomish, Wash., to drop her IDX provider. Most of her clients don&rsquo;t rely on agent or broker websites for property search&mdash;they go to real estate portals such as realtor.com&reg;. So what&rsquo;s the point in paying for a feed on her website?</p> <p>&ldquo;People start looking at houses way before they&rsquo;re even prequalified, and they just get comfortable with whatever interface they find most helpful,&rdquo; Beitner says. &ldquo;No agent site can compete with the large real estate sites, simply because we don&rsquo;t have the kind of funds it takes to be at the top of Google search results. That makes IDX not worth the extra $30 or so a month. I would rather spend that money on something I think would be more effective: a self-promotional app, for example, that my clients can simultaneously use to search for homes.&rdquo;</p> <p>That&rsquo;s exactly how Tyler Pearsall, a salesperson with Coldwell Banker in Jupiter, Fla., advertises his listings. Though he does use an IDX provider to surface listings on his website, he says he gets more leads and better exposure through the Coldwell Banker mobile app, which allows him to text links to MLS listings directly to clients. The app uses a phone&rsquo;s GPS to map listings so clients can see which properties are nearby. Clients can click on the listings and instantly call or text the agent for more information.</p> <p>&ldquo;It provides a more on-the-go means of MLS access,&rdquo; Pearsall says. &ldquo;I don&rsquo;t think traditional websites for listings will go away, but they will surely be the lesser-used platform. Since smartphones and tablets take precedence over desktops and laptops these days, MLS access has to be streamlined and easy to use.&rdquo;</p> <h4> Framed IDX vs. Organic MLS Migration</h4> <p>For those who still want an MLS feed on their site, there&rsquo;s an option other than framed IDX integration: It&rsquo;s called organic MLS migration. Companies providing organic MLS migration, such as Realtyna, connect the MLS feed directly to agent sites instead of hosting the data on an IDX server and migrating it from there. Essentially, it eliminates the middle man and reroutes the IP addresses of MLS property pages to agents&rsquo; sites so they get all of the SEO value, Bickerton says.</p> <p>&ldquo;When we do an MLS migration, we put the real pages on the agent&rsquo;s server,&rdquo; Bickerton explains of Realtyna&rsquo;s process. &ldquo;We get the feed from the board, and we put it directly on the agents&rsquo; websites. All those IP addresses lead back to your website, so you get all the SEO value and the leads.&rdquo;</p> <p>Agents also pay only a one-time fee&mdash;$1,139 to $1,349, depending on the website platform&mdash;for the setup; there are no monthly fees.</p> <p>Amir Feinsilber, broker-owner and CEO of The Force Realty in Seattle, a company that used Realtyna to set up an organic MLS feed on its site, says he&rsquo;s seeing far more SEO value than he did when the company used an IDX vendor. &ldquo;The amount of traffic to our site has increased exponentially,&rdquo; Feinsilber says. &ldquo;Lead generation now happens through osmosis, in that we are heavily indexed [on search engines] naturally and receive phone and Web leads as a result without having to spend a tremendous amount of marketing dollars on pay-per-click and other brute-force methods of generating traffic to our site.&rdquo;</p> <p>Still, there can be advantages to using an IDX platform for MLS migration. Feinsilber says that when his company used IDX integration, the costs of developing an MLS feed were much less than going the organic route, and the time it took to set it up on the company website was minimal. &ldquo;Typically, these solutions were either instant or took a few hours to integrate while [my brokerage] inherited a suite of well-polished tools,&rdquo; he says.</p> <p>Whatever route you choose, it pays to take a thoughtful approach about whether listing feeds make sense for your overall business plan and budget. After all, your goal is to help consumers find not only the listings that most appeal to them but also the trusted agent they want to guide them through the transaction.</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>When it comes to marketing listings, many practitioners pay an IDX provider to set up an MLS feed on their website. Others have decided there are better ways to get their listings in front of clients.&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/oct14_T_listings.jpg" type="image/jpeg; length=67699">oct14_T_listings.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/oct14_T_listings_0.jpg?1414515464" /> </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/oct14_LP_T_listings.jpg?1414515486" /> </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-nodereference field-field-related-content"> <div class="field-label">Related Content:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/daily-news/2014/09/15/some-listings-are-getting-virtual-renovation">Some Listings Are Getting a Virtual Renovation</a> </div> <div class="field-item even"> <a href="/news-and-commentary/feature/article/2014/01/do-you-know-where-your-listings-are">Do You Know Where Your Listings Are?</a> </div> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/news-and-commentary/commentary/article/2013/07/it-s-listings-stupid">It’s the Listings, Stupid</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, 27 Oct 2014 20:18:05 +0000 mwhite 17568 at http://realtormag.realtor.org Hunting for NNNs http://realtormag.realtor.org/commercial/feature/article/2014/11/hunting-for-nnns <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"> Triple-net leases have their risks, but the biggest investor challenge is simply getting one. </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">Sunday, November 2, 2014</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/paula-hess">Paula Hess </a> </div> </div> </div> <!--paging_filter--><p>Your client just sold a small apartment building and is weary of the hassles of the landlord experience. While a capital gains hit is looming (tick-tock), the client sours on lackluster alternatives like parking the proceeds in a savings or money market account or risking it in the stock market.</p> <p>These dynamics are fueling a surge in 1031 exchange buyers&mdash;both individuals and institutional investors&mdash;who are flocking to triple-net leases (NNN), which have all the perks and few of the downsides of being a landlord. Under the terms of triple-net leases, the tenant pays rent, property taxes, insurance, maintenance, and overhead; typical lease durations are 25 years. These dynamics, commercial brokers report, are creating a demand for exchange properties that they are struggling to satisfy.</p> <p>The perceived safety of triple nets contributes greatly to their appeal. &ldquo;Net-lease properties have bondlike attributes and, as a result, are more connected to the bond market and interest rates than other types of real estate,&rdquo; says Gary Ralston, CCIM, CRE, with Coldwell Banker Commercial Saunders Ralston Dantzler Realty in Lakeland, Fla.</p> <blockquote> <p><strong>The New Residential NNN</strong></p> <p>Although triple-net leases have been the exclusive domain of commercial real estate, the same low rates of return on fixed-income investments are <a href="/news-and-commentary/briefs/article/2014/11/new-residential-nnn">spurring interest in structuring residential properties as triple-net leases</a>.</p> </blockquote> <p>It is these bondlike and passive landlord attributes that make triple-net leases appealing destinations for risk-averse investors&mdash;and especially alluring alternatives to 1031 exchange buyers&mdash;seeking to defer taxable income. And, as Ralston notes, &ldquo;Leases in excess of a decade in duration bridge real estate and economic cycles.&rdquo; And that&rsquo;s a highly desirable sweet spot for many investors.</p> <p>Jonathan Hipp, founder, president, and CEO of Calkain Cos. and coauthor of The Little Book of Triple Net Lease Investing, concurs. &ldquo;There is a tremendous amount of capital sitting out there, and net leases are very attractive when looking at other fixed-income alternatives. A triple-net lease is really a corporate bond wrapped in real estate,&rdquo; says Hipp.</p> <p>Ralston cites the 1031 buyer as the biggest influence on the current triple-net market, in terms of demand and pace, noting that 1031 buyers must identify a replacement property within 45 days of the sale of the relinquished property. &ldquo;Net-lease properties are easier and simpler to underwrite,&rdquo; says Ralston, largely because the tenant is responsible for most expenses, including, in many cases, the roof and the structure of the building.</p> <h4> 1031s Driving Cap Rates South</h4> <p>Geoffrey Faulkner, ccim, managing partner at NNNet Advisors in San Francisco, observes that cap rates are the lowest he&rsquo;s seen in his career. &ldquo;At the beginning of the year, everyone was wondering how they could go any lower, and the last two quarters, they have,&rdquo; he says.</p> <p>&ldquo;It&rsquo;s a tale of two property types. What&rsquo;s driving cap rates down are the better credit deals with 10 or more years on them,&rdquo; says Faulkner. &ldquo;These are your household names&mdash;McDonalds, Wells Fargo, Walgreens. (In general, the higher the tenant&rsquo;s credit rating, the lower the cap rate.) On the other side, deals that maybe have a bit of hair on them, whether it&rsquo;s a lesser credit deal or shorter lease term, those are trading at a higher premium.&rdquo;</p> <p>Faulkner and California brokers are challenged by a lack of supply in part because the state&rsquo;s NNN product is held by families and trusts. &ldquo;The better West Coast product rarely trades,&rdquo; says Faulkner, which means California 1031 exchange buyers are seeking higher yields outside the Golden State. As many as 50 percent of 1031 exchange buyers originate from California.</p> <p>NNNet Advisors represented a California 1031 exchange buyer in the acquisition of a Christian Brothers Automotive in Sandy Springs, Ga., for $2.5 million. The lease had 14 years remaining on it and terms included a 15-year sale leaseback option. The company also represented the seller of a drive-through Starbucks in Oklahoma City. This short-term lease (three-and-a-half years) fell out of contract a couple of times due to financing. &ldquo;That&rsquo;s what dragged out the deal. The price per square foot on a drive-through is very high. We had to comp that out,&rdquo; Faulkner explains.</p> <p>&ldquo;I deal with buyers and sellers all over the country,&rdquo; he adds, &ldquo;and they always say, &lsquo;I cannot compete with the California exchange buyer, because they will pay the most because they have to.&rsquo; &rdquo; Faulkner has noticed that institutional buyers and REITs that historically do not buy below 7 percent have settled for low cap rates. &ldquo;Lately, I&rsquo;ve seen them dip into the 6s, because they need to pay a dividend and their overhead.&rdquo;</p> <p>Deborah Vannelli, CCIM, director of net-lease sales for Upland Real Estate Group Inc. in Minneapolis, has observed the same scenario. &ldquo;There have been quite a few 1031s, but even the 1031 buyers, as of late, have been competing with the family trust investors and the institutional buyers, and that&rsquo;s primarily due to lack of product and demand. The institutional buyers and REITs need to achieve the goals they&rsquo;ve set for Wall Street.&rdquo;</p> <p><img alt="" src="/sites/realtormag.realtor.org/files/rmo_files/images/2014_oct/oct14_C_nnn_chart 2.jpg" style="width: 500px; height: 273px; float: left;" /></p> <p>Recent deals for Vannelli include a McDonald&rsquo;s ground lease that the investor acquired from a developer: $1.6 million sales price, with a new 20-year lease that included 10 percent rent increases every five years and a 4 percent cap rate. &ldquo;It is a ground lease so investors don&rsquo;t have depreciation, but they definitely do have appreciation of the property, and the building would revert to their ownership at whatever time McDonald&rsquo;s does not renew the lease. Many buyers prefer ground leases because the price point is lower, since they are not paying for the construction cost of the building. Even though it is a 4 percent cap rate, if they have rent increases every five years, it gives them a nice return overall.&rdquo;</p> <p>Vannelli points to the retailer &ldquo;at the corner of Happy &amp; Healthy&rdquo; as a benchmark for NNN cap rates. &ldquo;Walgreens is a good reference point throughout the years,&rdquo; she explains. &ldquo;For 20 years the stores have been selling pretty consistently, depending on location or timeline,&rdquo; says Vannelli. Cap rates for the stores ranged from 8.25 percent to 9 percent in the 1995&ndash;1997 era, she notes, with the rates trending incrementally downward since then. The retailer&rsquo;s high creditworthiness is coveted by triple-net investors, because regardless, the chain will pay its rent. Earlier this year, Vannelli closed a Walgreens with 18 years left on a triple-net lease at a cap rate of 5.85 percent. &ldquo;Today, Walgreens is trading at a 5.5 percent cap rate. Investors who acquire a Walgreens treat it like a bond with real estate.&rdquo;</p> <p>Vannelli confirms that exchange buyers are driving down not only cap rates but also due diligence timelines. The high demand from all buyer types&mdash;1031s, family trusts, and REITs&mdash;drives higher prices and lower cap rates. Buyers of 1031 exchanges are tax-motivated and willing to pay more aggressive prices to ensure they satisfy their 1031 deadlines. Many triple-net lease properties have multiple offers with the investors offering a due diligence timeline of 14 days versus 21 or 30 days if paying cash for new construction properties. &ldquo;Deals are closing at near or full asking price,&rdquo; says Vannelli, &ldquo;and some sellers will not provide a financing timeline because there are several cash buyers waiting for every 10 buyers that need financing.&rdquo;</p> <blockquote> <p><strong>Triple-net Fundamentals</strong></p> <ul> <li> When cap rates decline, listing prices increase</li> <li> Cap rates are an inverse measure of risk</li> <li> Cap rates track Treasury interest rates</li> <li> Longer lease terms mean lower cap rates</li> <li> Tenant&rsquo;s creditworthiness + lease term affect the cap rate</li> </ul> </blockquote> <p>Another recent sale for Vannelli was a Caribou Coffee with seven years on the lease term and rental options with rent increases. The buyer, a 1031 investor with financing, put 50 percent down. &ldquo;The 6.5 percent cap rate worked because interest rates were low. The investor felt comfortable that the tenant would renew beyond the seven-year term,&rdquo; she says.</p> <p>The strong demand for triple-net lease properties keeps Vannelli prospecting&mdash;reaching out to developers and tenants she&rsquo;s had relationships with for the past 10 to 15 years, as well as constantly calling developers of new properties. Not surprisingly, commercial brokers are reporting a lack of inventory. &ldquo;It&rsquo;s a seller&rsquo;s market,&rdquo; says Calkain Cos.&rsquo; Hipp.</p> <h4> A Generational Asset</h4> <p>In June, Calkain Cos. closed a record-&shy;setting lease on a newly constructed CVS drugstore in Tysons Corner, Va. The drugstore chain constructed the building, which sits on one acre of land. &ldquo;It&rsquo;s not uncommon for the tenant to build the building to get the depreciation in the triple-net lease world,&rdquo; Hipp explains. The property was listed in the fourth quarter of 2013, but as interest rates rose, several 1031 buyers&rsquo; deals fell apart and the sellers took the property off the market. The property was relisted in early 2014 and garnered 10 offers, which were whittled down to three before the sellers opted for a buyer from the Middle East. The property garnered a staggering $24.7 million, or $1,915 per square foot, a record for CVS drugstores and a record low cap rate of 4.97 percent. &ldquo;It&rsquo;s a generational asset,&rdquo; Hipp explains. This prized NNN will be &ldquo;passed down to other family members,&rdquo; adds Hipp, who along with two Calkain advisers represented the sellers.</p> <p>The CVS deal follows on the heels of a March transaction in which Calkain Urban Investment Advisors completed the sale of the Dupont Circle Starbucks Building in Washington, D.C., a mixed-use net-lease investment, to an institutional private equity group, for $1,672 per square foot and 4.3 percent cap rate, another record low cap rate for this sector.</p> <p>In Florida, Ralston recently represented a 1031 exchange in which a parcel of family-owned land sold for $3.5 million and the sellers were motivated to avoid a $1 million tax hit. There is an inherently narrow window for these deals, but they are &ldquo;simple and easy to understand,&rdquo; says Ralston. &ldquo;If you live in Florida, you can buy a Walgreens in Texas&mdash;you don&rsquo;t have to see it&mdash;and just collect the rent check. All [the buyer] cares about is the rent and how long the tenant will be there.&rdquo;</p> <p>Still, triple-net leases are not without risks. For instance, an unfavorable environmental report may sink financing, or a tenant may go bankrupt. But as Calkain Cos.&rsquo; Hipp says, &ldquo;The reason triple-net leases work is you have real companies with credit ratings behind them.&rdquo; Against a backdrop of those what-if scenarios and a confluence of lack of opportunities and alternative fixed-income investments, the biggest challenge brokers face is finding enough product to satisfy the demand.</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>Triple-net leases have their risks, but the biggest investor challenge is simply getting one.</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/oct14_C_nnn.jpg" type="image/jpeg; length=90917">oct14_C_nnn.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/oct14_C_nnn_0.jpg?1414506881" /> </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/oct14_LP_C_nnn.jpg?1414506900" /> </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/2010/03/commercial-finding-new-stream">Commercial: Finding a New Stream</a> </div> <div class="field-item even"> <a href="/commercial/feature/article/2011/06/signs-life-sale-leasebacks">Signs of Life in Sale-Leasebacks</a> </div> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/commercial/conversations/article/2011/06/facts-fasb">The Facts on FASB</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, 27 Oct 2014 19:46:34 +0000 mwhite 17564 at http://realtormag.realtor.org Life Doesn't Rise or Fall With Interest Rates http://realtormag.realtor.org/news-and-commentary/economy/article/2014/11/life-doesnt-rise-or-fall-interest-rates <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"> Housing market can weather the effects of expected mortgage spikes. </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">Sunday, November 2, 2014</span> </div> </div> </div> </fieldset> <div class="field field-type-nodereference field-field-op-author"> <div class="field-label">Author(s):&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/author/lawrence-yun">Lawrence Yun</a> </div> </div> </div> <!--paging_filter--><p>Mortgage rates haven&rsquo;t budged, remaining at historic lows throughout the year amid economic growth that has generated 2.5 million net new jobs over the past 12 months and a record high stock market. But uncertainty looms in light of Federal Reserve Chair Janet Yellen&rsquo;s announcement that the economic stimulus program known as &ldquo;quantitative easing&rdquo; will halt by year&rsquo;s end. Moreover, an increase in the short-term Fed funds rate is expected by the middle of 2015. The course of U.S. monetary policy, in short, will be less accommodating going forward.</p> <p>In the meantime, perhaps because of geopolitical risks in the Middle East and Ukraine, or because of weaker economic conditions in Europe, a plentiful amount of money has flowed into the safe U.S. bond market, thereby holding interest rates down. Inflation has been low so far, too, rising only by 2 percent, another factor behind the low rates.</p> <p>Sooner or later, though, interest rates will have to rise. From the low 4 percent rate that prevailed for most of this year, the average mortgage rate will likely cross over the 5 percent threshold sometime in 2015 and probably rise to near 6 percent by 2016. Such a change makes homes less affordable, a clear negative for residential sales. But job creation and the accompanying rise in consumer confidence, along with some loosening of&nbsp; underwriting standards, might more than compensate for the rising rates.</p> <p>But what will be the impact on home owners who have locked in super low rates? How resistant will they be to giving those up? That&rsquo;s something we&rsquo;ll be tracking. But if past behavior is a guide, most home owners won&rsquo;t stay put just to hang onto a low mortgage rate.</p> <p>Our own research supports this. Nearly half of recent buyers indicated the desire to have a different-sized home or live in a different neighborhood as the key reason for moving. Having kids and selecting a school district they like makes people move. Another third of recent movers cited changes in a job or &shy;marital status. Retirement was a factor for &shy;others. Only 3 percent mentioned changes in mortgage costs as a reason for moving.</p> <p>Low interest-rate lock-ins seem to matter far less than life cycle events. Even as rates move up, life moves on.</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 market can weather the effects of expected mortgage spikes.</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/oct14_NC_economy.jpg" type="image/jpeg; length=36425">oct14_NC_economy.jpg</a></div> </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-top3-lp-image"> <div class="field-label">Top 3 Article on Landing Page:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <img class="imagefield imagefield-field_top3_lp_image" width="149" height="70" alt="" src="http://realtormag.realtor.org/sites/realtormag.realtor.org/files/oct14_NC_economy_0.jpg?1414505976" /> </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/oct14_LP_NC_economy.jpg?1414505992" /> </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-nodereference field-field-related-content"> <div class="field-label">Related Content:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/news-and-commentary/economy/article/2014/09/confluence-positive-trends">A Confluence of Positive Trends</a> </div> <div class="field-item even"> <a href="/news-and-commentary/market-pulse/article/2014/11/novemberdecember-2014-market-pulse">November/December 2014 Market Pulse</a> </div> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/news-and-commentary/feature/article/2014/07/understanding-and-combatting-rate-lock-in-threat">Understanding and Combatting the Rate Lock-in Threat</a> </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-number-integer field-field-mainstage-image-display2"> <div class="field-label">Mainstage Image Display on Content:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> No, don't disable the "Main" image on this article </div> </div> </div> Economy Mon, 27 Oct 2014 19:38:13 +0000 mwhite 17563 at http://realtormag.realtor.org Listing Luxury http://realtormag.realtor.org/sales-and-marketing/feature/article/2014/11/listing-luxury <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"> Three pros who specialize in high-end clients share their winning strategies. </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, November 3, 2014</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>High-end real estate is booming. About 9 percent of U.S. buyers bought homes priced at $500,000 and above last year, up from 6 percent in 2010, according to the National Association of REALTORS&reg;&rsquo; <a href="http://www.realtor.org/reports/highlights-from-the-2013-profile-of-home-buyers-and-sellers" target="_blank">Profile of Home Buyers and Sellers</a>.</p> <p>But it takes more than a pricey marketing campaign or rubbing elbows with luxury specialists to succeed in high-end sales, defined by realtor.com&reg; as an entry point between $500,000 and $1 million depending on the region. Unrivaled market expertise and impeccable customer service are core principles that should be mastered. Here&rsquo;s how three practitioners put these fundamentals to work.</p> <h4> The Condo Queen</h4> <p>Karen Rodriguez, a salesperson with Dorsey Alston, REALTORS&reg;, has cultivated her business in Atlanta&rsquo;s prestigious Buckhead neighborhood over the past 11 years. As she landed more and more higher-priced condo sales, developers took notice. In December 2013, Rodriguez won an exclusive agreement to handle sales at The Residences at Mandarin Oriental where she has sold eight units (as of September), with a total volume of $16 million.</p> <p>Rodriguez targets other high-end buildings in downtown Atlanta with direct mailings and advertises in The New York Times and The Wall Street Journal. Because her buyers are financially savvy and detail oriented, they want to understand the developer&rsquo;s financial picture as well as the story behind the building. She provides it all, sending her clients home with numerous pictures and handouts. Her sales team also posts professional photos of their staged listings on Pinterest. Whether or not prospective buyers are on Pinterest, their designers and decorators are, and they&rsquo;ve been a rich source of buyer leads.</p> <h4> The Resident Expert</h4> <p>Over the past 17 years, Minneapolis-based sales associate Gary Bennett with RE/MAX Results has been inside the vast majority of homes in the Lowery Hill and Kenwood neighborhoods&mdash;an area with some of the Twin Cities&rsquo; most sought-after luxury properties.</p> <p>Bennett&rsquo;s familiarity with the housing stock, his nearly two decades as a resident, and his background in older home renovations (he has restored three homes in the area) have propelled his success. Entry-level prices in his market are between $750,000 and $1 million.</p> <p>Bennett&rsquo;s remodeling experience enables him to advise clients on how new projects will factor into the price. Dated kitchens or bathrooms will kill a sale, he says. Bennett finds success with direct mail campaigns, which other practitioners abandoned during the recession. &ldquo;You just can&rsquo;t survive online; this is a people business,&rdquo; Bennett says. &ldquo;I&rsquo;ve taken calls from people gearing up for next year directly related to those mailings.&rdquo;</p> <h4> The Savvy Developer</h4> <p>Carlos Tosca, who cofounded Palmcorp Development Group&nbsp;in 2009, builds homes in Miami with prices ranging from $699,000 to $4.5 million. He saw an opportunity when little was being built right after the recession. That first year, his company did 80 percent rehabs and 20 percent new construction&mdash;but after that, the new construction side took off.</p> <p>Tosca and his partner, Gus De Ribeaux, offer spec homes that include customizable features for virtually every aspect of the design. They add amenities high-end buyers desire, including open floor plans and energy efficient systems, which are features most pre-2006 builds didn&rsquo;t include. They deliver fast, too&mdash;within eight months, while other luxury developments can take two years or longer. &ldquo;As soon as we saw it was working, we raised capital and we abandoned rehabs completely in 2010,&rdquo; he says. In 2013, Palmcorp delivered $13 million in home sales, and Tosca&rsquo;s projecting $24 million for 2014.</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>Three pros who specialize in high-end clients share their winning strategies.</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/oct14_SM_luxury.jpg" type="image/jpeg; length=78163">oct14_SM_luxury.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/oct14_SM_luxury_0.jpg?1414506248" /> </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/oct14_LP_SM_luxury.jpg?1414506267" /> </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-nodereference field-field-related-content"> <div class="field-label">Related Content:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/sales-and-marketing/feature/article/2014/07/music-buyers-ears">Music to Buyers’ Ears</a> </div> <div class="field-item even"> <a href="/daily-news/2014/05/28/luxury-sales-heat-up-across-country">Luxury Sales Heat Up Across the Country </a> </div> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/daily-news/2014/05/06/luxury-home-sales-soar-above-historical-average">Luxury Home Sales Soar Above Historical Average</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, 27 Oct 2014 20:26:09 +0000 mwhite 17569 at http://realtormag.realtor.org November/December 2014 Market Pulse http://realtormag.realtor.org/news-and-commentary/market-pulse/article/2014/11/novemberdecember-2014-market-pulse <div class="field field-type-text field-field-deck"> <div class="field-label">Deck:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> Find out how the housing market looks at the close of this year. </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">Sunday, November 2, 2014</span> </div> </div> </div> </fieldset> <div class="field field-type-nodereference field-field-op-author"> <div class="field-label">Author(s):&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/author/lawrence-yun">Lawrence Yun</a> </div> </div> </div> <!--paging_filter--><p>Inventory remains tight, especially at the middle and lower price points. That trend reflects fewer distressed sales and steady appreciation, hurting affordability. First-time buyers are lagging and, in a shift, investors are starting to retreat from the market.</p> <p><img alt="" src="/sites/realtormag.realtor.org/files/rmo_files/images/2014_oct/oct14_NC_mp_supply.jpg" style="width: 500px; height: 395px;" /></p> <p><img alt="" src="/sites/realtormag.realtor.org/files/rmo_files/images/2014_oct/oct14_NC_mp_confidence.jpg" style="width: 500px; height: 592px;" /><img alt="" src="/sites/realtormag.realtor.org/files/rmo_files/images/2014_oct/oct14_NC_mp_transactions.jpg" style="width: 500px; height: 455px;" /><br /> &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>Find out how the housing market looks at the close of this year.</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/oct14_NC_marketpulse.jpg" type="image/jpeg; length=93406">oct14_NC_marketpulse.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/oct14_NC_marketpulse_0.jpg?1414505769" /> </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/oct14_LP_NC_marketpulse.jpg?1414505786" /> </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> Market Pulse Mon, 27 Oct 2014 18:57:25 +0000 mwhite 17560 at http://realtormag.realtor.org Reshoring Takes Off http://realtormag.realtor.org/commercial/conversations/article/2014/11/reshoring-takes <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 demand is on the upswing as U.S. manufacturing picks up. Jason Tolliver, Indianapolis-based regional vice president for Cassidy Turley, weighs in. </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">Sunday, November 2, 2014</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/mariwyn-evans">Mariwyn Evans</a> </div> </div> </div> <!--paging_filter--><p>In recent decades, &ldquo;industrial&rdquo; has been synonymous with &ldquo;warehouse.&rdquo; Not anymore. The return of manufacturing activity to the United States, slyly nicknamed &ldquo;reshoring,&rdquo; is expanding the need for production space for the first time in decades. And the demand will continue to grow. Fifty-four percent of U.S.-based manufacturers with annual sales greater than $1 billion said they were either planning or strongly considering bringing some manufacturing back to the United States, according to a late fall 2013 survey by Boston Consulting Group. The Reshoring Initiative, a group that works to return manufacturing to the United States, estimates that 15 percent of new manufacturing jobs added between 2010 and 2013 were jobs that had previously been moved overseas. The trend bodes well for commercial real estate &shy;professionals.</p> <p><strong>What&rsquo;s fueling manufacturing&rsquo;s return to this country?</strong></p> <p>There are five or six key drivers, in no particular order: competitive labor costs as wages rise in China; proximity to customers, suppliers, and research and development; lower transportation costs; declining energy costs; need for better quality controls; and stronger legal protections of intellectual property in the United States.</p> <p><strong>How does this manufacturing resurgence translate into commercial demand?</strong></p> <p>Industrial absorption has been improving for the last few years. Cassidy Turley&rsquo;s research shows that national industrial vacancies dropped from 10 percent in 2010 to 8 percent in the third quarter of 2014. Increased occupancy rates in manufacturing accounted for nearly one-quarter of that gain. Absorption is strong even though the footprint for most manufacturers is shrinking, according to Energy Information Administration data. The EIA estimates that at least 10.2 billion square feet of manufacturing space will be needed in 2020.</p> <p><strong>Is most of this new demand coming from larger companies?</strong></p> <p>Yes. According to data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics cited in a 2013 Congressional Research Services report, only 10 percent of new jobs in manufacturing since 2005 were created by small and mid-sized companies, compared with approximately 20 percent of new jobs in the professional and services areas.</p> <p><strong>How is the greater reliance on technology affecting demand for manufacturing space?</strong></p> <p>Many existing manufacturing facilities are too old and too big&mdash;functionally obsolete. So companies that are reshoring manufacturing are turning to new construction. According to the U.S. Census Bureau, manufacturing construction had increased to 122 percent of its prerecession levels by 2013.</p> <p>The location of much of the new manufacturing is also changing. BLS research found that almost 80 percent of manufacturing job growth since the recession has taken place in the top 100 U.S. metros. When you focus in on advanced manufacturing, which relies on computers, automation, and cutting-edge materials and processes, the number of new jobs in major metros jumps to over 95 percent. Educated talent wants to live in or near cities, so manufacturers who need that talent have to follow.&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>Commercial demand is on the upswing as U.S. manufacturing picks up. Jason Tolliver, Indianapolis-based regional vice president for Cassidy Turley, weighs in.</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/oct14_C_reshore.jpg" type="image/jpeg; length=88460">oct14_C_reshore.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/oct14_C_reshore_0.jpg?1414506659" /> </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/oct14_LP_C_reshore.jpg?1414506675" /> </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-nodereference field-field-related-content"> <div class="field-label">Related Content:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/for-brokers/solutions/article/2011/10/send-it-overseas">Send It Overseas?</a> </div> <div class="field-item even"> <a href="/home-and-design/feature/article/2014/07/building-for-future">Building for the Future</a> </div> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/commercial/feature/article/2012/03/five-ways-well-work-differently-10-years-now">Five Ways We&#039;ll Work Differently 10 Years From Now</a> </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-number-integer field-field-mainstage-image-display2"> <div class="field-label">Mainstage Image Display on Content:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> No, don't disable the "Main" image on this article </div> </div> </div> Conversations Mon, 27 Oct 2014 19:59:23 +0000 mwhite 17566 at http://realtormag.realtor.org