Articles http://realtormag.realtor.org/articles en What Does Your Body Language Tell Clients? http://realtormag.realtor.org/for-brokers/network/article/2016/12/what-does-your-body-language-tell-clients <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"> Make sure your body language aligns with what you’re saying to clients. Here are some nonverbal cues that affect how you’re perceived. </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, December 8, 2016</span> </div> </div> </div> </fieldset> <div class="field field-type-nodereference field-field-op-author"> <div class="field-label">Author(s):&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/author/lee-nelson">Lee Nelson</a> </div> </div> </div> <!--paging_filter--><p>Stacey Hanke fired a few real estate agents during her recent search for a Chicago condo &mdash; and it was the body language they displayed that led to the death of their business dealings.</p> <p>For instance, one agent had robotic motions, giving off the impression that was only there because she needed to be there and not because she wanted to help. Another kept talking even when Hanke had already walked out the door.</p> <p>Because body language speaks louder than words, real estate professionals need to be cognizant of how they&rsquo;re expressing themselves. Good body language can express a positive attitude and confidence, while negative body language can communicate insecurities or apathy, which can be devastating to a working relationship and for an agent&rsquo;s livelihood.</p> <p>&ldquo;The better we understand body language in ourselves &mdash; our posture, our eye contact, and more &mdash; the better we are able to reach our listeners,&rdquo; says Hanke, owner of Stacey Hanke Inc. in Chicago, where she helps professionals (including real estate brokers) with their presence and influence in the business world. A big part of her training focuses on nonverbal communication skills. Here are some points that Hanke and other body language experts say brokers and agents should consider when it comes to body language and its effect on how people perceive you.</p> <h4>First Impressions Can Be Everything</h4> <p>There is a disconnect between what some people believe their body language says with what is really happening, Hanke says. This is especially true during an initial meeting, where they first impression you make is the most crucial.</p> <p>You have just a few seconds to get in the mood you want to project, says Carol Kinsey Goman, author of <em>The Silent Language of Leaders</em> and <em>The Nonverbal Advantage. </em>She also is an executive coach and keynote speaker through Kinsey Consulting Service in Berkeley, Calif. &ldquo;People look at your face and get all sorts of information about what is really going on,&rdquo; she says, adding that sometimes they get that information subconsciously. For instance, a beaming smile is less influential than a slow onset smile. Your smile should grow as you get closer to the person.</p> <h4>The Importance of Your Handshake and a Touch</h4> <p>Touch is the most primitive and powerful body language, Goman says. If you can touch someone on the shoulder for one-fortieth of a second, you create something called the compliance effect, where an individual does what someone else wants them to do, following his or her request or suggestion. For instance, Goman says <a href="http://psp.sagepub.com/content/10/4/512.abstract" target="_blank">research</a> from psychologists April Crusco and Christopher Wetzel shows that if a waiter gently touches someone on the shoulder lightly as they returned their change, their tip goes up.</p> <p>Not suprisingly, the greeting of a <em>handshake can be a powerful tool. A study by</em> the <em>Income</em> <em>Center for Trade Shows </em>disclosed that people are two times more likely to remember you if you shake hands with them. Goman says that a good handshake begins by looking at the person in the eye, smiles in a positive and powerful way, and make sure your hand is right into the web of the other person&rsquo;s hand. And when you end your handshake, don&rsquo;t drop your gaze down, she says.</p> <h4>Adjust Your Body Language for Different People</h4> <p>Cathie Elliott, broker-owner at The Clarke Agency Inc. in Gunnison, Colo., says that after many years in the real estate industry, she has learned to adjust her body language depending on the customer.</p> <p>For instance, when she senses that someone wants to look thoroughly through a house, she sticks close to them and does the tour more slowly than normal, explaining a lot of details. If she has a buyer who seems to joke around a lot, then she keeps everything light, with lots of smiles and a less businesslike tour while still being professional. &ldquo;You can certainly tailor every showing depending on the person&rsquo;s characteristics,&rdquo; she says.</p> <h4>Make Your Posture Portray Positivity</h4> <p>If you align your body with the person you&rsquo;re talking to, it shows you are engaged with what he or she is saying and doing. Also, you should approach them with your back straight but not stiff, and your shoulders should be relaxed so you don&rsquo;t look too businesslike or uptight.</p> <h4>Unfold Your Arms and Legs</h4> <p>A study by body language researchers Allan and Barbara Pease discovered that people remember a lot more if they just sit with unfolded arms and legs. That means, if you are open to what your client is saying, you will remember more of their needs and wants.</p> <p>Also, Hanke says, many real estate professionals have a tendency to talk too much instead of focusing on the person in front of them and what they are saying. &ldquo;Just remember that if your body language is not consistent with your message, then your message becomes a distraction,&rdquo; she explains.<br /> &nbsp;</p> <hr /> <p><br /> <img alt="" src="/sites/realtormag.realtor.org/files/rmo_files/images/logos/BtoB_logo_footer_080114.jpg" style="float:left; height:117px; width:150px" /><em>Broker-to-Broker is an information network that provides insights and tools with business value through timely articles, videos, Q&amp;As, and sales meeting tips for brokerage owners and managers. Get more <a href="/for-brokers/network" target="_blank">Broker-to-Broker content here</a>.</em></p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <div class="field field-type-text field-field-show-author-info"> <div class="field-label">Show Author Info?:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> Show Author Info? </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-text field-field-teaser"> <div class="field-label">Teaser:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <!--paging_filter--><p>Make sure your body language aligns with what you&rsquo;re saying to clients. Here are some nonverbal cues that affect how you&rsquo;re perceived.</p> </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-nodereference field-field-related-content"> <div class="field-label">Related Content:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/for-brokers/network/article/2016/10/read-minds-understanding-body-language">Read Minds By Understanding Body Language</a> </div> <div class="field-item even"> <a href="/well-being/safety/article/2016/11/what-should-safety-course-really-teach-you">What Should a Safety Course Really Teach You?</a> </div> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/sales-and-marketing/relationship-management/article/2016/07/4-ways-more-honest-sales-relationship">4 Ways to a More Honest Sales Relationship</a> </div> <div class="field-item even"> <a href="/daily-news/2016/03/30/3-communication-traits-you-need-have">3 Communication Traits You Need to Have</a> </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-number-integer field-field-mainstage-image-display2"> <div class="field-label">Mainstage Image Display on Content:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> No, don't disable the "Main" image on this article </div> </div> </div> Network Fri, 09 Dec 2016 17:29:49 +0000 echristoffer 22406 at http://realtormag.realtor.org Inspiration for Low-Cost Client Gifts http://realtormag.realtor.org/sales-and-marketing/relationship-management/article/2016/12/inspiration-for-low-cost-client-gifts <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"> You don’t need to drop a lot of cash to show your appreciation to customers this holiday season. </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-text field-field-archive-item"> <div class="field-label">Archive:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> off </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-text field-field-features-checkbox"> <div class="field-label">Add to Features Package for the Month:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> off </div> </div> </div> <fieldset class="fieldgroup group-mag-pub-date"><div class="field field-type-date field-field-pub-date"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <span class="date-display-single">Wednesday, December 7, 2016</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>Whether your gift is a <a href="http://realtormag.realtor.org/product-guide/slideshow/2015/12/9-funny-gifts-show-your-personality" target="_blank">gag meant to show your personality</a> or a <a href="http://realtormag.realtor.org/product-guide/slideshow/2015/12/6-gifts-tell-them-you-care">thoughtful gesture from the heart</a>, giving something special to clients this holiday season isn&rsquo;t just about showing appreciation for their business. It&rsquo;s an opportunity to turn them into a superfan who sends referrals your way. A gift to a customer can be powerful. In fact, research has shown customers will remember you because of your thoughtful gesture.</p> <p>Gifts can be a powerful marketing tool: In a <a href="http://www.ppai.org/press/ppai-study-confirms-effectiveness-of-promotional-products" target="_blank">2010 Promotional Products Association International survey</a> of 1,000 consumers, 89 percent said a promotional product they received in the previous two years led them to have a more favorable impression of the company. The gift, respondents said, had a greater effect on their perception than print ads, television commercials, or online advertising.</p> <p>If that motivates you to play Santa Claus with your clients, remember that your gift doesn&rsquo;t have to be big or expensive for customers to appreciate it. According to <a href="https://www.ppai.org/inside-ppai/research/Documents/Business%20Gift%20Practices_SalesPowerTool.pdf" target="_blank">PPAI research</a>, 15 percent of companies say they give gifts that cost less than $10; 29 percent between $10 and $25; and 35 percent between $25 and $50. Looking for some ideas? Take a look at the slide show below to find a range of customer gifts they&rsquo;re sure to love. (Just make sure to <a href="/buyers-guide/gifts/article/2013/12/2013-holiday-gift-guide-5-tips-avoid-gift-giving-mistakes">avoid common gift-giving mistakes</a>.)</p> <div class="embed"><div class="rmo-slideshow-title"><h2 class="node-title">Client Gift Ideas for $30 or Less</h2> <div class="deck"><p>Gather ideas for inexpensive ways to treat your most loyal buyers and sellers this holiday season.</p> <div class="rmo-slideshow-author"> <!--|-->December 2016<div id="author"> | BY <a href="/author/melissa-dittmann-tracey">Melissa Dittmann Tracey</a></div> </div><!-- /.section-date-author --></div><!-- /.deck --> </div> </div> <div id="image-gallery-slideshow"> <div class="view view-image-gallery-images view-id-image_gallery_images view-display-id-block_1 rmo-slideshow view-dom-id-1"> <div class="view-content"> <!-- dynamic display block slideshow --> <div id="views-slideshow-ddblock-image_gallery_images_block_1" class="views-slideshow-ddblock-cycle-vsd-upright-60p clear-block"> <div class="container clear-block border"> <div class="container-inner clear-block border"> <!-- slider content --> <div class="slider clear-block border"> <div class="slider-inner clear-block border"> <div class="slide clear-block border"> <div class="slide-inner clear-block border"> <img src="http://realtormag.realtor.org/sites/realtormag.realtor.org/files/imagecache/rmo_slideshow/1216_gifts_01.jpg" alt="" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-rmo_slideshow imagecache-default imagecache-rmo_slideshow_default" width="290" height="218" /> <div class="slide-text slide-text-vertical slide-text-right clear-block border"> <div class="slide-text-inner clear-block border"> <div class="slide-title slide-title-vertical clear-block border"> <div class="slide-title-inner clear-block border"> <h2>Branded Gift Cards</h2> </div> <!-- slide-title-inner--> </div> <!-- slide-title--> <div class="slide-body-vertical clear-block border"> <div class="slide-body-inner clear-block border"> <!--paging_filter--><p>Put your logo on a gift card so your client doesn&rsquo;t forget who it came from. Starbucks offers <a href="http://www.starbuckscardb2b.com/">real estate&ndash;themed gift cards</a> featuring a key and welcome mat, while Amazon offers a <a href="https://www.amazon.com/b?ie=UTF8&amp;node=15243182011">Gift Cards for Business</a> program for bulk ordering. The <a href="https://www.nar.realtor/programs/realtor-benefits-program/gifting-marketing-resources/multi-merchant-prepaid-card">Multi Merchant Prepaid Card</a>, a REALTOR Benefits&reg; partner, offers discount, personalized gift cards in denominations of $25 or more. Select from more than 100 popular merchants and get a 5 percent savings on the cards for being an NAR member.</p> </div> <!-- slide-body-inner--> </div> <!-- slide-body--> </div> <!-- slide-text-inner--> </div> <!-- slide-text--> </div> <!-- slide-inner--> </div> <!-- slide--> <div class="slide clear-block border"> <div class="slide-inner clear-block border"> <img src="http://realtormag.realtor.org/sites/realtormag.realtor.org/files/imagecache/rmo_slideshow/1216_gifts_02.jpg" alt="" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-rmo_slideshow imagecache-default imagecache-rmo_slideshow_default" width="290" height="218" /> <div class="slide-text slide-text-vertical slide-text-right clear-block border"> <div class="slide-text-inner clear-block border"> <div class="slide-title slide-title-vertical clear-block border"> <div class="slide-title-inner clear-block border"> <h2>A Magnetic Idea</h2> </div> <!-- slide-title-inner--> </div> <!-- slide-title--> <div class="slide-body-vertical clear-block border"> <div class="slide-body-inner clear-block border"> <!--paging_filter--><p>Give your clients a practical gift they&rsquo;ll use all year. They can stick this <a href="http://www.4allpromos.com/product/memo-board-calendar-magnet">magnetic calendar</a> on their kitchen refrigerator and use an erasable pen to input family appointments and activities. At the end of each month, the calendar can be wiped clean to start a new month. The 11-by-8.5-inch memo boards can also include your name, logo, and contact information along the top. <em>Price: $1.05 apiece for minimum order of 300</em></p> </div> <!-- slide-body-inner--> </div> <!-- slide-body--> </div> <!-- slide-text-inner--> </div> <!-- slide-text--> </div> <!-- slide-inner--> </div> <!-- slide--> <div class="slide clear-block border"> <div class="slide-inner clear-block border"> <img src="http://realtormag.realtor.org/sites/realtormag.realtor.org/files/imagecache/rmo_slideshow/1216_gifts_03.jpg" alt="" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-rmo_slideshow imagecache-default imagecache-rmo_slideshow_default" width="290" height="218" /> <div class="slide-text slide-text-vertical slide-text-right clear-block border"> <div class="slide-text-inner clear-block border"> <div class="slide-title slide-title-vertical clear-block border"> <div class="slide-title-inner clear-block border"> <h2>A Green Statement</h2> </div> <!-- slide-title-inner--> </div> <!-- slide-title--> <div class="slide-body-vertical clear-block border"> <div class="slide-body-inner clear-block border"> <!--paging_filter--><p>Make your holiday card eco-friendly with <a href="https://www.paperculture.com/eco/business-holiday-cards-corporate-holiday-cards-c-104.html">Paper Culture</a>, which offers a range of modern cards that send a message of sustainability along with your yuletide greetings. The company uses sustainable, recycled materials and vows to offset its carbon footprint by planting a new tree for every card sent. Select from Christmas cards, winter cards, New Year&rsquo;s cards, holiday invitations, or other seasonal and event themes. <em>Price: Starting at $1.39 per card</em></p> </div> <!-- slide-body-inner--> </div> <!-- slide-body--> </div> <!-- slide-text-inner--> </div> <!-- slide-text--> </div> <!-- slide-inner--> </div> <!-- slide--> <div class="slide clear-block border"> <div class="slide-inner clear-block border"> <img src="http://realtormag.realtor.org/sites/realtormag.realtor.org/files/imagecache/rmo_slideshow/1216_gifts_04.jpg" alt="" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-rmo_slideshow imagecache-default imagecache-rmo_slideshow_default" width="290" height="218" /> <div class="slide-text slide-text-vertical slide-text-right clear-block border"> <div class="slide-text-inner clear-block border"> <div class="slide-title slide-title-vertical clear-block border"> <div class="slide-title-inner clear-block border"> <h2>A Spin on a Traditional Mug</h2> </div> <!-- slide-title-inner--> </div> <!-- slide-title--> <div class="slide-body-vertical clear-block border"> <div class="slide-body-inner clear-block border"> <!--paging_filter--><p>Perfect for morning coffee, tea, or hot cocoa, these <a href="http://www.anypromo.com/mugs-drinkware/coffee-mugs/16-oz-acrylicstainless-steel-java-stir-mug-p653206?utm_source=PLA&amp;utm_medium=PC&amp;utm_campaign=653206&amp;s=1&amp;gclid=CjwKEAiAr4vBBRCG36e415-_l1wSJAAatjJZEIsP-fO4ubTQCIS5gCTwSfypWLCbmD7_vtjqVLCl7RoCmNXw_wcB">self-stirring mugs</a> contain a motor that can be activated with the press of a button on the large grip handle. The thermal insulated mugs, which come in a variety of colors, can also be inscribed with your logo or company name. <em>Price: $6.42 each</em></p> </div> <!-- slide-body-inner--> </div> <!-- slide-body--> </div> <!-- slide-text-inner--> </div> <!-- slide-text--> </div> <!-- slide-inner--> </div> <!-- slide--> <div class="slide clear-block border"> <div class="slide-inner clear-block border"> <img src="http://realtormag.realtor.org/sites/realtormag.realtor.org/files/imagecache/rmo_slideshow/1216_gifts_05.jpg" alt="" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-rmo_slideshow imagecache-default imagecache-rmo_slideshow_default" width="290" height="218" /> <div class="slide-text slide-text-vertical slide-text-right clear-block border"> <div class="slide-text-inner clear-block border"> <div class="slide-title slide-title-vertical clear-block border"> <div class="slide-title-inner clear-block border"> <h2>A Holiday Card That Pops</h2> </div> <!-- slide-title-inner--> </div> <!-- slide-title--> <div class="slide-body-vertical clear-block border"> <div class="slide-body-inner clear-block border"> <!--paging_filter--><p>Your clients will get a surprise when they open these holiday cards: <a href="https://www.lovepopcards.com/">a 3-D holiday scene will pop up</a>. Made by LovePop, the cards come in a variety of holiday styles, including pop-ups of Santa swinging on a hammock, a row of Christmas trees, a snowflake blizzard, or a winter cabin with a snowman. <em>Price: Starting at $10 per card</em></p> </div> <!-- slide-body-inner--> </div> <!-- slide-body--> </div> <!-- slide-text-inner--> </div> <!-- slide-text--> </div> <!-- slide-inner--> </div> <!-- slide--> <div class="slide clear-block border"> <div class="slide-inner clear-block border"> <img src="http://realtormag.realtor.org/sites/realtormag.realtor.org/files/imagecache/rmo_slideshow/1216_gifts_06.jpg" alt="" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-rmo_slideshow imagecache-default imagecache-rmo_slideshow_default" width="290" height="218" /> <div class="slide-text slide-text-vertical slide-text-right clear-block border"> <div class="slide-text-inner clear-block border"> <div class="slide-title slide-title-vertical clear-block border"> <div class="slide-title-inner clear-block border"> <h2>I’ll Be Home for Christmas</h2> </div> <!-- slide-title-inner--> </div> <!-- slide-title--> <div class="slide-body-vertical clear-block border"> <div class="slide-body-inner clear-block border"> <!--paging_filter--><p>Bring new homeowners holiday cheer with a personalized house-shaped ornament inscribed with their names and the year they moved into their abode. <a href="http://www.personalizationmall.com/Personalized-Christmas-Ornaments-Gingerbread-House-i42464.item?productid=15857">Personalization Mall</a> offers several ornament design styles, including a snow-covered gingerbread house or a fireplace with Christmas stockings (which can include each family member&rsquo;s name, too). <em>Price: Starting at $15.95</em></p> </div> <!-- slide-body-inner--> </div> <!-- slide-body--> </div> <!-- slide-text-inner--> </div> <!-- slide-text--> </div> <!-- slide-inner--> </div> <!-- slide--> <div class="slide clear-block border"> <div class="slide-inner clear-block border"> <img src="http://realtormag.realtor.org/sites/realtormag.realtor.org/files/imagecache/rmo_slideshow/1216_gifts_07.jpg" alt="" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-rmo_slideshow imagecache-default imagecache-rmo_slideshow_default" width="290" height="218" /> <div class="slide-text slide-text-vertical slide-text-right clear-block border"> <div class="slide-text-inner clear-block border"> <div class="slide-title slide-title-vertical clear-block border"> <div class="slide-title-inner clear-block border"> <h2>Add to Their Tool Set</h2> </div> <!-- slide-title-inner--> </div> <!-- slide-title--> <div class="slide-body-vertical clear-block border"> <div class="slide-body-inner clear-block border"> <!--paging_filter--><p>Homeowners need tools. These <a href="http://www.homedepot.com/p/Husky-6-in-1-Multi-Function-Pliers-99474/206721761">six-in-one multifunction pliers</a> are bound to come in handy. There&rsquo;s a wire stripper and a set of long-nose pliers in the mix. The comfort grip handles allow for non-slip use. <em>Price: $14.97</em></p> </div> <!-- slide-body-inner--> </div> <!-- slide-body--> </div> <!-- slide-text-inner--> </div> <!-- slide-text--> </div> <!-- slide-inner--> </div> <!-- slide--> <div class="slide clear-block border"> <div class="slide-inner clear-block border"> <img src="http://realtormag.realtor.org/sites/realtormag.realtor.org/files/imagecache/rmo_slideshow/1216_gifts_08.jpg" alt="" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-rmo_slideshow imagecache-default imagecache-rmo_slideshow_default" width="290" height="218" /> <div class="slide-text slide-text-vertical slide-text-right clear-block border"> <div class="slide-text-inner clear-block border"> <div class="slide-title slide-title-vertical clear-block border"> <div class="slide-title-inner clear-block border"> <h2>Send a Giftagram</h2> </div> <!-- slide-title-inner--> </div> <!-- slide-title--> <div class="slide-body-vertical clear-block border"> <div class="slide-body-inner clear-block border"> <!--paging_filter--><p>Available for iOS and Android, the <a href="http://www.giftagram.com/">Giftagram</a> app allows you to send a gift to a client with three quick taps on your smartphone. Choose the recipient from your contact list; then scroll through the app to find the perfect gift from local boutiques and international retailers. Gift options include boxed pampering sets, sweet treats, and gourmet and wine gifts, or you can let your clients choose the gift card they want. Once you&rsquo;ve selected gifts, recipients will be notified by text or email, and they&rsquo;ll receive the gift within five business days. <em>Price: Starting at $20 per gift</em></p> </div> <!-- slide-body-inner--> </div> <!-- slide-body--> </div> <!-- slide-text-inner--> </div> <!-- slide-text--> </div> <!-- slide-inner--> </div> <!-- slide--> <div class="slide clear-block border"> <div class="slide-inner clear-block border"> <img src="http://realtormag.realtor.org/sites/realtormag.realtor.org/files/imagecache/rmo_slideshow/1216_gifts_09.jpg" alt="" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-rmo_slideshow imagecache-default imagecache-rmo_slideshow_default" width="290" height="218" /> <div class="slide-text slide-text-vertical slide-text-right clear-block border"> <div class="slide-text-inner clear-block border"> <div class="slide-title slide-title-vertical clear-block border"> <div class="slide-title-inner clear-block border"> <h2>Something Sweet</h2> </div> <!-- slide-title-inner--> </div> <!-- slide-title--> <div class="slide-body-vertical clear-block border"> <div class="slide-body-inner clear-block border"> <!--paging_filter--><p>Give your clients all the ingredients they need to whip up something extra special in the kitchen. <a href="https://thesweetbox.com/">The Sweet Box</a> will send all the ingredients (premium, organic, and preservative-free) needed to make a delicious homemade treat. Choose from desserts like brown sugar blondie cookies, caramel-corn party brownies, or cinnamon coffee cake. The Sweet Box also sends a digital recipe card that contains photos to help the novice baker along the way. <em>Price: Starting at $20</em></p> </div> <!-- slide-body-inner--> </div> <!-- slide-body--> </div> <!-- slide-text-inner--> </div> <!-- slide-text--> </div> <!-- slide-inner--> </div> <!-- slide--> <div class="slide clear-block border"> <div class="slide-inner clear-block border"> <img src="http://realtormag.realtor.org/sites/realtormag.realtor.org/files/imagecache/rmo_slideshow/1216_gifts_10.jpg" alt="" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-rmo_slideshow imagecache-default imagecache-rmo_slideshow_default" width="290" height="218" /> <div class="slide-text slide-text-vertical slide-text-right clear-block border"> <div class="slide-text-inner clear-block border"> <div class="slide-title slide-title-vertical clear-block border"> <div class="slide-title-inner clear-block border"> <h2>Supersized Good Fortunes</h2> </div> <!-- slide-title-inner--> </div> <!-- slide-title--> <div class="slide-body-vertical clear-block border"> <div class="slide-body-inner clear-block border"> <!--paging_filter--><p>Give your clients a giant fortune cookie for 2017: &ldquo;Your future in real estate in the year ahead is looking bright! Call me!&rdquo; You can craft your own real estate&ndash;themed fortune and have it tucked inside a giant fortune cookie for delivery. The <a href="http://www.arttowngifts.com/Christmas-Fortune-Cookie-p/lf-tfch11.htm?gdffi=399e4d505be5473997d5aeb168da8a29&amp;gdfms=82161FAC2EFB4B77B7FF839A781685F4">Giant Gourmet Fortune Cookie</a> is almost the size of a football and weighs nearly 2 pounds. You can include a 1-foot-long fortune inside. <em>Price: $29.99</em></p> </div> <!-- slide-body-inner--> </div> <!-- slide-body--> </div> <!-- slide-text-inner--> </div> <!-- slide-text--> </div> <!-- slide-inner--> </div> <!-- slide--> <div class="slide clear-block border"> <div class="slide-inner clear-block border"> <img src="http://realtormag.realtor.org/sites/realtormag.realtor.org/files/imagecache/rmo_slideshow/1216_gifts_11.jpg" alt="" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-rmo_slideshow imagecache-default imagecache-rmo_slideshow_default" width="290" height="218" /> <div class="slide-text slide-text-vertical slide-text-right clear-block border"> <div class="slide-text-inner clear-block border"> <div class="slide-title slide-title-vertical clear-block border"> <div class="slide-title-inner clear-block border"> <h2>Flower Deliveries</h2> </div> <!-- slide-title-inner--> </div> <!-- slide-title--> <div class="slide-body-vertical clear-block border"> <div class="slide-body-inner clear-block border"> <!--paging_filter--><p>Want face-to-face time with clients this holiday season? Bring a Christmas-themed flower arrangement to their door. Their friends and family will be sure to ask: &ldquo;Who are those from?&rdquo; Choose from a variety of holiday plants: poinsettias, amaryllis, Christmas cacti, rosemary plants, or holly bouquets. Check your local florist or online vendors such as <a href="https://www.ftd.com/best-sellers-ctg/occasion-christmas-bestsellers">FTD.com</a> or <a href="http://www.fromyouflowers.com/occasion/christmas-flowers">FromYouFlowers.com</a> for holiday-themed deliveries. <em>Price: Starting at $29.99 for holiday bouquets</em></p> </div> <!-- slide-body-inner--> </div> <!-- slide-body--> </div> <!-- slide-text-inner--> </div> <!-- slide-text--> </div> <!-- slide-inner--> </div> <!-- slide--> </div> <!-- slider-inner--> </div> <!-- slider--> <!-- scrollable pager images--> <div class="spacer-horizontal"><b></b></div> <!-- scrollable pager container --> <div id="views-slideshow-ddblock-scrollable-pager-image_gallery_images_block_1" class="scrollable-pager clear-block border"> <!-- prev/next page on slide --> <!-- custom "previous" links --> <!--<div class="prevPage"></div>--> <div class="prev"></div> <!-- scrollable part --> <div class="vsd-scrollable-pager clear-block border"> <div class="items 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</div> <!-- template --> </div> </div> <div id="slideshow_tips">Click on the small photos to scroll through the slide show. <div id="copyright">&copy; 2016 REALTOR&reg; MAGAZINE ONLINE </div></div> </div> <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>You don&rsquo;t need to drop a lot of cash to show your appreciation to customers this holiday season.</p> </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-main-image"> <div class="field-label">Main Image:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <div class="filefield-file"><img class="filefield-icon field-icon-image-jpeg" alt="image/jpeg icon" src="http://realtormag.realtor.org/sites/all/modules/filefield/icons/image-x-generic.png" /><a href="http://realtormag.realtor.org/sites/realtormag.realtor.org/files/dec16_SM_gifts_0.jpg" type="image/jpeg; length=79076">dec16_SM_gifts_0.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/dec16_SM_gifts_1.jpg?1481144563" /> </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/dec16_LP_SM_gifts.jpg?1481144584" /> </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/2016/11/best-gifts-for-your-agents">The Best Gifts for Your Agents</a> </div> <div class="field-item even"> <a href="/news-and-commentary/your-nar/article/new-closing-gift-ideas-for-your-clients">New Closing Gift Ideas for Your Clients</a> </div> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/product-guide/gifts/article/2015/02/7-mistakes-you-make-closing-gifts">7 Mistakes You Make With Closing Gifts</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 Wed, 07 Dec 2016 18:51:45 +0000 gwood 22381 at http://realtormag.realtor.org Is There a House in Your Retirement Plan? http://realtormag.realtor.org/commercial/feature/article/2016/12/there-house-in-your-retirement-plan <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"> Single-family homes can offer an easy entry into property investment and help you diversify your portfolio. But even experienced real estate pros have to take care to ensure they get the most from this type of nest egg. </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, December 8, 2016</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/kevin-ortner">Kevin Ortner</a> </div> </div> </div> <!--paging_filter--><p>Thinking of adding investment property to your reserve fund? You&rsquo;re not alone. When investing site <a href="http://www.bankrate.com/finance/consumer-index/financial-security-charts-0716.aspx" target="_blank">Bankrate.com asked Americans in a 2016 survey</a> what they felt would be the best way to invest money they wouldn&rsquo;t need for more than 10 years, the most popular answer was real estate.</p> <p>But while you surely understand the benefits of real estate as an investment &mdash; equity, ownership of a tangible asset, and appreciation, just to name a few &mdash; when it comes to taking the leap, you might feel stuck. Even for real estate professionals, it&rsquo;s difficult to know where to start. It&rsquo;s one thing to help your clients with property investments; if you&rsquo;re going to take that leap yourself, you first need to gather a sizable amount of your own money. Then you need to make sure you play your cards right and end up with a winning property.</p> <p>While there&rsquo;s no one-size-fits-all property investing strategy that will always outperform the rest, rental properties &mdash; and particularly the humble single-family residence &mdash; have been performing exceptionally well in recent years. Over 36 percent of U.S. households were renting in 2015, according to a <a href="http://www.jchs.harvard.edu/sites/jchs.harvard.edu/files/jchs_2016_state_of_the_nations_housing_lowres.pdf" target="_blank">report by the Joint Center for Housing Studies of Harvard University</a>, which is the largest share since the 1960s. And 40 percent of the nation&rsquo;s renters are in single-family housing, up from 34 percent in 2005. We&rsquo;re experiencing an unprecedented demand for this type of housing, and that&rsquo;s fueling surging rental prices across the country.</p> <p>One of the great advantages to investing in single-family homes is the relatively low entry point. As any residential real estate practitioner can confirm, this type of property is by far the easiest to start with. Compared to condos or multifamily residences, the required down payments and outgoing expenses are often significantly lower. Meanwhile, you can expect steady returns on a single-family home investment. According to RealtyTrac, the average annual gross rental yield for properties purchased in the first seven months of 2016 was <a href="http://www.realtytrac.com/news/home-prices-and-sales/q3-2016-single-family-rental-market-report/" target="_blank">8.7 percent</a>.</p> <h4>Why the Single-Family Rental?</h4> <p>Nationally, rents for single-family properties are on the rise. According to <a href="http://www.themreport.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/07/RMBS-Research-Increasing-Rents-on-Single-Family-Properties-Suggest-Robust-Tenant-Demand-July-2016.pdf" target="_blank">a recent report released by Morningstar Credit Ratings LLC</a>, increasing rents on single-family properties throughout the U.S. suggest that tenant demand remains robust. And while many investment options struggled to provide substantial returns throughout 2015, another recent Morningstar analysis found <a href="http://nreionline.com/single-family-housing/single-family-rentals-pay-bulk-investors" target="_blank">single-family rental </a>investments outperformed expectations in terms of both rental income and appreciation in a number of markets throughout the country.</p> <p>What&rsquo;s driving this demand? <a href="https://www.homeunion.com/blog/homeunion-identifies-best-and-worst-markets-for-single-family-rental-investments/" target="_blank">Steve Hovland</a>, manager of research services at HomeUnion, says more favorable views about renting among millennials and seniors is one catalyst behind the increasing occupancy rates and higher rents. Additionally, Harvard&rsquo;s Joint Center for Housing Studies predicts the <a href="http://www.jchs.harvard.edu/sites/jchs.harvard.edu/files/jchs_2016_state_of_the_nations_housing_lowres.pdf" target="_blank">steady decline in homeownership</a> will continue to fuel demand for rental housing into the foreseeable future.</p> <p>So these market conditions make rental property investment more enticing, but why are single-family rentals particularly attractive? In my experience with Renters Warehouse, I&rsquo;ve noticed that these properties tend to attract high-quality, low-maintenance tenants. Maybe that&rsquo;s because occupants of single-family rentals tend to stay longer than apartment dwellers do; one Oakland-based company specializing in single-family rentals finds that on average, their tenants <a href="http://nreionline.com/single-family-housing/single-family-rental-housing-tenant-king" target="_blank">stay in a rental for about three years</a> and that tenancies of five or six years are not uncommon. Not only does this tend to lead to more stability, but it also helps investors such as yourself cut back on the need for tenant sourcing and screening.</p> <h4>Making the Most of Your Investment</h4> <p>While the market for single-family residential property is hot, it&rsquo;s important to note that not all units are created equal. Some properties naturally perform better as rentals than others.</p> <p>For this reason, it&rsquo;s important to run the numbers and pay attention to your projected net yield. Don&rsquo;t assume that a great price or an outstanding property will automatically equate to higher profits. At the end of the day, finding success with single-family rentals comes down to two very simple things: finding a winning property and ensuring that it&rsquo;s managed as profitably as possible. Here are some key steps to follow:</p> <h4>Know Where to Look</h4> <p>While it&rsquo;s true that there are fewer bargains today than there were immediately after the recession, there are still good deals to be found if you&rsquo;re patient and know where to look. It&rsquo;s always a good idea to start local, since you&rsquo;re already familiar with the local housing market and your area&rsquo;s economic conditions. Pay attention to whether a property is a power-of-sale property or a foreclosure. With foreclosures &mdash; which have the lending institution on the title &mdash; you&rsquo;ll often be able to get a better deal, since banks prefer to offload properties fairly quickly.</p> <h4>Find the Right Property</h4> <p>Next, it&rsquo;s important to choose a property that will perform well as a rental. While there are exceptions, many investors find that the most profitable rentals are the ones that fall in the middle of the scale. Look for properties that are in nice, middle-class areas, near jobs and good schools; this will increase your chances of attracting long-term tenants while avoiding the costs that are often associated with rentals that are located in more exclusive neighborhoods. You&rsquo;ll also want to carefully consider whether you want a fixer-upper or a turnkey property that&rsquo;s ready to go. While some investors make it their strategy to purchase homes that are in need of repairs, this method can be risky and costly if you don&rsquo;t know what you&rsquo;re doing. No matter which option you choose, it&rsquo;s important to go into it with an airtight plan and a timeline for any repairs.</p> <h4>Run the Numbers</h4> <p>Don&rsquo;t operate on assumptions alone. It&rsquo;s important to do your homework and determine how much a property will cost you to operate each year; this includes taxes, insurance, maintenance, repairs, and unexpected vacancies. Next, subtract this figure from your projected annual rental income. While low property prices or estimated high gross yields can be tempting, remember: a cheap property doesn&rsquo;t necessarily mean that it&rsquo;s a good deal. Similarly, more expensive properties that promise high returns will make a poor investment if the annual taxes end up eating up most of your profit. What matters most is how well the property will perform in the long-term.</p> <h4>Manage Your Property Profitably</h4> <p>Once you&rsquo;ve acquired a property, you must manage it in a way that will ensure maximum profitability. Keep in mind that your tenants can make or break the success of your rental, so it&rsquo;s important to implement comprehensive policies, a solid rental agreement, and a thorough screening process for vetting potential renters. Run background checks, call references, and perform credit checks for all potential tenants. Finally, it&rsquo;s important to ensure you are operating in compliance with anti-discrimination laws. Always provide your screening procedure in writing. Run it by an attorney to ensure that your questions don&rsquo;t discriminate against any protected classes. Many investors choose to use property managers, allowing them to offload the work of tenant sourcing and screening as well as the day-to-day tasks associated with property management. This is an especially good idea for those who want a more hands-off experience once they reach retirement.</p> <p>The single-family residence is still a hot item that can make an excellent addition to your retirement portfolio. Just remember that, as with any investment, it&rsquo;s important to assess potential properties on a case-by-case basis, ensuring you weigh projected profit and loss.&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-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/dec16_C_retirement.jpg" type="image/jpeg; length=56936">dec16_C_retirement.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/dec16_C_retirement_0.jpg?1481140675" /> </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/dec16_LP_C_retirement.jpg?1481140694" /> </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/conversations/article/2014/07/are-mega-investors-changing-rental-housing">Are Mega-Investors Changing Rental Housing?</a> </div> <div class="field-item even"> <a href="/home-and-design/feature/article/2015/12/does-it-pay-invest-in-tiny-homes">Does It Pay to Invest in Tiny Homes?</a> </div> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/commercial/round-up/article/2013/03/single-family-asset-class">Single Family as an Asset Class</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, 07 Dec 2016 15:51:05 +0000 mwhite 22380 at http://realtormag.realtor.org Thank the ‘Silent Partners’ http://realtormag.realtor.org/for-brokers/network/article/2016/12/thank-silent-partners <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"> Simple gestures showing agents’ families you care can go a long way toward building a strong office culture. </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, December 2, 2016</span> </div> </div> </div> </fieldset> <div class="field field-type-nodereference field-field-op-author"> <div class="field-label">Author(s):&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/author/annmarie-janni">AnnMarie Janni</a> </div> </div> </div> <!--paging_filter--><p>A career in real estate can be difficult without a supportive family. Spouses and children must have a lot of patience when you work long days and nights and attend to unexpected showings.</p> <p>That&rsquo;s why at <a href="http://gorealty.bhgre.com/" target="_blank">Better Homes and Gardens Real Estate Go Realty</a>, we show our appreciation to our agents&rsquo; families. Each year, our office leaders send a &ldquo;thank you&rdquo; gift to agents&rsquo; spouses or significant others. This year, we gave them a $10 gift card to a local restaurant with a handwritten note of appreciation. What we&rsquo;ve found is it&rsquo;s the thought that counts more than the amount you spend, and a little love goes a long way.</p> <p>Also, whenever possible, we invite spouses to our company events. Holiday parties and office happy hours are more fun when we can all kick back and enjoy a celebration together. Children are also welcome in our offices, and we&rsquo;ve provided kid-friendly spaces for our young visitors. Knock-knock jokes? We got &lsquo;em. Disney Channel on Pandora? We play it. An unhealthy dose of candy when mom isn&rsquo;t looking? Guilty!</p> <p>The reality is agents don&rsquo;t want their kids at the office with them, (&ldquo;Mom, mom, mommy, mom, mom, mom.&rdquo;) and the kids don&rsquo;t want to be there either. (&ldquo;Can I play a game on your phone? Can I go to my friend&rsquo;s house? When are we leaving?&rdquo;) But we know that life happens, plans change, and sometimes the kids must join in on all the fun that real estate offers.</p> <p>I don&rsquo;t mind stopping what I&rsquo;m doing for 10 minutes to keep a child entertained while their mom or dad makes a few phone calls or meets with clients. It&rsquo;s part of our office culture to help one another out in a variety of ways. I&rsquo;ll invite the kids into my office so they can play a game while their parents work. Plus, when they&rsquo;re hanging out with the boss, they are extra good for mom or dad. And parents (who are also your agents) never forget the people who are extra kind to their children.</p> <p>Your office culture should extend to everyone you come in contact with, including agents&rsquo; families. As brokers, it&rsquo;s worth it to reach out to the folks behind the scenes&mdash;the ones who play the most important roles in your agents&rsquo; lives. This is a simple yet highly effective way to build stronger relationships with your agents, encourage brand loyalty, and help with retention.</p> <hr /> <p><br /> <img alt="" src="/sites/realtormag.realtor.org/files/rmo_files/images/logos/BtoB_logo_footer_080114.jpg" style="float:left; height:117px; width:150px" /><em>Broker-to-Broker is an information network that provides insights and tools with business value through timely articles, videos, Q&amp;As, and sales meeting tips for brokerage owners and managers. Get more <a href="/for-brokers/network" target="_blank">Broker-to-Broker content here</a>.</em></p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <div class="field field-type-text field-field-show-author-info"> <div class="field-label">Show Author Info?:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> Show Author Info? </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-text field-field-teaser"> <div class="field-label">Teaser:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <!--paging_filter--><p>Simple gestures showing agents&rsquo; families you care can go a long way toward building a strong office culture.</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/dec16_BB_thanks.jpg" type="image/jpeg; length=42315">dec16_BB_thanks.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/dec16_BB_thanks_0.jpg?1481035071" /> </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/dec16_LP_BB_thanks.jpg?1481035091" /> </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/2016/10/running-open-door-brokerage">Running an Open-Door Brokerage</a> </div> <div class="field-item even"> <a href="/for-brokers/network/article/2016/08/your-vibe-attracts-your-tribe">Your Vibe Attracts Your Tribe</a> </div> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/for-brokers/network/article/2014/08/create-winning-brokerage-culture">Create a Winning Brokerage Culture</a> </div> <div class="field-item even"> <a href="/for-brokers/network/article/2016/11/providing-value-your-agents">Providing Value to Your Agents</a> </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-number-integer field-field-mainstage-image-display2"> <div class="field-label">Mainstage Image Display on Content:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> No, don't disable the "Main" image on this article </div> </div> </div> Network Fri, 02 Dec 2016 20:55:05 +0000 echristoffer 22358 at http://realtormag.realtor.org When Someone Asks to ‘Pick Your Brain’ http://realtormag.realtor.org/for-brokers/network/article/2016/12/when-someone-asks-pick-your-brain <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 show that your time is valuable—and how to say “yes” on your own terms. </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, December 1, 2016</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/kevin-ortner">Kevin Ortner</a> </div> </div> </div> <!--paging_filter--><p>A short, simple, and seemingly innocent request comes through in your email: &ldquo;I&rsquo;d like to pick your brain about property investing. Maybe we can meet up for coffee sometime?&rdquo; You do like coffee. And you enjoy talking about real estate investing. How could you say no?</p> <p>So you agree to meet.</p> <p>But after the meeting, you don&rsquo;t feel better for having spent time discussing the finer points of real estate investing &mdash; in fact, you feel like your hard-earned experience is underappreciated. You&rsquo;re left feeling drained and overspent, as though you&rsquo;ve just given away your secrets in exchange for a $5.95 Starbucks latte.</p> <p>If this sounds like you, you&rsquo;re not alone. Most professionals reach a point where they start receiving frequent requests to meet for coffee and brain-picking sessions. For many real estate advisers and property professionals, the number of solicitations they receive may very well correlate with the amount of free, online content that they produce. If you&rsquo;re an especially prolific writer or podcaster, chances are you will receive many such emails or cold calls per week. People feel that since you share your thoughts online for free, that you&rsquo;ll certainly be willing to divulge your secrets in person in exchange for a hot drink.</p> <p>But if you&rsquo;re anything like most of us, you&rsquo;re busy. Very busy. And taking the time out of your already packed schedule to provide free consultation services can be costly, both mentally and from a pure time-management point of view.</p> <p>If you&rsquo;re feeling overwhelmed with requests from brain-pickers, here&rsquo;s how you can turn them down while tactfully saying &ldquo;yes&rdquo; to the offers that you genuinely want to accept.</p> <h4>Ring, Ring!</h4> <p>First, let&rsquo;s slash some misconceptions surrounding brain-picking sessions.</p> <p>There&rsquo;s a good chance that part of you feels like you can&rsquo;t say no. &ldquo;I&rsquo;m in demand,&rdquo; you think, and besides, &ldquo;some of those sessions may eventually pay out down the road,&rdquo; right? Who knows, you may even get some genuine business out of the deal with referrals, and you certainly don&rsquo;t want to be known as someone who turns down offers to meet up.</p> <p>For broker-owners, successful agents, and real estate investors alike, you know that networking is invaluable. But the fact is that by and large most of these &ldquo;brain-pickers,&rdquo; whether through naivete or willful ignorance, are grossly undervaluing your experience.</p> <p>Think about it with me for a minute. If these people really valued your services, they wouldn&rsquo;t be asking for you to provide them with consultation services and expecting you to give them your secrets to success for the price of a hot beverage or lunch. They&rsquo;re not saying it directly, but their actions imply that they feel that your experience and knowledge on the subject is worth less than $20 at best.</p> <p>Is this something that you want to take part in?</p> <p>As best-selling author <a href="https://books.google.com/books?id=TauECgAAQBAJ&amp;pg=PT65&amp;lpg=PT65&amp;dq=People+treat+us+the+way+we+teach+them+to+treat+us+jack+canfield&amp;source=bl&amp;ots=Tn9Plvjdby&amp;sig=E4jgMte65EvkG56S2XDQJSS7sdo&amp;hl=en&amp;sa=X&amp;ved=0ahUKEwjTq_nP8-bPAhVB7B4KHfcsCRIQ6AEILjAG#v=onepage&amp;q=People%20treat%20us%20the%20way%20we%20teach%20them%20to%20treat%20us%20jack%20canfield&amp;f=false" target="_blank">Jack Canfield says</a>, &ldquo;People treat us the way we teach them to treat us.&rdquo; Don&rsquo;t teach people that your time is worthless.</p> <h4>Offer an Alternative</h4> <p>When someone sends you a request to meet up, what they&rsquo;re really asking for is advice. In most cases, though, there are a number of other ways that they could find the answers to their questions on their own &mdash; as long as they&rsquo;re motivated and willing to research. So don&rsquo;t feel like you have to do their heavy lifting for them. Instead, consider taking the time to politely point them in the right direction, encouraging them to do some of the legwork on their own.</p> <p>Your goal is to help even as you indicate that your time is valuable.</p> <p>The next time you get a request to meet up that you can&rsquo;t or would rather not take part in, consider responding with one of the following alternative suggestions.</p> <ul> <li><strong>Recommend a Great Book or Two</strong></li> </ul> <p style="margin-left:.5in;">Having the titles of a few great books that you&rsquo;ve personally found to be helpful can be an excellent way to point people in the right direction. Incidentally, at Renters Warehouse, we have <a href="http://renterswarehouse.com/the-ultimate-list-of-real-estate-investing-books/" target="_blank">an entire list of books</a> that we recommend to those who are interested in getting started with income properties.</p> <ul> <li><strong>Forward Them Links to Articles That You&rsquo;ve Written or Read</strong></li> </ul> <p style="margin-left:.5in;">Consider referring them to your free resources. If you have published articles, podcast episodes, or videos that you feel could help to guide them in the right direction, then consider doing so. For especially persistent brain-pickers, consider including a brief explanation that these resources are the only types of free advice that you offer &mdash; anything that involves a meetup has a cost.</p> <ul> <li><strong>Inform Them That You Will Be Speaking at an Event</strong></li> </ul> <p style="margin-left:.5in;">If you&rsquo;ve reached a point in your career where you&rsquo;re speaking at events, consider replying with a short note detailing that you&rsquo;re going to be speaking at an upcoming event, informing them that they&rsquo;re welcome to come and see you.</p> <ul> <li><strong>Invite Them to Email You Their Questions </strong></li> </ul> <p style="margin-left:.5in;">If the request is one that&rsquo;s especially piqued your interest, consider having them create a brief draft outlining their questions and email it to you. The great thing about this type of response is that it will help you to weed through time-wasters who aren&rsquo;t interested in investing anything themselves. Most people won&rsquo;t be willing to go through the trouble of writing up a draft and sending it to you, and if they do go through with it, you can know that they&rsquo;re serious and more than willing to do their own hard work.</p> <p>Finally, if part of your business is consulting, then make sure you follow your response with a short sentence, emphasizing that you charge for these types of meetings. Something like, &ldquo;If you&rsquo;re still interested in a consultation, I&rsquo;m available at ____ rate,&rdquo; will get the message across.</p> <p>These types of responses offer two great benefits. First, they give you a polite way to direct inquirers on toward helpful and free resources, and secondly, at the same time they allow you to firmly establish your time as valuable.</p> <h4>Meet on Your Terms</h4> <p>For some of us, we enjoy meeting up once or twice a month to share our experience with others. After all, helping others who are genuinely interested in learning (and not just looking to score some free tips) can make us feel good. And, let&rsquo;s face it, it&rsquo;s great to give back.</p> <p>If this sounds like you, consider setting aside a specific amount of time each week to do this. Allocating, say, 30 minutes per week to do this for people allows you to say &ldquo;yes&rdquo; to those requests that you want to say yes to, while at the same time helping you to weed out the requests that you aren&rsquo;t interested in.</p> <p>Before you agree to meet with anyone, just make sure it&rsquo;s something that you want to do. Don&rsquo;t feel pressured into it because they&rsquo;re an old friend from school or extremely persistent.</p> <p>Don&rsquo;t spread yourself too thin or do something that involves a significant sacrifice. Do you feel right about the meetup, or does the thought of one more thing this week cause you to feel stressed and anxious? Are you spending enough time with your family? Are you getting enough downtime? Or do you have too much on your plate already?</p> <p>Remember, it&rsquo;s not wrong to say no. You don&rsquo;t owe anyone this, and you don&rsquo;t have to create excuses. A simple &ldquo;Sorry, my schedule&rsquo;s full&rdquo; or &ldquo;I&rsquo;m not doing coffee meetups at the moment&rdquo; is adequate.</p> <h4>Set a Time Limit</h4> <p>In order to get the most out of the meetup sessions that you decide to say yes to, make sure you set some ground rules first.</p> <p>It&rsquo;s on your time, so don&rsquo;t feel bad about putting a limit on it. Tell your contact that you can give them, say, 30 minutes. You may also want to consider meeting over the phone instead of over coffee. No matter which option you choose, make sure you stick to your time limit.</p> <p>As the clock approaches 30 minutes, draw the conversation to a close. Say, &ldquo;I&rsquo;ve enjoyed meeting up with you; we have time for one more question.&rdquo; Then, wrap the conversation up &mdash; inform them that you have to get back to the office, and then leave.</p> <p>Helping others will also help you. Meeting up with others will give you a chance to solicit some great questions that you can use for future material or blog posts. And they may also help you to get some referrals or give you a chance to recommend a colleague. Networking, when done on your own terms, can be a great thing. Just make sure you&rsquo;re not devaluing your expertise in the process.</p> <p>Finally, as author <a href="http://www.forbes.com/sites/kevinkruse/2016/05/30/7-ways-to-say-no-to-pick-your-brain-meeting-requests/2/#1860b1a5666f" target="_blank">Kevin Kruse</a> puts it so well, &ldquo;Every &lsquo;yes&rsquo; is a &lsquo;no&rsquo; to something else.&rdquo; Make sure you&rsquo;re saying yes to meetups on your own terms, and choose your opportunities discerningly. Most people will understand if you say you&rsquo;re busy. And if they don&rsquo;t, try not to worry about it too much; they&rsquo;re probably the type of individuals that you wouldn&rsquo;t want to do business with anyway.</p> <p>Maintain your reputation, meet up when you want to, but don&rsquo;t let word get out that you&rsquo;re easy to solicit free advice from. Respect your time, and others will too.</p> <hr /> <p><br /> <img alt="" src="/sites/realtormag.realtor.org/files/rmo_files/images/logos/BtoB_logo_footer_080114.jpg" style="float:left; height:117px; width:150px" /><em>Broker-to-Broker is an information network that provides insights and tools with business value through timely articles, videos, Q&amp;As, and sales meeting tips for brokerage owners and managers. Get more <a href="/for-brokers/network" target="_blank">Broker-to-Broker content here</a>.</em></p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <div class="field field-type-text field-field-show-author-info"> <div class="field-label">Show Author Info?:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> Show Author Info? </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-text field-field-teaser"> <div class="field-label">Teaser:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <!--paging_filter--><p>Learn how to show that your time is valuable&mdash;and how to say &ldquo;yes&rdquo; on your own terms.</p> </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-nodereference field-field-related-content"> <div class="field-label">Related Content:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/for-brokers/network/article/2016/11/how-fire-agent">How to Fire an Agent</a> </div> <div class="field-item even"> <a href="/for-brokers/network/article/2016/10/fostering-real-estate-disruptors">Fostering Real Estate Disruptors</a> </div> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/for-brokers/network/article/2016/10/there-are-no-shortcuts-media-exposure">There Are No Shortcuts to Media Exposure</a> </div> <div class="field-item even"> <a href="/for-brokers/network/article/2016/10/landing-your-first-speaking-gig">Landing Your First Speaking Gig</a> </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-number-integer field-field-mainstage-image-display2"> <div class="field-label">Mainstage Image Display on Content:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> No, don't disable the "Main" image on this article </div> </div> </div> Network Fri, 02 Dec 2016 21:00:03 +0000 echristoffer 22359 at http://realtormag.realtor.org 10 Anti-Burglary Tips for Your Sellers http://realtormag.realtor.org/well-being/safety/article/2016/12/10-anti-burglary-tips-for-your-sellers <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 your clients are opening their doors to the public for showings, they need to take extra precautions. Share these suggestions to help them keep their belongings safe. </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, December 1, 2016</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/tracey-hawkins">Tracey Hawkins</a> </div> </div> </div> <!--paging_filter--><p>After Christmas, many people put the empty boxes their expensive gifts came in out on the curb. What do you think that says to potential burglars? It screams, &ldquo;I just got a brand-new TV! Come and rob me!&rdquo;</p> <p>That&rsquo;s just one example of some unwise habits homeowners have. If those owners are sellers opening their doors to the public for showings, habits such as these put them in even greater danger. The above example is a good warning to give to your clients now, since we&rsquo;re in the holiday season. But use it as a jumping-off point to have a deeper conversation about safety &mdash; and to show that your safety knowledge is an asset to sellers.</p> <p>Consider using this checklist (you can <a href="http://www.safetyandsecuritysource.com/realestateagentsafety.html" target="_blank">request it as a customer handout</a> on my website) during listing appointments to better prepare prospective sellers and show your value as a real estate professional. We spend a lot of time telling sellers how we&rsquo;ll market their home, and while that is obviously important, we rarely address their true concern: how to keep their home safe while it&rsquo;s open to the public. Touch on these 10 anti-burglary tips so your clients will know that you have their best interest at heart.</p> <blockquote> <p><strong>National Snapshot of Burglaries</strong></p> <p>A burglary is committed every 20 seconds, with nearly 1.6 million such crimes nationwide annually, according to the FBI&rsquo;s <a href="https://ucr.fbi.gov/crime-in-the-u.s/2015/crime-in-the-u.s.-2015/offenses-known-to-law-enforcement/burglary" target="_blank">2015 Crime in the United States</a> report. That&rsquo;s down 7.8 percent from 2014. Total property crime, which includes arson, larceny theft, and motor vehicle theft, reached nearly 8 million instances in 2015, down 2.6 percent from 2014.</p> </blockquote> <ol> <li><strong>Maintain your property.</strong> Especially in the wintertime, many people stay indoors and neglect issues such as peeling trim or an overgrown yard. But if the home looks unkempt, thieves may think it&rsquo;s abandoned and, therefore, an easy target. Shoveling your walkways to clear them of snow and debris and removing holiday decorations and fallen tree branches in a timely manner will signal that the home is occupied.</li> <li><strong>Know your neighbors.</strong> Many people don&rsquo;t really know their neighbors; it&rsquo;s more than just saying hi and being friendly. Invite them over to see your home before it goes on the market, and introduce them to the people they may see regularly stopping by during this time (especially your agent). Then they&rsquo;ll know who is and isn&rsquo;t supposed to be at your home and can better assess when there may be a threat while you&rsquo;re gone.</li> <li><strong>Assess your home&rsquo;s vulnerability.</strong> Walk to the curb and face your house. Ask yourself, &ldquo;How would I get in if I were locked out?&rdquo; The first thing you think of, whether it&rsquo;s the window with a broken lock or the door that won&rsquo;t shut all the way, is exactly how a thief will get in. Think like a burglar, and then address the issues that come to mind.</li> <li><strong>Respect the power of lighting.</strong> Criminals are cowards, and they don&rsquo;t want to be seen. The house that is well-lit at night provides a deterrent because thieves don&rsquo;t want the attention and the potential to be caught by witnesses. It&rsquo;s wise to invest in tools that make nighttime light automation easy. That includes dusk-to-dawn adapters that go into existing light fixtures and motion detectors. But beware of leaving your exterior lights on at all times, which signifies the occupant is gone for an extended period of time.</li> <li><strong>Use technology to make your home look occupied.</strong> In addition to lighting, smart-home technology has made it easier to make it appear like people are home, even when they&rsquo;re not. Systems that remotely control lighting, music, and appliances such as a thermostat can help you achieve this. Though not considered smart-home tech, simple lamp timing devices available at hardware stores are also good for this purpose.</li> <li><strong>Yes, it has to be said: Lock your doors.</strong> It&rsquo;s amazing how many people think they live in a safe-enough neighborhood not to have to lock their doors when they leave. Some facts sellers should know: In 30 percent of burglaries, the criminals access the home through an unlocked door or window; 34 percent of burglars use the front door to get inside; and 22 percent use the back door, according to the FBI Uniform Crime Report.</li> <li><strong>Reinforce your locks.</strong> A good door lock is nothing without a solid frame. Invest in a solid door jam and strike plate first, and then invest in good locks. Know the difference between a single-cylinder and a double-cylinder deadbolt. Double-cylinder deadbolts are recommended because they require a key to get in and out. For safety and emergency escape purposes, you must leave the key in when you are home. But double-cylinder locks are against regulations in some places, so check with your local police department&rsquo;s crime prevention office.</li> <li><strong>Blare the sirens.</strong> Burglars are usually in and out in less than five minutes, and they know police can&rsquo;t respond to an alarm that quickly. Their bigger concern is witnesses to their crime. For that reason, an external siren is invaluable, whether as part of a monitored security system or a DIY alarm. Even if you don&rsquo;t have an alarm, it&rsquo;s not a bad idea to invest in fake security signs and post them near doors.</li> <li><strong>Consider surveillance cameras.</strong> The Los Angeles Police Department started a program encouraging homeowners to install a device called Ring, a doorbell with video surveillance capability that allows homeowners to view what&rsquo;s outside their door on their smartphone, in a neighborhood that was a target for burglaries. After Ring was installed in hundreds of homes, <a href="http://abc7.com/news/lapd-pilot-program-uses-smartphone-app-to-reduce-burglaries/1262052/" target="_blank">the burglary rate dropped by 55 percent</a>, according to reports. Most state and local regulations require posting a warning that people are being recorded. (But again, this can be effective even if you don&rsquo;t actually have the cameras installed!)</li> <li><strong>Mark your valuables and record details.</strong> Use invisible-ink pens or engravers to mark identifying information (driver&rsquo;s license or state ID numbers) on items. Log serial numbers and take photos of your belongings. Check to see if your police department participates in the <a href="http://www.opid.org/" target="_blank">Operation Identification</a> program. They will have stickers for you to place on doors or windows warning would-be thieves that your items are marked. These steps may prevent them from pawning or selling stolen items and can help you reclaim recovered belongings.</li> </ol> <div class="field field-type-text field-field-show-author-info"> <div class="field-label">Show Author Info?:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> Show Author Info? </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-text field-field-teaser"> <div class="field-label">Teaser:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <!--paging_filter--><p>When your clients are opening their doors to the public for showings, they need to take extra precautions. Share these suggestions to help them keep their belongings safe.</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/nov16_S_burglar.jpg" type="image/jpeg; length=30367">nov16_S_burglar.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/nov16_S_burglar_0.jpg?1480526295" /> </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/nov16_LP_S_burglar.jpg?1480526318" /> </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-nodereference field-field-related-content"> <div class="field-label">Related Content:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/well-being/safety/article/2016/09/safety-benefit-smart-homes">The Safety Benefit of Smart Homes</a> </div> <div class="field-item even"> <a href="/well-being/safety/article/2016/08/use-your-safety-knowledge-convert-fsbos">Use Your Safety Knowledge to Convert FSBOs</a> </div> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/sales-and-marketing/feature/article/2014/09/safety-talk-you-need-have-clients">The Safety Talk You Need to Have With Clients</a> </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-number-integer field-field-mainstage-image-display2"> <div class="field-label">Mainstage Image Display on Content:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> No, don't disable the "Main" image on this article </div> </div> </div> Safety Wed, 30 Nov 2016 15:50:51 +0000 gwood 22342 at http://realtormag.realtor.org You're Never Too Old for Real Estate http://realtormag.realtor.org/news-and-commentary/commentary/article/2016/12/youre-never-too-old-for-real-estate <div class="field field-type-text field-field-deck"> <div class="field-label">Deck:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> I’m not the quickest adapter to change in the industry, and I’m still learning things younger agents have already mastered. Here’s how I power forward, even if I’m behind the times. </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, December 1, 2016</span> </div> </div> </div> </fieldset> <div class="field field-type-nodereference field-field-op-author"> <div class="field-label">Author(s):&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/author/mary-mcintosh">Mary McIntosh</a> </div> </div> </div> <!--paging_filter--><p>As you get older, avenues for drumming up business sometimes change, and it can be difficult to choose the next route. I&rsquo;ve been in the business for 15 years, and when my kids were younger, I could chat up their friends&rsquo; parents at school or sports practices and games. But now that they&rsquo;ve turned into surly teenagers and don&rsquo;t want me around as much, my tried and true avenue for finding new clients is reaching a dead end. Past clients and referrals are still good sources for me, but I would like to bump things up a notch. So I&rsquo;m faced with the age-old question: How?</p> <p>Door knocking, calling on expired listings, advertising on third-party sites, farming: With commitment and consistency, any method for generating new leads can work. But with my nest getting emptier and my kids becoming more independent, I feel ready to take on a challenge and learn something new. None of the typical tactics appeal to me for one reason or another, so I decided to take on social media.</p> <p>I&rsquo;ve been on Facebook for years, but mostly to keep track of my kids and communicate with friends. I took classes online about how to leverage social media platforms for my business and learned more than I think I ever have in a few short months. I focused on building SEO and using keywords, and I started blogging. I run Facebook ads and promote my blogs like crazy. I stalk other agents on social media, too, analyzing the imagery they use in their ads and their calls to action.</p> <p>I try to be patient because I don&rsquo;t know what the secret is to social media yet. I provide content I think is valuable, funny, and important locally. I engage with people and try to start conversations. But I don&rsquo;t have leads wanting to hire me yet. I try to believe that will come later.</p> <p>I aim to have a presence on all social media platforms, though Snapchat makes me want to take a nap. If I am going to be creative and funny, I want it to last forever&mdash;not just 24 hours. I&rsquo;m supposed to make a new Snapchat story every 24 hours? How is that even possible? What about the days I don&rsquo;t wear make-up or my kids are being obnoxious? Do I make my story about my cat?</p> <p>Snapchat users often turn the camera on themselves; they&rsquo;re cute and witty, and they share who they are with the world. I don&rsquo;t know if it&rsquo;s my age (I&rsquo;m 46), insecurity, or just a lack of practice that makes the thought of turning the camera on myself zero fun. I end up so horrified with my neck or the scar on my face &mdash; or is that food in my teeth??? &mdash; that my mood is gone, the jokes in my head are gone, and I really just want to throw the phone out my car window, turn up the Beastie Boys, and bang my head like I did back when I was <em>cool</em>.</p> <p>Many people in my office are killing it on social media &mdash; some who still seem young enough to be children are selling homes left and right and even some experienced (read: older) agents have mastered social media.</p> <p>Now the secret sauce, I&rsquo;m told &mdash; other than Snapchat &mdash; is video. I just learned how to talk naturally to people in a blog, but now I have to do it in a video? My wedding was videotaped, and I was interviewed on TV news once &mdash; but I never even saw that because I couldn&rsquo;t figure out how to set the VCR. I bought a video camera when my kids were young but hardly used it. Video wasn&rsquo;t common in everyday life until recently, and it&rsquo;s a world I&rsquo;ve spent very little time exploring.</p> <p>I know I&rsquo;m not the only one who&rsquo;s struggling with the breakneck speed at which things are changing in real estate and the world. I was already old by the time &ldquo;selfie&rdquo; became a word. I didn&rsquo;t think a selfie was something that applied to me. I make fun of the &ldquo;duck face&rdquo; and the amusing expressions kids make. But I&rsquo;ve never picked up my phone to see what I look like making those faces &hellip; because I don&rsquo;t care.</p> <p>But now with video being the big thing, I have to force myself to care. I think it&rsquo;s impossible. I hear Snapchat is the perfect way to practice; the more you do it, the more comfortable you become with it. Why does the new and awesome way to market myself always have to be so difficult to learn? It makes me long for the days of sitting and waiting for walk-ins to the office. Well, not really. I actually never experienced that. But I have thought about borrowing a couple of kids and taking them to a soccer game so I can chat up the moms.</p> <p>OK, what do you think of my first attempt at video (below)?</p> <p><iframe allowfullscreen="" frameborder="0" height="360" src="https://www.youtube.com/embed/x0OFnOTf7cw" width="640"></iframe></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>I&rsquo;m not the quickest adapter to change in the industry, and I&rsquo;m still learning things younger agents have already mastered. Here&rsquo;s how I power forward, even if I&rsquo;m behind the times.</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/nov16_SM_reinvent.jpg" type="image/jpeg; length=92004">nov16_SM_reinvent.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/nov16_SM_reinvent_0.jpg?1480629489" /> </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/nov16_LP_SM_reinvent.jpg?1480629511" /> </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/new-school-tech-old-school-technique">New School Tech, Old School Technique</a> </div> <div class="field-item even"> <a href="/home-and-design/architecture-coach/article/2009/05/making-old-new-again">Making the Old New Again </a> </div> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/article/2014/07/how-old-are-they-now">How Old Are They 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> Commentary Wed, 30 Nov 2016 22:33:56 +0000 gwood 22345 at http://realtormag.realtor.org How to Kill Your Credibility http://realtormag.realtor.org/sales-and-marketing/relationship-management/article/2016/12/how-kill-your-credibility <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"> Personal branding isn’t just about getting people to believe you’re good at something. You actually have to be good at it for your message to resonate. The key is to back your brand up with true authenticity. Here’s how. </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, December 1, 2016</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/seth-price">Seth Price</a> </div> </div> </div> <!--paging_filter--><p>No one wants to blend into the crowd; we all want to stand out and be recognized for what we are good at doing. At the same time, our customers have more options than ever before. It takes just a few seconds for someone to search Google and find 10 people who do the same thing you do. The last thing you want to hear when being compared to your competition is, &ldquo;It doesn&rsquo;t matter who you choose &mdash; they&rsquo;re all the same.&rdquo;</p> <p>That&rsquo;s why everyone can benefit from a strong personal brand. No matter what you do, you can take steps to make people think of you when they think of your niche. But you also need to be good at something worth recognizing.</p> <h4>Trickery Is the Fastest Way to Kill Your Credibility</h4> <p>I was recently asked, &ldquo;How do you get prospects to believe that you know the market better than your competition does?&rdquo; My immediate response was, &ldquo;Do you actually know that market better than your competition?&rdquo; If the answer is no, you need to work on your skills before marketing them.</p> <p>We all have our internal BS meters for judging others. But consumers rank trust and transparency as high as or higher than product quality when deciding whether to make a purchase, according to the <a href="http://www.edelman.com/insights/intellectual-property/2016-edelman-trust-barometer/" target="_blank">2016 Edelman Trust Barometer</a>, an annual survey measuring the credibility of business and other institutions. Consumers are starting to see the world more in terms of &ldquo;real&rdquo; and &ldquo;fake,&rdquo; often basing their purchasing decisions on how genuine they perceive an offer to be.</p> <p>You need to be authentic for your brand to stand out, but some people confuse authentic with being unique or original. The true definition of authentic is being genuine and reliable. Credibility is slightly different; it&rsquo;s the quality of being trusted and believed in. I can&rsquo;t magically give you integrity or make you trustworthy. That is the work you must do on your own. But I can show you how to leverage your assets to build a reputation that attracts others to want to work with you.</p> <h4>Identify Authenticity in Your Niche</h4> <p>Modeling others is how we learn. It&rsquo;s okay to look to role models in your niche to see what they&rsquo;re doing. As a matter of fact, you might want to study several successful people.</p> <p>As you look at these people, write down the things you like and don&rsquo;t like about what they are doing. Look at their content &mdash; their articles, emails, videos and overall presentation. Now write down how you would improve upon each of these things based on your own goals and values. This is where you put your personal twist in everything to separate yourself from other successful people in your niche.</p> <h4>Define Your Values and Mission</h4> <p>Do you have a mission, a manifesto, or your own personal rules to live by? I&rsquo;m sure you do; it&rsquo;s likely that you just haven&rsquo;t taken the time to write them all down. Is it your commitment to support a specific cause? Is it your dedication to building products that will change people&rsquo;s lives? Whatever it is, it&rsquo;s important to own it, so choose something that you&rsquo;re passionate about. Values drive action.</p> <p>Here are some of my core values:</p> <ul> <li>Grow relationships, not just transactions.</li> <li>Your word is a promise to be kept.</li> <li>Consideration should always be given, but respect is earned.</li> <li>&ldquo;Not my job&rdquo; is not an excuse.</li> <li>Hard work is a magnet for good luck.</li> <li>The more people you help, the greater your chances for success.</li> </ul> <p>Warning: Don&rsquo;t half-heartedly commit to a set of values that you&rsquo;re not fully ready to embrace. This is the best way to kill a brand. Your customers will see through the ruse and it will only damage your reputation. If you want to take a deeper dive into figuring out your brand mission and building a following around it, take this <a href="http://sethprice.net/personal-branding-self-assessment/" target="_blank">Personal Brand Self-Assessment</a> to find the answers.</p> <h4>Learn How to Engage on Social the Right Way</h4> <p>When you&rsquo;re clearer about who you are and what you stand for, connect with others in your niche on social media. This doesn&rsquo;t just mean sharing your own stuff online. Rather, this is about engaging with the content of others &mdash; and this is how you do it:</p> <ul> <li><strong>Get there first</strong><strong>.</strong> It may sound childish, but someone who posts something they think is important is more likely to notice the first few comments &mdash; and possibly when they receive the first comment notification.</li> <li><strong>Get there really late</strong><strong>.</strong> Comment on relevant dormant posts on someone&rsquo;s blog or social profiles so your replies stand out and spark up a conversation on the topic at hand.</li> <li><strong>Show some love</strong><strong>.</strong> Say thanks for whatever was shared to add an extra point of value &mdash; an easy action on your part that&rsquo;s really a no-brainer.</li> <li><strong>Acknowledge special occasions</strong><strong>.</strong> Birthdays, anniversaries, weddings, births, and graduations are all wonderful occasions to say hello to people you know and want to stay in contact with.</li> <li><strong>Try using video</strong><strong>.</strong> If you post a message with a video of your salutation, it will stand out above all the rest.</li> <li><strong>Add a link</strong><strong>.</strong> And make sure it leads to a resource of value. Do this only if it will add to the conversation and help others in the thread, and avoid being self-promotional.</li> <li><strong>Don&rsquo;t be afraid to go deep</strong><strong>.</strong> If the post happens to be about your area of expertise, feel free to add a lengthy reply, even if it&rsquo;s only an opinion.</li> <li><strong>Comment as much as you can.</strong> By commenting regularly on others&rsquo; content, you&rsquo;ll get noticed and, over time, build worthwhile connections with those folks.</li> </ul> <h4>Launch a Blog Worth Reading</h4> <p>Most, if not all, of your online communications will connect back to your blog. But if you don&rsquo;t have one, God knows where consumers will find out more about your perspective on the world. Blogs come with lots of added benefits, including:</p> <ul> <li><strong>Establishing your authority</strong><strong>.</strong> Your blog is the hub of your personal branding efforts, where you share your expertise in an effort to establish authority in your niche. You might say making deposits in your authority bank is the very definition of personal branding.</li> <li><strong>Attracting new business</strong><strong>.</strong> The majority of brands that blog acquire more customers.</li> <li><strong>Inspiring your social media</strong><strong>.</strong> You&rsquo;ll promote your blog posts regularly and take advantage of the magical amplification of social networks.</li> <li><strong>Increasing your reach</strong><strong>.</strong> Your blog will be shared and find new eyeballs daily.</li> </ul> <h4>Display Your Authenticity Everywhere</h4> <p>Your brand is what others think about you when you&rsquo;re not in the room. Make sure the real you resonates in everything you do: your writing, your videos, your speaking, your business cards, and your public and private correspondence. It&rsquo;s about consistency.</p> <p>Personal branding is an important part of a digital marketing strategy for any real estate professional, whether you&rsquo;re new or experienced. If you care about your reputation online and off, then establishing a strong personal brand is just the process of sharing what you stand for.</p> <p>Are you ready to be recognized for who you really are?</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>Personal branding isn&rsquo;t just about getting people to believe you&rsquo;re good at something. You actually have to be good at it for your message to resonate. The key is to back your brand up with true authenticity. Here&rsquo;s how.</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/nov16_SM_brand.jpg" type="image/jpeg; length=80723">nov16_SM_brand.jpg</a></div> </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-top3-lp-image"> <div class="field-label">Top 3 Article on Landing Page:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <img class="imagefield imagefield-field_top3_lp_image" width="149" height="70" alt="" src="http://realtormag.realtor.org/sites/realtormag.realtor.org/files/nov16_SM_brand_0.jpg?1480449458" /> </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/nov16_LP_SM_brand.jpg?1480449477" /> </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/2016/01/building-credibility-foreign-buyers">Building Credibility With Foreign Buyers</a> </div> <div class="field-item even"> <a href="/daily-news/2015/10/02/make-impact-in-industry">Make an Impact in the Industry</a> </div> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/news-and-commentary/commentary/article/2014/03/forget-facade">Forget the Facade</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 Tue, 29 Nov 2016 15:38:08 +0000 gwood 22335 at http://realtormag.realtor.org People Every New Agent Needs to Know http://realtormag.realtor.org/sales-and-marketing/my-first-year/article/2016/12/people-every-new-agent-needs-know <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"> On day one as a real estate agent, Peter Murray started looking for important influencers to help him grow his clientele. Here’s where he found 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">Thursday, December 1, 2016</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/peter-murray">Peter Murray</a> </div> </div> </div> <!--paging_filter--><p>In 2013, I found myself in a place I never expected. I was between jobs, and my father had recently passed away. I was in search of a career where I could make enough money to support my family but also have a flexible schedule so I could be present at home during this difficult time. I&rsquo;ve always found it easy to talk to people, and my desire to help them led me to work in real estate.</p> <p>Over the past three years, my job as an agent has rewarded me in many ways. I started with an inconsistent stream of business and built my pipeline to a steady flow, selling about $4 million this year. (In my market of Frederick, Md., that&rsquo;s a healthy clip.) Thankfully, I now have the flexible schedule I need for my family, a pretty reliable source of income, and a professional reputation among my peers and local community.</p> <p>But getting a real estate business off the ground is harder than it looks. It calls for long hours and a demanding work schedule, but at the end of the day, hard work and consistency pay off. Looking back, there were three major things that helped me to grow my business into what it is today.</p> <p><strong>Find a broker who is willing to be your guide and mentor. </strong>If your broker says &ldquo;welcome aboard and good luck!&rdquo; and then disappears to leave you fending for yourself, that is not the right person to help you learn how to be successful in this business. You want a broker with a proven track record in your market who can introduce you to other awesome agents, avoid common rookie mistakes, and help you focus on the right aspects of your business. For most new agents &mdash; myself included &mdash; the most difficult part of getting started is deciding where to focus your energy. When I was looking for the right broker, here are some things I considered:</p> <ul> <li>The broker isn&rsquo;t the only one conducting the interview; the agent should interview the broker about why their company is a good fit.</li> <li>When interviewing brokers, focus on finding an office with solid resources, including regular training, contract and paperwork support, and the technology that you need to be successful.</li> <li>Consider the office culture. Ideally, there will be camaraderie between the agents in the office, and the environment will be positive, supportive, and ethical. Customers will quickly assume you are like other agents in your office, so if your company isn&rsquo;t respected in your community, it might be hard for you to gain the respect you want and need to be successful.</li> </ul> <p><strong>Get friendly with &ldquo;rival&rdquo; agents quickly. </strong>Having agents you know working on the opposite end of your transactions often makes things go much more smoothly. It&rsquo;s difficult to get to know every agent in your market, even if you&rsquo;re a power networker, but becoming acquainted with as many as possible will ultimately benefit your clients. So use your local REALTOR&reg; association &mdash; volunteer for committees and attend events &mdash; to meet agents outside the office. I make five to 10 new connections with agents at every association meeting. On one of my first transactions, the cooperating agent was someone I had already established a meet-and-greet with at a local event. Our acquaintance made coordinating the home inspection and communicating financing timelines much more effective. The more people you know, the better off your deals will be.</p> <p>On day one as a new agent, I got involved with the <a href="http://realtormag.realtor.org/ypn">Young Professionals Network</a>. My local YPN, the Frederick County Association of REALTORS&reg; YPN, was my go-to resource for networking and learning more about the real estate industry. It provided me with leadership and networking opportunities and quickly provided avenues for me to get involved in my local community and get my name out there.</p> <p><strong>Turn your family and friends into fans of your business. </strong>Think about your own life: When was the last time you made a major purchase or life decision without getting a recommendation from a friend or at least reading an online review first? Being a salesperson means many people will inherently distrust you at first, so the best way to break down those walls is to have the people who already trust you sing your praises. This helps you get your foot in more doors.</p> <p>To cultivate even stronger relationships with my friends and family &mdash; and turn them into ambassadors of my business &mdash; I send them a letter every month telling them whom I&rsquo;ve helped in real estate recently and how I helped them. I make sure it comes from my heart. It&rsquo;s like a Snapchat story on paper, and it reminds them that I can help them and people in their circles with their real estate needs.</p> <p>The key is to be consistent with whatever systems you&rsquo;ve put in place for connecting with prospects and clients. Starting out in real estate can feel like you&rsquo;re running in mud, but the results will come if you keep at it. Remember to have fun; the best way to get through every day is to smile a little, network a little, and laugh a little.</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>On day one as a real estate agent, Peter Murray started looking for important influencers to help him grow his clientele. Here&rsquo;s where he found 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/nov16_SM_firstyear.jpg" type="image/jpeg; length=45921">nov16_SM_firstyear.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/nov16_SM_firstyear_0.jpg?1480525230" /> </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/nov16_LP_SM_firstyear.jpg?1480525256" /> </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-nodereference field-field-related-content"> <div class="field-label">Related Content:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/sales-and-marketing/feature/article/2015/01/3-ways-rookies-can-boost-their-client-base">3 Ways Rookies Can Boost Their Client Base</a> </div> <div class="field-item even"> <a href="/sales-and-marketing/feature/article/2005/06/how-does-rookie-get-listings">How Does a Rookie Get Listings?</a> </div> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/sales-and-marketing/feature/article/2006/03/9-key-rookie-mistakes">9 Key Rookie Mistakes</a> </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-number-integer field-field-mainstage-image-display2"> <div class="field-label">Mainstage Image Display on Content:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> No, don't disable the "Main" image on this article </div> </div> </div> My First Year Tue, 29 Nov 2016 22:27:11 +0000 gwood 22336 at http://realtormag.realtor.org Use a Slow Winter to Prep for Spring Sales http://realtormag.realtor.org/sales-and-marketing/feature/article/2016/12/use-slow-winter-prep-for-spring-sales <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 you hit the usual sales slump during the cold months, here’s what you can do to keep your business from freezing until spring. </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-text field-field-archive-item"> <div class="field-label">Archive:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> off </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-text field-field-features-checkbox"> <div class="field-label">Add to Features Package for the Month:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> off </div> </div> </div> <fieldset class="fieldgroup group-mag-pub-date"><div class="field field-type-date field-field-pub-date"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <span class="date-display-single">Thursday, December 1, 2016</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/dave-charest">Dave Charest</a> </div> <div class="field-item even"> <a href="/author/nancy-griffin">Nancy Griffin</a> </div> </div> </div> <!--paging_filter--><p>It&rsquo;s that time of year again when most real estate professionals are bracing for a dip in sales as the cold winter months approach and many home buyers and sellers go into hibernation. Even if you don&rsquo;t have a lot of active clients during this time, there&rsquo;s plenty you can do to keep your business from freezing while you wait for consumers to return to the market in spring.</p> <p>Aside from using the holidays as an excuse to reach out to your client base with cards and gifts to stay top-of-mind, the winter downtime is perfect for taking stock of your marketing techniques and assessing what you can do differently for your overall business. By the time you&rsquo;ve identified and incorporated some changes, you&rsquo;ll be ready to hit the ground running when the busy spring selling season emerges again. Here are five items to put on your winter checklist.</p> <p><strong>1. Clean up your contact list</strong><strong>.</strong> You&rsquo;ve been working all year to build a healthy list of contacts who you sincerely believe will be interested in your newsletter, blog, and social media content. But it takes hard work to keep the list as clean and up-to-date as possible. Look at the bounce rates of recent messages you&rsquo;ve sent to your customer base, and when possible, track down a new email address for contacts whose information is outdated. You&rsquo;ll be surprised what you can learn about a client when you follow up to find out why their email address changed. You might discover, for example, that they have a new job that requires a move in the near future. Keep in mind, though, that when it comes to keeping your contact list tidy, if people unsubscribe, you should honor their request immediately.</p> <p><strong>2. Test email marketing services</strong><strong>.</strong> There are many options out there, but a lot of practitioners still rely on their personal email addresses to send bulk messages. What you might not realize is that when you send bulk email from your personal account, those messages are more likely to get caught in spam filters. But even if your message does reach your customers, you won&rsquo;t get insights into what they do once they receive it. Email marketing providers can keep track of your contact list, let you know which emails were opened and when, and tell you which articles were clicked on and shared. (Not to mention that most have a deliverability rate of more than 95 percent, meaning your message won&rsquo;t get stuck in a spam filter.) So use this time to check out different services and take advantage of a free trial. Find what works for you now, and by the time spring comes, you&rsquo;ll be engaging customers and driving referrals through your newsletters.</p> <p><strong>3. Practice curating content that informs</strong><strong>.</strong> Creating newsletters becomes more difficult than it needs to be when you think you need to produce all the content yourself. That&rsquo;s why many real estate professionals end up just featuring listings in their newsletters, which doesn&rsquo;t offer customers anything they can&rsquo;t easily look up online for themselves. Instead, spend some time this winter researching relevant blogs and collecting trend pieces and news stories your clients will find interesting. Then make them your own by adding your views on the topic as the lead to the story. (Just be sure to give credit to the original source.) You&rsquo;ll learn that this will save you time and boost your credibility as a trustworthy and knowledgeable resource. By spring, you&rsquo;ll have collected enough perennial content to launch your reimagined newsletter.</p> <p><strong>4. Review and analyze your performance</strong><strong>.</strong> Winter is the best time to look back on your year and compare your performance with the past three years to spot patterns. Also, take a closer look at the source of your sales, and break it down by referral, direct mail, email, open house, advertising, and other criteria. This insight is critical to knowing which avenues deliver the strongest ROI. You&rsquo;ll be armed with knowledge and know where to focus your efforts come spring.</p> <p><strong>5. Prepare for tax season. </strong>This is about your overall business. Don&rsquo;t wait until the last minute to find a great accountant with terrific bookkeeping skills. Use the winter to find the right accountant for you and to find those missing receipts for entertainment, postage, gas, and marking materials. Also, don&rsquo;t forget to dig into your files to prepare your tax documents, including bills, medical costs, and donations. Depending on your relationships with your accountant, you might want to give them relevant files every two weeks so that you always know where you stand with sales, estimated taxes, budget, and savings. Use the winter to pick up this habit. Once it becomes part of your routine, it&rsquo;s a huge relief when April rolls around, and it&rsquo;ll allow you to focus on what you do best at a critical time in the year: sell houses!</p> <p>Just because sales slow down in winter doesn&rsquo;t mean your business has to stall. Use these next few months to build or reinforce the foundation of your business and shore up solid leads for a successful spring season.</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 you hit the usual sales slump during the cold months, here&rsquo;s what you can do to keep your business from freezing until spring.</p> </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-main-image"> <div class="field-label">Main Image:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <div class="filefield-file"><img class="filefield-icon field-icon-image-jpeg" alt="image/jpeg icon" src="http://realtormag.realtor.org/sites/all/modules/filefield/icons/image-x-generic.png" /><a href="http://realtormag.realtor.org/sites/realtormag.realtor.org/files/nov16_SM_winter.jpg" type="image/jpeg; length=82396">nov16_SM_winter.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/nov16_SM_winter_0.jpg?1480524175" /> </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/nov16_LP_SM_winter.jpg?1480524201" /> </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-nodereference field-field-related-content"> <div class="field-label">Related Content:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/daily-news/2016/10/24/dont-let-clients-make-these-winter-mistakes">Don&#039;t Let Clients Make These Winter Mistakes</a> </div> <div class="field-item even"> <a href="/commercial/feature/article/2014/04/real-estate-lessons-long-winter">Real Estate Lessons of a Long Winter </a> </div> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/daily-news/2015/10/21/7-tips-get-home-winter-ready">7 Tips to Get a Home Winter-Ready</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, 29 Nov 2016 22:41:13 +0000 gwood 22337 at http://realtormag.realtor.org Discounts for REALTORS® on Some 2017 Cars http://realtormag.realtor.org/product-guide/automotive/article/2016/11/discounts-for-realtors-some-2017-cars <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 REALTOR Benefits® Program partnership with FCA US LLC translates to great deals for members on the purchase or lease of select vehicles. </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 23, 2016</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/nar-staff">NAR Staff</a> </div> </div> </div> <!--paging_filter--><p>As you&rsquo;re shopping around for the perfect car for your real estate career, remember that you get great perks beyond just the vehicle from FCA US LLC (formerly Chrysler Group LLC)&nbsp; and NAR&rsquo;s <a href="http://www.realtor.org/programs/realtor-benefits-program" target="_blank">REALTOR Benefits&reg; Program</a>.</p> <blockquote> <p><strong>A Better Ride</strong></p> <p><a href="/technology/feature/article/2016/11/new-fleet-lets-you-focus-clients-in-car">New Fleet Lets You Focus on Clients in the Car</a><br /> Advancements in connected and autonomous vehicles may completely change your ability to interact with customers while you&rsquo;re driving them around.</p> <p><a href="/technology/feature/article/2016/11/luxury-utes-balance-business-style-needs">Luxury Utes Balance Business, Style Needs</a><br /> Makers of sports cars are putting their spin on utility vehicles, which means real estate pros can get more space without sacrificing style.</p> <p><a href="/technology/feature/article/2016/11/impress-eco-conscious-clients-your-car">Impress Eco-Conscious Clients With Your Car</a><br /> Options for battery- and electric-operated vehicles are about to widen, giving you more incentive to show your customers you live their green philosophy.</p> <p><a href="/technology/feature/article/2016/11/reducing-your-danger-road">Reducing Your Danger<br /> on the Road</a><br /> With a goal of zero highway deaths in the near future, automakers are developing technologies that could keep you and your clients safer when you&rsquo;re out house hunting.</p> </blockquote> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>FCA US LLC&nbsp; is the&nbsp;<a href="http://www.realtor.org/programs/realtor-benefits-program/travel-automotive/fca-us-llc" target="_blank">Official Automobile Manufacturer of the National Association of REALTORS&reg;</a>, and that translates to great deals on the purchase or lease of select Chrysler, Dodge, Jeep, and Ram vehicles, as well as the FIAT&reg; 500L.</p> <p>Available to NAR members through the REALTOR Benefits&reg; Program, you get a $500 cash allowance on the purchase or lease of select vehicles plus two years no-charge oil changes.</p> <p>It&rsquo;s not just REALTORS&reg; who can take advantage of this offer: association staff and eligible family members have access to the cash allowance also.&nbsp;<a href="http://www.realtor.org/programs/realtor-benefits-program/travel-automotive/fca-us-llc-formerly-chrysler-group-llc-eligibility-information" target="_blank">View the details</a> to find out who is eligible and what documents you&rsquo;ll need to present at your dealership. Check the site and with your dealer for official program rules, vehicle eligibility, and program exclusions.</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 REALTOR Benefits&reg; Program partnership with FCA US LLC translates to great deals for members on the purchase or lease of select vehicles.</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/fastcar390_7.jpg" type="image/jpeg; length=98623">fastcar390.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/fastcar390_8.jpg?1479930781" /> </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/fastcar230_3.jpg?1479930791" /> </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"> Morguefile.com/hotblack </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/feature/article/2007/03/cut-your-car-costs">Cut Your Car Costs</a> </div> <div class="field-item even"> <a href="/daily-news/2015/10/26/study-warning-stop-talking-your-car">Study Warning: Stop Talking to Your Car</a> </div> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/daily-news/2015/09/29/driverless-cars-are-emerging-fast">Driverless Cars Are Emerging Fast</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> Automotive Wed, 23 Nov 2016 19:54:25 +0000 gwood 22319 at http://realtormag.realtor.org The Best Gifts for Your Agents http://realtormag.realtor.org/for-brokers/network/article/2016/11/best-gifts-for-your-agents <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 holidays quickly approaching, glean some ideas on how to show gratitude to your agents and staff for a job well done. </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 23, 2016</span> </div> </div> </div> </fieldset> <div class="field field-type-nodereference field-field-op-author"> <div class="field-label">Author(s):&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/author/lee-nelson">Lee Nelson</a> </div> </div> </div> <!--paging_filter--><p>Real estate agencies across the country offer all sorts of incentives and rewards for their agents; some are sales-related and others are just to say thanks. If you&rsquo;re looking for some inspiration, here are examples of what other brokers do, as well as ways the National Association of REALTORS&reg;&rsquo; new Members&rsquo; Gift Galleria can help.</p> <h4>Family Feud Fun &nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;</h4> <p>Susan Clark, vice president of residential sales at P.J. Morgan Real Estate in Omaha, Neb., says her company integrates agents from the residential, commercial, and property management arms of the business. They have 13 core values, and they build events around those each month.</p> <p>For instance, one of those values is: &ldquo;Think like a Business, Act Like a Family.&rdquo; What better way to express that than a night of &ldquo;Family Feud&rdquo;? Managers and staff sent around questions ahead of time to gather everyone&rsquo;s answers and set up a potluck, where everyone brings their favorite family recipe. Plus, participants set up a baby photo challenge to guess who&rsquo;s who.</p> <p>Another core value is &ldquo;Enrich the Community We Love and Live In.&rdquo; Clark says they recently hosted a chili cook-off, and the winner chose the charity that the brokerage will sponsor throughout the year both financially and through volunteer hours.</p> <p>The company also gives out &ldquo;Morgan Money&rdquo; (which mimics Monopoly money) throughout the month for things that agents and staff are doing well. They earn the money for attending meetings, participating in community events, and volunteering to do something above and beyond the norm. The agents can spend it on PJ Morgan promotional items such as hats and jackets for themselves, or they can buy items to give to clients, like mugs and koozies.</p> <p>Clark says her company also uses its blog to showcase individual agents&rsquo; thoughts once a week. It gives them the opportunity to have fun or to educate readers about some aspect of real estate. One agent wrote about staging a home for the fall; another talked about how important it is to have a good real estate agent while going through a divorce.</p> <p>For this year&rsquo;s holiday party, P.J. Morgan Real Estate will be changing up its routine sit-down dinner event. Instead, agents can invite a certain number of people in their sphere, including clients. They&rsquo;ll offer cocktails, heavy hors d&rsquo;ouevres, and lots of mingling.</p> <p>&ldquo;We are just trying to make sure that our agents feel a bond, commitment, and loyalty from us,&rdquo; Clark says.</p> <h4>Educational and Fun Outings</h4> <p>Terry Records has moved many times across the country to all sorts of interesting places. She has worked for a variety of real estate companies, including some large ones with hundreds of agents that recognized top sellers with wining, dining, and fancy retreats.</p> <p>&ldquo;That was really fun, but everything has changed in the last 15 years. Commissions are skimpier, and some companies aren&rsquo;t making as much money,&rdquo; says Records, broker-owner of Records Results Real Estate in Cape Coral, Fla. But she tries to show her six agents gratitude by planning different outings &ndash; many with an historical or educational focus. For instance, the area where they live has many water canals, so Records rented a pontoon boat and took her agents on a tour to see properties from a different angle.</p> <p>Records says she values learning and loves to offer seminars on everything from marketing techniques to business planning for agents and clients alike. She rents conference room space and conducts up to 70 seminars a year. She created a Meetup group called the Cape Coral Fort Myers Real Estate Education, which now has more than 600 members. It has become a way for agents to direct their clients to a resource that offers extra information about certain subjects. &ldquo;Every day, someone new joins the group. My seminars are how I usually get my business,&rdquo; she says.</p> <p>But Records also likes to mix things up for her agents. Recently, Records and her husband took everyone out to dinner for Halloween and then on a spooky hike.</p> <h4>Customized Online Shopping</h4> <p>If broker-owners and managers want to offer a new incentive to agents or reward employees and staff for a job well done, NAR is offering something new: the <a href="http://www.membersgiftgalleria.com/customer/account/login/" target="_blank">Members&rsquo; Gift Galleria</a>. It&rsquo;s a private, customized online shopping destination for NAR members, with choices that offer big discounts and free shipping on orders over $100. All you have to do is create an account, and your staff or their family members can also shop the site.</p> <p>To use as an incentive for agents or as a reward or special gift, you can purchase points that will then be gifted to that person&rsquo;s account. &ldquo;Once they create the account, it&rsquo;s a full-blown shopping site with product categories and brands,&rdquo; says Amanda Warren, marketing director at <a href="http://www.realtor.org/programs/realtor-benefits-program/gifting-marketing-resources/members-gift-galleria?cid=bts16-mgg-0001" target="_blank">membermarketplace</a>, which powers the galleria.</p> <p>In terms of brands, the shopping site offers big names, from Samsung to Microsoft and Fitbit, covering luxury items to technology and home d&eacute;cor. There are laptops, watches, cameras, cell phones, home security, blenders, cookware, tools, and more. Register at <a href="http://www.membersgiftgalleria.com/customer/account/login/" target="_blank">membersgiftgalleria.com</a>.<br /> &nbsp;</p> <hr /> <p><br /> <img alt="" src="/sites/realtormag.realtor.org/files/rmo_files/images/logos/BtoB_logo_footer_080114.jpg" style="float:left; height:117px; width:150px" /><em>Broker-to-Broker is an information network that provides insights and tools with business value through timely articles, videos, Q&amp;As, and sales meeting tips for brokerage owners and managers. Get more <a href="/for-brokers/network" target="_blank">Broker-to-Broker content here</a>.</em></p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <div class="field field-type-text field-field-show-author-info"> <div class="field-label">Show Author Info?:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> Show Author Info? </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-text field-field-teaser"> <div class="field-label">Teaser:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <!--paging_filter--><p>With the holidays quickly approaching, glean some ideas on how to show gratitude to your agents and staff for a job well done.</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/dec16_BB_gifts.jpg" type="image/jpeg; length=35020">dec16_BB_gifts.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/dec16_BB_gifts_0.jpg?1480715289" /> </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/dec16_LP_BB_gifts.jpg?1480715305" /> </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/2016/10/best-swag-for-your-buck">The Best Swag For Your Buck</a> </div> <div class="field-item even"> <a href="/for-brokers/network/article/2016/11/providing-value-your-agents">Providing Value to Your Agents</a> </div> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/for-brokers/network/article/2016/11/be-more-useful-facebook-group">‘Be More Useful Than a Facebook Group’</a> </div> <div class="field-item even"> <a href="/product-guide/slideshow/2015/12/9-funny-gifts-show-your-personality">9 Funny Gifts That Show Your Personality</a> </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-number-integer field-field-mainstage-image-display2"> <div class="field-label">Mainstage Image Display on Content:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> No, don't disable the "Main" image on this article </div> </div> </div> Network Wed, 23 Nov 2016 22:14:20 +0000 echristoffer 22320 at http://realtormag.realtor.org Impress Eco-Conscious Clients With Your Car http://realtormag.realtor.org/technology/feature/article/2016/11/impress-eco-conscious-clients-your-car <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"> Options for battery- and electric-operated vehicles are about to widen, giving you more incentive to show your customers you live their green philosophy. </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 22, 2016</span> </div> </div> </div> </fieldset> <div class="field field-type-nodereference field-field-op-author"> <div class="field-label">Author(s):&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/author/paul-eisenstein">Paul A. Eisenstein</a> </div> </div> </div> <!--paging_filter--><p>When the first U.S. auto show was held in New York in 1900, motorists had several dozen models to choose from. They could opt for steam-, gas-, or electric-powered cars, though it was widely expected that either steam or battery cars were eventually going to win out. It was only when Spindletop, the first big oil gusher, came in that the internal combustion engine began to come into its own.</p> <p>Steam cars had plenty of problems. They took time to heat up, and their boilers could explode. Battery cars were quick, quiet, and clean, but they also had major issues: short range, long charging times, and high prices. Even Thomas Edison couldn&rsquo;t find a solution to those quandaries.</p> <blockquote> <p><strong>A Better Ride</strong></p> <p><a href="/technology/feature/article/2016/11/new-fleet-lets-you-focus-clients-in-car">New Fleet Lets You Focus on Clients in the Car</a><br /> Advancements in connected and autonomous vehicles may completely change your ability to interact with customers while you&rsquo;re driving them around.</p> <p><a href="/technology/feature/article/2016/11/luxury-utes-balance-business-style-needs">Luxury Utes Balance Business, Style Needs</a><br /> Makers of sports cars are putting their spin on utility vehicles, which means real estate pros can get more space without sacrificing style.</p> <p><a href="/technology/feature/article/2016/11/reducing-your-danger-road">Reducing Your Danger<br /> on the Road</a><br /> With a goal of zero highway deaths in the near future, automakers are developing technologies that could keep you and your clients safer when you&rsquo;re out house hunting.</p> <p><a href="/product-guide/automotive/article/2016/11/discounts-for-realtors-some-2017-cars">Discounts for REALTORS&reg; on Some 2017 Cars</a><br /> The REALTOR Benefits&reg; Program partnership with FCA US LLC translates to great deals for members on the purchase or lease of select vehicles.</p> </blockquote> <p>A century later, driven by worries about smog and global warming, battery cars are coming back into vogue. There are now several dozen hybrids, plug-ins, and pure battery-electric vehicles on the market, with more being released all the time. Yet, add them all up and they account for barely 4 percent of the American new-car market, and the reasons are largely the same as they were a century ago.</p> <p>But that may soon change. Several breakthrough products will be coming to market in the coming year that can just about match the range of conventional gasoline vehicles. While they can&rsquo;t charge up quite as fast as you can fill up a gas tank, you&rsquo;ll be able to get another 150 miles or more in as little as 15 minutes. And, perhaps best of all, prices are plunging fast.</p> <p>To put things into perspective: Batteries that cost $1,000 a kilowatt in 2010 are now going for about $150. In a long-range electric vehicle that uses, say, 60 kWh of lithium batteries, that&rsquo;s a $51,000 price cut. And costs could drop to $100 or less by the end of the decade, many experts predict.</p> <p>You can already get more than 300 miles on a full charge with the <a href="https://www.tesla.com/models" target="_blank">Tesla Model S P100d</a>, though the car costs more than $100,000. But by late 2017, the California carmaker plans to introduce the 200-mile <a href="https://www.tesla.com/model3" target="_blank">Model 3</a>, and after factoring in a $7,500 federal tax credit, you&rsquo;ll pay around $35,000. The <a href="http://www.chevrolet.com/bolt-ev-electric-vehicle.html" target="_blank">Chevrolet Bolt</a>, meanwhile, will get you 238 miles on a charge and costs barely $30,000 after the federal incentive.</p> <p>&ldquo;This takes battery power into the mainstream,&rdquo; said Ron Cogan, publisher of <em>Green Car Journal</em> and the organizer of the annual Green Car of the Year award. &ldquo;This is the transition year. Green technology is no longer for early adopters.&rdquo;</p> <p>Why does this matter to a real estate pro? Well, it allows you to go green &mdash; something that many potential clients might appreciate &mdash; without sacrifice. The Bolt not only is reasonably priced and roomy but also offers the sort of range that will meet the needs of the vast majority of practitioners. Better yet, you&rsquo;ll pay significantly less to keep it running: The electricity needed to power the battery-car costs as little as 10 percent per mile of what you&rsquo;d pay for gasoline.</p> <p>Nissan, Ford, Audi, BMW, and Mercedes-Benz are just some of the other established automakers planning to add new battery-electric vehicles that should eliminate so-called &ldquo;range anxiety.&rdquo; Volkswagen, long committed to diesel power, has shifted gears and plans to add 30 new battery-electric vehicles, or BEVs, to its lineup by 2025. The maker hinted at what&rsquo;s to come during the recent Paris Motor Show with the <a href="http://www.caranddriver.com/news/volkswagen-id-ev-concept-photos-and-info-news" target="_blank">I.D. concept vehicle</a>, equipped with a 125-kilowatt-hour lithium-ion pack capable of as much as a 375-mile range. &ldquo;The I.D. stands for a new era of electric cars,&rdquo; declared VW brand chief Herbert Diess.</p> <p>At the same show, Daimler AG revealed its long-range <a href="http://media.daimler.com/marsMediaSite/en/instance/ko/Electric-mobility-Mercedes-Benz-flips-the-switch-Generation-.xhtml?oid=13886650" target="_blank">Generation EQ</a> concept vehicle. It will go into production before the end of the decade. Rival BMW already has two battery-based models, the <a href="https://www.bmwusa.com/vehicles/bmwi/i3.html" target="_blank">i3 city car</a> and <a href="https://www.bmwusa.com/vehicles/bmwi/i8.html" target="_blank">i8 sports car</a>, on sale through a new brand dedicated to electrified models, with two more coming.</p> <p>However, some of the most intriguing products could come from new entrants to the automotive world. There&rsquo;s Tesla, which plans to build as many as 500,000 battery cars annually by 2018 &mdash; a whopping tenfold increase from its 2015 volume. There&rsquo;s also Faraday Future and LeSee, both based in California but funded by Chinese billionaire Jia Yueting.</p> <p>Then there&rsquo;s Henrik Fisker. The Danish designer had a spectacular meltdown with Fisker Automotive, which produced the stylish but technically flawed <a href="http://autoweek.com/article/car-news/2017-karma-revero-revealed" target="_blank">Karma plug-in hybrid</a>. It went bust in 2012. He&rsquo;s ready to get back in the game with a new company promising to produce a 400-mile electric vehicle called the <a href="http://www.greencarreports.com/news/1107010_fisker-emotion-400-mile-luxury-electric-car-renderings-released" target="_blank">Fisker EMotion</a>. Instead of a battery, it will use a novel technology called an ultracapacitor.</p> <p>But the reality is that it could be years before the best green alternative vehicle shakes out, much as it took some time for gasoline power to win out over steam and electric in the early 20th century. When it comes to green alternative powertrain technology, says former General Motors Vice Chairman Bob Lutz, &ldquo;there is no silver bullet.&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>Options for battery- and electric-operated vehicles are about to widen, giving you more incentive to show your customers you live their green philosophy.</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/fastcar390_3.jpg" type="image/jpeg; length=98623">fastcar390.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/fastcar390_4.jpg?1479834152" /> </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/fastcar230_1.jpg?1479834161" /> </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"> Morguefile.com/hotblack </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/2016/05/5-ways-green-up-your-business">5 Ways to Green Up Your Business</a> </div> <div class="field-item even"> <a href="/home-and-design/feature/article/2016/07/watch-your-green-language">Watch Your Green Language</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, 22 Nov 2016 15:51:08 +0000 gwood 22314 at http://realtormag.realtor.org Luxury Utes Balance Business, Style Needs http://realtormag.realtor.org/technology/feature/article/2016/11/luxury-utes-balance-business-style-needs <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"> Makers of sports cars are putting their spin on utility vehicles, which means real estate pros can get more space without sacrificing style. </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 22, 2016</span> </div> </div> </div> </fieldset> <div class="field field-type-nodereference field-field-op-author"> <div class="field-label">Author(s):&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/author/paul-eisenstein">Paul A. Eisenstein</a> </div> </div> </div> <!--paging_filter--><p>Aston Martin and Lamborghini are both known for their high-performance sports cars, but when the automakers launch two of their most critical models ever &mdash; both to be released in 2019 &mdash; the focus of the two brands will shift in ways that might have seemed absurd a few years ago. And for real estate professionals, it could make luxury vehicles more usable for their business.</p> <p>If all goes according to plan, the <a href="https://www.astonmartin.com/en-us/dbx" target="_blank">Aston Martin DBX</a> and <a href="https://www.lamborghini.com/en-en/" target="_blank">Lamborghini Urus</a> &mdash; the sports car brands&rsquo; interpretation of the SUV &mdash; will generate at least 50 percent or more of each company&rsquo;s sales. But that&rsquo;s far from precedent-setting. Porsche is already generating its biggest sales numbers from its <a href="http://www.porsche.com/usa/models/cayenne/" target="_blank">Cayenne</a> and <a href="http://www.porsche.com/usa/models/macan/" target="_blank">Macan</a> SUVs. Bentley and even the posh Rolls-Royce will also join the SUV club in the next few years.</p> <blockquote> <p><strong>A Better Ride</strong></p> <p><a href="/technology/feature/article/2016/11/new-fleet-lets-you-focus-clients-in-car">New Fleet Lets You Focus on Clients in the Car</a><br /> Advancements in connected and autonomous vehicles may completely change your ability to interact with customers while you&rsquo;re driving them around.</p> <p><a href="/technology/feature/article/2016/11/impress-eco-conscious-clients-your-car">Impress Eco-Conscious Clients With Your Car</a><br /> Options for battery- and electric-operated vehicles are about to widen, giving you more incentive to show your customers you live their green philosophy.</p> <p><a href="/technology/feature/article/2016/11/reducing-your-danger-road">Reducing Your Danger<br /> on the Road</a><br /> With a goal of zero highway deaths in the near future, automakers are developing technologies that could keep you and your clients safer when you&rsquo;re out house hunting.</p> <p><a href="/product-guide/automotive/article/2016/11/discounts-for-realtors-some-2017-cars">Discounts for REALTORS&reg; on Some 2017 Cars</a><br /> The REALTOR Benefits&reg; Program partnership with FCA US LLC translates to great deals for members on the purchase or lease of select vehicles.</p> </blockquote> <p>This will open up the auto market even more for practitioners who need space to store and travel with yard signs, lockboxes, and other real estate accoutrements &mdash; but who don&rsquo;t want to give up the sleek look and recognition of a luxury brand. Super-premium utility vehicles are &ldquo;going to be the hottest segment in the luxury market,&rdquo; says Simon Sproule, chief marketing officer for Aston Martin. &ldquo;As with the mainstream market, that&rsquo;s what people want to drive.&rdquo;</p> <p>One only has to look at the mainstream automotive market to understand how utility vehicles have changed the game. It wasn&rsquo;t all that long ago when SUVs made up a minor niche of the market, largely limited in appeal to rugged outdoorsman and workers who needed something that could go anywhere, anytime. That began to change with the introduction of the original <a href="http://www.jeep.com/en/2016/cherokee/" target="_blank">Jeep Cherokee</a>, followed by the larger, more stylish and well-appointed <a href="http://www.jeep.com/en/2016/grand-cherokee/" target="_blank">Jeep Grand Cherokee</a>. Suddenly, Americans began to trade in their sedans, coupes, and minivans for hipper SUVs.</p> <p>But it&rsquo;s not just that utility vehicles are more in style than conventional passenger cars; they offer, on the whole, more interior space than comparable sedans and coupes. That&rsquo;s great news for real estate pros who may have to shuttle around large families as they look for a new home. Now add the higher ground clearance and go-anywhere technology, such as all-wheel-drive, that keeps agents moving even in the worst weather conditions.</p> <p>These new offerings offer a more carlike ride and significantly better fuel economy, even while maintaining features like gravel and snow-busting all-wheel-drive. Today, there are still a handful of traditional &ldquo;truck-trucks,&rdquo; but even the newest versions of the <a href="http://www.ford.com/suvs/explorer/" target="_blank">Ford Explorer</a> and <a href="http://www.nissanusa.com/suvs/pathfinder" target="_blank">Nissan Pathfinder</a> have migrated to car-based platforms. And that&rsquo;s clicking with car buyers at a record pace. As recently as five years ago, traditional passenger cars made up the majority of the U.S. new-vehicle market. As 2016 draws to a close, light trucks overall account for about 50 percent of the year&rsquo;s sales, utility vehicles of one form or another making up the vast majority of that category.</p> <p>Cheap gas certainly has helped. But even if it were to suddenly spike back up to the $4-a-gallon highs of five years ago, says analyst Joe Phillippi, head of AutoTrends Consulting, that won&rsquo;t have the negative impact on sales we might have seen in the past. &ldquo;Today&rsquo;s utes have gotten so fuel-efficient, there&rsquo;s almost no difference between them and similarly sized cars,&rdquo; he notes.</p> <p>Meanwhile, there are a growing number of hybrid and plug-in hybrid utes coming to market. Audi plans to launch a fully electric SUV, similar to the popular <a href="https://www.audiusa.com/models/audi-q5" target="_blank">Q5</a>, in a couple years. Even Bentley is getting ready to add a plug-in version of its massive new <a href="http://www.bentleymotors.com/en/models/bentayga.html" target="_blank">Bentayga</a> SUV. At the other end of the spectrum are models like the all-new <a href="http://www.buick.com/suvs/envision-small-luxury-suv.html" target="_blank">Buick Envision</a> and the restyled <a href="http://www.kia.com/us/en/vehicle/sportage/2017" target="_blank">Kia Sportage</a>.</p> <p>Today&rsquo;s utility vehicles come in practically every size and shape you can imagine, from edgy designs like the new <a href="http://www.infinitiusa.com/crossover/qx30.html" target="_blank">Infiniti QX30</a> to more conventionally styled offerings like the soon-to-launch <a href="http://www.vw.com/models/atlas/" target="_blank">Volkswagen Atlas</a>. And there will be plenty more to come. The three-row Atlas finally fills a yawning gap in the VW lineup, and the German automaker is considering the addition of a compact ute as well. &ldquo;It&rsquo;s no surprise,&rdquo; says Phillippi. &ldquo;The world is rapidly moving away from sedans and other passenger cars.&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>Makers of sports cars are putting their spin on utility vehicles, which means real estate pros can get more space without sacrificing style.</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/fastcar390_1.jpg" type="image/jpeg; length=98623">fastcar390.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/fastcar390_2.jpg?1479834053" /> </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/fastcar230_0.jpg?1479834062" /> </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"> Morguefile.com/hotblack </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-nodereference field-field-related-content"> <div class="field-label">Related Content:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/product-guide/automotive/article/2015/12/2016-cars-bigger-better-again">2016 Cars: Bigger Is Better Again</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, 22 Nov 2016 15:33:11 +0000 gwood 22313 at http://realtormag.realtor.org Reducing Your Danger on the Road http://realtormag.realtor.org/technology/feature/article/2016/11/reducing-your-danger-road <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 a goal of zero highway deaths in the near future, automakers are developing technologies that could keep you and your clients safer when you’re out house hunting. </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 22, 2016</span> </div> </div> </div> </fieldset> <div class="field field-type-nodereference field-field-op-author"> <div class="field-label">Author(s):&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/author/paul-eisenstein">Paul A. Eisenstein</a> </div> </div> </div> <!--paging_filter--><p>After a decade of steady decline, the number of Americans killed on U.S. highways jumped by about 8 percent in 2015, and the toll is getting higher this year. There are any number of explanations, including the use of cell phones and texting behind the wheel. Every day, real estate professionals take not only their own lives in their hands but also those of clients they drive around from showing to showing. Fortunately, new vehicle safety technology could make agents&rsquo; jobs much less perilous on the road.</p> <p>Federal safety regulators &mdash; and more than a few top auto industry executives &mdash; are beginning to paint a very different picture of roadway safety for the future: Imagine a time when there are zero fatalities on U.S. roads, says Mark Rosekind, head of the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. &ldquo;We can prevent them. Our drive toward zero deaths is more than just a worthy goal. It is the only acceptable goal.&rdquo;</p> <blockquote> <p><strong>A Better Ride</strong></p> <p><a href="/technology/feature/article/2016/11/new-fleet-lets-you-focus-clients-in-car">New Fleet Lets You Focus on Clients in the Car</a><br /> Advancements in connected and autonomous vehicles may completely change your ability to interact with customers while you&rsquo;re driving them around.</p> <p><a href="/technology/feature/article/2016/11/luxury-utes-balance-business-style-needs">Luxury Utes Balance Business, Style Needs</a><br /> Makers of sports cars are putting their spin on utility vehicles, which means real estate pros can get more space without sacrificing style.</p> <p><a href="/technology/feature/article/2016/11/impress-eco-conscious-clients-your-car">Impress Eco-Conscious Clients With Your Car</a><br /> Options for battery- and electric-operated vehicles are about to widen, giving you more incentive to show your customers you live their green philosophy.</p> <p><a href="/product-guide/automotive/article/2016/11/discounts-for-realtors-some-2017-cars">Discounts for REALTORS&reg; on Some 2017 Cars</a><br /> The REALTOR Benefits&reg; Program partnership with FCA US LLC translates to great deals for members on the purchase or lease of select vehicles.</p> </blockquote> <p>Is it achievable? Can all highway deaths be eliminated? Even if the number doesn&rsquo;t reach zero, there is a growing consensus that the vast majority of highway crashes, injuries, and fatalities could be eliminated within the next few decades. &ldquo;Today, the automobile finds itself at a significant turning point,&rdquo; Carlos Ghosn, the CEO of the Renault-Nissan Alliance, wrote in an op-ed for the 2014 World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland. &ldquo;With the help of policymakers providing clear regulatory oversight, [new] technologies could lead to &lsquo;zero fatality&rsquo; roads within our lifetimes.&rdquo;</p> <p>In fact, while NHTSA and the U.S. Department of Transportation believe it will take 30 years to achieve its target, Swedish automaker Volvo says it is aiming for zero deaths in any of its new products built after 2020. Last year, Volvo opened a new research and test center specifically focused on eliminating crash fatalities.</p> <p>Annual highway deaths peaked in 1972 at 54,589, but safety systems such as airbags and three-point belts helped bring that figure down to 32,000 early this decade, a decline of around 40 percent. Last year, highway deaths climbed back to 35,092. Those numbers actually understate the transformation, as Americans today drive far more miles than they did four decades ago. In 1964, there were 5.39 fatalities for every 100 million vehicle miles traveled. That dipped to just 1.1 in 2013, the lowest figure ever recorded.</p> <p>New technologies have been responsible for some of the biggest improvements in recent years. Electronic stability control, for example, has cut the number of deaths in single-car crashes by half, noted Jessica Cicchino, director of research for the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety. Reaching for a goal of zero, &ldquo;a lot of it is going to come from smart cars,&rdquo; she added, especially with the advent of fully autonomous and driverless vehicles.</p> <p>But not all the solutions will be high-tech. Roundabouts have been shown to reduce crashes at intersections, for example, and the IIHS is pressing states to roll back speed limits. The insurance trade organization claims 33,000 people have died since federal maximums were eliminated 20 years ago.</p> <p>There remain plenty of skeptics, including some within the safety community, like Amnon Shashua, founder of and chief technology officer at Mobileye, an Israeli-based company whose artificial vision technology is used in a number of smart car systems now on the road, as well as autonomous vehicle prototypes.</p> <p>&ldquo;Zero accidents will never happen,&rdquo; he cautioned in an interview earlier this year. There will be trees that fall on passing cars in a storm, sinkholes that open up in a roadway, and other unpredictable events. That said, even if improved roads and vehicles can reduce fatalities only by &ldquo;three orders of magnitude,&rdquo; the impact would be substantial &mdash; perhaps 350, rather than 35,000, deaths a year.</p> <p>The reality is that we may always suffer some highway fatalities, acknowledges IIHS research chief Cicchino, but &ldquo;it&rsquo;s not acceptable to have anyone die on our roads, so we shouldn&rsquo;t accept a number any higher than zero.&rdquo; And, for the first time since Henry Bliss became the first American known to have died in a car crash on Sept. 14, 1899, the idea of truly death-free highways seems a real possibility.</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 a goal of zero highway deaths in the near future, automakers are developing technologies that could keep you and your clients safer when you&rsquo;re out house hunting.</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/fastcar390_5.jpg" type="image/jpeg; length=98623">fastcar390.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/fastcar390_6.jpg?1479834246" /> </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/fastcar230_2.jpg?1479834254" /> </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"> Morguefile.com/hotblack </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, 22 Nov 2016 16:00:06 +0000 gwood 22315 at http://realtormag.realtor.org New Fleet Lets You Focus on Clients in the Car http://realtormag.realtor.org/technology/feature/article/2016/11/new-fleet-lets-you-focus-clients-in-car <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"> Advancements in connected and autonomous vehicles may completely change your ability to interact with customers while you’re driving them around. </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 22, 2016</span> </div> </div> </div> </fieldset> <div class="field field-type-nodereference field-field-op-author"> <div class="field-label">Author(s):&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/author/paul-eisenstein">Paul A. Eisenstein</a> </div> </div> </div> <!--paging_filter--><p>Getting a driver&rsquo;s license used to be a rite of passage for American teenagers. But as millennials migrate to urban cores &mdash; or remain living in their parents&rsquo; basement &mdash; they have been far less likely than previous generations to get their licenses. Recent studies suggest that even their parents and grandparents are ready to ditch the car keys.</p> <p>That may be an early warning sign that big changes are on the horizon for the auto industry in the next decade or so &mdash; possibly impacting how you get around for business. &ldquo;The auto industry will change more in the next five to 10 years than it has in the last 50,&rdquo; says Mary Barra, chairwoman and CEO of General Motors. Four of the most significant automotive trends are connectivity, autonomy, ride-sharing, and electric power.</p> <blockquote> <p><strong>A Better Ride</strong></p> <p><a href="/technology/feature/article/2016/11/luxury-utes-balance-business-style-needs">Luxury Utes Balance Business, Style Needs</a><br /> Makers of sports cars are putting their spin on utility vehicles, which means real estate pros can get more space without sacrificing style.</p> <p><a href="/technology/feature/article/2016/11/impress-eco-conscious-clients-your-car">Impress Eco-Conscious Clients With Your Car</a><br /> Options for battery- and electric-operated vehicles are about to widen, giving you more incentive to show your customers you live their green philosophy.</p> <p><a href="/technology/feature/article/2016/11/reducing-your-danger-road">Reducing Your Danger<br /> on the Road</a><br /> With a goal of zero highway deaths in the near future, automakers are developing technologies that could keep you and your clients safer when you&rsquo;re out house hunting.</p> <p><a href="/product-guide/automotive/article/2016/11/discounts-for-realtors-some-2017-cars">Discounts for REALTORS&reg; on Some 2017 Cars</a><br /> The REALTOR Benefits&reg; Program partnership with FCA US LLC translates to great deals for members on the purchase or lease of select vehicles.</p> </blockquote> <p>Some of these changes might not impact your job in real estate much. (You&rsquo;re not likely, for example, to jump on the ride-sharing bandwagon and call an Uber to take a client to a showing.) But other changes could have a more significant influence on how you use your car. Connected cars will make driving safer and easier; an autonomous vehicle could help you get to your location more quickly while allowing you to interact with clients more during the drive; a new generation of long-range battery-powered cars and plug-ins could lower your fuel costs for business.</p> <p>If you&rsquo;ve purchased a car in the last few years, chances are it already has some level of connectivity; at the very least, it has a Bluetooth system for connecting your phone and listening to your personal music library. Many vehicles add cell phone&ndash;based services, such as General Motors&rsquo; <a href="https://www.onstar.com/us/en/home.html" target="_blank">OnStar</a> and Hyundai&rsquo;s <a href="https://www.hyundaiusa.com/bluelink/index.aspx" target="_blank">Blue Link</a>, which can remotely unlock doors or call emergency providers in the event of a serious crash. And some GM Audi and Chrysler products offer onboard Wi-Fi systems. But that&rsquo;s just the start.</p> <p>The U.S. Department of Transportation is setting up a test grid around the Detroit region that will eventually cover much of the nation&rsquo;s highways. The so-called vehicle-to-vehicle and vehicle-to-infrastructure systems will help alert motorists to traffic and weather problems, as well as when another car is about to run a red light. <a href="https://www.mobility.siemens.com/mobility/global/SiteCollectionDocuments/en/road-solutions/urban/trends/siemens-vehicle-to-x-communication-technology-infographic.pdf" target="_blank">V2X technology</a> will be one of the building blocks for the next big change: autonomy.</p> <p>The new <a href="https://www.mbusa.com/mercedes/vehicles/class/class-E/bodystyle-SDN" target="_blank">2017 Mercedes-Benz E-Class</a> carries an assortment of onboard radar, sonar, and camera sensors designed to see what&rsquo;s happening in the world surrounding the vehicle. Its active cruise control system can keep up with the ebb and flow of traffic but also slam on the brakes without a driver&rsquo;s intervention. It will warn drivers who slide out of their lane and, in some circumstances, even operate hands-free.</p> <p>Tesla, however, intends to go a giant step further with the launch of its first mainstream battery-electric vehicle next year. The <a href="https://www.tesla.com/model3" target="_blank">Model 3</a> is expected to become the first product to offer full-time hands-free driving. But it won&rsquo;t be alone for long. Almost every major automaker, and a few other start-ups, is planning to deliver autonomous capabilities early in the coming decade.</p> <p>And Ford Motor Co. hopes to go even further. By 2021, CEO Mark Fields recently announced, Ford will begin building the first fully driverless products &mdash; no steering wheel or pedals at all. Initially, they&rsquo;ll be earmarked for ride- and car-sharing services and local delivery fleets.</p> <p>But since sharing is less of a concern for real estate professionals, let&rsquo;s focus on electrification. &ldquo;Emission-free automobiles are the future,&rdquo; Dieter Zetsche, chairman and CEO of Daimler AG (the parent company of the Smart and Mercedes-Benz brands), said during this year&rsquo;s Paris Motor Show, where the German carmaker debuted its all-new sub-brand <a href="https://www.mercedes-benz.com/en/mercedes-benz/next/e-mobility/generation-eq-mobility-revisited/" target="_blank">Mercedes EQ</a>. It plans to have at least 10 pure battery-electric vehicles, or BEVs, in its portfolio by 2025, plus dozens of plug-in hybrids. Volkswagen is going one better, with a plan to add at least 30 BEVs by mid-decade.</p> <p>With prices for batteries plunging, expect to see tomorrow&rsquo;s EVs costing little more than comparable gas- or diesel-powered models. And with range pushing to 200, 300, or perhaps even 400 miles, they could make these models compelling earth-friendly alternatives that could also slash the fuel bill for practitioners who often clock lots of miles each week.</p> <p>The auto industry is also looking at another zero-emission vehicle, or ZEV, technology: the hydrogen fuel cell, which some proponents believe could prove to be even more attractive to motorists than battery cars. That&rsquo;s because fuel-cell vehicles, or FCVs, eliminate so-called range anxiety and overnight charging. Running low? You can fill up with hydrogen as quickly as you would with gasoline &mdash; in about five minutes.</p> <p>The problem is that there are only a score of hydrogen filling stations open to the public, almost all in California. That state&rsquo;s lawmakers have approved a measure that would broaden the filling network, however, and several other states are studying similar moves. But for now, the three hydrogen cars on sale in the U.S. &mdash; the <a href="https://ssl.toyota.com/mirai/fcv.html" target="_blank">Toyota Mirai</a>, <a href="https://automobiles.honda.com/clarity" target="_blank">Honda Clarity</a>, and <a href="https://www.hyundaiusa.com/tucsonfuelcell/index.aspx" target="_blank">Hyundai Tucson</a> &mdash; have to stay relatively close to home.</p> <p>The good news is that many of these new technologies are already on the market. The new E-Class is a hot seller, and the <a href="https://www.hyundaiusa.com/tucsonfuelcell/index.aspx" target="_blank">Chevy Bolt</a> will be in showrooms by the end of the year. The future, it seems, is already here and, at least for those of us who continue to keep driving, it&rsquo;s starting to look better all the time.</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>Advancements in connected and autonomous vehicles may completely change your ability to interact with customers while you&rsquo;re driving them around.</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/fastcar390.jpg" type="image/jpeg; length=98623">fastcar390.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/fastcar390_0.jpg?1479833808" /> </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/fastcar230.jpg?1479833798" /> </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"> Morguefile.com/hotblack </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-nodereference field-field-related-content"> <div class="field-label">Related Content:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/daily-news/2015/10/20/3-trends-set-impact-real-estate">3 Trends Set To Impact Real Estate</a> </div> <div class="field-item even"> <a href="/daily-news/2015/09/29/driverless-cars-are-emerging-fast">Driverless Cars Are Emerging Fast</a> </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-link field-field-links"> <div class="field-label">External Links:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="http://speakingofrealestate.blogs.realtor.org/2016/01/11/7-tech-game-changers-for-your-business/" rel="nofollow">7 Tech Game-Changers for Your Business</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, 21 Nov 2016 18:22:55 +0000 gwood 22302 at http://realtormag.realtor.org The Other Side of Succession Planning http://realtormag.realtor.org/for-brokers/network/article/2016/11/other-side-succession-planning <div class="field field-type-text field-field-deck"> <div class="field-label">Deck:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> Here’s the path one new broker traveled toward taking over a real estate business and finding success independently. </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 18, 2016</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>Danielle Riley went on her first real estate appointment at the age of 2 and learned to read and write by helping her father with his property appraisals. Needless to say, Riley was born for this profession.</p> <p>At 19, she got her real estate license while in college, and her first deal was representing a couple who was in the process of adopting five children from a woman struggling with drug addiction. &ldquo;It was then that I saw the big picture &ndash; that this business is serious and something I wanted to do for the rest of my life,&rdquo; Riley says.</p> <p>Fast-forward 10 years later: Riley is now 29, the owner of her own brokerage, and is her father&rsquo;s boss. She got there through a long succession plan in which she took over her father&rsquo;s book of business before opening her own company.</p> <p>For brokers looking to pass their business on to a relative or younger real estate professional, Riley says start planning early on. During her presentation at the REALTORS&reg; Conference &amp; Expo in Orlando, Riley said she became her father&rsquo;s partner after graduating from college in 2009. At the time, he led a small team at Nothnagle, REALTORS&reg; in Rochester, N.Y. They branded their business as &ldquo;Sam Morreale &amp; Danielle Riley.&rdquo; But in 2013, as Riley&rsquo;s father started thinking about retirement, they flipped the order of their names so that Riley&rsquo;s came first.</p> <p>&ldquo;That simple switch made a big difference,&rdquo; Riley says. She started getting noticed more by her father&rsquo;s clients and by the local real estate community. They also sent announcement letters to their sphere and colleagues to make sure everyone knew about the transition. &ldquo;Focus on getting your successor&rsquo;s name out there,&rdquo; she says.</p> <p>As each year went by, Riley took over more and more aspects of the business. She started accompanying her father on his listing appointments, and then, eventually, Riley started to go alone.</p> <p>Then, just three months ago, Riley made the decision to open her own brokerage, Better Homes and Gardens Real Estate Prosperity, where her father, who&rsquo;s now 67 and in the last phase of his exit strategy, works as an agent. Riley also oversees two other agents and has a few more joining in the weeks ahead. She&rsquo;s aiming to recruit more millennials to the industry.</p> <p>Riley says creating a succession plan early on actually helped their business grow. Her biggest piece of advice to other brokers is to identify a potential successor as soon as you start thinking about retirement because the transition takes time. &quot;We&#39;re in year 10, and we&#39;re still not there,&quot; she says. But now, rather than Riley being called &ldquo;Sam&rsquo;s daughter,&rdquo; her father is starting to be referred to as &ldquo;Danielle&rsquo;s dad.&rdquo;</p> <p><iframe allowfullscreen="" frameborder="0" height="315" src="https://www.youtube.com/embed/k-l52qXizSI" width="560"></iframe></p> <hr /> <p><br /> <img alt="" src="/sites/realtormag.realtor.org/files/rmo_files/images/logos/BtoB_logo_footer_080114.jpg" style="float:left; height:117px; width:150px" /><em>Broker-to-Broker is an information network that provides insights and tools with business value through timely articles, videos, Q&amp;As, and sales meeting tips for brokerage owners and managers. Get more <a href="/for-brokers/network" target="_blank">Broker-to-Broker content here</a>.</em></p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <div class="field field-type-text field-field-show-author-info"> <div class="field-label">Show Author Info?:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> Show Author Info? </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-text field-field-teaser"> <div class="field-label">Teaser:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <!--paging_filter--><p>Here&rsquo;s the path one new broker traveled toward taking over a real estate business and finding success independently.</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/Riley-mainimage.jpg" type="image/jpeg; length=122707">Riley-mainimage.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/Riley-mainimage_0.jpg?1479506694" /> </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/Riley-landingpage.jpg?1479506882" /> </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/2016/11/providing-value-your-agents">Providing Value to Your Agents</a> </div> <div class="field-item even"> <a href="/for-brokers/standouts/article/2014/09/win-win-exit-strategy">A Win-Win Exit Strategy</a> </div> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/for-brokers/network/article/2015/11/ensure-your-company-legacy-lives">Ensure Your Company Legacy Lives On</a> </div> <div class="field-item even"> <a href="/for-brokers/network/article/2015/08/brokerage-looks-forward-100-more-years">Brokerage Looks Forward to 100 More Years</a> </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-number-integer field-field-mainstage-image-display2"> <div class="field-label">Mainstage Image Display on Content:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> No, don't disable the "Main" image on this article </div> </div> </div> Network Fri, 18 Nov 2016 22:08:13 +0000 echristoffer 22295 at http://realtormag.realtor.org Fall in Love With These 12 Business Apps http://realtormag.realtor.org/for-brokers/network/article/2016/11/fall-in-love-these-12-business-apps <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"> You’ll be infatuated with these free and low-cost tools that can make you and your agents’ lives a little easier. </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 16, 2016</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>When Amy Smythe-Harris, co-broker&ndash;owner of Urban Provision, REALTORS&reg;, in Houston, asked a panel of real estate pros to share their favorite apps for tracking expenses, staying in touch with clients, and simplifying their business lives, there was no shortage of ideas. Here are a dozen standout suggestions from the Emerging Business Issues &amp; Technology Forum at the REALTORS&reg; Conference &amp; Expo in Orland earlier this month; pass them on to your agents at your next sales meeting.</p> <p><a href="https://www.boxcryptor.com/en" target="_blank"><strong>Boxcryptor</strong></a> &ndash; This encryption software syncs with your cloud storage accounts, such as Dropbox, Google Drive, or Microsoft OneDrive. It gives your files added protection, and that will give you peace of mind. A basic account is free, which covers one cloud provider accessed on two devices. Company packages start at $8 per month, per user.</p> <p><a href="https://www.slydial.com/" target="_blank"><strong>Slydial</strong></a> &ndash; Do you ever call someone, hoping to just leave a voicemail because you don&#39;t have much time to talk? This app is a direct-to-voicemail service that routes you right into the voicemail of the person you&rsquo;re dialing. You can pre-purchase credits in $5 increments, with each Slydial call priced at $0.10, or you can get the unlimited plan for $2.95 per month or $29.95 per year.</p> <p><a href="http://doodle.com/" target="_blank"><strong>Doodle</strong></a> &ndash; This scheduling tool automatically syncs with your Google, Outlook, Office 365, or iCal calendars and allows you to customize the URL&#39;s subdomain, meeting invite, calendar design, and more. An individual account is free, a pro account is $39 per year, and a business team account starts at $69 per year.</p> <p><a href="https://use.expensify.com/" target="_blank"><strong>Expensify</strong></a> &ndash; Manage your expenses and accounts like a boss. Expensify allows you to pull all your bank accounts and credit accounts into one place, where you can track transactions and expenses. If you make a purchase under $75, it will create a digital receipt. Scan or take a picture of receipts to upload. &nbsp;The platform integrates with accounting services such as Quickbooks, Xero, Netsuite, Oracle, and others. Free for a single account; $5 per user, per month for teams; and $9 per user, per month for larger companies.</p> <p><a href="http://www.fastcustomer.com/" target="_blank"><strong>FastCustomer</strong></a> &ndash; Tired of being put on hold when you call an airline, bank, or insurance company? Use FastCustomer to skip the automated system and get a customer service agent to call you. Free.</p> <p><a href="http://camera.plus/" target="_blank"><strong>Camera+</strong></a> &ndash; You&rsquo;ll love the photo editing features in this iPhone and Android app. With settings such as &ldquo;clarity,&rdquo; which brightens some shadows without significantly modifying the photo, this is the go-to app for Bill Lublin, CEO of Century 21 Advantage Gold in Philadelphia. Free.</p> <p><a href="https://www.waze.com/" target="_blank"><strong>Waze</strong></a> &ndash; Get user-generated traffic information with real-time updates on a live map from other drivers (who hopefully aren&#39;t texting while driving). Find out if there&rsquo;s a speed trap or accident ahead, and get the best route to showings. Free.</p> <p><a href="https://www.lastpass.com/" target="_blank"><strong>LastPass</strong></a> &ndash; This is an encrypted password manager that works for individuals or teams. Get unlimited password storage, keep digital records, autofill online shopping checkout forms, and access the app on all your devices. Free for an individual account; an enterprise account starts at $24 per person, per year.</p> <p><a href="https://www.canva.com/" target="_blank"><strong>Canva</strong></a> &ndash; This platform is essentially &ldquo;graphic design for dummies.&rdquo; Unify your branding and make it look uber-professional without a marketing department. The app offers easy-to-use templates and graphics for flyers, business cards, social media page headers, and more. Free.</p> <p><a href="https://animoto.com/" target="_blank"><strong>Animoto</strong></a> &ndash; If you want to do video editing but don&rsquo;t know where to start, check out this app. With Animoto, you can create marketing videos, how-tos, home tours, photo slideshows, and more. The drag-and-drop interface makes it super-easy to add voiceovers, text, and collages to your movie, and then post directly to YouTube or your social channels. A professional account, which includes 1080p video resolution (don&rsquo;t skimp on the resolution), is $22 per month.</p> <p><a href="http://badger-app.com/" target="_blank"><strong>Badger</strong></a> &ndash; Compose and schedule text messages to go out on a specific day and time&mdash;perfect for contacting your client base and sphere regularly. Free.</p> <p><a href="http://ripl.com/" target="_blank"><strong>Ripl</strong></a> &ndash; Create more engaging, animated images for your Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter accounts. Choose an image from Ripl&rsquo;s design library, or customize your own photo. Add your logo, choose music, graphics, and more. Free for up to five designs. For unlimited designs, get a pro account for $9.99 per month.</p> <hr /> <p><br /> <img alt="" src="/sites/realtormag.realtor.org/files/rmo_files/images/logos/BtoB_logo_footer_080114.jpg" style="float:left; height:117px; width:150px" /><em>Broker-to-Broker is an information network that provides insights and tools with business value through timely articles, videos, Q&amp;As, and sales meeting tips for brokerage owners and managers. Get more <a href="/for-brokers/network" target="_blank">Broker-to-Broker content here</a>.</em></p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <div class="field field-type-text field-field-show-author-info"> <div class="field-label">Show Author Info?:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> Show Author Info? </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-text field-field-teaser"> <div class="field-label">Teaser:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <!--paging_filter--><p>You&rsquo;ll be infatuated with these free and low-cost tools that can make you and your agents&rsquo; lives a little easier.</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/dec16_BB_apps.jpg" type="image/jpeg; length=29530">dec16_BB_apps.jpg</a></div> </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-top3-lp-image"> <div class="field-label">Top 3 Article on Landing Page:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <img class="imagefield imagefield-field_top3_lp_image" width="149" height="70" alt="" src="http://realtormag.realtor.org/sites/realtormag.realtor.org/files/dec16_BB_apps_0.jpg?1480713933" /> </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/dec16_LP_BB_apps.jpg?1480713966" /> </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/2016/11/tech-trends-embrace-in-2017">Tech Trends to Embrace in 2017</a> </div> <div class="field-item even"> <a href="/for-brokers/network/article/2016/11/be-more-useful-facebook-group">‘Be More Useful Than a Facebook Group’</a> </div> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/for-brokers/network/article/2016/10/fostering-real-estate-disruptors">Fostering Real Estate Disruptors</a> </div> <div class="field-item even"> <a href="/for-brokers/network/article/2016/10/8-ways-unleash-power-google">8 Ways to Unleash the Power of Google</a> </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-number-integer field-field-mainstage-image-display2"> <div class="field-label">Mainstage Image Display on Content:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> No, don't disable the "Main" image on this article </div> </div> </div> Network Thu, 17 Nov 2016 01:31:12 +0000 echristoffer 22283 at http://realtormag.realtor.org We Could Lose 1031s. Here’s Why That Matters http://realtormag.realtor.org/law-and-ethics/feature/article/2016/11/we-could-lose-1031s-here-s-why-matters <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"> Like-kind exchanges help keep our economy rolling. That’s why the political change-up coming to Washington could have significant ramifications for real estate, investors, low-income workers, and more. </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 17, 2016</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/jessica-healy">Jessica Healy</a> </div> </div> </div> <!--paging_filter--><p>On November 8, the Republican Party won the presidency and retained majority control over both houses of Congress. This means that federal tax reform in Washington is imminent. Since the news of this electoral sweep broke, I&rsquo;ve been working &mdash; alongside a group of similarly dedicated individuals &mdash; around the clock to educate the public on the importance of Internal Revenue Code Section 1031 to the U.S. economy.</p> <h4>What Is It, and How Did We Get Here?</h4> <p>Section 1031 is a common way to defer capital gains taxes by reinvesting sale proceeds on assets held for business and investment purposes. Individuals and businesses alike can exchange their real or personal investment property for like-kind replacement property within 180 days of the first sale, placing their sale proceeds with a qualified intermediary in the interim.</p> <p>History is helpful to understanding this issue in context. This portion of the tax code dates back to the 1920s and was originally geared towards the agricultural community. Farmers and ranchers would use Section 1031 to combine acreage, acquire higher-grade land, or otherwise improve the quality of their operations. By swapping their land for another property of equal or greater value, they were able to defer capital gains tax payments because they never pocketed any of the sale proceeds and thus didn&rsquo;t have the cash necessary to pay.</p> <p>The tax law is now frequently applied to a wide array of industries and allows taxpayers to exchange business-use or investment assets for other, similar assets without recognizing a taxable gain on the sale of the old asset. As a real estate professional, you&rsquo;re most likely to be acquainted with clients using Section 1031 like-kind exchanges in commercial, agricultural, and rental real estate, but investors can also use it for heavy equipment, artwork and collectables, airplanes, trucks, livestock, and other qualifying assets.</p> <p>Though tax reform has been on the lips of many a candidate and politician over the years, the last significant change to the country&rsquo;s tax code was enacted almost exactly 30 years ago, under President Reagan&rsquo;s Tax Reform Act of 1986. Over the last three decades, various tax reform proposals have threatened Section 1031, the legislature ultimately failed to pass any meaningful changes to the code. Now that one political party controls the White House and both houses of Congress, tax reform is imminent. &nbsp;There is a real potential for Congress to overturn or significantly revise Section 1031.</p> <p>Eliminating or overturning Section 1031 would be disastrous. Individuals and businesses are motivated to use like-kind exchanges whenever they are selling a successful asset. And because it motivates investors to sell assets, Section 1031 generates transactional activity, and transactions beget economic growth and stimulus. The cost of overturning or revising the code would be enormously detrimental for both the micro- and macroeconomic landscape of the country. It would dampen the motivation to buy, sell, and reinvest, and might cause significant capital to flee the United States.&nbsp;&nbsp;</p> <h4>What 1031 Does for the Economy</h4> <p>While many Americans may not have directly participated in a 1031 tax-deferred exchange, certainly many Americans have been impacted by the economic activity and job creation created by these transactions. Dr. Milena Petrova and Dr. David Ling, of Syracuse University and the University of Florida respectively, recently published a study analyzing data on more than 1.6 million real estate transactions over 18 years. The study found Section 1031 to be key in stabilizing rents, safeguarding property values, and strengthening the economy. They concluded that 1031 exchanges result in the following:</p> <ol> <li><strong>Increased job creation:</strong> When real estate is acquired in a 1031 exchange, the property tends to benefit more upgrades, remodeling improvements, and other capital expenditures than real estate acquired without a 1031 exchange. This creates jobs for contractors, appraisers, electricians, plumbers, roofers, landscapers, and others.</li> <li><strong>The generation of substantial tax revenue:</strong> Though investors do use 1031 exchanges to defer tax payments, it&rsquo;s important to realize that 34 percent of the time, some federal tax is paid in the year of the exchange. Moreover, state and local tax revenue increases in the years following transactions as valuations increase and result in higher tax liabilities. Additionally, substantial revenue comes out of transfer taxes, which are paid as a part of every transaction regardless of whether it&#39;s done as a 1031 exchange.</li> <li><strong>Debt reduction:</strong> Property acquired in a 1031 exchange that is similar or equal to the price of the relinquished asset carries approximately 10 percent less debt than property acquired outside of a 1031 exchange.</li> <li><strong>Increased real estate sales activity:</strong> Like-kind exchanges increase liquidity of the market because they motivate sellers to act. In an analysis of 336,752 properties that were acquired and sold between 1997 and 2014, the researchers found that properties involved in like-kind exchanges had significantly shorter holding periods.</li> </ol> <p>Ernst &amp; Young recently completed a macroeconomic study showing the negative impact of eliminating 1031 exchanges, also at the behest of the Like-Kind Exchange Coalition and other groups. &nbsp;Ernst &amp; Young found that overturning Section 1031 would result in a hit of between $60 billion and $131 billion to the economy over ten years, in terms of the tax revenue and income that would be lost. Also, they predicted businesses would hold onto capital for significantly longer, resulting in a less efficient market. They also predicted investors and businesses would be less likely to make improvements to their assets, which would mean a huge loss of labor income, much of which would hurt lower-income earners. Lastly, investors might send their capital abroad, driving resources out of the United States, as the loss of the 1031 exchange would make domestic opportunities less appealing.</p> <h4>Real Estate Advocacy on 1031</h4> <p>For these reasons and more, The National Association of REALTORS&reg; has always been vocal in its support for Section 1031. In a <a href="http://www.realtor.org/reports/like-kind-exchange-survey" target="_blank">member survey on the subject last summer</a>, NAR found REALTORS&reg; to be active participants in like-kind exchanges in many roles: as investors, brokers, and agents; intermediaries; and professional advisers. In fact, the study found 63 percent of REALTORS&reg; participated in a like-kind exchange transaction between 2011 and 2014. Many of those indicated that their transactions would have been smaller in scale or may not have happened at all without the 1031 tool at their disposal. Furthermore, NAR found that nearly all respondents (97 percent) predicted a decrease in real estate values if the provision is repealed.</p> <p>Section 1031 encourages transactions and effective capital deployment and has a net positive effect on the U.S. economy. Overturning or restricting 1031 exchanges would have many negative ramifications for real estate practitioners, small-business owners, and many middle-class taxpayers. I&rsquo;m fighting to preserve this vital linchpin of economic exchange in our country. If you want to learn more or join in, visit <a href="http://www.1031taxreform.org" target="_blank">www.1031taxreform.org</a>.</p> <div class="field field-type-text field-field-show-author-info"> <div class="field-label">Show Author Info?:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> Show Author Info? </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-text field-field-teaser"> <div class="field-label">Teaser:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <!--paging_filter--><p>Like-kind exchanges help keep our economy rolling. That&rsquo;s why the political change-up coming to Washington could have significant ramifications for real estate, investors, low-income workers, and more.</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/nov16_NC_exchanges.jpg" type="image/jpeg; length=30581">nov16_NC_exchanges.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/nov16_NC_exchanges_0.jpg?1479413593" /> </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/nov16_LP_NC_exchanges.jpg?1479413615" /> </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, 16 Nov 2016 22:25:57 +0000 mwhite 22281 at http://realtormag.realtor.org Understanding VOCs and Indoor Air Quality http://realtormag.realtor.org/home-and-design/feature/article/2016/11/understanding-vocs-and-indoor-air-quality <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"> Freshly painted walls, gleaming wood floorboards, and tightly insulated attics are on many buyers’ wish lists. But some materials, processes, and finishes can make for toxic spaces. Help your buyers and sellers keep their homes healthy. </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 16, 2016</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>When the TV news show &ldquo;<a href="http://www.cbsnews.com/news/lumber-liquidators-linked-to-health-and-safety-violations-2/" target="_blank">60 Minutes</a>&rdquo; reported that Lumber Liquidators&rsquo; laminate flooring, a synthetic product produced in China, failed to meet certain health and safety standards, many home owners panicked. Were their floors also releasing into the air (off-gassing) formaldehyde, a chemical commonly used in many building products?</p> <p>Afterward, the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission tested levels released from some of the laminate flooring that had been sold in Lumber Liquidators&rsquo; U.S. stores. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and its Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry determined exposure to the formaldehyde tested could cause irritation and breathing problems. But formaldehyde can potentially cause greater damage; it&rsquo;s listed in a <a href="http://deainfo.nci.nih.gov/advisory/pcp/annualReports/pcp08-09rpt/PCP_Report_08-09_508.pdf" target="_blank">President&rsquo;s Cancer Panel report as a known carcinogen</a>.</p> <p><a href="http://www.cdc.gov/nceh/drywall/docs/whatyoushouldknowaboutformaldehyde.pdf" target="_blank">Formaldehyde</a> is just one in a huge family of chemical compounds that are lumped under the volatile organic compound umbrella. These substances raise concerns because the gasses they release can be toxic. Furthermore, VOCs are common in paints, stains, adhesives, and glues, which means that many otherwise safe building materials may make indoor air toxic because they&rsquo;re paired with them.</p> <p>That&rsquo;s why more home owners are beginning to ask retailers, manufacturers, and contractors what VOCs may be in the materials, products, and furnishings they bring into their homes. But they also need to understand where these products originated and how they were made, installed, and finished, since unhealthy VOCs may be incorporated at various stages.</p> <p>Joe Reina of No Limits Paint in Elmhurst, Ill., is among contractors already hearing these concerns and taking action. Clients ask him more frequently whether he exclusively uses paints with no or low VOCs (he does). &ldquo;It started about one-and-a-half years ago and has picked up, especially with customers who have young children and are concerned about their overall health, not just if they have asthma or allergies,&rdquo; says Reina.</p> <p>Though the U.S. government is taking steps to outlaw many harmful chemicals in housing products, other countries like China have not moved in this direction. Also, the Environmental Protection Agency hasn&rsquo;t yet set a benchmark for what&rsquo;s safe. That lack of guidance means that labels that claim products are green may be misleading, says Joel Hirschberg, president and co-owner of Iowa-based <a href="http://www.greenbuildingsupply.com/" target="_blank">Green Building Supply</a> store, among the first in the country to focus on selling safe, environmentally friendly products to home owners and home builders.</p> <p>These are just a few of the reasons why you, as a real estate professional, need to understand the issue. Advise clients to ask questions when they buy a house and when they purchase products, materials, and systems to remodel a home they already own or are thinking about selling.</p> <h4>Consider Common Sources of VOCs</h4> <p>Make sure you&rsquo;re educated on this important subject. One detailed resource you might consider is <a href="http://www.greenbuildingadvisor.com/team" target="_blank">Green Building Advisor</a>, published online by The Taunton Press with information about designing, building, and remodeling sustainable, healthy homes. The U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission is another good source of information.</p> <table align="right" border="0" cellpadding="1" cellspacing="1" style="width: 182px;"> <tbody> <tr> <td><img alt="" src="/sites/realtormag.realtor.org/files/rmo_files/images/2016_nov/nov_HD_insulation.jpg" style="width: 182px; height: 177px;" /><img alt="" src="/sites/realtormag.realtor.org/files/rmo_files/images/2016_nov/nov_HD_paint.jpg" style="width: 182px; height: 177px;" /> <img alt="" src="/sites/realtormag.realtor.org/files/rmo_files/images/2016_nov/nov_HD_floor.jpg" style="width: 182px; height: 177px;" /><img alt="" src="/sites/realtormag.realtor.org/files/rmo_files/images/2016_nov/nov_HD_hvac.jpg" style="width: 182px; height: 177px;" /><img alt="" src="/sites/realtormag.realtor.org/files/rmo_files/images/2016_nov/nov_HD_furn.jpg" style="width: 182px; height: 177px;" /><img alt="" src="/sites/realtormag.realtor.org/files/rmo_files/images/2016_nov/nov_HD_cleaning.jpg" style="width: 182px; height: 177px;" /></td> </tr> </tbody> </table> <p>Key categories of potential off-gassing include:</p> <ul> <li><strong>Insulation</strong>. In the past, some options contained asbestos or fiberglass batting with formaldehyde, though neither is permitted in new construction. <a href="http://www.healthyhouseinstitute.com/a-1038-Insulation-Overview" target="_blank">Smarter choices</a> include insulation from cotton (often blue-jean scraps), paper, soybeans, and milo (a grain). Caroline Blazovsky, author, national healthy-home expert, and founder of <a href="http://www.healthyhomeexpert.com" target="_blank">My Healthy Home</a>, warns that some types like cellulose may be touted as safe but then are treated with unhealthy chemicals. In other cases, the problem stems from the installer not following a manufacturer&rsquo;s guidelines.</li> <li><strong>Paints</strong> <strong>and stains</strong>. Many manufacturers, including well-known larger companies, are debuting low- or zero-VOC lines, such as Benjamin Moore with its Aura and Natura brands. A small but growing number of manufacturers are making paints that contain no VOCs, such as <a href="http://www.ecospaints.net/whats-in-it.html" target="_blank">Ecos</a> and <a href="http://afmsafecoat.com/about_us.html" target="_blank">SafeCoat</a>. Steve Skodak, executive director of the Painting and Decorating Contractors Association, says that as more consumers pay attention to and favor these low- or no-VOC options, the market will see an uptick in these types of products manufactured and sold.</li> <li><strong>Flooring.</strong> The key in this category is to pay attention not just to the product, which may pass muster, but also to the adhesives and varnishes that adhere layers of solid pre-engineered boards together. One easy choice is to go with reclaimed boards that lack these attached layers. But if a finish is used to protect them, make sure it too is a healthy one, such as a natural oil, says Craig Margolies, product manager at <a href="http://thehudsonco.com/" target="_blank">The Hudson Co., based in Pine Plains, N.Y.</a> The same guidelines also apply to certain cabinetry, walls, and beams, he says.</li> <li><strong>HVAC systems </strong>appropriately vented to the outdoors will help remove unhealthy off-gassed air from a home, says Green Building Advisor senior editor Martin Holladay, who is also a former remodeler and builder. As homes have been sealed and tightened to be more energy-efficient, ventilation has become more important. Air purifiers are an additional aid, Hirschberg says. Furnaces, hot water heaters, and appliances should be serviced annually, too. &ldquo;If they don&rsquo;t work correctly, they put VOCs and unhealthy gases such as carbon monoxide into the air,&rdquo; Blazovsky says.</li> <li><strong>Furnishings</strong> may contain flame-retardant foam in cushions and pillows that off-gas. Stain repellants can also pose a risk. Again, suggest home owners check labels.</li> <li><strong>Pesticides and household cleaning products </strong>can be another source of unhealthy chemicals, so go with nontoxic choices. Even plug-in air fresheners can release VOCs, says Holladay.</li> </ul> <h4>How to Minimize the Effect of VOCs</h4> <p>The positive news is that VOCs generally decrease over time as they evaporate into the air, and fresh air, good ventilation, and higher temperatures can speed evaporation. Some may &ldquo;hang around&rdquo; for varying periods depending on the level of VOC composition, air, and temperature, which is why home owners&rsquo; &ldquo;behavior can make a difference,&rdquo; says Blazovsky.</p> <blockquote> <p><strong>How home owners can be healthful occupants&nbsp;</strong></p> <p>Not all indoor air quality problems can be blamed on building products and a home&rsquo;s tight envelope. Home owners often are the main polluters of their own environment, says Martin Holladay, editor of Green Building Advisor, which publishes methods for making a home green&nbsp;and healthy. He says the two biggest changes your clients can undertake to reduce unhealthy air are to avoid smoking indoors and to cook safely. A gas range can produce formaldehyde,&nbsp;nitrogen dioxide, and carbon monoxide, so switching to an electric or induction range may be prudent, he says. However, no matter what kind of appliances they use, they should employ an adequately sized exhaust fan to vent unsafe air outdoors. And unless it&rsquo;s someone&rsquo;s birthday, Holladay suggests avoiding lighting candles indoors. &ldquo;They also release small particulates into the air.&rdquo;</p> </blockquote> <p>Besides making informed product choices, Hirschberg suggests you and your clients pay attention to how a room smells. &ldquo;Go with your nose,&rdquo; he says. &ldquo;If something smells too strong, almost like a new car, it may be unhealthy. Find out what it is.&rdquo;</p> <h4>Weigh Healthy Alternatives on the Market</h4> <p>It takes work to research a product&rsquo;s chemical make-up by reading labels and asking experts, but your clients will appreciate your ready knowledge and sources you can recommend. The <a href="http://living-future.org/redlist" target="_blank">International Future Living Institute&rsquo;s &ldquo;Red List&rdquo;</a> cites chemicals to watch out for. Two other useful guides include the <a href="http://www.ewg.org/" target="_blank">nonprofit Environmental Working Group</a> and <a href="http://www.treehugger.com/" target="_blank">Tree Hugger</a>.</p> <p>Soybean-based spray foam insulation, which doesn&rsquo;t rely on synthetic chemicals and which has a high R-value, can be found through a resource such as <a href="http://spf.rhinolinings.com/" target="_blank">Biobased from Rhino Linings</a>. Then there are retailers such as Hirschberg&rsquo;s aforementioned Green Building Supply and <a href="http://www.greendepot.com/greendepot/dept.asp?dept_id=22" target="_blank">Green Depot</a>, a brick-and-mortar and online retailer based in Brooklyn, N.Y., with hundreds of products and a knowledgeable staff. Architecture and design firms such as <a href="http://lakeflato.com/" target="_blank">Lake Flato</a> in Austin, Texas, can help steer clients toward healthy choices such as formaldehyde-free cabinetry and millwork along with local products such as limestone, where there&rsquo;s reduced concern about the chemical processes in the item&rsquo;s country of origin.</p> <p>But it&rsquo;s also important to realize that just because a product is greener doesn&rsquo;t mean that your clients won&rsquo;t be chemically sensitive to it. &ldquo;People react differently, so home owners need to find what works for them regardless of whether it&rsquo;s green,&rdquo; says Blazovsky.</p> <h4>Consider Hiring an Expert</h4> <p>It&rsquo;s common for home buyers and sellers to bring in an inspector or structural engineer to check a listing&rsquo;s stability and safety. But they can also have a home health inspector or environmental investigator assess indoor air quality. Robert Weitz, a certified microbial investigator and founder of <a href="http://www.rtkenvironmental.com/" target="_blank">RTK Environmental Group</a> in Stamford, Conn., is often hired when a client detects a continuing bad odor or someone in the family develops respiratory problems or headaches. He typically charges by a home&rsquo;s square footage, with an average fee between $495 and $600. Blazovsky, a certified Healthy Home Specialist and member of the <a href="http://www.iaqa.org/" target="_blank">Indoor Air Quality Association</a>, performs similar inspections. Her price ranges from $400 to $800. Both will take air samples and send them to a laboratory for analysis. Blazovsky also conducts water safety and mold tests.</p> <p>Weitz cautions buyers against assuming sellers will disclose indoor air quality problems. &ldquo;They can make smart choices if they&rsquo;re choosing, but need to know that the seller may not have all the information if they didn&rsquo;t make the changes,&rdquo; he says. Blazovsky agrees. &ldquo;When in doubt, test!&rdquo; she says. &ldquo;It may be an expense up front, but it can help home owners avoid a bigger financial mistake in buying a home that could bring health problems.&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>Freshly painted walls, gleaming wood floorboards, and tightly insulated attics are on many buyers&rsquo; wish lists. But some materials, processes, and finishes can make for toxic spaces. Help your buyers and sellers keep their homes healthy.</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/nov16_HD_vocs.jpg" type="image/jpeg; length=45472">nov16_HD_vocs.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/nov16_HD_vocs_0.jpg?1479335964" /> </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/nov16_LP_HD_vocs.jpg?1479336113" /> </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-nodereference field-field-related-content"> <div class="field-label">Related Content:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/home-and-design/feature/article/2016/07/paint-primer-quick-affordable-change-artist">Paint Primer: Quick, Affordable Change-Artist </a> </div> <div class="field-item even"> <a href="/home-and-design/architecture-coach/article/2010/02/its-not-easy-being-green">It&#039;s Not Easy Being Green</a> </div> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/product-guide/marketing/article/2014/04/2014-green-real-estate-advice">2014 Green Real Estate: Advice</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, 15 Nov 2016 22:47:42 +0000 mwhite 22273 at http://realtormag.realtor.org Tech Trends to Embrace in 2017 http://realtormag.realtor.org/for-brokers/network/article/2016/11/tech-trends-embrace-in-2017 <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’re looking to increase your company’s tech savvy, then you need to be on board with these innovations. </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 11, 2016</span> </div> </div> </div> </fieldset> <div class="field field-type-nodereference field-field-op-author"> <div class="field-label">Author(s):&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/author/lee-davenport">Lee Davenport</a> </div> </div> </div> <!--paging_filter--><p>From big data to virtual reality, technology continues to make huge strides in the real estate space year after year. But, if you&rsquo;ve ever worried that these advancements will make your brokerage services obsolete, never fear. I&rsquo;m here to put your mind at ease.</p> <p>The National Association of REALTORS&reg;&rsquo; 2016 Profile of Home Buyers and Sellers survey found that 87 percent of buyers used an agent last year compared to only 81 percent in 1981. You read that right. As technology and internet connectivity have increased, more consumers are turning to agents, rather than fewer.</p> <p>But that doesn&rsquo;t mean you should become complacent. We must remain the experts in all things real estate and continue to offer irreplaceable value in our marketing and negotiation skills. That includes incorporating tech trends that will help buyers and sellers achieve their goals.</p> <p>&ldquo;Aside from internalizing technology on an everyday basis to run your real estate business &hellip; there are some very huge tech trends that literally can change everything as we know it,&rdquo; said Niraj Ranjan Rout, cofounder and CEO of <a href="http://hiverhq.com/" target="_blank">Hiver</a>, which publishes the Gmail app of the same name, in an email interview about the biggest tech trends of 2017.</p> <p>Here are a few such trends:</p> <h4>Virtual Reality</h4> <p>Consumers have long been enjoying virtual realty in the gaming industry. Now, many &mdash; especially millennial buyers and sellers &mdash; have come to expect the VR and 3-D video experiences. Even in my own household, it&rsquo;s unheard of to go see a movie like &ldquo;Star Trek&rdquo; without seeing it in 3-D. VR has seeped into our society&rsquo;s collective expectations, and that doesn&rsquo;t turn off when it&rsquo;s time to house-hunt.</p> <p>&ldquo;VR is most certainly one of the most exciting and course-altering tech trends for real estate,&rdquo; said Rout, who notes many different real estate firms are experimenting with VR headsets such as Oculus Rift and Samsung Gear.</p> <p>Sotheby&rsquo;s International Realty, in partnership with <a href="https://matterport.com/" target="_blank">Matterport</a>, recently introduced 3-D and VR tours online. John Passerini, the brand&rsquo;s global vice president of interactive marketing, was recently quoted on <a href="http://www.sothebysrealty.com/extraordinary-living-blog/sothebys-international-realty-global-website-integrates-new-technologies/" target="_blank">Sotheby&rsquo;s blog</a> as saying, &ldquo;Distance can present a challenge when looking to buy a home, and virtual reality has provided a provocative solution. This technology is allowing buyers to purchase homes without having to physically travel to view them, which is especially relevant to the global clientele we serve.&rdquo;</p> <p>Indeed, as VR continues to grow, it will <a href="http://www.cnbc.com/2016/05/05/will-virtual-reality-change-real-estate.html" target="_blank">completely change the real estate customer&rsquo;s experience</a> by providing buyers the ability to experiment with different home styling options, navigate floor plans, and get a full 360-degree view of the house. Imagine the day when &ldquo;a prospect can take a slow walk around the garden of the house, experience the wine cellar, [and] stretch their arms to see if the kitchen is spacious enough,&rdquo; said Rout.</p> <h4>Big Data</h4> <p>You may not be immediately attracted to Facebook posts from friends checking in at restaurants and post about their lunch, but all that data can actually be useful for your business. Well, maybe not exactly the lunch specials, but geographical check-ins and other types of information being shared may help direct you and your agents to the people who will soon be buying and selling.</p> <p>Facebook and other companies are collecting all that data in order to tailor advertising and digital marketing. &ldquo;It allows you to access detailed information about a customer and analyze their past behaviors,&rdquo; said Rout. &ldquo;Even simple factors such as the life stage of the prospect, their employment status, marital status, number of kids, and demographics can be included to generate a list of rich targets for whom you have the information to provide rich customer experience.&rdquo;</p> <p>There are various ways to retrieve such data, including Facebook ads. With more than 1 billion people logging in daily and sharing bits and pieces about their lives, Facebook is a gold mine of data for real estate professionals to help connect with people when they are gearing up for a move. In fact, Facebook allows advertisers to target consumers by categories such as &ldquo;likely to move&rdquo; and &ldquo;For Sale by Owner.&rdquo; The days of arbitrarily mailing postcards to people who may not be in the market to buy or sell are long over. Now you and your agents can use big data to directly find the ideal client. And it&rsquo;s affordable &mdash; an ad can cost as little as $1 to $5 per day.</p> <h4>Home Technology</h4> <p>If you&rsquo;ve ever caught an episode of the old cartoon &ldquo;The Jetsons,&rdquo; then you&rsquo;ve likely fantasized about your own smart or fully automated home. Well, what was once reserved for luxury properties is now available to the mass market. Technology such as smart lighting, automated door locks, temperature controls, and more are increasingly in demand among all home buyers. It&rsquo;s improving energy efficiency, quality of life, home functionality, and more, said Rout.</p> <p>Are your agents ready to market smart-home features or advise buyers on the technology that&rsquo;s available? Do they know the price points and the best local vendors? Do they know what smart-home upgrades can help a home sell faster? &ldquo;Dismissing technology as some overrated unnecessary luxury can be a not-so-smart thing to do, and so is being a late adopter of new tech trends,&rdquo; Rout said.</p> <p>Technology is changing, and it&rsquo;s enhancing our ability to market to and connect with prospects. Start embracing these trends at your brokerage now to keep your business in tune with what buyers and sellers want, while ensuring that your services continue to be irreplaceable.</p> <hr /> <p><br /> <img alt="" src="/sites/realtormag.realtor.org/files/rmo_files/images/logos/BtoB_logo_footer_080114.jpg" style="float:left; height:117px; width:150px" /><em>Broker-to-Broker is an information network that provides insights and tools with business value through timely articles, videos, Q&amp;As, and sales meeting tips for brokerage owners and managers. Get more <a href="/for-brokers/network" target="_blank">Broker-to-Broker content here</a>.</em></p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <div class="field field-type-text field-field-show-author-info"> <div class="field-label">Show Author Info?:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> Show Author Info? </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-text field-field-teaser"> <div class="field-label">Teaser:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <!--paging_filter--><p>If you&rsquo;re looking to increase your company&rsquo;s tech savvy, then you need to be on board with these innovations.</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/nov16_BB_trends.jpg" type="image/jpeg; length=32153">nov16_BB_trends.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/nov16_BB_trends_0.jpg?1479334604" /> </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/nov16_LP_BB_trends.jpg?1479334624" /> </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/2016/11/be-more-useful-facebook-group">‘Be More Useful Than a Facebook Group’</a> </div> <div class="field-item even"> <a href="/for-brokers/network/article/2016/10/fostering-real-estate-disruptors">Fostering Real Estate Disruptors</a> </div> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/for-brokers/network/article/2016/10/4-buying-groups-watch">4 Buying Groups to Watch</a> </div> <div class="field-item even"> <a href="/for-brokers/network/article/2016/10/8-ways-unleash-power-google">8 Ways to Unleash the Power of Google</a> </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-number-integer field-field-mainstage-image-display2"> <div class="field-label">Mainstage Image Display on Content:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> No, don't disable the "Main" image on this article </div> </div> </div> Network Fri, 11 Nov 2016 19:35:03 +0000 echristoffer 22255 at http://realtormag.realtor.org Kids Say The Darndest Things http://realtormag.realtor.org/sales-and-marketing/feature/article/2016/11/kids-say-darndest-things <div class="field field-type-text field-field-deck"> <div class="field-label">Deck:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> If you want your marketing to resonate in the long term, you need to get to know the home buyers of the future. Hear the housing dreams of Generation Z in their own words. </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 8, 2016</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>Back in 2014, Better Homes and Gardens Real Estate <a href="http://www.bhgre.com/move-over-millenials-better-homes-and-gardens-real-estate-reveals-homebuying-dreams-of-gen-z-teens/" target="_blank">commissioned a study about the housing preferences</a> of the generation coming up behind the much-studied millennials, and the results were somewhat surprising. Nearly all (97 percent) predicted they will own a home in the future, and 81 percent said they&rsquo;d work with an agent to purchase that home.&nbsp;</p> <p>&ldquo;The answers were pretty interesting,&rdquo; Sherry Chris, president and CEO of Better Homes and Gardens Real Estate, told an attendees at the 2016 REALTORS&reg; Conference &amp; Expo in Orlando, Fla. this month. &ldquo;They&rsquo;re dreaming about home ownership.&rdquo;</p> <p>To help real estate pros dig more deeply into the data, Chris put together a panel of five kids. ranging in age from 11 to 17, who were willing to share their perceptions about the real estate industry, agent service, social media, and home trends at the conference. What they revealed may be useful to your future sales pipeline.</p> <h4>Reaching Gen Z on Their Tech Terms</h4> <p>It&rsquo;s not just parents who are worried about screen time. Ethan, 12, bemoaned his cohort&rsquo;s (and his own) addiction to devices. &ldquo;We should be called generation distraction,&rdquo; he said. &ldquo;Even right now I&rsquo;m having trouble not looking at my phone!&rdquo; However, Chris reminded the audience that it&rsquo;s not just young people who have that problem. &ldquo;Let me tell you something, Ethan: So am I,&rdquo; she said.</p> <p>However Chris&mdash;who has more than three decades of experience in the real estate industry&mdash;and her panelists are using their phones to access very different apps. Instagram and Snapchat were by far the most popular social media platforms among the panelists, though Twitter and Tumblr both got positive mentions as well.</p> <p>The one platform none of them can relate to is also the one that&rsquo;s most popular with REALTORS&reg;, whose median age is 53 according to the latest member profile. &ldquo;Facebook is for old people,&rdquo; Chris quipped. &ldquo;We better learn to use those [other] social sites as well.&rdquo;</p> <p>The panelists also had advice for how to advertise on these platforms. Each one expressed a comfort with targeted online advertising that differs notably from the reactions typically found among older generations. The main gripe shared by the young panelists is that most of the ads they see aren&rsquo;t well-tailored to their interests.</p> <p>&ldquo;I will look at it but it kind of depends,&rdquo; said Brooke, 17, referring to sponsored content on Instagram. &ldquo;If it doesn&rsquo;t have much of an appeal with the caption or what it looks like, I&rsquo;ll scroll past it.&rdquo;</p> <p>One audience member asked the panel whether they would be inclined to apply a Snapchat filter created by a brand to their personal Snapchat posts, and the common denominator again was how relevant the ad content is to their lives. &ldquo;I usually choose the ones that are more funny and relatable,&rdquo; said Cayman, 17. But he cautioned that even if he uses the filter, it doesn&rsquo;t mean he&rsquo;s going to purchase the item being promoted by the it, making a nuanced distinction between how companies use branding and advertising to accomplish different goals. &ldquo;I don&rsquo;t usually end up using those products. It&rsquo;s more to spread [awareness of] that product and what it&rsquo;s about.&rdquo;</p> <h4>A Group That&rsquo;s Budget-Aware</h4> <p>When asked to describe their future dream homes, several panelists showed that price-consciousness is a top concern. Thomas, 12, began his answer with a query: &ldquo;My first question is, &ldquo;What&rsquo;s my budget?&rdquo; Tthe audience responded with a round of applause.</p> <p>Cayman said though he wants to live somewhere where he&rsquo;ll have easy access to nature, he&rsquo;s not willing to pay too much of a premium. &ldquo;I really like nature and I like being outside,&rdquo; he said. &ldquo;But I probably wouldn&rsquo;t want a beach house because I know that&rsquo;s crazy expensive.&rdquo;</p> <h4>Ingredients of a Dream Home</h4> <p>Brooke listed hardwood floors, granite, updated appliances, and a large, open layout plan among the features of her dream home. &ldquo;I watch a lot of HGTV, so I know exactly what I want,&rdquo; she said. She added that having an environmentally-friendly house is important. &ldquo;I am someone who&rsquo;s really into conservation,&quot; Broke said. &quot;I&rsquo;m the one in my house who goes and turns all the light switches out.&rdquo;</p> <p>For Ethan, the ideal home would be green, but he said he&rsquo;d be willing to upgrade an existing home to decrease its carbon footprint. &ldquo;I definitely think it&rsquo;s a concern,&rdquo; he said. &ldquo;But I don&rsquo;t know if I would consider it a primary concern as soon as I get a house.&rdquo;</p> <h4>Location, Location, Location</h4> <p>Elizabeth, 11, who was the youngest panel member, identified a give-and take between ample square footage and a desirable neighborhood. &ldquo;Maybe it&rsquo;s just my age, but I want a huge house,&rdquo; she said. Still, she noted it&rsquo;s also important to her to live &ldquo;someplace where you&rsquo;re not forced to stay inside all day, and there&rsquo;s stuff to do.&rdquo;</p> <p>Thomas agreed. &ldquo;There&rsquo;s a happy medium between square footage and the area you live in,&rdquo; he said. &ldquo;If you buy in the city, it&rsquo;s going to be more expensive.&rdquo;</p> <p>But not all young people envision themselves living in urban environments. Ethan guessed he&rsquo;d be looking &ldquo;ideally in a suburban area.&rdquo; Cayman said he&rsquo;d like to be &ldquo;out in the country.&rdquo;</p> <h4>They&rsquo;re Not Going It Alone</h4> <p>The panelists were the sons and daughters of conference attendees based in central Florida&mdash; three have parents who are sales associates with Better Homes and Gardens Real Estate Fine Living. So perhaps it&rsquo;s not shocking that the kids all confirmed their intentions to work with REALTORS&reg; when they&rsquo;re ready to buy. Still, their clarity of vision concerning how agents might factor into their real estate journey impressed the audience.</p> <p>Cayman said he&rsquo;d ask a real estate agent to preview homes and help him analyze his commute for potential neighborhood choices. Elizabeth said she hoped an agent could help her stay on track. But the panel also appeared to value an agent who could help smooth the sometimes-stressful experience of a real estate transaction.</p> <p>&ldquo;The most important part of what we need a real estate agent for is the psychological process,&rdquo; said Ethan. &ldquo;We already have access to just plain information. At the end of the day, I still think buying a home is a really people-based business.&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>If you want your marketing to resonate in the long term, you need to get to know the home buyers of the future. Hear the housing dreams of Generation Z in their own words.</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/nov16_genZ_390.jpeg" type="image/jpeg; length=141970">nov16_genZ_390.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/nov16_genZ_390_0.jpeg?1478643477" /> </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/nov16_genZ_230.JPG?1478643578" /> </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-nodereference field-field-related-content"> <div class="field-label">Related Content:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/daily-news/2015/03/04/could-gen-z-reshape-real-estate">Could Gen Z Reshape Real Estate? </a> </div> <div class="field-item even"> <a href="/daily-news/2014/09/10/wish-list-your-future-buyers-gen-z">The Wish List of Your Future Buyers: Gen Z</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, 08 Nov 2016 22:13:48 +0000 mwhite 22236 at http://realtormag.realtor.org 6 IRS Audit Triggers and How to Avoid Them http://realtormag.realtor.org/sales-and-marketing/sponsored/intuit/6-irs-audit-triggers-and-how-avoid-them <div class="field field-type-text field-field-deck"> <div class="field-label">Deck:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> Use these tips for keeping better track of your business expenses. </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 7, 2016</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/quickbooks-self-employed">QuickBooks Self-Employed</a> </div> </div> </div> <!--paging_filter--><p>The end of the calendar year is approaching, with another tax season around the corner. For real estate agents, this can be a time fraught with worry. Your tax return is probably more complex than your neighbors&rsquo; returns. Maybe you haven&rsquo;t done such a great job of keeping track of your business expenses &mdash; or separating them from your personal expenses. Does that make you vulnerable to an IRS audit? It may if you&rsquo;ve done anything to trigger a warning for the IRS. Here are 6 triggers to avoid:</p> <p>1. <strong>Failure to file quarterly taxes.</strong> Very likely, your neighbors&rsquo; employer withholds federal, state, and FICA (Social Security and Medicare) taxes for them. It&rsquo;s your job to set aside the money for your own taxes and pay the IRS (and possibly your state) each quarter. Not paying your quarterly taxes, or payments that are late or too small, can result in penalties and additional interest owed. It can also raise a red flag for the IRS. Use the IRS&rsquo;s <a href="https://www.irs.gov/pub/irs-pdf/f1040es.pdf" target="_blank">1040 ES</a> to determine the appropriate amount to withhold.</p> <p>2. <strong>Unreasonable deductions. </strong>The IRS knows from experience that sole proprietors aim to minimize their earnings and maximize their deductions. But try to deduct expenses that aren&rsquo;t necessary for your business -- like declaring the full cost of your backyard pool installation as a business expense -- and you may raise a red flag. Expense only what you legitimately use for your business, and keep current on what the law allows (such as the $25 limit on deductions for business gifts).</p> <p>3. <strong>An unlikely home office deduction. </strong>Your <a href="https://www.irs.gov/businesses/small-businesses-self-employed/home-office-deduction" target="_blank">home office deduction</a> should be based on the percentage of your home used exclusively for the purpose of conducting your business. This means your dedicated space may not be used for other purposes, such as a TV room for your kids. If you do have a dedicated space, though, you can typically deduct insurance, repairs, real estate tax and utilities. If your home office space is 300 square feet and your entire home is 3,000 square feet, for example, the percentage of the deduction you can take is 10 percent.</p> <p>You may want to take advantage of the IRS&rsquo; new <a href="http://quickbooks.intuit.com/self-employed-center/home-office-deduction-simplified-method-or-regular-method/?cid=sbc_ccat_realtormag_qbse" target="_blank">simplified method</a> for home office deductions. This method usually results in fewer errors, thus reducing the chance of an audit.</p> <p><strong>4. Deductions that seem unlikely for your income level. </strong>Too many deductions with too little income is a red flag to the IRS. In fact, in 2014, the <a href="https://timedotcom.files.wordpress.com/2015/04/14databk.pdf" target="_blank">percentage rate of audits</a> for those who reported no adjusted gross income was a whopping 5.26 percent compared to the 0.85 percent average, according to an IRS report. Why were there so many audits? When the IRS sees this, they wonder if you have inflated your deductions so that you have no taxable income. You shouldn&rsquo;t take any deductions that you can&rsquo;t back up with a receipt. Many agents use receipt capturing phone apps like <a href="https://selfemployed.intuit.com/realtormag?utm_source=realtormag&amp;utm_medium=web&amp;utm_content=nov2016&amp;cid=par_realtormag_US_nov2016_QBSE" target="_blank">QuickBooks Self-Employed</a>.</p> <p>On the same point, don&rsquo;t inflate your charitable deductions. As with anything your buy for your business, keep records of all receipts for charitable contributions. The IRS has limits on how much you can deduct based on your adjusted gross income, so ensure your reported donations don&rsquo;t go over the allowable limit.</p> <p>5. <strong>Sloppy mileage reporting. </strong>You can deduct actual car expenses or mileage to the extent you use the car for business. Most agents take advantage of the IRS standard mileage rate, a fixed rate that takes into account variable costs of operating a vehicle such as insurance, repairs and depreciation, instead of tracking and deducting actual costs. Beginning Jan. 1, 2015, the <a href="https://www.irs.gov/credits-deductions/individuals/standard-mileage-rates-glance" target="_blank">standard mileage rates are 57.5 cents per mile</a> for business miles driven, up from 56 cents in 2014. So what triggers an audit in this case? Not tracking your mileage or grossly over-representing it as it relates to your adjusted income. Say you earned $15,000 last year and reported driving 15,000 miles, but this year you earn $10,000 and report driving 40,000 miles. The IRS might flag the deduction. Even if you haven&rsquo;t been tracking mileage, it&rsquo;s never too late to start. Consider using an IRS-compliant phone app, such as the mileage tracking feature in <a href="https://selfemployed.intuit.com/realtormag?utm_source=realtormag&amp;utm_medium=web&amp;utm_content=nov2016&amp;cid=par_realtormag_US_nov2016_QBSE" target="_blank">QuickBooks Self-Employed</a>.</p> <p>6. <strong>Earning a lot of money. </strong>The odds of being audited are low, to be sure. But as your income rises so does your chance of an audit. In 2014, if your income tops $200,000, your chance of being audited doubles from 0.85 percent to 1.75 percent, according to the IRS report. As you earn more income, it&rsquo;s even more critical for you to keep meticulous records. You may want to hire a tax accountant or use small business software to keep records and claim the allowable deductions. You also may want to talk with a real estate attorney about turning your sole proprietorship into an LLC for tax and liability benefits.</p> <div class="field field-type-text field-field-show-author-info"> <div class="field-label">Show Author Info?:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> Show Author Info? </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-text field-field-teaser"> <div class="field-label">Teaser:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <!--paging_filter--><p>Use these tips for how to keep better track of your business expenses.</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/NOV16_Intuit.jpg" type="image/jpeg; length=36830">NOV16_Intuit.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/NOV16_Intuit_0.jpg?1478637413" /> </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/NOV16_LP_Intuit.jpg?1478637448" /> </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, 07 Nov 2016 20:04:50 +0000 gwood 22229 at http://realtormag.realtor.org How to Fire an Agent http://realtormag.realtor.org/for-brokers/network/article/2016/11/how-fire-agent <div class="field field-type-text field-field-deck"> <div class="field-label">Deck:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> Don’t let uncommitted agents or poisonous personalities taint your office culture. Here are some tips for handling the situation. </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 7, 2016</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>Letting an agent go can be painful, stressful, and sometimes heartbreaking. But after you do it, you probably won&rsquo;t regret it. So when is the right time to fire an agent? &ldquo;The moment you have to ask yourself that question,&rdquo; says real estate trainer David Knox, who presented tips for &ldquo;decruiting&rdquo; at the REALTORS&reg; Conference &amp; Expo Sunday.&nbsp;</p> <p>If you need to let an agent go for an ethical reason, do it immediately, Knox says. But if you want to let them down more gently, start by setting a meeting a day or two in advance. Say &ldquo;I&rsquo;d like to discuss your performance to date,&rdquo; then ask the agent to bring a list of his or her transactions, prospects, and business activities. It will give them a few days to think about the meeting, and as they mull over their business, they may reach the decision to quit, Knox says.</p> <p>But if the agent shows up to the meeting, and your heart is set on firing them, start by immediately saying, &ldquo;The purpose of this meeting is to let you go,&rdquo; and then explain the parting process. &ldquo;Wish them well and keep it private,&rdquo; Knox says. &ldquo;Don&rsquo;t make it a spectacle in front of other agents.&rdquo;</p> <p>But if you want to give the agent one last chance, ask him or her to evaluate their performance, what has been working, what needs improvement, and whether they want to continue in the business. If they do, ask the agent&rsquo;s permission to set them up on a 30-day plan, and set reasonable goals to be met by the deadline. &ldquo;It has to be measured on specific measurable behaviors,&rdquo; Knox says, such as assuming prospecting activities and field work, participating in office meetings, attending training sessions, shadowing an agent, farming his or her market, and more. Schedule regular follow-up meetings each week. An accountability plan can be exactly what the agent needs.&nbsp;</p> <p>Then there are the agents who produce but have personalities that damage the office culture. &ldquo;People must know the consequences of their actions,&rdquo; says Knox. &ldquo;Sometimes you have to let them go, and that&rsquo;s the hardest firing to do.&rdquo;&nbsp;</p> <p>Start by observing the person&rsquo;s behaviors: Watch, ask questions, and listen to them talk. Write down behaviors that are causing trouble. Then set a meeting and give them some feedback to help them self-evaluate with questions like, &ldquo;How do you feel about your interaction with other people in the office?&rdquo; Knox says that broker-owners or office managers need to maintain harmony in the office and confront the issues they see. If a situation doesn&rsquo;t improve, you have to do what&rsquo;s best for the entire team.&nbsp;</p> <hr /> <p><br /> <img alt="" src="/sites/realtormag.realtor.org/files/rmo_files/images/logos/BtoB_logo_footer_080114.jpg" style="float:left; height:117px; width:150px" /><em>Broker-to-Broker is an information network that provides insights and tools with business value through timely articles, videos, Q&amp;As, and sales meeting tips for brokerage owners and managers. Get more <a href="/for-brokers/network" target="_blank">Broker-to-Broker content here</a>.</em></p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <div class="field field-type-text field-field-show-author-info"> <div class="field-label">Show Author Info?:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> Show Author Info? </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-text field-field-teaser"> <div class="field-label">Teaser:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <!--paging_filter--><p>Don&rsquo;t let uncommitted agents or poisonous personalities taint your office culture. Here are some tips for handling the situation.</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/nov16_BB_fire.jpg" type="image/jpeg; length=29021">nov16_BB_fire.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/nov16_BB_fire_0.jpg?1478545984" /> </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/nov16_LP_BB_fire.jpg?1478546004" /> </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/2016/11/providing-value-your-agents">Providing Value to Your Agents</a> </div> <div class="field-item even"> <a href="/for-brokers/network/article/2016/07/7-things-can-get-your-agents-fired">7 Things That Can Get Your Agents Fired</a> </div> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/for-brokers/network/article/2014/11/what-if-your-agent-smokes-pot">What If Your Agent Smokes Pot? </a> </div> <div class="field-item even"> <a href="/for-brokers/solutions/article/2013/12/set-expectations-early-and-often">Set Expectations Early and Often</a> </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-number-integer field-field-mainstage-image-display2"> <div class="field-label">Mainstage Image Display on Content:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> No, don't disable the "Main" image on this article </div> </div> </div> Network Mon, 07 Nov 2016 18:40:31 +0000 echristoffer 22228 at http://realtormag.realtor.org Do You Have a Say in Service Animal Requests? http://realtormag.realtor.org/well-being/health/article/2016/11/do-you-have-say-in-service-animal-requests <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"> Under fair housing law, property managers must make a reasonable accommodation for a tenant’s service or comfort animal. But how do you make sure a case is legitimate? </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 6, 2016</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>Now that most landlords and property managers have become accustomed to <a href="/well-being/health/article/2015/11/how-do-service-dogs-fit-your-lease">incorporating authorized comfort and service animals into their buildings&#39; pet policies</a>, the question becomes: How do you keep tenants from abusing such provisions? &ldquo;There are people who really need comfort animals,&rdquo; says Paul Dizmang, CRS, GRI, broker-owner of Dizmang Associates Real Estate Services in Springfield, Mo. &ldquo;That isn&rsquo;t my issue or concern. We&rsquo;re talking about the abuse and misuse of it and how that&rsquo;s going to affect us in our business.&rdquo;</p> <p>At a forum Saturday during the REALTORS&reg; Conference &amp; Expo in Orlando, Fla., Dizmang told the crowd of property managers that the first thing they need to know is how the law defines service and comfort animals. Americans With Disabilities Act guidelines draw a distinction between the two categories: a service animal, the federal law says, is trained and certified to perform a service for someone with a disability; a comfort animal is untrained and primarily provides emotional support to someone suffering from anxiety or a similar condition.</p> <p>But &mdash; and this is a big but &mdash; the federal Fair Housing Act says service animals do not have to be trained, and thus views service and comfort animals to be the same. As a result, fair housing law requires landlords and property managers to make reasonable accommodations for both. &ldquo;There are so many slippery slopes when it comes to this issue,&rdquo; Dizmang says. &ldquo;You can&rsquo;t be too careful.&rdquo;</p> <p>Evaluation letters affirming a person&rsquo;s need for a comfort animal are easy to obtain online. At the ADA&rsquo;s website, users can complete a simple quiz, and based on their results, they can download and print a letter to present to their landlord. But can you ask tenants to provide documentation from their doctor? You can, Dizmang says, but if you pursue documentation, you could open the door to potential lawsuits.</p> <p>&ldquo;Fair housing officials say you can ask a tenant if they&rsquo;ve been to see a doctor, but HUD has not put that rule in writing,&rdquo; he says. &ldquo;My strong piece of advice is to accept letters for emotional support animals without question because if a tenant files a complaint, your local fair housing office is required to investigate.&rdquo;</p> <p>Should you at least ask what kind of animal the tenant is using as a service or comfort animal? &ldquo;Yes,&rdquo; Dizmang says, &ldquo;but no matter what animal they tell you it is, you have to accept it.&rdquo; But here&rsquo;s why it&rsquo;s still a good question to ask: If a tenant tells you they have a dog, and then later you find they have a cat or some other animal, you&rsquo;ll know they aren&rsquo;t using the animal according to service and support animal guidelines.</p> <p>Liability and insurance relating to animals on the property are also important to know about. Even if you have city ordinances that outlaw certain animal breeds, such as pit bulls, you still have to accept a tenant&rsquo;s request to have that animal for support purposes. But what if your insurance won&rsquo;t cover that breed? &ldquo;If you can&rsquo;t find any company to insure the animal &mdash; if it causes reasonable undue hardship to the property manager or owner &mdash; you can deny it,&rdquo; Dizmang says. &ldquo;The problem is what does &lsquo;undue hardship&rsquo; mean?&rdquo;</p> <p>In most cases, landlords and property managers will likely find themselves in a position to have to accept a service or comfort animal by default because of protections tenants are guaranteed. But if you decide to challenge a tenant&rsquo;s request, always call your local fair housing office to be completely sure of your rights as a property manager, Dizmang says.</p> <div class="field field-type-text field-field-show-author-info"> <div class="field-label">Show Author Info?:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> Show Author Info? </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-text field-field-teaser"> <div class="field-label">Teaser:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <!--paging_filter--><p>Under fair housing law, property managers must make a reasonable accommodation for a tenant&rsquo;s service or comfort animal. But how do you make sure a case is legitimate?</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/nov16_LE_service.jpg" type="image/jpeg; length=55330">nov16_LE_service.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/nov16_LE_service_0.jpg?1478540183" /> </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/nov16_LP_LE_service.jpg?1478540207" /> </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-number-integer field-field-mainstage-image-display2"> <div class="field-label">Mainstage Image Display on Content:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> No, don't disable the "Main" image on this article </div> </div> </div> Health Sun, 06 Nov 2016 17:51:21 +0000 gwood 22223 at http://realtormag.realtor.org