Foreclosure to rental, a new PC virus, and how dogs shaped humans
The burgeoning foreclosures-to-rental business could become a $100 billion industry as increasingly sizable investors infiltrate hard-hit markets from Florida to California to Arizona to the Midwest.
Internet access via a PC will cease for many due to a new Windows virus. Hackers recently discovered a Windows vulnerability, and seized the opportunity to infect over half a million PCs with their new virus. The FBI, in conjunction with a partner, set up a site to check your machine for infection and get a fix.
In these tough times a little bit of business etiquette can go a long way in making you stand out from the rabble. Time shares 5 rules to help refine your sense of propriety and decorum.
Before you pull out the mop and bottles of cleaning solution for your annual Spring cleaning, you might want to check the labels. Time reports that several popular brands contain toxic ingredients.
Man has domesticated and mutated dogs for centuries to suit our needs and whims, but an article in American Scientist reveals some scientists belief that dogs cause humans to evolve too. Humans are the only ape species to have a white part of the eye around the pupil as a default–perhaps a competitive advantage for early dog owning humans by allowing dogs to more quickly follow an owner’s gaze to help hunt prey.
Pretty agents, the real cost of good schools, and tv for dogs
Research published last month finds that the personal characteristics of real estate agents matter to house prices and the length of time a house is on the market, even after controlling for the quality of the house.
What will good schools cost you? About $200K, according to a new report from the Brookings Institution. Home values are $205,000 higher, on average, in neighborhoods with high-scoring public schools versus schools with low scores. Homes in high-scoring neighborhoods typically have 1.5 additional rooms, and 30% fewer are rented, the study found. Housing costs average $11,000 more per year in areas with better schools.
Got gizmos? For those who love gadgets as much as we do, Fox News compiled this collection of the must-have gadgets of the week. From Frisbees to fridges, smartphones to headphones, here’s the best of the best.
DOGTV, a television channel for dogs (no, not dog lovers, actual dogs) is headed for national distribution. The Telegraph reports on the upstart commercial-free channel started in San Diego and includes some video highlights.
Time has a new top 100 list: Top 100 most influential people in the world. Chelsea Handler? Hmm….
Sunday, April 15, marks 100 years since the sinking of the RMS Titanic. Three REALTORS® were among the 1,500 people who were lost when the “unsinkable” ship struck an iceberg and sank in the North Atlantic.
The three men were all from Winnipeg, Manitoba — at the time nine Canadian real estate boards were part of the National Association of Real Estate Exchanges (now known as NAR). 64-year-old Mark Fortune was a former president and charter member of the Winnipeg Real Estate Exchange. He was returning from a European vacation with his wife, son, and two daughters. J. Hugo Ross and Thomson Beattie, both 36, were friends who had offices across the hall from each other in Winnipeg’s old Merchants Bank Building. Ross was also a former president of the Winnipeg Board, and Beattie was a business partner of the city’s mayor, R. D. Waugh. They had been traveling in Egypt and the Aegean Sea when Ross fell ill and they decided to return home early, booking passage on the Titanic.
According to the National Real Estate Journal, Fortune moved to Winnipeg in 1874 and entered the real estate business four years later. “Within the past ten years,” the Journal reported in May 1912, “he has been one of the most successful real estate operators in the city. Property which he had held for years became very valuable…he is said to have owned property in nearly all the principal blocks along Main Street and Portage Avenue.” Fortune served four terms on the Winnipeg City Council and was very active in Knox Presbyterian Church.
Ross had served as secretary of the Winnipeg Stock Exchange and attended the fourth NAR convention a year earlier, in Denver in 1911. Beattie took over management of the firm of Waugh and Beattie when his partner was elected mayor. “In many respects they resembled one another,” the Journal wrote of Ross and Beattie. “Both were typical opportunistic westerners, positive of the future of Winnipeg and western Canada.”
Fortune’s 19-year-old son Charles also perished in the disaster, while his mother and sisters were put off in lifeboats. A month later Beattie’s body was found with two others adrift in a collapsible life boat, and he was buried at sea.
At the national convention in Louisville two months later Fortune, Ross and Beattie were remembered in prayer by their fellow REALTORS®, who then voted for Winnipeg to host the 1913 convention.
Every now and then we’re asked for materials by members to take to their children’s schools for career day. While we don’t have a great pre-packaged dog and pony show that covers the industry for elementary to high school visits, we do have some recommended resources for REALTORS® asked to explain what they do to eager young minds.
A good place to start for background is the Bureau of Labor Statistics’ Occupational Outlook Handbook entry on Real Estate Brokers and Sales Agents. It gives a nice summary of industry statistics — what kind of education you need, work hours, salary, and job growth outlook. It also provides a list of traits that will help someone stand out in the field: independence, interpersonal skills, persuasion, and problem solving abilities.
For information on your particular state’s license requirements, you will want to contact your state real estate commission. They control licensing and regulation and will have details on any age or educational restrictions and how much class time it will take to get a license.
Another resource we suggest is our own Careers in Real Estate webpage. The page talks about different specializations in real estate, provides links to organizations for more information, and some suggested further reading.
More statistics on REALTORS® can be found through our Economists’ Outlook blog which frequently discusses our Member Profile or facts on the real estate industry.
The University of Cincinnati’s Linder School of Business also provides information on real estate as a career, with details on different commercial career paths including appraisal, corporate leasing, and development.
A final resource we suggest is The Value of a REALTOR handout created by the Orlando Regional REALTOR® Association. The PDF document lists the countless activities and responsibilities of REALTORS in the home buying and selling process. It attempts to show just how important having a good REALTOR® at your side can be to the potential client.
Field Guides are one-stop resource packages on dozens of subjects of interest to REALTORS®. On each page you’ll find links to articles, books, web sites, statistics, and other material on each subject. The list of the most-used field guildes from Information Central for the month of March 2012 was released today:
- Field Guide to License Reciprocity / License Recognition
- Field Guide to Working with FSBOs
- Field Guide to Strategic Planning for Associations
- Field Guide to Effects of Low-Income Housing on Property Values
- Field Guide to Facebook for REALTORS®
- Field Guide to Open Houses
- Field Guide to Cell Phone Towers
- Field Guide to Foreign Investment Trends in the U.S.
- Field Guide to Real Estate Office Policy Manuals
- Field Guide to Commercial Property Management
Have an idea for a new field guide? Let us know!