Instagram outrage, aging in place, and twitter archives
The popular photo social media app Instagram recently modified its terms of service to include more ways to monetize their service. Predictably, users had a cow. As Nilay Patel explains, the new TOS actually is more limiting than previous versions and no, Instagram can’t sell your photos at will. The author concludes that our histrionics aren’t so much about Instagram, but rather our distrust of the app’s new owner, Facebook.
As more and more Boomers reach retirement, ‘Aging in Place‘ meaning staying in your own home rather than moving to a retirement community or specialized care is becoming more common. Boomers are remodeling their homes to make them more senior friendly with raised outlets, stair rails and wider pull handles on drawers and cupboards. While some of these changes can be pricey, these fixes can often pay for themselves in only a few months if the alternative is an assisted living center.
All your Tweets are belong to us: Twitter announces that you can now download ALL your tweets back to the beginning of time. Handily organized in a timeline view, you can see just how exciting life was for you once upon a time.
The world might be ending before the week is out, but in case it doesn’t you might want to prepare for the next apocalypse anyway. The New York Times offers some overpriced survival tools to consider as you huddle in your Park Avenue Co-op. FEMA offers a more practical guide to building your own emergency kit.
Wired attempts to answer the important questions of how much it costs to light your Christmas tree, how much it costs nationally to light decorations, and how much Clark Griswold spent per day for his old-fashioned lights in the movie Christmas Vacation. Really, it’s not that much.
And finally, all of us at Information Central would like to wish you and yours the Happiest of Holiday Seasons!
Downsizing dilemmas, Google Maps, and the start of Best of 2012
As Baby Boomers age more and more people are thinking about downsizing. Trading the McMansion for something more economical and practical. While most people think that downsizing is going to be the magic cure for their still-depressed retirement account, it doesn’t always work that way. It’s hard to give up your lifestyle or your years of possessions, kids might balk at the sale of their childhood home or things, and unless you’re going to a cheaper part of the country, it might not cost as little as you think.
One way to get through the holidays—Dysfunctional Family Bingo! The Wall Street Journal has tips on how to play and how to cope with your family during the festive season!
If you had $29 to purchase one week’s worth of food, what would you buy? Newark Mayor Cory Booker made a few rookie mistakes, detailed in this article by NJ.com.
It’s that time of year again: Holiday office parties. If you’re attending, Time has some advice beyond the ‘don’t make an ass of yourself’ generalities.
Google came out with its annual search Zeitgeist for 2012 video [also posted below].
Several Field Guides have been updated in the past month:
Low-Income Housing Tax Credits
The Low-Income Housing Tax Credit (LIHTC) program is run by the IRS and allows companies to invest in low-income housing, while receiving 10 years of tax credits. This important program works with state housing finance agencies to administer the program on a state level. Housing credit units are privately owned by developers and are run at a profit. Investigate this complex program by reading the articles in this Updated Field Guide.
Using Privacy & Security Features in Social Media
For most REALTORS®, social media has become an integral part of their marketing and communication efforts with clients, family and friends. This new media also brings with it some concerns over privacy and security. The rules of the game keep changing. Gone are the days when ‘default’ options are good enough. This field guide will give you background information on concerns with various popular social media sites as well as provide tips and suggestions to protect your privacy and identity.
Real Estate Office Mergers
Merging with or acquiring another business is a significant undertaking that will leave no area of your business untouched. One must pursue a merger or acquisition with caution and proper due diligence. According to McKinsey & Company, “some 70 percent of mergers fail to achieve expected revenue synergies,” (Mergers and acquisitions: New McKinsey Research Challenges Conventional M&A Wisdom, Strategy & Leadership, 2004 Q). However, with the right set of circumstances—culture cohesion, solid leadership and management, flexible employees, deft market positioning, a copacetic economy—a merger or acquisition can be a sound decision. This field guide will assist you in enumerating the issues and considerations of a merger or acquisition.
Buying and Selling During the Holidays
The holiday season is here. Your buyers and sellers are asking if this is a good time to buy or sell a house. Find out the pros and cons, how to stage a home during this time of year and whether to decorate or not.
Working with FSBOs
For-Sale-By-Owner (FSBO) sales declined to 10 percent of sales transactions in 2011, down from 14% of sales in 2003. 40% of FSBO sales occur when the seller knows the buyer, since a real estate agent is not usually needed in those types of transactions. Small towns and resort areas tend to have the highest rates of FSBO sales, with only 7% of suburban area transactions being FSBOs. Typically FSBO sellers have lower median incomes and are more often singles, especially single males. Every home seller must eventually decide whether to hire a REALTOR® or to sell the home on their own. But even after they decide to go solo, FSBOs can still be convinced to use a REALTOR®’s expertise. In this Field Guide you’ll find dozens of articles, books, videos, studies, statistics and Web sites to help you find out who FSBOs are and how to work with them.
Get top selling tips from NAR and other sources. Learn what works and what doesn’t work in real estate sales. Most importantly, find out which sales techniques successful REALTORS® use.
IRS Form 990 Reporting Rules for Nonprofits
The Internal Revenue Service has released an updated version of Form 990 for Tax-Exempt Organizations. Get the latest IRS information and find out how this update will affect your organization.
Listing & Selling Luxury Properties
Due to the limited quantity of luxury properties and prospective buyers, the listing and sale of luxury real estate may present some challenges. However, with the right marketing mix and a little creativity you can connect your luxury listings with qualified and interested buyers—perhaps a multimillion dollar home could be converted into a winery, convention retreat center, or hotel, or maybe connecting with the international community will help increase the pool of prospective buyers. This Updated Field Guide explores trends and performance of the luxury market, and offers tips and techniques for success.
Underground Storage Tanks (USTs)
“An underground storage tank system is a tank and any underground piping connected to the tank that has at least 10 percent of its combined volume underground. [Federal U.S. underground storage tank] regulations apply to only underground tanks and piping storing either petroleum or certain hazardous substances.” (Basic Information About the Underground Storage Tank Program, U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, Nov. 17, 2009). Why are underground storage tanks regulated by the U.S. government? As with any liquid-containing vessel, USTs have the ability to degrade and wear over time, in turn causing leaks. These leaks can pose substantial public health and safety risks, ranging from contaminating the groundwater that many Americans rely on for drinking water, to potential fire or explosion risk, (Overview of the Federal UST Program, U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, Apr. 2, 2010).
You meet lots of people in the real estate business—some nice and some not so nice. Learn how to protect yourself at open houses and in the car. Get safety tips, handouts and posters from the National Association of REALTORS® and REALTOR® Associations.
Twitter is a way of sending short bits of information to your subscribers. The messages are limited to 140 characters at a time, called a Tweet. Let your clients know what you are doing for them, post short descriptions of new listings, keep you team on schedule. Learn more from the following articles and resources (And be sure to follow NAR Info Central and NAR’s other Twitter accounts).
Employer-assisted housing programs help employers promote affordable housing solutions for their workers. They can provide a variety of benefits, including financial assistance, education programs, and housing counseling. This field guide explores how EAH programs work and offers resources to promote the concept among employers.
New books and eBooks were added too:
New eBooks in the Library
What’s new in the Information Central eBook collection? This month our featured eBook section is Residential Real Estate. You’ll also find some of the following new titles in our “just added” section on the eBook home page: 365 Social Media Tips, 42 Rules of Marketing, Hot Button Marketing, LinkedIn Marketing and many more. Interested in borrowing any of these titles from the eBook collection? Simply click on the title to make your request right over the web!
New Books in the Library
What’s new in the Information Central library collection? This month you’ll find books on Hotel & Motel Appraisal, Disaster Planning, Appraising Historic Preservation Easements and many more. Interested in borrowing any of these titles from the library? Simply click on the title to make your request right over the web!
NAR members and Association staff can borrow up to three books for 30 days from the Library for a nominal fee of $10.
Members and staff can also borrow up to six electronic books, digital audios and/or videos at no cost, through the Virtual Library eBooks Collection.
Hotels & Motels: Valuations and Market Studies
Appraisal Institute, 2001
This text presents a sophisticated, systematic approach to completing hotel market studies, financial forecasts, investment analyses, and valuations. It examines the macroeconomic factors that affect the supply and demand for lodging facilities and introduces a six-step process to evaluate a hotel’s profitability and value. Each step in the process is demonstrated with a case study.
Thinking, Fast and Slow
By Daniel Kahneman
Farrar, Straus and Giroux, 2011
In the highly anticipated Thinking, Fast and Slow, Kahneman takes us on a groundbreaking tour of the mind and explains the two systems that drive the way we think. System 1 is fast, intuitive, and emotional; System 2 is slower, more deliberative, and more logical. Kahneman exposes the extraordinary capabilities—and also the faults and biases—of fast thinking, and reveals the pervasive influence of intuitive impressions on our thoughts and behavior. The impact of loss aversion and overconfidence on corporate strategies, the difficulties of predicting what will make us happy in the future, the challenges of properly framing risks at work and at home, the profound effect of cognitive biases on everything from playing the stock market to planning the next vacation—each of these can be understood only by knowing how the two systems work together to shape our judgments and decisions.
Appraising the Appraisal: The Art of Appraisal Review
By Richard C. Sorenson
Appraisal Institute, 2010
Reviewing appraisal reports is an essential quality-control function and today it is more important than ever. This second edition of Appraising the Appraisal provides practical instruction on the appraisal review process and helps promote greater understanding between reviewers and appraisers. Written by a seasoned professional, this useful guide describes common deficiencies in appraisal reports and offers tips for preparing careful and constructive appraisal reviews that can be applied by appraisers, lenders and other professionals.This new edition includes updated information on scope of work and data verification and real-world examples that highlight the qualities of both effective and ineffective appraisals. A new case study, handy checklists and sample review forms are also provided.
Before and After Disaster Strikes: Developing an Emergency Procedures Manual
Institute of Real Estate Management, 2012
Before and After Disaster Strikes: Developing the Emergency Procedures Manual, Fourth Edition is designed to be a guide and resource for real estate managers as they create the emergency procedures plan and develop the emergency procedures manual for the properties they manage. Designed with an all-hazards approach in mind, this fourth edition walks real estate managers through the necessary considerations when preparing for and reacting to a disasternatural or manmade. Covering more than just natural disasters, this edition provides an extensive look at how to address building emergencies from fires, power outages, or hazardous materials spills, to acts of crime and terrorism.
Appraising Conservation and Historic Preservation Easements
By Richard J. Roddewig
Appraisal Institute, 2011
Learn the intricacies of the appraisal process as applied to conservation and historic preservation easements!
Drawing on legal, regulatory and professional appraisal literature, Appraising Conservation and Historic Preservation Easements examines the valuation of conservation and historic preservation easements from the contradictory perspectives of the IRS, the courts, easement-holding organizations and appraisers.
Life at Home in the Twenty-First Century
The Cotsen Institute of Archaeology at UCLA, 2012
Contemporary family life in America has been examined from many perspectives but rarely through the lens of household material culture – the things we own and the ways we use our homes. Sociologists, cultural anthropologists, psychologists, economists, and policy makers have much to say about today’s families, but the methods of ethnoarchaeology take us directly into fresh new territory about modern households. This book explores the home lives of middle-class families in California, exposing vast material worlds and actual and idealized modes of life at home. It is a documentary record of the fascinating richness of these worlds and a unique visual journey into modern cultural history.
NAR members and Association staff can borrow up to six electronic books, digital audios and/or videos at no cost, through the Virtual Library eBooks Collection.
Members can also borrow up to three books for 30 days from the Library Catalog for a nominal fee of $10. Call Information Central at 800.874.6500 for assistance.
The Economist Guide to Decision Making
by Helga Drummond
Designed to help companies in any industry make fewer mistakes, The Economist Guide to Decision Making is an in-depth look at the tools and techniques for preventing errors and improving efficiency. Exploring how and why decisions go awry in the first place; what decision-makers can do to counter the psychological, social, and other forces that can undermine individual judgment and pull organizations off course; and highlighting often overlooked aspects of the science of decision making, the book illustrates how mistakes really happen so that they can be better avoided. Decision making can never prevent mistakes entirely, but a better understanding of how to improve practices and processes is invaluable for companies looking to increase their overall efficiency. The Economist Guide to Decision Making leads the way.
365 Social Media Tips
by Karen James
365 Social Media Tips does exactly what it says on the tin. There are 365 tips that cover specific social media platforms such as LinkedIn, Twitter, Facebook, YouTube and SlideShare, as well as tips to improve your use of social media generally.
This book not only gives practical suggestions but many of the tips also include clear instructions on how to implement them. 365 Social Media Tips gets down to the nuts and bolts of social media in short, concise, helpful tips – one for every day of the year!
42 Rules of Marketing
by Laura Lowell
The 42 Rules of Marketing – 2nd Edition is a compilation of ideas, theories, and practical approaches to marketing challenges the author has been collecting over the past 20+ years. The idea behind this unique look at marketing was to create a series of helpful reminders; things that marketers know they should do, but don’t always have the time or patience to do.
The book touches on everything from tradeshows and PR to customer advocacy, market research and the role of humor in marketing. The author shares tips and tricks to ensure your marketing messages reach the intended audience. After all, isn’t that the point?
by Gail F. Goodman
As a small business owner, you’ve always relied on word-of-mouth referrals to grow your business. Thanks to social media–and its nimble partner, mobile technology–it’s now easier than ever to turn customers and clients into engaged fans who spread the word about your business across a variety of online platforms. And that’s what Engagement Marketing is all about. Written for anyone who owns or manages a small business or non-profit, this book is filled with practical, hands-on advice based on the author’s experience of working with thousands of small businesses for over a decade.
Hot Button Marketing
by Barry Feig
Consumers buy products for two reasons—the rational reason and the real reason. While your customer may say they want your product because of its features and benefits, their decision to buy is based on emotion—not intellect. Hot Button Marketing shows you how to identify and push the hot buttons that will prompt consumers to purchase your product over a competitor’s, even if it’s a parity product! Filled with tips and insights that can be applied at every stage of marketing—from product development to one-to-one selling—Hot Button Marketing shows you how to hit the sixteen hot buttons and get your product sold.
How to Beat the 80/20 Rule in Selling
by Alan Rigg
Are you: Frustrated because you are not achieving your sales goals? A successful salesperson looking for tips and ideas to take your performance to the next level? Considering the question, I wonder if I have what it takes to succeed in sales? If you are, this book was written specifically for you!
This book provides a step-by-step road map that will teach you how to effectively manage every step of the sales process! 3. This book is part of a selling system. There is a companion book (How to Beat the 80/20 Rule in Sales Team Performance) that teaches business owners, executives and sales managers how to provide the infrastructure and support salespeople need to achieve top sales performance.
by Viveka von Rosen
LinkedIn Marketing: An Hour a Day helps you create, customize, and optimize a presence on LinkedIn, the world’s largest social network for professionals. In this detailed, step-by-step book, LinkedIn expert Viveka von Rosen reveals how to use this powerful platform to ensure that you or your company get noticed by the right audience. Discover previously undocumented tips and tricks for community growth and management, including how to best use Groups, events, and other LinkedIn features and applications. This soup-to-nuts guidebook for tackling every stage of the LinkedIn process ensures your online presence will get noticed.
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 guides from Information Central for the month of November 2012 was released today:
- Field Guide to Quick Real Estate Statistics
- Field Guide to 1031 Exchanges
- Field Guide to Marketing Tips for REALTORS®
- Field Guide to Listing & Selling Luxury Properties
- Field Guide to Real Estate Office Policy Manuals
- Field Guide to Mortgage Interest Deduction
- Field Guide to Opening a Real Estate Brokerage
- Field Guide to Buying vs. Renting
- Field Guide to the Best Places to Live
- Field Guide to Short Sales
Have an idea for a new field guide? Let us know!