Several Field Guides have been updated in the past month:
American Home Week
American Home Week turns 58 in 2013 and will be celebrated locally April 7-13, 2013. This page includes historical information about American Home Week and more.
Appraisal of Real Estate Offices & Selling Your Book of Business
Whether you own a real estate firm or are thinking of buying or selling one, it’s important to know what the business is worth. The following articles and studies can provide some insight into determining the value of a real estate firm and its assets.
Cell Phone Towers
Cell phone towers may bring extra tax revenue, greater reception, and security to a city or town. Despite these benefits, many remain skeptical of towers due to potential health risks, environmental aesthetics, and the impact on property values.
China Real Estate
China has a growing interest in real estate, both in China and in the United States. Wealthy Chinese buyers are investing in bricks and mortar. In this NEW Field Guide, you will find Chinese-language real estate listings, current articles about real estate in China, Chinese buyers in the U.S., books, websites and upcoming property events.
Feng Shui and Vaastu
Feng Shui (meaning Wind and Water in Chinese) is the ancient art of placement to promote harmony, wealth, success and health. A working knowledge of Feng Shui can help when buying or selling a home in today’s multicultural world. Vaastu is an ancient Indian system of harnessing the positive energy of the environment to benefit those living there. Vaastu uses a complex, 3-layer grid system to provide the best layout for a home, office or commercial site. An ideal house, according to Vaastu, is perfectly square with a central courtyard. Get more information on these ancient arts and their role in real estate with the articles, books and websites gathered here.
Home inspections are a critical part of the home buying and selling process. Knowledge in the field of property inspection has become invaluable, especially in light of stricter legislation on both a state and national level. The following information sources will assist you and in turn, your clients, in understanding home inspections, the home inspection process and working with home inspectors. You will also uncover valuable tips on the importance of a home inspection and helpful links to a variety of professional home inspection organizations and useful information available to you from the National Association.
Marijuana Grow Houses
Nice home, privacy fence, oversized a/c unit are normal attributes of many upscale communities. Who would expect that behind closed doors there might be mold, electrical hazards, structural damage, pesticides and other dangers.
In 2011, over 800 grow houses were seized in Florida alone according to the DEA, but the epidemic does not only impact the state of Florida. Marijuana grow houses are popping up in big cities and small towns, wealthy and low-income neighborhoods across the country—the problem is no longer limited to California and Florida. Home buyers and sellers, landlords and agents, neighbors and community leaders alike can learn how to spot, fix, and understand the impact of marijuana grow houses in this updated field guide.
Preparing and Staging a House for Sale
Banish the clutter! Trim the bushes! Hide your Star Wars collection! Take down the family pictures! What can you do to prepare a house for sale? Here are tips, hints, thoughts and ideas for sprucing up, cleaning out, decorating, staging, creating a great first impression and making a house appealing to buyers.
Have you started to notice black and white squares on advertising, in magazines, on business cards or on yard signs? Created in Japan in 1994, Best Buy, Ralph Lauren, and movie advertising are using QR codes to connect with customers. Find out how to generate a QR Code, download the QR Code on your smartphone and then read the information. In this Updated Field Guide, learn about QR (Quick Response) codes, why they are a new form of mobile advertising, and how they can be used to market and sell real estate.
Researching a Home’s History
Ever wonder who lived in your home before you? Would you know how to find out? If your home is a landmark or if it housed a famous resident you may already know its history. Others require more effort and research. This field guide will get you started and also provide information on architectural styles of homes in the United States.
Also recently updated:
New eBooks in the Library
What’s new in the Information Central eBook collection? This month our featured eBook section is Sales Tips from the Pros. You’ll also find some of the following new titles in our “just added” section on the eBook home page: Full Voice, The Art and Practice of Vocal Presence, Can I Have Your Attention?, Idea Agent, The Power of Habit 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 Identifying American Architecture, The Signal and the Noise, 2013 Swanepoel Trends Report, Operating Ratio Report 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!
The origin of yellow ribbons and the truth about hand sanitizers
It started with the Iran hostages back in 1980 and now everyone has a ribbon for something. But where did those ribbons first come from? What sparked the symbol? The Library of Congress has an interesting page on the genesis of ribbons.
Hand sanitizers and those dispensers are everywhere these days. But how effective are alcohol gels at preventing the spread of germs and viruses? Surprisingly, not as great as you’d expect. Some brands actually seem to promote the growth of certain bacteria. The solution? Good old soap and water seem to be as if not more effective than some gels.
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.
Full Voice, The Art and Practice of Vocal Presence
by Barbara McAfee
Your voice says a lot about you. Based on the tone and expression of your voice alone, your listeners may make up their minds about you before they even process the meaning of your words. And if what you say is at odds with how you say it, they can miss your message altogether. As important as our voices are, few of us know how to use them to their full potential. Full Voice offers a fun, tested method to harness the power of your voice to become a more effective and flexible communicator.
People Can’t Drive You Crazy if You Don’t Give Them the Keys
by Mike Bechtle
You don’t have to be controlled by difficult people! Strange as it may seem, other people are not nearly as committed to our happiness as we are. In fact, sometimes it seems like they’re on a mission to make us miserable! There’s always that one person. The one who hijacks our emotions. The one who seems to thrive on drama. If we could just “fix” that person, everything would be better. But we can’t fix other people. We can only make choices about ourselves. There will always be difficult people. But this fresh perspective on dealing with them can change your life — starting today!
Can I Have Your Attention?
by Joseph Cardillo
Can I Have Your Attention? is not your traditional self-help book that offers 12 simple steps to enhance brainpower. Nor is it a book on Eastern Wisdom, spirituality, or conventional meditation. It is an eye-popping adventure that combines ancient, high-speed attention-building processes with cutting-edge attention research in psychology, neurology, and biology. Through Joseph Cardillo’s engaging personal account of the world of human attention—which synthesizes the stories of more than two dozen experts—you will uncover surprising secrets about the workings of your own mind.
by Lina M. Echeverria
There is perhaps no leadership challenge more daunting than managing creativity—and more urgent than delivering breakthrough innovation. How do you harness some of the most passionate, intelligent people in your organization without stifling them? How do you simultaneously unleash their energy and channel it into something tangible? Drawing on the author’s considerable experience assembling and nurturing cutting-edge teams at Corning Inc., Idea Agent shows readers how to juxtapose creative freedom with management rigor and lead dedicated professionals as they generate and execute one great innovation after another.
Make Your Contacts Count
by Anne Baber and Lynne Waymon
Make Your Contacts Count is a practical, step-by-step guide for creating, cultivating, and capitalizing on networking relationships and opportunities. Packed with valuable tools, the book offers a field-tested “”Hello to Goodbye”" system that takes readers from entering a room, to making conversations flow, to following up. Updated from its first edition, the book now includes expanded advice on building social capital at work and in job hunting, as well as new case studies, examples, checklists, and questionnaires.
by Brene Brown and Karen White
Researcher and thought leader Dr. Brené Brown offers a powerful new vision that encourages us to dare greatly: to embrace vulnerability and imperfection, to live wholeheartedly, and to courageously engage in our lives.
Every day we experience the uncertainty, risks, and emotional exposure that define what it means to be vulnerable, or to dare greatly. Whether the arena is a new relationship, an important meeting, our creative process, or a difficult family conversation, we must find the courage to walk into vulnerability and engage with our whole hearts.
The Power of Habit
by Charles Duhigg
In The Power of Habit, award-winning New York Times business reporter Charles Duhigg takes us to the thrilling edge of scientific discoveries that explain why habits exist and how they can be changed. With penetrating intelligence and an ability to distill vast amounts of information into engrossing narratives, Duhigg brings to life a whole new understanding of human nature and its potential for transformation.
At its core, The Power of Habit contains an exhilarating argument: The key to exercising regularly, losing weight, raising exceptional children, becoming more productive, building revolutionary companies and social movements, and achieving success is understanding how habits work.
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.
Identifying American Architecture
By John J.-G. Blumenson
W. W. Norten & Company, 1981
What styles of architecture are found in your neighborhood – Georgian, Prairie, International, Spanish, Colonial Revival? Identifying American Architecture enables the reader to determine styles and identify architectural terms by comparing real buildings with the book’s many photographs. Details – roofs, porches, windows and so on – are illustrated in the same manner, and all terms appear in an extensive 16-page index.
A Field Guide to American Houses
By Virginia & Lee McAlester
Alfred A. Knopf, 1984
For the house lover and the curious tourist, for the house buyer and the weekend stroller, for neighborhood preservation groups and for all who want to know more about their community — here, at last, is a book that makes it both easy and pleasurable to identify the various styles and periods of American domestic architecture.
Concentrating not on rare landmarks but on typical dwellings in ordinary neighborhoods all across the United States — houses built over the past three hundred years and lived in by Americans of every social and economic background — the book provides you with the facts (and frame of reference) that will enable you to look in a fresh way at the houses you constantly see around you. It tells you — and shows you in more than 1,200 illustrations — what you need to know in order to be able to recognize the several distinct architectural styles and to understand their historical significance. What does that cornice mean? Or that porch? That door? When was this house built? What does its style say about the people who built it? You’ll find the answers to such questions here.
Heart, Smart, Guts, and Luck
By Anthony K. Tjan, Richard J. Harrington, and Tsun-Yan Hsieh
Harvard Business Review Press, 2012
Do you have what it takes to build a great business?
In this book, three prominent business leaders and entrepreneurs—now venture capitalists and CEO advisers—share the qualities that surface again and again in those who successfully achieve their goals. The common traits? Heart, smarts, guts, and luck.
Though no single archetype for entrepreneurial success exists, this book will help you understand which traits to “dial up” or “dial down” to realize your full potential, and when these traits are most and least helpful (or even detrimental) during critical points of a company lifecycle. Not only will you know how to build a better business faster, you’ll also take your natural leadership style to the next level.
The Signal and the Noise
By Nate Silver
Penguin Press, 2012
Drawing on his own groundbreaking work, Silver examines the world of prediction, investigating how we can distinguish a true signal from a universe of noisy data. Most predictions fail, often at great cost to society, because most of us have a poor understanding of probability and uncertainty. Both experts and laypeople mistake more confident predictions for more accurate ones. But overconfidence is often the reason for failure. If our appreciation of uncertainty improves, our predictions can get better too. This is the “prediction paradox”: The more humility we have about our ability to make predictions, the more successful we can be in planning for the future.
With everything from the health of the global economy to our ability to fight terrorism dependent on the quality of our predictions, Nate Silver’s insights are an essential read.
2013 Swanepoel Trends Report
By S. Swanepoel, J. Conaway, R. Hahn, M. Cohen, M. Davison, and T. Mitchell
RealSure, Inc., 2012
Only one annual Report has, for the last 8 years, summarized the important facts every year and made them available in an objective and “advertising free” format. That has shaped the Swanepoel TRENDS Report into the most anticipated and valued resource of market intelligence available for real estate professionals.
Operating Ratio Report, 14th Edition
American Society of Association Executives, 2012
How do your key performance ratios – profitability, productivity and efficiency, liquidity, and revenue and expense management – compare against other organizations? Compare the data compiled from more than 2,800 organizations represented within ASAE membership against your own organization’s financial performance to identify opportunities for improvement or to help justify expenses in a particular area.
One hundred years have passed since a key document in the REALTOR® organization’s history first made its debut. Written in 1913, the Code of Ethics was seen as a declaration of the real estate industry’s principles and beliefs, a “golden thread” uniting those devoted to raising the standards of professionalism and service in real estate.
The Code is a living document that undergoes regular revision to keep it updated and relevant as the real estate industry evolves, so today’s Code of Ethics looks much different from the one that was adopted in 1913. Even so, REALTORS® are often surprised to see that the words “Under all is the land,” the familiar opening of the Code’s preamble, are nowhere to be found in the original version.
So where did the preamble come from, and who wrote it?
The Code of Ethics was over a decade old before the preamble was introduced. In 1924, the National Association’s committee assigned with revising and modernizing the Code decided that the rules should have an introduction, and prepared two versions of a preamble for consideration.
The first version, written by A. S. Adams, a REALTOR® from Atlanta, GA, took the form of a straightforward personal pledge: “I, a member of the National Association of Real Estate Boards, accept as the primary requirement for engaging in the Real Estate Business that my first duty is to the public whom I propose to serve, and the protection of whose interests must always be my first consideration….”
Adams’ preamble was not nearly as poetic and visionary as the second version presented before the committee. Written by the committee’s chairman, a prominent REALTOR® and Presbyterian minister from Tacoma, WA, named Arthur H. Barnhisel, this preamble took a different tack, “setting forth the social responsibility of the association and of the local real estate boards who make up its membership.”
With its inspirational portrayal of the nation’s land and the REALTOR®’s role in ensuring its “highest use” and “widest distribution,” Barnhisel’s preamble easily won the committee’s vote. With little debate and only a few minor edits, the preamble was included along with several other revisions to the Code that were accepted by the National Association’s Board of Directors at its June 1924 meeting in Washington, DC.
As far as we’ve been able to find in the NAR Archives, Barnhisel never explained how he came up with his version of the preamble or revealed his sources of inspiration for the language. Among REALTORS®, though, the preamble quickly became the Code’s best-known feature and was proudly displayed on the walls and in the windows of real estate offices across the country. By 1943, NAR president Cyrus Crane Willmore declared in a speech before the association’s Board of Directors: “Property ownership is fundamental to our way of life. The first five words of our Code of Ethics should be impressed upon the minds of every man, woman and child in our country. They are, ‘Under all is the Land.’”
The Code of Ethics was revised again in 1955, and it included, among other changes, a rewritten preamble. The new preamble tried to preserve the ideals expressed in the original, using modernized language that was more in tune with the post-war 1950s.
REALTORS® were largely unhappy with the changes made to their beloved preamble, though, and in 1961 the National Association took steps to return it to its original form as written by Arthur H. Barnhisel. “A return to this wording is proposed because of its superior phrasing,” explained the report to the Board of Directors.
With the exception of those six years, the preamble remained exactly as Barnhisel wrote it for nearly seven decades. The preamble as we know it today took shape in 1994, when the first six Articles of the Code were incorporated into the preamble, adding paragraphs regarding the REALTOR®’s obligation to share their professional knowledge and stressing the importance of maintaining a spirit of cooperation with other real estate professionals.
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 January 2013 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 Real Estate Office Policy Manuals
- Field Guide to Listing & Selling Luxury Properties
- Field Guide to Preparing & Staging a House for Sale
- Field Guide to Opening a Real Estate Brokerage
- Field Guide to the Best Places to Live
- Field Guide to Writing a Business Plan
- Field Guide to Buying vs. Renting
Have an idea for a new field guide? Let us know!
Blackberry, small living, and disclosure dilemmas
David Pogue, the tech guy from the New York Times, gives BlackBerry’s ‘hail Mary’ phone, the Z10, a pretty glowing review while Walt Mossberg from the Wall Street Journal was a little more critical in his assessment. Is it possible that the floundering company might pull it off?
Millennials are willing to accept smaller spaces in exchange for walking neighborhoods. How do you help your Millennial clients make the most of small spaces? Gizmodo shares some great ideas for 420 square feet spots.
Complicated productivity systems may actually slow you down, says the Wall Street Journal. Color-coded calendars, 3-part to-do lists and churning through a series of productivity apps may not work for you. Some people have cobbled together a digital and paper system out of frustration with previous systems they have tried. Find out what works best for you and go for it!
Two stories about disclosure this week: A Pennsylvania homeowner sues seller over unreported murder/suicide. And in Montreal, prospective buyers in one trendy loft conversion now have to be informed that some of their neighbors are reputed mobsters.
Good news! Some things will cost less in 2013, such as gas, vacation packages and flatscreen TVs. To find out more, go CNN/Money.