Big city revival, new Gmail, Millennial housing preferences, and man’s best friend
Big cities could be making a growth comeback after a rocky decade. Their growth rates are rising and, for the second year in a row, they are growing faster than their surrounding suburbs.
Is the smartphone the all-purpose Swiss Army knife of the future? Software developers offer August, adding one more utility to the smartphone: house key. Thanks to @paulmacko for sharing this article with us.
Google is ‘improving’ Gmail once again. You can now sort your inbox by tabbed category – personal, social, updates, etc. – so that you only see the type of email you want to deal with now. The rollout is supposed to be gradual, so if you don’t see anything different now, wait a bit. And for now, you can opt out of the upgrade if you don’t like it.
This week Better Homes and Gardens® Real Estate released national survey findings of 18-35 year-old Americans that reveal the next generation of homeowners are rewriting the rules to homeownership and reinterpreting traditional norms to fit their values.
The process of home buying and selling invariably entails a move. BuzzFeed offers 33 great moving tips to smooth the transition.
Seems like the whole Midwest has had a week of storms, thunder and lightning. To keep up to speed on the go, check out these apps for coping with severe weather.
The passage of time as seen through photographs can sometimes feel haunting or sad, yet photographer Wilma Hurskainen captures this passage in a stunning, provocative, and mostly happy presentation. Take a look at the four sisters, side-by-side, as children and adults.
Man’s best friend? Last year dog bites accounted for more than one-third of all dollars paid out in homeowners insurance liability claims.
On a lighter dog-related note, if you’re still traumatized by Old Yeller and you didn’t even see the ending of I Am Legend because you ran out of the theater holding your ears. At this cool website, learn the fate of canine cast members BEFORE watching the film!
The following Field Guides have recently been updated in the Library at Realtor.org:
Real Estate Office Policy Manuals
How do you keep your office running smoothly? These days it’s essential for companies to have written documentation about office policies and procedures. An easy-to-understand guidebook for salespeople to refer to in their daily business can help solve and prevent disputes, and helps ensure the success and reputation of your company. The articles and books in this field guide provide you with the necessary tools and tips to create a policy manual for your real estate office.
Strategic Planning for Associations
The strategic planning process is key in helping an organization develop a vision of where it will be in the future and determining the best ways to turn that vision into reality. This page includes resources on all aspects of strategic planning, from beginning the process to monitoring its implementation after the plan has been worked out. Also included are the strategic plan of the NATIONAL ASSOCIATION OF REALTORS® and other resources to assist REALTOR® association executives in developing strategic plans for their organizations.
Investing in Real Estate
Is now the right time to be investing in real estate? Some say yes, some say no, and some say it depends. In a declining market, there are bargains, but don’t look for a quick flip. If you’re thinking long term, you can find some great deals. So if you’re ready to take the plunge or want to be ready for brighter days ahead, find out how to get started, invest with IRAs, use real estate as a retirement tool, get information on rental homes, buying tax liens, real estate partnerships and much more in these books and articles.
Commercial Broker Lien Laws
Commercial broker lien laws allow liens to be filed on commercial properties for the full payment of commissions. In states that have enacted commercial lien laws, there has been a dramatic decline in commission collection litigation and arbitration. Explore the resources on this page for information on how lien laws work, summaries of current laws, news updates, and more.
Association Budgets & Reserves
Creating and maintaining a successful association budget doesn’t have to be a headache. Take the pain out of budgeting with these tools available through NAR’s library at Information Central.
Vacation, Resort, and Second Homes
In 2013, buyers of primary residences, vacation homes, and investment properties were active in the market, despite hurdles they may face with low inventory and tight financing. 78% of vacation buyers and investment buyers reported that now is a good time to purchase real estate. 47% of investment buyers are likely to buy another investment property, and 31% of investment buyers are likely to purchase a vacation property in the next two years. Similarly, 37% of vacation buyers are likely to purchase an investment property and 30% are likely to purchase another vacation property in the next two years. Among primary residence buyers, 22% are likely to buy an investment property and 21% are likely to buy a vacation property in the next two years. Here you will find information on the activity in the vacation/second home market as well as tips on working with the vacation/second home buyer. You’ll also uncover a variety of resources available from the National Association in addition to updates on the RSPS certification.
Vineyards & Wineries
Owning and running a vineyard suggests an appealing and romantic lifestyle. In truth, it is hard work, costly and subject to the whims of weather, the economy and foreign competition. Still the lure of the vines may just be the ticket for those seeking adventure and a soul-satisfying business venture. This updated field guide provides start-up resources, statistics, reports, websites and more for those thinking about entering this interesting market.
Your own Dreamhouse, Chinese buyers in FL, and Star Trek science bloopers
Now listed at Trulia: Barbie’s dreamhouse. 3 floors, 8,500 SF. Comes with ocean views, an elevator, and more pink that you can imagine. What’s the commission on a $25 million sale again?
Florida has attracted foreign home buyers from South America, Canada and England. Now, Chinese real estate buyers have also discovered Florida. Houses in Florida are more affordable than in China, with no government restrictions on home buying as in China now. Florida real estate provides a great real estate investment for wealthy owners and the status symbol of owning real estate in the United States.
What advice would you give your 23 year-old self? That’s the question Andrew Forsthoefel asked hundreds of people in his “Walking to Listen” adventure across America. We learned about Andrew from This American Life, episode #494 Hit the Road.
Time says this housing recovery looks like the real thing.
And if it’s the real thing, you’re probably hungry. Let’s go out to dinner! But before you do, take a look at 9 ways restaurants get you to spend more. I’ve probably fallen for the no dollar sign and daily special method, but I have a firm rule about not eating anywhere you can buy a souvenir.
Before and after pictures are always fun. Blogger Miriam Reeves shares a recent DIY basement stairs project (complete with before and after pictures) that turned out great.
The lastest Star Trek movie premiered this week and of course there are tons of articles and reviews. But I enjoyed the article from the Slate blog Bad Astronomy that listed some of the more glaring science mistakes for the series.
Syria, Korean missiles, the last 10 pounds you can’t seem to lose—banish them from your mind and watch The Laughing Babies instead.
As NAR’s annual Midyear Meetings are underway this week in Washington, DC, we took a look in the Archives to find out what happened at the Midyear Meetings half a century ago. In 1963, the meetings were held in Chicago in June, where attendees were updated on the progress of the National Association’s first major national advertising campaign.
NAR had engaged in national ad campaigns before, notably in conjunction with the federal government’s “Own Your Own Home” initiative in 1919 and another targeting local newspapers in the early 1930s. This campaign, though, was much more closely orchestrated than earlier efforts, seeking to put the REALTOR® trademark before as many public eyes as possible.
Full-page ads appeared in publications such as U.S. News & World Report, Look, and Newsweek, all emphasizing the benefits of home ownership and using REALTORS® as professionals in the real estate transaction. Thousands of REALTORS and local associations subscribed to the promotional campaign for $25. In return they received advertising kits that tied in with the campaign. In many of the magazines the names of REALTORS® in that locality were printed on a page adjacent to the ad.
REALTORS® of fifty years ago loved the national publicity. Richard Powelson from Aurora, IL, wrote: “We received a call to list a home yesterday strictly because of this ad…the REALTORS® have gone a long way in helping to educate the public.” A REALTOR® from Cape Cod sold a home to a prospect who called him because his name was listed in an ad in Look magazine. Mrs. Win B. Brush of Liberty, MO, said “Soon after the ad came out in Look, I had a call from a large manufacturing corporation asking for my service in an appraisal, and they had obtained my name from the Look ad.”
Kenneth S. Keyes, president of the National Association in 1957, was also a great admirer of the program. “I consider the nationwide advertising campaign one of the greatest things that NAREB has done to increase the prestige of REALTORS®.”
Despite the kudos, this was still relatively new territory for NAR. At the 1963 Midyear Meetings the association’s Board of Directors took a tentative view of the campaign, deciding to allow the program to continue on an experimental basis for another year. In 1964 the campaign was granted a longer tenure, continuing through the early 1970s. NAR’s efforts to promote the benefits of using a REALTOR® have come a long way since 1963, of course. Visit the Public Advocacy Campaign for a look at the latest national advertising efforts.
From May 15th through June 1st NAR’s digital library at http://ebooks.realtor.org will feature a fiction title, Four Corners of the Sky, by NYT bestselling author Michael Malone, as part of the “Big Library Read” program being orchestrated in libraries worldwide by eBooks provider OverDrive Inc. This title will be made available to members and association staff to borrow digitally for free, for two weeks, under the unlimited simultaneous user model plan. This means instant access – no wait lists!
Take advantage of this and other digital books, audiobooks, and videos from the Library’s award-winning collection of over 3,000 titles covering sales and marketing, residential and commercial real estate, health and wellness, and much more. All you need is your NRDS membership number.
Prefer to read from your mobile device? Simply go to the eBooks website, download the free reader apps, and begin using the digital library collection. Please note: for mobile devices in most cases you need to use the app to search, check out, and download ebooks, rather than the phone’s built-in web browser. Questions about using the digital library collection? Contact Information Central at 800-874-6500 or send email to us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Recently we received a research request from a member regarding national housing statistics and thought this presented a great opportunity to highlight some wonderful, *free* resources for housing and household statistics. For this project we researched answers to the following questions:
- How many rural versus urban households are in the United States?
- What is the average income of rural versus urban households in the United States?
- What is the average age of homes in the United States?
Thanks to the US Department of Commerce’s Census Bureau we were able to answer these questions in record time. If we had naming rights to United States’ National Treasures, Census Bureau would top the list.
Let’s start with the first question “How many rural versus urban households are there in the United States?” The US Census Bureau’s annual Income, Poverty & Health Insurance: Coverage in the United States report holds our answer. According to this report (see “Residence” section of Table 1, on page 6), in 2011 the United States saw 101,526,000 residences “inside metropolitan statistical areas.” In case you are not familiar with the term, Metropolitan Statistical Area or MSA is another way of saying urban metropolitan area. In 2011 the United States saw 19,558,000 residences “outside metropolitan statistical areas” (i.e. rural).
Next, we tackle the question of average income of rural versus urban households in the United States. Income data is found in a variety of places, including the Census Bureau’s Income, Poverty & Health Insurance report, American Housing Survey, and American Fact Finder database. In the same “Residence” section of the Income, Poverty & Health Insurance report referenced above, we find the median family income for 2011 for all households of $50,054, where residences within MSAs show a 2011 median income of $51,574 and residences outside MSAs show $40,527.
Last we take a look at the average age of homes in the United States. For this we turn to the Census Bureau’s American Housing Survey, most recently published in 2011. The Survey’s “Introductory Characteristics Table 2-1” offers 1974 as the median year of structure built for all total owner-occupied units.
We’ve covered a couple Census Bureau gems, but keep in mind there are many more. We recommend exploring the American Fact Finder database when you next have a little down-time to find oodles of great statistics.
Preventing and dealing with smart phone theft and YouTube’s new (and fun) Trends Map
Smart phone thefts are on the rise. How do you deal with the stress after a phone theft? How do you dodge robbers in the first place? And what should you do if your phone is stolen? Here are some great tips from the experts.
YouTube is launching a paid subscription model for some channels. No, you won’t have to pay to watch the latest cat laser video or upload your house tour, but you can subscribe to tune into Fraggle Rock or the Ultimate Fighting Championship.
Interested to see how this new paid model takes off in coming months? Well, perhaps you can track its success via the site’s YouTube Trends Map which lets you know what videos are popular by city in the US. Results can be filtered by sex, age, and viewed vs shared. It’s really interesting to see how regions tie together and how different videos capture the imagination of a demographic. Of course, often one inane video is swamping the whole country such as today’s Charles Ramsey Songified, but there are surprises, such as the popularity of the video of David Foster Wallace’s commencement address This is Water.
Time has come out with its annual 50 best websites of 2013. How many have you visited?
The following Field Guides have recently been updated on realtor.org.
On the surface, buying a farm has a very ‘get away from it all’ sort of appeal. The reality is that farming can be emotionally and financially stressful with success dependent upon many variables, including the weather, taxes, domestic and foreign competition, etc. The rewards, however, can be considerable. This field guide explores the pros and cons of owning farm property.
Development Impact Fees
Impact fees, or development fees, are expenditures that developers are required to make as a precondition to approval of their projects. Impact fees are generally used to finance roads, schools, affordable housing, transit systems, and other projects and services in municipalities throughout the United States. The fees are frequently passed on by developers to purchasers in the price of a new property and, therefore, increase the cost of housing and decrease the profitability of a particular project. This Field Guide includes articles, studies, Supreme Court decisions, and other material on the debate over impact fees.
Errors & Omissions Insurance
The ever-increasing complexities of real estate transactions and the rising use of litigation have prompted a need for errors and omissions (E&O) insurance programs to reduce the risk to sales associates and the real estate firms they represent against potential lawsuits. The following items address E&O and professional liability insurance, answering many of the questions REALTORS® may have about how E&O insurance works and how to choose a provider.
Farming & Prospecting
Developing new leads is crucial to expanding a successful real estate business. In this Field Guide, a wealth of resources are available to you including several toolkits from REALTOR® Magazine Online, relevant articles from various websites, plus books, eBooks and related Field Guides from Information Central. Updated information pertaining to telemarketing and the “Do Not Call” rules and regulations is also presented, as well as ways to utilize the internet in your prospecting efforts.
While the housing market hasn’t fully recovered, reduced foreclosure inventories are providing a level of optimism. This Field Guide provides resources and links for avoiding foreclosure and tips for investing in foreclosures. Also included is information on the government’s Home Affordable Foreclosure Alternatives (HAFA).
Fractional Interest Ownership
Fractional interest ownership, once used primarily with commercial tenants-in-common, has recently blossomed in the vacation home market. Not to be confused with a time-share or a destination club, fractional interest properties can be a sensible and profitable alternative to owning a second home. These articles, books, and other resources will help you discover what a fractional is and why your clients might be interested in them.
Recruiting & Retaining Salespeople
In this highly competitive real estate marketplace, how do you find and hire successful agents—and what’s the best way to prevent your top producers from switching to another firm? The material on this page will help you discover what makes a top producer and offers some of the latest tips and techniques for hiring successful, reliable agents and keeping them on your team.
Sale Leasebacks & Synthetic Leases
Often used as a financing alternative, sale-leasebacks offer financially struggling companies access to cash to pay down debt and improve the bottom line. And in a post-Enron environment, sale-leasebacks provide an alternative to the less favorable option of synthetic leases. Find out how sale-leaseback transactions have helped the balance sheets of hotel, restaurant, retail, and other businesses, in the articles and books in this guide.
What is a short sale? A short sale is a sales transaction in which the seller’s mortgage lender agrees to accept a payoff of less than the balance due on the loan. This page offers information about the basics of short sales and advice for the real estate professional.
Successful site selection begins with the basics – traffic flow, market analysis, property size, and zoning restrictions, among other factors. But site selection considerations for a restaurant differ widely from those for warehouse properties. Learn the basics, and then venture into site selection for office, retail, restaurant, hotel, and warehouse properties, in this Updated Field Guide.
Technology Tools for AEs
This guide will help you learn tips for doing information technology yourself, keep up with legal issues and learn new training ideas.
Women in Real Estate
There are few industries remaining today that have not seen a drastic change in the role that women play, and real estate and relocation are certainly not immune to these changes. Historically, women have been involved in real estate almost since its inception in 1794 and its establishment as a legitimate business in the 1840s. In real estate’s early days, women filled office and clerical roles, but by the 1880s, women were already moving into the roles of agents and brokers, though at a relatively slow rate. Nationwide, women brokers dominate the residential real estate market, but have yet to make a major entrance into the more lucrative commercial market. This page includes articles, books and web sites related to issues facing women in the real estate industry.
And new this month in our ebook and print collections:
New eBooks in the Library
What’s new in the Information Central eBook collection? This month our featured eBook section is Tax Time! You’ll also find some of the following new titles in our “just added” section on the eBook home page: 7 Money Rules for Life®, Anticipate, iConnected, Make It All About Them 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 productivity, networking, selling, feng shui 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!
One way your email gets on spammers lists, financial spring cleaning, and stolen mobile phones
Find out how Move Inc. is fighting scraping of their listings. Real estate listings are a valuable commodity because of the individual information and information gathered from a multitude of listings. Hedge funds, banks, other financial institutions and related real estate services find the listing information valuable to gather statistics and create mailing lists. Move.Inc looks for suspicious scraping activity of real time queries during a hold period and can block the scraper’s IP address, and discover if the information is ending up online. Please note that NAR never shares, trades, or sells email addresses.
Spring cleaning isn’t just about dusting and putting away the winter clothes. It also applies to your finances. Spring is a great time to review budgets, look at savings, debt, and prune your receipts. Time has 10 ideas for a financial spring cleaning.
Someone swiped your cellphone? Too bad, so sad, according to The New York Times. You may have filed a police report and your cell phone company, but not much can be done. The FCC’s database of stolen phone information can inactivate the phone’s individual tracking number, but most stolen phone end up overseas, where the database does not work.
Scientists at IBM have nothing better to do than make stop-motion animated movies by moving individual atoms…
A new use for those stress balls everyone gets at convention trade shows: memory aids.
Henry Gribbohm says he lost his life savings on a carnival game and all he has to show for it is a stuffed banana with dreadlocks.