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What’s new and updated in the library: March 2014

Lots of updates this month! The following Field Guides have recently been updated in the Library at Realtor.org:

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.

Association Shared Services
Meaningful partnerships are the foundation for success. Whether the motivation to “share services” or partner with another association is economic, or to offer new, increased and improved services for members, there is information to help you do just that. Below you will find a selection of articles and books pointing out the positive aspects, as well as, the ‘how-to’ to partnering. Also visit the Shared Services page and RARE database on REALTOR.org for sample agreements, manuals, and other material on shared services.

Being a New REALTOR®
New to the real estate business? This Field Guide can help you get on the road to success with tips, ideas, and helpful advice. Learn what other rookies have done to jump-start their careers, find first clients, overcome objections, and develop negotiation strategies.

Best Places to Live
What makes a location the best place to live, work or retire? We’ve gathered the top lists into one spot to help you determine just that. Find out which cities are ranked as the safest to live in, which cities have the best job opportunities, which cities are more family-friendly, and much more in this field guide.

Buying vs. Renting
Is it better to buy or rent? Whether renting is better than buying depends on many factors. The information listed here will assist you in helping answer this question. Included are statistics and studies on home owners and renters as well as financing options and tips.

Choosing & Using a SmartPhone
Do you need a smartphone to get organized? What features do you need? How do real estate professionals use smartphones? Find out the answers to these questions and much more in the following articles and websites. The definition of smartphone varies widely, but is generally defined as a cellular or mobile phone that is enhanced with computer technology functions such as internet and email access, personal digital assistant tools, handwriting recognition, and more.

Communications for Associations
In the world of association management, a key element to success is communication. Communicating includes how to deal effectively with staff or membership, or how to correctly transmit an email message. The following resources help today’s busy association executive better understand and achieve successful styles of communication.

Complying with the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA)
The purpose of the Americans With Disabilities Act (ADA), enacted in 1992, is to assure equal access and services to disabled individuals. The ADA makes it unlawful to discriminate against people with disabilities. Title III of the Act prohibits entities that own, lease, lease to, or operate a place of public accommodation from discriminating against the disabled. How does this impact the real estate sales office? This page includes articles, books, videos, and websites relating to the Americans With Disabilities Act.

Due Diligence for Home Buyers
Purchasing a home is a huge endeavor, and buyers need to be more educated than ever—before they begin the process. This field guide provides links to practical resources on most every aspect of home buying, from establishing credit to negotiating the final contract.

Establishing a Charitable Foundation
Making the decision to establish or even to participate in a charitable foundation can be rough, especially in today’s economic times. The resources presented here can help facilitate this decision-making process. You will find information pertaining to tax and legal issues, fundraising as well as general tips on how to start a non-profit. You’ll also discover a wide assortment of useful web sites as well as many valuable resources available from NAR.

Fair Housing
The Fair Housing Act was passed 46 years ago but it has evolved over time in response to societal changes. HUD has proposed the “Affirmatively Furthering Fair Housing” initiative, which seeks to expand fair housing choice, eliminate racially and ethnically concentrated areas of poverty, and reduce disparities in access to important community assets such as quality schools, job centers, and transit. This Field Guide provides updated Fair Housing information, links to short documentaries and videos, and helpful resources for REALTORS®.

Franchises vs. Independent Firms
According to the 2013 National Association of REALTORS® Member Profile 56% of all REALTORS® are affiliated with an independent, non-franchised company. In fact most Realtors are likely to be affiliated with an independent, non-franchised company. The decision to join a franchise or an independent firm can be confusing. The pros and cons of each option are examined in this Updated Field Guide.

Green Property Management
Energy and environmental performance are emerging as key benchmarks in how commercial real estate buildings are judged and priced in today’s market. According to a recent survey, 88% of corporate and developer respondents expect to own, manage or lease some green properties five years from now. This field guide introduces the importance and value of environmental sound practices in property management as well as giving some ideas on trends, certification programs, and other resources for the green property manager.

Lead-Based Paint
For many years, lead-based paint was used almost universally in homes and apartment units in the U.S. until it was found to have detrimental impacts on human health, especially in children. As with any environmental hazard, lead-based paint testing, disclosure and liability are issues of serious concern to REALTORS®. The following articles, studies, websites, and other resources provide information on all aspects of lead-based paint for REALTORS® and property managers, including disclosure issues, impacts on the industry, and lead poisoning prevention.

Marketing Tips for REALTORS®
Marketing is an essential ingredient for the success of any business. The material on this page will give you a wealth of information to help you market your expertise to potential customers. It includes special sections on how to build your personal promotion campaign, increase your presence in a niche market, and strengthen your marketing plan.

Marketing with Blogs
Blogs are a great marketing tool for your real estate business. You can provide a snapshot of your local market, have a forum for your thoughts about real estate and market yourself. Find out the benefits of blogging, getting started with blogs and see what real estate practitioners are writing about.

Mentoring
Who benefits from mentoring? Everyone! In fact, current research in mentoring literature indicate that all parties gain from mentoring relationships—mentors, mentees and organizations. It’s no wonder that many successful real estate firms have realized the benefits of establishing a mentoring program. And, in turn, many successful agents have realized the benefits of working with a mentor. This updated field guide will help you with mentoring basics, mentoring programs, tips to locate a mentor and a section on mentoring and the real estate industry. You will also discover a variety of eBooks, books and other mentoring resources available just for you from the NATIONAL ASSOCIATION OF REALTORS®.

Meth Labs
The production of methamphetamine is alarmingly simple, composed of readily available, household items. The resulting chemical cocktail permeates nearly every surface of the home and property, exposure to which can lead to cancer, organ damage and numerous other health problems, particularly to children. The effects on homes and property are long-lasting and cleanup requires a hazardous materials team. This field guide contains information for REALTORS® and property managers regarding warning signs, disclosure laws, and hazardous effects of meth and meth labs upon humans and property.

Mold & Health Issues
In 2001, a family in Texas won $32.1 million (later reduced to an amount kept confidential) in a case involving extensive mold damage to their home. Even Erin Brockovich, Michael Jordan, Bianca Jagger and Ed McMahon have experienced mold contamination in their houses. The governor of North Carolina had to move out of the mold-infested Governor’s Mansion in August 2005. Mold is a health risk for children, adults, and even pets. Learn how to avoid mold, how to eliminate mold once it is discovered, and the health effects of mold, in these articles, book, websites, and videos.

Mortgage Interest Deduction
Introduced along with the Income Tax in 1913, the Mortgage Interest Deduction (MID) allows homeowners who itemize their taxes to deduct mortgage interest attributable to primary residence and second-home debt totaling $1 million, and interest paid on home equity debt up to $100,000. Though the MID is a popular tax deduction for millions of U.S. homeowners, it has become a controversial topic in recent years. This field guide highlights basics, perceived pros and cons, IRS rules, and more to get you up-to-speed on this widely-debated tax deduction.

Professional Standards
This Field Guide provides quick links to essential information on NAR’s 2014 Code of Ethics and Professional Standards Policy. Find out about the mandatory Code of Ethics training, Professional Standards Administrator training, and applying the Code of Ethics in real life. For a comprehensive listing of ethics and professional standards resources available from NAR, visit the Professional Standards/Code of Ethics page on Realtor.org.

QR Codes
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.

Remodeling
What remodeling job has the best return on investment? Where should you start when remodeling an older home? New resources are becoming available and even more important during these times. The home remodeling industry has enjoyed even more growth and will reach new heights in the future. You can’t afford to miss this Field Guide if you’re planning a home improvement or restoration project.

Short-Term Rental Restrictions
According to the 2013 NAR Investment and Vacation Home Buyers Survey, 80% of respondents purchased a vacation property for personal use, but 23% purchased with the intent of renting to others. Renting out a vacation home can offset the costs of this investment until retirement. But what happens when a community acts to restrict short-term rentals? Read on… and you’ll find out.

Single-Property Websites
Property marketing is always a challenge. How do you make sure your client’s property gets the attention it needs? How do you make it easy for buyers to learn about your property? Some REALTORS® are turning to single-property websites to feature an individual property on a dedicated site. Is the time and effort of creating a single-property website worth it? See what others are saying.

Surviving and Thriving in a Challenging Market
Every market has its ups and downs, and real estate is certainly no exception. In difficult times, it is more important than ever to find your niche, to discover new marketing methods, and to explore how you can separate yourself from the competition. And whether you are a residential or commercial specialist, your clients will be looking to you for advice on coming out on top. This Field Guide offers tips and ideas to help you and your clients survive and thrive in a challenging market.

Transfer of Development Rights (TDRs)
Transfer of development rights (TDR) is one “smart growth” tool used to manage land development. TDR is the exchange of zoning privileges from areas with low population needs, such as farmland, to areas of high population needs, such as downtown areas. These transfers allow for the preservation of open spaces and historic landmarks, while allowing urban areas to expand and increase in density. This field guide details the basics of TDRs, processes used for creating successful TDR programs, case studies, and more.

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 updated 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.

Dave

Senior Information Specialist

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