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.
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.
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.
Neighborhood inspections, tax apps, and zero tv
The home inspection is an important part of the home buying process. But what about a neighborhood inspection? Before you decide on a new home, it might pay to to a little investigating, either online or in person to see what your neighborhood has in store for you. Bankrate.com gives some good neighborhood inspection ideas.
National Public Radio (NPR) presents interesting food for thought: if the world’s entire population lived in one city, to the density of Paris, San Francisco, New York, London, Singapore, or Houston, how much land would it take? The graphics for this story are mind-blowing.
Hey last minute procrastinators: Tax apps and sites to help you beat the deadline!
Have you cut the cord on cable and ditched your TV set? Welcome to “Zero TV,” as characterized by the Nielsen Company. More people are watching their favorite television shows on alternate sources, such as Hulu, Netflix and Amazon Prime. You may have to wait to see all the episodes, but you won’t have to pony up a large cable/satellite bill. Broadcasters must be able to adapt to different viewing formats and experiences or they will lose viewers permanently.
With winter hopefully behind us, it’s time for some good eating! Check out some of these great regional food festivals this Spring!
The end of winter also signals the start of several allergy seasons. If you suffer don’t make these allergy mistakes.
The following Field Guides have recently been updated in the Library:
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.
Commuting & the Home Buying Decision
Commuting – the bane of our workweek! For many Americans, commute times or public transportation options figure strongly in their home-buying decisions. This field guide offers statistics, articles, and even alternatives to mind-numbing rush hours.
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.
Green Homes & Green Mortgages
The green movement is here to stay, and nowhere is this more apparent than in the housing market. Find out the latest trends, statistics, reports and resources as well as information on green mortgages in this updated Field Guide.
Love the history and romance of old homes? Become an expert in working with historic properties, learn about the pros and cons of these special houses, discover their unique appraisal and restoration issues and much more.
Doing Business in Brazil
In 2010, Brazil’s economy was bustling, the middle-class was growing, and the 2016 Rio Olympics looming. Today’s outlook – hampered by lackluster GDP growth, investor concerns, and the 2014 presidential elections (EIU ViewsWire, Mar. 4, 2013) – is quite a bit less exuberant. Find out why in this updated guide to doing business in Brazil.
Mold and 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.
Property Tax Appeals
You just received your property taxes and they’ve gone up again. What can you do? Although each individual assessing body has a different method of filing property tax appeals, this field guide offers some general guidelines and resources to give you an edge in the process.
Using Digital Video as a Sales Tool
With YouTube practically a household word and digicams and video-editing software becoming ever more sophisticated and affordable, digital video is suddenly where the action is. Property sellers and real estate professionals alike are finding out how easy and effective it is to create and post homemade virtual tours, neighborhood guides, and other videos to help sell real estate. This field guide explores why and how to market real estate using videos on the Web.
Effects of Low-Income Housing on Property Values
Are the sales prices of single-family homes made higher or lower when low-income housing is nearby? Most studies indicate that affordable housing has no long term negative impact on surrounding home values. In fact, some research indicates the opposite! However, local communities continue to believe the myth, raising a cry of “Not in my Backyard!” The following articles and studies examine the effects of low-income, public, and subsidized housing on the values of surrounding properties, the challenge of NIMBY, and some possible resources people can use to educate community groups and local governments. Most of the studies are in PDF format so be sure you have the free Adobe Reader program on your computer.
A member called us this week asking how many cold-calls would she need to make a week to be successful. Not such an easy question as a lot of factors come into play – what is successful? How good of a cold-caller is she? What’s her market doing? Lots of variables come into play here. However we did find some information to help her get a start.
The Direct Marketing Association publishes an annual study Response Rate Report that shows that a phone call has about a 13% conversion rate into a sale (if I’m reading it right a true ‘cold call’ stands at just over 8 percent). Of course a lot of this has do to with your pitch, script, targeting, etc. And an article in REALTOR® Magazine says that “experts say you get one lead for every 25 calls you make,” which is closer to a 4 percent conversion rate.
The book Up and Running in 30 Days by Carla Cross takes a broader approach using ‘contacts’ rather than telephone calls. She says that on the sales side 400 contacts per month will return 8 qualifying appointments that will result in 8 showings that will average over time as 1 sale. On the listing side 400 contacts a month will result in 4 seller-qualifying appointments that will lead to 1 listing.
Regardless of how you connect, be sure you abide by the various rules and regulations when prospecting.