What baby boomers, Gen X, millennials and Gen Z have in common

Inmannews - 3 hours 17 min ago
Baby Boomers, Gen Xers, millennials and Gen Zers all have a lot to learn from each other, panelists from each generation agreed at Inman Connect San Francisco on Thursday.
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Agents as wealth managers? How to step up your game

Inmannews - 4 hours 16 min ago
Panelists at Inman Connect San Francisco suggested agents become wealth managers at a session called "How To Become a Fiduciary for Your Clients."
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Lead cultivation tool HelloAlex acquires Botplan for undisclosed sum

Inmannews - 5 hours 16 min ago
Automated lead qualification company HelloAlex announced this week the acquisition of Botplan, a chat tool for engaging online leads.
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Updated app reads listing information as your car stops in front of a home

Inmannews - Thu, 07/19/2018 - 4:08pm
The Houston Association of Realtors has officially launched voice commands in its free mobile listing app.Dubbed "Car Mode," the new feature...
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The 3 things every broker needs to do to retain talent

Inmannews - Thu, 07/19/2018 - 3:51pm
Brokers work hard to attract new talent — they tout first-class technology suites, swanky marketing tools and strong support systems. But as session moderator and Better Homes and Gardens Real Estate CEO Sherry Chris noted, recruiting is the "easy" part of the job.
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New York lawsuit calls dual agency deals into question

Inmannews - Thu, 07/19/2018 - 1:20pm
A New York homebuyer has filed suit against Houlihan Lawrence, accusing the firm of "predatory behavior" through a legal practice known as dual agency.
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How can you expand your business through mergers and acquisitions?

Inmannews - Thu, 07/19/2018 - 11:44am
One of the quickest ways for real estate brokerages to grow toward market dominance is through mergers and acquisitions, but how do the titans of the industry eye their next purchase?
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Compass CEO reveals how much his company pays to acquire brokerages

Inmannews - Thu, 07/19/2018 - 10:39am
Compass CEO and founder Robert Reffkin, in a wide-ranging conversation with Inman founder Brad Inman at the Inman Connect San Francisco conference on Thursday, revealed how much Compass pays to acquire brokerages.
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Re/Max will auction off this tiny home to raise money for sick kids

Inmannews - Thu, 07/19/2018 - 10:13am
To celebrate the 35-year anniversary of the Children’s Miracle Network Hospitals, Re/Max is auctioning off a tiny home designed by architectural students.
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Announcing the 2018 Inman Innovator Award winners

Inmannews - Thu, 07/19/2018 - 9:22am
The annual Inman Innovator Awards honor the creative companies, organizations and individuals pushing the boundaries of the real estate industry.
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Single-family rental units have never been easier to buy

American Apartment Owners Association - Thu, 07/19/2018 - 9:11am

Roofstock CEO Gary Beasley was browsing through his company’s website while on a flight to New York when his neighbor leaned over and asked what he was looking at. Beasley explained that Roofstock is an online investment platform for buying and selling single-family rental properties.

After getting an impromptu demo, Beasley’s neighbor registered on the site and took a rental unit off the market before their plane even landed. Flight attendants brought them champagne to celebrate the deal.

“He was blown away,” Beasley said of his neighbor.

This in-flight sale of a rental home highlights the speed and ease with which single-family rental (SFR) homes can exchange hands now. New online SFR platforms allow investors to trade homes and collect rent as easily as if they were trading stocks and collecting dividends on Etrade, as the platforms help investors not only buy the property, but finance, lease, and manage it as well.

“In order to do this back in the day, you really had to buckle up your boots and do a lot of heavy lifting,” said Rick Palacios, director of research at John Burns Real Estate Consulting. “Now, anybody with some money can do it through these platforms. The convenience and the ease of use is just light years ahead of what it was a decade ago.”

Roofstock is just one of many SFR investment platforms that have sprung up since the housing bust in 2008. Aside from ease and convenience, these platforms allow investors to buy and own rental homes in multiple parts of the country at once, whereas before it was almost certain that investors would buy in the city in which they live. Even today, about 70 percent of SFR properties are owned by someone whose primary residence is within 10 miles of the rental property, according to RentRange.

The platforms also give investors the same data and tools that big institutional SFR operators like Invitation Homes used to buy single-family homes out of foreclosure in bulk after the financial crisis. OwnAmerica, an SFR listings service similar to Roofstock, lures in potential sellers by offering this data for free if they register their SFR unit on the site. The data includes the property’s monthly rent, annual taxes, and projected price appreciation, in addition to information on neighborhood quality and schools.

“All the stuff you see on the [OwnAmerica] site, all those analytics, those are institutional quality analytics,” said OwnAmerica founder Greg Rand. “We serve all the big Wall Street players, and so we repackage what we do for everybody else.”

In many ways, the SFR investment platforms are a byproduct of Invitation Homes and other Wall Street landlords, not only because the platforms are providing their tools to “mom and pop” investors, but in some cases the platforms were founded by former executives of SFR operators. Beasley, for example, was the CEO of Colony Starwood Homes, which merged with Invitation Homes in 2017.

Institutional SFR companies own somewhere around 250,000 SFR properties, a mere fraction of the 17 million SFR properties in the United States. Most SFR landlords are “mom and pop” investors who own only one house; in a lot of cases, these people become landlords when they buy a new house and decide to rent out their old house.

OwnAmerica and Roofstock work like a listing service for SFR properties the same way Zillow is a listings service for owner-occupied housing. The companies don’t own the houses, but charge sellers a listings fee and advertise the home to potential buyers.

After a customer buys a home on the platform, the company will help the buyer secure a mortgage if needed, and also find a property management company to handle leasing, maintenance, and rent collection, although buyers are free to facilitate these services on their own.

Other companies in the space have a slightly different model. HomeUnion actually buys the home, renovates it, leases a tenant, and then sells it to an investor on its platform as a property that’s producing rent the day the investor buys it. It also has a “fix-and-flip” fund that raises capital with which the company can buy and renovate those homes.

Since the financial crisis, institutional capital from hedge funds, investment banks, and accredited investors has flowed into home flipping, whereas prior to the collapse, it was a mostly fragmented, local, and informal business. HomeUnion’s business model blends both fix-and-flip lending and SFR investment.

“One side feeds the other,” said HomeUnion founder Don Ganguly. “If you’re not up for owning those [SFR homes] directly you can go to the [fix-and-flip] fund and put in 10 grand minimum. Then we buy it, renovate it, and turn around and sell it to investors on the other side of the platform as a ready [to rent] property.”

Investability Solutions has a similar model, but after a few years of serving “mom and pop” investors, the company decided to target more middle market rental companies that own 1,000 or more properties and institutional SFR operators. The company buys a property, renovates it, puts a tenant in it, and then sells it to a company like Invitation Homes or American Homes 4 Rent. And they do this at scale to feed the rental companies, which are hungry for new inventory.

There’s also a company that bills itself as the “Kayak for SFR properties.” Entera, which got its start helping institutional SFR companies find property, pools SFR property listings from Roofstock, OwnAmerica, iBuyer platforms, multiple listings services, and other traditional real estate listings services. The company claims it gives investors more choice than the companies with proprietary listings can offer, and it can also help buyers secure a mortgage and find a property manager.

The rush of companies looking to assist mom and pop investors with SFR properties underscores what’s become a brave new world for the single-family rental industry since the housing bust in 2008. Technology and data have given companies a way to have a footprint in every market in America.

And the demand for SFR properties has never been stronger, as there appears to be a mad dash to acquire units from mom and pop investors and institutional SFR operators alike. With home prices in most markets having fully recovered from the bust in 2008, companies like Invitation Homes are getting cozy with home builders in effort to get supply straight from the source. There’s even been entire single-family neighborhoods built solely for a company to rent it out.

“I think that’s one of the primary reasons why we’re bullish on the space from a growth perspective,” Palacios said. “We have so much confidence that it will continue to gain market share.”




The post Single-family rental units have never been easier to buy appeared first on AAOA.

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2018, a Pivotal Year in the Affordable Housing Industry

American Apartment Owners Association - Thu, 07/19/2018 - 9:07am

2018 has been a pivotal year in the Affordable Housing sector under the current administration. With a shortage of 7.2 million affordable housing units and the highest increase in homelessness in almost a decade according to HUD, the Joint Center for Housing Studies of Harvard University, and other sources, the need for innovation and simplification has never been greater.

In February, HUD Secretary, Ben Carson, declared in the agency report, Strategic Plan Fiscal Years 2018-2022, the department’s goal to “move away from the policies and programs of the past and develop an innovative approach that anticipates the housing needs of the future, while addressing current needs.”

Several hundred Affordable industry professionals packed the session on Affordable Industry Updates at RealWorld 2018 to hear HUD’s Housing Program Manager, Lanier Hylton, and other experts address how these changes will directly impact their communities.

HUD priority goals, waiting list data and e-signature initiatives

HUD has established four broad Agency Priority Goals (APGs) that it expects to achieve over the next two years:

  1. Promote economic opportunity for HUD-assisted residents by encouraging self-sufficiency and financial stability, as measured by increasing the proportion of household who exit HUD-assisted housing for positive reasons.
  2. Transform assisted housing by transitioning 105,000 additional Public Housing units to a more sustainable platform by the end of FY 2019.
  3. Reduce the average length of homelessness in communities by an average of three days by the end of FY 2019.
  4. Protect families from lead-based paint and other health hazards by making an additional 23,500 at-risk housing units healthy and lead-safe by the end of FY 2019.

The Agency is also implementing some firsts in data retrieval and document management in alignment with these APGs. They include:

  • Tracking waitlist data that will enable operations to view vacancy status and availability.
  • E-signature implementation that will expedite document workflow via online portals and email.

Jenny DeSilva, Director for Blueprint Housing Solutions, also clarified updates regarding Fixed Income Verifications that must occur every three years. She noted the process has been made easier and more convenient by allowing qualified residents to self-certify asset value and other aspects of the verification process.

LIHTC and a snapshot of recent legislation

“The Consolidated Appropriations Act of 2018 included a 12.5 percent increase in LIHTC allocations for the next four years, but it might not fill the gap created by the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act (TCJA) [passed in 2017] because it will have little effect on the pricing of credits and investor tax benefits and is not a permanent fix. This uncertainty comes amid a deepening affordable rental housing crisis: only around 20 percent of households that qualify for housing assistance receives any.” – Urban Institute Research report, From Safety Net to Solid Ground: The Low-Income Housing Tax Credit – Past Achievements, Future Challenges, July 2018

RealPage’s Greg Proctor, Vice President of Compliance, highlighted the impact of recent legislation and policies on an embattled LIHTC program:

  • The National Council of State Housing Agencies (NCSHA) compliance policy advocates limiting developer and consultant fees which will cause some slow down in the units being built.The Council is also recommending a minimum threshold for rehabs, implementing needs assessment qualification and the waiver of a qualified contract.
  • The overall impact of the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act (TCJA) is discouraging industry investment because the trickle down effect of a reduced corporate tax rate is a decreased value in LIHTC investments.
  • To offset some of the adverse effects of the TCJA, the Omnibus Spending Bill includes a new income-averaging set-aside option that would enable more income diversity, balancing higher-income and lower-income units and making more households eligible for LIHTC properties.
  • The HUD Streamlining Final Rule limits the number of inspections on the properties or verifications every year.
Rural housing developments

Last month, the current administration recommended—in addition to an overhaul of federal government agencies and programs—moving the USDA’s loan guarantee and rental assistance programs to HUD. According to the Recommendations Summary of Proposal, “…Having both USDA and HUD housing programs administered by HUD would allow both agencies to focus on their core missions and, over time, further align the Federal Government’s role in housing policy.”

Despite the monumental changes and challenges facing the Affordable industry, Gustavo Sapiurka, RealPage SVP Enterprise Solutions, did not hesitate to praise this group—representing one of RealPage’s largest customer bases—for their dedication to providing quality housing for every one—a commitment that RealPage shares with its Affordable partners.

Learn more about how RealPage’s Affordable Solutions streamline document management workflows, automate move-ins, expedite certifications, and maintain compliance.



The post 2018, a Pivotal Year in the Affordable Housing Industry appeared first on AAOA.

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Best Ways to Attract Millennial Renters

American Apartment Owners Association - Thu, 07/19/2018 - 9:02am

Real estate investors, developers and property owners in major cities throughout the country have the ongoing challenge of attracting the next generation entering the “real world” and leaving their hometowns behind. Millennials—or those aged 22 to 37 in 2018—recently surpassed baby boomers as the largest generation in America. Accounting for such a large portion of the U.S. population makes millennial spending habits of extreme interest to everyone from retailers to real estate agents. For those in the real estate business it’s imperative to continue to adjust to trends that are attracting this younger demographic. In a city like Philadelphia, which from 2005 to 2016 experienced a 41 percent increase in millennials moving into the city, property owners and brokers must adjust and rebrand their properties accordingly to drive interest.

The next Williamsburg

Relative affordability and a stable job market represent potential for significant growth in the Philadelphia real estate market. In fact, the city was named in a 2017 Trulia study as the best place in the country for young adults, for a variety of reasons. Philadelphia and New York City are less than 100 miles apart, but the real estate industry in each respective city seemed worlds away for many years. While prices in Manhattan remain predictably costly, and many young professionals continue to be willing to pay them, others see the benefits of settling down somewhere less expensive. Young professionals have taken note of Philadelphia’s relatively moderate pricing in comparison to other East Coast locations like New York, D.C. and Boston, and developers and property owners have worked to respond accordingly.

Ultimately, it is every developers’ objective to identify a neighborhood and specific properties before they become the hottest area in a city. While Philadelphia neighborhoods like Fishtown and Northern Liberties have effectively broken through the ‘up-and-coming’ phase in recent years, millennial migration and rental trends remind some of a bustling Williamsburg or Greenpoint 15 to 20 years ago, before they exploded in popularity. As such, developers maintain a keen eye on properties that can be redeveloped and rebranded in order to capitalize on the area’s influx of young professionals.

In Northern Liberties, in particular, tenants have easy access to center city jobs with the possibility of waterfront views and less congestion. Couple this with competitive rental prices and an abundance of new restaurants and bars, and you have the makings of an ideal spot for millennials and young professionals. There is even a significant number of professional athletes who view this area as ideal for its nightlife and easy travel to the sports complexes.

Getting ahead of changing interests

While there are many drivers for success in the Philadelphia real estate market, developers still must find ways to differentiate their properties and remain ahead of trends in the region.

In a 2017 study, the National Apartment Association found that apartment dwellers want the opportunity to socialize with others around them and foster a more community feel via amenities. The top 10 amenities participants listed included a fitness center, a clubhouse or common space for socializing and business centers. Traditionally, co-working and open work spaces have been associated with start-ups or entrepreneurs, but in recent years this type of work environment has become mainstream. From June 2016 to June 2017, the number of enterprise companies using WeWork’s co-working spaces increased by 90 percent.

Increasingly, renters are demanding a co-living environment where they can both work and entertain. This often requires renovations and a rebrand, as over half of rental housing stock was built in the 1980s. Younger renters will forego extra space in their unit for additional common space to mix and mingle, and they want to do it in style. Developers continue to find new ways to make these added amenities more luxurious, giving off the vibe of an opulent hotel rather than that of an apartment complex in the city.

With home ownership at a near 50-year low, those who end up renting for several years also want to live in a building that’s conducive to their hobbies, including fitness and wellness. While fitness centers have long been a staple of many residential buildings, offering free classes that encourage group participation and socializing and high-end amenities like spa centers draws millennials in.

As with any major trend impacting the real estate development market, at some point it’s possible that the interest in some amenities, whether it be gyms, movie theaters, or on-site dog parks, will begin to slow down and disappear altogether. But for now, developers are riding the millennial wave and have the opportunity to attract this captive audience, especially as the older segment of this generation hits its peak spending years.



The post Best Ways to Attract Millennial Renters appeared first on AAOA.

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How To Landlord Like A Pro

American Apartment Owners Association - Thu, 07/19/2018 - 8:57am

If you’re thinking about becoming a landlord, income undoubtedly is a motivator in making that decision.

Every month (providing your tenants pay on time, of course), you should receive enough of a payment from your tenant to cover the mortgage outstanding on the property and expenses, allowing you to hold onto the property while it appreciates in value over time.

Tax deductions, long-term security, and the flexibility of managing an investment are other incentives for this career choice.

Below are additional points to consider before jumping headfirst into your new role.

When purchasing an investment property, a common mistake is underestimating the cost of repairs that a property will need before it is put on the market for rent. During the inspection phase of the purchase, do have a thorough home inspection completed to know what you’re getting in to and have firsthand knowledge of what will need to be repaired and replaced.

You’ll want to review all points on your inspection – including the major “systems” of the home, like heating and electricity – and you’ll also probably find that you’ll want to invest in upgrades to three common areas: water, flooring, and door locks. As a cost-saving measure, for instance, you may want to change the toilet to low-flow models.

Don’t underestimate the cost of repairs and maintenance of the property, both when getting a unit ready for a tenant, and when the tenant moves out.

Most landlords factor in the cost of insurance and taxes when figuring out the annual expenses of a property. Frequently, other “soft” expenses – such as landscaping, garbage collection, and regular maintenance – are missed.

According to Money Magazine, you should set aside 35 percent to 45 percent of the annual rental income to cover these costs, and it’s a good rule of thumb to account for only 10 or 11 months per year, assuming there will be vacancy at some point.

Your investment property should be run like a business, and remember that your customer is your tenant. Pre-screening will be vital to ensure that your rental is a good match for a tenant candidate, and not doing so can be costly – both monetarily and emotionally. That said, when it comes time to rent out the property, be thorough.

Tenants should be interviewed on the phone first. Then, it’s important to check your tenants’ credit, speak with their references, and confirm the source and amount of income. Once you’ve found a great tenant, get the lease signed.

While experience is a great teacher, these common mistakes are better to be avoided than lived through.

Being a landlord can be rewarding, and it’s best to know some common missteps of others before moving forward, to reap the results you aspire to.



The post How To Landlord Like A Pro appeared first on AAOA.

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Landlords: These Are the 4 Types of Insurance You May Need

American Apartment Owners Association - Thu, 07/19/2018 - 8:54am

The basics of becoming a landlord are straightforward: Buy a property in a promising neighborhood, fix it up, find tenants, and start charging slightly more than you’re paying in regular costs. But if you want to protect your assets and ensure you’re following every applicable law, things get more complicated.

Consider insurance. The right insurance policy should be able to cover any unexpected financial losses or massive expenses, protecting the profitability of your operation. It can also protect you from legal trouble. But what types of policies do you really need as a landlord?Legal Requirements

Technically, landlords aren’t legally required to have any type of insurance. However, if you’ve taken out a loan on the home, you may be required by the lender that you have a basic homeowner’s insurance policy. Just note that a conventional homeowner’s policy may not protect you if you’re renting out the property to other tenants.

4 Types of Insurance to Consider

There are many types of insurance that you should consider:

  1. Building and property insurance. First, you’ll want a policy that protects your building and property from unexpected damage. Your building is the most significant portion of your investment, and therefore, your biggest financial liability. If something happens to it — such as a roof caving in or a destructive event from a tenant who lives there — you’ll want a comfortable policy that can cover the damages. Otherwise, you’ll end up paying tens of thousands of dollars, possibly compromising your profitability.
  2. Liability insurance. You should also have some type of liability insurance in place. Landlord liability varies depending on where you live, but for the most part, you’re responsible for keeping your property in a safe, livable condition. If one of your tenants trips and falls or hurts themselves while living in the property, they may have grounds to file suit against you. Liability insurance protects you from these events, covering your defense costs and compensating victims.
  3. Loss of income and business interruption insurance. Landlords may also be able to get a form of business interruption insurance, protecting them from possible interruptions to their stream of rental income. For example, if you’re injured and unable to fulfill your responsibilities as a landlord, you may earn compensation that allows you to keep things running. This type of insurance may also help you secure rental income from tenants who are unable to pay.
  4. Protection from specific threats. Property insurance doesn’t cover anything. You’ll want to read your policy closely and get coverage for other specific threats. For example, you might need a separate policy to protect your building from natural disasters like floods or earthquakes.
Landlord Insurance

If you’re looking for a comprehensive policy, you may be able to find a provider who offers collective “landlord insurance,” which offers coverage in several areas, including the four listed above. For the most part, these insurance policies are flexible; you’ll be able to pick the types of coverage and extent of coverage you need, so you can protect yourself from the majority of threats and still stay within your budget. If you’re interested in this type of insurance, it’s advisable to talk to an insurance agent, who will have more insight into the types of policies you need (and the total costs you might face).

Renter’s Insurance

It’s also important to note that your property insurance policy and liability insurance policy won’t protect any of your tenant’s possessions. For example, if leaky plumbing causes water damage to a tenant’s television, your insurance policy may not cover the damages (though it may cover you, if it offers liability coverage). For that, your tenants will need to get a renter’s insurance policy.


As a landlord, you aren’t required to have insurance, but it’s well worth the investment. At a minimum, make sure you have property insurance to protect your house and a liability policy to protect yourself in the event of tenant-related damage. Each new policy will only marginally increase your monthly premiums but may offer substantial additional coverage. So plan conservatively, and protect your investments as comprehensively as you can afford to. One enormous loss could be enough to negate any profit you’d otherwise stand to make.



The post Landlords: These Are the 4 Types of Insurance You May Need appeared first on AAOA.

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Inman Connect San Francisco Live Coverage: Thursday

Inmannews - Thu, 07/19/2018 - 8:29am
Join us throughout the day as we share what's happening behind the scenes, on stage, and in the hallways at Inman Connect San Francisco.
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Former Keller Williams agents clap back at Gary Keller at ICSF panel

Inmannews - Thu, 07/19/2018 - 8:12am
Following a showdown in which Gary Keller scorched technology-forward real estate companies, shotmakers from eXp Realty and Trelora fired back.
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Keeping it real: How to grab and convert potential clients with minimal effort

Inmannews - Thu, 07/19/2018 - 6:00am
Peter Lorimer tackles the ever-important question: What is one of the most effective ways to market and tailor a campaign?
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Inmannews - Thu, 07/19/2018 - 5:00am
Why the changes? says it wants to better serve its increasingly mobile audience. Per its earnings report earlier this year, grew...
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