OfferPad, an Opendoor competitor, launches ‘Agent-on-Demand’

Inmannews - Tue, 08/22/2017 - 6:01am
Buyers will soon be able to use their smartphones to access Phoenix listings owned by OfferPad, an "iBuyer" that uses technology to quickly buy and resell homes ...
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Handling objections: How to chase and unpack the ‘no’

Inmannews - Tue, 08/22/2017 - 3:00am
Is there a winning formula that can help us deal with objections effectively? Should we actually encourage objections? In this post, Dale Archdekin shares his winning tactics for reverting objections and making them work in his favor ...
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How do you stack up online? Find out with these 4 free tools

Inmannews - Tue, 08/22/2017 - 2:30am
The majority of real estate agents I meet have no idea if their online efforts are paying off at all. They are told they need to have a Facebook page, that SEO is important and that they should be sending out a regular email newsletter to stay top-of-mind with clients ...
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How to ruin your buyer’s agent reputation in 5 easy steps

Inmannews - Tue, 08/22/2017 - 2:00am
Almost all real estate agents belong to at least one Facebook group where a few times a week, a listing agent is so hopping mad he or she has to vent or his or her head might actually explode ...
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How to avoid cultural gift-giving faux pas that can cost you clients

Inmannews - Tue, 08/22/2017 - 1:30am
Gift giving can be a great way to show your appreciation to clients; it sends a positive message and builds better relationships to encourage further business. Well, it usually does. In certain cultures, a poorly chosen gift is often more than just a disappointment; it can be a blatant sign of disrespect ...
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How to boost your lead nurturing with targeted blog content

Inmannews - Tue, 08/22/2017 - 1:00am
Every successful real estate agent will tell you that nurturing a healthy pipeline of people who can lead to your next closing is crucial for survival in this business. But creating value during the nurturing process can be a huge challenge ...
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Some Apartment Markets Are Facing Challenges

American Apartment Owners Association - Mon, 08/21/2017 - 10:58pm

Apartment rents are not growing as quickly as they had been, according to research firm RealPage Inc.

In a few overbuilt downtowns, apartment rents are starting to fall. But experts claim that demand for apartment units continues to be so strong, the trend won’t last for long.

“The story in these markets is the apartment story writ large: the high levels of apartment construction are not enough to house the 1.2 million or so new households formed each year without increased single-family construction,” says John Affleck, research strategist with the CoStar Group.

Apartment rents are still growing, but not as quickly as they had been, in markets across the country, according to research firm RealPage Inc. Rent growth is slowing the most in a handful of cities where developers have opened thousands of new apartments recently.

Rents fall in Houston

In Houston, rents dropped by 1.6 percent on average over the past year, according to RealPage. In the top “urban core” neighborhoods where developers have opened the most new apartments, rents have fallen by more than 10.0 percent. Apartment occupancy rate in the city averaged 92.9 percent in mid-2017, down 180 basis points from the high of 2015.

“There is still some pain immediately ahead for Houston, mainly reflecting that another 22,000 or so apartments will be delivered in the coming few months,” says Greg Willett, chief economist for RealPage.

However, the outlook for Houston is strong. “Once we get past early 2018, however, the completion pace will slow to a trickle in a metro likely to be experiencing robust employment growth,” says Willett. “The metro has the potential to move from performance laggard status to star positioning very quickly.”

New York City

The rents in New York City are barely growing. Revenue growth was close to zero over the 12 months that ended in mid-2017. “So not terrible, but very little rent growth,” says Barbara Denham, senior economist with research firm Reis Inc.

Developers are expected to open 20,000 new apartments in New York City this year, according to RealPage. That’s about 25 percent up from the year before. “Some further rent cuts are possible,” says Willett. “Queens will join Manhattan and Brooklyn among the areas struggling to digest sizable new supply.”

Nashville, Tenn.

Developers are now opening new apartments in Nashville at a rate of nearly 8,000 a year. That’s about double the rate of completions in 2016 and 2015, according to RealPage. The occupancy rate was 95 percent at mid-year, 160 basis points lower than it was 12 months ago.

Rents still grew by 3.4 percent in Nashville over the 12 months ended at mid-year. That’s close to twice the overall rate of inflation. But it’s less than half the rent growth compared with the year before, when developers opened half as many new apartments. “And the downtown submarket—where construction is heaviest—is suffering sizable rent cuts,” says Willett.

Rents are growing in smaller markets

Not all apartment markets are cooling off. The places where the pace of rent growth sped up the most include Colorado Springs, Colo.; Ventura County, Calif.; Tacoma, Wash. and Sacramento, Calif. Effective rents grew on average between 5.0 percent and 8.0 percent in these markets over the 12 months that ended in mid-2017.

These towns don’t have much in common, except they are located in close proximity to markets with very expensive apartment rents, including Denver, Los Angeles, Seattle and San Francisco, according to Denham.

Source: NRE Investor

The post Some Apartment Markets Are Facing Challenges appeared first on AAOA.

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Want to Be a Real Estate Millionaire? Here’s How to Invest with a Single Click

American Apartment Owners Association - Mon, 08/21/2017 - 10:53pm
Think real estate investing is only for the super-wealthy? Here’s how you can get involved right now.   Real estate. It’s the one constant that millionaires and billionaires have in common. The real estate asset class is one of the most beloved investment vehicles of all time, thanks to our common belief that — no matter what happens with our crazy world — people will still need a place on Earth to live and work. Our most recent financial crisis notwithstanding, real estate values have been on a steady upward climb ever since it was possible to own land. So for entrepreneurs and investors alike, real estate has been the holy grail of wealth creation.

Now, the downside: Owning a residential or commercial building takes hard work, dedication, experience, and that wonderful thing called cash. In fact, even buying a small multi-family building can be a challenge for most retirement investors, since even that kind of small purchase can require upwards of a 25 percent down payment.

That’s where the wonderful world of crowdfunding has come into play and has completely revolutionized the way we invest in real estate.

Five years ago, would-be commercial real estate investors got a present from an unlikely Santa Claus: the U.S. Congress. When Congress passed the Jumpstart Our Business Act (or JOBS Act, for short), it allowed companies to advertise their public offerings, opening the door to crowdfunding as a means to raise millions in investment capital.

Fortunately for investors of all types, real estate became the perfect asset class for crowdfunding: stable, tangible, and relatively predictable in its growth and eventual returns.

Now, you can own a commercial building in literally a single click through today’s top crowdfunding portals, with investments sometimes starting in the hundreds of dollars.

If you’re looking to get started in real estate in a few hours or less, here are a few tips to get you started:

1. Understand how crowdfunding portals work.

There are many crowdfunding portals out there selling real estate, with varying rules, requirements and offerings, ranging from individual deals to large funds with varying degrees of risk and return. Research many, and choose the one that fits your risk profile and investing style.

2. Ascertain what kind of investor you are.

There are two classes of investors: accredited and non-accredited. Accredited investors are typically already millionaires, and have supplied documentation of their net worth. This gives them broader access to deals than non-accredited investors, who can typically only invest in a more limited capacity.

3. Carefully weigh any investment, with the help of an expert.

Investments lose money. Companies go bankrupt. Vet your investment options carefully to make sure you’re choosing an experienced real estate manager that fits your risk profile. Plus, there are other signs you can look for that indicate your hard-earned money will be well taken care-of.

For instance, the principals of Origin Investments, a Chicago-based real estate investment firm, actually invest right alongside their investors. This makes them much more accountable for their strategy and execution than a company that is only using investor money to purchase real estate assets.

One Origin principal, Michael Episcope, told me that his previous two funds have delivered annualized returns of 23 to 25 percent to investors so far.

“We knew that investing alongside our investors was the key to assuring them that we were all in this together,” said Episcope. “Brilliant investment opportunities are out there, as long as you’re willing to do your homework on the companies you’re investing in.”

So, the next time you look up at a skyscraper and wonder how you could own one someday, wonder no more. Just buy a small slice of the action, and you’ll be in on the ground floor, so to speak.

Just don’t brag too much to your friends.

The opinions expressed here by columnists are their own, not those of

Source: Inc

The post Want to Be a Real Estate Millionaire? Here’s How to Invest with a Single Click appeared first on AAOA.

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The Rent To Value Ratio – Another Way to Evaluate Rental Homes

American Apartment Owners Association - Mon, 08/21/2017 - 7:50pm

The Rent To Value ratio is a simple calculation. It is the value of a home divided by 12 months of rent. EXAMPLE:

$175,000 value home rents for $1100/month$175,000 / $13,200 ($1,100 x 12)Rent to Value ratio or Rental Yield is 13.29%

The home is valued at 13.29 times the annual amount of rent it commands in the current market, or the rental yield is 13.29%. Rental Yield is considered one of many ways in which one can evaluate a potential rental property or area. It is similar to the Earnings to Price Ratio in the stock market, the earnings of a stock compared to its cost per share.

This number can vary quite a bit, from under 2 in some markets to over 15 in others. The idea is that a higher number means that you can accept a lower level of appreciation in value purchasing in an area if this ratio is high. You’ll more than make up for low appreciation over the ownership period with higher cash flow over the expenses of ownership. That is of course if rents hold and you can keep vacancy down.

This ratio can be very different in a city or market area for different neighborhoods. When some areas have been harder hit with more distress and foreclosure sales, the prices have been depressed enough to drive up this ratio. Rents are higher in relation to the value of the property.

An example of this is Atlanta, GA. The south side of Atlanta had significantly higher rates of foreclosure than the northern areas of the city. Rental homes on the south side have higher ratios, sometimes double or more the yields for the north side. Northern areas of the city fared better during the real estate and mortgage crash that began in 2006. Prices didn’t suffer as much, and home values have been higher over time than those on the south side.

Two areas, New York and Las Vegas, show two very different pictures for rental yields. In the New York area, prices for homes are high, and in Las Vegas, distress and foreclosure sales were huge during the market crash. The New York area shows the vast majority of homes with rental yields between 2% and 8%. On the other end, Las Vegas has a majority with yields over 14 percent.

Making a rental property purchase decision on rental yield or cash flow alone isn’t a good idea. Appreciation in value over time is also very important to the investor. While rents can vary over time due to economic and demand factors, it is a better investment if the property is appreciating in value at a decent rate.

Locating a potential rental property purchase in an area with historically solid price appreciation and at a price that has a higher rental yield than other homes for sale in that area is probably worth serious consideration.

Source: Huffington Post

The post The Rent To Value Ratio – Another Way to Evaluate Rental Homes appeared first on AAOA.

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6 Compromises to Make for Student Renters

American Apartment Owners Association - Mon, 08/21/2017 - 4:42pm

So, you’ve become a property manager, and you need to find residents. Your first instinct is to target college students. You know that to pique their interest, your property must fit their needs. You’ll have to fine-tune your lease terms to attract them, but how? If you’d like to rent your property to college students, consider making these six compromises.

1. Include a subletting clause in the lease

Remember that your student renters are only in school for nine months out of the year. On top of that, they may intern in another town for a semester or study abroad. So, it’s likely that they won’t live in the apartment for some duration of the lease.

Your property will be more attractive to students if you allow subletting. They’ll be able to go home for the summer or seek jobs in other places without paying full price for an empty apartment.

If you’re feeling uneasy about bringing subtenants into the lease agreement, involve yourself in the process as much as possible. Work with your student renter to interview some reliable candidates. You also have the right to tell your student renter that they will be held responsible if the subtenant causes any property damage.

2. Allow pets

Image via

Whether they’re furry, scaly, or feathery, pets can improve a college student’s living situationgreatly. During the most stressful times, animals are excellent sources of therapy for students. They can also cure homesickness and loneliness. Plus, owning pets helps students practice responsibility!

If your student renter lived on-campus before, they probably had to go a year or two without their hometown four-legged friend by their side. They’ll be happy to find a landlord that will consider their pet as a roommate during school.

As the landlord, you can limit the sizes and types of pets allowed in the apartment. Would you prefer animals kept in tanks? If you allow furry pets, should they be breeds that don’t shed? Ask for a “pet deposit” on top of your student renter’s security deposit to ensure that their pet doesn’t harm the property.

3. Have some utilities included for a lower cost (or free)

After spending so much on tuition and books every year, college students want to save as much money as possible on housing. You’ll attract more student renters to your property if you cover the cost of amenities like Wi-Fi and cable.

Even if you don’t want to cover the cost entirely, you might consider paying at least a portion of it yourself. This way, it’s still a discount for your renters.

It’s also a good idea to invest in some appliances for your student renters. It doesn’t have to be all appliances — just the big essentials. Provide a washing machine, dryer, and dishwasher. Most college students will not be able to afford these items on their own, so if you don’t have them, they probably won’t consider renting your property.

4. Rent to multiple tenants

Image via

College students are most likely going to search for an apartment with a group of friends. The reason for this is simple: more people means less rent per person. Your property might only be a two-bedroom apartment, but are you sure you can’t fit more than two people?

If you can double the number of beds in each room, you’ll attract twice as many student renter groups. Of course, make sure that the apartment is big and safe enough for a group before you add more furniture.

5. Keep up with the safety of the living space

You’ll put parents at ease with this one. Before you bring in student renters, make sure that your property has ample security features. Additionally, try to gauge the safety of the neighborhood. Your student renters might be out late, so ask yourself if they would be comfortable on their way home at night.

The most common safety features to include are an alarm system, fire extinguisher, deadbolt locks, and external security cameras. You should also be sure to test your fire alarms and carbon monoxide detectors.

It’s important to stay on top of any repairs in the apartment. It’s likely that your student renter will be living on their own for the first time and won’t know how to fix a broken stove. If you can, help them out as soon as possible to avoid any future accidents or further damages.

6. Use social media to advertise

Image via

When your property is ready for college life, social media will help you rake in the tenant applications. A simple Facebook post will go a very long way — especially if you get your friends to share it.

Include lots of pictures and boast about your property’s highlights. Even when you find tenants, don’t stop there! Keep the public updated on some interesting events in the neighborhood. Reach out to current tenants for testimonials. This way, you can hold the interest of students that would like to rent your property in the future.

Source: ULoop

The post 6 Compromises to Make for Student Renters appeared first on AAOA.

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Not for the faint of heart: Tales from the landlord trenches

Inmannews - Mon, 08/21/2017 - 2:40pm
The house was between tenants when an upstairs water pipe burst. The water cascaded down, down, down, into the crawl space. After filling that area, it spilled out into the yard, creating a wading pool outside. I didn’t find out about the flood until the four-figure water bill arrived. ...
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EMoov, a UK hybrid real estate brokerage, nabs $12M in funding

Inmannews - Mon, 08/21/2017 - 2:02pm
EMoov, a UK hybrid real estate brokerage, has raised an additional 9 million pounds ($11.6 million) in funding, with plans to boost its technology and marketing, news outlets are reporting ...
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Double your business with smart online lead conversion

Inmannews - Mon, 08/21/2017 - 1:33pm
Reeling in leads is no mean feat, but there are certain things you can do to improve conversion rates, such as calling leads within 30 seconds, sending video messages and following up relentlessly. Watch Realtor Rachel Adams, broker-owner Jesse Zagorsky and Homecity Real Estate CEO Keith Dunham reveal more tips for doubling your business with online leads and lead conversion ...
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Inman reader poll: Do you approve or disapprove of President Trump?

Inmannews - Mon, 08/21/2017 - 12:37pm
One year ago, we asked Inman readers who they supported in the presidential election. We want to take your pulse again ...
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Realtors stand against hate in Charlottesville’s aftermath

Inmannews - Mon, 08/21/2017 - 11:57am
This week, just two blocks from where several hundred white nationalists and supremacists recently shook the city of Charlottesville, Virginia, and the nation to its core, team members at real estate brokerage Nest Realty will meet to brainstorm what they can do to make a difference ...
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Reviews Aren’t Just For Restaurants: How A Property Manager Boosted Its Online Reputation

American Apartment Owners Association - Mon, 08/21/2017 - 11:42am
“When we’ve created a happy resident environment, it can be broadcast to different channels to help improve our overall online presence,” says Lincoln Property’s Sheri Killingsworth.

Lincoln Property Company, a national home and business real estate firm with 500 communities within its network, has seen the traditional apartment search process go from word-of-mouth to mostly being driven by online reviews and social media.

In other words, real estate has a lot in common with restaurants — and pretty much every business — in driving new customers.

The real estate service company was struggling to manage all the customer reviews of its multi-family housing. As a result, its search rankings were slipping.

Lincoln Property first tapped a reputation management company in 2012. While things improved, its strategy nevertheless suffered from a gap when it came to social media listening/responding and online presence management.

Last year, Lincoln Property turned to Chatmeter, an online presence and reviews management platform.

In a matter of weeks, Lincoln Property’s total review quantity rose 71 percent with a 277 percent increase in the number of reviews posted on Google and a 63 percent increase on Yelp.

The company’s response rate to resident and prospect reviews also improved, growing by 212 percent. In 2016 alone, Lincoln responded to 50 percent of its total reviews received across sites like Google, Yelp, Facebook and Apartment Ratings.

To get a sense of how Chatmeter boosted Lincoln Property’s online engagement, we checked in with Sheri Killingsworth, the real estate service provider’s VP of Marketing and Communications, and Chatmeter CEO and founder Collin Holmes.

Had Lincoln Property ever worked with an online reputation and reviews management provider before?

Sheri Killingsworth: Yes, we worked with ReviewPush prior to moving the portfolio over to Chatmeter. The military side worked with Connectivity before joining us on Chatmeter.

How did Lincoln Property first approach Chatmeter?

Collin Holmes: Lincoln Property had been using a review monitoring software since 2012 which worked fine for simply monitoring their reviews. However, it did not give them the capability to manage their complete online presence. They needed a more robust tool that would also allow them to manage the constant stream of social media content, analyze the sentiment behind customer reviews and comments and generate actionable data that could help properties make real improvements.

How/why did Lincoln choose Chatmeter?

SK: We chose Chatmeter because of the platform’s ability to do more than aggregate reviews. It was a much more robust system and gave us better information with regards to our overall online presence and where we were missing the boat. It was also incredibly advantageous for us to move over to Chatmeter because of the support and customer service they offered. It was imperative that we partner with a company that could help with new set-ups, training, troubleshooting, reporting and more.

What were Lincoln Property’s initial goals before working with Chatmeter, and how did the goals/results evolve?

SK: Our initial goal was pretty simple: get everyone on the platform and get them using it. After we accomplished that and the teams were acclimated to the platform, it was much easier to outline expectations and put a strategic reputation management and social listening plan in place for our communities.

CH: When signing on with Chatmeter, Lincoln Property’s main goal was to become more responsive towards their residents. They were receiving a massive amount of reviews for each property, both good and bad, and in order to respond properly, they needed to understand what their residents really wanted. Through sentiment analysis and engaging with customers online, they were able to dig deeper to understand what their residents were saying and learn how they could improve the living experience. Along with becoming more responsive, they also strived to increase the overall quantity and quality of their reviews and effectively manage their online presence to increase visibility in the local search results for all of their properties.

Lincoln’s goals evolved by establishing efficient ways to manage the influx of reviews. They wanted to become proactive with their reputation management by staying aware of all reviews and the events occurring at each individual location. In order to do so, they utilized Chatmeter’s daily email alerts. These alerts supply the property managers with all reviews that come in, so that they can then talk to any additional people about the incident, collect information and work with a regional manager on a proposed response.

How did Lincoln Property view the challenges in improving its reviews and gaining insights from its online presence?

SK: Improving our ratings and reviews would only come with providing superior customer service, creating relationships, and building a sense of community among our residents. When those key factors are in place, asking residents to tell us about their experience via Yelp, Google, or Facebook becomes much easier.

Taking a step back and looking at the entire resident experience, from move-in to move-out, has been imperative in fine tuning our programs and services we put in place. When we’ve created a happy resident environment, it can be broadcast to different channels to help improve our overall online presence.

What were the first steps Chatmeter took when taking on Lincoln Property as a client?

CH: The first step we always start with is assigning a Customer Success Manager who is Lincoln’s main point of contact and their consultant for everything they could want to know about Local SEO and reputation management. The Customer Success Manager then uploaded Lincoln’s properties onto our platform for monitoring and set up the property managers with logins.

Our platform has excellent enterprise capabilities which allow a hierarchy of users, for example, the property managers are given permissions to view their properties while the regional managers are set up with their different groups of properties that they manage.

Once the dashboard was set up, our CSM then trained the entire staff on the usage of the platform and provided the managers with materials to continue training all property managers.

We provided roll up and roll down reporting capabilities to help establish awareness and proactivity through the whole company.

Finally, we analyzed data pulled from our platform and set benchmarks for what a great property looks like so that managers can analyze each location and target specific improvements that are needed.

What insights and advice did Chatmeter provide?

CH: We provided Lincoln Property with an efficient and effective way to manage their reviews, listings, media, and rankings through our dashboard that kept all employees throughout the company accountable. Most importantly, we educated the company on the awareness and importance of multi-family properties’ online reputations and visibility, and demonstrated the impacts of improving their visibility.

In terms of the results (71 percent overall review quality increase, 212 percent improvement in response rate), can you put those numbers in context and explain how Chatmeter helped drive those numbers?

CH: Lincoln Property had access to reviews posted on major review sites directly from their dashboard, as well as daily alerts on new reviews for each individual location. This allows Lincoln’s property managers to instantly react to changes occurring online and manage interactions with residents to help ensure that they are positive occurrences.

Is there a substantive difference in the way reviews and online reputation are managed when it comes to a real estate client as opposed to a restaurant or retailer or contractor?

CH: Being in the multi-family property management industry, feedback in the form of reviews can be highly sensitive compared to a local restaurant or retailer. The reviews that come in could be talking about mold growing in an apartment, a bug problem, or other important crises, which are drastically bigger issues than a meal arriving to the table cold. After all, they are dealing with people in their homes.

Lincoln is in an extremely competitive industry where people are conducting huge amounts of research before deciding on where they want to live. The reviews, media and online reputation of each property can determine whether or not the company will acquire and retain customers worth upwards of $10,000 a year.”

How has Lincoln Property’s work with Chatmeter evolved? 

SK: The efforts have been ongoing since we launched our partnership with Chatmeter. We continually utilize the platform to its fullest extent and try to find new ways to drive the message that reputation management is imperative, but before that can even be addressed, we have to look at the resident experience.


The post Reviews Aren’t Just For Restaurants: How A Property Manager Boosted Its Online Reputation appeared first on AAOA.

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Re/Max refreshes logos: ‘It’s a brand evolution, not a brand revolution’

Inmannews - Mon, 08/21/2017 - 11:15am
You know the look you have when your hairdresser subtly updates your 'do? Still like yourself -- only a little bit fresher? Today, some people might be looking at Re/Max and wondering what's different about the behemoth real estate brand. ...
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Help millennials find their home’s value with myAVM

Inmannews - Mon, 08/21/2017 - 3:00am
MyAVM by Onboard Informatics is an automated valuation model product aimed at millennials and tech-savvy sellers. It's made for agents and brokers looking to market and attract leads via home valuations. ...
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Gary Gold: Why trusting your gut is critical in real estate

Inmannews - Mon, 08/21/2017 - 3:00am
Our gut is like a second brain, and it’s important in real estate to develop your ability to trust your gut. When we do business, people do and say much different things than they’re actually feeling. You see it in offer negotiations all the time ...
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6 tips to help credit-challenged clients improve scores

Inmannews - Mon, 08/21/2017 - 1:30am
How many buyers have you met who walk in your door with a rotten credit rating and confidently promise to fix things up before they apply for a mortgage ...
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