MLS ownership and governance: What’s the secret sauce?

Inmannews - Tue, 10/31/2017 - 6:00pm
Some MLSs are for-profit while others are non-profit. Some are owned by one shareholder while others are owned by multiple associations. Some owners are involved with decision-making while others are bit more hands off. Watch Council of Multiple Listing Servies CEO Denee Evans on the Inman Connect stage with a panel including CEO Brad Bjelke, MLS Technology CEO Mike Cotrill and IRES MLS CEO Lauren Hansen, discuss the differences between MLS ownership and governance ...
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What do sellers forget to do before they show a home?

Inmannews - Tue, 10/31/2017 - 3:00pm
Sellers often get a little lost in the hustle and bustle of everyday life; in their rush to leave for work or clear out before an open house, they sometimes forget to pick up the kids' toys, straighten up their yards and -- most unpleasantly -- clean their bathrooms ...
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A month in review: The September housing market

Inmannews - Tue, 10/31/2017 - 3:00pm
Every month, economists release a number of indices, reports and analyses of the housing market, and it can be difficult to keep up with them all. Thankfully, the National Association of Realtors (NAR) recapped the month in its new Housing Minute monthly video series ...
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Timeline: Real estate’s Upstream project then and now

Inmannews - Tue, 10/31/2017 - 2:44pm
This timeline of events shows how the National Association of Realtor's Upstream project has unfolded each step of the way ...
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What does Upstream have to show for itself?

Inmannews - Tue, 10/31/2017 - 2:35pm
The National Association of Realtors (NAR) is pouring $15 million into Upstream, an online platform designed to give real estate brokers more control over their data, including property listings. NAR has twice now allocated large chunks of Realtor dues to the project ($6 million in May 2015 and another $9 million in May 2017) ...
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Homeownership rate modestly inches forward

Inmannews - Tue, 10/31/2017 - 1:40pm
Last year in the second quarter, the homeownership rate hit 62.9 percent, the lowest recorded since 1965 in a pattern of decline that began in 2005. As shown in the graph below, the homeownership rate has been creeping up since that time, though it remains an arms-length from the height of the boom when the rate topped 69 percent ...
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Turn your single-listing pages into a full-fledged website

Inmannews - Tue, 10/31/2017 - 12:20pm
In the last year, has expanded its services to offer full-featured, easy-to-use website building capabilities that enable real estate agents to efficiently manage dynamic, mobile-optimized web marketing tools ...
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All of our Halloween 2017 coverage

Inmannews - Tue, 10/31/2017 - 12:07pm
Doorbells start ringing in just a few hours and you're still looking for a costume because you're probably hacking your way to domination and just sold a haunted house. But don't worry ... we have some ideas that are already sitting in your closet! ...
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‘Unstoppable’ home prices hit new high

Inmannews - Tue, 10/31/2017 - 8:31am
August’s S&P/Case-Shiller Home Price Index shows that home prices are continuing to ascend to all-time highs with no signs of slowing down anytime soon. August 2017’s national index comes in at 195.05, a 6.1 percent year-over-year increase from August 2016 and a seasonally adjusted 0.1 percent month-over-month increase ...
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Why Paul Manafort’s real estate agent was forced to testify in court

Inmannews - Tue, 10/31/2017 - 3:00am
Days before Paul Manafort was arrested on a host of charges related to special counselor Robert Mueller’s federal investigation into the Trump campaign’s ties with Russia, an Alexandria, Virginia-based Realtor who worked with the former Trump campaign chairman was forced to testify before a grand jury in connection with the probe ...
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How to partner with investors in your real estate business

Inmannews - Tue, 10/31/2017 - 2:45am
In this video, Chris Haddon and Jason Balin discuss working with real estate investors and how you can provide value to them ...
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Facebook’s new targeting rules: What you should know

Inmannews - Tue, 10/31/2017 - 2:30am
Facebook is having a moment, and not one of the fun, buzzworthy moments it’d like to be having ...
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The nose knows: how to deal with smelly listings

Inmannews - Tue, 10/31/2017 - 2:00am
I love the smell of fresh cut grass. To me, the smell evokes memories of spending pleasant summer evenings out on my deck with friends, watching my horses frolic in lush green pastures and the sun setting in a stunning watercolor painting of gorgeous color and light ...
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New! RentGuard Reimburses Landlords For Evictions, Legal Fees, and Damages Up to $10,000

American Apartment Owners Association - Mon, 10/30/2017 - 3:08pm

Landlords nationwide can reduce their rental risk by using RentGuard to cover costs for evictions, legal fees, and damages up to $10,000. As of yesterday,  RentGuard Analyzer will be included with all tenant screening reports that include an eviction and credit report.  If eligible, you or your applicant will be able to purchase a RentGuard contract and providing you with the ultimate protection and elimination of risk.

“Up until now being a landlord meant potentially losing thousands on an eviction or damages. Even after screening a tenant you couldn’t guarantee that person would be reliable. Now RentGuard will almost completely eliminate these rental risks and give landlords peace of mind,”  says Robbie Cronrod, VP of AAOA.

RentGuard not only provides you with the safety net you’ve always wanted but helps you rent vacancies more quickly.  A RentGuard contract may even be used in lieu of a cosigner or to reduce the security deposit, helping you accommodate a tenant with questionable credit history or insufficient cash to move in.  Should a tenant default and/or damage your property, RentGuard would pay you the full judgment amount (including legal fees) up to the amount of the RentGuard contract, guaranteed.

RentGuard provides landlords with 12 months of protection and four coverage options – $2,500, $5,000, $7,500, and $10,000. Either the landlord or tenant can pay for RentGuard, starting at $299 annually for a $2,500 contract*. RentGuard covers all parties to the lease agreement, so if one applicant is approved, the other co-applicants will be covered as well as long as they are on the lease agreement and judgment.

This AAOA member benefit is great for all landlords looking for the peace of mind in knowing losses are now a thing of the past. Additionally, a Rent Guard contract has benefits built in for tenants too. Tenants with below average credit scores struggling to get approved in competitive rental markets can now find a new rental more easily. If at the end of the first year a tenant has maintained a good payment history, he is rewarded with a certificate of compliance that may help them obtain better loan rates on future purchases. All in all, a Rent Guard contract provides a win-win for both the landlord and tenant.

If you have questions about using RentGuard please call the AAOA team at (866) 579-2262 or visit

*additional terms and conditions apply

The post New! RentGuard Reimburses Landlords For Evictions, Legal Fees, and Damages Up to $10,000 appeared first on AAOA.

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How to compete with Keller Williams before it grabs more share in your market

Inmannews - Mon, 10/30/2017 - 3:00pm
"I hate to lose more than I love to win." That's the motto broker-owner Jerry Holden lives by, and the success of his Ohio-based independent brokerage The Holden Agency is a testament to that: it has not lost any of its market share to big-name brokerage Keller Williams ...
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Markets leaning toward a mortgage rate increase

Inmannews - Mon, 10/30/2017 - 2:49pm
This week we can anticipate announcements around the Fed chair, tax reform and fresh September economic numbers. The 10-year has held the battle of 2.40 percent, and mortgages remain just above 4.00 percent, but odds favor them going up ...
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Trump’s ex-campaign head may have to forfeit these luxe properties

Inmannews - Mon, 10/30/2017 - 2:07pm
Today federal authorities charged President Trump's former campaign chairman Paul Manafort of wiring millions of dollars from offshore accounts to avoid taxes and purchase, among other luxury items, very expensive real estate ...
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Report: Salt Lake ranks No. 3 in U.S. for real estate investment

American Apartment Owners Association - Mon, 10/30/2017 - 12:08pm

SALT LAKE CITY — Utah’s capital city has joined the ranks of the top cities in America for commercial real estate investment, a new report indicates.

This year’s top cities in the “Emerging Trends in Real Estate 2018,” released Thursday by financial services provider PricewaterhouseCoopers and the Urban Land Institute were led by top-rated Seattle, followed by Austin, Texas and Salt Lake City at No. 3.

It was the Utah capital’s first top 10 ranking in the annual report, making it the least populous city to ever break into the top 10.

“The growing interest in smaller cities by real estate investors is influenced by their relative affordability, coupled with a concentration of young, skilled workers,” said report co-author Mitch Roschelle. “The diverse, robust economies of these smaller cities make them very desirable to investors.”

Roschelle noted that Salt Lake City’s combination of job growth and an increasing number of young professionals within its worker population has worked in its favor. He also noted that the cost of doing business is 12 percent lower than the national average, making Salt Lake City even more attractive to investors.

“(They’re) growing a population of young folks, and they’re finding jobs. Employers are coming and they need employees,” Roschelle said. “They need space for the employees. They’re renting space and driving the rents up. This is all the virtuous cycle that cities look for in terms of growing and expanding their economy.”

The move toward higher investment in small metro areas like Salt Lake City is one that is likely to continue for the foreseeable future, he said.

“The trend of smaller markets displacing larger ones as investment hubs is setting a new course for urban development that is reshaping cities across the nation,” said ULI Global CEO Patrick Phillips. “These cities are positioning themselves as highly competitive, in terms of livability, employment offerings, and recreational and cultural amenities.”

A local analyst said Salt Lake City’s reputation for economic vitality has helped make it a sought-after locale for larger capital investors.

Historically Utah’s investment market has been dominated by local investors, with a portion coming from California, explained Eli Mills, senior vice president and investment specialist for the Salt Lake office of commercial real estate firm CBRE. This trend has changed significantly over the past three years to include a great deal of out-of-state and institutional buyers, he said.

Institutional investors are large organizations, such as banks, pension funds, labor unions, or insurance companies that make substantial investments on the stock exchange, Mills explained.

“Typically, institutional investors will only invest in markets where they see the potential for high returns and good future growth,” he said. “Utah has shifted from a market that national and global investors research for potential investment, but do nothing about to a market where they are increasingly, actively investing their money.”



The post Report: Salt Lake ranks No. 3 in U.S. for real estate investment appeared first on AAOA.

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Five Ways to Become a Better Landlord

American Apartment Owners Association - Mon, 10/30/2017 - 12:06pm

It is in a landlord’s best interest to have long-term tenants who pay their rent on time and take great care of the landlord’s property. On average, a landlord spends between 20 and 40 hours to fill each vacancy. That includes advertising, showings, review of applications and execution of the lease agreement. Better landlords understand they are in business and act accordingly. Like with any other business, the owner must understand they are providing a product or service that must be attractive and beneficial to the customer. Here are some ways to become a better landlord:

  1. Make a good first impression – The better landlords recognize the importance of a good first impression. They invest their funds on the curbside appeal of their rental property and make it a priority to ensure their property has a fresh coat of interior paint and new carpet on a regular basis. Above all, these landlords make sure the property is clean and tidy when they show it to potential tenants.
  2. Better landlords understand the rental market and the desires of potential tenants – The current rental market in Flagstaff is driven by location and affordability, so in this type of rental market it is not always prudent to spend a fortune on kitchen and bathroom upgrades to increase your rent to make a profit. Make do with what you have regarding interior fixtures. Focus on making sure your property is safe, clean, attractive and that all appliances and systems (e.g. heating) are in good working order.
  3. Better landlords act professionally – It is very important to be on time for appointments and showings and to dress professionally. If your behavior and appearance do not reflect a sense of professionalism, quality tenants lose confidence quickly and are less likely to rent from you.
  4. Better landlords have a written application process – Quality tenants want to understand your application process because they value their time, strong credit and ability to pay rent. They want to be confident you will select the most qualified tenant to avoid wasting their time and energy in going through the process. Please keep in mind that without an application process, some applicants might perceive that they were the victim of discrimination if you choose not to rent to them.
  5. Better landlords have a professionally drafted lease agreement – Quality tenants read the lease agreement before they sign it. They want to understand the obligations of both the landlord and the tenant. A professionally drafted lease agreement will help keep you out of litigation. Have a local attorney draft a lease for you. Avoid using an online lease agreement. You always get what you pay for and it may cost you later!


The post Five Ways to Become a Better Landlord appeared first on AAOA.

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LA still can’t decide how to regulate Airbnb

American Apartment Owners Association - Mon, 10/30/2017 - 11:57am

Los Angeles is one of Airbnb’s top markets, but the city has yet to pass industry regulations more than two years after proposing them, highlighting the challenging road to consensus on an issue that has divided many groups.

After taking testimony from more than 50 people on Tuesday, the City Council’s Planning and Land Use Management Committee put off action on a proposal that would, among other things, cap rental days for listings advertised on online platforms like Airbnb to 180 days each.

Committee members, who raised their own concerns about the proposal, agreed to meet again in the coming weeks for further review.

Airbnb hosts have shown up by the hundreds in a series of a public hearings the city’s held on short-term rentals since last year. They’ve been met at each turn by members of the hotel industry, which views Airbnb as a rival and wants the proposed cap halved to 90 rental days.

Opponents also include renters and housing advocates who blame Airbnb for taking units out of the long-term rental market as well as homeowners from some of L.A’s wealthiest neighborhoods.

Robin Greenberg, president of the neighborhood council for hilly Bel Air and Beverly Crest, worries an Airbnb guest could start a brush fire with a flick of a cigarette.

“We do not want out-of-town guests without proper knowledge to come into our neighborhoods,” Greenberg told the council’s planning panel.

Airbnb hosts, on the other hand, testified a cap on rental days would hurt their livelihoods, and reduce how much L.A. collects in so-called transient occupancy taxes. A report released Tuesday by the Los Angeles Economic Development Corp. projects that Airbnb rentals will generate $39 million in taxes annually.

Noreen McClendon, an Airbnb supporter and head of Concerned Citizens of South Central Los Angeles, said homeowners are making up excuses when they link Airbnb to brush fires or complain that some rentals are party houses.

“Neighbors just don’t want people they don’t know in their neighborhood,” McClendon said.

As city officials hold off immediate action on new rules, the number of short-term rentals is growing rapidly. A city analysis shows their number have risen by 45 percent in the last 16 months to about 23,000 units.

Less than half are used frequently enough as short-term rentals that they could be considered as losses to the long-term rental market. While these type of units account for less than 1 percent of the housing stock, city planning staff acknowledged the speed with which short-term rentals are multiplying, especially in neighborhoods popular with tourists.

There is debate among council members themselves about how restrictive the regulations should be. Mitch Englander and Bob Blumenfield, both members of the council’s planning panel, expressed interest in allowing Angelenos to rent out vacation homes.  As currently proposed, hosts can only rent out units in their primary residence. Englander suggested that secondary homes be charged a higher registration fee or “fall under a citywide cap.”

Councilman Paul Koretz testified before the committee that allowing vacation home rentals would be a “mistake” but said if they are permitted, these units should be restricted to 90 rental days.

Meanwhile, both Koretz and Englander suggested that no limit on rental days was necessary for a listing in a host’s primary residence.



The post LA still can’t decide how to regulate Airbnb appeared first on AAOA.

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