Luxury Connect: Tami Pardee on how to put luxury clients at ease

Inmannews - Tue, 09/18/2018 - 9:36am
When Pardee is trying to establish a connection with someone, “I do a lot of mirroring. If they’re sitting a certain way, I’ll sit a certain way.”
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California Realtors rally for Prop 5 in face of growing backlash

Inmannews - Tue, 09/18/2018 - 9:27am
Prop 5 will allow olde homeowners to keep old property taxes when buying a new home. Critics fear essential services will bare the brunt of lost revenues.
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Compass rolls out ‘Coming Soon’ pre-marketing blitz nationwide

Inmannews - Tue, 09/18/2018 - 9:22am
A new marketing initiative by Compass that's rolled out last week will allow agents to post listings days before they appear on the market.
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Get Ready for a Winning Open House

American Apartment Owners Association - Tue, 09/18/2018 - 8:07am

Photo Credit: Pexels

Whether you are selling your house on your own, or you are using a professional but want to have a hand in the process, a successful open house involves planning, preparation, and marketing. An open house is your best opportunity to highlight the selling points of your home, but if you drop the ball in preparation, it can be a chance to scare away buyers. Here are some tips on how to plan, prepare, and execute the best open house possible.

If you don’t have a plan, you won’t know where to begin

In today’s real estate market, you must have a defined marketing plan for your home. Everything from the minimum price you’ll accept, to your future moving needs, should be written down and considered with every decision you make along the way. Planning involves, at a minimum, researching your price. How are comparable homes in your area priced? Can you justify asking a higher price, and if so, why?

And your marketing plan should be more in-depth than just your asking price. Consider the selling points of your home and neighborhood. If there are a lot of neighborhood kids, that may well be the best selling point for a prospective buyer with elementary school children. Are there little-known neighborhood pluses, like a great restaurant or quiet park down the road? A plan fills in all these little details so you can do more than just showrooms to a buyer, but give richly detailed information.

As part of your plan, you should identify any potential problems that visitors might raise at an open house. If there are neighborhood nuisances, such as a nearby highway, be prepared to bring the issue out in the open. If there are structural or cosmetic issues that cannot be mitigated, make sure you can explain how you factored those into your asking price.

Through prepping, bring a dream house to life

In most circumstances, however, your open house is your chance to let your house shine. Curb appeal will drive buyers to your front door, and once inside, you can give potential buyers an opportunity to picture themselves living in your home. Curb appeal can be achieved in a day or as part of a more involved project. Here are some proven ways to get your house noticed:

  • Make your front door Replacing or painting a front door is one of the best returns on investment a homeowner can make, and it’ll lure buyers to your open house as well. You can also get a significant return by installing new door hardware.
  • Front-yard landscaping. Edge flower beds, add new annuals, and give it all a fresh topping of mulch. The crisp look will enliven any front yard.
  • Upgrade your mailbox. For a few hundred dollars, you can make a big impact right at the end of your driveway, which might be the first thing buyers see as they approach your open house.
  • Install outdoor lighting. Prospective buyers will often drive by homes at all different times of day, including nighttime, and a lit path or spotlit front door makes a great first impression.

Marketing: getting the word out

If no one shows up at your open house, then you will have wasted one of your best sales opportunities. The purpose of the open house is primarily to get a buyer, but if that fails, you want to get your house in front of as many agents as possible. Yours may not be one person’s dream house, but their realtor may have another person in mind. Carefully consider a marketing plan that maximizes your house’s exposure through these methods:

  • Leverage social media. Connect immediately to thousands in your area by posting information about your open house on Facebook. Share with your friends and family, and if you have any connections who may know realtors, ask them to share with those friends as well.
  • Create a good website. A simple landing page with the details of your house is a must. Upload pictures and facts about the property, such as square footage, taxes, and school district.
  • Don’t forget old-fashioned methods. As connected as social media can make us, some people can gloss over your listing in their ocean of daily content. Call anyone who you think might be interested, or who might know someone looking for a house, such as family or neighbors. Put the information from your website on flyers and post them in area community boards.
  • Open house signage. Make sure your house is well-marked with an open house sign. Don’t forget to place signs around your neighborhood as well.

An open house is a great chance to sell your home. With some upfront work planning and preparing, you can ensure maximum impact and bring your house alive for potential buyers.


Suzie Wilson is an interior designer with more than 20 years experience. What started as a hobby (and often, a favor to friends) turned into a passion for creating soothing spaces in homes of every size and style. While her goal always includes making homes look beautiful, her true focus is on fashioning them into serene, stress-free environments that inspire tranquility in all who enter. The Ultimate Guide to Prepping Your Home for an Open House is filled with tips, tricks and other advice based on Suzie’s years of experience in interior home design that will set you up for success.



The post Get Ready for a Winning Open House appeared first on AAOA.

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Four-ways and skinny dippers: agents recall Hollywood home showing horror stories

Inmannews - Tue, 09/18/2018 - 7:43am
The high-stakes games of Los Angeles real estate apparently has some eyebrow-raising moments—but the local agents seem to be accustomed to taking it in stride, mostly.
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Rental platform Zumper raises $46M to build out its product, hire employees

Inmannews - Tue, 09/18/2018 - 7:00am
The Series C funding round will help the San Francisco startup with its in-progress online service for connecting renters to landlords.
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Reali releases AI tool to predict the winning bid on a home

Inmannews - Tue, 09/18/2018 - 7:00am
Reali, the California-based, flat-fee tech-powered brokerage is giving its clients a leg up on other home buyers with a new predictive tool that estimates the probability of placing a winning bid on a home.
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Buy Tom Clancy’s majestic waterfront estate for $6.2M

Inmannews - Tue, 09/18/2018 - 6:16am
An elegant Maryland estate now up for sale for $6.2 million has a studded history -- for years, the best-selling author Tom Clancy called it home.
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Armed with $1.2B, Bungalo launches into crowded iBuyer market

Inmannews - Tue, 09/18/2018 - 6:00am
A new, extremely well-funded online homeselling startup has entered the fray. It offers a platform that lets buyers search, tour, finance and close on a home and looks positioned to flip thousands of homes in the years ahead.
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9 tips for filing insurance claims after a catastrophe

Inmannews - Tue, 09/18/2018 - 2:44am
Whether it’s a hurricane like Florence, a tropical storm like Lane or a flood, tornado, earthquake or fire, it can take years to resolve a major insurance claim and restore a property. Don't miss these nine tips for filing a claim from a public insurance adjuster who has seen it all.
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Looking for the perfect gift? Use this survey to make sure you’re on point

Inmannews - Tue, 09/18/2018 - 2:00am
How do you know if you are giving the right gift? And when should a gift be given? After a closing? For a client’s birthday? As a thank you? An analysis of 10,000 agent gifts reveals the answers to these questions and more.
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How to become the neighborhood real estate guru

Inmannews - Tue, 09/18/2018 - 1:52am
You work hard in your career to define yourself as a specialist so you can be recognized as the master of your trade. Here are three tips for strengthening your personal brand and becoming a true neighborhood guru.
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Working with international luxury clients? Nail these 3 crucial skills

Inmannews - Tue, 09/18/2018 - 12:03am
How are international luxury agents successfully making deals with overseas buyers and sellers? Tap into the industry's top pro tips here.
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Agent/broker perspective: How important is correct pricing in a down market?

Inmannews - Mon, 09/17/2018 - 5:33pm
A top Miami real estate agent is feeling the pain of a challenged market and sellers who refuse to budge on pricing. What can her broker do to help convince these stubborn clients? 
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Tips for landlords: how to set your rent

American Apartment Owners Association - Mon, 09/17/2018 - 12:05pm
The science and art of rent setting

Smart landlords keep a close and constant eye on their local rental market. Optimizing your revenue stream so it’s sustainable isn’t the same as always maximizing it for short-term gain. These tips for landlords will help you establish a rent in that sweet zone for long-term profitability.

Read on to explore your rent-setting options and discover whether you’re a real estate scientist or artist —or maybe a property polymath.

Smart landlords as scientists

One definition of a scientist is someone who gains knowledge through experimentation and observation. So, when it comes to setting rents for her tenants, just about every landlord is a scientist.

You’ll be gaining an intimate knowledge of your local rental market based on observation and you’ll doubtless end up doing some experimenting.

Normally, what you charge for rent depends on the property’s market value. In typical US markets without rent control, landlords get between .8 percent and 1.1 percent of the home’s value for their monthly rent. A home valued at $100,000 would commonly fetch between $800 and $1,100 per month. You’ll need to do a little work to discover which end of that range is in your strike zone.

Source: Abodo


The more successful you become, the more time you’re likely to spend observing your marketplace. Only by knowing the going rate for rental units can you be sure you pitch your price correctly.

Charge too much, and you risk not attracting tenants. That means longer periods when your units are empty and costing you money.

But pitch your rents too low and you’re giving money away.

Market intelligence

Gaining market intelligence isn’t hard but it does take time. The most accurate source of market data is an appraisal with a rental schedule. Most mortgage lenders require this when you purchase a rental property for good reason. The appraiser does all the hard work for you — valuing the property, providing an estimated rent, and comparing its desirability to other nearby competitors.

Or you can check online home valuation tools, and monitor ads placed by your competitors. You’ll benefit from networking with other local landlords so you can pick each other brains. You’ll also want to visit plenty of open houses.


All this is to allow you to compare a unit you own with ones locally that others own. When you know a one-bedroom apartment has just been rented for $1,200 a month, that helps you set the rent you want for your one-bedroom apartment.

You may think that a unit’s square footage and the number of rooms it has are the two critical factors when comparing homes. You’d be right as they’re often the most critical but they’re far from the whole story

Not just number of rooms

There is a whole slew of other factors that can affect rental values, including:

  • The neighborhood — Rundown, gentrified or up-and-coming
  • The location — Whether the unit is close to major employers and local amenities such as parks, schools, trendy restaurants and so on
  • The view — People will pay more to look out over an attractive landscape or cityscape
  • The unit’s fixtures and fittings — Renters value modern or new appliances, HVAC, and good kitchens and bathrooms. But you need to be sure your tenants will look after them
  • Whether or not units are furnished and to what standard — Yours and the ones you’re using as comparisons
  • Storage and other features — Havings lots of closets is great, as are bay windows and balconies or roof terraces
  • Floor — In most buildings with elevators, the higher the unit, the higher the rent. But with walk-ups, values tend to drop above the third floor
Still science?

Over time, you could probably build an algorithm that would score those variables and calculate the best rent to ask for each unit. Indeed, some of the really big rental companies already use computer applications to help them set rents. So, maybe this is still science?

You could certainly learn from experimentation. The mistakes you make when choosing units to buy and deciding on the level of finish when making improvements are likely to remain with you.

Most appraisers know there’s an x-factor involved in setting a home’s sale or rental value. Being able to identify that comes with an intuition that develops with experience.

Smart landlords as artists

Whether or not you count that intuition as an “art” is up to you. There’s one area of rent setting that feels even more art-like, which is, about optimizing rather than maximizing rental income.

Let’s look at an extreme example. You could maximize your rent by catering to tenants who are organized criminals. Many would pay way more than market rates for an incurious landlord who would turn a blind eye to drug dealing, prostitution, people trafficking and so on.

You don’t knowingly do that because you don’t want to risk jail time and the forfeiture of your property. So you’re already optimizing rather than maximizing your rental revenues.

Maximum vs. optimal

However, there are much less dramatic — less “Chicago P.D.” — ways in which smart landlords favor the optimal over the maximum on a daily basis. Maximizing rental income over the short term can quickly damage your long-term profitability and optimizing almost always pays off. Optimizing means sacrificing some short-term potential profit in order to make your income more secure and sustainable.

The most obvious example is when you have a perfect tenant. You always get your rent on time and you’re only aware she exists because you receive her checks. You’re also confident she cares as much about your unit as you do.

Valuing what’s important

What do you do when it comes to renting reviews? Do you increase the rent to its maximum market value, risking forcing your perfect tenant out?

You may find yourself with expenses for redecorating, replacing carpets and having a fallow period between tenants when you’re finding someone new and when your unit is earning you nothing. Worse, that new renter may pay late, complain all the time, damage your asset and cause nuisance.

There’s a balance here. An art, if you will. Most smart landlords value their golden tenants and cut them some slack — sometimes quite a lot — over rent rises. They see that as good business.

It is still a business and sentiment is a luxury many landlords simply can’t afford. Only you can decide where (standby for art allusion) to draw your lines.



The post Tips for landlords: how to set your rent appeared first on AAOA.

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Can You Actually Turn a Profit Flipping Homes in Today’s Market?

American Apartment Owners Association - Mon, 09/17/2018 - 11:21am

Back in 2012, house flipping seemed like the perfect opportunity for a person with extra cash and an eye for remodeling. The market was flush with homes left vacant from waves of foreclosures prompted by the housing bubble that burst a few years earlier. You could buy a home from a bank, make any necessary repairs, install hardwood floors, splash on a fresh coat of paint and then sell it at the top of the market.

Nowadays, with a strong economy, more and more potential flippers have that extra cash in hand. And they’ve been studying TV shows like “Flip or Flop” on HGTV and “First Time Flippers” on the DIY Network, just waiting to find the right bargain to start their flipping career.

But with the housing market back to pre-recession levels, the number of homes coming on the market each month is low. Bidding wars are beginning the day a property is listed, driving home sales above asking prices in many cases. Buyers willing to pay more to occupy the home they purchase are having a tough time finding affordable real estate, which means it’s even tougher for investors looking for houses at rock-bottom prices.

With a tight inventory and no expectation for single-family home development to catch up with demand any time soon, is it still possible to make money in the house-flipping game?

“Absolutely,” says Vincent Harris, CEO and co-founder of Hoozip, a startup that creates productivity and lead management products for real estate investors, but the way you find those profitable investments has changed.

The old recession-era practice of buying a house at auction for cheap, doing a light rehab and selling it for a profit a month or two later is far less likely these days. In the second quarter of 2018, just 32 percent of home flips nationwide were purchased as a distressed sale – a foreclosure or bank-owned sale – according to ATTOM Data Solutions. That’s down more than 6 percent from the same period in 2017 and less than half the rate in the first quarter of 2010, when purchases of distressed properties for flipping peaked at 68.2 percent of all purchases.

It’s not just a matter of fewer homes going on the market – the home-flipping industry has transformed in the last few years. You’re not just competing with local professional flippers; bigger companies and even giant investors, often referred to as iBuyers, have come on the scene.

Flipping has become a much more mainstream endeavor, as more and more companies such as Opendoor, Offerpad and even Zillow are offering quick, all-cash purchases for homes with the intent to flip and sell them for a profit. These companies certainly offer more options to home sellers, but their presence creates a more competitive atmosphere for other investors.

But that’s still not stopping people from trying to flip homes – it’s just changing what’s required of an investor to be successful. You not only have to be able to find the right house with an owner who is interested in selling, but you also need the financial means to be able to get through the actual work and marketing stages before you can see a payout.

Ted Karagannis, a licensed real estate broker for Warburg Realty, says the New York City market slowed in the earlier parts of this summer where buyers showed interest in properties but didn’t make offers. Sellers were left waiting, either looking at reducing the asking price or taking the property off the market until it picked back up later in the season.

“If you do have to carry [the property] for three to six months, you have to estimate that all into the purchase price as well,” Karagannis says.

There is an advantage to being a part-time flipper, however. While bigger investors must compete with companies of all sizes to stay afloat, a weekend warrior hoping to put his DIY skills to use for a profit doesn’t see a smaller payout as detrimental to his livelihood. “If he makes $20,000 on a deal, that’s great,” Harris says. That $20,000 could be a year’s worth of college tuition for the flipper’s child or a new roof on his own home.

Some good news for those who want to begin real estate investing, either by flipping homes or serving as a landlord: You don’t necessarily need to have the capital to buy property with cash. Susan Naftulin is the owner and president of Rehab Financial Group, a lender for real estate investors in Rosemont, Pennsylvania, and she says her firm takes the pace of the market into account to help borrowers remain competitive with cash-heavy buyers.

“We work as hard as we can to wrap up our side of it and underwrite as quickly as possible so as not to be an impediment,” Naftulin says. Whether you finance or use your own cash, Naftulin says first-time investors should check their expectations before jumping in for the sake of their own finances. “Better to make your mistakes with a smaller rehab and a smaller loan than bigger,” she explains.

Here are three things you can do to increase your chances of earning money through house flipping.

Invest small and smart. If you still want to try flipping a home, don’t go for the former crack den with burst pipes and a hole in the ceiling. Naftulin says you’re more likely to turn a profit with a home that doesn’t need much work, but can sell at a higher price point with minor fixes and some skillful staging. It’ll also be easier to entice a lender when less risk is involved, especially if it’s your first dive into real estate investing.

Your profit won’t be gigantic, but you won’t have inadvertently bought a money pit, either. “You don’t make a lot on each property, but you can do a lot of houses,” Naftulin says.

Once you’re able to ensure the house doesn’t have problems lurking beneath the surface through an inspection and you’ve checked on the title for liens or other legal issues tied to the property, adding smaller cosmetic changes can draw buyers in. “Make it a little more special than the norm,” Karagannis says. “That can be done easily with good hardware or plumbing, sink faucets [and] things like that that can attract people.”

Both Naftulin and Karagannis stress the importance of doing more research and digging deep on a property before you’ve even put an offer in. You want to know that the home, the property history and the neighborhood all lead to a good investment in the end.

Karagannis says in New York City, knowing the ins and outs of a condo or co-op building’s management and fees is a must to avoid a failed investment. “Is the building a healthy condo, or is the condo like a hotel where people are coming and going every six months to a year? What are the qualities you’re buying when you’re looking at real estate?” he says. “A lot of newcomers don’t know any of that, and they make huge mistakes.”

Invest in a different way. Rather than looking for properties on the local multiple listing service, try finding properties that aren’t on the market but have owners who are more likely to be interested in a sale proposition. Part of Hoozip’s offering is to help customers analyze property data and determine which homes are a worthy investment. In addition, property records available through local assessor’s offices can provide property tax information and show how long the property’s been owned by the same person, though conducting such searches on your own may be time-consuming.

Harris says that can range from high equity in a home to delinquent property taxes or an owner who recently moved out of state. But because you’re dealing with individual owners – who are possibly facing financial issues or just suffered a death in the family – empathy becomes are a big part of being a successful investor.

If you can balance the ability to make the seller feel valued while also coming off as a professional, you’re more likely to see success. “They want to deal with someone who’s credible,” Harris says.

You could also try purchasing and holding onto your property for rental income, though you would also take on the role of landlord – and all the maintenance and management responsibilities that come with it.

Wait for the economy to tank. It’s not an optimistic approach to real estate investing, but when it comes to flipping houses, you need a surplus of homes for sale to be able to snag good deals on properties to flip. The only way to really guarantee an excess supply of homes is when people can no longer afford to live in them. And that means an economic downturn. But the current outlook remains bright for real estate values and the larger economy.


The post Can You Actually Turn a Profit Flipping Homes in Today’s Market? appeared first on AAOA.

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New legislation aims to make mortgages easier for gig workers

Inmannews - Mon, 09/17/2018 - 11:12am
Self-employed workers have a hard time qualifying for a mortgage. A new bill called the Self-Employed Mortgage Access Act could change that.
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New Orleans landlord charged with discrimination for ‘no teenagers’ ad

Inmannews - Mon, 09/17/2018 - 10:43am
On Friday, the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) charged the landlord with housing discrimination for a 2014 ad on Craigslist.
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California Has Largest Public School Real Estate Premiums in U.S.

American Apartment Owners Association - Mon, 09/17/2018 - 10:22am

Many children in the U.S. head back to school this week, and it’s likely their parents paid a premium if their drop-off is only a few short blocks away.

It costs millions of dollars to live within walking distance of some of America’s most well-rated public schools, according to data from, which ranked the most expensive neighborhoods within steps of a highly-rated public school. To come up with the list, they looked at home prices within a mile radius of most public primary and secondary schools across the United States to find out which have the priciest environs, and then narrowed the list down to schools scoring eight or higher on

Coastal cities and their suburbs dominated the list, with America’s most expensive prime public school areas dotting California—from the mansion-speckled towns around Silicon Valley to the affluent school district of Rancho Santa Fe, outside of San Diego.

A school in Los Altos Hills, a town in Silicon Valley, California, topped the price list. The median price of a home within a mile of the Gardner Bullis Elementary School was $3.56 million, according to Realtor, which based median price on a years-worth of sales data.

“There’s a bit of an aura around that school,” said Javier Vivas, director of economic research at, which happens to be based in nearby Santa Clara. Mr. Vivas doesn’t live far from the school and said he wasn’t surprised that it commands some of the highest real estate prices.

The neighborhood, he said, is known for its safety. After all, “even the ultra rich walk their kids to school.”

Meanwhile, a science-focused middle school at the crossroads between Brentwood, Pacific Palisades and Riviera—an area filled with entertainment executives in Los Angeles—topped another list for pricey secondary school areas. Homes around Paul Revere Middle School have recently sold for a median price of $4.9 million.

Not surprisingly, Realtor’s research also showed that expensive areas tend to host schools highly rated on, a national nonprofit info center on U.S. public schools.

The results underscore the circular relationship between affluence and the quality of the local public school system, as elite school districts attract wealthy buyers who then contribute time and resources in their children’s schools.

That’s the case in Bellevue, Washington, an affluent city on the outskirts of Seattle.

“I would say the public schools are a pillar of the real estate values,” said Anna Riley, a top luxury broker with Windermere, whose children attend public schools in Bellevue. “It’s a very large draw for buyers both locally and internationally.”

The mile radius around Medina Elementary School in West Bellevue ranked No. 6 on Realtor’s list of pricey elementary school neighborhoods, with median sales price at $2.8 million.

The schools in West Bellevue attract buyers from China and other countries on the Pacific Rim, and even boast a Chinese-immersion program, among many other unique offerings, Ms. Riley said. The community in West Bellevue offers a prime example of the way well-rated schools and property values are often directly correlated.

“It’s a nourishing loop. You have high real estate values that attract a well-educated buyer population that really prioritizes schools. They then are happy to invest in the schools, both in terms of time and financial resources,” Ms. Riley explained.

Two top public schools in New York City were among the top 10 most expensive primary and secondary school areas in the country: Stuyvesant High School, the city’s leading specialized high school located in Tribeca, and P.S. 130, also known as The De Soto School, between SoHo and the Lower East Side.

Around Stuyvesant, a high school where students across the five boroughs can apply to test into, the median home price was $1.865 million. It was about $1.93 million around The De Soto School.

Frances Katzen, a top broker with Douglas Elliman Real Estate in New York City, said many high-end real estate buyers take school zone into consideration when home hunting in the city. In her experience, they are often drawn uptown, specifically to P.S. 6 in the heart of the Upper East Side.

“There’s a huge number of people who either go uptown to the Upper East or the Upper West,” said Ms. Katzen, who has a client working for J.P. Morgan Chase who is trying to determine if his home is zoned into P.S. 234, Independence School; or Spruce Street School, P.S. 397—two top public elementary schools in Tribeca.

However, school zone is less of a concern for ultra-high-net worth buyers who tend to send their children to private schools, Ms. Katzen noted.

Whether or not they plan to send their schools to the neighborhood public school, buying near a highly ranked one is probably a smart investment. For example, north of the New York City, in Westchester County, is one of the most expensive zones in the country—the mile area around Scarsdale High School, where homes sold for a median price of $1.61 million, according to Realtor.

An extremely affluent suburb of New York City, the idyllic town rarely sees a home sell under $700,000, said Nancy Shaw Chochrek, manager of Scarsdale brokerage for Houlihan Lawrence.

It’s not only the public schools that benefit from the affluence of Scardale’s residents, so does the local business environment, public works and infrastructure.

“Not only do our schools have great facilities, we have great public recreation areas. For example, we have a four-pool complex where we have the fireworks every Fourth of July,” Ms. Shaw Chochrek said. “Almost anywhere you live in Scarsdale you’re in a walking distance from a park.”


The post California Has Largest Public School Real Estate Premiums in U.S. appeared first on AAOA.

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Home sales in California have fallen for 4 months straight

Inmannews - Mon, 09/17/2018 - 10:13am
Near record-high home prices are crushing demand in California, according to the latest home sales data from the California Association of Realtors (C.A.R.). The state dropped below the 400,000 sales benchmark in August, the first time in two years sales have reached that low.
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