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Capital Connect NY 18: Pete Flint predicts ‘technology tsunami’ headed for real estate

Inmannews - Tue, 03/06/2018 - 4:05pm
"The majority of traditional real estate companies will die," said Pete Flint onstage at Inman Connect New York's Capital Connect. "... it will take a while, and I think [it's] because the resistance to change is too great. But that creates an incredible opportunity for upstarts." ...
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Houzz unveils new logo that looks like an ‘h’ and a house at once

Inmannews - Tue, 03/06/2018 - 3:18pm
The logo for interior design and decorating platform Houzz has undergone a remodeling of its own ...
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Are new-home sales really dropping? Check the margin of error, says research firm

Inmannews - Tue, 03/06/2018 - 2:29pm
John Burns Real Estate Consulting director of research Rick Palacios Jr. says even though he saw plenty of industry professionals sharing the report and expressing concerns about the decline in new-home sales in both January and December, now is actually not the time to worry. In fact, he says new-home sales are on the rise, at least according to the firm's own research that involves surveying 300 builders every month that account for approximately 17 percent of the nation's new-home sales ...
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Nation’s top real estate team is now a brokerage to be reckoned with

Inmannews - Tue, 03/06/2018 - 11:47am
Having earned the top slot on the 2010, 2011 and 2017 Real Trends' rankings, the Baltimore area's successful Creig Northrop Team needed more room to grow and had reached the five-office ceiling for teams at its brokerage, Long & Foster Real Estate ...
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Realtor.com ‘proved the naysayers wrong,’ News Corp. CEO says

Inmannews - Tue, 03/06/2018 - 10:14am
At a recent conference in Florida, News Corp. boss Robert Thomson talked up how acquisition has helped the company's bottom line and offered his market perspective ...
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Hacker Connect NY 18: Live problem solving IV

Inmannews - Tue, 03/06/2018 - 9:49am
One of the many beneficial sessions at Inman Connect New York is “Live problem solving” at Hacker Connect, where the pros discuss audience issues and answer queries live onstage. Listen in to hear RESO's Jeremy Crawford and Amitree's Jonathan Aizen work through challenges for Inman’s Hacker audience ...
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Hacker Connect NY 18: Live problem solving III

Inmannews - Tue, 03/06/2018 - 9:42am
One of the many beneficial sessions at Inman Connect New York is “Live problem solving” at Hacker Connect, where the pros discuss audience issues and answer queries live onstage. Listen in to hear First's Jess Martin and CoreLogic's Lucie Fortier work through data challenges for Inman's Hacker audience ...
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Hacker Connect NY 18: Live problem solving II

Inmannews - Tue, 03/06/2018 - 9:38am
One of the many beneficial sessions at Inman Connect New York is “Live problem solving” at Hacker Connect, where the pros discuss audience issues and answer queries live onstage. Listen in to hear RealAtom's Masha Sharma and HomeSpotter's Amanda Maricle-Roberts work through challenges for the Inman audience ...
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The ones to watch: Emerging real estate models across the globe

Inmannews - Tue, 03/06/2018 - 9:35am
In this report, global real estate tech expert Mike DelPrete covers the trends that are changing the industry and the major players gaining traction around the world.  ...
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The essential guide to real estate leadership on sexual harassment and gender

Inmannews - Tue, 03/06/2018 - 7:00am
The allegations of sexual harassment and misconduct by senior leadership, lobbed against brokerages large and small from Washington state to the District of Columbia, stand in stark contrast to otherwise mostly positive depictions of real estate leadership nationwide. ...
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CRM and website provider iHouseweb wants to be your everything

Inmannews - Tue, 03/06/2018 - 3:00am
iHouseweb is a website service provider and online marketing solution with SEO marketing and a CRM for real estate agents ...
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How an agent’s Vikings billboard on Eagles turf paid off

Inmannews - Tue, 03/06/2018 - 2:00am
Picture this: It’s Jan. 21, 2018, and you’re in Philadelphia headed to the much anticipated NFC Championship game where the Eagles will take on the Minnesota Vikings ...
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7 examples of Oscar-worthy real estate in the top movies of 2017

Inmannews - Mon, 03/05/2018 - 4:30pm
This year’s Oscar picks broke barriers, made history and told life-changing stories. And of course, here at Inman, we couldn’t help but notice the fine settings many of these stories were told in. Whether they be homes, palaces or even boats, here’s a look at this year's Oscar-worthy real estate ...
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Opendoor survey: More homeowners would move if process were easier

Inmannews - Mon, 03/05/2018 - 2:42pm
Homeowners in certain cities across the country would move to a bigger house or a different city if they thought the process of moving would be "stress-free and simple," according to a survey commissioned by Opendoor ...
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Realtor’s ‘Not-Haunted’ for-sale signs draw laughs, boos

Inmannews - Mon, 03/05/2018 - 1:40pm
For Houston-based Realtor Ellis Young, a traditional "For Sale" sign just won't do. Instead, Young likes to add uncanny and hilarious phrases — the latest being, "Not Haunted." ...
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Can Coldwell Banker and Century 21 deliver on their new brand promises?

Inmannews - Mon, 03/05/2018 - 12:02pm
Can we spend a little bit of time congratulating two brands that are doing things right? Coldwell Banker and Century 21 both have scored big with their most recent moves, and it’s worth talking about them and recognizing when someone does something right in our industry ...
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How a real estate agent made the most of attending the Oscars

Inmannews - Mon, 03/05/2018 - 10:33am
You may have noticed a cute mother-son duo at the Oscars last night -- Timothée Chalamet, a best actor nominee for his role in Call Me By Your Name, and his mom, Nicole Flender ...
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How to Make Your Rentals Stand Out Online

American Apartment Owners Association - Mon, 03/05/2018 - 9:12am

Image via Pixabay

If you’ve been wondering why your rental properties haven’t been attracting as many tenants as you would like, you may want to consider what you can do differently. There are certainly many ways to make your rentals stand out more online; the main trick is being smart and efficient about doing so, and knowing how to best appeal to your audience.

With your rentals listed on rent.uloop.com, you’re already taking a step in the right direction. Making your rental properties stand out from the rest will require only a little bit more tweaking and effort on your part, so read on for some simple yet effective tips to make your rentals the best they can be.

Get the word out there.

The most important step in attracting prospective tenants is making your rentals known to the world. You can’t expect people to know what you’re offering if you don’t put it out there!

To that end, a first step you should take is to list your rental properties on a variety of sites. Listing your rentals on rent.uloop.com is great — but also don’t neglect other great sites out there, such as rent.com, campuscribz.com, collegerentals.com, and many more. The more websites where you list your rentals, the higher likelihood that a greater volume of people is checking out your stuff. That way, you will be casting your net even wider to grab the attention of the thousands of college students who are searching for a place to rent.

Using social media is another great way to effectively market your rental properties. Especially if you are looking to attract a primary audience of college students, social media is a super effective way to catch prospective renters’ attention. Create a Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and/or even Snapchat account to reach your audience in a new way. Particularly with a lot of college students spending a good chunk of their time on Facebook and Instagram, these two social media platforms are perfect resources for you to market your rental properties in an aesthetically appealing, quick, and relatively easy manner.

Speaking of aesthetics…

Make your listings look professional, polished, and aesthetically pleasing.

This goes hand-in-hand with marketing your rental properties effectively. When you list your rentals on a site, you want to do more than simply plop it down, cross your fingers, and hope that things will work out. Instead, it’s in your best interest to make the actual ads and listings as visually appealing as you can. Allpropertymanagement.com suggests resources such as www.postlets.com or www.vflyer.com to create sophisticated templates to make your ads more eye-catching. Definitely take advantage of these sites to add a little bit of pizzazz to your listings!

Do keep in mind, however, that flashier isn’t always better. Sometimes a very simple, clean template for your listings can do the trick even better than a cluttered-looking ad overcrowded with graphics and information.

Another crucial thing you should do is to post pictures of the rental property. Having a visual is always a good idea because people like to see for themselves what the property looks like. Plus, have you ever heard of the saying, “A picture’s worth a thousand words”? In this case, it’s certainly true — a picture (or several) of the rental property will often have much more of an immediate impact on potential renters than, say, a standard description of the rental.

Of course, it almost goes without saying that you want to use the best pictures possible in order to show off what the rental has to offer. Capture some high-quality photos of the most important rooms, such as the bedroom(s), bathroom(s), kitchen, and living space. These are the rooms that potential renters will most want to see, so make sure you include photos of them in your listing.

Also, what will only help you further is putting up pictures of the neighborhood and surrounding area. If the rental property is located in a convenient place, advertise that — people like to know that they will be living near a supermarket or post office, for example, which will only make their lives easier. If the rental property is located in a particularly beautiful or clean place, perhaps near a nice park, the beach, etc., include a picture of that as well. Doing so will allow people who view your listings to know what’s in the surrounding area, which will help them to make a decision based on their personal preferences. Ultimately, if your rental property does happen to be in an especially great spot, take advantage of advertising it so that you have a greater chance of attracting more prospective renters!

Market your rental with the right words and content.

Along with the visual aspect of showing off your rentals comes the writing aspect. While pictures certainly go a long way, what you present in the descriptions of the rental is just as crucial.

Having an attention-grabbing headline can help to reel in prospective tenants right away, especially if it’s simple, not too overwhelming, and perhaps even declares something that appeals directly to prospective tenants’ needs. Landlordology.com provides a “formula” for creating a simple yet highly effective headline: write out the [desirable primary quality] + [building type] + [location nickname], e.g. “Ultra Quiet Apartment Near Med Center.” If you prefer, you may also want to include the price and a brief line on the number of bedrooms and bathrooms included. Doing so will allow viewers to quickly obtain the information they seek just from scanning the headline, and if it appeals to them, they can continue to read on.

In the body of your listing, make sure to include all of the relevant information that potential renters will want to see. Include keywords and specific descriptions that will give people a clear idea of what kind of rental property you’re offering. It’s also important to list all of the amenities and features of the rental, to put it in the best light possible and publicize everything that it has to offer. For example, you should include words that convey exactly what kind of building or unit it is (apartment, condo, house, etc.) and provide some more detail on location and special features of the property, which you can’t convey entirely through just pictures.

What might also help is if you tell a story. Blend the basic facts with some detailed descriptions that will appeal emotionally to your audience. That way, people looking at your listing will not only see that your rental offers a spacious backyard, but they will also picture themselves tossing a ball or running around with their dog in that backyard. As you can see, specific wording can certainly make a big difference in capturing people’s attention!

Of course, once you have written everything, you want to proofread it to avoid any grammar, spelling, or punctuation mistakes. These are fairly simple to catch and fix, so make sure you put in the necessary extra bit of effort to ensure your entire listing is polished and professional.

Infographic by Kailey Walters

Offer for people to see the place in person.

While pictures of the place are super important and helpful, seeing it in person is even better. You can offer walkthroughs of the property so that potential renters can see for themselves what they like about the place and possibly imagine what it would be like to live there for a while.

Clean up.

With that being said, you’ll definitely want to clean up the place and make it look as presentable as possible before potential tenants come knocking. Remember, you only get one first impression, so make it count!

Spruce up the rooms by taking the time to clean them thoroughly. In the bedroom, make sure the bed is made neatly and the pillows arranged nicely. For the kitchen and bathroom, ensure the floor is spotless and counter spaces are clear and clean. You’ll also want to make the living space look comfortable and welcoming when people first walk in. No matter what lengths you go to in order to make the rental look good, definitely keep the place clean at a bare minimum.

It’s also important to maintain the exterior of the rental property and its immediate surrounding area. If there are any unwieldy-looking bushes, shrubs, or trees on the property out in front, and you’re responsible for maintaining them, take the time to tame them a bit or even completely remove them. You may also want to do a standard cleanup of the property — mow the lawn, rake the leaves, possibly plant some flowers in the front yard, all to ensure that your rental exudes a positive, welcoming vibe to prospective renters. Although all this upkeep seems like a good deal of work, appearance is key in attracting — and keeping — people’s attention.

Be welcoming.

Offer your personal assistance to make the prospective tenants feel as if they’ll be at home in your rental. Everyone appreciates a good bit of hospitality, so don’t hesitate to give them some advice on things they might find useful, such as the best places to eat in the area, what to do for fun on the weekends, where the nearest bank, supermarket, post office is, etc. Sharing this information will surely make them feel more positively towards both you and the rental, which increases the chance that they’ll take you up on the offer … and of course, promotes warm, fuzzy feelings of goodwill between you.

Put up your listings at the right time.

After going through all that effort to show off the best qualities of your rental property, you definitely want to be smart about when you advertise. Of course, you want to have your listings seen by as many people online as possible. One report reveals that Sunday is the most popular day for residential listing views … so you might just want to be at the top of your game on Sundays!

Offer reasonable prices.

One thing that will surely turn off a lot of potential renters is an overly high price. Your rental could have everything that they’re looking for — convenient location, the right number of bathrooms and bedrooms, etc. — but if the place is a bit out of their budget, or merely appears to be too expensive for what it’s offering, you may want to consider lowering the price. Doing so might make people a little more willing to give your rental further consideration, while having an unreasonably high price will most likely just have the opposite effect.

Market yourself.

Something else you may not have thought of, but which might help you out a lot, is putting yourself out there. Sure, focusing on marketing your actual rentals is most essential, but publicizing yourself could potentially give you that extra edge. In whatever professional (and even personal) circles to which you belong, let people know who you are and what you’re involved in. If others are aware that you have properties for rent and come to know you better as an individual, that will only give you a leg-up, as people who are looking to rent will certainly first turn to someone whom they think is trustworthy, reliable, and responsible.

The takeaway? Network with others and share with them information about yourself and your rentals (without being too pushy or overbearing). You never know who might need a rental someday, and when they do, they’ll be glad that they met you.

Some of these methods will require more time and effort than others. In the end, however, every little bit can go a long way to increase your visibility online and help attract more prospective renters.

Source: rent.uloop.com

The post How to Make Your Rentals Stand Out Online appeared first on AAOA.

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Landlords can’t charge extra if tenants have service animals

American Apartment Owners Association - Mon, 03/05/2018 - 9:09am

Question: I am an owner of a four-unit apartment building that I manage myself. I have had bad experiences in the past with tenants having pets that urinate on the floor and bark all the time, so I no longer allow my tenants to have pets.

However, I recently attended Fair Housing training and learned that I may have to make an exception to my no-pet policy for a disabled tenant who requests permission to have a service dog or emotional support animal. I don’t like this, but I want to follow the law. But my question is, what about the damage these animals might cause? Can’t I at least charge an additional security deposit?

Answer: Kudos to you for attending a Fair Housing training. But to answer your question, no, you may not charge an additional security deposit for service dogs or emotional support animals. Charging a deposit or extra rent for an accommodation a disabled tenant needs to use and enjoy his or her apartment is like imposing a tax for being disabled.

Remember that the law looks at a service dog or emotional support animal like a prescription or other medical aid, such as a walker — and it’s hard to imagine any landlord who would charge a disabled tenant for having a prescription for an antidepressant or for using a walker.

It is true that a dog or cat has more potential to cause damage to the property than a prescription for medication does, and you certainly can expect a disabled tenant to be responsible for the behavior of a service animal. This means that the tenant is financially responsible for any damage to the unit, whether caused by a service dog or some other activity, and for respecting the rights of other tenants to the quiet enjoyment of the property. If a tenant’s service dog is barking all night and disturbing other tenants, you may deal with that problem just as you would any other breach of the lease.

Roommate relationships aren’t relevant

Question: I am just out of college and have a job working as a receptionist at a nonprofit agency — in other words, I don’t make much money. One friend from college and another friend I met at work have decided to try to find an apartment together because none of us can afford to rent an apartment on our own. Pooling our salaries, though, we make more than enough to meet the minimum income standards of most of the three-bedroom apartments in our area.

We are having a hard time finding an apartment, though. One of the places we applied told us that the owner preferred to rent to married couples because they are “more stable.” Another told us that unless two of us were married, each one of us would have to individually meet the minimum income requirements. And a third landlord told us that he prefers to rent to “conventional families” rather than “random groups of unrelated people.” Is this legal?

Answer: Not in California. Under California Fair Housing law, housing providers may not discriminate based on marital status. This means that a housing provider cannot prefer married couples over unrelated roommates, such as you and your friends, nor may a provider treat married couples and unrelated roommates differently in rental qualifications or terms.

Although a housing provider is entitled to decide on the minimum income tenants must have to qualify to rent an apartment, the provider must apply that standard consistently to all applicants. If the housing provider evaluates a married couple’s financial qualifications by looking at both spouse’s incomes collectively, the provider must do the same thing in evaluating the qualification of unrelated roommates.

Current is fair housing director for Project Sentinel, a Bay Area nonprofit. For more information, contact Project Sentinel at 1-888-324-7468, info@housing.org,visit www.housing.org or contact your attorney or local housing agency.

Source: latimes.com

The post Landlords can’t charge extra if tenants have service animals appeared first on AAOA.

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Seven Secrets To Successful Single-Family Rental Real Estate Investing

American Apartment Owners Association - Mon, 03/05/2018 - 9:08am

Real estate investing in general, and single-family real estate investing in particular, is very different from buying stocks, commodities or most other investments. Real estate is a leveraged investment that has the potential for delivering excellent returns because the cash down payment is a fraction of the retail value, yet it is also a hands-on venture where you make more decisions that affect your returns.

On the other hand, stocks and other investments increase or decrease in value solely based on market conditions, and the only decision you make that affects your returns is when to buy or sell. While tax law treats real estate as a passive investment, it is really more of a business venture. Both short and long-term returns on your real estate assets are directly affected by your knowledge and the choices you make.

Consequently, it is critical that you approach single-family real estate investments with a clear understanding of what it takes to be successful. You must evaluate your purchase options and make a selection based on criteria that have proven through the years to increase the odds of success.

Key Considerations As You Plan Your Purchase

When considering your first (or next) single-family real estate investment, keep these seven pointers in mind:

1. Don’t let emotion cloud your decision making.

If most or all of your real estate experience to date has been buying and selling your personal residences, keep in mind that you were purchasing for a different purpose with a different set of criteria in those instances. Buying a home for yourself and your family is an inherently emotional endeavor. You “love” the large kitchen, your spouse is “wild about” the main floor master bedroom, the kids are “so excited” about the pool.

Beginner’s Guide: 2 Ways To Mine Electroneum On Windows

With investment real estate, it’s all about the numbers. If the combination of the purchase price, estimated renovation costs, expected rental income and market conditions support a purchase decision, you can feel comfortable moving forward.

2. Buy based on current returns, not future appreciation.

Will the property have a positive cash flow the day the renters move in? That’s the evaluation criteria you must use. Trusting that area rents and home values will increase over time and that that is where you’ll get your return is a recipe for disappointment, if not disaster. Optimism is an excellent personality trait, but in single-family real estate investment, it can lead to big losses. The best deals make money from day one, and long-term appreciation is a bonus.

3. Budget realistically.

As a property owner and landlord, there are expenses you will incur in order to maintain the value of your asset, so you must plan accordingly. The most obvious of these expenses is the upkeep on the property. However, there are other costs you should budget for. One that is often overlooked is vacancy expense.

In a perfect world, your property would be rented continuously with no gaps. However, the reality is that you may lose a tenant on short notice and have to pay the mortgage for a month or two before a new tenant has moved in. If you have not budgeted for vacancy expense, this interruption in your cash flow can come as an unwelcome surprise and a hit to your financial planning.

4. Know your sub-markets/neighborhoods.

Choosing to make a single-family rental investment in a particular metropolitan area simply because a national article states the market, in general, is positive can backfire if you don’t get the details on the specific sub-market or neighborhood where you intend to buy. While the key financial indicators for a city such as job growth, population growth and others may be on the rise overall, that doesn’t guarantee that the specific community you are interested in is enjoying the same kind of upswing. In fact, one sub-market may be growing because businesses are moving there from the area you have in mind. Be sure you have an in-depth understanding of all the forces at work. The key to success in real estate has always been location, location, location.

5. Learn about local regulations and federal laws.

All forms of investing are governed by regulations. However, with stocks and commodities, understanding those regulations is your broker’s job. In real estate investing, the responsibility for understanding everything from local annual registration and inspection requirements to federal fair housing laws falls to you. The time to learn about these legal issues is before you make your purchase. Failing to understand your obligations until after you’ve missed a deadline or violated an ordinance can be very costly.

6. Build a relationship with a local handyman or contractor.

Every rental property will need repairs and maintenance — if not immediately, then certainly over time. Before you complete your purchase, you should invest some effort in researching and connecting with experts in the area that you can call on as needed. Waiting until a pipe bursts to find a plumber can increase both your stress level and your repair costs.

7. Set aside funds for capital expenses.

As a property owner, you will have a variety of smaller, ongoing operating expenses, everything from fixing dripping faucets to making minor repairs. But items such as rooves, HVAC units and driveways eventually wear out. These things have longer lives and higher price tags and are known as capital expenditures or “capex.” These kinds of expenses can run from thousands to tens of thousands of dollars, so it is important to budget and set money aside on a regular basis to cover them.

Preparation: The Key To Investing With Confidence

Investing in single-family rental properties can be intimidating, especially if you are new to the process. The key to forging ahead confidently as you identify, vet, purchase, update and operate a rental is having done all your homework in advance. The considerations above are a great start.

 

Source: forbes.com

The post Seven Secrets To Successful Single-Family Rental Real Estate Investing appeared first on AAOA.

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