The 5 sales scripts every real estate agent needs

Inmannews - Mon, 01/15/2018 - 1:00am
Knowledge = confidence. Ignorance = fear. It’s not a difficult to decide which one is better, especially when your income is at stake. In this #TomFerryShow, I’m sharing five scripts every agent needs to know. These scripts will provide the ...
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Realtor confronts HOA for trashing open house signs

Inmannews - Fri, 01/12/2018 - 4:11pm
Scottsdale, Arizona-based Realtor Jeff Sibbach had over $250 worth of open house signs thrown away by the local HOA -- and he's at his wit's end ...
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The week in financial markets: Decoding the winds of change

Inmannews - Fri, 01/12/2018 - 3:24pm
What's happening with interest rates, global business and the stock market ...
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Old house, new tricks: How to sell a historic home

Inmannews - Fri, 01/12/2018 - 12:48pm
Historic homes have long attracted homeowners for their classic architecture, original features and storied pasts ...
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NAR announces organizational changes to improve member engagement

Inmannews - Fri, 01/12/2018 - 10:03am
Trade group lays out 10 reorganized groups across NAR's two offices in Chicago and Washington, D.C., new senior management team ...
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Rebecca Riskin, Montecito’s ‘first lady of luxury real estate,’ dies in mudslides

Inmannews - Fri, 01/12/2018 - 9:59am
"She was like the iconic standard of a luxury real estate agent, she was it. She was also a beautiful, caring, sensitive, genuine person..." ...
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Real estate daily market update: January 12, 2018

Inmannews - Fri, 01/12/2018 - 6:15am
All the latest real estate market news ...
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Apartment Hunting Mistakes To Avoid

American Apartment Owners Association - Fri, 01/12/2018 - 4:57am

Posted on Jan 12, 2018

Choosing an apartment is one of the most important decisions you can make — at least for the duration of your lease. Yet many renters commit one or more apartment search mistakes when seeking their next rental unit. Below, learn what not to do when apartment hunting to find an apartment you’ll be happy you took.

Exceeding your budget 

Conventional apartment hunting tips recommend your rent costs represent no more than one-third of your monthly income. Exceeding either this limit or your personal budget for affordable rent can be a costly mistake. The more you pay in rent, the less you have to cover life’s little emergencies, such as new brakes for the car you use to commute to work.

Many apartment hunters are tempted to stretch their budgets when they find a place they love. To curb this impulse, keep emotions out of your apartment search. This is a very important apartment hunting mistake to avoid, as going over your budget could potentially cause issues in the future.

Making assumptions

Don’t assume something is true unless you get independent verification from the landlord or property manager that your hunch is correct. When making assumptions, you risk being disappointed after you sign the lease if your impression was wrong.

Moving too quickly …. or too slowly

If the rental market is tight where you live, there may be few available properties that fit your needs. This stress could make you overeager to commit to the first reasonable apartment you see without thinking the details through. Always take a step back to evaluate whether something is a fit before you commit.

Instead of moving too fast, some renters move too slow because they take too long in the decision-making phase. By the time they’re ready to sign a lease, the landlord may have found another tenant. If you can’t decide whether something is a good fit, it’s probably not right for you.

Not thinking about your commute

If you commute for work, how will your commute be affected by your new apartment? Use a GPS to check the commute time from an apartment to your job, then back again. Check around the time you leave for work to get realistic figures for your commute. If you don’t check, you risk winding up with a lengthy commute, which impacts your quality of life.

Skimming the lease

While many landlords use a boilerplate lease template — including many who belong to American Apartment Owners Association and use the member forms library — some have custom clauses within the lease that affect your use of the apartment. If you skim the lease, you won’t fully take in something that could affect you for the duration of the lease. Take the time to read the lease, and ask the landlord or property manager to explain any legal terms you do not understand. Don’t let someone pressure you into signing the lease on the spot; make sure you understand what you’re agreeing to before you sign. The lease is a legally binding contract, so this is key.

With these apartment search tips in mind, you can avoid selecting an apartment that does not meet your needs or budget while increasing your satisfaction with the apartment you find.

Disclaimer: All content provided here-in is subject to AAOA’s Terms of Use.

The post Apartment Hunting Mistakes To Avoid appeared first on AAOA.

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These high-end prints will make your traditional marketing stand out

Inmannews - Fri, 01/12/2018 - 3:00am
Agent Marketing Group is a web-based print collateral creation service ideal for brokerages and teams of all sizes, franchise offices and boutique shops ...
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Is withholding from the MLS crossing the fair housing line?

Inmannews - Fri, 01/12/2018 - 2:30am
Everyone wants to write about fair housing issues for Inman -- said no one ever. It is a lot more fun to write about the latest technology trends and how to get rich ...
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Real estate industry deals and partnerships: January 2018

Inmannews - Thu, 01/11/2018 - 3:10pm
While real estate agents chase leads and close deals on houses, there's another level of deal-making that takes place within the real estate industry: mergers, acquisitions, integrations and partnerships. ...
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Don’t miss our live interview with Opendoor’s Eric Wu

Inmannews - Thu, 01/11/2018 - 3:02pm
Submit questions prior to the event on Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn with the hashtag #AskOpendoor ...
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Redfin Mortgage expands to Pennsylvania, targets other states

Inmannews - Thu, 01/11/2018 - 2:52pm
Seattle-based tech-powered brokerage Redfin today announced the expansion of Redfin Mortgage into Pennsylvania -- the fourth market added since Redfin Mortgage's launch in January ...
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How high will homebuyers go?

Inmannews - Thu, 01/11/2018 - 2:47pm
While some might have expected the record-breaking home price growth and historically low inventory levels seen in 2017 to push buyers away, buyer demand remained strong, and those who had the extra cash to be competitive in a seller's market showed up in full force -- something that is evidenced in Zillow's latest home sales analysis ...
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Retention Through Maintenance Relationships

American Apartment Owners Association - Thu, 01/11/2018 - 1:59pm

When hiring or training a maintenance technician, we naturally tend to focus on the hard skills. But HVAC certification and experience in fixing plumbing, electrical and drywall issues are only a part of the puzzle in today’s customer-centric environment.

Today’s resident wants more than a skilled technician that replaces the faucet quickly—they want a skilled technician with a friendly smile and a positive attitude. If they don’t get it, they’ll find somewhere else to live.

As a greater number of tasks like paying rent and submitting service requests are automated, residents are even interacting with the leasing team on fewer occasions. That means a greater amount of customer service and the ability to influence the resident renewal decision is put on your maintenance team, which has traditionally been left out of the customer service training sessions.

“Daily interactions between residents and maintenance technicians, from a nice chat while repairing a broken dishwasher to saying ‘hi’ as friends in passing, are what truly drive customer loyalty and increase resident retention,” said Kevin Villont, vice president of construction and maintenance at JVM Realty Corp.

A lot of results and reviews come through maintenance. Not just from the perspective of timeliness and efficiency of work, but also how polite, clean and friendly the maintenance tech was while providing service. This underscores the magnitude of resident-maintenance relationships.

Here are some ways multifamily operators can prepare maintenance staffs to build meaningful relationships with residents:


The number one step in creating a quality maintenance team is getting the right people on board. This can be a two-pronged approach, with an objective and subjective component.

The objective nuts and bolts part deals with hiring someone who understands and can execute the duties and responsibilities of the position, and will pass a maintenance exam. The subjective part is looking into how the maintenance tech would fit in with and adopt company culture and fundamentals. Every company is different, but ideally you’ll hire someone who cannot only perform the roles of the job, but will also adhere to the company’s core values.

Someone with the personality to connect with and engage residents in a friendly and professional manner is also important. It’s not easy to find this skill set in the maintenance world, but holding out until you do will go a long way to improving the customer service scores of your community.


Training new maintenance hires on the core fundamentals and values of your company is a big component of equipping them with the knowledge and skills to perform well in their roles.

“At JVM, we have a director of training who provides a customer service course with our maintenance technicians within 90 days of starting,” Villont said. “The maintenance technicians learn all about customer service protocol and how to treat residents.” 

Customer service training, when it comes to residents, is a great way to educate maintenance techs on service etiquette, from being kind, respectful and polite to residents, to leaving the apartment clean and following up with residents on how satisfied they are with the completed work.


Apartment software has streamlined communication with residents and optimized the speed and efficiency in which maintenance requests are executed. By utilizing property and resident management software and the insights it provides, maintenance techs can easily manage work orders and gain valuable resident information from the community data.


Occasionally a resident will seek out a maintenance technician for an issue that is outside that tech’s expertise. Preparing maintenance techs on how to steer residents to more qualified coworkers who can assist will go a long way when it comes to that resident feeling heard and supported.

Maintenance teams should also be trained specifically for emergency and crisis duties so they know how to act accordingly and can help residents should anything come up. 


Online reviews, whether positive or negative, present unparalleled opportunities to get a glimpse into the community from the resident’s perspective. SatisFacts and Google ratings are tools that can be used to provide an overview of how the customer views the maintenance staff.

“Residents will sometimes address maintenance technicians by name in a review, which is often a solid indicator that the maintenance team is interacting well with residents and developing good relationships,” Villont said.

As technology evolves, so should the way companies provide customer service to residents.

Whether a resident feels cared for and supported at their apartment community is dependent on the relationships they have formed with maintenance teams. These maintenance-resident bonds are a weighty piece of the resident retention equation. Without innovative resident and property management technology in place, maintenance teams would struggle providing the commendable customer service that residents expect in the digital age.



The post Retention Through Maintenance Relationships appeared first on AAOA.

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Tenants Have Frozen Pipes Do I Have To Pay To Fix?

American Apartment Owners Association - Thu, 01/11/2018 - 1:54pm


Dear Landlord Hank:  Tenants Have Frozen Pipes Do I Have To Pay To Fix?

If a tenant has frozen pipes and calls the landlord or property manager to come fix the issue, who is supposed to pay for the maintenance? Each week veteran landlord and property manager Hank Rossi answers questions from other landlords and property managers around the country about their rentals. Here is this week’s question

Dear Landlord Hank:

We just had pipes freeze for the first time in one of our rentals this week. Tenants called to report, so I sent a guy who handles our maintenance out to thaw the pipes, but who should pay for this maintenance call? Seems tenants should have been proactive but we had nothing in the lease saying so. Whose fault is this? How do you handle this issue?

-Landlady Eileen

Dear Landlady Eileen,

This is a tricky one.

I don’t know where your rental property is located. Do you have severe winters every year or is this a freezing weather unusual?

Are the tenants warm weather transplants that have no knowledge of cold weather problems or should they be expected to know how to handle these temps and effects on water and pipes?

Where did the freeze occur and could it have been avoided if tenants kept the heat on and water dripping with cabinet doors open (so warm air can circulate more easily to pipes under sinks)?

Notes On Tenants’ Doors About Avoiding Frozen Pipes

We don’t have this situation occur in Florida but we do every winter in Georgia.

Make sure tenants are aware of freezing weather and put notes on doors with instructions to keep the heat on, drip water and keep kitchen base cabinet and vanity cabinet door open.

I also go through those instructions with tenants upon move in.

I want them to understand that dripping the water doesn’t mean turning it on full force.

If tenants knew of potential freezing they should bear cost of frozen pipes

In my opinion, if tenants should have known of the potential for freezing pipes and how to handle this situation and chose not to do so or did so inadequately, then they should bear the cost of repair.


The post Tenants Have Frozen Pipes Do I Have To Pay To Fix? appeared first on AAOA.

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How rent control can exacerbate inequality

American Apartment Owners Association - Thu, 01/11/2018 - 1:51pm

Rent-control policies are a cause célèbre advocated by progressive politicians such as New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio and U.K. Labour Party leader Jeremy Corbyn. But evidence from San Francisco shows that these laws aren’t all they’re cracked up to be.

While people who manage to secure a rent-controlled home will benefit substantially in the long run, these policies can cause landlords to make choices that can exacerbate income inequality, a new working paper from researchers at Stanford University found. The report examined the fallout from a successful 1994 ballot initiative in San Francisco that created rent control protections for small multifamily buildings built before 1980. Here is what the researchers found:

  • People who lived in homes that became subject to rent control rules were between 10% and 20% more likely to remain at that address, versus people who weren’t in rent-controlled units.
  • The economic benefit to people living in rent-controlled units averaged between $2,300 and $6,660 per person each year.
  • Meanwhile, landlords were 10% more likely to convert their building into condos if it became rent controlled. Overall, the rental supply in San Francisco dropped by 6% following the expansion of rent control.
  • Rents throughout the city increased by 5.1% as a result — the researchers calculated the total cost to tenants from rent hikes to be $2.9 billion, nearly half of which was paid by residents who moved to San Francisco following the establishment of rent control.

Given the negative repercussions of rent control policies, the researchers argued that other approaches to affordable housing that don’t inherently punish landlords might be more effective, such as creating a tax credit for rent.

Rent deregulation in Cambridge had other benefits

  • Improved public safety following rent deregulation represented an economic benefit to the city of between $10 million and $22 million.
  • Deregulation led to $2 billion-worth of property value appreciation between 1994 and 2005, findings that are supported by previous research by the newly-minted Nobel laureate Richard Thaler.

Cambridge represents a strong test subject for studying the impact of rent deregulation, according to the paper, which was distributed by the National Bureau of Economic Research. The city’s rent control policy was eliminated following the success of a statewide referendum in 1994. Nearly 60% of Cambridge’s voter’s opposed the referendum, indicating strong support for rent control at the time.

Only a third of Cambridge’s residential units were subject to rent control rules, and the ordinance only applied to buildings constructed before 1969. As a result, many of the buildings affected by the change were concentrated in the same neighborhoods, which allowed researchers to determine better the effect deregulation had. The researchers also compared their findings against the nationwide decrease in crime and to other potential causes of the lower crime rate, including proximity to public transit and public housing.

Rent control regulations are rare across the country

Only four states (California, Maryland, New Jersey and New York) and the District of Columbia have rent-control laws on the books either state-wide or at the municipal level, according to the National Multifamily Housing Council, a trade organization representing the apartment industry.

In another nine states, there are no rent control laws on the books — nor are there laws preempting rent control ordinances. The remaining 37 states either have state laws preempting rent control ordinances at the local level or require local governments to get approval from state legislatures to enact such provisions.

Even though rent control laws are rare, more cities across the country have been exploring them, likely a reflection of soaring housing costs nationwide. Voters have succeeded in putting referenda on the ballots in cities like Glendale, Calif., Newark, N.J., and Portland, Maine, that would create or strengthen rent control laws. And activists in cities like Minneapolis and Seattle are pushing for rents to be regulated, even though their state governments have been rent control ordinances.

A recent poll also found that a 55% majority of voters in California’s Orange and San Diego counties supported rent control policies, according to the Orange County Register.

Other studies show that rent control likely doesn’t work

While rent-control policies are aimed at keeping housing affordable, it often has the reverse effect in practice.

There is evidence that renters pay more in rent-controlled cities, according to the Urban Institute, a Washington, D.C., think-tank. These policies generally raise the rents in uncontrolled apartments. “Given the current research, there seems to be little one can say in favor of rent control,” wrote Peter Tatian, a senior fellow in the Urban Institute’s Metropolitan Housing and Communities Policy Center.

One theory for the increase in property values: Studies have shown that the construction of new rental units decreased in many cities after they implemented rent-control regulations, according to the National Multifamily Housing Council. Consequently, the supply of rental properties may not grow to accommodate increased demand in these cities. Many people will remain in rent-controlled apartments and pass them along to family or friends, meaning that fewer vacancies come up. That leaves people looking for housing with fewer options.

Studies have also found that rent-controlled apartment buildings are kept in worse conditions, a reflection of negligence on the part of landlords and tenants alike.

And further research has also shown that the end of rent control in Cambridge, Mass., led to a significant reduction in crime — and the improved public safety alone represented an economic benefit of between $10 million and $22 million, according to a working paper by researchers from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.



The post How rent control can exacerbate inequality appeared first on AAOA.

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Investors Expect 2018 to be Another Solid Year for Apartment Sales

American Apartment Owners Association - Thu, 01/11/2018 - 1:48pm

Investors are looking forward to another strong year for apartment sales.

“Going forward, there is a bit of renewed optimism… and we are still at an elevated level when it comes to transaction volume,” says John Sebree, first vice president and national director of the national multi-housing group for Marcus & Millichap.

Investors bought fewer apartment properties in 2017 than they had the year before—but 2016 was a record-breaking year for apartment sales. The total dollar volume of apartment sales in 2017 was still greater than the historical average. And with apartment properties still desirable and yields and interest rates still relatively attractive, 2018 seems poised to match it.

“There is still a hunger for yield by investors,” says Jim Costello, senior vice president for Real Capital Analytics (RCA). “I don’t see 2018 as being that much different.”

Large volume of sales, relatively

Sales of apartment properties started slowly in 2017, partly because of uncertainty about policy after the presidential election and partly because the huge volume of deals that closed in 2015 and 2016 is naturally hard to match. Investors bought $12.5 billion in apartment properties in 2017 (as of November) in the U.S., according to the latest data from Real Capital Analytics (RCA). That’s down 7 percent from the same period in 2016.

Investors closed 2017 on a roll, partially making up for the year’s slow start. The volume of properties sold in November was the second largest of any November in history behind only 2016, according to RCA.

In 2018, investors are expected to buy and sell apartment properties in roughly the same total dollar volume as 2017. “It’s not going up a lot, though it’s not going to drop either,” says Sebree.

Investors may also be more eager to buy and sell apartment buildings now that Congress has passed its first major reform of the federal tax code since the 1980s. Tax reform didn’t change much for the apartment business, but could have created major changes. Now that it has passed, apartment experts have less uncertainty about the future.

“It eliminates some concerns, and as a result we may see more owners coming to the market,” says Sebree.

Cap rates stay low

Experts do think that cap rates for apartment properties are finally now about as low as they are likely to get. But they are unlikely to rise much either, even though interest rates are likely to rise in 2018—especially now that federal tax reform has passed.

Interest rates will continue to rise. The Federal Reserve has already raised its short-term benchmarks rates and is planning more 25-basis-point increases over the coming year, especially if inflation begins to rise after tax reform. “Tax reform is a huge fiscal stimulus. The Fed is going to have to respond with some higher rates,” says Costello.

Rising interest rates usually push cap rates higher, as investors eventually demand higher yields from their investments to make up for their higher cost of capital. But the effect is not immediate. In the short term, cap rate are likely to stay low.

“Property is a hedge against inflation. Investors want to lock in an interest rate at a low number,” says Sebree.

Investors turn to smaller markets and lower properties

More than half (55 percent) of the apartments properties bought and sold for more than $1 million in 2017 priced were located in secondary and tertiary markets. That’s up from 42 percent in 2010.

“You have got a lot of money looking for yield,” says Sebree. Because of all this additional investment, the average cap rate for apartment properties has fallen to about 6 percent in secondary and tertiary markets, down from about 8 percent in 2010. At the same time, the cap rate for apartment properties in prime markets has stayed in the 4 percent range. The difference in cap rates between apartment properties in primary markets and properties in secondary and tertiary markets is now about 190 basis points, down from 370 basis points in 2012, according to Marcus & Millichap.

“The cap rates in preferred markets really haven’t changed as much—they were already at such low levels,” says Sebree.

The cap rate for class-B and class-C apartment properties in all markets has also fallen on average to about 5 percent from about 7 percent in 2010.



The post Investors Expect 2018 to be Another Solid Year for Apartment Sales appeared first on AAOA.

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How You Should Market Your Real Estate Based Business Digitally

American Apartment Owners Association - Thu, 01/11/2018 - 1:45pm

The world of real estate marketing has changed immensely over the past decade. It seems like everyone is an expert when it comes to homes because of Zillow’s price calculator and easy to use platform. The days of purchasing ad space on bus benches or billboards being wildly successful are over. The most important part of marketing when it comes to real estate has become that of digital marketing. Not marketing in a digital fashion can have your real estate firm falling behind the competition when it comes to sales closed. The following are ways that you should market digitally to get the highest return on the money invested in the marketing strategy.

Create Useful Content The company website should have a blog where your staff and other contributors can write articles that will be of use to site visitors. These do not have to be articles as it could be a podcast or even an interactive piece of content. The useful content will help showcase the knowledge that the company has and can help develop a relationship with regular readers. Answering common problems in an easy to understand way can help develop your real estate firm as a thought leader in the industry. This will lead to sales as helping people understand something like the mortgage process will build trust that your firm will be able to help with these tough to understand parts of the home buying process.

Partner With Real Estate Aggregators People flock to sites like Zillow and Trulia when they are looking at homes they potentially want to buy. Often times you can contact an agent directly through the site as they have partnered with the site. These are leads of people that can be qualified through a simple credit check. There will be some leads of people that simply cannot afford to buy a home just yet but it is important to follow up with these people in 6 months to a year. There are some people who have the credit score but lack the down payment so keep these leads as they will be valuable to return to.

Local SEO is Important Local SEO is important in the real estate business as it will help you rank at the top of Google for a specific area. People searching for Colorado land for sale would see that the Spanish Peaks Land Company deals with these types of deals. Most people will not navigate to the 2nd page of search results so ranking on the first page could not be more important. Optimize your website and content to help garner the search engine rankings that you desire. The wrong layout or slow loading pages can hurt a website’s ranking as it stresses user-friendly sites.

Website Layout Should Be Made For Mobile Every year there is more mobile traffic than ever before so optimizing your site for mobile devices is necessary. This can help your SEO as well as reduce the number of people that leave the site as it is annoying to navigate on their phone. The layout should put your contact information at the top of the site so a call or email can be done rather than having someone fill out a boring contact form. Keep media on other pages besides the homepage to decrease loading times.

As you can see it is important to think about the details when it comes to your digital marketing. Set up a strategy that will give you a favorable return on your investment and track everything. One variable can make a huge difference so knowing which variables impact sales the most could be the most important data gathered. Optimize your digital marketing approach and watch your sales skyrocket!


The post How You Should Market Your Real Estate Based Business Digitally appeared first on AAOA.

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Lawsuit accuses of defrauding agents

Inmannews - Thu, 01/11/2018 - 12:52pm
In an emailed statement, spokesperson Janice McDill told Inman: "The allegations are without merit, and we will defend the case vigorously..." ...
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