6 tips for keeping your clients safe from phishing scams

Inmannews - Wed, 04/11/2018 - 2:30am
Your client saved up tens of thousands of dollars to buy a home. They found the right one after weeks of hunting. Their offer was accepted. They made it through the inspection process. Now, it's finally time to close.
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The truth about comps: Your opinion won’t change reality

Inmannews - Wed, 04/11/2018 - 2:15am
In a recent offer situation, the buyer’s agent argued that I had overpriced my sellers’ property by $300,000. You can imagine my initial shock.
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Zuckerberg addresses discrimination in housing ads during Senate testimony

Inmannews - Tue, 04/10/2018 - 3:59pm
Facebook founder and CEO Mark Zuckerberg addressed Facebook's history allowing advertisers to discriminate by race in housing ads during his testimony in front of the Senate Judiciary and Commerce Committees Tuesday afternoon.
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Parker Principle 11: How to selflessly give back to the world

Inmannews - Tue, 04/10/2018 - 2:21pm
Perhaps it's because real estate agents and brokers know so many people, perhaps it's because they know their community so well, or maybe it's just that they take their role in a service-oriented profession seriously — for whatever reason, “giving back to the world through service” seems to be ingrained in the lives of many real estate agents.
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@properties accuses fellow Chicago indie brokerage Baird & Warner of false advertising

Inmannews - Tue, 04/10/2018 - 1:03pm
Hyperbole in real estate advertising is nothing new, but one Chicago brokerage alleges its biggest independent rival has crossed a line.
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Real estate daily market update: April 10, 2018

Inmannews - Tue, 04/10/2018 - 10:52am
All the latest real estate market news.
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Nostalgia, school pride and game day bringing homebuyers back to their college towns

Inmannews - Tue, 04/10/2018 - 9:31am
Nothing brings back the nostalgic rush of the good old days like a trip to your college town years after graduation. That desire to relive special memories and unleash school pride is pulling a wave of homebuyers back to their college stomping grounds.
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Realtors react to NAR’s new three-dimensional logo

Inmannews - Tue, 04/10/2018 - 7:28am
Real estate professionals pulled no punches following the unveiling Monday of the National Association of Realtors’ first new logo in 45 years — a three-dimensional blue cube that members overwhelmingly panned, calling it overpriced and uninspired.
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Spring Forward: Penelope Moore: “Stop Procrastinating!”

Inmannews - Tue, 04/10/2018 - 4:09am
This Spring, Inman is obsessing over helping you to tune-up your business, with actionable insights, the best advice from top agents, and hundreds of helpful stories from all over the world. Interested in sharing your advice and insights with us? Reach out to me at Don’t forget that we’ll also be focusing on how […]
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SetSchedule app offers leads qualified by big data

Inmannews - Tue, 04/10/2018 - 3:00am
SetSchedule is a new app for real estate agents that provides buyer and listing leads using powerful algorithms gleaned from public and private data sources.
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Dear Marketing Mastermind: Is my social media plan working?

Inmannews - Tue, 04/10/2018 - 2:45am
We’ve had so many questions come in lately about social media. As you try to step up your game for the spring market, this is a great time to look at what’s working and what’s not in your marketing plan.
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4 real estate lessons from an agent who auditioned for reality TV

Inmannews - Tue, 04/10/2018 - 2:30am
We’ve all heard the greasy car salesman jokes, read aggressively sale-sy bench ads, and at some point, questioned whether one salesperson or another was truly looking out for our best interests.
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5 simple ways to achieve work-life balance as a real estate agent

Inmannews - Tue, 04/10/2018 - 2:15am
For many real estate agents, the notion of a “work-life balance” exists somewhere between myth and misnomer. The same technology we rely on to make life easier is the very same technology that enables us to work harder and longer.
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5 things top agents and tech companies do to succeed

Inmannews - Tue, 04/10/2018 - 2:00am
As an active agent running my own team and as a technology/marketing consultant now helping teams and brokers succeed, I've had the experience on both sides of the real estate business.   
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Senate Passes Bill That Upends Some Short-Term Rental Bans

American Apartment Owners Association - Mon, 04/09/2018 - 5:43pm

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) — The Tennessee Senate on Thursday passed a bill that overturns some local short-term rental bans after lawmakers debated for more than two hours about property rights versus local control.

Lawmakers from Nashville were the most vocal against the bill. The city recently passed restrictions on short-term rentals such as Airbnb after neighborhood groups complained about noise and rowdy parties at the rentals and their rapid growth changing the fabrics of communities. Nashville passed an ordinance earlier this year that would phase out short-term rentals of non-owner-occupied properties, which have generated the most complaints from neighbors.

The measure that passed Thursday was a compromise allowing investors in short-term rental properties to keep renting them out and be grandfathered in if a local government bans them in the future. That would mean that Nashville and any other local government in Tennessee could put restrictions on the short-term rentals going forward but would have to grandfather rights to those operating legally before the restrictions were enacted.

One of the main sponsors of the measure said it was an attempt to protect the property rights of people who had already purchased homes being used for short-term rentals.

“This bill is about property rights and justice,” said Sen. John Stevens, a Republican from Huntingdon.

But other lawmakers wondered about the property rights of longtime neighbors who opposed the rentals.

Airbnb lobbied state lawmakers intensely after Nashville passed the ordinance limiting the short-term rentals.

One Nashville Republican took aim at Airbnb, the San Francisco-based company that uses an online platform to help travelers all over the world find short-term housing rentals.

“This comes down to a national company —Airbnb— trying to come in and jack up their stock price,” Sen. Steve Dickerson said.

The AP emailed the company, but a spokesman responded by saying Airbnb would not comment on the vote or the debate.

The bill would have originally allowed grandfathered properties to continue as short-term rentals even after they were sold or the owners died. But an amendment by Sen. Bo Watson, R-Hixon, terminates that right under the sale of the property and under other conditions.

The House passed a similar bill last year but still has to approve changes made by the Senate.


The post Senate Passes Bill That Upends Some Short-Term Rental Bans appeared first on AAOA.

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Renters Losing Interest in Homeownership

American Apartment Owners Association - Mon, 04/09/2018 - 5:43pm

Along with a declining rate of homeownership, analysts have noted over the last few years that fewer Americans appear to be heavily invested in the dream of owning a home.  New research from Freddie Mac gives more credence to what a company official calls a historic shift in the preferences of older consumers.

Freddie Mac’s spring edition of its Profile of Today’s Renter finds that affordability is driving the rent-versus-buy decision process.  Sixty-seven percent of renters who responded to the Profile survey viewed renting as more affordable than owning, including some of those in age groups that have long had the highest homeownership rates.  Among Baby Boomers, who are now aged 53 to 71, 73 percent of those who are non-homeowners said renting was more affordable.  Sixty seven percent of those renters who said they plan to continue as renters cited financial considerations as the reason, up from 59 percent in 2016.

Half of the Boomer renters said they did not anticipate buying a home in the future, eight points higher than responses in the previous survey conducted in August 2017.  Of those, 35 percent have no interest in owning, and 15 percent believe they will never be able to afford it.  Similarly, 31 percent of Gen Xers (aged 38-52) said they would continue to rent, up from 28 percent previously.  Of those respondents, 19 percent lack interest in buying and 12 percent believe they will never be able to afford it.

David Brickman, executive vice president and head of Freddie Mac Multifamily, said “Perceptions of affordability and cost continue to play an outsized role in the choices of America’s renters, as they overwhelmingly see renting as more affordable and the right choice for them – right now.  Remarkably, half of baby boomers who rent do not anticipate owning a home in the future, with a growing number of Generation Xers following suit. Indeed, we are witnessing an historic shift in preference among older Americans, as they increasingly are choosing the size, convenience and affordability that renting offers over ownership.”

Even though the survey found a growing number of renters who said their economic situation has improved since the last survey, it also noted affordability was more of a concern.  The 67 percent of renters who plan to continue renting for financial reasons is even higher among Millennials, those 21 to 37 years old.  Seventy-four percent of that cohort expressed that opinion, up 15 points since 2016.  The percentage of multifamily renters (versus single-family renters) with that view jumped from 57 percent in 2016 to 68 percent today.  While the increase was apparent for all locations, it was more apparent among urban renters.  

Sixty-six percent of renters are moderately or very satisfied with their renting experience, the highest such responses since 2016.  Among those who had experienced rent increases, 64 percent said they like where they live and have no intention of moving.  This response was significantly higher (70 percent) among Boomers than Millennials (59 percent.)

Most renters – 54 percent – continue to believe that renting is a good choice for them now, including 71 percent of millennials.

A companion survey found that cost concerns also play a major role in mobility and housing choices.  In that survey 64 percent of renters said price was the most important factor when considering their next home.  This answer was consistent across all age groups. It was also noted that, again regardless of age group, more renters perceived homeownership as less accessible than they did three years earlier.  Eighty-one percent of renters thought it would be difficult for them to buy a home, as compared to 38 percent who believe renting a home is difficult. Plans to continue renting remain relatively constant, with a majority (55 percent) of renters indicating they plan to continue doing so.

Renters living in the West have more issues of affordability than other respondents. Sixty-four percent said they are spending less on other essentials because of increasing rents. This was at least nine points higher than responses in any other region. Those renters also perceive homeownership as more difficult to attain than other regions, with 51 percent believing homeownership is less accessible than three years ago.  

Brickman added, “Renter satisfaction remains high, but the continued shortage of supply and growing demand means more renters are looking at cost than ever before. Although it’s clear that the demand for rental housing will continue for the foreseeable future, this survey is also a reminder of the important role we play in financing low-income and workforce housing across the United States.”

The Renter Profile survey was conducted in February among 4,115 adults including 1,209 renters. The companion survey involved 2,600 respondents both owners and renters and took place in late November and early December 2017.  Both surveys were conducted online.


The post Renters Losing Interest in Homeownership appeared first on AAOA.

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What’s In and What’s Out in Home Renovations

American Apartment Owners Association - Mon, 04/09/2018 - 5:42pm

They bought back in the mid-2000’s, when “Under the Tuscan Sun,” a romance about an American woman who buys a villa in rural Italy, inspired a wave of rustic but luxurious home decor featuring warm, earth-toned colors.

Now with prices hitting new records, many homeowners who bought a decade ago want to cash in and move on to the next phase of their lives, whether that’s stepping up to a bigger home or downsizing after the kids have left.

However, the faux-Tuscan-style décor that was all the rage a decade ago — not to mention the granite countertops, marble fireplace mantels, fancy millwork, and stainless steel appliances that were ubiquitous then — all but scream 2005 to a younger generation of buyers, brokers say.

The millennial buyers who are reshaping the real estate market are taking their home décor cues from “Madmen,” not “Under the Tuscan Sun,” seeking a sleeker, more minimalist mid-century modern look, says Kerrie Kelly, Zillow’s design expert and the creative director of Kerrie Kelly Design Lab.

If your home looks like a relic of the bubble years, there’s no need to panic or rip out your kitchen. The good news is, there are some simple and relatively easy fixes you can make to update your interior and make it more appealing to today’s buyers, brokers say.

“I think people are drawn to the mid-century modern style,” Kelly says. “It has that simplified look and clean lines. It doesn’t have tchotchkes all over the place — it’s light and bright.”

There’s some debate over whether stainless steel appliances are truly out now, as some may prove to be a bit more timeless.

But buyers in their 30’s and 40’s don’t want fancy crown molding and millwork, granite countertops and traditional marble-mantled fireplaces. Also on the ditch list are heavy draperies and wallpaper, which, even if it is making a modest comeback, most buyers will want to pick on their own, says Elaine Bannigan, broker owner of Pinnacle Residential Properties Wellesley, Mass.

Noticeable grout lines in the bathroom are also a no, no — another tip-off that your house was not recently renovated. Jacuzzis are out, stand-alone tubs are in.

In some of Boston’s priciest suburbs, homes that have not been updated are fetching roughly 10% less. She points to one home in tony Wellesley that hadn’t been redecorated in a decade and recently fetched just over $3 million. Back in 2004, it sold for more than $3.5 million.

“If buyers walk into a house built in 2007 with all that fancy kitchen work, lavish marble, granite countertops, they look at that and say we really have to gut that kitchen,” Bannigan says.

The sleek, uncluttered look, with easy-to-maintain materials like quartz instead of granite or marble, is appealing to younger buyers who aren’t interested in spending the few hours they aren’t working or chasing after children trying to keep up a house.

“Some sellers are realizing they do have to adapt,” says Inger Stringfellow, PSCS, and expert on mid-century modern properties at William Pitt Sotheby’s International Realty in New Canaan, Conn. “The millennials don’t want to do any work. These are families with two parents that work. They don’t have the time or energy and would prefer to be able to move right in.”

Still, there are some relatively inexpensive cosmetic changes sellers can make to give their homes a more contemporary look, brokers say.

Decluttering is a good place to start, notes Stringfellow, stripping down the interior to the bare essentials in terms of furniture. That means taking down wallpaper, drapery and “neutralizing cabinets” by painting them white.

It may be worth hiring a staging company to do the work, she says.

“Granite has sort of seen its day,” Stringfellow notes.

Giving your home a more contemporary edge will also likely mean some painful decisions, Bannigan warns.

You may love that original Shaker sideboard, but lots of heavy wood furniture can also be a turnoff for younger buyers.

The post What’s In and What’s Out in Home Renovations appeared first on AAOA.

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Millions of Americans are evicted every year — and not just in big cities

American Apartment Owners Association - Mon, 04/09/2018 - 5:41pm

An interview I did with Princeton sociologist and MacArthur genius grant winner Matthew Desmond a couple of years ago really stayed with me. He did a deep study of people getting kicked out of their apartments, and there was a story of a family who got evicted because ambulances came too many times for a child with asthma. Desmond’s book “Evicted” focused on Milwaukee, but he’s just released a new set of national data showing evictions around the country are comparable to foreclosures at the height of the financial crisis.

He joined us to discussed the findings, which were published by Princeton’s Eviction Lab. Below is an edited transcript of the interview.

David Brancaccio: So in the year 2016, you found that there were nearly a million evictions that year. Give me a sense of scale.

Matthew Desmond: This is the first time we’ve really been able to look at evictions at a national level. And so a million evictions, about 900,000 evictions, that equates to about an estimated 2.3 million people evicted in that year, many of them children. So, how do we get our hands around that number? That’s about 6,300 people a day that are evicted. That’s twice the number of people who die in car accidents every day in America. We heard a lot about the opioid epidemic last year. There were about 63,000 drug overdose deaths from opioids in the U.S., which means there are 36 evictions for every tragic overdose victim that year. This means eviction is an enormous problem. It’s a problem of enormous consequence in the country.

Brancaccio: And that number you’re citing is just official evictions ordered by a judge. Sometimes one just gets evicted by the landlord, right?

Desmond: That’s the scary thing. So the number that we have is an underestimate for two reasons. One is, you know, we don’t have every single formal eviction in America — an eviction that’s processed through a court system — because some cases are sealed, like they do in California. Other places, it’s really hard to get them because it’s a very remote area. So we have the largest data set of evictions in America today, but we don’t have everything. And the largest data set of formal eviction doesn’t count these kind of informal evictions that never go through the courtroom. These are when a landlord pays you to leave or maybe commits an illegal lockout. So these numbers are scary, and they’re very high, and they’re probably underestimated by a significant degree.

Brancaccio: Now I took a look, I was wondering if it’s just the big, expensive cities. It’s not, right?  I see, for instance, Philadelphia which is a not-as-expensive city. And then you have some smaller cities?

Desmond: We are learning so much about where evictions are happening in the country. If you read the news, you’d think that the housing crisis is basically in Seattle, and New York City, and San Francisco. And that’s true. You know, the rents in those cities have really exploded over the last decade. But when you look at evictions, you don’t see them only happening in those places. In fact, the hotspots of evictions are in cities that don’t get a lot of coverage. So, Philadelphia is one of our poorest large cities, there’s about 80 evictions happening every single day in that city, even though there’s relatively low housing costs. Compare that to a city like Portland, one of the hottest housing markets in the country, and you see that in Portland, it looks like evictions are actually on the decline and they’re certainly lower than in Philadelphia.  What this data set allow us to do, I think, is to recognize that the housing crisis is much bigger and deeper than we thought. It’s not just on the coast or in our global cities, it’s in a lot of different places. It raises all these questions about what’s going on, questions that we know that we can’t answer by ourselves, which is why we wanted to get the data out as quickly as we could.

Brancaccio: I’m sure you’re curious, does public policy in a given city contribute to more evictions or fewer?

Desmond: This is one of the things that we really don’t have a solid answer to. Does this policy work here better than here? What really drives down an eviction rate? Now the data are here and will allow us to get after those kinds of questions. It also allows us to understand just the effect that eviction has on our schools, on our hospitals, on our children, in our neighborhoods. I think the question about the role that eviction plays, and housing instability in general plays, in so many social problems we really care about has kind of been beyond the reach of science and research. And what we’re hoping the people do with these data is to take them and put them to use, and start getting to work after those questions.

Brancaccio: Now, I want to get back to an important point from your original book, Evicted. If people are listening to this right now thinking, well they didn’t pay their rent, they got evicted. That is not always the case in America?

Desmond: That’s right. We’re in the middle of a housing crisis. We’ve seen incomes for Americans of modest means stagnate over the last two decades, but rents have soared and most low-income families who qualify for housing assistance simply don’t get it. You know, we just don’t have enough public assistance or affordable housing vouchers to go around. Only about one in four families who actually qualifies for this aid gets it. The waiting list for public housing in some of our biggest cities is now counted in the decades. So, when we think of a low-income family today, we shouldn’t think of them as living in public housing. We should think of them on the private rental market, getting no help from the government, and spending over half of their income on housing costs. One in four poor renting families are spending over 70 percent of their income just on rent and utilities. And when you’re in those conditions, a really small thing can lead to an eviction. You’re also right that not all evictions are caused by non-payment of rent. Sometimes it’s a domestic violence situation. In many cities, landlords don’t have to give any reason to evict a tenant. So the big reason there’s so many evictions is because of the affordable housing crisis and the inability of low-income renters to make the rent, but there’s also a lot of other reasons going on too.

Brancaccio: I remember an example from the book, what was it, a child had asthma, so the ambulance came quite a bit. That bothered the landlord allegedly and out was the family.

Desmond: Yeah, this was a big surprise from earlier work that we did. You know, I thought that if you lived with children, your chances of getting an eviction would actually go down, that children would protect you from having your things thrown on the street, but it’s actually the opposite. You know, if you live with children, the chances of you getting an eviction judgment actually triple, all else equal. That’s because, in the words of one landlord that I spent time with: you know kids cause us headache, you know, kids can destroy property or gain the attention of the police or an ambulance, like you said. So often, with low-income families, it’s being in a financially precarious position, plus something else — you know, plus you got pregnant.

Brancaccio: You run the Eviction Lab at Princeton. You alluded to this, but it’s your hope that engaged people listening to this, but also researchers will use your data?

Desmond: Absolutely. The Eviction Lab is kind of a collection of scholars and researchers here at Princeton that are just nerding out on these data all day long, and trying to get them right and validate them, but also working with a committed web team to present this data in a really intuitive way. So if you’re a high school teacher, or on your city council, or a concerned citizen, or a faith leader, you can go to this website called You can look on this map, and you can download PowerPoint slides, or customized reports that tell you how many evictions happen in your community, what is your city like compared to other cities like yours, what have evictions done over time, where are the eviction hotspots in the places you live. You can circulate this information on social media. You could take it to your elected representatives and you could start having a conversation about what you can do about this problem in your own communities. It was really important for us to see ourselves not only as a research endeavor, but also as a public service, and that’s how we’ve treated the data.



The post Millions of Americans are evicted every year — and not just in big cities appeared first on AAOA.

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Arizona Regional MLS and Wisconsin’s Metro MLS team up from across the country

Inmannews - Mon, 04/09/2018 - 3:33pm
"Our markets are not contiguous, but our energy, approach and overall vision of service do overlap. Our MLS DNA is similar and lends the ability to accomplish more, quicker and efficiently with a combined effort."
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March home prices reach new peak as inventory nosedives

Inmannews - Mon, 04/09/2018 - 2:57pm
According to's latest monthly housing trend report, home prices in March rose 8 percent year-over-year to $280,000 -- surpassing last year's peak of $275,000. Furthermore, days on market and total listings plummeted by 7 percent and 8 percent year-over-year, respectively.
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