What the Internet is saying about you

March 21, 2014 by · Leave a Comment
Filed under: General, Marketing, Technology 

When consumers begin their hunt for real estate, you know where they turn: the Internet. But how do potential customers and clients find their way to you? Broadly speaking, word of mouth, personal connections, and even chance encounters are still the predominant ways people link up to a sales agent. But the Web is assuming a more prominent role in the decision-making process of buyers and sellers as they figure out who can best help them through one of life’s most important and trying financial transactions.

To be sure, the specter of online ratings and rankings provokes anxiety—even outrage—for some practitioners as the platforms themselves and types of information being shared are still in flux. But make no mistake: Consumers’ expectations about using the Internet to find out whatever they can about real estate practitioners is headed nowhere but up. Last year, 12 percent of buyers said they used online recommendations while searching for an agent, up from 3 percent in 2001, and half of those buyers report being influenced by what they read online, according to the 2013 National Association of REALTORS® Profile of Home Buyers and Sellers. Read More.

Domain names claimed by NAR through trademark violation

March 14, 2014 by · Leave a Comment
Filed under: General, Technology 

An administrative law judge has considered NAR’s challenge to a series domain names registered by a nonmember entity using the term “REALTOR”.

John and Tara Schermerhorn of National Network LLC (collectively, “Registrants”) registered 16 domain names that contained the term “REALTOR”. Most of the names contained a variation of the name realtoreview.com as well as including other domain names like realtorranking.net and realtorreportcard.net. All of the domain names linked to the Registrants’ website that was entitled “REALTOR REVIEW®”. The website claimed to help consumers learn more about real estate professionals and also attempted to have real estate professionals create accounts to “demonstrate their experience”. Read More.

Broker accountable for affiliate negligence

March 14, 2014 by · Leave a Comment
Filed under: General, Legal 

In Crumpton v. Grissom, a Tennessee appellate court found that a managing broker (“Managing Broker”) could be held accountable for the misrepresentations and negligence of an affiliate broker (“Affiliate Broker”), even though the Managing Broker was not personally involved in the transaction.

After closing on a mixed-use property, plaintiff Reid Crumpton (“Buyer”) discovered that a five year non-compete clause in an addendum to the real estate sales contract had been excluded from some signed copies of the contract. The non-compete clause affected Buyer’s ability to conduct his business on the premises. Buyer sued Affiliate Broker and Managing Broker, alleging that Affiliate Broker had made misrepresentations and been otherwise negligent in regard to the sales contract, and that Managing Broker had breached her duty to supervise the Affiliate Broker in the transaction. Read More.

Rural communities protected through 2020

March 14, 2014 by · Leave a Comment
Filed under: General, Legislative 

More than 900 communities that were at risk for losing access to federal rural housing programs are now protected through 2020. For the last three years, NAR has worked with Congress extend the eligibility of communities under a 40-year old definition of rural. The United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) had been required to revise the list of communities eligible for rural housing loans based on the 2010 census data – and apply them to the 1974 definition. But last week the President signed H.R. 2642, the Agricultural Act of 2014 (aka the Farm Bill), that will protect these communities through the release of the 2020 census. Read More.

Facebook “likes” the right way

March 14, 2014 by · Leave a Comment
Filed under: General, Marketing, Technology 

So you’ve created your real estate Facebook business page. Now what? Oh yes! Now let’s get likes! Let’s see … “I’ll ask some of my family, a few of my friends, and every single real estate agent I can find. Next I’m going to give and take some ‘Facebook love.’ I’ll like their page, they like mine. That will help me! That will help them!”

This is how every single real estate agent acts on Facebook. Every. Single. One. Heck, this is not exclusive to real estate agents. It’s in every industry. After you’ve asked every colleague you know, after you’ve “shared your Facebook love” in every group you can find, what next? Read More.

Consumer ad campaign from NAR

March 14, 2014 by · Leave a Comment
Filed under: General, Marketing 

NAR’s Consumer Advertising Campaign recently launched a new TV commercial and several new digital video ads. The latest TV commercial is the fourth in a series focused on driving market momentum and encouraging consumers to take advantage of the opportunities in today’s market. The six new digital video ads will reinforce the message that now is the time to make your move and enter the real estate market. These spots will rotate on high profile programming on websites such as CBS.com, NBC.com, Hulu, YouTube, and This Old House. The ads will appear within episodes online, via desktop and laptop, as well as on devices, such as tablets and smartphones.

Senate passes Flood Insurance Affordability bill

March 14, 2014 by · Leave a Comment
Filed under: General, Legislative 

The United States Senate voted 72-22 to approve the Homeowner Flood Insurance Affordability Act (H.R. 3370). The Senate acted quickly to pass the bill as amended by the House to avoid the need for a conference committee to reconcile any differences. The new bill further reins in and holds the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) accountable for the Biggert-Waters implementation issues.

As passed, the bill repeals FEMA’s authority to increase premium rates at time of sale or new flood map, and refunds the excessive premium to those who bought a property before FEMA warned them of the rate increase. The bill limits premium increases to 18% annually on newer properties and 25% for some older ones. Additionally, the bill adds a small assessment on policies until everyone is paying full cost for flood insurance. President Obama is expected to sign the bill into law when it arrives at the White House. Read More.

Senators draft housing finance overhaul for Fannie, Freddie

March 12, 2014 by · Leave a Comment
Filed under: General, Legislative, Mortgage 

The top Democrat and Republican on the Senate Banking Committee said on Tuesday that they had agreed on a plan to overhaul the nation’s housing finance system and eliminate Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, the mortgage giants that were bailed out by taxpayers in 2008.

The committee chairman, Tim Johnson, a Democrat from South Dakota, and Mike Crapo of Idaho, the ranking Republican, have come up with a compromise that provides an explicit government guarantee for mortgages, but only after private investors have taken the first losses. The plan would set up a new federal regulator, called the Federal Mortgage Insurance Corporation, to provide the guarantee and regulate the system. Read More.

Kentucky unemployment down in January

March 7, 2014 by · Leave a Comment
Filed under: General 

Kentucky’s seasonally adjusted preliminary unemployment rate slid to 7.7 percent in January 2014 from a revised 7.9 percent in December 2013, according to the Office of Employment and Training (OET), an agency of the Kentucky Education and Workforce Development Cabinet.

The preliminary January 2014 jobless rate was .5 percentage points below the 8.2 percent rate recorded for the state in January 2013.

The U.S. seasonally adjusted jobless rate went down to 6.6 percent in January 2014 from 6.7 percent in December 2013, according to the U.S. Department of Labor. Read More.

17 simple tips to get your house sold

March 7, 2014 by · Leave a Comment
Filed under: General, Marketing 

If you’re like many sellers, you think your house is perfect and you can’t imagine why it wouldn’t sell exactly like it is right now. This is a common problem. It’s called “You can’t see what’s right in front of your face because you’re enamored with your house-itis.”

This is often the cause of homes that go unsold while others fly off the market. Symptoms include too much clutter and personalization, outdated décor and fixtures, and a general unwillingness to see the things that other people – people like buyers and agents – are seeing.

There is a common cure. It starts with taking a good, honest look at your home and then making some small changes to turn what could be an unsellable house into a sold house. Try our 17 hacks and you’ll be eyeing that sold sign in no time. Read More.

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