|This article was published on: 03/01/2007|
COVER FEATURE: The List Issue 2007
5 real estate trends that already affect your business
Stay ahead of the curve by keeping up on what’s happening in your industry.
1. EMINENT DOMAIN: Allows governmental entities to take (and pay a fair market price for) private property to serve the public good, such as building roads and schools.
2. TENANT INCOMMON INTERESTS: In general, permits each multiple owner to have an undivided fractional interest in a piece of property, as opposed to a share in a partnership that owns the property.
3. ONLINE SOCIAL NETWORKING: Connects individuals or groups via the Internet. Social networks draw their strength from individuals’ ties to others.
4. FRACTIONAL OWNERSHIP: A middle ground for second home ownership between an individual vacation home or condominium and a time share, in which a property is held jointly. Fractional ownership is applied to homes that are intended primarily for use, not purely for investments.
5. GREYFIELDS: The term a play on brownfields, which describes polluted infill sites refers to the obsolete, old, underused retail sites that have prime locations but are no longer correctly configured to meet today’s retailing needs.
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Test your hipness quotient with these up-to-the-minute trends
Sources: Steve Melman, director of economic services, National Association of Home Builders, Washington, D.C.; Bruce Wentworth, president, Wentworth Inc., a residential remodeling company in Chevy Chase, MD.
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It’s easy sounding green
The triple whammy of gas prices, global warming, and health concerns about chemicals has made green buildings red hot. Take a first step toward working with the growing segment of buyers who appreciate green building materials by greening up your vocabulary. If you want more depth, read the NATIONAL ASSOCIATION OF REALTORSŪ’ smartgrowth green publication, On Common Ground. Or see what the green house of the future will be like by checking out the NAR cosponsored exhibit The Green House at the National Building Museum in Washington, D.C., or on the Web at www.nbm.org.
Return to top8 really useful Web sites
1. Public Records Online Directory(http://publicrecords.netronline.com) A one stop portal to access online info on property tax assessments, deeds, and recorded property documents. Options also include parcel maps, property detail reports, and comparables. There’s also a foreclosure search by ZIP code for the intrepid investor. Note: Not all counties have records available online. But enough counties do to make the site a great first stop before trooping to the courthouse. Access to public records is free, but the site charges small amounts (beginning at $5) for property detail reports.
2. MarketResearch.com (http://www.marketresearch.com) The ultimate site for the statistics geek, it includes research on market segments, individual companies, the real estate industry, email marketing best practices, and much more. A great resource for commercial practitioners who want to research a company or an industry before leasing. One caveat: Reports can be pricey, with the low end starting at $200.
3. Real Estate Software Directory (http://recenter.tamu.edu/soft) Whatever your software needs from call management to video imaging this Real Estate Center at Texas A&M University site is a great place to narrow your search, though it doesn’t review products. Each listing gives such critical info as price, support options, release date and current version, and copies sold. And it’s free.
4. Knowledge@Wharton (http://knowledge.wharton.upenn.edu) Sign up for the RSS (real simple syndication) feed at this site, maintained by the Wharton School of Business at the University of Pennsylvania, and you’ll soon find insights from some of the best business minds in the country in your inbox. The site includes sections with articles on technology, marketing, finance and investment, business ethics, and entrepreneurship. Although much isn’t specific to real estate, it’s a great way to learn best practices from other industries.
5. U.S. Census Bureau (www.census.gov) Serving as a demographic ground zero, the Census site offers hundreds of ways to slice and dice data on population, income, age, and other factors that can affect home buying. The American Community Survey is a new annual nationwide survey on how communities change. Free.
6. National Bureau of Economic Research (www.nber.org) The next best thing to having NAR Chief Economist David Lereah on speed dial, this private, nonprofit site gives you free access to a wide range of the latest key economic indicators, from mortgage applications to employment numbers. You can also read abstracts of economic research papers and download them for a few dollars each.
7. REALTOR.com Your very own national MLS is a one stop shop for consumers looking for property, but there’s also plenty of valuable marketing advice and add ons for you, such as Featured Agent and Featured Homes Marketing Systems.
8. REALTOR.org Information from NAR, including The Center for REALTORŪ Technology: Industry specific takes on technology that can change your business and tips on how to use technology better. Realtor BenefitsSM: Save money on top real estate products from insurance to laptops.
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5 facts about today’s buyers
1. They can afford those higher prices. More than 25 percent reported a household income of at least $100,000; median income was $71,800.
2. Friends help friends. Almost half of first time buyers found their salesperson through a referral.
3. Children aren’t the only impetus. Fewer than one in five buyers had children under 18 residing at home.
4. The nesting instinct is gender related. Twenty two percent of 2006 buyers were single women, but only 9 percent were single men.
5. Being U.S. born is no requirement. Eleven percent of buyers were foreign born.
5 facts about today’s sellers
1. Smaller isn’t better. Half of sellers traded up to a larger home; those 55 and older were more likely to buyer smaller homes, however.
2. They still love you. Eight four percent of sellers used a real estate salesperson, and FSBO sales declined by 6 percent during the last decade.
3. Time means business. Sellers who had little urgency in selling a home were 2 percent more likely to sell the home themselves.
4. It’s a repeat business. Eighty seven percent of sellers had owned at least two other homes; average tenure in a home for today’s sellers was six years.
5. Home turf is still home turf. Sellers moved a median of 17 miles after selling a home.
Source (for both): The 2006 NATIONAL ASSOCIATION OF REALTORSŪ Profile of Home Buyers and Sellers
Return to topBeware: Common Identity Scams
U.S. citizens lost $680 million to identity theft scams in 2005, according to the Federal Trade Commission’s Consumer Sentinel database.
Source: Identity Theft Research Center (www.idtheftcenter.org/alerts.shtml)
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