Voice for Real Estate 74: Harvey Heroism, Flood Insurance

REALTORS® stepped up with on-the-ground aid and contributions to the REALTORS® Relief Foundation to help those in need after Harvey swept through Texas. Meanwhile, NAR continues to ask Congress to pass an extension of flood insurance. Safety and cyber scams continue to be issues for real estate professionals. And what's the latest in residential and commercial markets?

Segments:

  • Hurricane Harvey heroism
  • Flood insurance Call for Action
  • Fighting cyber scams
  • Safety concerns in real estate
  • Residential and commercial market updates

Transcript

Realtors step up after hurricane

Have you asked Congress to renew flood insurance? Time is running out

And a live webcast will teach you to go on offense when it comes to cyber scams

These stories and more on The Voice for Real Estate

Hi, I’m Stephen Gasque with the National Association of Realtors.

The news is heartbreaking. Tens of thousands of families displaced. Homes and businesses ruined. Houston and other areas hit hard by Hurricane Harvey are looking at years of recovery after the storm dumped up to five feet of rain in some places.

But there were heartwarming stories, too, as neighbors helped neighbors and strangers helped strangers.

As they always do, Realtors stepped up. You might have heard about Nicole Lopez, a Realtor with Intero Real Estate Services in Houston. She and her fiancé, Heath Cummins, used their truck to save dozens of people stranded in flood waters. Lopez was a contender in Realtor Magazine’s 30 Under 30 program in 2014. This is just one act of heroism. Please share with us other acts of bravery and courage, which often define Realtors during times of tragedy.

Realtors are also opening their wallets. Thousands of Realtors have donated to the Realtors Relief Foundation to help cover housing costs for Realtors who are facing a long road to get back on their feet.

You can donate to the Foundation if you haven’t already at nar.realtor/rrf. 100 percent of the funds you donate go to disaster assistance.

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Meanwhile, the business of Washington continues and one of NAR’s priorities is renewal of federal flood insurance. It expires at the end of September. Go now to the Realtor Action Center to send a letter to your member of Congress. It only takes a few clicks. Now is the time for you to help make a difference on a program whose importance can’t be overstated. Tens of thousands of transactions every month, in all states, depend on the insurance to close.

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Cyber-scams are increasing, and real estate is a big target because of the large dollar amounts that are involved in transactions. But you don’t have to be an easy victim. NAR Associate Counsel Jessica Edgerton is hosting Facebook Live webcast to share steps you can take to catch these scams before you fall victim to one. That event is Tuesday, September 19, at 2 p.m., Central time. The URL shortcut on screen will take you to a Facebook page, where you can register your interest.

During the event, you’ll be follow along with comments and ask questions of NAR’s legal staff.

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Are you keeping personal safety top of mind when you’re out in the field? Crime against real estate professionals remains rare. But concerns about safety come up often. A new report from NAR found that nearly 45 percent of female agents say they’ve been in a situation—an open house, a vacant home, a model home—where they felt fear. To help protect themselves, almost half of all female agents say they use a safety app on their phone—these are mainly apps that let others know where they are—or they take other steps, including carrying a safety device with them. For women, it’s mostly pepper spray. You can get more on NAR’s 2017 Member Safety Report, which just came out, at nar.realtor.

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Home sales in July slipped 1.3 percent even though there’s been no weakening of buyer demand, interest rates remain low, and job growth is solid. The cause? It’s lack of inventory in many markets, says NAR Chief Economist Lawrence Yun.

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On the commercial side, markets are divided. On the one side are smaller properties in smaller markets, where transaction volume remains solid because investors continue to find good yields. But for larger properties in larger markets, investors are pulling back because they’re not getting the returns they used to get. Here’s NAR’s George Ratiu with more.

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You can get the latest market updates for both residential and commercial real estate at the NAR Research section of nar.realtor.

[SWOOSH]

And that’s our show for the week of September 4. You can get more on everything we talked about today at The Voice for Real Estate page on nar.realtor. Thank you for joining us and be sure to join us again as we bring you the latest news on The Voice for Real Estate.

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