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A Glance at America's Most Prominent Minority Homebuyers
Last week felt like I was drinking from a fire hose--my partner Marilyn Wilson and I attended the 54th Annual Real Estate Journalism Conference for the National Association of Real Estate Editors. From the buzz created by Marilyn's participation in the disruption panel to connecting with faces new and familiar, the event marked an exciting opportunity to connect over the industry's latest research findings. NAREE celebrates its 90th birthday this year and includes most of the nation's most prolific real estate reporters. I have attended more than two dozen conferences since I joined NAREE. This gathering took place in Austin, which I mentioned in a previous article is one of my favorite cities, and it did not disappoint. Nearly 200 journalists and communicators showed up for a packed agenda that revealed, among other things, some terrific new housing research. Here I want to share some of the key findings from a study by another great organization, the Asian Real Estate Association of America (AREAA). Through advocacy, business development, and education, AREAA aims to improve homeownership statistics for Asian American and Pacific Islanders (AAPI), a community comprised of over 50 ethnicities and 26 languages. I first got to know AREAA when I worked at Great Western Bank in California. Later, when I was head of Fannie Mae's housing affordability office in Seattle, I became intimately familiar with the research surrounding Asian Americans. One of the newest efforts, sponsored by RE/MAX LLC and Freddie Mac, is its "State of Asia America 2018-2019" report. It's packed with insight into a community that too often goes overlooked in the real estate market—the numbers for AAPI homeownership, education, and economic advancement often stagger those who are unfamiliar with this demographic. Opportunity arises The AAPI community comprises America's fastest-growing demographic. As 2019 AREAA President Tom Truong notes in this report, AAPI families are relocating into every region of the country, and not just the coasts. Driven primarily by the search for homeownership, these families are also migrating toward the Midwest and the South. This demographic is economically vibrant: the average Asian American household income is $73,000. That's $20,000 more than the overall U.S. median income. AAPIs rank highly when it comes to maintaining a savings account, with a stunning 86% of the population having some established savings. Nearly 30% of all AAPIs currently own stock in their savings or investment portfolio. AAPI buying power has increased by 257% from 2000 to 2017. Asian Americans as spenders are equivalent to the fourth largest state's economy in the U.S. or the 17th largest economy in the world, just behind Mexico. Their future is even brighter: AAPIs comprise the fast-growing student population in the U.S. The growth rate is striking: undergraduate enrollment rates have ballooned from 198,000 in 1976 to 1.7 million in 2019. More than half (52%) of all AAPIs earn a bachelor's degree versus the national average of 30%. The top fields of study for AAPI students: engineering, business and management, math and computer science, social studies, and physical and life sciences. Employment rates among AAPIs are the highest of any minority at 61%. Asian Americans rank number one in average weekly earnings ($1095). That's significantly higher than both Black ($712) and Hispanic ($684) Americans and tops white Americans by about 18% ($931). AAPIs are often successful entrepreneurs: there are over 2 million AAPI-owned firms in the U.S. Between 2007 and 2012, AAPI-owned businesses grew by 24%, and their sales grew by 38%. Of 87 startup firms valued over $1 billion, 19 were founded by Asian Americans. Homeownership is a hallmark of AAPI achievements. AAPIs have the highest rate of homeownership among minorities. Since 2010, AAPIs have been the most active minority participant in the housing and mortgage markets. More AAPI families applied for conventional purchase mortgages last year than any other minority group, as measured by both the number of loans and their total value. While AAPI homeownership still falls behind the national average, the number of AAPI homebuyers has increased by 27% since 2001. AREAA shows that continuing to close this gap by expanding access to credit and ensuring home affordability for these communities benefits America's economy directly, creating clientele and strengthening business partnerships. The report has a LOT more data and is well-worth digging through, but one fact jumps out at me. With the non-Hispanic white homeownership rate north of 73% and an Asian American homeownership rate of 58.1%, based on all the AAPIs data, the opportunity for real estate professionals to serve better this historically underserved market is as enormous as it is ready for lift-off. Request a download of the report on AREAA's website. To view the original article, visit the WAV Group blog.
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Tech Helpline and Form Simplicity are on the road again!
Each year, thousands of real estate agents and brokers who use Tech Helpline and Form Simplicity have the opportunity to meet some of the folks who make the magic happen for these two Florida Realtors owned products at local conventions and conferences. This year's schedule includes visits as far north and east as Nova Scotia, Canada, as far south as Hollywood, Florida, and as far west as Los Angeles, California. As real estate's number one tech support firm, Tech Helpline serves more than 600,000 real estate professionals in North America. Available through MLSs or local associations, as well as real estate brokerages, connecting with Tech Helpline is typically accomplished via a phone call, online chat or email inquiry. Our annual direct outreach gives agents and brokers, as well as MLS and association executives and staff members, an additional opportunity with face-to-face communications. Opportunities to connect This year, we kicked off our spring and summer schedule for Tech Helpline and Form Simplicity with an appearance at the REALTORS® Legislative Meetings & Trade Expo in mid-May. Tech Helpline was just represented at the Canadian Real Estate Association (CREA) Association Executives Seminar in early June, held in Halifax, Nova Scotia. Next up, Form Simplicity will be at "Rock the Market" at the Hard Rock Event Center in Hollywood, FL on June 25. The next two days on June 26 and 27, both Tech Helpline and Form Simplicity will be heading to the Florida Realtors Association Executives Education Workshops in Cocoa Beach, FL. August marks two major conventions for Tech Helpline and Form Simplicity. Association leadership from all business disciplines will convene at the ASAE Annual Meeting & Expo in Columbus, OH on August 10-13, followed by our own Florida Realtors Convention & Trade Expo (August 21 and 22) and Governance Meetings (August 23-25) in Orlando, FL. Tech Helpline will head to another big convention as the Colorado Association of REALTORS® hosts its "REfresh Expo" in Denver, CO on September 5. The summer tour schedule ends with two back-to-back events. The first one is in North Carolina, the NC REALTORS® 2019 Convention & Expo "Xchange'19" at the Pinehurst Resort during the Expo dates of September 14-16. That's followed by the Arkansas REALTOR® Annual Convention & Tradeshow being held in Memphis, TN at the Guesthouse at Graceland, during the Expo dates of September 16 and 17. More to come As the fall begins, Form Simplicity and Tech Helpline will be back at it, with appearances by Tech Helpline at the CALIFORNIA ASSOCIATION OF REALTORS® Expo "REImagine!" held in Los Angeles on September 24-26, followed by opportunities to ask your questions about Form Simplicity and Tech Helpline at CMLS2019 in Salt Lake City on October 16-18. The last two conventions for Form Simplicity and Tech Helpline currently are scheduled for both the 2019 REALTORS® Conference & Expo in San Francisco this year (booth #1234), November 6-11, and finally December 9-12 at the 2019 Triple Play REALTOR® Convention & Trade Expo in Atlantic City, NJ, which brings together members from New Jersey, New York and Pennsylvania Realtor associations. If you happen to be attending one of these events, please stop by and bring your questions about Form Simplicity and Tech Helpline. We hope to meet you face-to-face! Tricia Stamper is Director of Technology at Florida Realtors®, which owns and operates Tech Helpline and Form Simplicity.  
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Real Estate Journalists Heading to Austin
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NAR Midyear 2019 Recap
The REALTORS Legislative Meetings in Washington D.C. have become a mainstay on our WAV Group travel calendar. I guess that is why we still refer to it as "Midyear." The meetings provide a dual opportunity to gain insight into the important policy issues and the ability to spend some face-to-face time with clients. It's always in the same spot: at Woodley Park across from the National Zoo, housed in both the Omni and Marriott. There also are some meetings a shuttle bus ride away at the Washington Hilton, just north of Dupont Circle. Since I'm a former DC'er – I worked at Fannie Mae – I already have done my share of playing the tourist in the DC-Maryland-Virginia area, so I focused on work and the conference itself. The biggest surprise this year was the appearance of President Trump on the last day of the convention. But as a long-time real estate developer, is it really a surprise that he turned out for a largely red crowd? And that's how this year's NAR Midyear felt compared to past meetings: more predictable and less edgy. MLS meetings Last year, the MLS Executives meeting had a great edge to it with the appearance of Redfin's leader Glenn Kelman. He hit it out of the park and his honest, off-the-cuff style, laced with his self-confessed Jewish angst, made his presentation funny, insightful and highly memorable. This year, the star of the same meeting was a legal review. Every MLS in the room will face hurdles once the final guidelines are issued around California's CCPA (California Consumer Privacy Act) go into effect January 1, 2020. There was a clear sense of frustration and apprehension in the room, as one might expect. (WAV Group consultants Victor Lund and David Gumpper support MLSs, brokers, and technology vendors with compliance.) Even at CMLS "Brings it to the Table," sans a few observations in a presentation by the always solid Brian Boero of 1000watt, it was a fairly straightforward, predictable day. Brian did a great job of making the case that many of the companies that are getting the most media attention have a great story to tell and do an excellent job of telling it. His "What's your story?" pitch was spot on. That is the first question we ask when developing a communications strategy and many companies do not have a well-articulated story. Boero's comments compelled me to personally congratulate Jennifer Thompson-Kersting of My Florida Regional MLS (MFRMLS), who was attending. MFRMLS announced the launch of a new company under the name of Stellar MLS just before Midyear. The name goes into effect on June 4th. Merri Jo Cowen and her team have done a stellar job in creating a compelling story (yes, I was being punny). For the rest of the day at CMLS, the MLS focus was solidly on best practices. Not a lot of new ideas or trends were covered that had not already been exposed to those attending a RESO conference. But CMLS needs to be commended on the organization's efforts to source and share programs of excellence that make MLSs great. Another highlight was Chris Haran of MRED and his "Computer Vision" presentation on using artificial intelligence for photos via vendor Restb.ai. It appeared to have the most attendees engaged: taking notes, photos of his slides and asking a lot of follow up questions. RESO members and conference attendees remember the first restb.ai presentation and its cutting-edge technology well. It was particularly exciting to see one of the largest MLSs in the world adopt and deploy this new tech so quickly. Kudos to Haran and MRED. With Restb.ai, MRED is extracting attributes of photos submitted to the MLS using deep learning artificial intelligence. This adds a breakthrough value for subscribers in the data stored in the MLS. The biggest at the CMLS event was that it ended an hour earlier than originally scheduled to give folks a chance to make a key late afternoon session NAR was offering. Overall, the CMLS sessions were rich with practical takeaways. That's why it remains a "can't miss" event at NAR Midyear for everyone affiliated with the MLS industry. Next up for most MLS folks is the trifecta: Inman Connect in Vegas, July 22-26; RESO in St. Louis, Sept. 9-12, 2019; and CMLS annual meeting, Oct. 16-18, 2019 in Salt Lake City. Midyear trade show takeaways If you're of the baby-boomer generation (others can Google it), you may recall a famous advertising phase attributable to remarkable and well-earned success: "You've come a long way, baby." Ignoring the fact that this was a cigarette ad campaign, that was my reaction when I saw Homesnap's new exhibit at NAR near the entrance of the convention hall. Homesnap is the technology that powers the Broker Public Portal (BPP). The BPP is one of real estate's most successful industry initiatives in recent years. Just before NAR Midyear, Homesnap announced it had hit the one million real estate agents mark. Its growth rate has been stunning and their booth stood as a testament to its pervasiveness. Never before have MLSs and brokerage firms collaborated on reimagining a fundamental building block of our industry. The collaboration and unification of our industry around a central idea is powerful, and the execution has been better than anyone imagined. A picture is worth a thousand words. Last year, Homesnap operated out of a regular booth: this year they had a much larger and well-designed presence that shouted success. The NAR REach class had their stations set up at the end of the big NAR Pavilion area and these innovative startups stayed very busy with questions from curious prospects. Over a random 10-minute period I observed, Kleard, the newest real estate agent security technology, draw the most attendees and captured strong engagement. I also stopped by the Florida Realtors' exhibit, got a peek at their new, much more user-friendly and intuitive version of Form Simplicity. But I stopped by Florida Realtors' exhibit because they offer an on-site tech support person from Tech Helpline to troubleshoot and answer any tech questions agents, brokers, MLS execs or others might have. It reminded me to ask the industry this question: Why was NAR so quick to give every agent access to a CRM, but not have Tech Helpline provide universal tech support? In our age where an agent cannot do their job without technology working well, it seems to me NAR put the cart before the horse! Every real estate agent and broker should have easy access to tech support and Tech Helpline already does that better than anyone. Best of all, it is industry born, industry operated, and industry owned. And Tech Helpline serves about half of all REALTORS already – 600,000 in North America. Note to NAR: your members deserve universal tech support and they need it. Tech Helpline for all is a no-brainer solution. Super Sessions Two meeting highlights worth mentioning because they were rich in broker takeaways both happened Tuesday morning. The first session of the day, the Economic Forecast, featured Lawrence Yun and his next predictions and included a presentation from Dr. Johannes Stroebel, associate professor of finance at New York University, who dove into social connections on Facebook. Stroebel's heat mapsl showed how different places in the US are connected using Facebook data. Who knew that Kern County (Bakersfield area) and North Dakota were strongly connected? That indicator promoted him to dig further, and both are huge oil-producing areas. He surmised that people from California transferred to North Dakota and thus the heavy saturation of social connectedness. I guess that brokers in North Dakota should start advertising in Bakersfield, and agents should start talking to their counterparts in Bakersfield for relocation collaboration. Most importantly, social connection research shows how we feel about real estate – whether it is a good time to buy or not. There is a direct relationship between Facebook connections and attitudes about the real estate market. I expect we will hear much more about this research from Facebook and a wide number of applications this data could provide in building more effective and targeted real estate marketing campaigns. WAV Group consultant Victor Lund says, "When you think about Big Data, imagine the role that Facebook can play in predicting future real estate market conditions using deep machine learning and artificial intelligence. Facebook could drop advertising revenue and simply harvest consumer data to predict the stock market." Later Wednesday morning, the RISMedia Power Broker Newsmakers Forum had a terrific lineup of top talent. Lennox Scott, leader of John L. Scott, noted that lead generation companies (like Zillow) are shifting to lead capture companies. They are shifting from advertising firms to referral companies. Fellow panelist Michael Saunders, who runs the well-renowned Florida-based brokerage which bears her name, offered a truism. She said, "I don't think it's (real estate) rocket science, even though the tech companies make it feel that way. We are in a relationship business." "Our biggest competitors today is ourselves," said Mike Huff from Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices Anderson Properties. Broker-owner Todd Hetherington of Century 21 New Millennium had added that as an industry, we need to learn from our competition, and to do that we need to get granular and know our numbers. Diane Ramirez, Chair and Chief Executive of Halstead Properties, jointly moderated the panel with John Featherston, RISMedia leader of 39 years. Ramirez was a strong addition and had a couple of comments that were candidates for the Quote of the Day. After discussing the rebranding efforts her firm has undertaken over the years, and the one they most recently completed, she offered, "Rebranding is the most nerve-racking thing you can do as a leader." Ramirez addressed the 800-pound gorilla on everyone's minds in the room, Compass, chiding that the difference between the "C" brokerage and established brokerages is the size of the dollars being used to recruit. "I have to hit profitability," she notes. The best takeaway goes to Featherston, who recommended that brokerages need to "chart the stats of those who have left your group to show others that the grass isn't always greener." Products like BrokerMetrics from Terradatum allow you to visualize the impact of a broker change. Nearly 100% of the time, an agent's production goes down when they change brokerages. Use this data in your agent retention meetings. Finally, a shout out to Peter Schravemade of BoxBrownie, who gave a funny and informative lesson during an MLS session on the ethics in virtual staging photography. The company has been on fire since it was part of the NAR REach class last year. Based on the buzz I am hearing, its technology is likely to be one of the fastest growing in recent memory. But you need to be careful. Virtual staging of a property could become a misrepresentation. CoreLogic's Matt Cohen wrote a great article about this issue. Parties + Dinners On the Midyear party scene, kudos has to go to our sister company, RE Technology. It held its annual Midyear event and it was packed to the brim, again. The music was RE Technology Partyfantastic, again, under the perennial leadership of the extraordinary talent of John Heithaus and his band members who rocked the Columbia Heights location. The best description of the event's success came from W+R Studios (Cloud CMA, etc.) leader and Vendor Alley blogger Greg Robertson. If you know Greg, you know he was dancing the night away. The next day, I bumped into Greg at MRED's super reception on a rooftop looking out to the Washington Monument. He said with a huge smile, "I had so much fun my cheeks hurt." Homesnap's reception was another standing room only event. For the last few years, the Homesnap party has offered the most convenient offsite location: across the street from both hotels. The best part was to see all the Homesnappers in attendance: Homesnap is local and many of their employees turned out to celebrate hitting their one million-agent mark. The staff's positive energy was as intoxicating as the bar's margaritas. The best story about the dinner scene in DC came from Michael Saunders. During the RISMedia Power Broker Newsmakers Forum, she told a story about getting into a hot new restaurant in DC whose distinction is providing an all "locally sourced" dining experience. Saunders nearly brought the crowd to tears of laughter as she described her conversation with her server. For every item she asked about – and I mean item after item – she was told it wasn't on the menu because "everything is locally sourced." That limited the choices to the point that someone in the crowd added, "They'll go out of business." With a look of disbelief, Saunders responded, "But it was packed!" Finally, the real star of NAR The star of NAR this year was the weather. Hands-down, mid-May may be one of the most fickle windows for weather. It typically is either sweltering with humidity north of 90 percent or pouring rain for three days like last year. This year? 70s and sunny. "California weather," one attendee told me. Even when I had the opportunity to visit my home state's Senator – Patty Murray – for a meeting as part of the Washington Delegation, the last thing she said to us was, "Go outside and enjoy the weather. It's beautiful out there today!" Spoken like a true Seattleite. To view the original article, visit the WAV Group blog.
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Realtors Discuss Benefits, Advancements in New Real Estate Technology
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Are Hybrid Appraisals Becoming the New Normal In Real Estate Transactions?
Appraisals, a critical part of real estate transactions, have customarily been done in-person by an experienced appraiser. However, with advancements in technology and the rise of big data, alternatives to the traditional appraisal field are beginning to become more prevalent in the U.S.
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Can't Miss Spring and Summer REALTOR Conferences and Expos for 2019
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Realogy Unveils New Real Estate Products, Programs and Tools During First-Ever Realogy Global Exchange
Realogy Holdings Corp. on Thursday concluded its first-ever Realogy Global Exchange (RGX), a weeklong gathering of more than 10,000 affiliated real estate professionals across the company's Better Homes and Gardens Real Estate, Century 21, Coldwell Banker, Coldwell Banker Commercial and ERA brands. The first-of-its-kind multi-brand real estate conference was held at the MGM Grand Las Vegas and featured a jampacked week of learning, networking, and celebrity guests and performances, as well as industry leading announcements, including new products, programs and tools.
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2019 Real Estate Events and Conferences
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Homebot Wins Realogy FWD Innovation Award
Realogy Franchise Group brought together 300 industry leaders to hear and vote on their 6th Annual Realogy FWD Innovation Award. Sherry Chris of Better Homes and Gardens Real Estate is the brand sponsor of the event, but it was really a team effort that fostered collaboration among all of their brands. Chairman Ryan Schneider kicked off the event with opening remarks that focused Realogy's strategy for the event, suggesting that Realogy always balances the decision of "Build, Buy, or Partner" in all of their technology decisions. He noted that for Realogy, it is "our opportunity to leverage technology," remembering that real estate is a human focused business enhanced by technology." Well said. I took some notes on each company that come from my perspective as a consultant that works on technology strategy with America's largest brokerages and franchises. So my comments are slanted in that direction.
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NAR Boston 2018: Home Runs and Strikeouts in Beantown
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What Not to Miss and Put on Your List for Boston NAR
Each year, I try to find some of the things you won't want to miss at the annual National Association of REALTORS Conference and Expo. This week, some 20,000 real estate pros are expected to take over Boston, one of America's great historic cities packed with extraordinary tourist attractions. One thing you'd like to miss but may not be able to are the union workers striking outside several Westin Hotels in the city. It started in Boston and has hit seven other major metro areas. My wife and I just traveled through Waikiki for a day last week and were stunned by the amount of noise these folks picketing in front of several hotels made. They are in national negotiations as of Monday night, but it might be a good idea to bring earplugs if you have to stay at one of the impacted hotels (see this).
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Top 7 Things to Do and See at National REALTORS Conference 2018 in Boston
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7 Ways to Get the Most out of Networking Events
That time of year is upon is once again--conference season. Some of you may have already attended one or more of the many conferences that have already taken place, such as T3, Real Trends Gathering of Eagles or NAR Midyear. Maybe you will be attending one of the upcoming events, like Inman Connect in San Francisco, NAR Annual in the fall or a brand conference. All are great events to attend and if you can attend more than one, you should try. The various events have slightly different formats and, in many cases, the content for the audiences will be different, but each can provide great value.
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NAREE Conferences Continue to Break New Ground
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Midyear Commercial Wrap-up: Data Integration Top of Minds
RPR Commercial staff were all hands on deck at this year's NAR Legislative Meetings and Trade Expo. Booth traffic was steady with members taking time to engage with staff, particularly over RPR's Trade Area Reports and Valuate (the platform's investment analysis tool). On-market commercial listings have increased to nearly 360,000––a 20 percent increase since Q1 2018, which prompted other value-added conversations among booth visitors.
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NAR Midyear: Looking for the Tech Enablers
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Keller Williams Family Reunion: 4 Things You Missed
As a Keller Williams Approved Vendor for 13 years, WolfNet has been to our share of Family Reunions. The 2018 Family Reunion in Anaheim, Calif. could have been the best one we've experienced. From new product launches to chart topping records, this year's Family Reunion made us even more excited about being in the KW family. If you were unable to attend Family Reunion, don't worry! Keep reading to see all the latest news from this years event.
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Hits and Misses from NAR Chicago
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What's on your NAR Chicago Checklist? A Pre-NAR must read
My theory about conventions is this: if you plan your schedule well, your convention will go well. If you don't, it won't. It's as simple as that. With Second City, our next destination, good planning could make or break how you measure the success of your NAR experience in the Windy City. Each year before I head out to the largest annual gathering of real estate agents and brokers, an estimated 20,000+ from across our nation, I like to look for some of the golden nuggets tucked away in the schedule and on the Expo floor. I cull through the info that NAR and others send out, as well as share some of the information WAV Group has. Full disclosure: this often includes insider stuff we get from our very own clients. The goal of all this stuff is simply to make your NAR ventures more interesting, and, well, easier to plan.
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10 Things to Do in Chicago During NAR Expo 2017
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Takeaways from the REAL Trends Gathering of Eagles 2017
TRIBUS attended the 30th annual REAL Trends Gathering of Eagles conference in Denver last week, and it was an information packed gathering of some of the real estate industry's best and brightest. It was a chance for us to connect with current clients, meet new friends and learn. While it's impossible to convey all that was shared, here are the things I took away from the event. Day One The opening session featured Dave Liniger, Chairman, CEO, and Co-Founder of RE/MAX, LLC; Ron Peltier, Chairman and CEO of HomeServices of America; and Hoddy Hanna, Chairman of Hanna Holdings, all sharing their views on where the industry is heading. Peltier observed they are moving away from agents who view real estate as a second or third career, or a retirement pastime, and seeking those who focus on making real estate sales a career. He described how a church evolved away from Sunday services to Wednesday night services, when more members can attend and avoid conflicts with children's activities and other family obligations. Your company must evolve in the ways customers want, and think ahead. He also discussed the movement for brokerages to own their own companies that deliver mortgage financing, title insurance, casualty insurance and brokerage services. Those who don't risk losing control of the deal and its outcome. By focusing on the total transaction, you can ensure the customer has a happy outcome.
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Bigger Conferences Are Not Better
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2016 NAR Annual Moments and Musings
Like many Americans, I was glued to the television on election night, and seeing the Javits Center instantly reminded me of my first NAR Annual Convention. It was in 1986 when the brand new Javits Center opened in Manhattan. I was a young PR Turk fresh into my first full year at Great Western Bank (then Great Western Savings). I went there to plot our long-term trade show strategy. It was also my first NAREE – National Association of Real Estate Editors – meeting, a dinner at a classic NYC steakhouse. That's especially hard to forget because it's where the legendary real estate columnist, the late great Bob Bruss, instantly greeted me. It was also my first personal encounter with David Jeffers, then of Fannie Mae fame, who gave the most politically incorrect slideshow presentation. Both encounters convinced me that this was my kind of organization. Fast-forward 30 years to last week's NAR Annual Convention in Orlando, and most of the traditions remain the same. Here is my attempt at recapping my highlights and offering three takeaways: Journalist are back at NAR I walked into the Press Room at the Orlando Convention Center and was delighted to see so many reporters working away in the press room. While the numbers don't compare to what was common a couple of decades ago, there were more reporters attending then in the last three NAR Annuals combined. In addition to perennials attendees, such as Steve Brown of the Dallas Morning News and the godfather of real estate columnists, Lew Sichelman, there were many fresh faces, including those from the new breed of media that can't be categorized as journalists, but who create a plethora of real estate content.
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Deducting Travel to Conferences and Seminars
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NAR Annual: Looking for 2017 Trends, Tech and Tactics
This week, Orlando is more than home to Disney World and tens of thousands of happy tourists across the globe: it also will house nearly 20,000 enthusiastic REALTORS®, other industry organizations (RESO Booth #609), MLSs executives and staff, lenders, title firms, closing agents, technology providers of every shape and size and, of course, the Scarf King. Navigating through the maze of more than 400 exhibitors is challenging, but kudos for the NAR for making it highly accessible. The Trade Expo kicks off on Friday afternoon with its Grand Opening at 3:00 pm, running to 6:00 pm. The official hours: Expo Hours Friday, Nov. 4, 3:00pm–6:00pm (Grand Opening) Saturday, Nov. 5, 9:00am–4:00pm Sunday, Nov. 6, 10:00am–5:00pm Monday, Nov. 7, 9:00am–1:00pm If you are not planning to access the terrific sessions, seminars, workshops and NAR meetings, and you just want to spend your time checking out the latest and greatest at the Expo, the NAR has made it VERY affordable: Admission for all four days is just $50.
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Your Last Minute Guide to NAR Annual
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Top 10 Orlando Destinations to Visit During NAR Expo 2016
Home to over a dozen theme parks, it's little wonder that Orlando is one of the greatest tourist cities in the world. But there's more to this great city than roller coasters and mouse ears! Check out these 10 things to do while you're in town for this year's NAR Convention. Check out the "Top 10 Things to Do in Orlando" interactive Google Map 1. Baldwin Park First Friday Festival in Orlando The first Friday of each month, artisans, small businesses, and nonprofit organizations gather at Baldwin Park to share news and wares with park guests. Stop by Friday from 5:30-9:30 to pick up some unique souvenirs and enjoy the park's beautiful atmosphere. When: November 4, 2016, 5:30 PM – 9:30 PM Where: 4915 New Broad Street, Orlando, Florida 2. Fall Fiesta in the Park Stop by Lake Eola Park on November 5th or 6th for the 46th annual Fiesta in the Park. Browse through the beautiful ceramics, jewelry, photography, glassware, wood, and clothing presented by more than 600 juried artisans while enjoying live entertainment! Can't make it during the event? Stop by Lake Eola any day to enjoy the swan paddleboats and the fountain's choreographed music and light show. When: November 5th & 6th, 2016, 10:00 AM – 5:00 PM Where: 195 N Rosalind Ave, Orlando, FL 32801
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Learn About RPR at the 2016 REALTORS Conference & Expo
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5 Hot Trends in 2016 to Look for at NAR
This year's REALTORS® Convention & Expo in San Diego traces its origins to the first Chicago meeting of the National Association of Real Estate Exchanges held May 12-14, 1908. One hundred and seven years later, some 20,000 real estate professionals will visit the San Diego Convention center where more than 400 organizations will display their offerings and pitch their products. 2016 promises to be a pivotal year of rapid adoption of sweeping innovations and the emergence of new powerhouses in the residential real estate matrix. Here are five hot trends to look and listen for at the workshops to learn how to get the most out of NAR to help you next year. Full disclosure: All of these trends identified here come from my own personal biases and prejudices, having delved deeply into these subjects over the last several months. Trend #1: Marketing Automation It's is a no-brainer that marketing automation will dominate the minds of broker-owners in 2016. This is what solves the low adoption rates by agents of new technology offerings their firms provide. It's also a huge boost for broker ROI as it removes agents from the quagmire of self-created marketing materials. Agents waste a huge amount of time creating marketing materials to promote a listing and themselves, and marketing automation allows them to focus instead on the things they are good at—generating listings and closing sales. Take the agent out of the equation when it comes to creating, deploying and promoting listings by automating the marketing for them and you have 100% agent adoption and deliver zero wait time to promote properties for every seller. Bill Yaman, President of Imprev, a leader in this effort, has written extensively about this topic in his blog, here.
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T-3 Summit: Another Swanepoel Masterpiece
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Following #LeadingRE 2015
This year's LeadingRE/Martech event kicked off at a time when portals and syndication are once again hot topics. It's a topic that was touched on in Day 2 of the conference, a day that also saw talk of advertising, teams, data sharing and beyond. We've been watching all the action unfold on Twitter, as told by the attendees themselves on the hashtag #LeadingRE. Below, we've compiled some of the best tweets from event, including some that captured brief snippets of leadership wisdom from former New York Rudy Giuliani's keynote address on Wednesday. --- Avery Hess - "We don't need to remember things, we just need to remember how to find them." Matthew Shadbolt NY Times #leadingre #martech closing session Cathy Harrington - Make an emotional connection; identify and solve home buyer/seller needs #LeadingRE Avery Hess - It's not making a choice of print OR online, it's allocating the right amounts of each based on your target audiences. #leadingre #martech Katie Minkus - "I don't look a luck as a force, I see luck as a result." #matthewferrara #happydos #leadingre
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#ICNY Day 2: Rupert Murdoch, Big Data, and Beyond
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Are You Ready to Become a Predictive Farmer?
The 2015 NAR Annual Meeting in New Orleans was, at many levels, a far different experience than any of its century of predecessors. There was a clear and consistent vibe that after all of the years of talking about transition and disruption that the long predicted tsunami of change had indeed arrived to create something "far different." Moreover, that this far different thing was going to be broker centric with a strong consumer flavor rather than consumer centric with a strong broker flavor. You could hear it in the presentations and programs. You could sense it in conversations and hallway huddles. You could feel it in the demeanor of the late night gatherings. Interestingly enough, one came to understand that those who were not receiving this vibe were also those who were probably never going to get it. Perhaps it was the specter of the recent News Corp related purchase of Move.com. The realization that the industry demographic had expanded to include yet another team of powerful global experts for whom the industry's traditions and legacies paled in comparison to its long denied financial potential. One could not help but feel the gaze of Rupert Murdoch looking down on the trade show floor, working a checklist of what was relevant and what was fluff. At the same time, the vast expanse of brilliant white and generally unoccupied carpet that comprised the massive Berkshire Hathaway exhibit area served as another reminder that the industry dynamic also includes a major player for whom the annual meeting might be seen as more of a cultural event than a business opportunity. The Berkshire booth reminded one of the presence of a king's massive yacht at the Cannes film festival--hauntingly beautiful yet mysteriously vacant. There was work being taken care of elsewhere.
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Leadership Lessons from a Former U.S. President
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3 Surprising Revelations at the REALTOR® Party Convention
I'm a bit floored. There are all kinds of obscure laws — or would-be laws — pertaining to real estate that can throw practitioners for a loop. But three points of discussion came up during Wednesday's sessions at the REALTOR® Party Convention and Trade Expo in Washington, D.C., that made my draw drop. 1. Your Website Discriminates Against People With Disabilities You could make every physical accommodation for people with disabilities: ramps and elevators in your office, barrier-free entrances to homes you have listed, etc. And yet, despite all of that, you could still run into a legal problem — because your website isn't optimized for use by people with hearing or visual impairments. More and more businesses are getting mired in lawsuits because their online videos don't have closed captioning for the deaf, or their websites don't use software that can turn text into audio for the blind. Though there are no specific regulations on this, said Glen D. Kimball and Martin J. McAndrew, partners at law firm O'Connor Kimball LLP, they expect that the law will reflect the need for these online components in the near future. "Laws governing accommodation for the disabled are always expanding," McAndrew said. "Now we're going beyond talking about opening physical doors for people with disabilities — it's about providing access to information. The courts are still grappling with this physical versus non-physical issue."
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The Keystone Cops Needed the Work
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Rise to New Heights at NAR 2013
Excitement is buzzing in the industry as we quickly approach the 2013 REALTOR® Conference and Expo, in San Francisco, CA, November 8th to 11th. The theme of this year's Conference, 'Rise to New Heights', presents a question for us all. Are we striving to achieve our greatest accomplishments? To reach new heights when it comes to our goals? Whether professional or personal, our goals are a plenty. We all want to make more money, have a bigger house, and spend more time with our family and friends. But what are we doing to reach those goals? As a real estate professional, your days are filled with appointments, meetings, paperwork and so on. You don't have much free time to focus on building new leads and fostering relationships with your current clients. So what can you do about this? In an effort to achieve greater success and reach the goals you once thought unattainable, what about implementing tools to help you do the 'dirty' work? Tools that can ease your daily tasks, the stuff you dread – paperwork, data entry, etc., help you increase profitability opportunities or even help you manage your time more effectively.
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The Eagles Gather, Learn, Share and Adapt
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REALTORS® Really Hitting It Off a Few Rows Back on Airplane
PHOENIX—According to sources currently seated in rows 14 through 18 aboard flight 763, two middle-aged REALTORS® are really hitting it off during the trip to Inman in New York. Using terms like "AVM" and "CMA," the slightly overweight, average-looking men are reportedly engaged in a detailed discussion about overwhelmingly exciting work related topics and, sources said, seem to be getting along great. "They got to talking as soon as we boarded, and you could tell they just clicked right away," said 31-year-old Camille Catteano of 16B, adding that one of the men, upon looking up from his REALTOR® Magazine, immediately recognized the Keller Williams™ logo on the polo shirt of the man sitting down in the next seat. "Since then, they've been going on and on about Zestimates, lead generation, RPR, and commission splits." "I mean, just listen to them," Catteano continued. "You'd think they were old pals. But they just met and just happen to both be in real estate." Nearby passengers confirmed that the men, both wearing khaki pants with cell phones clipped to their belts, began the conversation by exchanging information about their respective listings and recent transactions. Reports indicated they then began to discuss various methods for "social networking" and "search engine optimization" which appear to occupy a sizable portion of the day-to-day work in their profession.
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NAR Midyear Highlights for Brokers
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Product Review - IXACT Contact
Writing a Friday Freebie article for IXACT Contact got me thinking – it made me realize that I didn’t know nearly enough about their product. So I asked their team to give me a full demo and they obliged, throwing in a trial account to allow me to explore on my own. What follows is a short review of what I’ve seen so far. IXACT Contact: The BasicsIXACT Contact is more than just a CRM. Their product also offers email marketing and a monthly e-newsletter. They explain that having these three features integrated saves time and money. Just as importantly, IXACT Contact can sync with any Smartphone (working with the phone’s address book, calendar, and task list) as well as with Microsoft Outlook and Mac Address Book. IXACT Contact also includes Website Lead Capture which allows you to automatically capture website leads into your database. And, of course, IXACT Contact is PC, Mac, and iPad compatible. A Closer LookAny time IXACT Contact is opened, the first thing the user sees is the Main Dashboard. Here, IXACT has combined the information that really matters to a busy agent: Active business Prospects Today’s tasks Today’s appointments
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“Best of” for Inman Real Estate Connect
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My Brief Nostalgia on Inman Conferences
As a consultant in the real estate technology industry, we go to a lot of conferences each year. The time leading up to a conference is always very busy for us. We leverage conferences to meet perspective clients, and deliver work to our existing clients. The effectiveness of having 8 to 10 “in-person” meetings per day is über-efficient.  Conferences are the great gathering places of the industry. I was trying to think back to my first Inman Conference – it must have been sometime in the 2002 – 2004 era. Barry Diller was buying companies like crazy and selling leads through LendingTree. Everyone loved him (excuse me while I clear my throat). Regardless of how you feel about buying leads (it is still being done today – but it is called “online advertising”), Barry’s passion and vision for connecting consumers with real estate professionals was genuine – but his model was seemingly distasteful. He was joined by Reply!, NextTag, Homegain, ServiceMagic, and others. Yet what was really cool, was the ability to engage Diller on a personal level in an intimate setting. Around the same time, I met Steve Ozonian. He was working for Bank of America then. He shared his observations of a disjointed industry, ripe for consolidation. I admire Steve a lot – his beliefs were as true then as they are true now.
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Post-Conference Checklist
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23 Things To Do Before a Conference
Are you going to NAR? The RE Technology team will be there. So we were particularly interested in this post. The amazing Ricardo Bueno of Diverse Solutions brings us this (very timely) advice on preparing for a conference.  The 2011 NAR Conference & Expo is coming up this week! It’s going to be a full week of marketing, networking, making new friends, re-connecting with old friends, business and a little fun. The Diverse Solutions Team will be hosting a booth Friday, November 11 – 14th. If you’re attending, we’d love to see you there! Today, I thought I’d share a few tips on how to prepare for a conference to make the most of your time there… Making Travel Arrangements: Get the cheapest flight you possibly can. If you’re willing to travel early or take a connecting flight, you may save yourself some money. Find a roommate. Twitter and Facebook are great sources to find someone who needs a roommate. Look for someone else who might be attending the conference and agree to split hotel costs. Double-check for wifi. Having wifi is pretty much a “must” for me. I don’t want to have to pay for it (I find that annoying). I check and then double-check that my hotel has wifi and that I don’t have to charge my card daily in order to access it.
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'Nimbility' at the National Council of State Housing Agencies Annual Conference in San Diego
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Trade Show Kings and Queens
Contributor Point2 Agent says: How to turn convention chaos into more money in your pocket and great food for your mind. Anyone planning to attend a trade show knows the feeling of exhaustion that often comes right after. Rightfully, the ROI question also races through our minds. We find ourselves trying to justify the days spent attending sessions and wandering the maze of the expo floor, swag bag in hand. Aside from the one or two useful giveaways we might land, we all know that the rest of our swag just ends up in the garage. So how about we collectively start saving huge amounts of time, effort, and ozone, by being very, very selective in the junk we pick up at the next event? Advance preparation and careful thought are really all it takes to walk away from a trade show with your bottom line improved (yes, more dollars for you at the end of the year), relevant new ideas you can actually use, and maybe, just maybe, more energy.
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Video: Real Estate Connect San Francisco
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23 Things To Do Before a Conference
We ran across this really helpful post on the Diverse Solutions blog. They kindly agreed to let us share it with you. REBarCamp San Francisco and Inman Real Estate Connect are taking place next week. It's going to be a full week of marketing, networking, making new friends, re-connecting with old friends, business and a little fun. Today, I thought I'd share a few tips on how to prepare for a conference to make the most of your time there . . . Making Travel Arrangements Get the cheapest flight you possibly can. If you're willing to travel early or take a connecting flight, you may save yourself some money. Find a roommate. Twitter and Facebook are great sources to find someone who needs a roommate. Look for someone else who might be attending the conference and agree to split hotel costs. Double-check for wifi. Having wifi is pretty much a "must" for me. I don't want to have to pay for it (I find that annoying). I check and then double-check that my hotel has wifi and that I don't have to charge my card daily in order to access it.
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Gear Up for Conference Season with the 2011 Buyer's Guide
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