You are viewing our site as an Agent, Switch Your View:

Agent | Broker     Reset Filters to Default
What Will Happen When the CDC Eviction Ban Ends?
At the outbreak of the COVID pandemic last year, the Centers for Disease Control placed a ban on all rental evictions, fearing that many evicted renters would end up in shelters or move in with friends or family, conditions that would exacerbate the spread of the virus. Since then, the CDC order has been extended several times and now is scheduled to expire on June 30. But what happens when ban expires? The Current Scenario Forty-four states and dozens of local jurisdictions imposed their bans on evictions in the early weeks of the pandemic. (Here is a complete list.) Many of the state bans lasted only ten weeks. Nevertheless, a recent study by researchers at five leading universities found that the lifting of 27 state bans on evictions between March and September contributed to the spread of the virus, resulting in 433,700 excess cases of COVID-19 and 10,700 additional deaths. According to the Center for Budget and Economic Priorities, the ban has kept more than 10.7 million renters — about 15% of adult renters ― in their homes without fear of eviction. Their April study found that renters of color were more likely to report that their household was not caught up on rent: 22% of Asian renters, 22% of Black renters, and 20% of Latino renters said they were not caught up on rent, compared to 9% of white renters. The rate was 20% for American Indian, Alaska Native, Native Hawaiian, Pacific Islander, and multiracial adults taken together. Is the CDC Eviction Ban Illegal? When the CDC order finally expires — which may happen as early as June 30 — an estimated $32 billion in back rent will come due, with up to 8 million tenants facing eviction filings, according to a tracking tool developed by the global advisory firm Stout Risius and Ross, which works with the nonprofit National Coalition for a Civil Right to Counsel. According to the Princeton University Eviction Lab, 3.6 million people face eviction cases In a typical year. On May 6, a federal judge threw out the moratorium on evictions but agreed to put a temporary hold on her ruling as the government seeks to reverse the decision on appeal. U.S. District Judge Dabney Friedrich said that although there was "no doubt" Congress intended to empower the CDC to combat COVID-19 through a range of measures such as quarantines, a moratorium on residential evictions was not among them. The ruling was widely regarded as a setback for millions of Americans who have fallen behind on rent payments during the pandemic. The Recovery is Helping Landlords Weather the Ban On the flip side, the recovery is helping landlords and property owners with rental income without having to resort to evictions. In fact, this spring shows virtually no sign of the ban. The National Multifamily Housing Council found 80% of apartment households made a full or partial rent payment by May 6 in its survey of 11.7 million units of apartment units across the country, only 1.7 percentage points below total rent payments in May 2019, ten months before the pandemic. "This month's findings are part of what seems to be an increasingly clear pattern of economic recovery and strong demand for multifamily housing," said Doug Bibby, NMHC President. "With more and more vaccines being administered, job creation on the rise, and tens of billions in rental assistance being distributed to residents and housing providers in need, the outlook for the industry is a positive one. "With rental assistance being disbursed, the economy on the way back, and a broad return to normalcy underway across the country, it is past time for the federal eviction moratorium, a policy that was intended to be an emergency effort, to be concluded," Bibby said. (READ MORE: The Collateral Damage of the Pandemic on Real Estate) Emergency Aid is Slow to Reach Renters and Landlords Congress approved $25 billion in December and $20 billion in March to keep lower-income renters in their homes without fear of evictions. The federal government now has $46.5 billion for emergency rental aid. Some $17.6 billion has been awarded to state governments, but 20% is going to states not taking applications from tenants and landlords. The program offers up to 12 months of rent and utilities to low-income tenants economically harmed by the pandemic, with priority on households with less than half the area's median income — typically about $34,000 a year. To be eligible for rental aid, renters must earn $198,000 annually or less for couples filing jointly, or $99,000 for single filers; demonstrate that they've sought government help to pay the rent; declare that they can't pay because of COVID-19 hardships, and affirm they are likely to become homeless if evicted. They must also file declarations saying they would become homeless or be forced into a "shared living setting." It takes time to identify the neediest residents so that they can make the declarations, apply for relief and process the paperwork, but for millions of renters who are delinquent in their rent payments, the clock is ticking. "Tens of thousands of tenants and families are being evicted every week, many of whom would have had the right to stay in their home," Dave Uejio, the acting director of the Consumer Finance Protection Board, recently told reporters. "The scale of that is hard to wrap your head around." What Can We Expect? Many state and local governments are preparing for an end to the CDC eviction bans, including those enacted statewide by governors or state legislatures that are also expiring. In Colorado, the Department of Local Affairs has paid out more than $80 million in Emergency Rental Assistance since last year with federal and state aid money. But about one quarter of the 50,000 plus applications is still pending. Tenant organizers have asked the governor to step in with another state eviction ban if the federal moratorium expires. Landlord groups say the market should be allowed to do its work before landlords suffer more damage. "People are hopeful that we're getting to the end of manipulation of the markets," said Drew Hamrick, general counsel for the Colorado Apartment Association to Colorado Public Radio. In Seattle, the city council is concerned that evictions will create a flood of homeless students and is considering banning certain school-year evictions and requiring landlords to offer lease renewals in many cases. In March, Seattle Public Schools had more than 2,100 students registered as homeless, according to district data. More than half were doubled up with other families, and 17% were living in transitional housing, while others were in shelters and on the streets. San Diego County passed a new law on May 4 that caps rent increases at roughly 4% increase based on the inflation rate included in the Consumer Price Index for the San Diego region for April 2020 to April 2021. In Minnesota, aid to renters has been slowly distributed, and legislative negotiations about how to end the moratorium in an orderly way have gotten bogged down over timing. For more than a year, a state executive order has made it difficult for property owners to cancel leases or otherwise remove problem tenants. The state government, landlords, and tenant groups are now working to have a solution in place by July. New York's state legislature has extended its eviction ban through August 31. Neither tenants nor landlords want to see a spike in evictions that will disrupt families, contribute to homelessness and throw rental markets into chaos. While this doomsday scenario seems unlikely, it's not entirely off the table. At least for now, both renters and landlords are left holding their breath. For information about your locale, Nolo has compiled a state-by-state list of eviction moratoriums and related legislation and sources of rental assistance for tenants and landlords. Steve Cook is the editor of the Down Payment Report and provides public relations consulting services to leading companies and non-profits in residential real estate and housing finance. He has been vice president of public affairs for the National Association of Realtors, senior vice president of Edelman Worldwide and press secretary to two members of Congress. To view the original article, visit the Homes.com blog.
MORE >
Friday Freebie: Prospect List of High-income Renters
If you tuned in to last week's Friday Freebie, you downloaded a free Rent vs. Own report to send to or share with qualified renters who may be hesitant to become homeowners. Notice we said "send to" -- unless you already have a list on hand, where are you going to find a targeted list to mail your report to? That's where this week's Friday Freebie comes in. We're following up with a free prospect list of up to 100 high-income renters that you can target to build your first-time homebuyer business. Read on to find out how to claim your list today! Free High-income Renter Prospect List, courtesy of ProspectsPLUS! You already know that targeting renters that have a high income is a potentially lucrative source of new business. So let's just dive straight into the good stuff: how to create and download your prospect list. Start by going to this page. And then: Click the Build Your List button under Step 1 Select a targeting method: via street address, zip code, or county Select the button next to High Income Renters (Alternatively, select Custom to create a list of renters with an income level of your choice) Click the Search button Under the Choose Quantity section, type in 100 or a smaller number Name your list Click Add to Cart Click Checkout on the next page Add promo code FREERENTERLIST (important!) Click Place Your Order Once you've finished building your list, a receipt will be emailed to you instantly, followed within minutes by a link to download your list. The list is in .CSV format, making it easy to import wherever you'd like! Get started targeting high-income renters and create your FREE prospect list today!
MORE >
Friday Freebie: Get the 'Rent vs. Own Report' to Move Renters Off the Fence
MORE >
Renters Earning in Excess of $70k: The Ideal Target Market
Pre-pandemic housing news was enough to give a reader whiplash. While many prognosticators had a vision of a "strong housing market through the end of the year," others were firmly in the opposing camp. "Housing market will probably slow," blasted the headline of a popular housing market website. Nothing much has changed, despite social distancing mandates and the rest of the inconveniences and heartache brought about by the COVID-19 pandemic. The fact is, the housing market is doing just dandy in certain regions across the country. Utah's real estate market, for instance, has remained "blistering," according to a report at KSL.com. In March 2020, Utah homes sold more than a week quicker than they did in March of 2019. The median sold price in March 2020 was $35,000 more than last year as well, according to the blog at UtahRealEstate.com. Regardless of whether your market is up, down or stagnant, folks still want to buy homes. Many renters who make in excess of $70,000 are waking up to the fact that their current home is inadequate and that those monthly rent checks they write enrich the landlord's bottom line, not theirs. But they don't understand that they have options. Why? With an unemployment rate just shy of 15 percent, it's easy to become pessimistic about the real estate market. After all, requirement number one for getting a mortgage is that you need to prove you can make the monthly payments. Sadly, it's those Americans least able to handle unemployment that lost most of the jobs. "Job losses were highest amongst the nation's lowest-paid workers," according to Matthew Speakman at Zillow.com. In April, for instance, "62% of April's loss in employment was felt by workers in industries paying below-average wages," typically those in the hospitality and leisure industries, Speakman claims. It's highly likely that many, if not most, of these employees are renters. It's equally unlikely that they'll be able to qualify for a mortgage in the near future. This is not your target audience of renters. Your target should be renters who earn in excess of $70,000, especially the 1.35 million-plus American households who earn $150,000 per year or more and who "became renters between 2007 and 2017." (US Census data) That wealthier Americans in the nation's most expensive cities are choosing to rent should come as no surprise. In San Francisco, for instance, where the median starter home costs about $895,000, there are more high-income renters than homeowners, according to the U.S. Census Bureau. As rents rise, however, they're awakening to the fact that perhaps a fixed-rate mortgage payment is far better than the wildly accelerating rental rates of late. So, why are these people choosing to rent rather than buy a home? Many are cash poor and don't understand that they don't have to have a huge chunk of money for a down payment and closing costs. Others assume they can't afford to purchase, despite having a decent income. To successfully pursue this real estate audience requires targeted marketing that dispels myths and speaks to their pain points. We've been seeing an uptick in agents who are purchasing prospect lists targeting renters earning in excess of $70k. Along with the list, they also typically choose one of our targeted marketing campaigns for Renters/First-Time Home Buyers. Here are some suggestions on additional topics you may want to use to attract these tenants: That up-front cost "I was a long-term renter because I wanted to wait to buy until I could afford to stay in my current neighborhood," a new homeowner tells Jennifer Bradley Franklin at BankRate.com. So, why the long-term tenancy? "I didn't realize that there were affordable options," she told Franklin. One would think that with all the information at our fingertips, real estate consumers would be better informed about down payment assistance, closing cost help and the various low-down loans available. It's the assumption that the up-front costs are higher when you buy than when you rent that keeps many of them out of the housing market. Dispelling this myth is a worthy goal in your marketing efforts. While most down payment assistance programs are reserved for low-to-moderate-income earners, there are some for those who earn more. In fact, with more than 2,000 down payment/closing cost assistance programs nationwide, you are bound to find one for your higher-earning, home-buying prospects. Or, let them know that the FHA-backed mortgage has a down payment that can go as low as 3.5% and there are no income limits for borrowers. You would be shocked to know how few consumers are aware of this. Buying a home builds wealth, renting doesn't Back in 2018, when household net worth in the U.S. hit a record $98.74 trillion, homeowners saw the most gain. In fact, "The average homeowner has a net worth of $195,400, 36 times that of the average renter's net worth of $5,400," according to Patrick Sisson at Curbed.com. This is something that many would-be homeowners don't consider when they sign the lease agreement. From that moment until the lease expires, these renters are adding to the landlord's net worth, at the expense of their own. Address this in your marketing. Let them know that, as Sisson says, "Homeownership may be one of the most significant, and surefire, means of increasing net worth." To view the original article, visit the PropertyPLUS! blog.
MORE >
Your Script to Cold Call Landlords During COVID
MORE >
New Zillow Rental Manager Announcement: What Does It Mean For You?
On January 11, Zillow majorly changed the way they handle rentals. Now, rental listings currently syndicated through MLSs will no longer feed directly to Zillow. Instead, agents and brokers wishing to publish a rental listing on Zillow will need to do so via Zillow Rental Manager, which is contract-based and starts at $9.99 per week, per listing. Zillow's changes affect all parties with with rentals—MLSs, brokerages, real estate teams, agents, and private owners. Read on to get prepared to understand the economic impact of Zillow's changes, how you can prepare your budget for this change, and alternatives to Zillow Rental Manager.
MORE >
Zillow Ends Free Rental Listings. What Now?
MORE >
What Do You Really Know about Apartments.com?
The other day, we at RE Technology were talking about Apartments.com. As we frequently explore different companies and products to stay current in the market, we sometimes like to challenge our initial perception before further research: As of now, what do we think we know about Apartments.com? Our guess, of course: that Apartments.com just focuses on apartments. We could not have been more wrong. We learned they have many different rentals, not just apartments, and most importantly...RESIDENTIAL RENTALS (single family homes, condos, duplexes, townhomes, etc...) which is the reason they are attending all the top industry conferences.   What is ever more amazing is that there is NO cost for an agent, broker or an MLS to display their listings on the Apartments.com Network. Most importantly, this is “Your Listing, Your Lead” where there is no advertising from competing agents on a single listing. The Apartments.com Network is positioned in the industry as a lucrative lead source for agents to incorporate rentals into their business.  Renters become buyers! We were absolutely amazed that you could find homes, townhouses and condos using the Apartments.com network, which boasts nine different rental sites that receive over 50 million monthly visits.  Each of the different sites fill a different niche for renters. Apartments.com ForRent.com, ApartmentFinder.com  Apartamentos.com ForRentUniversity.com After55.com WestsideRentals.com CorporateHousing.com  ApartmentHomeLiving.com. You would think that using the sites in the Apartments.com network would incur expensive fees for agents and brokers. On the contrary, as stated, —Apartments.com is FREE to the agent, broker, or the MLS. Having a feed thru the MLS is easy for the agent, as their data feed prevents them from having to re-enter the listing every time, automatically uploading it to the Apartments.com network. Last, but not least—for two reasons, the Apartments.com network of sites cannot be a better lead source for agents that deal in rentals. First, the network has more than 50 million renters visit their sites every month—the #1 most visited rental source in the country! Second, renters eventually enter the homebuying market as an additional lead source to agents.  Apartments.com Network is already connected to 200 plus MLS organizations across the U.S.  To find out if your MLS already offers the Apartments.com Network in your marketplace, click here.  If you are not sure that your local MLS is connected, click here to get them added.
MORE >
Finding Rental Furniture for Staging
MORE >
How to Win Business from Leads You Never Wanted
Before dividing leads into categories like first-time buyer or empty-nest seller, many real estate agents separate their leads into "real" and "fake." How you make the distinction can be the difference between getting by and getting paid. If you're just getting by, it could be because you're writing off too many leads. For many agents, a "real" lead has to have real contact information, meet a certain price point (anything under $100,000 is often considered fake), and not be a renter.
MORE >
Renters Who Don't Know They Want to Buy Are Potential Revenue for You
MORE >
7 Social Marketing Tips to Connect with Millennial Renters
There are 77 million 18-36 year olds that make up the millennial generation, and they are reshaping the way real estate professionals should be marketing their business. The lifestyles of Generation Y'ers are flexible and they aren't settling down as quickly generations before them, which is why rental properties have become a more attractive option than buying a home. In fact, there was an increase of almost 4 million single-family rentals between 2005 and 2012 (Forbes) and the single-family rental market now accounts for fifty-two percent of the entire residential market (CoreLogic). Rentals are on the rise and this group of young adults has been the driving force behind it, so it's important to market your business where it counts. The average millennial is active on 3.5 social media sites, and with 93 percent of them owning smartphones, they are spending a lot of time (3.2 hours a day to be exact) scrolling through their newsfeeds. This offers you the perfect opportunity to get your foot in the door with these soon-to-be buyers, by connecting with them through social media and helping them find a rental. Here are 7 things you need to know if you want to connect with Gen millennials through social media. 1. Stay Active on the Networks that Count Homes.com and ForRent.com conducted a survey to find the most popular social media sites among renters. Facebook was the most popular, with 80 percent of respondents saying it was their favorite. This was followed up by Twitter, Pinterest and Instagram who captured 44 percent, while Google+ was preferred by 31 percent. Keep this in mind when you are creating your social media strategy, as you'll want to focus your attention on the sites they use the most.
MORE >
Are Your Prospective Residents Local? Google Data May Surprise You.
MORE >
House Poor: The Landlord's Prayer
Believe me, the last thing in life I ever wanted to be was a landlord. The thought of it reminds me of the old silent movies tying his poor tenant to a railroad track as she screams, "No, I can't pay the rent!" It started at one of our Friday coffees at the Deli Delight where I get together with my real estate team—Bea Meriwether, real estate agent and Earnest S. Crowe, mortgage guy. Bea was selling a bank-owned bungalow two blocks away from me in my hometown of Mirage Mills, the Chernobyl of American real estate and the epicenter of the foreclosure crisis. Since there were two dozen fire sale-priced properties listed for sale within a mile of hers, she was having a hard time. "It would be a perfect investment property for you and Felicia. You know the neighborhood like the back of your hand. It's close and easy for you to manage. It's in very good shape for the neighborhood and it's priced to move fast," said Bea. Her voice dropped a half-octave and she gently placed her hand on mine. "And I know that the bank is dying on this one. They've taken a beating on it for more than a year and they'll do anything to get it off the books." Nothing she said changed my mind. The bank could go on taking a beating for all I cared. Then Earnest started in on me. "Homer, wise up dude. How much you making on your 401K in this market? I'll bet you're losing money big time." How did he know?
MORE >
Infographic: Do's and Don'ts for Promoting Rental Properties
MORE >
4 Steps to Find the Perfect Tenant
Rental professionals want to fill vacancies quickly – but not at the (significant) cost of choosing the wrong tenant. After all, what's the value of a tenant that does not pay their rent and fails to care for the property? Sometimes, the perfect tenant may seem elusive, but RentJuice is making the process easier with their "lead qualification kit." We'll share a few of the key steps here, but for the full scoop – including sample pre-qualifications questionnaire, rental application, rejection letter, and much more – download the free whitepaper. 1) Phone first. Meeting a prospective tenant in person requires a large time commitment. When you consider the fact that many of the people who contact you about the property will not be qualified, it's easy to see that in-person meetings with each and every one of them can become a major waste of time. This is why RentJuice recommends running through some basic pre-qualification questions over the phone before scheduling a showing. (They've included sample pre-qualification questions in their whitepaper.) If a phone interview reveals that the prospective tenant is qualified for the property in question, invite them to a showing. If they are not a good fit for this particular property, but they have potential for future properties, gather their information into a lead tracking system and tell them you'll keep them at the top of your list for a better fit. 2) Meet in person at a showing. As we mentioned above, if a prospect sounds qualified over the phone, your next step should be to schedule a showing. RentJuice says, "Don't skip this step, no matter how perfect prospective renters sound during pre-qualification." RentJuice offers some other interesting tips for showings: Invite several prospective renters to the same showing. This increases their interest in the property and creates a sense of urgency to move through the application process. Offer applications right at the showing. (You can find a sample application in the RentJuice whitepaper.)
MORE >
Bigger Isn’t Always Better
MORE >
5 Reasons to Implement Online Rental Applications
We've been covering a series of RentJuice whitepapers focused on the changing needs of rental professionals. The series continues today with a paper that spotlights a very important issue: digitizing the leasing process with online rental applications. We're going to concentrate on several key reasons that rental professionals should implement online applications here, but we recommend you download the whitepaper for free from RentJuice.com for the full scoop. Important note: While this article will talk specifically about rental applications, many of the concepts discussed also apply to documents related to real estate sales. Going "paperless" for real estate is an important trend, one that is supported with a variety of solutions (such as electronic signatures, document management, and transaction management). Before we go into the benefits of online rental applications, let's talk about the alternative: traditional "paper" rental applications. While paper applications are more common than their online counterparts, there's a growing trend to digitize the application and leasing process. Moving this process online has benefits for both renters and for rental professionals. 1) Online applications save you money. Paper is expensive. RentJuice cites the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, which finds that the average U.S. office worker uses more than 10,000 sheets of paper per year – that's more than 20 boxes and represents about $800 per worker. But paper isn't the only expense associated with traditional applications. There's also the cost of storage (cabinets, file folders, etc.), ink, and the time spent organizing the documents – time that could be better spent growing your business.
MORE >
Whitepaper: How and Why to Retain Tenants
MORE >
4 Tips for Managing Your Online Reputation
Gone are the days of high school when your “reputation” was built with whispers and torn slips of binder paper. These days, you’re a professional adult, with a very different set of rules to follow for reputation management. True, word-of-mouth is still important in real estate, but you simply cannot ignore the Internet, where more and more people are looking for an agent/broker. Today, we bring you some highlights from another great whitepaper by RentJuice. The full whitepaper, “How to Manage Your Online Rental Real Estate Reputation,” is also available to download for free. Although RentJuice is a rental expert, their tips are certainly helpful for those of us selling properties as well. Here are 4 of their tips for managing your reputation online: 1) Begin by giving your reputation a boost.Don’t have anyone talking about you online yet? Start a conversation yourself! How do you do this? RentJuice suggests: Launching a blog. This will help establish you as an experienced professional. Frequent posts can help develop a “personality” and move your blog up in search engine rankings. Creating a LinkedIn profile. There are benefits to each of the social media sites out there. But the folks at RentJuice point out: “If you’re going to start any social media presence online, it better be a professional one if you want to generate business.” This excellent point leads you directly to LinkedIn. Starting a Yelp business account. First, start or claim your business. Then, direct your customers to this page and encourage them to leave a review. The truth is that consumers trust other consumers and will give greater credence to consumer-generated reviews.
MORE >
5 Tips for Better Video Tours
MORE >
5 Tips for Better Real Estate Photography
Want to move more listings – rentals or properties for sale? Consider improving the quality of the photographs you post online. The folks at RentJuice have made a science of effective online rental marketing – and they’ve created a whitepaper that shares secrets for better photography. You can download the full whitepaper at RentJuice.com, but we’ll share a few of the top tips here.   1) Invest in a quality camera. Grainy, poor-quality photos do not make a good impression. If you want your photos to put a listing’s best face forward, it’s probably a good idea to invest in a quality camera that takes higher resolution photos.   RentJuice recommends avoiding “point-and-shoot” cameras. These are compact digital cameras that use automatic settings for quick pics. Instead, aim for a mid-level camera or higher; you can expect to spend between $200 and $400.   A few other tips: Buy a tripod. Use a wide-angle lens. Purchase an on-camera flash (don't use the flash that comes with the camera).   2) Refine your shots with photo editing software.Buying a quality camera will help you begin with a decent image. However, RentJuice recommends taking this a step further and getting familiar with photo editing software. Watch out, though, you don’t want to “manipulate the property.” The photo editing software is intended to refine the quality of the image – not fix problems with the property itself (i.e. a hole in the wall or some other blemish).  When you’re finished editing your photos, they should still accurately depict what potential renters or buyers will see in person.  
MORE >
3 Tips for Writing Better Rental Listings
MORE >
The Recipe for Repeat Rental Business
If you can make it there, you can make it anywhere – New York City! RentJuice followed Frank Sinatra’s wisdom as they gathered data from renters in NYC. The whitepaper generated by this data is rich in helpful insights and recommendations –for rental professionals nationwide, not just New York. The nice folks at RentJuice have allowed us to offer a few highlights here, but we recommend that you check out the full whitepaper for more – it’s free from this page on RentJuice.com. Renters Want to Use the Same BrokerWe had to include this image – it’s just so clear and unambiguous. Better yet, it’s good news for rental professionals. Renters want to give you their repeat business; you just need to earn it. That’s where the next findings come in. What matters most when renters are choosing a rental professional?
MORE >