What Will Trump's Presidency Look Like for Real Estate?

What Will a Trump Presidency Look Like for Real Estate?

In his next 4 years as president, Donald Trump could have a major impact on real estate selling across the U.S. Licensed real estate brokers and agents nationwide are looking to Trump and how his time in office could change their industry.
What are some possible outcomes of the Trump presidency?
Trump has centered his platform around deregulation to further the recovery of the financial market, and there are a host of changes that could be made that would affect real estate sales…
• Lower premiums.
While Trump hasn’t articulated much on his housing platform, he has expressed interest in boosting home ownership and cutting fees for Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac. Lowering premiums for FHA loans could offer the boost consumers need to make owning a home an affordable reality.
• Potential reforms.
Fannie and Freddie could also be on the chopping block for cutbacks, alongside such programs as the Low Income Housing Tax Credit and Section 8 housing vouchers.
• Loosening lending regulations.
Trump, alongside the Republican party, have been vocal about changing banking regulations, including significantly altering the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) and the Dodd-Frank Act’s regulations on lenders to replace it with something else that would allow for easier securement of home loans.
• Preservation of mortgage interest tax deductions.
Trump explicitly stated his desire to preserve mortgage interest deduction in a tax plan he shared last year. However, his current plan has yet to detail this issue.
• Construction deregulation.
In Trump’s August meeting with the National Association of Home Builders, he pointed to over regulation in the industry, with some 25% of costs to build a home tied to regulations, and announcing his desire to get that down to 2%. This alone could greatly lower the costs of real estate selling and home ownership.
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What Do the Realtor.com Listing Changes Mean for Agents?

Since purchasing Move, Inc. two years ago, News Corp. has put some serious dough into enhancing its Realtor.com listing portal – and more enhancements are on the way. How will they affect your online real estate selling practices?

An “Advantage” over “Showcase Listings”
“Showcase Listings,” Realtor.com’s previous listing ad product, is being replaced with “Advantage,” said to offer more flexible branding, lead-capture features, and marketing insight for agents.

So what’s changing?

  • Price scheme
    Pricing is said to be more flexible, and will be affected by local median prices, demand, and “other factors…” So your next listing could cost more, less, or the same.
  • User experience
    Photos have been supersized, property specs shrunk, and the yellow advertising bar topping listing results eighty-sixed in efforts to increase buyer engagement. Advertiser branding will now appear at both top and bottom, with a lead form following users as they scroll.
  • Advertiser display options
    Soon you will be able to display your branding with a variety of colors and a tagline. Brokers can choose to include up to 3 agents on a listing page, in addition to the listing agent. However, only agents working for the broker advertiser will be included, keeping leads in-house, unlike Trulia and Zillow. Lead-capture design for broker-advertisers, however, will now mimic the format of these rivals.

• Features
The introduction of dashboards for agents and brokers (not just advertisers) will help users track return-on-investment. New seller reports, generated through the site for clients, will offer information on interest/inquiries into a home and how it compares to similars. Advantage is also slated to include a “3-D Tour” tab on the listing’s photo gallery. However, this feature won’t be available at launch.

Lost Your Top Agent?

Lost Your Top Agent to Greener Pastures? What to Do Next.

Real estate sales management can be extremely challenging, especially when a really great agent sails away into the sunset. Before you fall into a black pit of despair, step back and take inventory to avoid a hard landing.

Talk to your staff
Rather than sweeping things under the rug, discuss the predicament with your team. Be honest, identifying potential hardships that may arise, such as additional workload and challenges to the business. Don’t have a panic attack – assure them things are well under control with or without the lost employee. Don’t forget to indicate any opportunities for advancement that could arise from the situation.

Reach out to the departing employee
Especially if they left amicably – you may be able to earn them back with a bigger paycheck. If they don’t accept, at least you’ll know what you’re looking at paying a comparable replacement. Be certain to conduct an exit interview, which is your best chance at an unfiltered viewpoint of your operation – not just why that person is leaving. Just be sure to leave emotion and gossip out.

Consider contacting past employees
If your experiencing a sense of déjà vu in your real estate sales management career, it may be worth reaching out to past employees who’ve moved on as well.

Don’t hurry to hire
Be proactive, not reactive, seeking the best talent with the help of a recruiter or perusing the competition’s flock. In the meantime, put out fires with a temporary assistant, or outsourcing to a virtual one until you find a top-notch replacement.

In the future, be proactive
Moving forward, consider making changes based on honest feedback from your staff to avoid other unexpected departures. And never forget, it’s often your best employees that need the most motivation.

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Will Your Next Appraisal be by Fly By? – By Drone Of Course.

New roof? Large tract? Strange or interesting geography? You can now simplify your real estate selling needs, documenting and communicating attributes such as these with ease – with the help of drone technology, or unmanned aircraft systems (UAS).

It’s not sci-fi
No longer hampered by Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) regulations, there’s now an easy to understand system and set of rules for flying a commercial drone, and the real estate industry is taking notice. Should you take advantage of this technology when appraising real estate and gathering listing photos? You betcha.

Hold on to your hats
Real estate selling won’t be this interesting again until the implementation of driverless cars. This booming and exciting technology has been around for awhile, but only recently has the FAA finalized its plan to “fully integrate the UAS into the National Airspace System (NAS) harmoniously, side-by-side with manned aircraft, occupying the same airspace and using many of the same air traffic management systems and procedures…” without training that requires a brain and physique that rivals a NASA astronaut.

This picture might be worth more than a thousand words
It’ll also take you more than a thousand words of reading to figure out how to do it yourself. It’s not a flying camera, folks, it’s an aircraft – and you have to be certified to fly one. But you no longer need a pilot’s license and a fortune in time and monetary investment to put on your flying hat. Interested? Take a look at the FAA’s Airmen Certification Standards. Rest assured, commercial flying rules are common sense:

1. Get your license.

2. Choose a unit that weighs less than 55 pounds to avoid registration.

3. Stay in uncontrolled/Class-G airspace.

4. Keep drones in your line-of-sight during operation, under 400-feet.

5. Sorry, no fly-bys of people or planes – or driving drones from your car.

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School Ratings – The Legal Gray Area

Sometimes, real estate selling can get tricky. Such as when you’re about to get an offer and the potential buyer asks “So the schools around here are okay, right?” Only, not really. Do you risk the sale with the truth? Water it down? Change the subject?

What are you legally required to disclose when potential buyers inquire about school ratings?
It turns out, that’s a far more complicated question than you might think. The fact that housing values are directly influenced by school ratings is well known in the industry, with several studies pointing to good schools adding an average premium of $50 per square foot to property values. These patterns are also reinforced by local property taxes, where assessments directly benefit school coffers. Some advocates for fair housing see potential problems with this whole scenario, and that’s a complication that may surprise you.

School rating maps mirror racial dot maps
While most states base school ratings on easily measured factors like test scores and graduation rates, these key indicators turn out to be heavily influenced by race and class. This “common denominator” is now raising issues regarding disclosures to potential buyers, and has intensified with today’s ease of access to web-based information.

Hands off the wheel
Current fair housing laws dictate the statements that agents can make, prohibiting the discussion of neighborhood racial composition with home buyers. Dubbed “racial steering,” the National Fair Housing Alliance regularly conducts “mystery shopper” tests – of which a 2006 report documented steering in some 87% of encounters: Showing different properties to families of different races with the same requirements, or telling each group different things about neighborhood desirability in a way that perpetuates discrimination. Until legalities can be settled, putting the onus back on buyers may be in your best interest.

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