Posts in Real Estate Industry News

Real Estate Industry News

Teardowns May Affect Your Business

Why the Next Property You Market May Have Fallen Victim to the Wrecking Ball

Could the next property you sell be worth more without the home or commercial building that’s on it? In some areas, real estate trends are pointing to a rising number of teardowns, especially in locations where uber-thin inventory levels are causing home prices to soar. Big cities and hot markets such as coastal and other scenic fare are taking a big hit.

Whack!
Zoning often allows for an apartment or small condo complex on land where a small, single family home, school, or commercial property once stood, making the land beneath some tiny buildings worth far more than the structure on top of it. A flip in traditional market logic where the lot accounts for a mere 10% of overall property value.

Crash!
Teardowns are especially attractive for builders and developers due to the glut of environmental hurdles and zoning issues associated with acquiring land. And the industry is increasingly taking notice of such real estate trends, with teardowns on the rise to account for 10% of all new home construction starts in 2016. That’s an increase of 7.7% from the previous year.

Bang!
Popular in the late 90s and early 2000s before the financial crisis, teardowns are increasingly becoming common in the western U.S., where housing costs are highest. Some 33,400 structures in the west took a hit in 2016, followed by 23,800 in southern regions, 12,300 in the Midwest, and 9,800 in the Northeast.

Boom!
Some of the homes taking the hit aren’t even in bad shape. In fact, buyers are dropping a pretty penny on small and seemingly insignificant homes – just to get the land and rezone it for a multifamily project, such as condos or apartments so they can boost value via added versatility.

Are you up on the latest real estate trends for producing smashing sales results? Find them at Properties Online today.

Keep Your Public Relations Good

Zillow Tries to Enforce Photo Copyright with Popular Blogger

In real estate news, it’s a case of David meets Goliath as a graduate student supporting herself via her website faces off against Internet giant, Zillow.

Meme Me in Court
Kate Wagner’s site, McMansionHell.com, spotlights large, architecturally-icky houses on her site, making memes out of home-listing photos to point out the less-than-stellar features of such ostentatious home fare.

The 23-year-old master’s student from Baltimore, working her way through a thesis in architectural acoustics, stated she was petrified when she received a letter from the real estate database giant just a few weeks ago, instructing her to cease-and-desist using the website’s photos. “It’s pretty terrifying when someone sends you such a letter.”

Tweet This
Wagner posted Zillow’s letter to her blog’s Twitter account, receiving enormous public support – and legal advice – from about 200 lawyers. She then retained Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF) to represent her, pro bono.

The following day, Zillow’s downtown Seattle headquarters was plastered with colorful signs denoting “MCMANSION HELL FOREVER.” Wagner has earned about $24,000 since her website’s inception a year ago. It’s been her primary source of income in her quest to pay rent, eat, and earn her master’s.

Bad Press is Not Necessarily Better than None
The PR backlash shocked Zillow, who had to perform damage-control on national and local news sites. Vice President Katie Curnutte, Zillow’s head public affairs guru, defended the company, noting that Zillow doesn’t own the rights to most of the photos it uses – it licenses those from other parties. Their exclusive access is allowed under a users’ agreement.

According to Zillow, if they allowed other sites to publish these photos, it would become difficult to obtain them from realtors. Their letter wasn’t intended to be personal and their lawsuit has since been dropped, with the agreement Zillow’s photos won’t be used going forward.

Real estate news a bit scary? Fight the big, bad uglies with the help of Properties Online.

Video is the New Discrimiator for Listing Agent Choice

Use of Video is the New Discriminator in Which an Agent is Chosen for a Listing

Have you become realtor roadside detritus? 70% of home buying families forget their agent’s name after a single year. That means no referrals for you… Unless you can prop up your reputation. How can you avoid getting tossed aside? Video usage in real estate marketing.

How Can the Answer Be That Simple?
Relatively new to the scene in an industry that’s slow on the uptake when it comes to the ‘latest and greatest,’ 2014 stats point to just 12% of agents holding a YouTube account. Of that 12%, a mere 5% are actively creating video marketing material.

Homeowners and home buyers WANT VIDEO. Why wouldn’t they? It’s faster and easier for buyers to glean information without ever leaving the couch – and it gives sellers a marketing edge. 73% are more likely to list with an agent who utilizes video.

For Realtors, Video Equates to Marketing Gold, Shared with the Click of a Button
And this treasure can be unearthed for far less time and monetary investment than many realize. Boosting Google ranking and click-through rates 41%, video brings more people to your doorstep, keeps them there longer, and enhances their emotional connection to you without so much as an in-person handshake. Real estate groups that utilize video receive 403% more inquiries than those without it. How’s that for ROI?

What Types of Videos Get Realtors Noticed?

Educational area/community videos
Hungered for by 86% of viewers looking to learn more about an unknown area.

Agent profiles & ‘About Us’ videos
These videos, paired with customer testimonials, build brand credibility and trust.

Listing videos
On the wanted list for 70% of the buying/selling community.

‘How-To’ videos
56% are dying to know more on the buying/selling process – and not just potential first-timers.

Industry insight videos
Because times are rapidly changing.

Bored with blogging? Video use in real estate marketing is here. Are you taking advantage? Learn how with Properties Online today.

Commercial Real Estate Trends That Are "Outside the Box"

Commercial Real Estate Trends That Are “Outside the Box”

Will Politics Throw a Wrench in Commercial Real Estate Works?
Political and global economic uncertainties could significantly affect commercial real estate over the coming year. What will come to pass? Only time will tell…

2017 Headlines to Watch
Be on the lookout – politics may toss the industry a big curve ball in the following arenas:

Lender Regulation
CMBS lenders are gearing up the “skin-in-the-game regulations” that are part-and-parcel of the Dodd-Frank Act. Requiring CMBS lenders to hold on to 5% of new deals or assign the risk to a B-piece buyer. These efforts to reduce risk could lead to a changed commercial-lending landscape, lowering revenue for everyone from property owners to deal sponsors and loan distributors.

Strategies are expected to change as a result of risk-retention rules. However President Trump, who called the Dodd-Frank Act a “disaster” and “disgrace,” noted he “will be working to dismantle it.” Though unlikely to be repealed, it’s could be significantly reduced under the administration.

Rising Interest Rates
Deregulation and other economic stimuli, including a larger deficit, are expected to continue to fuel rising interest rates. An indicator of a stronger economy and typically associated with a strong real estate market, rising rates could prove a double-edged sword. However, they’ll constrain property deals, making commercial real estate less affordable and inviting more cautious borrowing and lending.

Foreign Investment
Administration-induced trade reductions and continued friction between the U.S. and other world powers are expected to continue to muddy waters. Chinese investment in U.S. commercial real estate may be on the downswing according to reports from the financial press in late November of last year. While the E.U.’s BREXIT deal may (or may not) raise the appeal of American real estate investments.

Political uncertainties giving you a commercial real estate headache? We don’t have a crystal ball – but we do have your back. Lobby for control of your business. Contact Properties Online today.

What Experts Want You to Know About Drone Use in the Real Estate Industry

What Experts Want You to Know About Drone Usage in the Real Estate Industry

At a recent REALTORS® Legislative Meetings & Trade Expo, industry experts joined forces, sharing knowledge about safely aligning drone technology with video use in real estate marketing.

Who’s Got the Bird’s Eye View?
Jim Williams, manager of the FAA’s Unmanned Aerial Systems Integration Office; Doug Trudeau, associate broker at Tierra Antigua Realty in Tucson and the first realtor to apply for and receive a waiver for drone use (before drone flight certification was redesigned to omit manned flight licensing requirements); and associate counsel for the NAR, Lesley Walker.

What Guidance Did These Industry Experts Have To Offer on Drone Tech?

  • Don’t Be Careless
    Following rules without paying attention is the drone operating equivalent of texting while driving. Crashes are not uncommon, and overlooking potential dangers could be catastrophic. Batteries can be highly explosive on impact, resulting in serious injury – or even catastrophic wildfire. Don’t be so eager to use drones that you overlook risks.
  • Look Before You Leap
    Adding a drone to your business isn’t cheap. Equipment exceeds $1,000 and there are continuing costs, including liability insurance, adding another $600-800 per year.
  • Avoid Done ‘Spam’
    Avoid overusing this latest tech toy. Be mindful to keep videos short (under 2-minutes), with only 10-20 seconds of high-flying footage. And don’t fly so high/far that you lose the home to the surrounding environment. All footage should offer value.
  • Know Who’s in Charge
    If you notice a realtor operating unsafely, report it to the FAA. The NAR enforces the realtor code of ethics, not flying (or traffic) infractions. Also be aware – governance of drone use goes beyond the FAA to encompass federal, state, and local laws and enforcement. If you mess up – it’s not just the FAA you need to worry about.

Trying to achieve new heights with video use in real estate marketing? Properties Online can help. Learn how today.