The Super Bowl is less than a week away and fans are abuzz in anticipation for the “HarBowl” or the “SuperBaugh,” as the matchup between San Francisco 49ers and Baltimore Ravens pits sibling coaches against one another.
But football in general is a family affair — especially among viewers. According to Century 21’s Big Game Survey conducted in December, 84 percent of Americans watch the game from the comfort of their own home, a friend’s home, or a family member’s home.
“It gives us an unprecedented opportunity to tell our story in front of the largest TV viewing audience of the year,” said Century 21 Chief Marketing Officer Bev Thorne. “What’s great is it’s set in the home, which is the heart and soul of the services we offer.”
Drawing a record 111.3 million viewers last year, Super Bowl game day has evolved into a celebrated multimedia phenomenon, infiltrating YouTube channels, Facebook statuses, and Twitter feeds. It’s also a big game day for advertisers — and Century 21 is in the huddle again this year.
Last year, they became the first real estate company to advertise during the Super Bowl in 21 years. The commercial featured Donald Trump, Deion Sanders, and Apolo Anton Ohno working with a Century 21 agent who does it “Smarter. Bolder. Faster.”
“Because [the Super Bowl] brings together friends and family in a very familial environment, it’s a great opportunity for lots of conversation, so we’re putting our Century 21 agents in the middle of those conversations,” Thorne said.
Super Bowl advertisers paying between $3.7 million and $3.8 million per 30-second ad spot. For Century 21, that investment paid off in 2012. Continue reading »
Mountain climbing: it’s the ultimate individual and team sport. In many ways it parallels working in real estate. You need to set an objective then find out what it’s going to take to accomplish your goal. Then you have to stick to it and continue to push through any unforeseen obstacles. And if you’re working in a team environment, you must lend a hand to make sure all members of the team meet the target at hand.
“I relate it a lot to the real estate business,” said Rick Davidson, president and CEO of Century 21. “It teaches you to be nimble, to move at the speed of the market and your clients, and to do what’s necessary to meet the objective at the end of the day.”
Davidson, who has been an avid high-altitude climber since the 1990s, decided to combine his extreme sport passion with another endeavor – fundraising for Easter Seals, Century 21’s philanthropic partner benefiting children with disabilities. So in 2006, Davidson launched Climb for Kids where he annually assembles a team to summit a mountain in order fundraise while inspiring those around them.
“Our business is all about the community,” Davidson said. “And we owe it to our communities to give back and truly be active participants.”
This year, Davidson successfully led the Climb for Kids team up Pico de Orizaba and Iztaccihuatal, Mexico’s highest and third-highest mountains respectively. He was joined by Scott Becker of Century 21 New Millennium, Alexandria, Va., Steve DuBrueler of Coldwell Banker Premier Properties, Winchester, Va., Greg Harrelson and Brendon Payne of Century 21 The Harrelson Group, Myrtle Beach, S. C., Angela Lieb of Century 21 Real Estate LLC, St. Louis, Mo., and Jeff Simon of Century 21 Affiliated, Madison, Wisc.
The team of seven climbed the 17,000- and 18,000-foot mountains in a span of eight days starting Nov. 23. What’s more, it was the first high-altitude climb for four of the seven team members.
“To get those four people to take a risk and make a commitment so significant, and then get out and make it happen, it says a lot about the inspiration,” Davidson said. Continue reading »
Low inventories have created a seller’s market, and your buyers may be tempted to write multiple purchase offers on their favorite listing, for instance, as well as the close second.
On the one hand, it may increase the odds of their getting one of the two homes they want. But is it worth the legal risk if the buyer needs to back out of one of the offers? They could end up in multiple fully-executed contracts to purchase if the offers weren’t written with adequate contingencies allowing them to cancel. They could be accused of breaking a good faith covenant and face major legal ramifications.
How would you advise your client?
An Accredited Buyer’s Representative course may help.
“Never let your clients enter into multiple contracts without intent to buy,” said instructor Adorna Occhialini Carroll, CRB, ABR, GRI, broker/owner of Realty3 in Berlin, Conn., and president of Dynamic Directions, Inc., an international sales training consulting firm. This was one of many important buyer-related topics covered the debut of a new ABR class at the National Association of REALTORS® headquarters in Chicago last week. About 25 REALTORS® from around the country participated in the two-day VIP ABR course, covering everything from buyer’s representation agreements handling objections.
“Our hope is to expose the course so that brokers will recommend the ABR designation to their agents as an essential key component of their professional development,” said Carroll.
The course is designed for any REALTOR® active in real estate. In order to achieve the actual ABR designation, you also need to take one elective course and have proof of five closed transactions where you have represented the buyer.
NAR First Vice President Steve Brown, broker/owner of Irongate Inc., REALTORS® in Dayton, Ohio, was one of the course attendees. Continue reading »
Smile. It’s a simple but powerful gesture.
Smiling says something about your character. It puts people at ease, increases attractiveness, and it’s contagious.
“Some of us need to have more peace in our lives. People want to be around positive people,” said Darryl Davis, New York-based speaker, trainer, and comedian who has been in the real estate business since he was 19 years old. Davis presented stress-relieving tips during the REALTORS® Conference & Expo in Orlando Sunday. “It’s hard to smile and be angry and pissed off at the same time.”
A career in real estate can come with a lot of stress, so much so that it’s often ranked one of the most stress-filled jobs. The amount of endorphins released from smiling actually equals 2,000 bars of chocolate, inducing happy feelings and lowering blood pressure.
So, next time you’re in an argument with someone, just plant a smile on your face. It will either defuse the situation, or you’ll get the better of the other person. Either way it’s a win for you, Davis joked.
In addition to showing your pearly-whites, there are other ways to stress less. Here are Davis’s top three tips:
- Let go of your baggage. You’ve made choices in your business and your personal life; many of those choices were spot-on, and some maybe weren’t so great. If you keep beating yourself up over those bad choices, you’re going to continue living in the past. “It’s like driving a car looking in the rear view mirror. Eventually you’re going to crash,” said Davis. It’s time to accept the choices you’ve made in life, for better or worse, and re-focus your energy on moving forward.
- Be committed to what’s possible. Davis ran the New York City Marathon in 2006. He had never done anything like it before. In fact, he said he was so out of shape, that he only made it 0.33 miles during his first training run. But because he had a higher purpose for running the marathon – raising money for children suffering from leukemia and lymphoma – he stayed on top of his training and completed the marathon five months later, raising $25,000 for charity. The key to reaching any goal, he said, is envisioning what you want and then creating it. Start by painting a picture of your life and career goals. “Your success exists in the future; you just have to figure out how to reach it,” Davis said.
- Focus on improving your skills. People can usually relate to those who have had a similar experience in their lives. If you’re having trouble communicating with a client, try using stories, metaphors, and analogies from your own life to handle objections. Your skills also improve when you surround yourself with positive, motivating people. So avoid the “negative-Nancy” in your office and hang around those people who will inspire success.
Four hurricanes pounded Florida in August and September 2004, and Rob and Marlena Burger are still recovering eight years later. Their Orlando storefront printing and design business was destroyed, and the couple ended up living and working in an old mobile home that suffered from severe leaks, electrical issues, and mold.
The couple was losing hope of ever owning a home, until they found Habitat for Humanity of Greater Orlando Area. Now, the Burgers are among the 58 families moving into the Stag Horn Villas, an $8 million, energy-efficient, townhome community built by Habitat.
“At one time, we were treading water in a sea of despair,” said Burger. “But since Habitat, we’ve been floating in an ocean of gratitude.”
About 100 REALTORS® volunteered their carpentry skills at the Stag Horn Villas development Wednesday morning. This is the 12th year members of NAR have participated in a Habitat for Humanity build during the REALTORS® Conference & Expo. NAR contributed $50,000 to the Stag Horn Villas project.
“Every nail you drive, every paint brush you use, every item you carry, recognize that you’re not just helping these folks, but you’re helping this country,” Moe Veissi, 2012 president of NAR, told the REALTOR® volunteers. “Not just the economic health of America depends on home ownership, we know that the social and cultural health of this country knits its fabric together by people who live in communities that you are helping to build.”
Update (Nov. 7, 2012): Minnesota voters rejected the constitutional amendment defining marriage as between one man and one woman during the General Election Nov. 6. The measure required a simple majority, however, 51.3 percent of voters opposed the amendment and 1 percent did not answer the question on the ballot.
Tomorrow, Minnesota will be one of four states to vote on an issue related to same-sex marriage. Thirty states currently have constitutional amendments on the books defining marriage as between one man and one woman, the same definition of marriage Minnesota voters are considering. Among those speaking out against the measure is the Minneapolis Area Association of REALTORS®.
In June, MAAR’s board of directors passed a resolution—which they announced in a public statement last Tuesday—opposing the Minnesota 2012 Definition of Marriage Amendment. It’s believed to be the first time a REALTOR® association has taken a position on a constitutional marriage amendment, according to NAR archivists. NAR does not have a position on marriage equality.
Excerpt from MAAR’s resolution:
MAAR supports fair housing access, as well as fair and equal access to all the rights, benefits and privileges granted through homeownership. While LGBT people are not prevented from buying or selling real estate in Minnesota today, nor will they be as a result of the proposed amendment, the fact remains that non-legally married couples do not have the same access to the benefits and privileges of shared homeownership as married people.
The motivation for MAAR’s opposition is the nearly 100 laws in Minnesota affecting home ownership rights for those in a relationship or union not legally recognized by the state, says Mark Allen, CEO of MAAR. “That creates an environment where inequitable situations need to be addressed,” he says.
In fact, one of the current legal challenges facing DOMA — the federal Defense of Marriage Act established in 1996 that defines marriage as a union between one man and one woman — is directly rooted in housing. The case of Windsor v. United States, which could make its way to the Supreme Court, is contesting the federal estate tax against same-sex spouses. Continue reading »
The dock that Kate Koplinka grew up crabbing off of in Mastic Beach, Long Island, New York, vanished beneath the wind and flood waters of Hurricane Sandy this week. Yet Koplinka, ABR, vice president and associate broker of Coldwell Banker M&D Good Life in Moriches, New York, feels lucky. The devastation could have been worse—as it was for too many others, she says. Koplinka’s area of Suffolk County along eastern Long Island has 100-year-old trees strewn over electrical lines. Additionally, all major bridges, tunnels, and public transportation systems are closed, and school hasn’t been in session since last week.
Hurricane Sandy surged across the East Coast Monday and Tuesday, bringing with it rain and 75-90 mph wind gusts, causing devastating damage and flooding from Virginia to Massachusetts. At least 32 people have lost their lives, many are still missing, and numerous residents have lost their homes, continuing to take shelter in local schools and community centers.
An early assessment released Tuesday from economic analysis firm IHS, estimates economic loss between $30 billion and $50 billion for the region, including infrastructure damage, oil production loss, shipping and distribution delays, and various other commercial product shutdowns. On Monday, research firm CoreLogic estimated that 284,000 properties valued at $88 billion were at risk of damage or destruction from the superstorm. New York had the highest number of properties at risk with just over 81,000 valued at $35.1 billion, followed by 75,000 properties in New Jersey totaling $22.6 billion.
The REALTORS® Relief Foundation is currently accepting donations to provide housing-related assistance to victims of the disaster. The foundation is working with state associations in the affected areas to distribute the funds to those in the REALTOR® family and the community at-large. All of the money donated goes directly to help those in need; NAR covers all administrative costs associated with the 11-year-old program. Make a donation today.
“We were at an open restaurant yesterday and an older man was sitting alone, his apartment was flooded and he had nowhere else to go,” Koplinka said. The man, who lived in Rocky Point, New York, said all of the hotels were full and the shelters were allegedly turning people away. To make matters worse, 85 percent of Long Island is currently without power, she said, and the drinking water in Nassau County in western Long Island is off limits. Continue reading »
Miami is known for its colorful vibrancy, but 23,000 vacant condos put a dark cloud over the south Florida market at its peak inventory in 2008. Do you know what happened? They’ve all sold — largely due to the purchasing power of international investors.
As foreign buyers’ interest in U.S. real estate continues to surge, REALTORS® are seizing this opportunity and arming themselves with education.
A window into this trend could be seen in Chicago this week as about 20 REALTOR® students, some who traveled from several states away, attended the Certified International Property Specialist (CIPS) course at the Chicago Association of REALTORS®. I had the pleasure of sitting in on the first day as instructor David Wyant of Wyant Realty and Across Borders School of Real Estate in Ormond Beach, Fla., covered local markets. CIPS is a real estate designation that has seen exponential growth, with more than 2,000 recipients and courses taught in 50 countries.
Why are foreign buyers eyeing the U.S. real estate market?
Is it because the value of the dollar has fallen? Yes, the lower dollar value equals deals for foreign buyers. But according to Wyant, that’s one reason among many.
“Investing in real estate is great for individuals and for sovereign nations,” Wyant explained. “Real estate has its ups and downs, but it’s never worth nothing. It’s tangible, it holds its value and it’s around for a long time.”
Of all the countries in the world, the U.S. is still leading the way in providing the most stable and secure real estate investment environment, above Germany, Canada, France, Australia and the UK. Why? The stability of the economy and laws the U.S. has protecting private property rights. “That means a lot if you’ve ever had anything taken away from you,” Wyant said.
The internet has helped quicken globalization. It’s led to the migration of jobs across borders, and as countries evolve and economies diversify or move from farming to industry, creative centers have emerged and trade has expanded. Sunsetting tariffs, 24-hour markets, ease of air travel, and countries specializing in specific industries and trades have all contributed to globalization.
Who’s buying in the U.S.? Continue reading »
When Paul Yorkis was young, his mother took him to the Democratic Party headquarters and asked him to stuff envelopes in support of Adlai Stevenson who ran for president twice during the 1950s.
“It was fun and people were happy I was there,” said Yorkis, president of Patriot Real Estate in Medway Mass., a member of the Massachusetts Democratic State Committee, a Democratic National Convention delegate, and national chair of the non-NAR affiliated REALTORS® for Obama.
That experience as a child was formative for Yorkis, who continued to explain that politics is deeply rooted in the lives and culture of those living in his home state of Massachusetts. “In Massachusetts, there’s a few sports – the Red Sox, the New England Patriots, the Bruins, the Celtics, and the other sport is politics.”
Yorkis decided to become a delegate representing Massachusetts at the DNC in Charlotte, N.C., last week, because real estate – among other issues – needs to be represented and addressed at the federal level. He knows how important it is to keep housing front and center when talking to lawmakers – especially the accessibility of the American dream of home ownership, as Yorkis himself experienced homelessness for a short time as a child.
“REALTORS® do amazing things. The reason I’m at the convention is because I believe it’s the little stuff that has the ability to impact politics,” Yorkis said.
Yorkis did leave his mark at the DNC. He submitted testimony to the drafting and platform committee of the Democratic National Committee. Part of the platform deals with housing and the last sentence of the approved platform was adapted from Yorkis’s testimony. It states: “The president remains committed to creating an economy that’s built to last, where home ownership is an achievable dream for all Americans.
Yorkis was one of approximately 20 REALTORS® who served as delegates at the DNC this year. This video looks at how members of the National Association of REALTORS® had an impact that the convention and why political involvement – whether it be Republican or Democratic – is vital to the real estate industry.