At the Joint Meeting of the Multiple Listing Service Forum and Multiple Listing Issues and Policies Committee Thursday, all things MLS were on the table. In fact, even items that weren’t on the MLS were up for discussion–specifically, so-called “pocket listings.”
“Clearly they’re not ‘off the market,’ nor are they in your pocket. They’re not on the MLS,” clarified Robert Bailey, 2013 chair of MLSlistings Inc. in California. Bailey presented attendees with research on the growing number of homes for sale in his local area that never make it to the MLS at the REALTORS® Midyear Legislative Meetings & Trade Expo.
In a study comparing public records with MLS listings in the California communities of Monterey, San Benito, San Mateo, Santa Clara, and Santa Cruz, Bailey found that off-MLS listings increased from 12 percent in 2011 to 15 percent in 2012 to 26 percent of the market in the first quarter of 2013.
Supporters of pocket listing practices often cite situations where sellers are seeking privacy or are concerned about having strangers view their homes. Bailey said such desires are valid, but the numbers indicate a growing trend.
“Clearly they’re more concerned about privacy and security now that the market has gotten better,” Bailey said, drawing a collective chuckle from the crowd. Continue reading »
A standing-room-only crowd was on hand as members of the National Association of REALTORS®’ Strategic Planning Committee revealed a report Tuesday afternoon that summarized the results of a year’s worth of REThink sessions.
Released at the Midyear Legislative Meetings & Trade Expo in Washington, D.C., the report was compiled from 16 workshops across the country in an effort to answer the question over the future of NAR in uncertain times.
“I’m glad to see that we had a small enough room for this crowd,” joked NAR 2013 President Gary Thomas. He said he was thankful for the enthusiasm, adding that broad engagement is what makes the REThink report special. “It’s coming from the members rather than a small, insular group.”
The event was so widely attended that the committee added a second session Wednesday, May 15, at 1:30 p.m. Eastern at the Omni Shoreham hotel.
The report distilled responses from 4,500 individuals who used these workshops to come up with actions that individual real estate professionals, industry players, and NAR can undertake to stay relevant in the changing world of real estate. But this was not just an exercise of pulling the curtain back on data.
“We’re here to ask your feedback,” said Strategic Planning Committee Chair Shannon W. King. “We want you to agree that these are the right issues.”
Some of the many items discussed at Tuesday’s event were “big data” issues, industry collaboration, the opening up of association leadership positions, and more. Two suggestions that garnered widespread applause among attendees were increasing professional standards for members and “taking back realtor.com,” as one facilitator quoted from the report. Continue reading »
The National Association of Home Builders (NAHB) released a white paper on Wednesday calling for an overhaul of the system by which residential appraisals are determined. The group made a number of recommendations, some of which members of the National Association of REALTORS® have supported in the past, including the implementation of licensing and certification standards as well as minimum education requirements. However, another in their list of recommendations could have serious consequences for the role of the multiple listing service (MLS) in home sales.
A section of the white paper focused on data technology criticizes local MLSs for becoming “less reliable” in recent years. The solution to this, and the more general problem of a lack of data standards that apply across the country, is what NAHB refers to as “the development of a real estate superhighway.” The group proposed creating this in four sections:
- Terra.gov – NAHB proposed “a national real property registry… with access by all stakeholders.” They named this as the site of an “official record of the factual details of both the structure and the regulatory constraints on the land.” Some of the specific items mentioned as included in such a database were time stamped photographs, satellite images, and floor plans. As of Friday afternoon, the Terra.gov domain name remained unregistered according to WhoIs.com. Continue reading »
At a briefing during the group’s annual conference, NAHB Vice President of Survey and Housing Policy Research Paul Emrath was upbeat about the recovery of housing targeted toward seniors and baby boomers. He noted in particular that builder confidence in new, single family homes in the 55-plus market tripled in the third quarter of 2012 as compared to the same time in 2011.
“Everything is up, year-over-year,” Emrath said. “It’s an indication that we’re starting to dig out of the hole we fell into in 2009.”
In NAHB’s forecast, boomers and seniors are projected to grow their share of the market over the next few years. By 2020, the group expects the market share of U.S. households in the 55-plus age bracket to grow more than four percent, to 46.6 percent.
Yet Emrath warned that the future of NAHB’s reporting on boomer and senior markets is in peril because the Census Bureau changed the way that they collect generational information.
“The forecast that you just saw is at risk right now,” Emrath said. “When I get back to Washington, I’m going to spend a lot of time writing letters trying to persuade [HUD and the Census Bureau] that they were misguided in removing these 55-plus questions from their surveys.”
In addition to the economic data, Emrath hit a few of the boomer and senior highlights of NAHB’s new consumer preference survey, called What Home Buyers Really Want. Continue reading »
Foreclosures, minimum wage, and Generation Y were among the varied issues discussed at last week’s Workforce Housing Forum. But the theme of REALTOR® advocacy for affordable housing for working Americans permeated nearly every speech, panel, and breakout session.
Every meeting room, hall, and ballroom at this National Association of REALTORS® event echoed the call to real estate professionals in attendance: We need your voice.
NAR President Moe Veissi started the day’s events acknowledging that, while REALTORS® understand the value of the American Dream, they need to communicate it in different ways.
“There’s another part of this that we don’t pronounce as much as we should,” Veissi said. “You’ve got to tell them that there’s more than an economic benefit to owning a home… the people who live in that home are healthier.”
Illinois Housing Development Authority Executive Director Mary Kenney encouraged forum attendees to help shift the way the public discusses new housing solutions for the nation’s workers.
“Together, we are changing the dialogue from affordable housing to maintaining a competitive workforce,” she said. “We need to work together to help educate our legislators about the needs of our communities.” Continue reading »
There’s a dark secret lurking in the throats of the National Association of REALTORS® employees. I personally uncovered this closet skeleton on a reconnaissance mission in the Chicago Association of REALTORS®’ professional development wing.
I walked up to the desk and announced that I was reporting for duty to cover the Certified International Property Specialist (CIPS) class. Except here’s how I said it:
Meg White: Hi! I’m from REALTOR® Magazine, here for the “sips” class.
Patsy Smith Wyant: Oh great; we’re so glad to have you! Except it’s C-I-P-S.
Meg: Really? Not “sips”?
Patsy: Yep! It’s C. I. P. S. [flashing hugely welcoming, forgiving smile]
Meg: [blushing] Oh geez. I’ve never heard anyone at NAR pronounce it like that. I’m sorry.
Patsy: No problem! Happens all the time, really. David [Wyant, Patsy’s partner and the instructor for my class] always jokes, “It’s not a drink that you sip!” And, you know, people don’t talk about being a “gry” [GRI, Graduate, REALTOR® Institute] or a “cree” [CRE, Counselor of Real Estate].
Meg: Makes total sense, now that you mention it. But I imagine hearing “sips” all the time would have the same effect as it does when the rest of us down at 430 N. Michigan hear “real-it-or” or “nahr.”
Patsy: Haha, yeah. It is kind of like that!
So, as you can see, I started at the absolute bottom when it came to the knowledge required to become a certified international property specialist. With that baseline set, let me share a few other items I learned from the globetrotting Wyants during Global Real Estate: Transaction Tools. While some of these information nuggets won’t be a huge surprise to global experts out there, there were others that had the whole class in disbelief, saying, “Really?”
Q: Do you need a social security card to purchase property in the U.S? Continue reading »
Today, HGTV is in 99 million American households and 170 different countries worldwide. Its gabled-roof branding is recognizable by nearly every channel surfer in the nation. It is how many consumers learn what they know about home ownership.
“Would people think this was as exciting as watching paint drying?” she wondered aloud in front of an audience of real estate professionals at the NAR Leadership Summit Tuesday morning.
Packard’s Leadership Summit presentation, Now What? Creativity, Innovation & Leadership, recalled some of the setbacks and successes of HGTV, with the hopes of passing those lessons on to Leadership Summit attendees.
One of the lessons was something HGTV had to teach the industry. Back when they were just getting started, they approached Better Homes and Gardens and offered to be their new multimedia arm, allowing greater reach for the magazine but without the competition in their own market.
“And they politely declined. Why did they need us?” Packard recalled. Yet now, with Better Homes and Gardens reaching a small fraction of the audience that HGTV pulls in, Packard says it only goes to show that you should never “underestimate a competitor” and always “proactively seek partners.”
Of course, HGTV had its fair share of slip-ups on their way to the top. When the brand tried to get into the home shopping market by purchasing Shop at Home, a fledgling home shopping channel, Packard notes that the venture did not play to their strengths. Continue reading »