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 »
By Katherine Tarbox, Senior Editor, REALTOR® Magazine
Have you ever stood in line at Starbucks and thought about striking up a conversation with the person standing next to you, but then decided against it? Approaching strangers is weird, you may have thought, and they probably don’t need a real estate agent anyway.
But they might be considering buying or selling a house, and even if they aren’t, that doesn’t mean you can’t somehow benefit from the experience of meeting them, says David Topus, sales expert and president of communications consultancy Topus.
Two weeks ago, I met with Topus at the Starbucks on Michigan Avenue in Chicago. Topus has a strong background in sales, having worked for years at The Wall Street Journal and other publications before founding his own business, which serves many Fortune 500 companies. He says that you can meet anyone, anytime, and this belief has led him to strike up conversations that resulted in hundreds of thousands of dollars of new business for him.
Topus says that we have to keep the following points in mind when it comes to meeting new people: Continue reading »
Show you’re an expert on all things home-value related — and create clients for life — by sharing tips from the new “Weekend Warrior” bundle at the REALTOR® Content Resource, the tool powered by HouseLogic, where your NAR membership entitles you to download free homeownership content for your consumer Web site, blog, or e-newsletter.
Just in time for Memorial weekend, the May “Weekend Warrior” bundle includes tips on projects sellers can conquer in just a weekend, including installing rain barrels, repairing common gutter problems, inspecting and maintaining their garage, and improving curb appeal and safety with outdoor lighting, all of which are available now at REALTOR® Content Resource.
What’s included in the articles? Here’s a sample on installing rain barrels: Continue reading »
By Robert Freedman, senior editor, REALTOR® Magazine
In real estate, the fewer things that stand in the way of transfer of clear title the better. Of course, as a practical matter, we accept that some properties come with some encumbrances. For example, we might buy a property that includes a utility easement. Because we accept the value of that easement, we buy the property and accept the restriction it places on our use of the property.
But what if the property comes with an encumbrance that provides no public good? That’s what buyers increasingly are facing because of the growth of private transfer fees. These are encumbrances imposed on the title of a new property by the developer to generate a future income stream, whenever the property is bought and sold.
Specifics will differ with each encumbrance, but in general, for the term of the restriction (up to 99 years, typically), the developer imposes a fee—say 1 percent of the purchase price—payable before there can be clear transfer of title.
Six states have already taken action against these fees, incuduing four that have banned them outright.
If these fees are something you think your state association of REALTORS® should look at, you should know that NAR is making free help available to them for drafting proposed state legislation seeking their ban. NAR has model legislation already available, but it also is working with a law firm to draft at no charge to the association proposed legislation to meet their state’s needs. State associations then have a solution to offer their lawmakers when they let them know of their concerns.
In the six-minute video above, Gerry Allen of NAR Community and Political Affairs talks about the growth of the fees, what states are doing to stop them, and how NAR’s assistance can help.
By Stacey Moncrieff, Editor in Chief, REALTOR® Magazine
HP is putting its products and services on the line to prove that print marketing is still essential to your success — and you could be the beneficiary, with a marketing makeover to start your 2010 off right.
In “The Marketing Makeover Challenge” from REALTOR® Magazine and HP, five REALTORS® will test their marketing prowess using HP printers, paper, design templates, and coaching. All the finalists will walk away with prizes valued at $1,000 — and one lucky winner will receive a prize package worth $4,000, including equipment and supplies from HP and tuition for NAR’s ePRO certification.
The challenge is for brokers and sales associates who currently use a non-HP printer that serves between one and 19 practitioners and staff. Finalists must be committed to a print marketing campaign and willing to work with REALTOR® Magazine and HP during the first quarter of 2010 to complete challenges and create blog posts about their experiences.
Tomorrow, Dec. 30, is the last day to enter. After that, the judges (including me) will begin the process of selecting our five finalists, so if you’ve been thinking about putting your name in the ring, do it now!
Recently I was chatting with a very successful real estate pro who took great pride in the many plaques and other forms of recognition that his brokerage gave him month after month to acknowledge his enviable sales record. This Florida-based gentleman, with more than 40 years of experience under his belt, is still hard at work every day scoping for buyers and going after new listings.
His business has slowed some in the past few years as it has for many. But clearly the trophies of his excellent work were, and still are, a major source of pride, as well as a centerprice of his marketing effforts. But the encounter made me wonder about the real value of sales contests these days. Do your brokerages encourage competition among sales associates with plaques and other highly visible rewards for individual success?
For a future article in REALTOR® Magazine, we want to hear from broker-owners, managers, and sales associates how important you think it is to publically recognize top performers? Does such recognition motivate others to work harder or does it result in unproductive jealousy or griping? Please share your thoughts and experiences concerning sales contests. Feel free to e-mail me directly if you prefer at firstname.lastname@example.org.