Browse Author: Jan Hope

Homeownership Matters … to Commercial Real Estate

For more on this issue, listen to the latest podcast from Bill Armstrong!


The housing market remains troubled and as a homeowner myself, I’m especially glad there is an organization looking after my interests, a long-established and trusted group which exists, in part, to fight for my right to purchase and sell real property.  That group, of course, is the National Association of REALTORS®, a strong and ready consumer advocate for homeowners, business owners, and investors.

As REALTORS® from across the country travel to attend the Midyear/Legislative meetings in Washington, DC (May 10-14, 2011) a crucial component will be Hill visits.  NAR provides its members a rare opportunity to connect directly with their legislators to voice concerns.  The focus is well placed on Homeownership.  Lawmaker discussion and pending legislation continue to threaten housing access and sales.  Issues such as the elimination of the Mortgage Interest Deduction (MID), affordable property insurance, access to affordable mortgage products, the stress of Short Sale transactions, and future of the GSEs are of great concern.   NAR’s Legislative Agenda addresses those issues and member talking points will be supplied.

Of immediate concern is H.Res.25, a bipartisan resolution offered by Rep. Gary Miller.  This resolution supports retaining MID, a consumer tax benefit that’s been in play for more than 100 years, and is important to a stable housing market.  NAR issued a Call for Action, and is urging all REALTORS® to lend support by responding.  As a homeowner who greatly appreciates and enjoys this benefit, I acted on the Call very quickly!

Just as vigorously, NAR addresses commercial real estate issues.  Never underestimate the power of the PAC!  It’s those RPAC contributions that have helped produce NAR’s recent wins:  the SBA is expanding its temporary 504 commercial real estate refinance program which helps small business owners struggling to refinance commercial loans;  the repeal of 1099 legislation which imposed burdensome requirements on small landlords and the real estate practitioners who work with them; and FASB’s decision to delay issuing a final ruling on expanding lease accounting rules which would force companies to capitalize commercial leases on their balance sheets, putting them in the red and limiting financing opportunities.

The housing issues up for debate have a direct impact on the health of the markets and a communities in which commercial real estate resides and vice versa.   Won’t you stand together with fellow REALTORS® to support all facets of the real estate industry?

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ROI on RPR for Commercial Real Estate

REALTORS® face the challenge of technology-empowered consumers and investors who rely on research from multiple sources in order to educate themselves. The Realtors Property Resource™ (RPR™) was created to offer a comprehensive source of information for the exclusive benefit of NAR REALTOR® members.  Properly implemented, the RPR will result in the industry’s most powerful information source, making REALTORS® more efficient, and allowing brokers and agents to focus on customer service, generating more opportunities for the exchange of real property.

Realtors Property Resource, LLC is a wholly-owned corporation of NAR and its members.  Returns from its investment in RPR’s technologies are intended solely for NAR’s members.  No listing, seller or property level data will be released from the system, and there will be no consumer access of any kind. RPR is authorized to produce two analytic products via license agreements with participating MLS/CIE, one of which includes the list price of a property.

As of March 1, 2011 the RPR system is contracted in 225 MLSs representing over 370,000 REALTORS® and live in 94 markets across the country with 240,000 REALTORS® active.  RPR is currently in development of its Commercial application with release targeted for Q3-Q4 2011. The Charlotte Region Commercial Board of REALTORS® created a task force to work with RPR staff; Beta testing begins this Summer.  Benefits to commercial practitioners are:

  • REALTOR®-only access to nationwide parcel centric data sets on over 147 million properties, including public records and tax assessment data, liens and mortgage information, deeds and the industries largest database of foreclosure information, schools, flood maps, geo-point and aerial mapping features, community, census, demographic and psycho-graphic information, all at no charge, all in one place.
  • Customized Commercial user profiles, property displays and reporting features specifically created to express Commercial data sets.
  • Works with your MLS or CIE to integrate localized active and off-market data with RPR’s robust nation-wide datasets.
  • RPR has no public or consumer access, keeping REALTORS® central to the process of property information and provides a number of valuable reports which can be generated by agents and broker for the benefit of the consumer.

Visit the RPR web-site for more information.

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30 Under 30

More than 600 applications were received this year in a quest to be named NAR’s “30 Under 30”.  I was honored.. and exhausted…to be one of ten judges who spent hours  reviewing applications and championing the top talent.  Some past honorees have enjoyed fame by being tapped for radio and TV reality shows.  For most, local celebrity status is enough.  So what’s the criteria?  Aside from age, NAR looks for candidates who have demonstrated ingenuity and creativity – those with unique personal stories, tales of triumph, and proven leadership.

I realized several things about this ambitious and well-educated group making their own way in real estate.  Some are so new to the business they don’t know any other market climate than the hard one we’ve been experiencing.  If they can thrive in this…they should be golden!  (The typical honoree has been in the business 5 years and averages $7 million in sales.)  Many of them work in – even lead– team environments, and collaboration has paid off.  These professionals – some already brokers and owners – have energy and tenacity beyond their years.

This year, videos were allowed as a supplement with applications, truly helpful in getting a sense of the “person”.   While some earned their passion from growing up in a real estate family, just as many entered this business to satisfy entrepreneurial desires.  I’m impressed with them all!  Technology is crucial to their business strategy and data management their key to staying in touch. Several have developed their own systems to maintain client relationships.  Others have saved time by utilizing tools like NAR’s Benefit partner, DocuSign.

What I found fascinating is their involvement and commitment to their communities.  They not only donate dollars, they actively participate in many charitable organizations – it’s a “want to”, not “have to” commitment.  So refreshing!

One thing is certain.  These young REALTORS® have chosen real estate as a career from an early age and they love it.  I see every indication to be proud of the next generation of real estate professionals on the rise.  The industry will be in good hands.  Seasoned professionals would do well to engage these folks in conversation.  I know you’d both learn from one another.

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